[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.]
Euro Parliament Transport Committee backs draft directive mandating expansion of alternative fuel stations; grandfathering CHAdeMO
November 26, 2013
|Minimum number of publicly-accessible recharging points for electric vehicles in each member state. Click to enlarge.|
EU member states would have to ensure that specified numbers of publicly-available electric vehicle recharging points and hydrogen and natural gas stations are built by 2020, under a draft directive endorsed by the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday. The draft rules aim to reduce dependence on oil and boost take-up of alternative fuels, so as to help achieve a 60% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2050.
Private sector players should play a leading role in developing this infrastructure, but member states should provide tax and public procurement incentives for them to do so, say the members of Parliament (MEPs). The directive specifies that:
California Energy Commission to award up to $29.9M to hydrogen refueling infrastructure projects
November 24, 2013
The California Energy Commission (CEC) will award up to $29.9 million to projects to develop hydrogen refueling infrastructure in California (PON-13-607).
The solicitation has two goals: 1) to develop infrastructure necessary to dispense hydrogen transportation fuel; and 2) to provide needed Operation and Maintenance (O&M) funding to support hydrogen refueling operations prior to the large—scale roll—out of Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCVs). CEC will provide funding to construct, to upgrade, or to support hydrogen refueling stations that expand the network of publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations to serve the current population of FCVs and accommodate the planned large—scale roll—out of FCVs beginning in 2015.
Inaugural PlugInsights report highlights need to expand public fast charging
November 15, 2013
|The study shows that home charging is dominant. Data: PlugInsights. Click to enlarge.|
Electric vehicle software and information services company Recargo Inc., has launched a plug-in vehicle (PEV) research firm—PlugInsights—which released an inaugural report addressing the experiences, behaviors and opinions around charging a plug-in vehicle in America.
The sample for the study was drawn from PlugInsights’ PEV panel, comprising more than 3,700 plug-in drivers of 17 different vehicle makes and models of plug-in hybrid, mid-range battery-electric vehicles and long-range battery electric vehicles (the Teslas), mathematically modeled to reflect the “real world”. The growing panel will be the data source for upcoming PEV studies, and will be used for custom survey and focus group research with PlugInsights clients.
SAE task force agrees on frequency of operation and power classes for wireless power transfer for light-duty plug-in vehicles
SAE International J2954 Task Force for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) of Light Duty, Electric and Plug-in Electric Vehicles, has agreed upon two key factors for the Technical Information Report (TIR) on interoperability for the first phase of pre-commercial development: a common frequency of operation (85 kHz) and the definition of three power classes for light duty vehicles: WPT 1, 2 and 3.
Made up of OEMs, WPT Suppliers, industry experts and government representatives, the Task Force plans to complete the TIR in early 2014. The SAE Technical Information Report will be followed by publication of SAE J2954 Standard, based on field data confirmation.
NCSU team proposes new system for dynamic wireless EV charging
Researchers from North Carolina State University are proposing a new topology appropriate for dynamic wireless charging—i.e., wireless charging on the go. Currently, at peak efficiency, the new system can transmit energy at a rate of 0.5 kilowatts (kW). The team’s goal is to move from 0.5 kW into the 50 kW range.
The system, outlined in a paper published in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, features a transmitter made from segmented multiple coils, each of which broadcasts a low-level electromagnetic field and is powered by a single inverter. A receiver coil that is the same size as each of the transmitter coils is placed in a car or other mobile platform. (The size of the coils is important, because coils of the same size transfer energy more efficiently.)
CMU study finds limited dedicated residential parking and charging a significant barrier to mainstream EV adoption
November 12, 2013
|Selected forecasts of US PEV sales with barriers to fleet penetration from limited residential charging infrastructure. Traut et al. Click to enlarge.|
An analysis by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University of parking and charging availability for electric vehicles in the US has concluded that limited availability of dedicated residential parking—and hence charging opportunities—is a significant barrier to mainstream electric vehicle adoption. The study, which was funded in part by grants from the National Science Foundation, CMU’s Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, General Motors, Ford and Toyota, is to appear in the journal Transportation Research (Part D).
