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[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.]

DRIVEtheARC EV fast charging corridor opens in Nor Cal; 55 new fast chargers at 25 locations

November 15, 2017

DRIVEtheARC, a corridor of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations spanning from Monterey to Lake Tahoe, announced the completion of the chargers’ deployment and its official grand opening on the one year anniversary of the project’s official launch. (Earlier post.)

A collaborative effort between the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) (Japan’s largest public R&D management organization), and the State of California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, in partnership with Nissan Motor Co., Nissan North America, Kanematsu and EVgo, DRIVEtheARC encourages longer and more frequent trips with EVs by increasing the ease of long distance travel along one of California’s most frequented travel routes.

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Sumitomo Electric and DOCOMO testing 5G real-time traffic monitoring

November 10, 2017

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and NTT DOCOMO, INC. have been jointly testing the real-time collection and delivery of traffic information using high-definition sensors connected via a fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications system for advanced driving support.

The system networks sensors that have been mounted on vehicles and installed along roadsides or in buildings to collect traffic information that is analyzed in real time and then fed back to drivers and pedestrians. The results of the test will be presented at an event, Mietekita Chotto Saki no Mirai (A Peek into the Near Future), which will be held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) from 9-11 November.

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First US eHighway demonstration running in California; battery-electric, CNG-hybrid and diesel-hybrid trucks

November 09, 2017

Siemens and the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) are conducting a one-mile, zero-emission eHighway demonstration in Carson, Calif., near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Earlier post.)

Three big-rig trucks hauling freight are running along the stretch of highway that uses Siemens technology to electrify select highway lanes via an overhead catenary system. This catenary system supplies the trucks with electric power; the system also allows for truck operation outside of the electrified sections of infrastructure.

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True Zero H2 network fuels 17M fuel cell-electric miles in < 18 months; > 250 tonnes H2 sold

November 06, 2017

True Zero reported that fuel cell electric vehicles in California have used 250,000 kilograms (250 metric tons) of clean hydrogen—and driven 17 million miles—supplied by 18 retail stations owned and operated by the company. The True Zero stations plus 13 others make up a total of 31 stations open across California, supported by California Energy Commission grant funding and a long-standing State commitment to zero emission vehicles.

The hydrogen sold at True Zero stations is transported in from facilities producing hydrogen for industrial uses. Two-thirds of this hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels, such as natural gas. One-third comes from renewable sources such as biomass; the company says that it is working to increase the percentage of renewable hydrogen.

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Volkswagen Group to support Hamburg, ITS Germany in hosting of 2021 World Congress for ITS; projects beginning now

The Volkswagen Group will support Hamburg and ITS Germany in 2021 for hosting the World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) as a main partner and chair of the Host Organizing Committee. ERTICO (ITS Europe), organizer of the World Congress, announced the decision to stage the event in Germany with Hamburg as the hosting city at the ITS World Congress in Montréal.

With this decision, the mobility partnership between Hamburg and Volkswagen will be strengthened. Decisions have been taken on specific projects to develop Hamburg into a model city for future urban mobility. For the implementation of these projects, the Volkswagen Group will be calling on the broad-based competence of its brands.

Germany had submitted its bid to host the ITS World Congress 2021 together with the City of Hamburg and the active support of the Volkswagen Group. The application was part of the strategic mobility partnership between the Hanseatic City and the Volkswagen Group. The objective of the mobility partnership is to shape the urban mobility of the future together and to develop and position Hamburg internationally as a model city for forward-looking, sustainable and integrated urban mobility.

With the announcement concerning the 2021 World Congress, the joint implementation of a large number of future-oriented projects will start: for example, in connection with the objective of Hamburg to become a pioneer in autonomous driving in urban areas, the Group will send autonomous test vehicles to Hamburg’s city center.

In addition, MAN intends to test the use of autonomous trucks in the port of Hamburg and on selected highway sections. This allows the driver to carry out other work on the road; from the point of arrival in the port area, the truck will be operated fully autonomously. For safety reasons, a driver will initially remain on board. This way, the Volkswagen Group will help make private and goods traffic flow more efficient, safer and more environmentally compatible.

Another project involves the intelligent use of data acquired from sensors in vehicles of the Group fleet operated by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Using smart algorithms, additional information and services will be provided for the citizens and administration of Hamburg.

In addition, MOIA, the Volkswagen Group’s company for mobility services, is working on a project to develop new environmentally compatible mobility services for Hamburg. Within the framework of the project, a shuttle-on-demand service using eco-friendly electric vehicles is to be launched in 2018. This project will supplement public transport and offer an attractive alternative to private cars. Hamburger Hochbahn AG is the partner for this project.

In addition to implementing these projects, the Group intends to play a key role in the ITS World Congress 2021. The Group is a main partner and will also assume the chair of the Host Organizing Committee (HOC) for the planning and organization of the congress.

Beyond the projects in Hamburg, the Volkswagen Group is also actively involved in the development of intelligent, sustainable transport systems within the framework of TOGETHER - Strategy 2025. A key element of this commitment is the Group’s e-mobility offensive. At the Frankfurt International Motor Show, Volkswagen announced its “Roadmap E” comprehensive electrification initiative. By 2025, Group brands will be supplying more than 80 new electrified models to customers, including 50 all-electric vehicles and 30 plug-in-hybrids. (Earlier post.)

Another key topic is autonomous driving. Audi recently established an independent company, Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH, for self-driving systems. The development of the new Mobility Solutions business area is one of the key elements of “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025” on the way to becoming a mobility provider. For this purpose, the Volkswagen Group is developing intelligent future solutions – such as the pilot project “We by Volkswagen Deliver” of the Volkswagen brand in Berlin and at MOIA.

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Automakers launch IONITY JV to build 350 kW high power charging European network for EVs

November 03, 2017

BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche launched IONITY, a joint venture that will develop and implement a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe. (Earlier post.) Launching approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, IONITY will make long-distance journeys easier and marks an important step for electric vehicles.

A total of 20 stations will be opened to the public this year, located on major roads in Germany, Norway and Austria, at intervals of 120 km, through partnerships with “Tank & Rast”, “Circle K” and “OMV”. Through 2018, the network will expand to more than 100 stations, each one enabling multiple customers, driving different manufacturer cars, to charge their vehicles simultaneously.

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DiDi enters JV to build out own EV charging network

DiDi Chuxing has entered a joint venture to build its own charging networks for electric vehicles (EVs).

