[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.]
California ARB 2013 research project to characterize ZEV market; assessing future market potential
May 18, 2013
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) 2013 research plan includes a project that will comprehensively characterize the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) market, with the ultimate goal of increasing consumer purchases of ZEVs.
The proposed project will investigate the factors that influence sales of ZEVs in California (e.g., price, vehicle range, infrastructure). The project is intended to support the planned upcoming mid-term review of California’s Advanced Clean Cars program (earlier post), coordinated with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
DOE to award $62.5M over 5 years to USABC to accelerate development of next-gen EV batteries
May 15, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) to lead an industry-wide effort to accelerate development of high-efficiency, cost-effective battery technologies for electric vehicles.
USABC, managed by Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors, will solicit, fund, and manage cooperative research and development projects to improve next-generation advanced energy storage technologies for vehicles. Selected through a competitive solicitation, USABC will receive $12.5 million annually over five years, subject to congressional appropriations. The DOE investment will be matched with cost-share funding from the private sector.
DSM’s Stanyl and EcoPaXX polyamides used in SIM-CEL electric concept car to reduce weight
|DSM’s Stanyl and EcoPaXX are used in the new SIM-CEL EV prototype. Click to enlarge.|
SIM-Drive Corporation, founded by Hiroshi Shimizu and based in Kawasaki City, Japan, unveiled the SIM-CEL on 27 March—the third prototype of an advanced all-electric car incorporating in-wheel motors that the company has developed since it was founded in 2009. SIM stands for Shimizu In-wheel Motor, and CEL stands for Cool Energy Link.
ANSI releases version 2 of EV Standardization Roadmap
May 14, 2013
The document tracks progress to implement recommendations made in the roadmap version 1.0, released in April 2012 (earlier post), and identifies additional areas where there is a perceived need for standardization work to help facilitate the safe, mass deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the United States.
California Energy Commission adopts $100M investment plan for 2013-2014 for green vehicles and fuels
May 09, 2013
The California Energy Commission unanimously adopted the 2013-2014 Investment Plan Update to support the development and use of green vehicles and alternative fuels. The update sets funding priorities for the approximately $100 million in annual state funds under the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology (ARFVT) Program, created by Assembly Bill 118.
Funding priorities through the ARFVT Program support fuel and vehicle development to help attain the state’s climate change policies. In addition, the program funds projects that assist in fulfilling Governor Brown’s Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) Action Plan, with a target of installing enough infrastructure to support 1 million ZEVs by 2020, and a 2025 target of having 1.5 million ZEVs on the state’s roads.
Tesla Motors posts first quarterly profit
Tesla reached profitability in the first quarter of 2013 for the first time in its ten year history. According to the shareholder letter, the company exceeded its targets for deliveries; significantly expanded gross margin; and improved execution throughout the company.
Excluding non-cash warrant and stock option items, the company generated a profit of $15 million. Including those factors, its GAAP profit was $11 million. The company said it achieved profitability despite the benefit of a one-time accounting gain related to the US Department of Energy (DOE) warrant.
EV maker CODA files for Chap. 11 bankruptcy; restructuring business around energy storage
May 01, 2013
Struggling electric vehicle manufacturer CODA Holdings, Inc. has filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Petition Nº 13-11153) to enable the reorganization of its business solely around energy storage based on its Li-ion battery systems. This process is intended to enable CODA to complete a sale, to confirm a plan and to emerge from bankruptcy. CODA expects the sale process to take 45 days to complete.
FCO MA CODA Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, is leading a consortium of lenders intending to provide debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to enable CODA’s extant energy storage business (CODA Energy) to remain fully operational during the restructuring process.
Vocis launching demo EV with 2nd generation multi-speed transmission; projected 15% improvement in vehicle efficiency
April 30, 2013
|2nd generation eDCT prototype unit, with both motors mounted at the same end of the transmission. Source: Vocis. Click to enlarge.|
During the coming month, UK-based transmission engineering and control specialist Vocis will launch an electric demonstrator vehicle fitted with the second generation of its multi-speed eDCT transmission for electric vehicles. The demonstration vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz Vito minibus, will be made available for evaluation by interested parties from industry and the press.
The 4-speed dual-motor Vocis eDCT concept (earlier post) uses the principles of dual clutch transmissions (DCTs) to provide seamless shifting and up to 15% improvement in electric vehicle efficiency over the combined European cycle compared to a single speed gearbox Vocis transmission. The second-generation unit has been developed with partial funding from the Niche Vehicle Network and was shortlisted for an SMMT Automotive Innovation award in 2012.
Chalmers team developing new high-power integrated motor and battery charger; “rotating transformer”
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have developed a new type of high-power integrated motor drive and battery charger for electric vehicles. Compared to today’s electric vehicle chargers, the new system could shorten the charging time from eight to two hours, and to reduce the cost by around $2,000, according to the developers.
Dr. Saeid Haghbin at Chalmers proposed the system which uses the components in the traction circuit—such as the electric motor and the inverter—in the charger circuit to reduce the size, weight and price of the on-board charger. In essence, the proposed system uses the motor as a grid-connected generator with extra terminals.
Former president of Shell Oil calls for aggressive action on alternative fuels to break oil monopoly on transportation
John Hofmeister, former President of Shell Oil Company and founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy (CFAE), is joining the Fuel Freedom Foundation (FFF) Advisory Board. Fuel Freedom is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to opening the fuel market to allow alternative fuels such as ethanol, methanol, natural gas and electricity fairly to compete with gasoline at the pump. CFAE’s mission is to educate citizens and government officials about pragmatic, non-partisan affordable energy solutions.
“The purpose and the focus [of FFF] is exactly in line with what I promoted as president of Shell and subsequently as the founder of CFAE,” Hofmeister said to Green Car Congress. “From [these organizations’ standpoints], the reason we have to get away from doing nothing is that the public doesn’t fully appreciate or understand the situation it faces with respect to fuels’ futures.”
Fraunhofer researchers using student e-racer to demonstrate novel sensor and battery management systems
April 28, 2013
|The e-racer from the team at Hochschule Esslingen University of Applied Sciences Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS are using an electric race car designed by electrical engineering students from the e-racing team at the Hochschule Esslingen University of Applied Sciences (E.Stall) as a platform to showcase novel solutions for electronic sensor and battery management systems.
The Fraunhofer team developed the entire electronic sensor system in close collaboration with Seuffer GmbH & Co.KG, an industry partner with whom the institute has been working for over 11 years. Seuffer GmbH & Co.KG is based in Calw-Hirsau in Baden-Württemberg, southern Germany, and sponsors the students of the E.Stall racing team.
Renault adapts F1 KERS system for electric Twizy F1 Sport Concept
April 26, 2013
|The Twizy Renault Sport F1 concept. Click to enlarge.|
Renault engineers have built an “F1” concept version of the Twizy EV featuring a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) based on the solution used by Renault-powered Formula 1 race cars.
Twizy Renault Sport F1 is consequently equipped with two electric motors—i.e. the original motor (17 hp/13 kW) onto which the F1-style KERS with its own motor has been grafted. When the KERS is activated, Twizy Renault Sport F1’s power output climbs instantly by a factor of six, from 17 to 97 horsepower (72 kW). This boost is available for approximately 14 seconds, just as it is in the case of a Formula 1 car. Thanks to this additional power, the concept car is capable of accelerating from standstill to 100 km/h in the same time as Mégane R.S.
Ford and Schaeffler demonstrate Fiesta-based e-WheelDrive car; follow-up research project in the works
|Fiesta eWheelDrive. Click to enlarge.|
At Ford’s Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium, Ford Motor Company and Schaeffler demonstrated the Fiesta-based eWheelDrive car. (Earlier post.) Powered by independent electric motors in each of the rear wheels, eWheelDrive technology could lead to improvements in urban mobility and parking by enabling smaller, more agile cars, Ford said.
This technology could in the future support the development of a four-person car that only occupies the space of a two-person car today. At the same time, eWheelDrive steering system designs could enable vehicles to move sideways into parking spaces—a boon as cities become more populated and congested. Ford said it will work with Schaeffler and other partners on a follow-up research project, including producing two more drivable vehicles by 2015.
Geely and Detroit Electric enter strategic partnership to co-develop EVs for China
April 25, 2013
|The Emgrand EC7-EV at Auto Shanghai. Click to enlarge.|
Geely Automobile Group and Detroit Electric Inc. have entered into a strategic partnership to co-develop battery-electric vehicles and related electric drive systems for the China market. Under the terms of the partnership, the first EV model—the Emgrand EC7-EV, based on Geely’s Emgrand EC7—will go on sale in 2014.
The EC7-EV will be co-branded with a “Detroit Electric – Technology” badge. The vehicle will initially be sold primarily to business users and public-sector organisations, and the two companies are forecasting sales of around 3,000 units in the first 12 months, growing to 30,000 in three years’ time.
Volvo upgrades C30 Electric with more powerful motor and 22 kW fast charger
April 23, 2013
|The new 22 kW fast charger supports a full pack charge in 1.5 hours. Click to enlarge.|
Beginning this summer, European leasing customers will drive and evaluate an upgraded demo fleet of 100 Volvo C30 battery electric cars that feature a new, more powerful motor from Siemens and a new 22 kW on-board flexible fast-charger from BRUSA.
