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.
CHAdeMO, Nottingham, Munich, Charger Fixation.
CHAdeMO is spreading: The Japanese fast-charging standard can now be found all-over the globe. A total of 3,500 stations have been installed in Japan (1,967), the U.S. (554) and Europe (1,020), according to the CHAdeMO Association. At the same time, the organisation is calling for multi-system chargers.
Nottingham going green: After receiving another 1.5 million pounds (2.5m dollars) of the British government’s Green Bus Fund, the City Council will purchase 11 more electric buses. Eight are already in operation while a fleet of 50 is planned in Nottingham.
E-bus trial in Bavaria: Munich’s public transport authority MVG is currently testing the Solaris Urbino e-bus on its line 153, most-frequented by students. The polish midi-bus follows a trial with an electric bus made by BYD, which could not reach the promised range of 250 kilometres in Bavarian winter conditions. While MVG is giving a positive outlook for e-buses in the future, it critizies that they are still way more expensive than diesel-powered coaches.
sueddeutsche.de (In German)
Charger Fixation: With free charging becoming more widely available, a new problem arises: EV drivers, who plug-in and park for free despite their batteries being (almost) full. Whether limiting charging times or the introduction of charging fees can fix this condition has yet to be seen.
ocregister.com via greencarreports.com
Hamburg, Nissan, Ecotricity, Tesla.
Carsharing in the red-light district: A project called ‘e-Quartier Hamburg’ in Germany has just received two Fiat 500e. The electric Fiats can be rented through Deutsche Bahn’s car sharing service Flinkster and are located in Hamburg’s notorious red-light district of St. Pauli. Two charging stations will be supplied by utility provider Vattenfall. The project seeks to explore the impact of transport offerings on district management.
dmm.travel (In German), deutschebahn.com (In German)
1,000% increase: With vehicle sales of alternative fuelled cars in the UK growing rapidly, Nissan is experiencing a particularly huge spike in demand. Its Leaf sales surged 1,000% last month to 230 units, while in the same month last year only 20 Leafs had been sold.
EV owner incentive: Utility provider Ecotricity, UK, now offers customers owning an electric car an annual discount of 40 pounds (65 dollars), equalling charging an EV for 1,000 miles for free. Under the ‘Green Electricity + Car tariff,’ Ecotricity customers will also be signed up for the company’s network of about 120 fast-charge stations all over the UK.
Roadtrip, for real: Tesla has recently made news with different combos travelling along the supercharger route in no time. So how about going off the (supercharger) beaten track and travel from Texas to Panama with nothing but a bundle of adapters and a spare tyre?! Randy Denmon and Dean Lewis are attempting exactly that and have reached Nicaragua by now. Next stop: Panama canal.
Car sharing takes its toll on the car market, according to a study by consulting firm AlixPartners. The study suggests that already half a million vehicles have not been sold because of carsharing companies like Zipcar or Relay Rides. It further forecasts that by 2021 an additional 1.2 million purchases of new cars could be replaced through carsharing.
BMW, UK, Charge Your Car, Mitsubishi.
Premium acronym: BMW, the business mobility provider Alphabet and three German universities are joining forces in a research project to better understand user’s acceptance of EVs with or without range extender, hybrids as well as charging infrastructure. The project will run for three years.
springerprofessional.de (In German), press.bmwgroup.com (In German)
Brits jump on EV bandwagon: In January, 325 pure electric cars were newly registered in the UK, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. This is an increase of 755% compared to the 38 units of January 2013. Other fuel-efficient cars were on the uptake as well, with PHEV sales growing by 41.3%.
Charge Your Car: The aptly named infrastructure provider now operates a network with 1,500 chargers all over the UK. The pay-as-you-go service is used extensively by the 1,637 registered users, as Charge Your Car has just counted its 100,000th charging and delivered a total of 549,399 kWh so far. The CYC Lifetime Card is valid across providers and is available for a one-off payment of ten pounds.
Japan’s new favourite: In its first year, Mitsubishi’s Outlander already has been sold 9,608 times in Japan – almost as often as the Nissan Leaf in its first year of availability. With another 8,197 units shipped to Europe, Mitsubishi sold its PHEV 17,805 times in 2013 and is now aiming on making it 30,000 worldwide by the end of March.