The team, led by Professor Jeremy Michalek, assessed existing and potential charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicles in US households using data from the American Housing Survey and the Residential Energy Consumption Survey. The team found that while approximately 79% households have off-street parking for at least some of their vehicles, only an estimated 56% of vehicles have a dedicated off-street parking space—and only 47% at an owned residence. Only approximately 22% vehicles currently have access to a dedicated home parking space within reach of an outlet sufficient to recharge a small plug-in vehicle battery pack overnight.
Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi to provide financial assistance for EV charging infrastructure in Japan
Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation have agreed on the details of specific financial assistance they will provide to installers of charging stations for electric vehicles (PHVs, PHEVs, and EVs). This announcement follows an agreement the four companies announced in July jointly to promote the construction of a user-friendly network of charging infrastructures. (Earlier post.)
In order for electric vehicles to become widely adopted, the partners point out, it is imperative that charging infrastructure be made widely available as quickly as possible. By assisting installers with the part of their costs not covered by government subsidies, the four companies intend to promote wider availability of chargers to make electric vehicle use more convenient.
DOE Inspector General criticizes agency’s handling of disclosures over Ecotality awards
November 08, 2013
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a report concluding that DOE “had not fully disclosed known concerns regarding Ecotality’s ability to meet its EV project obligations” to the Office of Inspector General prior to completion of an earlier audit, and thus prior to Ecotality’s bankruptcy filing in September. (Earlier post.)
The OIG concluded that DOE had not provided information that raised questions about Ecotality’s ability to meet its project goals, including completing planned EV charger installations and the collection of EV usage data—even though the data had a “readily apparent” connection to the OIG audit then underway.
Consortium including Volvo Car Group completes successful study of EV wireless charging
October 24, 2013
|Inductive battery charging components. Click to enlarge.|
A consortium of companies, including Volvo Car Group, Bombardier Transportation and the coachbuilder Van Hool, has successfully completed a 3-year research project studying the possibilities of inductive charging for electric vehicles. (Earlier post.) The results show that this technology for transferring energy via an electromagnetic field has “great potential,” according to Volvo.
The inductive charging project was initiated by Flanders’ Drive, a research and test center for the automotive industry in the Flanders region in Belgium and was partly funded by the Flemish government. Volvo Cars supplied the car for the inductive charging project: a Volvo C30 Electric with a power output of 89 kW (120 hp) and a 24 kWh battery pack.
BRUSA picks up awards at eCarTec Munich 2013 for wireless charging and electric truck; synchronous motor shortlisted
October 17, 2013
|The two components of BRUSA’s Inductive Charging System. Click to enlarge.|
BRUSA won two of the eCarTec Awards presented at eCarTec Munich 2013 trade fair. BRUSA’s new ICS inductive charging system and the E-FORCE electric truck won in their particular categories, while BRUSA’s synchronous motor was shortlisted in the category of “Drive Technology, System Electrics, Testing Systems”.
BRUSA Inductive Charging System. BRUSA’s ICS was the winner in the category “Energy, Infrastructure, Connection Technology”. The new system only comprises a floor and vehicle plate—the required power electronics are integrated.
Car Charging Group acquires Blink-related charging assets of ECOtality; Access Control Group and Intertek buyers of other assets
October 11, 2013
Blink Acquisition, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Car Charging Group, Inc., a nationwide provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging services, won the bid to purchase the Blink-related assets of bankrupt ECOtality. (Earlier post.) The assets included in the transaction are all of Blink’s inventory: more than 12,450 installed electric vehicle Level II charging stations; the 110 DC Fast charging station;, and the Blink network, which is the turnkey operating system for EV drivers, commercial businesses, and utilities, that services the Blink stations.
Blink Acquisition is paying $3,335,000 in cash, plus payment or satisfaction of cure costs and the assumption of Assumed Liabilities (i.e., agreements with the US government). The Blink deal does not include Minit-Charger, which manufactures and distributes fast-charging systems for material handling and airport ground support vehicles; this business was acquired for $250,000 by Access Control Group. Nor does it include ETEC LABS, ECOtality’s research and testing resource for governments, automotive OEMs and utilities; this was acquired by Intertek Testing for $750,000.
