plugincars comments on a report there will be 4 million EV charging stations in North America by 2017. The post makes that point that this forecast by Frost & Sullivan is like any other forecast in that it is so far into the future that no one will ever remember if it is on track or not And the author gives this cogent advice: “Virtually everything you say about the electric vehicle market should be tempered with disclaimers.” There are many factors which will impact the global growth of this market including the price of gasoline, diesel, and compressed natural gas; the price of the vehicles; the political party in power and its willingness to subsidize vehicle purchases and charging infrastructure expansion; the state of national economic growth; the rate of development of battery technology and driving range, etc. etc. The post highlights Frost & Sullivan’s  key assumptions that underlie its optimistic forecast.

THINKPROGRESS examines How Wireless Charging Could Speed Up The Electric Car Market. The focus is no new technology by Qualcomm Inc. which allows for charging EVs while they are in motion. If successful, this would overcome the range limitations of these vehicles. (Currently EVs are stationary when the battery is recharged.) Qualcomm Inc. has partnered with European automaker Renault for a field trial of this system later this year in London, England. “As EVs equipped with the proper receiving pads passed over electric roadways, they would constantly be charging, thereby eliminating the need to stop and refuel. This innovation would allow for the much more widespread and effective use of current EVs without any major advances in vehicle technology.”

EV owners in London, England living within the M25 are to be offered free home charging units as part of a year-long trial we learn from TheGreenCar. The Low Carbon London project has signed an agreement with POD Point and UK Power Networks which will give EV owners home charging points worth over £1,000 if they agree to take part. Participants will have access to a free online account where they can view details of their charging cycles and total energy usage. At the end of the trial the EV owner can keep the unit. The purpose of the project is to measure how and when people charge their EVs. The results will be used develop a reliable and sustainable low carbon electricity network in the city of London.

businessGreen tells us General Electric (GE) has developed a charging point for wind-powered electric vehicles. The system is being tested in Spain where wind turbines owned by Urban Green Energy are producing the electricity for the charging point. The 4 kW wind turbine produces 4,000-watts of electricity. This enables electric cars and vans to charge up using zero CO2 emissions. The companies are planning to place this technology at a number of shopping malls, universities, and other locations in the US and Australia later this year. See also Torque News Wind Powered Electric Cars Becoming More Of A Reality.

GreenBiz discusses how Cracker Barrel freedom stations liberate US EV drivers from range anxiety. US restaurant chain Cracker Barrel has joined with Texas retailers Whole Foods, Walgreens and HEB to create the “freedom network” for EVs.  Their premises offer Level 2 and DC fast chargers capable of delivering up to 30 miles in 10 minutes.

Helsingin Sanomat reports the city of Helsinki, Finland plans to add more EV outlets. Already having 6 charging outlets, the city will add 33 over the next year with the intention of reaching 100. Electric utilities will lease the charging points from the city. Initially charging will be free. By 2015, the Helsinki metropolitan area is expected to have about 700 public charging points.

The Canadian city of Vancouver has added 13 EVs to its municipal fleet. Straight says the Mitsubishi i-MiEVs will join an existing fleet of 16 i-MiEVs, one Nissan Leaf, two electric scooters, and 23 utility vehicles. Another purchase of up to 17 MiEVs will be made next year.  The city will have about 70 public charging points by 2013. Vancouver also has a policy requiring new, large developments to have electric-vehicle charging points in 20% of their parking spaces.

KCET refers us to two reports that analyze range anxiety in Los Angeles, California.  Two reports by UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation look at ways to remake L.A.’s vehicle charging system so that range anxiety plays less of a role in shifting to EVs.

BMW has started luxury EV car sharing in the US says fastcoexist. In San Francisco, California BMW has launched DriveNow, a carsharing service featuring 70 ActiveE electric vehicles scattered around the city at designated parking spots. The program is already operating in 3 cities in Germany. DriveNow members pay a membership fee ($39) and a time-based fee each time a car is taken out ($12 for the first 30 minutes, 32 cents for each minute after). The cars don’t have to be returned to their original location–they can be taken to any designated DriveNow parking spot. As these spots are equipped with an EV charger, the vehicles always have their full 80 to 100 mile range whenever a user takes them out. See also Auto World News BMW iPhone App Allows DriveNow Car-Sharing, ParkNow Reserved Parking in San Francisco.

Car sharing firm Zipcar will soon be offering electric vehicles in Houston, Texas for city employees we learn from HoustonPress. Some 50 pure electrics and hybrids will be available for city employees to use on official business.

Anyone living in or commuting to San Jose, California can now use the 12 EV parking spaces at the County of Santa Clara Civic Center employee parking lot.

The Hindustan Times reports that Indian EV manufacturer Mahindra Reva plans to sell 30,000 battery-run cars a year by 2015-16. The firm will start by rolling out 6,000 cars a year from its newly commissioned plant near Bangalore. The company expects to reach its full capacity of 30,000 cars annually within the next three years.

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