AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
In an effort to help boost electric vehicle sales, Japanese automakers have teamed up to increase the number of charging stations in Japan.
According to a recent study released by IHS Automotive, an estimated 10.7-million charging stations will be available globally by the end of the decade.
Based out of Arizona, GoE3 has announced its plans to create the first network of coast-to-coast Level two and three charging stations to make interstate travel a reality for EV owners.
GoE3 hopes to place charging stations at 50 to 75 mile intervals across the I-10, I-20, I-40, and I-70 freeways with the first stations supposedly opening with the launch of an unnamed rally and reality show being produced this summer.
In total, 500 stations are currently being planned out by GoE3 with 50 of its first locations rolling out by April 21st. The remaining 450 will appear during the next 18 to 36 months. The use of Level three chargers will allow travelers to top off their EVs in as little as 10 minutes, but the charge could be around $12.50 depending on how low the batter level is.
According to the Department of Energy, there are currently around 2,600 EV charging stations accessible to the public. The government’s EV project hopes to swell that number to 14,000 in the coming years.
“If the national goal is having one million electric vehicles on American roads by 2015, we must all work harder to shift perceptions on how useful, practical and affordable electrical vehicle travel can be,” said Bruce Brimacombe, founder and CEO of GoE3.
[Source: Digital Trends]
Given all the buzz surrounding this year’s LA Auto Show, there was perhaps one thing that was seemingly overlooked; that being the ambitious plans by CODA Automotive to make its electric sedan a seriously viable proposition to the likes of mainstream passenger cars, at least when it comes to driving in So Cal.
The car, which is based on a rather workaday model sourced from China, the Pininfarina styled (yes really) Hafei Saibo, features an electric driveline with a 34 kW lithium-ion iron phosphate battery system and a 6.6 kW onboard charger. This is said to provide a greater range than comparable all-electric vehicles currently on the market (some 150 miles, which CODA says is five-times the distance of the average daily commute), plus reduced charging times. The 6.6 kW unit will take approximately four hours to deliver a 100 mile charge).
In addition, CODA is backing its $39,900 2012 model year sedan (federal tax savings and California rebates knock approximately 10 large off the sticker), with a 100,000 mile, 10-year warranty on the battery pack, currently besting those offered by the likes of Mitsubishi and Nissan.
Furthermore, at the 2011 LA Auto Show, where the company had a number of its CODA sedans on display, it also announced that it’s partnering with GE Energy to market and distribute the GE WattStation EV charging unit alongside the cars at the same retail locations.
The idea is to provide a one-stop shopping experience for would-be CODA buyers as well as boosting the vehicle’s potential market appeal.
“We’re excited to be the first car company in the US to be working with [GE Energy] to support consumers as they enter the EV world,” declared Phil Murtagh, CEO of CODA Holdings.
Luis Ramirez, CEO of GE Energy Industry Solutions, added ” this milestone is another step in GE’s journey to lead the future of global electrification. As demand for the [GE WattStation] continues to exceed our expectations, bringing our products closer to the customer will help accelerate the adoption of EVs.”
The GE WattStation is a Level 2 charging device, designed to shorten the time it takes to re-charge the car, currently one of the biggest obstacles facing all-electric vehicles.
GALLERY: Coda EV
Nissan has announced it will launch the all-electric Nissan Leaf ahead of schedule in the city of Chicago, citing popular demand as well as preparedness by the city.
Last February, Gov. Pat Quinn announced that $1 million would be invested to install state-of-the-art charging infrastructure for electric cars throughout the Chicago area. The City of Chicago matched the investment with an additional $1 million for the project to implement 280 EV charging stations.
“Illinois is laying the groundwork for electric vehicles, and our efforts are paying off,” Gov. Quinn said. “By investing in electric vehicle technology, both the State of Illinois and Nissan are making transportation in our state more efficient, sustainable and affordable.”
The City of Chicago has also spearheaded an aggressive infrastructure plan to add 73 DC quick charging stations and 207 Level 2 stations by the end of 2011. So far, 40 stations have been installed, but when complete, the system will provide the Chicagoland area with the most extensive infrastructure for electric vehicles in the U.S.
To make your green motoring even greener, Nissan and 4R Energy has teamed up to develop a new EV charging system, that makes use of solar power.
This system combines the solar power generator system with high-capacity lithium ion batteries to re-energize your car. Testing with this new system has begun today at Nissan’s HQ in Yokohama, Japan.
The system uses solar power to generate power, and it then stores the acquired energy in lithium ion battery packs. So when a Leaf wants to get charged up, it can take use of the stored energy in these battery packs. A quick charge will take 3-hours, while a normal charge requires an extra hour. Nissan believes this facility will be able to charge 1800 LEAF’s annually.
The added benefit of this set-up is having energy to charge your car with green energy, at anytime of day or even during bad weather.
Currently this is just a test project, but if successful will lead to more such stations for public and fleet services.
When you’re out for a long drive in your electric car, you’ll never have to worry about where you’ll find the next charging station, thanks to the PlugShare iPhone app.
If you own an electric vehicle, you know the stress that comes along with planning a trip according to where you can charge up. The PlugShare app lets you or anyone else sign up to turn their house until an electric vehicle charging station. Since it can be difficult to find a charging station, this is the ideal compromise. Private residences can offer their outlets and extension cords to keep EVs on the move. If you wanted to drop by and power up, you would use the app to call or text to ask permission.
If you want to help out and be a part of the electric solution, you can sign up a house or business address to give EVs a boost. You can download for free at the iTunes store.
[Source: Oh Gizmo!]
If you drive an electric car, you may be a little hesitant to take it out for an extended drive. That means taking the scenic route is out. Or does it?
If you’re planning to do some sight seeing along the coastal ranges of Washington and Oregon in your electric car, you’ll get a boost from charging stations placed strategically along your drive.
Washington State has teamed up with several businesses for a plan to install a series of charging stations along U.S. Route 2. These charging stations would pop up from Everett, just outside Seattle, and continue 120 miles over the Cascade Mountains to Wenatchee (north central area of the state).
Some of the businesses that will be chipping in to fund these stations include resorts and car dealerships. In addition to those by private businesses, other funds from the Federal Recovery Act will pay for two or three DC quick-charging stations along the route. They should be installed by the end of this year.
Businesses are keen to install these chargers because of the time delay. It takes 30 minutes to recharge your electric car… so what are you going to do with that extra time? Shop, of course! The forward-thinking business owners along the route are likely to generate revenue many times the cost of the electricity they provide.
[Source: The Car Connection]
Current London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has revealed plans for the city to install 1,300 Electric Vehicle charging stations within its boundaries. This new network of stations, known as Source London, is planned to be put in place by 2013.
In a recent statement, Johnson said, ”already there are more electric drivers in London than anywhere else in the UK, but we are now entering an incredibly exciting period in electric motoring. Major manufacturers are gearing up to launch more affordable, practical electric cars over the next few years, whilst the cost of traditional fuels are making petrol-free driving an increasingly attractive option.”
He then went on to add ”by opting for electric vehicles in greater numbers, Londoners will also help to cut pollution levels and improve the city’s quality of living.” UK motorists currently endure some of the highest levels of taxation, both for road licensing and fuel in the world and with the a proposed annual membership fee of around £100, the new scheme , which will feature a single ‘visual identity’ network currently looks rather attractive.
Johnson’s original plan called for an ambitious 25,000 individual charging stations, but the Greater London Authority was forced to reduce the number largely because of cost considerations. Nevertheless, the 1300 stations green-lighted for the project will likely help forge a reputation for London as the ‘Electric Vehicle Capital of Europe.’