Concept of the Day: Spiri v0.1

September 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

spiri_prototype_frontDanish start-up Spiri has produced a “lab on wheels” purpose-designed prototype EV for its on-demand car-sharing/car-pooling service: this ultra-light (750kg) carbonfibre urban runaround has no interior panels, no paint, and around a quarter of the components (700) of a conventional passenger car, reports TechCrunch, helping it to a claimed 200-mile range between recharges. Most impressively, Spiri is aiming for passenger journey pricing on a par with bus tickets in the selected cities it aims to launch in – and free travel for drivers who pick up passengers along their way, in a neat twist/extension to the usual on-demand offering. The system is based around ‘virtual bus stops’ and pick-up points, with ‘Spiri hubs’ for parking and recharging. Design-wise, it’s an interesting thing with closely-placed front wheels (Spiri also experimented with a three-wheel layout, it appears) for a max-capacity interior, seating four plus luggage with wide-opening doors for easy access.

cristal-slider-libre-service1Nice mobility concept from the Lohr Group (Strasbourg) unveiled at InnoTrans show this week: the Cristal is an all-electric shuttle bus for ‘last mile’ connections which can be operated by a driver, or by a service user on an on-demand basis. Up to four Cristals can be coupled together, and the boxy interior can be configured in various ways, i.e. for wheelchair access, seating, or accommodating up to 20 standing passengers. More here.

siemens-ants-trainAnd the Siemens-RWTH Aachen Future Train: concept designed by BMW DesignWorks, modular, supporting different cabin structures for different purposes, flexible, highly-connected and -automated, with an eye to multi-modal transport link-ups, i.e. by ‘robo-taxi’ home pick-ups to connect with train stops. More here

  • A new research project, Electric Nation, launched last week at the LCV2016 show: it’s aiming to recruit 500-700 EV drivers to test the capabilities of local electricity networks and trial a smart-charging solution to even out grid load. Participants will get a free charger installed; initially, drivers are being recruited in the South West, South Wales and the Midlands, in the Western Power Distribution (WPD) area. The project will look at the energy demands of EVs in ‘clusters’, and builds on the My Electric Avenue research by looking at different types of EV and people using different substation feeders. More details here.
  • And Tesla execs are talking about bi-directional charging and vehicle-to-grid, enabled by the next-gen inverter, reports Electrek
  • Nissan has unveiled a concept pick-up truck: the Navara EnGuard (Double Cab) is proposed as a rescue/emergency services vehicle, and besides kit for emergency/disaster relief, it shows off a prototype portable battery pack for emergency generation. This features seven Nissan battery modules, charged from the engine, to power specialist equipment; Nissan describes it as exploring how battery tech “can be integrated further into society” and “a real-world example of how it could be applied to new sectors, to provide cleaner, more sustainable power solutions.” Which can only be good.
  • Some ‘peak car’ research (in Transport Policy, January 2017): US Millennials (born 1980s/90s) own fewer cars than earlier generations did at their age – unless they have moved out of their parental home, in which case they actually own slightly more cars than expected, given their relatively low incomes. “We caution planners to temper their enthusiasm about ‘peak car’, as this may largely be a manifestation of economic factors that could reverse in coming years,” say Klein & Smart. [thanks to @scottericlevine for that heads-up, & to more on peak car here…]

Concept of the Day: Mercedes-Benz Future Bus

July 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

Weltpremiere: Mercedes-Benz Future Bus mit CityPilot – Meilenstein auf dem Weg zum autonom fahrenden StadtbusNot just a show vehicle, Mercedes-Benz’s Future Bus is up and running on trials in Amsterdam, on a 20km route between Schipol Airport and Haarlem. OK, it’s not electric (yet) – it’s based on a diesel-driven Citaro – but it is a very advanced and exciting technological platform/experimental testbed. Key feature is the CityPilot, semi-autonomous guidance using camera and radars, which is said to result in smooth and predictive progress which lowers fuel consumption and emissions, at least. Design-wise, it also represents a step forward in making bus travel attractive, with its three-zone passenger compartment, highly-styled seating and lighting, monitor screens and stripped-down driver interface. Let’s hope it’s more functional and performs better in real-life than London’s latest efforts. Mercedes is launching a battery-electric drive system for city buses in 2018, anyway (opening up further interior design possibilities, it notes, due to the lack of an engine in the rear). Full details here.

