June 22nd, 2016 § Comments Off on Lancashire set to invest £15 million on electric car chargers § permalink
The scheme would see 150 charging points be installed across the county by March 2018, but some people wonder if the money could be spent elsewhere.
Lancashire County Council successfully bid for the £14.8m from the Department for Transport.
But some community leaders have spoken out, saying the money should be used to save bus and library services that are being callously cut across Lancashire.
With libraries and bus services in every town across the county facing cuts, many believe this would be the better option.
However, others think we need to invest in the future of energy saving.
It is hoped the first machines will be installed in early 2017 once contract providers have been appointed.
Money secured from the Department for Transport will also go to replacing street lights with new LED bulbs, which could save up to £500,000 a year.
May 3rd, 2016 § Comments Off on BMW i3 bigger battery spec, same physical size. 50% increase § permalink
BMW’s i3 electric car will have a little more juice for 2017, gaining a bigger battery to boost its electric range from 80 to 114 miles. It’s all thanks to a 50 percent increase in battery capacity. Thanks to denser lithium ion batteries, the i3 goes from 22 kWh to 33 kWh without physically increasing the size of the battery pack.
The fuel tank on the Range Extender model, which uses a 650cc two-cylinder gasoline engine to charge the battery on longer journeys, also sees a small increase in capacity, going from 1.9 to 2.4 gallons. Somewhat oddly, BMW isn’t yet releasing the total range of a fully charged 2017 i3 with the Range Extender. The old i3 could go 150 miles with a full charge and full tank.
Support for faster charging allows a full charge in 4.5 hours at a Level 2 charger. That’s up from 3.5 hours in the old model, but, with the 50 percent increase in battery capacity, it’s still faster on a per kWh basis. 50kW DC fast charging tech lets the new i3 charge to 80 percent of capacity within 40 minutes, up from 25 minutes in the old version.
More from http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/1/11550026/bmw-i3-2017-electric-vehicle-range-larger-battery
March 29th, 2016 § Comments Off on BMW battery facelift to 2017 i3 model § permalink
BMW Blog is reporting that instead of just updating the i3’s battery for both the hybridized (range-extending gas engine paired with an electric motor) and full-electric versions and calling it a day, the automaker will offer two battery sizes: the same 60Ah configuration as at present, and a new 94Ah setup. Since both batteries will be available in both versions of the i3, BMW will actually be selling four i3 variants.
…it’s widely believed that BMW will be using the new Samsung 94Ah battery cells for the 2017 i3, which I first speculated here, back in November.
The current i3 uses 96 Samsung 60Ah battery cells which are 3.75v ea. This adds up to a total of 21.6kWh (96 x 60 x 3.75= 21.6). The new 94Ah cells are the same physical size and voltage so an upgrade to these cells would mean BMW could use the same modules and battery tray, greatly reducing the cost as compared to engineering all new packaging for the new cells. Therefore, the new pack should increase from 21.6kWh to 33.8kWh (96 x 94 x 3.75 = 33.8). If the weight of the cells is the same, that should increase the BEV i3’s range from the existing 81 miles per charge to approximately 125 miles per charge and the i3 REx’s range from 72 miles per charge to about 112 MPC.
Additionally, a facelift is planned for the 2017 model year that is debuting later in 2016, and with it will come new software and improved electronics. As a result, the larger battery i3 pure-EV will achieve a range of 120 miles, which is an improvement of about 40 miles over the current model.
Since BMW will be breaking out the i3 into battery designations, pricing will vary accordingly. The current all-electric version starts at USD $42,400 before incentives while the range-extender goes for USD $46,250. Therefore, we can probably expect these two variants with the smaller batteries to drop a bit in price to make room for their 94Ah battery counterparts.
Considering how many pure electric vehicles now best BMW’s i3 in drive range, the move for larger battery packs is essential, but the automaker may have trouble with sales unless pricing is competitive. Obviously, Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 is a big concern with its planned 200+ mile range and USD $35,000 starting price, but even the Chevrolet Bolt’s 200-ish range will be a threat when BMW can only offer 120 miles maximum.
