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EVPlus - May 2014 News

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Electric bike ready to roll

Added by admin 30/05/14

Chris Jones is a revhead with a difference.

A biology lecturer at the University of WA with a passion for electric vehicles, he has spent almost $50,000 assembling Australia's first custom-built electric superbike.
After three years of work, the Voltron Evo is nearly ready to hit the road.
"I was in the middle of racing my first home-built electric bike when I started building this one," Dr Jones said yesterday.
In consultation with designers in the US, Dr Jones has produced a bike capable of speeds of more than 250km/h. Although he plans to race the bike, road licensing and further production models are on the cards.
The WA chairman of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association said interest in electric vehicles was growing. "If you've got two vehicles, one is just a runabout. You could switch to electric with little impact on your lifestyle," he said.
Motor Trade Association chief executive Stephen Moir said cost and infrastructure were key issues for electric vehicle owners.
"The Government needs to put the infrastructure in to support them," he said.

                                                   Story and image courtesy: The West Australian
                                                   More.. The Electric Chronicles

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Tesla announce Model S pricing for Australia

Added by admin 29/05/14

Tesla Motors have announced Australian pricing for its Model S which starts at $96,208 plus on-road costs for the Model S 60 and tops out at $133,257 for the high-performance P85.
The base model can be had for about $107,000 driveaway in Melbourne or Sydney, while the range-topper is about $140,000.
This reflects the growing affordability of electric cars, as this pricing is about half that of the Tesla Roadster which pioneered the brand Down Under in 2011 at $222,995 driveaway for the base model and $260,535 for the Sport.
Australian orders for the American-made plug-in Model S are now being taken on Tesla’s website, two years after the model went on sale in the United States.
Tesla, which expects to sell 35,000 of the five-door liftback Model S sedans globally this year, is planning to re-establish a retail showroom in Sydney, along with sales representation in Melbourne and a dedicated service facility.
Expected to land in Australia by August, the three-model range will offer three levels of performance, depending on battery size and electronic tweaks.
The base Model S 60 boasts 225kW of power from its 60kWh lithium-ion battery pack, driving the large sedan from zero to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds – about the same as a V6 Holden Commodore – and to a top speed of 190km/h. Official driving range on a full battery charge is said to be 390km.
Stepping up to the mid-range $111,807 Model S 85 adds more battery oomph (85kWh) for more power (270kW), faster acceleration (5.6 sec to 100km/h) and greater range (502km).
The $119,900 flagship P85 – P stands for performance – has the same 85kWh battery and 502km range as the 85 but adds an enhanced electric drivetrain for faster acceleration.
Tesla says the P85 can cover the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.4 seconds – a split second faster than the 4.4-litre V8 BMW M5. And it is about $100,000 cheaper, too, at least in base format that is well short of the M5’s feature level...


                                                   Story and image courtesy: Electric Vehicle News  



Australia Post takes delivery of first Renault electric vans

Added by admin 27/05/14

In an Australian-first, Renault's 100 percent electric-powered delivery vans will shortly join Australia Post's fleet in Melbourne and Sydney.
The Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E. (Zero Emission) electric van, currently not sold in Australia, is widely used across Europe and the United Kingdom and will be used exclusively by Australia Post from mid-2014 for a 12 month proof-of-concept.

Australia Post Head of Environmental Sustainability, Andrew Sellick said using the Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E. for day-to-day parcel and letter deliveries is another exciting step in Australia Post's sustainability journey and an important step in assessing the real-world use of electric commercial vehicles.
"The Kangoo Maxi Z.E. assessment is part of a broader strategy to explore alternative fuels at Australia Post, including using biofuel and hybrid vehicles in our current fleet.
"The electric vans will be powered by accredited GreenPower from renewable energy sources to ensure we are maximising the potential to reduce our environmental impact.
"The Kangoo proof-of-concept will give us a clearer picture of the benefits of using electric powered delivery vans. Through this assessment we expect to see at least a 50 percent reduction in energy costs and a 100 percent reduction in carbon emissions to comparable combustible-engine vehicles in our fleet.
"While at this stage we are working with Renault to prove this concept, if the vans perform well across the range of metrics we'll be measuring them on, the future potential is very exciting. We hope this initiative will ultimately help drive the commercialisation and acceptance of electric vehicles in this country."
Renault Australia's Managing Director, Justin Hocevar said "we are excited to broaden our existing relationship with Australia Post in rolling out the Kangoo Z.E. in Australia. Through our partnership with Australia Post, we are able to comprehensively investigate the business case for introducing the fully electric Kangoo Z.E. van in Australia in the future."...


                                                   Story and image courtesy: Electric Vehicle News  



GM to Build Chevy Spark EV 19 kWh Batteries In House

Added by admin 16/05/14

General Motors will bring all its electric vehicle battery building capabilities in-house with production of battery systems for the 2015 Chevrolet Spark EV at its battery assembly plant in Brownstown, Mich.
"Using our in-house engineering and manufacturing expertise enabled us to deliver a battery system that is more efficient and lighter than the 2014 Spark EV without sacrificing range," said Larry Nitz, executive director of GM global transmission and electrification engineering. "Our successful working relationship with LG Chem has allowed us to deliver a new battery system for the Spark EV that helps us to better leverage our economies of scale."
A newly designed battery system features an overall storage capacity of 19 kWh and uses 192 lithium ion cells. The cells are produced at LG Chem's plant in Holland, Mich. The battery system weight of 474 lbs. is 86 pounds lighter than the system in the 2014 Spark EV. The Spark EV battery is built on a dedicated production line at Brownstown, which also manufactures complete battery packs for the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera and Cadillac ELR.
Changes in battery design will not affect the Spark's MPGe, or gasoline equivalent, performance compared to the 2014 model. Range will remain at an EPA-rated 82 miles and MPGe will remain at 119...


