Tag: ev

Zero’s latest electric motorcycles can recharge in an hour

Zero Motorcycles' electric bikes can be fun to ride, but recharging is another matter entirely. It's tough to wait hours when all you want to do is go back on the open road. That shouldn't be such a problem with the company's just-introduced 2018 models. If you use a 6kW Charge Tank accessory with the newest Zero S, SR, DS and DSR, you can charge up to six times faster -- as little as an hour for the S or DS ZF7.2 when you plug into an ordinary Level 1 outlet. Models with larger batteries can still top up in two hours if you use a Level 2 EV charger. Neither charging rate is as speedy as filling a gas tank, of course, but they're fast enough that you could come home with a low battery and head out again after dinner.

The new e-motorbikes should be more exciting rides, too. If you have the ZF7.2 power pack, you should get 11 percent more rear-wheel torque. The powertrains, meanwhile, have been tweaked to supply up to 30 percent more power and torque. Combine these with up to 10 percent added range on the ZF7.2 and ZF14.4 batteries (up to 223 miles) and you should have an easier time overtaking big rigs on the highway.

There's also an improvement in an unexpected area: your phone. You can now update your bike's firmware through Zero's mobile app, so you can improve your performance while sitting in your own garage.

Prices for the bikes are the same as the 2017 models, which starts at $8,495 for a Zero FX and culminates at $16,495 for the SR and DSR models. Be ready to pay extra if you want that vaunted fast charging, though: the Charge Tank will cost you an extra $2,295. That could make sense if you ride almost constantly, but you may want to save your cash if your bike only comes out for the daily commute.

Via: CleanTechnica

Source: Zero Motorcycles

EV chargers have started popping up at UK Shell stations

As promised, Shell is adding electric vehicle charging to its UK petrol stations. "Shell Recharge" is already already available at three locations in Holloway (London), Derby and Whyteleafe (Surrey). A further seven sites across Greater London and Reading will be opened up before the end of the year. Though this is welcome news for EV owners, 10 stations is but a fraction of the 1,000 that Shell currently operates in the UK. The company has a long way to go before it can match Tesla's Supercharger network, or the nationwide infrastructure offered by Ecotricity and Chargemaster's Polar scheme.

Still, it's a start. The 10 stations will offer 50 kW DC chargers with connections for combined charging system (CCS), Chademo and AC Type 2 (43kW). Every car is different, but Shell says its Recharge stations will take will take most batteries from zero to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Those figures are competitive with most public UK chargers, but are a long way off the 120 kW throughput offered by Tesla. Drivers will need to pay for their electricity using a payments app called Smoov. It will normally cost 49p per kWh, but until June 30th, 2018, that figure is being kept at 25p.

Via: EV Fleet World

Source: Shell (Press Release)

Audi made an escape room to promote its E-Tron cars

The rise of the "escape room" has been incredible. Teams of people all over the world are now regularly battling zombies, embarking on real-life Legend of Zelda adventures or playing armchair detective via Facebook Live in fun, safe but wholly manufactured environments. The concept has become so popular that even major car makers have decided to get in on the act. Audi, for example, wanted to highlight the benefits of its all-electric E-Tron line, so it built a experience that basically presents all its future technology to the public.

The e-tron room is a collaboration between Audi and marketing agency DDB Spain. Teams of between three and five people are transported into the office of a doctor who has disappeared and are tasked with discovering where he can be found.

Puzzles don't require things like secret parchments and keys found in traditional escape rooms, but instead feature robotic arms, holograms, projection mapping and advanced mechanics. And with "Tron" in the name, you can bet there's a lot red and blue neon. It certainly makes Audi's escape room experience unique but also serves as marketing tool to show where cars are heading in the next decade.

The room opened its doors in Barcelona on October 7th and will remain open, admission-free, until October 26th. After that, it'll move to Madrid, where it'll welcome challengers from November 9th to November 30th.

Via: LBB Online

Source: Audi e-tron Room

Shell preps for the future with acquisition of EV charging network

Royal Dutch Shell (or just Shell, if you're into the whole brevity thing) has already committed a billion dollars toward alternative fuels, and now it's showing us where some of that money is going. The gas station corporation has agreed to buy NewMotion, a Netherlands-based company that owns some 30,000 electric-vehicle charging points across Western Europe according to Reuters.