Tesla, Hubject, H2 Logic, BYD.
Tesla starts battery swapping: When Elon Musk was visiting the European Tesla stores last week, he leaked some interesting details. For instance, that a 4WD Model S will come by 2015. Furthermore, he expects the Giga factory to bring down battery prices by 30-40% while bigger batteries are already on the way as well as 135 kw superchargers. Those might not be necessary in L.A. and Frisco as Tesla will introduce battery swapping there.
Strengthening e-roaming: German Hubject Gmbh and Gireve SAS are joining forces to promote eRoaming thus enabling interconnectivity of the EV charging infrastructure between France and Germany. Hubject is a joint venture between BMW, Bosch, Daimler, Siemens and the utility providers RWE and EnBW. The company operates a business and IT platform connecting infrastructure, service and mobility providers.
hubject.com (Press info) via elektroniknet.de (In German)
Hydrogen station for Hamburg: H2 Logic has made a successful bid to supply the German city with a H2 fueling station. It will be based on the 70 MPa H2Station and is an initial trial before a network of 50 H2 station is eventually built by 2015. These are part of the H2Mobility Germany initiative running until 2023 with 400 planned stations in total.
BYD keeps promise: A ten-month trial with BYD’s electric bus in Canada (we reported) has proven the company’s claim. The 40ft e-bus indeed managed to run 155 miles (250 km) on one charge. This prompted Salah Barj, Director of P & D at STO to say: “The BYD electric bus was nothing like anything we had seen or tested before.” A dream come true…
Car2Go black, Ford, E-Wald, Austria.
Car2Go black: Daimler announced to integrate its B-class into its car sharing, which only offers Smarts so far. In a first step 200 Mercedes B will be deployed to Berlin and Hamburg, Germany, where they can be rented and unlocked via smartphone. Other than with the Smart, the black cars can only be picked up and returned at designated parking lots but can be driven one-way between the two cities. Since Berlin and Hamburg already have some H2 stations, why not make the B-Class f-cell part of the scheme?!
handelsblatt.com (In German)
Focus EV promotion: With Ford selling only a couple of hundreds electric cars every month, the carmaker has now announced a new finance package for buyers of the Focus EV in the U.S. Together with a additional cash sum of 6,000 dollars refunded by participating dealers, the Focus finally comes in the pricing range of its competitor Nissan Leaf.
Rural electric transport: In its current project, German E-Wald is showing that electric cars can also work in rural areas. In Deggendorf, this has proven rather successful so far: 95 out of 151 electric cars are let longterm while another 30 can be shared on demand. More towns in the Bavarian Forest are scheduled to join the project.
pnp.de (In German), e-wald.eu (In German)
klima:aktiv mobil: The Austrian climate initiative has already helped to save 570,000 tons of carbon with 4,900 mobility projects which have been funded with 66.6 million euros so far. In the county Tirol alone, 510 green jobs were created and 42.6 million euros invested by private companies and initiatives with the government only helping to start it off with 5 million euros.
oekonews.at (In German), klimaaktiv.at
ZeEUS, NASA, Hydrogenics.
Zero Emission Urban Bus Systems (ZeEUS): This EU project unites 40 partners in eight European cities to research the emission saving potential of e-buses in public transport. In the city of Münster, Germany, a complete bus route will be operated with five all-electric buses recharging at two fast-charging stations. The test is coordinated by two institutes of RWTH Aachen university. ZeEUS will receive funding from the EU worth 13.5 million euros (18.3m dollars) until 2017.
emobilserver.de (In German), egvi.eu (Project coordination)
NASA’s electric car trial: A programme designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions at Kennedy Space Center has brought “really insane” results in its first three months, according to NASA’s Frank Kline. Ten employees using electric cars and charging them with green energy on-site have already saved 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in only three months – mission to be continued.
H2 stations for UK: Fuel cell developer Hydrogenics announced it won two contracts from the British government to provide its electrolyser technology for new hydrogen fuel stations. The company’s HyStat 60 and 30 electrolyser will be used by BOC, a subsidiary of the Linde Group.
AeroVironment, Route 66, Tesla.
