Eakay, Proterra, LA, FirstElement Fuel, Colombia.
Eakay expands: Chinese electric auto rental service Eakay concluded a successful two year trial in Wuhu and will open branches in 50 cities in the next two years. Cars can be rented via an app and dropped off at predetermined locations. Eakay intends to grow its fleet from 1,100 cars from locally-based Chery Automobile to 3,100 by the end of the year.
Low-No orders: Several companies receiving funds from the U.S. Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Grants (we reported) have set their hearts on Proterra. Funds from SEPTA, Foothill Transit and King County Metro will go towards 33 Catalyst electric buses and charging infrastructure. In total, Proterra has now received order for a total of 155 vehicles from across the U.S.
LA orange line: Los Angeles has received 4.3m dollars in federal grants to purchase five electric buses and eight charging stations for their orange line. The intended supplier has not yet been named. Many suspect that the city will choose BYD, after the manufacturer filled orders for the Metro’s fleet last year.
Real hydrogen network: Start-up FirstElement Fuel intends to establish a hydrogen charging network of unprecedented size in the U.S., called the True Zero Network. The company already opened 15 True Zero stations on the West Coast. Four more will follow this year, contracted to Black & Veatch. The network is funded largely by grants, as well as partnerships with Toyota and Honda.
Mandatory chargers: The Quebec government considers a mandate that would require every newly built home in the Canadian province to be outfitted with a 240V EV charging station. Results of a relevant impact study are expected to be published this summer. It is already known that the chargers would only raise the cost of new homes by about 400 dollars.
Travel Colombia: UQM Technologies and Colombian EV integrator Creatti Labs SAS are working on EV transportation systems for South American markets, currently setting up an electric transit bus platform for Colombia’s Cali, Medellin and Bogota. A UQM PowerPhase HD250 motor/controller system with two speed EV transmission has already been shipped to the country.