The new Siemens motor for the generation II C30 has a peak power output of 89 kW (120 hp) and a torque of 250 N·m (184 N·m), enabling acceleration from 0-70 km/h (0-43 mph) in 5.9 seconds and 0-100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 10.7 seconds. The motor in the first generation C30 EV delivered 83 kW (111 hp) and 220 N·m (162 lb-ft).
IEE forecasts electric-drive LDVs could constitute between 2 to 12% of US vehicle stock by 2035
April 22, 2013
|Forecast by LDV scenario (millions). Source: IEE. Click to enlarge.|
Under its most conservative of scenarios, more than 5 million light-duty electric-drive vehicles will be on the road in the US by 2035, according to a new forecast by IEE, an institue of the Edison Foundation. According to the report, “Forecast of On-Road Electric Transportation in the US (2010-2035)”, this figure could increase to as high as 30 million EVs depending on advances in battery technology.
IEE developed three general scenarios for electric transportation: low, medium, and high. These scenarios provide projections based on EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2012 Reference Case, advances in battery technology (e.g., improved battery chemistry that allows for faster and deeper charging and reductions in battery cell and other component costs), and oil prices increasing to $200 per barrel:
IEA: carbon intensity of global energy supply has barely changed in last 20 years; “window of opportunity in transport”
April 18, 2013
|The ESCII, along with projections for three scenarios. To meet 2DS targets, the index needs to decline by 5.7% by 2020, and 64% by 2050. Source: IEA. Click to enlarge.|
In a fairly bleak assessment of global progress towards low-carbon energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that, despite a few bright spots such as the rapid expansion of renewable technologies and the growth of hybrid and EV sales, the progress is far below that required to achieve a 2 °C pathway—i.e., to hold warming to 2 °C as outlined in the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP) 2 °C Scenario (2DS). The assessment came in an annual report to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
To illustrate this inertia, the report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, introduced the Energy Sector Carbon Intensity Index (ESCII), which shows how much carbon dioxide is emitted, on average, to provide a given unit of energy. The global energy supply became 6% cleaner from 1971 to 1990,in response to the oil shocks of the 1970s. Since 1990, however, the ESCII (2010 = 100) has remained essentially static, changing by less than 1%. In 1990 the underlying carbon intensity of supply was 57.1 tCO2/TJ (2.39 tCO2/toe); in 2010 it was 56.7 tCO2/TJ (2.37 tCO2/toe).
Navigant Research forecasts EV charger global market to grow to $3.8B by 2020; 27.1% CAGR from 2013
April 11, 2013
|Total installed public EVSE stations by technology and region, world markets: 2012. Source: Navigant Research. Click to enlarge.|
Navigant Research forecasts that the global EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment, i.e., charger) market will grow from $713 million in 2013 to $3.8 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.1%.
In a new report, “Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Tracker 1Q13”, Navigant notes that definitions concerning technologies, industry standards, and market segments vary from region to region making tracking this market difficult. A typical charging station in China is more akin to a “center” in which hundreds of charging points can be accessed for both commercial and passenger vehicles; in almost all other regions, a charging location is one to two pieces of equipment than can service two to four vehicles.
President’s FY2014 Budget boosts DOE vehicle technology spending 75% to $575M; $282M for advanced biofuels
April 10, 2013
President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposal submitted to Congress provides $28.4 billion in discretionary funds for the Department of Energy, an 8% increase above the 2012 enacted level. Among the direct transportation-related highlights of the department’s budget proposal are $575 million for advanced vehicle technologies research, an increase of 75% over the enacted 2012 level; $282 million for the next-generation of advanced biofuels research; and the $2 billion Energy Security Trust to transition cars and trucks off of oil. (Earlier post.)
Other highlights include more than $5 billion (+5.7% over the 2012 enacted level) for the Office of Science for basic research and research infrastructure; $615 million to increase the use and decrease the costs of clean power from solar, wind, geothermal, and water energy; $365 million in advanced manufacturing research and development; and $147 million in research and development of smart grid investments, cybersecurity for energy control systems, and permitting, sitting, and analysis activities.
Navigant forecasts modest growth in global e-bike market through 2020; China slowing
April 05, 2013
In a new report, Navigant Research forecasts that the global market for e-bicycles will grow at a modest rate of 3.1% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from 31 million in 2013 to nearly 38 million in 2020. North America, Western Europe, and Latin America will show signs of faster growth (9.7%, 9.1%, and 14.4% CAGR, respectively), the market research firm anticipates. Western Europe is currently the second largest market (behind China) with an expected 1.0 million sales in 2013 and growth to 1.9 million by 2020.
Navigant expects the China market will reach 28.0 million e-bicycles in 2013: 92% of the total world market. The e-bicycle market in China is slowing, however, due to a weakened economy, increased consolidation of manufacturers, and supply chain issues in the lead-acid battery market, Navigant says.
Detroit Electric unveils SP:01 two-seat electric sports car; 190-mile range on NEDC; V2H feature
April 04, 2013
|Detroit Electric SP:01. Click to enlarge.|
Detroit Electric unveiled the SP:01, a limited-edition, two-seat battery-electric sports car. With a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) and a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 3.7 seconds (the same acceleration time as the Tesla Roadster), the SP:01 claims the mantle of the fastest pure-electric production car.
The new SP:01 was launched under the brand’s mantra of ‘Pure Electric Excitement’ and was revealed at Detroit Electric’s new headquarters in the Fisher Building in downtown Detroit. Only 999 examples will be built at Detroit Electric’s new production facility in Wayne County, Michigan, with cars sold worldwide through a network of specialist retail partners.
Tesla likely Q1 US PEV leader with 4,750+ sales in North America; Nissan surges with LEAF in March in US
With the US sales numbers for the first quarter of 2013 in, Tesla appears to be the leading seller of plug-in vehicles for that period, with more than 4,750 units of the model S sold in North America. (Earlier post.) (Tesla doesn’t break out sales by country at this time, so there are no US-specific figures from the company.)
GM posted sales of 4,244 Volt extended range electric vehicles in the US in the second quarter, representing an 8.4% increase year-on-year. March sales of the Volt in the US were weaker in March, with 1,478 units, compared to 2,289 units in March 2012, a decrease of 35.4%. (In Canada, GM sold 177 Volts in Q1, and 82 in March.)
Tesla reports Model S sales exceed Q1 target; Q1 profitability; 40 kWh pack cancelled
April 01, 2013
Tesla Motors reported Q1 vehicle deliveries of more than 4,750 Model S units—exceeding the 4,500-unit Q1 target provided in the mid-February shareholder letter. (Earlier post.) As a result, Tesla is amending its Q1 guidance to full profitability, both GAAP and non-GAAP.
Tesla also announced that the small battery option for the Model S (earlier post) will not enter production, due to lack of demand. Only 4% of customers chose the 40 kWh battery pack, which is not enough to justify production of that version, the company said. The Model S originally offered three pack sizes: 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh.
Navigant forecasts global sales of LDV electric drive motors to hit 3.7M by 2020
March 27, 2013
|Electric vehicle drive motor revenue by region, world markets: 2013-2020. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge.|
Unit sales of electric drive motors for light-duty vehicles (LDVs) will reach 3.7 million by 2020, growing from 1.5 million in 2013, according to a new report from Navigant Research (formerly Pike Research). Total global market revenue will grow from just less than $1 billion in 2013 to more than $2.8 billion in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6%.
The market for electric traction motors is determined by the demand for electric and electrically assisted vehicles, which varies across the three major automotive market regions in the world (North America, Western Europe, and Asia Pacific), Navigant notes. While sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are increasing, the growth is slow and steady rather than exponential. Cost remains the main barrier in the short term, with the battery pack being by far the most expensive component.
Mercedes-Benz introduces 2014 B-Class Electric Drive; on sale first in US in 2014
|Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz staged the world premiere of the production battery-electric 2014 B-Class Electric Drive at the New York International Auto Show; a concept version had appeared last year at the Paris Motor Show. (Earlier post.)
The B-Class Electric Drive is equipped with a 100 kW electric motor with 310 N·m (221 lb-ft) of torque, with a range of 115 miles (185 km). Acceleration from 0-60 mph is under 10 s, and the top speed is 100 mph (160 km/h). The powertrain was developed in collaboration with Tesla Motors, said Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars, during the launch presentation.
PHEV powertrain company ALTe in new commercial vehicle JV in China with Henan Benma; target 10K units/year
March 21, 2013
ALTe Powertrain Technologies (ALTe), developer of a range-extended plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) powertrain for light commercial fleet vehicle applications (earlier post), will establish a new commercial vehicle manufacturing Joint Venture with the Henan Benma Company (Benma) in the Henan province of China.
Henan Benma was originally part of a $200-million “mega JV”—MESA Industrial Technology Corporation—announced in August 2012, which would have seen the opening of four factories in 4 provinces in China. (Earlier post.) However, that structure with became unwieldy, explained John Thomas, ALTe Chairman, President and CEO. Two investors split off from the original 4 entity investor group. MESA is still moving forward as a powertrain entity with just one lead investor based in Beijing, Thomas said, while Henan Benma, which was part of the original MESA deal, moved out to do a specific and higher level vehicle OEM deal with ALTe in their province.
