Three hundred miles down, 2,100 to go. Green-car advocates can soon travel a bit of American history thanks to a public-private collaboration that is stringing together some plug-in vehicle charging stations along the Illinois stretch of historic Route 66. Heck, maybe there will be some wind-powered electricity from Chicago.
California may take yet another step forward as the leading edge of US plug-in vehicle adoption. This time, it could be by tweaking the state's new building codes. The Golden State is considering requiring builders of either new homes or new, larger parking lots to install the infrastructure for plug-in vehicle charging systems at the same time, according to The Long Tail Pipe. Similar rules were put into place in Palo Alto last year.
A Massachusetts company is taking a futuristic approach to hands-free plug-in vehicle charging: robot appendages. A product called PowerHydrant uses a robotic arm to connect a charging station to the vehicle, allowing for an easy kind of customer charging experience that is also offered by wireless charging systems. PowerHydrant, which is in its testing phase, will be shown off at the EV Tech Expo in Michigan this week.
Imagine a day when charging is as simple as pulling into a parking space. No cords to untangle or trip over, nothing to get your hands and pants dirty and nothing to wrap up when you're already late leaving for work. Just park your car, and forget it. That's the beauty of charging wirelessly through electromagnetic induction. It's still a nascent technology, though - as least when it comes to electric vehicles - and not without its problems.
Brammo, TEAM Industries To Make Electric Drivertrains Together
Efficiency equals performance, especially in the case of Formula 1 racing. The Mercedes AMC Petronas team points to several key efficiency technologies it uses to get the most out of its cars. And if their utter dominance so far this season is testament to this relationship, perhaps we should pay attention. Mercedes highlights hybrid tech, turbocharging, aerodynamics, lightweight construction, tribology (both in making internal components and lubricants more slippery) and simulation as crucial t
The Japanese government is really paving the way for hydrogen fuel cell technology on its roads. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is changing regulations on fuel tanks to make hydrogen cars more appealing to drivers, which should help put the country ahead of others in the race to develop a viable H2 fleet.
News about China and cars isn't in short supply these days. With several of the world's largest cities, millions of cars on the road and huge problems with air pollution, it's no wonder that the nation is trying to make some changes. Along with decommissioning many of its aging vehicles, China is also expected to see huge growth in its electric vehicle market. BMW, as other automakers already have done, sees this as an opportunity to sell more cars.
Nissan is pretty certain that free charging offers in the two largest metropolitan areas in Texas are substantially boosting sales of the Leaf electric vehicle. Heck, one Houston car dealer says Leaf sales have tripled because of the plan, which is run by NRG through its batch of eVgo Freedom Stations. Each of these stations has a fast-charging outlet and a standard Level 2 cord where EV drivers can plug-in without breaking out the wallet.
Tesla Motors is quietly getting ready for an electric-vehicle charging station that could be considered smarter than the drivers using it. The California-based automaker has applied for a number of patents (details here) in which its super-quick Superchargers would be programmable to better manage what Tesla hopes will be a mass influx of thirsty Model S (and Model X and, potentially, Model E) EVs. This company thinks big.
The San Francisco bay area continues to expand as a carsharing hub, and the latest addition is going to attract some attention. Vukee, a Palo Alto, CA-based company, is introducing the Tesla Model S to carsharers in that market as a way to stand out from larger carsharing providers like Zipcar and City CarShare.
We doubt AeroVironment wants to put electric-vehicle charging-station installers out of business, but the company's new product does give plug-in drivers, not to mention a few retailers, the option of skipping the part where you call a contractor. Meet the TurboCord.
It's unlikely that Bobby Troup had this in mind when he penned (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 in 1946, but the Mother Road is being suggested by at least one automotive group as key to a transcontinental electric highway. The Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation (HEVF) says it supports the idea of making Route 66 the "core" of a network of electric-vehicle chargers, but few details are emerging as far as the number of stations and who would pay for them. Those details could be worked out at the Ro
Silicon Valley has become a hub of workplace charging. In fact, if one of these San Francisco bay area technology companies doesn't offer that particular perk, they're likely to lose talented staff to competitors. Reports from the Valley say that there's a new kind of problem growing for employers – there are far more electric vehicles in parking lots than available chargers, and it's leading to "charge rage."
ClipperCreek may not be offering the least expensive Level 2 home-charging station on the US market, as it says it is, but it's not too far off the mark and gives the Golden State something to be proud of. The California-based company just starting selling its HCS-40 product, a 30-amp, 240-volt Level 2 charging station with a retail price of $590. The station is indoor-outdoor rated, includes a 25-foot long cable and comes equipped with a three-year warranty. ClipperCreek says installation is pr
A slow charge is better than no charge, but the state of California and some of its largest cities don't seem to understand that concept. That's the crux of an argument from Plugs and Cars' Marc Geller (a former contributor to AutoblogGreen), who cites the case of a Nissan Leaf-owning San Francisco police officer who had charging privileges at a Level 1 (i.e., a standard 120-volt) outlet at an employee-only lot taken away, all in the name of public policy.
Not only can you find any public charging and alt-fuel station from a user-friendly source, you can also view it on your iPhone and iPad. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a new mobile app so drivers can find any green fuel you can think of – biodiesel (B20), electricity, ethanol (E85), hydrogen, natural gas and propane – at nearly 12,750 stations in the US.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the grid's demise on account of more plug-in vehicles are greatly exaggerated. And, while time is money, when it comes to electric-vehicle charging, more money means less time. At least, less time during peak demand.