UK: Electric Highway to be upgraded by Ecotricity
In the UK, Ecotricity’s network of charging stations that form the ‘Electric Highway’ one of the oldest charging networks in Britain, is to be comprehensively modernised. This will include contactless payment and multiple charging options.
Pod Point says no to interoperability
In the UK, in a response to a government letter urging them towards interoperability, the companies Ecotricity and Pod Point responded saying the technological accessibility was “not really relevant”. They argued that increased interoperability was “unnecessary for their networks” and would pose financial challenges.
Can gamification help smart grid V2G applications?
Can gamification help the smart grid wonder Britain’s Ecotricity and partners, who started to investigate whether games, raffles and bitcoins can encourage EV drivers to engage with V2G technologies. The £400,000 project is funded through Innovate UK.
Ecotricity, Japan, BYD, Tritium, Envision Solar .
End of flat rate charging: British EV drivers will have to pay as they charge along the Isles’ motorway as Ecotricity changes its fee system. The eco utility initially offered free charging at its 300 stations before introducing a 6 pound flat fee for 30 minutes – much to the dismay of its users. Now Ecotricity will drop that flat rate and introduce PAYG instead, based on 0.17p per kWh, with an additional 3 pound fee every time you plug your car in. Ecotricity customers get 52 free charges a year though and also won’t pay the 3 GBP connection charge.
A H2 network in Japan has been agreed between Toyota, Nissan, Honda and eight other companies among them JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy and Iwatani. The agreement had been awaiting pen and paper for almost a year and will reportedly lead to 400 hydrogen fuel stations over the next ten years with 160 to be operational by 2020.
BYD builds on Montevideo’s electric cab fleet as it delivers an additional 20 e6 EV to join the existing 50. The government supports the effort with an impressive subsidy that practically amounts to 50 percent of the purchase price and also exempts EVs from import tax.
Fast-charge China: Australian infrastructure provider Tritium brings its Veefil-RT 50kW DC charger to China together with Oxford University’s Hong Kong office. The first trial is in Jiangsu Province, close to Shanghai, and Tritium is actively seeking partners in the country.
Sun-powered Fresno: Envision Solar comes to Fresno, where 13 mobile solar charging stations will be deployed. 12 of the EV Arcs will benefit people living in so-called disadvantaged communities.
Europe cracks 200,000 unit mark.
More than 200,000 electric and plug-in hybrid cars were sold in Europe for the first time in 2016, the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) reports. And those figures don’t even include December sales.
Tesla Model U, Ecotricity.
Click tip: The Model U as Truck Trend imagines it shows the rendering of the Tesla pick-up. ‘U’ stands for utility in this case and the experts spice their proposal with a range of features they think that useful EV should have. The frunk could hold a fridge and the desired battery capacity is given at 160 kWh.
Video tip: The Electric Leaf Man went to test the Ecotricity charging app that marks the end of free charging on the British network set up by the eco utility. The video includes complaints and remarks by passers-by. The outrage has not yet seized, that is for sure.
Duke Energy, Ecotricity, Leeds, Ukraine, India, Shanghai.
Crime and punishment: Utility Duke Energy has earmarked 1.5m dollars for charging stations in North Carolina. 1m will be reserved for cities and towns wanting to install chargers for cars, the rest for municipalities looking to set up charging for electric buses. The investment is part of a lawsuit settlement with the state, which accused the utility of illicit smokestack pollution.
New charge to charge: After earning much criticism for its newly introduced flat rate at fast-chargers along Britain’s motorways, charge point operator Ecotricity has adjusted its rates. Originally asking 5 pounds per 20-minute charge, it will now cost EV drivers 6 pounds to plug-in for 30 minutes.
Plugging in: Leeds City Council is adding 42 electric cars to its fleet. The newcomers will also replace existing hybrid and electric cars. The council will also allocate more parking stalls for EVs and offers free parking permits to drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles.
Strong hybrids for police: Ukrainian police have ordered a total of 651 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to replace its (very) old fleet and help the country comply with the Kyoto Protocol.
20 percent EV: The Indian government wants to electrify 20 percent of its own fleet, as well encourage taxi drivers to invest in electric vehicles. Mahindra is probably already waiting by the phone.
Electric driving in Shanghai: Some 1,700 EV charging points will be set up in the Shanghai district of Songjiang before the end of the year. It will also benefit the 100 EV strong carsharing scheme in the area.
