Aberdeen, Copenhagen, London.
H2 buses for Aberdeen: The Scottish city has taken delivery of the first four of ten hydrogen-powered buses. The buses from Belgian company Van Hool are equipped with fuel cells from Ballard Power Systems. The 19-million pounds (31m dollars) project received funding by the EU, the UK and the Scottish Government, as well as a broad range of private sector partners.
New range record for BYD: In Copenhagen one of the BYD electric buses currently on trial in various European cities, achieved to go 325 kilometres (202 miles) on a single charge. Two of the electric buses have been in service in the Danish capital since January and were specially equipped to handle the rigours of the Scandinavian winter.
No charging in London: A recent piece in the Sunday Times stated that 69% of all charging points in London had not been used in six months. Transport Evolved looks at possible causes and names five reasons why charging stations in London and in other cities are not being used as much as they could be.
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Milton Keynes, A2B, Naperville, AAA.
Let’s take the Pod: Funded by the UK government with 1.5 million pounds (2.47m dollars), 20 of these all-electric, autonomous driving machines on rails will be installed in Milton Keynes in 2015. Each Pod seats two and will transport people from the train station into the city centre. If the trial is successful, the government plans on putting 100 of the pods in service by 2017.
A2B takes over Electric Bicycle Network: The latter had counted some 5,000 e-bike rentals in the UK per year, especially to tourists in national parks. With the acquisition, A2B, an electric bicycle brand by Hero Cycles, hopes to extend cooperations with other tourism networks and therefore rental business of its e-bikes in the UK.
Naperville to get two new charging stations: Due to high demand, EV drivers have to queue before they can get power at the only existing charging point in the small town in Illinois. Even after a 1.50 dollar charging fee was introduced in 2013, the station remains overrun. The local government will now install two further chargers.
Extreme weather range: According to a new study by the American roadside assistance firm AAA, the range of EVs can drop by almost 60% in extreme cold and drop by 33% in extreme heat. In their research centre, the Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus EV and a Mitsubishi i-MiEV were put to the test.
Seattle, GoE3, BYD, Toyota, Ford, Car2Go.
Airport electrified: Together, Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport and Alaska Airlines will install 576 charging points for ground transportation services, such as luggage carts. In a first phase, 296 of the stations will be set up, which will be able to identify which vehicles needs the most charge.
greencarcongress.com (plus video)
Multi-system quick charging: Arizona-based GoE3 plans to install several thousand fast-charging stations in the U.S. in four years to enable coast-coast trips for everybody and not just Tesla drivers. The stations will support DC charging using the CHAdeMO, CCS and Supercharger system.
BYD in Turkey: A BYD e-bus will be tested in the capital Ankara, the latest in a series of tests across European cities. The Chinese carmaker will put a whole line of battery-powered busses on display at the BusWorld in Turkey in May, including double-decker and articulated models.
iRoad finds its drivers: At the beginning of next week, Toyota’s electric three-wheeler will hit the roads in and around Tokyo. 20 EV-pros and amateurs, will get to test drive the vehicle until the end of June. The carsharing trial in Toyota city continues as well.
Ford invites employees to charge their EV at work and installs GE WattStations at some 60 locations across the U.S. and Canada. The first four hours of charging is free. Data will be collected by the MyFord App as well as the charging points themselves.
Car2Go conquers Rome: Vehicles belonging to the carsharing fleet will get the much desired windshield sticker, allowing them to drive in the restricted downtown areas, the Zone a Traffico Limitato, normally only open to residents. Unfortunately, the Smart fortwo in service are not electric.
Bolloré, Toyota, Germany, Trust My Garage.
Bolloré to launch BlueTram: The all-electric tramway uses supercapacitors instead of overhead wires or tracks to move along. And while the first prototype still uses the body of the Bluebus, the first 50 trams could enter service as early as 2015. Moreover, they are supposedly ten times cheaper to produce than other streetcars.
france3.fr (in French), lemonde.fr (in French)
Toyota iRoad comes to France: 30 of the electric three-wheelers will be tried in Grenoble in the south of the country. The EV is also being tested in Japan and will be offered in car-sharing schemes in cities across the world. While the iRoad is not good for long distances, it is perfect for going that ‘last mile.’
Germans show patriotism when shopping for EVs: EV Obsessions tracked sales there in January and February, finding that the BMW i3 and VW e-up were the most popular EVs in Germany. The U.S.-build Chevy Volt, on the other hand, is getting the cold shoulder, with only 11 cars sold so far.
evobsession.com via greencarreports.com
Hybrids can come: The Trust My Garage programme has given 1,000 training courses, getting UK garages fit to service and repair hybrid vehicles. In the scheme, which is run by the Independent Garage Association (IGA), technicians were shown how to handle the high voltage systems. After all, there are over 25,000 hybrids registered in the UK.
