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News & Events - July '11
28.7.2011Electric cars to get electric race tracks
Electric cars will soon be able to race around tracks which provide charge as they drive, thanks to a new partnership between HaloIPT and Drayson Racing Technologies.
HaloIPT, a company which develops Inductive Power Transfer (IPT) systems for wirelessly charging electric vehicles, has announced a new strategic partnership with Drayson Racing Technologies, the green R&D racing organisation founded by Lord Drayson, former UK Minister for Science and Innovation.
The partnership will use HaloIPT’s wireless charging technology to power high-performance cars as they race around the track.
The partnership with Drayson Racing, which develops and races green motorsport technology, including electric vehicles, aims to pioneer the deployment of dynamic (in-motion) charging of zero emission electric vehicles.
The racing cars, fitted with HaloIPT technology, will pick up power wirelessly from transmitters buried under the surface of the road or race track; transferring power directly to the vehicle’s electric battery, ensuring that the vehicle receives constant charging on the move.
This is made possible because HaloIPT’s technology provides a significant tolerance to misalignment over the transmitter pads, automatically adjusting for changing vertical gap. The system has the ability to intelligently distribute power, ensuring a consistent delivery of power at speed.
HaloIPT and Drayson Racing will work together on the development of electric drivetrain packages and trackside-charging systems to replace the internal combustion engine and fuel pit stops. HaloIPT’s technology will be marketed by Drayson Racing to the motorsport industry as affordable, practical systems for race cars and race circuits.
Lord Paul Drayson, co-founder of Drayson Racing said: “Dynamic wireless charging will be a real game-changer, enabling zero emission electric vehicles to race over long periods without the need for heavy batteries. Motor racing is the ideal environment to fast-track the development of this promising technology and to prove its effectiveness. This is a milestone innovation that will have a dramatic effect not just on racing but on the mainstream auto industry. We’re looking forward to putting this technology through its paces as it charges electric race cars at speeds of up to 200 mph.”
Dr Anthony Thomson, CEO of HaloIPT, said: “HaloIPT’s technology has a proven heritage in dynamic charging and we are excited to be transferring this expertise to the electric vehicle market. The deal with Drayson Racing demonstrates the appetite for technology that makes driving an electric car more convenient, and this is certainly the case in the motorsport sector – nothing could be more convenient than a race car that re-fuels itself on the track.”
Drayson Racing recently announced that it would enter the EV Cup electric race series.
27.7.2011New owner for bankrupt electric car manufacturer THINK
Electric car manufacturer THINK recently went into bankruptcy, but it has now been bought by a Russian entrepreneur.
The assets of wholly owned subsidiaries THINK North America and THINK UK, which have remained going concerns during the bankruptcy proceeding for THINK Global, were also acquired in the transaction.
Boris Zingarevich was the winning bidder following a bankruptcy proceeding initiated by the Norwegian carmaker last month.
Mr. Zingarevich has also signed a memorandum of understanding with American advanced lithium-ion battery maker Ener1, Inc. and Finnish automobile engineering and manufacturing concern Valmet Automotive, Inc. to cooperate in relaunching THINK.
Ener1 and Valmet were the senior secured creditors of THINK when the company filed for bankruptcy after failing to raise adequate capital to continue financing operations. Ener1 and Valmet are negotiating stakes in the new company on the basis of a debt restructuring.
Mr. Zingarevich has been a major investor in Ener1 since 2002 and provided bridge funding for THINK while the company attempted a reorganisation before filing for bankruptcy.
The name of the new company that will market THINK brand products is Electric Mobility Solutions AS, registered in Norway. A new sales and service structure for THINK will be announced soon. The production restart, with a refined version of the THINK City, is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2012.
Over its 20-year history, THINK achieved the status of the leading dedicated electric vehicle maker in the world. The THINK City has accumulated more than 48 million km of road experience in the several countries where it has been marketed. The current model has a range of 160 km on a single charge.
The EV Cup, in which Lord Paul Drayson was involved, was planning to race the electric THINK.
26.7.2011Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle trial results
Interim findings from Toyota and EDF Energy’s demonstration of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in London confirms that the technology can deliver greatly improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions in urban driving.
The petrol-electric Prius PHEV can be plugged in to an electricity supply to extend its electric-only range to 12.5 miles, and this also improves its fuel economy and lowers its tailpipe emissions.
