[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
California ARB 2013 research project to characterize ZEV market; assessing future market potential
May 18, 2013
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) 2013 research plan includes a project that will comprehensively characterize the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) market, with the ultimate goal of increasing consumer purchases of ZEVs.
The proposed project will investigate the factors that influence sales of ZEVs in California (e.g., price, vehicle range, infrastructure). The project is intended to support the planned upcoming mid-term review of California’s Advanced Clean Cars program (earlier post), coordinated with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
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.
California Energy Commission awards more than $17M to support alternative fuel and infrastructure projects
February 14, 2013
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved $17,223,593 for eight projects including alternative fuel production, plug-in truck demonstrations, EV charging station deployment, and infrastructure planning. The awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. This program is slated to invest approximately $90 million during this fiscal year to develop new transportation technologies, as well as alternative and renewable fuels. It is paid for through surcharges on vehicle and boating registrations, and smog check and license plate fees.
These awards also assist in fulfilling Governor Brown’s executive order directing state government to support the rapid commercialization of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in California, with a 2025 target of having 1.5 million ZEVs on the state’s roads. The order also requires the installation of sufficient infrastructure to support 1 million ZEVs in California by 2020. (Earlier post.)
Mitsubishi Motors to showcase “electro-mobility engineering palette” at Geneva show: diesel hybrid pickup and new EV concepts, European spec Outlander PHEV
February 13, 2013
At the upcoming 83rd Geneva International Motor Show in March, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will showcase its full electro-mobility engineering palette—Pure Electric (EV), Hybrid Electric (HEV), and Plug-in Hybrid Electric (PHEV)—through two world-premiere concept cars next to the New Outlander PHEV. MMC has set an objective of 20% of EV-based cars by 2020.
The Concept GR (Grand Runner)-HEV Concept and the CA (Compact and Advanced technology)-MiEV models will share the stand with the European spec Outlander PHEV (earlier post), which recently went on sale in Japan.
California Governor’s Office releases 2013 ZEV action plan; 1.5M ZEVs on CA roadways by 2025
February 07, 2013
California Governor Jerry Brown’s Office and state agencies issued a 2013 Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan. The Action Plan follows on Governor Brown’s Executive Order (B-16-2012) released March 2012, which set required milestones for state government to enable 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025. (Earlier post.) The Action Plan details concrete actions that state agencies are taking to help accelerate the market for plug-in electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles.
For the purposes of the executive order and action plan, ZEVs include hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). They also address light-duty passenger vehicles and heavier vehicles such as freight trucks and public buses.
Ford increasing EV-certified dealerships in US to 900; 3,405 plug-in vehicles sold in total so far
February 06, 2013
Ford will have one-third of its US dealers in all 50 states—more than 900—certified to sell the Focus Electric battery electric vehicle (BEV) and C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by spring. The 900 dealers represent about one-third of all Ford dealers in the US—triple Ford projections for the time frame—and are an increase up from 200 in November 2012, the second full month the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids were available.
For January 2013, Ford reported sales of 81 Focus Electric battery-electric vehicles and 338 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Cumulative sales since market introduction for the Focus Electric (June 2012, except for 2 units delivered in January 2012) are 693 units; cumulative sales for the C-MAX Energi (October 2012) are 2,712 units, bring the total sales of plug-in vehicles to 3,405 units.
DOE seeking comment on draft $50M solicitation for new projects over 11 areas of interest to improve vehicle performance and decrease fuel consumption
February 02, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Vehicle Technology Program is seeking public comment on the draft of an upcoming solicitation (DE-FOA-0000793) totaling more than $50 million for new research projects that will develop advanced technologies to improve vehicle performance and increase fuel economy. As part of the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between DOE and the Department of the Army, the Army plans to contribute $3.5 million in co-funding for several areas where there are joint development opportunities. The FOA supports the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. (Earlier post.)
DOE will release the final version after a period of public comment and revision. The FOA contains a total of 11 areas of interest (AOIs) in the general areas of advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials; advanced battery development; power electronics; advanced heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems; and fuels and lubricants. Specific AOIs are:
EV Everywhere Blueprint outlines DOE technical and development goals for EVs for 2022
February 01, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) released the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge Blueprint, which describes plug-in vehicle (PEV) technology and deployment barriers, and provides an outline for DOE’s technical and deployment goals for electric vehicles to 2022. DOE will pursue these targets in cooperation with a host of public and private partners.
President Obama announced the DOE “Clean Energy Grand Challenge” in March 2012 with the goal of enabling US companies to be the first in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that are as affordable and convenient for the average American family as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years. In September 2012, DOE requested public comment on an EV Everywhere Initial Framing Document. (Earlier post.)
Nissan plans to add at least 500 quick-charging stations to US in next 18 months, tripling the quick-charging infrastructure
Nissan plans to triple the current electric vehicle quick-charging infrastructure in the United States with the addition of at least 500 quick-charging stations in the next 18 months, including the greater Washington DC area’s first fast-charge network. Nissan outlined the strategy at the Washington Auto Show.
Nissan has been working on accelerating a European quick-charging network since 2011. (Earlier post.) Nissan and its charging infrastructure partners estimate that about 160 fast chargers are currently available for public use across the United States, and no fast chargers are available for public use in Washington D.C. Most electric vehicle (EV) drivers now rely on home charging, and having additional charging options can significantly increase their rate of EV driving.
€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.