Portable compact charger: AeroVironment introduced the TurboCord, a portable charging cordset. TurboCord is available in a 240-volt only version for 599 dollars or as dual mode for 649 dollars. The compact charger plugs directly into the socket and gathers all miniaturised electronics in a box right at the wall end of the cord.
Electric Route 66: The Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation (HEVF) entertains the idea of installing EV charging stations along the legendary highway also dubbed the ‘Mother Road.’ However, the project is at a very early stage as no details are yet known on who might pay for or install the chargers.
West-to-east-trip complete: Two Tesla teams have just completed a cross-country journey with the Model S going from Los Angeles to New York. Thanks to the network of Tesla’s Superchargers it took them only 76,5 hours to cover almost 3,500 mi.
GoUltraLow, LHNE, Tesla, Sixt, Hawaii.
UK’s going ultra low: The British government just announced to spend 9.3m pounds (15.3m dollars) on the ‘GoUltraLow’ campaign, which is backed by industry leaders like BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall. The funding will be used to install 140 new fast chargers, making it a network of 500 across the country. Another 5m GBP (8.2m USD) will be spent on promoting green driving to the public.
businessgreen.com, thegreencarwebsite.co.uk, gov.uk, goultralow.com (Campaign page)
First UK lease of ix35: British Air Products just signed a lease contract for a Hyundai ix35 hydrogen fuel cell car as part of the London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE). Another four LHNE partners are expected to sign their lease in due course.
Tesla leasing in Germany: At an invitation-only event last night in Munich, Elon Musk announced that Tesla will offer the Model S for leasing, partnering with car rental company Sixt. The leasing rate for the Model S will start at about 500 euros (680 dollars) which is just above the rate for a 5-series BMW. Tesla hopes that the leasing option will ramp up annual sales in Germany to 10,000 cars by the end of 2014.
wiwo.de (In German), automobil-produktion.de (In German)
No-charger fine: If Senate Bill 2651 goes into law in Hawaii, operators of large car parks will face a fine when failing to provide dedicated EV parking. From 2015, lots with more than 100 spaces, would have to provide at least one parking space with EV charging capability.
Estonteco, ClipperCreek, Miyakojima, Netherlands.
500 charging stations for rent: In the next five years, Luxembourg-based company Estonteco wants to set up 500 charging points across neighbouring Belgium. These will be rented out to parking garages, supermarkets or other publicly accessible places that will get parts of the earnings. The company will also offer repair and location services.
lavenir.net (In French)
Plug-in wallbox: American ClipperCreek is now ready to deliver its HCS-40P charging station equipped with NEMA wall plugs. It can be installed wherever there is a 240 Volt connection and only uses two wall screws to fix it. Starting price for the 30 A station is 644 dollars.
Micro commuter in Miyakojima: Honda selected the city on one of Japan’s islands to test its MC-β micro EV. As part of the Small-sized Electromotive Mobility Project, the mini Honda will be used to explore a CO2-free community and therefore charged at solar charging stations newly built from Toshiba.
Cable carnage: In the Netherlands, a peacefully charging Renault Zoe got assaulted. The attacker apparently tried viciously to unplug the EV but “only” managed to dismantle the plug, stripping the metal pins of their plastic cover.
motornature.com, autoweek.nl (In Dutch)
My Electric Avenue, Cadillac, London, Edinburgh.
‘My Electric Avenue’ is a British project funded with nine million pounds (14.9m dollars) by Ofgem. In June last year, seven neighbourhood clusters with ten families each have been chosen to share a Nissan Leaf. The aim is to see if the grid can cope with the charging activities. Now, project leader EA Technology Group is looking for a company to join the scheme.
Complimentary Caddy charger: GM offers early buyers of its luxury electric Cadillac ELR a free 240-Volt home charger, including installation. The ELR, which is a more luxurious and re-tuned version of the Chevrolet Volt, starts at 75,000 dollars.
EV trip London to Edinburgh: EV advocates Robert Llewellyn and David Peilow crossed Britain south to north in a Nissan Leaf in just over 13 hours along Ecotricity’s Electric Highway. They stopped eight times to fast-charge for free. Three years ago, the same 400 miles took BBC journalist Brian Milligan four days in a BMW Mini E.
Tesla, Malaysia, eVgo, Brimingham, London.
