The US state of California has that nation’s first all electric school bus. Green Car Reports says the bus, which operates in the Fresno area, can carry 25 students and has an estimated range of between 80 and 100 miles. It is expected an EV will save around 16 gallons of diesel fuel per day, which equates to a total annual savings of around $16,000.
Digital Journal believes there will be a “surging” global market for electric vehicles in 2014 and beyond. The demand for EVs is being driven by an ever increasing supply of new models by auto manufacturers, falling retail prices for EVs, declining production costs as auto makers reach economies of scale, and the spread of EV charging stations in many countries around the world. See also EV World, Electric Cars Set to Bring Consumer Benefits which adds low maintenance costs to the list.
The small US east coast state of Delaware is going to install EV charging stations throughout the state reports InsideEVs. Delaware has announced it will install free (at least until the end of 2014) public charging stations no more than 50 miles apart throughout the entire state. The chargers will be fast Level II units. 50 miles apart is the battery range for the least expensive electric vehicle models today.
To overcome concerns about electric vehicle range anxiety, Tesla is building coast-to-coast “superchargers” network for its model S owners in the US. You can see a map of the charging network here. According to Daily Tech, owners of the Model S can now drive across the US for the first time, as the automaker has successfully placed Supercharger stations from Los Angeles to New York. A Model S battery holds an estimated 265-mile range with a full battery charge. The 30 minute quick charge at each of the 70 Tesla Supercharger stations will provide about 170 miles of range and take away the concern that the driver will not have anywhere to recharge.
Elon Musk tweet on January 28th: “Tesla Supercharger network now energized from New York to LA, both coast + Texas! Approx 80% of US population covered.” Musk is the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors.
VIRTUAL-STRATEGY tells us the Chinese city of Nanjing has ordered 1000 electric buses and taxis. The city has ordered 600 buses and 400 taxis. Some of the taxis are already in operation.
We are informed by the Indian Express that the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has reached an agreement with Nissan to supply EVs for its taxis and government fleet. The tiny country is hoping to reduce reliance on imported oil. Under the agreement, Nissan will supply its Leaf electric car and set up charging stations in Bhutan. The Leaf is the world’s best-selling EV, selling over 100,000 units so far since going on sale in late 2010, comprising 45% of the global electric car market.
There were articles this week about wireless electric car chargers. WebProNews said Wireless Electric Car Chargers Are Coming while environmental LEADER wrote Wireless Charging Market Grows. The latter suggests that within a decade wireless charging could be a common method of charging EV batteries.
Wireless charging systems are in the pilot phase and are expected to remain so for another few years. By 2015-2016, cars with built-in wireless charging capability will be available from several major automakers.
BusinessCar reports an electric vehicle charge payment card is available in the UK. Auto leasing firm Alphabet has launched a charge card for EVs as part of its Alpha Electric plug-in car programme. The card means business users can top-up vehicles at more than 85% of public electric vehicle charging points in the UK as part of a tie-up with EV charging specialist Chargemaster. Each card costs a flat fee of £20 per year and drivers will be billed monthly for their electric usage. A significant portion of the UK EV charging network is currently free to use due to Government subsidies. Drivers will be able to locate compatible charging points through the Alphabet’s app and website.