Montevideo, New York, Berlin.
BYD successful in Uruguay: The BYD electric bus and e6 pure-electric taxi had been roaming the streets of the country’s capital for the past four months. Now the results are in. The e-bus made it up to 252 km (157 miles) on one charge, with an average energy consumption of 1.26 kWh per km.
Cab-sharing in NYC: Audi, MIT and GE want to find out, how sharing of New York cabs could work in practice and by how much the ridesharing program could cut emissions. To get the answers, their joint-program named HubCab will track 150 New Yorker taxis and study how ridesharing could be utilised.
Berlin gets charged up: Together The New Motion, e8energy, Citroën and Total have opened the first three CHAdeMO public fast charging stations in the German capital. These use the e8energy @fix fast charger with integrated Type 2 connector and are operated by The New Motion.
Bavaria, Idaho National Laboratory, Winfried Hermann, DLR.
Bavaria to install fast-chargers fast: Bavaria’s interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, announced his plan to install fast chargers at all 68 motorway service areas of the German federal state by the end of 2015. To bridge longer distances between them, additional chargers could be erected at smaller rest areas.
pnp.de (in German)
Fast-charging is not as damaging as expected, a recent study of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) concluded. Four Nissan Leafs were charged in pairs with one being charged fast (DC) and the other at Level 2 chargers. The battery capacity was then measured at at 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 and 40,000 miles and only minimal differences could be found.
simanaitissays.com via green.autoblog.com, avt.inel.gov (presentation as pdf)
Public display of affection: The German state of Baden-Württemberg is the undisputed territory of Porsche, Mercedes and Audi. At least until the state’s transport minister Winfried Hermann publicly posed with a Tesla Model S. While the green-party minister is convinced that electric cars are the way to go, local patriots were not particularly amused.
bild.de (in German with photos)
Study with EV owners: DLR, the German aeronautics and space research centre, has asked 3,111 owners of electric cars about their usage patterns and satisfaction. 84% of private users would recommend an EV to others while half of the commercial users are planning to buy another one in the near future. Most EV owners were male and went through higher education. 50% had a household net income of between 2,000 and 4,000 euros a month which contradicts the assumption that EVs are mainly for the wealthy.
dlr.de (in German)
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MobiliTec – German Pavilion – Baden-Württemberg | 7 to 11 April 2014 | Hannover Messe: Electric Mobility made in Baden-Württemberg – The cluster Electric Mobility South-West connects over 80 key players from business and science within the region of Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm. Visit us: Hall 27, Booth H85. More cluster information >>
Oberhausen, DHL, Vukee Cars, Italy, Spain.
Saving money and carbon emissions: A new mobility concept for Oberhausen, Germany, wants to save the town 200,000 euros and 100 tons of CO2 emissions by electrifying the fleet for the city’s employees. In a first step, 79 electric cars will be purchased including 36 Colibri one-seaters. Later, bicycles, pedelecs and the ‘Job-Ticket’ with reduced prices for public transport will be introduced.
derwesten.de (in German)
DHL to intensify electrification: Deutsche Post DHL just signed a letter of intent with Renault for further purchases of the Kangoo Z.E. Most recently, DHL made the decision to switch is entire delivery fleet in Bonn, Germany to electric vehicles. There, over 140 electric vehicles will be in use by 2016.
Tesla carsharing: Vukee Cars already has the app and the knowledge, all that is missing are 250,000 dollars which the company aims to collect through crowdfunding to buy 25 Tesla’s to share. The company wants to set up its car sharing in EV-friendly and supercharger-dense areas in the USA. At an hourly rate of 44 dollars the Model S remains a luxury though.
indiegogo.com (crowdfunding campaign) via transportevolved.com
EVs in Italy and Spain are not particularly selling well: Looking at the sale figures for February, the BMW i3 was the best-seller in Spain with only 12 units and the Smart electric drive coming first in Italy with 30 sales. In total, only a merely 4 Tesla Model S were registered.
Bolloré, Seattle, NRG eVgo, ClipperCreek, PlugSurfing, Hubject.
Bolloré electrifies London: After taking over Source London and its 1,500 charging points (we reported), the Bolloré subsidy IER will bring its electric carsharing scheme to England’s capital in 2015. The company runs e.g. the car-sharing service Autolib’ in Paris. In London, it plans on starting out with 100 EVs and increase its fleet to 3,000 electric cars by 2018.