                                                   Story and image courtesy: Electric Vehicle News  



Nissan Leaf with 300 km range on sale by 2017

Added by admin 09/05/14

Nissan's next-generation Leaf electric vehicle will have a new battery that more than doubles its range. And Infiniti’s delayed electric car will debut with the improved battery by early 2017.
Nissan executives shed more light on the automaker’s next EVs, saying better range is key to higher sales. Nissan launched the Leaf in December 2010 and has already improved its performance. But engineers are working on a big jump with a revamped battery by 2017.
A new battery chemistry will debut by then for use by Infiniti and Nissan, said Andy Palmer, executive vice president in charge of Nissan’s zero emissions and Infiniti businesses.
“The battery chemistry is all about range and energy density. That’s where you see the technology moving very, very fast,” he said in an interview last month at the Beijing auto show. “This really is the game-changing technology.”

Longer range
Palmer declined to offer a target range. But the battery must deliver up to 300 kilometers, or 186 miles, for EVs to present an everyday alternative to the hydrogen fuel cell cars that rivals are developing, he said.
During an interview at the LA Auto Show, Pierre Loing, vice president of product and advanced planning and strategy at Nissan, hinted that his company may offer multi-pack size option that might increase range to 400 km.
Nissan have been working in a lithium nickel manganese cobalt battery chemistry since 2009 that was expected to enter production by 2015...

                                                   Story and image courtesy: Electric Vehicle News  



Panasonic Has 39% Share of Plug-In Vehicle Batteries, Thanks to Tesla

Added by admin 07/05/14

Batteries for hybrids and plug-in vehicles are growing fast, more than tripling over the past three years to reach 1.4 GWh per quarter, according to the Automotive Battery Tracker from Lux Research. Panasonic has emerged as the leader thanks to its partnership with Tesla, capturing 39% of the plug-in vehicle battery market, overtaking NEC (27% market share) and LG Chem (9%) in 2013.
"Even at relatively low volumes -- less than 1% of all cars sold -- plug-in vehicles are driving remarkable energy storage revenues for a few developers, like Panasonic and NEC, that struck the right automotive partnerships," said Cosmin Laslau, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the new Lux Research Automotive Battery Tracker. "To understand this opportunity, we combined a comprehensive data set of vehicle sales with detailed battery specifications for each car and supplier relationships, yielding a flexible tool that uncovers unexpected insights into this fast-changing market," he added. Lux Research analysts used historical and current vehicle sales, detailed battery specifications for each car, and supplier relationships to create the Automotive Battery Tracker. Among their findings:
- The electric vehicle drivetrain is the most lucrative for battery developers.
Hybrids move the most cars -- the Toyota Prius is the best-selling car in Japan and California -- but their small battery packs mean they require less energy storage in total than full electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf. Hybrids demanded 481 MWh of batteries in Q1 2014, while electric vehicles called for 774 MWh. Nonetheless, in terms of demand by OEM, hybrid leader Toyota (28%) edges EV providers Tesla Motors (24%) and Renault-Nissan (21%).
- Regulations and consumer preference drive significant regional differences.
China has the highest ratio in the world of plug-in vehicles to hybrids, but its average EV battery packs are less than half the size of those sold in the U.S. Adoption of hybrids also varies widely: Japanese consumers bought more than three times as many hybrids as U.S. drivers did, despite Japan being a much smaller automotive market overall.
- Lithium-ion extends its lead, but NiMH sticks around.
Lithium-ion batteries captured 68% of the 1.4 GWh of batteries used in plug-ins and hybrids in Q1 2014, with nickel metal hydride (NiMH) technology trailing at 28% -- but kept aloft by Toyota's loyalty to the lower-cost technology for its top-selling Prius. Next-generation solid-state batteries continue to make only a small dent, with less than 1% of the market.

                                                   Story and image courtesy: Electric Vehicle News 



E-Fan electric aircraft makes first public flight

Added by admin 01/05/14

Manned electric-powered aircraft have made record-breaking flights and turned more than a few heads in the past few years, and it's not a trend that's likely to slow down. Last week, the E-Fan electric trainer airplane developed by the Airbus Group made its first public flight before a collection of French dignitaries. Currently a demonstrator for electric aircraft technology, Airbus says that is will be used as the basis for building a new pair of electric training aircraft models.
Developed by Airbus Group (formerly EADS) working with a consortium of European aerospace companies, the E-fan made its first non-public flight at the Bordeaux Mérignac airport on March 11. The project evolved from the Cri-Cri electric plane, which Airbus used as a test bed and flying laboratory for developing the battery and energy management technology used in the E-Fan.
Built with an all-composite construction, the E-fan is 6.7 m (22 ft) long and has a wingspan of 9.5 m (31 ft). From the outside, it almost looks like a toy jet aircraft with a pair of nacelles that aren't jets, but two ducted, variable pitch fans spun by two electric motors with a combined power of 60 kW. The ducting increases the thrust while reducing noise, and by centrally mounting them, the fans provide better control...

                                                   Story and image courtesy: Gizmag 



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