Elektromotive/Charge Your Car to establish UK’s largest pay-as-you-go EV charging network

June 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Brighton firm Elektromotive is forming a joint venture with Charge Your Car (North) in a bid to create the UK’s largest pay-as-you-go EV charging network. The existing Charge Your Car (North) network will be expanded, and will incorporate other regional facilities under the Charge Your Car banner; a target of 10,000 public-access EV chargers has been set. They will use Elektromotive’s technology, including its pay-by-phone software, user interface and back-office management, though any charging point (and not just the company’s Elektrobays, of which over 3000 have been installed already) can be integrated into the network as long as it meets the industry-standard Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). Users will not need to pay a monthly subscription, and will be able to locate their nearest Charge Your Car point via smartphone; billing, facility management and reporting will all be integrated.

“Charge Your Car is the perfect catalyst for the EV market and supports all the stakeholders with an interest in EVs,” says Elektromotive MD Calvey Taylor-Haw.  “Charge point owners in both the public and private sectors have a way to promote their charge points, generate revenue and manage their infrastructure.  EV drivers have a single access point for recharging that is quick, easy and affordable.  Charge point manufacturers have a company that will help them to sell more charge points and electric vehicle manufacturers have a company that will help them to sell more vehicles.  We are also seeking partners who wish to implement Charge Your Car outside of the UK, establishing it as one of the world’s leading recharging brands.”

In other news today:

  • Meanwhile, hydrogen: Germany plans to have 50 public-access hydrogen refuelling stations operational by 2015. The Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, along with companies including Daimler, Linde AG and Total Germany have signed a letter of intent to expand the network, and the federal government and industry are investing over 40million euros in the project. They expect around 5000 fuel cell cars to be on the road in Germany by 2015; there are currently 15 hydrogen refuelling facilities.
  • Venturi has completed its Mission Africa trek – 5800km Kilimanjaro to Okavango in the Venturi-Citroen Berlingo EV. Full story, video and some great pictures at the Mission Africa blog.
  • Just to remind you that EVs are nothing new: the Green Car Reports team have come across a 1981 Jet 007 (an electric conversion of the Plymouth Horizon TC3 coupe) on eBay. Eighties retro ahoy! Looks like it needs a bit of work, though…
  • And some more retro: students at Roanoke College,Virginia, are converting a lovely 1939 Pontiac Silver Streak to electric drive – looks like a great project.

Venturi ventures thru’ Africa; EV week-end round-up

March 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Venturi is to venture 4,800km in its electric Citroen Berlingo conversion (as supplied to the French Post Office, but with extra batteries) across Africa. The ‘Mission Africa’ trip will take in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa, Kilimanjaro to Okavango. You can follow its progress (in English) at missionafrica.fr ; the purpose of the trip is to prove reliability, raise awareness and study the infrastructure in a continent where 65% of people are said to have no access to mains electricity. The trip is backed by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and the car was presented at the EVER show in Monte Carlo this week.

In other news today:

  • Some spy shots of a big-wheeled Chevrolet Volt at Autoblog Green: word is that this is actually the Cadillac Converj (the Volt’s luxury sister model) in disguise. GM has also started testing the Chevy Spark EV.
  • Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute are to show next-generation lithium-ion batteries for EVs which have improved charging/discharging properties, optimised cooling, more flexible layouts and better pressure resistance. These will be on display at the Hanover Messe next month; more at Alpha Galileo.
  • The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) has published a Code of Practice for electric vehicle charging equipment installation. Good stuff. Paperback or e-book available from the IET.
  • Robert Llewellyn has launched a new series of his EV web TV show Fully Charged, now sponsored by British Gas. More about it at the Charging Point, show itself at fullycharged.tv.

Monday newsbriefs

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Volkswagen has released the low-down on the up! city car prior to its Frankfurt Motor Show debut. Essentially a Lupo/Fox replacement, it’s a tiny 3.54m-long four-seater which nonetheless offers over 950 litres of cargo space with its rear seats folded. Power comes from new three-cylinder petrol engines (60hp, 75hp), and a BlueMotion economy-optimised model fitted with stop-start delivers 67.3mpg and emits less than 100g/m of carbon dioxide. An electric-drive version is  planned, and diesel versions are also expected. There’ll be three trim levels: take up! (entry-level), move up! (more comfy) and high up! (top-spec), as well as two special edition launch models, up! black and up! white (that ! is going to get really irritating!). Options include a crash-sensing auto-braking system. European sales start in December.

In other news:

  • It’s not quite as cute-looking as the up!, but Kia’s new-gen Rio supermini sure is economical. Two petrol, two diesel engines; one 1.1-litre, three-cylinder, 74bhp diesel, fitted with stop-start, will return 88.3mpg and emit just 85g/km, and even the standard model gives 74.3mpg and emits less than 100g/km. A 1.4, four-cylinder diesel (89bhp, 70.6mpg, 105g/km) will follow.
  • Ricardo is reporting a ‘breakthrough’ with its Kinergy flywheel energy storage device for hybrids. A ‘significant improvement’ in the magnetic coupling and gearing now gives efficiency better than that of a conventional geared drive.  It’s a no-maintenance, sealed-for-life unit which is compact and lightweight, and will be integrated with a CVT gearbox. Full science bit at the Ricardo website.
  • The Ohio State University’s Buckeye Bullet land-speed team is aiming for 400mph with its Mk3 car, an all-electric streamliner built in partnership with Venturi. Beat that, Bluebird… (Inhabitat).

Friday newbriefs #1

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

A quick rundown of the end-of-week news, in no particular order. First up, the very cool-looking Venturi Volage: going into production next year, claims PluginCars.com. This all-electric coupe, designed by Sasha Lakic, features Michelin-developed ‘active wheels’ with in-wheel motors and suspension. Production, such  as it is, will be in very limited numbers, no doubt, but development work on the car is now complete, and it’s a good showcase for the tech.

  • The Greater Manchester area is to get 300 EV charging points, including fast-chargers, and six larger ‘pod centres’ in a programme to be rolled out by Manchester Electric Car Company this autumn. The pod centres will include sales facilities for electric vehicles (including vans, bikes and scooters), charging points and their sale, EV rental and car club facilities and aftersales services; they will be located in the city centre, Manchester Airport, the Trafford Centre, Stockport, Oldham and MediaCityUK at first, with a network of 25 intended in the medium term. Private company MECC’s investment is matched by £3.6million from the government’s Plugged In Placed fund.
  • Gordon Murray is teaming up with ACAL Energy to develop “an affordable” fuel cell vehicle. This will be based on Murray’s iStream chassis concept with ACAL’s platimum-free fuel cell tech. A 12-month project is supported by the Technology Strategy Board.
  • CEME, the Ford-run public-private Centre of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence in Rainham, Essex, has gained a 45-panel solar-assisted EV charging point. It’ll be used by the Ford Transit Connect Electric demo fleet and other EVs visiting CEME, which is a training facility.
  • Axeon has received funding from the Technology Strategy Board to study recycling and reuse of hybrid and electric vehicle batteries. The battery-maker will work with the Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre at Oxford Brookes University.
  • Subaru has confirmed the launch of its first hybrid in 2013. This could be based on the Hybrid Tourer concept seen last year.
  • McDonalds is to use its own waste oil from its burger-frying to power its delivery trucks in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai-based Neutral Fuels (is that not a contradiction in terms?) is to convert 1million litres of the waste cooking oil into usable biodiesel.

Paris Motor Show: Venturi America EV Dune Buggy

October 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Now this looks fun. French EV-maker, consultancy and aftermarket converter Venturi has built this two-seater Dune Buggy (a high-riding open sports car) with the specific aim of launching it in America – and it’s opened a Stateside HQ in Columbus, Ohio, to sell it. The Buggy, designed by Sacha Lakic, has the same 300bhp/380Nm motor and 54kW battery pack as the 2011 Fetish coupe (see below), and promises a 300km range, presumably cross-country.

Ohio students set EV speed record

August 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

A new land-speed record for electric vehicles has been set: Buckeye Bullet, developed by students from the Centre for Auto Research,  Ohio State University with help from Venturi, achieved an average 307.66mph in its runs – and reached 320mph at one point – on the Bonneville Salt Flats yesterday.

Venturi Challenge reaches Russia

June 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Promotional long-distance reliability runs are two-a-penny, but this one’s a bit more oddball than most: Venturi, in its guise as an aftermarket EV converter, has been sending an electric Citroen Berlingo from Shanghai to Paris. The van – as supplied to the French Post Office – has just crossed the border from Kazakhstan into Russia, having travelled 6000-odd miles so far. More details on how they’re recharging the thing, and lots of local colour, at Venturi’s blog.  Ta to Autoblog Green for alerting me to this one.

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