Volkswagen Group talks EV charging standards, electrification strategy
January 21, 2013
|One of approximately twenty VW Golf blue e-motion prototypes under test in the United States, with Eaton’s 50kW DC Quick Charger, at Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Laboratory, near San Francisco. Click to enlarge.|
Earlier this month, Volkswagen and Eaton executives met with a small group of journalists at the VW Electronics Research Laboratory in Belmont, California, to discuss VW’s partnership with Eaton on AC and DC charging, followed by a broader conversation about VW’s plans for vehicle electrification over the next several years. Topics included the upcoming introduction of the blue e-motion Golf electric vehicle, sometimes called the e-Golf, near the end of 2013 (early 2014 for the US market), as well as Volkswagen’s goal of achieving 3% of its global sales through plug-in vehicles by 2018.
That goal is part of VW’s overarching Strategie 18, in which the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer hopes to trump Toyota in global sales by the same year. Volkswagen sold 9.07 million vehicles in 2012 to Toyota’s 9.7 million; assuming 10 million vehicles sold per year in 2018, VW would need to move 300,000 plug-in vehicles per year to meet their mark.
Chinese automakers bring hybrids and plug-ins to Detroit, Geneva auto shows
January 19, 2013
|The E-JET concept range extended electric vehicle from GAC. Click to enlarge.|
At least two Chinese automakers are bringing some of their new energy vehicles—hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric—to two of the major international auto shows in the first quarter of this year.
Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC) brought three to the 2013 North American International Auto Show (2013 NAIAS) in Detroit this month: a 4x4 Hybrid Version of the Trumpchi Sedan; a battery-electric version of the Trumpchi GS5 SUV; and the Compact NEV E-JET range-extended electric vehicle. Qoros Auto Co. Ltd.—a partnership between Chery Automobile, China’s largest independent car manufacturer, and Israel Corporation—is bringing its Cross Hybrid Concept to the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Cadillac introduces the 2014 ELR extended range electric vehicle
January 15, 2013
|2014 Cadillac ELR Click to enlarge.|
Cadillac unveiled the anticipated 2014 ELR extended range electric (EREV) vehicle (based on the Converj concept, earlier post) at the North American International Auto Show. (Earlier post.) ELR production begins in the US in late 2013 in limited numbers, said Bob Ferguson, Cadillac global vice president. Sales start early in 2014 in North America, expanding to global markets including China and Europe.
The EREV technology, proven in the Chevrolet Volt, is uniquely tuned for Cadillac in the ELR; the powertrain delivers 295 lb-ft of torque (400 N·m)—about 12% more than the 3.6L V-6 in the SRX. (The 2012 Chevrolet Volt produces 273 lb-ft/370 N·m.)
Volkswagen unveils mid-size SUV plug-in diesel-electric hybrid concept at Detroit Show
January 14, 2013
|Powertrain of the CrossBlue SUV PHEV concept. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen unveiled the CrossBlue SUV concept at the North American International Auto Show. Developed specifically for US and Canada, the six- to seven-seat midsize crossover CrossBlue is targeted at the rapidly growing mid-size SUV segment, and would sit in the Volkswagen SUV lineup above the Tiguan and below the premium Touareg.
Built off of the MQB Modular Transverse Matrix components set (earlier post), the CrossBlue offers a manufacturer-estimated 35 mpg (6.72 l/100km) combined (37 mpg highway and 33 mpg city), 89 mpge (2.64 l/100km equivalent) in electric mode, and an all-electric range of up to 14 miles (22.5 km).
Pike Research forecasts automotive Li-ion battery market to grow to almost $22B in 2020; China to become global leader in production by 2015
January 11, 2013
|Total lithium-ion transportation battery revenue by region, world markets: 2012-2020. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.|
In a new report, Pike Research forecasts that the overall market for Li-ion batteries in light duty transportation will grow from $1.6 billion in 2012 to almost $22 billion in 2020.
Battery-electric vehicles will be the dominant vehicle technology for driving market growth, Pike suggests, because they utilize much larger battery packs than plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Current BEVs use battery packs ranging from 16 kWh to 85 kWh compared to PHEV packs ranging from 4 kWh to 16 kWh, for example.
KPMG survey finds global auto execs expect ICE dominance for some time; ICE downsizing and PHEVs to receive greatest investment over next 5 years; mobility-as-a-service in cities
January 10, 2013
|Biggest investments in powertrain technologies over next five years. Source: KPMG. Click to enlarge.|
Global auto executives have cooled a bit on the prospects for e-mobility, with a majority of automakers from both developed and emerging markets believing that internal combustion engines (ICE) will remain the dominant powertrain for some time, according to the 14th Annual Global Automotive Executive Survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the US audit, tax and advisory firm.
Two-thirds (67%) of respondents believe e-vehicles will represent 15% or less of total new car sales by 2025. Nevertheless, this still represents potential sales of up to 5.7 million in China, 2.5 million in India, 3.8 million in the US and 2.1 million in Western Europe.
California Energy Commission awards more than $1.8M additional funding to further UCSD microgrid project; energy storage, EV charging and V2G services are components
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved funding to advance further the development of its pioneering 42 MWpeak microgrid and expand electric vehicle charging at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
The Commission approved a $1.6-million award to increase its previously awarded funding of $1,394,298 for the university’s microgrid. The Commission also approved funding of $220,554 to expand the campus’ burgeoning charging network for plug-in electric vehicles, through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118.
ORNL researcher explores impact of motor/generator and battery pack sizing on medium-duty PHEV; optimization framework
January 04, 2013
|GHG emissions in PHEV post-transmission configuration as an example of the optimization study output. Source: A.A. Malikopoulos. Click to enlarge.|
Using a new optimization framework, Dr. Andreas Malikopoulos of the Energy & Transportation Science Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has explored the impact on fuel economy and GHG emissions of varying the size of the motor/generator and battery pack in pre- and post-transmission hybrid configurations of a medium-duty PHEV. The paper is currently in press in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology.
