November 13th, 2016 § Comments Off on ROTTERDAM TO TEST WIRELESS ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING § permalink
Rotterdam and energy company Engie teamed up for an experiment in wirelessly charging electric cars.
Together they developed a charging plate, which means that instead of plugging into a pole with a cord, an electric car can charge by parking on the induction plate in a parking lot. The charging is started with an app, NOS reports.
Rotterdam wants to encourage electric driving by making charging as simple as possible. The city already boasts with nearly 2 thousand charging points. “We want another 2 thousand, and with that we also want to maybe use this technique in some places”, alderman Pex Langenberg said to the broadcaster.
The technique is still in its baby phases. It still needs to be tested extensively, and cars need to have the induction technology installed before they can use it.
Engie sees a lot of potential for this technology in the future. “Think of usage by taxis at ranks or buses”, spokesperson Hans Boot said. “In the distant future, you can use these charging plates in the highway to charge self-driving cars.”
September 13th, 2016 § Comments Off on ELbnb: In Sweden, your next car-charging spot could be at someone else’s house § permalink
If home is where the heart is, then homes in Sweden may also be where the energy is stored for people hoping to give their electric car an added boost.
Renault just launched Elbnb, a new service that allows anyone in Sweden to transform their house into a charging station for electric cars.
Elbnb, an online platform, is meant to add more handy charging locations across the country and encourage more residents to lessen their carbon footprint by driving electric cars.
The private-home stations will be featured on a map that can be quickly located by electric-car drivers. The charging price and times will be determined by the driver and homeowner.
“Swedes are used to the sharing economy in anything from cars to apartments,” Lars Höglin, Renault Nordic brand engagement manager, said in a statement. “After conversations with both locals and politicians, we can see that our initiative is already being positively perceived by the Swedes, who also seem ready to start sharing their power outlets.”
The service may also get local politicians to move faster on legislation that would help build more publicly accessible charging stations throughout Sweden.
“Electric cars are a reality. But even though it’s year 2016, a year when environmental issues are a big topic, the infrastructure is lacking,” Höglin said. “That is why we started Elbnb as an initiative run by locals, showing that the Swedes are ready to contribute when political actions are too slow. We also want to show that making a case for greener roads is as easy as charging your electric car.”
July 5th, 2016 § Comments Off on There are now more than one million electric cars on the world’s roads § permalink
In 2015, the number of electric cars on the road globally passed the one million threshold for the first time.
The rapid growth of the industry means that it is now the only technology sector on track to meet the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2C scenario.
This is the conclusion of the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives 2016 report, which it released on Wednesday. This is the latest edition of their annual progress review of the technologies that will determine the rate of global emissions, including renewables, nuclear, CCS and coal.
Last year’s report, covered by Carbon Brief, painted a bleak picture. It deemed that none of the 19 technologies it tracks had made the necessary progress to limit global temperature rise to below 2C. It said that five technologies were off track, while the remaining 14 were failing to improve fast enough.
One year on, its assessment is equally bleak. The number of technologies off track has risen to six, while 11 are failing to improve fast enough. Only electric vehicles have made to jump towards actually being on track to meet the 2C goal modelled by the IEA.
» Read the rest of this entry «
June 11th, 2016 § Comments Off on Norway: Why do they love electric cars in the Arctic Circle? § permalink
Tromso, a Norwegian city known as the “Gateway to the Arctic”, receives no sunlight for two months of the year.
Yet this remote, beautiful, snowy city is the unlikely focus of the global electric car industry, attracting the attention of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, founder of electric car maker Tesla.
His company has recently opened a showroom there – its most northerly outpost.
Why? Because Norway, it seems, is simply nuts about electric cars.
The country is the world leader in electric cars per capita and has just become the fourth country in the world to have 100,000 of them on the roads.
When you consider the other nations on the list are the US (population: 320 million), Japan (pop. 130 million) and China (pop. 1.35 billion), then that is quite an achievement for this rugged, sparsely populated country of just five million.