  • It’s been tried before with apps like PlugShare and platforms such as TesLoJuice, but Renault’s looking into the plug-sharing thing now: it is trialling ‘Elbnb’ in Sweden, an app through which EV owners/operators can offer/share their charging facilities. More here. Indications from my UK research are that this kind of sharing hasn’t really taken off to any extent beyond the occasional emergency calling-upon someone nearby with a plug socket, not least because owners’ private chargers tend to be slow-chargers, but I’d be interested to hear any reports/thoughts otherwise…
  • Seat’s doing the start-up thing: its Martorell facilities are to host an ‘acceleration programme’ for five selected mobility-related businesses, in partnership with digital mentorship scheme Conector. Applications are invited… This is, for Seat, “aligned with our vision for the future of the company to promote a mobility ecosystem”, says President Luca de Meo. Interesting to see how the Volkswagen Group’s Spanish division has been having a bit of a promotional push lately (wonder why?) and how it’s being repositioned as innovation/design central.
  • Ford is teaming up with tequila-maker Jose Cuevo to use its agave fibre waste and develop bioplastics: their use is being explored for wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins, in place of petrolchemical plastics, and the material created so far is said to be durable and lightweight. Ford notes that it’s also already using soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fibre, cellulose, wood, coconut fibres and rice hulls in its vehicles. More here. (Ford has also just invested in 3D mapping start-up Civil Maps, as part of its autonomous vehicle R&D)
  • Nice round-up of state of play re. electric planes here. Concerns me that these city-hoppers could easily become the preserve of the elite while the rest of us struggle down below with surface transport (hello, Southern Rail), but I suppose the 1% have to get around and do their business somehow… And better little electric planes than fuel-guzzling jets and helicopters.
  • Latest report from Frost & Sullivan on mobility: new digitally-driven services could reduce the number of cars on urban roads by 20 million a year globally by 2025, they say. IoT tech and on-demand access, integrated and fully-networked, mean fewer, more efficient journeys, reducing journeys in private cars by a potential 360bn kilometres a year.
  • Pull-outs from the SMMT’s Motor Industry Facts 2016: over 32million cars currently on the UK’s roads; a record 2,633,533 new cars registered in the UK in 2015; 72,772 ‘alternative fuel’ vehicles registered 2015, comprising 45,045 hybrids, 17,785 plug-in hybrids, 9,934 all-electrics and, um, 11 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. And 66,311,917 new cars registered globally in 2015. All of which suggests that (to repeat a familiar point), cars aren’t just going to go away any time soon, so we better hurry up and make ’em cleaner.

Quick EV and electromobility bulletin…

January 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

tevva truckAn (extended-range) EV from Essex: Tevva Motors of Brentwood has announced three up-and-running prototypes, one now on service with UPS, featuring a factory-build or retro-fit RE-EV powertrain and predictive software to sync it in with low- or zero-emissions zones, or driving conditions – including switching to all-electric mode in areas when poor air quality is detected. The powertrain can be built into an existing 7.5 tonne-r with flatbed chassis and box body; it allows for 50mph and an electric-only range of 100 miles (250 miles overall) from its 120kW motor and 1.6-litre diesel engine.

In other news today:

Lots of nice feedback from London EV drivers in the Source London survey, reported by Zap-Map: headline demands are more charging points, standardised infrastructure, and real-time mapping showing availability/status of charging points – no surprises there. 1102 people polled online December 2015-Jan 2016, 43% dissatisfied (23% ‘very’, 20% ‘slightly), but 38% satisfied, though 20% hadn’t actually used a Source London point in the previous month. Satisfaction levels improving, just about (21% more satisfied with the service over the last 12 months) though 19% thought service had declined – but satisfaction was up 50% in the boroughs with charge-point supply and management taken over by Bluepoint. 93% wanted more charging points in the network, the other 7% thinking there were enough; 85% wanted one network (and 95% listed this in their top three preferences); 82% thought a real-time map was very important, 12% slightly so.

Other key take-outs: 68% thought a guaranteed renewable electricity supply very or slightly important; 64% a pre-booked charging bay; 62% mobile ‘unlocking’ of points; and 40% wanted wi-fi hotspots (eh?). Also interesting: only 53% used their EV as often as they wanted, the biggest barrier (61%) being lack of charging points (27% citing range). Overall, a third thought the number of charging points was the biggest barrier to take-up, 36% the current range, and 19% the high purchase costs. 61% thought national government had the greatest responsibility to promote EV use (13% the Mayor, 14% London boroughs).

