Friday round-up: #EVs & the grid, integrated energy management, lifecycle analysis, infrastructure + more #mobility, #electromobility…

August 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

LichtBlick_1504_3E-Haus_mw_013Detailed look at the role of EVs in load-shifting at CleanTechnica: this illustrates how domestic charging of cars overnight can make use of night-peaking wind-generated electricity, and how this can complement daytime solar generation in differing degrees according to region/state.  Lots of nice graphs, with links to sources…

And not unrelated to this, German energy provider LichtBlick is running a trial in Hamburg of its SchwarmDirigent IT platform, involving the ‘3E’ apartment building fitted out with rooftop solar panels, a combined heat and power unit (CHP), energy storage plus chargers for two shared EVs (pictured); the ‘swarm management’ system controls the CHP, optimises and forecasts energy consumption in the building and communicates with the grid to sell back excess energy at optimum times. The 3Es, by the way, stand for Eigenerzeugung (internal production/generation), Eigenverbrauch (internal consumption) and Elektromobilitat (electromobility), and further pilot projects of the concept are planned. (Heads-up from CleanTechnica on this one, too).

  • Some lifecycle analysis from Carnegie Mellon University, reported here; a battery-electric vehicle powered by natural gas-based electricity gives an average 40% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional gasoline vehicle. Plug-in hybrids also showed a reduction (over 20%). Lifecycle GHG emissions from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and those using CNG had emissions comparable to the petrol vehicles – and liquid fuels such as methanol, ethanol and other biofuels actually had larger lifecycle emissions. So the EVs came out tops – even when using electricity derived from natural gas (methane leakages in the supply pathway taken into account), showing the further potential for overall system reductions using renewable-source electricity. Full paper here.
  • Interesting little snippet at the NY Times: Tesla is partnering with Airbnb to fit (free) Tesla charging stations at key rental properties on the US west coast, the idea being to enable Tesla-driven road trips. The kit will be fitted at 30 popular properties in cities including Los Angeles and Palm Springs in an initial phase, with more locations to follow. Oh, and Tesla is also supplying medium-speed chargers (not Superchargers) to 24 parking garages (many with attendants and valet parking) in New York, reports Wired; this is part of its growing Destination Charging service.
  • Discussion on the expansion of Car2Go in New York at Automotive News, and the role of on-demand, one-way car hire (I refuse to call this sharing – it’s a commercial rental service) in outer city boroughs; could complement the public transport system and “fill a hole”, AN suggests, connecting boroughs and providing first/last-mile solutions, though there are concerns over parking. Data from Car2Go shows heavy usage around subway stations, apparently, suggesting its use in multi-modal journeys.
  • Evolute Drives, a subsidiary of the UK’s Drive Systems Design, is to present a three-speed transmission for EVs in Shanghai next month: this is claimed to show energy efficiency gains of up to 18% in a Mercedes-Benz B-Class demonstrator vehicle. More at Green Car Congress.
  • Leo Motors is to collaborate with LG on a telecomms infrastructure for EVs – and electric boats – to integrate control systems and services, including charging. This will be based on an IoT platform, with services to include battery charging or replacement alerts, range monitoring with alerts on nearest charging facilities, cloud-based power management and fleet management, roadside emergency zap-ups, and payment for charging services. More here.
  • Israeli start-up StoreDot is aiming to make a fast-charging battery for EVs which can give hundreds of miles-worth of charge from a five-minute charge. It has raised $66million to develop its FlashBattery tech, reports Inhabitat.
  • Latest figures on alt-fuel car registrations from ACEA, here. EV sales grew in the EU by 53% in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, to 27,575. The full document shows the largest increases in alt-fuel registrations (including CNG, propane and hybrid vehicles) in the UK (up 62.4%), followed by Spain and France, but a 74.1% rise in Norway – and of the 11,614 new cars registered there last quarter, 77% were electric. Some 27,575 electric cars (including, in this analysis, PHEVs and fuel cell cars) were registered in the EU last quarter, and 52,889 in Q1 and Q2 2015, a 78.4% rise on last year.
  • The Scottish government is offering private drivers and businesses interest-free loans of up to £50,000 and £100,00 respectively to buy an EV or PHEV, funded by the Energy Saving Trust. The loans can cover 100% of a vehicle’s value and are repayable over up to six years; funding to install domestic charging points is also available, and this is in addition to the existing UK-wide Plug-In Vehicle grants of up to £5000. The loan scheme will run till March 2016. More here.
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