Hydrogen was a topic again this week. EcoSeed asks: Are Hydrogen-Powered Cars the Future? The author sees the two primary roadblocks being the difficulty of hydrogen production and the cost of hydrogen fuel cells. These issues are addressed as well by hydrogenfuelnews in The problem of commercializing fuel cells. Hyundai will have 1000 hydrogen fuel cell cars later this year says Torque News. Most will be rolled out in Europe with the Tucson priced at $88,000. The company’s goal is to have its hydrogen vehicles on the road for under $50,000 by 2015 when it plans to produce 10,000 cars. Hyundai has loaned two of its vehicles to a car club in Aberdeen, Scotland to test drive. Fuel Cell Today mentions that Anglo American Platinum, the world’s largest platinum producer, has launched a fuel cell powered mine locomotive. The firm plans to test five of these locomotives at its mines in South Africa.

New Energy and Fuel warns us to get ready for duel-fuel vehicles. Duel fuel is not flex fuel. Flex fuel is a system that can use similar fuels in the same system such as pure gasoline to 85% ethanol.  Dual fuel will use two different fuels that will feed two different fuel tanks.  The engine can take fuel from either tank and the choice of fuel will depend on the price at the time.  A prime example is the differential between the current prices of gasoline and compressed natural gas. The transportation industry is targeting large trucks as they have the space and the capacity to carry two fuel loads. Trains could also work this way.

ZIGWHEELS discusses fuel options in India when choosing a car.

Autonet explores the e-highway of the future. Siemens has announced a new concept for the electrification of trucks and certain highway lanes, an idea already being tested in Germany and with pilot projects being planned for Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. The concept sees hybrid diesel electric trucks being equipped with technology that allows them to connect to overhead electrified wires like streetcars. The trucks will run on diesel power, but will switch automatically to electric mode when they detect and attach to the overhead lines. This will enable the trucks to save over 30% in fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Siemens believes that as the technology becomes more widely adopted, every truck equipped with an electric drive system will be able to use the e-highway system – diesel electric, pure battery, fuel cell range extended or compress natural gas vehicle. Green Car Reports introduces us to a hybrid rolley truck on the road in Los Angeles.

Der Spiegel observes that congested streets are creating an e-scooter trend in Germany.

Consumer Reports finds that purpose-built electric cars trump manufacturer-converted models. Electric cars that have been based on standard gasoline models are full of compromises. Purpose-built electric cars are more space efficient, because they don’t try to cram the battery into spaces that weren’t designed for heavy powertrain components. Putting the drivetrain components under the floor gives designers flexibility to maximize the interior space for other uses.

Forbes tells us what the global electric vehicle movement can learn from 16 best-practice cities. These cities, in 9 countries, comprise 30% of the EVs on the road today. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has studied these cities in the EV City Casebook and provides advice for countries that are hoping to see millions of EVs on the road by 2020. The IEA documents the financial and non-financial incentives the profiled cities have implemented to boost demand for EVs and charging stations in their jurisdictions as well as the expenditures they are making in their fleets of buses and other vehicles and the construction of charging stations.  The post focuses on two of these cities – Amsterdam and Stockholm.

JOE says that EVs still have a steep road to climb here in Ireland while Transportation Nation comments that Europe Slow to Warm Up to Electric Cars.

Consumer Reports says that EV drivers are left hanging in the charger wars. A number of factors are confusing EV drivers. With different charging networks proliferating with different plug standards, it’s hard to know which ones they can use. Moreover, some are public and some are private. Also, payment procedures and costs vary from location to location. This creates uncertainty for drivers outside their local area. See also Charging points still sticking point for electric vehicle drivers at ZDNet.

Speaking of charging, automoblog says there will be A Fast-Moving Electric Car Future with DC Fast Charging. DC charging, able to power a battery with 500 volts, is revolutionizing the EV world.  Instead of taking up to 30 hours to charge a car with 120 volts, DC charging is reducing the fill up in 15 to 30 minutes. The post introduces us to DC charging and current efforts to make the ports compatible for most EVs.

UK hotel chain, QHotels, is the first to offer electric car charging points as standard says businessGreen. The company will be adding up to 40 new charge points at 20 of its hotels.

mother nature network talks about EV battery swapping in Israel. Car swapping expert Better Place is offering a new option for electric cars: buy the vehicle but lease the battery, and pay for ‘electric miles’ like you would a cellphone contract. In Israel, customers buy “electric miles,” paying Better Place roughly $32,000 for the car (a Renault Fluence Z.E. ) then leasing the battery and a charging plan that gives them access to the company’s public network and the swap stations. Owners are still free to charge at home or at other locations. BP has 40 swapping stations in the country.








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