The official premiere of the refreshed i3 is expected during the Paris Motor Show in October of this year. Sales of the 2017 model will kick off before year’s end in an attempt to exceed the 24,057 units delivered in 2015.
Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/bmw-i3-improved-batteries-and-range/#ixzz44ILFRurn
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March 29th, 2016 § Comments Off on …Some Secrets We Think We Know About Tesla’s Model 3 § permalink
Tesla is getting ready for its biggest-ever unveiling: the Model 3, the $35,000 sedan designed to take electric cars mainstream. As the fateful date approaches, the company has been dropping hints about what to expect from a project that has been a decade in the making. With just a few days left before the big show, here’s everything we know, as well as a few things we’ll be watching for on March 31:
Roomy, Like an Audi A4
The Model 3 will be about 20 percent smaller than the Model S, or roughly the size of an Audi A4, said Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk. The A4 is a five-seater that feels a bit roomier than some of its rivals in the compact luxury category. (The Model 3 will compete with BMW’s 3 series in the class of entry luxury cars). Backseat riders might gain some leg room because an electric drive-train obviates the need for a transmission tunnel, the hump in the middle of the floor. There’s also no engine in an electric car, and Tesla likes to use that empty space for a “frunk”—front trunk—for extra storage. Will that feature survive in the smaller Model 3?
Ready to Ride
The Model 3 is now the company’s top priority and is “going to be probably the most profound car that we make,” according to Musk. At this week’s event, a working prototype will be ready onsite to take reporters for “a quick spin,” according to invitations sent out March 15. Musk had previously indicated he might not show the full car, which won’t officially go on sale until late 2017. It will be interesting to see how “finished” the prototype is and determine how much is still being worked out.
A Mini Model S?
The biggest unknown about the Model 3 is its look. Will it have the distinctive oval front end of the Model S or the tight-lipped mouth of the Model X? What about those huge windshields? Tesla may have given a clue with the invitations, which feature pictures of the Model S, the Model X, and a silhouette in place of the Model 3. As some Tesla watchers have pointed out, the silhouette is a perfect match for the Model S. So was the image just a Photoshop trick, or will the Model 3 look very much like a shorter version of the Model S? When asked via e-mail if the company would like to clarify, a Tesla spokesperson simply replied: “Ha.”
» Read the rest of this entry «
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.”
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.
February 9th, 2016 § Comments Off on Tesla Model 3: Everything we know about the ‘electric car of the people’ § permalink
The Model 3 would be the most important moment in Tesla’s history to date. It would be the car that takes Tesla from a niche company into the mainstream by offering a fully electric car with a range of more than 200 miles and a price of less than £30,000.
With a release date falling somewhere in 2017, the Model 3 would likely arrive just as traditional car manufacturers get their own all-electric offerings into gear and off the end of the production line. With just a few weeks to go until the big reveal, here is everything we know so far.
The reveal might not be all that big… for now
Last year we heard that the Model 3 was coming in March, and with the world-famous Geneva Motor Show opening to journalists on 1 March, this appeared to make perfect sense. However, now we are not so sure. Tesla is attending the Geneva show – in Hall 4 with Honda, Renault and Toyota – but boss Elon Musk recently said the car would not be revealed until the end of the month.
Furthermore, Musk said the company is being “a little coy” with the Model 3 and would not be showing the car off in full at the late-March event. This could mean we only see a teasing, shadowy photo or that Tesla would reveal an early, non-functioning concept car, possibly with blacked-out windows and no interior.
It is to cost less than £30,000
Speaking at the Prince’s Trust Leadership Dinner in London in January, Musk said the Model 3 would cost less than £30,000. He has also previously said it would cost less than $30,000 (£20,000), but the difference here would be cancelled out by UK tax and the cost of shipping cars over from California.
At this price, the Model 3 will be positioning itself against the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Jaguar XE and Mercedes C-Class, all of which start between £25,000 and £30,000. This is arguably the toughest market for any car company to crack, and would open Tesla up to fleet buyers looking to order company cars in bulk for their staff.