Some of its politicians want to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2025, which prompted Musk to tweet: “What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!!”
On an earlier visit in April, he attributed a lot of Tesla’s success to the country’s pioneering stance on electric cars.
So how has Norway managed it?
Elisabeth Bryn helps explain the answer. The 56-year-old teacher enjoys driving in the icy streets of Tromso and she can barely contain her excitement as she misses our turn.
“It is such a good feeling to drive a clean car. It means I have a clean conscience and it works out cheaper in the long run,” she tells the BBC.
But it is economic incentive as much as environmental concern that is fuelling the rise in green cars – Norway introduced a raft of generous subsidies to encourage people to go electric.
Electric Car Incentive List
- No purchase taxes
- Exemption from 25% VAT on purchase
- Low annual road tax
- No charges on toll roads or ferries
- Free municipal parking
- Access to bus lanes
- 50% reduction in company car tax
- No VAT on leasing
It launched an aggressive tax policy towards high-polluting cars, while offering zero tax on zero-emission cars. This “polluter pays” policy brought the cost of an electric car into line with a conventionally powered one.
Bryn is clearly shrewd about the numbers and says the entire cost of her car will be recouped within eight years thanks to the tax and fuel savings.
But aren’t people worried about running out of power? Lack of range is the electric car’s Achilles heel after all.
This is where Norway comes into its own, as Bryn demonstrates at a public charging point on an industrial estate out of town.
The electricity being pumped into her car is free.
Norway is fortunate enough to have close to 100% renewable and cheap hydro power production.
According to the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, even if all three million cars on the country’s roads were electric, they would suck up just 5-6% of the annual hydro power electricity production.
Elisabeth Bryn loves her electric car, but some of her friends worry about flat batteries
Rapid charging points can pump her Nissan Leaf with up to 80% charge in just 30 minutes. Alternatively, Bryn can charge her car at home at a much slower pace overnight.
It helps that Norway is also the biggest oil producer in Western Europe and the world’s third largest exporter of natural gas. In other words, Norway is rich enough to subsidise its electric car lifestyle.
But despite these considerable perks, not everyone is convinced.
In Oslo there are more than 14,000 electric cars – about 30% of the market. But in the more northern reaches – cities like Tromso – enthusiasm has been more muted.
This may be explained by the tough terrain and “range anxiety” – concerns that a flat battery will leave them stranded in arctic conditions.
Can electric cars perform as well in far northern climes?
Studies have shown that electric car performance can deteriorate markedly in extreme cold or hot conditions. And Nissan, whose Leaf model is the biggest selling electric vehicle in Norway, admits that the car’s 124-mile maximum range can fall significantly in icier conditions when the heating, lights and demister are all draining the charge more thirstily.
Bryn says such concerns have put off some of her friends: “They have a cabin deep in the countryside and said they just couldn’t trust an electric car to get them there. They said there just weren’t enough charging points.”
Yet Tesla’s new showroom in Tromso, and the steady growth in the number of public charging points, demonstrates the industry’s commitment to spreading the green message no matter how inhospitable the environment.
And the rest of the world is learning lessons from Norway.
Germany has just announced a €1bn (£784m; $1.1bn) incentive scheme to get more consumers buying electric cars, for example.
Christian Ruoff, publisher of US electric car magazine, Charged, sums it up: “Electric car makers in the US see Norway as a window into the future.
“Norway shows that if governments can make electric cars as affordable as petrol equivalents then motorists, even in the Arctic Circle, will buy them.
“It also busts the myths that electric cars and their batteries are only suitable for cities with more moderate climates like Oslo or San Francisco.”
June 5th, 2016 § Comments Off on BMW revamps “i” electric car division to focus on self-driving tech § permalink
MUNICH, June 2 (Reuters) – BMW has transformed its “i” division into a development centre for self-driving cars, a board member told Reuters, a major strategic shift for the unit previously focused on making a family of lightweight electric vehicles.
