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Posts Tagged ‘EVs’

Don’t Blame Battery-Cars for Plunging Oil Prices

Rising fuel economy likely a much bigger factor, says Navigant.

by on Mar.29, 2016

There'll be more battery-cars on the road in the years ahead, but not enough to bring oil prices crashing down, says Navigant.

Oil prices have tumbled sharply over the last year, and a variety of factors have led to the slide, including a weakening Chinese economy, as well as a reduction in demand among American motorists.

But battery-cars have had an almost negligible impact, and likely won’t have much of an impact going forward, despite some claims they’ve brought the oil market crashing to its knees. Far more credit goes to the rapid improvement in overall automotive fuel economy, suggests a new study by Navigant Research.

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Such claims are “sensationalist,” says a report by the technology research firm, which adds that a much more substantial factor likely to hold down oil prices is “not a particularly sexy conversation topic.” But the reality is that fleet-wide fuel economy is expected to increase 22% over the next decade, says Navigant, reducing demand by millions of barrels of oil a day.

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Chevrolet Planning to Launch 200-Mile Bolt Electric Vehicle in Late 2016

GM wants to “put a muzzle on” outspoken Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

by on Feb.06, 2015

The Chevy Bolt would deliver significantly longer range than almost any current battery-electric vehicle - for around $30,000. Photo by Len Katz.

General Motors will begin building a production version of its Chevrolet Bolt battery-electric concept vehicle in October 2016, several well-placed company sources told TheDetroitBureau.com, a move that will put GM into direct competition with California EV start-up Tesla Motors, as well as more traditional automakers such as Nissan and BMW.

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Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month, the Chevy Bolt concept was expected to deliver about 200 miles of range per charge – more than double that of most of the electric vehicles currently on the market. That would address the issue of “range anxiety’ which, industry analysts say, has held back demand for battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

GM officials, meanwhile, said they would deliver the Bolt for around $30,000, which would put it much closer to the price tag of a comparable, gas-powered vehicle.

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New GM Electric Vehicle Could Take Aim at Tesla

Chevrolet Bolt expected to deliver 200-mile range at $30,000 price tag.

by on Jan.11, 2015

The nose of the current Chevrolet Volt, the first mass-market plug-in hybrid. It was redesigned for 2016. A pure electric Chevy Bolt could follow in 2017.

First came the Chevrolet Volt, now comes the Chevy Bolt. Even as General Motors gets ready to officially unveil an all-new version of its plug-in hybrid, various sources suggest the Detroit maker also will debut a concept version of a battery-electric vehicle at this week’s North American International Auto Show.

Significantly, the Chevrolet Bolt is expected to deliver as much as 200 miles range per charge. That would more than double what most of the current crop of electric vehicles can handle – and would be in line with what Tesla is thought to be targeting for the Model III, the mainstream EV it plans to launch in a couple years.

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And, at an estimated $30,000, GM would likely undercut the smaller Tesla model while coming in only slightly higher than some competing vehicles delivering half Bolt’s range, such as the Nissan Leaf, the Ford Focus Electric, and the current Chevrolet Spark, which can travel just 82 miles per charge.

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EVs May Not be as Green as They Seem

New study claims battery cars actually can worsen global warming.

by on Dec.16, 2014

Where does that electricity come from?

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new battery-electric vehicle in an effort to be kinder to the environment, a new study suggests you might want to think again. According to its authors, EVs might actually worsen global warming.

If you’re charging up your new battery-car using electricity generated from coal, it turns out, you’ll actually create nearly four times as much soot, while increasing the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere – while also increasing smog deaths, according to the new study by the University of Minnesota.

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“It’s kind of hard to beat gasoline,” despite its bad reputation among environmentalists, said study co-author and engineering professor Julian Marshall. “A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean,” he added, “are not better than gasoline.” (more…)

Nearly Half of All EVs Sold in California

Ten states generate 25% of EV volume

by on Dec.11, 2014

Despite the fact that Nissan Leaf buyers don't have to pay for gas as owners of an electric vehicle, EV sales are still less than 1% of new car sales.

Nearly half of all the battery-electric vehicles sold in the United States are going to customers in California, according to a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA.

The report also noted that sales of plug-based vehicles, including plug-ins and pure battery-electric models, still constitute a tiny fraction of the total American vehicle fleet, with demand growing at a marginal pace despite a flood of new models.

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Along with California, motorists in Hawaii and Washington have been quickest to plug into the electric vehicle market, with at least three of every 1,000 registered vehicles in those states. In only three states – Virginia, Georgia and Oregon – have EVs reached more than two in 1,000. (more…)

Toyota Launching Hydrogen Car in December, But Honda Delays its Fuel-Cell Vehicle.