Google Maps was the most commonly-used journey-planning tool (54%), Zap-Map next (48%). Of the 1102 drivers, 83% were male, average age 49, with high household income averaging £66,000. 81% owned a plug-in vehicle, 6% had more than one type of EV; 19% had owned an EV for more than three years, 41% for 1-3 years; 82% used their cars at least once a day (60% commuted) and 15% used them a couple of times a week (44% for food shopping). Good detailed stuff – but note to self: London is not the whole of the UK and results may vary by region…

  • Another English EV plan: Morgan is receiving £6million-worth of government funding to develop new hybrid and electric powertrain tech, in a project partnering with Delta Motorsport and Potenza Technology. Electrified models to reach the market by 2019, they say. Not huge production numbers, obviously, but all good for consciousness-raising…
  • On a somewhat larger scale though, Nissan has confirmed production of next-generation lithium-ion EV batteries in Sunderland. And e-mobility will also be supported by the new Intertek lab at Milton Keynes, the UK’s largest EV and hybrid testing facility just opened (a former Tickford facility, incidentally).
  • And Route Monkey has joined a Bristol-based research consortium called Replicate (‘Rennaissance of Places with Innovative Citizenship and Technologies), its role to look at – and develop algorithms for – an EV-sharing initiative and integrated transport networks for commuters and business users. Also involved are partners including Co-Wheels car club, Toshiba, and Esoterix Systems, who are to operate an on-demand bus service called Buxi for the city. Replicate is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. More here.
  • Now GM has launched its own mobility service, is this officially a thing? Its car-share is called Maven, and is being rolled out across cities and communities in the US; GM’s also boasting of having recruited staff from Google, Zipcar and Sidecar to run this. Its partnership with Lyft continues. Maven is initially on offer in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with residential, city and campus programmes (first roll-out is at the University of Michigan) and cars at 21 parking places across the city; residential services will launch in Chicago and New York.Further testing work is running at GM sites in the US, Germany and China. More here. GM has also just bought out the bankrupt US ridesharing firm Sidecar.
  • Schneider Electric and EverCharge are teaming up to offer EV-charging solutions for multi-occupancy buildings – office blocks, apartment buildings, etc. – including metering, billing and demand management. More here.
  • Titbit – with lots of links – on 3D printing, microfactories and their role in reducing whole-lifecycle vehicle emissions, in terms of emissions and energy use related to vehicle production (as well as costs)  here at Treehugger; don’t get too distracted by the Blade, “the world’s first 3D-printed supercar”, though, there is actually a serious point in there…
  • Meanwhile in ICE-land, my friends & sometime colleagues at Which? have been digging into three years’-worth of emissions data (tests commissioned from ADAC) to claim that 95% of diesel models – and one in ten petrol cars – tested on their “more realistic” cycle exceed NOx limits. Two-thirds of petrol models – including hybrids – also exceed EU limits for CO. Nope, it’s not just Volkswagen. And the latest paper from the ICCT (International Council for Clean Transportation) with Element Energy, using data from Germany’s Spritmonitor survey, shows a continuing growth in the ‘gap’ between claimed fuel consumption (and CO2) figures and ‘real life’ returns/output; more here. This all follows Renault’s recall of the diesel Captur, following an investigation into its emissions (no illegal software found).
  • Oh, and quite apart from it being a record year for car production in the UK, the number of cars on our roads rose by 600,000, over half of those joining the streets in south-east England. That’s a vehicle population-rise of 1.6million in England alone since since 2011 (over 200,000 in Scotland and Wales). Just because a few kids have opted not to get their driver’s licences we cannot assume that cars are going to go away….

 

Electrified roadsweeping & other news of note this week…

June 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

bucher roadsweeperNot as sexy as a supercar, granted, but working vehicles like this roadsweeper are rather useful, and have a future – especially in cities, whatever other motorised transport may be used. This is a prototype built by Bucher Municipal of Neiderwenigen, Switzerland in partnership with Empa (Materials Science Technology Centre), ETH Zurich University. In place of the conventional diesel engine plus hydraulics, it has a small natural gas engine with generator; it consumes less than half as much energy on its standard ‘sweeping’ cycle, and its CO2 emissions are cut by over 60% (even more when biogas is used). Though it would cost more to buy, this is compensated for by its much lower operating costs.

