Recharge Wrap-up: Spyker to build electric cars and planes, electric '67 VW Beetle tested

Hydrogen station in Norway to use excess solar energy from neighbor; EV batteries to reach 11 GWh of stationary storage by 2035

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Spyker will build electric aircraft and electric cars with Volta Volaré. The Oregon-based aircraft manufacturer pulled Spyker out of bankruptcy, and now the two companies will share a plant to build cars and airplanes alongside each other powered by Volta Volaré electric motors. While the Spyker cars will be purely electric, the SpykerAero aircraft will be equipped with some type of range extender. Volta Volaré CEO and founder Paul Peterson said all Spyker models will be offered with an electric version. Additionally, Spyker could enter the Formula E electric racing championship series. Read more from MotorAuthority.

California man Richard Hugo let David Noland at Green Car Reports drive the 1967 Volkswagen Beetle he converted to run on electricity. Called the "eBug," Hugo bought the car in 2012 for $3,500, immediately selling off the gas motor for $300 to begin the electrification. Using a motor and controller from High Performance Electric Vehicle Systems, the eBug produces 71 horsepower (more than the original gas motor's output of 53 hp) and an impressive 120 pound-feet of torque. Now Hugo enjoys driving his own creation even more than his Tesla Model S. See how it drives over at Green Car Reports.

Second-life lithium-ion batteries from EVs are expected to provide 11 GWh of stationary energy storage by 2035. As the batteries are retired from automotive service, their remaining storage capacity offers an inexpensive way to store excess grid electricity or renewable energy produced for off-grid applications. Navigant Research says that since EVs came to market, battery capacity has degraded less than originally expected. Read more at Green Car Congress, or from Navigant Research.

Uno-X Hydrogen will open a hydrogen fueling station in Sandvika, Norway powered by surplus renewable energy from a neighboring office building. Powerhouse Kjørbo's Sandviska building produces 200,000 kWh of solar electricity every year, which is twice the amount it uses. The excess will be used to create hydrogen on-site for fuel cell vehicles traveling the busy roads nearby. Uno-X Hydrogen CEO Roger Hertzenberg says the company plans to install at least 20 H2 fueling stations in Norway by 2020. Read more at Green Car Congress, or in the press release below.

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NEL ASA: Uno-X Hydrogen to build world's first hydrogen station powered by surplus renewable energy from the neighbour Powerhouse Kjørbo building

(Oslo, 1 April 2016) Uno-X Hydrogen AS, a NEL ASA (NEL) joint venture, announced today the decision to build a hydrogen refuelling station with on-site hydrogen production co-located with Powerhouse Kjørbo, an energy-positive office building in Sandvika, Norway.

"We are excited to build a hydrogen refuelling station at Powerhouse Kjørbo, enabling fuel cell electric vehicles to fill hydrogen produced locally by the energy-positive office building. This will be the world's first hydrogen station with such an integrated solution, and represents an innovative example of the role hydrogen can play in grid balancing and utilization of renewable energy," says Jon André Løkke, CEO of NEL.

Kjørbo is centrally located in Sandvika outside of Oslo, by two of the busiest roads in Norway with 80 000 cars passing daily. The project has a total budget of NOK 28.4 million, of which NOK 5.7 million is support from the Akershus County Council and NOK 7.7 million is from the Norwegian public enterprise, Enova, responsible for the promotion of environmentally friendly production and consumption of energy. Other project partners include consulting firm Asplan Viak and Bærum Municipality.

"Uno-X Hydrogen wishes to contribute to the green shift within the transport sector by providing renewable, zero-emission hydrogen fuel to our customers. This hydrogen refuelling station marks the start of our planned network of minimum 20 stations in Norway by 2020 and enabling all Norwegians to have the option to choose a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle as their next car," says Roger Hertzenberg, CEO of Uno-X Hydrogen AS.

Powerhouse Kjørbo, which is owned by Entra ASA, uses solar panels that can supply upward of 200 000 kWh each year, twice the amount of the building's annual energy consumption.

"The Powerhouse partners are developing Kjørbo office park into one of the most environmentally friendly real estate projects in Norway, operating as a net producer of renewable energy. We are pleased to welcome Uno-X Hydrogen on the site and look forward to providing a state-of-the-art hydrogen refuelling station to the next generation of low emission vehicles", says Arve Regland, CEO of Entra ASA.

Reference made to announcement released earlier today: "NEL ASA: Awarded NOK 25 million contract to build a hydrogen refuelling station with on-site hydrogen production from solar energy"

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