Qualcomm has introduced a new system that can charge a car while it’s travelling at ‘highway speeds’.
Called dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC), the technology is integrated into a specially-built track, cutting out the need for electric cars to stop at charging stations.
The breakthrough could pave the way for the building of more roads capable of charging cars, and an eventual move to other electric vehicles.
Based on the Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging technology (WEVC), the DEVC tech can charge two vehicles on the same track simultaneously. What’s more, vehicles can pick up charge while travelling forwards and in reverse.
The technology was demonstrated at the 100-metre FABRIC test track at Satory Versailles, France, where the two vehicles were able to charge at up to 20 kilowatts while travelling at high speed.
The pseudo-acronym FABRIC stands for FeAsiBility analysis and development of on-Road chargIng solutions for future electriC vehicles and is a €9 million (£7.6m) project, mostly funded by the European Commission. Built by VEDECOM, the FABRIC test track was fitted with charging tech by Qualcomm, while VEDECOM and Renault worked together to equip two Renault Kangoo vehicles with the receiving part of the technology.
“The installation of one of the world’s first DEVC test platforms has provided us with a unique test facility and we look forward to expanding our expertise with the future testing,” said VEDECOM CEO Luc Marbach.
The FABRIC project began in January 2014 and is scheduled to continue until December 2017. The initiative is being undertaken by 25 organisations from nine European countries, including car makers, suppliers, and automotive research groups.
It is hoped the breakthrough in dynamic charging will make electric vehicles a far more attractive option for car users.
“We see dynamic charging as a great vision to further enhance the ease of use of EVs [Electric Vehicles], thus the accessibility of EVs for all,” said Eric Feunteun, Electric Vehicle Program Director, Groupe Renault.
The aim of the current project is to investigate how the range of electric cars ban be boosted.
“The combination of a global team of expert engineers and Qualcomm Halo technology, which covers all aspects of WEVC systems, irrespective of the magnetics used, has enabled us to really push the boundaries of the possible and outline our vision for future urban mobility,” said Steve Pazol, vice president and general manager for Wireless Charging at Qualcomm.
However, efforts to get people to give electric cars a chance are being accelerated – pushed both by rapidly-improving technology and the increasingly urgent need to tackle the country’s deadly air pollution epidemic, which has diesel vehicles as one of its primary drivers.
Officials from the Energy Saving Trust and the National Franchised Dealers Association Trusted Dealers have been in Leeds as part of a nationwide ‘myth-busting’ tour designed to encourage more motorists to consider going electric, including the Yorkshire Post. I took a Nissan Leaf, an entirely battery-powered car that is one of the market leaders in the field of electric vehicles, for an overnight test drive. Leeds is one of five places that are to be turned into ‘Clean Air Zones’ by 2020. Congestion charges are on the way for polluting lorries and taxis, while initiatives will be pursued to encourage drivers to ditch diesel vehicles. But those plans could be further accelerated in the coming days – the Government has until Tuesday to publish a revised draft air pollution strategy. Nitrogen dioxide pollution, largely from diesel traffic, is linked to the premature deaths of more than 60 people per day and ultra-low emission vehicles are at the heart of the national strategy to tackle air pollution and it is hoped that by 2040, every new car and van sold will be zero emission.
Leeds Council is already attempting to get more people using electric vehicles, with free parking offered to owners of zero and ultra-low emission vehicles at council-operated car parks. More than 250 permits have been issued since the scheme was launched in March 2016. I headed home in the Leaf to Sheffield, another Yorkshire city plagued by air pollution problems. As promised, I found there is such a thing as the ‘EV grin’ – the automatic car is extremely easy to drive and incredibly quiet as well compared to the usual sound made by a petrol engine. It managed to cover the 40-mile distance, much of it along the motorway, with relative ease; using less than half the car’s battery and getting up to speeds of 70mph in a similar manner to a conventional car. But taking the vehicle overnight also revealed some of the limitations that are holding electric cars back from mass market appeal just yet. The vehicles are designed to be charged up overnight at home, providing enough battery life for the vast majority of drivers to be able to get through the day without needing any top-up. But unfortunately such charging cannot realistically be achieved unless you have a drive or a garage and like around 30 per cent of UK households, our home does not have off-street parking – a major barrier to owning an electric car.