Charge and fly: Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport has recently installed another 36 electric vehicle charging stations at their main-terminal parking. Together with the already exiting 12 charge points, this makes it the largest provider of any North American airport. The 48 stations are available to all plug-in drivers on a first-come, first-served basis.
New fast chargers in CA: A total of 46 NRG eVgo charging points are already online or are currently being installed there. And that is just the beginning – according to the company, it has received around 200 orders in the Golden State.
48 Amps from ClipperCreek: The new HCS-60 charging station was conceived for private and company usage and can be installed in- and outside. The 240 V, 48 Amp, level 2 charging point comes with a 3-year warranty and 25-foot charging cable. The starting price is set at 899 dollars.
Locate, charge, pay: PlugSurfing will give a sneak preview of its new app at the Cebit that makes it possible to easily locate and pay at charging stations. The app will be rolled-out across Europe in the second quarter of this year.
mynewsdesk.com, plugsurfing.de (project)
New Hubject partners: The Berlin-based company, which is developing a cross industry business and IT platform for charging infrastructure, announced three new partners. Hedele, PlugSurfing and ubitricity will open up their interfaces and become part of Hubject’s intercharge network.
My Electric Avenue, DriveNow, Connecticut.
The project ‘My Electric Avenue’ has not even really started but is already proving one thing according to Transport Evolved: Put the price right and people will happily buy electric cars. Though, the aim of the project, which is subsidised with 9 million pounds (14.9m dollars), is to assess how EVs, being charged all in the same neighbourhood and at the same time, might impact on electricity supplies (we reported). So far, more people signed up for the trial lease than cars are available.
More DriveNow: The carsharing scheme from BMW is looking to expand to another 10 to 15 European and 10 U.S. cities but has not revealed any details about its timing yet. Currently, DriveNow is operating in Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and San Francisco and serves 240,000 users.
Revolutionary Award? The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association created an EV incentive aiming at the car dealers. The ‘Connecticut Revolutionary Dealer Award’ will be given to the dealership which sells the most electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the first half of 2014. Tesla better hurry with its planned Milford opening.
Tesla, Cohere, KEBA, fahrE, Georgia.
Anti-Tesla regulation: Yesterday, the U.S. state of New Jersey passed a regulation that is prohibiting any vehicle manufacturer selling cars directly to consumers. The regulation is backed by the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers in fear of “Tesla crushing competition.” Tesla Motors, which is the only company with a direct-retail strategy, is also banned from direct sales in Arizona and Texas.
Charging solution for smart homes: Dutch start-up Cohere has developed a smart energy management and charging controller for smart home application. The web-based platform ‘Sem’ uses the open UDP interface of the KEBA wallbox to optimise green energy supply for EVs. A pilot project with 20 Teslas will be launched in the coming weeks.
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University commuter: In April, the project “fahrE” kicks off at the Technical University Chemnitz. Headed by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Driving Assistance (I-FAS), university employees can use one of four EVs and eight e-bikes to commute between the different parts of campus.
tu-chemnitz.de (in German)
EV incentive scrapped: The proposed cut of Georgia’s 5,000-dollars rebate and 2,500-dollars tax credit for low-emission vehicles (we reported) has now become a bill. According to representative Chuck Martin, EV prices are dropping and sales no longer need to be incentivised. The bill is now on the table of the state senate for confirmation.
CrossLink, Auchan, Long Beach, Fremont.
New charging network in the UK: The Milton Keynes CrossLink network features 14 rapid tri-standard chargers – the first in the UK – ready to recharge all the latest EVs to about 80% capacity in just 20 minutes. The project is funded in part by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and connects the East Anglia with the South West.
Charge while you shop: Together with Nissan, French supermarket chain Auchan will set up 130 fast chargers from DBT-CEV supporting CHAdeMO and 3-phase AC at car parks across the country. These will be available to Nissan drivers via the Nissan Zero Emissions Charge Pass ‘Kiwhi’ (we reported).
insideevs.com, chademo.com (PDF)
Unwanted e-buses: Californian city of Long Beach had ordered more than ten BYD e-buses, but the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) wants the contract to be reopened for bidding. The reason – BYD is not actually eligible for the deal, since it does not qualify for the state’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.
Some 1,039 rebates for EVs were collected by residents living in Fremont, California, since 2010, making it the city with the second most electric-car purchase rebates granted in the Golden State. The reason, city officials believe, is that residents are more willing to try things “made in their backyard,” which in this case only happens to be the Model S, since the Tesla factory is located there.
BYD, Taxi Electric, The Elysian, Tesla.
