French carmaker Renault set to partner Bollore to boost its presence in electric cars
The partnership would apply to the use of charging stations and batteries, Le Figaro said, without citing its sources.
Renault, which currently buys lithium batteries from South Korea’s LG Chem, might also design a vehicle using Bollore’s lithium-metal-polymer technology, the paper added.
Renault and Bollore declined to comment.
The Bollore family firm is behind Autolib, the electric car-sharing scheme that has won 100,000 clients since it was launched in Paris in late 2011. [x]
Trials for Singapore’s first driverless vehicle
Singapore’s first clean and green driverless shuttle transportation system will soon see passengers shuttling between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and JTC Corporation’s (JTC) CleanTech Park.
In a partnership between NTU, JTC and Induct Technologies, and supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), an autonomous electric shuttle manufactured by Induct is expected to ply the two kilometre route providing a safe, reliable and environmentally-friendly alternative mode of transportation.
Korea Constructs Road That Wirelessly Charges Moving Electric Buses
An electric bus that charges its batteries while driving (rather than while sitting idle in a charging station) is no longer science fiction.
Researchers at Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) recently constructed a seven and a half mile stretch of asphalt roadway in the city of Gumi in South Korea with specialized electric cables designed to power batteries on a moving passenger bus.
The first of it’s kind technology doesn’t need the vehicles to stop at a point to charge.
The bus’s batteries are equipped with a novel technology called “Shaped Magnetic Field In Resonance” that sends electromagnetic fields created by the electric cables buried in the asphalt to the bus but not normal cars.
The technology recognizes vehicles capable of accepting the electric charge and those that cannot.
A coil in the battery can turn the electromagnetic fields into electricity at a distance of more than half a foot above the road. [x]
KKA Unveils Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations Made From Locally Sourced Wood for Sweden
In response to the rising trend of electric vehicles in Sweden, the Traffic Department in Gothenburg has commissioned Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture (KKA) to develop a vision of solar-powered charging stations for electric vehicles, bikes and scooters. With the potential of being distributed throughout the city, the resizable concept was designed with the same formal language for recognition so that the charging stations may stand as a “symbol of a more sustainable city.”
The design, fabricated entirely from FSC-certified local wood, strategically separates vehicles from bikes and scooters on an elevated ramp capped with a south-facing, solar cell roof. During the average 15 to 20 minutes spent charging their vehicles, drivers are given the opportunity to choose from a variety of amenities that KAA has integrated into the tilted structure. Programs, beyond the charging stations, include a bike repair shop, an outdoor gym, and a Wi-Fi connected courtyard with a cafe pavilion. [x]
High Temperature Capacitor Could Boost Electric Vehicle Reliability
A new capacitor design which can better handle the temperatures in electric vehicles has been developed as part of the Advanced Capacitors for Energy Storage (ACES) project, a technology strategy board project.
According to National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the goal to get electric vehicles an automobile market share of more than 50% by 2050 is impeded by the ability of capacitors to handle high temperatures generated by electric vehicle components, making them less reliable than desired.
Windsor company unveils new solar-powered vehicle
A green energy company from Windsor is collaborating with a firm from South Carolina to produce a new solar-powered vehicle.
"There’s absolutely no precedent for any of this," said Sean Moore, CEO of Windsor-based Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies, after his company unveiled the new vehicle Tuesday morning in Tecumseh.
The vehicles will be built by Simpsonville, South Carolina-based Star EV, which makes plug-in electric vehicles for golf, recreation and “street legal travel,” according to its website.
They will then be sent to Windsor to be outfitted with Unconquered Sun’s “Windsor” series of solar panels.
The vehicles come in two versions: a utility truck, which Moore said can be used for industrial applications; and a tram, which is designed for passenger transport.
Moore said both vehicles can operate intermittently for a full day without plugging in to charge, and can reach speeds of up to 50 km/h.
ABB announces plan to build world’s largest network of EV fast-charging stations
If all goes according to plan, in two years The Netherlands will have the world’s largest nationwide network of EV fast-charging stations. It was announced this week that by 2015, there should be over 200 such stations along Dutch highways, leaving no resident farther than 50 km (31 miles) from a charge-up at any time.
The stations will be run by Dutch start-up Fastned, with the chargers being supplied by Switzerland’s ABB Group. Each station will house several chargers including ABB’s 50-kilowatt Terra 52 and Terra 53 models, which are reportedly capable of charging an electric vehicle within 15 to 30 minutes.