NRC report concludes US LDVs could cut oil consumption and GHGs by 80% by 2050; reliance on plug-ins, biofuels and hydrogen; strong policies mandatory
March 18, 2013
|Projected rates of fuel consumption improvement under different scenarios relative to past experience and the 2016 and 2025 CAFE standards. Source: NRC. Click to enlarge.|
Light-duty vehicles (LDVs) in the US may be able to reduce petroleum use by 50% by 2030, and by 80% by 2050; and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050, according to the newly published results of a two-year study by a committee convened by the National Research Council.
Achieving those goals will will be difficult—but not impossible to meet—and will necessitate a combination of more efficient vehicles; the use of alternative fuels such as biofuels, electricity, and hydrogen; and strong government policies to overcome high costs and influence consumer choices. Given the importance of policy as a driver, the committee was also asked—somewhat unusually for a study of this kind—to explore policies, noted Douglas M. Chapin, principal of MPR Associates, and chair of the committee that wrote the report.
DOE TEF project finds US can eliminate petroleum and reduce GHG by more than 80% in transportation by 2050; less use, more biofuels, expansion of electricity and hydrogen
March 15, 2013
|TEF project points to deep cuts in petroleum and emissions in the transportation sector by focusing on modes, fuels, and demand. Source: DOE. Click to enlarge.|
The US Department of Energy (DOE) released findings from a new project—Transportation Energy Futures (TEF)—that concludes the United States has the potential to eliminate petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 80% in the transportation sector by 2050. The project identifies possible paths to a low-carbon, low-petroleum future in the US transportation sector, and also looks beyond technology to examine the marketplace, consumer behavior, industry capabilities, and infrastructure.
TEF is organized into four research areas: light-duty vehicles; non-light-duty vehicles; fuels; and transportation demand. Findings are being detailed in a series of nine reports, six of which are now available.
VW showcases production version of e-up!; premiere at the IAA
March 14, 2013
|The e-up! Click to enlarge.|
The e-up! is powered by an electric motor with 60 kW / 82 PS peak power and 40 kW / 55 PS continuous power; maximum torque is 210 N·m (155 lb-ft). It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) within 14 seconds and reaches a top speed of 135 km/h (84 mph). Volkswagen says that the e-up!, with an 18.7 kWh Li-ion battery pack integrated in the underfloor area, offers a driving range of 150 km (93 miles) on the NEDC due to its low vehicle weight of 1,185 kg (2,612 lbs).
ExxonMobil: diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one global transportation fuel by 2020
March 09, 2013
|Transportation fuel mix in millions of oil-equivalent barrels through 2020. Source: ExxonMobil Outlook. Click to enlarge.|
Diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one transportation fuel worldwide by 2020 and continue to increase its share through 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s recently published Outlook For Energy: A View To 2040. The relative shift away from motor gasoline to diesel is driven by improving light-duty vehicle fuel economy and the growth in commercial transportation activity. Diesel demand accounts for 70% of the growth in demand for all transportation fuels through the forecast period to 2040.
Fuel demand for heavy-duty vehicles, the largest subsector, sees the greatest growth, up 65%, and accounts for 40% of all transportation demand by 2040. About 80% of the growth in commercial transport demand will come from developing nations, according to the forecast. Fuel for aviation and marine will increase about 75% and 90%, respectively, over the Outlook period, with their combined share growing from about 20% today to more than 25% by 2040.
DOE to award more than $50M for new plug-in vehicle technology research projects
The US DOE has released the final version of a new funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0000793) that will award more than $50 million in funding for new projects intended to accelerate the development of advanced plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technologies to increase vehicle fuel economy and improve performance. DOE had earlier requested public comment on a draft of the solicitation. (Earlier post.) The FOA supports the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. (Earlier post.)
DOE will select new research projects—an anticipated minimum of 30 and maximum of 50—that focus on lowering the cost and increasing the efficiency of PEV components, as well as the development of models and tools to predict these vehicles' performance and help improve fuel economy. The Department will fund projects across five major areas of research and development that cover 12 areas of interest (AOIs), including:
GM CEO outlines highlights of fuel economy plan through MY2016: lightweighting; more efficient gasoline and clean diesel engines, electrification
March 07, 2013
Within his talk about the need for a US energy policy at the IHS CERAWeek 2013 energy conference in Houston, GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson outlined some highlights of the company’s fuel economy plan through the 2016 model year.
The auto industry should play a central role in the energy discussion, Akerson noted, because light-duty vehicles account for about 60% of total transportation energy usage in the United States. Automakers are currently deploying and developing technologies that will satisfy customers and make an enormous contribution to energy security at the same time, he added. The near-term elements of GM’s fuel economy efforts he adduced are:
Volkswagen’s e-Co-Motion e-van concept offers three-stage modular battery pack for different range requirements
March 05, 2013
|The e-Co-Motion. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presented the e-Co-Motion concept electric city delivery van at the Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The van offers a three-stage modular battery concept to accommodate the different range requirements of customers.
A battery with a capacity of 20 kWh could be installed for driving ranges of around 100 km (62 miles), while a battery with 30 kWh would enable a 150 km (93 mile) driving range. Finally, a battery with 40 kWh storage capacity is planned for the top driving range of 200 km (124 miles). The crossmembers and rib structure of the battery box let it serve a secondary purpose as a load-bearing body element that also helps to reduce vehicle weight.
Mitsubishi reveals diesel-electric hybrid and battery-electric concepts at Geneva: GR-HEV and CA-MiEV
|Concept GR-HEV. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) unveiled the MITSUBISHI Concept GR-HEV (Grand Runner-HEV) diesel-electric hybrid pickup truck and the MITSUBISHI Concept CA-MiEV (Compact and Advanced-MiEV) concept models at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show. The company also showcased the production Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), which is scheduled for release starting this July.
The Concept GR-HEV is a Sport Utility Truck (SUT) concept is equipped with an FR (front-engine, rear-wheel drive)-based diesel-hybrid system comprising a 2.5-liter diesel, automatic gearbox, electric motor and battery (which is located and protected within the ladder frame). The GR-HEV delivers CO2 emissions levels of 149 g/km or below. The drivetrain is a next-generation 4WD system that combines the Super Select 4WD (SS4) system and the S-AWC system.
Toyota, City of Grenoble, Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, Cité lib, EDF launch ultra-compact urban EV car-sharing project; i-ROAD and COMS
March 04, 2013
|Concept of the Grenoble urban EV car-sharing project. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), the city of Grenoble, the Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, car-sharing service operator Cité lib, and French energy provider Électricité de France (EDF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin by the end of 2014 a collaborative zero-emission ultra-compact urban electric vehicle car-sharing project in Grenoble aimed at addressing “last mile” transportation needs for those using public transportation.
TMC plans to supply nearly 70 ultra-compact electric vehicles for the 3-year project, including the COMS ultra-compact vehicle produced by Toyota Auto Body (earlier post), as well as a new vehicle based on the Toyota i-ROAD concept vehicle. (Earlier post.)
Toyota unveils i-ROAD 3-wheeled electric personal mobility vehicle concept at Geneva
|i-ROAD concept showing Active Lean in action. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota unveiled the new i-ROAD three-wheeled electric personal mobility vehicle (PMV) concept at the Geneva motor show. Seating two in tandem and under cover, i-ROAD has a range of up to 30 miles (50km) on a single charge. Using “Active Lean” technology, it is safe, intuitive and enjoyable to drive, with no need for driver or passenger to wear a helmet.
The all-electric powertrain uses a lithium-ion battery to power two 2 kW motors mounted in the front wheels, giving brisk acceleration and near-silent running. Driving range is around 30 miles, after which the battery can be fully recharged from a conventional domestic power supply in three hours.
NETZSCH and NREL collaborate to commercialize NREL isothermal calorimeter technology for large format Li-ion batteries
|Basic concept of a calorimeter design. Pesaran et al., 2013. Click to enlarge.|
NETZSCH Instrument North America, LLC and the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are collaborating to develop a new isothermal calorimeter to test the performance and safety of Large Format Li-Ion Batteries (LFLIBs) used extensively in electric vehicles, airplanes, military application, as well as stationary power back-up and storage applications.
The new isothermal calorimeter will be based on patent-pending technology developed by a team of NREL researchers. The instrumentation will be able safely and accurately to characterize heat output and efficiency of LFLIBs, in varying temperature, pressure, load and use conditions, providing precise and critical information previously unavailable.
Transit operator launching test of wireless charging of electric buses in Mannheim, Germany
March 02, 2013
|Powertrain components of the PRIMOVE bus. Click to enlarge.|
German regional transit operator Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) is introducing a pair of electric buses with Bombardier PRIMOVE wireless charging technology (earlier post) in a research project serving the city of Mannheim, Germany.
During the “PRIMOVE Mannheim” research project, the electric buses will recharge wirelessly while passengers get on and off the vehicles at bus stops along the inner city route 63. Both e-buses, built by the Swiss manufacturer Carrosserie HESS AG, are also equipped with the new Bombardier MITRAC e-bus powertrain for city buses. In addition, an electric van equipped with wireless PRIMOVE technology will be tested as a RNV service vehicle.
Yamato, Toyota, Hino start trials of battery-electric 1-tonne delivery truck
March 01, 2013
|EV Trucks for the trial. Click to enlarge.|
Yamato Transport Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), and Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) will begin trials using a small battery-electric truck (EV Truck) in Yamato delivery operations. Developed by Hino, the EV Truck is a one-tonne, ultra-low bed truck featuring a cargo space equipped with compartments for keeping delivery goods refrigerated or frozen.