Early indications show that the average fuel consumption in the London area is 27 per cent better than an equivalent diesel car, although Toyota has not released the actual fuel consumption results.
Data analysed from the full European programme shows average fuel consumption that is 36 per cent better than a best-in-class diesel car of equivalent size, and 49 per cent better than a similar size best-in-class petrol model.
Working in partnership with EDF Energy, the UK’s largest producer of low carbon electricity, Toyota has leased 20 PHEVs to London-based businesses and organisations to monitor both vehicle performance and recharging patterns.
Based on the third-generation Prius, the PHEV is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that lets the car be driven for longer distances and at higher speeds on electric power alone. Battery charge can be topped up simply by plugging the car into a dedicated electricity supply at the driver’s workplace, on-street charging point or home.
Details of journey times, speeds and distances, fuel usage and vehicle recharging have been logged since the three-year demonstration began last summer. Information gathered so far in the UK shows that:
▪ Average journey distance has been 7.3 miles, with 59 per cent of all journeys covering between 3.1 and 12.4 miles
▪ Average speed has been 17.7mph, with 69 per cent of journeys at speeds less than 18.6mph
▪ Initial fuel consumption data indicate performance is 27 per cent better than an equivalent diesel
▪ Average recharging time is 72 minutes
▪ Where drivers have access to a domestic charge point, more frequent recharging occurs
These results show that PHEV’s performance is well-suited to the demands of urban driving: the car is capable of running for up to 12.5 miles solely on its electric motor in EV mode – battery charge and road conditions permitting – at speeds up to 62mph. This means it can accomplish the great majority of typical urban journeys with zero petrol consumption and tailpipe emissions.
Furthermore, should the battery charge be used up in the course of a journey, or before a recharging opportunity, PHEV will seamlessly switch to power from its full hybrid system, which includes a 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine. This means the driver need suffer no “range anxiety” about the distance the car can cover.
User perceptions of the PHEV are also being monitored through regular interviews with drivers conducted and analysed by Oxford Brooks University. Feedback received so far shows a very positive response to the car and its performance, and to the procedure and equipment used for charging.
The experience already gained from the London demonstration supports the positive results Toyota is witnessing with its PHEV demonstration programmes with 200 cars in 18 countries across Europe, including a large-scale project with EDF involving 100 PHEVs in the French city of Strasbourg.
Data analysed from the full European programme shows average fuel consumption that is 36 per cent better than a best-in-class diesel car of equivalent size, and 49 per cent better than a similar size best-in-class petrol model.
The results show that the PHEV’s 12.5-mile (20km) EV range is sufficient to cover most day-to-day travel needs of the drivers taking part in the programme – the average European journey distance is 8.2 miles (13.2km), and two thirds of all journeys are of less than 12.5 miles.
Twenty-two per cent of drivers have even been able to drive further than the official 12.5-mile range in EV mode.
Electric-powered driving so far has accounted for one third of all miles driven in the PHEV demonstration.
A significant part of the programme has been EDF Energy’s installation of smart-metered charging infrastructure at workplaces and a home location. Consumption data tied to driver, vehicle and charge point are captured through a keypad identification system to gain an in-depth insight into charging patterns and preferences and use of the charging infrastructure.
Initial results reveal different approaches to recharging across the vehicle operators taking part in the programme, with dedicated drivers recharging most frequently and therefore maximising the low carbon and cost mileage benefits.
The results of the trial have informed the development of EDF Energy’s latest recharging product, EcoRecharge. This features an intelligent timer to enable easy off-peak recharging, and a smart meter to provide customers with statements on their vehicle’s carbon and electricity consumption. EDF Energy’s low carbon charge point package means households with a plug-in vehicle can save money by receiving 20 per cent cheaper electricity during evenings and weekends with its Eco 20:20 tariff.
The London leasing demonstration is part of the Technology Strategy Board’s Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme and benefits from funding support from the UK Government through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Speaking on behalf of Transport for London, one of the organisations taking part in the demonstration programme, Mike Weston, Director of Operations said: “We are working hard to reduce the environmental impact of our support fleet and are currently using of a range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles including the Prius Plug-in Hybrid. These vehicles help to reduce CO2 emissions and improve London’s air quality. With the launch of the Source London network of electric vehicle charge points I’m certain that even more drivers will also choose electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.”
