EV Interior

 

The Globe and Mail thinks self-driving cars will set off an economic and cultural earthquake. Self-driving cars are now legal in three US states – including California – as well as the UK.

Though cars that appear to move by magic may seem fantastical, they’re coming soon and they demand real reflection – and the time to decide the future of the automobile is already growing short.

German automaker BMW introduced its i3 this week reports The Telegraph. To avoid fears of range anxiety, the all electric automobile will be sold with the option of low cost access to BMW’s conventionally powered cars for short time periods (e.g. for a weekend trip out of town). There are two versions of the car. The standard model has a range of between 80 and 100 miles, whereas the Range Extender version has a range of between 160 and 186 miles. In the UK BMW i3 prices start from £25,680 for the standard model and £28,830 for the Range Extender version. Leasing packages start from £369 per month for a 36-month contract and a limit of 24,000 miles.

INAUTONEWS informs us that Japanese auto makers are working together to increase the number of EV charging stations in Japan. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Honda will share costs to add 12,000 charging stations in Japan, including 4,000 fast-charging points. The Asian country currently has 4,700 charging stations, with a third of them being fast chargers. EV charging competition is increasing following Tesla’s announcement it has come up with an innovative system which recharges a depleted battery in 90 seconds, faster than the time needed to refill as gasoline tank. Electric-powered vehicles accounted for just 0.6 percent of total vehicle sales in Japan in 2012, but the government wants to increase that figure to between 15% and 20% by 2020.

Nissan announced it is installing fast charging stations in the US reports RTTNews. The company will install more than 100 DC quick chargers at Nissan LEAF-certified dealers in 21 US markets. The automaker’s charging units can charge a fully depleted battery to about 80% capacity in 30 minutes.

TheGreenCar tells us British Gas is offering a free EV charging package. The energy company is offering electric car owners the chance to have home charging facilities installed for free. Already the largest supplier of home charging facilities, British Gas is making the offer available to anyone, not just its own customers, until March 31, 2015. The package includes installing a 16 amp data-enabled Wall Box for free and providing access to the Polar charging network of more than 1,800 public charge points across the UK.  To qualify for British Gas’ offer, homeowners must agree to have their energy usage monitored using an O2 data network connection.

The Netherlands says it will have the world’s largest EV fast charging network. According to Green Car Reports power and utility company ABB will be building 245 fast charging stations throughout the country. The goal is to have a fast charger within 30 miles (50 km) of all the country’s 16.7 million inhabitants. ABB will start delivering the chargers, which are capable of recharging a battery in 15-30 minutes, in September. Construction of all stations is expected to be completed by 2015. Earlier this year ABB began construction of a similar network of 165 stations in Estonia.

The UK’s Charge Your Car network launches new electric car charging app we learn from TheGreenCar. The app is designed to make it easier for EV drivers to find charging stations and pay for charging.

The US state of Connecticut plans to more than double its 81 electric-vehicle charging stations by the end of the year says westfaironline. The state will install 119 additional charging stations to prepare for an increased number of electric cars on the highway. The funding will be awarded to proposals made by municipalities and businesses.

Earth Techling describes Los Angeles as Electric Vehicle Rebate Heaven.. If you register an EV in this US city you get access to the $7500 federal government tax credit, the $2500 state rebate and now expanded and improved electric vehicle charger rebates for home, workplace and public charging through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The latter program runs through June 30, 2015 with a goal of 2,000 rebates. Those enrolled in the program will receive financial assistance towards the costs of installing Level 2 chargers (240 Volt), which are three to five times faster than Level 1 chargers (120 Volt), in their home or business.

 future tense explores the potential gas station of the 21st century for the EV driver. Instead of a gasoline station on every corner which was the 20th Century model, ChargePoint (the largest operator of electric-vehicle charging stations in the US) has a different vision.  Like topping up your battery as you travel around during the day and are busy doing other things, like shopping or working.

The idea is not to replicate the national network of some 160,000 gas stations… It’s to build a different type of network—one centered on parking lots for retail stores and office buildings, rather than roadside rest stops. There, drivers can plug in and fill up at their leisure….Driving an EV is different from driving a gas car…your goal is to keep the equivalent of the little yellow gas light from ever coming on—by topping up the battery whenever possible.

 

 

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