Torque News says BMW is the electric vehicle leader in Germany. Until recently, German car makers said there was no future in EVs and instead poured billions of euros into fuel cell technology hoping to store and keep stored hydrogen. Then out of nowhere BMW introduces its all electric i3 and its plug-in hybrid i8 and now comes the C Evolution electric scooter. (The i8 Spyder is pictured above.) The post has a video of the C Evolution. Its battery can be charged up to 70% in about 30 minutes and has an electronically limited speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). The scooter’s range is 100 kilometers (60 miles) using a 8 kWh battery pack.
Still with BMW, autobloggreen notes the company is selling its EVs online. BMW is spending $3 billion to bring the i3 and i8 to market in 2013, and hopes to sell 5% to 7% through online sales. BMWBLOG has been testing out the all-electric ActiveE and gives us the rundown on its operation. You can read the first three parts here. (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) The ActiveE is a precursor to the i series.
What is the ideal electric car battery range? ponders Torque News. “…there is a clear divide between what people would like and how much they actually need…If you listen to would-be electric car, EV buyers, the ideal range would be at least 500 miles. While this is not only unrealistic, it’s not what daily drivers currently need. Indeed, 80% of the daily work route in the USA is 40 miles or less. This means, about 95% of electric cars sold today are more than adequate for the needs of 80% of the US population.” Experts, it turns out, think 120 miles would be an appropriate battery range in a world of public fast charging stations and home charging units. This is equivalent to a two to three hour drive in most urban environments, for which the EV is designed.
greener ideas asks: Is It Really That Difficult To Charge Your Electric Vehicle Up? The post covers 3 of the most common misconceptions about electric vehicles and why charging an EV battery is much easier than it seems. Lack of knowledge about public charging stations, home charging and the time it takes to charge are viewed by the author as major barriers to people not buying EVs in droves.
smartplanet asks the interesting question: how much should you pay to charge your EV?. There are lots of comments in response to the question and the post is worth a read. See also autobloggreen Is $1/hour the right price for plug-in car charging? We think, though, the real issue is about what common standard should be used for charging EV users for the electricity they use. Many charging points charge by the TIME it takes to fill the battery while others might charge by the amount of electricity purchased (the VOLUME). Since most people do not have a clear idea of what a watt or kilowatt is, it is difficult for them to make comparisons between different methods of pricing EV charging. In the case of gasoline or petrol, there is a global standard – volume of liquid purchased (ie. gallons or liters). Consumers are able to make their choice of which station to fill up at on the basis of the prices charged per volume. At home we pay for electricity by the kilowatt hour. Yet our bill does not end there. We also pay additional costs for distribution, introducing green energy into the system, upgrading existing infrastructure etc. So our bill has one price we pay with many sub-items identified. The price per kwh is just a portion of that bill. Should we be priced the same way at the charging station? Or should one overall price (charging time, kw per hour purchased) be a proxy for all of these costs. Or should EV charging points be allowed to charge in any manner they wish and it is up to the EV owner to determine what is the best deal? We are in early days and over time it is likely a single global standard will evolve, probably brought about by a consensus between industry and governments. For now, however, EV owners are going to have to learn to do the math.
Green Car Reports posts that the American Automobile Association (AAA) is testing its mobile charger trucks in 6 states including Oregon and California. The trucks are capable of providing either a level 2, 240-volt charge or direct- current fast charging. The units are designed to give stranded electric cars a 15 minute top-up charge. Depending on the car and its charging specifications, those 15 minutes should provide up to 15 miles of driving range to enable the cars to get to a public or home charging station.
EV World says North America’s EV charging infrastructure will reach 4.1 million units by 2017. Market analysts Frost & Sullivan say the most common charging points will be level 1 stations, as every EV sold will have a level 1 charging cord included in the vehicle. Level 1 charging stations 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 EVs are expected to be charged in residential locations, as they will be parked near a home electric outlet for 10 to 12 hours in a day.
BusinessCar says UK EV charging point provider Chargemaster is adding 200 charging points in London. The company already has 700 charging points in the London area and has set a target of 1300 in the area by 2013.
The Bangkok Post reports Thailand’s first public EV charging station has opened in Bangkok. Nine more public stations are to be in place by the end of 2013 in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan.
AMEinfo tells us Masdar City has the first rapid charging station in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates city can now charge EV batteries to 80% of their capacity in 30 minutes.
Charging company Ecotality is offering free charging stations to EV drivers in three large U.S. cities. autobloggreen says Philadelphia has joined Chicago and Atlanta in this government funded project to give free home-charging stations for owners of plug-in vehicles.