The on-going data collection continues to provide Toyota and EDF Energy with a great resource for learning more about the priorities and preferences of end users, both in terms of how they use their vehicle and their recharging requirements. Together with experience and information gained from other demonstrations in Europe, this will enable an effective strategy to be prepared for designing and marketing a full production PHEV and for shaping and introducing the most effective charging opportunities and infrastructure to promote low carbon energy usage.
The organisations taking part in the programme are Transport for London, the Government Car and Despatch Agency, the Metropolitan Police Service, News International and Sky.
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-sixth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to more than 5.5 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.
The London PHEV leasing demonstration is one of eight projects in the Technology Strategy Board’s national Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator programme, part-funded through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and administered by Cenex.
The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the Government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.
Although it has a 12.5 mile electric-only range, the Toyota Prius Plug-in is still primarily a petrol-engined car; whereas the Vauxhall Ampera Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) is almost the opposite - it's always an electric car, with a petrol generator able to provide extra range.
21.7.2011Lola and Drayson Racing announce electric race car collaboration
Lola Cars International Ltd and Drayson Racing Technologies LLP today announced the formation of an official partnership that will initially deliver an all-electric prototype race car, the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV.
Lola Cars will have responsibility for developing the racing car chassis and Drayson Racing will have responsibility for developing the electric drivetrain.
The new project aims to fast-track the development of a range of new and next generation technologies including an all-electric drivetrain and sustainably sourced composite parts for the B12/69EV. These technologies will present a number of key opportunities to drive commercially viable innovation into many industries looking to improve energy efficiency and performance, such as aerospace, automotive, defence, renewables and of course motorsport.
The Lola-Drayson will be showcased during the last quarter of this year at a public test session where the aim will be to evidence the high performance of the electric powered race car on-track and to make public the innovative technologies being developed on the car. The ultimate goal of the Lola-Drayson partnership is to deliver an all-electric race car for the planned 2013 FIA electric car championship.
Martin Birrane, Executive Chairman, Lola Group said "Lola are pleased to welcome Drayson Racing to this unique and exciting partnership. I have known Lord Paul Drayson for sometime now and am aware of his many successes as a science entrepreneur in the UK. The team at Lola are looking forward to delivering many innovative programmes."
Robin Brundle, Managing Director of Lola Cars International Ltd commented "This joint technology showcase programme will truly evidence the technical excellence that exists within Lola. We are delighted to work with Drayson Racing and on this very exciting and multi-industry led programme. You cannot fail to be impressed with the full range of new technology that will be used in this first project which will demonstrate performance in a different class."
Lord Paul Drayson, Managing Partner of Drayson Racing Technologies said "This project aims to tap into the huge demand from high tech industry for innovative new technologies that improve vehicle performance and sustainability. The Lola-Drayson B12/69EV will act as a racing laboratory, catalysing technology innovation and driving commercial application in the automotive and related industries.”
In its 53rd year of business, Lola is one of the longest established and most successful designers and constructors of racing cars in the world, keeping itself at the forefront of design and technology by investing in state of the art facilities including Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite Element Analysis, a 50% scale wind tunnel and a 7 post aerodynamic suspension and chassis set up rig. The company is equipped and has the skills to carry out any major motorsport programmes for a manufacturer from F1 through every category of motorsport.
Having built more customer racing cars than any other constructor in the history of motorsport, Lola now also services the Aerospace, Marine, Automotive, Defence and Communications industries with a complete design and build capability in advanced carbon composites.
Drayson Racing Technologies LLP is a research & development business based in the heart of the UK’s world-leading motorsport industry at Kidlington, near Oxford. Paul Drayson, a former biotechnology entrepreneur and the UK Minister for Science and Innovation in the previous government, formed Drayson Racing Technologies LLP in 2007 with his wife, Elspeth, to act as a racing laboratory to pioneer the development of green technologies in the challenging environment of motor racing. Since then Drayson Racing has achieved a number of notable firsts racing second-generation biofuels and has latterly focused on the emerging field of electric racing.
20.7.2011Results of largest real world electric vehicle trail
The findings from 12 months of Electric Vehicle (EV) usage throughout the Coventry and Birmingham area as part of the CABLED trial have been announced.
