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News & Events - April '08
28.4.2008BYD unveils 186 mile range electric car
BYD Auto, China's biggest battery maker, has unveiled its all electric car, the E6, at the recent Beijing Motor Show. The car, which they claim has a range of 186 miles, follows the launch of a two BYD plug-in hybrid models, the F6DM plug-in hybrid sedan and the FD3M plug-in hybrid compact car.
Using the same technology as their F3e prototype electric vehicle – BYD's own lithium-ion iron phosphate technology – the electric consumption of the E6 is quoted to be less than 12 kWh per 100km, giving the electric car one of the longest driving ranges on one charge (186 miles). More impressive still, the BYD has said that the battery has a life of 2,000 cycles – which gives the battery a lifetime range of over 350,000 miles.
The 5 seater crossover/MPV, can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 10 seconds, and has a top speed of around 100 mph. Although the E6's battery will typically be charged overnight, it is claimed that car's battery pack will also take a fast charge to bring it to 80% charge in about 15 minutes. The battery pack is stored beneath the car's rear seats in a position BYD say will provide optimum protection in the event of a crash.
The company, who are the second largest battery makers in the world, have stated they think it possible to be producing the E6 commercially within the next two years.
21.4.2008WWF champions use of electric vehicles
In a new report, WWF highlight the important role that electric vehicles can play in increasing vehicle efficiency. According to James Leape, Director General of WWF International, "the cars of the future must be much more efficient – smaller, lighter, more aerodynamic – and they should, increasingly, be powered by electricity."
In the report Plugged In: The End of the Oil Age [2MB], WWF conclude that battery-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (EVs) can "dramatically reduce the crude oil dependency of automotive transport in an efficient and sustainable manner" and avoid potential political conflicts resulting from dwindling oil reserves. Ignoring our "fundamental dependency on liquid hydrocarbon fuels" the report argues, will force us to confront additional environmental challenges in the future, such as pressures to open up National Parks and other protected areas for oil exploration.
James Leaton, Oil and Gas Policy Adviser at WWF-UK said: "Transport is the only sector still addicted to oil, which raises energy security fears as well as climate change concerns. There are currently about 800 million vehicles in the world and this number could double within 25 years – we need to make sure alternative transport solutions are delivered, rather than perpetuating the problem".
WWF’s focus on electricity as a power source for sustainable transport is based around the use of renewable energy technology as a means of production. The report states that: "Only vehicles which are capable of receiving electricity from the grid will benefit from future emissions reductions in the power sector" and the convergence of renewable energy and transport can deliver reductions in "C02 and urban air quality and noise levels".
The report finds that electric vehicles can be up to four times more efficient than vehicles powered by liquid hydrocarbons. Electric vehicles use around 75% of the energy they take from the grid as opposed to an efficiency of 18-23% in conventional mechanical vehicles. It also finds that EVs can be up to three times more efficient than hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.
One further advantage of electric transport, the report says, is that improvements can be delivered immediately using current technology and existing infrastructure, leading to immediate and cost-effective improvements and lasting reductions in emissions. Despite the claimed benefits of automotive electrification, the report also warns against the potential negative environmental impacts that can result from the extraction and processing of raw materials for battery systems.
17.4.2008CSC launch free EV recharging network
Capital Shopping Centres has joined forces with Elektromotive and EDF Energy to provide free charging points at shopping centres across the UK.
With support from the Energy Saving Trust this new venture is the first of its kind to be launched nationally and CSC is leading the way by offering this facility free of charge within shopping centre car parks. Customers will be able to recharge their electric or plug-in hybrid cars during the course of a normal shopping trip.
The scheme will not only raise awareness of the cost and environmental benefits of using electric cars, it will at the same time, make life easier for all those who already drive electric cars but do not have a convenient local charging point.
From today chargers will be available at the following shopping centres; Braehead (Renfrew, Glasgow), Chapelfield (Norwich), The Chimes (Uxbridge), The Glades (Bromley), The Harlequin (Watford), Lakeside (Thurrock), MetroCentre (Gateshead), The Potteries (Stoke-on-Trent) and The Victoria Centre (Nottingham).
The charging points are simple to use with recharging cables and access keys free to hire direct from the shopping centres. An electronic key communicates by wireless to the recharger unit. When a valid key is read the weather-proof access panel automatically opens where the recharging lead from the vehicle can be inserted. Upon closing the access panel, it locks securely and power is turned on to supply 240 volts AC at 13 amps.
Last year the charging points, known as Elektrobays achieved industry recognition for their technical and environmental contribution by winning both the ‘Industry Innovation Award 2007’ at the Greenfleet Awards and the ‘Highly Commended’ award for Industry Innovation Design at the EAST Awards.
In the words of Kay Chaldecott, Managing Director of Capital Shopping Centres: "We are always keen to introduce new methods of enhancing customer experience at our shopping centres and electric car chargers will not only provide a convenient new facility but will raise awareness of a greener method of transport."
According to Calvey Taylor-Haw, Managing Director of Elektromotive: "Electric vehicles and plug-in Hybrids are without doubt the way forward. With suitable battery technology now available, EV's will have a greater range, delivering a truly viable alternative to fossil fuelled cars. They are not only cheap to run but are quiet, clean and fun."
Peter Thorn, Head of Innovation and Partnerships at EDF Energy takes the view that: "As concern for the environment grows, motorists are no longer only interested in what their car looks like, or how fast it can go. The research shows that drivers are increasingly demanding transport options that don't have such a detrimental effect on the world we live in."