[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Honda joins vehicle-to-grid technology demonstration project in partnership with University of Delaware and NRG Energy
December 05, 2013
Honda has joined a demonstration project for experimental vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology aimed at providing a potentially valuable energy storage resource to the electrical grid while providing for more cost-effective ownership of plug-in electric vehicles.
The Honda technology builds off of the research conducted by the University of Delaware and now supported by NRG Energy, Inc. through their eV2g joint venture (earlier post). eV2g came online early in 2013 with the first revenue-generating vehicle-to-grid project, demonstrating the controls, regulatory requirements, and market participation rules for selling energy storage from vehicles into the PJM Interconnection Regulation Market. (Earlier post.)
Anderman report sees strongest growth for full-hybrid systems; Li-ion batteries for hybrids may be in short supply
November 22, 2013
Low-cost 14V micro hybrid systems and full (strong) hybrid (i.e., systems with limited electric drive) architectures at 140-300V are entering strong growth phases, while the future of intermediate systems—those falling between the high-voltage full hybrids and the low-voltage stop-start systems—is less clear, according to “Assessing the Future of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles: The 2014 xEV Industry Insider Report” by Dr. Menahem Anderman of Advanced Automotive Batteries (AAB), to be released next week.
The 170-page report also finds that while the combined global EV and plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) market share is expected to grow to about 1.5% of total vehicle sales by 2020, the more significant story is the rapid expansion of strong-hybrid vehicles led by Toyota, Ford, and Honda, followed by Hyundai, Nissan and others. The current market share in Japan already exceeds 20%, and the world market share is estimated to exceed 5% by 2020.
Audi of America officially introduces the new A3 family; plug-in hybrid version coming in 2015
November 20, 2013
|The A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America officially announced plans today for the arrival in the US of the new A3 family of premium compact cars, with three body styles, five new engines and seven variants including its plug-in hybrid model. Audi first revealed the A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. (Earlier post.)
This new A3 lineup begins with the A3 sedan, which goes on sale in the spring of 2014. The A3 sedan plays a pivotal role in the soon to be expanding Audi A3 family and will be priced from a base MSRP of $29,900. It will be joined later in the fall of 2014 by the Audi A3 Cabriolet; A3 TDI clean diesel sedan; the high-performance S3 sedan; and in early 2015, the A3 Sportback e-tron gasoline electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV).
Volkswagen combines XL1 powertrain with up! for the twin up! concept plug-in diesel hybrid; 214 mpg
|Introducing the twin up! Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen presented the twin up! concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show. Equipped with a plug-in hybrid system from the super-efficient XL1 (earlier post), the four-seater based on the up! city car achieves combined fuel consumption of 1.1 liters per 100 km (214 mpgUS) (NEDC), with corresponding CO2 emissions of 27 g/km.
All new Volkswagen vehicles are configured to accept alternative drive systems as well as conventional ones, making installation of the compact XL1 plug-in hybrid system in the twin up! relatively easy. The only modification made in the production version was to lengthen the up!’s extremely short front overhang by 30 mm. The drive unit of the twin up! (system power: 55 kW) is mounted at the front of the car. It comprises a two-cylinder 0.8L TDI (35 kW); electric motor (35 kW); a 7-speed DSG (DQ200E) and the power electronics.
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.)
Field test shows Volvo Buses’ plug-in hybrid reduces fuel consumption by 81% and energy consumption by 61%; 21 mpg
November 14, 2013
|Volvo Bus’ plug-in hybrid. The pantograph for rapid charging can be seen on the roof. Click to enlarge.|
Field tests being conducted in Gothenburg show that Volvo Buses’ plug-in hybrid reduces fuel consumption by 81% and total energy consumption (diesel plus electricity) by 61% compared to a comparable Euro 5 diesel bus. (Earlier post.)
The field test in Gothenburg began in June 2013 and includes three plug-in hybrid buses, the batteries of which are rapidly recharged at the terminals. This makes it possible for the buses to run on electric power for most of the route.
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.
GFEI report suggests $2T savings from fuel economy improvements in ICE vehicles through 2025 can help fund long-term transition to plug-ins
November 08, 2013
Fuel economy improvements from conventional internal combustion engine cars can save an estimated $2 trillion in fuel costs through 2025—and more in years after—according to a new working paper published by the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) prepared by Dr. Lew Fulton, Co-Director, NextSTEPS Program at the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California at Davis.
The GFEI, a partnership of international agencies and top energy policy experts, suggests that these cost savings could in part be used to help offset the costs of developing a global market for electric vehicles over this time frame, since the savings are estimated to be at least four times bigger than these costs.
DOE Inspector General criticizes agency’s handling of disclosures over Ecotality awards
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.
Ford takes lead with plug-in hybrid sales in US in October; 34% of market
November 05, 2013
|Monthly sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2013 in the US. The Ford line (blue) represents combined sales of the Fusion and C-MAX Energi models. Click to enlarge.|
With a significant increase in monthly sales for each unit, Ford took the top spot in plug-in hybrid vehicle sales in October with the C-MAX Energi (1,092 units) and the Fusion Energi (1,087) units posting a combined 2,179 units for the month. This represented 34% of the total plug-in hybrid market
The combination of the two PHEV Energi models pushed Ford just beyond the second-place Prius PHV (2,095 units, for 33% of the market) and the third-place Volt (2,022 units, for 32% of the market.) The Honda Accord PHEV was a distant fourth (71 units.)
NSF awards Univ. of Maryland and Genovation $438K to develop novel hybrid energy storage system for EVs
October 29, 2013
The National Science Foundation has selected a project by researchers at the University of Maryland and their partners from Genovation Cars (earlier post) for a $438,418 GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) award to develop a novel hybrid energy storage system for electric vehicles.
The specific objectives of the project—“Advanced Silicon Carbide based Novel Hybrid Energy Storage System for Plug-In Electric Vehicles”—are to: (a) reduce the weight of the energy storage system (composed of high energy-density battery pack, ultracapacitor pack and a DC/DC converter) to less than the weight of a high power-density battery pack alone, while increasing the battery lifetime; and (b) implement, develop, and validate this technology on the powertrain of a new electric car.
Governors of 8 states sign MoU to put 3.3M zero-emission vehicles on roads by 2025; 15% of new vehicle sales
October 24, 2013
The governors of 8 states—California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont—have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to take specific actions to put 3.3 million zero emission vehicles on the roads in their states by 2025, along with the refueling infrastructure required to support those vehicles. Zero-emission vehicles include battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicles; the technologies can be applied in passenger cars, trucks and transit buses.
The 3.3 million ZEVs would represent a new vehicle market penetration for the group of states of about 15%, said Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), during a conference call announcing the agreement. This multi-state effort is intended to expand consumer awareness and demand for zero-emission vehicles. Collectively, the eight signatory states represent more than 23% of the US car market.
Tesla leads with transfer of ZEV credits for year ending 30 Sep 2013
October 17, 2013
|Tesla by far dominated the transfer of ZEV credits in California in 2012. Data: ARB. Click to enlarge.|
Between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors transferred out 1,311.520 ZEV (zero emission vehicle) credits, according to the latest report by the California Air Resources Board (ARB)—by far, the largest of any automaker in the state. The next closest was Toyota, with 507.5 credits; Nissan only transferred 25 credits, and those generated from its PZEVs—not from the LEAF EV.
As of 30 September, Tesla still had a balance of 276.080 credits, according to the data; behind the six major automakers, who are mostly banking their credits.
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.