Navigant Research projects global market for plug-in charging equipment to grow to 4.3M units and $5.8B in revenue in 2022
October 02, 2013
The market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has expanded in recent years in parallel with the deployment of publicly accessible charging stations, mainly funded by government programs. According to a new report from Navigant Research, there are now almost 64,000 public charging stations installed globally. Overall, Navigant Research expects global sales of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to grow from around 442,000 units in 2013 to 4.3 million in 2022, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.8%. The company expects revenue from the sales of EVSE to grow from $567 million in 2013 to $5.8 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 29.4%.
Residential EVSE sales are directly driven by the increase in PEV sales, as many drivers purchase a charger for exclusive use at home. Commercial charging, which includes workplace, public and private chargers, is more indirectly tied to PEV growth and is still driven to a great degree by government support, the market research firm observed. However, this dynamic is changing, as government programs in some regions are coming to a close.
CARB draft of updated AB 32 Scoping Plan for climate change actions post-2020; pushing for greater transportation reductions
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released the public discussion draft of the required update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan. (Earlier post.) The Scoping Plan describes the comprehensive range of efforts California must take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and meet the state’s long-term goals to combat climate change.
AB 32 requires the Scoping Plan to be updated every five years. The original Plan, first released in 2008, was developed on the principle that a balanced mix of strategies is the best way to cut emissions and grow California’s economy in a clean and sustainable direction. This draft update continues with that approach and focuses on three questions:
H2 Mobility initiative agrees on $474M plan for hydrogen refueling network in Germany; 400 stations by 2023
September 30, 2013
The six partners in the “H2 Mobility” initiative (earlier post)—Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total—have signed an agreement in principle upon a specific action plan for the construction of a Germany-wide hydrogen refueling network for fuel cell powered electric vehicles.
Under the plan, the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany’s public hydrogen infrastructure will be expanded by 2023 to about 400 H2 filling stations. As a first step, the partners intend to deploy 100 hydrogen stations in Germany over the next 4 years. This would ensure a need-related supply for fuel cell powered electric vehicles to be introduced into the market in the next years, the partners said.
Kawasaki Heavy to build first ocean-going liquid hydrogen tanker with demo in 2017; H2 for transport, industry, power in Japan
September 28, 2013
|KHI’s view of a “CO2-free hydrogen chain”. Source: KHI. Click to enlarge.|
The Nikkei reports that Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (KHI) will build the first ocean-going ships to carry liquefied hydrogen (LH2), with plans for a demonstration test by 2017 in which liquefied hydrogen will be shipped from the state of Victoria in Australia to Japan. The project will cost ¥60 billion (US$610 million), according to the report.
As part of Japan’s WE-NET (World Energy Network) research program of the New Sunshine Project begun in 1993, Kawasaki and its other industrial colleagues in Japan have been considering the large-scale marine transportation of liquid hydrogen for some time (e.g., Abe et al., 1998). KHI has previously discussed the concept of such a hydrogen-carrying vessel as part of its Business Vision 2020.
Ford launches electric vehicle charging network for employees; hoping to increase number of all-electric trips
September 16, 2013
Ford Motor Company is installing a new workplace plug-in vehicle charging network at nearly every Ford facility in the US and Canada. Ford will install charging stations at more than 50 company offices, product development campuses and manufacturing facilities. Installation will begin later this year and roll out throughout 2014.
Ford employees will be able to charge the all-electric Focus Electric, as well as Ford’s two plug-in hybrids—the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi—at the charge stations. The service will initially be free to employees for the first four hours. Ford estimates it will cost the company about $0.50 fully to charge a vehicle.
Burns & McDonnell develops bi-directional fast chargers for SPIDERS program
September 01, 2013
|Bi-directional fast charger at Ft. Carson. Click to enlarge.|
A team of Burns & McDonnell engineers, along with subcontractor Coritech Services, has developed a system of bidirectional, fast-charging stations for a fleet of plug-in electric vehicles at Fort Carson, Colo. This first-of-its-kind system will push power back to the base microgrid when needed to meet installation demand or improve overall power quality.
On 29 August, the team successfully commissioned five bidirectional chargers and the aggregating control system as part of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) microgrid project at Fort Carson. (Earlier post.) Commissioning was performed using both Boulder Electric Vehicle and Smith Electric trucks, which are being provided for use on SPIDERS under separate agreements with the US Army’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) and Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).