DiDi is the world’s largest online transportation platform with more than 450 million users and 21 million drivers. As many as 25 million rides are completed on its network daily, twice as many as the rest of the world combined. The company is also working to introduce AI technology into integrated urban traffic management systems across China.

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DAIHEN to supply wireless EV charging stations with WiTricity technology

November 02, 2017

>DAIHEN Corporation, a global leader in electric power transmission, distribution products and industrial robotics, has secured a license to commercialize wireless charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) utilizing WiTricity’s patented technology.

DAIHEN began shipments of wireless charging systems for industrial materials handling in 2016 after entering into a licensing and technology transfer agreement with WiTricity. DAIHEN will now use WiTricity’s DRIVE 11 wireless charging system—capable of delivering up to 11 kW of power at efficiencies of up to 94%—as the reference design for its own line of standards-compliant wireless chargers for battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

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Wuling Motors’ subsidiary and TELD to explore partnership in new energy electric vehicle business

Liuzhou Wuling Motors Industrial Company Ltd., a non-wholly-owned subsidiary of the Wuling Group, and Qingdao Teld New Energy Co., Ltd. (TELD) entered into a Framework Agreement under which Wuling Industrial and TELD will explore the opportunity—and will enter into the Formal Agreement(s) as and when appropriate—to proceed with strategic co-operation on the new energy electrical vehicle business.

TELD is currently recognized as one of the leading operators of public charging stations/terminals for electrical vehicles in the PRC, based the number of public charging stations/terminals established/in operation. The Framework Agreement sets out the development road map and scope of businesses co-operation, which includes:

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Enel acquires eMotorWerks to provide grid balancing solutions and tap into US e-mobility market

October 25, 2017

Enel S.p.A., through its US subsidiary EnerNOC, has acquired California-based eMotorWerks, a North American supplier of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, called JuiceBox, and owner and operator of JuiceNet, an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the smart management of EV charging and other distributed energy storage facilities.

Through the JuiceNet platform, these facilities can be remotely controlled and aggregated for grid balancing purposes relying on unidirectional and bidirectional (vehicle-to-grid, V2G) electricity flows. The acquisition of eMotorWerks marks Enel’s entrance into the US electric mobility market.

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ABB wins $20M order from HESS for e-bus flash-charging technology

ABB has won a $20-million order from Swiss bus manufacturer HESS to supply its flash-charging technology (earlier post) for 20 e-buses and related infrastructure for the French city of Nantes. The buses will be operated by public transport operator, Société d’Economie Mixte des Transports de l’Agglomération Nantaise (Semitan).

Batteries mounted on the roofs of the Nantes buses will be charged in 20 seconds with a 600-kilowatt boost of power at selected stops while passengers are embarking and disembarking. It takes less than one second to connect the bus to the charging point, making it the world’s fastest flash-charging connection technology. A further 1 to 5 minutes of charging at the terminus at the end of the line—at 400 kW—enables a full recharge of the batteries.

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ABB unveils smart Heavy Vehicle Charging solution for bus depots at Busworld 2017

October 24, 2017

ABB is showcasing its new HVC (Heavy Vehicle Charger)-Overnight products and smart charging functionality at Busworld 2017. The system offers an intelligent and cost-effective solution for charging larger fleets during the night and ensuring zero emission transportation during the day.

The global electric bus market is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate above 30% from 2017 to 2025; ABB has 12 years of research and development experience in EV charging solutions as well as experience from commercial products in the field since 2010. The new HVC-Overnight Charging products incorporate smart charging features with a future-proof and modular design, safe and reliable operation and remote service and data management as part of the ABB Ability portfolio of solutions.

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ABB, Fastned support Autocharge automatic authorization for charging sessions

October 18, 2017

The standards-based Autocharge feature enables automatic authorization for EV charging sessions, offering drivers an easy ‘plug in and walk away’ user experience. Autocharge enables a charge session to be automatically started after a driver connects his or her vehicle to the charger without requiring the use of an RFiD card, payment card or mobile app.

The charger will automatically recognize the vehicle based on its unique vehicle identifier (EV-ID), allowing simpler, faster and more secure user interaction. This superior user experience gives commercial charging station operators much greater flexibility to offer their customers a seamless and intuitive interaction with a charging station. ABB is now implementing Autocharge functionality in its EVSE and Fastned has begun rolling out the functionality to its stations.

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Hubject expanding its eRoaming platform into the US and China

October 17, 2017

Following the successful launch of its eRoaming platform in Europe and Japan (earlier post), Hubject is expanding its business operations in the United States and China. Hubject GmbH was founded in 2012 by leading companies in the energy, technology, and automotive industries. The shareholders of Hubject GmbH include the BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler, EnBW, innogy, Siemens, and the Volkswagen Group.

For the internationalization efforts, the Berlin-based company drew up an additional investment package worth millions of Euros together with its shareholders, with the goal of establishing an open charging network for electric vehicles integrating all parties.

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OpenLV project proposes opening up local electricity usage data to improve EV charging

October 10, 2017

A new initiative in the UK is proposing opening up data from local electricity substations to provide network operators with much-needed information about levels of capacity for charging EVs on local electricity networks.

Currently, asserts the OpenLV project, electricity network operators don’t have enough information about how much spare capacity there is on local electricity networks. This makes it difficult to know whether a cluster of EVs charging at peak times will push the demand over the limit. The OpenLV project will, for the first time, open up data from local substations, so that Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), as well as third parties such as businesses and academia, will have more information about whether networks can cope with rising EV numbers.

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Western Governors pledge to create electric vehicle charging network

October 05, 2017

The governors of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to create a unified regional electric vehicle plan to allow electric vehicles to recharge and travel easily along the 5,000 miles of freeways in the western region. The announcement comes in the wake of a new study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) quantifying the number of non-residential L2 and DC fast charging stations needed to support a growing population of plug-ins. (Earlier post.)

The Regional Electric Vehicle (REV) West Plan, announced at the Energy Innovation Summit hosted by the National Governors Association, provides the framework for creating an Intermountain West Electric Vehicle (EV) Corridor that will make it possible to seamlessly drive an electric vehicle across the Signatory States’ major transportation corridors. The initial transportation corridors include the following interstates:

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NREL study quantifies non-residential charging infrastructure needs for growing fleet of plug-in electric vehiles

A new study from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) quantifies how much charging infrastructure would be needed in the United States to support various market growth scenarios for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Under the study’s central scenario (15 million PEVs in 2030), the US would need 8,500 direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations with 27,500 plugs in total, plus 601,000 non-residential Level 2 charging plugs to meet projected demand.