1,200 BYD e-buses for China: The city of Dalian has signed an agreement with the Chinese company to purchase 600 electric buses this year and another 600 in 2015. The contract also mentions the conversion of 50% of the province’s cabs into “new energy vehicles.” As a result, BYD will open a new e-bus factory in the Dalian Huayuankou Economic Zone.
Nissan e-NV200 fleet: The Dutch Taxi Electric is the first private cab company that will use the new electric Nissan van for its taxi fleet. Both companies have cooperated before when Taxi Electric were the first to fully electrify their fleet with Leafs in 2011. The city of Barcelona will use the e-NV200 as cabs soon too.
Charge at home for free: Residents of “The Elysian” condo in Los Angeles who own an electric car can now benefit from 20 Level-2 charging stations installed by the buildings developer Linear City. Charging is free for life. Furthermore, the landlord wants to introduce e-carsharing for his tenants.
Coast-to-coast with 60 kWh: A person called Sam has just driven a 60 kWh Model S from California to Virginia in only 107 hours, using Tesla’s Superchargers. Sam is now on her or his way back, while tweeting and uploading pictures to instagram.
twitter.com via teslamotors.com, hybridcars.com
Chargemaster, Toyota, Switzerland, Stuttgart.
Charged for charging: UK firm Chargemaster has just unveiled details of the new tariffs for users of its Polar EV charging network which will take effect from April. EV drivers will be charged by the hour, using up credits as a member, or for each charge event when choosing the PAYG option.
i-Road takes to the streets: Toyota has started trials of its electric three-wheeler in Toyota City, Japan. Here, the i-Road will be made available at public charging stations. Later this year it will enter a carsharing scheme in Grenoble, France.
Swiss charging cooperation: Energy provider BKW Energie and Groupe E team up to expand the MOVE charging network. BKW will distribute charging stations to private households, companies and local communities and will integrate those into the Move network.
ee-news.ch (in German)
Living lab: At the Fraunhofer Institute Center Stuttgart IZS up to 30 EVs can re-charge at AC charge spots at the same time. If all spots in the Fraunhofer Campus garage are taken, the electric cars could amount for up to 20% of the centre’s energy demand thus making the installation ideal to test smart grid applications. The facility is part of the charge@work project in which the Daimler AG, University of Stuttgart and Fraunhofer scientists work on micro smart grids powered by renewable energy.
BYD, Trans Tec, Car Charging Group, Daimler Mobility Services.
BYD for Nanjing: Placing the largest order for BYD to date, the Chinese city of Najing has ordered more than 600 K9 electric buses and 400 e6 electric taxis. Nanjing is one of the cities in China that has been chosen by the government to be a pilot region for their air quality improvement programs.
CA’s first electric school bus enters service: The so-called Trans Tec SST-e has a Ford E450 cutaway chassis and features an electric powertrain by Motiv Power System. It has a range of 80 to 100 miles and could save the school district as much as 10,000 dollars in fuel and maintenance every year.
Car Charging starts selling Blink HQ again: The 240 V, 30 A, level-two residential EV charging station is compatible with all electric vehicles sold in the U.S. It also includes an 18-foot cable. Blink HQ had been previously been sold by Ecotality, which was bought out by Car Charging in October 2013.
Corporate carsharing: Smart-VP Annette Winkler said in Geneva that Daimler Mobility Services is considering setting up a carsharing concept for its corporate clients. But that is not definite yet.
automobil-produktion.de (in German)
Tesla, Quebec, Honolulu.
Tesla tightens service grid in Europe: At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the carmaker announced the opening of some 30 new service centres across the continent. Moreover, Tesla promised the rapid development of the Supercharger network in Europe.
10,000 charging stations for Quebec by 2017: Of which a total of 3,500 will be set up by public administrations or private companies alone. To push development, these will be subsidised by a new incentive program that covers 75 percent (up to 5,000 Canadian dollars) of the installation costs. The only condition is that charging should be available free of charge for the respective employees.
avem.fr (in French)
Fuel cell onshore power supply in Hawaii: The pilot project will use hydrogen fuel cells to supply energy to docked ships at the Port of Honolulu. That way, they can turn off their combustion engines while at anchor there. In a six-month trial four 30 kW fuel cells will be housed inside a 20 ft shipping container and can therefore be moved around the harbour.
Siemens UK, Stuttgart, Cayman Islands.
Siemens UK wins charging infrastructure deal: The company will deliver and install its rapid charging stations in Southwest England. The contract with the electric mobility incentive programme “Source West” also includes a three-year service agreement.
