Wednesday, 28 December 2011

180 quick chargers for Estonia

Electricity power products and systems company ABB (who recently acquired Epyon in order to fast track its EVSE know-how) has signed a contract to provide 180 quick chargers to create a charging network across Estonia.

70 of the charge points will be located on highways and the remainder in the 24 towns and cities with a population greater than 5,000 people.

The 6.6m euro contract is due for completion in October 2012.

eREV Chevy conversions from Via Motors

40 miles pure electric then 400 miles using conventional fuel, this is an extended range electric vehicle with a power train  similar in concept to the Chevy Volt with a claimed average 100 MPGe.

Developed by US company Via Motors (featuring ex GM CEO Bob Lutz as a Non Exec Director), this is a Chevy conversion, the pick-up being part of a range of plug-in vehicles to include a 4x4 SUV and cargo van to be launched by the company at next month's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Not surprisingly, Via Motors are targeting fleet customers. Good luck to them.

Suzuki e-scooter

After a year of trials in Japan, Suzuki will be launching their e-Let's scooter in January 2012.

The equivalent of a 50cc scooter, it is light, agile and comfortable, with a beautifully integrated large front basket and removable li-ion battery. It will have a range of about 20 miles per charge, a top speed of 25 mph and retail for roughly US$4,000 / £2,560.

Too expensive to sell in any real volume, but very cute.

Friday, 23 December 2011

More 2012 predictions

Here are 10 more EV market predictions for 2012, this time from  Pike Research in their white paper  Electric Vehicles: Ten Predictions for 2012. It’s forecasting the global EV market to reach 250,000 vehicles worldwide next year. Here’s a synopsis of their predictions from

#1 The global availability and increasing sales of EVs will put an end to the “Are they for real?” speculation.
Pike believes 2012 will be the transitional year for EVs, as more models become available, and even more are announced.

#2 Car sharing services will expand the market for EVs and hybrids.
Right now, at least 10 car-sharing services are offering EVs to rent. Car sharing appeals to younger, environmentally conscious urban dwellers. Avis and Hertz are the most recognizable names, and more are jumping on this hot trend all the time.

#3 Battery production will get ahead of vehicle production.
Numerous battery companies have factories geared up to produce more batteries than manufacturers can use. Delayed model launches and slow consumer acceptance will likely result in battery prices dropping faster than expected (good news). Some manufacturers are directing excess capacity towards the grid energy storage market, also in its nascent stages.

#4 Road tax legislation in the United States that will require PEV owner contributions will fail.
Right now, PEV owners who bypass the gas station won’t be paying any road use taxes, which are part of every gallon of gas purchased. A number of state bills that would force owners to pay a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax have died on the vine.
A yearly fee based on average miles driven will ultimately be the tax that will pass.

#5 The Asia-Pacific region will become the early leader in vehicle-to-grid (V2G).
Since EV penetration will be highest here before anywhere else, V2G will be implemented here first, and quickly dominate the market. The unreliability of the grid in this region will be greatly improved with the use of V2G technology.

#6 PEV prices will continue to disappoint many consumers.
Early adopters will pay more. The battery glut, if it shows up at all, won’t be reflected in EV prices before 2013 or 2014. Early adopters will pay for the huge investment that EV companies made in assembly lines and battery and motor technology.
Ultimately, we could see prices in the low $20,000 range, but that target is a few years out.

#7 Third-party EV charging companies will dominate public charging sales.
Grocery stores, drug stores and other commercial establishments looking to attract EV owners have two choices. They can purchase and maintain the charging equipment themselves, set the fee structure, or give the power away free in order to attract customers.
The alternative is to have a third party install and maintain it. Pike feels this will be the more attractive of the two. Wal-Mart, Icon Parking Group and Simon Property Group (large mall owner) are all opting for the third-party route.

#8 Germany, South Korea and Japan will see the most progress towards the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in 2012.
According to Pike, 2015 marks the start of the commercial rollout of FCVs. But it won’t be here in the United States. The Department of Energy’s shift away from FCVs towards EVs leaves some uncertainty in their adoption here.

