hydrogenfuelnews tells us about a new website that tracks hydrogen-powered bus projects around the globe. The use of hydrogen fuel cells in public transportation is becoming increasingly popular and several countries are now home to hydrogen-powered bus projects. North Carolina State University’s Center for Transportation and the Environment has a new website that tracks the progress of these projects. This page lists all active demonstration projects presently underway.

asiaone motoring says hydrogen scooters are ready for mass production. China’s Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced its safety and reliability standard for hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles. Scooters produced by some manufacturers have passed this standard and are now ready for mass production. They produce just heat, water, and electricity but no carbon dioxide. The Ministry is now working on global standards to encourage the export of these vehicles.

The San Francisco Bay area is studying the feasibility of a vehicle mileage tax says autobloggreen.  The study will look at rates between one cent and 10 cents a mile to replace the current gasoline tax. It will also assess how a per-mile tax would affect revenue, pollution and traffic. The study will last through January and there could be a vote on it next April. To work all vehicles would need to have GPS-like odometers or similar devices installed in order to track their distance. There is a video with this post. You will recall that the state of Oregon is also studying a mileage tax fearing that road tax revenues funded by gasoline taxes would fall as more electric vehicles tax to the road.

smart planet introduces us to the Elf, a pedal-solar electric hybrid vehicle designed for urban commutes. (See picture above.) The US$3900 Elf is for the urban commuter who likes the option of driving a solar-powered electric vehicle to work but can bike home. The vehicle can travel up to 30 miles (48 km) on a single charge. It also has basic features found in a car: LED headlights, tail lights, and signals; side mirrors; and disc brakes. The Elf can carry 300 pounds in addition to the rider.

Earlier this month we highlighted Seeking Alpha’s series on EV Myths & Realities. (See parts 1 and 2 here.) Now we have Part 3A which examines EV economics. “EVs are cleaner, more sustainable, better performing, quieter. Owners rave about them. The question is whether the ‘average’ buyer will eventually choose them on the basis of life cycle cost alone.”

Forbes says GPS can help reduce EV range anxiety.

Environmental Expert highlights the growth of the global EV infrastructure market.  A new report from SBI Energy reveals EV infrastructure is developing at different rates worldwide and is linked to the amount of electric vehicle sales regionally, as well as government incentive programs. With plug in electric vehicles rising, EV technologies, which include residential electric vehicle chargers and commercial charging stations, are far behind the number needed to relieve driver ‘range anxiety.’ While various standards for charging power levels exist between the United States, Europe, China and Japan, the report does not find this to be a serious hurdle for the development of this market. The U.S. and Japan lead the world in the number of public charge points by volume, with both countries enjoying strong sales for both residential and commercial charging stations. However, The U.S. lags both Japan and China in terms of market value because of a weak fast DC charger segment. China and Japan are the top countries for fast DC chargers. China lacks residential sales as it has focused on charging points and battery swapping charging systems for charging stations used by fleets and taxis. Europe accounts for 21% of global infrastructure sales with Germany and the UK having the largest public charging infrastructure networks. As for the future, assuming governments maintain their industry subsidies over the next decade and plug in EV prices continue to decline, there will be a cumulative 3.3 million charging points worldwide by 2016 and 16.9 million by 2021. Infrastructure sales will reach $3.4 billion by 2021, selling over 4.1 million charging points. The U.S. and Japan will continue to lead the infrastructure market. Despite its higher cost, the fast DC charger segment will have the fastest growth rate  over the next decade.

Frost and Sullivan have a similar study of the North American EV charging industry we find at Digital Journal. The EV charging station market in this region has grown rapidly, helped along by favorable government level incentives and subsidies for the purchase of EVs. Frost & Sullivan find there will be over 4 million charging points by 2017. The most common ones will be the level 1 charging stations, as every EV sold will have a level 1 charging cord included in the vehicle. Level 1 charging station can be plugged in a household socket which takes approximately 8 to 10 hours to charge the vehicle and does not involve any installation cost.  About 71% of the charging stations are expected to be level 1 followed by level 2, which will account for 27% of the market share by 2017. Nearly 87% of the EVs are expected to be charged in residential locations, as they will be parked in the garage for 10 to 12 hours in a day. EV charging infrastructure is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 128.12% as there are low entry barriers. Participants are emerging from multiple industries such as governments, technology, vehicle manufacturers, and utilities. To overcome range anxiety chargers are being installed at work locations, shopping malls, restaurants, service stations,airports and other public and private locations.

Green Car Reports has a video on how to quick charge your electric car.

ZDNet brings our attention to an Australian company that makes a mobile unit to charge EVs on the road. If your EV battery is getting low, Club Assist makes a Level 2 charging device designed to provide enough charge over 10 minutes to get an electric vehicle to a location where it can be charged completely. The company offers the $28,000 charger mounted on a skid or a small trailer and is expected to be purchased by automobile organizations around the world such as AAA in the US and CAA in Canada.

Cars of Change advises us on what to do with used electric car batteries.

Last week we found that only 6% of US electric utilities offered special electricity rates for EVs. This week we learn from the San Francisco Chronicle that Alameda Municipal Power in California is proposing new rates for charging electric cars as the vehicles’ availability and popularity grows. To reduce its costs, the power company is hoping it can convince EV owners to charge their cars at night when the utility has a surplus of power and electricity rates are lowest. The company says the idea is to get rates aligned with when consumption is taking place, particularly when EV owners used double the electricity of average consumers.  Currently the company gives a discount of between $9 and $21 per month to registered EV owners based on the size of their vehicle.

Swedes are slow to cash in on their government’s electric car subsidy reports The Local Sweden. “After six months only 96 premiums have been paid out, equating to a mere 4 million kronor ($584,000) of the 200 million kronor earmarked by the government for the project.” This amounts to only 2% of the funding available. Sweden’s car industry says this proves that the subsidy of 40,000 kronor ($5,840)  is too small to make a difference for potential car buyers. The more popular electric cars they cost around 350,000 kronor. The Swedish government hinted it may review its EV subsidy policy in another year.

Meanwhile, France is increasing its EV subsidies says The Green Car. This week the French government announced it will increase subsidies for electric and hybrid vehicles. Subsidies for EVs will increase from €5,000 to €7,000 and from €2,000 to €4,000 for hybrids. The changes will benefit both private buyers and company car customers. The new subsidies are available until the end of the year when the government will consider extending them into 2013.

Copenhagen Capacity writes about the increasing number of EVs in Danish municipal vehicle fleets. A new study performed by Berlingske Research shows that just over half of the municipalities have electric vehicles in their fleet. Moreover, almost 50% have plans to add more electric cars in 2013. For those who can read Danish, there is more here.






Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,