Shell says that these will complement the company's existing roll-out of charging stations. "One is fast charging on the go on the forecourt and the other is a slightly lower rate of charge at the workplace or at home," vice president of new fuels Matthew Tipper said. "At this stage there are no plans to integrate the two."

Meaning, don't expect the NewMotion locations to be where you can top off a charge on your way home. While these won't be Shell's first foray into building an EV-ready infrastructure, it hows that the company is planning for a future where petroleum-based fuels won't be as prevalent. For you and me, that should translate to range anxiety (potentially) becoming a thing of the past.

Source: Reuters

LG will build Europe’s biggest EV battery factory next year

As the auto industry fatefully moves into electric vehicles, Europe's major car-makers need high capacity batteries. Until now, companies like VW, Volvo and BMW have had to import batteries from Asia. LG's forthcoming car battery factory in Poland, the first in Europe, hopes to fulfil that growing demand. "The company has chosen Poland as the most competitive location for production to satisfy the needs of European and global car producers," said Chang-Beom Kang, vice president at LG Chem. The facility will cost $1.63 million, based in the city of Wroclaw which is close to the country's border with Germany. (In case you didn't know, Germany is a major car manufacturing country.)

The company's chemical arm is planning to manufacture up to 100,000 EV batteries starting next year, recruiting 2,500 people in the process. According to Reuters, the factory will also include an R&D center.

While the factory may sound big enough, LG Chem's production estimates place it at around 10 percent of the capacity of Tesla's Gigafactory estimates for 2018. Demand is ramping up in Europe, and this is likely just the start. Paris stated today that it aimed to ban the sales of new fossil fuel car by the year 2030, while both France as a country, and the UK, aim to ban the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2040.

Source: Reuters

Oxford plans to be a zero-emission city by 2035

All fuel-burning vehicles could be barred from entering Oxford city centre under new plans designed to turn it into the "world's first Zero Emission Zone." In a bid to drastically cut air pollution, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council submitted a joint proposal that would ban petrol and diesel cars from a small number of streets from 2020 and encompass the entire city centre in 2035.

To begin with, the use of non-zero emission taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses would be restricted in six streets. Those zero-emission areas would slowly be expanded in five year increments, with HGVs finally outlawed in the city by 2035. Officials believe the strategy will reduce toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels to "near-background levels."

In George Street, the city's most polluted area, NO2 emissions could be reduced by as much as 74 percent under the new plans. Oxford has already seen a 36.9 percent fall in harmful NO2 levels over the past decade but many parts of the city centre are failing to meet the 40µg/m3 average set by the European Union, despite its desire to become a true "cycling city."

From next week, the City and County councils will launch a six-week public consultation, inviting comments on the speed of the rollout and the vehicles and roads that could be affected. Bear in mind that the government plans to ban sales of fossil fuel cars, but officials have given themselves until 2040 to make that happen.

It also helps that the City Council has already been given £500,000 in government funding to install EV chargers for electric taxis and a further £800,000 for charging points for Oxford residents.

"All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city's toxic air," said Councillor John Tanner. "Everyone needs to do their bit – from national Government and local authorities, to businesses and residents – to end this public health emergency."

Via: The Times

Source: Oxford City Council

Renault-Nissan bets its future on electric and hybrid cars

The Renault-Nissan alliance is no stranger to producing electric cars. Have heard of this little thing called the Leaf? However, its eco-friendly vehicles have tended to be odd ducks in the lineup. That's about to change: the Renault Group has unveiled a "Drive the Future" plan that will see the company field eight all-electric models and 12 hybrids by 2022. Simultaneously, it's trying to leave emissions scandals in the past by cutting its diesel range in half over the same period.

In a sense, Renault-Nissan doesn't have much of a choice. Paris' mayor Anne Hidalgo, a very vocal opponent of fossil fuel and unnecessary car use, wants to get rid of all diesels in her city's urban core by 2025. France as a whole, hopes to ban sales of fossil fuel cars by 2040. The automaker needs more than one-offs like the Leaf or Renault Zoe if it's going to remain a mainstay on French streets.

