Week-end round-up, incl. reports from trials and research…

August 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

smart electric drive erobert China //  smart electric drive arrives on the streets of China

Some data from the Daimler eMERGE trial – 146 Smart Fortwo electric-drives in Berlin, Potsdam and North Rhine-Westphalia, over 1million km May 2013-June 2015. Longest range achieved was 161km (compared to claimed 145km); conclusions were that EVs become financially attractive from 50km a day; typical target groups are educated, tech-savvy people with above-average incomes; the less people knew about e-mobility, the more negative they were about it; purchase price was a key criterion but interviewees were often unaware of savings in running costs; purchase decisions were mainly due to reasons of image with eco-awareness of minor importance; but another important influence was access to public charging infrastructure. The Daimler researchers reckon that about a quarter of infrastructure is needed in public places and over half in ‘semi-public’ spots such as leisure or shopping centres, but overnight charging availability is the overall determinant. The trial also tested the Plug&Charge smart-charging system in combination with participants’ domestic solar panels. And next phase – eMERGE2 – will involve 200 B-Class 250e and other Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid models. Lowdown from Daimler here.

  • Ford polled 10,000 EV owners in the US and found that over 80% either already had solar panels or are considering their installation, and that smartphones are the most commonly-used platform for EV owners, over half frequently or very frequently using apps like MyFord Mobile to check their battery charge, remotely start their air con and check vehicle range – as reported in an infographic released on Twitter. AutoblogGreen also reports that owners want public charging station locators and the ability to reserve and pay for charging stations in advance, and that nearly half of the drivers use conventional (US) 110-volt outlets for home charging, though it’s unclear if this info came from the Ford survey (am chasing down the official details).
  • However, Mini has “pared-down” its Mini Connected app, with the focus “clearly placed on the essentials”. Mmmm… There is a new feature, Mini Streetwise, which enables users to preview an optimised route (with alternatives) on their smartphone before starting out, using personal data on past journeys with info on duration and fuel consumption. The routing can then be displayed in-car if the phone is connected during the journey. Continuing features include Status (vehicle location, potential range, last journey), Profile (uploading photo, personal driving stats), performance data and Force Meter (graphics indicating longitudinal and lateral acceleration), online search for the navigation, and in-car integration with a smartphone calendar.
  • GoAhead London has ordered 51 all-electric buses: these will be built on BYD-supplied chassis by ADL (Alexander Dennis) in Falkirk with bodies based on the ADL Enviro200 MMC single-decker. They will feature BYD’s iron-phosphate batteries, have a 90-passenger capacity, and go into service by August 2016, reports Bus And Coach.
  • And speaking of buses… latest concept from Charles Bombardier is a ‘see-through’ electric bus (with side-screens projecting images of the scene behind it). The Pixi is also driverless, inductively-charged, and (theoretically) fitted with pedestrian airbags. Interesting thing about it is that Bombardier envisions such a bus as a ‘bridge’ between cars and subway, i.e. on-demand, for short distances/connections to other modes of transport, to suit personalised/individual needs rather than running a fixed scheduled route.
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