Ford doubles electric drive market share in US from 2012 to 2013; surging with plug-in hybrids
October 04, 2013
|Ford’s changing share of the hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery-electric vehicle segments and total ED market in the US in 2012 and YTD 2013. Data: EDTA, Ford Motor. Click to enlarge.|
Ford Motor Company’s C-platform electric drive strategy has driven an increase in Ford’s overall electric drive market share (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric) from 7.3% in calendar year 2012 to 14.7% for the first nine months of 2013.
Specifically, out of 487,480 electric drive units sold in 2012 (according to data from the Electric Drive Transportation Association), Ford accounted for 35,719 units (7.3%). From January through September 2013, total electric drive sales were 457,704 units (EDTA); Ford’s electric drive sales climbed to 67,232 units during that period (14.7%).
CARB draft of updated AB 32 Scoping Plan for climate change actions post-2020; pushing for greater transportation reductions
October 02, 2013
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:
DENSO and Nagoya University jointly develop in-vehicle battery-based energy management system for house and car; field testing begins
September 30, 2013
Global automotive supplier DENSO and Nagoya University have developed an in-vehicle battery-based energy management system (EMS) which uses forecasting models of household electricity demand and vehicle use to reduce electricity costs.
The two organizations will start to evaluate the performance of the system in October this year under the Toyota City Low-carbon Society Verification Project, one of the Next-Generation Energy and Social System Demonstration Projects in Japan led by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
California Governor signs 6 bills to support burgeoning EV market, including $2B AB 8
September 28, 2013
Marking National Plug-in Day (NPID), California Governor Jerry Brown signed 6 bills to support California’s burgeoning electric vehicle market, including the $2-billion AB 8 (earlier post), which will continue clean vehicle and fuel incentives through 2023.
The legislation builds on the state’s efforts to help California’s electric vehicle market grow, including an Executive Order issued by Governor Brown that established a target of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road in California by 2025 and a number of other long-term goals. The newly signed bills are:
One way or another, Fisker Automotive may soon be off the market
September 23, 2013
by Keith Patterson
Two German investors, Ingo Voigt and Fritz Nol, announced their intent to buy Fisker Automotive, the failing plug-in hybrid car company, on 11 September. The team submitted a detailed offer to the US Department of Energy (DOE) along with a letter of intent for restructuring Fisker.
The purchase funds for Fisker would in theory go directly to the DOE since the government agency loaned the auto company a large sum of money before it stopped production more than a year ago. Though the Voight/Nol offer amount has not yet been made public, many predict the company will sell for $25 million to $50 million. However, subsequent to the Voight/Nol offer, DOE announced it would auction off the remainder of Fisker’s loan obligation, “after exhausting any realistic possibility for a sale that might have protected our entire investment.” [See sidebar.]
Balqon working with Polar Power to develop series plug-in hybrid drive system for heavy-duty trucks and buses
September 16, 2013
|XRE-20 battery-electric yard tractor. Click to enlarge.|
Balqon Corporation, a developer of electric drive system technology for commercial vehicles (earlier post), has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with Polar Power Inc. to develop a series plug-in hybrid system for Balqon’s line of heavy-duty electric trucks and buses. Under this agreement both companies will work towards development of a 40 kW on-board DC generator to charge batteries during the daily drive cycle to increase the range of Balqon vehicles.
Balqon’s heavy-duty trucks and drive systems are designed to transport up to 30 ton cargo containers. Products include the Li-in battery-powered Model XRE20 yard tractor designed for port drayage applications.
Ford launches electric vehicle charging network for employees; hoping to increase number of all-electric trips
Ford Motor Company is installing a new workplace plug-in vehicle charging network at nearly every Ford facility in the US and Canada. Ford will install charging stations at more than 50 company offices, product development campuses and manufacturing facilities. Installation will begin later this year and roll out throughout 2014.
Ford employees will be able to charge the all-electric Focus Electric, as well as Ford’s two plug-in hybrids—the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi—at the charge stations. The service will initially be free to employees for the first four hours. Ford estimates it will cost the company about $0.50 fully to charge a vehicle.
Navigant forecasts 18.6% CAGR for plug-ins in North America to 2022; 2.4% new vehicle share in US
September 10, 2013
|Annual light duty PEV Sales, top 5 states, 2013-2022. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge.|
In an update to its 2012 geographic breakdown of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales in North America, Navigant Research now forecasts that overall sales of will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.6% between 2013 and 2022. Navigant Research forecasts that PEVs will reach 416,153 annual sales in the United States and 230,479 in Canada by 2022.
The model for North American PEV sales by US state, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), Canadian province, Canadian city, and selected US utility service area has been updated to better align with actual sales data from the first full year of wide availability of PEVs.
Opel Monza Concept at Frankfurt features CNG extended range electric vehicle powertrain with new 1.0L 3-cylinder engine
|Monza Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Opel intends that its Monza Concept (earlier post), unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, serve as a role-model for next-generation Opel cars, with particular emphasis on design, maximum connectivity, and optimum efficiency, including advanced powertrain flexibility.
The Monza Concept is based on a modular design to allow highest-possible flexibility when selecting a propulsion system. A variety of sustainable powertrains based on increasing electrification of the automobile are conceivable, Opel noted. For the Monza Concept displayed at the Frankfurt show, engineers conceived an electric drive with a CNG (compressed natural gas) range extender—a further development of the Ampera’s technology.
BMW unveils production i8 plug-in hybrid; 94 mpg; on sale in US in 2014 priced from $135,925
|The BMW i8 goes on sale in the US in 2014. Click to enlarge.|
BMW unveiled the BMW i8 2+2 plug-in hybrid sports car (earlier post) today at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. The i8—the first plug-in hybrid vehicle from the BMW Group—will have a manufacturer’s suggest retail price of $135,925 (including destination and handling) when it arrives in US showrooms in spring of 2014.
The combination of a new 3-cylinder, 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo engine and BMW eDrive technology plus intelligent energy management produces system output of 266 kW/362 hp (max. torque: 570 N·m / 420 lb-ft). The BMW i8 accelerates from 0 – 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds), and offers EU combined cycle fuel consumption of 2.5 liters per 100 km / 94 mpg (US) along with an AWD driving experience with torque distribution geared towards optimized dynamics. The everyday driving range of the BMW i8 on a full fuel tank and with a fully charged battery is more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) in COMFORT mode.
Georgia Tech study suggests unlinking EVs from CAFE and coordinating with power sector for low-cost benefits
September 08, 2013
A team from Georgia Tech suggests, based on their modeling of electric vehicle (EV) adoption scenarios in each of six regions of the Eastern Interconnection (containing 70% of the US population), that coordinating EV adoption with the adoption of controlled EV charging, unlinking EVs from consideration in the CAFE fuel economy regulations; and implementing renewable electricity standards would deliver low-cost reductions in emissions and gasoline usage. (For the study, they define EVs as including both battery-electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles.
Only in the case of high EV market share and a high renewable electricity standard (RES) do EVs make a material contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, they found. However, managed EV adoption can reduce the cost of achieving GHG reductions through a RES, they concluded in their paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
August sales of plug-in hybrids in US up 83% from July, up 65% y-o-y
September 06, 2013
|Monthly sales of plug-in hybrids in US. Data: EDTA, automakers. Click to enlarge.|
Sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the US in August reached 6,407 units—up 83% from the prior month and up 65% from results in August 2012. jumped 83% from the prior month to 6,407 units. The results marked the strongest monthly results to date for plug-in hybrids (i.e., not conventional hybrids, and not battery-electric vehicles.)
Sales were led by the Chevy Volt, with 3,351 units, up 18.4% from its August 2012 results of 2,831 units. Jan-August 2013 sales for the Volt were 14,994 units, up 11.1% from the same period in 2012. The Prius PHV put in a very strong second-place showing of 1,791 units in August 2013, up 65% from 1,047 units in August 2012. Its sales for the first 8 months of 2013 were 6,822 units, up 11.6% from the same period in 2012.