Broadly, he found that for the PHEV pre-transmission configuration, there is a trade-off between fuel economy and GHG emissions when the motor/generator and battery size increases. In post-transmission PHEV configurations, however, a combination of a big motor/generator size with a big battery size appears to be beneficial both in terms of fuel economy and GHG emissions as it enhances energy recovery during brake regeneration as a result of the physical location of the motor/generator.
GM and Nissan lead in US plug-in sales in December; GM and Toyota for the year
|2012 US sales of plug-in vehicles by major OEMs. Click to enlarge.|
GM was the US sales leader among the major OEMs for plug-in vehicles in December, and for 2012. GM sold 2,633 units of the Volt extended range electric vehicle in December, up 72.2% by volume from 1,529 units in December 2011. For the year, GM posted sales of 23,461 Volts, up 205.8% from the 7,671 units in 2011, giving it a dominant lead among the major OEMs in the nascent plug-in vehicles market for the year.
Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) posted sales of 1,489 units of the LEAF in December, up 56.1% from the 954 units the year before; calendar year sales for the LEAF were 9,819 units, up 1.5% from the 2011 results. While Toyota took second place for the year, with 12,750 units of the Prius PHV plug-in hybrid, it dropped to third place in December with 1,361 units of the PHV.
Pike Research forecasts hybrids and plug-ins to grow to 4% of European market in 2020
January 02, 2013
|Pike’s projected vehicle sales by electrified drivetrain, European markets: 2012–2020. Click to enlarge.|
Pike Research forecasts that electric vehicles—conventional hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electrics (BEVs)—will grow from 0.7% of the market in Europe in 2012 to 4% in 2020. While that is still a small portion of the market, it represents more than 827,000 vehicles per year, Pike notes. The biggest growth is expected in BEVs followed by PHEVs, with HEVs lagging behind.
Pike Research forecasts that by 2020 more than 1.8 million BEVs will be on Europe’s roadways, along with 1.2 million PHEVs and 1.7 million HEVs.
Senate version of “Fiscal Cliff” legislation includes 12 energy tax extenders; boost for algae
January 01, 2013
Among the many extensions specified in the amended version of a House bill (H.R.8) passed by the US Senate on New Year’s Day by a vote of 89 - 8 to avoid the across-the-board increase in taxes currently called for by the “fiscal cliff” are a number for energy tax benefits.
The amended bill, now called the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012” and next to be considered by the House, contains 12 extensions outlined in Title IV of the bill, ranging from extension of production credits for Indian coal facilities to benefits for alternative fuels (including algal biofuels) and plug-in vehicles. The Sections are:
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).
Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid sedan EPA-rated at 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined; Ford projects best hybrid sales quarter ever
December 29, 2012
|2013 Fusion Energi. Click to enlarge.|
The US Environmental Protection Agency has rated the new Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid (earlier post) at up to 108 MPGe city, 92 MPGe highway and 100 MPGe combined (2.2, 2.6 and 2.4 l/100km-equivalent, respectively).
Fusion Energi is the Ford brand’s fifth electrified vehicle to launch in the past year—and its second plug-in hybrid after the C-MAX Energi. Ford expects the Fusion Energi to accelerate its record hybrid sales pace, including its highest monthly hybrid sales month ever in November. Ford projects 19,000-plus hybrid/electric vehicle sales in the fourth quarter of this year, making it the company’s best quarter for hybrids ever and besting its own previous hybrid vehicle sales record by more than 50%; Ford expects more than half of hybrid sales this year to come in this quarter.
Mitsubishi Motors Outlander PHEV to go on sale in Japan in January
December 26, 2012
|Plug-in hybrid drive system. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will begin the sales of the new Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at dealerships throughout Japan from 24 January 2013. The Outlander PHEV made its global debut at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year. (Earlier post.)
Powered by a Plug-in Hybrid EV System powertrain combining two 60 kW independent electric motors (one on each axle); a 12 kWh Li-ion battery pack; and a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder MIVEC gasoline engine, Outlander PHEV features an EV range of 60.2 km (37.4 miles); combined fuel efficiency of 67.0 km/l (178 mpg US, 1.5 L/100km); and hybrid fuel efficiency of 18.6 km/l (44 mpg US, 5.4 l/100km), all under the Japanese JC08 test cycle.
Pike Research updates xEV forecasts; projects Ford to lead US PEV market, followed by GM
December 21, 2012
Pike Research has published an update to its earlier forecasts on xEVs: hybrid (HEVs); plug-in hybrid (PHEVs); and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). As a result of new assumptions, Pike Research has slightly reduced its forecasts for plug-in vehicles (PEVs: PHEVs and BEVs combined) from past forecasts.
This reduction was driven largely by the slow growth of BEVs in the United States (the largest market for PEVs) in 2012 and the postponement of some vehicle launches, the research firm noted. However, Pike still anticipates 39% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 2012 and 2020. In contrast, the CAGRs for HEVs and the total vehicle market are estimated at 6% and 2%, respectively. Highlights of the forecast include:
Pike Research makes 10 electric vehicle predictions for 2013
December 18, 2012
Sales of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) in 2013 will continue to outpace the first years of hybrid vehicle sales as more than 210,000 PEVs will be sold globally and more than three dozen PEV models will debut, according to a year-end free whitepaper published by Pike Research, that makes 10 specific predictions about electric vehicles in 2013.
