October 28th, 2017 § Comments Off on Governments must move fast to support growing number of electric vehicles § permalink
October 5th, 2017 § Comments Off on Honda is fighting back for the EV market share by rolling out 2 electric cars by 2018 § permalink
- Honda plans to launch two fully electric cars in 2018.
- One will launch in China, and the other will likely launch in Europe.
- The company plans to unveil an electric EV concept for the European market at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Honda is taking aim at Tesla and launching two electric cars by 2018.
Honda said in June that one of its upcoming electric cars will be specifically for the Chinese market, and the company hinted in a statement Tuesday that the other would be for the European market.
Honda said in the statement that it will debut its Urban EV Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September. The company described the vehicles as “Honda’s first EV for Europe.” In June, the company’s president and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo, had only said that the other vehicle would be made for other regions.
Honda is aiming for two-thirds of its vehicles to be electrified by 2030. The company said it plans to share more details about how it plans to accomplish this in Frankfurt. Currently, the company sells an all-electric version of its Clarity in the US, but the vehicle only gets a range of about 89 miles per charge. The company has not yet revealed any details about the upcoming concept car, but it’s likely the vehicle will have a range exceeding 100 miles per charge.
Honda’s push to make fully electric vehicles marks a significant shift for the Japanese automaker. The company had previously focused on the development of hydrogen and hybrid cars, betting these would be the vehicles of the future.
However, as more automakers jump into the electric car space and countries like China strengthen regulations favoring electric vehicles, the company has switched gears somewhat.
Last year, the company created a division dedicated to developing EVs and in April, the company announced that it planned on rolling out at least one electric car in China in 2018.
In a way, the company is playing catch-up. Many automakers, including Volkswagen, Ford, and Nissan, have already committed to rolling out long-range electric cars during the next few years. And GM already launched its first all-electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt, last year.
What’s more, Tesla, the leader in the EV space, recently expanded its offerings to include a mass-market vehicle, the Model 3.
The Model 3 is a high-tech car with a range of 220 miles per charge, priced at $35,000 before tax incentives.
Tesla delivered its first 30 Model 3 vehicles in July, and CEO Elon Musk has said the company aims to produce some 1,500 units in September and some 20,000 per month by December. Still, though, the bulk of Tesla’s pre-orders will be delivered in 2018, which is when the all-electric Honda will become available in some markets.
Honda, like other automakers, is honing in on the Chinese market to kickstart EV sales because the country is working to implement regulations that would drive EV adoption. Basically, China wants to set quotas for automakers so that electrified vehicles make up at least a fifth of Chinese car sales by 2025.
Renault-Nissan announced on Wednesday that it will also be tackling the Chinese market and plans to begin production of an electric mini-SUV beginning in 2019. Earlier this month, Ford announced it was launching a new brand in China for the production of its electric car, and GM is already selling a small all-electric car in the country for $5,300.
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.
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