#9 Employers will begin to purchase EV chargers in large numbers.
Companies who want to attract young professionals with EVs will begin to install them in large numbers. Already Google, Adobe, SAP and others have installed dozens at their U.S. facilities. 2012 will see hundreds of other global companies following their lead.
Sales in North America could exceed 5,000 units, while the Asia Pacific region could hit 18,000, according to Pike’s report.

#10 EVs will begin to function as home appliances.
Pike reports that many automakers are adopting the HomePlug Green PHY communications standard. This will allow information about the EV to be passed over the power line to other smart grid enabled devices, insuring they don’t all turn on at the same time.

Kia Ray EV

Next up is the Kia Ray EV.

The Wall St Journal reports that Kia Motors Corp. has rolled out its Ray EV, an electric city car with a range of up to 86 miles and what the company describes as “lively performance.” Acceleration for zero to 62 mph takes just under 16 seconds.

While Kia says the car is for sale in Korea only, it may provide a strong hint of what many cars around the world may look like in the near future. Its size, power system and other design features reflect a direction many car makers, including U.S. manufacturers, are exploring as they try to lower overall fuel consumption and emissions of their fleets.
A 50-kilowatt electric motor and a 16.4 kilowatt-hour lithium ion polymer battery pack power the front-wheel-drive Ray EV, which is based on the Ray CUV, a conventionally powered car that went on sale in Korea last month. The new car is a small breakthrough for the company in part because it can share an assembly line with traditional gasoline vehicles.
The Ray EV also has a navigation system specially designed for electric vehicles, with a 7-inch screen that and provides information that is important to EV drivers, like the location of the nearest charging stations. The display also shows a circular area representing the vehicle’s range, so drivers can see which destinations they can reach without recharging the battery.

Kia said there are 500 slow- and fast-charging stations in Korea, with plans to have 3,100 operating by the end of 2012. Kia plans to build 2,500 Ray EVs through the end of 2012, which will be used by government and public agencies as part of a long-term research and development program for environmentally friendly transport.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Plug-in vehicles less than 10% share in 2040

In other News, oil company ExxonMobil believes the world’s transportation will still be dominated by petroleum-based fuels in 2040.

The company’s annual energy outlook predicts that only 10% of transport will be powered by 'alternative' fuels.

Seriously, that's what they said.

California targets for 1.4m EVs by 2018

California has set targets for one in seven cars to be electric by 2018. 

The California Air Resources Board revealed its new goals as part of a package of new standards - including rebates for drivers via their electricity bills - for clean vehicles. 

The Board’s objectives include projected sales of 1.4 million EVs per year between 2018 and 2025. The new standards will result in a reduction in automotive carbon emissions of 52 million metric tonnes if successful.

California captured 69 percent of global electric vehicle investment for 2011, and it ranks first in the US nation for electric vehicle patents. California took in $467 million in global EV venture capital (VC) investment (69 percent of total dollars) in the first half of 2011 and, along with Michigan, is the top patent holder for new EV technology in the United States.

The place to be in EV!

Monday, 19 December 2011

2012 EV predictions

OK, time for some crystal ball gazing, so here are my top predictions for the plug-in vehicle market for 2012 (I have cut and pasted my 2011 predictions underneath for comparison):

2012 predictions:

  1. The market continues to grow slowly like it did in 2011 - the problem is price, lack of recharging infrastructure and a lack of good looking plug-in vehicles that are also affordable. Not much is going to change in this respect in 2012 although Renault are going to give it a really good go.
  2. It's all about fleets - two thirds (and perhaps even more) of the plug-in vehicles purchased in 2012 will be bought by fleets. The market will continue to be driven by companies and their CSR / carbon reduction policies. 
  3. The Renault Fluence will replace the Nissan Leaf as the EV poster boy - the more conventional looks, the more realistic price, the removal of battery risk (via battery leasing), this is what the fleet market wants.
  4. Say hello to white van EV man - the introduction of the affordable Renault Kangoo will provide choice against the Ford Transit Connect EV and between them they will kick start the electric LCV market. Particularly in the UK if the government extend the £5000 / 20% Plug-In Car grant to vans.
  5. Charge at work - (I forecast this last year as well but...) - all this talk about public charging and fast charging, when what the market really needs is charging facilities in company car parks. Doh!
  6. The Renault Zoe will be the breakthrough EV - we will have to wait most of 2012 to see it in the flesh, but the Renault Zoe is in my opinion going to be the electric car that finally drives volume. Expect to see £14000 plus a monthly battery lease and some exciting news about range.
  7. More mergers, acquisitions, closures - I said that 2011 would see this and with the demise of Aptera I was partly correct. In 2012 I expect to see more of the same in what will be a tough market for most.
  8. Inductive (wireless) charging will continue to remain a dream - I love the thought of inexpensive electric vehicles with small batteries that do not cost very much, charged inductively as they drive and stand stationary at traffic lights - but for now it will remain just that, a thought. I hope the trials are encouraging however and investments are made in the technology.
  9. Reva will finally launch the successor to the G-Wiz - actually the media are already reporting that the NXR will be showcased at the Delhi auto Show in India and that the car will be available to buy there in 2012. Better late than never?
  10. I will buy a Tesla - The Model S looks beautiful...maybe.

