WLOS tells us that as gasoline prices in the US approach $4 a gallon and higher city budgets are under pressure.  The city of Ashville, North Carolina is reviewing emergency plans to cut gasoline usage if the price keeps climbing.  Fleet Maintenance workers are also looking at converting more city vehicles to cheaper compressed natural gas.  If gas funds are depleted Asheville says it might require some employees to work from home, reduce field inspections to two days a week rather than five, and eliminate non-essential travel.

Hamburg, Germany has the largest hydrogen fueling station in Europe says Your Industry News.  Europe’s most modern hydrogen station is designed for fuel cell buses and cars. About half of the daily fuel capacity will be produced on site by two electrolysers powered by renewable electricity.

CNN reports that hydrogen vehicles are being used by the US military in Hawaii. The fleet of 16 General Motors fuel cell vehicles run on compressed hydrogen gas. The hydrogen is combined in a fuel cell with oxygen from the air in a process that generates electricity. The only exhaust the vehicles produce is water vapor. The fleet includes one vehicle that can be used as a portable generator.  Each car has a range of 200 miles and can be refueled in minutes. (See video.)

Fox News tells us about a hydrogen powered tractor. New Holland Agriculture has just revealed details of its second-generation 135 hp hydrogen fuel cell tractor. An 18-pound hydrogen tank stores the fuel which can be made on the farm. The power and torque is comparable to the equivalent diesel tractor, while producing no greenhouse gas emissions.

“Affluent Greens” are the key to electric car market success in the UK says Click Green. New research from GfK Automotive reveals that luxury car owners – and not traditional environmentalists – should be the target for manufacturers and dealers selling EVs. Premium car owners are three times more likely than so-called ‘Green Evangelists’ to buy an electric vehicle and four times more likely than the overall UK population

REVE reports that global annual sales of hybrids and EVs will exceed 8.3 million in 2020. The forecast, from ABI Research, says that the main obstacle now to rapid market growth for electric vehicles remains the high initial cost premium over petroleum powered vehicles. Moreover, ” gasoline and diesel engine technology is not standing still and more efficient conventional solutions will not make it easier for HEV producers.” Government incentives and increasingly stringent emissions regulations will continue to drive the adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles. In particular, major cities are providing a great deal of support for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by subsidizing the installation of public recharging infrastructure and offering discounted or free charging and parking and other benefits.

CENS says the global EV charging equipment market will reach US $4.3 billion by 2017. Pike Research forecasts that more than 1.5 million locations to charge EVs are expected to be available in the United States by 2017, with a total of 7.7 million locations worldwide. “Prices for EV charging equipment will fall by 37% through 2017 as costs are driven down by competition from large electronics companies as well as volume production…This will encourage both the production and purchase of charging systems.” Pike expects that many of these charging stations will be installed in homes, apartment buildings and condos. See also The Epoch Times Meeting Future Demand for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.

Fleet News directs fleet owners to helpful advice for making business sense of EVs. The EV20 Plugged-In Fleets report aims to guide a fleet decision maker through fleet specific considerations such as whole life cost modelling, tax frameworks and financial solutions, that are necessary to successfully purchase or lease electric fleet vehicles. The report says that EVs can be commercially viable in business fleets and attempts to demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits, while providing practical guidance for fleet managers looking to introduce them.

EV Maps is an online website that lets you know where EV charging stations are located in countries around the world.

CNET asks will wireless charging void your EV’s warranty? It might. As we reported earlier, Evatran is offering a wireless charging device called Powerless Plug which is being sold through Sears in the US. Plugless Power requires a modification to your electric vehicle’s battery system and each car needs a special adaptor. So far Evatran has created an adaptor for the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf.  CNET corresponded with GM about this and was told that “Installation of an inductive charging system would likely void the charging system warranty and possibly the battery warranty as well.”  Nissan had not yet responded to CNET.

Home charging stations are now easier to install in the US reports CleanTechnica. The US Department of Energy, recently took steps to standardize permission and inspection procedures in different regions of the country to speed up the home installation process.

The issue of taxing electric cars for road use has become a political issue in the United States. The state of Washington is charging a $100 a year fee while Arizona and Kansas are looking at the idea. The New York Times weighs in with Road Use by E.V. Drivers: To Tax or Not to Tax? and the Globe and Mail asks how should we tax electric vehicles?

The Philippine provincial government of Nueva Ecija is planning to mass produce its own version of the E-trike, the U-Cab reports the Philippine Information Agency. The purpose is to reduce costs and cut pollution through producing a multi-cab vehicle running on electricity. It would seat 13 passengers compared to six for regular tricycles. U-Cabs are ideal for barangay operations because they can easily maneuver in traffic and in small winding roads. It would cruise up to 60 kilometers per hour and can travel from about 80 to 100 kilometers on its charge using alloy wheels, tubeless tires and ventilated disc breaking system. Its chassis and parts are made of heavy duty fiberglass.

Shenzhen City, China, will add 1500 pure electric buses and taxis to its public transportation fleet, already the largest zero-emissions fleet in the world reports Market Watch.

Taiwan is shipping electric buses to the Philippines we learn from CENS. RAC Electric Vehicles Inc. of Taiwan has agreed to supply 41 electric buses to Victory Liner Inc., the largest bus operator in the Philippines. RAC said it also expects to ship some 300 electric Jeepneys (the most popular public transport in the Philippines) and 50,000 electric tricycles to the Philippines. RAC and Victory have also entered into a joint venture to produce electric vehicles in the Philippines. Planned annual production capacity is 100 e-buses, 250 modified e-buses, 500 new Jeepneys, and some 5,000 remodeled e-Jeepneys.

This week we learn about new EV charging stations in Vancouver, British ColumbiaHonolulu, Hawaii; Seminole, Florida; Orlando, FloridaSan Juan, California; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Bedford, England.

Meanwhile, My San Antonio talks about that Texas city’s empty EV charging spots. San Antonio now has more than 120 public electric car charging stations spread across the city. Funded by the US Department of Energy, the pay as you go stations were installed at grocery stores, parking garages, hospitals, movie theaters, large employers and malls. In addition, free charging stations were installed at libraries and the airport. However, with only an estimated 80 EVs in the city, these spots sit empty most of the time. “…the reality is that many electric car owners shouldn’t need the stations because their vehicles will have enough range to cover their daily commutes.”








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