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Honda begins test-driving of MC-β micro-sized EV using renewable energy

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and its partners Miyakojima City and Toshiba Corporation have begun experimental test-driving of the MC-β, Honda’s micro-sized EV, using photovoltaic (PV) energy for recharging, as part of the Miyakojima City Small-sized Electromotive Mobility Project.

PV charging station and MC-β. Click to enlarge.

In November 2013, Honda began separate field tests jointly conducted with Kumamoto Prefecture, Saitama City and Miyakojima City using the MC-β. For the field tests in Miyakojima City, as a part of the initiative as an environmentally-responsible model city, the feasibility of the introduction and utilization of small-sized electromotive mobility products and electricity supply facilities are being verified.

For this particular driving experiment in the city using renewable energy, the MC-β will be charged from three new PV recharging stations newly built by Toshiba. The test will explore the potential usage patterns and needs of small-sized mobility products in a mobility environment unique to remote islands, where the travel distance is short and energy resources for mobility such as gasoline are procured from off the island.

This test will also verify the effects of CO2 emissions and energy cost reduction, and verification results will be utilized in the effort to establish mobility and energy models.



Why do people insist on mixing solar and EVs - IMO the two are completely separate, as long as you have a grid.

Charge the car from the grid, and push the PV power into the same grid, after taking what you need for household usage. If you have local batteries, so much the better, you can spread the PV power over a greater time.

But if you get a dull day, you'll need the grid.

If you are on a small island, you will presumably want a small grid, which you can drive with a combination of PV, batteries and diesel.

You can question whether you want to use an EV as a mobile battery, but it is not that simple.

EV batteries have to be light (unlike stationary ones) and are expensive and have only so many discharge cycles.

It is probably better to only use EV batteries for grid stabilisation or domestic supply in emergency events and not wear out the batteries doing daily load leveling.

Use stationary batteries for that.

[ I suppose the reason people like to mix PV and EV is that it looks good, very green and futuristic, but really, they are separate. ]

Use the grid as a metropolitan area battery, and push the PV into and charge the EV from, that.


"Why do people insist on mixing solar and EVs - IMO the two are completely separate, as long as you have a grid."

Ask the ~40% EV owners in CA. that do so. Maybe the PV is on the garage/EV only or off grid AC, DC to DC efficiency by day, clear gasoline expense savings, ..


They might own both, but unless they are night workers are unlikely to be doing much charging from their solar panels.
They might like to say that they run their cars on sunshine, but they ain't.
They just have vivid imaginations.

Roger Pham

If the BEV can be charged at work during the day, then, the problem is solved when PV panels at work can provide DC current directly to the battery without going thru losses of DC to AC to DC conversion + losses in the grid transmission when PV panels to the grid then charging the car from the grid.

These losses can amount as much as 25%, from PV panels to the grid then grid transmission loss then charger loss from AC to DC to the car.

In comparison, a high-pressure electrolyzer may be able to attain 75% efficiency. Alternatively, a high-pressure electrolyzer can use DC current directly from the PV panels from houses nearby, and/or from wind turbines within several miles away, and produce high-pressure ready-to-use H2 at up to 6,000 psi to the tank. At $15-18/kWh, H2 storage is a lot cheaper than battery energy storage at $200-400/kWh, and much more durable than battery, with many times the shelf life and cycle life. H2 storage is much more energy-dense at 1500 Wh/kg, in comparison to 150-250 Wh/kg for battery.

Even though FCV is a little less efficient than BEV, in winter usage, FCV does not lose energy capacity hence range is preserved and waste heat usage for cabin heating and defrosting, these make FCV and BEV comparable in energy efficiency.

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