Your new car may soon have the Internet says the BBC. A new survey of auto and computer makers says that cars with speech recognition and wi-fi are well on their way. That could mean that portable games consoles, tablets and smartphones could connect to each other for those long car journeys. Audi has developed wi-fi for its cars, and Toyota is working with computer company Intel. See also Coming soon: inbuilt Wi-Fi in all cars.

inAudit tells us that global auto executives are uncertain as to how the future will unfold for the EV industry. According to KPMG International’s 13th annual Global Automotive Executive Survey the future for electric vehicles is still up in the air. 54% of respondents said that electric component suppliers will have a bigger role by 2025 and 40% predict that manufacturers will lead in that area.  But 76% of all respondents said that while fuel efficiency is still the most important factor affecting consumer-buying decisions, they don’t expect EVs to go beyond 15% of global auto sales over the next 15 years. Nearly two-thirds of respondents globally said that optimization of the internal combustion engine (ICE) currently offers greater efficiency and the most potential for carbon emission reduction over the next 5 years. However, when we limit our sample to executives in China and Japan, half think that EVs will have about 25% of the auto market by 2025. This contrasts with those in the US who see this number at 6%. As for technologies, hybrid vehicles are expected to lead the market and attract the most investment in the interim with full hybrids and plug-in versions expected to be the favored technologies, and fuel-cell vehicles coming in third. 7 out of the 10 fastest growing auto manufacturers are expected to be from Asia. 50% of respondents expect China to have excess capacity within 5 years. See also MarketWatch Global Auto Execs Don’t See Spark in Electric Vehicle Sales for More Than Decade: KPMG Survey.

Wheels asks (and tries to answer) the question: What will we be driving in the year 2037? while Torque News gives us a preview of the EVs coming this year to North American showrooms.

Electric Vehicle News tells us that EVs will account for 60% of Ireland’s cars by 2050. This is the number Ireland’s Sustainable Energy Authority has come up with in creating a “roadmap” for the country’s energy future. Ireland has a long way to go to meet this target as only 552 hybrid cars and 46 electric cars were sold in 2011 according to the Irish Times.

Perhaps because of the concern about the battery fires and its $40,000 price tag, the Chevy Volt missed its first year sales target. cnet informs us that General Motors sold 7,671 Chevy Volts in 2011, fewer than the 10,000 it had expected to sell.

Mark Irving of The West Australian tells us about his daily life living with an electric car. Mark is driving a converted Ford Focus fitted with 45 lithium-ion batteries and an electric motor. “The good news is that the car drives as it’s supposed to – it’s quiet and economical. Charging costs about $5, which equates to 4¢ per kilometre…The big issue is with the range, which is supposed to be about 130 km, though using the air- conditioner will reduce it. I didn’t think my typical routine of about 75 km a day would create any issues. But there were times when I needed to do more, and then I would look nervously and continuously at the level of battery charge. The reassuring feeling of nearby service stations in the metropolitan area doesn’t exist with an electric car. You simply HAVE to get home or to the office to recharge, or get roadside assistance.”

The Open Press comments on the electric car conversion guides on the Internet to help you convert your vehicle. The article refers to Electricity4Cars which you can check out here. Electricity4Cars consists of detailed reviews of what is out there when it comes to electric car and motorcycle conversion.

Norman, Oklahoma has a new compressed natural gas station says NewsOK. The city’s 29 compressed natural gas vehicles and those owned privately will pay $1.39 a gallon for the fuel versus about $3.00 a gallon for regular gasoline. The station has 12 slow-fill dispensers, a fast-fill dispenser and a fueling station for the public. The 12 slow-fill dispensers can fuel 24 city vehicles overnight.

Truckinginfo tells us that PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America will roll out 176 electric trucks this year in the U.S. and Canada, making it the largest commercial fleet of all-electric trucks in North America. The trucks, designed by Smith Electric Vehicles, are able to go 100 miles on a single charge. Once the EVs re deployed, Frito-Lay expects to cut fossil fuel consumption by 500,000 gallons annually.

Sofia, Bulgaria will have solar power charging stations says novinite.  Installation should start in February and be completed by September.  There is no indication how many stations will be installed in the Bulgarian capital.

The San Francisco, California area has among the highest percentage of EVs in the US and yet does not have a fast charging station.  That is about to change. Ecotality is installing the first fast charger in the San Francisco Bay area according to plugincars. Starting in February area EV drivers can get an 80% charge in 20-30 minutes. Six to 10 additional quick chargers are on the drawing board for the area. Quick Chargers will allow Bay Area electric car owners the ability to add 50 or 60 miles of driving range, during a pit stop of 30 minutes or less.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is spending $2 million over the next four years to test solar powered recharging stations in the state.  The Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal, or SMART station, will be capable of recharging up to six Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf or other electric-powered vehicles at one time. The stations will help the TVA gather data on consumer usage and how solar-generated power can be put back on the grid during peak demand periods. The Smart stations include AC Level 2 rechargers, which can replenish a typical battery-powered car with enough power to add 10 to 12 miles more of driving range. Stations are to be built this year in Oak Ridge, Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga.














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1 Comment on The Week in EVs and More

  1. Elroy Jetson says:

    Volt fires really aren’t a problem. Just make sure you aren’t still sitting in the car 3 weeks after the battery pack has sustained mechanical damage!