What has BMW learned from years of electric vehicle test programs and working with Mini E drivers and the ActiveE Electronauts? According to BMW board member Herbert Diess, it's that public charging is not an important piece of the puzzle of making EVs a success. The way those early EV drivers used their vehicles told BMW that, "public infrastructure is not really very important because most people are charging their cars at home," Diess recently told Wards Auto. It's a message we've heard befor
The city of Palo Alto, in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, is already on the cutting edge of modern technology, as the home of Tesla Motors, Hewlett-Packard and Stanford University. It also has large facilities run by Facebook, Apple, Google and PayPal. Outside of the private sector, though, there's not a lot to distinguish Palo Alta from other very wealthy ZIP codes.
Concrete and painted lines is so 1999. Parking garages could be taken to a new level with more electric vehicle charging stations and better energy efficiency, space utilization and completely automated systems. Put it all together and it shows that parking should be getting more respect, says Paul Wessel, executive director of Green Parking Council, telling The New York Times, "The parking industry has had something of a Rodney Dangerfield complex, but that's changing now."
After flirting with Better Place back in 2008, Portugal got serious about promoting electric vehicles in 2009. That's when the first discussions about what would become the Mobi.E charging network took place. These talks encompassed how best to get ready for EVs with new legislation and tax incentives, developing new technology and how to coordinate a payment network so that chargers become like ATMs – universally available to anyone.
Electric vehicles accounted for a tiny fraction of the annual 10-million new vehicle sales in the United States in 2009, and an even smaller proportion of the country's overall vehicle fleet, which experts at the Earth Policy Institute figure is about 246 million vehicles. But with the number of EVs expected to grow, what happens when there are more of them on the road?
With the launch of real EV's for mass market consumption comes the inevitable question: What's next? There are two big areas in which we're likely to see the engineering might of the world's automakers focus their attention for the next generation of electric-drive vehicles. The first is improving the packaging of the electric motors, while the second is improving charging.
UK-based HaloIPT is ready to launch its in-road wireless charging system for electric vehicles (EVs). The company's setup, which works on inductive power transfer discovered back in the 1800s, promises to offer simple on-street charging for any battery-powered vehicles. HaloIPT claims that its system, unlike some others, is tolerant of misalignment by drivers, can deliver a charge across an air gap of up to 15 inches and even has the ability to sense when something as small as a wandering cat in
Imagine how convenient it would be if you could simply fill up your future electric vehicle (EV) at the gas station down the road, across town, or perhaps even the one that's located right off the exit ramp of your local expressway. Now, that's convenient charging that could push EVs to mass adoption, right? Well, that's the plan of Eaton Corporation and Murphy Oil USA. The duo have teamed up to demonstrate the benefits of fast, convenient charging located within the familiar environment of trad
Providing natural gas and electricity to nearly 6.5 million of Michigan's ten million residents is what Consumers Energy does. Offering a discounted charge for plug-in vehicle owners is what the company strives to do with its new nighttime rate program. Consumers Energy is introducing three rate programs that could provide a price break for plug-in vehicle owners. That is, provided that they are able and willing to charge up during off-peak (11 p.m. - 7 a.m.) hours.
One of the biggest concerns about widespread deployment of plug-in vehicles is the effect it will have on electricity generation and distribution capacity. Here in the United States, most officials from utilities have been pretty upbeat and emphasize that there is plenty of capacity for charging vehicles as long as it is mostly done during off-peak hours.
Electric vehicles (EVs) may be dramatically less mechanically complex than their traditional internal combustion counterparts, but that's where the simplicity ends. The battle that began with Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla over direct vs. alternating current continues to this day, the battlefield has just shifted to the EV powertrain. Electrochemical batteries can't store alternating current, the electrons will only flow directly in or out.
While it's been debated that the majority of electric vehicle (EV) owners will find little need for public chargers and will instead choose to juice their EVs up at home each night, a study from the clean technology market research firm Pike Research indicates that chargers are coming anyways. Tons of them. Even Pike's own study reveals that at-home charging will be the norm, but that won't stop vendors, municipalities and utility companies from installing all those public charging stations.
As the U.S. readies for an expected onslaught of electric vehicles (EVs), the San Francisco Bay Area is quickly becoming one of the regions that's particularly well-prepared for EVs. In late 2008, mayors from the Bay Area joined together to approve a multi-billion dollar plan that would eventually bring thousands of EV charging stations to the area. This initial plan successfully kicked off an ongoing drive to bring even more chargers to the Bay Area.
Earlier this week, automotive execs came together to discuss the future of the industry at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI. As Green Car Advisor reports, one of the sessions at the seminar was titled "Full-scale Deployment: Making the Business Case." This particular session focused on discussing the need for widespread deployment of public charging stations. However, the discussion quickly turned around as many panelists argued that there's si