Tesla VS Dyson, as the latter Challenges Tesla With $1.4 Billion Battery Tech Investment

April 5th, 2016 § Comments Off on Tesla VS Dyson, as the latter Challenges Tesla With $1.4 Billion Battery Tech Investment § permalink

Dyson, the U.K. producer of innovative vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, will spend 1 billion pounds ($1.44 billion) on battery development over the next five years as it increases its efforts to expand into new sectors.

It follows a 2015 acquisition of Satki3, a U.S. maker of solid-state lithium-ion batteries, for $90 million. Dyson Ltd. had previously invested $15 million in the Michigan firm, which said it has found a way to produce batteries with twice the energy storage potential of standard lithium-ion models, at a half to a third of the cost.

Dyson’s battery efforts also received a lift from the U.K.’s 2016 budget, announced last week. As part of the package, the British government awarded Dyson a 16-million-pound grant to undertake research on longer-lasting batteries. The grant came from a regional development fund.

Batteries are a key component in Dyson’s cordless vacuum cleaners, a category that grew 66 percent globally in 2015 and in which Dyson currently holds about a 25 percent share of the market, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

While the immediate application for new batteries would probably be in Dyson’s existing cordless products, they have potential uses in everything from electric cars to tablet computers. In moving into the battery field, Dyson is taking on the likes of Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, which is also developing advanced cells to power vehicles and home appliances.

From: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-21/dyson-challenges-tesla-with-1-4-billion-battery-tech-investment

woop: Dyson to build electric cars

March 24th, 2016 § Comments Off on woop: Dyson to build electric cars § permalink

Dyson is developing an electric car at its headquarters in Wiltshire with help from public money, according to government documents.

The company, which makes a range of products that utilise the sort of highly efficient motors needed for an electric car such as vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and bladeless fans, last year refused to rule out rumours it was building one.

But on Wednesday, the government appeared to have accidentally disclosed Dyson is working on one, along with other big companies outside of the automotive industry, such as Apple.

“The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering,” said the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, published on Wednesday.

When Dyson CEO, Max Conze, was asked last year if the company was working on an electric car, he said: “We are ruling nothing out. Like our friends in Cupertino [Apple] we are also unhealthily obsessive when it comes to taking apart our products to make them better.”

Dyson recently reported profits up 20% in 2015, driven by strong growth in China, and said it plans to invest £1bn in battery technology over the next five years. Last October, Dyson bought solid-state battery company, Sakti3, for $90m, which founder Sir James Dyson said had “developed a breakthrough in battery technology.”

Asked if the company was, as the government suggested, developing an electric car, a Dyson spokesman said: “We never comment on products that are in development.”

The Guardian has also contacted the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles, which encourages the roll-out of electric vehicles as a way to cut air pollution and lower carbon emissions, and is awaiting details on the exact level of funding.

Dyson, 68, has a long history of inventions. He designed the Rotork Sea Truck, a fast cargo boat in 1970, which has been used by the military and is still sold today. In 1974, he designed the Ballbarrow, a barrow with a ball replacing the wheel, having been frustrated by wheelbarrows getting stuck in mud on a building site.

His breakthrough was the bagless vaucum cleaner, which was inspired by air cyclones used in sawmills to suck up sawdust. Since then, he has created bladeless fans and the Airblade hand dryer.

Many of Dyson’s devices use small, light and efficient electric motors developed over 10 years by his company, which may find application in developing a new electric car. Dyson is a now worth several billion pounds and in 2014 pledged his company would spend £1.5bn on research and development to create future products, aiming to launch 100 new electrical products by 2018.


From: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/23/dyson-developing-electric-car-government-documents

Renault twizy door struts replaced. Now scissor doors spring up!

March 17th, 2016 § Comments Off on Renault twizy door struts replaced. Now scissor doors spring up! § permalink

It’s been a short-long-time coming to get this fixed up. But it’s was a relatively straight forward process, once you know what you’re facing and what’s wrong and where, as well as having aplenty video-evidence examples of this issue. 

 In my Renault twizy ownership case, it was the doors this time, which caused discomfort. It was initially a “hunch” where, during my recent servicing back in  the fall of 2015, I did point out the doors being sluggish opening up, – forcing me often to push them up forcefully when getting out of twizy – or pull them up, again, forcefully when trying to get in.
Fast forward through our London winter, with average low temperatures and we have a significant further degradation in the door opening mechanism – gas struts which push the doors open (and indeed more sluggish in colder weather) – which deteriorated to the point of lifting the door(s) a mere inch, when the door mechanism was released-open.
Last time, Renault service tech merely advised that “it opens, sorta, it works. Let us know only [when] if it gets worse.” That was then. This is now.
 YouTube video here.