Having collated and analysed a full 12 months of data from electric vehicle (EV) users, CABLED - the UK’s largest study into long-term low carbon vehicle use - reveals:
▪ Why EVs are a viable urban transport solution
▪ The implications of habitual charging behaviour
▪ Patterns of energy use during the trial’s 147,000 mile study
As the largest of eight public trials taking part in The Technology Strategy Board’s £25m Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator programme, CABLED (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators) has now collected robust data that can be used to support future decisions relating to transport and infrastructure planning.
The data, taken from 25 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs and 20 smart fortwo electric drives during the course of the trial, shows that in spite of initial scepticism surrounding the capability of EVs and concerns over range anxiety, they are more than capable of meeting the needs of drivers that require efficient urban transportation.
This is reflected by the finding that most journeys undertaken (77%) lasted less than 20 minutes and only 2% used more than 50% of the battery - enabling a return journey to be made without the need for recharging in the majority of cases. The data also showed a trend towards drivers travelling longer journeys over time - indicating increased confidence and reduced range anxiety.
Project Leader Neil Butcher from co-ordinating CABLED partner Arup believes the data presents a positive outlook for EVs: “These findings form part of the largest study of low carbon vehicle use ever compiled and, whilst our study is ongoing, it’s already clear that EVs offer a viable, practical urban transport solution. We must now consider how our homes, offices and public spaces will need to evolve in order to cater to both users’ needs and the rapidly developing technologies powering these vehicles.”
In relation to charging behaviour, the CABLED data clearly shows that EV users are not motivated to replenish their vehicle’s battery by reaching a particular point of depletion; rather they are driven by convenience and with data showing the vehicles are parked for 97.2% of the time (23.3 hours each day) it is apparent that there is ample opportunity for them to be plugged-in.
The most popular point at which people commenced charging was when the battery had between 81-87% of its charge remaining. With the majority of journey’s using less than 2kWh of power (around 12% of charge) this behaviour indicates that charging habitually takes place upon reaching a destination.
The average charge time was between 2-3 hours (typically equivalent to half of a full charge) with an energy transfer of 6kWh costing around 60-80p depending upon tariff (equivalent to one load in a washer dryer). Peaks for charging were observed from 7-9am and from 6-7pm, which can be most likely attributed to charging on arrival at work in the morning or home in the evening. Another peak was seen after 11pm when CABLED participants used timers to take advantage of off-peak energy tariffs.
Charging data such as this helps inform the development of energy infrastructure and Smart Grid technology, as head of group E-Mobility R&D at E.ON Charles Bradshaw-Smith explains: “Meters installed at each user’s home are giving us invaluable information on charging behaviour. The most popular time to charge a vehicle is rightly overnight. But as most journeys are relatively short (with five average journeys per charge) this allows scope for exactly when the car is charged each night to minimise cost and maximise carbon savings. Such evidence supports the need for automated intelligent charging technology that will allow EVs to interact with the distribution grid – an area which E.ON is researching into.
The ultimate goal is to allow drivers to take advantage of low cost power due to EVs both drawing and feeding into the grid to smooth demand peaks and save carbon.”
CABLED is one of several government measures designed to increase the number of low carbon vehicles on Britain’s roads and reflecting on these findings Mitsubishi Motors’ in the UK managing director, Lance Bradley added: "It's very encouraging to see this statistical evidence from the CABLED trial. It clearly backs up our own experience and studies in Japan that people adapt very quickly to driving a pure-EV, such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. To know that people complete up to five normal journeys per charge, and at such a low cost, underlines the fact that EVs are here to stay and can find mass-market appeal.
“Mitsubishi's new range of plug-in hybrid vehicles and our ongoing development of pure-EVs will also help establish electric powertrains in the broader UK market, and go a long way to reducing automotive CO2 emissions."
Brian Price from Aston University, which was responsible for analysing the data obtained from each vehicles on-board telemetry commented: “Through satellite tracking and on-board telemetry, we have been able to monitor real-world usage of the latest ultra-low carbon vehicles technologies on an unprecedented scale.
“Journey data over the first 18 months of the trial shows us that the battery range of electric vehicles (EVs) more than covers most users’ needs, with most drivers finishing their daily journeys still with over 40% charge remaining. Typical users only need to recharge every 2-3 days and choose the convenience of a home charge overnight or at their place of work over 85% of the time.
“Public charging points provided as part of the trial are proving popular, but less necessary than originally thought, as users gain confidence in the range capability of the vehicles. The trial has shown that the current generation of low carbon vehicles are as capable as conventional diesel and petrol engines for performance and ease of use, whilst having significantly lower emissions and operating costs.”
