Renault pure electric Twizy

TheGreenCar tells us what it is like to drive the Renault Twizy.

the energy collective says we can expect cheap hydrogen cars in a decade.  Researchers at the University of Connecticut claim that a new process for producing fuel cells can bring their costs down dramatically over the next ten years. They also say that the same technique can be used to make lithium-ion batteries, the kind used in most electric and hybrid cars.

Parcel delivery company UPS will be using biogas powered vehicles at the London Olympics reports Post & Parcel. The 10 Mercedes vehicles are dual-fuel – biomethane and diesel. The biomethane is a renewable fuel produced from decomposing organic waste at landfill sites or by an increasing number of anaerobic digesters in the UK. The UPS green fleet for London 2012 also includes five electric vehicles. See also press on, UPS adds bio-methane vehicles to Olympics fleet.

Green Energy News has updated its multipart series called Rethinking Electric Cars. The basic thesis? “For now, and the immediate future, electric vehicles are for an extreme niche market, not ready for the masses or mainstream quite yet…The masses aren’t going to flock to electrics until range-per-charge increases and vehicle prices drop considerably.” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Co.Exist says that only ubiquitous smarter infrastructure will ensure EV demand. If EV production is to reach economies of scale with the corresponding lower retail prices, they are going to have to appeal to mainstream car buyers. To do this there will have to offer higher mileage range and a more extensive recharging infrastructure. High density cities are essential for EV success in which there will need to be “unprecedented collaboration between local governments, private businesses, and utility companies” to roll out a city-wide smart grid infrastructure.

Last week we mentioned that The Daily Advance wants us to know that your electric car may not be as green as you think. Ultimately the “green-ness” of you vehicle will depend on where the electricity comes from that charges your battery. If the source of electricity is clean, like hydroelectric power, nuclear, wind turbines or natural gas, an electric car will produce negligible pollution.  But, if your electricity is generated by coal or crude oil, an electric car will produce more pollution than a gasoline powered car. This week the New York Times picked up on the same theme with How Green Are Electric Cars? Depends on Where You Plug In. See also CNET Hybrids can be less polluting than coal-powered EVs.

Hybrid ownership in the US is on the decline says the Washington Post. A study by Polk Research Polk found that only 35% of US hybrid owners chose to purchase another hybrid if they were in the market for a new car in 2011. Additionally, Polk has seen hybrid ownership decline since its high of 2.9% in 2008 to 2.4% in 2011, a 17% decline. The Post mentions some factors that may limit the usefulness of the study.

Torque News tells us the top 10 things we might not know about EVs while My Perfect Automobile mentions two myths about EV conversions.

EV batteries were a topic of interest.  Green Car Reports writes about how long the battery will last and tell us about the enemy of the EV battery – rust.

Open source computing and EVs was also in the news. GreenBiz said that EVs are going open source while gigacom countered why you don’t want your EV to be open source. Using the Google vs. Apple model for comparison, the latter thinks that a closed source (Apple) computing model allows for fewer errors and better products than open source.

DOMESTICFUEL tells us that there are updated alternative fuel station location maps for the US at MapMuse.  You can view the locations here. The fuels include electricity, compressed natural gas, ethanol, hydrogen and biodiesel.

REVE reveals that Ingeteam has EV recharging technology that brings electric car charging times down to just 20 minutes. The system is being tested in Madrid and the first units are set to go on sale in early autumn. “For a run-time of 80 kms, it will take just 20 minutes to charge the electric cars compared to the 5 hours required for charging with the systems currently available.”

China is investing 3/4 of a billion dollars on recharging stations by 2015 reports Electric Light & Power. CENS says that China wants to become the largest EV market by 2020, with annual sales of over 5 million vehicles.

The Canadian province of British Columbia is building 570 public charging stations around the province to jump start the EV revolution according to metro news.



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