My 2011 predictions - the market moved more slowly than I (and most others) thought:

1. Range anxiety comes and goes: the obsession with range anxiety will be overcome first as motorists realise that a range of 100 miles (and 50 miles under extreme conditions) is more than sufficient for everyday use; secondly, as range increases thanks to efficiency improvements and new battery chemistries are announced for future models; and thirdly as recharging infrastructure appears as an extended journey facilitator                                                          

2. The second car becomes the first car: for many motorists the EV will become the car of choice for the daily commute, effectively promoting it from second to first position in terms of frequency of use.

3. Range available maps become super-popular: my favourite thing about the Nissan Leaf is its range available map in the centre console. At a glance drivers can see the one way and return distances available to the driver visually mapped, based on the current state of charge. The most useful of tools an EV can offer.

4. Apps for EVs: electric vehicles are made for telematics applications - and vice versa. As motorists interact with their electric car through their mobile devices we will see a step change in the number and type of applications developed for electric vehicles, from service and safety apps to information and entertainment  apps. Now if Apple would only launch an EV...

5. Seamless connectivity: not sure of we will see this in 2011 or later but the concept that your connectivity to the world is seamless  as you move from home to EV to work place is next up. With 42 million media tablets such as the i-Pad already sold, in-car docking stations for media tablets in EVs should be the next big thing. Always-on never felt so good (or bad).

6. Charge at work: much of the current charging debate is with on-street charging stations but since 80% to 90% of all charging of electric cars will be done at home, the next big need is for charging at the work place. In addition to effectively doubling the daily range available for employees with EVs, charging at work facilities will enable those people who are unable to charge at home (because they live in a flat without dedicated parking) to enter the EV market.

7. Usership instead of ownership: we will see the beginning of the end of the desire to own or lease our cars as the possibility of using them only when we need them (and so not paying for them when we don't) trends beyond car clubs as they exist currently, led by the Paris AutoLib project. 3,000 electric cars stationed at 1,000 self-service hire points across the city and its suburbs.

8. Electric car prototypes will look different, not the same as conventional carsfor the next few years,  those who buy an EV are making a big personal social statement - I am a Leader of Change. To make it easily and powerfully they want to stand out from the crowd, not disappear into it.

9. V2G: we will see the first electric vehicles emerge that are Vehicle To Grid enabled, meaning they are capable of returning stored energy to the electric grid. For some this could mean that EVs are effectively free of charge from an operational perspective as they take advantage of generous feed-in tariffs - if you live in the right place.

10. Mergers, acquisitions, closures: as so many EV start-ups have discovered to their cost, it is difficult and expensive to get into automotive manufacturing, particularly if it is with electric vehicles. In an already crowded market place there is room for maybe 2 or 3 new entrants, the rest will either sell, merge, or fade away.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Honda Solar Charging Canopies

Honda, late to the EV revolution after making several public statements in recent years saying they were not believers in the technology, are now pushing ahead with a broader electron strategy comprising energy as well as vehicles.

Honda have been showing off a pilot solar charging station (video) fitted with Honda Soltec panels and recently announced its largest commercial solar-cell demonstration project in the United States, a 100-kilowatt, 800-cell array of thin-film CIGS solar panels at Honda Performance Development (HPD), Inc., the company's advanced motorsports engineering facility in Santa Clarita, CA. 

Honda EV-STER concept

Of all the vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show this month, my favourite is the Honda EV-STER electric concept.