The truck was created in line with specifications developed jointly by Yamato, TMC, and Hino to provide “Cool TA-Q-BIN”, one of Yamato’s delivery services for goods at low or freezing temperatures.
Land Rover unveiling 7 battery-electric Defender research vehicles at Geneva show
February 28, 2013
|Electric Defender research vehicle. Click to enlarge.|
Land Rover will unveil seven new battery-electric Defender research vehicles at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Although there are no plans for the all-terrain electric Defender to enter series production, the seven EVs will go into service in specialist real world trials later this year.
The standard 90 kW (121 hp), 360 N·m (265 lb-ft) 2.2-liter diesel engine and 6-speed manual gearbox in the 110 Defenders have been replaced by a 70 kW (94 bhp), 330 N·m (243 lb-ft) electric motor paired with a 27 kWh, 300-volt lithium-ion battery pack. Range is more than 50 miles (80 km). In typical, low speed off-road use it can last for up to eight hours before recharging. The battery can be fully charged by a 7kW fast charger in four hours, or a portable 3kW charger in 10 hours.
Consortium seeks to show total cost of EVs can be less than combustion engine reference car
February 23, 2013
|EVs for use by Michelin and Siemens staffers in the project. (Photo: Sandra Göttisheim) Click to enlarge.|
Michelin and Siemens, in cooperation with research partners at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, are launching a project to demonstrate that the total cost of electric vehicles can be less than that of a conventional combustion-engined car. In January 2013, the consortium was promised funding by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development (BMVBS) under the Baden-Württemberg LivingLab BWe mobil showcase project.
The three-year, nearly €2-million (US$2.6 million) project will be funded by the BMVBF and the project partners at a ratio of 50:50.
DLR team develops demonstrator of free-piston linear generator as range extender for EVs; technology transfer to Universal Motor Corp.
February 20, 2013
|35 kW free-piston linear generator module. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of Vehicle Concepts in Stuttgart have developed a demonstrator multi-fuel free-piston linear generator (FPLG, or Freikolbenlineargenerator, FKLG in German) as a range extender for electric vehicles. The FPLG comprises an internal combustion component, a linear generator and a gas spring; the researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of the technology on a test bench specifically developed for this purpose.
The free-piston linear generator works in a similar manner to a conventional combustion engine, but instead of converting the linear movement of the piston into the rotational movement of the crankshaft, it generates electricity directly. A fuel-air mix is ignited in the combustion chamber. This expands and pushes the piston towards the gas springs. These springs decelerate the piston movement and push it back. The linear generator converts the kinetic energy of the piston into electricity and this in turn powers the electric motor.
OSU team demonstrates concept of potassium-air battery as alternative to lithium-air systems
February 18, 2013
|Voltage curves of the first discharge−charge cycle, K−O2 battery (0.5 M KPF6 in DME) at a current density of 0.16 mA/cm2. The dash lines indicate the calculated thermodynamic potentials for the batteries. Credit: ACS, Ren and Wu. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have demonstrated the concept of a potassium-air (K−O2) battery with low overpotentials. In a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, they reported a charge/discharge potential gap smaller than 50 mV at a current density of 0.16 mA/cm2—the lowest ever reported in metal-oxygen batteries, according to the team.
While lithium-air (Li–O2) batteries are widely seen as promising future energy storage systems, especially for electric vehicles, development and subsequent commercialization of the technology still faces a number of hurdles, including the large overpotentials of the discharge (formation of Li2O2) and charge (oxidation of Li2O2) reactions, which undermine the energy efficiency.
ARPA-E RANGE: $20M for robust transformational energy storage systems for EVs; 3x the range at 1/3 the cost
February 17, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0000869) for about $20 million for the development of transformational electrochemical energy storage technologies intended to accelerate widespread electric vehicle adoption by significantly improving driving range, cost, and reliability. ARPA-E anticipates making approximately 8- 12 awards under this FOA.
The Robust Affordable Next Generation EV-Storage (RANGE) program’s goal is to enable a 3X increase in electric vehicle range (from ~80 to ~240 miles per charge) with a simultaneous price reduction of > 1/3 (to ~ $30,000). If successful, these vehicles will provide near cost and range parity to gasoline-powered ICE vehicles, ARPA-E said.
California Energy Commission awards more than $17M to support alternative fuel and infrastructure projects
February 14, 2013
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved $17,223,593 for eight projects including alternative fuel production, plug-in truck demonstrations, EV charging station deployment, and infrastructure planning. The awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. This program is slated to invest approximately $90 million during this fiscal year to develop new transportation technologies, as well as alternative and renewable fuels. It is paid for through surcharges on vehicle and boating registrations, and smog check and license plate fees.
These awards also assist in fulfilling Governor Brown’s executive order directing state government to support the rapid commercialization of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in California, with a 2025 target of having 1.5 million ZEVs on the state’s roads. The order also requires the installation of sufficient infrastructure to support 1 million ZEVs in California by 2020. (Earlier post.)
Mitsubishi Motors to showcase “electro-mobility engineering palette” at Geneva show: diesel hybrid pickup and new EV concepts, European spec Outlander PHEV
February 13, 2013
At the upcoming 83rd Geneva International Motor Show in March, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will showcase its full electro-mobility engineering palette—Pure Electric (EV), Hybrid Electric (HEV), and Plug-in Hybrid Electric (PHEV)—through two world-premiere concept cars next to the New Outlander PHEV. MMC has set an objective of 20% of EV-based cars by 2020.
The Concept GR (Grand Runner)-HEV Concept and the CA (Compact and Advanced technology)-MiEV models will share the stand with the European spec Outlander PHEV (earlier post), which recently went on sale in Japan.
California Governor’s Office releases 2013 ZEV action plan; 1.5M ZEVs on CA roadways by 2025
February 07, 2013
California Governor Jerry Brown’s Office and state agencies issued a 2013 Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan. The Action Plan follows on Governor Brown’s Executive Order (B-16-2012) released March 2012, which set required milestones for state government to enable 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025. (Earlier post.) The Action Plan details concrete actions that state agencies are taking to help accelerate the market for plug-in electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles.
For the purposes of the executive order and action plan, ZEVs include hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). They also address light-duty passenger vehicles and heavier vehicles such as freight trucks and public buses.
Ford increasing EV-certified dealerships in US to 900; 3,405 plug-in vehicles sold in total so far
February 06, 2013
Ford will have one-third of its US dealers in all 50 states—more than 900—certified to sell the Focus Electric battery electric vehicle (BEV) and C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by spring. The 900 dealers represent about one-third of all Ford dealers in the US—triple Ford projections for the time frame—and are an increase up from 200 in November 2012, the second full month the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids were available.
For January 2013, Ford reported sales of 81 Focus Electric battery-electric vehicles and 338 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Cumulative sales since market introduction for the Focus Electric (June 2012, except for 2 units delivered in January 2012) are 693 units; cumulative sales for the C-MAX Energi (October 2012) are 2,712 units, bring the total sales of plug-in vehicles to 3,405 units.
DOE seeking comment on draft $50M solicitation for new projects over 11 areas of interest to improve vehicle performance and decrease fuel consumption
February 02, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Vehicle Technology Program is seeking public comment on the draft of an upcoming solicitation (DE-FOA-0000793) totaling more than $50 million for new research projects that will develop advanced technologies to improve vehicle performance and increase fuel economy. As part of the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between DOE and the Department of the Army, the Army plans to contribute $3.5 million in co-funding for several areas where there are joint development opportunities. The FOA supports the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. (Earlier post.)
DOE will release the final version after a period of public comment and revision. The FOA contains a total of 11 areas of interest (AOIs) in the general areas of advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials; advanced battery development; power electronics; advanced heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems; and fuels and lubricants. Specific AOIs are:
EV Everywhere Blueprint outlines DOE technical and development goals for EVs for 2022
February 01, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) released the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge Blueprint, which describes plug-in vehicle (PEV) technology and deployment barriers, and provides an outline for DOE’s technical and deployment goals for electric vehicles to 2022. DOE will pursue these targets in cooperation with a host of public and private partners.
President Obama announced the DOE “Clean Energy Grand Challenge” in March 2012 with the goal of enabling US companies to be the first in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that are as affordable and convenient for the average American family as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years. In September 2012, DOE requested public comment on an EV Everywhere Initial Framing Document. (Earlier post.)
Nissan plans to add at least 500 quick-charging stations to US in next 18 months, tripling the quick-charging infrastructure
Nissan plans to triple the current electric vehicle quick-charging infrastructure in the United States with the addition of at least 500 quick-charging stations in the next 18 months, including the greater Washington DC area’s first fast-charge network. Nissan outlined the strategy at the Washington Auto Show.
Nissan has been working on accelerating a European quick-charging network since 2011. (Earlier post.) Nissan and its charging infrastructure partners estimate that about 160 fast chargers are currently available for public use across the United States, and no fast chargers are available for public use in Washington D.C. Most electric vehicle (EV) drivers now rely on home charging, and having additional charging options can significantly increase their rate of EV driving.