Sales of PEVs—plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (EVs)—have surged recently. Most PEV charging occurs at home, but widespread PEV adoption would require the development of a national network of non-residential charging stations. Strategically installing these stations early would maximize their economic viability while enabling efficient network growth as the PEV market matures.

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ABB launches first 150-350 kW high power charger

October 03, 2017

ABB will introduce its new Terra HP High Power Charge system—the Terra HP, the first 150-350 kW product on the market—at EVS30 in Stuttgart. Ideally suited for use at highway rest stops and filling stations, Terra HP’s ultra-high current has the capacity to charge both 400 V and 800 V cars at full power.

The 375 A output single power cabinet can charge a 400 V car at full 150 kW continuously. The addition of Dynamic DC power sharing technology allows a two-power cabinet charging system to charge a couple of EVs simultaneously, with up to 350 kW and 500 A, while dynamically optimizing the available grid connection and the power delivery to the two vehicles.

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Nissan unveils electric ecosystem for Europe: new EVs, infrastructure; charging options; V2G

October 02, 2017

At its Nissan Futures 3.0 event in Oslo, Nissan unveiled its plans around the four key pillars of its future electric ecosystem in Europe, announcing the launch of new electric vehicles; additional infrastructure investment; battery charging and home storage advances; and “free power” for Nissan EV customers using its unique bi-directional charging technology (V2G).

Headlining the event was the European premiere of the new Nissan LEAF, with a special “2.ZERO” version for Europe. The new Nissan LEAF powertrain delivers 110kW of power output and 320 N·m of torque, improving acceleration and driver enjoyment; the EV has a range of 378k (235 miles) (NEDC) on a single charge and features ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system for a safer, more comfortable drive, and ProPILOT Park for fully autonomous parking. The car’s e-Pedal technology also lets motorists drive and brake seamlessly.

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New TOTAL hydrogen filling station in Karlsruhe produces H2 onsite with steam electrolysis and solar energy

September 07, 2017

A new TOTAL hydrogen filling station on Karlsruhe’s Südtangente ring-road was commissioned on Wednesday. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure approved grants of approx. €970,000 (US$1.2 million) for the hydrogen facility under its National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).

This H2 filling station—the eleventh in the TOTAL network and the tenth in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg—is differentiated by producing hydrogen on-site through steam electrolysis, using electricity generated by a solar array.

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Groupe Renault, Connected Energy install EV charging with 2nd-life batteries at highway rest areas

August 29, 2017

UK-based Connected Energy and Groupe Renault have installed two quick-charge stations based on Connected Energy’s E-STOR energy storage technology on highways in Belgium and Germany. Motorists there will be the first in the world to benefit from this service.

The E-STOR technology developed by Connected Energy uses second-life batteries from Renault electric vehicles. With the E-STOR system, the batteries are recharged at low power, and the stored energy is then released at high power. It thus becomes possible to offer electric vehicle charging services in locations where constructing a high power connection to the power grid would be very costly. Economical and simple to install, E-STOR will contribute to the development of a network of quick-charging stations in Europe.

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ARB report: 1,600 fuel cell vehicles in California, 29 stations active; need to accelerate station deployment

August 18, 2017

As of 5 April 2017, California has more than 1,600 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) with active registrations with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), according to the 2017 issue of its Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development released by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). This represents a net addition of 1,300 FCEVs (1,600 currently registered vs. 331 at the same time last year.

The report also identified 29 currently Open-Retail hydrogen fueling stations from as far south as San Diego, to the coastline in Santa Barbara, and as far to the northeast as Truckee. This represents an increase of 9 fueling stations since June 2016.

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Siemens building first stretch of eHighway on public roads in Germany

August 11, 2017

Siemens has been commissioned by the German state of Hesse to build an overhead contact line for electrified freight transport on a ten-kilometer stretch of autobahn. The line will supply electricity for the electric drive of a hybrid truck. Siemens originally presented its innovative “eHighway” concept in 2012. (Earlier post.) The system will be installed on the A5 federal autobahn between the Zeppelinheim/Cargo City Süd interchange at the Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstadt/Weiterstadt interchange.

With this field trial, the eHighway will be tested on a public highway in Germany for the first time.

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Two new H2 stations bring total in Germany to 32

July 31, 2017

Germany’s H2 filling station network is growing at an increasing pace. After the opening of stations in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt in June, Daimler, Shell and Linde have now commissioned two more hydrogen stations in Sindelfingen and Pforzheim. This brings the number of fueling options for fuel-cell cars in Baden-Württemberg to nine, making the federal state Germany’s leading H2 region. The openings are another step in the partners’ efforts towards establishing a nationwide H2 supply network.

Germany currently has a total of 32 hydrogen refueling stations in operation, sponsored by the German government via its National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). Altogether, the German government contributed €1.8 million (US$2.1 million) to the construction of the two new stations. By 2018, the plan is to have 100 filling stations. As many as 400 service stations are planned by 2023 as part of the H2 Mobility Joint Venture.

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California ARB approves $200M VW zero-emission vehicle investment in California; first phase of $800M investment

July 28, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today approved the first of four plans by VW to invest $800 million over 10 years in zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, public outreach, and access to these ultra-clean vehicles for residents of disadvantaged communities. (Earlier post.) The investment is part of a multi-pronged settlement agreement resulting from the automaker’s use of defeat device software in its 2009-2016 diesel passenger cars.

VW has paid out more than $15 billion in claims and penalties for using those defeat device; the ZEV investment is one of multiple pieces intended to mitigate the resulting projected environmental harm.

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Leclanché, eCAMION and SGEM to build and operate network of 34 fast-charging stations along Trans-Canada Highway

July 20, 2017

Leclanché North America, part of Switzerland's Leclanché SA; eCAMION, based in Toronto; and SGEM, based in Geneva; will partner to develop and to install a network of 34 fast-charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH).

The project, designed to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in Canada, entails an investment of C$17.3 million (US$13.6 million) and is being partially funded by a C$8.0-million (US\$6.2 million) repayable contribution from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) under the Canadian Energy Innovation Program. This public private initiative will also be supported by an investment from eCAMION, Leclanché and SGEM.

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New Porsche Berlin-Adlershof center with 25m solar pylon and 800V 350 kW fast charging

July 17, 2017

Porsche opened its new technology center in Berlin-Adlershof. The new site features a 25-meter-high solar pylon that generates up to 30,000 kWh of electricity annually and covers the entire annual demand of the new Porsche Center. The pylon weighs 37 tonnes and comprises 7,776 solar cells, representing a total surface area of approximately 270 m2. Liquid-cooled, 800V 350 kW fast-charging is also installed on the premises.