Tesla trip trend: Driving from coast to coast in a Model S seems to be the next big thing in the states. Just recently a father-daughter team drove from New York to Los Angeles. Two more teams are already lined up and plan to complete the trip along the Supercharger route in only three days. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said that he will go from east coast to west coast as well, taking the whole family with him some time around spring break.
transportevolved.com (Father & daughter), transportevolved.com (3-day record)
Green bridge: Five Mitsubishi i-MiEV now patrol on the longest bridge in Southeast Asia, the Penang Bridge in Malaysia. Seven charging stations have been set up on the toll plaza, two of them being fast chargers. The i-MiEV is the first electric vehicle being sold in Malaysia.
Birmingham charged-up: A network of 36 charging stations has been installed by the city’s council. The ‘Evolt’ charge points by APT Technologies can be found at 18 locations across Birmingham. The initiative is part-funded by the Government’s ‘Plugged-in Midlands’ programme, which plans to install about 500 charge points across the British Midlands.
eVgo combo: The Californian charging network operator is ramping up its installations with now 18 stations open or in construction and 22 in the permitting process. Every site has at least one AC level 2 and one DC connection. Eventually all sites will have the Combo connector, said Terry O’Day, vice president of eVgo.
Electric chauffeur service: London-based Thriev car hire has just leased 20 electric e6 from BYD. Additionally, a fast charge point will be installed at the company’s headquarters. Thriev’s decision followed the Mayor’s plans for London to only allow zero-emission cabs by 2018.
Virginia, Charge Your Car, E-car club, Cargohopper.
Virginia’s hybrid vehicle tax: The state of Virginia is finally making sense and scrapping the hybrid vehicle tax it had originally introduced for making up for the state’s gas tax shortfall. It turns out that the shortfall is not caused by fuel efficient cars but simply because Virginia has failed to raise gas taxes since 1986.
Charge Your Car before Tuesday: Because Charge Your Car (CYC), one of the largest networks of charging stations in the UK will undergo “vital system maintenance”, some EV drivers might not be able to charge their cars on Tuesday night.
E-car club: The University of Hertfordshire became the first university in the UK to launch their own electric car-sharing scheme. The two Renault Zoe and one Fluence Z.E. are part of the British E-Car Club and are open to anyone and not just members of the university.
Small electric lorry: The Dutch Cargohopper is getting more and more popular in the Netherlands. After Utrecht and Enschede, it is time for Amsterdam to adopt four of these small electric lorries, which have a cargo space comparable to that of 7.5 tonners.
Eco Fleet Hamburg, Nissan Leaf, Nick Rufford.
Hamburg expands eco-fleet: Currently, there are about 600 commercial EVs in Hamburg, Germany. Now, hySOLUTIONS in cooperation with Alphabet and Öko-Institut will issue another 450 EVs to commercial fleets across the hanseatic city. The 3-year field test called ‘Eco Fleet Hamburg’ is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and is designed to assess the viability of EVs in fleets of all sizes and their potential carbon savings.
business-on.de (In German), alphabet.com (In German)
Leaf sales tripled: In Great Britain, the all-electric Nissan has been sold 1,812 times in 2013, while sales in 2012 stood only at 699 units. This increase might be due to the fact, that Nissan started building the European Leaf at the British Sunderland plant in April last year.
The American Dream recharged: Nick Rufford took the Tesla Model S to where it really belongs – the Californian and nowadays, electric, highway. Apart from delivering the proper soundtrack, Rufford also concludes that it “might be the most important electric car yet made” as its persuasive power is unmatched – at least under the sun of California.
driving.co.uk, youtube.com (Video)
Sprit of innovation: One of the eldest Nissan Leaf sits at a 750 year old buddhist temple in Japan. Early adopter and chief-priest Wasei Hirai, hopes the car will enhance environmental consciousness. He firmly believes that a time will come where “whenever people think of a car, it will be an electric car.”
FedEx Express, Nissan, Tesla, Car2go, Flinkster, Switzerland.
Nissan e-NV200 testing: FedEx Express will start testing the all-electric Nissan van in Washington, D.C., well ahead of its market introduction later this year. Similar tests have been conducted in Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Brazil. Fedex currently has 532 electric and hybrid vehicles, that enabled the company to save 2.4 mio litres of fuel from 2005 to 2012.
