Electric school buses for Michigan “sponsored” by VW
The Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation has kicked off its Electric School Bus Pilot Project supported with Volkswagen settlement funds following dieselgate. The programme uses electric school buses of various makes and includes V2G testing.
Ford plans 2 mid-sized crossovers on new BEV platform
Ford’s plans to produce next-generation electric cars in Michigan are becoming more concrete. Two battery-electric mid-range crossover models are apparently planned, one for the Ford brand and another for the Lincoln brand. Both models would be based on a new BEV platform.
Akasol opens battery production plant in Detroit
Commercial vehicle battery system supplier Akasol has just announced the opening of a production facility in the greater Detroit area in the US state of Michigan. Production is scheduled to start in 2020, and by 2021, the production of 400 MWh will apparently be possible by means of a three-shift operation.
Freudenberg buys majority of XALT Energy
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has increased its stake in the US battery specialist XALT Energy from 31.8% to 50.1% and is now the majority shareholder of the Michigan-based company, which develops and produces lithium-ion technologies for the commercial vehicle industry.
GM makes personnel changes for EV production
The change to electrified transport has caused some major changes for General Motors in Michigan: About 3,000 employees, particularly powertrain engineers, are being moved from the Global Propulsion Systems Center in Pontiac to the GM Technical Center in Warren.
Eaton launches eMobility business unit
Power management firm Eaton creates a new division aptly named eMobility to develop high-voltage technologies for hybrid and electric vehicles. Solutions will include supercaps, converters or transmissions for heavy-duty EVs and Eaton earmarked $500M over the next 5 years.
BASF and Toda found cathode subsidiary in USA
The announced founding of a new subsidiary company by BASF and Toda has now been completed. BASF Toda America (BTA) will be making NCM and NCA cathode materials for use in e-mobility. The move is part of BASF’s globalisation strategy.
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.
Electric Nation, Austria, Sweden, ITM Power, Shell, Michigan.
The Electric Nation project gets underway as first smart chargers are installed for free at homes of participants in Britain. Electric Nation is the follow up trial of the Electric Avenue and probes a future, where electric cars will be plenty and smart enough to stabilise rather than destabilise the grid.
72m euro e-mobility package kicks off: Austria has started its planned subsidy programme for electric vehicles. From March, 1 communities, companies and municipalities may apply for grants for EVs and charging infrastructure. The overall scheme is worth 72m euros.
diepresse.com (in German)
Swedish police on EV call: Ten electric cars entered a trial as police cars in Sweden, where they will serve in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö but not on call-outs. The test will run until April.
Hydrogen on the M25: ITM Power and Shell opened a fuel cell station at Cobham services on the M25 motorway. It is the first on a British highway.
Infrastructure withdrawn: Michigan utility Consumers Energy has scrapped its plan to install 810 EV charging stations for 15m dollars in the state. The scheme met dissent from authorities, competitors and environmental groups that had concerns about funding.
Car2Go & Flinkster, San Joaquin, CarCharging, Farnborough, Michigan.
Car2Go and Flinkster join forces: As of yesterday, subscribers of one of these carsharing schemes in Germany can also make use of the other. Together, the two services include 7,000 vehicles nationwide, including 750 electric cars. Flinkster is operated by Deutsche Bahn and Car2Go by Daimler.
wiwo.de, heise.de (articles in German)
Cash for chargers: The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District now offers companies and public facilities up to 6,000 dollars for the installation of a publicly accessible charging station. The initiative is part of the Charge Up! programme and limits funding to 50,000 dollars per applicant. The total amount earmarked for the measure is 2 million dollars.
CarCharging will offer a new feature for fleet managers using Blink EV chargers and Blink Network software. Drivers can now enter their mileage prior to charging, allowing fleet managers to monitor and analyze frequency of charging, energy consumption, and driving trends in a single platform.
Farnborough Airport goes electric: The airport in southern England has added three Renault Zoe to its fleet. The electric cars will be used as airside staff shuttles. This follows a similar move of Bristol Airport, which took delivery of a Nissan e-NV200 earlier this year.
EVs and hybrids asked to pay up: The U.S. state of Michigan is considering raising registration fees for electric and hybrid cars, using the extra cash to fund road repairs. Proponents argue it would only be fair, since the drivers of these cars pay less in gas taxes.
Tesla cold-weather range, EV driving in Michigan.
Range tip: Teslarati’s Rob M. has meticulously measured the range of its Model S in sub-zero conditions. Every ten-degree drop in temperature decreases the real range by 10 percent. On wet roads however, the Tesla can lose up to 25 percent range.
Reading tip: Driving an electric car in wintry Michigan poses its own kind of problems. Not only is the state pretty cold but it also offers three DC fast-chargers only, one of them is a Tesla-only fast charger, so it is of no use to the e-Golf on trial here.
Foxconn & BEV, Michigan, Amsterdam, KRET, Proterra.
Foxconn and BEV set up electric car rental in China: Operations are set to begin in Beijing and Hangzhou next month already. Beijing Electric Vehicle (BEV) announced that within the coming year, some 5,000-10,000 rental vehicles will be available across the country.
Michigan tests first hybrid-electric bus line: On top of being greener and quieter, the so called “Silver Line” also has an on-board technology to change traffic lights to green, allowing for faster connections. It also provides free Wi-Fi for customers.
Why electrifying Amsterdam will work: By 2015, the number of public charging stations in the city will reach 2,000. And to make sure people use them, their locations were chosen based in demand. In others words, they are located where people live and work, to ensure easy and convenient access.
Charging station from Russia: KRET has developed a charging station for the use with the EVs from Lada but says the system will be easy adaptable to charge EVs from other manufacturers according to IEC 61851-1. Currently the FORA charging station supplies AC, but a DC version is in the making.
Proterra buses for Seattle: The manufacturer sold two 12-meter electric buses to the city of Seattle, USA. The sale also includes a fast-charging system. The buses will be tested for one year, after which Proterra could sell as many as 200 additional buses and charging systems to the city.
Ford, CarCharging, South Africa, Des Moines, Germany.
Ford is setting up solar charging car park in Michigan. The station which is being erected together with DTE Energy will offer recharging for 30 electric vehicles and roofed shelter for 360 cars. The solar car port is part of DTE’s ‘SolarCurrents’ Program and is expected to generate 1.13 million kWh annually.
Shop & Charge: The CarCharging Group has agreed on a partnership with the mall “Legends at Sparks Marina” and “Outlets at Sparks” close to Reno, Nevada, to set up charging stations for diners and shoppers. The stations will be financed with the help of utility provider NV Energy.
BMW i3 in South Africa: The South-African branch of BMW will get the first electric and hybrid BMW’s in March 2015. To get ready it is working with the ‘National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa’s’ (Naamsa’s). Eleven BMW dealerships will feature chargers while another 60 public stations are planned.
E-motorbike police: The Des Moines Police Department is testing an electric Zero to join their fleets of Harleys and Kawasakis. While the latter are for representative purposes the electric motorbike from Zero would actually go into police work. The purchase has already been approved, but the department needs to find the money still. Sell a petrol one maybe?!
Germany creates new incentives for electric cars: The country has proposed a new draft law, allowing electric vehicles to use bus lanes. A model that has worked well to increase the use of EVs in Norway, though plug-ins there are also exempt from import taxes. The German government hopes to put one million EVs on the road by 2020, a goal that experts still think is unrealistic.