Taking a leaf (sorry!) out of the Tesla school of design, the sporty and lightweight EV-STER offers a 160-kilometer (100 mile) range, a 0-37 mph (60kph) time of 5.0 seconds and a top speed of 99 mph - good enough to have some fun times in.

The styling is also refreshing and just might be part of a trend to make cars more aesthetically pleasing. Let's hope so.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

The new EV line up for 2012 - fleets!

So, the Renault Kangoo Z.E. has won both International Van of the Year and now Van of the Year from UK publication What Van? If the Plug-In Car grant is extended next year and is broadened to include plug-in vans - and I can see no argument against such a move - then we should see a big contribution from white van man towards climate change from 2012 onwards.

With fleets accounting for 80% of UK plug-in vehicle sales this year, it seems safe to assume that 2012 will be the year for electric fleet sales. The Zoe ZE hatchback will bring in the private motorists, but not until 2013. Sales reps and delivery drivers - on your marks.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

2014 Nissan Leaf to feature wireless charging

Nissan have confirmed that the 2014 Leaf (available in 2013) and the Infiniti will both feature wireless charging.

The system will use an electromagnetic induction unit that will charge at between 3kW and 6kW and will be 80% to 90% efficient.

Daimler and Conductix-Wampfler are also collaborating to test inductive charging using Mercedes-Benz B-Class E-Cell Plus.

It looks like the future may be wireless - but when will it be commercialised on a widespread basis?

Norway delivers 1000th i-miev

Mitsubishi has just delivered its 1000th i-miev in Norway. After the G-Wiz, that makes the i-miev only the second EV to pass this milestone in a European country.

The i-miev is the best selling compact (A segment) car in Norway in 2011, outselling all petrol and diesel cars in its class.

Congratulations to the Mitsubishi distributor!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Rewiring the world to enable electric cars

We have a big task ahead.

The EU has stated that by 2050 we need to end petrol. Chris Huhne, the UK's Energy Secretary has adopted this target and set out a roadmap to replace the UK's 30m petrol and diesel cars and vans with electric vehicles.

These vehicles will be charged using low carbon electricity - in other words, by electricity from wind farms and nuclear power stations. This will require a near doubling of the UK's capacity for power generation and the building of 32,000 wind turbines inland, on the coast and off-shore. It will be expensive but it will provide energy security and also reduce pollution and noise levels in our cities - and of course mitigate climate change.

My focus now has switched from kick-starting the electric vehicle market to preparing a roadmap for the rewiring of Britain. In other words, on the products and business model that will enable a national plug-in vehicle recharging infrastructure to be successfully developed on a commercial basis across the UK. I have joined Elektromotive, the company that pioneered recharging stations with the introduction of the Elektrobay - and is currently Europe's leading and world number 3 EVSEV (electric vehicle supply equipment vendor), according to a report published  this year by Pike Research.

It's all part of a new industrial revolution to decarbonise Britain and transform it into an electron economy - a huge challenge and an exciting journey.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Suzuki Swift plug-in hybrid concept for India

Details are sketchy but Suzuki Maruti is considering a plug-in hybrid for the Indian market. The all-electric range will be limited to 20 km - 30 km (18 miles max) before the engine kicks in to extend the range and recharge the battery.

Full electric vehicles remain a challenge in India due to the lack of recharging infrastructure.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Fast charge stations in the Netherlands

Swiss power and automation technology group abb is joining forces with BP to install fast-chargers for electric vehicles at some service stations in the Netherlands as part of a trial.
The first two DC Terra systems, which can recharge a vehicle in 15-30 minutes, have been installed in the city of Utrecht and will be officially opened tomorrow. Another will follow in Rotterdam next month, followed by two more early next year.
The chargers will be operated by the Dutch group The New Motion and will initially be used by taxi operator Prestige GreenCab, which financed one of the chargers.
“We have to keep our 20 EVs operational throughout the day and can’t afford to wait eight hours for a battery to charge,” says CEO of Prestige GreenCab George Jansen. “Fast charging makes our business case work. That’s why we were keen to make a business deal with BP.”

Monday, 28 November 2011

Free 70 page e-ssay on EVs

If you ever wondered how the G-Wiz EV became successful in London and so well known around the world, email me at with the words 'Telling Tales' in the Subject line.