Parallel to the Berlin-Adlershof site, the existing Porsche Center in Berlin has been modernized and the Porsche Center Berlin-Potsdam has been extended extensively. Investments at the three locations total €15 million (US$17.2 million).

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eMotorWerks and Share&Charge deliver peer-to-peer EV charging network with blockchain payments in California

July 11, 2017

Starting this summer, California residential and commercial owners of electric vehicle charging stations enabled with eMotorWerks’ JuiceNet smart-grid charging technology will have the opportunity to rent out charging time on their stations to EV drivers participating in a new peer-to-peer (P2P) network powered by MotionWerk’s Share&Charge open platform. Share&Charge was founded by the innogy Innovation Hub.

The Share&Charge mobile app connects EV drivers with available residential and commercial EV charging stations and facilitates blockchain-based payments from visiting EV drivers to station owners. The new sharing platform aims to increase the availability of public charging stations and decrease range anxiety current and prospective EV drivers experience. This partnership marks the first peer-to-peer charging network to use blockchain technology in North America.

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innogy launches EV charging subsidiary in US; targeting California and ZEV states

July 06, 2017

Germany-based innogy, a subsidiary of energy giant RWE, has established its own new subsidiary to enter the e-mobility market in the US. The new company, trading under the name of innogy e-mobility US LLC, will be based in Los Angeles and serve the US market as a provider of technology and charging services.

Business activities will focus on California and other US states that have stipulated zero-emission requirements for new vehicles (Zero Emission Vehicles). Cameron Funk is the first CEO of e-mobility US LLC; his previous role was Director of Business Development for ABM Industries Inc., a global industry services company.

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Volkswagen’s Electrify America supplement discusses ZEV charging investments in disadvantaged California communities

July 03, 2017

Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America last week submitted supplemental information to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) detailing its proposed charging investment in and benefit to underserved, low-income, and disadvantaged communities in the state as part of its court-mandated investment plan. (Earlier post.)

The supplement also adds the Fresno metro area as a focus for community charging investments; outlines an education and outreach proposal targeted at the unique barriers to ZEV use in low-income and disadvantaged communities; and presents a new strategy to explore the use of more affordable pre-owned ZEVs. ARB is initiating its review of the Supplement; the Board will conduct a public hearing later this summer to consider the approval or disapproval, in whole or in part, of the full Investment Plan, which now includes the Supplement.

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ChargePoint takes over GE’s EV charging network; nearly 10,000 new residential and commercial charging spots

June 27, 2017

ChargePoint, Inc. has acquired assets and customer contracts related to GE’s charging network business, adding more than 1,800 commercial and about 8,000 residential charging spots to the ChargePoint network. The specifics of the agreement remain confidential. ChargePoint will maintain GE’s existing software and commercial charging spots, helping to make the transition to ChargePoint as easy and seamless as possible for existing clients and drivers.

ChargePoint is the only EV charging company that designs, develops and manufactures its own EV charging hardware and software solutions. In addition, ChargePoint’s OnRamp program was designed specifically to bring other manufacturers to connect their charging stations to ChargePoint’s industry-leading network. GE stations will be supported by the ChargePoint support team. Drivers who are currently on the GE network will also be invited to start using the ChargePoint mobile app to locate available stations, track usage and more.

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H2 Mobility partners open two new H2 stations in the Rhine-Main Area; linking north to south through Germany

June 14, 2017

The joint venture H2 Mobility Deutschland and its partners Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde and Shell officially opened two new hydrogen refueling stations in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. The German federal state of Hesse now has a total of five H2 filling stations for fuel cell vehicles. With these new stations, the partners have moved yet another step closer to a nationwide H2 supply network. The new sites are both conveniently located directly on the A661 and A66 motorways at key points of intersection for people driving from north to south through Germany.

H2 Mobility commissioned the new hydrogen station in Frankfurt’s Hanauer Landstrasse 334 while Daimler AG is the owner of the filling station in Wiesbaden’s Borsigstrasse 1. Both stations are located on Shell premises.

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Continental unveils AllCharge charging system; using the EV powertrain as a universal charger; up to 800V and 350 kW and all types of stations

May 31, 2017

Continental has developed innovative charging technology called “AllCharge” that uses the electric powertrain of an EV as a universal charger supporting all types of cable-based charging stations. AllCharge can always use the maximum output rate—up to 800V and 350 kW—at all types of stations: single-phase and three-phase AC or high-speed DC.

Continental is presenting and demonstrating the technology at the Continental Tech Show in June 2017 and at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

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Qualcomm demonstrates dynamic electric vehicle charging; supports up to 20 kW at highway speeds

May 18, 2017

Qualcomm Incorporate, through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., demonstrated dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC), which allows vehicles to charge while driving. Based on the Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging technology (WEVC), Qualcomm Technologies designed and built a wireless DEVC system capable of charging an electric vehicle (EV) dynamically at up to 20 kW at highway speeds (100 km/h).

Qualcomm Technologies also demonstrated simultaneous charging, in which two vehicles on the same track can charge dynamically at the same time. The vehicles can pick up charge in both directions along the track, and in reverse, further showcasing how the Qualcomm Halo DEVC system has been designed to support real-world implementation of dynamic charging.

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BMW’s ReachNow installing Light & Charge locations in Seattle; 100 chargers at 20 new public sites

May 16, 2017

ReachNow, the mobility services division of the BMW Group, Woodland Park Zoo, and the City of Seattle celebrated the successful installation of the first of 20 Light & Charge electric vehicle (EV) charging locations that will more than double the number of Fast Chargers publicly available in Seattle. ReachNow announced that the Light & Charge system (earlier post) at the zoo is part of a $1.2-million investment by the BMW Group.

The Light & Charge system, developed by BMW together with its partner, eluminocity US Inc., transforms existing street and parking lot light poles into connected nodes on a smart city network. The system combines high-efficiency LED lighting, EV charging and a sophisticated sensor bus that senses various parameters and connects the site to the cloud. The sensor bus also provides edge-computing power for other connected devices nearby. BMW had presented a prototype system in 2014. (Earlier post.)

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Groupe PSA and partners launch GridMotion; reducing electric vehicle usage cost with smart charging

May 12, 2017

Groupe PSA, Direct Energie, Enel, Nuvve, Proxiserve and the Technical University of Denmark have launched the GridMotion project with the aim of evaluating possible savings achieved by real-life electric vehicle (EV) users through the implementation of smart charging and discharging strategies for EVs.