The result of this was setting off early to work the following morning to drop in at a nearby Asda store which has free charging points. The staff were somewhat surprised to be asked for assistance with getting the vehicle to charge (owners are provided with a card that allows them to start the charging machines that I didn’t get on the test drive) and once a staff member who knew how to get the machines to work arrived a few minutes later and helped me get plugged in, I headed inside to the cafe to have a coffee for 20 minutes. There are more than 12,000 public charging points across the country for electric vehicles, with the most powerful capable of charging the battery to 80 per cent in 30 minutes. Unfortunately for me, the one I used at Asda did not fall into this category and I was rather disappointed to see the battery charge had gone up from 53 per cent to just 57 per cent in the time I had waited – an increase that was wiped out by the time I got to the M1 to head north to Leeds. It led to a rather cautious drive back up to West Yorkshire with eyes constantly flickering to the dashboard to see how the battery life was holding up, especially as I negotiated uphill sections of the M1. However, to the car’s credit, I managed to make it back with just over 10 per cent of battery life remaining. The vehicle’s sat-nav also includes a feature which shows up the nearest available charging points, meaning running out of power should never be a serious prospect. Currently, Nissan Leaf vehicles can officially go up to 155 miles on a single charge, although the reality they can only make about 75 per cent of that distance when things like using windscreen wipers, heating and lights are taken into account. But one of its rivals in the electric car market, the Renault Zoe, is promoted of being technically capable of doing 250 miles.
While the guide price for a new Nissan Leaf with the larger 30kWh battery starts from almost £30,000, there is a £4,500 grant available from the Government for buyers of new electric cars. Those who buy the vehicles are also attracted by running costs that are just one-quarter of conventional petrol or diesel vehicles. And sales are increasing. New registrations of plug-in cars have gone up from around 3,500 in 2013 to nearly 95,000 by March this year. However, with electric cars making up around 1.5 per cent of the new car market, there is plenty of work still to be done to convince motorists to go electric. Chris Brown, EV manager for the Lookers Nissan group, says: “There is still a lot of public negativity that is unjust and which we find very frustrating. Once we get over the 200-mile mark, it makes the car available for everyone. But most people don’t do more than 50 miles in a day. “Feedback is exceptional once people are in the vehicle. The main issue we have is getting people to drive the car. We let people have a three-day test drive completely free and that is what changes people’s perceptions.” Paul Gambrell, transport consultancy manager at the Energy Saving Trust, gave a talk to an audience at Lookers Nissans showroom on Kirkstall Road in Leeds as part of the national roadshow. He said: “You can save a lot of money and a lot of harmful emissions at the same time. People are shocked how easy they are to drive and how quiet they are. It is something that you have got to try to be able to understand.
“Most people now think of it like a mobile phone, you plug it in at home, charge it up and only very occasionally need emergency charging.” For me, the parallel with phones does not just extend to charging. In the same way that the clunky mobiles of the 1980s and 1990s provoked derision before technological advances turned them into must-have gadgets, it is clear the vehicles are fast approaching a tipping point where what once was quirky and unusual will become mainstream. The future is already here – it just doesn’t quite work perfectly for everyone yet. Bridging the ‘confidence gap’ Charging times for electric vehicles will be reduced in the next couple of years – making the cars more attractive to consumers. Andrew Benfield, group director of transport at the Energy Saving Trust, admits finding viable charging solutions for the cars is key to “bridging the confidence gap in the next couple of years”. “For a reasonable chunk of people, it is difficult to charge at home because you don’t have off-road parking. Overnight charging is the most cost-effective way of running an electric vehicle. “Some of the technology is at a fairly new stage. There are things like lamppost charging, which allows you to charge where you are parked. It is moving very fast and there are various plans on the table.” Benfield adds things are already changing quickly in terms of the cars’ performance. “The rate of change has been pretty phenomenal. The first electric cars were a bit of a laughing stock. We have gone from there to things like the Renault Zoe which has broken the 200-mile range. That has happened in the last two years, not in the last ten. “People want to see charging that is viable and on their certain route. We are so used to petrol stations and knowing where they are. In the next couple of years, speeds will increase and charging times will reduce. It is going to get closer to the current refuelling experience. “It definitely is entering the public consciousness that they need to think about the type of vehicle they use and the type of fuel. Clean Air Zones are getting people to think about whether a smaller petrol car or an older diesel is the best way to do 5,000 miles a year. “The Zoe will do 180 miles in the real world on one charge, for a lot of people that is more than sufficient. “These things are cheap to run, if you are concerned about local air quality or the local environment, these vehicles are clean and green, simple to drive and simple to maintain. If these vehicles suit your lifestyle, there are a whole range of benefits. It is win-win-win.”