Interesting note on this is that Empa calculates the typical annual diesel consumption of a vehicle of this type is around 10,000 litres, typically ten times more than that of a passenger car; they quote a German study which reckons that working vehicles, including bin lorries, etc., account for around 15% of the energy consumption of all road traffic, despite their actual numbers being very small. Anyway, further work is underway on this concept to optimise its operation, packaging and costs, but Bucher aims to bring it to market. More here.

  • Seven auto industry mega-trends identified by Goldman Sachs, reported here. In summary, the Great Vampire Squid reckons that: there is ongoing endless powertrain advancement, but petrol/diesel will still power 75% of the global fleet 10 years from now; vehicles will become lighter; industry focus will turn to emerging markets; power will shift to ‘megasuppliers’ while the trad carmakers become final-assembly and marketing concerns; connected-car tech, apps and shared mobility have had a small impact in the taxi/rental sector, but the extent of their potential disruption is unclear and impact on car ownership will be limited until they can solve issues of under-utilisation; autonomous driving is on the horizon with tremendous potential, but legislative, social and economic factors must be resolved and it may have more impact on sectors such as trucking, public transport and non-car businesses than on private car ownership; and that ‘barriers to entry’ for newcomers have been lowered with new techs, allowing the involvement of the likes of Google, Apple and Tesla, but adaptability of the old OEMs and these megasuppliers may yet win out. As Automotive News points out (claiming that there is ‘little evidence’ that consumers are demanding fundamental changes in mobility), this is essentially a pretty conservative and status quo-reinforcing view of things – no surprise. But not necessarily wrong. My biggest query would be over ‘adaptability’ of the slow-moving OEMs…
  • Details on the Frauenhofer Institutes EDDA electric bus fast-charging project here; trials in Dresden saw the roof-mounted high-voltage ‘flash-charging’ system (6.5 minutes) enable the bus to serve a 20km route.
  • More research on PM2.5s – particulates most commonly emitted by diesel vehicles: linked with respiratory illnesses in children by the University of Seville. More here.
  • Not quite sure what’s happening with the Bollore Group and the former Source London network (anyone?) but Transport for London has issued a call for partners and suppliers to build EV-charging infrastructure in the city. Plans include rapid-charging for taxis, private-hire vehicles and other commercial fleets, in a shift of previous focus, although ‘incentives’ towards mass take-up of EVs, presumably involving private vehicles, is also mentioned. Reported here.
  • Meanwhile in Wolfsburg, an e-mobility trial project based around the main station has gone into operation: a fleet of electric bicycles and Volkswagen e-Ups can be hired for use between nine locations. Also, Milan’s BikeMi service is now up to 4,600 electric bicycles, and 70 new docking stations are being added in the city. More here. Also, further news via Eltis – 150 EV charging stations for Hungary; and a trial of four automated driverless minibuses in Vantaa, Finland.
  • Renault is to supply 150 Zoes to the King of Jordan for his fleet; to be solar-charged from facilities at the royal palaces as part of “an ambitious solar programme”, says Renault-Nissan.
  • Latest registration figures from the SMMT covering January-May: all-electric vehicle registrations doubled compared to this time last year to 3,772. Plug-in hybrid and range-extended EVs numbered 8,147, with the best-seller the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
  • TomTom doesn’t just make sat navs: TomTom Telematics has supplied an open API platform for an electric car booking/management programme. This integrates car booking and battery data for the Be Smart EV-share (Italy) and allows for remote battery monitoring, vehicle activation, location tracking and journey information for billing. More here.

Tuesday news: EV-charging charges, grid-balancing, integrated transport, alt-fuels, etc…

February 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

vw eup5We’re looking at an end to free EV parking in central London: Source London is planning to introduce charges for using its charger-equipped bays, reports Autocar (alongside fixing the broken/inoperable chargers). There’ll be a sliding scale of tariffs (tbc), based on zones 1-6. Initial thought: that’s one big incentive to go electric gone. Second thought: this stops an incentive to drive into central London rather than take other forms of transport. This echoes thinking on a similar line southwards in Brighton at the weekend: nice to see a Volkswagen e-up! charging (as pictured) at the well-used bays at Bartholemew Square (first one I’ve spotted there), but on balance, I’d argue for the Lanes area being a car-free zone anyway. Driving into the very heart of heavily-congested city centres isn’t the best deployment of EVs…