An electric vehicle driver’s electricity bill could be reduced, with no impact on transportation use, by shifting charging times from periods when electricity prices are higher to periods when electricity prices are lower. Even further savings could be achieved by providing grid balancing services through a Vehicle to Grid (V2G) system. The 2-year GridMotion demo project will evaluate the savings EV users could achieve under real-life conditions with the implementation of smart charging and discharging.

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ChargePoint advances European expansion with new InstaVolt partnership; more than 200 rapid charge systems

May 09, 2017

ChargePoint, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, continues to advance its strategic European expansion (earlier post) with a new partnership with a major customer. InstaVolt, a brand committed to deploying the latest DC rapid charge technology and building a premium EV network across the UK, has signed a contract to purchase more than 200 ChargePoint rapid charge systems, making long distance EV travel easier for UK drivers.

The UK market itself is at an inflection point. There are more than 90,000 EVs on the road today but this could reach 1.2 million by 2020 according to the Department for Transport. However, one of the major driver concerns currently is the frequency of charging points and the ability to charge vehicles on long journeys. In response to this, ChargePoint’s Express Plus solutions will be installed by InstaVolt close to popular routes across the UK, enabling drivers to easily charge their vehicles during long journeys.

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First $300M tranche of VW National ZEV investment targets charging infrastructure; 150kW+ fast charging on highway network

April 14, 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published the plan for the first tranche of Volkswagen’s National Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment spending, directed at 11 cities nationwide—New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Portland, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, Miami, and Raleigh—and several highway corridors.

As a part of the first cycle of investment, Volkswagen’s “Electrify America” program is earmarked to spend $300 million, with the most focus on the installation of hundreds of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at multi-family residences, workplaces, highway rest-stops, commercial and retail sites, and municipal lots and garages.

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ChargePoint’s roadmap: EV charging 80% home/work, 20% public/fast, “virtual batteries” for utilities

April 12, 2017

ChargePoint, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, is rapidly expanding both its technical capability with the introduction of its modular Express Plus EV fast-charging platform (up to 400 kW) (earlier post) as well as its geographic reach with its expansion into Europe (earlier post).

The recent expansions of both its charging equipment and its network—which integrates third-party EVSE manufacturers—is laying the foundation for what ChargePoint sees as an ecosystem that not only provides charging services for millions of electric vehicles, but also works in collaboration with utilities to provide valuable grid balancing services with support for the intermittent generation of renewables.

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AeroVironment and eMotorWerks partner to offer smart advanced electric vehicle charging solutions

March 28, 2017

AeroVironment and eMotorWerks, a provider of intelligent and cloud-connected smart-grid charging solutions, are partnering to deliver smart advanced EV charging solutions. By integrating eMotorWerks’ JuiceNet smart-grid EV charging platform into AeroVironment’s line of consumer and OEM EV charging solutions, both companies aim to provide increased charging capabilities to customers and electric demand load aggregation for utilities.

AeroVironment charging solutions with integrated eMotorWerks’ JuiceNet will enable EV drivers to gain benefits that include smartphone, web and Amazon Alexa voice control over charging, real time and historic energy usage for cars, notifications of charging status, load balancing two or more EVSEs on the same electrical circuit to share the load while avoiding tripping breakers, and setting charging schedules that correspond to lower utility rates, saving customers money on charging.

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US State Department issues Presidential Permit to TransCanada for Keystone XL

March 24, 2017

The US Department of State has signed and issued a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline. The permit authorizes TransCanada to construct, to connect, to operate, and to maintain pipeline facilities at the US-Canadian border in Phillips County, Montana for the importation of crude oil.

In November 2016, then US Secretary of State John Kerry had rejected the controversial Keystone XL, citing combatting climate change as the critical factor. Kerry noted at that time that the arguments pro and con had been “overstated”. (Earlier post.) In January 2017, two days after newly inaugurated President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum inviting TransCanada to “promptly re-submit its application to the Department of State for a Presidential permit for the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the company did so.

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The interdependency of autonomous electric vehicles and wireless charging

March 22, 2017

Conference presentations at the 4th International Electric Vehicle Expo this week in Jeju, South Korea, explored issues related to automated driving systems, electric vehicles and infrastructure. Specifically, two presentations from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) and SAE International addressed the interdependence of standardization, autonomous electric vehicles and wireless charging.

The issue with conductive charging is though there are plenty of standards, unfortunately many of these standards are simply not compatible. This incompatibility hurts not only the infrastructure, but also the commercialization of the electric vehicle as the customer does not accept not being able to go to a specific charging [spot],” said Dr. Uooyeol Yoon of KAIST.

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Hubject connects eleven energy suppliers to create the largest Austrian charging network for EVs

March 21, 2017

A partnership project between the eleven leading Austrian energy suppliers and Berlin-based Hubject GmbH (earlier post), which is supported by the Austrian climate and energy fund, will create a comprehensively accessible network of charging stations for drivers of electric vehicles across Austria, starting in April 2017.

The member companies of the Federal Association of Electromobility Austria (Bundesverband Elektromobilität Österreich, BEÖ) are combining their charging stations to create an integrated network with more than 1,300 charge points from Vienna to Bregenz. The charging stations will also be connected with Hubject’s international charging network “intercharge”.

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Year-long field testing finds electric buses with Toshiba wireless charger cut CO2 up to 60% compared to diesel

March 17, 2017

Toshiba Corporation announced the results of year-long field tests of electric buses charged with its wireless rapid rechargeable battery system. (Earlier post.) The tests, carried out with the cooperation of Waseda University, showed that using the buses to replace standard diesel buses could cut CO2 emissions from daily operation by up to 60% for a medium-sized bus and by up to 42% for a small bus. The project was supported by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment’s Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program.

For the field test, Toshiba developed a 44kW wireless rapid rechargeable battery system that feeds power to the battery when the bus is parked over charger pads. The buses were customized to run on Toshiba’s SCiB rechargeable batteries (52.9 kWh pack for the medium-sized bus), and provided regular service between All Nippon Airways facilities in Kawasaki and vicinity of Haneda Airport in Tokyo for the year from February 2016 to January 2017.

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UPS to invest more than additional $90M in natural gas vehicles and infrastructure; 6 new CNG stations, 440 vehicles

March 16, 2017

UPS plans to build an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and add 390 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks and 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. UPS further cements its leadership in the alternative fuel market while continuing to reduce its environmental footprint with this more than $90 million investment in natural gas.