While Tesla’s Model 3 will hit showrooms in 2017, and as rivals Porsche and Audi are working on all-electric cars for release by 2019, the German carmaker appears to have put such cars on the back burner. Its next fully-electric car is not due until 2021.
The company has changed tack after its only fully battery-powered car, the i3, failed to gain traction with the public, with only 25,000 sales last year. By contrast, Tesla has already received more than 370,000 orders for its Model 3.
Now, rather than seeking to match the likes of Tesla and Porsche with a new zero-emissions sports limousine for release within the next two years, its main focus will be on developing an electric car with the next generation of technology: autonomous driving.
In an interview at the company’s headquarters in Munich, BMW board member Klaus Froehlich, who is in charge of development, said he had relaunched the i division in April as a unit devoted to producing cars that drive themselves.
“It is now in ramp-up stage. We call it Project i Next.”
The revamp also follows at least four high-profile staff defections from the division this year. Dirk Abendroth, manager of BMW’s “i” powertrain group, Henrik Wenders, vice president product management BMW “i”, and Carsten Breitfeld, vice president engineering, head of the i8 vehicle programme, were poached by a Chinese electric vehicle startup.
As part of its autonomous driving push, BMW is hiring experts in machine learning and artificial intelligence. It is also integrating the functions of existing computer driven assistance systems like cruise control, emergency braking, lane-keeping support and automatic parking.
With a fully autonomous vehicle, BMW could launch a ride-hailing business without having to pay drivers, Froehlich said, giving carmakers a competitive edge over new ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft which are eroding car sales by making part-time use as convenient as ownership.
Earlier this month Toyota Motor Corp said it would invest in Uber, and Volkswagen announced a $300 million investment in Gett, a smaller ride-sharing company.
BMW too may partner with a ride-hailing firm, particularly in markets like China, but the Bavarian carmaker’s strategy on potential partnerships with companies in this space is still being worked on, Froehlich said.
Sales of highly autonomous vehicles – ones where permanent active input from the driver is not required – are not expected to gain traction until 2020, but could then rise to around 9 million a year by 2025, according to analysts at Exane BNP Paribas.
China, the world’s largest car market, is likely to be the market where autonomous cars will first emerge on a large scale, Froehlich said.
“China is extremely fast implementing technology. Last year more electric cars were sold in China than in all the other global markets combined,” he added.
BMW is also considering expanding in the area of reserving parking spaces and electric car charging stations over mobile phones, a market which is still fragmented within countries. The carmaker has already invested in ParkNow and Parkmobile, two digital parking and payment services.
“We want to actively participate in a consolidation process,” Froehlich said. (Reporting by Edward Taylor and Irene Preisinger; Editing by Pravin Chark)
May 18th, 2016 § Comments Off on German cabinet gives green light to electric car incentives § permalink
The German cabinet approved new incentives and tax breaks on Wednesday to boost demand for electric cars in an attempt to
meet its target of bringing 1 million of them onto its roads by the end of the decade.
Under the new plans, electric cars will be exempt from paying vehicle tax for ten years with retroactive effect from Jan. 1, 2016. This is up from a previous exemption of five years.
Employees who charge their electric vehicles at work will also pay a reduced tax rate of 25 percent on this non-cash benefit, the Finance Ministry said.
The tax breaks come on top of plans agreed last month between government ministers and the car industry to give buyers of electric cars a 4,000 euro incentive, while buyers of plug-in hybrid cars will get a premium of 3,000 euros.
The costs of about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) will be shared equally between the government and the car industry.
The program includes 300 million euros of spending on charging stations.
“The key for a breakthrough in electromobility is nationwide charging infrastructure,” Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said in a statement.
Germany, the biggest carmaker in Europe, currently has only about 50,000 purely battery powered vehicles and plug-in hybrids among the 45 million cars using its roads.
