[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Honda joins vehicle-to-grid technology demonstration project in partnership with University of Delaware and NRG Energy
December 05, 2013
Honda has joined a demonstration project for experimental vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology aimed at providing a potentially valuable energy storage resource to the electrical grid while providing for more cost-effective ownership of plug-in electric vehicles.
The Honda technology builds off of the research conducted by the University of Delaware and now supported by NRG Energy, Inc. through their eV2g joint venture (earlier post). eV2g came online early in 2013 with the first revenue-generating vehicle-to-grid project, demonstrating the controls, regulatory requirements, and market participation rules for selling energy storage from vehicles into the PJM Interconnection Regulation Market. (Earlier post.)
Mitsubishi slashes prices of 2014 i-MiEV by 21% ($6K), offers more standard features
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is reducing the price of the MY 2014 i-MiEV battery electric vehicle by 21% ($6,130) from the previous 2012 vehicle and delivering an expanded standard equipment package with it. The 2014 model year Mitsubishi i-MiEV ES model including CHAdeMO DC quick charge port, battery warming system and heated side view mirrors now starts at $22,995.
After factoring in the Federal tax credit of $7,500, the net MSRP of the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV drops down to only $15,495. Adding in the California state EV financial incentive of up to $2,500 (other generous financial incentives are available through numerous states and municipalities), residents in California can obtain the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV for as low as $12,995.
Nissan testing LEAF as electrical power storage and supply for office buildings; LEAF-to-Building a development of LEAF-to-Home
November 29, 2013
Nissan reports a successful early field test of a system that will allow companies to regulate their electricity bills using the batteries of Nissan LEAFs used by their staff to commute to work. “Vehicle-To-Building” allows up to six Nissan LEAF EVs to be connected to a building’s power distribution board.
Charging is phased during the day so at peak hours, when electricity is most expensive, the building draws power from the cars. When electricity is cheaper it flows the other way. The system ensures the Nissan LEAFs are fully charged by the end of the working day for their owners to drive home.
UK government awards £598K for hydrogen fuel cell range extender with micro-bead H2 storage for BEVs
November 28, 2013
The UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) have awarded £598,000 (US$980,000) to micro-bead hydrogen storage company Cella Energy (earlier post) and its partners MIRA, Coventry University and Productiv to develop a hydrogen generation system to extend the range of battery electric vehicles. The award is part of the Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform Integrated Delivery Programme 8 (IDP8) competition.
In an existing TSB-funded project called “Breakthrough in Energy Storage Technology,” Cella, MIRA, Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems and Productiv are developing a 1 kW hydrogen generator using Cella Energy’s lightweight hydrogen storage material. The aim of this new project is to take this technology and scale it to a 5 kW unit to power a small electric vehicle produced by Microcab Ltd, a spinout company from Coventry University.
Ford recalling Focus Electrics over electric powertrain propulsion failure
November 27, 2013
Ford Motor is recalling certain model year 2012-2014 Focus Electric vehicles manufactured from 15 September 15, 2011 through August 23, 2013. In the affected vehicles, a powertrain control module software fault may result in a sudden loss of motive power, increasing the risk of a crash.
According to the defect information report Ford filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 2,456 vehicles in the US and federalized territories are potentially affected. According to Ford’s monthly electrified vehicle sales and production report, the company has produced 2,911 units of the battery-electric vehicle in total through October 2013.
TUM CREATE introduces tropical megacity e-taxi prototype at Tokyo; super-fast charging with twin charge ports
November 26, 2013
|Drawing of the 50 kWh pack and the twin charge ports for super-fast charging. Click to enlarge.|
Singapore-based TUM CREATE unveiled an electric taxi prototype designed for tropical megacities, codenamed EVA, at the Tokyo Motor Show. EVA serves as a platform to showcase the results of the work at TUM CREATE, a joint research program by Technische Universität München (TUM) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
EVA was designed from the ground-up as an e-taxi and is a result of interdisciplinary research in the areas of energy storage, battery charging, thermal management, and lightweight materials and design.
Anderman report sees strongest growth for full-hybrid systems; Li-ion batteries for hybrids may be in short supply
November 22, 2013
Low-cost 14V micro hybrid systems and full (strong) hybrid (i.e., systems with limited electric drive) architectures at 140-300V are entering strong growth phases, while the future of intermediate systems—those falling between the high-voltage full hybrids and the low-voltage stop-start systems—is less clear, according to “Assessing the Future of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles: The 2014 xEV Industry Insider Report” by Dr. Menahem Anderman of Advanced Automotive Batteries (AAB), to be released next week.
The 170-page report also finds that while the combined global EV and plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) market share is expected to grow to about 1.5% of total vehicle sales by 2020, the more significant story is the rapid expansion of strong-hybrid vehicles led by Toyota, Ford, and Honda, followed by Hyundai, Nissan and others. The current market share in Japan already exceeds 20%, and the world market share is estimated to exceed 5% by 2020.
BMW Brilliance unveils Zinoro 1E BEV at Guangzhou show
November 21, 2013
BMW Brilliance, the China joint venture company formed by the BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., unveiled the Zinoro 1E battery-electric vehicle (BEV) at the Guangzhou Auto Show. The EV is the first product of the company’s new brand, the first e-drive SAV built in China, and the first new energy vehicle (NEV) from a Chinese premium manufacturer.
BBA said that it is not aiming at volume sales of Zinoro 1E, but is using it to build the Zinoro (Zhi Nuo, 之诺, in Chinese) brand image, increase customer understanding and acceptance of electric vehicles, and drive the commercialization of electric vehicles in China.
BMW announces partners and services for 360° Electric portfolio for BMW i drivers
November 18, 2013
BMW of North America has announced the partnerships and programs comprising its 360° Electric portfolio. Available in early 2014, 360° Electric is a portfolio of consumer-oriented offerings designed to overcome commonly perceived barriers to purchasing an electric vehicle.
360° Electric encompasses products for home and public charging, assistance services, and flexible mobility. BMW is currently the only automotive manufacturer offering this comprehensive a plan for consumers to cover their individual electric mobility needs beyond their vehicles. BMW says it is situated to branch into complementary electric vehicle markets because of its experience with the MINI E and ActiveE field trials.
Inaugural PlugInsights report highlights need to expand public fast charging
November 15, 2013
|The study shows that home charging is dominant. Data: PlugInsights. Click to enlarge.|
Electric vehicle software and information services company Recargo Inc., has launched a plug-in vehicle (PEV) research firm—PlugInsights—which released an inaugural report addressing the experiences, behaviors and opinions around charging a plug-in vehicle in America.
The sample for the study was drawn from PlugInsights’ PEV panel, comprising more than 3,700 plug-in drivers of 17 different vehicle makes and models of plug-in hybrid, mid-range battery-electric vehicles and long-range battery electric vehicles (the Teslas), mathematically modeled to reflect the “real world”. The growing panel will be the data source for upcoming PEV studies, and will be used for custom survey and focus group research with PlugInsights clients.
NCSU team proposes new system for dynamic wireless EV charging
Researchers from North Carolina State University are proposing a new topology appropriate for dynamic wireless charging—i.e., wireless charging on the go. Currently, at peak efficiency, the new system can transmit energy at a rate of 0.5 kilowatts (kW). The team’s goal is to move from 0.5 kW into the 50 kW range.
The system, outlined in a paper published in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, features a transmitter made from segmented multiple coils, each of which broadcasts a low-level electromagnetic field and is powered by a single inverter. A receiver coil that is the same size as each of the transmitter coils is placed in a car or other mobile platform. (The size of the coils is important, because coils of the same size transfer energy more efficiently.)
VW provides details on e-Golf prior to launch at LA Auto Show
November 14, 2013
|e-Golf. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced details of the e-Golf, its first fully electric vehicle to go on sale in the US, prior to its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Volkswagen earlier this year introduced the production version of the e-Golf and e-up! at the Frankfurt show. (Earlier post.)
The e-Golf is available in five-door form only and is immediately recognizable by its unique aluminum-alloy wheels and by its LED headlights, the first time they have been used as standard on a Volkswagen vehicle. The e-Golf is due to go on sale in select states in the fourth quarter of 2014.
SAE New Energy Vehicle Forum: China’s focus on NEVs may have profound impact on future of transportation
November 13, 2013
China has a number of critical economic and environmental imperatives driving its pursuit of vehicle electrification, said the roster of plenary speakers at the SAE 2013 New Energy Vehicle Forum held in Shanghai this week. These include the increasingly problematic pollution and haze in cities; China’s projected increased reliance on imported oil; the need for rationalized multimodal transportation systems in ever more congested and space-limited cities; the growing dominance of the China auto market; and the desire to have China become the leader in the next generation of automotive technology, vehicles and mobility systems.
The shift from fossil fuels to electricity—while held in common with other countries—will be based on the “specific situation” in China, making the best use of China’s own advantages and innovations, but also with international cooperation, said Dr. Zhixin Wu, Vice President of the China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC). The details of that specific situation may result in an electric vehicle parc somewhat different than in Western countries, other speakers noted, and may indeed—given the obvious scale of the China market—herald a major transformation in transportation, including the type and role of personal vehicles, others suggested.
