Green Energy News continues its series Rethinking Electric Cars with Longer Range, Lesser Price.

The Sacramento Bee finds that only a few US electric utilities offer special deals to EV owners. While electricity tariffs designed specifically for EV recharging are a key driver to promote the growth of EVs, currently only 6% of US power companies offer special EV tariffs and rates for their customers. This comes from the second annual United States Smart Grid: Utility Electric Vehicle Tariffs (Volume II)study published by Northeast Group, LLC. 22 utilities across 11 states have launched EV tariffs for their customers, offering cheaper recharging options compared with standard household electricity tariffs.

Torque News tells us about The Next Step After Battery Electric Cars. The post discusses Nikola Tesla’s idea back in the early 20th century to use electromagnetic field energy (EMF) to power electric cars. An EMF is a physical field produced by moving electrically charged objects, such as a charged electric wire. While it affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of its field, it extends indefinitely throughout space and interacts with other objects. Tesla believed that, when perfected, his idea would allow electric cars to operate remotely and wirelessly without onboard batteries.

Environmental Expert reports on the global hybrid electric vehicle battery market over the period 2011-2015. TechNavio forecasts this market will grow at compound annual growth rate of 25% over this period. You can obtain a copy of the study here.  On the same topic, Green Car Reports says that electric car battery costs will fall to $200 per kWh by 2020. Presently a typical lithium-ion battery pack costs around $500-$600 per kWh. That means the 24 kWh pack in a 2012 Nissan Leaf may have cost between $12,000-$14,400 to manufacture–a significant proportion of the car’s cost. A new study from McKinsey suggests this cost could fall quite dramatically by the end of the decade, and at an even faster rate before 2025. This would lower the cost of that Nissan Leaf battery by as much as $10,000. McKinsey suggests that nearly 30% of the cost reductions will come from economies of scale and improved manufacturing processes. Another 25% would be due to lower components prices, and 40-45% would come from advancements in anode, cathode and electrolyte technology–which would also bring about increases in battery capacity. See also nitrobahn 2025 Could Witness a Major Decline in Lithium Ion Battery Costs.

Still on the same topic, Environmental Protection explores The Long, Winding Road to Advanced Batteries for Electric Cars.

Recent analysis by IMS Research finds that the global EV charging station market is struggling to be profitable. There are 75,000 EV charging stations currently installed globally, rising to 4.8 million in 2015. However, the industry is finding it difficult to generate a return on this installed base. “Manufacturers of charging stations are in a very difficult position. Demand for electric vehicles is uncertain, yet a developed infrastructure of charging stations is a pre-requisite for growth in EV sales. Manufacturers are therefore saddled with development costs for a product for which there is no clear demand. Whilst many are taking a long-term perspective, many current projects are heavily subsidised by government funding or suppliers are having to sell below cost. Clearly this isn’t sustainable, but until volumes ramp up it is difficult to see how manufacturers can drive profitable growth.”

In a related item, Green Car Reports wants to know if market forces will force price reductions at EV charging stations.

OILPRICE comments on Wireless Charging Gives EV’s Infinite Range. The author is skeptical that current Japanese research will develop the technology to wirelessly charge EV’s as they drive around. “Just ignoring the fact that I imagine the system will be incredibly inefficient; the actual cost of installing metal tracks in the hundreds of thousands of miles of roadway would be massive, and then on top of that special tyres would be needed for the cars, which no doubt would be more expensive than regular tyres. I think that the chances of this technology, in this form, ever becoming a commercial success, are slim.”

Energy & Capital tell us about the 30-Minute Electric Vehicle Charge. ECOtality has developed the Blink DC Fast Charging station which can charge an EV battery in 30 minutes. The charger is rated at 60 kW (200-450 VDC, up to 200A) and provides a quick, safe method for charging EVs. It is ideally suited for high-traffic commercial locations (such as malls) and major transportation corridors.

Green Economy says that GE is making EV charging easy with its mobile app. General Electric’s is teaming up with PayPal to let drivers pay for EV charging with a mobile phone app. The app is initially available for Apple’s iPhone and planned for Android smartphones. With the app drivers can find the nearest GE WattStation through mapping features and directions. To pay, they will scan a code that includes the station’s unique identification information. PayPal will offer flat rate or pay-as-you-charge pricing.

Finally, TheGreenCar welcomes us to the confusing world of EV charging stations.




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