The biggest electric bus, and more…

October 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

byd lancaster ebusBYD has unveiled a 60-foot articulated battery-electric bus, the California-built Lancaster, said to have a range of 170-odd miles with 120 passengers on board, and to charge in 2-4 hours. This – claimed as the world’s largest battery-electric vehicle to date – features BYD’s iron-phosphate batteries. Also on display at the American Public Transportation Association Expo in Houston was BYD’s 40-foot Transit electric bus  – which was driven 1500 miles from Los Angeles using $200-worth of electricity. More here.  And on a similarly 60-foot note, New Flyer Industries is working on an electric/hydrogen fuel cell hybrid bus in partnership with Ballard Systems; this is to go on a 22-month trial in Connecticut. New Flyer also has a 40-foot all-electric bus compatible with overhead pantograph charging, reports Green Car Congress. And more e-bus news: four 12m Solaris electric buses charged via the Bombardier PRIMOVE induction system are to go on trial in Berlin next year, reports Green Car Congress.

  • Detroit Electric – which says its SP:01 sports car, to be assembled in Leamington Spa, is due to go on sale next year – has teamed up with South Korea’s Integrated Energy on a V2X project. Integrated Energy is placing an order for 300 vehicles and will run a pilot project on Jeju Island in which second-life battery usage for energy storage will also be explored. Jeju Island is said to have the most comprehensive EV-charging infrastructure in South Korea and aims to be a zero-emissions car zone by 2020; the tech to be trialled is looking into vehicle-to-grid, vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-vehicle communications. It’ll use Detroit Electric’s ‘360-Powerback’ system* enabling bi-directional charge and discharge. An MOU has been signed. Chairman and Group CEO Albert Lam (a former Group Lotus CEO) says: “It’s our bi-directional charge and discharge technology and Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment system – ‘SAMI’ – that will revolutionize the way we use electric cars. Soon customers will be able to earn money from stored energy in their car’s battery, power their home or business, and even charge other EVs.” *NB: I suspect this is where Detroit Electric’s main business may be, not in making the cars (which we’re yet to see) themselves.
  • The Visio.M project at TUM (Technical University Munich) has come up with an EV-optimised torque-vectoring system, using regenerated brake energy to enhance stability and handling as well as increase energy recovery – especially on curves. This features an additional spur differential and enables a reduction in gearbox weight of 10%;  more details here.
  • Los Angeles County is deploying 82 Schneider Electric EVlink charging points, available to the public and free (for up to four hours’ use) for the first year. Locations include hospitals, sheriff stations and LA’s Civic Center. And on a private note, Sony is putting in 60 chargers for its EV-driving employees in So-Cal, reports EV Fleet World.
  • 50 electric/hydrogen hybrids – Renault Kangoo ZEs with added hydrogen-fuelled range-extender – are going on trial in Grenoble and Lyon, in an area with a hydrogen-industry cluster of businesses. The Hyway project also includes the opening of two hydrogen refuelling stations in these cities, and study of energy use across the hydrogen lifecycle. The converted Kangoo ZEs are said to have a 300km (city) range.
  • Why have EVs taken off in Norway? Massive tax breaks, very cheap hydropower versus high petrol/diesel costs, perks such as toll exemption and bus lane use… More details in this piece.
  • Those Millennials again… Research from US PIRG looking at their lower car-mileage, preferences for public transport/walking/cycling, urban-dwelling, later marriage and moving away from parents, smartphone-lovin’ and other trends, and their implication for transportation planning.
  • Adding an oxidisation catalyst to the electrolyte doubles the cycle life of lithium-air batteries, according to a journal paper reported at Green Car Congress (click through for the science bit).
  • Summary and overview of CityLab’s thoughtful Future Transportation series of articles here, btw.
  • America’s Electric Power Research Institute and Sumitro Electronics are demo-ing an open-source software platform for vehicle-grid integration (VGI), said to be a step towards common standards in demand management and grid-balancing. More here. A trial, supported by Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda and Ford, will take place in Sacramento, California.

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