As part of the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform, £25 million has been allocated to eight highly innovative, industry-led collaborative research projects in the field of ultra low carbon vehicle development and demonstration. The competition, which culminated in June 2009 with the announcement of successful applicants, focused on encouraging the development of industry-led consortia that can deliver in bringing significant numbers of vehicles onto roads quickly.
The journey towards low carbon transport will not be easy but the demonstrator programme is a major step in the right direction. With over 340 cars being trialled in several regions across the UK, and with the involvement of large and small manufacturers, RDAs, local authorities, universities and infrastructure companies, it is the biggest project of its kind to date.
The West Midlands consortium, called CABLED - short for Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators – is made up of 13 organisations, led by Arup, a company with experience that crosses all areas that touch this project, from vehicle design to planning to infrastructure and energy.
The West Midlands consortium will trial 110 of the 340+ vehicles taking part in the Technology Strategy Board’s £25m Ultra Low Carbon demonstrator programme. During which each of the vehicle manufacturers – Jaguar/Land Rover, Mitsubishi/Colt, Mercedes Benz/smart, Tata Motors and Microcab Industries – will contribute vehicles, which includes a mix of fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell cars.
Electricity providers E.ON are delivering charging points for the trial with assistance from the city councils of Birmingham and Coventry.
Three of the Midland’s leading universities play a major role in the scheme with Coventry University undertaking the selection process of drivers, Aston University analysing vehicle usage data and the University of Birmingham contributing access and expertise gained from its hydrogen fuelling station, which is currently one of the very few of its kind in UK. A new hydrogen station is planned for Coventry University.
The CABLED data so far has EV users in both Mitsubishi i-MiEVs and Smart Fortwo electric drives. The data is for a year’s driving in 25 i-MiEVs (which were handed over to members of the public in December 2009) plus 20 smart fortwo electric drives that were rolled out gradually over the second six months of 2010.
Each vehicle in the CABLED trial is fitted with GPS and data logger, designed and installed by Coventry based RDM Automotive. These record the usage, location and charging habits of each vehicle. From this data the following information can be analysed:
▪ Frequency of individual journeys
▪ Length and duration of journeys
▪ Date & time of journeys
▪ Energy used per journey
▪ Duration and amount of energy transferred during charge
▪ External temperature
▪ Location of charging/parking, i.e. home, work, public etc.
Further details on the CABLED project can be found at www.cabled.org.uk
14.7.2011Volvo to develop electric range-extender
Volvo is developing range-extender technology for its electric cars that will provide an extra 1000 km of driving range.
The projects, supported by the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU, encompass three potential technology combinations. Tests of the various concepts will get under way in the first quarter of 2012.
The company's technological developments in this area currently encompass three different technology combinations, with three-cylinder petrol engines being installed to complement electric drive to the front wheels. All the variants feature brake energy regeneration. The engines can run on both petrol and ethanol (E85).
Two of the solutions are based on the Volvo C30 Electric. In both cases, the standard battery pack has been somewhat reduced in size to make room for the combustion engine and its fuel tank.
Technical concept I: Volvo C30 with series-connected Range Extender
This is based on a C30 Electric with a three-cylinder combustion engine producing 60 horsepower (45 kW) installed under the rear load compartment floor. The car also has a 40-litre fuel tank.
The combustion engine is connected to a 40 kW generator. The power it generates is used primarily to drive the car's 111 horsepower (82 kW) electric motor, but the driver can also choose to let the generator charge the battery, thus increasing the car's operating range on electricity.
The Range Extender increases the electric car's range by up to 1,000 km - on top of the 110 km range provided by the car's battery pack.
Technical concept II: Volvo C30 with parallel-connected Range Extender
Here the car gets a more powerful three-cylinder combustion engine at the rear and a 40-litre fuel tank. The difference between this and the first solution is the parallel connection, whereby the turbocharged 190 horsepower engine primarily drives the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. This gives a better fuel efficiency rating when driving with the combustion engine cruising on the highway. Via a 40kW generator the battery can also be charged to give the car increased range on electricity alone.
Here too the electric motor is a 111 hp (82 kW) unit. The two power sources give the car more than 300 hp in total, and acceleration from 0-100 km/h of less than six seconds.
