by admin on 16 July 2011

Cabled Diagram

Since 12th December 2009 the CABLED electric vehicle project has put 22 Mitsubishi iMiev's in the hands of 'typical members of the public'.  Each of these vehicles is fitted with GPS and data loggers and each quarter since December 2009 a report has been produced which summarizes data recorded, with the publication of the fourth quarter report a full years worth of data has now been collected.  Some interesting nuggets from the report:

  • Average distance travelled was just 22 miles
  • Three quarters of journeys were less than 20 minutes
  • The maximum distance travelled was 126 miles
  • On average cars were parked for 23.5 hours of the day
  • Average state of charge (SoC) was 50% at the beginning of a charge
  • Average charge time was just under three hours

While interesting a lot of this data will of course be a function of the vehicle used (iMiev) as well as the type of user and availability of charging points. More »

by admin on 15 July 2011

IKEA ECOtality charging

IKEA has announced a partnership with ECOtality to provide Blink electric vehicle charging stations at 10 US stores in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.  This pilot project (due to be complete by the end of 2011) is a part of ECOtality's country-wide installation of approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations.  “We welcome IKEA to The EV Project, as the company has a strong legacy of environmental responsibility and its stores are a destination for consumers,” stated Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. “Situated in highly visible and accessible areas, IKEA locations are ideal charging station hosts for EV drivers.” More »

by admin on 13 July 2011

Sony LogoAccording to a brief snippet in Mainichi Shimbun Sony Energy Devices Corporation in Koriyama (Fukushima Prefecture) will soon begin production of lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles.  Sony management have been quoted as stating that they see large growth demand for electric vehicles in the next few years and that when required they will build factories in Japan and abroad to satisfy this demand. More »

by admin on 12 July 2011

Audi A1 e-tron

For the second year in a row Audi has won the Silvretta Electric Car Rally in Austrai's Montafon region.  Last year Audi won with the R8 e-tron, this year in the much smaller but considerably more production-likely A1 e-tron.  The A1 e-tron completed the 307 km rally (with numerous recharges) despite its measly 12 kWh battery pack, due likely no doubt to the fact that the A1 e-tron also has a combustion engine which can charge the battery once it gets low (so strictly speaking the A1 e-tron is a hybrid in the same vein as the Chevrolet Volt). More »

by admin on 7 July 2011

Renault Frendzy promises to be a multi-purpose electric van

Renault has today taken the covers of yet another funky electric car concept (with an equally loud name), the Frendzy.  In its concept photos the vehicle appears to make the most of increased cabin space (thanks to a small electric drivetrain) and features a large flexible rear space which can be used for commercial purposes 'during the week' but can be quickly convert for social 'family' use at the weekends.  Renault are planning to show a physical concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September. More »

by admin on 5 July 2011

Renault Fluence

According to a report on Autocar Renault's electric four-door the Fluence Z.E. will cost 'from' £17,850 (after the UK government's £5,000 plug-in electric car grant) which makes it the "UK's most affordable electric car."  That's not quite the end of the story though you will still need to pay Renault £75 a month to lease the battery, but even so this low price could be the breakthrough electric vehicles need.  Interested? You can reserve online now with just a £20 deposit.  The four-door, five-seater Fluence Z.E. has a 70 kW (95 hp) electric motor which delivers a top speed of 84 mph and a range of 115 miles.

  More »

by admin on 1 July 2011

Nissan Leaf miles per dollarNissan's latest ad for the Leaf has a very simple premice - miles per gallon metric is irrelevant when comparing electric and traditional fuel vehicles, instead Nissan a pushing home the idea of 'miles per dollar'.  And thank goodness, for quite some time now I've been (privately) banging on that many people won't buy an electric car because of its eco credentials, they will if you tell them how cheap they are to run.  The ad continues "comparing miles per gallon is suddenly irrelevant - the Nissan LEAF doesn't even have a gas tank.  So let's just compare how far your car can take you on a single dollar.  The math speaks for itself."  And indeed if the ad math is correct then the leaf will do 25 miles per dollar, the Toyota Prius about 18 miles per dollar and at the other end of the spectrum the Chevrolet Corvette just 6 miles per dollar.  Just an idea for Nissan's marketeers - one more thing they could emphasize is the reduced servicing and repair costs of electric cars.  Hat-tip to Andrew Winston. More »

by admin on 1 July 2011

Making the Connection

The UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has revealed a new report titled Making the Connection: The Plug-In Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy which outlines the governments plan to prepare the UK for the 'tens of thousands of plug-in vehicles' which will be on the roads by 2015.  The report begins by emphasizing that because the majority of charging will take place at home or at the workplace the government isn't looking to put a huge amount of money into a 'public charging network' and will instead encourage the installation of chargepoints at 'key destinations' including supermarkets, retail centers and car parks (which isn't to say some public charging won't be implemented for those without off-street parking).  The report also outlines the need for 'smart meters' which will be able to signal charger units to the timing of low tariff electricity.  The government will make a provision of over £300M to support the uptake in electric vehicles including a the plug-in car grant and plugged-in places programme which will match-fund chargepoint pilot projects.  In addition the report also reveals that the Renaul Fluence will be the tenth car eligible for the £5000 plug-in car grant. More »

by admin on 29 June 2011

Sumitomo Aluminium Celmet

Sumitomo Electric has for some time touted its porous foam-like 'Celmet' material (acronym for cell + metal) and has in fact produced nickle-metal-hydired (NiMH) batteries using it.  Just recently howerver Sumitomo has announced that it has successfully developed an aluminium based version of this material which could be used to increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries by 50% to 200% (1.5 - 3.0x).   More »

by admin on 23 June 2011

Think City

Electric car maker Think has filed for bankrupty in Norway, this comes on after numerous stories of investors pulling out and suppliers going unpaid.  The only way out now for Think is to sell some of its assets or pass on the business to another investor.  It'll be a sad day if Think fall by the wayside but in the competitive automotive market it's always going to be very difficult for small players to break in, even if their product is radically different.  Fingers crossed for Think but it doesn't look great. More »