Good news is. It’s all fixed. Under warranty. Free.
Following the comprehensive forum discussion and discovery of similar like-for-like cases on Twizyowners.com forum.

Turns out I’m not alone. Glad there are some alternatives out there to DIY remedy the fault as well which are quite affordable.
Luckily for me, it didn’t have to come to that, nor testing my DIY skills (phew..) – repairs done under warranty.
I have shared those videos with the Renault service team – made quite a few – to avoid being turned around again.
So, again. Good news: my Renault twizy door issue was resolved under warranty (for free).
Just collected the twizy, still cold and the doors aren’t exactly flying up, but they do work a LOT better than before and a lot springy!
Meanwhile, here is some snap of Renault’s work  


BMW i3 EV to Offer 50 Percent More Range for 2017

February 20th, 2016 § Comments Off on BMW i3 EV to Offer 50 Percent More Range for 2017 § permalink

BMW sells its future-think i3 as both a regular EV and as an EV with an onboard gasoline engine that functions as a range-extender. The current, EV-only version has a stated range of 81 miles, but according to a report in Automotive News, that figure is set to increase by 50 percent—to approximately 120 miles—come the 2017 model year.The article quotes BMW board member Ian Robertson, who says that the 2017 model’s enhanced lithium-ion battery pack “puts it in a much more usable range.” A BMW North America spokesman confirmed the report and added that the more powerful battery would be an option; the current version, with its 22-kWh battery pack and 81-mile range, would still be offered.

A range of 120 miles would put the i3 at the top of the currently available sub-Tesla class of EVs—which is fitting given that the BMW’s price tag of $43,395 (2016 model, before tax incentives) also is at the top of that class. The only issue for BMW is that Chevrolet is claiming a range of at least 200 miles (the final figure isn’t in yet) for its $37,500 Bolt EV, and that car goes on sale late this year.
Still, a more robust driving range will make the i3 EV a more attractive proposition; currently the range-extender version slightly outsells the regular EV. The i3 in total managed 11,024 U.S. sales in 2015, its first full year on the market. That number is less than that of the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt, which has to be somewhat disappointing for a model that, at its launch, was hailed by BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer as “more than the birth of a unique car. It’s a milestone in the automotive history.”

From: http://blog.caranddriver.com/bmw-i3-ev-to-offer-50-percent-more-range-for-2017/

Electric cars will become as ubiquitous as the internet, says transport minister

January 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on Electric cars will become as ubiquitous as the internet, says transport minister § permalink

Electric cars are on track to become as ubiquitous as the internet, the transport minister has said, claiming plug-in vehicle technology was reaching a “tipping point”.Andrew Jones, the roads minister, said sales of ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs) were “rocketing”, with 28,188 new ULEV cars on the road in 2015 – almost double the number in 2014, and more than the previous five years combined.

Although this remains a tiny fraction of the overall car market – with a record 2.6 million new vehicles sold last year – the Government believes by 2050 it can get “virtually every car and van on the road to be zero emission”.

In a speech this week, Mr Jones said: “The shift we are seeing reminds me of the spread of the internet in the 1990s.

“The internet started small, as a niche interest, but then it snowballed, and now it’s hard to imagine being without it.

“I think we are seeing a similar picture emerging for ultra-low emission vehicles in Britain today.
“ULEV sales are not just growing rapidly, they are rocketing.”

In 1998, just 9 per cent of households had home access to the internet – but by 2004 that had increased to more than half of all homes, ONS data suggest. Some 85 per cent of households now have home internet access, the vast majority of them with broadband connections.

Mr Jones added: “The internet only really snowballed when internet users, providers, website retailers and investors came together in sufficient numbers to create a tipping point.

“We’re reaching that tipping point with the ULEV market.”

Hybrid plug-in vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Outlander were the most popular type of ULEVs last year, with 18,254 registrations, a 137 per cent increase on 2014.

Sales of fully electric vehicles increased by 48 per cent, with 9,934 registrations last year.

Sales of ULEVs have been boosted by Government grants of up to £5,000. These grants are being reduced from March, but ministers have vowed to support a further 100,000 ULEV purchases, as well as continuing to offer grants to install home charging points.