More broadly, Pike envisions PEV sales in California—the leading market for such in the US—expanding into smaller urban and suburban regions with more dealers beginning to offer the vehicles. Pike also anticipates forward momentum with PEVs in China. The research company also projects that several startup electric vehicle (EV) companies are likely to be absorbed or discontinue operations during the year. Within that context of accelerating sales growth, the 10 specific predictions are:
Anderman: Li-ion capacity far outstripping demand as automakers focus more on hybrids, less on full EVs
Global automotive Li-Ion battery production capacity is outstripping demand five-to-one as automakers refocus on hybrids and away from full electric vehicles, according to Dr. Menahem Anderman’s recently released xEV Industry Insider Report. Anderman is founder and chairman of the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC); the 13th annual conference is scheduled for February 2013 in Pasadena, California.
The report notes that despite heavy subsidies by governments and automakers, 2012 EV sales are coming short of meeting many automakers’ sales and production plans. Conversely, those of HEVs are in line with plans. As a result, production plans for EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) for the next 4-5 years are being slashed. Anderman projects a global EV/PHEV 2016 market at around 0.6% of anticipated 2016 new vehicle sales, leaving the over-invested battery industry in a trying environment.
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.
IDTechEx forecasts $18B market for electric vehicle inverters in 2023
December 08, 2012
The market for electric vehicle inverters, including converters, for both hybrid and pure electric vehicles—land, water and air—will grow to $18 billion in 2023 according to a new report from IDTechEx, “Inverters for Electric Vehicles 2013-2023”.
The demand for inverters and electric power conversions is already well established in the automation and industrial control industries which are also growing at considerable pace. The addition of a significant complimentary emerging market will create new sectors for existing inverter and power electronic component suppliers as well as create opportunities for new players, particularly those with specialist electric vehicle knowledge and those able to develop added value through highly integrated electric powertrain systems, the report suggests.
American and European Standards organizations agree to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on standards for electric vehicles
December 06, 2012
Cooperation on eMobility standardization was the focus of discussion during a Transatlantic Roundtable organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which took place in Brussels on 28-29 November.
The event brought together technical experts from industry, government, and other stakeholders to compare and discuss standardization priorities for electric vehicles (EVs) outlined in the October 2011 Report of the CEN-CENELEC Focus Group on European Electro-Mobility and the April 2012 Standardization Roadmap for Electric Vehicles – Version 1.0, developed by the ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP). (Earlier post.)
EIA Energy Outlook 2013 reference case sees drop in fossil fuel consumption as use of petroleum-based liquid fuels falls; projects 20% higher sales of hybrids and PHEVs than AEO2012
December 05, 2012
|Transportation sector gasoline demand declines. Click to enlarge.|
The US Energy Information Administration released its Annual Energy Outlook 2013 (AEO2013) Reference case (the Early Release), which highlights a growth in total US energy production that exceeds growth in total US energy consumption through 2040.
Among its many findings, the Reference case suggests that US primary energy consumption will grow by 7% from 2011 to 2040 to 108 quadrillion Btu. However, energy use per capita declines by 15% from 2011 through 2040 as a result of improving energy efficiency (e.g., new appliance standards and CAFE) and changes in the way energy is used in the US economy. Further, the fossil fuel share of primary energy consumption falls from 82% in 2011 to 78% in 2040 as consumption of petroleum-based liquid fuels falls, largely because of the incorporation of new fuel efficiency standards for light-duty vehicles.
Pike Research forecasts annual investments in vehicle-to building technologies will reach about $103M worldwide by 2020
|Annual total V2B investment by region, world markets: 2012-2020. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.|
Despite the potential of defraying a plug-in vehicle’s cost by supporting a building’s energy consumption, vehicle-to-building technology (V2B) as a viable commercial market is still 3 to 5 years off, according to a new report from Pike Research.
Pike Research that vehicle investment to enable V2B will be about $27 million worldwide annually by 2020, while investments in required upgrades to infrastructure—including power electronics, inverters, and power management software—will grow to nearly $76 million worldwide, annually, by then.
Ford sold 1,259 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids, 179 Focus Electrics in November
December 04, 2012
Ford reported selling 1,259 units of the C-MACX Energi plug-in hybrid in November, with cumulative sales of 1,403 units including 144 units from October, when the vehicle went on sale. Ford also reported its best month yet for the Focus Electric, with 172 units sold, bring the total for the year through November to 518 units.
Those results place Ford, with total plug-in vehicle sales for the month of 1,431 units, behind Toyota, Nissan and GM—respectively first (1,766 units of Prius PHV); second (1,539 LEAFs); and third (1,519 Volts)—in plug-in vehicle sales for November. (Earlier post.)
Toyota takes the lead in US November plug-in vehicle sales; LEAF in second, Volt third
December 03, 2012
With Ford not having yet released the break-out of its C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid sales for the month, Toyota is in the lead for plug-in vehicle sales from the major automakers in November in the US, posting 1,766 units of the Prius PHV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. From January through November, Toyota has sold 11,389 units of the Prius PHV in the US.
For November, the Nissan LEAF edged past GM’s Volt, posting 1,539 units (up 129% from November 2011) to the Volt’s 1,519 (up 33.4% from November 2011). January-November sales of the LEAF are 8,330, down 4.5% from 8,720 for the same period last year. January-November sales of the Volt are 20,828 units, up 239.1% from 6,142 units for the same period last year.
Efficient Drivetrains launches inline, triple-function, plug-in vehicle drivetrain; announcement on commercial contract coming
December 01, 2012
Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI), a developer of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) systems and continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) co-founded by Professor Andy Frank from UC Davis (a key figure in the development of the PHEV concept and technology) in 2006, has completed the development and initial functional testing of an inline Parallel-Series-Electric powertrain system that it says is less complex, more efficient, less costly, and lighter than the competition.