$15M Visio.M project seeking to maximize light weight and safety in an urban EV
January 31, 2013
|A prototype vehicle on the track from the Visio.M project. Click to enlarge.|
In Germany, the Visio.M consortium is developing a mobility concept for an efficient electric vehicle, making the design as light as possible while still delivering the best possible safety protection.
Participants in the Visio.M consortium are, in addition to the automotive companies BMW AG (lead manager) and Daimler AG, the Technische Universität München (TUM) as a scientific partner, and Autoliv BV & Co. KG, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BAST), Continental Automotive GmbH, E.ON AG, Finepower GmbH, Hyve AG, IAV GmbH, InnoZ GmbH, Intermap Technologies GmbH, LION Smart GmbH, Neumayer Tekfor Holding GmbH, Siemens AG, Texas Instruments Germany GmbH and TÜV SÜD AG as industrial partners.
€4.6M eNterop project for PEV-charging point interoperability kicks off
January 28, 2013
The eNterop project, the goal of which is to to ensure the smooth interoperation of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) and charging points from different manufacturers, recently had its kick-off meeting in Berlin. Funding for the €4.6-million (US$6.2-million) project is split 50/50 between the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) and industry parters: Continental, Fraunhofer, TU Dortmund, BMW, VW, Daimler, RWE, and Siemens.
The International standard ISO/IEC 15118 defining communication between vehicle and charging stations was recently established to guarantee this interoperability between vehicle and charging point. For manufacturers of control equipment and charging points, however, the implementation of the standard involves elaborate testing with a wide range of different product types and in all kinds of different use cases.
DeCicco: Transportation GHG reduction policy should focus upstream on fuel supply rather than downstream on choice of fuels in vehicles
January 25, 2013
In a new working paper, Prof. John DeCicco at the University of Michigan argues that to reduce transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions, the proper policy focus should be upstream in sectors that provide the fuel, rather than downstream on the choice of fuels in the automobile.
More specifically, he suggests that other than supporting fundamental R&D, programs to promote alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) “are not currently warranted for climate protection. In addition to managing travel demand and improving vehicle efficiency, the implied climate policy priority is limiting net GHG emissions in fuel supply sectors.” The paper is available from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).
EU launches clean fuel strategy; EU-wide standards of equipment and binding targets for infrastructure
The European Commission announced a package of measures to ensure the build-up of alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use. Policy initiatives so far have mostly addressed the actual fuels and vehicles, without considering fuels distribution. Efforts to provide incentives have been un-co-ordinated and insufficient, the EC said.
Clean fuel adoption is being held back by three main barriers, the EC said: the high cost of vehicles; a low level of consumer acceptance; and the lack of recharging and refueling stations. Refueling stations are not being built because there are not enough vehicles; vehicles are not sold at competitive prices because there is not enough demand; and consumers do not buy the vehicles because they are expensive and the stations are not there. The Commission is therefore proposing a package of binding targets on Member States for a minimum level of infrastructure for clean fuels such as electricity, hydrogen and natural gas, as well as common EU wide standards for equipment needed.
Volkswagen Group talks EV charging standards, electrification strategy
January 21, 2013
|One of approximately twenty VW Golf blue e-motion prototypes under test in the United States, with Eaton’s 50kW DC Quick Charger, at Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Laboratory, near San Francisco. Click to enlarge.|
Earlier this month, Volkswagen and Eaton executives met with a small group of journalists at the VW Electronics Research Laboratory in Belmont, California, to discuss VW’s partnership with Eaton on AC and DC charging, followed by a broader conversation about VW’s plans for vehicle electrification over the next several years. Topics included the upcoming introduction of the blue e-motion Golf electric vehicle, sometimes called the e-Golf, near the end of 2013 (early 2014 for the US market), as well as Volkswagen’s goal of achieving 3% of its global sales through plug-in vehicles by 2018.
That goal is part of VW’s overarching Strategie 18, in which the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer hopes to trump Toyota in global sales by the same year. Volkswagen sold 9.07 million vehicles in 2012 to Toyota’s 9.7 million; assuming 10 million vehicles sold per year in 2018, VW would need to move 300,000 plug-in vehicles per year to meet their mark.
Chinese automakers bring hybrids and plug-ins to Detroit, Geneva auto shows
January 19, 2013
|The E-JET concept range extended electric vehicle from GAC. Click to enlarge.|
At least two Chinese automakers are bringing some of their new energy vehicles—hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric—to two of the major international auto shows in the first quarter of this year.
Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC) brought three to the 2013 North American International Auto Show (2013 NAIAS) in Detroit this month: a 4x4 Hybrid Version of the Trumpchi Sedan; a battery-electric version of the Trumpchi GS5 SUV; and the Compact NEV E-JET range-extended electric vehicle. Qoros Auto Co. Ltd.—a partnership between Chery Automobile, China’s largest independent car manufacturer, and Israel Corporation—is bringing its Cross Hybrid Concept to the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Cadillac introduces the 2014 ELR extended range electric vehicle
January 15, 2013
|2014 Cadillac ELR Click to enlarge.|
Cadillac unveiled the anticipated 2014 ELR extended range electric (EREV) vehicle (based on the Converj concept, earlier post) at the North American International Auto Show. (Earlier post.) ELR production begins in the US in late 2013 in limited numbers, said Bob Ferguson, Cadillac global vice president. Sales start early in 2014 in North America, expanding to global markets including China and Europe.
The EREV technology, proven in the Chevrolet Volt, is uniquely tuned for Cadillac in the ELR; the powertrain delivers 295 lb-ft of torque (400 N·m)—about 12% more than the 3.6L V-6 in the SRX. (The 2012 Chevrolet Volt produces 273 lb-ft/370 N·m.)
Nissan cuts entry-level MSRP for 2013 LEAF by 18% to $28,800
Nissan announced that US pricing for the updated 2013 Nissan LEAF electric vehicle (earlier post) will start at an MSRP of $28,800 for the newly-added entry-level S grade—an 18% reduction from the $35,200 MSRP of the 2012 LEAF entry model, the SV. The entry-level 2013 LEAF S becomes the lowest priced five-passenger electric vehicle sold in the United States.
Under the new pricing, the 2013 LEAF SV—now the mid-level model—carries an MSRP of $31,820, while the top-end 2013 LEAF SL has an MSRP of $34,480. The 2012 LEAF SL had an MSRP of $37,250. Depending on location, some consumers may purchase the 2013 LEAF for as low as $18,800 with qualifying federal and state tax credits, putting the LEAF on par with gas-powered vehicles of its size.
Tsinghua University provincial-level lifecycle study finds fuel-cycle criteria pollutants of EVs in China could be up to 5x those of natural gas vehicles due to China’s coal-dominant power mix
January 12, 2013
|Consumption-based power mixes and NG transmission distances by Chinese province in 2010. Credit: ACS, Huo et al. Click to enlarge.|
A province-by-province life cycle analysis of natural gas and electric vehicles by a team from Tsinghua University concludes that while, from the perspective of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria pollutant emissions, natural gas vehicles (CNGVs) are “an option with no obvious merits or demerits”, electric vehicles (EVs) are “an option with significant merits and demerits in this regard” due to China’s heavily coal-based electricity generation (national average of about 77%).
In regions where the share of coal-based electricity is relatively low, EVs can achieve substantial GHG reduction, the team reports in a paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. However, the fuel-cycle PM10, PM2.5, SO2, and NOx emissions of EVs could be up to five times higher than those of ICEVs (internal combustion engine vehicles) and CNGVs. While the increases in PM10 and PM2.5 emissions are less important because of the low contribution of light duty vehicles to national PM10 and PM2.5 emissions, the NOx and SO2 increases are significant enough to notably change total national emissions, they conclude.
Siemens and Fjellstrand partner on battery-electric car ferry
January 11, 2013
|Rendering of the battery-electric car ferry. Click to enlarge.|
Siemens, together with the Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand, has developed a battery-electric car ferry, the miljøferge (environmental ferry) ZeroCat. The 80-meter vessel can carry up to 120 cars and 360 passengers. From 2015 onward, it will serve the E39 route between Lavik and Oppedal, across the Sognefjord. The ship’s batteries will be recharged in the breaks between crossings, a procedure which only takes 10 minutes.
The vessel currently serving this route uses on average one million liters (264 thousand gallons US) of diesel a year and emits 570 metric tons of carbon dioxide and 15 metric tons of nitrogen oxides. The electrically powered ferry was developed for submission to a competition organized by Norway’s Ministry of Transport. As a reward for winning the competition, the shipping company Norled has been granted the license to operate the route until 2025.
KPMG survey finds global auto execs expect ICE dominance for some time; ICE downsizing and PHEVs to receive greatest investment over next 5 years; mobility-as-a-service in cities
January 10, 2013
|Biggest investments in powertrain technologies over next five years. Source: KPMG. Click to enlarge.|
Global auto executives have cooled a bit on the prospects for e-mobility, with a majority of automakers from both developed and emerging markets believing that internal combustion engines (ICE) will remain the dominant powertrain for some time, according to the 14th Annual Global Automotive Executive Survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the US audit, tax and advisory firm.
Two-thirds (67%) of respondents believe e-vehicles will represent 15% or less of total new car sales by 2025. Nevertheless, this still represents potential sales of up to 5.7 million in China, 2.5 million in India, 3.8 million in the US and 2.1 million in Western Europe.