Shifting to electric cars is seen as a crucial if the UK is to hit its long-term climate change goals, which require carbon emissions to be slashed by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050.

I take it as good news: U.S. delays ‘quiet car’ rules for hybrids, electric cars

November 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on I take it as good news: U.S. delays ‘quiet car’ rules for hybrids, electric cars § permalink

U.S. regulators are delaying rules that would require electric and hybrid cars to alert sight-impaired pedestrians and bicyclists until at least mid-March, according to a recent government filing.

The decision is the latest setback for a government plan that has been in the works since 2013 to require “quiet cars” – vehicles that operate at low speeds without an internal combustion engine running – to add new audio alerts at low speeds.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the odds of a hybrid vehicle being involved in a pedestrian crash are 19 percent higher compared with a traditional gas-powered vehicle.

The auto safety regulator has said that if the proposal were implemented, there would be 2,800 fewer pedestrian and bicyclist injuries annually. About 125,000 pedestrians and bicyclists are injured each year.

The proposed rules would force automakers like Tesla Motors Inc, General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp to add automatic audio alerts to electric and hybrid vehicles traveling at 18 miles per hour or less.

The rules would apply to hybrid and electric cars, SUVs, trucks, buses and motorcycles, and are aimed at preventing crashes at intersections or when electric vehicles are backing up. Advocates for the blind have pushed for the rules.

Automakers have raised concerns about the alerts, saying they are too loud and too complicated. They also want them required only at lower speeds.

Under a 2010 law passed by Congress, the NHTSA was supposed to finalize the regulations by January 2014. Automakers will get a minimum of 18 months from the time the rules are finalized before they must begin adding the alerts.

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in July the regulation would be finalized by November – a timetable the agency says in a new government document it will not be able to meet.

The Transportation Department, in explaining the latest delay, said in a document posted on its website that “additional coordination is necessary.” NHTSA declined to elaborate on Tuesday.

NHTSA in 2013 said it expected the rules would cost the auto industry about $23 million in the first year, because automakers will need to add an external waterproof speaker to comply.

From: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/11/24/us-usa-autos-regulations-idUKKBN0TD35820151124

Nissan Pushes UK Government For EV-Specific Road Signs

October 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on Nissan Pushes UK Government For EV-Specific Road Signs § permalink

Nissan joined forces with Ecotricity green car charger network operator to call the UK government for official EV-charging road signs.   
The two companies created the campaign in order to accelerate the progress of the EV infrastructure, demanding from the UK government the introduction of official road signage than can be used to designate the different types of EV charging points available on British roads. 

UK currently hosts over 9,000 electric car charging stations across its road network with no official road signs leading to them. The campaign demands for specific EV-signs that will host new universal symbols for each different type of charger available to electric vehicle users, much like the signs used for fuel stations

Ecotricity, currently operating Europe’s biggest rapid charging network, says that the phenomenal 2015 growth in the use of electric vehicles demands the use of official road signs, as over a million electric miles have been driven every month.

Its Electric Highway members have now driven over 15 million miles since the charging network first established in 2011. “It’s time to introduce charging point road signs in Britain,” said Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity. “They’ll provide necessary direction for the thousands of electric car drivers in Britain as well as increasing public awareness that the infrastructure is ready for them to make the move to an electric car.”

Nissan has currently sold more than 11,500 Leafs since its UK debut and almost 200,000 on a global scale, making them the manufacturer of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle in the world. 

Further improving the electric vehicle infrastructure will not only make the lives of their users easier, but also drive more customers into purely electric mobility, as they will feel more secure about their new purchase.

#ev proud: Scotland hosts first electric car rally

September 15th, 2015 § Comments Off on #ev proud: Scotland hosts first electric car rally § permalink

The sixty mile round trip cost drivers around £1.50 compared to £9 for a petrol-powered journey.Sixty electric cars took part in a rally between Stirling and Glasgow over the weekend to celebrate the launch of a new electric vehicle (EV) subsidy.

The sixty-mile round trip, led by Scrapheap Challenge presenter Robert Llewellyn in his Tesla, cost drivers around £1.50, compared to £9 for a petrol-powered journey.

Taking place on Saturday, the convoy set off from George Square in Glasgow, and toured Stirling, before returning to Glasgow.