TÜV SÜD Technical Inspectorate confirms BMW i3 can emit 30-50% less total life cycle greenhouse gases than comparable conventional vehicles
The BMW i3 battery electric vehicle can emit 30-50% less total life cycle greenhouse gases than comparable conventional vehicles depending upon the source of its electricity, according to its ISO 14040/14044 certificate from the TÜV SÜD Technical Inspectorate. (Earlier post.) Market launch for the i3 is on 16 November.
The 30% reduction is achieved by using energy from the EU 25 electricity mix, which takes account of all electricity generation in the European Union. The 50% reduction compared with conventional automobiles results as soon as the BMW i3 is powered exclusively by energy generated from renewables such as wind or solar power. ISO 14040/14004 are international standards for lifecycle assessment.
CMU study finds limited dedicated residential parking and charging a significant barrier to mainstream EV adoption
November 12, 2013
|Selected forecasts of US PEV sales with barriers to fleet penetration from limited residential charging infrastructure. Traut et al. Click to enlarge.|
An analysis by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University of parking and charging availability for electric vehicles in the US has concluded that limited availability of dedicated residential parking—and hence charging opportunities—is a significant barrier to mainstream electric vehicle adoption. The study, which was funded in part by grants from the National Science Foundation, CMU’s Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, General Motors, Ford and Toyota, is to appear in the journal Transportation Research (Part D).
The team, led by Professor Jeremy Michalek, assessed existing and potential charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicles in US households using data from the American Housing Survey and the Residential Energy Consumption Survey. The team found that while approximately 79% households have off-street parking for at least some of their vehicles, only an estimated 56% of vehicles have a dedicated off-street parking space—and only 47% at an owned residence. Only approximately 22% vehicles currently have access to a dedicated home parking space within reach of an outlet sufficient to recharge a small plug-in vehicle battery pack overnight.
Kia confirms development of battery-electric Soul for US; on sale in 2014
November 11, 2013
p> Kia Motors has confirmed the development of a battery-electric version of the Kia Soul for the US market, scheduled to go on sale in 2014. The Kia Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle marketed outside of Korea.
The Soul EV takes its design cues from the recently-launched second-generation Kia Soul. Equipped with a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, the Soul EV is expected to offer a driving range of more than 120 miles (193 km) on a single charge. Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 240v outlet, or 25 minutes on fast charge with 100 kW output.
DOE Inspector General criticizes agency’s handling of disclosures over Ecotality awards
November 08, 2013
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a report concluding that DOE “had not fully disclosed known concerns regarding Ecotality’s ability to meet its EV project obligations” to the Office of Inspector General prior to completion of an earlier audit, and thus prior to Ecotality’s bankruptcy filing in September. (Earlier post.)
The OIG concluded that DOE had not provided information that raised questions about Ecotality’s ability to meet its project goals, including completing planned EV charger installations and the collection of EV usage data—even though the data had a “readily apparent” connection to the OIG audit then underway.
Nissan to show BladeGlider EV concept at Tokyo Motor Show
|Nissan BladeGlider concept. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan will reveal several new concept cars at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. Among them is the BladeGlider—a highly efficient EV with radical swept-wing styling.
Aerodynamically-focused, BladeGlider’s narrow front track and wide, stable rear track reduces drag while generating downforce to enhance maneuverability and road-hugging performance, with high G cornering and acceleration-yet the vehicle is thrifty in its power use.
Tesla delivered ~5,500 Model S worldwide in Q3, more than 1,000 to European customers; non-GAAP profit narrows and GAAP loss widens from Q2
November 06, 2013
In its third quarter results, Tesla Motors reported delivering about 5,500 Model S units worldwide, with more than 1,000 of those going to European customers. On a total unit basis, that exceeded the second quarter’s 5,150 models which went to the North America market. (Earlier post.)
CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla is continuing to expand production and plans to deliver slightly less than 6,000 Model S vehicles in Q4, which would increase total expected deliveries to 21,500 vehicles worldwide for 2013. The company is now producing 550 cars per week.
Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi Motors to explore expanded cooperation; new EVs
November 05, 2013
The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation intend to explore several new projects covering shared products, technologies and manufacturing capacity among the automakers. As a consequence, they agreed that the strategic cooperation between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors could be expanded across the broader Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Between Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, it is expected that the existing NMKV joint-venture company (earlier post) will be extended to co-develop a new small car including a specific electric version that can be sold on a global basis. (NMKV was established in June 2011 for the purpose of co-developing a range of Kei cars for both brands; the first of these products—the Nissan Dayz and Mitsubishi eK wagon—went on sale in Japan this year.)
JRC study finds 8 metals for low-carbon energy technologies at risk of shortages; EVs, wind and solar, and lighting the applications of most concern
November 04, 2013
A new European Joint Research Centre (JRC) study looking into the supply of raw materials for the manufacture of low-carbon energy technologies found that eight metals were at high risk of shortages. The applications, i.e. technologies, of particular concern as a result are electric vehicles, wind and solar energy, and lighting. The risk arises from EU dependency on imports, growing demand worldwide and geopolitical reasons.
The study builds on a 2011 effort which looked into the six key applications of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan: wind, solar, nuclear fission, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the electricity grid. In the new study, these were re-assessed and considered along with 11 other technologies—including fuel cells, electricity storage, electric vehicles and lighting—treated in the new report, this time evaluated on the expected supplies of the metals and not on the current situation as in the first report.
Altran and Quimera expand vehicles partnership; first up is the electric AEGT Evo2 racer
November 02, 2013
|Rendering of the AEGT Evo2. Click to enlarge.|
Altran and Quimera have signed a new agreement to invest in their continued development and construction of vehicles to achieve better performance while significantly reducing environmental impact.
One of the key commitments outlined by Altran and Quimera to deliver tangible results for this new endeavor will be for Altran to enhance its Excellence Centre for New Automotive—the hub of the Altran Group’s projects focused on innovation and electric vehicle development. The center, with an R&D budget of €4 million (US$5.4 million) will now benefit from Quimera aligning its existing vehicles, project pipeline, motor sports program and global strategic partner programs with the center.
Panasonic and Tesla expand supply agreement for Li-ion cells; nearly 2 billion through 2017
October 30, 2013
Panasonic Corporation and Tesla Motors have expanded their 2011 supply agreement so that Panasonic will now supply nearly 2 billion automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells to Tesla through 31 December 2017 at long-term preferential prices. Panasonic also has a position in Tesla, having purchased $30 million of Tesla’s common stock in a private placement transaction that closed in November 2010.
The lithium-ion battery cells purchased from Panasonic will be used to power the Model S as well as Model X, a performance utility vehicle that is scheduled to go into production by the end of 2014.
NSF awards Univ. of Maryland and Genovation $438K to develop novel hybrid energy storage system for EVs
October 29, 2013
The National Science Foundation has selected a project by researchers at the University of Maryland and their partners from Genovation Cars (earlier post) for a $438,418 GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) award to develop a novel hybrid energy storage system for electric vehicles.
The specific objectives of the project—“Advanced Silicon Carbide based Novel Hybrid Energy Storage System for Plug-In Electric Vehicles”—are to: (a) reduce the weight of the energy storage system (composed of high energy-density battery pack, ultracapacitor pack and a DC/DC converter) to less than the weight of a high power-density battery pack alone, while increasing the battery lifetime; and (b) implement, develop, and validate this technology on the powertrain of a new electric car.
Chevrolet previews Spark EV Tech Performance concept, other performance concepts including Cruze Diesel for SEMA
October 28, 2013
|Chevrolet Spark EV Tech Performance concept. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet previewed the Spark EV Tech Performance concept, as well as other performance-oriented concepts of the Sonic, Malibu, new Impala, and Cruze Diesel. The cars will debut at the SEMA Show, 5-8 Nov. in Las Vegas. SEMA is the world’s largest convention of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories.
The basic Spark EV is a battery-electric urban mini-car delivering 400 lb-ft (542 N·m) of instant torque—more than the classic 1969 Camaro SS muscle car with a 350 V-8. (Earlier post.) The EV It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. The Spark EV Tech Performance concept builds on Spark EV’s performance with a unique power-delivery algorithm that enhances acceleration.
Canada awards $30M to 10 automotive R&D projects; from electrified powertrains to hot stamping
The Government of Canada has awarded C$30 million (US$29 million) through the Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) initiative to 10 university-industry partnerships to advance innovative automotive technologies. With a total project value of more than C$52 million (US$50 million), the funding includes some $22 million from industry and other partners.
The largest award from APC is $8,928,200 to the McMaster University-Chrysler partnership (earlier post) for the development of next generation electrified powertrains. (Earlier post.) However, the selected projects include a range of technologies from hot stamping of parts to hydrogen fuel cell stacks.
Chrysler Group in 5-year, $18.2M partnership with McMaster University to develop advanced electric and hybrid powertrains; funding from Canadian Government
October 25, 2013
Chrysler Group LLC has entered a 5-year, $18.2-million partnership with McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, with funding support from the Canadian government, to develop next-generation, energy-efficient, high-performance electrified powertrains and powertrain components. For McMaster, the project partnership is one of three new partnerships with Chrysler, the federal government and other auto industry leaders worth a combined $24 million.