UPS has deployed more than 4,400 natural gas vehicles and a network of fueling stations, said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability. In 2016, UPS used more than 61 million gallons of natural gas in its ground fleet, which included 4.6 million gallons of renewable natural gas. The resulting decrease in the use of conventional gas and diesel decreased CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons, he said.

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California ARB receives VW’s 1st $200M, 30-month ZEV investment plan

March 15, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has received Volkswagen’s (VW) first 30-month Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Plan. This Plan is The Plan, required by California’s partial settlement with VW over the use of illegal defeat devices, describes how VW is proposing to spend the first $200 million in California on ZEV fueling infrastructure (including the development and maintenance of ZEV charging stations), public awareness, increasing ZEV access, and a green city demonstration.

ARB may approve, partially approve or disapprove the Plan. ARB is initiating its review of the Plan and is inviting public comment on whether the Plan meets the terms and goals of the 2.0-liter Consent Decree.

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Daimler invests in ChargePoint as part of $82M round; seat on board

March 02, 2017

Daimler AG is the lead investor in the first $82-million close of US-based charging solutions provider ChargePoint’s latest round of financing. Daimler will receive a seat on Chargepoint’s Board of Directors. The first close of Chargepoint’s round is the largest in the company’s history. The investment will support the expansion of the company’s charging network into Europe.

Existing investors BMW i Ventures, Linse Capital, Rho Capital Partners, and Braemar Energy Ventures also participated in this latest fundraising round. To date, ChargePoint has raised more than $255 million.

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EVgo and ABB install first 150 kW fast charger in US, with potential upgrade to 350 kW

February 28, 2017

EVgo, the US’ largest network of public electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations, and ABB have deployed the US’ first ABB High-Power fast charging station in Fremont, California. The High-Power fast charging system features a maximum charging rate of 150kW—providing a charge which is three times faster than most fast chargers deliver today.

The charger will assist with next generation electric vehicle charging research, and will allow testing of EV research platforms at 150kW initially. The installed system has the potential to reach charging speeds of up to 350kW with an upgrade. As automakers align on future hardware and service standards, the station will enable industry coordination and testing.

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California Energy Commission selects 16 hydrogen station projects for up to $33.4M in funding

February 21, 2017

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has selected 15 new main hydrogen retail station projects for up to $31.7 million in combined funding, as well as one connector station project for up to $1.5 million in fund. Among the program requirements are that each station dispense a minimum of at least 33% renewable hydrogen (per kilogram).

Eight of the main stations projects identified in the Notice of Proposed Awards (NOPA) are to be completed by First Element Fuel; the remaining seven are to be completed by a partnership of Shell and Toyota Motor.

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Update: SAE J2954 wireless charging validation to 11kW, Recommended Practice to enable autonomous vehicle parking and charging in 2017

February 17, 2017

At the SAE 2017 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium last week, an overview of the plans for testing to validate power levels up to WPT 3, (11kW) for SAE J2954TM were shown along with a preview of the technology to be standardized in the upcoming Recommended Practice. (Earlier post.)

The SAE Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) and Alignment team has been working with the Idaho National Lab and US Department of Energy (DOE) regarding testing for the validation of WPT 1-2 (3.7-7.7kW) in 2016. In 2017, bench testing for both matched and interoperable assemblies to validate the WPT 3 (11 kW) power level under both ideal conditions and maximum offset is being planned.

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Wireless charging J2954 testing to 11 kW in 2017 for LD, HD starting up to 250 kW; autonomous charging and infrastructure proposal for California

February 13, 2017

SAE International is working to ensure that electric vehicle wireless power transfer systems from diverse manufacturers will interoperate seamlessly with each other to prepare for commercialization in 2020. The SAE TIR (Technical Information Report) J2954 provides guidance to ensure performance and safety of Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) Systems provided from one vendor as well as interoperability when parts of the system are provided from different vendors.

SAE International is engaged with the Idaho National Lab and US Department of Energy (DOE) in bench-testing of WPT 3 (11 kW) levels in 2017, said Jesse Schneider, chair of the SAE J2954 task force, in his presentation at the SAE 2017 Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium last week in San Diego. In addition, eight OEMs have light-duty vehicle testing planned to begin in third quarter for WPT 1-3 which is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

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WiTricity collaborating with Nissan on wireless charging for EVs

February 12, 2017

WiTricity is collaborating with Nissan to further the adoption of wireless EV charging systems. Both companies are participating in the SAE International J2954 standardization effort for wireless power transfer. (Earlier post.)

The two companies collaborated to submit a joint design system (built using WiTricity’s DRIVE system) to the task force; that circular topology was selected by the SAE International J2954 Taskforce in January as the official test station against which EV wireless charging systems will be tested for interoperability and standards compliance. (Earlier post.) Products developed by carmakers, Tier 1 suppliers and charging infrastructure suppliers will be measured against 3.7 kW and 7.7 kW test stations (WPT 1 and WPT2; the J2954 team also envisions light duty charging rates of 11 kW (WPT3) and 22 kW (WPT4).

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Volvo receives order for 8 all-electric buses in UK; OppCharge opportunity charging

February 06, 2017

Volvo Buses has received an order for eight electric buses, the Volvo 7900 electric, from Transdev Blazefield, the owner of the Harrogate Bus Company in the UK. Operations start in 2018 in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester.

When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using opportunity charging via the common interface OppCharge, whereby the charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers. OppCharge is now starting to be used as a common interface in more than 12 countries. (Earlier post.)

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BMW expands ChargeNow by EVgo programs for DC fast charging

January 27, 2017

BMW of North America has expanded the ChargeNow by EVgo programs (including ChargeNow DC Fast) to more than 50 metro areas in the US, encompassing the entire EVgo public charging network, the largest public DC Fast charging network in the nation. With this expansion, more than 92% of BMW i3, BMW i8 and BMW iPerformance (BMW X5 xDrive40e, BMW 740e xDrive, BMW 530e and the BMW 330e) drivers in the US will be able to enroll to take advantage of a ChargeNow by EVgo program tailored to their vehicle, at any EVgo station.

EVgo’s fast charging network currently totals more than 668 dual-port DC Fast charging stations installed and available to EV drivers across the United States, supported by supplemental Level 2 chargers. An additional 50-plus DC Fast chargers are planned to be installed—and added to the ChargeNow by EVgo programs for BMW drivers—in 2017. (Earlier post.) EVgo charging stations are strategically located near shopping and dining establishments along convenient, well-traveled routes.