The rally was hosted to promote the recent launch of a £2.5m electric vehicle loan fund from the Scottish Government. Businesses can now receive interest-free loans up to £100,000 to cover the cost of an EV, with individuals qualifying for loans up to £50,000.
Changing perceptions

The new Scottish loan can also be used alongside the existing UK Government Plug-In Car and Van Grant scheme, which offers grants of up to £5,000 for those buying a new electric car and £8,000 for a van.

Scotland’s Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “It is fantastic to see so many enthusiastic participants and such a variety of cars taking part in Scotland’s first ever electric vehicle rally. With no dirty exhaust fumes or revving engines, this must be the quietest and most environmentally considerate rally spectators will see this year.

“This event challenges old perceptions about the range and performance of electric vehicles and may perhaps encourage those in the market for a new car to consider going electric.

“The recent launch of the £2.5million EV loan fund means we’re enabling even more people than ever before to make the switch and buy one – saving money, reducing emissions and making our communities greener, cleaner and healthier.”
The rally was born from the same concept as Formula E – using motorsport to help change perceptions of EVs. These tactics, along with subsidy support, saw UK sales of EVs triple in the first half of 2015, from 4,096 in 2014 to 14,126 in 2015.

Last month, a Government study also found that ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) are increasingly being used like ‘normal’ cars. In households which own ULEVs, 82% use the low emission car as their main vehicle, while 20% of people who own electric vehicles use it as their only vehicle.

Electric vehicles are also steadily increasing in range, with Nissan announcing last week that its flagship LEAF model now has a single-charge range of 155 miles.

Since the Plug-In Car and Van Grant scheme was introduced in January 2011, more than 34,000 eligible vehicles have been registered across the UK.

From http://www.edie.net/news/6/Scotland-hosts-first-electric-car-rally/

London Commuting: #ElectricCar #twizy for sale with a private plate “TW11ZY” – London – £3700 – DM :)

September 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on London Commuting: #ElectricCar #twizy for sale with a private plate “TW11ZY” – London – £3700 – DM :) § permalink

Contact via Twitter: @evmeerkat or email: iam[at]evmeerkat.com

Owner says:

It’s a 2012 white Twizy with doors and LEXON hard windows,

it comes with the PRIVATE TWIZY plate TW11ZY – I have been pestered for this plate as every Twizy owner wants it,

The plate can be sold between £1000 – £2000 to the right person Im giving it away with the car!!!!!

…so for someone looking this is ideal, its had new brakes recently and a 2015 charging unit fitted as the old charging units had a fault.

To me it the nicest Twizy available especially with the number plate, a real head turner looking for around £3999

Im currently in the West End or IG10 Loughton so if anyone interested please let me know.

One full charge takes 3 hours which gives you a range of 40 – 50 miles

Free parking in Westminster and surrounding areas,


French electric car-sharing service launches in US

September 5th, 2015 § Comments Off on French electric car-sharing service launches in US § permalink

An electric car-sharing service took to the streets of Indianapolis on Wednesday as its French owner hopes to plug into the vast US market.Bollore Group of France said its BlueIndy service is the first of its kind in the United States, and begins with an initial fleet of 50 electric cars that it plans to expand to 500.

“Indianapolis is the perfect home for our first venture into the American market,” said Cedric Bollore, vice president for development of the global holding company.

“Indy has a vibrant downtown, thriving neighborhoods, and a population that demands innovation and cleaner alternatives to car ownership, and transit options.”

Bollore (Other OTC: BOIVF – news) , a industrial conglomerate that owns businesses in logistics, telecommunications and media, already operates car-sharing services in several other cities, including the world’s largest electric vehicle-sharing service, Autolib’ in Paris.

Indianapolis, with a population of about 850,000, is home to the annual Indianapolis 500 car race. The city is located abut 165 miles (265 km) southeast of Chicago.

Bollore launched IndyBlue with 125 parking spaces equipped with charge stations, with an expansion to 1,000 expected.

Customers swipe a membership card at kiosks to rent one of the battery-driven Bluecars, which can run as far as 120 miles (193 kilometers) without charging.

The standard monthly BlueIndy membership costs $9.99 (8.90 euros) and members pay $4 for the first 20 minutes and 20 cents for each subsequent minute.

“Indianapolis will benefit from technology and processes proven in Paris for the last four years. Now Indy will be the model for North America,” said Cedric Bollore. The company’s electric-vehicle sharing service also operates in Bordeaux, Lyon and Arcachon in France.

According to US media, although BlueIndy has the support of the mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard, it was opposed by certain members of the City-County Council, which delayed its launch initially planned for early 2015.

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