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.
Evatran, Bosch, Antwerp, San Remo, ChargePoint.
Early bird bargain: The first 250 buyers of the wireless charging system introduced by Bosch and Evatran at the CES, are eligible for a discount of 1,000 USD (734 EUR). The discounted inductive charging system then costs 1,998 USD (1,467 EUR) and is compatible with the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt.
greencarcongress.com, green.autoblog.com, chargedevs.com
Fuel-cell bus testing: The public transport network of Antwerp, Belgium, will soon introduce five fuel-cell busses into their fleet. In San Remo, five of these H2 busses were already in trial with testing set to resume in spring this year. The project is supported by Solvay, a chemical company who will supply the new vehicles with hydrogen they produce as a byproduct.
oekonews.at (In German)
Most EV-friendly cities: Infrastructure provider ChargePoint has issued a list with the top ten cities for electric cars. Their score is based on the number of EVs owned and the number of public charging stations (ChargePoint only). On top of the list is San Francisco, followed by Seattle and San Diego.
Massachusetts, NRG eVgo, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia.
Massachusetts plans massive investments in its Clean Vehicle Project. The initiative includes the construction of new public charging stations and the introduction of more than 200 vehicles powered by alternative fuels in private and public fleets. Furthermore, eight electric school busses with V2G capability are planned to put in service. Overall grants are 15.5 million USD (11.4 million euros).
Free charging when flying: NRG eVgo offers free electric car charging at their new Park & Charge point located at Los Angeles Airport (LAX), USA. Coupons can be downloaded until February 16 and are redeemable until March 31.
electriccarsreport.com, hybridcars.com, evgonetwork.com (Coupon)
Duty free EV imports: The Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia will exempt electric cars from import duties. The removal of the 19 percent import tax will stay in place from February 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015. It is believed that this will increase the import of EVs at least tenfold.
Kandi, DriveNow, California.
EV vending machine: In the Chinese city of Hangzhou, Kandi dispenses small electric cars automatically. For 3.25 USD per hour, consumers can rent a car from an automated parking garage that holds up to 120 Kandi EVs. In the next four years, the JV of Kandi and Geely wants to build about 750 of these e-car vending garages.
DriveNow introducing the i3 in San Francisco? A reader of the German blog Bimmer sighted the electric BMW i3 with DriveNow logo in California. While BMW indeed plans to integrate the all-electric car into its car-sharing fleet next year, the car seen in the USA only serves a promotional purpose at this time and is a left-over of the L.A. Auto Show 2013 with European specifications.
bimmertoday.de (In German)
Two BYD buses for California: The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) operating near Los Angeles, USA, has ordered two electric busses from the Chinese company. The vehicles have been funded by a 1.9 million USD (1.4 million euros) grant and testing could begin in April 2014. If the busses perform well in the desert climate, they could serve about 450,000 residents in the AVTA area.
Austria, Nissan, eCommuters, charging station tax-credit.
E-car sharing in Austria: Beginning in March 2014, up to 30 residents of Baden will share an electric Renault Kangoo. The project is called Bea (Badener e-carsharing) and is part of the so-called model region “e-pendler niederösterreich” (e-commuters in Lower Austria). The annual subscription for bea costs 99 euros (135 dollars) while further fees will be applied according to use. The project was brought into existence by the city of Baden, a fairtrade shop, the Sparkasse bank and a car dealership.
oekonews.at (in German)
Powered by Nissan: A new project called “Vehicle-to-Building” connects six Leaf to the building’s grid, allowing it to draw power from the cars’ batteries during peak hours. The EVs will then be charged during off hours, before it is time to go home.
Germany’s commuters go electric: The project ePendler (eCommuters), aiming to electrify business commuting in the German state Hessen, will soon be implemented in other states across the country as well. For one week, 30 commuters were able to experience the benefits of an EV. The project kicked off locally in May and is part of Germany’s plan to put one million electric cars on its streets by 2020.
transporter-news.de (in German)
The charging station tax-credit expires at the end of this year. U.S. taxpayers have to be quick to be able to claim 30 percent of the cost of the purchase and installation of a home charging station. The income tax credit ends on December 31st, and is limited to a 1,000 dollars.