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Joint CEC, CARB annual report details progress in build-out of hydrogen refueling infrastructure

January 25, 2017

The California Energy Commission and California Air Resources Board released the annual Joint Agency Staff Report on Assembly Bill 8: 2016 Assessment of Time and Cost Needed to Attain 100 Hydrogen Refueling Stations in California. The 2016 Joint Report updates the time and cost assessments to design, permit, construct, and make hydrogen refueling stations operational and open retail for the stations funded under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP).

As of 5 December 2016, California has 25 open retail stations selling hydrogen for use as a transportation fuel with 23 more open retail stations under development. Combined with two additional California Air Resources Board-funded stations that are open non-retail (in Harbor City and at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA)), California’s hydrogen refueling station network comprises 50 stations. When the 2015 Joint Report was published, six stations were open retail.

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Hydrogenious Technologie and MAN Diesel & Turbo partner to develop LOHC hydrogenation reactors

Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH and MAN Diesel & Turbo SE—which, in addition to being a leading provider of large-bore diesels and turbomachinery for marine and stationary applications, is also a specialist for salt-bed reactors for chemical industry—recently closed an agreement for joint development of industrial-scale Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) hydrogenation reactors.

LOHC technology enables the safe and efficient storage of hydrogen through molecular binding; Hydrogenious thus builds systems to bind hydrogen chemically to a carrier liquid—specifically, dibenzyltoluene. This enables efficient transport and storage of large amounts of hydrogen at ambient conditions. Following the commissioning of first container-based pilot systems by Hydrogenious Technologies, this joint development now aims at a stepwise scaling of hydrogenation systems to the multi-ton per day scale of today’s hydrogen sources.

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SAE International taskforce agrees on SAE J2954 Wireless Charging Test Station; major step forward in global standardization for wireless power transfer for EVs

January 23, 2017

At a standards meeting held in January at Audi AG in Ingolstadt, Germany, carmakers, Tier 1 suppliers, and technology providers from around the world reached agreement on key technical and procedural elements of the upcoming SAE Recommended Practice (RP) Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) and automated parking alignment and charging of electrified vehicles. (Earlier post.)

The Taskforce members have agreed on specifications for the SAE J2954 Test Stations, which automakers will use as a basis to develop their wireless charging systems, and to verify that they will interoperate with charging systems and vehicles sold by other makers.

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California utilities submit projects to CPUC to expand EV infrastructure, adoption and awareness

Three investor-owned California utilities—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)—have submitted applications to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) outlining programs and investments aimed at achieving multiple electric transportation and emission-reduction goals set by the governor and state agencies.

The applications filed demonstrate the utilities’ support of the objectives in Senate Bill 350 (De León) [Chapter 547, Statutes of 2015] which called upon utilities “to file applications for programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification to reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards, achieve the goals set forth in the Charge Ahead California Initiative, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.”

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Upcoming workshop for SAE J2954 wireless power transfer status and testing in California

January 17, 2017

On 6 February, the Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego in California will be hosting a workshop for SAE J2954 (Wireless Power Transfer and Automated Charging and Alignment) with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and California Energy Commission (CARB-CEC) related to wireless power transfer technology status and testing plans in California. The workshop is the day before the SAE 2017 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium, also in San Diego.

The workshop will review the SAE J2954 light duty document, the anticipated timeline for standardization to commercialization, and the status of technology projects.

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Port of Seattle, Boeing and Alaska Airlines release aviation biofuel infrastructure findings

​The Port of Seattle, Boeing and Alaska Airlines released a first-of-its-kind study that identifies the best infrastructure options for delivering aviation biofuel to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. In pursuit of its goal to power every flight at Sea-Tac with sustainable aviation biofuel, Sea-Tac is among the first airports in North America to work with aviation, energy and research partners to systematically evaluate all aspects to developing a commercial-scale program from scratch.

The objective of the study was to identify the best approach to deliver up to 50 million gallons (and to double to 100 million after 2025) of aviation biofuel per year into the fuel hydrant delivery system at Sea-Tac International Airport. A total of 29 sites across the state were identified and screened. The sites were located in King, Pierce, Whatcom, Skagit, Grays Harbor and Franklin Counties, Washington.

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WVU study fully characterizes pump-to-wheels methane emissions from HD natural gas vehicles and fueling stations

January 12, 2017

Researchers at West Virginia University have characterized pump-to-wheels methane emissions from heavy-duty (HD) natural-gas-fueled vehicles and the compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations that serve them. The study, published as an open-access paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, greatly expands on very limited data on methane emissions from natural gas-fueled vehicles.

The WVU pump-to-wheels study is the first end-use paper in a collaborative scientific research series designed to measure and better understand the sources and amount of greenhouse-gas methane that is emitted across the natural gas supply chain.

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ChargePoint introduces modular Express Plus EV fast-charging platform; up to 400 kW

January 06, 2017

ChargePoint announced ChargePoint Express Plus, an ultra-fast DC charging solution that can deliver up to 400 kW. It supports charging voltages ranging from 200 volts (V) to 1000 V including today’s 400 V cars and 750 V buses, and tomorrow’s 800 V cars.

A modular platform designed for businesses and charging centers along major roadways or transit depots, Express Plus can charge today’s newest electric vehicles, such as the Chevy Bolt EV, at their maximum rate; is equipped to charge upcoming EVs such as the Tesla Model 3; and is ready to deliver maximum charging speed to EVs coming to market in the years to come. Express Plus will be available in July 2017. ChargePoint up to now has offered 24 kW and 50 kW fast charging via its Express 100 and 200 platforms. (Earlier post.)

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Electric Vehicle Arteries (EVA+) fast charging: Enel, Verbund, Renault, Nissan, BMW & Volkswagen partner in Italy & Austria

December 23, 2016

Enel, as coordinator, and Austria’s main utility Verbund are collaborating on a fast-recharging network project in Italy and Austria, alongside some of the world’s largest EV carmakers including Renault, Nissan, BMW and Volkswagen Group Italia (represented by Volkswagen and Audi).

Electric Vehicle Arteries (EVA+) aims to create a fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles on key roads and motorways in Italy and Austria. A grant agreement worth a maximum of €4.2 million (US$4.4 million) has already been signed with INEA, the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency delegated by the European Commission (EC). EVA+ will be officially launched in Brussels in January 2017.