Named Mirai, Toyota betting its new entry is the "future" of clean mobility.

by on Nov.18, 2014

Toyota announced it would begin selling its Mirai hydrogen fuel car in Japan this year and the rest of the world in 2015.

Declaring plans to be “at the leading edge,” Toyota says it will launch its new hydrogen-powered Mirai next month, bringing its first fuel-cell vehicle to market a bit ahead of its original schedule.

Honda, meanwhile, revealed an updated prototype of the hydrogen car it plans to bring to market, though its own plans may be slightly delayed. Nonetheless, it would join not just Toyota but also Hyundai in marketing the alternative powertrain technology that advocates claim could sidestep the limited range and other problems faced by today’s battery-electric vehicles.

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“In time, the fuel cell vehicle will become mainstream. We wanted to take the first step,” declared Mitsuhisa Kato, a Toyota executive vice president, at Mirai’s launch in Tokyo. “We want to be at the leading edge.” (more…)

Green Car Finalists Announced

Battery power vies with diesel, CNG and advanced gas options.

by on Oct.21, 2014

The BMW i3 is one of five cars up for the 2015 Green Car of the Year award at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

There’s been plenty of attention paid to electric vehicles over the last several years, but not all green machines have a battery under the hood.

To underscore that point, just check out the five finalists for the 2015 Green Car of the Year. The nominees for the annual award, which will be presented at the Los Angeles Motor Show next month, present a mix of alternatives that include not only the requisite EVs, but also a diesel, a bi-fuel package and a conventional gasoline-powered model. The list is dominated by three European models with one each from Japan and the U.S.

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“These five exceptional vehicles reflect an expanding ‘green’ car field that embraces diverse fuels and technologies as answers to a more efficient and low carbon future,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Each offers a distinctly different approach to driving ‘green’ that appeals to buyers with varying needs and perspectives on how best to lessen environmental impact, while maintaining the joy of driving.” (more…)

Copenhagen Wheel Makes Any Bike an EV

New wheel may change daily commute.

by on Jul.29, 2014

The Copenhagen Wheel was developed by researchers at MIT and is being distributed by Superpedestrian. It makes any bicycle an electric bike increasing speeds to 20 mph.

For some, the idea of riding a bike conjures up one of two images: skin-tight biker shorts and shirts and helmets as part of a high-speed march along winding roads a la Lance Armstrong or a leisurely loll on a two-wheeler with a basket and a squeeze horn through a park or neighborhood that involves as much coasting as it does pedaling.

However, if Superpedestrian gets its way, thousands – maybe even millions – of people will completely rethink how they use a bicycle with the company’s new Copenhagen Wheel. The wheel was designed by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SENSEable City Laboratory in concert with the city of Copenhagen, which is one of the bike-friendliest cities in the world. The lab then licensed it to Superpedestrian for additional development.

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The wheel can be attached to any bike and increases the speed of the bike. By using an array of sensors, it develops an algorithm based off the rider’s pedaling pattern to seamlessly boost the speed of the bike when the rider is pedaling. (more…)

Tesla Tells Deposit Holders that Model X Coming in Early 2015

EV maker producing prototypes this fall.

by on Jun.17, 2014

Tesla's Model X will start rolling off the production line next spring, according to a letter from the company to those who put down deposits on the crossovers.

When it’s not discussing the possibility of producing a submersible car or one that can fly, Tesla Motors reminds people that it produces real-world vehicles, in this case, it recently told potential owners of the Model X that the crossovers will begin rolling off the production line in early 2015: a little sooner than anticipated.

In a letter to people who have put down $5,000 deposits on the EV maker’s next addition to its line-up, the company said it would begin building prototypes this fall and the road-ready models would be available in the first half of next year.

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Tesla has been pointing to sometime next year as the plan for the next vehicle in its portfolio – the others been the couple and Model S – which is also expected to include an affordable sedan sometime after 2016. (more…)

Tesla Offers Up Access to Patented Technology to Competition

EV maker’s hoping to accelerate growth of battery electrics with move.

by on Jun.13, 2014

Tesla's Model S is one of the best-selling electric vehicles in the U.S., however, EV sales are still less than 1% of all vehicles purchased, but Elon Musk is trying to accelerate that.

Apparently, Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk really believes in the adage “a rising tide lifts all boats” as he’s decided to give all automakers access to the company’s patents. By giving everyone the technology, it may boost innovation and, by extension, sales.

“We’re trying to clear a path for the electric-vehicle industry,” he said during a conference call today. “I think to some degree here a rising tide lifts all boats. On balance it’s better if the rest of the industry pursues electric vehicles more vigorously.”

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The access doesn’t come without some strings attached. Automakers using the information must provide something of equal value or agree to not sue Tesla. (more…)