From Environmental Expert we learn that ReportsnReports.com has a new study on Chinese EV charging stations. With continued polices to subsidize and promote EVs in China, the construction of EV charging station has been on a fast growth track. At the end of 2012, China had constructed 443 EV charging stations with over 18,000 EV charging points. State Grid Corporation of China (a state-owned company) is leading the construction of charging points in the country. As of late 2012, it had built 14,703 charging points in 25 demonstration cities as well as 353 charging stations of which 191 had the capability of swapping batteries. Other companies building charging points included the oil firms Sinopec, PetroChina and the Chinese National Oil Company. Most of the focus so far has been on four cities – Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Shanghai.
plugincars rebukes Europe f0r its slow introduction of fast EV charging points.
Swedish retailer IKEA announced plans to install 24 charging stations at 8 US store locations says TriplePundit. When the project is completed by the end of this summer, IKEA will have a total of 55 charging stations at 17 locations, including 16 of its retail stores and its US corporate headquarters in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
EV automaker Tesla announced it is introducing a battery swapping network in the US for its vehicle owners. TechHive says the battery swap service will enable Tesla owners to exchange depleted battery packs for freshly charged ones in a matter of minutes. The robotic battery swap stations will be set up alongside the company’s “supercharger” quick-charging stations along the California Interstate 5 Freeway corridor between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the West coast, and along the Boston-to Washington, D.C., corridor in the East. The initial stations would be installed at a cost of more than $500,000 each (not including real estate costs), each with an initial inventory of 40 to 50 battery packs. See video here.
Users would pay the local equivalent of the cost of 15 gallons of gas ($60 when gas is $4 a gallon) for a replacement battery pack—and would pay the same again when they picked up their original pack on the way home. As an alternative, a Model S owner could opt to keep the replacement pack and if it was a new one would be charged the difference between its value and the value of the old, depleted pack. Payments would be made automatically via a pre-authorized credit card and occupants of a car could remain in the vehicle the entire time the swap was taking place.
The Green Prophet gives us the perspective of a Better Place car owner who questions how successful Tesla is likely to be with this venture. Better Place was the first to introduce electric vehicle battery swapping a couple of years back and the company went into bankruptcy earlier this year when the concept failed. “Tesla hasn’t exactly reinvented swapping technology. They’ve just created a better dog and pony show…for now.”
Nissan announced it will have a battery replacement program for US owners of its Leaf EV says Climate Spectator. The $100-a-month battery replacement plan will enable Leaf owners to get a new or upgraded battery once their current battery capacity falls below 70% of initial output. Nissan said the plan is modeled after its own program in Europe and those of competitors. The plan will start in early 2014. All new Leaf cars have a five-year, 60,000 mile battery warranty for capacity loss. So Nissan does not expect many Leaf owners to sign up for the program until their cars are no longer covered by the battery capacity warranty.
The California city of San Jose took possession of 38 EVs last week reports the Mercury News. The Mitsubishi i-MiEVs are part of the city’s plan to replace its entire municipal fleet with EVs.
Germany’s postal service is adding 141 pure electric delivery vehicles according to Inside EVs. The vehicles will operate in the city of Bonn and all will be on the road by 2016. Meanwhile, the same source tells us Austrian Post is expanding its electric fleet to 1000. Currently, Austria Post is testing 167 electric bikes, 80 electric mopeds and 18 electric vans as part of its E-Mobility Post initiative. By 2015, Austria Post hopes to have an EV fleet of 1,000. Some will be electric vans, while others will continue to be electric trikes, bikes or two-wheel scooters.