Plug-in car grant extended with extra £400m until March 2018

December 21st, 2015 § Comments Off on Plug-in car grant extended with extra £400m until March 2018 § permalink

The Government have vowed to extend the grants given to electric and hybrid car buyers
The government has announced that it is to extend the grants given to buyers of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) until March 2018, with the extra £400m package aimed at trebling the number of low-emission vehicles on Britain’s roads.

The grants, administered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), should mean more than 100,000 car buyers should benefit from the grants.

Those purchasing cars with a battery range of more than 70 miles and CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km will receive a grant of £4,500 off the list price (a reduction of £500 compared to the previous £5,000 grant).

Meanwhile buyers of plug-in hybrids – technology that will become increasingly widespread in the next few years, as manufacturers introduce new models – will qualify for a grant of £2,500 (which is half of the previous £5,000 grant) if it falls into two new categories: Category 2 cars will need to have a range of between 10 and 69 miles and emit no more than 50g/km of CO2, while Category 3 vehicles must have an electric range of at least 20 miles and emit between 50g/km and 75g/km.

Hybrid cars GETTY

At least 100,000 car buyers will benefit from the grants
To get the full benefit of owning an EV, a home charger is vital
David Martell, CEO of Chargemaster
However plug-in hybrids costing over £60,000 will not be eligible for the grant (although full EVs with an electric range of over 70 miles, such as the Tesla Model S, will still qualify).

The grant is part of a total £600m investment in supporting the expansion of low-emission motoring, which also includes funding for chargepoints, grants encouraging low emission buses and taxis, and R&D funding for innovative technology such as lighter vehicles and longer-lasting car batteries.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said: “The UK is a world leader in the uptake of low emission vehicles and the plug-in car grant has been key to that success.

Extending the grant in a sustainable way ensures more than 100,000 people will benefit from financial support when purchasing these cheap-to-run and green cars. We are determined to keep Britain at the forefront of the technology, increasing our support for plug-in vehicles to £600m over the next 5 years to cut emissions, create jobs and support our cutting-edge industries.”

Support for electric charging at the homes of EV and PHEV owners will also continue, but is to be cut in half, a move that some have criticised, suggesting that it will reduce the incentive for plug-in owners, in particular, to have a charger installed.

David Martell, CEO of Chargemaster, a provider and operator of charging points, said: “Reducing support for electric car owners to install a charger at home is premature and a step backwards for UK carbon reduction and the necessary push towards air quality improvement.

It means that many plug-in hybrid vehicle drivers will simply not bother fitting a charger at home and run their cars on fossil fuel instead. To get the full benefit of owning an EV, a home charger is vital.”

“Support for home charging offers much better value for money than many other areas that OLEV spends its resources on. It is also most regrettable that this change has been made giving little more than two months’ notice.”

“Until now, the UK government has led the way in supporting charging at home. This move is difficult to understand when the market is still fragile and only just starting to gain momentum.

It is even more surprising considering government’s recent announcement that it will allocate £600m to support ultra-low emission vehicles over the next six years. To reduce its annual support for charging at home from £12m to £7.5m is unfortunate at this stage of the development of the market.”

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Tech Update: Wireless Charging For Electric Vehicles Moves Closer

December 20th, 2014 § Comments Off on Tech Update: Wireless Charging For Electric Vehicles Moves Closer § permalink

The wireless electric vehicle charging network could be created sooner than expected following an agreement between two of the industry’s most significant players.

Qualcomm Incorporated – which has built a wireless charging system – has invested in Chargemaster PLC, a company that has produced over 27,000 vehicle recharging units.

Chargemaster claims this investment represents “an acceleration of the planned UK development, production and deployment” of a wireless vehicle recharging network. » Read the rest of this entry «

Nissan CEO: LEAF Is Now Profitable, 80% Of Its US Sales Come From 4 Cities

October 6th, 2014 § Comments Off on Nissan CEO: LEAF Is Now Profitable, 80% Of Its US Sales Come From 4 Cities § permalink

The LEAF is quickly becoming a larger and larger portion of both Nissan’s corporate image and its sales.

In the US, Nissan announced another 3,000ish sales month for the LEAF in September, which representedover 5% of the company’s sales in America; it also bested any product sold by luxury brand Infiniti (just edging out the Q50 at 2,742 units).

The reason behind the success?  Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn’s seemingly endless dedication through out the Nissan-Renault Alliance to plug-in vehicles.

At the Paris Motor Show this week, Mr. Ghosn underlined his enthusiasm for the EV business once again by making it a frequent topic of discussion.

» Read the rest of this entry «

The Strati: World’s First 3D-Printed Electric Car Built in Just 44 Hours

October 1st, 2014 § Comments Off on The Strati: World’s First 3D-Printed Electric Car Built in Just 44 Hours § permalink

It’s been a really exciting year for 3D-printing, what with the technology being used in medical breakthroughs to save lives in Spain, to print multiple houses in China and to build an entire castle in a back garden in the US.