Jaguar Land Rover to lead $25M Evoque_e collaborative research project to develop new modular HEV, PHEV and BEV technology
September 04, 2013
Jaguar Land Rover will lead a £16.3-million (US$25 million) “Evoque_e” collaborative research project to develop new modular hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicle (BEV) technology. Evoque_e is a two-year UK government Technology Strategy Board project.
Jaguar Land Rover will contribute £4 million (US$6.3 million) to the project and will lead a consortium of 12 selected partners—eight from industry and three universities. The partners include Zytek Automotive, GKN Driveline, Motor Design Limited, AVL, Drive System Design, Williams Advanced Engineering, Delta Motorsport, Tata Steel, Bristol University, Cranfield University and Newcastle University.
Audi presenting plug-in hybrid Sport quattro concept show car at Frankfurt; 700 hp and 94 mpg
|The Audi Sport quattro concept. Click to enlarge.|
At the upcoming 2013 IAA in Frankfurt am Main, Audi will present the Audi Sport quattro concept show car—a coupé plug-in hybrid with a system output of 515 kW (700 hp). The original Sport quattro, which made its debut at the 1983 IAA and was designed as a homologation model for the World Rally Championship, delivered 225 kW (306 hp).
The new Audi Sport quattro concept show car, which picks up on an Audi quattro concept study of three years ago, combines acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds with fuel consumption of 2.5 liters per 100 kilometers (94 mpgUS)—a CO2 equivalent of 59 grams per kilometer (95 g/mile).
BMW to present Concept X5 eDrive all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid at Frankfurt show
August 22, 2013
|BMW Concept X5 eDrive PHEV. Click to enlarge.|
BMW will present the Concept X5 eDrive all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA). The Concept X5 eDrive delivers the handling of a BMW, with an all-electric maximum speed of up to 120 km/h (75 mph), maximum electric range of 30 kilometers (19 miles), and average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 3.8 liters per 100 kilometers (61.9 mpgUS).
The concept study’s BMW eDrive system consists of a four-cylinder combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor which is also the work of the BMW Group. (Earlier post.) The 70 kW/95 hp motor sources its energy from a high-voltage lithium-ion battery that can be charged from any domestic power socket.
Mercedes-Benz unveils S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
August 21, 2013
|S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the third hybrid model of the new S-Class, the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, prior to its introduction in a few weeks at the Frankfurt Motor Show. (Earlier post.) Market launch for the plug-in will be next year.
The S 500 PLUG-IN combines an 80 kW, 340 N·m electric motor, externally rechargeable battery, and a new 245 kW, 480 N·m 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine. Fuel consumption is 3 l/100 km (78 mpgUS), with about 30 km (18.6 miles) of all-electric range possible. CO2 emissions are 69 g/km. Top speed is 250 km/h (155 mph), with 0-100 km/h acceleration in 5.5 sec.
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.
BMW Group presents prototype of i8 plug-in hybrid; first use of new 3-cylinder engine
August 07, 2013
|Prototype BMW i8 at the track. Click to enlarge.|
BMW i presented a prototype of its second production vehicle, the i8 (earlier post), at a driving event at the BMW Group’s Miramas test track in France. Following the world debut of the first production model, the battery-electric urban-focused BMW i3 (earlier post), the BMW Group’s next step will be to address the sports car segment with the plug-in hybrid BMW i8. The BMW i8 will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month and arrive in BMW showrooms in 2014.
Calculated using the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, the average fuel efficiency of the BMW i8 at model launch will be less than 2.5 liters/100 km, which equates to approximately 95 miles per US gallon, with CO2 emissions of less than 59 grams per kilometer.
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.
“Big data” analysis of Beijing taxi fleet suggests maximum electrification subsidy benefit from targeting medium-range plug-in hybrids
August 02, 2013
A pair of researchers at the University of Michigan have used “big data” mining techniques to evaluate the impact of adopting plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in the Beijing taxi fleet on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions based on the characterized individual travel patterns.
Although the results are based on a specific public fleet, the study demonstrates the benefit of using large-scale individual-based trajectory data (big data) to better understand environmental implications of fleet electrification and inform better decision making, Hua Cai and Ming Xu suggested in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. This research represents the first of a series of studies exploring the role of big data in environmental systems analysis for the emerging PHEV/BEV systems.
Ford aggregate driver data show its PHEV owners operate in electric mode nearly 60% of the time
July 30, 2013
Ford plug-in hybrid owners are operating in electric mode nearly 60% of the time, according to new aggregate data collected from Ford’s MyFord Mobile app.
MyFord Mobile is available on Ford’s plug-in (PHEV) and battery-electric (BEV) vehicles, Fusion Energi, C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric, and is available for download both through the App Store and Google Play. Early aggregate data collected through vehicles tied to MyFord Mobile show nearly 60% of total PHEV miles driven every day are in electric mode, and that there is an improvement in this figure over the first 30 days of vehicle ownership.
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.
Project developing lightweight motors and their production technologies for EVs; fiber-reinforced plastics
July 22, 2013
In cooperation with four other companies, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is developing flexible technologies for the series production of lightweight electric motors under the “ProLeMo” project (website scheduled to go live 15 August). ProLeMo is a 3-year, €3.3-million (US$4.4-million) project is managed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology(BMWi) is providing €1.7 million (US$2.2 million) of the funding.
ProLeMo is funded under the German government’s “e-mobility, positioning along the value chain - Electric Power” program, and will seek to replace metals in motors with fiber-reinforced composite materials and soft magnetic composites. At the end of the project, KIT will set up a complete demonstration manufacturing cell.
Renault Trucks and Norbert Dentressangle testing 16t series hybrid electric truck
|Series hybrid 16-t truck. Click to enlarge.|
Renault Trucks is working with Norbert Dentressangle, a major transport, logistics and freight forwarding company, to develop and to test a 16-tonne series hybrid electric truck. Developed on a Midlum chassis, the vehicle has an all-electric range of up to 60 km (37 miles), with a total operating range of more than 400 kilometers (249 miles).
The vehicle will be tested from June 2013 to January 2014 in the Paris region on behalf of ThyssenKrupp Materials France. This project is part of the continued technology partnership between Renault Trucks, PVI and IFP Energies nouvelles.
JRC assesses EU RD&D investments in electric-drive vehicles; controls and energy storage top the list
July 20, 2013
|Distribution of total investments and public co-funding in publicly co-funded R&D projects. Controls and energy storage top the list. Source: JRC. Click to enlarge.|
A report from the JRC on research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects on electric drive vehicles (not including fuel cell vehicles) in the EU finds that increased exchange of information and more coordination between projects would result in a better leverage of the investments—at this point, some €1.9 billion (US$2.5 billion), 65% from public funding. The JRC (Joint Research Centre) is the European Commission’s (EC’s) in-house science service.
The report is the third in a series that deals with aspects of electromobility in Europe. Its goal was to collect the information on all on-going or recently concluded RD&D projects on electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which received EU or national public funding with a budget of more than €1 million (US$1.3 million), in order to assess which of the electric drive vehicles (EDV) challenges are addressed by these projects and to identify potential gaps in the RD&D landscape in Europe.
Chevrolet Spark EV: speedy, smooth and quiet; the importance of motor control
July 19, 2013
|The Spark EV. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet is hosting a series of media drives this week for the production version of its new Spark EV (earlier post). Featuring a GM-developed 105 kW electric motor that pushes out 400 lb-ft (542 N·m) of torque and a 21 kWh pack that supports an estimated 82-mile (132 km) range, the Spark EV is a speedy (0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds); efficient (combined city/highway 119 MPGe); affordable (as low as $17,495 in California net after Federal and state rebates); fun-to-drive electric vehicle targeted for the urban environment.