Read more at: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/plugging-into-the-future-what-is-it-like-to-drive-an-electric-car-around-leeds-1-8525159
EvMeerkat has joined forces with EV OneStop to help promote the best priced charging cables around. EV OneStop, a British based company which offers customers warranties on all products as well as free UK delivery, operates a ‘price match’ system – guaranteeing that their prices cannot be beaten.
Over to Japan now, where the country’s motoring giants; Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi are launching a new initiative to expand the number of electric car charging points in the country.
The four motoring giants are jointly establishing a new company called Nippon Charge Service to promote the installation of charging facilities for electric cars, which will be accessible through the use of a single charging card.
Through the new company, the firms will subsidise the cost of installation of new charging facilities, and combined with government grants, will successfully cover the entire cost for relevant applicants.
Back in November, the firms first announced their intention to assist with charging point costs and began inviting businesses to bid for funding. » Read the rest of this entry «
The shift to ultra-low emission vehicles presents unique environmental and economic opportunities for the UK. It offers the potential to decarbonise road transport while still enabling mobility and stimulating the kind of green jobs and investment that we require to help rebalance our economy.
Reducing transport emissions will require a range of different technologies and solutions in the future. To help support this transition, the Government is committed to growing the market for plug-in vehicles in the UK. This is due to the contribution that they, and other low and ultra-low carbon technologies, can make across our economic and environmental priorities – climate change, green growth, energy security, decarbonising the electricity system and air quality.
The Government is taking an integrated and pragmatic approach to support market growth:
The Spending Review made provision of over £300m over the life of this Parliament for the Plug- In Car Grant to reduce the upfront cost of eligible vehicles to consumers and businesses.
Consumers and businesses also benefit from a favourable tax regime, with plug-in vehicles receiving Vehicle Excise Duty and Company Car Tax exemptions, as well as Enhanced Capital Allowances.
The Plugged-In Places programme has made £30m available to match-fund eight pilot projects installing and trialling recharging infrastructure in the UK to support the Carbon Plan commitment to install up to 8,500 chargepoints.
Recognising that continued growth in recharging infrastructure will be driven by private sector investment, which could be constrained by the ability to raise finance, there is the potential for the Green Investment Bank to provide targeted financial solutions for appropriate plug-in vehicle infrastructure projects.
The Government is also supporting low and ultra-low carbon vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration focusing on priorities identified in conjunction with the UK Automotive Council. This Strategy sets the framework for the development of recharging infrastructure to support plug- in vehicle owners and industry in the UK. By providing a clarity of approach and removing barriers for those wishing to invest in, provide or benefit from such infrastructure, this Strategy aims to stimulate and accommodate the expected growth in the plug-in vehicle market.
In the period up to 2015, we expect to see tens of thousands of plug-in vehicles on the roads in the UK, with manufacturers bringing increasing numbers of models to market. In the period from 2015 to 2020 we expect to see the number of plug-in vehicles accelerate as costs reduce and vehicle manufacturers bring forward a wider range of plug-in vehicle models in order to meet their stringent 2020 CO2 targets under the European New Car CO2 Regulation.
The rate at which the plug-in vehicle market develops in the UK will be determined by a range of factors, such as consumer acceptance and oil prices, which are difficult to predict. Independent forecasts suggest that hundreds of thousands of plug-in vehicles could be on the road by 2020 and we need to be equipped to deal with this; but we also need to be ready to accommodate an even more rapid rate of growth should this occur.