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ABB delivers OppCharge fast charger for electric hybrid buses to Bertrange, Luxembourg

December 21, 2016

ABB has inaugurated the first OppCharge fast-charging station for electric buses in Benelux, in the commuter belt town of Bertrange, Luxembourg. The fast charger, with associated electrical systems, is based on OppCharge, an open interface for DC electric bus charging using pole-mounted pantographs, as opposed to putting the pantograph on the vehicle’s roof. (The vehicle-mounted OppCharge connector rails weight about 2kg, compared to the 70-200 kg with a roof-mounted pantograph.)

The project has been delivered with ABB fast charging infrastructure and substation to the local authority MDDI Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure; with the support of the national road administration of Luxembourg (Administration des Ponts et Chausseés). Bus operator Sales-Lentz will use the charger to recharge electric hybrid buses from Volvo.

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California Public Utilities Commission approves PG&E EV charging program for 7,500 charging stations in NorCal

December 16, 2016

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted to approve Charge Smart and Save, a program initiated by Pacific Gas & Electric to deploy 7,500 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across Northern California. Under the approved program, PG&E will primarily deploy stations at multi-family dwellings and workplaces, with electricity price based on time-of-use to encourage drivers to fill up during off-peak hours or when renewable energy is abundant.

The approval for PG&E’s $130-million program builds on vehicle infrastructure programs approved for Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric earlier this year, which combined will result in a total of 5,000 charging stations deployed in Southern California. (Earlier post.) Each program has a goal of using lessons learned to improve future, larger scale deployments in the state.

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Volkswagen Group invests in Hubject eRoaming platform for EV charging

December 15, 2016

The Volkswagen Group is joining the eRoaming platform Hubject GmbH as shareholder. Hubject, a joint venture formed by BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler AG, EnBW, innogy and Siemens (earlier post), launched its eRoaming EV charging platform “intercharge” in 2013.

With the strategic investment in the Berlin-based company, Europe’s largest car maker will push ahead with the digital interconnection of charging stations for electric vehicles starting in early 2017 as well as the expansion and internationalization of Hubject GmbH together with the founding shareholders.

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Wireless charging bench testing complete, proving interoperability and validating SAE TIR J2954

December 14, 2016

SAE International is working to ensure that electric vehicle wireless power transfer systems from different manufacturers can interoperate seamlessly with each other to prepare for commercialization in 2020. Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and TDK R&D Corporation, along with the US Department of Energy (DOE), automotive companies and suppliers have completed bench testing to support the SAE Technical Information Report (TIR) J2954. (Earlier post.) SAE TIR J2954 is a guideline for the wireless charging of plug-in electric vehicles that was published by the SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers) earlier this year.

The SAE TIR J2954 provides guidance to ensure performance and safety of Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) Systems provided from one vendor as well as interoperability when parts of the system are provided from different vendors. For the first time, interoperability between the so-called Double D (DD) and Circular Topologies has been demonstrated between 3.7 to 7.7 kW with efficiencies exceeding 85-90% under aligned conditions.

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Nikola Motor unveils prototype Class 8 fuel cell range-extended electric truck, plans for H2 fueling network

December 06, 2016

At an event at its Salt Lake City headquarters last week, startup Nikola Motor Company (NMC) unveiled the first public prototype of its Nikola One Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell range-extended electric truck, as well as renderings of the Nikola Two Class 8 day cab version. The company also announced its plan for a network of 364 hydrogen fueling stations across the US and Canada (Nikola is bundling fuel with the truck), and unveiled a 107 kWh battery pack for the Nikola Zero UTV along with a business plan to sell packs to OEMs.

The Nikola One utilizes a fully electric drivetrain featuring a 320 kWh Li-ion battery pack (32,000 cells) and a nearly 300 kW fuel cell stack powering a 6x4 four-wheel electric drive (four 800V AC motors) with torque vectoring. Delivering more than 1,000 hp (746 kW) and 2,000 lb-ft of torque, the Nikola One will have an expected range of 800-1,200 miles, the company said.

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WiTricity announces Tunable Matching Network technology; optimization of power transfer between ground and vehicle

December 05, 2016

Wireless power transfer company WiTricity announced Tunable Matching Network (TMN) technology, which allows the wireless charging system automatically to optimize energy transfer between the ground and vehicle in a wide range of real-world operating conditions including parking misalignment, differing vehicle ground clearance and varying battery voltage conditions. This flexibility enables wirelessly charged vehicles to interoperate more easily with standards-based charging sources made by different automakers, Tier 1 suppliers and infrastructure suppliers.

WiTricity’s TMN technology is delivered as a compact electronics module embodying proprietary hardware and software algorithms, to be incorporated into both the wireless charging source on the ground and the wireless power capture device on the vehicle.

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BMW Group, Daimler, Ford, Audi & Porsche JV for up to 350 kW CCS ultra-fast charging network along major highways in Europe

November 29, 2016

BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the highest-powered charging network in Europe. The goal is the quick build-up of a sizable number of stations in order to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers. This will be an important step towards facilitating mass-market BEV adoption.

The network will be based on Combined Charging System (CCS) standard technology. The planned charging infrastructure expands the existing technical standard for AC- and DC charging of electric vehicles to the next level of capacity for DC fast charging with up to 350 kW. BEVs that are engineered to accept this full power of the charge stations will recharge brand-independently in a fraction of the time of today’s BEVs. The network is intended to serve all CCS equipped vehicles to facilitate the BEV adoption in Europe.

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BMW Digital Charging Service optimizes charging and integrates electric vehicles into the energy market

November 28, 2016

BMW i is expanding its engagement in electric mobility with the new BMW Digital Charging Service (DCS)—an intelligent service for predictive, convenient, cost-effective and green power-optimized charging. The Digital Charging Service optimizes charging technology for BMW i and BMW iPerformance vehicles and will be extended in a later phase to other brands. Pilot markets for the new service are Germany and the Netherlands in early 2017, subsequently more countries will follow.

After activation, the service carries out the charging process fully independently and autonomously. The BMW Digital Charging Service is based on two core functions: tariff- and solar-optimized vehicle charging.

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Japan-US DRIVETHEARC EV fast charging corridor breaks ground in Northern California; 50 fast chargers by March 2017

November 16, 2016

DRIVETHEARC, a corridor of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations spanning from Monterey to Lake Tahoe, broke ground in El Dorado Hills, Calif. DRIVETHEARC is a joint international project promoted by Japan’s largest public R&D management organization, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), under the agreement between NEDO and the State of California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, and in partnership with Nissan Motor Co., Nissan North America, Kanematsu and EVgo.

In addition to increasing the ease of long-distance EV travel along one of California’s most important travel arteries, DRIVETHEARC will also study EV use and driving patterns through a smartphone app that will provide a user-friendly charging experience.

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