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.