  • News with strong implications for energy storage-electromobility synergies: San Diego Gas & Electric is running a pilot vehicle-to-grid project and pitching EV fleets and storage systems as one integrated resource into local wholesale energy markets. This demand response and grid-balancing programme is currently aggregating stationary storage with fleets at five locations in San Diego County, and incentivises users to charge off-peak. The project is further studying the benefits both at customer and grid levels, and identifying barriers as well as best practices and growth opportunities for future roll-out on a larger scale. More here.
  • And talking of integration: the NW Bicester ‘eco-town’ development (Oxfordshire) is to have an electric car club and communal charging points, as well as the option of EV-charging equipment fitted at the new homes. A fleet of subsidized EVs is also to be available for ‘champions’ who will share their experiences, and there will be test-drive events in the community. And alongside this, bike lanes and pedestrian routes linking the development to the town, and cycle storage for each house. Sensible measures to contain the impact of suburban sprawl? More here.
  • Nice accessible runthrough of how tech can transform commuting from the BBC: from apps to integrate multi-modal options, digital mapping and use of social media to bike-shares and wireless e-bus charging (I’ll pass on the jet packs, though), it does make the point that the actual modes of transport will probably change less than the means of accessing/paying. It also quotes Prof Carlo Ratti from MIT on car-sharing and ride-sharing – “we predict that, in future, four out of five cars can be removed from the road” – and on autonomous/self-driving cars, which “promise to have a dramatic impact on urban life, because they will blur the distinction between private and public modes of transportation”. Note that this is, however, specific to the urban environment – and that in this brave new world, there are still cars, even if they are shared and in fewer numbers.
  • But yes, more walking and cycling (and bike-sharing) are necessary if future cities aren’t to grind to a halt: a new report from the OECD, The Metropolitan Century, also calls for revised land-use regulation and taxation/fees to discourage private car use, as well as traffic and parking controls.
  • Ricardo has developed a next-gen 85kW electric motor for vehicles which needs no rare earth metals – and is thus cheaper to make. More on the RapidSR project here.
  • An alt-fuels workshop report from the US DoE: markets/applications for natural gas (trucks, vans, heavy-duty) and hydrogen (personal transport) will naturally segment, with only a little overlap in some areas (buses, light-duty commercial vehicles). However, economies of scale could be achieved by co-location of refuelling facilities and other supply chain infrastructure, as well as common standard-setting for storage equipment, etc; new business models and partnerships will emerge, with the potential to move away from centralised fuel production. More here. And analysis of the benefits of natural gas for trucking – but its mixed environmental effects – in a study reported here.
  • The above important because biofuels not necessarily the answer – and the EU has just voted to phase out ‘first-generation’ (land-based, crop-grown) biofuels from 2020, with a 6% ‘cap’ on their blending into petrol and diesel. This addresses the issue of biofuel from food-source crops, but also land use where other inedible crops are grown for energy rather than food, says think-tank Transport & Environment; criteria for fuels made from wastes and residues have also been tightened up.

 

Concept of the Day: Visio.M

October 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

visio.m.projectSome more news from the Visio.M project: the finished research car (developed from the MUTE, a concept from Technical University Munich) is to be showcased at the eCarTec event in Munich. Exploring technologies for lightweighting and cost-cutting in an affordable EV, the prototype weighs just 450kg (minus battery), is aerodynamically-optimised and features all-round camera monitoring, torque-vectoring, polycarbonate windows, a CFRP passenger cell, low-energy air conditioning/heating and cloud connectivity for entertainment, route optimisation and suchlike. It has a 99-mile range, a 15kW motor delivering up to 75mph, and can be recharged in three to four hours from a 230V connection; it’s only a two-seater, however. Lowdown at Green Car Congress. As is evident in the car’s styling (scaled-down i3-meets-old-Compact? ), BMW was the lead partner in this project.

  • You’ve heard of iDrive – now how ’bout pieDrive? Not some kind of pastry-based award system for eco-driving (how good would that be?) but a pointer-based touchscreen operating interface with a projected pie chart-like display, developed at TU Darmstadt. More here.
  • Interesting: @DrGregMarsden, tweeting from the Sustainable Transport 2014 conference, reports: “BMW data suggests that households buy EVs as a second car. Within 3 weeks it is used as the first car.” NB: Main sponsor of the event = BMW. Anyway, apparently presentations from the day are to be uploaded to the website shortly.
  • Daimler has sold off its remaining 4% stake in Tesla, but Tesla will continue to supply the powertrain for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive. Full statement here.
  • Six hydrogen-fuelled Hyundai ix35s have joined fleets in the government-backed London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE) project. More here.

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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