Germany‘s top administrative court has ruled that it is legal for cities to ban diesel cars. The ruling by the Federal Administrative Court  does not determine whether the bans will be implemented, but rather that German states, cities and communities have the right to impose them to maintain air pollution limits without needing federal legislation. The court did not impose such bans itself, leaving that up to city and municipal authorities. The judges did however urge them to “exercise proportionality” in enforcing the bans, and said any restrictions should be introduced gradually. The Transport Ministry could update traffic regulations to include an option for cities to impose diesel bans on certain routes later this year. Almost immediately after the verdict, the port city of Hamburg became the first to announce plans for a diesel driving ban on two busy roads, with exceptions made for residents, ambulances, city services and delivery vehicles. Analysts estimate that some 10 million diesel vehicles will be affected across the country.

McKinsey & Company tell us How battery storage can help charge the electric-vehicle market. See also The GuardianEnergy storage leap could slash electric car charging times

The US Center for Automotive Research predicts investments in autonomous vehicles could slow in the coming years and that such vehicles will represent only a fraction of sales in that country a decade from now. The research group predicts Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving vehicles will account for less than 4% of new-vehicle sales by 2030, although that number will increase steadily to roughly 55% by 2040. By contrast, alternative powertrains, including battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles, will comprise 8 % of the market by 2030. The group believes self-driving technology and electrification will first impact fleets of shared vehicle services in dense urban areas.  See Electrification, autonomy won’t gain widespread adoption for decades, CAR study says.

The UK will soon see its first 150 kilowatt electric vehicle rapid chargers. Pod Point’s new EV chargers will have the highest battery charge power in Britain, higher than Tesla’s 120 kW Superchargers. These new chargers will provide an 80% battery charge in 45 minutes. Currently 350 kW chargers are being rolled out in Norway, Germany and Austria.

The German cities of Cologne and Wuppertal have ordered hydrogen powered buses. Van Hool, the Belgium-based independent bus, coach and industrial vehicles manufacturer, has received orders of 30 from Cologne and 10 from Wuppertal to be delivered next spring. The full-sized buses will be equipped with 85 kilowatt fuel cell modules and fitted with 210 kW electric traction motors. With a tank capacity of 38.2 kilograms of hydrogen on board, each will be able to carry out a full day’s schedule of 350 kilometers (217 miles). To date, Van Hool has produced 61 hydrogen buses for North America (21) and Europe (40).

The US Department of Energy reports that the median electric car range in the country has risen from 73 miles  in 2011 to 114 miles today (with a top range now exceeding 330 miles or 530 kilometers). Meanwhile, Samsung announced last year its new battery pack would be able to power cars for 372 to 435 miles.

The Platform for Electromobility found that across the European Union, there are now about six electric cars for each public charging point, almost twice as many as the 10 cars per point recommended by the European Commission. One fast charger is expected for every 40 kilometer of highway in Europe by 2020, well ahead of the one per 65 km that the EC wants by 2025.

The UK Energy Saving Trust found that in England, the average electric car driver is four miles from a charging point, in Scotland it is three miles, and in Wales it is 12 miles.

next greencar explains How  LPG and natural gas cars work.

Jaguar has unveiled its first all-electric vehicle. The the I-PACE is powered by two electric motors, has 240 miles of range on a single charge, and goes 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Jaguar says it has designed the battery to last 10 years. The battery will be capable of reaching an 80 % charge in 40 minutes and has been tested in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees F. to 104 degrees F. The navigation system automatically identifies the location of nearby charging stations.

Motor cycle company Harley Davidson announced it has invested in an an electric vehicle company to make electric motor bikes. HD has made an equity investment in Alta Motors, an innovator in lightweight electric vehicles. HD plans to produced its first electric bike in 2019.




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