Solar-powered recharging station


The Chevy Volt continues to make the news.  In Hawaii firefighters are being trained to respond to electric vehicle fires.  But other bloggers are coming to the Volt’s defence. comments on the tough times for the Volt while Car and Driver explains the unusual circumstances that led to the fires.

GM is bringing out the Holden Volt in Australia next year and it will be the world’s first long-range electric car. The Sydney Morning Herald tells us this Volt will travel between 60 km to 80 km, depending on conditions, powered purely on electricity. It will take about four hours to recharge and is expected to sell between $50,000 to $70,000 Australian dollars. An on-board gasoline engine working as a generator allows it to extend its range for more than 500 km before having to be plugged in. The Motor Report gives us an on road review of the vehicle.

The Orange County Register talks to a home builder to find out what you need to plug in your new electric car at home.

Pike’s Research predicts that hybrid and pure EVs will comprise 5% of total U.S. vehicle sales by 2017 reports Market Watch. Globally they will account for 3.1% of worldwide auto sales by 2017. California is the largest market for EVs in the US says EncinitasPatch.

REVE tells us only 314 electric cars have been sold in Spain this year.  Meanwhile, sales of electric cars are slow in Germany too. Expatica says that fewer than 2000 will be registered this year. Only about 100 registrations were for individuals. The majority are for the auto manufacturers themselves or private companies.

Israeli’s will soon be able to rent and lease EVs reports Globes. Eldan, the largest car rental and operational leasing company in Israel, will have hundreds of Renault Fluence Z.E. electric cars available in 2012. Better Place will service these cars.

Torque News refers us to a study by Consumer Reports that concludes that EVs are cheaper to operate than fossil fuel powered vehicles. The savings come from the higher efficiency of electric vehicles, and the lower relative cost for electricity versus gasoline. However, it is mentioned that a major cost is the cost of electricity and that can vary both within a country as well as between countries. It also varies by time of day. (Of note, electricity prices are set to rise quite dramatically in the UK and Australia over the next couple of years.) Similarly gasoline prices vary from location to location and from day-to-day. The Consumer Reports chart skips over other costs of ownership and only focused on the fuel cost per mile. For example, it ignored the cost of replacing the battery pack. It is not known what the cost of that will be at the time it needs replacing. In a related post, FleetNews does its own cost comparison for the UK and reminds us that we have to take into account the initial cost of the vehicles and depreciation to carry out a full economic cost analysis between EVs and fossil fuel vehicles to determine which is cheaper to own and operate. Invention & Technology News adds its analysis here.

Mother Nature Network gives us an interview with Jim Motavalli, author of High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry. In his book he takes readers through the history of the US electric vehicle industry, examines the international market, and gives us a sneak peek into the future of EV. Montavalli has been a student of the EV industry for over twenty years. He says his book is not just for “gearheads” but for anybody who owns a car and is curious about green vehicles. He believes that the electrification of the auto is “inevitable” and we are at the beginning of this journey.

Nissan says it will roll out the LEAF to the entire US market by March 2012 says Earth 911. CleanTechnica reports that the LEAF was chosen as Japan’s Car of the Year.

Business Insider tells us about the first “electric highway” in the US, in the state of Washington. In 2012 the state hopes to accommodate EVs by building many charging stations along it to reduce “range anxiety.” The road will become part of a larger, tri-state initiative known as the West Coast Green Highway, involving Washington, Oregon, and California. The project will create 1,350 electrified miles on Interstate 5. The goal is to create the first border-to-border electric-vehicle friendly interstate that links British Columbia, Canada to Baja, California.

There is also more news about the construction of recharging stations for EVs.

Canberra, Australia has its first public recharging station writes PRWIRE.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that electric car infrastructure company Better Place plans to create the world’s largest electric car network in Australia. By the end of 2013 it hopes to have hundreds of battery-switch stations across Australia and tens of thousands of locations where people can recharge their batteries.

EV recharging stations across the US state of Tennessee are idle according to The Tennessean. There are almost twice as many recharging points as EVs in the state and this raises questions about the rational use of public money to build the charging points.  The New York Times writes a similar piece about  idle EV charging stations in Manhattan.  We guess this is a build it and they will come scenario except they have yet to come.

Chicago will soon have 73 fast charging stations says the Chicago Tribune.  The first two will be in place this week at Midway Airport and the University of Chicago.

Washington, DC and surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia are getting 47 new charging stations we learn from dcist. The quickest of the self-serve charging stations can charge an EV in 25 minutes, which translates to about 100 miles of range. These stations will join serveral others already in place at Washington’s airports, Walmart locations and other private locations.

Ikea is installing charging stations at several of its locations on the West Coast of the US where most EVs have been purchased. Los Angeles Business says there will be a total of 9 Ikea stores in this region where people can recharge their batteries while shopping.

Colorado Springs has its first recharging station and for the next several months it is free to use reports The Gazette.

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