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
April 21st, 2016 § Comments Off on Renault to double electric car range by 2020 § permalink
Renault is planning to double the distance its electric vehicles can travel per charge by 2020, thanks to more efficient batteries with higher energy densities, according to Eric Feunteun, Renault’s head of EV.
This comes as the brand plans to sell two tiers of electric cars: affordable models with limited range and more expensive versions that can travel further on each charge.
“If you ask somebody on the street, ‘do you want a larger battery and greater range?’, the answer is, of course, ‘yes'”, said Feunteun. “But then, when you move from emotion to facts and they have the choice between 100 miles and 200 miles with a different price, then probably the reaction of people is getting more rational,” he continued. Consequently, Renault expects to have two solutions: to satisfy drivers after the greatest range or the lowest price.
With four electric models already on offer – the Zoe, Twizy and Kangoo EV (plus the non-UK Fluence saloon) – the company is looking to develop these models rather than introduce new ones.
“We have the widest range of [electric] cars, so our focus now is more on improving those cars – the features themselves, the range, charging and costs,” Feunteun claimed. “We have with our four cars strong assets and we’d rather put our energy and technology into improving those four cars than just trying another project.”
Renault, meanwhile, is to recall 999 Zoe EVs in the UK manufactured before 6 October 2014 to correct “the small possibility” of the front wheel arch liner causing damage to the front brake hose.
From : http://www.businesscar.co.uk/news/2016/renault-to-double-electric-car-range-by-2020
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.
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 15th, 2016 § Comments Off on Baby steps: Affordability of Electric Cars Expected to Increase Rapidly § permalink
By 2022 it may be possible to buy an electric vehicle for the same amount as a vehicle powered by a traditional petrol or diesel engine, according to a report published by Bloomberg Business this month.
At the moment the biggest barrier to wider EV adoption is arguably their high asking price. And with infrastructural improvements and technological upgrades, this type of eco-friendly vehicle is becoming more practical by the day, leaving the upfront cost as an enduring issue.
But if analysts are accurate in their predictions, it could be just six years before the choice between EVs and other cars is not affected by such considerations.
The main reason that EVs are comparatively costly today is that the batteries required to power them still put a significant burden on the total expense of the vehicle. But the report points out that battery prices have fallen by just over a third in the past 12 months and are likely to continue to tumble as demand rises and the technology involved in manufacturing them improves.
In 2015 there was a 60 per cent increase in the number of EVs sold internationally. And within 25 years they are expected to account for 35 per cent of the market as a whole.
This suggests that petrol- and diesel-powered cars will still be in the majority by 2040, or hybrids will account for the rest of the market. But ultimately it seems like complete EV dominance is only a matter of time.
Today less than a single percentage point of the new car market is made up of EVs. But as battery prices slide southwards, the predictions made in the report suggest that a major up-tick in sales is just around the corner.
While this is great news for drivers who want to reduce the harmful emissions their motoring activities produce without feeling the sting in their wallets, there are other economic considerations involved with the rise of EVs.
Specifically, it is the industries built around supplying the fossil fuels that power current cars which are likely to suffer. And analysts believe that by 2023 the need for oil will have dropped by up to two million barrels per day.
For companies and indeed entire countries which rely on the demand for oil to survive and thrive, this could be a significant issue. Some are even warning of a looming crisis which will come if steps are not taken today to ensure that the falling need for oil is balanced by investment in other areas.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are expectations surrounding the rise in EV ownership in terms of how this will impact the electricity infrastructure of the UK and other developed nations. With more people charging up their cars at home or while parked elsewhere, the demand for power will only increase.
Globally the amount of power drawn annually by EVs could be equal to a tenth of all electricity generated around the world in 2015. This annual total of 1900 terrawatt-hours of consumption is not likely to be hit until 2040, but it gives an indication of the scale of the challenge that electricity providers are going to face.
This will no doubt lead to debates about the resources which are consumed in order to provide the electricity to charge EVs. Because getting rid of a petrol-guzzling car only to replace it with an EV that plugs into a mains connection supplied by a power station that burns coal will seem like a less than perfect solution to many motorists.
Questions about the mining processes and economic impact of extracting the minerals required to build the batteries which are found within EVs also exist. But in the long term there is no doubt that vehicles must shift away from a reliance on fossil fuels, since non-renewable resources are necessarily limited and unsustainable.
February 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on Aftermarket: Tesla Model S to get wireless charging from April § permalink
Aftermarket specialists can now add wireless charging functionality to your Tesla Model S
Wireless charging specialists Plugless have announced plans to introduce a system that can top up your Tesla EV without the need for lengthy and cumbersome cables.
Owners will be able to charge their Tesla Model S by simply parking on top of the inductive charging pad. Parent company Evatran is taking pre-orders in the US now for first installations in April, though there is no word on when the technology will reach the UK.
In the US, however, a similar system for a Nissan Leaf costs around £1,000. As the Tesla has bigger batteries, you would expect the relevant Plugless pad to command a slight price premium – though installation is included in the price.