There are multiple interesting aspects to the vehicle, including GM’s rationale for offering fast charging as an option (it’s not to go across country), but one of the most manifest when driving the car (aside from the “Wheee!” of those 400 lb-ft in action) is how smooth and quiet the drive is. Much of this derives from the efforts GM has put over the years into motor control and active damping for hybrids and EVs.
Chrysler Group partnering with NextEnergy to evaluate vehicle-to-grid technology
July 18, 2013
Chrysler Group is working with NextEnergy to evaluate vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology using four all-electric minivans. Detroit-based NextEnergy is a non-profit energy-technology and business accelerator.
The battery-powered minivans are connected to a charging module that, using NextEnergy technology, can simulate any electrical grid in the world. Among the scenarios under study is reduced reliance on “spinning reserves”—the expensive practice of having huge generators at the ready to balance spikes in energy demand.
Bosch and PSA present first two OpEneR prototypes for increased range of electric drive vehicles
July 13, 2013
|OpEneR prototype at RIVE2013 in Alès. Click to enlarge.|
Bosch, PSA Peugeot Citroën and partners recently presented the first two Optimal Energy Consumption and Recovery solution (OpEneR) prototypes. OpEneR is a European research project under the Seventh Framework Programme designed to increase the range of future hybrid and electric vehicles by optimizing energy management.
Launched in 2011, OpEneR is developing new driving strategies and driver assistance systems that significantly increase the efficiency, driving range, and safety of electric vehicles without increasing battery size—and thus also by limiting battery price and charging time. This is achieved by merging data from on-board and off-board sources. A particular focus lies on an optimal cooperation between the electric drivetrain and the regenerative braking system, supported by data from radar, video, satellite navigation, car-to-infrastructure and car-to-car systems.
New LowCVP report highlights need to go “beyond the tailpipe” for CO2 metrics for vehicles
July 11, 2013
|Proportion of lifecycle CO2e emissions for future cars 2020-2030. The new study projects the increasing dominance of the production phase in terms of lifecycle CO2 impacts. Click to enlarge.|
The introduction of new energy technologies in road transport will mean that the current tailpipe measures of the climate impact of vehicles will become increasingly inadequate in future.
A new report—“Life Cycle CO2e Assessment of Low Carbon Cars 2020-2030”—prepared for the UK’s LowCVP Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership by PE International and validated by Partnership stakeholders—shows how total life cycle CO2e emissions will change for different vehicle technologies in the future and estimates how the balance of emissions will alter for different stages in the life cycle for the varying technologies.
GM OnStar partners with TimberRock for demo of EV solar charging and market-based regulation; OnStar Demand Response service
July 10, 2013
|The OnStar-TimberRock project. Click to enlarge.|
GM’s OnStar announced a project with TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. that uses aggregation software and solar charging canopies with integrated storage to manage the flow of solar power to benefit the electric grid. It will be the first “real-world” use of OnStar’s Smart Grid solutions. (Earlier post.)
TimberRock will monitor the output of its solar charging stations, how much stored energy is available and when it can sell energy back to the grid to help meet peak demand. To help balance this system, TimberRock will then manage its fleet of four Chevrolet Volts to help regulate energy flow. This practice is known as market-based regulation.
ORNL researcher proposes more efficient control strategy for series hybrids
July 09, 2013
|Cumulative fuel consumption for a modeled series hybrid electric truck using a thermostat-type controller and the centralized controller using the equilibrium control policy. Malikopoulos 2013. Click to enlarge.|
The increasing demand for and investment in hybrid propulsion systems has brought with it focused study of the supervisory control (i.e., energy management) problem along with a range of different approaches (e.g., rule-based control, dynamic programming, equivalent consumption minimization strategies, and so on) to tackle the problem.
In a paper presented at the recent 2013 American Control Conference (ACC) in Washington, Dr. Andreas Malikopoulos from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) described an approach to the problem of optimizing online the supervisory control in a series hybrid configuration by modeling its operation as a controlled Markov chain using an average cost (in this case, fuel consumption) criterion to create an equilibrium control policy.
XL1 dive and drive: Volkswagen aggressively optimizes for efficiency in its sleek diesel plug-in hybrid
June 24, 2013
|XL1s ready to roll. Click to enlarge.|
During a media event in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen provided a medium dive into details of its two-seater XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle diesel plug-in hybrid (earlier post) as well as some driving time on local roads and highways.
The XL1 is aggressively optimized for efficiency in all areas of its design and technology—from materials (carbon fiber reinforced polymer monocoque); to powertrain (0.8L two-cylinder diesel, 20 kW electric motor and 5.5 kWh Li-ion pack with efficiency-optimized control and brake regeneration strategies); to lightweighting (little baffling to shield the driver from engine, chassis and road noises); to aerodynamics (with a Cd of 0.189, the XL1 bests the only other production vehicle that has come close, the GM EV1’s 0.19; the original Honda Insight hybrid had a Cd of 0.25). It reflects, the Volkswagen team members said, an effort by the company to deliver the most efficient vehicle they could—but one that could still be series-produced, homologated and sold—with current technologies.
Nissan unveils ZEOD RC electric Le Mans Prototype; targeting 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours
June 21, 2013
|Nissan ZEOD RC. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan unveiled the ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car)—an electric Le Mans prototype racing car intended to reach speeds of more than 300 km/h (186 mph) at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 2014, where it will makes its debut.
Nissan will use the same core lithium-ion battery technology as in the LEAF and will test out variants of new electric drive train technologies as part of its intended future return to LM P1 competition.
Honda introduces Accord hybrid and plug-in in Japan; hybrid in US in October
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has introduced the new Accord Hybrid in Japan. Featuring the new Sport Hybrid i-MMD (intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) powertrain, the Accord Hybrid offers fuel economy of 30.0 km/L (70.6 mpg US, 3.33 L/100 km) on the JC08 cycle. The company also introduced the Accord Plug-in Hybrid, with fuel economy (gasoline plus electricity) of 70.4 km/L equivalent (165.6 mpg US, 1.42 L/100 km) on the JC08. The plug-in will be available for lease, primarily to corporations and government agencies. (Earlier post.)
The Accord plug-in came in limited availability to the US earlier this year. Honda will introduce the conventional hybrid version of the Accord in the US nationwide in October. Honda estimates that the Accord Hybrid will earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 47 mpg US (20 km/L, 5.0 L/100 km) on the combined cycle. The plug-in hybrid in the US has a fuel economy rating of 115 mpg US (48.9 km/L, 2.05 L/100 km) equivalent.
Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupé plug-in makes its European debut; showcasing the MQB
June 20, 2013
|Engine compartment of the CrossBlue Coupé plug-in hybrid shows the transverse-mounted 3.0L V6; DSG is to the right, with the power electronics unit mounted above it. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen brought the new CrossBlue Coupé plug-in hybrid sporty mid-size SUV show car, introduced in April at Auto Shanghai 2013 (earlier post), to a media event in Berlin for its European premiere.
The CrossBlue Coupé—based off the Volkswagen Group’s MQB architecture (the Group’s modular assembly kit for vehicles with transverse-mounted engines)—features a transverse-mounted turbocharged direct-injection (TSI) 220 kW (295 hp) 3.0L V6 gasoline engine (EA 390) and six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission with 40 kW electric motor (DQ 400 E) in the engine compartment. The DQ 400 E hybrid transmission is also being applied in the upcoming Audi A3 plug-in hybrid. (Earlier post.)
