Quick round-up of EV-related news

July 31, 2014 § Leave a comment

Kontaktloses, induktives Ladesystem fŸr Elektrofahrzeuge, entwickelt am Fraunhofer IISB

A handy follow-up to this week’s news about autonomous cars – Volkswagen and Bosch, as part of the EU-funded V-Charge consortium, are developing an automated parking system which allots EVs to charging bays. It’s a smart valet-parking system for car parks (i.e. at train stations or park-and-rides) using sat nav, cameras and ultrasonic sensors; the challenge is going to be working out how to plug the cars in autonomously (induction charging over coils may be the ultimate aim).

And some more on induction charging from the Frauenhofer Institute (IISB) in Erlanger, Germany: best place to install the system is at a car’s front end, they say, allowing the car to be driven closer to the coils and thus enabling smaller coils in clusters on a column (pictured).

  • A nifty solution to providing on-street EV chargers: integrate them into street lamp networks and mount them on lampposts. The French-developed Telewatt chargers are about to make their debut in Aix-en-Provence, reports Sustainable Mobility.
  • So Tesla’s teaming up with Panasonic to build the ‘gigafactory’; economies of scale a key factor. More here.
  • Report on EV sales across Europe from NGO Transport & Environment: T&E’s Electric Vehicles in 2013: A Progress Report (July 2014) crunches some sales figures and says that sales have approximately doubled each year since 2010. Nearly 50,000 plug-in vehicles (incl. plug-in hybrids) were sold in the EU last year (0.4% of the market), with the top-sellers being the Renault Zoe, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Volvo V60 PHEV. The EU accounts for around a quarter of global EV sales, and its annual EV sales figures are expected to exceed 100,000 by 2015, 500,000 by 2021, and 1 million by 2025 – “steady growth” rather than sudden transformation is predicted, with EVs selling alongside other options such as downsized, more efficient ICE vehicles, hydrogen and fuel cell cars.
  • And July’s been a record month for EV sales in the UK: 1100-odd registered, OLEV has said.
  • Transport for London is running a three-month project with the Energy Saving Trust and RouteMonkey to gather telematics data from van fleets, to help plan a network of rapid-chargers for commercial electric vehicle use. It’s looking for fleets of 10+ vehicles (not necessarily electric) operating within the M25 to take part. More here.
  • And a big research programme in the US: the Electric Power Research Institute is working with eight car-makers and 15 utility firms on standardising smart-grid management via the cloud. More here.
  • On a gaseous note… Researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago, have developed a catalytic process to derive syngas (a non-fossil natural gas substitute)  from CO2; molybdenum disulfide and an ionic liquid are used to produce the reaction. More, including academic references, here.
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