The Model S currently stretches from £50,000 to a little more than £100,000. We don’t expect the Model 3’s price to double with options, but a spread of £30,000 to around £50,000 sounds reasonable. Will there be an £8,700 Ludicrous Mode to make the Model 3 Ferrari-fast? Possibly not, but…
It is to be faster than all of its rivals
Does anyone really expect Musk not to boast about the Model 3 being the faster car in its class? It might not have the 155mph top speed of some of its rivals, but it would still use that electric motor to launch off the line more quickly than anything else.
We suspect a 0-60mph time of four seconds (or three-point-something, if Musk really wants to brag) would be entirely possible, but don’t forget that a smaller car has to equal a smaller battery and less powerful motor. This is ‘the electric car of the people’, not a hot rod.
Render suggesting what the Tesla Model 3 may look like based on the Model S and XAuto-Moto
It would have a range of at least 200 miles
In March 2015, Musk said that 200 miles is the minimum expectation for an electric car. More specifically, he said this figure must be “real world” and not a case of the car only reaching 200 miles if the air conditioning is off and it is driven on a road as smooth as a snooker table. “Anything below 200 miles isn’t passing grade,” he added. “Most people [are] looking for 20% more than that.”
So let us take that to mean the Model 3’s target range is 240 miles – not far shy of the 275 quoted range of the cheapest Model S, the 70D, but a comfortable way behind the 340 miles of the 90D, which is twice the price of the Model 3.
But the Model 3 isn’t on sale yet, and battery technology is improving at an accelerating pace. The 200-240mph claim was made almost a year ago, and once the Model 3 goes on sale it would be two years old. Improvements between now and 2017 would likely see longer ranges across the board – but there is always be a gap to justify the higher prices of the S and X.
It is on schedule – for now
Momentum built up by the Model S was knocked back a peg by delays to the Model X. Adding cool but complex details such as the ‘falcon wing’ doors swallowed up time and money, delaying the new model and disappointing investors and consumers. Delays for six-figure cars built in small numbers by a niche company and sold to wealthy early adopters are to be expected – but Tesla wants the Model 3 to be its biggest seller and take a large slice of a forecast 500,000 annual sales by 2020, up from 50,000 in 2015.
Consumers do not expect delays when they order a new Ford, BMW, VW or Audi. In switching to Tesla, they are already taking a gamble that a small company will whisk them into the future; the last thing they will want is a delay – especially if a novelty feature such as a complicated door hinge is to blame.
The Model 3 platform is to be shared with the Model Y
Rumours spread in early 2016 claimed that Tesla was ready to announce two versions of the Model 3. This now seems unlikely, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the Model 3’s platform could be shared with other Tesla vehicles in the future. Cars made by the Volkswagen group – VW, Audi and Seat – have shared platforms and common components for some time. It’s an obvious cost-saving measure, and something that Tesla should also do. I would expect the Model 3 to be a small five-door saloon, followed by an SUV crossover like the Nissan Juke, entitled the Model Y.
In October 2015, Musk tweeted a fan asking if the “Model 3 crossover” would have falcon-wing doors. He said: “There will be a Model 3 and a Model Y. One of the two will.” Musk’s tweet was then deleted, but the story is a simple one: the Model Y will be to the Model 3 what the Model X is to the Model S.
It was supposed to be called the Model E
That last sentence made me angry at why carmakers don’t use fun, dynamic and interesting names any more. Instead of Daytona, Thunderbird, Cerbera and Spitfire, we have F12tdf, i10, C4 and Tesla’s range of seemingly unrelated Models. But hold on. In Tesla’s case we actually have Ford to blame for spoiling Musk’s joke: he originally wanted a line-up of Models S, E, X – with Y coming later. Geddit?
Well, now it’s S-3-X-Y because Ford’s lawyers came knocking, reminded Tesla that it owns the Model E trademark, and that no, it isn’t for sale. Ford also produced a Model Y, back in the 1930s, so Musk’s plans might have been thwarted there too. Sorry, Elon.
January 3rd, 2016 § Comments Off on Ford Wants To Develop Its Own Battery Chemistries For Hybrids, Electric Cars, But Why? § permalink
When it announced a range increase for its 2017 Focus Electric earlier this month, Ford executives also revealed an intriguing snippet about the company’s battery plans.