Bosch sees future requiring multiple powertrain technologies; the larger the vehicle, the more the electrification
June 18, 2013
|Powertrain technologies outlook up to 2020. Click to enlarge.|
At the company’s 61st Automotive Press Briefing in Boxberg, Germany, Bosch senior executives outlined the company’s view on the general future of automotive technology—“efficient and increasingly electrical”, and provided a thumbnail of the way they see—and thus are developing products for—sector-specific technology trends.
In general, said Dr. Bernd Bohr, Chairman of the Bosch Automotive Group, the pace of development continues to pick up, in the form of powertrain electrification and the automation of driving. Bosch does not believe there is just one powertrain solution for the future; most of the cars on the world’s roads are still running on diesel and gasoline, and things will stay that way for the rest of the decade, Bohr noted. However, “slowly but surely”, the number of alternatives is growing.
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.
SEAT unveils plug-in hybrid prototype based on the new Leon hatchback; smart charging and V2G
June 12, 2013
|SEAT Leon Verde PHEV prototype. Click to enlarge.|
SEAT, a Spanish motor company and member of the Volkswagen Group, has unveiled a plug-in hybrid R&D prototype based on the new Leon hatchback. The Leon Verde (“Green”) prototype is the culmination of the four-year Cenit Verde research project in Spain, and was presented at the official closing event of the project.
The plug-in hybrid combines a 120 hp (90 kw) 1.4 TSI gasoline engine with a 75 kW electric motor. Combined maximum output is 125 kW. Combined cycle fuel consumption is estimated at 1.6 l/100 km (147 mpg US), with 36 g/km CO2; all-electric range is 31 miles (50 km). With a fully charged battery and a full 40-liter (10.6 gallons US) gasoline tank, its total range is 507 miles (816 km).
EPRI: lifetime cost of ownership of plug-ins is roughly comparable with conventional vehicles
June 11, 2013
Consumers who purchase an electric vehicle will find that lifetime costs to own the vehicle are competitive with conventional and hybrid vehicles, according to an analysis conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The study is based on pricing for the automotive products for the 2013 model year.
The baseline analysis relies on a cost-of-ownership model that examines only current vehicles; current fuel prices; and a relatively conservative set of customer values. In particular, the report analyzes the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF in comparison with a limited set of current conventional and hybrid vehicles. The EPRI analysis focused on the LEAF and Volt because the plug-in vehicles have been on the market the longest, have generated the greatest sales volume and provide data on real-world performance.
Navigant forecasts hybrids to account for almost 4% of global LDV sales by 2020, plug-ins 3%
|Annual light duty electric vehicle sales by drivetrain, world markets: 2013-2020. Source: Navigant Research. Click to enlarge.|
In its latest forecast for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicle sales, Navigant Research expects that hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which today account for about 2% of global light duty vehicle sales, will grow to almost 4% of global LDV sales by 2020.
The company also expects, despite the challenges of new technology, that plug-in electric vehicles will grow rapidly in many regions as a result of rising fuel prices, falling PEV prices, and increasing availability of PEV models. The result is a PEV market that will reach 3 million vehicles sold in 2020, representing 3% of the global light-duty vehicle market.
CCST report: an integral role for next-gen biofuels in meeting California GHG targets requires advanced biofuels and demand reduction
Next-generation biofuels can reduce greenhouse gas emissions of transportation to meet California’s target greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal, but deep replacement of fossil fuels through implementation of low-carbon lignocellulosic ethanol and advanced biomass derived hydrocarbons (drop-in biofuels) and reduction in demand is required, according to a new report from the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST).
The study, “California Energy Future: the Potential for Biofuels,” co-authored by Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) scientists Heather Youngs and Chris Somerville, is the seventh and final report in its California’s Energy Future (CEF) project. The CEF project seeks ways the State could meet the mandated reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, exploring possible energy strategies for California through in-depth examinations of different technology scenarios.
CMU study finds driving conditions have “substantial” impact on benefits of electrified vehicles; policy implications
June 10, 2013
|NHTS-Averaged Annual GHG Emissions per vehicle type by drive cycle. (Base Case). Source: Karabasoglu and Michalek. Click to enlarge.|
A new analysis by Orkun Karabasoglu and Jeremy Michalek of the Carnegie Mellon Vehicle Electrification Group at Carnegie Mellon University found that driving conditions affect the economic and environmental benefits of electrified vehicles “substantially”.
As a result, they suggested, vehicle window stickers, fuel economy standards, and life cycle studies using average lab-test vehicle efficiency estimates are incomplete. Driver heterogeneity matters, they found, and efforts to encourage adoption of hybrid and plug-in vehicles will have greater impact if targeted to urban drivers vs. highway drivers. Further, electrified vehicles perform better on some drive cycles than others, so non-representative tests can bias consumer perception and regulation of alternative technologies. Their study is published in the journal Energy Policy.
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid PHEV averages 4.4 l/100 km (53.4 mpg US) during test drives
May 24, 2013
|Panamera S E-Hybrid PHEV on the road. Click to enlarge.|
During an international press event in Germany, in which more than 42 test drives were conducted with journalists in the Panamera S E-Hybrid (earlier post) covering a total distance of more than 1,200 kilometers (746 miles), the new plug-in hybrid model consumed 4.4 l/100 km (53.4 mpg US) averaged over all drives.
The lowest fuel consumption value recorded on the circuit course for the Panamera plug-in hybrid was 2.8 l/100 km (84 mpg US). NEDC testing indicates combined cycle fuel consumption of 3.1 l/100 km (75.9 mpg US) for the PHEV, with accompanying CO2 emissions (combined) of 71 g/km. Electrical consumption (combined) is rated at 162 Wh/km.
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.
National Academies issues interim report on overcoming barriers to PEV deployment
The National Academies has issued a pre-publication version of an interim report on Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment. A final, comprehensive report will be published in late summer 2014.
Given recognized technical, social, and economic barriers to widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles), Congress had asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to commission a study by the National Academies to address market barriers that are slowing the purchase of electric vehicles and hindering the deployment of supporting infrastructure. As a result, the National Research Council (NRC)—a part of the National Academies—appointed the Committee on Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment.
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).
Porsche introduces 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid sports car
May 16, 2013
|The 918 Spyder. Click to enlarge.|
Porsche has introduced the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid sports car, the first of six or more plug-in hybrids coming from the Volkswagen Group. (Earlier post.) Porsche had unveiled the concept version of the 918 Spyder Plug-in Hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010. (Earlier post.)
The 918 Spyder features a novel all-wheel drive concept with a combination of a 608 hp (453 kW) V8 combustion engine, 115 kW electric motor on the rear axle and ~95 kW electric motor on the front axle. Combined system power is 887 hp (661 kW). It is based on knowledge gained by Porsche during motor races with the 911 GT3 R flywheel Hybrid (earlier post).
Mercedes-Benz launches new S-Class with hybrid, diesel, gasoline models; 59 mpg PHEV model to come
|New S 400 HYBRID. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz’s new generation flagship S-Class, introduced at an elaborate event at Airbus in Finkenwerder, marks a number of technology firsts in numerous areas from comfort, to driver control, to efficiency. As one example of the last, the new S-Class is the first car in the world to completely dispense with conventional electric bulbs, making exclusive use of energy-saving LED technology both inside and outside.
On a larger efficiency scale, the new S-Class in its first year will offer two hybrid versions, a gasoline model and a diesel variant: the S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 500, and S 350 BlueTEC. The models offer up to 20% lower fuel consumption than the outgoing model series. These soon will be followed by the S 500 Plug-In HYBRID—the first S-Class with a fuel consumption lower than 4l/100 km (59 mpg US). All the engines already meet the requirements of the Euro-6 emissions standard.
