Tues news: EV charging, batteries, biofuels and more

April 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Pic: Chargemaster plc

Pic: Chargemaster plc

UK EV charge point network operator Chargemaster is launching a new app called Polar Instant (iPhone and Android), giving instant access to OCPP (open charge point protocol) points with no need for an RFID card. The app includes mapping and routing plus real-time info on the availability of points, including data on connector type and pricing (where applicable).

  • A lot of hearsay in this one, but a detailed account of the demise/failure/hubris of Shai Agassi’s Better Place battery-swap vision at Fast Company. And also on the Going Under list this week: Smith Electric Vehicles (trucks and vans), with Detroit Electric looking pretty dubious too (plans for Michigan production shelved, assembly now in the Netherlands, file  it under believe-it-when-you-see-it).
  • Latest roadmap report from the EC’s ERTRAC on fuels for heavy-duty transport and freight, Energy Carriers for Powertrains: handy digest at Green Car Congress. To 2050, potential for biomass-derived biofuels limited due to availability of enough sustainable-source (i.e. non-feedstock or food crop) biomass; CO2 ‘recycling’ or binding is crucial; limits on substitutions/blends with petrol/diesel for many biofuels; natural gas (as CNG/LNG) has good potential as drop-in fuel, as well as methanol and DME; thumbs-up to biomethane and renewable electricity (either as direct power source or in ‘carrier’ syngas, hydrogen or converted to liquid fuel); ethanol an economic solution (NB: beware its source?).
  • And how ’bout extracting hydrogen and CO2 from sea water and converting it to a liquid hydrocarbon fuel, no ICE conversion needed? The US Naval Research Laboratory has demonstrated this in a replica-model WWII plane… (via Green Car Congress – thanks).
  • Polymer electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries are more stable, less flammable and can give better energy storage capacity and durability than current li-ion battery chemistries, says a team from Autonomous Metropolitan University (Mexico City). They’re looking into batteries for local metro trains, but which could also be used in cars, computers, cellphones and soforth. More here. And how about lithium sulphur graphene batteries – more here?
  • Microsoft has revealed a beta version of Windows in the Car; more at Wired. You better like Windows 8…
  • Autonomous vehicles: shared/hired or personally-owned? Some musings at Atlantic Cities (by a founder of ZipCar, so you can probably guess the vision).




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