Ecotricity, Berlin, EasyMile, Hallywood Limousine Services, IKEA.
UK rapid chargers now with cost: From Monday, Ecotricity will charge for the usage of its 300 rapid-chargers along British motorways. For a 20 minute plug-in, the infrastructure provider will charge five pounds.
E-bus in the capital: Berlin now has an electric sightseeing bus for tourists. The old diesel-powered bus was retrofitted with an electric drive. The conversion cost 200,000 euros and was paid for with city tax money. Operator Berlin City Tour is planning to retrofit other buses as well.
emo-berlin.de, berlin.de (in German)
Driverless: Starting next month, Japanese internet company DeNA wants to offer an autonomous shuttle service in a large park near Tokyo using the electric EZ10 from EasyMile. How many shuttles will go into service is not clear, but two of the EZ10 will be used for a three-month pilot project in the Dutch municipal of Ooststellingwerf.
nasdaq.com (Japan), itsinternational.com (Netherlands)
Star-studded: Hollywood Limousine Service from Canadian Winnipeg has acquired 13 Tesla Model S and 3 Model X. The goal is to eventually replace all of its limousines with Teslas.
More IKEA plugs: The IKEA location in Las Vegas now features three charging stations from Blink. The chargers can be used with an RFID card from Blink or as a guest via the Blink-App. It is already the 14th IKEA store in the U.S. that now offers a place for EVs to plug in.
SimpleFuel, Tesla, Ecotricity, WaiveCar.
Refuel H-Prize: The U.S. DOE named SimpleFuel as the winner of the competition for on-site hydrogen generation, awarding the company one million dollars. The collaboration of Ivys Energy Solutions, McPhy Energy N.A., and PDC Machines plans to develop a home scale refueler that can provide a 1 kg fill in 15 minutes at 700 bar using hydrogen produced via electrolysis.
Tesla in Michigan? The Californian EV maker applied for dealership license in the state that banned direct sales of vehicles in 2014. If successful, Tesla would just need someone to put their name forward and would have found a way to work around the prohibition.
EV charger signs: The first Ecotricity sign designating an EV charging station has gone up on a UK motorway. Soon, all stations will be clearly marked.
Free EV sharing delayed: The new WaiveCar service is out on hold in Santa Monica as the city assesses the legality of the service. The electric carsharing is free for the first 2 hours as cost are covered by on-car advertising (we reported).
Germany, Chargemaster, Nissan & Ecotricity, Honda, Beijing, CEC.
10,000 EV chargers for Germany? German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt is considering to support electric vehicles more strongly. German daily Rheinische Post reports, the ministry is assessing a proposal that could see 10,000 new EV charging stations be erected. Cost are estimated at 100m euros and would require public as well as private investment.
uk.news.yahoo.com, rp-online.de (original source in German)
Formula E has appointed Chargemaster as its official infrastructure provider. Its task is to keep all electric vehicles involved energised, also inductively. The partners plan to leave a mark that goes beyond the race as at least ten fast-chargers shall be erected in each host city.
EV signage: Nissan and Ecotricity have asked the British government to introduce official road signs to designate charge points. While there are official signs for “migratory toad crossings” that total 140, the UK’s 9,000 charge points are much harder to find.
Workplace charging: Honda erects 120 EV charging stations at its campus in Torrance, California. It also includes a 50kW DC fast charger open to the public. Honda says it will add another electric and a new plug-in hybrid model to its lineup by 2018.
Large-scale EV charging: Beijing builds China’s largest solar charging station and has officially started the works. When operational by the end of the year, the station will be capable to charge 80 electric cars a day at 30 fast and 20 regular charge points.
The California Energy Commission awarded 2.7 million dollars to Gardena as the city launches an electric bus demo project. Another 2m dollars go to the San Diego Community College District to be used in training for alternative vehicle technology.
Fully Charged, Ecotricity, Smart.
Video tip: Entertaining as it is, Fully Charged got a serious backer as the show is sponsored by Ecotricity. Robert Llewellyn paid his tribute by guiding viewers through using the charging stations of the Electric Highway network. Always a good laugh, yet mostly informative.
Reading tip: Canadian Stephen Grinwis has been with his electric Smart for a year now and here provides an update on the state of affairs. Expect being faced with “honest” cost of ownership, range, etc.
Schiphol, Amsterdam, Grenoble, Tesla, Ecotricity, Philippines.