And now we have a new first to add to the list in the 3D-printing industry – the world’s first electric car built from 3D-printed parts.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Pod Point offers UK’s first lease option of #electricCar Charging Pods

June 25th, 2014 § Comments Off on Pod Point offers UK’s first lease option of #electricCar Charging Pods § permalink

Under the deal, businesses can lease a POD point charging unit, have it installed professionally and gain immediate access to the Pay-as-you-Go facilities for less than £50/month, with the firm saying that charging points normally cost over £1,000 + VAT including installation and three-year warranty.

As well as the low-cost benefits, the business model has other benefits for firms according to POD Point, which points to the improvements in businesses’ sustainability credentials and that potential attraction for new customers by having a public POD Point visible on the national charge point map. » Read the rest of this entry «

European cross-continent drive in Tesla Model S soon to be reality

March 10th, 2014 § Comments Off on European cross-continent drive in Tesla Model S soon to be reality § permalink

Tesla isn’t looking to slow down, highlighting its commitment to Europe while at the Geneva Motor Show this week.

The company announced huge plans to expand its Supercharger network across Europe, and that it will open more than 30 service centres and stores across the continent.

“By the end of this year, we expect you will be able to travel almost anywhere in Europe using only Superchargers,” Elon Musk, CEO and founder of Tesla, said. We assume he’s talking about Western Europe and not the whole continent – still, no small feat.  » Read the rest of this entry «

Tesla Sights: Apple ‘exploring move into electric cars’

February 21st, 2014 § Comments Off on Tesla Sights: Apple ‘exploring move into electric cars’ § permalink

The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper is reporting that Apple’s merger and acquisition chief Adrian Perica met with Elon Musk, CEO of electric car manufacturers Tesla last spring.

In October last year German banking analyst Adnaan Ahamd urged the company to invest in Tesla to “radically alter Apple’s growth profile”.

“In Elon Musk, you could strike up a partnership and obtain a new iconic partner to lead Apple’s innovation drive,” he added.

It was also reported Apple is looking to move into the world of healthcare technology, specifically devices used to predict heart attacks.

Audio engineer Tomlinson Holman, inventor of THX and 10.2 surround sound, is aiding the company to study the sound blood makes as it flows through arteries.

As part of its quarterly financial results released last month, Apple revealed it had spent $525 million on deals- almost double the amount it spent the entire previous year.

The reported moves into automobiles and healthcare appears to mark a desire for Apple to expand beyond the design and production of consumer devices.

Apple has previously shown its hand in this market and announced deals with BMW, Daimler, Mercedes and Honda to produce smart dashboards featuring iOS, the same operating system used by iPads and iPhones.

It has also collaborated with Tesla in the past by supplying its map technology, alongside Audi and Toyota.

Electric Car: Tesla to bring Superchargers to Europe

October 8th, 2013 § Comments Off on Electric Car: Tesla to bring Superchargers to Europe § permalink

Tesla Motors has presented it Model S and the revolutionary new Supercharger to the motor industry and general public at the IAA Show in Frankfurt, announcing that both will be available across Europe in the not too distant future.

Having begun the first European deliveries of Model S this August in Norway, followed by Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, the IAA was an important platform to showcase Model S to Europe.tesla-supercharger-2013 vai

“The focus of Model S on design, engineering and performance makes it very well suited for the European market,” said Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder and CEO. “This year has already been one of tremendous growth and expansion throughout Europe for Tesla and Model S. Before the end of this year, our European operations will expand even further, with new stores and service centres in locations including Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Berlin, Paris, Cote d’Azur/Provence, Stavanger, Vienna, Amsterdam, Basel, Geneva, Rotterdam, Arnhem, Stockholm and London.”

At the same time that Model S hit European roads, Tesla energized Superchargers in Europe, including one on-site at IAA. Tesla Superchargers represent the most advanced charging technology in the world, capable of charging Model S 20x faster than most common charging stations. Superchargers provide half a charge in about 20 minutes, delivering up to 120 kW DC (Direct Current) power directly to the Model S battery.

Tesla’s first network of European Supercharging stations opened in Norway at the end of August, allowing Model S owners to travel conveniently and for free across Norway’s most vital and commonly used roads and highways. More European routes will be energized in the coming months, providing coverage well within the Model S rated range of 480 km per charge.

By the end of 2014, 100% of the population of Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg will live within 320 km of a Supercharger station, with about 90% of the population in England, Wales and Sweden living within the same distance of a charging station.

“Tesla’s Supercharger network is a game changer for electric vehicles and will offer Model S owners free, fast charging for convenient long distance drives throughout Europe,” said JB Straubel, Chief Technical Officer at Tesla. “All our Superchargers are located near amenities like roadside restaurants, cafes and shopping centres so that road trippers can stop for a quick meal while their Model S charges for free.”

by John Ironmonger



Tesla Planning Grid Storage As Part Of Supercharger Expansion

May 31st, 2013 § Comments Off on Tesla Planning Grid Storage As Part Of Supercharger Expansion § permalink

Buy a Tesla Model S, and you won’t need to worry about brownouts. And you could even keep driving through the Zombie Apocalypse.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk revealed that little tidbit at a press conference today, where plans were detailed for an expanded network of the company’s Supercharger rapid-charging stations.

