Nissan is providing EVs for the world's largest electric taxi fleet. The automaker has signed a deal with Madrid's La Ciudad del Taxi to provide 110 of the latest Leaf EVs with the 30-kWh battery pack. "This operation will set the standard for the mobility of the future as far as the taxi industry is concerned," says La Ciudad del Taxi President Jesús Ramos Fernández. "Zero emission transport will play a large role in this sector and this fleet deal with Nissan will help put Madrid at the forefront of sustainable mobility services." Read more in the press release from Nissan.

Tesla is launching a second version of its Powerwall home energy storage unit. The new, 6.4-kWh version will be compatible with photovoltaic inverters from SMA. SMA sells more inverters in terms of revenue than any other manufacturer in the world, and is second in the world in terms of shipments. Tesla says the new Powerwall will be available "in a few weeks." Read more at Hybrid Cars.

BYD has sold its 50,000th Qin plug-in hybrid. After 29 months of sales, the Qin has sold roughly as quickly as the various versions of the Chevrolet Volt did around the globe in its infancy. The Qin, which offers 43 miles of all-electric range (a generous rating from its home market), sells mostly in China and South America for about $32,000. While sales are growing in China, BYD's future in the US is still uncertain. Read more at Hybrid Cars.

The Social Charging app looks to make finding public EV charging easier and more efficient. Launched initially in a handful of cities in the Netherlands, the app allows EV drivers to share locations of public charging, automatically checking in and out of the spaces to share their availability. It also allows users to communicate with one another, for instance, to ask to use the charger when the current driver is finished with it. It is meant to help drivers find nearby charging and minimize occupying a space beyond the time needed to charge, thus making the most efficient use of current infrastructure. See how it works in the video above, and read more in the press release below.

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The Hague, May 19th 2016 — Social Charging: app for Smart and Social electric charging

User-friendly technology helps electric drivers to efficiently share charging points.

On May 19th Social Charging is launched in The Hague, the seat of government in the Netherlands. This free charging point app presents a completely new solution for a recent problem: electric drivers that occupy their charging point far beyond necessity. The number of charging points is insufficient for the amount of electric drivers and this hinders the quick advance of electric vehicles. In the Netherlands the vast majority has to park their car on the street, making them dependent on public charging points to charge their electric car. Simply adding charging points provides a solution, but cannot be continued indefinitely due to limited funds and space. Therefore using current charging points more efficiently is key. Social Charging simply enables this.

By using Social Charging, neighbours, colleagues and/or strangers can easily and efficiently share (public) charging points with each other. By using the app, electric drivers automatically check in and check out at a charging point. By doing so, the electric driver can be reached by others that might want to charge at a later time. This provides charging security for electric drivers, better usage of charging points, reduced costs for investors like municipalities and less reserved parking spaces.

Social Charging's user-friendly technology for sharing charging points is a worldwide first for the electric driving community. Social charging won the Smart Mobility Challenge and the Open Data Forward Challenge when it was still being developed.

President of the Dutch society for electric drivers, Eric Beers: "This app is highly useful. I personally, and many other electric drivers with me, are regularly faced with unnecessarily occupied charging points. Social Charging provides a wonderful solution to tackle this."

Launch in The Hague

Research shows that two-thirds of all electric drivers in the Netherlands is planning on using the app. The 1000 charging points in The Hague are the first that are fully suited to be used with the app. The app is in the testing phase in about 20.000 Dutch charging points outside of the Hague by using Smart location technology. Social Charging is developing a special version for companies with a lot of charging points.

Apart from The Hague, the other three largest cities in the Netherlands, Rotterdam, Amsterdam & Utrecht, the Dutch municipality Noordwijk, metropolitan region Amsterdam-electric, grid company Stedin, Dutch charging point foundation and operator ElaadNL | EVnetNL and the European Space Agency (ESA) business incubation program are partners in the Social Charging project.

The app is available from May 19th for iPhone and Android (in Dutch; international version will follow soon), and can be downloaded via the app stores or via www.Social-Charging.com/app

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