TheGreenCar tells us  Germany plans 50 hydrogen fuel stations by 2015. The German government and industry participants have decided to expand the network of hydrogen fueling stations from the current 15 stations across the country. Daimler plans to be the first domestic auto maker to start full commercial production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with plans to launch the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell by 2014. By putting a hydrogen fueling network in place, the hope is to increase demand for hydrogen vehicles in the country.

CAR ADVICE says Toyota will have a hydrogen fuel cell car in 2015. The company expects production to reach the tens of thousands of units in the next decade. Toyota will also oversee the production of fuel cell buses (via its trucking subsidiary Hino) and develop hydrogen-powered forklift trucks. Toyota recognizes that, like other alternative vehicles (EVs, natural gas), the success of hydrogen vehicles will depend on the extent there is adequate hydrogen fueling infrastructure in each country.

Market Watch reports clean diesel vehicles will comprise more than 12% of global light-duty vehicle sales by 2018. A new report from Pike Research finds rising fuel prices and stronger fuel economy regulations will stimulate demand for clean diesel vehicles in markets around the world. Sales of these vehicles will increase from 9.1 million this year to 12.1 million annually by 2018. A diesel vehicle typically gets 20% to 40% better fuel economy than a comparable gasoline car. This factor, along with favorable tax treatment for diesel fuel, has made diesel cars very attractive in Europe, where they have accounted for around 50% of light-duty vehicle sales over the past several years. Now with higher gasoline prices in North America, Pike predicts an increased demand for clean diesel engines in that market for the rest of this decade. You can access the report here.

The electric vehicle market in India is covered by reve. The EV market was experiencing strong growth until mid-March of this year when the government withdrew a subsidy to consumers who purchased these vehicles.  Since that time EV sales are down 70%. Electric vehicles were selling around 7,000 units per month before April 2012 but are now down to 2,500-3,000 units per month. Sales are also impeded in those states that have a high value added tax vis-a-vis states which have lowered the tax. See also DAILY NEWS & ANALYSIS Policy vacuum sucking life out of e-vehicles.

INAUTONEWS explores the Chinese EV market. Like other jurisdictions, the Chinese have plans to offer subsidies and tax exemptions to encourage EV sales. Customers who buy EVs or hybrid cars would be exempt from a vehicle purchase tax. In addition they will receive a sales rebate and a reduction in the value-added tax. The government also plans to subsidize vehicle buyers living in rural areas.

New Zealand will exempt EVs from the road use tax until 2020 says Green Car Congress. The New Zealand government has extended the current exemption for light electric motor vehicles from the requirement to pay road user charges—enacted in 2009 and due to expire in 2013—to 2020. The exemption applies to any motor vehicle which is powered wholly (i.e., battery electric) or partly (i.e., plug-in hybrid) derived from an external source of electricity. The government is hoping these measures will jump start the EV market in the country.

err notes that EV prices are falling in Estonia due to lack of customers. Mitsubishi, Citroen and Peugeot have been forced to lower their electric vehicle prices by 5000 to 6000 euros as sales stall, despite a generous government subsidy for EV buyers. In a similar post, plugincars reports that German car makers are reviewing their EV plans in light of poor sales.

Torque News asks: When Does an Electric Car or Plug-In Hybrid Make Sense? while Clean Technica teaches us how to turn an EV into a “hot rod”.

The costs of replacing EV batteries for the Nissan Leaf is examined by plugincars as this cost is often cited as one of the main reasons why people are concerned about buying these vehicles. The author talks to industry experts and finds that this is a very complex question with lots of variables. Much depends on how quickly and by how much the battery loses its charge and whether the whole battery would have to be replaced or simply modules or cells. So far it is early in the Leaf cycle so that technical improvements and economies of scale could bring down the cost of battery replacement from the $9000 to $18,000 estimates being thrown around today. The bottom line: there is still a lot of uncertainty right now with this technology and not a lot of hard facts are available to assist the potential Leaf buyer.

TheChargingPoint explains the benefits of getting a home charging station for your EV.

The unusual topic of EV charging rage was popular this week. Green Car Reports gave us Your Guide To Charging Station Rage And How To Avoid It while Torque News posted Electric car road rage, electric car etiquette, and sharing charging stations. Apparently someone might decide they are in more of a hurry than you are and unplug your vehicle while it is charging.  Naw….that could never happen!! These posts go through the annoying scenarios that are happening at public EV charging stations and how you can manage the situation should it happen to you.

Digital Journal tells us about the first all-electric food delivery vehicle. GBike Electric Bikes and Commercial Vehicles has introduced a food delivery vehicle vehicle designed specifically for use in high-traffic, densely populated cities where parking is scarce and traffic jams are common. These enable deliveries to be made twice as fast as with an automobile (eg. pizza delivery). The bike, looking much like a scooter, is 100% street legal, with no license, insurance, or registration required. GBike says it has a range of 30-35 miles per charge, and costs only 12 cents to fully charge the battery. Batteries typically last for 2-3 years under heavy use, and cost US$299 to replace. The company also has a non-commercial version suitable for people looking for a low-cost, short-distance commuter vehicle. You can check them out at the EBike website (with video).

Tesla’s new sedan has the longest range for a pure EV of 265 miles reports environmental LEADER. The Model S also gets 88 MPG equivalent in the city and 90 MPG on the highway, for a combined rating of 89 MPG. The car sells for $50,000 in the US after applying the $7500 federal tax credit. The Model S comes with our choice of a 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh battery pack. The 265 mile range is based on the latter. By comparison, the Ford Focus EV has a range of 76 miles and the Nissan Leaf has a range of 73 miles.

Peugeot has introduced its third diesel-electric hybrid car we learn from CAR ADVICE. The 508 HYbrid4 large family sedan joins the 3008 HYbrid4 compact crossover and the off-road-themed 508 RXH wagon.





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1 Comment on The Week in EVs and More

  1. Elroy Jetson says:

    With oil prices sliding and auto makers squeezing better mileage out of every internal combustion engine, it’s getting even tougher to make the case for EVs. And this is hardly the economic environment favourable to ramping up subsidies for them, either. EVs may be in our future, but it looks less and less like it will be our immediate future.