Battery electric vehicle Stories January 29, 2016

On a recent electric road trip to upstate New York, I realized that, with the cold weather, my snow tires and a car full of kids who like to be warm, I would need over 30 more miles of electricity than my batteries could hold to make it home. Hitting one of Tesla’s speedy Superchargers would require me to veer across the Hudson River twice and add over a half hour to my trip.

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Along the fastest route, according to the helpful Plugshare App, there were a few Level 2 charging stations. I can get 30 miles per hour of charge from my default Tesla cable so I figured that I could get most of the extra miles I needed while we stopped for lunch. There was also a highly rated Level 2 charger within a mile of our destination we could use as a backup (it is good to have backups!). I figured we were all set…

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Battery electric vehicle Stories October 15, 2015

This morning Volvo sent out a press release outlining its plan to introduce more electric vehicles in its lineup. The Swedish automaker plans to introduce plug-in hybrids in all its series of models, including a new compact category, but more importantly, it will bring to market its first all-electric car in 2019. expand full story

Zero Motorcycles, a maker of battery-powered motorcycles, is at the American International Motorcycle Expo in Orlando, Florida today to unveil its 2016 lineup and announce 2 new models.

On top of the new models, the company is also presenting a new motor design, a faster charging infrastructure, a new lithium-ion cell chemistry for more capacity and efficiency, and it will lower the price on two base models while adding more features and performance throughout its lineup. expand full story

Battery electric vehicle Stories September 23, 2015

Chargepoint, one of the leaders in the commercial EV charging market, this week  announced a new line of home chargers that are available at Amazon.com. The lineup starts at $499 for an indoor (garage) with a 16A/240V which can add 12 miles per hour of charge. This is a little over double the speed of 110V 15A plugs that go into regular 110V outlets.

Outdoor charging, hard/plug wiring, cord length and double speed 32A all raise the price in $50-$100 increments where a 32A Outdoor with a 25-foot wire cost $799.

Screenshot 2015-09-23 13.18.00A quick look at Amazon’s best seller list (cached to the right)  shows that a few days in, Chargepoint dominates EV charger sales at the online retailing giant.

Chargepoint also offers an attractive design (which I got to review at CES at the beginning of the year), integration with Nest and other home automation platforms and software updates over Wifi which will bring new functionality in the future.

At a starting price of $499, however, there are some better deals on the market and particularly at Amazon especially if you are looking at straight W/$.

One of my favorite chargers (and the only other in Amazon’s top 10) is the Electric Motor Werks Juicebox 40A/10KW with 24′ cable for $499 shipped. This is more powerful than Chargepoint’s by a significant margin (40A vs. 32A) and equivalent to Tesla’s home charger and gets outstanding 4.5/5 star reviews from Amazon’s customers. It is so small that it can be taken off its bracket and used as a Travel charger anywhere there is a NEMA 14-50 plug… expand full story

Battery electric vehicle Stories September 9, 2015

Jaguar Land Rover is showcasing 3 new vehicle platforms for the Concept_e research at the CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle event which runs this week in the UK. The Concept_e platforms are coming out of a $25 million advanced powertrain research program partly backed by the UK government.

The concept platforms are intended for future generations vehicles and the company currently doesn’t have any plan to implement them in its lineup. expand full story

Battery electric vehicle Stories September 3, 2015

In an interview with German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Daimler’s chief of research and development Thomas Weber confirmed the company is currently working on a next generation electric vehicle with a range of “400 to 500 km” (250 to 310 miles).

Daimler already sells a few electric vehicles, like EV versions of the Smart or the Mercedes B class, but the automaker as yet to build a fully electric vehicle from the ground up. It’s not entirely clear from Weber’s comments if the concept will be a completely new electric platform, but it sounds more likely than not… expand full story

Battery electric vehicle Stories February 21, 2015

In a new paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, Tugce Yuksel and Jeremy Michalek at Carnegie Mellon University have shown the average energy usage per mile of electric cars across the US.  You’ll note that warm but temperate climates like the California Coast and the Deep South especially Florida fare the best. Very hot desert areas like Arizona don’t do well because of the energy required to cool off bith the batteries and cabin. The North does poorly because batteries lose power as weather gets cooler.  Below, a Nissan Leaf efficiency is graphed at different temperatures which illustrates this disparity more clearly. The optimum range for operation is between 45 and 82 degrees where the 300W/mile threshold is beaten.

nissan-leaf-watt-mile

This all translates to CO2 emissions obviously and with the West making their energy much cleaner, they produce about 1/3rd the CO2 emissions as the north Midwest which is basically one big coal plant. In fact, that area’s energy is so CO2 intensive that running an electric car there (assuming you don’t have your own solar/wind) rivals the CO2 emissions of a fuel efficient car like a Prius.

The big takeaway is that moving to electric cars isnt enough. The grid also needs to move to cleaner power like wind and solar.

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Battery electric vehicle Stories August 28, 2014

Not only is the car redesigned but claimed to get more than double the current 85Mile range. The design is definitely more pleasing though I have to wonder what that huge front grill is all about.

Nissan is hard at work developing the next-generation Leaf, focusing on improving the range with new battery tech and – as our exclusive images show – a more conventional look. The new car is expected to be on sale late in 2016, with prices starting around £17,000…Nissan bosses are promising new battery technology is on the way, with better energy density for a more usable pure electric vehicle. A figure of about 186 miles is likely to be the target.

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