techradar wonders what future cars will be like. “Mobile devices and wireless communications will usurp the engine as the heart of the car.” In other words, electromagnetic waves rule. In a related post, greentechmedia enlightens us with Predictions on Energy Storage, EVs and the Future of Transportation. Energy storage experts at the 3rd annual Advanced Energy Solutions symposium last month in San Diego, California offered their insights about what we can expect in the year 2022.

Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards has launched its first hybrid tugboat — the ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid according to Green Car Congress. A second hybrid vessel will be available at the end of 2013. The vessel has a combination of diesel-direct and diesel-electric propulsion and should enjoy average fuel savings of between 10% and 30%.

Austria has its first public hyrodogen fuel refueling station reports NGV Global News. The single pump facility in Vienna is capable of filling fuel cell and other hydrogen fuelled vehicles with gaseous hydrogen at 5,000 psi and 10,000 psi pressures.

TheGreenCar says Stagecoach buses in Scotland are switching to B30 biofuel. 530 buses and coaches in East Scotland area and almost 400 vehicles operating as part of the Stagecoach’s West Scotland business area are now using B30 fuel, a fuel blend consisting of 30% biofuel and 70% diesel.

The city of Ottawa, Canada is considering converting its hybrid buses back to diesel reports CBC. Four years after buying more than 170 hybrid buses, each costing more than regular diesel buses, OC Transpo could be forced to turn all of them into strictly diesel buses because they have performed poorly. Each hybrid bus costs $100,000 to $150,000 more than a diesel bus. The city spent $1 million more on diesel fuel than it expected to last year as well as more than $7 million to replace the batteries on some hybrid buses.

Mercury News gives us tips for increasing mileage with a hybrid vehicle.

Auto Trader asks: Is it time to go electric? The post gives its top 5 EVs in the UK market.

From autobloggreen we learn plug-in EVs are projected to sell 48,000 units in the US this year. This gives the US the highest plug-in sales number of any country. It is expected the US market will play the leading role for plug-in sales through 2020, and perhaps longer. Despite these sales number, Pike Research finds consumer interest in the US in plug-in vehicles is declining. Green Car Congress summarizes the Pike study here. American consumers continue to cite insufficient driving range as a reason they are not interested in plug-ins. No particular model  stood out as a particularly good value for the money. Consumers who are younger and have higher levels of education were somewhat more likely to demonstrate interest in plug-in EVs.

In response, psychologists at the UK’s London Metropolitan University found that range anxiety is a myth, we learn from BusinessCar. You can see the study here.

The New Zealand Herald tells us there are only 60 registered EVs in that country with price being the major barrier to consumer demand. The Holden Volt is just entering the market at $89,000. New Zealand, along with Australia, are the only two countries that do not provide government assistance to consumers to purchase electric vehicles.

Seeking Alpha analyzes The Fall Of The Electric Car… And The Rise Of The Natural Gas Vehicle in the US while The Globe and Mail adds How the e-car revolution ran out of juice. “E-cars have already become the classic example of “push” industrial policy gone wrong…The trickle of e-car sales is all the more unimpressive when you consider the taxpayer loot flung at the industry…The e-car disappointment shows the futility of trying to pick a winning technology, that is, foisting a technology on consumers that don’t want, don’t need or can’t afford it.” A similar view is presented in The Street‘s Electric Cars Suffer in Epic Faceplant:”Every industrial revolution arose from a new technology that proved its merit in a free market and then went on to change the world. In some cases, government initiatives accelerated the pace of developments that would have happened in any event, but the results have always been catastrophic when government tried to force uneconomic technology into the market. In the final analysis, business models that can’t survive without government subsidies can’t thrive with them. They invariably turn into fiscal black holes that need ‘just a little more help to make it over the hump’.”

Seeking Alpha writes about the costly disappointments with EV battery subsidies in Electric Vehicle Battery Grants, 3 Years Of Disappointment And Failure.. “It’s not a question of desire, imagination or willpower. It’s a fundamental flaw in the economics of using expensive batteries to replace a fuel tank for the dubious luxury of using coal and natural gas as transportation fuels instead of gasoline; a flaw that will cost investors billions before the electric car hype fades…”

The Chinese EV market is in the news this week and particularly its poor sales growth. Automotive News says China’s EVs lags behind in the global market. A report by global management consultants McKinsey & Co reveals China’s EV industry has a low market share as sales decline sharply. Only 235 electric vehicles were sold in the second quarter of this year in the world’s largest auto market, a 31% drop from the 343 units in the first quarter. McKinsey said the decline was a result of “short supply in batteries, underdeveloped infrastructure, as well as low recognition among customers”. Media reports about EV explosions and fires did not help. Of the 48 million cars sold in this country since January 2009, only 7834 were EVs. TG Daily continues this theme in Chinese electric car revolution running on half a battery as does Bloomberg in China Electric Vehicle Sales to Fall Short of Target. This has led Chinese EV maker BYD to try to sell cars with zero down payment reports China Daily. For more on BYD see CKGSB Knowledge Taking the Hard Road.

 

 

 

 

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