“We actually have grid storage going on at some of our Supercharging stations,” said Musk, noting that two stations in California currently have 500 kilowatt-hours of combined energy storage—with the potential of “putting out a megawatt if need be.”

And that extended grid storage is “probably” part of the long-term plan for every Supercharger station, according to the CEO. Under the scenario, stationary battery packs take in energy through the week from an overhead solar panel array—which in turn doubles as a shelter from sun or rain.

“The chargers are generating energy cumulatively throughout the course of the week, and it cumulatively adds up to more than what the cars consume,” said Musk. “So it’s actually capable of going completely off-grid,” and of continuing to charge cars when the power goes out.

Musk wouldn’t exactly where in California those two grid-storage prototypes are, but he confirmed they’re in California, and that the grid storage is being planned together with utilities, who have received the plan well—as that excess energy could be fed back into the grid when it’s needed, as a buffer to help prevent brownouts or help reduce pollution during off-peak situations.

“Even if there’s the Zombie Apocalypse—seems like a popular theme nowadays—you’ll still be able to travel throughout the country using Tesla Supercharging system,” quipped Musk. “Even if the entire grid goes down, it’ll still work.”

**[Ed. Note: Elon Musk‘s comments may be seen as building on a misconception that the grid is unreliable. Let the record stand: The entire national grid has never gone down, and major regional outages are extremely rare. Also, zombies are not real.]

The e-up! This fall of 2013: Volkswagen Unveils Its First Production Electric Car

March 15th, 2013 § Comments Off on The e-up! This fall of 2013: Volkswagen Unveils Its First Production Electric Car § permalink

Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen##Q##s CEO, unveils the e-up!

We missed it in Geneva last week, but the first production electric car from Volkswagen was unveiled at VW##Q##s headquarters in Wolfsburg this morning. We##Q##ve seen several Golf prototypes, but the first production EV from Volkswagen is based on the up! and it##Q##s logically called the e-up!

We bet the electric Golf will be named the e-Golf and compared to it, the up! is actually two models down. In other words, it##Q##s the Yaris-sized Polo that##Q##s below the Golf, and the up! is below the Polo with dimensions close to the diminutive Chevrolet Spark. But the two cars are very different. When the Spark has an angry look and cheap plastics inside, the up! looks nice and refined, outside and inside.

The e-up!—likely to only be available with four doors—is a small electric four seater city car. This format works well for the European market. With limited range and performance, Volkswagen clearly says that its e-up! is “for daily use in the city,” and that “is also ideal for commuters,” or is “an innovative second car.”

This is clearly not a competitor to the Tesla Model S, but it may be what millions have been waiting for: an electric car for the people, with a moderate price. The battery is perfectly integrated below the floor, and it stores 18.7 kWh. Engineers will understand that the range is limited, and Volkswagen announces 93 miles on standard European test methods. You can deduct 20 percent of that number in real world driving conditions, but it##Q##s still more than enough most people, and Volkswagen will be happy to provide a diesel Passat with a 700-plus miles of range to those who need more.

The car##Q##s weight is reasonable at 2,612 pounds, but power is modest. Its motor provide 40 kW continuous with a 60 kW peak (82 hp). That##Q##s more than the base up! which only has 60 horsepower but many are waiting for the GTI version which should get 110 hp. Torque is equally modest at 155 lb-ft and that means this e-up will be much slower than the Chevrolet Spark EV. Volkswagen says it: going 0 to 62 mph will take 14 seconds, and top speed is not autobahn-rated at 84 mph.

But the e-up! and the Spark EV will have a common feature however: their will both use the Combined Charging System (CCS) which supports both AC and DC charging. The only difference will be that the Chevrolet will get the American CCS whereas the Volkswagen will get the European CCS. That##Q##s with the Type 2 Mennekes connector on top, and not the SAE the Chevrolet gets. The plugs supports both AC and DC charging, and Volkswagen says the car can be recharged to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Again, the Chevrolet is faster. The one point where Volkswagen might make a difference is the price, but there##Q##s no indication about it yet. My estimate is that the e-up will sell for two-thirds the price of a Nissan LEAF in Germany—and possibly less.

Volkswagen announced recently that it had opened a new facility to assemble the packs for the e-up! in Braunschweig, with a capacity of 11,000 packs a year. There##Q##s no word yet about the supplier for the the battery cells.

The Volkswagen e-up will have its show premiere in Frankfurt this September, and Germans will be able to buy it soon after. Other European countries will follow, but the e-up is not be expected to be sold where the gasoline model isn##Q##t available. Americans will have to wait for the e-Golf.




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