I will send you back a 70 page e-essay with the marketing insights, anecdotes and quotes from those on the inside - and the outside.

Japanese EV concepts at Tokyo show

The Nissan PIVO 3 self-driving, self-parking electric car concept with 3-in-a-row seating.
The Honda Small Sports EV concept with sports coupe styling.

Nissan Leaf Nismo, the sporty concept with 10% more power and improved handling compared to the standard model.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Japan to create fast recharging network

Nine Japanese companies including automakers will team up to establish a quick charging network for EVs in Japan.

Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi will join forces with ULVAC, Kanematsu, Kandenko, Suzuyo Shoji, the Development Bank of Japan and Chubu Electric Power Company to form the Charging Network Development Organisation, which aims to encourage the widespread use of electric vehicles and expand on existing charging infrastructure. Nissan's new slimline fast charger is pictured left.

The newly established company will be named the Charging Network Development Organisation (CNDO) and aims to encourage increased and widespread use of EVs by helping to expand the scope of charging infrastructure.

At the end of October, approximately 800 quick chargers had been installed in Japan.

2011 UK EV sales to end October

1221. That's right, EV sales in the UK for the 10 months to the end of October were a miserable 1,221 units, 80% of which were fleet sales. True that is more than the 116 units sold during 2010, but the figure falls far short of expectations.

The sales were achieved with the £5,000 Plug-In Car grant, so automakers are hoping that the scheme will be extended into the next fiscal (year to march 2013) and will be broadened to include electric vans as well. Certainly with the range extended Vauxhall Ampera / Chevy Volt and the Renault Z.E. range of Fluence, Kangoo and Zoe to come plus the Ford Focus electric, all less expensive vehicles, it would be a great shame if the grant programme were not extended.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

UK average new car emissions down 3.5%

Average new car CO2 emissions in the UK fell 3.5% to 144.2g/km in 2010 (source: SMMT Sustainability Report).

That's more than double the annual average reduction rate over the past decade but still too slow. I hope to see this number falling at an even faster rate as Plug-In Vehicles start to arrive on the market in greater quantities and at lower prices in 2012.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Mitsubishi to supply Suzuki with EVs

Mitsubishi Motors Corp said it plans to supply electric minivehicles for commercial use to Suzuki Motor Corp on an OEM basis from February of next year.

Suzuki will receive the Minicab-MiEV, which is set to debut by the year-end. Suzuki will market it under its own brand name, adding the first electric vehicle to its lineup. It is not known in which markets the vehicle will be sold, probably Japan only.

Mitsubishi plans to build around 4,000 of the vehicles in the financial year to next March.

Monday, 21 November 2011

VW eT! electric van concept

VW are showcasing their eT! electric van concept, not due for production any time soon, but with some nice technologies including its ability to autonomously follow the driver in 'follow me' mode and a return to the driver in  'come to me' mode. 

Friday, 18 November 2011

Call for international recharging standards

This piece is a little technical, but announces an important call for standardisation of EV charging.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published new versions of IEC 62196-1 covering general requirements for EV connectors and IEC 62196-2, which standardises the following elements needed for AC charging:

·         Type 1 – single phase vehicle coupler (vehicle connector and inlet), for example Yazaki or SAE J1772 (Japan, North America)

·         Type 2 – single and three phase vehicle coupler and mains plug and socket-outlet without shutters, for example VDE-AR-E 2623-2-2

·         Type 3 – single and three phase vehicle coupler and mains plug and socket-outlet with shutters, for example SCAME plug developed by the EV Plug Alliance.

The above standards build on IEC 61851-1. This conductive charging standard defines four modes of charging an EV from a power source:

·         Mode 1 (AC) – slow charging from a standard household-type socket-outlet

·         Mode 2 (AC) – slow charging from a standard household-type socket-outlet with an in-cable protection device

·         Mode 3 (AC) – slow or fast charging using a specific EV socket-outlet and plug with control and protection function permanently installed

·         Mode 4 (DC) – fast charging using an external charger

IEC 62196-1 applies to all four of these modes while 62192-1 applies only to mains charging (Modes 1 to 3). A third standard, IEC 62196-3 is being developed to standardise DC charging (Mode 4). In addition IEC 61851-1 also defines three cable and plug setups which can be used to charge EV’s. Case A, where the cable is permanently attached to the EV. Case B, where the cable is not permanently attached to anything; and Case C where the cable is permanently attached to the charging station.

Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes Benz declared a few days ago that 'Internal combustion engines' days are numbered'. This points the way to hasten its demise.

Taiwan introduces green vehicle registration plates for EVs

Two government-sponsored programs to help popularize electric vehicles got under way in New Taipei and Taichung cities Nov. 16, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Both use new green film vehicle registration plates for EVs.
The New Taipei City project was launched at Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Banqiao station, with 100 EVs maintained by Carplus Auto Leasing Corp. for daily or hourly rental.
The company said its service is targeted at short-range urban travellers in the Greater Taipei area. Battery-charging stations will be built at public parking lots in Danshui, Yingge, Taipei City’s Shilin District and other famous sightseeing draws such as the National Palace Museum.
The Taichung project presented 64 EVs to the city government for official business transportation, including police patrols and environmental inspection. A total of 161 charging stations will be established at municipal agencies and public parking sites, the MOEA said.
According to the MOEA, seven car manufacturers have brought out nine different road-licensed EVs for the Taiwan market—All Win Green Power Technology Corp., China Motor Corp., Luxgen Motors Co. Ltd., Pihsiang Electric Vehicles Mfg. Co. Ltd., Nissan Motor Co., RAC Electric Vehicles Inc. and Yulon Tobe Motor Co. Ltd. (THN)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Stylish quadricycle EV from Italy report a new quadricycle EV from Italian company Belumbury.

The Dany city car offers a range of approximately 100 miles per charge and top speed is just under 60 mph. No information is available yet on price and availability. Although basic it is stylish and if the price is right, could well find a market as quadricycles gain a second lease of life.

Toyota close to unveiling IQ EV

Interesting. It looks like Toyota will finalise the spec of the IQ with a range of 65 miles and a top speed of 70 mph - significantly less than competitor vehicles.

This is brave and makes a lot of sense. 65 miles is more than adequate for everyday driving and commuting, whilst 70mph is likewise more than sufficient for this type of driving.

It should also reduce the price, currently the main barrier to purchase.

Monday, 14 November 2011

London reduces EV public charging fee access to just £10 per year

Transport for london has announced that it will permanently reduce the cost of the annual membership fee to access the charging network from £100 to just £10.
Source London, the name of London's charging network has installed 13 'fast charge' points, in  addition to the 200-plus electric vehicle charge points that have already been installed across the city, which will increase to 1,300 points by 2013.
The new 'fast charge' EV points have been installed by Source London partners, four by NCP and Scottish and Southern Energy,  two points by Southwark Council and seven by Hillingdon Council. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Nissan to install UK fast charge motorway recharging network

NISSAN is planning to install a network of fast charging posts in UK motorway service stations for free, to drive the uptake of its Leaf electric vehicle (EV).
The firm, which is to start making the car at its Sunderland plant from 2013, is aiming to install 65 posts at locations across the motorway network, city centres and airports from next February.
Yesterday the Japanese car giant said it would provide 400 quick charging points for free to similar locations across Europe, helping to persuade drivers EVs are suitable for longer journeys.
The posts can charge a battery to 80 per cent of its capacity in 30 minutes and Nissan said that by enabling customers to recharge batteries in a fraction of the time, it would help drive more customers towards EVs.

UK government database of EV charging points

A registry of where to find charging points for battery powered cars is being set up by the UK government. The registry will be developed by POD Point, one of the UK based charging point manufacturers.

The aim is to let battery-powered car owners use charge points across the country without having to sign up to new providers each time.
The Department for Transport estimates that there are currently approximately 2,500 charging points in the UK and 2,000 plug-in electric vehicles.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said the database would help motorists to reach their destination.
The DfT estimates that there will be 10,000 charge points in the UK by 2013, with 8,500 provided by the government's £30m Plugged-In Places scheme.
This scheme focuses on eight areas across the country: London, Milton Keynes, north-east England, the Midlands, Greater Manchester, the East of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Both the registry of charging points and a Central Whitelist of membership schemes are due to come into operation early next year.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Wireless charging trials in London

New Zealand based Halo IPT, the pioneer of wireless (induction) charging for EVs, has been acquired by Qualcomm and is commencing a trial of 50 electric vehicles recharged by inductive wireless power transfer commencing early 2012.