The new EDI drivetrain, which incorporates components from GM, A123 Systems, and UQM, was integrated into a light-duty GM pickup truck to create the demonstrator vehicle. The drivetrain, which is scalable to light-, medium-, and heavy-duty applications, utilizes no power split gears and features special clutching systems.
2014 Honda Accord PHEV EPA-certified at 115 MPGe, on sale 15 Jan with MSRP of $39,780; LEV3/SULEV20 compliance
November 30, 2012
|2014 Accord PHEV. Click to enlarge.|
Although Honda’s presence at the Los Angeles Auto Show was dominated by the debut of the 2013 Civic, the company also announced that the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid, featuring Honda’s new two-motor system (earlier post) earned an EPA-certified 115 MPGe rating and will go on sale in New York and California on 15 January with an MSRP of $39,780.
Separately, the Accord Hybrid, also featuring Honda’s new two-motor hybrid system, will launch nationwide next summer with anticipated fuel economy ratings of 49/45/47 city/hwy/combined (4.8/5.2/5.0 l/100km respectively). The revised 2013 Honda Crosstour and 2013 Honda CR-Z also made their auto-show debuts.
GM and U Mich receive patent on plug-in series hybrid/extended range electric vehicle powertrain using multiple free piston linear alternator engines
November 25, 2012
|The GM/U Mich patent envisages using multiple free-piston engines (240A through 240D in the patent drawing). Click to enlarge.|
GM Global Technology Operations LLC and the Regents of the University of Michigan recently were awarded a US patent (Nº 8,261,860) for a plug-in series hybrid or range-extended electric vehicle powertrain using multiple free piston linear alternator (FPLA) engines.
The powertrain system—the patent application for which was filed in 2009—includes an electrical energy storage system—such as a Li-ion battery pack—and an electric traction motor. The covered hybrid powertrain uses the multiple reciprocating free-piston linear alternator engines to generate electric power for the battery pack or the traction motor.
GM looking to combination of internal R&D and external investments for new technology; focus on five key areas; the importance of generational change
November 20, 2012
General Motors is leveraging two separate organizations—its internal R&D group and the recently formed GM Ventures—to accelerate innovation and to introduce new technology to keep the company on the forefront of the technology revolution now taking place in the automotive industry, according to John Lauckner, GM’s Chief Technology Officer; Vice President, Global Research & Development; and President, GM Ventures.
During a talk at the recent Electrification Experience symposium (earlier post), Lauckner briefly outlined GM’s efforts to leverage three sources of technology: technology developed in house, through R&D or advanced engineering; technology from outside the company from startups; and technology from suppliers and engineering firms. GM is focusing on five key areas, Lauckner said:
DOE to award $11M to 20 new Clean Cities projects for alt fuel cars and trucks
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=807 about $11 million to 20 new projects to help states and local governments to develop the infrastructure, training, and regional planning needed to help meet the demand for alternative fuel cars and trucks, including vehicles that run on natural gas, electricity, and propane.
Through the Department’s Clean Cities initiative, these projects address a range of community infrastructure and training needs, such as providing safety and technical training for fleet operators, mechanics, first responders, and code officials; streamlining permitting and procurement processes; and helping public and private fleets integrate petroleum reduction strategies into their operations. Projects include:
Two new PEV-specific apps from OnStar targeted at range anxiety and public charging cost
November 17, 2012
|The new EV Waypoint application will plot a waypoint route with recommended charging stations is the route is beyond the range of a single charge. Source: OnStar. Click to enlarge.|
At the GM Electrification Experience—at which GM previewed the Spark EV (earlier post)—OnStar previewed two new apps for drivers of plug-in vehicles (PEVs): one slated for release to address the possible range anxiety of electric vehicles (Spark EV Waypoint), the other, a concept to address the cost of public charging (Park-Tap-Charge) that leverages Near Field Communication (NFC).
Since the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle launched in late 2010, drivers have been able to manage vehicle charging, including the option to charge during off-peak hours through the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App. As GM expands its electric vehicle line-up next year with the 2014 Chevy Spark EV, more drivers will be able to manage and control electric-only functions from their phone.
GM will focus its electrification strategy on light electrification, extended range, and battery-electric vehicle technologies; major focus on the plug; preview of the Spark EV
November 16, 2012
|GM will focus its vehicle electrification strategy on eAssist-type systems and the plug. Source: Larry Nitz, GM. Click to enlarge.|
GM will focus its vehicle electrification efforts on three main technologies: light electrification, currently manifested in the eAssist systems; extended range electric vehicles (EREVs) such as the Chevrolet Volt; and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), such as the soon-to-be-introduced Spark EV.
In a vehicle electrification symposium for the media, GM Senior Vice President, Global Product Development Mary Barra noted that until recently, GM’s strategy had essentially been to “cover the waterfront” in terms of pursuing as many technologies as possible. “That’s not how GM is doing business today,” she said. “We need to refine our strategy and do focused work. We need to make educated bets on which technologes hold the most potential for creating value for our customers and our company.”
BMW i features i8 Concept Roadster and BMW i3 at Manhattan stop on “Born Electric” World Tour
November 13, 2012
|The i3. Click to enlarge.|
At the Manhattan stop on its year-long “Born Electric” World Tour, BMW i featured the BMW i8 Concept Roadster—shown for the first time in North America—and the BMW i3 Concept. The i3 and i8 will become the first purpose-built electric and hybrid-electric production vehicles to be made primarily from carbon fiber when they come to market in 2013 and 2014 respectively. (Earlier post, earlier post.)
