Thursday, 31 October 2013

UK: Charge Your Car passes 350,000 kWh of charging

Charge Your Car (CYC) achieved a grand total of 72,575 charging sessions on its electric vehicle charging network on October 6, 2013, meaning that the total kWh drawn since the system went live in 2010 has surpassed 350,000.
Alexandra Prescott, operations director at CYC, said: “We expect this figure to escalate by a further 30,000 kWh over the next two to three months when we upgrade some posts and they start communicating with the CYC system.
"Establishing a nationwide network is our ultimate goal and these figures are very encouraging as we continue rolling out CYC.”
The network now has 176 post owners enrolled, resulting in 1,500 charging points managed by CYC with 1,151 registered users.
Recent additions to the CYC network are Source West, and York and the goal is to have 10,000 in the network by 2020 so that drivers are always within range of a charge point.
The CYC system, built on open source software, is the first pay-as-you-go service available to EV owners.
It brings together drivers, charge point owners, public sector organisations and charge point manufacturers in a network accessible to all, which is monitored 24 hours, seven days a week.
Charge point manufacturers already part of the CYC scheme are Elektromotive, APT, Chargemaster, DBT, PODPoint, and Siemens.
In July this year CYC launched a free app which allows users to find charge points, plan a route, start and stop a session and pay for a charge at all app-ready charge points across the CYC network.
The app features a live map that shows the current status of all charge points across the network and it also reduces the necessity for RFID cards and multiple scheme subscriptions.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Elon Musk's incredible service philosophy


By Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect & CEO

§  Fully loaded Model S Performance 85 cars or Tesla Roadsters as loaners
§  Tesla will seamlessly valet the loaner cars to your location
§  $600 annual service now optional with no effect on warranty
§  Unconditional warranty for Model S battery, even for user error

Making Service Better Than Invisible
The best way to experience service is, of course, not to experience service. If your car does need service, then it should be swapped with a car that is ideally better in some or many ways. To this end, Tesla is building a fleet of top of the line Model S loaners. These will not be our basic model – they will be state of the art with all the best features and options.
Nor will this eventually become an aging fleet of overused cars. The Model S loaners will be available for immediate purchase at a price that is lower by $1 per mile driven. If you like the service loaner more than your other car, we will happily trade in your Model S and you may keep the loaner. This ensures that the service fleet is constantly refreshed and gives customers the best optionality.
For an added bit of fun, customers in most markets will have the choice of taking home one of our Tesla Roadster sports cars when their car is in for service. Few experiences are more sublime than driving a beautiful electric sports car on a road along the ocean or through a forest with the top down on a summer day and hearing only the sounds of nature.

Valet Service
Your time is valuable and should not be spent driving to or waiting at our service centers. Tesla is putting in place a valet service, so that your car is seamlessly picked up and replaced with a loaner and then returned as soon as we are done. There is no additional charge for this.

Annual Service Contract
Unlike gasoline cars, an electric car doesn’t need oil changes, fuel filters, spark plugs, smog checks, etc., which are only needed if the mode of locomotion involves burning oil derived products. For an electric car, you don’t even need to replace the brake pads, because most of the braking energy is regeneratively captured by the motor and returned to the battery.
As such, we are comfortable making the annual checkup entirely optional. There is still value to having Tesla look at the car once a year for things like tire alignment, to address a few things here & there and perform any hardware upgrades – our goal is not just to fix things, but to make the car better than it was. However, even if you never bring in the car, your warranty is still valid.

Battery Warranty
The battery pack in your car is obviously very important and expensive to replace. In developing the Model S, we took great care to ensure that the battery would protect itself, always retaining a few percent of energy. If something goes wrong, it is therefore our fault, not yours.
Except in the cases of a collision, opening of the battery pack by non-Tesla personnel or intentional abuse (lighting the pack on fire with a blowtorch is not covered!), all damage is covered by warranty, including improper maintenance or unintentionally leaving the pack at a low state of charge for years on end. The battery will be replaced at no cost by a factory reconditioned unit with an energy capacity equal to or better than the original pack before the failure occurred.
The intent is to provide complete peace of mind about owning your Model S even if you never read or followed the instructions in the manual.


