Japan’s maglev train has begun testing at 310 mph reports Daily Tech. The Central Japan Railway Company is creating a superconducting magnetically levitated (SCMaglev) train (Maglev), which travels along a U-shaped track at speeds of up to 505 km/hr (311 mph). The cost of building a track for this type of train is very large. The company estimates it will cost ¥5T ($50.9 billion) to build the line from Tokyo to Nagoya alone, and as much as ¥9T ($91.7 billion) to complete a full line from Osaka to Tokyo, linking Japan’s four largest cities (Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, and Tokyo). The train is equipped with superconducting magnets, which induce a magnetic field in the powered coils in the tracks. The resulting magnetic field then drives the trains along the track at very high speeds. A test track (42.8 km or 26.6 miles) is now ready to start testing the train. In its first test run last week, the train successfully reached a top speed of 505 kilometers per hour (311 miles per hour). Following an environmental impact study, the plan is to extend the track and test it with 12 passenger cars.

Automotive Business Review says the Bogata, the capital of Colombia, has the largest electric taxi fleet in South America. The fleet uses the BYD all-electric e6 taxi, a 5-passenger, long-range utility vehicle. The new vehicle can be fully charged in 2 hours using the company’s bi-directional charging and discharging technology. The vehicle will cover up to 300 km per charge.

IHS forecasts the number of fast-charging EV stations will increase more than 100 times from 2012 to 2020. From 1200 last year, the market research firm experts these stations to increase to almost 200,000 globally by eh tend of this decade. With a fast-charging system, which offers a high-voltage DC charge instead of a slower AC charge, an EV can be fully charged in as little as 20 minutes. Fast charging is seen as a necessary infrastructure requirement to significantly improve the sales of electric vehicles. See also WebProNews, Electric Car Charging Stations to Reach 200K by 2020.

Meanwhile, TechZone360 notes that German electrical equipment manufacturer Siemans is ending the production of EV chargers due to lack of demand for EVs.

German chancellor Angela Merkel announced a plan in May 2011 to have one million electric vehicles in Germany by 2020. So far, the numbers for reaching that goal do not show much optimism. About 4,300 e-cars were registered in Germany in 2012. With a population near 80 million,that’s about one e-car per 18,000 people.

From the Singularity Hub we learn that a Korean road wirelessly charges electric buses.

While mainstream manufacturers seek to improve battery tech, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has a different idea. Who needs big batteries and stations when the road itself can charge vehicles?


How does it work? The buses are inductively charged throughout the route by 180 kW power sources periodically embedded in the road. KAIST says just 5% to 15% of an already existing road needs to be rebuilt to convert it into a wireless charger.

Each power source connects to the grid and is selectively turned on or off as a bus approaches and leaves. When on, the source produces a magnetic field that wirelessly transfers energy to a receiver underneath the bus. The magnetic field is converted back into an electric current and sent to the battery and motor.

Clean Technica reports that Tesla is building fast EV chargers in Norway and offering them for free. Tesla picked Norway has its entry point into Europe because  Norway has one of the highest electric car ownership rates (relative to its population size) in the world. Tesla superchargers have been installed in Lyngdal, Aurland, Dombås, Gol, Cinderella and Lillehammer. Approximately 90% of the Norwegian population lives within 320 km of a Tesla supercharger station, and about 60% of the country’s total land mass is within the same distance of a station.

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