Chrysler Group will invest $9.25 million in cash and in-kind contributions, with an additional $8.93 million coming from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the lead agency within Automotive Partnership Canada (APC), an initiative that supports industry research at Canadian universities and government laboratories.
Consortium including Volvo Car Group completes successful study of EV wireless charging
October 24, 2013
|Inductive battery charging components. Click to enlarge.|
A consortium of companies, including Volvo Car Group, Bombardier Transportation and the coachbuilder Van Hool, has successfully completed a 3-year research project studying the possibilities of inductive charging for electric vehicles. (Earlier post.) The results show that this technology for transferring energy via an electromagnetic field has “great potential,” according to Volvo.
The inductive charging project was initiated by Flanders’ Drive, a research and test center for the automotive industry in the Flanders region in Belgium and was partly funded by the Flemish government. Volvo Cars supplied the car for the inductive charging project: a Volvo C30 Electric with a power output of 89 kW (120 hp) and a 24 kWh battery pack.
Governors of 8 states sign MoU to put 3.3M zero-emission vehicles on roads by 2025; 15% of new vehicle sales
The governors of 8 states—California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont—have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to take specific actions to put 3.3 million zero emission vehicles on the roads in their states by 2025, along with the refueling infrastructure required to support those vehicles. Zero-emission vehicles include battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicles; the technologies can be applied in passenger cars, trucks and transit buses.
The 3.3 million ZEVs would represent a new vehicle market penetration for the group of states of about 15%, said Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), during a conference call announcing the agreement. This multi-state effort is intended to expand consumer awareness and demand for zero-emission vehicles. Collectively, the eight signatory states represent more than 23% of the US car market.
Musk says Tesla making significant investments in Germany: Superchargers, service centers and free tuning for better Autobahn performance
October 23, 2013
Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors announced that his company will make “a significant investment” in Germany, focused on expanding the Supercharger network, expanding the number of service centers, and high-speed tuning for the Model S for improved performance on the Autobahn.
Deliveries of Model S in Europe started this summer. Citing data from Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), a report in the International Business Times noted that Tesla had sold 98 Model S units in August and September. lagging sales of other EVs in the country. This performance is in contrast to Norway, where the Model S was the best selling vehicle of any model last month, and in the Netherlands, the car’s second-strongest Northern European market.
Tesla leads with transfer of ZEV credits for year ending 30 Sep 2013
October 17, 2013
|Tesla by far dominated the transfer of ZEV credits in California in 2012. Data: ARB. Click to enlarge.|
Between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors transferred out 1,311.520 ZEV (zero emission vehicle) credits, according to the latest report by the California Air Resources Board (ARB)—by far, the largest of any automaker in the state. The next closest was Toyota, with 507.5 credits; Nissan only transferred 25 credits, and those generated from its PZEVs—not from the LEAF EV.
As of 30 September, Tesla still had a balance of 276.080 credits, according to the data; behind the six major automakers, who are mostly banking their credits.
BRUSA picks up awards at eCarTec Munich 2013 for wireless charging and electric truck; synchronous motor shortlisted
|The two components of BRUSA’s Inductive Charging System. Click to enlarge.|
BRUSA won two of the eCarTec Awards presented at eCarTec Munich 2013 trade fair. BRUSA’s new ICS inductive charging system and the E-FORCE electric truck won in their particular categories, while BRUSA’s synchronous motor was shortlisted in the category of “Drive Technology, System Electrics, Testing Systems”.
BRUSA Inductive Charging System. BRUSA’s ICS was the winner in the category “Energy, Infrastructure, Connection Technology”. The new system only comprises a floor and vehicle plate—the required power electronics are integrated.
Navigant Research tags Jiangsu Xinri E-Vehicle Company as leader in e-scooter market
October 15, 2013
|Navigant ranks Jiangsu Xinri E-Vehicle Company as the top e-scooter company. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge.|
Although still a nascent market in most regions of the world, electric scooters sell in significant numbers in Asia Pacific today, according to Navigant Research. Sales of e-scooters in China alone are expected to reach 9.4 million in 2013, compared to 2.6 million in all other countries combined. Sales in regions outside of Asia Pacific are estimated at 31,338 vehicles in 2013, Navigant said.
BMW i3 on sale in US 2Q 2014, base MSRP $41,350 for BEV; $45,300 with range extender
October 10, 2013
|BMW i3. Click to enlarge.|
The BMW i3 (earlier post, earlier post) will go on sale in the US market in the second quarter of 2014. The battery electric model will have a base MSRP of $41,350, before any federal or state incentives, and before destination and handling fee (currently $925). The range-extender model will have a starting MSRP of $45,300. Again, this is before any federal or state incentives, and before Destination & Handling fee.
Studies carried out as part of BMW’s Project i, involving more than 1,000 participants and conducted over some 12.5 million miles, found that the average daily distance covered was around 30 miles. The BMW i3 will be able to travel 80 to 100 miles on a single charge of its 22 kWh Li-ion battery pack. This can be increased by up to approximately 12% in ECO PRO mode and by the same amount again in ECO PRO+ mode.
Ford doubles electric drive market share in US from 2012 to 2013; surging with plug-in hybrids
October 04, 2013
|Ford’s changing share of the hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery-electric vehicle segments and total ED market in the US in 2012 and YTD 2013. Data: EDTA, Ford Motor. Click to enlarge.|
Ford Motor Company’s C-platform electric drive strategy has driven an increase in Ford’s overall electric drive market share (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric) from 7.3% in calendar year 2012 to 14.7% for the first nine months of 2013.
Specifically, out of 487,480 electric drive units sold in 2012 (according to data from the Electric Drive Transportation Association), Ford accounted for 35,719 units (7.3%). From January through September 2013, total electric drive sales were 457,704 units (EDTA); Ford’s electric drive sales climbed to 67,232 units during that period (14.7%).
Opel bringing Ampera with special nav system and Meriva EVs to iZEUS project on intelligent electric driving and recharging
October 02, 2013
|iZEUS Ampera. Click to enlarge.|
Opel has presented a specially-equipped Ampera extended range electric vehicle to the Technical Institute Karlsruhe (KIT), marking the beginning of a field trial in the research project iZEUS (intelligent Zero Emission Urban System) in Stuttgart.
The research project iZEUS is developing concepts and practical examples for the integration of electromobility in private and urban commercial transport. The goal of the research is to develop one uniform transport concept that will be tested and demonstrated with the help of fleet tests made up of a significant number of test vehicles. These will ultimately include up to 30 vans (Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL) and some 90 electric cars (smart ed, Opel Ampera and Toyota Prius) for private transport.
CARB draft of updated AB 32 Scoping Plan for climate change actions post-2020; pushing for greater transportation reductions
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released the public discussion draft of the required update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan. (Earlier post.) The Scoping Plan describes the comprehensive range of efforts California must take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and meet the state’s long-term goals to combat climate change.
AB 32 requires the Scoping Plan to be updated every five years. The original Plan, first released in 2008, was developed on the principle that a balanced mix of strategies is the best way to cut emissions and grow California’s economy in a clean and sustainable direction. This draft update continues with that approach and focuses on three questions:
DOE proposing $100M in FY2014 for 2nd round of funding for Energy Frontier Research Centers
October 01, 2013
US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a proposed $100 million in FY2014 funding for Energy Frontier Research Centers; research supported by this initiative will enable fundamental advances in energy production and use.
The Department of Energy (DOE) currently funds 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), which were selected for five-year funding in 2009. (Earlier post.) With support for those centers set to expire in July 2014, DOE has announced a “re-competition” for a second round of funding (DE-FOA-0001010).
DENSO and Nagoya University jointly develop in-vehicle battery-based energy management system for house and car; field testing begins
September 30, 2013
Global automotive supplier DENSO and Nagoya University have developed an in-vehicle battery-based energy management system (EMS) which uses forecasting models of household electricity demand and vehicle use to reduce electricity costs.
The two organizations will start to evaluate the performance of the system in October this year under the Toyota City Low-carbon Society Verification Project, one of the Next-Generation Energy and Social System Demonstration Projects in Japan led by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
California Governor signs 6 bills to support burgeoning EV market, including $2B AB 8
September 28, 2013
Marking National Plug-in Day (NPID), California Governor Jerry Brown signed 6 bills to support California’s burgeoning electric vehicle market, including the $2-billion AB 8 (earlier post), which will continue clean vehicle and fuel incentives through 2023.
The legislation builds on the state’s efforts to help California’s electric vehicle market grow, including an Executive Order issued by Governor Brown that established a target of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road in California by 2025 and a number of other long-term goals. The newly signed bills are:
Georgia Tech study finds MD electric urban delivery trucks have cost advantages over diesel in some conditions; relative benefits depend on numerous factors
September 26, 2013
Researchers at Georgia Tech have compared medium-duty (MD) electric and diesel urban delivery trucks in terms of life-cycle energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and total cost of ownership (TCO). One surprise among their findings was that the electric truck had cost advantages over the diesel vehicle under some conditions. The team had expected that electric truck costs would always be higher, especially since the purchase price of the electric truck studied was higher than that of the diesel truck.