Schiphol deploys electric buses: 35 all-electric buses now drive passengers from the airplane to the gate and back at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Each bus has its own designated charging station and is 100% powered with solar energy.
Amsterdam to triple charging points: The city of Amsterdam announced that it plans to increase the number of charging points from currently 1,300 to 4,000 by 2018. Companies can now submit tenders for the operation of the network. The winner of the contract will be announced by the end of the year.
France goes H2: 21 Renault Kangoo Z.E. fitted with range-extending fuel cell technology by Symbio FCell and three hydrogen-filling stations have gone into service in Grenoble, France. The project HyWay was launched in October 2014 and now counts the largest hydrogen-powered fleet in Europe.
idw-online.de (in German), info-economique.com (in French)
Settled out of court: According to Transport Evolved, Tesla and Ecotricity have come to an agreement, ending their dispute over public electric car infrastructure in the UK. While neither companies have commented on the matter publicly, it seems they have agreed to work together for the greater good.
Taking the e-trike to class: The University of the Philippines is testing ten electric trikes on its Diliman campus, offering free rides for two months. If tests are successful, the university will add the trikes by Japanese manufacturer BEMAC Electric Transportation Phils to its on-campus transportation fleet.
ChargePoint & Tritium, London, Ecotricity, Tesla, Cincinnati.
US charged by Oz: ChargePoint cooperates with Australian infrastructure provider Tritium. The American company is to integrate Tritium’s 50-kW DC fast-charging station Veefil into its network.
ULEZ confirmed: Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has now set the date for the Ultra Low Emission Zone to come into effect. From September 7, 2020 vehicles travelling in central London will have to comply with new emission rules (Euro 6 and 4) or pay the congestion charge.
Tesla lawsuit: The British High Court has asked both Tesla and UK utility Ecotricity to provide more evidence in a case filed by the latter. Ecotricity accuses Tesla of “smash and grab raid” of intellectual property on charging station sites (we reported).
Charging in Cincinnati: The U.S. city is to get five fast-charging stations, or at least that is the plan. The first was set to be unveiled last Thursday but the event was cancelled and a new date has yet to be communicated.
UK registrations and charging infrastructure.
In the UK, 515 plug-in vehicles were registered in August, up from 118 just twelve months ago. 234 of them were pure electric vehicles. In August 2013, it were just 71. Meanwhile, the usage of Ecotricity’s Electric Highway has quadrupled in nine months, counting 15,152 charging events in the second quarter.
smmt.co.uk (registrations), evfleetworld.co.uk (Electric Highway)
Ecotricity, Tesla, My Electric Avenue, CarCharging, ClipperCreek, TNM.
UK lawsuit against Tesla: Ecotricity has accused Tesla of a “smash and grab” tactic with regards to the ‘Electric Highway’ the utility provider has erected along Britain’s motorways. According to Ecotricity, it has helped Tesla to design its UK Supercharger network but is now being threatened by the company in an attempt to take over. Tesla refused to comment as the lawsuit at the High Court is now pending.
Superchargers in Down Under: Meanwhile, Tesla confirmed plans for a Supercharger network in Australia but not before early 2015, Tesla CTO JB Straubel said in a blog post. Superchargers in Down Under will use the same connector as European Model S.
valuewalk.com, teslamotorsclub.com (Tesla blog)
My Electric Avenue expanded: The British ‘My Electric Avenue’ project now includes two business fleets. Slough Borough Council in Berkshire and Your Homes in Newcastle both will lease Nissan Leafs for the next 18 month for selected employees to use and will also install charge points at their business premises.
CarCharging to integrate Nissan stations: The charging provider has teamed up with Gridscape Solutions to develop a software, which will integrate Nissan’s DC Fast Chargers with the Blink Network. In an effort to expand consumer awareness of the electric car market, CarCharging and Nissan initially deployed 48 Nissan-branded quick chargers.
Smart grid enabled charger: ClipperCreek launched its ETL listed utility smart-grid connected charging station, the CS-40-SG2. It has been developed jointly with Itron and includes an embedded revenue grade sub-meter and a variety of smart grid communications options.
The future of parking: The New Motion (TNM) teamed up with Swiss start-up ‘parku’ to ease access to park and charging opportunities for EV drivers. TNM offers about 12,000 parking spaces for EVs which will now be available to book through the parku app. The app furthers enables payment and access to car parks.
dmm.travel (in German)
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.