Recharge Wrap-up: Tesla battery drain reported; ELF two-seater solar trike

KiOR Biofuel Company Bankrupt; Car2go To Hit 1 Million Users; VIA eREV Vans EPA Certified

Biofuel company KiOR has filed for bankruptcy. KiOR, which was born out of a partnership between Khosla Ventures and Dutch biofuel startup BIOeCON, has debts numbering $261.31 million, with just $58.27 million in assets. The company produced biocrude from cellulosic biomass, but was unable to meet its production targets at its facility in Columbus, MS, and was also facing quality problems and accused mismanagement. KiOR shuttered its biocrude plant earlier this year, and suffered a huge loss in stock value. Read more at Gigaom.

Some Tesla Model S owners are complaining again of "vampire" drain during sleep mode. Since downloading the Firmware 6.0, some drivers have reported a battery draw, even when set to "sleep always." Losses can be up to 12 miles of range from sitting overnight, and the latest versions of 6.0 haven't seemed to have solved the problem. Interestingly, the problem isn't affecting all Model S owners. Also, battery draw problems have been reported in the past, which Tesla took steps to fix in previous firmware updates. Read more at Inside EVs.

Daimler's Car2go carsharing service is expected to reach 1 million users by the end of the year. The company currently reports 900,000 users worldwide. Car2go operates in 29 cities in North America and Europe, with plans to expand operations to China. "China might be risky, but it also brings lots of opportunities," says Daimler's Rainer Becker. While Car2go has yet to make a profit as a whole, it is moving in that direction, with Becker saying some cities' operations are already profitable. Read more at Automotive News Europe.

The ELF solar- and human-powered trike from Organic Transit is now available as a two-seater. The ELF 2FR, as it is called, is a package that adds a rear seat behind the driver of the pod-shaped EV to allow for eco-friendly transport of two adults. The standard ELF retails for $5,495, and the upgrade to the 2FR adds another $499 to the price, which seems like a small premium for doubling the occupancy. Organic Transit hasn't released all the details on its website for the 2FR yet, but the standard ELF charges via outlet or 100-watt solar panel, goes 20 miles per hour and gets the equivalent of 1,800 miles per gallon (though adding the weight of another adult will certainly change those mileage numbers). Check out the Organic Transit's ELF 2FR in the videos below and read more at Treehugger.

VIA Motors has received EPA certification for its range-extended electric van. The eREV Van has an all-electric range of 40 miles before needing the range extender and gets the equivalent of over 100 mpg. VIA has delivered 23 eREV Vans to customers, with more on the way. Read more in the press release below.

Show full PR text
VIA Motors Receives EPA Certification For eREV Van

OREM, Utah, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- VIA Motors announced today that it has received official certification from the Environmental Protection Agency for its eREV Van, according to VIA Motors CEO Pablo Acedo.

eREV is an acronym for Extended Range Electric Vehicle.

VIA Motors is a privately-held electric vehicle development and manufacturing company headquartered in Orem, Utah. They develop and produce the highest quality extended range electric light-duty vans and trucks for fleet customers.

VIA Motors developed a revolutionary and proprietary V-DRIVE™ powertrain that delivers up to 40-mile battery range and unlimited extended range, averaging over 100 miles-per-gallon in typical daily driving.

The result has been functional, economical and environmentally-friendly light-duty vans and trucks.

VIA Motors is currently working with the Electric Power Research Institute – also know as EPRI - and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to deliver Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles to electric utility fleets as part of a nationwide demonstration supported by the Department of Energy.

"We see our eREV vehicles as an important part of the fleets of the future. This all-important EPA certification validates our concept of integrating VIA's proprietary powertrain into OEM vehicles to deliver both economical and clean vehicle solutions," said Acedo.

VIA Motors Chairman Bob Lutz, father of the Chevy Volt and former Vice Chairman of GM, added "If we are going to see main stream adoption of electric vehicles, the technology must deliver a good return on investment to the largest segment of the auto business, namely trucks and vans. That's why I am so confident in VIA and proudly serve as Chairman."

EPA certification means that VIA is now cleared to deliver its VIA eREV Vans to fleet customers across the United States.

They have already begun the shipping and delivery process. Twenty-three VIA eREV Vans have been delivered to customers and three more are currently in transit. More will be on the way soon.

Excited about the announcement, but already looking to the future, Acedo adds "This is just the beginning. We are very excited about many other major milestones on the horizon as we continue to fulfill the needs of our major fleet customers with VIA VTRUX vans and trucks."

About VIA Motors

Based in Orem, Utah, VIA Motors is a privately-held electric vehicle development and manufacturing company. VIA employs a streamlined second stage manufacturing process to integrate its proprietary V-DRIVE™ powertrain into new OEM vehicles, then sells directly to fleets under the VIA VTRUX™ brand name. VIA eREV vehicles delivers up to 40-mile battery range and unlimited extended range, averaging over 100 mpg in typical daily driving. More information at:

More Information