EU combustion vehicle sales ban under fire
Germany’s uncertain position on the phasing out of internal combustion vehicles (ICE) in the EU from 2035 appears to embolden other governments to make their own demands. If Germany abstains in the EU Council of Ministers, countries could succeed in watering down the incoming regulation on transport decarbonisation.
OMV Petrom grows Southeast Europe charging network
The Bucharest-based energy company OMV Petrom is expanding its charging network in Southeastern Europe. The Romanian oil company plans to install a total of around 100 fast and ultra-fast charging stations at its service stations in Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Serbia by the end of 2022.
Next.e.GO Mobile to build plant in Bulgaria
The German electric car manufacturer Next.e.GO Mobile has now officially confirmed that it has signed an agreement in Bulgaria to build a new microfactory in Lowetsch. There had already been a rumour to this effect a few days ago.
e.Go Life back in production
Next.e.GO Mobile has resumed production of the Life small electric car in Aachen after the manufacturer started selling the special edition e.GO Life Next in Germany in June. By the end of the year, 500 cars are to be built – some with a new charger.
Chariot Motors to supply e-buses with ultra-caps
The Bulgarian electric bus manufacturer Chariot Motors has received an order from Belgrade. The public transport company GSP from the Serbian capital wants ten electric buses of a special kind – Chariot will use ultracapacitors which won them the tender.
Sofia to finally get its 30 electric buses
The Bulgarian capital Sofia has announced the procurement of 30 electric buses and ten charging stations. The order goes to the Bulgarian-Chinese bidding consortium of Chariot Motors and Higer Bus, which prevailed over Solaris.
No tender love for Sofia
Stolichen Avtotransport, the public transport company of Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, has cancelled a tender for the purchase of 52 new e-buses. Only one valid bid was submitted for each of the two lots tendered. This is the second cancellation Stolichen had to endure.
Hungary: CEZ to install fast charging stations
The Czech Energy Group (CEZ) has been tasked with setting up fast charging stations in Hungary. The expansion is part of a $44M investment, first in their home nation before coming to Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Slovakia in the next decade.
Sports car maker turning to urban electric car market
The Bulgarian racing car manufacturer Sin Cars Int. Eood wants to get involved in the electric car business in future. Yet, they do not aim for say the FIA Formula E but have a more down to earth endeavour in mind: electric city cars. And they want to go public.
CEUC: New fast-charge corridor for Europe
The EU Commission is supporting the construction of 118 fast charging stations for the CEUC (Central European Ultra Charging) project. Smatrics was chosen as a service provider for the rollout, operations and maintenance of the network.
Bulgaria, London, Vancouver, Australia, Michigan.
ABB in Bulgaria: The Swiss’ Bulgarian branch has opened its first fast-charging station in the city of Plovdiv, a industrial and logistics centre. But ABB is not alone in the Eastern European country. Sofia-based eMobility International recently installed three rapid charging stations near the city of Sandanski and operates another two close to Sofia and on the border with Greece.
seenews.com (Plovdiv), seenews.com (Sandanski)
BlueCity for free: The London borough of Merton offers resident a free annual membership for the EV sharing service that usually costs 5 GBP per month. 10 hours of driving are included and Londoner just need to key in the code EARLYBIRD10 to redeem the offer.
Charging charge: Vancouver may introduce fees for using city-owned charge stations as EV use has increased. Some stations had over 17,000 charging sessions last year and fees for fast-charging could climb to up to 16 dollars. Another option under review is to introduce more curb-side charge points.
Charging in remote areas will become possible with this network of 70 EV stations in Western Australia. The initiative is a team effort by Synergy and the Australian Electric Vehicle Association and will install three-phase charge points along all major roads in the state.
Two new fast-charging stations do not sound like much but given that Michigan got only a total of 15 it helps. Nissan had the ChaDeMo chargers installed at convenience stores along the I-96 expressway.
Open Fast Charging Alliance, E.On + Clever, eMotorWerks, Bulgaria.
European roaming alliance: Five European fast charging networks have pledged allegiance. They founded the Open Fast Charging Alliance, which covers over 500 EV fast-charging stations in six countries. The OFCA is to push for open standards like the OCPI (Open Charge Point Interface) that enables roaming. So far, the signees are Fastned (Netherlands), Sodetrel (France), Smatrics (Austria), Grønn Kontakt (Norway) and Gotthard Fastcharge (Scwitzerland), but more members are welcome to join. Their stations only have to be numerous and offer service 24/7. Naturally, all electric cars are welcome to charge.
A candidate to join the alliance may be E.On. The utility together with Danish network operator Clever plans to span a network of ultra-fast charging stations along Europe’s arterial roads, beginning this year. Starting at 150 kW, the stops will be ready to deliver 350 kW and shall be located 120 – 180 km away from each other. Both companies gathered experiences in the Nordics but E.On said it is in talks with more potential partners. If it will be the OFCA or if E.On is trying to get closer to the German CCS initiative by carmakers remains to be seen.
Charging Germany: eMotorWerks announced a partnership with German Conenergy to launch new EV charging solutions. The companies will collaborate on technology that optimises EV charging based on a user’s energy source preferences such as solar.
Sofia in Bulgaria is looking to buy 20 electric and 20 hybrid buses comes summer. Already, an electric bus is being tested in the capital.
wirtschaftsblatt-bg.com (in German)
Electric to school: The Rural School Bus Pilot Project is a grant programme worth 10m dollars from the California Air Resources Board. All public schools in California are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to schools in districts with poor air quality and ageing vehicles.
BMW, Energica, Red Automotive Technologies, Bulgaria, VW.
BMW 5 PHEV from 2017: The new BMW 5 series is set for launch in mid-2017 and Autobild confirms that it will include a plug-in hybrid version as previously presumed. The PHEV comes with the usual hybrid range of 50 km and will make its first public appearance in Paris next year.
autobild.de (in German), autocar.co.uk (premiere)
Ego and Eva: Energica presents its second electric motorcycle at the Milan Show. The new bike called Eva will join the Ego machine at a not yet specified on-sale date. As a streetfighter, Eva comes with 95bhp (70 kW) and a battery said to last for 124 miles if ridden in eco mode.
Electric SUV from Oz: Red Automotive Technologies plans to develop an electric SUV with serious off-road capabilities. While the start-up is looking for funding, it aims to build 75,000 units in Australia over the next ten years with potentially 5,000 to be exported to the USA, Europe, or the Middle East. Targeted price is 85,000 dollars.
Several sound delays: The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) again delays its quiet car ruling that would require electric and hybrid cars to emit audio alerts at low speeds. A ruling and thus compliance has been pushed back repeatedly due to coordination issues, but is now expected in March.
EVs for Eastern Europe: Bulgaria reserved 1m BGN (5.4m dollars) to acquire electric cars for civil servants and hopes the measure will inspire citizens to mirror the government. Ukraine, on the other hand, has exempted electric vehicles from import duty.
novinite.com (Bulgaria), kyivpost.com (Ukraine)
VW Jetta Hybrid review: The power is in the detail, finds Larry E. Hall, as he marvels at the “combination of an internal combustion engine, forced air induction and an electric motor,” making the Jetta the only turbocharged hybrid. It thus uses less mpg in the city than on the highway.