The evidence base
The Plugged-In Places programme is the key mechanism for commencing the roll-out of recharging infrastructure in the UK and providing learning to inform the future development of a national network. In addition, the Energy Technologies Institute Plug-In Vehicle Economics and Infrastructure Programme and the Technology Strategy Board’s Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme have informed this Strategy. We have also worked closely with the energy utilities, plug-in vehicle manufacturers, chargepost manufacturers and have sought insights from a range of global initiatives.
Our vision for recharging
Our approach is not to mandate ‘a chargepoint on every corner’ – this is not necessary to help the market grow and would be uneconomic. Rather, for plug-in vehicles to appeal to, and be a viable solution for, consumers, we wantrecharging infrastructure to be targeted, convenient and safe. We want to see the majority of recharging taking place at home, at night, after the peak in electricity demand. Home recharging should be supported by workplace recharging for commuters and fleets, with a targeted amount of public infrastructure where it will be most used, allowing people to make the journeys they want.
Recharging at home
Recharging at home, at night, off-peak, is not only most convenient for drivers, but also maximises the environmental and economic benefits of plug-in vehicles by using cheaper, lower carbon night-time electricity generation. It also makes the best use of available electricity network capacity.
To help people charge at home as easily as possible, the Government is:
ensuring that smart metering in Great Britain includes the functionality to support smart charging of plug-in vehicles. This will allow recharging to react to price signals, ensuring that it can happen when it is cheapest for consumers and the energy system, subject to appropriate technology in the chargepoint or plug-in vehicle;
through Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund, supporting smart grid projects linked to the Plugged-In Places projects in London and the North East which will look at how plug-in vehicles and domestic recharging can be best managed;
facilitating the installation of domestic chargepoints through the Plugged-In Places projects;
Making the Connection: The Plug-In Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy
proposing the inclusion of policy on plug-in vehicle infrastructure in the National Planning Policy Framework, due for consultation in July 2011. This will encourage local authorities to consider adopting policies to include plug-in vehicle recharging infrastructure in new domestic developments; and
exploring whether voluntary standards, such as the Code for Sustainable Homes, can be used to encourage the inclusion of plug-in vehicle recharging infrastructure in new domestic developments. Recharging at work After home recharging, we want to see workplaces providing recharging opportunities, both for fleet vehicles and employees for whom recharging at home is not practical or sufficient. We expect that plug-in vehicles will be particularly attractive to fleet purchasers. Given the current favourable taxation regime, running cost savings and the opportunity for businesses to differentiate themselves and demonstrate their leadership on sustainability, plug-in vehicles make commercial sense for many businesses. To help businesses respond to these demands we are:
establishing a Permitted Development Right that will allow landowners to install plug-in vehicle chargepoints in car-parking areas without the need to apply for planning permission, removing a barrier for those interested in installing chargepoints;
enabling businesses whose emissions are caught under the Carbon Reduction Commitment to discount electricity used to charge plug-in vehicles from their total electricity consumption. This means businesses with workplace chargepoints will not face additional costs;
proposing the inclusion of policy on plug-in vehicle infrastructure in the National Planning Policy Framework, due for consultation in July 2011. This will encourage local authorities to consider adopting policies to include plug-in vehicle recharging infrastructure in new workplace developments;
looking at enabling provision of information to consumers about plug-in vehicles and workplace recharging as part of the Green Deal customer journey – evidence suggests people taking up core Green Deal measures for workplaces are also likely to be plug-in vehicle adopters; and
supporting the Plugged-In Places projects to install chargepoints in workplaces. Recharging in public places The majority of recharging is likely to take place at home and at work, so an extensive public recharging infrastructure would be underutilised and uneconomic. We wantpublic infrastructure to be targeted at key destinations, where consumers need it, such as supermarkets, retail centres and car parks, with a focused amount of on-street infrastructure, particularly for residents without off-street parking. Although central and local government is currently playing a key role in establishing the early public infrastructure, in the longer term a commercial market needs to develop. Public infrastructure needs to be easy to locate and easy to access, to give the public the assurance that they need to utilise the full range of their vehicles and to support the commercial case for public charging.