The Range Extender increases the electric car's range by more than 1,000 km - in addition to the range of up to 75 km provided by the car's battery pack.
Technical concept III: Volvo V60 with parallel-connected Range Extender
This is a solution whereby the entire drive package is installed under the bonnet at the front. The 111 hp (80 kW) electric motor is supplemented with a three-cylinder petrol turbo engine producing 190 hp (140 kW), a two-stage automatic transmission and a 40 kW generator. Power from the combustion engine drives the front wheels via the gearbox and recharges the battery pack whenever needed.
Up to 50 km/h, the car is always powered solely by electricity. The combustion engine is activated at higher speeds and it charges the battery pack when its charge drops below a predetermined level.
The battery pack is located under the rear load floor and it gives the driver a range of 50 km on electricity alone. The car also has a 45-litre tank for petrol or E85.
With this technology, the Range Extender increases the car's total range by more than 1,000 kilometres.
The series-hybrid Range Extender in the C30 is part of an EU project in which Volvo is the only car manufacturer among eight partners. The company's two parallel-hybrid Range Extender solutions are being developed with a grant of SEK 10.8 million (EUR 1.2 million) from the Swedish Energy Agency.
“This is an exciting expansion of our increasing focus on electrification. Battery cost and size mean that all-electric cars still have a relatively limited operating range. With the Range Extender, the electric car has its effective range increased by a thousand kilometres - yet with carbon dioxide emissions below or way below 50 g/km," says Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering at the Volvo Car Corporation.
"These three projects allow us to evaluate the Range Extender's various possibilities. As with the C30 Electric and V60 Plug-in Hybrid, the goal is to make the cars exceptionally CO2-lean without compromising on customer requirements such as comfort, driving pleasure and practicality," explains Derek Crabb.
12.7.2011New use for end of life Nissan LEAF batteries
When they reach the end of their life, the batteries from a Nissan LEAF are likely to be used to store energy, such as that generated from solar panels.
Besides reusing the battery itself, its new use will allow excess power from renewable sources such as solar and wind generation to be stored and then released at peak times, reducing the need for conventional power stations to be kept on standby.
A fully charged battery in a LEAF holds enough energy to power a three-bedroom home for around three days (8kW/day). It has massive potential to store electricity generated by solar and then release it when the sun isn’t shining, or give the ability to use wind power even when there is no wind.
“The Nissan LEAF has only just been launched, but we have to think now about how we will dispose of the car when it comes to the end of its life,” said Jerry Hardcastle, Vice President, Vehicle Design & Development, Nissan Technical Centre Europe. “Although the LEAF is designed to last as long as any conventional car, some batteries will become available from accident-damaged cars sooner and we must manage the use of the parts now.”
While a used engine has limited scope to be reused, the battery second life usage is expected to give them – and therefore the LEAF – a significant resale value.
The first large-scale demonstration of renewable generation and battery storage using LEAF batteries has been built at Nissan’s global headquarters. A joint venture established by Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation, called 4R Energy, has started tests using solar panels and second-life lithium ion batteries previously used in Nissan LEAFs.
Electricity for the new storage system is generated through solar cells (photovoltaic panels) installed at Nissan’s offices, and is stored in the lithium-ion batteries. The power is then used to charge electric vehicles.
With seven charging stations (three quick charge, four normal charge) connected to the solar grid at Nissan’s HQ, the total electricity that can be generated and stored is the equivalent to fully charging approximately 1,800 Nissan LEAFs annually.
That’s equivalent to an annual reduction of 15.4 tons of CO2 emissions and will enable electric vehicles to be charged through a completely renewable energy source. The electricity can also be supplied to EVs regardless of the time of day or weather.
Renault has revealed details of its latest electric concept vehicle, called FRENDZY.
It is designed to be a commercial business vehicle which can double up as a car, so meeting the requirements of business users and families. The passenger side is intended to represent the world of work, and the driver’s side to be the world of the family.
The FRENDZY is fully electric with an asymmetrical body, with features such as a BlackBerry PlayBook which controls a 37-inch digital screen on the sliding rear door, unique ‘sound signatures’ inside and out, fabric roof that adapts to the shape of bulky objects, magnetic fixings to allow loads to be secured to floor, a slate board in the rear cabin for children to sketch on, a touch-sensitive pad which slides out from the driver’s seat for rear passengers to watch movies, and two-colour ambient lighting settings to differentiate family and work time.
