FuelCellToday says that the Danish government has a hydrogen infrastructure program. The purpose of the program is to enable the introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV’s) in the country beyond 2015 by creating a national hydrogen refueling network. FCEV’s will continue to receive a 180% tax reduction compared to conventional vehicles. Denmark’s goal is to be completely off of fossil fuels by 2050 and hydrogen is viewed as a key player in both energy storage as well as connecting the power/heat and transportation sector.

The Mainichi Daily News reports that Honda is installing a a solar hydrogen station for refilling fuel cell electric vehicles in Japan. Using a combination of solar power and commercial electricity, the experimental station can create 1.5 kilograms of hydrogen in 24 hours, enough to enable Honda’s FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle to drive 150 kilometers.

We learn from autobloggreen that the US government is going to spend some $2 million to study hydrogen refueling stations for fuel cell vehicles. The study will be used to help determine what components could be developed to facilitate the build-out of more hydrogen stations over the next five years, including better compressors and hydrogen tanks.  Currently there are some 50 hydrogen stations in the country compared with over 7000 electric vehicle recharging stations.

Torque News notes that Ford is going to produce its most fuel efficient car ever – 86 mpg. Ford’s Cologne assembly plant in Germany has just announced production of the new Fiesta with ECOnetic Technology that will achieve 86.5 mpg.  The low CO2 emission diesel engine car is not slated to be sold in North America. Ford has committed to reduce CO2 emissions in its cars by 30% by the year 2020.

Malaysia expects electric vehicles to account for 10-15% of the country’s automotive market by 2020 reports my sinchew.

GreenBiz asks: What’s keeping electric vehicles from the mainstream?  From talking to EV specialists in the US and Europe, the authors conclude that range anxiety and lack of recharging infrastructure is a significant deterrent to the growth of the EV market.  In addition, lack of public awareness and understanding of EVs continues to be a selling barrier as very few drivers have had hands on experience with these vehicles. Another challenge is the battery. Market penetration will not rise quickly until we see a lowering of battery prices, an increase in their capacity, and a sharp reduction in their re-charging times. One way to help lower EV costs and increase market penetration would be to standardize chargers and thereby reduce their complexity and maximize scale economies. Finally, giving EV road perks such as their own traffic lanes and preferential parking in urban areas should also increase demand. Interestingly, the post does not mention the retail price of EVs which has been identified by several surveys as a major barrier. They do state, however, that the overall costs of owing an EV (including maintenance costs) makes the EV competitive if not cheaper than automobiles powered by internal combustion engines

From Control Engineering Asia we learn that IMS Research forecasts there will be 12.5 million public and private EV charging stations across Europe by 2019, with 23% of this total in Germany and 17% in the UK. Yet with 40% of the total charging stations in only 2 of the 27 countries in the European Union, it will be very difficult for EVs to thrive in this part of the world. “EVs cannot hope to take-off across Europe without a robust and consistent charging infrastructure,” says Helena Perslow, senior market analyst at IMS Research.

The Daily Herald says that EVs may not be as green as we think. Before one can determine the “green-ness” of a car, one has to measure the total CO2 emissions in the production/transportation/distribution process as well as the source of electricity for the car (coal vs. natural gas vs nuclear vs wind or solar etc.)  Often we find that that “green car” is just not that green.

Market Watch comments on Li-ion batteries which are used in EVs. Lux Research believes the key to growing the EV market is reducing the cost of Li-ion batteries. Despite technological change and economies of scale, Lux sees battery pack costs falling only to $397/kWh in 2020 — far short of the $150/kWh needed to ensure a mass market for EVs. See also Industry Week, Reducing Battery Cost is Key to Electric-Vehicle Adoption.

Buses made the news this week.  The UK cities of Brighton and Hove will have hybrid diesel-electric buses says The Argus as will Essex says the BBC.

Green Car Reports gives us a report card on the 2011 Nissan Leaf after a year on the road while the Houston Chronicle tells us about a Texas couple that converted their 1973 Opel to an EV.

EcoSeed informs us that Swedish technology company ABB has an EV charger that can fully charge an electric car in 30 to 120 minutes. See also Digital Journal, ABB Creates EV Charging Breakthrough With Launch of Terra SC

hydrogen fuel news says that Germany will have the world’s first nationwide EV service network. German automaker Karabag has launched a service that provides drivers with access to qualified technicians and mechanics that are trained to handle the problems specific to high-voltage batteries found in electric vehicles. The company has plans for more than 800 locations throughout Germany to offer these services. EV owners will be able to take their cars to these locations and have them fixed and also have the battery recharged. Karabag also plans to launch mobile services that will provide exchangeable batteries to drivers so they can get to their destination without having to wait for their battery to be fixed.

Northern Ireland is in the process of installing 140 EV charging stations across the country we are told by the Belfast Telegraph.

Pacific Business News reports that Hawaii has 200 EV charging stations at 80 public locations. California will have another 200 fast charging stations at locations in the Bay Area, in the San Joaquin Valley, in Los Angeles and and in San Diego County. These stations will be able to extend the range of EVs by 50 miles in less than 15 minutes of charging according to Forbes.






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