Tesla super deployment: After failing on delivering on its promises regarding the Supercharger deployment for the U.S., Tesla is now picking up the pace noticeably. Last week alone, seven chargers went online making it a total of 40 stations that have been erected since mid-November.
Car2Go and Flinkster join forces: Daimler and Deutsche Bahn (DB) will conjoin their car sharing services, thus creating a network with 6,600 cars and 8,500 bicycles to rent across Germany. While Flinkster cars are often based at train stations, the rental Smarts of Car2Go can be picked up and returned virtually everywhere inside the operation area (free floating). Customers will be able to use both services without having to register anew.
handelsblatt.com (In German), autohaus.de (In German)
Reducing carbon emissions: The Swiss Federal Council published its analysis on how certain sectors could reduce carbon emissions and at which costs. To reach its goal of emitting 20% less carbon in 2020 compared to 1990, Switzerland would have to spend 150-320 francs (164-351 dollars) per tonne CO2. However, to fulfill the target of 80% less carbon emissions by 2050, costlier investments in electric transport and green buildings would become necessary as those have the highest potential for savings.
blick.ch (In German), aargauerzeitung.ch (In German)
Tesla, San Francisco, Montreal.
Officially supercharged: Tesla has now formally opened its new chargers in Austria (St. Anton), Germany (Wilnsdorf, Bad Rappenau, Aichstetten und Jettingen), the Netherlands (Zevenaar and Oosterhout) and Switzerland (Lully). In the press release Tesla sticks to its promise that 100% of the German population will live within 320 kilometres of a Superchager by the end of 2014.
gigaom.com, teslamotors.com (press release)
E-bike sharing in Frisco: California’s unofficial capital is planing to introduce a sharing scheme with electric bicycles. Around 90 e-bikes by Juiced Riders and A2B will be deployed to 25 stations around San Francisco. They have a range of 40 miles and can be powered by pedalling or throttle. The three-year program costs two million dollars.
Bixi Bikeshare bankrupt: The bike share provider that debuted in Montreal in 2008 has filed for bankruptcy, as software problems and debts became overpowering. While Montreal’s mayor promised to vouch for the service at least this year, will other cities in North America, Europe and Australia face the same problem as they all adopted the Bixi system fully or partially?
Apollo Sunguard Systems, Silicon Valley, Thuringia, Switzerland.
Federal charging stations: The small company Apollo Sunguard Systems has won a contract worth 900,000 dollars from the public buildings division of the Government Services Administration. It will now distribute 183 charging stations made by ChargePoint at federal government buildings across the states.
Short on charging: With the increasing number of employees going to work in their electric cars, Silicon Valley companies are facing a shortage of charging stations. To avoid incidents of “charge rage” among drivers, companies began to draft guidelines and making charging stations available on reservation only.
Thuringia means EV business: The German county will continue its programme for EV promotion with a focus on companies and research institutes willing to participate in testing. The Thuringian Ministry of Economics will release a total of 300,000 euros (406,000 dollars) and has already received eleven applications. Last year, the fund co-financed the purchase of twelve EVs and eight charging stations while the participating companies invested about 530,000 euros (718,000 dollars).
insuedthueringen.de (In German)
Swiss struggle for transport taxes: The multi-canton republic is faced with rising costs of rail and road infrastructure, while fuel tax revenue is decreasing due to more fuel-efficient vehicles. The Federal Council now proposed a road fund similar to the planned rail fund. Money for the roads is supposed to come from a higher fuel tax rate and an increase in car taxation. From 2020, electric car owners, currently exempt from taxes, will be asked to pay their share as well.
20min.ch (In German)
New York, Beam Charging, Breda.
Electric roadmap for New York’s cabs: Before he left office, New York’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg created the ‘Electric Taxi Task Force’. The aim was to study the feasibility of the Mayor’s vision to electrify one third of New York’s cabs by 2020. The report now issued, promises the city a bright and beneficial electric cab future indeed. Their analysis however, is based on the assumption that advances in EV technology will keep the pace of recent years.
Shop and Charge in NYC: The CarCharge subsidiary ‘BeamCharging’ has received 300,000 dollars from New York State. The fund is part of the ‘Charge NY’ initiative, supporting BeamCharging to install 21 charging stations. These will be mainly located at public parking facilities of shopping malls in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island.