ANSI releases version 2 of EV Standardization Roadmap
May 14, 2013
The document tracks progress to implement recommendations made in the roadmap version 1.0, released in April 2012 (earlier post), and identifies additional areas where there is a perceived need for standardization work to help facilitate the safe, mass deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the United States.
Volvo plug-in hybrid bus with Bůsbaar rapid charging to begin field testing in Gothenburg; 75-80% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2
|7900 Volvo Plugin Hybrid Charging at Redbergsplatsen in Gothenburg. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo Buses’ new plug-in hybrid buses will begin field tests in Gothenburg, Sweden this month. Volvo Buses has already sold more than 1,000 of its conventional hybrid units; the plug-in version will facilitate the reduction of fuel consumption and carbon dioxide by 75 to 80%, compared with current diesel buses, the company said.
The plug-in hybrids are based on the Volvo 7900 Hybrid, Volvo Buses’ second series-produced hybrid bus model. The plug-in hybrids have been further developed, and enable rapid recharging from electricity grids via the Opbrid Bůsbaar pantograph on the roof (earlier post).
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.
Winterkorn says Volkswagen developing 10-speed DCT and high-performance diesel; plug-in hybrids offer great potential
April 26, 2013
|Volkswagen’s view of powertrain technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Source: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Volkswagen Group Research. Click to enlarge.|
At the International Vienna Motor Symposium Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, gave a forecast of future drive system technologies. Areas of work being focused on by Volkswagen include the development of a high-performance diesel engine delivering 100 kW (134 hp) per liter of displacement and a new 10-speed dual clutch gearbox that reduces fuel consumption.
The high performance diesel engine features a variable valve-train assembly, a high-pressure injection system at up to 3,000 bar and combined charging with an innovative e-booster. Among alternative drive systems, plug-in hybrids in particular offer great potential, Winterkorn said. (The Volkswagen Group intends to launch at least 6 new plug-in hybrid models starting in 2014 and beyond. Earlier post.)
Honda and Ford separately launching smart home demos
April 24, 2013
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will create the Honda Smart Home US, a showcase that demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility, including the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle. The site is on the campus of the University of California, Davis; the building process will be documented and shared through the Honda Smart Home US website.
Separately, Ford Motor Company and KB Home announced that products from the Ford-led initiative MyEnergi Lifestyle (earlier post) will be featured in the homebuilder’s ZeroHouse 2.0 model home in San Marcos, Calif., and potentially in additional KB Home markets.
Volvo upgrades C30 Electric with more powerful motor and 22 kW fast charger
April 23, 2013
|The new 22 kW fast charger supports a full pack charge in 1.5 hours. Click to enlarge.|
Beginning this summer, European leasing customers will drive and evaluate an upgraded demo fleet of 100 Volvo C30 battery electric cars that feature a new, more powerful motor from Siemens and a new 22 kW on-board flexible fast-charger from BRUSA.
The new Siemens motor for the generation II C30 has a peak power output of 89 kW (120 hp) and a torque of 250 N·m (184 N·m), enabling acceleration from 0-70 km/h (0-43 mph) in 5.9 seconds and 0-100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 10.7 seconds. The motor in the first generation C30 EV delivered 83 kW (111 hp) and 220 N·m (162 lb-ft).
IEE forecasts electric-drive LDVs could constitute between 2 to 12% of US vehicle stock by 2035
April 22, 2013
|Forecast by LDV scenario (millions). Source: IEE. Click to enlarge.|
Under its most conservative of scenarios, more than 5 million light-duty electric-drive vehicles will be on the road in the US by 2035, according to a new forecast by IEE, an institue of the Edison Foundation. According to the report, “Forecast of On-Road Electric Transportation in the US (2010-2035)”, this figure could increase to as high as 30 million EVs depending on advances in battery technology.
IEE developed three general scenarios for electric transportation: low, medium, and high. These scenarios provide projections based on EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2012 Reference Case, advances in battery technology (e.g., improved battery chemistry that allows for faster and deeper charging and reductions in battery cell and other component costs), and oil prices increasing to $200 per barrel:
Volkswagen unveiling CrossBlue Coupé concept plug-in hybrid in Shanghai
April 19, 2013
|CrossBlue Coupé. Click to enlarge.|
At the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, Volkswagen will introduce the “CrossBlue Coupé” concept plug-in hybrid SUV. The automaker introduced the “CrossBlue SUV” concept—developed specifically for the US and Canada—at the North American International Auto Show earlier this year. (Earlier post).
The CrossBlue Coupé is powered by a plug-in hybrid system comprising a V6 turbo direct gasoline injection engine (TSI) and two electric motors; maximum system power is as much as 305 kW (409 hp). The Volkswagen accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, and its maximum speed is 236 km/h (147 mph). The CrossBlue Coupé has a combined fuel consumption of 3.0 l/100 km (78 mpg US) in the new European driving cycle (NEDC).
Linamar introduces Agilit-e rear axle hybrid power unit for OEMs; FWD Cadillac SRX converted to AWD plug-in hybrid as demo
April 18, 2013
|The Linamar Agilit-e unit contains the two motors, gears, power electronics, and cooling. The ECU, which is discrete in this first demo application, will be subsequently integrated into the main unit. Click to enlarge.|
Global automotive supplier Linamar Corporation has developed a fully-integrated, compact, modular and scalable twin-motor bolt-on rear axle unit to enable hybrid all-wheel drive applications: the Agilit-e Hybrid Power Unit. The company presented the unit, applied in a conventional front-wheel drive Cadillac SRX now converted to an AWD plug-in hybrid, at the 2013 SAE World Congress in Detroit.
The demonstration unit features twin independent 75 kW motors (150 kW total output), each coupled with a single-speed reduction gear (8.4 ratio), which is bolted to its respective half shaft. Coupled with a 330V, 9 kWh Li-ion battery pack in the SRX, the system enables an all-electric range of up to 30 km (18.6 miles) with a maximum all-electric speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).
IEA: carbon intensity of global energy supply has barely changed in last 20 years; “window of opportunity in transport”
|The ESCII, along with projections for three scenarios. To meet 2DS targets, the index needs to decline by 5.7% by 2020, and 64% by 2050. Source: IEA. Click to enlarge.|
In a fairly bleak assessment of global progress towards low-carbon energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that, despite a few bright spots such as the rapid expansion of renewable technologies and the growth of hybrid and EV sales, the progress is far below that required to achieve a 2 °C pathway—i.e., to hold warming to 2 °C as outlined in the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP) 2 °C Scenario (2DS). The assessment came in an annual report to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
To illustrate this inertia, the report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, introduced the Energy Sector Carbon Intensity Index (ESCII), which shows how much carbon dioxide is emitted, on average, to provide a given unit of energy. The global energy supply became 6% cleaner from 1971 to 1990,in response to the oil shocks of the 1970s. Since 1990, however, the ESCII (2010 = 100) has remained essentially static, changing by less than 1%. In 1990 the underlying carbon intensity of supply was 57.1 tCO2/TJ (2.39 tCO2/toe); in 2010 it was 56.7 tCO2/TJ (2.37 tCO2/toe).
Honda details development of powertrain components for Accord plug-in hybrid
April 17, 2013
At SAE World Congress in Detroit, Honda engineers presented several papers on the development of the new Accord plug-in hybrid, describing work on the new gasoline engine (which will also be featured in the coming full hybrid version of the Accord), and the development of the new two-motor system. Through the end of March, Honda has sold 45 units of the new plug-in, which went on limited sale earlier this year.
The Accord plug-in hybrid has an all-electric range of 13 miles (21 km); charge depleting (EV mode) combined fuel economy of 115 MPGe; charge sustaining (hybrid mode) combined fuel economy of 46 MPGe; and meets California LEV3-SULEV20 emissions standards.