On the passenger’s side, there’s no glazing or centre pillar, just one conventional door and one sliding side door which incorporates a 37-inch widescreen display – representing the world of work.
The driver’s side has central opening doors, and represents the world of the family.
The FRENDZY has a large external screen that can display messages or information (such as “making deliveries” or “back in five minutes”, the battery-charging method or the remaining charge) or advertising messages, either whilst parked or on the move.
The FRENDZY has the same powertrain as the Kangoo Van Z.E., but extensive work has gone into the sounds it produces, in particular customising the sound for safety reasons, notably at slow speeds. In the case of the FRENDZY, the aim was to produce a custom sound which corresponds with the new concept car’s aim as an “office on wheels”.
Renault will display the FRENDZY at the 64th Frankfurt Motor Show later this year.
4.7.2011UK Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy
The government’s vision for recharging infrastructure to support the electric vehicle revolution has been announced by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.
The publication – Making the Connection: the Plug-In Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy – identifies how recharging infrastructure will develop in a way that is targeted, convenient and safe.
It sets out the steps that government, as part of its £400m programme to support ultra-low emission vehicles, and industry will take to support an infrastructure that encourages the majority of recharging at home, at night, and after the peak in electricity demand, supported by workplace charging for commuters and fleets, and a targeted amount of public infrastructure.
The Transport Secretary also announced that the Renault Fluence has become the tenth vehicle now eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant - a consumer grant of up to £5,000.
Philip Hammond said: "The ability to recharge is a key part of the jigsaw in supporting the growth of the electric vehicle market. It is crucial therefore that we make the process as simple as possible.
"Public charge points are part of the answer but putting a charge point on every corner is not the right approach. It is most convenient for drivers and best for the energy system for the majority of charging to happen at home.
Electric cars mean getting out of the mentality of needing to travel to a petrol station and into the habit of refuelling when a vehicle is not being used.
"This strategy will help maintain the UK as a global leader in the design, production and use of electric and ultra-low emission cars and at the forefront of efforts to decarbonise motoring."
The strategy outlines support for plug-in vehicle infrastructure through:
• Ensuring plug-in vehicles are an attractive choice for the motorist – e.g. ensuring that Britain’s smart metering is implemented so that cars can charge when it’s cheapest for the consumer
• Providing comprehensive information through a National Charge point Registry so when a motorist needs to use a public charge point they know where to find one
• Ensuring systems are in place so that all charge points can be used by all motorists
• And challenging industry to resolve, by the end of the year, a range of technical issues that will allow the market to grow in the UK
• Making it easier for private enterprise to provide recharging infrastructure by removing regulatory barriers – e.g. establishing a Permitted Development Right for chargepoints so they no longer need planning permission
• Ofgem will consult this year on an exemption that makes it clear that charge point owners and operators can sell electricity via charge points at the market rate
• Proposing the inclusion of policy on plug-in vehicle infrastructure in the National Planning Policy Framework, due for consultation next month, to encourage local authorities to consider adopting policies to include plug-in vehicle recharging infrastructure in new domestic, workplace and retail developments.
Business Minister Mark Prisk said: "The UK wants to be a world-leader in ultra low carbon technology and today’s strategy is the next step in our achievement of that aim. I hope today’s report will accelerate the growth of the ultra low carbon vehicle market by giving clarity about the Government’s plans."
This strategy builds on the existing favourable tax regime for private and business purchasers of ultra-low emission vehicles, and over £400m worth of investment to promote this agenda, including up to £5,000 consumer grants for plug-in cars; and £30m to kick-start installation of recharging points in test-bed areas.
The government has made provision of over £400m to promote the uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies. This includes approximately £80m supporting research and development activities; £20m for the installation of infrastructure; and, subject to review, provision of around £300m to support consumer incentives for the life of the Parliament. The government will continue to monitor the most effective way to deliver this investment. The first review of the Plug-In Car Grant will take place in 2012.
The Plug-in Car Grant is a consumer grant of up to £5,000, or 25% of the value of the car, which consumers can benefit from directly at the point of purchase. The Renault ‘Fluence’ model will be available in the UK from Autumn 2012.
Making the Connection: the Plug-In Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy can be found here:
Further details of the Plug-in Car Grant can be found here: http://dft.gov.uk/topics/sustainable/olev/plug-in-car-grant/