Electric buses only: The city of Breda in the Netherlands plans to use electric buses only on all its lines by 2015. The decision follows a 12-month testing period with two hybrid buses, which had proven highly successful. Next year, 34 e-buses will transport 180,000 residents, thus supposedly making Breda the first European city to electrify its entire fleet.
emobilitaetonline.de (In German)
London, Tesla Road Trip, Linde, H2USA.
London’s cabs to be electric only: Mayor Boris Johnson demands all new taxis in the British capital to be capable of emitting zero emissions from 2018. For this to happen though, the mayor first has to stick to his plan of installing 25,000 charging stations across the capital. Meanwhile, Frazer-Nash and Ecotive unveiled the full specifications of their all-electric ‘Metrocab’ with range extender which is ready to go into service this year.
bbc.co.uk (Mayor), hybridcars.com (Metrocab), thegreencarwebsite.co.uk
All Super Chargers lead to DC: This is the motto for a road trip organised by Tesla enthusiasts on President’s Day weekend this February. Model S drivers from all states are asked to gather in the American capital Washington, D.C. and wave the flag for electric driving.
Linde joins hydrogen network: The North American branch of Linde Group has become a member of the H2USA network. The partnership initiated by the Department of Energy is designed to promote the use of fuel cells in transportation and to install a hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the USA.
Tesla, VIA Motors, Northrhine-Westphalia.
Super Chargers for China: Tesla announced the start of negotiations and preparations to install a network of its Super Chargers across the Asian nation. The first corridor to open up for all-electric rides is planned to be Beijing-Shanghai. When the first chargers will be ready for use is not said.
Canada electrified: VIA Motors has signed an 80 million dollar purchase agreement with Sun Country Highway. A deposit of 8m dollars for the first 100 VIA electric-vans has already been placed. The vehicles will go to Best Western Hotels in Canada, which have been supplied with 1,000 public chargers by the privately funded electrification project Sun Country Highway.
“Klimaschutz made in NRW”: This is the Denglish slogan of a new initiative in the German city of Essen. “NRW” is short for Northrhine-Westphalia while “Klimaschutz” means climate protection and is in this case a mini-fleet of four electric cars. For the next two years, employees of the State Office for environment and consumer protection will drive around in three Renault Zoé and one Fluence to test if EVs are a viable option for their daily routines. If so, more will be purchased.
emobilserver.de (In German), youtube.com (Video in German)
Tesla, Stuttgart, Singapore, Rent-A-Car, eConnect, North Carolina.
Charging up: Only four months ago, Tesla announced that Model S drivers had been using the free superchargers to recharge a total of 3.2 million miles. As expected, demand has spiked since and the company now counts 8m miles beeing charged. Furthermore, Tesla formally informed the NHTSA about the software update and exchange of adapters to address the overheating issue when charging at domestic outlets.
green.autoblog.com (8m charged), nytimes.com (overheating)
New e-bike region: The city of Stuttgart, Germany, which is home to Daimler and Porsche, has been declared ‘E-Bike-Region Stuttgart’. Five counties joined forces and established cycle routes with a combined length of over 400 kilometres. At 40 stations tourists can choose from 200 rental pedelecs. At the end of every journey, the e-bike can be returned at any train station within the region as Stuttgart‘s public transport authority takes part in the project.
swp.de (In German)
Singapore concludes EV test: The city state has finished a two-year test of 89 electric cars. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) wanted to gain a better understanding before formulating plans for further trials. LTA sees the biggest challenge for EVs in price and infrastructure.
Rent a Chevy Volt in the UK: The U.S. car rental company Enterprise added 20 Volts to its fleet. The Volt, which is also sold as the Vauxhall Ampera in the UK, will be available at Enterprise’s Greater London branches.
Zero emission chauffeur service: The private car hire service eConnect is now able to pick up its London customers using Nissan Leafs. The company is currently building up an electric fleet and hopes to establish the category ‘EV’ as a standard option customers can choose from when ordering a car. Like you would select VIP, MPV etc.
Not tax-free anymore: Because North Carolinians drive less or switch to more fuel-efficient cars, fuel tax collections are declining. That is why the state of North Carolina has begun to collect a 100 dollar annual fee from its 1,600 registered electric car drivers to be used for road maintenance.