The scheme will be run in conjunction with transport for London and the vehicles will include electric taxis provided by Addison Lee. The wireless charging network will allow electric car owners to do away with cumbersome cables and top up their cars by parking over Qualcomm's wireless inductive power transfer plates, which are set to be installed in Tech City, near Canary Wharf -- London's answer to Silicon Valley.

Watch a short promo video here.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Suzuki EV concept

Suzuki are showcasing their urban EV concept, the Suzuki Q at the forthcoming Tokyo show.

Currently being ridiculed by much of the automotive media, it is similar to the Renault Twizy in looks, although it is definitely a little quirky for most tastes.

Monday, 7 November 2011

GMD's T-27 EV wins 2011 RAC Future Car Challenge

The report on the RAC Future Car Challenge, the 60 mile automotive energy efficiency competition, that starts just down the road from my home on the South coast. This year there were 70 entries:

'Gordon Murray maintained a 100 percent RAC Future Car Challenge win record on Saturday after his T.27 pure electric car was recognised as the most energy-efficient vehicle in the 2011 event. Murray, who also penned the McLaren F1 supercar, took the honours in the inaugural event last year with the T.25, a petrol-engined version of the same vehicle.
The Future Car Challenge pits pure electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, extended range electric and petrol and diesel vehicles against each other to find out which are the most energy efficient in a run from Brighton, on the south coast of the UK, to Pall Mall in London. Energy use for all types of car is converted to kilowatt-hours.
The 60-mile route is a reverse of the historic London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which features cars made before 1905 and this year took place the day after the Future Car Challenge. After the completion of the Future Car Challenge on Saturday afternoon, all cars, old and new, are presented in the Regent Street Motorshow – described as “the world’s largest free motorshow”.
The Murray Design T.27’s biggest advantage is its low weight, with the compact design meaning that little energy is needed during operation. According to figures published by Murray Design itself, the T.27 uses 36% less energy per km than the Mitsubishi iMiEV, and 29% less energy than even the tiny Smart electric drive. BMW’s MiniE uses 86% more energy per km, says the company. The T.27's electric drive system was designed in-house, with Murray talking to three manufacturers about possible production.
“This is the only event in the world that demonstrates real cars, in real conditions, that is measured independently and in the public eye,” said Murray after picking up his award. “It’s a fantastic showcase for technology, and the Royal Automobile Club should be proud of the event. Last year we won with our petrol car the T.25 entry and this year our electric car the T.27, both of which clearly demonstrate that light weight is the biggest tool we have for reducing emissions.”
Murray was not the only winner on the day – after the overall winner award, other categories included most energy-efficient small car, regular car, large car, sports car, multi-purpose vehicle and light commercial vehicle, with production cars and prototypes grouped together. There was also a winner in each class of vehicle by power type – pure electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and extended range and internal combustion – as well as a People’s Choice award. A full list of winners can be found below.'
2011 RAC Future Car Challenge results:
1. Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Production) - No. 2, smart fortwo electric coupé
2. Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype) - No. 27, T.27 Gordon Murray Design
3. Most Energy Efficient Regular Car (Production) - No. 3, Nissan Leaf
4. Most Energy Efficient Regular Car (Prototype) - No. 43, VW Golf blue-e-motion
5. Most Energy Efficient Large Car (Production) - No. 42, Peugeot 508 e-HDI
6. Most Energy Efficient Sports Car (Production) - No. 18, Tesla Roadster
7. Most Energy Efficient Sports Car (Prototype) - No. 54, Jaguar E-Type
8. Most Energy Efficient Multi-Purpose (Prototype) - No. 41, Proton Exora REEV
9. Most Energy Efficient Light Commercial Vehicle (Production) - No. 46, Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell
10. Most Energy Efficient Light Commercial Vehicle (Prototype) - No. 62, Citroën Nemo Van Electric
11. Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle - No. 27, T.27 Gordon Murray Design
12. Best Overall Extended Range/Plug-In Hybrid (E-REV, PHEV) Vehicle - No. 41, Proton Exora REEV and No. 21, Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid
13. Best Overall Hybrid (HV, HEV) Vehicle - No. 68, Honda Insight
14. Best Overall Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicle - No. 67, Mini Cooper D Olympic Edition
15. Best Overall Vehicle On Sale At Time Of Event - No. 3, Nissan Leaf
16. Best Overall Private Entry - No. 8, Lotus Elise S1 Electric
17. Best Overall Entry - RAC Future Car Challenge Winner, No. 27, T.27 Gordon Murray Design
18. People’s Choice - No. 44, Delta E4 Coupé