California Energy Commission awards more than $1.8M additional funding to further UCSD microgrid project; energy storage, EV charging and V2G services are components
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved funding to advance further the development of its pioneering 42 MWpeak microgrid and expand electric vehicle charging at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
The Commission approved a $1.6-million award to increase its previously awarded funding of $1,394,298 for the university’s microgrid. The Commission also approved funding of $220,554 to expand the campus’ burgeoning charging network for plug-in electric vehicles, through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118.
Nissan introduces updated 2013 LEAF; US assembly in Smyrna
January 09, 2013
|2013 Nissan LEAF. Click to enlarge.|
Following on the November 2012 introduction of the updated LEAF in Japan (earlier post), Nissan has introduced the updated 2013 LEAF to the US, as well as begun its assembly in the US at the Smyrna, Tenn. plant, with battery production taking place next door in the country’s largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant. (Earlier post.)
Due to efficiency improvements, the 2013 Nissan LEAF is expected to offer improved range, with testing on the EPA test cycle to be announced closer the vehicle’s on-sale date. The updated version of the LEAF in Japan delivers range at full charge on the JC08 cycle of 228 km (141 miles)—a 14% improvement over the original version of the LEAF with a 200-km range (124 miles) on the JC08 cycle. (EPA cycle results will differ; the 2012 LEAF is estimated to achieve up to 73-mile driving range under the required EPA-derived MPG-based 2-cycle testing.)
NHTSA proposes new minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles
January 08, 2013
As required by the bipartisan Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 (PSEA), the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed minimum sound standards for hybrid and electric vehicles.
The proposed standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 141, would fulfill Congress’ mandate in the PSEA that hybrid and electric vehicles—including passenger cars, light trucks and vans (LTVs), medium- and heavy-duty trucks, buses, low speed vehicles (LSVs), and motorcycles—produce sounds meeting the requirements of this standard.
ACEA says that without improved conditions, unlikely full potential of e-mobility will be met; need for standards, coordinated approach to incentives, R&D support; 2–8% market penetration for next decade
January 07, 2013
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is warning that under current conditions, it is unlikely that the full potential of e-mobility will be met.
This is partly due to the current economic situation, with declining sales of vehicles. However, the trade association says, it is to a large extent also due to slow progress in charging standards; the fragmentation of internal market as a result of uncoordinated approach to market incentives; a lack of dedicated support for R&D; and no clear and unified vision on infrastructure.
Study finds that aluminum reduces electric vehicle cost against steel counterpart for same targeted range
|The study task design steps. Source: fka. Click to enlarge.|
A recent study found that an aluminum electric vehicle can cost up to €635 (US$829) less than that its steel counterpart despite the higher cost of aluminum, given equivalent range targets. The study, conducted by Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen (fka) for the European Aluminium Association (EAA) and the International Aluminum Institute (IAI), found that any additional cost of building a car with aluminum is more than offset by the cost savings that can be made on the battery pack, since a lighter car needs less battery capacity to drive the same distance.
A C-segment crash reference vehicle (Volkswagen Golf) with steel unibody and internal combustion engine served as the basis for this study. The mass and crashworthiness properties of this vehicle were analyzed in four Euro NCAP and FMVSS 301 high-speed load cases, serving as the crash reference within the project. One of the requirements was that electric vehicles (steel-based or aluminium-based) should at least be as safe as the crash reference vehicle.
GM and Nissan lead in US plug-in sales in December; GM and Toyota for the year
January 04, 2013
|2012 US sales of plug-in vehicles by major OEMs. Click to enlarge.|
GM was the US sales leader among the major OEMs for plug-in vehicles in December, and for 2012. GM sold 2,633 units of the Volt extended range electric vehicle in December, up 72.2% by volume from 1,529 units in December 2011. For the year, GM posted sales of 23,461 Volts, up 205.8% from the 7,671 units in 2011, giving it a dominant lead among the major OEMs in the nascent plug-in vehicles market for the year.
Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) posted sales of 1,489 units of the LEAF in December, up 56.1% from the 954 units the year before; calendar year sales for the LEAF were 9,819 units, up 1.5% from the 2011 results. While Toyota took second place for the year, with 12,750 units of the Prius PHV plug-in hybrid, it dropped to third place in December with 1,361 units of the PHV.
Spatially explicit life cycle assessment of 5 sun-to-wheels pathways finds photovoltaic electricity and BEVs offer land-efficient and low-carbon transportation
A new spatially-explicit life cycle assessment of five different “sun-to-wheels” conversion pathways—ethanol from corn or switchgrass for internal combustion vehicles (ICVs); electricity from corn or switchgrass for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs); and photovoltaic electricity for BEVs—found a strong case for PV BEVs.
According to the findings by the team from the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, even the most land-use efficient biomass-based pathway (i.e., switchgrass bioelectricity in US counties with hypothetical crop yields of more than 24 tonnes/ha) requires 29 times more land than the PV-based alternative in the same locations.
Pike Research forecasts hybrids and plug-ins to grow to 4% of European market in 2020
January 02, 2013
|Pike’s projected vehicle sales by electrified drivetrain, European markets: 2012–2020. Click to enlarge.|
Pike Research forecasts that electric vehicles—conventional hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electrics (BEVs)—will grow from 0.7% of the market in Europe in 2012 to 4% in 2020. While that is still a small portion of the market, it represents more than 827,000 vehicles per year, Pike notes. The biggest growth is expected in BEVs followed by PHEVs, with HEVs lagging behind.
Pike Research forecasts that by 2020 more than 1.8 million BEVs will be on Europe’s roadways, along with 1.2 million PHEVs and 1.7 million HEVs.
Polk expects 2013 US new vehicle registrations to grow 6.6% to 15.3M; only slight improvement in hybrid category
|Polk light vehicle forecast through 2016. Data: Polk. Click to enlarge.|
New light vehicle registrations in the US in 2013 are expected to rise 6.6% over 2012 levels to 15.3 million vehicles, according to Polk, a global automotive market intelligence firm. At the same time, Polk analysts forecast North American production volumes to increase to the 15.9 million unit range (an anticipated 2.4% increase from 2012), driven by an improving economy and capacity expansion in the region.
According to Polk’s analysis, new vehicle introductions in 2013 will escalate significantly, with 43 new vehicle introductions in the US planned for the year, up nearly 50% over 2012 levels, along with 60 vehicle redesigns. While the number of available hybrid models in the US will also increase this year, Polk anticipates only a slight improvement in this category from its current level of approximately 2.9% of the overall market.
Pike Research ranks ChargePoint, DBT as top EV charging equipment supply companies
December 31, 2012
|The new Pike Pulse Grid for EVSE manufacturers. Click to enlarge.|
Pike Research forecasts that global sales of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37% between 2012 and 2020 as the global market for plug-in vehicles (PEVs) grows, rising from less than 200,000 units sold in 2012 to almost 2.4 million units in 2020.
The market is also entering a new phase, Pike notes, in which companies will be less dependent on government-funded deployments and thus required to present an attractive return on investment for potential EVSE operators. In a new Pike Pulse report, Pike evaluates 14 electric vehicle charging equipment manufacturers, and ranks ChargePoint (formerly Coulomb Technologies) and DBT as Leaders as a result of their range of feature-rich EVSE offerings, current market share, geographic reach, and vision for competing successfully in the next phase of the EVSE market. (ChargePoint and DBT USA will showcase a joint EV charging station innovation at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas).
Study examines potential for alternatives to new car ownership models to advance EV market
December 24, 2012
A new study by the RAC Foundation and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) examines the potential for alternatives to new car ownership models to kick-start the electric vehicle market. The paper, “Car Rental 2.0”, summarizes the findings from a joint seminar held by the RAC Foundation and BVRLA earlier this year on alternatives to car ownership: car rental, traditional and one-way car clubs, and ridesharing.
The paper also explores the role of local authorities and central government in creating the necessary policy framework for car clubs and the rental market to mature.
Pike Research updates xEV forecasts; projects Ford to lead US PEV market, followed by GM
December 21, 2012
Pike Research has published an update to its earlier forecasts on xEVs: hybrid (HEVs); plug-in hybrid (PHEVs); and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). As a result of new assumptions, Pike Research has slightly reduced its forecasts for plug-in vehicles (PEVs: PHEVs and BEVs combined) from past forecasts.
This reduction was driven largely by the slow growth of BEVs in the United States (the largest market for PEVs) in 2012 and the postponement of some vehicle launches, the research firm noted. However, Pike still anticipates 39% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 2012 and 2020. In contrast, the CAGRs for HEVs and the total vehicle market are estimated at 6% and 2%, respectively. Highlights of the forecast include:
Pike Research makes 10 electric vehicle predictions for 2013
December 18, 2012
Sales of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) in 2013 will continue to outpace the first years of hybrid vehicle sales as more than 210,000 PEVs will be sold globally and more than three dozen PEV models will debut, according to a year-end free whitepaper published by Pike Research, that makes 10 specific predictions about electric vehicles in 2013.