Also at the event, Mitchell L. Moss, director of New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, revealed the results of a new NYU-BMW i study which finds that, in the coming years and decades, fundamental changes in the demographic makeup of cities will profoundly alter the way people travel. (Post.)
Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid heading to select US showrooms
November 09, 2012
|Overview of the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Ford began production of the 2013 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicle (earlier post) at Michigan Assembly in October, and the vehicles are heading for showrooms. Ford has tripled to more than 200 the number of dealers certified to sell its lineup of plug-in electrified vehicles, including the C-MAX Energi that is on sale now. (Earlier post.)
Ford’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle on the market offers EPA-rated 108 mpg equivalent city, 92 mpge highway and 100 mpge combined;the all-electric range is up to 21 miles. Starting MSRP is $29,995 (after a federal tax credit). The EPA estimates that driving C-MAX Energi saves almost $7,000 in fuel costs over the course of five years compared with the average new vehicle.
Ford’s EV+ feature learns frequent destinations and adjusts hybrid powertrain to deliver more electric-only driving
November 08, 2012
Ford has developed EV+, a patent-pending feature that helps hybrids and plug-in hybrids learn frequent destinations, and then deliver more driving time in electric-only mode. EV+ is part of SmartGauge and is a standard feature on the Ford plug-in hybrids, C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi, along with the hybrid versions of Fusion and C-MAX.
EV+ combines the built-in GPS of Ford SYNC with proprietary software algorithms developed by Ford engineers to learn frequent destinations. Once frequent destinations have been learned—such as home parking locations—EV+ adjusts how the electric power stored in the vehicle’s high-voltage battery is used to power the vehicle. If EV+ determines the vehicle is nearing a frequent destination, it has the capability to remain in electric-only mode.
GM, Toyota continue to lead plug-in market in US
November 04, 2012
The Volt remained the top-selling plug-in vehicle in the US in October. GM delivered a record 2,961 Volts—a 167% increase by volume from October 2011. From January through October 2012, GM has delivered 19,309 Volts—an increase of 286% from the same period in 2011. Overall, GM reported its highest October sales in the US since 2007, with deliveries up 5% versus a year ago to 195,764 vehicles. Year-on-year sales to retail customers were up 7% and sales to fleet customers were down 2%.
Toyota maintained its second place position with 1,889 units sold of the Prius PHV in October. Year-to-date, Toyota has sold 9,623 units of the Prius plug-in hybrid. Prius family sales in October were 16,774 units, up 52.4% year-on-year. The Prius Sedan accounted for 8,788 units; the Prius c, 3,328 units; and the Prius v, 2,769 units. Overall, Toyota sales were up 15.8% to 155,242 units.
CMU/Ford study assesses optimal mix of conventional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles for minimizing GHG and cost
October 31, 2012
|Breakdown of (a) equivalent annualized life cycle cost and (b) life cycle GHG emissions for four independently cost-optimized vehicle designs. Traut et al. Click to enlarge.|
In a new study, a team from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Ford Research and Advanced Engineering set out to determine the optimal mix for the fleet of mid-size personal vehicles in the US—while maintaining current driving patterns—with the goals of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) or cost. They also addressed the question of GHG or cost reduction with and without a workplace charging infrastructure.
Their study, they suggested in a paper analyzing the best possible outcomes and published in the journal Energy Policy, is a step towards understanding what should be incentivized by policy makers.
Pike Research US consumer survey finds decreasing fundamental interest in plug-in electric vehicles
October 29, 2012
|US consumer interest in PEVs, 2012. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.|
A new Pike Research survey assessing US consumer demand, preferences, and price sensitivity for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and electric vehicle charging equipment (EVCE) has found a decline in the fundamental interest in PEVs among survey participants between 2011 and 2012.
In 2012, 35% of respondents stated that they would be extremely or very interested in purchasing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or battery electric vehicle (BEV) with a range of 40 to 100 miles and an electricity cost equivalent to $0.75 per gallon. In 2011, 40% stated they were extremely interested or very interested in this type of vehicle.
New international interest group to promote harmonized electromobility data standards
October 22, 2012
Hubject GmbH, a joint venture formed by BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler, EnBW, RWE and Siemens earlier this year, and eighteen other companies have formed the “eMobility ICT Interoperability Interest Group”—an international interest group to promote harmonized electromobility data standards. These would support, for example, integrated charging infrastructures and the easier provision of supplementary services.
Electric cars will become more integrated into the intelligent traffic infrastructure and energy networks of the future than conventional combustion engines, with modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) forming the backbone for the integration of electric vehicles into these networks, the partners note. The cooperation between as many service providers as possible provides the foundation needed to ensure a standardized data exchange between all players and to reduce barriers for the users.
Scion iQ EV arrives in US for campus and urban car-sharing programs
October 17, 2012
|2013 Scion iQ EV. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA announced the arrival of the 2013 Scion iQ EV in the United States. (Earlier post.) The iQ EV is a battery-electric four-seater city commuter car designed for car-sharing programs, in urban and campus environments; Toyota is targeting around 90 units for these applications.
The iQ EV features a power consumption rate of 104 Wh/km. In ideal stop-and-go driving conditions, the 12 kWh Li-ion battery provides an estimated range of up to 50 miles on a full charge. The vehicle can be fully charged in approximately three hours at 240V. Its 78-inch wheel base and 13.5 foot turning radius makes the iQ EV highly maneuverable in congested areas where streets are narrow and parking is at a premium.
Study finds households manage charging of PHEVs without help from online tools
Households with plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and smart meters actively managed how, when and where they charged their cars based on electricity rates but rarely took advantage of online feedback, according to a two-year study by a team at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI).
