Motorcycle Daily tells us you can motor around Europe on an e-bike. Under a 2004 European Directive, electric bikes are allowed a maximum speed of 25km/h (15.6mph). However, some European nations are getting around this limit by introducing a ’superbike’ class of e-bike that slots in between bicycles and mopeds. For example, Germany’s ‘leichtmofa’ class includes electric bikes capable of assistance up to 45km/h (28mph) and with up to 500 watt motors. A licence and insurance is required but not a helmet and the bikes are not allowed on bike paths. The popularity of electric bicycles is exploding in some European countries which is leading to significant investment in both motor and battery technology. e-bikes are available for less than $1,000 but Hungary’s exotic M55 Terminus can be gotten for $36,000 to $35,000 (26,000 to 29,000 ). e-bikes have a range of around 30 miles (48 km). In a related piece see The Commons Can a bicycle replace the family car?

TheGreenCar tells us electric vans are joining the battery swap craze in Slovakia. The first battery swap station for electric vans has opened in Bratislava. The new station will be able to swap the batteries of vehicles up to 3.5 tonne in weight in less than 7 minutes-making it a quick alternative to waiting for EV batteries to recharge.

Arlington, Virginia may soon have a fleet of electric taxis says plugincars. EV Taxicabs, a new company in the area is planning to have fleet of 50 Nissan Leaf cabs, connected to a network of 50 Level II and six Quick Charge public chargers.

We have another forecast for the growth of global EV charging stations over the next decade. heraldonline says this will be a billion dollar market by 2020. Lux Research predicts the global charging station market will grow in unit sales from around 120,000 in 2012 to 1.3 million units in 2020. Europe will lead the global market with 2020 annual sales of 480,000 units. You can access the Lux report here.

Offlay EXPRESS tells us Ireland now has 1000 EV charging stations.

Clean Technica tells us how to use your smartphones to pay for charging if you are on the west coast of the US.

The American Automobile Association is testing roadside charging in the US says sustainable business Oregon. Since June the AAA has had one EV-charging service truck in each of  six metropolitan areas — Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Knoxville and Orlando. Called Mobile Electric Vehicle Charging Units, they are the first phase of a project intended to add EV-charging vehicles to the company’s services nationwide. The mobile EV charging vehicles provide DC fast and are intended to charge depleted EV batteries for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing EVs to be driven 3 to 15 miles to the nearest charging station.

sustainable business says a new standard will dramatically reduce EV battery charging times. In May automakers agreed to develop a single, standard charging system to be used in all electric cars and it promises to cut the time to charge an electric car to 20-30 minutes. It also  combines 240- and 480-volt charging into a single plug. It was developed by 190 experts from automotive charging companies, utilities and other stakeholders around the world. As a result, going forward Ford, General Motors, Chrysler-Daimler, Audi, BMW, Porsche and Volkswagen will all use the same standard charger.

Electric Vehicle News reports Volvo has cut recharging times to 1 hour. The Swedish company is testing a new fast-charger that cuts recharging time to 1 – 1.5 hours. It will be installed and evaluated in a number of Volvo C30 Electric cars. The 22 kW fast-charger is the world’s first charger that operates on a three-phase supply and is small enough to be fitted in an electric car. Using a three-phase outlet with 32A gives a driver an 80 km range in 30 minutes.

A trial to test wireless EV charging has begun in London, England we learn from autocar. Operated by wireless technology firm Qualcomm, the 2-year trial involves the use of the company’s induction charging system, which eliminates the need for a physical connection between the car and power source. By creating a magnetic field using an induction loop in a pad installed in the floor, electric current can be sent safely and efficiently to an opposing pad connected to a vehicle’s battery. This is the same technology that is used for smartphones and electric toothbrushes. The trial will assess the feasibility and the commercial viability of a rollout across the UK.


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