More broadly, Pike envisions PEV sales in California—the leading market for such in the US—expanding into smaller urban and suburban regions with more dealers beginning to offer the vehicles. Pike also anticipates forward momentum with PEVs in China. The research company also projects that several startup electric vehicle (EV) companies are likely to be absorbed or discontinue operations during the year. Within that context of accelerating sales growth, the 10 specific predictions are:
Frost & Sullivan consultant suggests European EV success will require radical lightweighting plus enabling legislation
December 17, 2012
|The 400 kg (curbweight) Aixam quadricycle, with a 400cc two-cylinder diesel, is an example of the size and weight needed in future city vehicles, Meilhan suggests. Click to enlarge.|
Significant vehicle weight reduction and an accompanying change of enabling regulations and norms is the way forward in the quest to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, according to Paris-based Frost & Sullivan Senior Consultant, Nicolas Meilhan.
The car of the future is a small city car, but not necessarily electric, Meilhan suggests. The future of electric vehicles (EVs) depends on regulations from governments and the European Union, incentivizing the consumer to buy them. Legislations for taxing weight size and engine power will help produce and sell such a car. Making parking even more expensive for regular cars will help. Other incentives for small cars, such as being allowed to drive in bus lines, as practiced in Norway, would certainly improve the business case for EVs.
ARB issues solicitation for zero-emission off-road equipment projects
December 15, 2012
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued a grant solicitation for demonstration projects on zero-emission off-road equipment. ARB expects that up to $1 million will be available for this solicitation, although funding could be increased to a maximum of $5 million depending on the availability of state funds. The potential number of projects selected for funding is expected to be two, but up to five projects may be selected, the agency said.
The solicitation was issued under AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program’s (AQIP), Advanced Technology Demonstration Projects and is intended to fund technologies on the cusp of commercialization with the potential for significant targeted reductions in criteria pollutants and greenhouse gas emission reduction co-benefits. The solicitation is open to local air districts or other California-based public agencies that demonstrate the requisite technical and administrative expertise.
SAE publishes standards for first responders to hybrid, EV accidents; FEMA awards $1M to NAFTC for first responder training
December 13, 2012
SAE International’s Hybrid Technical Committee has completed the technical standard “J2990—Hybrid and EV First and Second Responder Recommended Practice,” which offers recommended practices for emergency personnel responding to incidents involving hybrid or electric vehicles.
Separately, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a new grant for nearly $1 million to the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) at West Virginia University for a program to educate the nation’s first responders on the best ways to handle accidents involving alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. (Earlier post.)
Asian Development Bank providing $300M towards replacing 100K gasoline trikes with E-Trikes in the Philippines; $300M for major road upgrades in Chhattisgarh, India
December 11, 2012
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $300 million towards a project that will replace 100,000 gasoline-burning tricycles in the Philippines with electric tricycles, or E-Trikes.
About 3.5 million gas-fueled motorcycles and tricycles are currently operating in the Philippines, typically serving as short-distance taxis, with the average tricycle driver earning less than $10 a day. E-Trike drivers will save upwards of $5 a day in fuel costs, and the new E-Trikes have the capacity to carry more passengers. E-Trike drivers saw their daily incomes more than double during a pilot program in Metro Manila.
IDTechEx forecasts $18B market for electric vehicle inverters in 2023
December 08, 2012
The market for electric vehicle inverters, including converters, for both hybrid and pure electric vehicles—land, water and air—will grow to $18 billion in 2023 according to a new report from IDTechEx, “Inverters for Electric Vehicles 2013-2023”.
The demand for inverters and electric power conversions is already well established in the automation and industrial control industries which are also growing at considerable pace. The addition of a significant complimentary emerging market will create new sectors for existing inverter and power electronic component suppliers as well as create opportunities for new players, particularly those with specialist electric vehicle knowledge and those able to develop added value through highly integrated electric powertrain systems, the report suggests.
Report from Victoria EV Trial reinforces importance of source of electricity and EV efficiency in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
December 07, 2012
The Victoria (Australia) EV Trial—a major 5-year initiative (earlier post)—has released a comparative lifecycle assessment of the environmental impacts of electric vehicles relative to conventional gasoline vehicles in Victoria from now until 2030.
The lifecycle analysis, “Environmental Impacts of Electric Vehicles in Victoria”, found that the impacts from vehicle operation far outweigh those from vehicle production—true even if allowing for an EV battery replacement over the vehicle life. Vehicle disposal impacts, including those of the EV battery, were found to be negligible due to the expected high rate of material recycling. The dominant influence of vehicle operation during the EV lifecycle thus highlights the importance of the source of electricity, how efficient the energy conversion in the vehicle is, and the way a vehicle is used, the report found.
American and European Standards organizations agree to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on standards for electric vehicles
December 06, 2012
Cooperation on eMobility standardization was the focus of discussion during a Transatlantic Roundtable organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which took place in Brussels on 28-29 November.
The event brought together technical experts from industry, government, and other stakeholders to compare and discuss standardization priorities for electric vehicles (EVs) outlined in the October 2011 Report of the CEN-CENELEC Focus Group on European Electro-Mobility and the April 2012 Standardization Roadmap for Electric Vehicles – Version 1.0, developed by the ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP). (Earlier post.)
Fiat introduces 2013 Fiat 500e EV at LA Auto Show; forget the Eco button
November 28, 2012
|2013 Fiat 500e. Click to enlarge.|
Fiat unveiled the 2013 Fiat 500e battery-electric version of the Fiat 500 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. A 24 kWh liquid-cooled/heated Li-ion battery powers an 83 kW permanent-magnet, three-phase synchronous drive motor with 147 lb-ft (200 N·m) of torque. With its e-Drive, the 500e offers more than 80 miles of estimated range, with city driving range typically greater than 100 miles. Charge time is less than 4 hour charge time with the Level 2 (240 volt) on-board charging module (OBCM).
The all-electric hatchback delivers an estimated 116 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city and 100 MPGe highway (186 kmpge and 160 kmpge). As Chrysler Group LLC’s first road-going retail electric vehicle, the Fiat 500e eschews the addition of an “Eco” button as seen on competitive EVs. Eco-buttons deaden throttle-response in exchange for marginal range improvement, the company suggests.
BMW presents i3 Concept Coupé battery-electric vehicle at the LA Auto Show; focus on connectivity for driver assistance and intermodal mobility
|BMW i3 Concept Coupé. Click to enlarge.|
BMW is unveiling the i3 Concept Coupé study at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show; the vehicle has been brought out in parallel to the ongoing development process for getting the first battery-electric model from the BMW i brand ready for series production, and demonstrates the potential for conceivably extending the model range, according to the company.
Like the original BMW i3 Concept (earlier post), the three-door coupe is propelled by an electric motor developed by the BMW Group, which develops a maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp and peak torque of 250 N·m (184 lb-ft). Power delivery to the rear wheels is via a single-speed transmission. The Li-ion battery pack is placed under the floor.
GM CTO says company accelerating electric vehicle development in China; R&D focus on batteries and lightweight materials
November 27, 2012
General Motors is accelerating the development of electrified vehicles in China, Jon Lauckner, GM Chief Technology Officer, vice president of Global Research & Development, and president of GM Ventures, said in a presentation at the FISITA 2012 World Automotive Congress in Beijing.
In September 2011, GM China opened the Advanced Materials Lab in Shanghai. The facility, which is part of the GM China Advanced Technical Center, is engaged in research on battery technology and lightweight materials.
Shanghai General Motors introduces Sail SPRINGO EV at Auto Guangzhou 2012; green technology strategy to 2020
November 26, 2012
|The Sail SPRINGO EV. Click to enlarge.|
At the opening of Auto Guangzhou 2012, Shanghai General Motors launched its first localized new energy vehicle, the Sail SPRINGO EV. The vehicle was developed by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), making it the first production electric vehicle created by a Chinese joint venture.
A limited number of the Sail SPRINGO EVs will initially be sold starting in Shanghai as part of a trial program to enable Shanghai GM to better understand Chinese consumers’ preferences and user habits for electric vehicles. The SPRINGO EV will be sold for RMB 258,000 (US$41,460). Buyers in Shanghai will enjoy incentives of up to RMB 60,000 (US$9,642) from the central government and RMB 40,000 (US$6,428) from the Shanghai government. In addition, the car will qualify for a free local Shanghai license plate exclusively for electric vehicles.
Updated Nissan LEAF available in Japan; range improved by 14%; new motor uses 40% less dysprosium
November 20, 2012
|Nissan’s grain boundary diffusion process allows it to reduce the use of dysprosium in the traction motor in the updated LEAF by 40%. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. released the updated Nissan LEAF electric vehicle (EV) in Japan. The battery-electric LEAF, now in its second iteration, is now available at Nissan dealers nationwide. With the updates, range at full charge on the JC08 cycle is expected to be 228 km (141 miles)—a 14% improvement over the original version of the LEAF with a 200-km range (124 miles) on the JC08 cycle.
Among the enhancements to the updated LEAF is a newly developed electric motor that will reduce the use of the rare earth element (REE) dysprosium (Dy) by 40% compared to conventional EV motors. The new synchronous AC motor offers the same power output (80 kW) as its predecessor, but less torque: 254 N·m for the new motor, vs. 280 N·m for its predecessor.
GM looking to combination of internal R&D and external investments for new technology; focus on five key areas; the importance of generational change
General Motors is leveraging two separate organizations—its internal R&D group and the recently formed GM Ventures—to accelerate innovation and to introduce new technology to keep the company on the forefront of the technology revolution now taking place in the automotive industry, according to John Lauckner, GM’s Chief Technology Officer; Vice President, Global Research & Development; and President, GM Ventures.