KAIST rolling out dynamic wireless charging in buses in South Korea
August 08, 2013
|The OLEV bus in Gumi. Click to enlarge.|
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is trialing a bus application for its Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) technology, a dynamic wireless charging technology that recharges a vehicle’s battery while the vehicle is in motion. (Earlier post.) An OLEV bus thus requires no pantographs to feed power from electric wires strung above the tram route.
Following the development and operation of commercialized OLEV trams (at an amusement park in Seoul) and shuttle buses (at KAIST campus), respectively, the city of Gumi in South Korea, beginning on 6 August, is providing its citizens with OLEV public transportation services. After the successful operation of the two OLEV buses by the end of this year, Gumi City plans to provide ten more such buses by 2015.
SoCal Edison white paper shares data about PEV usage and charging
August 06, 2013
|About 50% of the more than 12,000 PEV owners in SCE territory charge at Level 1. Click to enlarge.|
Southern California Edison (SCE) released a white paper summarizing learnings from its Electric Vehicle (EV) readiness program. The paper, “Charged Up: Southern California Edison’s Key Learnings about Electric Vehicles, Our Customers and Grid Reliability,” shares information based on customer data and utility operations gathered since SCE began to prepare the distribution system and its customers for widespread electric vehicle (EV) adoption in its service territory.
Currently, SCE customers lease or own more than 12,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), both battery electric (BEVs, for about 35%) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs, for about 65%)—about 10% of national EV sales. (SCE estimates that by 2020, there will be about 350,000 PEVs in its service territory.) Because California leads the nation in EV adoption, other utilities and stakeholders in the auto industry may find the information from the white paper useful, SCE suggested.
Exploring the adoption of EVs in the US, Europe and China; charging scenarios and infrastructure
|Aspirational targets among seven countries participating in the Electric Vehicle Initiative would see growth from just under 2 million EV and PHEVs to just under 20 million by 2020. Source: “Electric Vehicle Grid Integration”. Click to enlarge.|
A recently published paper by M.J. Bradley & Associates, commissioned by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), examines key drivers of EV adoption in the US, Europe and China, with an emphasis on vehicle charging scenarios and infrastructure.
This report examines hurdles to EV adoption in these regions, and identifies critical success factors that should guide policymakers in the transportation and electric sectors. Accelerating the pace of EV market growth requires a coordinated evolution in both sectors, the report argues, from the power plant to the charging station to the vehicle. Supportive policies should work to ensure that EV owners are able to capture the full economic value of their decision to fuel switch from electricity to gasoline, including any benefits to the grid operator, and any emission reduction benefits, in addition to realizing the savings from replacing gasoline or diesel fuel with electricity.
AKASOL providing Li-ion systems for Bombardier PRIMOVE; wireless charging
August 05, 2013
German Li-ion battery systems specialist AKASOL is supplying Li-ion battery systems for Bombardier’s PRIMOVE system. (Earlier post.) PRIMOVE is a Business Unit of Bombardier that specializes in creating market-ready solutions in the field of electromobility; its portfolio comprises integrated charging, battery, and power solutions for all types of electric rail and road vehicles. The wireless PRIMOVE charging technology permits automatic inductive rapid charging with up to 200 kW of power.
AKASOL’s water-cooled PRIMOVE Li-ion battery systems feature an extremely compact size and low weight. Depending on use, the energy capacity of the system packs varies between 50 and 90 kWh. Under the Bombardier partnership, AKASOL will supply 5-10 MWh of its Li-ion battery systems to Bombardier by the end of 2014 for use in various applications and at sites of operation around the world. Starting in 2015, volume should rise to a middle to high double-digit MWh range.
Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi agree to joint development of charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicles in Japan
July 29, 2013
Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation jointly announced their agreement to work together to promote the installation of chargers for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)—(plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (EVs)—and to build a charging network service that offers more convenience to drivers in Japan. (Earlier post.)
The partners said the move is in recognition of the need for the swift development of a charging infrastructure facilities to promote the use of electric-powered vehicles. Assisted by subsidies provided by the Japanese government, the four automakers will bear part of the cost to install the charging facilities. They will also work together to build a convenient and accessible charging network in collaboration with companies that are already providing charging services in which each of the four automakers already have a financial stake.