In a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they report that the relative benefits of electric trucks depend heavily on vehicle efficiency associated with drive cycle; diesel fuel price; travel demand; electric drive battery replacement and price; electricity generation and transmission efficiency; electric truck recharging infrastructure; and purchase price.
Chrysler Group files S-1 for IPO; snapshot of R&D priorities; exploring a light-duty hydraulic hybrid
September 24, 2013
Chrysler Group LLC has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of common shares. Details of the offering—i.e., number of shares and price range—are yet to be determined.
However, the document not only provides a detailed look at the finances of the company, it also provides a quick recap of recent technology developments and some insight into the company’s immediate research priorities. Chrysler writes that its has “made the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles a priority to meet retail consumer preferences, comply with future regulations and as part of our commitment to sustainability.”
Balqon working with Polar Power to develop series plug-in hybrid drive system for heavy-duty trucks and buses
September 16, 2013
|XRE-20 battery-electric yard tractor. Click to enlarge.|
Balqon Corporation, a developer of electric drive system technology for commercial vehicles (earlier post), has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with Polar Power Inc. to develop a series plug-in hybrid system for Balqon’s line of heavy-duty electric trucks and buses. Under this agreement both companies will work towards development of a 40 kW on-board DC generator to charge batteries during the daily drive cycle to increase the range of Balqon vehicles.
Balqon’s heavy-duty trucks and drive systems are designed to transport up to 30 ton cargo containers. Products include the Li-in battery-powered Model XRE20 yard tractor designed for port drayage applications.
Ford launches electric vehicle charging network for employees; hoping to increase number of all-electric trips
Ford Motor Company is installing a new workplace plug-in vehicle charging network at nearly every Ford facility in the US and Canada. Ford will install charging stations at more than 50 company offices, product development campuses and manufacturing facilities. Installation will begin later this year and roll out throughout 2014.
Ford employees will be able to charge the all-electric Focus Electric, as well as Ford’s two plug-in hybrids—the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi—at the charge stations. The service will initially be free to employees for the first four hours. Ford estimates it will cost the company about $0.50 fully to charge a vehicle.
Volkswagen’s first two production battery-electric vehicles debut at Frankfurt
September 11, 2013
|Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, of the Volkswagen Brand and Stephan Grühsem of Volkswagen AG present the new Volkswagen eGolf and the new e-up! in Frankfurt. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen marked its serious entry into the battery-electric vehicle market with the introduction in Frankfurt of its first two series production EVs: the e-up! and the e-Golf. (Earlier post.) The e-up! is going on sale in mid-October, followed by the e-Golf launch in the spring of 2014 (in Germany).
In a talk on the eve of the opening of the show, Volkswagen Group CEO Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn said that the group has set its sights on global market leadership in electric mobility. “We are electrifying all vehicle classes, and therefore have everything we need to make the Volkswagen Group the top automaker in all respects, including electric mobility, by 2018,” he said. (Earlier post.)
Navigant forecasts 18.6% CAGR for plug-ins in North America to 2022; 2.4% new vehicle share in US
September 10, 2013
|Annual light duty PEV Sales, top 5 states, 2013-2022. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge.|
In an update to its 2012 geographic breakdown of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales in North America, Navigant Research now forecasts that overall sales of will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.6% between 2013 and 2022. Navigant Research forecasts that PEVs will reach 416,153 annual sales in the United States and 230,479 in Canada by 2022.
The model for North American PEV sales by US state, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), Canadian province, Canadian city, and selected US utility service area has been updated to better align with actual sales data from the first full year of wide availability of PEVs.
ARB hosting public hearing on ZEV modifications; battery swapping out for fast refueling of ZEVs
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will conduct a public hearing on 24 October in Sacramento to consider minor proposed amendments to the California Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation being put forward by ARB staff. (Earlier post.)
In January 2012, the ARB approved the Advanced Clean Cars program, which included increased ZEV requirements through 2025 model year, and the next generation of light duty greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria pollutant emission standards (LEV III). (Earlier post.) This program combined the control of smog-causing pollutants and GHG emissions into a single coordinated package of requirements for model years 2017 through 2025.
DSD 3-speed EV transmission with Oxford YASA axial flux motor to be integrated in Range Rover Evoque_e research vehicle
September 09, 2013
|Compared to a single-speed EV or HEV transmission, DSD’s MSYS 3-speed system provides a 40% weight saving and 10-15% lower energy consumption. Click to enlarge.|
Specialist engineering consultancy Drive System Design (DSD) has been named as a member of the £16-million, 27-month Evoque_e program (earlier post) to develop new modular hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicle (BEV) technology.
DSD will be responsible for integrating high speed E-machines, clutches and clutch strategies associated with torque management and delivery to the wheels. The pure electric research vehicle will feature the company’s novel MSYS multi-speed traction system developed by DSD and Oxford YASA Motors (earlier post), which incorporates a three-speed powershifting gearbox and axial flux motor.
Georgia Tech study suggests unlinking EVs from CAFE and coordinating with power sector for low-cost benefits
September 08, 2013
A team from Georgia Tech suggests, based on their modeling of electric vehicle (EV) adoption scenarios in each of six regions of the Eastern Interconnection (containing 70% of the US population), that coordinating EV adoption with the adoption of controlled EV charging, unlinking EVs from consideration in the CAFE fuel economy regulations; and implementing renewable electricity standards would deliver low-cost reductions in emissions and gasoline usage. (For the study, they define EVs as including both battery-electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles.
Only in the case of high EV market share and a high renewable electricity standard (RES) do EVs make a material contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, they found. However, managed EV adoption can reduce the cost of achieving GHG reductions through a RES, they concluded in their paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
August sales of plug-in hybrids in US up 83% from July, up 65% y-o-y
September 06, 2013
|Monthly sales of plug-in hybrids in US. Data: EDTA, automakers. Click to enlarge.|
Sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the US in August reached 6,407 units—up 83% from the prior month and up 65% from results in August 2012. jumped 83% from the prior month to 6,407 units. The results marked the strongest monthly results to date for plug-in hybrids (i.e., not conventional hybrids, and not battery-electric vehicles.)
Sales were led by the Chevy Volt, with 3,351 units, up 18.4% from its August 2012 results of 2,831 units. Jan-August 2013 sales for the Volt were 14,994 units, up 11.1% from the same period in 2012. The Prius PHV put in a very strong second-place showing of 1,791 units in August 2013, up 65% from 1,047 units in August 2012. Its sales for the first 8 months of 2013 were 6,822 units, up 11.6% from the same period in 2012.
UK launches new ultra low emission vehicles strategy; focus on nurturing the industry
September 05, 2013
UK Transport Minister Norman Baker launched the government’s latest strategy—Driving the Future Today: A strategy for ultra low emission vehicles in the UK—to advance the ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) industry with a focus on economic development in the UK. The government’s vision, said Minister Baker, “is that by 2050 almost every car and van will be an ultra low emission vehicle with the UK at the forefront of their design, development and manufacture. This strategy moves us up a gear in pursuing that vision.”
The principles behind the strategy include focusing on inward investment and the supply chain; technological neutrality, i.e., specifying the bulk of policies in output rather than technology terms; and addressing market failure. Accordingly, a great deal of effort and funding will flow to programs to incent adoption and to establish plug-in charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructures.
Jaguar Land Rover to lead $25M Evoque_e collaborative research project to develop new modular HEV, PHEV and BEV technology
September 04, 2013
Jaguar Land Rover will lead a £16.3-million (US$25 million) “Evoque_e” collaborative research project to develop new modular hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicle (BEV) technology. Evoque_e is a two-year UK government Technology Strategy Board project.
Jaguar Land Rover will contribute £4 million (US$6.3 million) to the project and will lead a consortium of 12 selected partners—eight from industry and three universities. The partners include Zytek Automotive, GKN Driveline, Motor Design Limited, AVL, Drive System Design, Williams Advanced Engineering, Delta Motorsport, Tata Steel, Bristol University, Cranfield University and Newcastle University.
KIT presenting modular battery concept for electric bus
September 03, 2013
|Design of the modular batteries. Source: KIT. Click to enlarge.|
At the upcoming IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will present a modular battery concept for the efficient operation of an electric bus; an electric city bus demonstrator will illustrate the concept. The development of the e-city bus demonstrator was carried out within the scope of the project Competence E and was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
The key modules of the demonstrator are a drive train with a high-torque electric motor, a high-voltage network, a battery management system, and a novel modular battery system with lithium-ion cells made in Germany. At the IAA, the demonstrator developed for drive tests will present options for the design of the electric drive train of buses.
Burns & McDonnell develops bi-directional fast chargers for SPIDERS program
September 01, 2013
|Bi-directional fast charger at Ft. Carson. Click to enlarge.|
A team of Burns & McDonnell engineers, along with subcontractor Coritech Services, has developed a system of bidirectional, fast-charging stations for a fleet of plug-in electric vehicles at Fort Carson, Colo. This first-of-its-kind system will push power back to the base microgrid when needed to meet installation demand or improve overall power quality.