During a talk at the recent Electrification Experience symposium (earlier post), Lauckner briefly outlined GM’s efforts to leverage three sources of technology: technology developed in house, through R&D or advanced engineering; technology from outside the company from startups; and technology from suppliers and engineering firms. GM is focusing on five key areas, Lauckner said:
DOE to award $11M to 20 new Clean Cities projects for alt fuel cars and trucks
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=807 about $11 million to 20 new projects to help states and local governments to develop the infrastructure, training, and regional planning needed to help meet the demand for alternative fuel cars and trucks, including vehicles that run on natural gas, electricity, and propane.
Through the Department’s Clean Cities initiative, these projects address a range of community infrastructure and training needs, such as providing safety and technical training for fleet operators, mechanics, first responders, and code officials; streamlining permitting and procurement processes; and helping public and private fleets integrate petroleum reduction strategies into their operations. Projects include:
SmartBatt consortium shows prototype optimized future battery pack technology for electric vehicles
November 19, 2012
|Overview of the work packages in SmartBatt. Click to enlarge.|
The European SmartBatt (Smart and Safe Integration of Batteries in Electric Vehicles) consortium has produced a prototype optimized battery pack targeted at small electric vehicles; the pack is currently on display at the European Electric Vehicle Congress (EEVC) in Brussels.
The objective of the two-year, €3-million (US$3.8 million) SmartBatt project, which ends in December, is to develop and proof an innovative, multifunctional, light and safe concept of an energy storage system which is integrated in the structure of an EV. The main challenges of this smart integration are the combination of lightweight design with a high safety level against all kinds of hazards, the optimization of functions and the intelligent design of interfaces to various on-board systems.
Chicago awards up to $13.4M contract to Motiv Power Systems for 20 Class 8 electric refuse trucks
The City of Chicago has awarded San Francisco Bay Area startup Motiv Power Systems an up to $13.4-million contract for 20 Class 8 electric refuse trucks. The 52,000-lb trucks, powered by a 200 kWh battery pack, will have a range of up to 60 miles.
The Motiv electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) uses off-the-shelf batteries and motors, which can be mixed and matched to fit the size of the electric truck application. Motiv says that its ePCS can handle electric trucks from medium-duty to Class 8 heavy-duty, weighing 15,000 lbs-52,000 lbs. Motiv suggests the ePCS design approach cuts operating costs by 50% over an eight-year period. With a medium-duty pilot shuttle, Motiv reduced operating cost from 80 cents per mile ($0.80/mi) to 10 cents per mile ($0.10/mi). (Earlier post.)
GM will focus its electrification strategy on light electrification, extended range, and battery-electric vehicle technologies; major focus on the plug; preview of the Spark EV
November 16, 2012
|GM will focus its vehicle electrification strategy on eAssist-type systems and the plug. Source: Larry Nitz, GM. Click to enlarge.|
GM will focus its vehicle electrification efforts on three main technologies: light electrification, currently manifested in the eAssist systems; extended range electric vehicles (EREVs) such as the Chevrolet Volt; and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), such as the soon-to-be-introduced Spark EV.
In a vehicle electrification symposium for the media, GM Senior Vice President, Global Product Development Mary Barra noted that until recently, GM’s strategy had essentially been to “cover the waterfront” in terms of pursuing as many technologies as possible. “That’s not how GM is doing business today,” she said. “We need to refine our strategy and do focused work. We need to make educated bets on which technologes hold the most potential for creating value for our customers and our company.”
SwRI to demonstrate use of electric vehicles as part of emergency power microgrid under US Army SPIDERS program
November 14, 2012
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is a member of a team that was recently awarded a $7-million contract from the US Army Corps of Engineers to demonstrate integration of electric vehicles, generators and solar arrays to supply emergency power for Fort Carson, Colo.
The project is part of a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) called the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS)—a joint effort between the US Departments of Defense, Energy and Homeland Security. SPIDERS aims to create a resilient, more reliable microgrid designed to protect against extended power outages caused by natural disasters, accidents or attacks—and, ultimately, to enhance electric power surety for national security.
NYU-BMW i report explores future urban mobility; sustainability and resilience
November 13, 2012
A new study released by BMW i and New York University (NYU) finds that, in the coming years and decades, fundamental changes in the demographic makeup of cities will profoundly alter the way people travel.
This report, prepared by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service with the assistance of Appleseed, a New York City-based consulting firm, examines several aspects of the challenge of urban mobility in the twenty-first century: the growth of the world’s urban population, and changes in the characteristics of that population; emerging patterns of urban mobility; and changes in technology design and connectivity.
BMW i features i8 Concept Roadster and BMW i3 at Manhattan stop on “Born Electric” World Tour
|The i3. Click to enlarge.|
At the Manhattan stop on its year-long “Born Electric” World Tour, BMW i featured the BMW i8 Concept Roadster—shown for the first time in North America—and the BMW i3 Concept. The i3 and i8 will become the first purpose-built electric and hybrid-electric production vehicles to be made primarily from carbon fiber when they come to market in 2013 and 2014 respectively. (Earlier post, earlier post.)
Also at the event, Mitchell L. Moss, director of New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, revealed the results of a new NYU-BMW i study which finds that, in the coming years and decades, fundamental changes in the demographic makeup of cities will profoundly alter the way people travel. (Post.)
Honda unveils micro-sized EV “Micro Commuter Prototype”; variable design platform
November 12, 2012
|Micro Commuter Prototype Click to enlarge.|
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled the Micro Commuter Prototype, a micro-sized short distance EV commuter. This vehicle was developed in consideration of the vehicle categories for micro-sized mobility products that are currently being discussed under the initiative of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan as well as for the regulations for the L7 category in Europe. (L7 is a quadricycle category. An EV in this category must weigh 400 kg or less excluding the weight of the battery and have output of 15 kW or less.)
Equipped with a Li-ion battery, the Micro Commuter Prototype Vehicle has a maximum speed of 80 km/h (50 mph), a maximum range of approximately 60 km (37 miles), and output of 15 kW. Charging time is less than 3 hours.
GM, Toyota continue to lead plug-in market in US
November 04, 2012
The Volt remained the top-selling plug-in vehicle in the US in October. GM delivered a record 2,961 Volts—a 167% increase by volume from October 2011. From January through October 2012, GM has delivered 19,309 Volts—an increase of 286% from the same period in 2011. Overall, GM reported its highest October sales in the US since 2007, with deliveries up 5% versus a year ago to 195,764 vehicles. Year-on-year sales to retail customers were up 7% and sales to fleet customers were down 2%.
Toyota maintained its second place position with 1,889 units sold of the Prius PHV in October. Year-to-date, Toyota has sold 9,623 units of the Prius plug-in hybrid. Prius family sales in October were 16,774 units, up 52.4% year-on-year. The Prius Sedan accounted for 8,788 units; the Prius c, 3,328 units; and the Prius v, 2,769 units. Overall, Toyota sales were up 15.8% to 155,242 units.
CMU/Ford study assesses optimal mix of conventional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles for minimizing GHG and cost
October 31, 2012
|Breakdown of (a) equivalent annualized life cycle cost and (b) life cycle GHG emissions for four independently cost-optimized vehicle designs. Traut et al. Click to enlarge.|
In a new study, a team from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Ford Research and Advanced Engineering set out to determine the optimal mix for the fleet of mid-size personal vehicles in the US—while maintaining current driving patterns—with the goals of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) or cost. They also addressed the question of GHG or cost reduction with and without a workplace charging infrastructure.
Their study, they suggested in a paper analyzing the best possible outcomes and published in the journal Energy Policy, is a step towards understanding what should be incentivized by policy makers.
CMU study finds small battery PHEVs and gasoline hybrids the least-cost policy solution to reducing gasoline consumption
October 29, 2012
In an new study analyzing the cost-effectiveness of policies subsidizing electric-drive vehicle battery capacity and charging infrastructure installation to reduce gasoline consumption in the US, Scott Peterson and Jeremy Michalek of Carnegie Mellon University found that, under a wide range of scenarios, the least-cost solution is for more drivers to switch to low-capacity plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) or gasoline-powered hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).
Comparing the subsidy necessary to achieve lifetime cost parity with the least-cost option for each vehicle class in the base case, they found that the maximum cost per gallon saved for increased all electric range (AER) is 5%–40% less than the minimum cost per gallon saved when installing charging infrastructure, depending on vehicle class. Looking forward as battery prices decrease and the AER resulting in maximum life-time cost savings increases, the relative value of plugging in multiple times throughout the day will also decline, they suggest. Their paper is available online in the journal Energy Policy.
New international interest group to promote harmonized electromobility data standards
October 22, 2012
Hubject GmbH, a joint venture formed by BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler, EnBW, RWE and Siemens earlier this year, and eighteen other companies have formed the “eMobility ICT Interoperability Interest Group”—an international interest group to promote harmonized electromobility data standards. These would support, for example, integrated charging infrastructures and the easier provision of supplementary services.
Electric cars will become more integrated into the intelligent traffic infrastructure and energy networks of the future than conventional combustion engines, with modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) forming the backbone for the integration of electric vehicles into these networks, the partners note. The cooperation between as many service providers as possible provides the foundation needed to ensure a standardized data exchange between all players and to reduce barriers for the users.