Electric Car

Recharging an electric car in the early 1900s

hydrogenfuelnews had several articles looking at the future of hydrogen as a transportation energy source in the upcoming years. Hydrogen fuel usage outlook identifies the many hurdles this technology must overcome if it is to compete successfully with gasoline, diesel, electricity and natural gas in the transportation marketplace. The high cost of creating, operating, and using hydrogen-based fuel supplies is negatively affecting the practical widespread use of this fuel. Related posts examined the challenges and benefits of hydrogen powered cars and the search  to improve hydrogen power for vehicles. Despite these hurdles and challenges, the US state of California is preparing for a fuel cell future, starting as early as 2015 and the state of Hawaii will have two hydrogen buses in operation this spring.

Still with hydrogen, environmental LEADER says fuel cell vehicles will be a $1.8 billion global market in 2030. A resent study by Lux Research forecasts sales of passenger cars and forklifts powered by hydrogen are about to take off. The study sees 63,000 fuel cell passenger vehicles sold globally in 2030, assuming that hydrogen costs $6/kg at the pump and oil prices reach $250/barrel. In addition, 304 fuel cell buses will be sold that year.  Currently it costs $2 million to make a fuel cell bus versus $300,000 – $400,00 for a diesel or natural gas equivalent. Since fuel cell forklifts suffer less downtime compared to their electric counterparts (which take longer to recharge their batteries), their sales should reach 62,000 in  2030.

Gas2 informs us about the first electric ferry in Norway. With a 10-tonne battery that powers two electric motors, it can carry 360 passengers and 120 cars. Starting in 2015 the vessel will serve the route between Lavik and Oppedal, across the Sognefjord (the largest fjord in Norway). “The best part? The electric ferry’s huge battery can be fully recharged in 10 minutes, so the ferry can be made ready to push off with all of its 800 kWs of engine power at the captain’s command as soon as the cars and passengers are ready to go.” See also Electric Vehicle News First car ferry powered by battery electric drive system.

Justmeans says Fiat’s new 2013 500e electric vehicle can get 122 miles to the gallon equivalent. (The EPA in the US rates it at 116 MPGe.) In other words, it can go 122 miles on a single gallon of gasoline, the most for any EV on the road.

Green Car Congress tells us EV hybrids and plug-ins are expected to grow to 4% of the European automobile market in 2020. “Pike Research forecasts that electric vehicles—conventional hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electrics (BEVs)—will grow from 0.7% of the market in Europe in 2012 to 4% in 2020. While that is still a small portion of the market, it represents more than 827,000 vehicles per year, Pike notes. The biggest growth is expected in BEVs followed by PHEVs, with HEVs lagging behind.” By the end of this decade, the research company believes there will be more than 1.8 million BEVs on Europe’s roadways, along with 1.2 million PHEVs and 1.7 million HEVs. The top six European countries for battery electrics at that time will be Germany, France, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Research firm Mintel finds some 440,000 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles were sold in the US in 2012. Mintel is predicting 2013 sales will rise even more significantly, reaching at least 535,000 units. By 2017, sales will reach 850,000 units a year, making up 5% of the total auto market in the US.

From the New York Daily News we hear global electric vehicle sales will reach almost 4 million units by 2020. The forecast from Pike Research is based on a belief there will be more affordable plug-in and hybrid EVs this decade and the charging infrastructure will grow rapidly to accommodate them. “Plug-in hybrid vehicles, which have a greater range than their pure-electric counterparts, are expected to drive the electric vehicle market in North and Latin America, where average driving distances are longer and therefore greater range is needed, while in smaller geographical regions, such as Western Europe, where it is easier to make widespread infrastructure changes, plug-in electric vehicles are expected to be more popular.”

From Gasgoo we learn that Norway is first in terms of share of electric cars per capita. While Norway has four electric cars for every 1,000 passenger cars, Estonia is second at one EV per 1,000 passenger cars. Third is Netherlands with 0.6 electric cars per every 1,000 passenger cars.  With a population of only 5 million, over 10,000 EVs have been sold in Norway. Norway has the world’s most expensive petrol costing the equivalent of US$2.50 per litre ($10 a gallon). Its hydro powered electricity costs only US$0.06 kWh and is available from a national network of 3,500 EV charging stations. You can read more about Norway at plugincars Norway Is Model Society for Electric Vehicles and Electric Vehicle News Energy prices make EVs a popular choice in Norway.

SustainableBusiness says India has announced an electric vehicle policy. Last week the government set a target of 6-7 million EVs sold by 2020.  Under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, the government and the automotive industry will spend $4.2 billion in investments to increase domestic manufacturing and provide incentives for the purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles. India’s government will facilitate automotive research and development and put in place a nationwide charging infrastructure.

EVs are very popular in car sharing networks posts hydrogenfuelnews. In a related post see Hertz Launches Electric Car Club For Milton Keynes in the UK.

TriplePundit found that global parcel delivery company UPS had electric vehicles as far back as 1933.


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