The European Commission Adopts ‘Transport 2050′

October 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Earlier this year The European Commission adopted a comprehensive strategy (Transport 2050) for a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment.

The key goals will include:

  • No more conventionally-fuelled cars in cities.
  • 40% use of sustainable low carbon fuels in aviation; at least 40% cut in shipping emissions.
  • 50% shift of medium distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and waterborne transport.
  • All of which will contribute to a 60% cut in transport emissions by the middle of the century.
Follow this link for more information on the proposed Transport 2050 strategy:

Yellow School Buses Go Green!

October 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Smith Electric Vehicles, a leader in all-electric commercial vehicles, and Trans Tech Bus, a leading school bus manufacturer, on Tuesday unveiled the nation’s first all-electric school bus. The vehicles can be ordered today with delivery expected to be in 2012.

It is estimated that there are nearly half a million school buses in use in America that burn about 822 million gallons of diesel p/a. ”The Newton operates at one-third to one-half the cost of a traditional diesel, creating significant fuel cost savings for school districts in addition to the clear environmental and health benefits of all-electric, zero-emission transportation for students” said Bryan Hansel, president and CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles.

The fixed routes of school buses are ideal for EV technology and the Newton school buses are even equipped with regenerative breaking to maximize battery life. Smith Electric Vehicles estimates that the buses can travel up to 120 miles on a single charge.

An amazing innovation that will save money, save the environment and most importantly of all protect the health of our future generation.

Really Rapid Charging

October 20, 2011 at 11:47 am

Nissan are very aware that ‘charging times’ are still a very real problem for the EV industry and despite a strong sales performance for the Nissan Leaf, they know that those numbers will just improve as the range of the vehicle extends and charging times shrink. That is why the brain boxes at Nissan are busy developing a charging station that they say can charge a Leaf in as little as 10 minutes.

Currently the standard charger can take between 7-20 hours to fully charge while a rapid charging station can charge the car in 30 minutes.While this is a massive improvement, 30 mins is still a long time to be sitting around at a rest stop or a gas station. 10 minutes however is a very manageable. Lets be honest, by the time the kids have used the bathroom and all the necessary snacking items it takes 10 minutes to ‘fill-up’ anyway.

The breakthrough has come through a research partnership with Japan’s Kansai university, and involves charging an electrode in the capacitor from carbon to tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide. This allowed the battery of the Leaf to be charged in about ten minutes with no impact on battery life or reliability.

While this technology make take some time to become available to the public if there is enough demand for the Leaf they would be able to fast track the charging station to production.

People Power!

October 18, 2011 at 9:42 am

Dr Serge Cosnier and his team at the Joseph Fourier University of Grenoble have built a device that can use power generated by the human body. The device, called a biofuel cell,  uses glucose and oxygen at concentrations found in the body to generate electricity and could be the beginning of a new revolution in artificial organs and prosthetics. They are the first group in the world to demonstrate their device working while implanted in a living animal.

This invention has arrived conveniently at a time when  a new range of artificial electrically powered organs are under development. Bodily organs  including hearts, kidneys, and bladder sphincter has been developed but they all have one small downfall. They require electricity to work.

For implants that don’t need much power batteries can work but eventually they will need to be replaced which can cause stress and possible complications during surgery. Even devices that do not use much power, such as pacemakers, have a fixed lifespan because they rely on batteries. However ff all goes to plan, within a decade or two, biofuel cells may be used to power a range of medical implants, from sensors and drug delivery devices to entire artificial organs. All you’ll need to do to power them up is eat a candy bar, or drink a coke.

It could be a good while until we can stop buying electricity and can eat doughnuts instead but….never say never!

The Electric Highway

October 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Washington will be the nation’s first State to fully implement an ‘Electric Highway”. The project will provide a network of public access EV charging stations along Interstate 5. Once completed it will be the first state to offer a border-to-border charging infrastructure to all mass-produced electric vehicles.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will partner with private companies to install rapid charging stations every 40-60 miles along the highway. The plan is that EV users will be able to travel the length of Washington State (276 miles) without experiencing any ‘range anxiety’.

The project is just part of the larger picture which is ultimately to implement the ‘West Coast Green Highway’, a 1,350 mile stretch that will connect 3 states and 3 countries. The highway will support the anticipated 2 millions electric vehicles that are expected to be on the West Coast by 2020.

Not only will the project encourage people to buy and use EVs that will help reduce the transportation sector’s impact upon the environment and dependency on foreign oil, it will also create new jobs and other opportunities for Washington residents.

Through a competitive contract award process, AeroVironment was selected to manufacture, supply, install and operate a network of nine fast-charging stations (pdf 130kb) for electric vehicles. Stations will be located every 40 to 60 miles along stretches of I-5. The charging stations will will be operational by Nov. 30, and will power an electric vehicle from zero to fully charged in less than 30 minutes. Each station also will include a medium speed charger (pdf 137kb), which will cost less for users and take up to four to six hours for a full charge. The stations will be located at private retail locations such as shopping malls, fueling stations and travel centers with easy access to the highway.

For more information please visit: http://westcoastgreenhighway.com/

New/Old Electric Car

October 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

Think EVs are a new concept? Think again!

This is the Roberts Electric Car. Built in 1896 this car still gets the 40 miles per charge that it did over a century ago and that is exactly the same miles per charge that the Chevy Volt advertises today. The present owner, who prefers not to be named, says that the car still runs like a dream and has even completed the 60-mile London to Brighton Vintage Car Race.