International consortium launches government-supported study on hydrogen vehicle refueling infrastructure in France
July 06, 2013
Twenty founding partner members of the “Mobility Hydrogen France” (Mobilité Hydrogène France, MHF) consortium are combining their forces and expertise to produce an economically competitive and supported deployment plan for a private and public hydrogen refueling infrastructure in France between 2015 and 2030, including an analysis of cost-effectiveness.
Regional, national and international, private and public stakeholders were brought together by the French Association for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (L’Association Française pour l’Hydrogène et les Piles à Combustible, AFHyPaC) and supported by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (Ministère de l’Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l’Energie), to share their knowledge and expertise in order to develop coordinated deployment scenarios for vehicles and hydrogen stations, and to emphasize the clear benefits and costs of this transition. The results will be published in late 2013.
US Maritime Administration to fund projects on reducing emissions from marine vessels, study on LNG bunkering
June 15, 2013
The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) Office of the Environment has issued two funding opportunities; the first (DTMA-91-R-2013-0020) will award up to an estimated $900,000 for up to 2 projects that demonstrate criteria pollutant emissions of carbon emissions reductions from marine vessels through repowering, re-engining, or using alternative fuel/energy.
The second (DTMA-91-R-2013-0009) will award up to $500,000 for a comprehensive study on the issues associated with the bunkering (supplying a ship with fuel) of LNG for marine vessels. One of the largest obstacles to widespread take-up of LNG as ship fuel—and hence its viability as an option to meet ECA (Emission Control Areas) requirements—is the lack of a bunkering infrastructure, according to Lloyd’s Register. (Earlier post.)
Calif. Energy Commission to award more than $44M for hydrogen refueling and alternative fuel vehicle projects
June 13, 2013
In two packages of awards, the California Energy Commission approved more than $44 million to expand the hydrogen fueling infrastructure and increase the number of alter alternative fuel vehicles on the road in the state.
These awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. For the current fiscal year, the program is slated to invest approximately $90 million to encourage the development and use of new technologies, and alternative and renewable fuels, to help the state meet its climate-change goals. It is paid for through surcharges on vehicle and boat registrations, and smog check and license plate fees.
DOE to award up to $9M for demonstration and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies; medium-duty eTrucks
June 12, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $9 million in new funding (DE-FOA-0000828) to accelerate the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in four topic areas: fuel-cell hybrid medium-duty trucks; advanced hydrogen refueling components; backup power systems; and hydrogen meters. (Earlier post.)
DOE is accepting new applications for projects proposing to demonstrate and deploy hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the first three topics, and for research and development in Topic 4. For the first three topics, the primary objective of each proposed project must be to demonstrate and deploy hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in real-world environments. R&D will not be funded through this announcement. DOE select up to eight projects from industry, academia, and national labs.
Cohda, BMW and Honda in V2V motorcycle study as part of DOT Safety Pilot Model Deployment
June 10, 2013
As part of the US Safety Pilot Model Deployment of connected vehicle technologies (earlier post), the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) will launch a motorcycle study to determine how cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles interact using V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) communications technology.
Two tasks will be conducted in the Safety Pilot Model Deployment Geographic Area as a proof of concept for incorporating motorcycles into the connected vehicle environment: motorcycle communications feasibility testing and motorcycle-to-vehicle performance testing. UMTRI has partnered with two motorcycle manufacturers: Honda and BMW. Australia-based Cohda Wireless is providing the V2V connected vehicle equipment.
BC government won’t support Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline as presented over spill response concerns
June 01, 2013
In its final written submission to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel (JRP), the government of British Columbia states that it cannot support the project as presented to the panel primarily because Northern Gateway (NG) has been unable to adequately detail its response to a spill.
The Northern Gateway Pipeline is a proposed 1,170-kilometer (727-mile) twin pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Kitimat on the British Columbia coast. Northern Gateway’s West line, 36 inches in diameter, would transport an average of 525,000 barrels of oil sands crude per day to Kitimat. The East Line, 20 inches in diameter, will carry 193,000 barrels of condensate per day back to Edmonton. Condensate is used to thin petroleum products for pipeline transport (diluent).