Driving EV Range Anxiety Free Between Vermont, Québec
Electric vehicle charging networks are definitely on the rise at the moment. Whether it’s on a nationwide level or in individual states like Rhode Island, options are growing for those wanting to drive longer distances in electric cars like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S. Now those driving between Vermont and Québec will have options when traveling the the 138 mile international corridor between the United States and Canada, which includes I-89 and Highway A-10, Rte 104 and Rte 133.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s office recently announced the development of the Vermont-Québec Electric Charging Corridor, working in cooperation with Québec Premier Pauline Marois’s people. The route will will initially link Burlington and Montréal, with plans calling for a large number of chargers to be installed along the way. Expected to open this fall, it will consist of Level 2 chargers, which are said to offer [PDF] approximately 10-20 miles of added driving range for each hour of charging.
Uruguay launches first BYD battery-electric buses; projecting 500 by 2015
Buquebus and CTS Auto S.A., in partnership with Chinese automaker BYD Ltd, introduced the first battery-electric 12-meter rapid transit bus in Uruguay and the region.
The BYD electric bus, powered by two in-wheel electric motors capable of a cruising speed of more than 88 km/h (55 mph) and a Li-ion battery pack has a range of more than 250 km (155 miles)—nearly 24 hours of service daily for most transit applications. The BYD battery technology also allows for a full charge in less than 5 hours. The bus can be charged overnight, while the electricity pricing is lower.
By 2015 it is expected that more than 500 BYD electric buses will be running on the streets and roads of Uruguay.
Buquebus is the largest tourism transportation company in Uruguay, connecting more than 2 million passengers in Argentina and Uruguay per year by boat and by bus. Buquebus is also the largest Tourist Agent in South America, selling more than 300,000 hotel beds and 400,000 city tours per year.
BYD’s electric taxis hit Hong Kong roads with big ambitions
Warren Buffett-backed Chinese carmaker BYD Co Ltd rolled out Hong Kong’s first electric taxi fleet on Wednesday, marking a milestone for its all-electric battery car that highlights its promise and its limitations.
"We expect to increase the number of e6 taxis in Hong Kong to 5,000 in three years," said Liu Xueliang, general manager of BYD Asia Pacific sales, after the company announced it is making a push in the former British colony to encourage the use of its all-electric e6 taxi.
Manufacturers welcome electric vehicle road map
Vehicle manufacturers in South Africa have welcomed the launch of the Electronic Vehicle Industry Road Map, which aims to introduce electric vehicles into the South African market.
“It’s a tremendous initiative and a good start to working with all stakeholders. We will fully support it,” Nisssan SA CEO Mike Whitfield said on Thursday.
Toyota SA CEO Johan van Zyl and BMW CEO Bodo Donauer congratulated the initiative. “This is not a short term issue; it’s a long term plan. It is a process whereby we have to work together to first of all, establish the infrastructure. From the motor industry side, the technology has already been developed and is available whether it’s electric or hybrids. In the future, [most] vehicles will use alternative technology.
“This is the right time to start. If we don’t start sometime, we will be left behind,” said Van Zyl, adding that the country needed to ensure a greener environment in future.
Officials celebrate as electric vehicle-to-grid technology sells power to PJM power grid
Joined by government and industry leaders, the University of Delaware and NRG Energy celebrated an important milestone for their eV2g project on Friday, becoming an official resource of PJM Interconnection and proving for the first time that electric vehicle-to-grid technology can sell electricity from electric vehicles (EVs) to the power grid.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and senior officials from the U.S. Department of Energy and the state were among those who participated in an event at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus to mark the achievements.
"Moving innovative ideas out of the classroom and into the marketplace is critical to growing our economy," said Markell. “The partnership between NRG and the University of Delaware perfectly illustrates the potential for research institutions to spur economic development."
London has been officially selected as one of only eight cities around the world to host a race as part of the upcoming Formula E electric car racing series.
The capital beat stiff competition from 23 cities around the world that expressed an interest in hosting one of the 10 races planned for next year. It now joins Rome, Los Angeles, Miami, Beijing, Putrajaya, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro as the selected locations for the inaugural season. Formula E Holdings, the promoter of the FIA Formula E Championship, said two more races would be announced at a later date.
The organiser is now planning to work with each of the selected cities to confirm their feasibility and finalise the calendar for the first season, with a view to signing formal agreements with the host cities by July. The final calendar will then be presented to the FIA for final approval at its World Motor Sport Council summit in September.
"The fact that cities from all over the world are interested in the FIA Formula E Championship is extremely heartening and shows a global commitment to clean mobility and sustainability," said Alejandro Agag, chief executive of Formula E Holdings, in a statement. "The provisional calendar we publish today is composed of cities in America, Europe and Asia. We look forward to also racing in Africa and Australasia from 2015 onwards."
He added that the company would now work with the cities to ensure the tracks adhere to the championship’s goal of delivering city centre racing that can demonstrate the benefits of electric vehicles to as wide an audience as possible.