The company is conducting its own research into fundamental battery chemistries, and could develop its own cells for use in future electrified vehicles.
The question then becomes: Why? » Read the rest of this entry «
November 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on On h2:Toyota Will Lease Mirai In Europe, Mostly In Germany And Uk § permalink
I don’t normally cover non-electric car stories on my blog but this one is interesting to say the least and if it was interesting for me I hope it is just as interesting for you. 🙂
Toyota Will Lease Mirai In Europe, Mostly in Germany and UKEurope will be a marginal market for the Toyota Mirai, at least in the beginning. The Japanese automaker plans to ship about 50 to 100 units to Europe in 2016 and 2017, 90 percent of which will be destined for Germany and the UK. That’s insignificant compared to the 1,900 orders Toyota has received from the United States.
The two European countries were chosen because they are expanding their refueling infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles. The Mirai has a sticker price of €66,000 plus local taxes in Europe, but Toyota will initially only lease the car to customers.
“Mirai customers will not have to worry about the resale value or maintenance of their car because everything will be included in the monthly lease rate,” Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer for the Mirai, was quoted as saying by Autonews Europe.
The lease will cost €1,200 a month in Germany and from £600 to £700 in the UK. Contracts will have a four-year duration and no down payment. Besides Germany and the UK, Denmark is another target market for the Mirai. The country has seven fuel cell stations and plans to add five more by year-end. The Mirai will be leased for €1,050 a month in Denmark. From early 2016 the Mirai will be also leased in Belgium.
The leasing rates in individual markets do not include possible government incentives for zero-emission vehicles.
Germany targets 50 stations by the year-end and 400 by 2023, while the UK aims to expand its network to 65 stations by 2020 from 15 at the year-end. In Germany, filling the Mirai’s 4.7-kg hydrogen tank costs below €45 ($51), as hydrogen is priced at €9.5 per kg. A full refill takes from 3 to 5 minutes.
November 1st, 2015 § Comments Off on Battery Breakthrough To Boost Nissan Electric Cars To One In 10 Sales Around 2020, Exec Says § permalink
Back in November 2009, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said 20 percent of his company’s sales would be electric cars by 2020–and that electric cars would make up 10 percent of global sales.
But Ghosn was widely pillored for his projections just a few years later, when Nissan Leaf sales proved slower than expected after its December 2010 launch.
As the car approaches its fifth birthday, around 200,000 Leafs have been delivered. It’s the best-selling electric car in history, but still just a tiny fraction of the company’s sales.
Global sales last year for Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault together were 8.5 million vehicles; battery-electric cars were 82,602 of those, or roughly 1 percent.
Nevertheless, Nissan said this week that it expects a major inflection point in electric-vehicle sales sometime between 2019 and 2021.
will ramp up sales of electric cars to 5 percent of the total between now and then, the company said–and 10 percent “in the near future” after that.
The statements came not from Ghosn, but from Nissan corporate officer Hiroto Saikawa, at an event at the company’s Yokohama headquarters on Tuesday.
The enabling factor will be a “breakthrough battery” that permits a range of 200 miles, he said, which Nissan will launch within the next few years.
That battery is widely expected to be offered in the second-generation Nissan Leaf, to be introduced as a 2017 or 2018 model.
The first-generation Leaf has been fitted with batteries that provide U.S. rated ranges of 73 miles, 84 miles, and now 107 miles.
But with the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV to launch before the end of 2016 with a promised range of 200 miles, the bar has been upped significantly.
BMW is also expected to boost the range of its i3 electric minicar, which its CEO Harold Krüger confirmed it would do next year, most likely for the 2017 model year.
Finally, Tesla has said it will unveil its $35,000, 200-mile Model 3 sedan next spring and put that car into production by the end of 2017.
The company’s track record of meeting deadlines in the past may argue for a more realistic volume production date of 2018 or 2019.
But it remains unclear what vehicles beyond the Leaf Nissan expects to achieve its 10-percent goal.
Still, Nissan clearly intends to hang onto its position as the world’s highest-volume producer of electric cars.
And it appears to be in no immediate danger of losing that crown, albeit perhaps at considerably lower volumes than Ghosn predicted five years ago.