Friday, 18 October 2013

Electric Cars Could Store Energy In Their Body Panels

Forbes report that electric vehicles could in the future store energy in their body panels:

'EVs have been around nearly as long as the automobile itself, and while the electric motor has certainly been perfected over the last century, the underlying battery technology used to power an EV still tends to relegate the genre to niche status.
But tomorrow’s EVs could eliminate big and bulky – not to mention costly – battery packs altogether, instead using their body panels as a source of power. Volvo has been working on the concept over the past three and a half years in conjunction with other participants as part of a European Union research project headed by London’s Imperial College.
Here, advanced nano-structured batteries and super capacitors are deftly incorporated into carbon fiber panels using an advanced resin; the panels are, in turn, formed to fit around a car’s frame. Just as with a conventional EV battery, the super capacitor-infused material can be fully charged via the power grid or refreshed while en route via regenerative braking.
Volvo says the electrified material charges faster than conventional batteries, and is strong and pliant enough to be fully integrated within a vehicle’s structure. It’s said to not only be lighter in weight than today’s batteries, but lighter than conventional structural materials as well; it’s also claimed to be both cost effective and eco-friendly to produce.
Volvo has reportedly developed an experimental S80 sedan that utilises the technology to form the car’s trunk lid and plenum cover in the vehicle’s engine compartment. Leveraged more extensively, say additionally on a car’s roof, hood and doors, Volvo expects the material would realise a 15 percent weight reduction and power a midsize car for around 80 miles on a charge.
What’s more, use of the energy-storing panels doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to EVs. In a conventionally powered car the energy storing material can be used to both form the so-called “rally bar” (a strong structural component at the front of a car) and replace the standard 12-volt battery as a weight saving measure.
Now we’ve been around the proverbial block enough times to know that many such breakthroughs which show great promise never make it outside the laboratory for a variety of reasons, including cost and, we would have to wonder here, potential crashworthiness problems. There’s also the issue of recycling damaged or salvaged body parts to consider. However, if Volvo’s on the money with its “super capacitor” body panel technology, it could ultimately be a game changer, particularly if in fact proves to be a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to the comparatively massive power cells used to power today’s EVs.'

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Norway Sept 2013: EVs represent nearly 9% all new car sales

Incredible. Norwegians are buying up all the electric cars in Europe and in September 2013 electric cars represented nearly 9% of all sales. Nissan and Tesla dominate the market. The world's biggest market for EVs in terms of EVs per head of the population and as a percentage of new car sales..

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Navigant Forecasts 4.3 Million EV Charging Units Sold in 2022

Buoyed by strong growth in the market for plug-in electric vehicles, worldwide sales of EV charging equipment will grow from around 442,000 units in 2013 to 4.3 million in 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate of 28.8 percent, according to a study by Navigant Research.Revenue from the sales of car charging equipment is expected to grow from $567 million in 2013 to $5.8 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 29.4 percent, according to the report, Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment. 

Alphabet focuses on UK EV fleet market

Alphabet in the UK is looking to more than double the adoption of plug-in electric cars, from 4,200 to 10,000, in the next three years through the launch of its business consultancy service, AlphaElectric.
The service is based on a four-step process that addresses the main barriers that have so far hampered the adoption of electric vehicles in the UK.
At present, UK adoption of EVs has been modest, with only 138 units sold in 2010 and 1,082 sold in 2011.
Sales rose sharply in 2012 with 2,254 cars registered by the DVLA, while year on year sales at August 2013 have shown an increase of more than 70%.
With an expanding range of plug-in vehicles on the market, a growth in the number of public charging points (now up to 5,000 in the UK) and further Government investment of £37m for infrastructure, Alphabet is confident of strong growth in EV adoption for the next few years. 
It believes a more consultative approach is needed to dispel many of the myths about plug-in vehicles, such as availability of charging points, range anxiety and safety.
By focusing on the corporate market as an early adopter, the business, which is part of the global BMW Group, is convinced that more widespread adoption of EVs can be achieved in the UK.
Alphabet will take business and fleet managers through each stage of the AlphaElectric process – initial scoping, charging infrastructure, vehicle choice and mobility options – providing them with the independent business case and confidence to adopt EVs as appropriate.