ABB develops and demonstrates “flash charging” system for electric buses
May 31, 2013
|Close-up of the charging mechanism on the demo TOSA bus. Source: ABB. Click to enlarge.|
ABB has developed and is demonstrating a high-capacity “flash charging” system for electric buses. The system enables onboard batteries to be charged in 15 seconds with a 400 kW boost at selected stops using a roof-mounted system (“Flash station”). The flash stations are connected to the 50kVA electricity network and also have a 3kWh storage unit (supercap) for smoothing peaks in consumption.
At the end of the bus line (“Terminus station”) a 3 to 4 minute boost at 200 kW tops up the batteries. At the depot station, the bus plugs into a multi-bus supply station connected to the 50 kVA network.
Tesla expanding Supercharger network; boosting charging to 120 kW
May 30, 2013
|Tesla’s vision of the Supercharger network in 2015. Click to enlarge.|
Tesla Motors announced an accelerated rollout of its Tesla Supercharger network, which delivers quick charging for Tesla Model S drivers over long distances (i.e., city-to-city travel), for free.
The company also said that it is currently in beta test with new technology for the Supercharger that will allow Model S to be charged at 120 kW, replenishing enough energy for three hours of driving in just over 20 minutes. This essentially cuts the current charging time in half relative to early trials of the system. The new technology will be fully rolled out to customers this summer.
Australian Smart Grid demand management project shows EV drivers could halve charging costs
May 28, 2013
In Australia, as part of the Victorian Government’s Electric Vehicle Trial (earlier post), DiUS Computing delivered a demand management demonstration project using Victoria’s Smart Grid. The project, which ran from June to December 2012, was the first end-to-end use of Victoria’s Smart Meter infrastructure for electricity demand management.
The results of the project, released this week in a project report available via the DiUS website, showed that drivers could save around $250 each year—about 50% of their charging costs—just by using grid-friendly smart charging technology.
Roland Berger E-Mobility Index finds government subsidies for and projected sales of xEVs declining worldwide
May 22, 2013
|The Q1 2013 index (top) shows that the 7 top automotive nations have seen their competitive positions shift since 2012 (bottom). Source: Roland Berger. Click to enlarge.|
Despite maturing technology and better cost structures, worldwide production forecasts for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are in decline, posing a threat to national targets to raise the share of xEVs in vehicle fleets, according to the latest E-mobility Index by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen (fka) for Q1 2013.
The index compares the development of e-mobility in seven leading car-manufacturing nations (Germany, France, Italy, US, Japan, China and South Korea) on the basis of three parameters: technology, manufacturing, and market.
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).
U-M launches Michigan Mobility Transformation Center; model deployment for testing connected and automated vehicles and systems
May 14, 2013
The University of Michigan announced the establishment of the Michigan Mobility Transformation Center (MTC) as a partnership with government and industry to improve the safety, sustainability and accessibility of the ways that people and goods move from place to place.
A key focus of the MTC will be a model deployment that will allow researchers to test emerging concepts in connected and automated vehicles and vehicle systems in both off-road and on-road settings. The model deployment will build in part on a $25-million study for the US Department of Transportation now underway at UMTRI. (Earlier post.)
DOE issues RFI for hydrogen delivery R&D, targeting cost of $2-4 gge
The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Request for Information (DE-FOA-0000920) seeking feedback from stakeholders for hydrogen delivery research and development activities aimed at lowering the cost of hydrogen delivery technologies in order to reach the threshold cost goal of $2-4 per gallon of gasoline equivalent (gge) produced, delivered and dispensed of hydrogen.
The RFI is not a funding opportunity announcement, although DOE said it may issue such an FOA in the future. The RFI covers two main areas of interest: Compression, Storage and Dispensing; and Liquefaction.
DOE launches H2USA public-private partnership to deploy hydrogen infrastructure for transportation
May 13, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched H2USA—a new public-private partnership focused on advancing hydrogen infrastructure to support more transportation energy options for US consumers, including fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). (Earlier post.)
The new partnership brings together automakers, government agencies, gas suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel 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.