"[All the races will] be in city centres, easily accessible by public transport, and will feature some of the most beautiful and well-known landmarks as a spectacular backdrop for the races," he explained. "The fact that we will only race in city centres highlights the main message of our Championship: the electric car as a solution for mobility in cities of the future."
The news was welcomed by London Mayor Boris Johnson who described the plans for an electric vehicle championship as a “scintillating concept”.
"I am hugely keen that London be involved in the birth of Formula E," he said. "It has the potential to highlight the impressive strides being made in the manufacture of electric vehicles and hosting a street race could also be of considerable economic benefit to our city."
Formula E Holdings will now turn its attention to filling the grid for the championship, after the UK-based Team Drayson and Team China Racing recently became the first two teams to confirm their involvement.
Estonia has become the first country in the world to install a nationwide system of fast chargers for electrical vehicles, the manager of the new system said, as part of European efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
The 165 chargers were produced and installed by engineering group ABB, and construction was financed from the government’s sale of 10 million surplus CO2 emission permits to Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation.
The 2011 deal with Mitsubishi also provided the government with more that 500 electric cars and the financing of a subsidiary system for people to purchase electric cars.
"Now is the time to really press the pedal and move forward in electrical mobility. We have proved that there is a real possibility to set up a network in a country, and there are no technical barriers," Jarmo Tuisk, head of the program which has run the scheme to set up the network, said in an interview on Wednesday.
Estonia and other countries have seen weak take-up of electric vehicles due to high driving costs and their short range from a single charge.
The network of fast chargers strategically placed along roads and in towns means that users need not worry about running out of power during their journeys. It also features a nationwide unified payment system.
Estonia, with a population of about 1.2 million, has 619 all-electric cars, of which 500 are used by public authorities and about 100 by private people and companies.
That amounts to one electric vehicle for every 1,000 cars, second only to Norway, which has four per 1,000. The Netherlands is third at 0.6 per 1,000.
Tuisk said that with the national charging network in place he hoped the number of electrical vehicles owned individuals or companies would double to 200 this year.
Electric vehicle consortium signs bus agreements with Poland
A Chinese electric vehicle consortium led by the Beijing Institute of Technology has signed agreements to help develop an electric bus network in Poland.
According to the agreements signed with Warsaw University of Technology and Tauron Polska Energia SA - the largest Polish electric power company - the Chinese side and Tauron will establish an electric vehicle public transportation system in Poland in the first phase.
Six electric buses with a platform developed by Beijing Institute of Technology, including apower battery swapping system, a battery charging and discharging station, and an emergencyservice system, will be made for the two-year trial project in Poland.
The Chinese group consists of BIT and its subsidiary BIT Huachuang Electric VehicleTechnology Co Ltd, along with CITIC Guoan Mengguli Power Science and Technology Co Ltd,and Shanghai Dianba New Energy Technology Co Ltd.
Six charging and swapping stations will later be set up in five Polish cities, with 780 purelyelectric buses in operation.
BIT Huachuang and Tauron will also seek to promote their jointly developed technology in otherEuropean countries.
As one of the earliest research units to develop a commercial purely electric vehicle powersystem platform, BIT has cooperated with more than 10 Chinese automobile companies,including Foton, Yutong, Zhongtong Bus and GAC Group, to produce more than 2,000 purelyelectric commercial vehicles.
It has also cooperated with Beijing Public Transport Holdings, CITIC Guoan Mengguli andBeijing Dianba on the operation of electric buses at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Shanghai Expo,Guangzhou Asian Games, and the Chinese government’s 10-city 1,000-electric vehicleprogram.
Analysts said the electric vehicles would remain primarily for public transportation because ofgovernment and corporate procurement.
Battery and electric car producer BYD Co Ltd has also started to enter overseas electric busmarkets.
In December, the Warren Buffett-backed company said it will establish its first wholly ownedoverseas manufacturing plant in 2013 in the United States to produce electric buses.
The facility in California will be operational in 2013 and is expected to have an annualproduction capacity of more than 500 vehicles by 2015.
BYD has also signed a joint venture with a Bulgarian company to set up its first factory toassemble electric vehicles in the Eastern European country.
The first batch of 50 to 60 of its K9 electric buses is expected to roll off the production line this month.
The move was a result of BYD’s aim to use local production to export its electric buses to more European countries, including the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark.
Besides Europe, BYD has signed agreements with local governments in Singapore, Uruguay,Canada and the United States on the use of its buses in public transportation.
According to a recent report from US-based market research and consulting firm PikeResearch, the global market for electric buses is expected to grow steadily over the next sixyears, with a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent from 2012 to 2018.