Nonetheless, it's a huge shift for a company which has depended heavily on diesel cars under chief Carlos Ghosn -- at one point, they represented 60 percent of sales. While it's not as dramatic a move as what you've seen from companies like Volvo (which promises a complete shift to electric and hybrid cars within 2 years), it's another sign that the automotive industry is no longer treating EVs as side projects. As with VW and other high-volume brands, Renault-Nissan knows electric cars have to play an important role in its lineup within the next few years, not just at some distant point in the future.

Via: Liberation, Manu Saadia (Twitter)

Source: Renault (translated)

Porsche Mission E caught testing against Teslas

By Joel Stocksdale

It's been about two years since Porsche revealed its slinky Mission E concept, which promised Tesla-matching range and performance with Porsche's driving dynamic expertise. Now we finally get a look at one on the road. It looks like the Mission E is far along in development, and it seems that Porsche is very serious about taking on Tesla, since the car was being driven alongside both a Model S and a Model X.

Focusing on the Porsche itself, though, the design does appear to have been toned down significantly. The ultra-low hood and extra-tall fenders of the concept have been raised and lowered respectively for a much less dramatic nose. The bulging fenders have also been constrained a bit.

But the overall look still draws from the concept. The car is still very low in profile, with a low belt line. The rear fenders still look wide in trademark Porsche fashion, and they're highlighted by the wide corporate taillight band on the back. Other details from the concept include the side vents on the fenders, the big diffuser at the tail, and the vents in the front bumper that descend from the headlights. Those headlights also look to be similar slim units to the concept's. One other fun detail are the faux exhaust tips on the back to throw off spy photographers and passers-by.

Porsche has previously said that the Mission E would reach production by 2020, and according to our friends at Engadget, it should go on sale in 2019. Based on how complete the cars in these photos appear to be, we think the company has a good chance of hitting that target. When the concept was shown, Porsche promised 590 horsepower and, on the European test cycle, a range of over 310 miles. Also interesting was the concept's claimed 800-volt electrical system that could be charged to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes. Time will tell whether that system comes to fruition, but Porsche has at least tested some portion of the system on its Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid race cars. Porsche also expects to sell the car for $80,000 to $90,000. All these features taken together would definitely make for a compelling Tesla alternative.

Tesla’s electric big rig spotted in the wild

Who said you had to wait until October 26th to see Tesla's electric big rig? A succession of Reddit users have posted and reposted a photo that appears to show Tesla's semi truck sitting on a flatbed. And to no one's surprise, this isn't the Smokey and the Bandit-style truck of yore -- it's all swooping curves, complete with an expansive cockpit window. You can also see the vehicle's detached fairing off to the left.

The exact feature set of the truck is still somewhat mysterious, but there have been clues. It's expected to have a range of between 200 to 300 miles, so it'll be focused more on short hops than across-country hauls. And it's no surprise that Elon Musk likes the idea of autonomous trucks, so it's reasonable to see a more truck-oriented take on Autopilot that might include platooning when there's a multi-truck convoy.

The one thing for certain is that Tesla will have competition: more established brands like Cummins have already unveiled their own electric semis. Musk and company will have to show how their design stands out, and it's safe to say that it can't remain a prototype for long if Tesla wants to beat its challengers to market.

Via: The Verge

Source: Reddit

Ford creates ‘Team Edison’ to speed up EV development

There's little doubt at this point that electric cars are the future, but how do you get to that future as quickly as possible? To Ford, it's a matter of finding the right friends. In a Reuters interview, Ford's Sherif Marakby says the company has created "Team Edison," a group focused on speeding up the worldwide development of electric vehicles -- including by forming partnerships with suppliers and other companies. The aim is to "look holistically" at the EV space and "make quicker" decisions to keep pace with the development of EV technology.

The team will mainly operate out of Ford's home turf in Detroit, but it'll work with EV teams in China and Europe. It's reporting to Ted Cannis, who's now the global director of Ford's electrification efforts.

It's too soon to say whether or not Team Edison will help, but Ford has already been putting its money where its mouth is: it's expanding its EV lineup, and previously earmarked $4.5 billion in related spending over the next 5 years. The big challenge is keeping pace with its rivals. GM, for instance, just announced that it'll have 20 electric car models by 2023. Ford's new group may have to pull out all the stops if it wants to be seen as EV-first.

Source: Reuters