The study, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales USA with the integral partnership of Xcel Energy, is one of the only of its kind, combining both household and vehicle data in a smart-grid context.
Audi’s €36M e performance research project closes; electric F12 e Sport with split voltage battery packs and 3 motors
October 16, 2012
|The F12 electric sports car research vehicle looks like an R8 but features a new electric powertrain. Click to enlarge.|
Audi’s e performance research project has wrapped up. (Earlier post.) In addition to the development of a technology platform for electromobility and a drivable F12 e Sport research car, the three-year, €36-million (US$47-million) project spawned 20 degree theses and 50 doctoral theses.
Audi—collaborating with Bosch, RWTH Aachen University, and others— launched the e performance project at the Audi Electronics Venture GmbH (AEV) on 1 October 2009 with the objective of developing a scalable systems architecture for electric-powered cars that also included a plug-in hybrid drive. The platform was intended to be suitable for use in everything from a sports car (“e Sport”) to a sedan to a city car.
SAE International releases new fast-charging combo coupler standard (SAE J1772) for plug-in electric and electric vehicles
October 15, 2012
SAE International’s anticipated new revised technical standard for the combo coupler for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV) has been approved and published. (Earlier post.)
Developed in a consensus environment by more than 190 global experts representing automotive, charging equipment, utilities industries and national labs, “J1772: SAE Electric Vehicle and Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Couple” enables charging time to be reduced from as long as eight hours to as short as 20 minutes.
Simulation study suggests ORC waste heat recovery system could deliver potential 7% improvement in fuel consumption in a PHEV on highway
October 10, 2012
A simple Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) waste heat recovery system could recover up to 10% of engine waste heat under highway driving conditions, corresponding to a potential 7% improvement in fuel consumption in a light-duty plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), with low penalization of the added weight to the vehicle electric range, according to a simulation study by researchers from the University of Stuttgart and the Ohio State University.
Their paper was presented at the ASME Internal Combustion Engine Division 2012 Fall Technical Conference by Marcello Canova, assistant professor at OSU; lead author was Philipp Skarke, from the University of Stuttgart Institute for Internal Combustion Engines and Automotive Engineering.
Pike report ranks Chevrolet as current leader in the plug-in vehicle market
October 03, 2012
|Pike Pulse grid of the PEV market. Click to enlarge.|
A new report by Pike Research assessing the plug-in vehicle (PEV) strategy and execution of 16 leading vendors ranks Chevrolet as the current leader in the PEV market, due to its high ratings in both strategy and execution, closely followed by Renault. Pike rates Toyota and Nissan as very close contenders for leadership, though both have either product portfolio or pricing issues that limited their scoring in Pike’s evaluation. Pike calls Ford is the “sleeping giant” of the PEV market, with a strong strategy but unproven products that have yet to launch.
Pike Research forecasts that despite robust growth in the PEV market, sales will fall short of expectations set by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and politicians in 2010 and 2011. Globally, Pike Research anticipates the market for PEVs will grow from 137,950 vehicles in 2012 to 1.75 million in 2020. Pike expects the US to remain the largest single market through the forecast period, with annual sales reaching 400,073 vehicles by 2020.
Pike Research forecasts 37% CAGR for EV charging equipment, with 2.4 million units sold in 2020; wireless charging to show strong growth
October 02, 2012
In a new report, Pike Research forecasts that global sales of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment (EVSE) will grow at a steady pace from 2012 to 2020 as the global market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) grows. The EVSE market will rise from below 200,000 units sold in 2012 to almost 2.4 million in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37%, according to Pike’s projections.
Pike anticipates more than 135,000 PEVs will be sold globally in 2012; the past year accordingly has also seen a major uptick in EVSE deployments, in the number of companies competing in this space, and in the number and types of EVSE on the market. Pike expects more than 80 different models of PEVs will be found on roadways across the globe next year, and at least as many models of charging equipment for residential and commercial customers will be available.
Porsche introduces plug-in hybrid concept Panamera Sport Turismo; 60 mpg US
September 27, 2012
|Powertrain elements of the Panamera Sport Turismo. Click to enlarge.|
At the Paris Motor Show, Porsche presented the Panamera Sport Turismo concept, a plug-in hybrid that offers 416 hp (306 kW) of peak system power. The Panamera Sport Turismo is designed to be driven in pure electric mode up to a speed of 130 km/h (81 mph) and can cover distances of more than 30 km (19 miles). Combined fuel consumption is less than 3.5 liters per 100 km (60 mpg US), combined NEDC, while CO2 emissions are below 82 g/km.
The drive system of the Panamera Sport Turismo is an advanced development of the parallel full hybrid that Porsche already implements today in the Panamera S Hybrid and Cayenne S Hybrid. (Earlier post.) The new electric motor produces about 70 kW (95 hp), which is around twice as much as in today’s Porsche hybrid drive, while the supercharged three-liter V6 engine still produces 245 kW (333 hp) here.
Audi crosslane coupé dual-mode plug-in hybrid concept makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show; 214 mpg US
|Audi crosslane coupé plug-in hybrid concept car. Click to enlarge.|
Audi introduced its crosslane coupé plug-in hybrid concept at the Paris Motor Show, saying that the vehicle provides a glimpse of the future shape of design, and automotive and drive concepts. The vehicle is based on a lightweight Multimaterial Space Frame and is powered by a dual-mode plug-in hybrid drive based on a purpose-designed 1.5-liter three-cylinder TFSI gasoline engine and two electric motors.
Fuel consumption is 1.1 liters per 100 km (214 mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 26 grams per km (41.8 grams per mile).