Driven by a tiller instead of a wheel, the Roberts car was built seven years before the Wright brothers’ first flight, 12 years before the Ford Model T, 16 years before Chevrolet was founded and 114 years before the first Chevy Volt was delivered to a customer.

The exectutives at Chevy can sleep easily for now as the Roberst Electric Car was made before mass production it is one of a kind.

GM to produce all-electric Spark

October 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Chevy have confirmed that GM are going to produce and manufacture and ell electric version of the Spark Minicar and introduce it to selected markets (California being one of them) in 2013. The electric minicar is an attempt to challenge the Nissan LEAF as the best all electric car available. Chevy released the VOLT last year but that car was outsold at a ratio to 7-1 by the Nissan Leaf. The Spark Minicar is another energy efficient car for the GM line as all automakers start to make  necessary changes as the industry pushes toward more stringent U.S. requirements that will be in place by 2025. Further details about the electric Spark, including driving range and price, will be released closer to introduction.

“We welcome competitors into the market,” Mark Perry, director of product planning for Nissan Americas, told Reuters. “We’re glad that GM has decided to go ‘pure electric’. This brings further validity to the segment.”

An electric Ford Focus will be introduced to the market by Ford Motor Co by the end of this year, and production will begin in early 2012. The small car’s driving range has not yet been certified by the EPA, but the company expects it can travel up to 100 miles on a full charge, depending on conditions. Toyota will offer a plug-in version of the Prius that can drive up to 15 miles on a charge starting next year. Other automakers also are rolling out plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Automakers are finally seeing the light. The government and the people want to see more energy efficient transportation options as we had towards energy independence. As the technology and infrastructure improve we will see a rise in sales and slowly but surely EVs will begin to dominate the roads. Let us know what you think of these new vehicles, do they have the power to cure range anxiety? Are they just another little step in the right direction? Or are they the final solution?

Brammo Makes Global ‘GoingGreen’ Top 200 List

October 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm

AlwaysOn is proud to announce this year’s GoingGreen Global 200—the top emerging companies that are transforming big industry and creating viable business models for the green technology.

The AlwaysOn editorial team, along with partners at Morgan Stanley, SAP, KPMG, Hewlett-Packard, Goldman Sachs, Technology Partners, Bridge Bank, Sheppard Mullin, Silicon Valley Bank, NEA, and industry experts across the globe scoured the entrepreneurial community to identify the top 200 private companies that are transforming our world into a safer, more efficient, and environmentally friendly place, while at the same time creating high-growth businesses that offer huge upside potential for investors.

This year’s GoingGreen Global 200 proves that the greentech community is flourishing, and investment is stronger than ever. With maturity and growth during the past five years, the greentech industry is bursting with companies that are reinventing and creating cleaner and more-efficient energy, waste management, and materials solutions. As government incentives and grants dry up in the midst of debt crises and economic uncertainty, greentech innovators are becoming increasingly creative in getting their ideas to market. The number of flourishing private companies on this year’s list proves once again that greentech is here to stay and committed to changing the way humanity exists.

This year’s GoingGreen Global 200 companies are leaders amongst their peers and developing game-changing approaches and technologies that are likely to push outside the bounds of existing markets and away from entrenched players. Companies were selected based on a set of five criteria: innovation, market potential, commercialization, stakeholder value, and media buzz.

Brammo was named a Winner in the Green Automobiles and Transportation category.

The article and list of winners can be found here: http://www.aonetwork.com/AOStory/Announcing-2011-GoingGreen-Global-200-Top-Private-Companies

Estimated 40% Growth in Chinese EV Market

October 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

China is on course to be Asia’s largest manufacturer of battery electric vehicles (BEV) by 2015 according to Pike Research. Last year EV sales in China reached 33,000 but it is predicted that by 2015 that number could be as much as 554,000. This means that BEV sales are expected to grow at a rate of 40% over the next 4 years. That is some SERIOUS growth.

Japan is also seeing some 10% growth in BEV sales but only account for about 35% of all BEV sales in Asia while China takes in about 45% of all Asian BEV sales. Sales of plug-in- electrics are estimated to be around 5.2 million vehicles in 2017, a significant gain from 114,000 vehicles sold in 2011. It is project that by 2017 Asia will make up around half the consumer purchases of electric-drive vehicles, while North America will take up 25 percent of the global market. Western Europe will take up a 25 percent share as well.

Similar to the USA in the early years of the 20th century China currently has over 50 companies trying to develop vehicles only this time they are all battery powered. There is no doubt that this is an amazingly exciting time for the EV industry and I, for one, am very excited to watch it grow.

The Pieces Continue To Fall Into Place

October 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

SemaConnect Inc., has agreed to supply 350Green,  a California-based developer of electric vehicle-charging networks, with 1,500 charging stations that they plan to roll out and install throughout the country. ”Conveniently located charging stations will play a critical part in the adoption of EVs,” SemaConnect founder and president Mahi Reddy said in a statement.

This is another healthy step forward for the EV charging infrastructure that has proved to be an obstacle for potential EV adopters. The more charging stations we can get out there the less ‘range anxiety’ will be an issue for potential buyers and therefore the more EVs we can ultimately get on the road.

SemaConnect characterized the deal as the largest commercial order of EV charging stations to date, though there are other charging-station manufacturers and networks with more devices deployed so far. ECOtality, a San Francisco-based firm, has installed about 3,400 charging stations as part of a federally backed project to place more than 14,000 in five states.

If you want to find charging stations near you check out: http://www.plugshare.com/

 

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