Toyota cumulative global hybrid sales pass 5M, nearly 2M in US
|Cumulative global sales of TMC hybrid models as of 31 March 2013. Click to enlarge.|
Cumulative global sales of Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC’s) hybrid vehicles—including plug-in hybrids—topped the 5 million unit mark as of 31 March 2013, reaching 5.125 million units. Of the global total, sales in the US have accounted for nearly 2 million units (1,951,243).
Last year, hybrid vehicles accounted for 14% of TMC’s global vehicle sales and 40% of its vehicle sales in Japan. As of this month, TMC sells 19 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world. Between now and the end of 2015, Toyota will introduce 18 new hybrid models and expects global sales of its hybrids to be at least 1 million units a year in the same period. TMS forecasts that about one-third of those will be sold in the United States.
Toyota wraps up 3-year Strasbourg Prius PHV demo project; average 46% reduction in fuel consumption compared to gasoline ICE vehicles
April 13, 2013
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has completed its three-year plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) demonstration project jointly carried out with Électricité de France (EDF) and the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg in France.
The partners revealed the final conclusions collected from this large-scale demonstration, in which approximately 70 units of the Prius PHV were provided to Strasbourg. Data was accumulated by utilizing the 145 dedicated charging stations installed in the city by EDF to identify vehicles and exchange information. The vehicles travelled more than a total of 4 million kilometers (2.485 million miles) during the project. Among the findings were:
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.
Sendyne IC achieves ten-fold increase in dynamic range of current measurement; targeted for EVs and grid applications
April 09, 2013
Sendyne Corp., a company that develops semiconductor components and advanced circuits for the management of battery systems used for grid storage and EVs, has introduced the SFP100, a high-precision current sensing IC, that extends by at least an order of magnitude the range of accurate measurements of current through a resistive shunt. The Sendyne SFP100 was designed to address the unique requirements of battery monitoring in energy storage systems, such as those used for electric vehicles (EVs), grid storage and photovoltaic arrays, where large variations of current need to be monitored accurately.
Sendyne’s SFP100 is a high precision sensing IC that simultaneously measures bi-directional DC current through a resistive shunt, voltage, and temperature at four points using two 24-bit ΣΔ ADCs. Qualified to AECQ100, the SFP100 is rated for the automotive temperature range of –40 °C to +125 °C.
Detroit Electric unveils SP:01 two-seat electric sports car; 190-mile range on NEDC; V2H feature
April 04, 2013
|Detroit Electric SP:01. Click to enlarge.|
Detroit Electric unveiled the SP:01, a limited-edition, two-seat battery-electric sports car. With a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) and a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 3.7 seconds (the same acceleration time as the Tesla Roadster), the SP:01 claims the mantle of the fastest pure-electric production car.
The new SP:01 was launched under the brand’s mantra of ‘Pure Electric Excitement’ and was revealed at Detroit Electric’s new headquarters in the Fisher Building in downtown Detroit. Only 999 examples will be built at Detroit Electric’s new production facility in Wayne County, Michigan, with cars sold worldwide through a network of specialist retail partners.
Tesla likely Q1 US PEV leader with 4,750+ sales in North America; Nissan surges with LEAF in March in US
With the US sales numbers for the first quarter of 2013 in, Tesla appears to be the leading seller of plug-in vehicles for that period, with more than 4,750 units of the model S sold in North America. (Earlier post.) (Tesla doesn’t break out sales by country at this time, so there are no US-specific figures from the company.)
GM posted sales of 4,244 Volt extended range electric vehicles in the US in the second quarter, representing an 8.4% increase year-on-year. March sales of the Volt in the US were weaker in March, with 1,478 units, compared to 2,289 units in March 2012, a decrease of 35.4%. (In Canada, GM sold 177 Volts in Q1, and 82 in March.)
Porsche introducing first plug-in hybrid with second generation of the Panamera
April 03, 2013
|2014 Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Porsche is introducing its first plug-in hybrid and two new extended wheelbase variants with the second generation of the Panamera. The new Panamera S E-Hybrid produces 416 total system horsepower (310 kW) and is joined by Panamera 4S Executive and Panamera Turbo Executive models in the revised Panamera lineup.
The new Panamera S E-Hybrid improves upon the hybrid powertrain offered by the previous Panamera S Hybrid (earlier post)—which is not listed in the new generation Panamera line-up—with a more powerful electric motor, and a higher-performance battery that supplies more energy and is able to be recharged from home or public vehicle charging stations.
Audi introduces 2015 Audi A3 and S3 sedans; A3 Sportback e-tron PHEV confirmed for US
March 27, 2013
|A3 Sedan. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America, Inc. announced that the all-new 2015 Audi A3 sedan will arrive in US showrooms in the first quarter of 2014. Audi of America also confirmed that it will offer the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV) model in the US market later in 2014. Audi recently revealed the A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.)
At launch, the engine line-up will consist of four four-cylinder engines: 170 hp (127 kW) 1.8 TFSI; low- and high-output versions of the 2.0 TFSI; and 150 hp (112 kW) 2.0 TDI clean diesel. Completely redesigned, the engines bring together direct fuel injection, turbocharging, innovative thermal management and the start-stop-system. The line-up of engines and transmissions will grow further, and will include two new basic engines.
PHEV powertrain company ALTe in new commercial vehicle JV in China with Henan Benma; target 10K units/year
March 21, 2013
ALTe Powertrain Technologies (ALTe), developer of a range-extended plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) powertrain for light commercial fleet vehicle applications (earlier post), will establish a new commercial vehicle manufacturing Joint Venture with the Henan Benma Company (Benma) in the Henan province of China.
Henan Benma was originally part of a $200-million “mega JV”—MESA Industrial Technology Corporation—announced in August 2012, which would have seen the opening of four factories in 4 provinces in China. (Earlier post.) However, that structure with became unwieldy, explained John Thomas, ALTe Chairman, President and CEO. Two investors split off from the original 4 entity investor group. MESA is still moving forward as a powertrain entity with just one lead investor based in Beijing, Thomas said, while Henan Benma, which was part of the original MESA deal, moved out to do a specific and higher level vehicle OEM deal with ALTe in their province.
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.
Volkswagen Group planning to launch 6 or more plug-in hybrids from 2014; the role of the MQB in the Group’s electrification plans
March 11, 2013
As part of its approach to e-mobility, the Volkswagen Group intends to launch at least 6 new plug-in hybrid models starting in 2014 and beyond, said Oliver Schmidt, General Manager Engineering and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Group of America, at the recent SAE 2013 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium. He was careful to note that “launch” referred to the global launch dates for global product—i.e., not the launch in a particular market.
Currently, Volkswagen has 5 hybrids in production—the VW Touareg, the Porsche Cayenne S, the Audi Q5, the Porsche Panamera S and the VW Jetta—with the hybrid versions of the Audi A6 and A8 on the way, Schmidt noted, adding:
DOE to award more than $50M for new plug-in vehicle technology research projects
March 09, 2013
The US DOE has released the final version of a new funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0000793) that will award more than $50 million in funding for new projects intended to accelerate the development of advanced plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technologies to increase vehicle fuel economy and improve performance. DOE had earlier requested public comment on a draft of the solicitation. (Earlier post.) The FOA supports the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. (Earlier post.)
DOE will select new research projects—an anticipated minimum of 30 and maximum of 50—that focus on lowering the cost and increasing the efficiency of PEV components, as well as the development of models and tools to predict these vehicles' performance and help improve fuel economy. The Department will fund projects across five major areas of research and development that cover 12 areas of interest (AOIs), including:
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.
Subaru VIZIV diesel plug-in hybrid concept debuts at Geneva; independent-rear-motor-driven symmetrical AWD
|VIZIV Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, introduced the VIZIV (“Vision for Innovation”) hybrid crossover concept at the Geneva Motor Show.
