Torque News says that solar powered hydrogen fuel cells are moving 12 buses in San Fransisco.

The Daily Mail introduces us to a Chinese farmer who built a wind powered car (with photo). The 90-year-old farmer has created a vehicle that can reach speeds of nearly 90 mph. The vehicle runs on batteries and electric generators, which are re-charged by a large spinning fan in the front and two ‘solar energy wings’ on the back to support electricity generation. The two sets of generators and batteries charge in turn while the other is working. As a result, the battery only needs recharging every 2 or 3 days.

Digital Journal summarizes a report on the world auto industry to 2017. A study by Global Industry Analysts predicts that worldwide passenger car sales will rise to 86.5 million units over the next 5 years. Auto ownership will slowdown in North America and Western Europe but this will be offset by growth in developing countries such as China and India. The auto industry will be faced with two primary challenges in the upcoming years – transitioning from its dependence of fossil fuels to alternate fuels and reducing CO2 emissions. Against this background, EV and hybrid vehicles will face strong demand, benefiting from government subsidies and other programs. Asia-Pacific represents the largest market worldwide and the region is also forecast to emerge into the fastest growing. REVE focuses on China and its desire to have 5 million EVs and hybrids on the road by 2020. See also Bloomberg China to Give Stimulus for Development of Electric Vehicles.

The Sacramento Bee refers us to new research that predicts the global industrial and commercial hybrid and EV market will grow by 420% by 2022. Global Information Inc.finds that industrial and commercial electric vehicles now represent 60% of the value of the electric vehicle market and that this sector is set to grow four-fold in the coming decade. This includes sales of heavy industrial vehicles, forklifts, buses, trucks, taxis, commercial watercraft and other light industrial and commercial vehicles. You can read a summary of the report here.

Check out eBay’s new Green Driving website if you are looking for fuel efficient vehicles.  Enhanced Online News talks about the site here and you can go to the eBay website here. It offers a variety of tools and resources to help reduce fuel consumption and save at the gasoline pump. Fuels include electric, hybrid, diesel, natural gas, and ethanol.

From the Wall Street Journal we find out how much an electric car battery costs. Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally told green technology conference this week that battery packs for the company’s Focus electric car costs between $12,000 and $15,000 each. Up until now this has been one of the auto industry’s most closely guarded secrets, although many had suggested figures between $10,000 and $12,000. “When you move into an all-electric vehicle, the battery size moves up to around 23 kilowatt-hours, and it weighs around 600 to 700 pounds,” Mr. Mulally said. The Journal finds that based on this cost range, Ford appears to pay between $522 and $650 a kilowatt-hour for its electric-vehicle batteries. Many have predicted that EV sales will not take off until this number comes down to between $300 and $350 a kWh.  The U.S. Department of Energy has set a goal of lowering the cost of batteries to $300 a kWh by next year and is providing funding to the industry to achieve this goal.

The cost of the EV battery is also the focus of an Economist article on the lack of growth in the EV market in spite of the skyrocketing price of petrol. In the end, the price difference between an internal combustion engine vehicle running on gasoline or diesel and an electric car is the high price of the EV battery. “It all comes down to the price of the lithium-ion battery, which nowadays costs a shade under $600 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of storage capacity. As an electric car capable of travelling 75 miles or so between charges needs around 24 kWh of capacity, the battery alone adds $14,000 to the price of the vehicle. The result is a car that costs way too much for what it offers in fuel savings.”

The Detroit News adds to the tale of why battery-powered autos are proving a tough sell. High EV prices coupled with range anxiety among drivers is the continuous refrain. This is well-recognized by the auto manufacturers. “Right now, from a cost standpoint and a performance standpoint — range for customers — I don’t think EVs are ready for primetime,” said Toyota Motor USA Sales CEO Jim Lentz.  While it is true that EVs save on fuel costs as The Columbus Dispatch noted, the fuel cost savings are more than offset by the payback on the purchase price of an EV which can take a decade or more as the New York Times pointed out here.  (Note: The Columbus Dispatch article refers to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists.  You can access that study here.)

The Globe and Mail looks at the Mitsuibishi MiEV.

GoE3, a new US company that is spearheading a campaign promoting electric vehicles, says its intends to construct a network of 500 EV charging stations across the country by 2015. MarketWatch says the first 25 stations are to open this weekend along highways in the state of Arizona and can handle all EV makes. autobloggreen reports that GoE3 will charge drivers $12.50 for a full charge at Level 3 machines, which will be able to fully replenish EV batteries in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the vehicle.

Spanish firm, Endesa SA, plans to have 507 recharging points for EVs in Spain and Latin America by the end of this year we learn from 4-traders. By the end of the year there will be 420 recharging points in several Spanish cities and another 87 spread through Columbia, Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

Global engineering giant ABB is putting EV charging stations in business parking lots reports Energy Live News. This week the company introduced a charging point designed for fast charging in business and commercial parking areas. The new direct current Terra SC can fully charge an electric vehicle in 30-120 minutes, making it useful for business people who travel for lunches or business meetings. ABB estimates the EV charging infrastructure market will be worth $1 billion (£630 million) by 2017.

Clean Energy Authority tells about the American city of Industry California which has installed a solar powered recharging station for commuters. The 2-megawatt solar installation at the Metrolink Public Transportation Station can power 54 charging points at the station as well as LED lights at the station and feed power into the electric grid.  At the same time, the solar panels provide cover for 940 vehicles owned by commuters who work in downtown Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

 

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