It looks like it's just a blue box on a pole, but BMW's new i DC Fast Charger represents a much bigger deal than just the lowest-cost SAE Combo Charger on the market. BMW sees it as the key to getting more drivers into electric vehicles. As Robert Healey, the EV infrastructure manager for BMW of North America told us, "For [BMW], the future is clear. DC charging really is the future."
Plug In Conference
One of the best parts of the Plug In 2014 Conference in San Jose, CA last week was getting to listen in on thoughts about the state of the plug-in vehicle industry from people who have been involved with it for ages. They bristle when you call them the "Old Guard" (learned that one the hard way), but these are the people who have been through a number of ups and downs with plug-in vehicles, so they've got what we call perspective.
It's been a while since we've checked in with ALTe and its plans to convert big work vehicles like the Ford F-150 into plug-in hybrids. So, when we saw a demonstration vehicle sitting outside the San Jose Convention Center at the Plug In 2014 Conference last week, we had to get a closer look. When we did, we realized that it's been quite some time since we've been in a Ride & Drive vehicle that was all beat to heck.
If you're a fleet manager who's been waiting anxiously for the chance to buy a plug-in hybrid van from Via Motors, your wait is almost over. If you work for the right fleet, anyway.
It can be difficult to see from the US, where the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is not yet available, but the all-wheel drive SUV is a big hit in Europe and Japan. In fact, we learned at the Plug In 2014 Conference in San Jose, CA this week that Mitsubishi has sold over 33,000 copies of the PHEV around the world.
That demonstration Via Motors made with its extended-range plug-in trucks in San Francisco a few months back must've made some impression. At the Plug In Conference in San Diego, CA last week, the company announced it has won a $20-million contract to supply the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) with its trucks.
As easy as recharging an electric car is, we admit it's not hassle free - and we're not even talking about those somewhat annoying wires that will be alleviated when wireless charging gets more common. No, the issue at hand is the variety of charging station company networks and the need, in some cases, to have prepaid accounts or subscriptions to refuel your car. Not the end of the world, we grant you, but still a feature that could be improved upon. Enter Pay With Plugshare.
Like patrons at the end of a long night, automakers and charging companies can sometimes be seen leaving the bar arm in arm. Coda with Mr. Electric. Holden with Better Place. Nissan with GE. Smart USA with Coulomb. Toyota with Leviton. BMW with AeroVironment.
At last year's Plug-In Conference, Schneider Electric was talking about being a "one-stop shop" for plug-in vehicle chargers. This year, the company was back with a new charging unit and a renewed emphasis on providing plug-in vehicle drivers with the right EVSE.
We first caught wind that EV Connect would be the "exclusive EVSE services provider" for the Fisker Karma back in June, but the two companies were in discussions about working together for half a year before that. Brett Hauser, the chief operating officer of EV Connect, told AutoblogGreen during the Plug-In 2011 Conference in Raleigh, NC recently that formalizing the Fisker partnership took six months, in part to make sure that the "luxury feel" was present in the service. Now that the two compa
Showcased during the Plug-in 2011 Conference, Coulomb Technologies has revealed two of its latest additions to its ChargePoint networked charging station lineup. Both chargers – dual-port Level 2 models based on Coulomb's CT2020 – provide two 7.2-kilowatt ports and have been specifically designed for the North American market. With the CT2025, charging is delivered via two standard SAE J1772 connectors attached to self-retracting cords. The CT2021 (pictured) makes due without the win
At the Plug-In 2011 Conference in Raleigh, NC, last week, Coulomb Technologies announced it will partner with TomTom to provide tools to help EV drivers locate charging stations. Some manufacturers have built brand-specific charging point location into the navigation systems included on their vehicles and the Coulomb solution will spot stations that are part of their own ChargePoint Network.
General Motors is confident enough in the longevity of the 16-kWh battery pack in the Chevy Volt that the company warranties it for eight years/100,000 miles. Actually, the automaker is so confident in the pack's capabilities that it is already looking into what can be done with the expensive hunk of energy storage after the car is ready to be recycled.
During the Plug-in 2011 Conference, Nissan announced it will invest $67.9 million into its powertrain assembly plant in Decherd, TN. The money will be used to add the Nissan Leaf's electric motor into the facility's production mix.
Today's electric cars are designed to be immobile when they are charging. But let's not forget that cars have wheels, and there are times when you can't stop a few thousand pounds from rolling away. If your EV is plugged in when it decides to go coasting away, something will have to give – and most likely that will be the charging cord. This is the problem that Integro is trying to solve with its Tutor break-away cable for plug-in vehicle charging stations.
The 2011 Nissan Leaf is sold out. Long live the 2012 Nissan Leaf.
Rogers Electric may be a fairly new name on AutoblogGreen, but the company has been working in the electrical contractor/installation field since 1983 and has a lot of experience doing somewhat boring but also important electric infrastructure work. After all these decades, 2011 was the year when Rogers got into the plug-in vehicle game.