by admin on 4 May 2011

Brammo Engage and Encite: six speed electric dirt bikes

Talk about shaking things up. Until now we've really only ever thought of electric vehicles as being single or perhaps two-speed (thanks to instant torque and high RPMs). Just to keep us on our toes Brammo has today announced two new electric motorcycles which feature a hydraulic clutch and a six-speed gearbox (from Italian company SMRE Engineering). The Engage dirt bike will be available as MX motorcross (offroad; $9,995), SMR supermoto (onroad; $9,995) and SMS supermoto (road legal; $11,995). The Encite MMX Pro is a hardcore racing version of the Engage which hasn't yet been given a price. SMRE has designed its Integrated Electric Transmission (IET) gearbox from scratch to give the same feel as a traditional gearbox but specifically for use with electric vehicles.More »

by admin on 4 May 2011

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has established the Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP).  For the low-low price of $9,000/company you can take part in the definition of the roadmap to development and deployment of electric vehicles (in the US).  All seems to be a bit late and a bit half-hearted, the Electrification Coalition have been at this for quite some time (since 2009).
"The EVSP will provide a mechanism to foster coordination and collaboration among public and private sector stakeholders – including industry, government agencies, utilities, standards and conformity assessment organizations, code officials, and others – to enable the safe, mass deployment of electric vehicles and associated infrastructure in the U.S. with international coordination, adaptability, and engagement," says ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia.More »

by admin on 3 May 2011

The battery-swap service Better Place has announced a 'strategic agreement' with China South Power Grid co. (CSG) which will initially deliver an electric car battery-swap station and 'joint education center' in the city of Guangzhou. “China Southern Grid is an important partner in a huge market that is moving quickly toward the mass-market development of electric cars and is embracing battery switch as the primary means of range extension,” CEO Shai Agassi commented. “Our collaboration with China Southern and the support of the Guangzhou government open the door to new opportunities for switchable-battery electric cars made by Chinese manufacturers for the domestic and export markets.”
by admin on 2 May 2011

Peugeot EX1 sets new Nürburgring electric lap record (UPDATED)

The futuristic concept Peugeot EX1 electric two-seater sports car which looks somewhat like a 1930's Morgan Three-wheeler (although the EX1 has two rear wheels) has recorded a 9:01.338 seconds lap time (138.3 kph average speed) around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, some 50 seconds faster than the previous time set by a modified Mini E last year.  UPDATE: Official video added (looks like a bumpy ride!)
by admin on 30 April 2011

Back when Tesla designed the Roadster the SAE J1772 charging connector hadn't yet been finalized and so Tesla ended up creating their own charger port.  With the advent of more public charging stations which feature the J1772 connector it's obvious that Tesla owners needed a solution to connect their cars.  Tesla has now announced a 1.2 m (4 ft) adapter cable which enables charging from J1772 outlets at up to 240 V / 70 A (4 hours for a full charge / 56 miles range per hour of charge) or more typically 240 V / 32 A (7.5 hours for a full charge).  It's hardly ideal however as it leaves the J1772 connector on the floor (as you can see in the photo above), nor is it cheap at $750, and from what we can tell from the Tesla website is now backordered (there's a message in that for Tesla).  For some time now the Tesla Motors Club forum has been approaching this issue and Tesla owner and EV advocate Tom Saxton was one of the first to come up with his own adapter and has even now fully converted his Roadster's charging port to directly accept a J1772 connector, it's a pity Tesla haven't offered an official conversion option for its Roadster owners.
by admin on 26 April 2011

Last week at the Shanghai Auto Show Volkswagen revealed its electric scooter (e-Scooter) rental concept.  The concept enables owners of prepaid 'Mobility Cards' to collect an e-Scooter from a hub, use it and return it to another hub elsewhere in the city (as per many existing big-city bicycle rental schemes).  The VW e-Scooter weighs in at around 22 Kg and is powered by a 350 W electric motor.  Its NiMH battery pack provides a range of about 40 km (25 miles) and the e-Scooter has a top speed of 50 kph (31 mph).
by admin on 25 April 2011

On April 1st Sanyo became a wholly owned subsidiary of Panasonic and today we've seen the first piece of news demonstrating the advantage of their acquisition.  Panasonic has today announced it is to build a new lithium-ion battery plant in Suzhou, China beside Sanyo's existing battery plant.  Panasonic currently produces 80-90 percent of its lithium-ion batteries in Japan and is looking to shift this ratio to 50 percent to reduce manufacturing costs and avoid currency exchange risks.  This investment is reported to be worth 20-30 billion Yen ($244 - $366 million).  Panasonic and Sanyo combined account for 26 percent of the global market for lithium-ion battery cells.More »

by admin on 24 April 2011

Amsterdam City Council has commissioned the Dutch energy company Essent (a subsidiary of RWE) to deliver and install 125 charging stations across the City with the option to extend this to 750 stations later.  Amsterdam City Council has a target of 10,000 electric vehicles by 2015.  RWE's Smart-Station charger stands 1.5 m high and supports Mode 3 IEC 61851 charging (22 kW; three phase, 32 A @ 400V)  and has one IEC type 2 / J1772 connector on each side allowing for dual simultaneous charging.More »

by admin on 21 April 2011

Better than the new Audi A8 or BMW 5 series? Certainly not in the same sense, however the LEAF certainly delivers (apart from range) on the electric car promise and is the first affordable electric car from a trusted 'big name' brand, so with all that taken into consideration it probably does deserve this accolade.  If nothing else another award for the LEAF will hopefully help to shake out the doubters and naysayers and encourage the industry to accelerate their electric car plans.  Congratulations on the WCOTY Nissan.
by admin on 21 April 2011

After achieving its initial goal of 20,000 booked (in the US) Nissan closed reservations at the end of last year, now with 500 delivered and many more about to arrive Nissan has announced it will accept more reservations on 1st May.  Nissan has also revealed some interesting (and a little startling) data about the 500 LEAF early adopters; the average trip length was just 7 miles (!), most charge at home using a 220-volt supply, the average charge time is 2 hours 11 minutes and that owners are '...a combination of conscientious environmentalists and tech-savvy individuals. They are highly educated, have excellent credit, and are in the nation’s top 15 percent for household income.'