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Posts Tagged ‘battery car charging’

New Consortium Aims to Help EV Owners ROEV More Freely

Taking down the barriers to battery-car ownership.

by on Nov.20, 2015

"This is the future of EV charging in the U.S.," says BMW's Rob Healey.

There are three key factors limiting broader consumer acceptance of battery-electric vehicles, according to most analysts: their high price, limited range and the lack of a readily available charging network.

A new consortium, announced at this week’s L.A. Auto Show, could help resolve the latter issue. Dubbed ROEV, short for Roaming for Electric Vehicle charging, the new venture aims to make it easier for owners of battery-based vehicles to plug in wherever they go. It will let them access the vast majority of public charge stations without having to sign up with a variety of different service providers.

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The goal is to “make sure every station is capable of serving every vehicle out there,” explained Brendan Jones, a vice president of NRG EVgo, one of the partners in the new charging consortium. “ROEV is reducing the barrier (to EVs by letting) people know they can charge anywhere.”


Tesla Demo’s 90-Second Model S Battery Swap

Faster than filling a gas tank, declares CEO Musk.

by on Jun.21, 2013

Tesla demonstates the speed of its battery swap system compared to the time it takes to fill up at "the fastest gas station in LA."

Beyond the high cost of electric-vehicle technology, perhaps the biggest turn-off for consumers has been the lengthy time needed to recharge products like the Model S.  Or so goes conventional wisdom.

But the maker has set out to show that recharging the sedan doesn’t have to be an obstacle – first by announcing plans for a nationwide, high-speed “Supercharger” network and, now, by demonstrating the ability to swap out a depleted battery for a fresh one faster than you can fill up a gas tank.

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After tweeting plans to prove that possibility, Tesla CEO Elon Musk invited journalists and several hundred Model S owners to the factory to demonstrate the new battery-swap strategy. On a video screen overhead, a Tesla employee was shown filling up a car’s gas tank at what the South African-born executive described as “the fastest gas station in L.A.”  On stage, a robotic machine automatically removed a Model S battery and replaced it with a fully charged one.


New System Controls Your EV Charger – And Home Energy Usage

Cisco device will oversee all home energy operations.

by on Feb.01, 2011

Cisco's Home Energy Controller.

“Convergence” is a big word in the consumer electronics field, notably with new technology blending the Internet with conventional television.  But the network technologies giant Cisco has a different form of convergence in mind with its new Home Energy Controller.

Cisco has inked a partnership with San Francisco-based ECOtotality, which is overseeing the installation of 15,000 commercial and residential charging stations.  Dubbed the EV Project, it covers 16 cities dotted across six states and the District of Columbia, and is supported by a $115 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The new alliance will let homeowners control their rapid, 240-volt battery-car charging system, known as Blink, through the touchscreen Cisco Home Energy Controller.  That will allow a user to sit back in the comfort of their home and program charging to take advantage of the lowest possible utility rates, for example, or to ensure a battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, is fully charged by a specific time of day.

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Choosing the right time to charge can make a big difference in the cost of owning and operating a battery-based vehicle, such as the new Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt.  While the average cost of energy around the country is around 11 cents a kilowatt-hour, according to industry data, many utilities are expected to offer electricity for less than half that amount during off-peak hours.  Considering a battery car might double a typical home’s energy consumption, that can add up to a significant difference.


First Look: 2012 Ford Focus Electric

Detroit maker begins push to electrify its line-up.

by on Jan.07, 2011

Ford shows off the new Focus Electric battery car during a CES preview.

This is the year of the electric vehicle, or so proponents would like to believe, as a wave of battery cars make their debut and the first actually roll into showrooms.  Following last month’s debut of the low-volume Transit Connect Electric delivery van, Ford Motor Co. is rolling out what it hopes will be a more mainstream offering: a battery-powered version of its newly-redesigned compact hatchback, dubbed the Ford Focus Electric.

With an estimated range of 100 miles per charge, Ford’s offering won’t reach market until 2012, well behind the introductions of the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.  But what the Focus Electric loses by not having first-mover advantage Ford is hoping to more than make up for by offering a wealth of features on its first battery-based passenger car.

The Ford Focus Electric is visually similar to the gas-powered compact, which is offered in both sedan and hatchback configurations.  But there will be a number of changes designed to improve its efficiency, critical when trying to maximize battery power.  That includes a revised grille, an enclosed underbody and special wheels meant to improve aerodynamics, as well as low rolling-resistance tires.

Meanwhile, an LED “light ring” will surround the electric charger port – repurposed from the fuel filler door on a conventional Focus.  Soft blue lights will flash to indicate the Focus Electric is charging and then to signal the battery has been topped off.


Rapid Recharges Won’t Wear Out Batteries, MIT Determines

Good news for proponents of 30-minute charge stations.

by on Jan.06, 2011

Rapid charging, using Level III chargers like this one, won't seriously degrade electric vehicle batteries, says MIT.

They may be clean and green, but for most American motorists, operating a battery-electric vehicle can be seen as quite a pain.  Most models, such as the 2011 Nissan Leaf, are expected to get no more than about 100 miles per charge, and recharging their lithium-ion batteries can take as much as 12 hours or more.

Factor in the cost penalty of a battery vehicle and most experts predict the technology will, at best account for less than 10% of the U.S. market by 2020.  But what if those range, price and charging challenges are overcome?

The cost of lithium technology is expected to plunge as sales volumes rise and competition expands.  As with other batteries, meanwhile, power density – read range – is also expected to increase.  And proponents believe they can also make charging less of a hassle using high-voltage quick chargers that can top off a drained battery in as little as 15 to 30 minutes.

There has been widespread concern that these so-called Level III chargers could take a toll, significantly reducing battery life, but a new study by Electric Vehicle Team at MIT says such problems have been significantly overstated.

Using lithium batteries from supplier A123 – which will provide the power for the upcoming Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid – the MIT team found that even after 1,500 discharge and rapid recharge cycles the batteries lost barely 10% of their initial capacity.


GM Makes New Investment in Battery Car Production

Delphi invests in new wireless recharging system.

by on Sep.30, 2010

While GM expands production of EV component, Delphi is looking at a new wireless charging system.

With federal help, General Motors Corp. is sinking an additional $23.5 million into production of components for electric vehicles at a factory near Baltimore, Maryland, where it will produce motors for future battery cars.

The new investment follows GM’s earlier commitment of $246 million to the Baltimore plant back in January. The investments create new jobs at the plant, according to GM officials, which has been under pressure to create more jobs at the company’s U.S. operations in return for the federal bailout that kept it alive.

Meanwhile, GM’s former parts arm, Delphi Corp. is pushing into the nascent EV market with a new partnership aimed at developing wireless charging technology.

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“This will allow us to strengthen our core electrification components expertise,” said GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones, about the maker’s latest Baltimore investment. “We’ll have more to say about specific products later.”