On 29 August, the team successfully commissioned five bidirectional chargers and the aggregating control system as part of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) microgrid project at Fort Carson. (Earlier post.) Commissioning was performed using both Boulder Electric Vehicle and Smith Electric trucks, which are being provided for use on SPIDERS under separate agreements with the US Army’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) and Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).
Continental develops its first air suspension system for EVs
August 28, 2013
|The air suspension system. Click to enlarge.|
Continental has developed its first air suspension system for an all-electric vehicle. Following a shortened development phase, the first series delivery of the air suspension system started in spring 2012 to a manufacturer of electric vehicles. Continental’s experience of air suspension systems goes back more than 30 years; its chassis technology has been installed in luxury and other high-end vehicles as well as in minivans, pick-ups and vans.
The vehicle is the first purely electric vehicle to be equipped with a Continental air suspension.
Volkswagen presenting e-up! and e-Golf EVs at Frankfurt
August 27, 2013
|e-up! and e-Golf.|
In a dual world premiere, Volkswagen will present two EVs at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt: the e-up! (earlier post) and e-Golf (earlier post). The e-up! is highly efficient, with energy consumption of 11.7 kWh of electricity per 100 km (117 Wh/km) on the European cycle. (As a comparison, although not exact because of drive cycle differences, the Fiat 500e has an EPA-rated energy consumption of 18 kWh/100 km, or 180 Wh/km; the smart fortwo electric drive consumes 20 kWh/100 km, or 200 Wh/km.)
The e-Golf, positioned two classes higher than the e-up!, has an energy consumption rating of 12.7 kWh/100 km (127 Wh/km). Given an electricity price of €0.258 per kWh ($0.35/kWh) in Germany (as of 31 July 2013), driving 100 km there with the e-up! costs €3.02 ($4.04), and with the e-Golf it is around €3.30 ($4.42).
Top 15 Nissan LEAF markets in US in 2013
August 26, 2013
|Top 15 LEAF market year-to-date in 2013. Source: Nissan Click to enlarge.|
Nissan provided a list of the top 15 markets in the US for the Nissan LEAF battery-electric vehicle. Nissan LEAF sales in the United States are up by 335% year-over-year since the launch of the enhanced 2013 model in March. (Earlier post.) Nissan has sold 11,703 LEAFs in the US during the first 7 months of 2013—an increase of 230% from the 3,543 units for the same period in 2012.
Four of the top 15 markets are in California: San Francisco (1), Los Angeles (2), San Diego (7) and Sacramento (8). Another three are on the West Coast and in Hawaii: Seattle (4), Portland (5), and Honolulu (6).
ARPA-E awarding $36M to 22 projects in RANGE program for transformative EV storage
August 22, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) will award approximately $36 million to 22 projects to develop transformational electric vehicle (EV) energy storage systems using innovative chemistries, architectures and designs. ARPA-E’s new program, Robust Affordable Next Generation Energy Storage Systems (RANGE) (earlier post), aims to accelerate widespread EV adoption by dramatically improving driving range and reliability, and by providing low-cost, low-carbon alternatives to today’s vehicles.
When the agency originally issued the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) in February, it was anticipating about $20 million in awards to 8-12 projects. ARPA-E’s RANGE program seeks to improve EV driving range and reduce vehicle costs by re-envisioning the total EV battery system, rather than working to increase the energy density of individual battery cells.
Bosch and partners launch new €4.3M project on powerline communications for smart battery management
August 21, 2013
|Concept of the IntLiIon project. Click to enlarge.|
Bosch and partners Pro Design Electronic GmbH, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have launched a new €4.3-million (US$5.8-million) project to improve battery performance in hybrid and electric vehicles with smart battery management. The technical basis of the project is an innovative method that uses the path traveled by the electricity in the battery to transmit data for the optimum exchange of measurement data and control signals.
Between now and May 2016, the IntLiIon project (intelligent data bus concepts for lithium-ion batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles) will receive €2.5 million (US$3.4 million) in funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Tesla says Model S comes out on top in US-NCAP crash testing with lowest Vehicle Safety Score
|Formulation of the overall vehicle rating according to US-NCAP based on weighted Relative Risk Scores (RRS). Source: NHTSA. Click to enlarge.|
Tesla Motors announced that in recent US-NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) testing, the Model S earned an overall 5-star safety rating from NHTSA as well as 5 stars in each component test. The Model S also earned the lowest combined total Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) achieved by any vehicle that has undergone that testing since 2011: 0.42. In this case, lower is better: VSS is essentially a weighted average risk of personal injury resulting from the different NCAP crash tests.
The NCAP crash testing is used to formulate the 5-star safety rating applied to vehicles by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While NHTSA does not publish a star rating above 5, Tesla said that safety levels “better than 5 stars” are captured in the VSS data for the vehicles that have been tested. Based on the data, Tesla said, it achieved a combined record of “5.4 stars”. While the Model S is a sedan, it also exceeded the safety score of all SUVs and minivans, according to Tesla.
Hybrids take 7% of California market in 1H 2013; PHEVs 0.7%; EVs 1.1%
August 17, 2013
|Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicle share of the California retail market. Source: California Auto Outlook. Click to enlarge.|
Hybrid vehicle market share (excluding plug-in hybrids) in California increased to 7% in the first half of 2013, up from 6.2% in 2012, according to the California Auto Outlook for the second quarter of 2013. Plug-in hybrid market share was an estimated 0.7%, while battery electric vehicle market share hit 1.1%. California Auto Outlook is sponsored by the California New Car Dealers Association.
For the first six months of 2013, hybrid registrations (excluding plug-ins), were 59,300 units; plug-in hybrids, 5,736 units; and battery electric vehicles, 9,708 units.
BMW’s hybrid motor design seeks to deliver high efficiency and power density with lower rare earth use
August 13, 2013
With its introduction of the eDrive motor—a proprietary hybrid synchronous motor designed to exploit both permanent magnets and the reluctance effect—in both the BMW i3 (earlier) and i8 (earlier post), BMW is advancing what it sees as an answer to achieving the highest possible power density and efficiency coupled with minimum possible use of magnets containing rare earth materials.
The 50 kg electric motor powering the BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 125 kW for a specific power (SP) of 2.5 kW/kg. The motor offers linear power delivery extending into high rev ranges, with maximum revs of 11,400 rpm. As one point of comparison, the permanent magnet motor in the 2011 Nissan LEAF was rated at 80 kW from a 58 kg motor, for a SP of 1.38 kW/kg.
Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop preliminary design study
August 12, 2013
|Linear accelerator concept for capsule acceleration and deceleration between 300 and 760 mph (480 and 1,220 km/h). Click to enlarge.|
Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk released the preliminary design study for what he calls “The Hyperloop”—a new high-speed electric transportation system targeted for the the specific case of high-traffic city pairs (e.g., San Francisco and Los Angeles) that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart. (For longer distances, Musk suggests, quiet supersonic air travel would be faster and cheaper.)
Hyperloop—which is an open-source concept, user feedback is welcome—consists of paired partially-evacuated tubes (0.015 psi, 100 Pa), with passenger capsules (or pods) that are transported at both low and high speeds throughout the length of the tube. The capsules are supported on a cushion of air, featuring pressurized air and aerodynamic lift. The capsules are accelerated via a magnetic linear accelerator affixed at various stations on the low pressure tube. Stators are located on the capsules to transfer momentum to the capsules via the linear accelerators.
New York launches $19M truck voucher incentive program; $9M for EVs, $10M for alt fuels
August 09, 2013
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $19-million New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program to encourage the purchase of battery-electric commercial trucks as well as other energy-efficient transportation, including hybrid and CNG (compressed natural gas) trucks. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) estimates that this program could encourage the purchase or retrofit of up to 1,000 low-emission trucks in areas of the state with the poorest air quality.
The truck voucher program will include two voucher funds: $9 million for battery-electric truck vouchers offered in 30 counties around the state that did not meet federal clean air standards, primarily downstate New York, the Capital Region and Western New York; and a $10-million alternative fuels voucher fund for New York City, which also includes compressed natural gas, hybrid-electric vehicles and retrofitting diesel engines with emission control devices.
KAIST rolling out dynamic wireless charging in buses in South Korea
August 08, 2013
|The OLEV bus in Gumi. Click to enlarge.|
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is trialing a bus application for its Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) technology, a dynamic wireless charging technology that recharges a vehicle’s battery while the vehicle is in motion. (Earlier post.) An OLEV bus thus requires no pantographs to feed power from electric wires strung above the tram route.
Following the development and operation of commercialized OLEV trams (at an amusement park in Seoul) and shuttle buses (at KAIST campus), respectively, the city of Gumi in South Korea, beginning on 6 August, is providing its citizens with OLEV public transportation services. After the successful operation of the two OLEV buses by the end of this year, Gumi City plans to provide ten more such buses by 2015.