The government hopes the new incentives will help sell an additional 400,000 electric cars.
Other countries in Europe already have incentive schemes in place to get more consumers to buy electric vehicles, including Norway, the Netherlands, France and the UK.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley and Andreas Rinke, editing by Louise Heavens)
April 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on Tough but gotta be done: Netherlands may ban sale of non-electric cars by 2025 § permalink
Times are changing folks and yet human attitude towards worsening air pollution and climate change is all slow behaviours which, unless have the tangible impact, are rarely well pondered upon.
This is why I personally gotta commend Duth government on their effort, forced hand, in fact to make legal steps to ensure that Changes are Made and Made Now rather than later, and promote zero emission transportation, with this proposal to make it illegal to sell pure fossil-fuelled car from 2025 in the country.
Europe’s developing market in on-street charging points and hydrogen fuelling stations will be given a boost if the Dutch parliament passes a law that would ban the sale of non-electric cars by 2025.
The bill was initiated by the Labour party, and has attracted sufficient support in the lower house of the Dutch parliament. It will become law if it gains the approval of the Dutch senate.
If introduced, the law would give a regulatory push to the market for electric vehicles. At present, consumers are deterred from buying non-petrol or diesel vehicles because of the lack of charging infrastructure, and companies are deterred from installing the infrastructure because of the lack of cars to use it.
There are signs that this chicken-and-egg problem is beginning to be overcome in the battery car market, particularly in the Netherlands. Last year, 43,000 new electric vehicles were purchased in the country, giving them a 10% share of the market. In Norway, the leader in electric vehicle adoption, that figure is 22%. By contrast, electric vehicles make up only 1% of UK sales and 0.35% of Canadian sales.
Howerver, hydrogen fuelled cars still face barriers. At present there are few ways to refuel a fuel-cell-powered car.
Shell has made a start on installing hydrogen stations, having set up a partnership in Germany with industrial gas manufacturers Air Liquide and Linde, car maker Daimler and energy companies Total and OMV, to develop a network of 400 hydrogen refuelling stations by 2023. However, only three stations have been set up.
The UK government last year made £6.6m ($9.5m) available to set up 12 hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK, including new Brentford and Croydon outside London, and a mobile station that will be used across the south of England.
Despite the lack of a fuel network, production model hydrogen cars are beginnign to appear. Yesterday, 21 April, Toyota annouced that it would introduce the Mirai to the UK. The £66,000 ($95,000) four-door Mirai (it means “future” in Japanese) is part of the car maker’s plan to shift to alternative fuels as soon as possible – a decision that will be vindicated if the Netherlands enacts its law, and other countries follow suit.
So far, the city of Oslo is looking to ban private cars by 2019 and the mayor of Paris has announced that the city will be rid of diesel cars by 2020.
The process of building a hydrogen refuelling station is shown here.
Toyota’s take on the rapidly changing car industry is shown here.
April 22nd, 2016 § Comments Off on Sadly: No 200-mile electric car in Ford’s immediate future § permalink
DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. has no immediate plans to chase General Motors, Nissan and Tesla in the electric car range race.
Kevin Layden, Ford’s director of electrification programs and engineering, said the 100-mile range coming this fall in the 2017 Focus Electric — up from the 2016 model’s 76 miles — is enough distance to cover the daily commute of most drivers.
Speaking on the sidelines of the SAE World Congress last week here, Layden said keeping the car’s range at 100 miles will help rein in weight and cost. The lower range enables the use of a smaller, lighter and less expensive battery pack, Layden said.
But during a panel discussion last week on the future of electric cars, several speakers said a range of at least 200 miles is needed to alleviate consumers’ range anxiety about battery-powered cars.
“I think right now with the launch of the Focus Electric at 100 miles, it is going to satisfy a big chunk of the population,” said Layden. “It’s going to be really affordable and a step up from where we are now.”