The powertrain is a plug-in hybrid system that combines a 2.0-liter Subaru Boxer diesel engine and high-torque-compatible Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a single front motor that provides both vehicle drive and power generation, and two independent rear motors for vehicle drive only. The 100% motor-driven rear wheels eliminate the need for a propeller shaft, creating a lower floor that offers ample legroom for rear seat occupants despite its compact size.
Audi showcases A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid at Geneva; 157 mpg US, 50 miles electric range
March 04, 2013
|A3 Sportback e-tron drivetrain - hybrid components. Click to enlarge.|
Audi is providing more details on the coming A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The A3 Sportback e-tron, with 150 kW (204 hp) of system power and 350 N·m (258 lb-ft) of system torque, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 222 km/h (138 mph). In electric mode, the A3 Sportback e-tron has a range of about 50 km (31 miles).
According to the ECE standard for plug-in hybrid automobiles, the five-door model consumes on average just 1.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (157 mpg US), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 35 grams per km (56 g/mile). In purely electric mode, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron achieves a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph) with a range of up to 50 km (31 miles).
NETZSCH and NREL collaborate to commercialize NREL isothermal calorimeter technology for large format Li-ion batteries
|Basic concept of a calorimeter design. Pesaran et al., 2013. Click to enlarge.|
NETZSCH Instrument North America, LLC and the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are collaborating to develop a new isothermal calorimeter to test the performance and safety of Large Format Li-Ion Batteries (LFLIBs) used extensively in electric vehicles, airplanes, military application, as well as stationary power back-up and storage applications.
The new isothermal calorimeter will be based on patent-pending technology developed by a team of NREL researchers. The instrumentation will be able safely and accurately to characterize heat output and efficiency of LFLIBs, in varying temperature, pressure, load and use conditions, providing precise and critical information previously unavailable.
Transit operator launching test of wireless charging of electric buses in Mannheim, Germany
March 02, 2013
|Powertrain components of the PRIMOVE bus. Click to enlarge.|
German regional transit operator Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) is introducing a pair of electric buses with Bombardier PRIMOVE wireless charging technology (earlier post) in a research project serving the city of Mannheim, Germany.
During the “PRIMOVE Mannheim” research project, the electric buses will recharge wirelessly while passengers get on and off the vehicles at bus stops along the inner city route 63. Both e-buses, built by the Swiss manufacturer Carrosserie HESS AG, are also equipped with the new Bombardier MITRAC e-bus powertrain for city buses. In addition, an electric van equipped with wireless PRIMOVE technology will be tested as a RNV service vehicle.
Yamato, Toyota, Hino start trials of battery-electric 1-tonne delivery truck
March 01, 2013
|EV Trucks for the trial. Click to enlarge.|
Yamato Transport Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), and Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) will begin trials using a small battery-electric truck (EV Truck) in Yamato delivery operations. Developed by Hino, the EV Truck is a one-tonne, ultra-low bed truck featuring a cargo space equipped with compartments for keeping delivery goods refrigerated or frozen.
The truck was created in line with specifications developed jointly by Yamato, TMC, and Hino to provide “Cool TA-Q-BIN”, one of Yamato’s delivery services for goods at low or freezing temperatures.
Land Rover unveiling 7 battery-electric Defender research vehicles at Geneva show
February 28, 2013
|Electric Defender research vehicle. Click to enlarge.|
Land Rover will unveil seven new battery-electric Defender research vehicles at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Although there are no plans for the all-terrain electric Defender to enter series production, the seven EVs will go into service in specialist real world trials later this year.
The standard 90 kW (121 hp), 360 N·m (265 lb-ft) 2.2-liter diesel engine and 6-speed manual gearbox in the 110 Defenders have been replaced by a 70 kW (94 bhp), 330 N·m (243 lb-ft) electric motor paired with a 27 kWh, 300-volt lithium-ion battery pack. Range is more than 50 miles (80 km). In typical, low speed off-road use it can last for up to eight hours before recharging. The battery can be fully charged by a 7kW fast charger in four hours, or a portable 3kW charger in 10 hours.
Consortium seeks to show total cost of EVs can be less than combustion engine reference car
February 23, 2013
|EVs for use by Michelin and Siemens staffers in the project. (Photo: Sandra Göttisheim) Click to enlarge.|
Michelin and Siemens, in cooperation with research partners at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, are launching a project to demonstrate that the total cost of electric vehicles can be less than that of a conventional combustion-engined car. In January 2013, the consortium was promised funding by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development (BMVBS) under the Baden-Württemberg LivingLab BWe mobil showcase project.
The three-year, nearly €2-million (US$2.6 million) project will be funded by the BMVBF and the project partners at a ratio of 50:50.
Volkswagen to produce XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid at Osnabrück; 261 mpg US
February 21, 2013
|The XL1. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen has confirmed that its XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle, featuring fuel consumption of 0.9 l/100 km (approx. 261 mpg US), will go into limited production at the company’s Osnabrück factory in Germany. The plug-in diesel-electric hybrid, which Volkswagen will showcase at the Geneva show, can cover a distance of up to 50 km (31 miles) in all-electric mode.
The XL1 is low weight (795 kg), aerodynamic (Cd 0.189) and with a low center of gravity (1,153 mm high). This gives it the ability to cruise on the road at a constant speed of 100 km/h (61 mph) using just 6.2 kW / 8.3 hp, Volkswagen says. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover a driving distance of more than one kilometer.
Audi to show the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid at Geneva
|A3 e-tron. Click to enlarge.|
Audi will showcase the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The Audi A3 e-tron delivers 150 kW (204 hp) of system power and 350 nm (258 lb-ft) of system torque; projected fuel consumption is 1.5 liters per 100 km (157 mpg US), according to the ECE standard for plug-in hybrid automobiles. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 35 grams per km (56 g/mile).
The A3 e-tron accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.6 seconds, and has a top speed of 222 km/h (138 mph). In electric mode, the Audi A3 e-tron reaches a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph) and has a maximum range of 50 km (31 miles).
DLR team develops demonstrator of free-piston linear generator as range extender for EVs; technology transfer to Universal Motor Corp.
February 20, 2013
|35 kW free-piston linear generator module. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of Vehicle Concepts in Stuttgart have developed a demonstrator multi-fuel free-piston linear generator (FPLG, or Freikolbenlineargenerator, FKLG in German) as a range extender for electric vehicles. The FPLG comprises an internal combustion component, a linear generator and a gas spring; the researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of the technology on a test bench specifically developed for this purpose.
The free-piston linear generator works in a similar manner to a conventional combustion engine, but instead of converting the linear movement of the piston into the rotational movement of the crankshaft, it generates electricity directly. A fuel-air mix is ignited in the combustion chamber. This expands and pushes the piston towards the gas springs. These springs decelerate the piston movement and push it back. The linear generator converts the kinetic energy of the piston into electricity and this in turn powers the electric motor.
ARPA-E RANGE: $20M for robust transformational energy storage systems for EVs; 3x the range at 1/3 the cost
February 17, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0000869) for about $20 million for the development of transformational electrochemical energy storage technologies intended to accelerate widespread electric vehicle adoption by significantly improving driving range, cost, and reliability. ARPA-E anticipates making approximately 8- 12 awards under this FOA.
The Robust Affordable Next Generation EV-Storage (RANGE) program’s goal is to enable a 3X increase in electric vehicle range (from ~80 to ~240 miles per charge) with a simultaneous price reduction of > 1/3 (to ~ $30,000). If successful, these vehicles will provide near cost and range parity to gasoline-powered ICE vehicles, ARPA-E said.