BMW has won a 2015 Energy Storage North America (ESNA) Innovation Award for its second life battery project. The BMW i ChargeForward project takes batteries that have been retired from automotive duty, and puts them to work as stationary energy storage for a solar energy system. It also integrates BMW EVs into the grid, and uses software to manage charging based on grid load. "The goal of the BMW i ChargeForward project is to show how electric vehicles with smart charging capability and stationary second life applications of EV batteries can provide valuable flexibility that would make it possible for utilities to maximize the effectiveness of the existing electricity grid, which we expect to ultimately lower total cost of EV ownership for consumers," says BMW Advanced Technology Engineer of Sustainable Mobility, Dr. Simon Ellgas. Read more from BMW.

Honda will add 120 EV chargers at the campus of its Torrance, California headquarters. Honda is also adding a DC fast charger adjacent to the campus that is accessible to the public. "Making workplace charging ubiquitous and accessible is the cornerstone of an effective public charging strategy that supports the maximum number of vehicles," says Honda's Environmental Business Development Office VP, Steven Center. "This expansion will make commuting in an EV a convenient option for the vast majority of Honda associates in Torrance, including those without access to charging at their homes or apartment buildings." Read more from Honda.

The city of Canoas, Brazil has begun testing the BYD e6 electric taxi. The city will evaluate the EV taxi over a period of 60 days. "This may translate into vital savings for our survival," says Sérgio Oliveira, President of the Taxi Driver Union in Canoas. "With today's high fuel prices, our operation is becoming unfeasible. This car's cost-benefit seems to be worth it. Now we need to get to know the car better by trying it out in the street, but so far we're quite pleased with what we've seen." The test of the electric taxi is part of a larger effort to electrify transport in Canoas. Read more in the press release below.
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Another Brazilian City Embraces a BYD Electrified Public Transportation Solution

In a bid to offer its citizens a more economical and sustainable alternative in public transportation, the Brazilian city of Canoas has recently started testing the BYD e6 BEV as taxi. Canoas is a municipality located in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre – the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state – and it will be the first city in the state to test a pure electric vehicle with its public transportation fleet. In this October, BYD delivered the vehicle in a ceremony with the Mayor, other city transportation authorities and taxi drivers. The BYD e6 will be assessed for a period of up to 60 days. The BYD e6 already integrates taxi fleets in several cities worldwide, chiefly the Chinese city of Shenzhen (with a fleet of 850 taxis, the biggest worldwide), Campinas (São Paulo, Brazil), Montevideo, Bogota, London, Brussels, San Diego, New York, San Francisco and Chicago.

he adoption of the electric taxi is aligned with the municipality's sustainability policies, and there are plans to extend electrification to mass public transport and the fleet that serves the city hall. "Nowadays it is impossible to carry on depending on fossil fuels to power our transport system; we have to quickly migrate to electric cars and buses. Our idea is to develop elevated bus lanes on which all lines will operate with electric buses. That will enable us to have 100% of our public transportation suited to a sustainable model. We are also planning to have our whole municipal fleet using this clean energy" stated Jairo Jorge, the mayor of Canoas.

Taxi drivers will be able to purchase the vehicles through a five to six-year operational leasing system. Leasing installments correspond to the costs saved from fuel and maintenance expenses that the drivers would have with conventional vehicles. "This vehicle saves between 85% and 90% of conventional energy consumption. The cost of one kilometer run with a conventional car is R$ 0.20 (around 5 cents of a dollar), and with the electric car the cost plunges to R$ 0.04 (around 1 cent of a dollar). If a taxi driver spends R$ 3,000 (around US$ 775) a month on fuel, with an electric car they will spend around R$ 300 (about US$ 78). These savings are enough to pay off the leasing ", said Adalberto Maluf, BYD's Director of Marketing Government Relations in Brazil.

After the ceremony, the city's taxi drivers met with representatives of the City Hall and BYD, and their first impression was strikingly positive: "This may translate into vital savings for our survival. With today's high fuel prices, our operation is becoming unfeasible. This car's cost-benefit seems to be worth it. Now we need to get to know the car better by trying it out in the street, but so far we're quite pleased with what we've seen." Said Sérgio Oliveira, President of the Taxi Driver Union in Canoas.

The e6 is a five-seat crossover sedan with a driving range of 300km on a full charge, and maximum charging time is about six hours. Its maximum speed is 140 km/h and it reaches 60 km/h in 7.9 seconds. Additionally to the long range Iron-Phosphate batteries, the vehicle features regenerative braking, which generates energy every time the brakes are used. Another advantage is that the vehicle – when fully charged – can serve for five days as an alternative power outlet for a household consuming an average of 12kWh per day. The batteries are BYD's proprietary technology and have a lifetime of 30 to 40 years. The e6 started testing in China in 2010, with 40 units operating in the city of Shenzhen, and sales began in October 2011. Up to June 2015, over 5,500 units of the vehicle had been sold in China, where its price is subsidized by the government, in order to curtail gas emissions and curb pollution levels.

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