This fall, GM will launch the Chevrolet Bolt hatchback, a compact electric car that GM says will go at least 200 miles on a single charge, while Tesla is promising its Model 3 compact sedan will be able to drive 215 miles on a charge. And Nissan plans to launch a redesigned Leaf in 2018 with a promised 200-mile range.
In December, Ford committed $4.5 billion to rejuvenate its electrified vehicle lineup.
From : http://www.autonews.com/article/20160418/OEM05/304189970/no-200-mile-electric-car-in-fords-immediate-future
April 19th, 2016 § Comments Off on USA: Wireless electric car charging system revealed § permalink
A wireless charging system has been unveiled in the US that has the potential to match the power output of plug-powered fast-chargers and is capable of charging electric cars on the go.
The 20kW wireless charging system, which is already around three times faster than some plug-in alternatives, has been developed over the past three years by the government-backed Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with Toyota, Cisco Systems, Clemson University and Evatran.
The system has been demonstrated with a Toyota RAV4 fitted with an additional 10kWh battery, with energy transferred from a transmitting plate in the ground to a receiving plate underneath the front of the car, from where it is then transferred to the battery.
“We now have a technology that is moving closer to being ready for the market,” said Madhu Chinthavali, ORNL power electronics team leader.
ORNL says its next target, along with developing the system’s ability to charge a vehicle in motion, is to up the system’s output to produce 50kW, which would match the power of some plug-powered high-speed charging stations.
Wireless charging of electric vehicles in motion is something which is being developed with a focus on commercial vehicles rather than passenger cars, ORNL says.
Commercial EVs, such as buses, which travel on regular routes and stop at predetermined intervals, would benefit most from wireless charging systems integrated into the road, charging them on the move and also when stationary at bus stops.
The cost of implementing the system is a drawback to more widespread use, though, as it could cost up to $2 million (£1.4m) per mile to incorporate the system into roads, according to ORNL, and the system is still some years away from being implemented.
The institute, which benefited from vehicles and guidance from Toyota in the system’s development, expects to reach its 50kW target this year, but it would take a minimum of a100kW system to make wireless charging viable for bigger commercial vehicles.
The fastest charging station currently is Tesla’s Supercharger, which is capable of delivering up to 120kW and an 80% charge in 30 minutes, while the slowest three-point plug 3kW chargers take around 6-8 hours to deliver a full charge.
Wireless charging systems are set to be tested in the UK, with the government committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, and Nissan has outlined its plans to implement such a system for its cars.
February 12th, 2016 § Comments Off on Electric-only Opel Ampera: Charged up and almost ready to go § permalink
As From: http://www.techradar.com/news/car-tech/opel-s-ampera-e-affordable-electric-car-arriving-in-2017-1314749
General Motor’s European division, Opel (which is in turn the parent company of Vauxhall), has announced plans for an “affordable” five-seat electric car in 2017.The Ampera-e, as it will be known, will be based on the US Chevrolet Bolt, and the company expects the car to have a longer range than previous electric cars.
As we mentioned in our review, The Bolt can do 200 miles on one charge, whereas rival Nissan Leaf (which arguably leads the affordable EV field at the moment) can only manage 155 miles, despite having a larger battery.
The announcement was made by GM Chief Executive Mary Barra, who was speaking in Germany. According to Reuters, she said:
“Like its twin, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Ampera-e promises to transform the electric vehicle market in Europe as the first EV that combines long range at an affordable price.”
The expectation is that the new vehicle will offer more boot space compared to other EVs too – by storing the batteries under the seats. And while there are no other details just yet, looking at what the Bolt is capable of, we can make some educated guesses.
For example, the Bolt can be plugged into a normal power socket and will charge up in just over 9 hours – so we can probably expect similar. AutoCar notes that the Bolt is capable of doing 0-60mph in just 7 seconds.
2017 looks set to be a busy year for electric cars, as the “affordable” Tesla 3 will also be going on sale too.