For now, the setup is only available for rear-wheel drive Model S cars. The Dual Motor all-wheel drive models aren’t currently compatible, though Evatran says it is working to make Plugless available on all Tesla models in the near future. This will include the Model X and forthcoming Model 3 in due course.
The Plugless system is totally weatherproof, so can be installed both in garages and on driveways. It’s not as fast as Tesla’s innovative Supercharger network, though, with the company claiming only 20 miles of added range for every hour the car is left charging. That means a Model S with the 70 kWh battery would take 13 hours to realise its 260-mile maximum.
We’ll have more information on the Evatan’s wireless charging system – including any plans for UK release – in the coming months.
February 16th, 2016 § Comments Off on Charging points at 72% of motorway stations § permalink
Research made by the RAC Foundation revealed most motorway stations had charging points – 72% of the total 97 sites.
Of the 165 individual charge points, 92% are rapid, allowing batteries to be almost fully replenished in around 30 minutes, informed RAC.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Electric car drivers might still struggle to drive from Land’s End to John o’ Groats but they can now travel from Southampton to Perth in a relatively straight line and be confident of being able to ‘fill up’ along the way.
England had the highest percentage of charging points within 20 miles of the whole road network at 82 per cent, while at 28% Scotland represented the least EV-friendly territory on the United Kingdom.
“Though many of the charge points are rapid, it will still take at least 20 minutes to fully charge a battery, which is fine if you’re first in line but could be a challenge if the hoped-for take up of electric cars materialises and you’re stuck at the back of a long queue,” added Gooding.
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 12th, 2016 § Comments Off on 98% of England’s motorway network’ within 20 miles of electric car § permalink
Some 98% of England’s motorway network is no more than 20 miles from an electric vehicle charge point, according to new research.
A study by motoring organisation the RAC Foundation found that the proportion of service stations offering the facility has risen to 72%.
It stated that the vast majority (92%) of the individual charge points are rapid, meaning batteries can be almost fully replenished in around half an hour.
When the analysis was extended to include major A roads managed by Highways England (HE), it was calculated that 82% of the strategic road network is within 20 miles of a charge point.
There are currently just over 20,000 battery-only vehicles licensed in the UK.
The report found that just 28% of the major road network in Scotland is within 20 miles of a charge point, and 45% in Wales.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Electric car drivers might still struggle to drive from Land’s End to John O’Groats but they can now travel from Southampton to Perth in a relatively straight line and be confident of being able to ‘fill up’ along the way.
“The growing charge point network is good news but there are important caveats.
“Though many of the charge points are rapid, it will still take about 30 minutes to fully replenish a battery. This is fine if you’re first in the queue but could be a challenge if the hoped-for take up of electric cars materialises and you’re stuck at the back of a very long line.”
Research previously published by the RAC Foundation suggested that a third of charge points in London were not working at any one time.
From next month the £5,000 subsidy for electric cars is being reduced and replaced by a tiered system.
Vehicles with a zero emission range of over 70 miles will be eligible for up to £4,500 while those with a shorter range – such as plug-in hybrids with a petrol or diesel engine – can receive £2,500.
January 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on Nissan Will Make More EV Batteries in the UK, Along with New Electric Vehicles § permalink
Nissan has committed to making more batteries for electric vehicles in the United Kingdom. The Japanese company will use its Sunderland factory to make the next generation of batteries for electric cars. The £26,5 million ($37,5 million) investment safeguards 300 highly skilled (and well paid) jobs at the 30-year-old plant.
If you are wondering why this is a big deal, you should know that Nissan’s Sunderland plant is the largest facility in the history of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the change will make this specific factory the largest lithium-ion battery plant of its kind in Europe.
Nissan has been making electric cars in Sunderland since 2013, when it invested £420 million ($595 million) in accommodating the production of the Leaf and its components.
The highly skilled workers did not come out of the sky, as Nissan partnered with several Universities and other technology partners to pave the way for future engineers that would further develop batteries for electric vehicles.
Nissan makes batteries for its EV in three factories across the world. The other European plant used by Nissan to make battery modules for one of its electric models, the e-NV200 electric van, is found in Barcelona, Spain.
The Leaf was recently updated, and the new version will be available at dealers across Europe starting this month. The car has an upgraded range of 155 miles (250 kilometers). However, the Leaf is not Nissan’s first electric vehicle. The first prototype of this type was made by the carmaker 68 years ago, and it was called the Tama Electric Vehicle.
The Japanese brand also marketed the world’s first electric car with a lithium-ion battery in 1996, the Prairie Joy EV. Thanks to that vehicle, Nissan engineers were able to develop the company’s first mass-produced EV, the Leaf.
Investing in making new electric cars is not enough to make them attractive. All carmakers that invested in this technology have rolled out their quick-charging solutions.
In the case of Nissan and Renault, the two alliance partners developed the CHAdeMO Quick Chargers. Currently, there are almost 10,000 CHAdeMO chargers worldwide, each capable of charging a Leaf’s battery from the “low level” alert to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.