H2-bus put to the test: The German city of Stuttgart is again testing fuel cell buses on its streets. This time, the Citaro FuelCell-Hybrid will have to prove itself on an 11-kilometre route. A total of four of the buses are said to be in service by mid-2014. The research project will take three years and cost some 1.8 million euros (2.5m dollars) – half of which is funded by the German government.
stuttgarter-zeitung.de (In German)
Wheego to the Cayman Islands: Residents and of course tourists will soon be able to rent the EV from a local Budget rental agency at a little under 100 dollars per day. It has a 100 mile range and charging is free, which makes up for the relatively high rental cost.
green.autoblog.com, cayman27.com.ky (video)
Bangalore, Plug Power, BMW Electronauts, Sichuan University.
First BYD e-bus in India: In Bangalore, the first electric bus of India has been unveiled. The Karnataka State and Metropolitan Transport Corporation based their decision on successful trials of BYD e-buses in cities around the world and expect the new bus to save Bangalore millions in fuel cost.
Walmart goes hydrogen: Plug Power Inc said, it has just received an order from various Walmart stores to roll out hydrogen fuel cell solutions across six of its distribution centres. The purchase includes 1,738 GenDrive units to power Walmart’s electric lift trucks, the infrastructure construction and supply of hydrogen and servicing over six years.
Reluctant ActivE hand-over: As BMW’s electric car trial scheme in the U.S. is nearing its end, participants are asked to hand in their electric 1-series prototypes. Keeping its testers on board by offering the i3 instead proves hard, as most Electronauts just do not see how they could pay for an i3 which lease is almost double of what they used to pay for their beloved ActivE.
Brave new charging order: A study by Sichuan University, China, is trying to give a solution for the management of millions of EVs at charging stations during peak times. Their prioritisation is based on an EV’s distance to destination and the urgency to get there, but would require drivers to actually state these infos correctly.
Kandi, EV reasoning, Oxford Brookes University, Louis Vuitton.
Carsharing for China: Kandi announced to expand its carsharing to Shanghai, Beijing and other Chinese cities as the service proved to be profitable. Since this announcement a few days ago, shares in the Chinese carmaker gained 18%, making it more than 300% since last year.
EV reasoning: California’s Center for Sustainable Energy asked 8,756 plug-in car owners why they had bought their EV and found that the reasons vary depending on the model. Whereas Nissan Leaf buyers were more concerned about the environment, Chevy Volt owners were most attracted by the Volt’s promise of fuel savings and the possibility to use HOV lanes.
energycenter.org (complete study as pdf) via transportevolved.com
Cycle BOOM: This is the name of a new study led by Oxford Brookes University designed to find out what impact e-bikes can have on the mobility and well-being of people over 50. The findings are said to serve policy makers but also e-bike manufacturers as the study will be conducted with Raleigh.
Travel with style: Future buyers of the BMW i8 can now complete their look with a matching travel kit. BMW and Louis Vuitton jointly designed an exclusive carbon luggage collection matching the luxury plug-in hybrid. The price? Irrelevant for those who can afford the i8.
ABB, Sun Country Highway, London, Pennsylvania, Nashville.
Fast chargers for Canada: Sun Country Highway (SCH) has announced a new partnership with ABB. The Canadian charging infrastructure provider will integrate 20 or more of ABB’s DC quick chargers into its network. The 400 V stations come with dual port and thus support CHAdeMO and SAE Combo systems.
Smarter grid for London: UK Power Networks is working with POD Point, Smarter Grid Solutions and Imperial College London on a five month trial affecting 65 public charging points across the city. Their aim is to explore how a new software could help to manage energy demand of EVs and avoid pressure on the grid at peak times.
Alternative fuel vehicle grant: The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) plans to offer 8 million dollars to businesses and various public entities in Pennsylvania. The grants can be used to buy or convert vehicles, choosing electric or other alternative fuel vehicles of any size.
E-buses for Tennessee: Proterra says it has sold seven battery-electric buses and one electric charging station to the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (Nashville MTA). The buses will be delivered to Nashville later this year and are set to run around the “Music-Circuit” serving entertainment venues of the town for free.
Switzerland, Zenith, Texas, California.
Public charging in Switzerland: Groupe E and Renault Suisse intensify their cooperation started in 2012. They have now opened 36 charging stations at Renault service centres to the public. The MOVE network includes 58 charging stations in twelve cantons thus making it the biggest public charging provider in Switzerland.
auto-wirtschaft.ch (in German), letemps.ch (in French)
Double pay-off: On Zenith’s salary sacrifice car schemes, drivers can get the BMW i3 for 310 pounds (517 dollars) a month. Apart from considerate savings on fuel, the company promotes its offer with low cost of ownership, claiming the i3 can cost 189 pound (315 dollars) per month less than a BMW 118d Sport over its life.