Tesla sold 5,150 Model S units in North America in Q2; non-GAAP profit $26M, GAAP loss $31M
Tesla Motors reported strong sales results for the second quarter, posting 5,150 units of the battery-electric Model S in North America, along with a significant improvement in automotive non-GAAP gross margin. Tesla had projected deliveries of 4,500 units.
Q2 revenues were $551 million on a non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) basis and $405 million on a GAAP basis. While deliveries increased by 5% from Q1, overall revenues were flat due to an expected drop in ZEV credit revenue, falling to $51 million in the second quarter from $68 million in the first. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was 26 million or $0.20 per share, excluding one-time and non-cash items, and the effect of lease accounting. Including those, GAAP net loss for the quarter was $31 million or $(0.26) per share.
SoCal Edison white paper shares data about PEV usage and charging
August 06, 2013
|About 50% of the more than 12,000 PEV owners in SCE territory charge at Level 1. Click to enlarge.|
Southern California Edison (SCE) released a white paper summarizing learnings from its Electric Vehicle (EV) readiness program. The paper, “Charged Up: Southern California Edison’s Key Learnings about Electric Vehicles, Our Customers and Grid Reliability,” shares information based on customer data and utility operations gathered since SCE began to prepare the distribution system and its customers for widespread electric vehicle (EV) adoption in its service territory.
Currently, SCE customers lease or own more than 12,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), both battery electric (BEVs, for about 35%) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs, for about 65%)—about 10% of national EV sales. (SCE estimates that by 2020, there will be about 350,000 PEVs in its service territory.) Because California leads the nation in EV adoption, other utilities and stakeholders in the auto industry may find the information from the white paper useful, SCE suggested.
Exploring the adoption of EVs in the US, Europe and China; charging scenarios and infrastructure
|Aspirational targets among seven countries participating in the Electric Vehicle Initiative would see growth from just under 2 million EV and PHEVs to just under 20 million by 2020. Source: “Electric Vehicle Grid Integration”. Click to enlarge.|
A recently published paper by M.J. Bradley & Associates, commissioned by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), examines key drivers of EV adoption in the US, Europe and China, with an emphasis on vehicle charging scenarios and infrastructure.
This report examines hurdles to EV adoption in these regions, and identifies critical success factors that should guide policymakers in the transportation and electric sectors. Accelerating the pace of EV market growth requires a coordinated evolution in both sectors, the report argues, from the power plant to the charging station to the vehicle. Supportive policies should work to ensure that EV owners are able to capture the full economic value of their decision to fuel switch from electricity to gasoline, including any benefits to the grid operator, and any emission reduction benefits, in addition to realizing the savings from replacing gasoline or diesel fuel with electricity.
New high-temperature ceramic capacitor could reduce cooling needs in power electronics for hybrids and EVs
August 02, 2013
Scientists from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK have developed a new lead-free, high-temperature ceramic capacitor that could improve the efficiency and reliability of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Hybrid and electric vehicles rely on high efficiency power conversion and management, with automotive power electronics representing an emerging £40-billion (US$61-billion) global market, NPL noted. The power electronics found in vehicles today require cooling because of limitations in the temperature rating of components such as capacitors, which are used to store electrical energy. This is a disadvantage as the extra cooling systems add weight to the vehicles, reducing efficiency and reliability.
“Big data” analysis of Beijing taxi fleet suggests maximum electrification subsidy benefit from targeting medium-range plug-in hybrids
A pair of researchers at the University of Michigan have used “big data” mining techniques to evaluate the impact of adopting plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in the Beijing taxi fleet on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions based on the characterized individual travel patterns.
Although the results are based on a specific public fleet, the study demonstrates the benefit of using large-scale individual-based trajectory data (big data) to better understand environmental implications of fleet electrification and inform better decision making, Hua Cai and Ming Xu suggested in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. This research represents the first of a series of studies exploring the role of big data in environmental systems analysis for the emerging PHEV/BEV systems.
BMW unveils the production i3 in New York, London and Beijing; efficiency, dynamics and a supporting ecosystem of services
July 30, 2013
|The production version of the i3. Click to enlarge.|
In a simultaneous—and video linked—unveil in New York, London and Beijing, BMW introduced the production version of its i3 battery-electric vehicle on Monday. (Earlier post.) The i3 is the first series-production vehicle out of BMW’s i brand, and is purpose-built around an electric powertrain to serve needs of megacities customers, said Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, during his remarks in New York. With its new architecture, use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and premium mobility service offerings, the “i3 marks the beginning of a new mobility age,” said Dr. Reithofer.
On a full lifecycle basis, with an average European electricity mix, the i3 offers approximately a 30% lower carbon footprint over 150,000 km (93,200 miles) of use than the fuel-efficient diesel-powered BMW 118d, said Dr. Julian Weber, head of Innovation Projects e-Mobility at BMW. With a renewable electricity mix, that increases to about 50%. EVs in general currently have a larger carbon burden in the production phase than conventional vehicles (e.g., earlier post), but gain their advantage in the use phase. The crossover point for the i3 vs. the 118d is at about 50,000 km (31,000 miles), Dr. Weber said.
Lifecycle analysis of energy use and pollution from gasoline, CNG and electric vehicles in 6 southwestern states highlights variability of benefits
July 29, 2013
|Comparison of greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles in 2020, EVs by state power mix. Percentages are relative to gasoline baseline. Click to enlarge.|
A report for policymakers issued by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) has found that in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, electric vehicles offer the cleanest ride, while in New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming that’s not necessarily the case. SWEEP promotes greater energy efficiency in a six-state region that includes Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
The report, “Transportation Fuels for the Southwest”, compared the well-to-wheels energy use and air pollution emitted by vehicles fueled by gasoline, compressed natural gas and electricity in order to determine which fuel is cleanest in each of the six southwestern states.
Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi agree to joint development of charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicles in Japan
Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation jointly announced their agreement to work together to promote the installation of chargers for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)—(plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (EVs)—and to build a charging network service that offers more convenience to drivers in Japan. (Earlier post.)
The partners said the move is in recognition of the need for the swift development of a charging infrastructure facilities to promote the use of electric-powered vehicles. Assisted by subsidies provided by the Japanese government, the four automakers will bear part of the cost to install the charging facilities. They will also work together to build a convenient and accessible charging network in collaboration with companies that are already providing charging services in which each of the four automakers already have a financial stake.
Oerlikon Graziano launches 4-speed electric drive; up to 15% efficiency increase
July 25, 2013
Transmission specialist Oerlikon Graziano, part of Oerlikon’s Drive Systems Segment, is presenting its 4SED (4 Speed Electric Drive) (earlier post) to customers around Europe. This new compact, lightweight transmission offers increased efficiency, smooth shifting and a scalable design making it suitable for a wide range of vehicle types.
The 4SED, based on Graziano’s original eDCT (electric dual clutch transmission), uses two traction motors in a very compact package which provides four speeds to allow running closer to peak efficiency. The result is an overall efficiency improvement of up to 15%, which translates into increased range or improved performance for the vehicle. The mechanical design concept was developed by Oerlikon Graziano, while the shift control system was engineered by UK controls specialist Vocis Driveline.
Renault-Nissan sells its 100,000th electric car
July 23, 2013
The Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold its 100,000th electric car globally. Renault-Nissan has sold more zero-emission cars than all other major automakers combined, the automakers noted.
More than 71,000 people worldwide have bought Nissan LEAF, which made its debut in 2010; LEAF makes up more than half of all global sales of pure electric cars. More than 80% of LEAF buyers globally exchange cars from other automakers, making the LEAF one of the industry’s most innovative “conquest vehicles.” The majority of customers say the LEAF, which consumes no petroleum whatsoever, has replaced their conventional car for daily use.
Project developing lightweight motors and their production technologies for EVs; fiber-reinforced plastics
July 22, 2013
In cooperation with four other companies, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is developing flexible technologies for the series production of lightweight electric motors under the “ProLeMo” project (website scheduled to go live 15 August). ProLeMo is a 3-year, €3.3-million (US$4.4-million) project is managed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology(BMWi) is providing €1.7 million (US$2.2 million) of the funding.
ProLeMo is funded under the German government’s “e-mobility, positioning along the value chain - Electric Power” program, and will seek to replace metals in motors with fiber-reinforced composite materials and soft magnetic composites. At the end of the project, KIT will set up a complete demonstration manufacturing cell.
JRC assesses EU RD&D investments in electric-drive vehicles; controls and energy storage top the list
July 20, 2013
|Distribution of total investments and public co-funding in publicly co-funded R&D projects. Controls and energy storage top the list. Source: JRC. Click to enlarge.|
A report from the JRC on research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects on electric drive vehicles (not including fuel cell vehicles) in the EU finds that increased exchange of information and more coordination between projects would result in a better leverage of the investments—at this point, some €1.9 billion (US$2.5 billion), 65% from public funding. The JRC (Joint Research Centre) is the European Commission’s (EC’s) in-house science service.