DOT to award up to $45M for vehicle-to-infrastructure application projects
May 03, 2013
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is soliciting (FOA DTFH61-13-RA-00004) applications for cooperative pre-competitive projects designed to enable the successful deployment of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) crash avoidance and driver information applications in passenger vehicles. Projects will last 60 months; estimated total program funding is up to $45 million.
V2I applications are those applications which vehicle-based sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications are not considered adequate for development of information, alerts, or warnings for drivers. These V2I applications require additional information from the infrastructure to be enabled. These applications, however, are vehicle-based, in that they are programs resident in the on-board equipment of the vehicle.
Chalmers team developing new high-power integrated motor and battery charger; “rotating transformer”
April 30, 2013
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.
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.
Major spill from the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas
March 31, 2013
|Route of the Pegasus pipeline. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge.|
A breach in ExxonMobil’s Pegasus crude oil pipeline occurred late Friday afternoon near Mayflower, AR (about 20 miles north northwest of Little Rock and at the southwestern end of the Lake Conway reservoir). The pipeline has been shut in and crews are working to contain the spill. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizes the incident as a “major spill”—i.e., greater than 250 barrels (10,500 gallons).
ExxonMobil said that it observed a few thousand barrels of oil in the area (approximately 84,000 gallons), but is staging a response for more than 10,000 barrels (420,000 gallons) to be conservative. The cause of the spill is under investigation.
California Energy Commission awards more than $5.5M for green transportation projects and $1.8M for 20 energy research projects
March 21, 2013
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved $5,580,773 for clean-energy transportation projects including biodiesel production, power control electronics for medium-and heavy-duty battery electric vehicles, and buydowns for propane vehicles. The awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
In addition, CEC awarded $1,815,274 to fund 20 energy research projects in the areas of transportation, electricity, and natural gas. Funds for these projects—which span areas as diverse as a new crossover valve for the split-cycle Tour Engine (earlier post) to a new solar thermal storage device capable of integration with utility scale solar thermal power plants—come from Commission’s Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) program.
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.
AeroVironment licenses PNNL EV smart charger controller technology
March 06, 2013
|The PNNL technology tells a vehicle’s battery charger when to start and stop charging based upon existing conditions on the electrical grid. Source: PNNL. Click to enlarge.|
AeroVironment, Inc. has licensed smart charging controller technology developed at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for incorporation into its charging station equipment. (Earlier post.) The commercial license agreement is between AeroVironment and Battelle, which operates PNNL.
The Grid Friendly EV Charger Controller technology notifies the car’s battery charger when to start and stop charging based upon existing conditions on the electrical grid. By charging plug-ins when electricity is most readily available, the technology could translate into lower bills for vehicle owners and a more stable grid. AeroVironment will use a portion of the licensed technology in a new prototype version of its Level II charging systems.
Shell to build LNG units in Gulf Coast and Great Lakes regions; two additional LNG for transport corridors in North America
March 05, 2013
Shell and its affiliates will build two additional small-scale natural gas liquefaction units to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel for marine and heavy-duty on-road customers in North America. Pending final regulatory permitting, these two new liquefaction units are expected to begin operations and production in about three years.
These two units will form the basis of two new LNG transport corridors in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions. This decision follows an investment decision in 2011 on a similar corridor in Alberta, Canada. (Earlier post.) Shell is also working to use natural gas as a fuel in its own operations.
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.
Continental and BMW Group working together to develop freeway-grade highly automated driving
February 27, 2013
Continental and the BMW Group are pooling their development capacities to define the long-term prerequisites for series introduction of highly automated driving on European freeways. In January 2013, the two companies signed an agreement to jointly develop an electronic co-pilot for this purpose. The overarching aim of the research partnership is to pave the way to highly automated driving functions beyond the year 2020.
Continental is a leading suppliers of advanced driver assistance systems; the development of products and systems for automated driving is one of the central themes of its long-term technology strategy. (Earlier post.)
