The US city of Santa Clara, California is requiring all new buildings to be pre-wired for EV charging. Clean Technica says by mandating that new homes and non-residential buildings be pre-wired to accommodate electric vehicle charging stations owners will not have to pay up to $2,000 each to redo wiring in a building that has already been constructed. The pre-wiring is for Level 2 charging stations, which operate at 220-240 volts and can charge electric vehicles in four to seven hours.
A shortage of EV charging stations in California’s Silicon Valley is leading to “charge rage” at some businesses, says CBS. Installation of electric vehicle charging ports at some companies has not kept pace with demand and, in some cases, cars are getting unplugged while charging, creating animosity between employees. Charging installation firms say there should be one charging port for every two electric vehicles.
The Canadian province of Quebec is pushing hard to introduce EVs on its roads. The Montreal Gazette reports the province is extending its rebate program for drivers who purchase electric vehicles for another two years. Drivers in the province can continue to benefit from a rebate of up to $8,000 when they buy or lease a green vehicle. There is also a $1,000 rebate for the installation of a 240-volt home charger. The province hopes to have 12,500 more EVs on the road by 2017. Currently there are 1500 EVs in the province. The Quebec government has also announced its intention to add up to 10,000 electric charging stations across the province over the next few years.
Renault is ending production in Europe of one of its flagship electric cars, the Fluence ZE. TheGreenCar reports the production line in Turkey will be closed partly because of the collapse of EV battery swap company Better Place last year. The vehicle was originally intended to support the Better Place replaceable battery concept in Denmark and Israel. Industry sources suggest the company has lost several hundred million euros on the development of the car. The author notes: “the car will soon become a collectors’ item.” The Fluence Z.E. will continue to be manufactured in Busan, South Korea, as the Renault-Samsung SM3 EV, and production of the conventionally powered Fluence will continue in TTurkey. See also Fleet World, Renault ends production of Fluence Z.E. electric car.
From Environmental News Network we learn that Ford has plans for a solar powered electric car. The Ford C-Max Solar Engeri could prove to be one of the turning points for the automobile industry, although opinion is divided as to whether it will actually go into full production.
The vehicle itself is fitted with an array of solar panels on the roof and also comes with its own parking canopy which helps to cultivate the sun’s rays, redirecting them towards inbuilt solar panels. The vehicle itself is designed to be recharged in a “large parking area” because due to the unique navigation concept within the vehicle, it will actually slowly move itself around a parking spot to maximize solar power cultivation.
Even though this is a very interesting development it is worth noting that so far Ford has not actually priced the cost of building such a vehicle and whether indeed it will ever make it to market.
See also CheatSheet, How Ford’s Solar C-Max Compares to Fuel Cell Concepts.
EnergyLiveNews tells us how about wireless electric buses in the UK. Eight battery-powered buses will run 17 hours a day, seven days a week in the city of Milton Keynes, England. During scheduled breaks, wireless charging plates set into the road will transfer power directly to receiving plates underneath the bus. In just 10 minutes, a bus parked over one of two charging points can recover two-thirds of the energy used on the 15-mile route. The buses are designed to replace diesel-powered buses.
Nissan has an electric taxi cab for the streets of London, England (with video). According to the Green Optimistic, the Nissan NV200 EV will be on the streets of London in 2015 and will very much resemble the traditional iconic London cab.
Interested? You can buy everything you need off the OSVehicle website. After choosing between a chassis for four seats or two (both around $700), you’ll need to pick up various ‘optional’ extras. Go for everything – a battery pack, electric powertrain, seats and wheels – and it will set you back around $3,600. Total outlay? Less than $4,500.
Should you buy a plug-in hybrid or a range-extender electric car? ecomento helps you answer this question. The post explains the biggest differences between plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric cars with range extenders.
- Higher capacity batteries mean longer range than plug-in hybrids between charges
- Gasoline generator provides a safety net for shoppers with range anxiety
- Greater tax government tax incentives available for the purchase of Rex vehicles
- Perhaps the most expensive way to get into an electric vehicle
- Range extender is sometimes optional (BMWi3), and comes at a price
- The onboard generator can be noisy in some cars
Green Car Reports informs us that hotel chain Best Western will use 1,000 Via Motors range-extended electric vans as hotel shuttles. Hotels are a naturally early target market for electrification of fleet vehicles. They attract a generally affluent clientele who park their cars for several hours, perfect for a substantial battery recharge at a 240-Volt Level 2 charging station. The Best Western Seven Oaks in Regina will be the first Best Western hotel to offer electric shuttle van services in North America.