The report is the third in a series that deals with aspects of electromobility in Europe. Its goal was to collect the information on all on-going or recently concluded RD&D projects on electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which received EU or national public funding with a budget of more than €1 million (US$1.3 million), in order to assess which of the electric drive vehicles (EDV) challenges are addressed by these projects and to identify potential gaps in the RD&D landscape in Europe.
Chevrolet Spark EV: speedy, smooth and quiet; the importance of motor control
July 19, 2013
|The Spark EV. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet is hosting a series of media drives this week for the production version of its new Spark EV (earlier post). Featuring a GM-developed 105 kW electric motor that pushes out 400 lb-ft (542 N·m) of torque and a 21 kWh pack that supports an estimated 82-mile (132 km) range, the Spark EV is a speedy (0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds); efficient (combined city/highway 119 MPGe); affordable (as low as $17,495 in California net after Federal and state rebates); fun-to-drive electric vehicle targeted for the urban environment.
There are multiple interesting aspects to the vehicle, including GM’s rationale for offering fast charging as an option (it’s not to go across country), but one of the most manifest when driving the car (aside from the “Wheee!” of those 400 lb-ft in action) is how smooth and quiet the drive is. Much of this derives from the efforts GM has put over the years into motor control and active damping for hybrids and EVs.
BRUSA supplies complete drivetrain for E-FORCE 18-t electric truck
July 18, 2013
|The E-Force truck for Feldschlösschen. Click to enlarge.|
BRUSA Elektronik AG is to supply the main drivetrain components such as motors, inverters and chargers for the E-FORCE, Switzerland’s first all-electric 18-tonne truck.
The E-FORCE truck was jointly developed by EFORCE ONE AG and Designwerk GmbH for use in short-haul services and the national distribution of goods. The lead customers will each put one truck into their fleets for evaluation from August 2013. Both COOP—the second largest retailer in Switzerland—and Feldschlösschen—the biggest brewery in Switzerland—are considering adding more electric trucks in the near future.
Chrysler Group partnering with NextEnergy to evaluate vehicle-to-grid technology
Chrysler Group is working with NextEnergy to evaluate vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology using four all-electric minivans. Detroit-based NextEnergy is a non-profit energy-technology and business accelerator.
The battery-powered minivans are connected to a charging module that, using NextEnergy technology, can simulate any electrical grid in the world. Among the scenarios under study is reduced reliance on “spinning reserves”—the expensive practice of having huge generators at the ready to balance spikes in energy demand.
Plug In America study projects Tesla Roadster packs will retain 80-85% capacity after 100K miles
July 14, 2013
|Capacity of Tesla Roadster batteries versus miles driven using the three types of capacity measurement: range mode (blue diamonds), standard mode (red squares), and calculated Ah capacity (green triangles). n=122. Source: PIA. Click to enlarge.|
A study of Tesla Roadster user data published by plug-in vehicle advocacy organization Plug In America (PIA) projects that the battery packs in the Roadsters will retain 80-85% of capacity after 100,000 miles (160,934 km) driven.
The finding, released at the Teslive Tesla users conference (a partnership between Tesla Motors Club (TMC) and Tesla Motors), bests initial projections set by Tesla Motors in 2006 which suggested a 70% capacity retention after five years and 50,000 miles driven, said Tom Saxton, Plug In America’s chief science officer, who wrote the study.
Bosch and PSA present first two OpEneR prototypes for increased range of electric drive vehicles
July 13, 2013
|OpEneR prototype at RIVE2013 in Alès. Click to enlarge.|
Bosch, PSA Peugeot Citroën and partners recently presented the first two Optimal Energy Consumption and Recovery solution (OpEneR) prototypes. OpEneR is a European research project under the Seventh Framework Programme designed to increase the range of future hybrid and electric vehicles by optimizing energy management.
Launched in 2011, OpEneR is developing new driving strategies and driver assistance systems that significantly increase the efficiency, driving range, and safety of electric vehicles without increasing battery size—and thus also by limiting battery price and charging time. This is achieved by merging data from on-board and off-board sources. A particular focus lies on an optimal cooperation between the electric drivetrain and the regenerative braking system, supported by data from radar, video, satellite navigation, car-to-infrastructure and car-to-car systems.
BRUSA electric drive components now available in 750-volt versions; targeted for commercial and very high performance
|BRUSA 750V electric drive components. Click to enlarge.|
BRUSA Elektronik AG is now offering its proven electric-drive components—including motor, controller, power electronics, battery pack and chargers—in 750-volt versions. The new 750-volt products are suited for use in commercial vehicles and applications demanding very high output performance.
Increasing the voltage reduces the current with the performance remaining the same. Lower current leads to a reduction of cable thicknesses and bending radii. This will directly result in weight and material savings—especially with commercial vehicles of a certain length such as trucks or buses, BRUSA says.
New LowCVP report highlights need to go “beyond the tailpipe” for CO2 metrics for vehicles
July 11, 2013
|Proportion of lifecycle CO2e emissions for future cars 2020-2030. The new study projects the increasing dominance of the production phase in terms of lifecycle CO2 impacts. Click to enlarge.|
The introduction of new energy technologies in road transport will mean that the current tailpipe measures of the climate impact of vehicles will become increasingly inadequate in future.
A new report—“Life Cycle CO2e Assessment of Low Carbon Cars 2020-2030”—prepared for the UK’s LowCVP Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership by PE International and validated by Partnership stakeholders—shows how total life cycle CO2e emissions will change for different vehicle technologies in the future and estimates how the balance of emissions will alter for different stages in the life cycle for the varying technologies.
Renault makes public its lifecycle study of Fluence ICE vs Fluence EV
|Renault’s comparison of the carbon footprint of EV and ICE vehicles over production, operation and end of life. The EV footprint (Fluence Z.E.) is shown with both UK and French grid mixes. Click to enlarge.|
Renault recently made public the findings of an internal study, published first in October 2011, detailing and comparing the lifecycle assessments (LCAs) of the battery-electric and two internal combustion engined versions (gasoline and diesel) of the Renault Fluence. The study used the series production versions launched in 2011, with the assumption of operation for 150,000 km (93,205 miles). (Since the BEV version has a shorter range, Renault noted, the way in which the miles are accumulated could differ from that of the ICE vehicles.)
The publication gives the opportunity for an “apples-to-apples” comparison between the environmental impacts of the two types of powertrains: same manufacturer, same model, same boundary conditions. Nevertheless, Renault noted, the study is contrasting a new technology (EVs) with a well-developed one; “environmental progresses are expected in a short term thank to key process improvement and massification of the production.”
More details on BMW’s i3; electric and connected
July 10, 2013
|Cutaway of the BMW i3. Click to enlarge.|
With the launch of the production BMW i3 battery-electric vehicle (also available with a range extender) looming, the BMW Group provided more details about the first series-produced model from its new i brand, offering customers electric mobility in a premium small car package. (Earlier post.)
Like the car’s novel architecture—based around the LifeDrive structure and its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell (earlier post)—the electric motor, power electronics and high-voltage lithium-ion battery were developed and manufactured independently by the BMW Group under its BMW eDrive program. Also playing their part are the driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive and 360° ELECTRIC designed specifically for the BMW i3.
Georgia Tech life-cycle study finds TCO of medium-duty electric and diesel delivery trucks similar; electric life-cycle energy use and GHG lower than diesel
July 06, 2013
|Life-cycle energy use and GHG emissions normalized with NYCC diesel case (8.06 MJ/t·km and 0.63 kgCO2e/t·km) at 100%. Numbers in red are net total including recycling effect. Credit: ACS, Lee et al. Click to enlarge.|
Comparing life-cycle energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and total cost of ownership (TCO) of medium-duty electric and diesel urban delivery trucks for a range of drive cycles and electricity generation scenarios, a team from Georgia Tech found that all in all, the life-cycle energy use and GHG emissions of the electric truck are lower than that of the diesel truck, particularly for the frequent stop and low average speed (NYCC- and OCTA-type) drive cycles.
They also found that the total costs of ownership (TCO) of the electric and diesel trucks are similar. Over an array of possible conditions, the median TCO of electric trucks is 22% less than that of diesel trucks on the NYCC. However, the cost-competitiveness of the electric truck diminishes in drive cycles with higher average speed. Battery replacement along with EVSE will also greatly affect the relative TCO of the electric truck. The study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
LA Metro to purchase up to 25 new BYD electric buses as part of $30M pilot project
June 27, 2013
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors approved a contract with BYD Motors for the manufacture and delivery of up to 25 new all-electric buses as part of a $30-million clean air bus technology pilot project. This marks the first time that all-electric transit buses will be purchased and placed into Metro revenue service.
Metro’s Advanced Transit Vehicle Consortium (ATVC), a partnership with LA City, LA County and South Coast Air Quality Management District, will initially purchase five low-floor, 40-foot all-electric buses. After an initial period of testing and evaluation, Metro may then choose to purchase up to 20 additional buses. Metro will also initiate a new solicitation to convert six existing Metro gasoline electric hybrid buses to Super Low Emission Bus standards.