Deutsche Telekom and IBM to integrate Machine-to-Machine communication and Smarter Cities data analysis technology for enhanced city services
February 23, 2013
Deutsche Telekom and IBM are collaborating to provide an integrated solutions portfolio that enables cities to make smarter use of their services through intelligent data capture and analysis. The Smarter Cities solutions will build on IBM’s Smarter Cities expertise (earlier post) and “big data” analysis capabilities combined with Deutsche Telekom’s global Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities, which include M2M solutions integration and advanced network connectivity.
M2M communication technology facilitates the automated exchange of information between terminal equipment such as machines, vehicles and containers or with a central control center—i.e., an “Internet of Things.” By using sensors embedded in a wide array of systems serving the public—such as a traffic lights, public transport vehicles or parking spaces—M2M technology can report on the status of the system being monitored via the Internet in real-time.
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.)
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.
UKH2Mobility interim report finds potential for 1.6M hydrogen-powered vehicles on UK roads by 2030, with annual sales of 300K units
February 05, 2013
|UK consumer demand for FCEVs increases as the cost premium diminishes and the network of hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) expands. Source: UKH2Mobility. Click to enlarge.|
More than 1.5 million hydrogen-powered vehicles could be on UK roads by 2030, according to interim Phase I findings of the UKH2Mobility project, a joint Government-industry to evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK before developing an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014/15. (Earlier post.)
The forecast was made in an interim report commissioned to evaluate the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and ensure the UK is well positioned for their commercial roll-out. The study provides a roadmap for the introduction of vehicles and hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the UK.
Nissan plans to add at least 500 quick-charging stations to US in next 18 months, tripling the quick-charging infrastructure
February 01, 2013
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.
€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.
EU launches clean fuel strategy; EU-wide standards of equipment and binding targets for infrastructure
January 25, 2013
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.
Pike Research forecasts smart city technology market to grow to $20.2B annually in 2020; smart transportation component to be worth $5.5B by 2020
January 22, 2013
In a new report, Pike Research forecasts that the smart city technology market will grow from $6.1 billion annually in 2012 to $20.2 billion in 2020—a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.2%. Globally, Pike anticipates cumulative investment of more than $117 billion in smart city technologies between 2012 and 2020.
Pike Research analyzes the market in terms of the five “industries” that are core to the development of smart cities: smart energy; smart water; smart transportation; smart buildings; and smart government. The fastest-growing of these industries will be smart transportation, with a CAGR of 19.5% between 2012 and 2020. By 2020, the smart transportation market related to smart cities will be worth $5.5 billion annually.
MacArthur Foundation grant supports Urban Center for Computation and Data
January 20, 2013
A new Chicago-based research center using advanced computational methods to understand the rapid growth of cities will receive a $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The funds help launch the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), an initiative of the Computation Institute (CI) dedicated to data-driven urban research, planning and design.
Announced in December 2012, UrbanCCD was initially funded by a $600,000-grant from the National Science Foundation and unites researchers from several Chicago institutions, city officials and private enterprise with the Computation Institute (CI), a joint initiative between the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory.
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).
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:
Pike forecasts growth for wireless charging for plug-in vehicles, but tied to overall growth of plug-in market
In a new research brief, Pike Research forecasts that wireless charging equipment for light duty plug-in vehicle sales will grow by a CAGR of 91% from 2013 to 2020, as wireless systems move from a retrofit technology to an integrated part of new EVs, reaching annual sales of 283,000 units in 2020.
Although wireless charging for plug-in initially appeared to be mainly a promising technology with no viable market, nearly all of the major EV manufacturers have now announced partnerships to develop wireless charging systems. There are signs that such systems, installed at the factory or added at the dealership, could become a market differentiator for EV models, Pike suggests.
€3.59M PHAEDRUS project for all-electrochemical high-pressure hydrogen refueling for passenger cars
November 28, 2012
UK-based ITM Power has received confirmation of a €3.59-million (US$4.66-million) grant award from a program of the European Union’s Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI). The award is to a consortium for the development of an advanced hydrogen refueling system using ITM Power’s high pressure hydrogen electrolysis technology. ITM Power’s share of this award is €0.87 million (US$1.12 million).
The program, known as the PHAEDRUS project and funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (SP1-JTI-FCH.2001.2.7), aims to develop an all-electrochemical high pressure (70 MPa, 10,000 psi) hydrogen refueling station (HRS) for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in the passenger car segment.
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.