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Austria installs DC fast charging stations

ABB, the power and automation technology group, announced that it has delivered and installed Austria's first network of direct current (DC) fast-charging stations for electric vehicles. Vorarlberger Kraftwerke AG (VKW), a unit of Austrian utility illwerke vkw, will operate the charging network.
ABB recently installed the first three Terra 51 charge stations in Schruns-Rodund in the Montafon Valley, at the site of the Austrian Automobile Association (OAMTC) in Rankweil and in front of VKW's main office in Bregenz. 
VLOTTE is one of the largest electric mobility projects in Europe, having put nearly 300 EVs on the roads of the western region of Vorarlberg since its start in 2009.
ABB's Product Group EV Charging Infrastructure was created in July following the acquisition of Netherlands-based Epyon Power,

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Ford Focus EV order book opens in US

Ford have started taking orders for the Focus electric in the US. It is for sale priced at $39,995 before incentives, the same price as the Volt and will initially be available in California, New Jersey and New York and will be rolled out to a further 15 states next year: Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va., Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

The Nissan Leaf is currently outselling the Chevy Volt in the US, with 8,000 sales compared to 5,000 sales respectively since launch at the start of 2011.

GE expands solar charging solutions

GreenCar report that GE Industrial Solutions have launched the latest in a line of solar-powered initiatives and partnerships designed to help EV owners power their cars with solar power: a distribution agreement with photovoltaic solar power specialist REC Solar.

The agreement, which will see REC Solar become an official distributor of GE's WattStation level 2 charging station, follows an announcement earlier this month in which GE announced it had partnered with Inovateus Solar to sell a range of solar-powered carports.

Unlike GE's large-scale carports, which cost anything from $29,000 up to $1.18 million, GE’s WattStation will help provide a low-cost electric vehicle charging solution for REC Solar's photovoltaic solar panel installations for smaller businesses, local governments and even residential customers. Pricing is yet to be announced.

The new partnership between REC Solar and GE means that REC Solar can offer bespoke solar-powered electric car charging solutions to its customers. 

GE claims that this latest partnership makes it the leader in solar-powered electric car charging technology, with solutions now available for residential customers, businesses and shopping malls. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

XD EV concept from Croatia

Doking Automotive of Croatia, a specialist vehicle company has showcased its EV concept called the XD.

With a claimed range of 155 miles per charge and a top speed of 62 mph, the tiny XD concept features gull-wing doors, staggered passenger seats and is fitted with all-round airbags and ESC.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

BYD E6 goes on sale in China

Bloomberg reports that BYD (the Chinese carmaker partly owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.) began selling its all-electric E6 to private motorists in China today as it seeks to lead the country’s market for alternative-energy cars.

The E6, which has a range of 300 kilometers (188 miles) per charge, retails for 369,800 yuan (approx £36,000 / $58,000), BYD said today in Shenzhen, where it is based. Buyers in the southern Chinese city will qualify for as much as 120,000 yuan (nearly £12,000) in subsidies.

The Chinese government aims to have 1 million electric-powered vehicles on China’s roads by 2015, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology. The world’s largest automobile market had more than 10,000 energy-saving and alternative-energy powered vehicles running in 25 trial cities as of July, according to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China announced in June 2010 it would give buyers in Shanghai and four other cities up to 60,000 yuan (nearly £6,000) in subsidies for each electric car they purchase. Buyers of the E6 in Shenzhen will get an additional 60,000 yuan. The city has set up more than 60 charging stations.

BYD has said it plans to appoint dealers in the U.S. this year for the E6 and will export the car and electric buses to the U.S. and Europe next year, with a right-hand drive E6 available in Hong Kong in June.