No charge to charge: Nissan’s promotion to offer free charging to Texan Leaf buyers seems to pay off. In 2013, Leaf sales increased by 500% in the area. The ‘No Charge To Charge’ offer is valid for 12 months and allows unlimited free charging at eVgo stations.
To be or not to be eligible for a white sticker remains a question for the BMW i3 REx. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) lists the i3 as qualified to wear a White Clean Air Vehicle Sticker but the range extended version is still missing. BMW said, the i3 REx qualifies for a green sticker, these are however limited and scarce with 29,000 of 40,000 for this year already assigned.
Israel, Bratislava, Bhutan, New Zealand.
Recharge at gas stations: Israeli gas station provider Paz Oil and Nissan importer Carasso agreed to strategically cooperate and install nine fast charging stations at Paz outlets. The chargers are paid per use and while being described as “universal” the stations will obviously not help former Better Place customers, since the Renault Fluence Z.E. is not capable of fast charging of any kind.
Slovak battery swap: GreenWay has opened its first battery swapping station in the capital Bratislava last week. The service is for GreenWay’s rental vans, currently the electrified Citroen Jumper, but could be expanded nationwide or even to other countries. The battery swap itself is quite simple and anything but automatic: a forklift brings the new pack and extracts the old one from behind the driver’s cabin.
cleantechnica.com, oekonews.com, greenway.sk/en
Another buzz for Bhutan: Just after introducing the Nissan Leaf (we reported) prime minister Tshering Tobgay announced the launch of Mahindra’s e2o and Reva later this week. He is also hoping for an electric bus trial with British Ashok Leyland and is eyeing Tesla, which Tobgay says he wants to “encourage.”
Tango for New Zealand: 15,000 of the Commuter Car’s Tango might soon be driving around Auckland. The project Microcar wants the city to buy the cars and then lease them to its commuters for 55 dollars per week instead of using the money for building new streets.
Hamburg, Bhutan, Tusker.
Hydrogen for Hamburg: The German city’s minister of finance, Frank Horch, expressed strong interest in making Hamburg a hub for fuel cell technology at a meeting with Toyota’s Katsuhiko “H2” Hirose. Before, Horch had written a letter to the Japanese carmaker suggesting a fleet of 200 H2 cabs. Hamburg currently features three hydrogen fueling stations with another two scheduled for this year.
abendblatt.de (in German)
Nissan Leaf goes Bhutan: Prime minister Tshering Tobgay now officially teamed up with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. The Japanese carmaker is supposed to deliver “thousands” of Leafs as cabs and for public fleets together with the infrastructure.
greencarreports.com, green.autoblog.com (with video)
EV salary sacrifice works: Since leasing company Tusker included electric cars into its ‘SalarySacrifice4Cars’ (SS4C) scheme three months ago its customer base has grown by 250%. The strong growth is partly due to the introduction of the BMW i3 but also because Tusker has been promoting EVs for some time now and encouraged their employees with four chargers at their Hertfordshire office.
Switzerland, ClipperCreek, Naturpark Südschwarzwald.
EV sales Switzerland: Last year, swiss consumers acquired a total of 1,222 electric cars, an increase of 52% compared to 2012. The Swiss’ favourites were the Zoe (342) and Tesla (213) followed by 178 Leaf and 156 electric Smarts. Mitsubshi’s i-MiEV was sold 110 times while the BMW i3 showed a quick uptake with 106 units. Renault’s Twizy, which is classified as a heavy quadricycle under EU regulations, found 207 buyers – a decrease of 62.7% compared to sales in 2012 (555).
eco-way.ch (In German), renault.com (Twizy)
Four in one: ClipperCreek has just introduced its HCS-40. This charging station mounted on a pedestal comes with one or two 240 Volt outlets and an optional two sockets with 120 V each. It can therefore charge up to four EVs at the same time and costs from 1,300 dollars.
E-mobility for a whole region: A new project called ‘Naturpark Südschwarzwald’ in the German territory of the same name has started as part of the model region Baden-Württemberg. It is the first attempt to include a whole region thus bringing electric transport to a wider rural area. The project will include experiences from 20 already successful e-mobility programmes at municipal level which include e-carsharing and electric buses.
baden-wuerttemberg.de (In German)
Bhutan, West Coast Electric Highway, Delaware, Rotterdam, UK.