HEVO, VIA Motors, PlugShare, Netherlands.
First contract for HEVO Power: The U.S. start-up made headlines last year when suggesting to turn New York‘s manholes into wireless charging stations. The Department of Public Safety at NYU now takes HEVO up on it and ordered two gully-shaped inductive charging stations. According to HEVO CEO Jeremy McCool even the Department of Defense (DoD) expressed interest.
PlugShare integration: Electric vehicle manufacturer VIA Motors announced to integrate the PlugShare infrastructure listings in their iPad in-dash systems. PlugShare, which is a service of Recargo Inc, currently lists 28,000 charging stations in America and 55,000 stations globally.
Dutch tax benefits were cut at the end of 2013. This led to record-breaking sales of 9,309 electric and plug-in hybrid cars in December. The biggest winner was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which is now the best-selling car in the Netherlands.
StromTicket, BMW, Tax Credits, Hagen, Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Meet the ‘StromTicket’: The StromTicket (‘Strom’ is German for electricity) enables users to charge their EV and pay cashless via their mobile phone. The project is being developed within the framework of the German model region Saxonia and will be tested in Dresden and Leipzig. Partners are local energy utilities and infrastructure providers.
locationinsider.de (In German)
Setback for BMW i3 REx: In California, drivers of the BMW i3 with range extender might not get the privilege of using the HOV lane. That is because the green stickers necessary to drive a PHEV on the carpool lanes are limited to 40.000 and presumably sold out by the time the i3 with REx will be available in mid 2014.
Failure to renew EV incentives? The U.S. congress has missed the deadline for the renewal of three tax credits. The credits regard the installation of charging stations for homeowners, the purchase of electric motorcycles or three-wheelers and a credit for businesses buying an EV charger.
111 electric cars in a year: This is the catchy aim of ‘EcoDrive’, a citizens’ initiative in the city of Hagen, Germany. The group of 14 residents want to see more electric cars in their city and plan to address companies and charities that offer courier or carrier services in geriatric care for example. Car dealers are another target while public test rides are set to attract the group‘s fellow citizens. The project is now under the patronage of North Rhine-Westphalia‘s economics minster.
derwesten.de (in German)
Eco-friendly KFC delivery: Kentucky Fried Chicken Malaysia now uses 50 electric scooters to deliver its winged fast food. KFC plans to add more of the ES11 vehicles supplied by Eclimo later this year.
New York City, Milton Keynes, Sri Lanka.
NYC loves BYD: ‘It performed excellent’ is the verdict of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York City, USA, after a two-months trial of a BYD electric bus. During testing, the e-bus covered 1,481 miles in Manhattan serving on different routes and could operate up to 30 hours on one charge in heavy traffic. The final report is now being distributed.
Recharge over a ‘cuppa’: The British town of Milton Keynes has now started a five-year trial of eight electric busses supported by Arup, Mitsui and the Borough‘s council. The vehicles will be charged wirelessly via two charging plates and shall recover 2/3 of their energy during the drivers‘ 10-minute tea breaks.
bbc.co.uk, businessgreen.com, thegreencarwebsite.co.uk
Sri Lanka to strengthen electric transport: The island state off the southern Indian coast plans to expand its network of charging stations and to import more EVs. The largest vehicle importers’ organisation believes that EVs will become a trend in 2014. Furthermore, a 100% cash margin on vehicle imports has just been withdrawn.
Tesla, Navigant Research, Formula E.
Tesla has more Superchargers in the U.S. than there are states, with no. 51 and 52 just having been erected in Florida and Wisconsin. Tesla is on track to reach its target of covering 98 % of the U.S. population in 2015.
mein-elektroauto.com (In German)
35 million EVs worldwide: Navigant Research predicts that in 2022 there will be more than 35 million electric vehicles on the roads around the globe. Their forecast is based on rising gasoline prices and decreasing costs of EV ownership which will be further fuelled by innovations such as V2G systems.
Formula E Drivers’ Club: Membership in this circle surely is sought after, as its members might become the future racers in the upcoming e-racing series. Eight drivers have been added to the club so far, another ten will follow soon. Each of the ten Formula E teams will later choose their drivers from those fortunate 18.