Nissan unveils ZEOD RC electric Le Mans Prototype; targeting 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours
June 21, 2013
|Nissan ZEOD RC. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan unveiled the ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car)—an electric Le Mans prototype racing car intended to reach speeds of more than 300 km/h (186 mph) at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 2014, where it will makes its debut.
Nissan will use the same core lithium-ion battery technology as in the LEAF and will test out variants of new electric drive train technologies as part of its intended future return to LM P1 competition.
Honda introduces Accord hybrid and plug-in in Japan; hybrid in US in October
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has introduced the new Accord Hybrid in Japan. Featuring the new Sport Hybrid i-MMD (intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) powertrain, the Accord Hybrid offers fuel economy of 30.0 km/L (70.6 mpg US, 3.33 L/100 km) on the JC08 cycle. The company also introduced the Accord Plug-in Hybrid, with fuel economy (gasoline plus electricity) of 70.4 km/L equivalent (165.6 mpg US, 1.42 L/100 km) on the JC08. The plug-in will be available for lease, primarily to corporations and government agencies. (Earlier post.)
The Accord plug-in came in limited availability to the US earlier this year. Honda will introduce the conventional hybrid version of the Accord in the US nationwide in October. Honda estimates that the Accord Hybrid will earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 47 mpg US (20 km/L, 5.0 L/100 km) on the combined cycle. The plug-in hybrid in the US has a fuel economy rating of 115 mpg US (48.9 km/L, 2.05 L/100 km) equivalent.
Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupé plug-in makes its European debut; showcasing the MQB
June 20, 2013
|Engine compartment of the CrossBlue Coupé plug-in hybrid shows the transverse-mounted 3.0L V6; DSG is to the right, with the power electronics unit mounted above it. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen brought the new CrossBlue Coupé plug-in hybrid sporty mid-size SUV show car, introduced in April at Auto Shanghai 2013 (earlier post), to a media event in Berlin for its European premiere.
The CrossBlue Coupé—based off the Volkswagen Group’s MQB architecture (the Group’s modular assembly kit for vehicles with transverse-mounted engines)—features a transverse-mounted turbocharged direct-injection (TSI) 220 kW (295 hp) 3.0L V6 gasoline engine (EA 390) and six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission with 40 kW electric motor (DQ 400 E) in the engine compartment. The DQ 400 E hybrid transmission is also being applied in the upcoming Audi A3 plug-in hybrid. (Earlier post.)
New Bosch iBooster for improved braking control, more complete capture of braking energy in hybrids and EVs
June 18, 2013
|The iBooster. Click to enlarge.|
Bosch has developed the iBooster, an electromechanical brake booster that provides situation-dependent support when the driver initiates braking. The iBooster makes hybrid and electric vehicles even more efficient, while enhancing safety through shorter braking distances, says Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division.
For hybrid and electric vehicles to achieve their intended range and fuel efficiency, they must recover as much electrical drive energy as possible when braking. Ideally, cars would be slowed down purely as a result of their electric motor converting their kinetic energy into electricity, avoiding the loss of valuable energy through braking. The Bosch iBooster recovers almost all the energy lost in typical braking operations by ensuring deceleration rates of up to 0.3 g are achieved using the electric motor alone. It thus covers all common braking maneuvers in everyday traffic.
EADS demonstrating electric and hybrid aviation propulsion; innovative distributed propulsion series hybrid
June 17, 2013
|E-Thrust is a “series hybrid” electrical distributed propulsion system concept using one gas power unit providing the electrical power for six fans for lower fuel consumption, fewer emissions and less noise. Click to enlarge.|
The EADS Group—comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter—is demonstrating at the Paris Air Show 2013 a number of initiatives in the field of electric and hybrid propulsion, which it calls its “E-aircraft projects”.
The Group has developed and built a battery-electric general aviation training aircraft in cooperation with Aero Composites Saintonge (ACS), called E-Fan. EADS has also engineered together with Diamond Aircraft and Siemens an updated series hybrid electric motor glider, the Diamond Aircraft DA36 E-Star 2. EADS is also cooperating with Rolls-Royce on a future distributed propulsion system concept (DEAP) for full-size passenger aircraft.
EPRI: lifetime cost of ownership of plug-ins is roughly comparable with conventional vehicles
June 11, 2013
Consumers who purchase an electric vehicle will find that lifetime costs to own the vehicle are competitive with conventional and hybrid vehicles, according to an analysis conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The study is based on pricing for the automotive products for the 2013 model year.
The baseline analysis relies on a cost-of-ownership model that examines only current vehicles; current fuel prices; and a relatively conservative set of customer values. In particular, the report analyzes the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF in comparison with a limited set of current conventional and hybrid vehicles. The EPRI analysis focused on the LEAF and Volt because the plug-in vehicles have been on the market the longest, have generated the greatest sales volume and provide data on real-world performance.
Navigant forecasts hybrids to account for almost 4% of global LDV sales by 2020, plug-ins 3%
|Annual light duty electric vehicle sales by drivetrain, world markets: 2013-2020. Source: Navigant Research. Click to enlarge.|
In its latest forecast for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicle sales, Navigant Research expects that hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which today account for about 2% of global light duty vehicle sales, will grow to almost 4% of global LDV sales by 2020.
The company also expects, despite the challenges of new technology, that plug-in electric vehicles will grow rapidly in many regions as a result of rising fuel prices, falling PEV prices, and increasing availability of PEV models. The result is a PEV market that will reach 3 million vehicles sold in 2020, representing 3% of the global light-duty vehicle market.
CMU study finds driving conditions have “substantial” impact on benefits of electrified vehicles; policy implications
June 10, 2013
|NHTS-Averaged Annual GHG Emissions per vehicle type by drive cycle. (Base Case). Source: Karabasoglu and Michalek. Click to enlarge.|
A new analysis by Orkun Karabasoglu and Jeremy Michalek of the Carnegie Mellon Vehicle Electrification Group at Carnegie Mellon University found that driving conditions affect the economic and environmental benefits of electrified vehicles “substantially”.
As a result, they suggested, vehicle window stickers, fuel economy standards, and life cycle studies using average lab-test vehicle efficiency estimates are incomplete. Driver heterogeneity matters, they found, and efforts to encourage adoption of hybrid and plug-in vehicles will have greater impact if targeted to urban drivers vs. highway drivers. Further, electrified vehicles perform better on some drive cycles than others, so non-representative tests can bias consumer perception and regulation of alternative technologies. Their study is published in the journal Energy Policy.
ABB develops and demonstrates “flash charging” system for electric buses
May 31, 2013
|Close-up of the charging mechanism on the demo TOSA bus. Source: ABB. Click to enlarge.|
ABB has developed and is demonstrating a high-capacity “flash charging” system for electric buses. The system enables onboard batteries to be charged in 15 seconds with a 400 kW boost at selected stops using a roof-mounted system (“Flash station”). The flash stations are connected to the 50kVA electricity network and also have a 3kWh storage unit (supercap) for smoothing peaks in consumption.
At the end of the bus line (“Terminus station”) a 3 to 4 minute boost at 200 kW tops up the batteries. At the depot station, the bus plugs into a multi-bus supply station connected to the 50 kVA network.
Tesla expanding Supercharger network; boosting charging to 120 kW
May 30, 2013
|Tesla’s vision of the Supercharger network in 2015. Click to enlarge.|
Tesla Motors announced an accelerated rollout of its Tesla Supercharger network, which delivers quick charging for Tesla Model S drivers over long distances (i.e., city-to-city travel), for free.
The company also said that it is currently in beta test with new technology for the Supercharger that will allow Model S to be charged at 120 kW, replenishing enough energy for three hours of driving in just over 20 minutes. This essentially cuts the current charging time in half relative to early trials of the system. The new technology will be fully rolled out to customers this summer.
Drayson Racing to make attempt for FIA World Electric Land Speed record with modified Lola-Drayson LMP EV
|Lola-Drayson B12/69EV at Rockingham in January. Photo: Drayson Racing Technologies. Click to enlarge.|
Drayson Racing Technologies will make an attempt for the FIA World Electric Land Speed Record in the sub-1000kg class on 25 June at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire using a modified version of the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV electric Le Mans Prototype (earlier post). Lord Drayson, CEO and co-founder of Drayson Racing Technologies (as well as former UK science minister) will drive the EV flat-out along Elvington’s 1.86-mile runway.
Lord Drayson will aim to better the current record of 175 mph (282 km/h) set by Battery Box General Electric in the United States and which has stood since 1974. This record has held firm for nearly 40 years due to the technical challenge of running an electric vehicle consistently and reliably at such speeds when weighing less than 1000 kg, Drayson said.
Oerlikon and Continental to cooperate on motor and transmission systems for hybrid & electric vehicles
May 28, 2013
Swiss high-tech industrial Group Oerlikon and international automotive supplier Continental have entered into an agreement to cooperate on the development and marketing of integrated axle drive motor and transmission systems for hybrid and electric vehicles featuring optimized overall powertrain efficiency.
Oerlikon Graziano SpA will contribute its know-how in the development, production and design of high-performance transmissions, while Continental’s Powertrain Division will bring to the table its expertise in the development of conventional, hybrid and all-electric passenger car powertrains.