E-taxis for Bhutan: Mahindra will launch its Verito Electric in Bhutan by September this year. The Indian market will have to wait as the company does not want go ahead without government incentives for EVs being finalised. In Bhutan, the Verito will have to compete against the Nissan Leaf to be used to electrify the kingdom’s 5,000-strong cab fleet.
economictimes.indiatimes.com via indianautosblog.com
Charging charges: The West Coast Electric Highway in Washington State with its plenty DC quick-chargers will not be free to use any more. From April 1, 2014 users will have to pay to fill up their electric cars. The operator AeroVironment is expected to introduce two tariffs: a monthly flat rate at 19.99 dollars and a pay-per-charge fee.
Long distance chargers: In a new research project, the University of Delaware and the state of Delaware will install new fast charging stations to enable longer electric trips. The 16 kW stations will be strategically placed at key locations in Delaware and not more than 50 miles apart. The researchers want to monitor station usage and track emission reductions.
BYD taxis in Rotterdam: Following a successful trial, the Dutch Rotterdam Taxi Centre (RTC) will put two BYD e6 into service as electric cabs. RTC plans to extend its fleet of all-electric taxis to 25 within the next 18 months.
Mahindra goes UK: According to ‘Bussinessworld’, Mahindra wants to introduce its latest electric car, the Halo, in the UK by 2016. It also plans on relaunching the Reva and bringing it back to London later this year.
businessworld.in via indianautosblog.com
Beijing, London, Brunswick, Lucerne.
Simplified EV registrations: With Beijing being the second most air-polluted city in the world, citizens have to play the lottery if they want to register a new car. Not so with EVs: the government set aside about 20,000 EV license plates easily to get a hold of but has only received 1,700 applications so far. It seems like some Chinese would rather walk than drive an electric car.
Broken dream: The deal between BYD and cab service Green Tomato Cars to bring 50 electric e6 taxis to London (we reported) has been called off mutually. The chauffeur service decided not to go ahead as it is worried about charging infrastructure not being sufficient in the British capital.
One million for e-mobility: The German county of Lower Saxony will spend 438,000 euros (665,000 dollars) to install 16 DC fast-chargers in the city of Brunswick. An additional 644,000 euros (886,000 dollars) will be invested by Brunswick itself until the end of 2015. Currently, 229 electric cars are registered in Brunswick which share five AC charging stations.
braunschweigheute.de (In German)
Hybrid buses carry on: The Swiss city of Lucerne will continue its trial of hybrid buses with Volvo’s new 7900 Hybrid. The program started with six buses three years ago and since then the buses have been running for more than a million kilometres. Over the next five years, Lucerne’s public transport vbl will continue testing with just three hybrid vehicles rented from Volvo as it awaits advances in technology.
luzernerzeitung.ch (In German)
UK, Cologne, Tesla, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Underspent or over-funded: The uptake of electric cars in the UK is slower than expected even with generous incentives being available. If growth of EV sales remains at the current rate, roads minister Robert Goodwill will have to make good use of the 170 million pounds (284m dollars) unspent in the government’s EV scheme ending 2015.
Articulated e-bus: The city of Cologne, Germany, plans to order eight e-buses from Dutch manufacturer VDL by April. As they require a bendy bus currently not available on the market, the agreement expects VDL to customize their offer for Cologne’s public transport authority KVB. Before the buses can be built and go into service by 2016, KVB will have to decide if to opt for lead or lithium batteries.
rundschau-online.de (In German)
Tesla pricing Hong Kong: Chinese living in the “Special Administration Region” will get their Model S cheaper than consumers in mainland China. With prices similar to the U.S., ranging from 579,000 to 657,000 HK-dollars (74,700-84,700 USD), Tesla has already received 300 orders from Hong Kong.
New e-bus: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will supply two electric buses to Kitakyushu, Japan. The extra light buses come with new MLIX batteries and are said to run up to 80 kilometres on one charge at a top speed of 85 km/h.
E-Car club, Vukee, Alpiq InTec, Norway, Lidl.
Cash for cars: UK carsharing service E-Car club received 500,000 pounds (837,000 dollars) of funding, allowing it to expand its fleet from currently 20 EVs to more than 100 over the course of 2014 and 2015. The fleet currently features the Renault Zoe and Fluence, as well as the Nissan Leaf.
Tesla to share: Palo Alto, California-based company Vukee will add 25 Model S to its carsharing offer. Electricity and insurance are included in the rental fee. And for a small donation, the company will even add your name to the hood of one the all-electric sports cars.
New to the fleet: Over the next two years, Swiss company Alpiq InTec will replace 12 percent of its current fleet (700 vehicles) with EVs. Among the newcomers will also be the BMW i3.
Market niche? Only one percent of bicycles in Norway are electric. Despite the fact that electric two-wheeler would make it much easier to conquer the hilly countryside, manufactures are not pushing sales hard enough.
German supermarket electrified: Lidl, a discount supermarket chain, added four electric Smarts to its fleet. They will be used for trips between company locations in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.
stimme.de (in German)
ABB, Denza, Netherlands, Berlin, Vienna, Liberty E-care, Nissan.
ABB-chargers for Denza: BYD and Daimler’s joint venture, BYD Daimler New Technology (BDNT), authorised ABB to develop DC home fast-chargers for its Chinese consumers. The wall chargers can be monitored and controlled remotely with a mobile app and will be sold through Denza dealerships later this year. The Denza itself will debut at Beijing Auto Show with its launch being due soon after.
chinacartimes.com, greencarcongress.com, technologicvehicles.com (Launch)
Dutch EV sales: After an EV incentive running out in December last year had caused a run on electric cars in the Netherlands, things were back to normal in January. Overall 370 PHEV were sold with 34 of them being fully electric. Almost half of those were BMW i3.
E-mail in its most literal sense is the subject of a new trial by Deutsche Post DHL and the Technical University of Berlin beginning in March. 20 electric delivery vans will deliver mail during the day while being charged over night. The test is part of the ‘Smart e-User’ project with the objective to fully integrate EVs into daily city logistics.
idw-online.de (In German)
Vienna’s electric buses have already driven more than 200,000 kilometres without major problems. The public transport authority of the Austrian capital is now looking into testing 12-metre electric buses. The current 12 ‘Citybuses’ mainly serve the 2A line and have become a tourist attraction. The Citybus is charged via overhead cable at terminals and its batteries can be pre-heated before starting in winter.
derstandard.at (In German)
Liberty e-care: Liberty Electric Cars has now launched its after sales program in France. First introduced in 2011 in the UK, ‘Liberty E-care’ covers services for the Ford Transit E-Connect, Citroen EV1, I-Moving range, and others.
Nissan charge pass: Nissan signed a partnership with French Green Park Solution for the start-up’s Kiwhi Pass. This card can be used at many charging stations in France thus enabling Nissan EV drivers to roam more freely in the future.
ChargePoint, MGM, Georgia, Nissan, Tesla.
Charging at the strip: Together with ChargePoint, MGM has started to install 27 charging stations at nine of its Las Vegas resorts. The stations will be installed in guest garages and at valeting parking areas and will be available for use free of charge.
Georgia to kill tax credit? A new bill proposed in the U.S. state of Georgia could eliminate the 5,000 dollar tax credit currently available to buyers of new EVs. The proposing senator wants to take the financial burden off the tax payers who are not driving an EV. Coupled with the federal 7,500 dollar tax credit, Georgia ranked among the top four states in terms of electric car registrations last year.
bizjournals.com via greencarreports.com
European bestseller: Nissan continues to revel in the success of the Leaf. With 11,120 units sold in 2013 it has been the first choice for European EV drivers. In comparison to the previous year, this is an increase of 204% and the company says it now holds 33% of the EV market in Europe.
Tesla road trip return: His journey from New York to Florida along the recently finished East Coast Supercharger Highway left David Noland with no doubts that Tesla’s network just works. So well, in fact, that Noland’s return was “pretty routine. Boring, even.”
Baden-Wuerttemberg, London, Avis, Isle of Wight, Malaysia.
Setting an example: The provincial government of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, has affirmed plans to further lower its county’s carbon emissions. Therefore, a tenth of the ministry’s fleet shall be electrified by 2015. Funding has also been extended to support electric buses and cabs. Baden-Wuerttemberg aims to have 200,000 electric vehicles on its roads by 2020.
mvi.baden-wuerttemberg.de (In German)
E-cabs in London: The 20 BYD electric taxis ordered by chauffeur service Thriev (we reported) are now in operation. London’s first electric cab fleet is expected to be joined by a further 50 cars in July ordered by minicab firm Green Tomato Cars.
Avis to include hybrids: The rental car service’s UK branch has now included Peugeot’s hybrid version of the 508 and 3008 in its fleet. The low-emission cars are available to customers across the UK.
H2 on the Isle of Wight: ITM Power has received planning permission for five hydrogen stations on the Isle of Wight. Two of four sites will be ready for operation in November 2014. The four land locations will be complemented by one marine refueling station.
E-buses for Malaysia: The Malayan transport authority Prasarana Transit has announced BYD as winning bidder to supply 15 electric buses. It is South East Asia’s largest electric bus project so far. The decision for BYD follows a trial of a BYD bus serving successfully in Kuala Lumpur since last August.