Chrysler Group withdraws test PHEV fleet to upgrade battery packs after overheating issues; to use a different chemistry
September 25, 2012
On Friday, Chrysler Group LLC announced it was withdrawing from service its test fleet of plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) to conduct a battery-pack upgrade. Three of the fleet’s 109 pickups equipped with plug-in hybrid powertrains sustained damage when their prototype 12.9-kWh lithium-ion propulsion batteries overheated.
The Li-ion batteries in the plug-in pickups (earlier post) were from Electrovaya. No similar issues have occurred with 23 plug-in hybrid minivans deployed as part of a parallel project (also with Electrovaya batteries, (earlier post). However, they are also being withdrawn from service for a battery upgrade.
New Audi A3 Sportback cuts fuel consumption around 10% compared with prior models; up to 62 mpg US with entry diesel model; plug-in hybrid e-tron model in 2014
September 21, 2012
|Audi A3 Sportback. Click to enlarge.|
Audi’s new A3 Sportback features a lightweight design and an initial choice of one diesel (TDI) and two gasoline (TFSI) engines, with two additional diesel engines and one gasoline unit to follow. They combine multiple efficiency technologies – direct injection, turbocharging, thermal management and the start-stop system. Fuel consumption has been reduced on average by around 10% compared with the previous models.
The 1.6 TDI is the most efficient engine in the model lineup. The compact diesel, which is characterized by minimal internal friction, consumes on average 3.8 l/100 km (61.9 mpg US) when paired with the manual transmission. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of 99 g/km (159 g/mile). The 1.6-liter engine accelerates the Audi A3 Sportback from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 10.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 194 km/h (120.55 mph).
Congressional Budget Office estimates US federal policies promoting EVs and other fuel-efficient vehicles will cost $7.5B through 2019; little or no impact on gasoline use and GHG in the short term
|Tax credits and gasoline prices necessary for various electric vehicles to be cost-competitive with conventional vehicles at 2011 vehicle prices. Source: CBO. Click to enlarge.|
The nonpartisan US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that federal policies to promote the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles, some of which also support other types of fuel-efficient vehicles, will have a total budgetary cost of about $7.5 billion through 2019.
In a new report examining the effect of federal tax credits on the plug-in market, the CBO finds that tax credits for buying electric vehicles—which account for about one-fourth of the policy cost—are likely to have the greatest impact on vehicle sales. The report also finds that while tax credits for EVs will have little or no impact on the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions of the nation’s vehicle fleet over the next several years, the credits can affect future gasoline consumption and emissions if future revisions to the CAFE standards are influenced by current sales of electric vehicles and expectations about future sales.
Fedex Express and Nissan expand cooperative testing of battery electric e-NV200 compact van; new panel version
September 19, 2012
|e-NV200 Panel Van Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan is in the final development phase of its second mass production zero-emission vehicle, the battery electric e-NV200 compact van. (Earlier post.) At the 64th IAA Commercial Vehicle International Motor Show in Hanover, the company unveiled the new Panel Van version of the e-NV200 Concept, decorated with Nissan and FedEx graphics and logos.
The company has been working with FedEx Express since December 2011 to test the e-NV200 in real world operations to help shape development of the 100% electric compact delivery vehicle. (Earlier post.) FedEx Express currently operates 130 all-electric vehicles worldwide, making the company an ideal collaborator for this research and development initiative.
Mercedes-Benz premiering Sprinter E-CELL large van battery-electric prototype
|Chassis version of the Sprinter E-CELL prototype. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz is staging the world premier of a Sprinter E-CELL battery-electric van at the 2012 International Motor Show (IAA) for commercial vehicles. The prototype of the Sprinter E-CELL at the IAA is a chassis version with driver’s cab and the middle wheelbase of 3665 mm. The premiere at the IAA will serve as a test of customer reactions before a decision is made about possible series production.
Mercedes-Benz used the expertise gained from the small van Vito E-CELL (earlier post) for the development of the large van Sprinter E-CELL. After beginning deliveries two years ago, approximately 500 Vito E-CELL vehicles are now already in use; the electric van is now available in more than fifteen European countries. The recent introduction of the Vito E-CELL crewbus, which has space to seat seven, increased the vehicle’s potential fields of operation.
BMW exploring heat pumps and infrared for BEV and PHEV cabin heating systems
September 18, 2012
The BMW Group’s Efficient Dynamics strategy is targeting reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions while at the same time increasing performance. In battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or automobiles using plug-in hybrid technology (PHEVs), the Efficient Dynamics strategy is aimed primarily at increasing the electric range.
One element of this comes under the general heading “Intelligent Energy Management”. BMW is working on a variety of individual solutions that help to reduce energy consumption by ancillary systems on board a BEV or PHEV; every kilowatt of stored energy that can be saved becomes available to the electric motor, enabling a greater operating range. Some of these new techniques could also be transferred to future vehicles with internal combustion engines.
BMW introducing compact plug-in hybrid Concept Active Tourer at Paris Show; eDrive from the i8 with new 3-cylinder from EfficientDynamics engine family
September 14, 2012
|BMW Concept Active Tourer plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
BMW will present the new BMW compact plug-in hybrid Concept Active Tourer at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. BMW expects annual growth rates of up to 5% in the small car and compact segment of the premium class in the years to come; the company says that the Concept Active Tourer is thus a key component in the ongoing development of the BMW brand and its model portfolio.
The eDrive concept familiar from the BMW i8 (earlier post) is used here for the first time in a model of the core BMW brand and will in future be the designation for all electric and plug-in hybrid drives. It covers all components of the electric drive, the electric motor developed by BMW, the lithium-ion battery and the intelligent engine control unit.