To ensure appropriate targeting and ease of access we are:
establishing a National Chargepoint Registry that will allow chargepoint manufacturers and operators to make information on their infrastructure, including location, available in one place;
supporting a common standard for plug-in vehicle smartcards issued by the Plugged-In Places to access their infrastructure, making it easier for users to access more than one scheme;
challenging industry to specify, by the end of the year, back-office requirements that enable users to easily access chargepoints provided by different schemes. As the essential first step we are developing a central system to allow the back-offices of the Plugged-In Places, and other infrastructure schemes, to communicate with each other (a central whitelist); and
supporting the Plugged-In Places projects to install chargepoints in public places where they are most needed. To make public infrastructure easier to install and to improve the commercial case for installing it we are:
establishing a Permitted Development Right that removes the requirement from local authorities and owners of publicly accessible car parks to apply for planning permission to install chargepoints;
working with Ofgem to remove regulatory barriers. Ofgem will consult this year on an exemption that makes it clear that chargepoint owners and operators can sell electricity via chargepoints at the market rate; and
making data freely available on how public recharging infrastructure installed through the Plugged-In Places is used, to help inform commercially viable business models. We want plug-in vehicle owners to be able to recharge quickly when they need to. Industry favours moving to a dedicated plug-in vehicle recharging connector (the IEC62196-2 Type 2) to allow faster recharging rates than are possible with a three-pin plug. Given this clear direction of travel, the Plugged-In Places will start to install public infrastructure with Type 2 connectors. Enabling longer journeys We want plug-in vehicles to become a viable, mass-market alternative to conventional cars. We recognise that, while 95% of trips in Great Britain are less than 25 miles, well within the range of battery electric vehicles, consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by the potential to travel further. Plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles, rapid chargers, battery swap and flexible ownership models all have the potential to help plug-in vehicle owners undertake longer journeys. We are supporting a range of approaches for extending journeys through the Plugged-In Places, including plans to install around 50 rapid chargers at key locations. We have also included plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles within the scope of the Plug-In Car Grant.
Making the Connection: The Plug-In Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy
Taking the Strategy forward
We have set out much in this Strategy that we need to deliver. However, success will require the combined efforts of many.
Local leaders and local initiatives will have an important role in driving activity to ensure infrastructure fits with community needs and priorities. Electricity distributors need to factor in additional demand from plug-in vehicles as they plan to reinforce the grid and consider how to introduce smart grid capabilities. Electricity suppliers have a valuable opportunity to develop new tariffs for plug-in vehicle owners and commercial models for the provision of recharging infrastructure. Businesses and investors need to act on the new commercial opportunities that recharging infrastructure presents, including provision of auxiliary services such as media, communications and mobility services.
Given this wide range of different parties that need to be brought together to make this market a success we are asking the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Electric Vehicle Group, the Energy Retail Association and the Energy Networks Association to, by the end of the year:
specify how the back office functions for recharging infrastructure will operate; and
develop recommendations on the most cost-effective way to ensure that recharging occurs off-peak. We will not stop here. This is a fast-moving market and, for this reason, we will provide an update to this document at the start of 2013.
Extract from a draft revision to the Traffic Signs Manual – Chapter 3
The Traffic Signs (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations and General Directions 2011 i.e.
Electric vehicle rechargingpointparking signs and markings are prescribed by The
Traffic Signs (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations and General Directions 2011 which
came into force on 30 January 2012. Guidance will be given via a revision to the Traffic
Signs Manual Chapter 3 which covers regulatory signs, when next updated. Below is
the draft revision of the paragraph relevant to electric vehicle parking.
Question Remains… Why is there a “charging hours” prescribed on these charging areas. By notion of vehicle – like any other vehicle – electric cars are to be used at any hour of the day, thus with charging requirement.
Appointing the charging time-frame, it limits the very utilisation of such alternative vehicles.
2016: “The government’s current air quality plan with respect to London is based on the very limited ambition of the previous mayor to tackle air pollution and isn’t enough to protect Londoners health,” said Khan. “I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health as I suffer from adult-onset asthma myself.”
Khan’s first major policy announcement after winning the mayoral election for Labour were new plans to tackle the capital’s air pollution. These include more than doubling the size of the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone.