Tues news round-up: latest on #EVs, urban mobility and e-mobility

July 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

QUANT-e-Sportlimousine_front_side_doors openThe Quant E-Sportlimousine has been approved by TUV Sud in Munich to be used on public roads in Germant and Europe: this is the Koenigsegg-derived super-EV seen at the Geneva Motor Show this year with patented “nanoflowcell” batteries (demanding electrolyte swaps or charging, albeit after a 600km-plus range). This 350kph/0-100km in 2.8 sec giant coupe (it’s over 5.25m long) is now to go through the homologation process for series production, though it’s the Nanoflowcell tech which probably has the most commercial potential, for use in other energy storage applications – domestic as well as in the maritime, rail and aviation industries, notes this week’s release. (I’ve written in some detail about the nanoflowcells, and the E-Sportlimousine itself, elsewhere).

  • The LSE Cities (London) and InnoZ (Berlin) research institutes have carried out a study into new urban mobility trends in Berlin and London, interviewing 2,200 households in light of wider urbanisation trends such as “a rediscovery of accessibility and proximity in the city”, noting “the rediscovery of walking as well as urban cycling” (neither ever went away for some of us…), “a new culture based on shared mobility” (including bike- and car-sharing) and e-mobility, and “shifting towards a more multi-modal behaviour”, becoming more flexible, enabled by mobile apps and suchlike. The study identifies six distinct groups of people with specific mobility attitudes, and suggests that two of these “can be identified as significant of future behaviour changes”. First up, individuals who have traditionally been driving cars and who don’t like public transport – they’re actually quite open to changes, and cycle more than others. Secondly, tech-oriented younger people, who make opportunistic decisions mainly driven by price, time, and smartphone-delivered info. However, suburban car-owners, for example, will be harder to tempt away from driving. The study also found that though there were many similarities, Londoners tend to be less car-oriented, but Berliners are keener cyclists; Londoners are more tech-oriented, and their mobility attitudes and behaviours are more closely dependent on their housing location. Presentation slides from the mobil.TUM 2014 conference (Munich) here.
  • ABB and Volvo Buses are co-developing a DC fast-charging system to a common standard for electric and hybrid buses, which can be zapped up via an overhead cable at stops or charged back at base overnight. 12 Volvo Electric Hybrid Buses using the ABB charging tech will go into service in Luxembourg next year; these show a 75% fuel economy reduction compared to a conventional diesel bus. More details, and some tech spec, at Green Car Congress.
  • Renault Trucks is testing an all-electric 16t truck to be used for perfume deliveries in Paris: this will regularly cover delivery rounds to boutiques covering over 200km, and will be charged several times each day over a route scheduled to allow for two partial recharges plus an overnight full charge. Its payload is around 6 tonnes (its lithium-ion batteries are 2 tonnes), sufficient for Guerlain supplies. (via thegreencarwebsite – thanks).
  • Transmission-supplier Schaeffler has demoed a two-speed EV gearbox, fitted in a Golf-based prototype which competed at the recent Silvretta E-Rally, Austria. The STEP2 is showing an energy consumption improvement of around six percent compared to a single-speeder;it features a motor from subsidiary IDAM giving up to 70kW (peak) or 50kW (continuous), plus a planetary gear set, wet multi-disc clutch, band brake and diff – closing the brake and clutch alternately activates the gear-changes. “With a two-speed gearshift system, a low ratio for high tractive force and a high ratio for good overall efficiency also at high driving speeds, we offer higher dynamics and at the same time we achieve a longer range of electric operation”, said VP Uwe Wagner.
  • Battery-maker LG Chem of South Korea is promising to deliver EV batteries giving a 200-mile range in 2016, reports Reuters.
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