385. ELECTRIC CAR UPDATE
It's amazing how quickly electric cars have gathered momentum. When I first got involved with peak oil in the summer of 2004, they weren't even on the radar screen. And when my blogging partner Roland wrote a couple of pieces on the subject for POD three years ago in 2005 (171. ELECTRIC CARS, PART 1 and 172. ELECTRIC CARS, PART 2), they were still an exotic niche topic. Now, three years later, the field is exploding, and there's a major scramble for position by carmakers all over the world, large and small. Indeed, it reminds me a lot of the early "wild west" days of the personal computer industry.
This is a key part of the shift away from oil, but I've found the coverage of it pretty spotty and inconsistent at sites like the Oil Drum. (Apparently, they're too busy posting Malthusian fruitcakery, like this piece by some university egghead demonstrating that agriculture itself is unsustainable. LOL.) So I've decided to produce some newsfeeds myself to balance the pessimistic slant at the Oil Drum and peakoil.com etc. These feeds will be a regular feature of POD, and will focus on different aspects of how people are actually SOLVING the peak oil problem. Today's topic: Electric cars. (Note: If you need a few laughs, compare the current news with Savinar's utterly bogus "proof" of why electric cars won't help, here.)
BYD to Introduce China's First Electric Car
A Chinese auto maker plans to unveil the country's first homegrown electric vehicle for the mass market, at least a year ahead of similar efforts around the world.(Note: BYD is partly owned by Warren Buffett.)
On Monday, BYD Co. plans to show reporters in Shenzhen the new F3DM, which runs off batteries that can be charged from a regular electrical outlet. BYD began marketing the F3DM this month to cab operators and other potential fleet customers, and plans to have it in showrooms by the end of this month, said Henry Li, a senior company executive. BYD plans to sell the car in the U.S. market as early as the second half of 2010.
Ex-Chief Says Intel Should Power Cars
Former Intel Corp. chairman Andrew Grove is pushing the world's biggest maker of microprocessors to consider a new venture -- becoming a manufacturer of advanced batteries for plug-in electric cars.Evonik, Daimler to make batteries for electric cars
German industrial conglomerate Evonik and carmaker Daimler have joined forces to develop and build advanced batteries for electric cars, the partners said on Monday.SAIC to develop electric cars
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) Group and its subsidiary SAIC Motor plan to invest 2 billion yuan ($292 million) to develop electric-gasoline and electric cars. [...]Maui to test electric vehicles
SAIC Group is China's largest automobile manufacturer in terms of sales.
Maui Electric will test electric vehicles through a new agreement with a California company.Japan taps Better Place for electric car charging
Gov. Linda Lingle, Maui Electric Co. and Phoenix Motorcars announced Tuesday the plan to test all-electric vehicles and an electric vehicle infrastructure on Maui.
Japan's Ministry of the Environment announced a program on Tuesday to test electric vehicles and a network of charging stations, some supplied by auto start-up Better Place.San Francisco plans to be electric car capital
San Francisco Bay Area cities promise to build the electric car capital of the United States, announcing a plan to put battery-powered automobiles on the road in 2012.Electric car venture unveils charge stations in Israel
California-based electric car operator Better Place unveiled in Israel on Monday its first charging stations as part of a network it hopes will replace gasoline-powered engines worldwide.Mini E Electric Car Arrives in NYC
The fanatical Mini groupies at MotoringFile have confirmed that the first Mini Es have arrived from Europe for distribution in the U.S.REVA Electric Cars May Soon Be For Sale in Israel
BDO-I2I is looking to bring Indian-made electric cars onto the Israeli market. REVA Electric Car Company and consulting firm BDO-I2I are still finalizing the details, but there are reports imports could start before the end of January.FedEx Delving Into the World of Electric Cars. Chooses UK-Based Modec for Initial Order of 10 Delivery Vans
Adding to its green fleet of more than 170 hybrid electric delivery vans worldwide, FedEx has decided to try out fully electric vehicles as well with a small group of 10 London-based test trucks.Ford accelerates electric-vehicle plans
Ford Motor made electric vehicles a centerpiece of a turnaround plan presented to Congress on Tuesday, saying that it will introduce an all-electric van for fleet use in 2010 and a sedan in 2011.Daimler plans serial production of electric cars: report
Daimler AG has decided to start the full serial production of several electric cars, weekly WirtschaftsWoche reports Sunday, citing people from within Daimler.Electric Cars for Military Bases in USA
In an advance copy of a report from Monday's magazine, WirtschaftsWoche says that according to internal planning documents, the carmaker aims to deliver an electric version of the Smart to dealers in 2012, followed by electric versions of the Mercedes Benz A- and B-class models several months later.
Environmental Leader relays a Gannett’s Army Time article, which states that the US Army plans to order 400 electric vehicles from sources like Columbia ParCar Corp., Native American Biofuels International, and other manufacturers in 2009. Quantities are expected to rise to 4,000 in FY 2010, and may total 10,000 by the time the program ends.Electric car maker seeks to fire up assembly line
Porteon seeks $15 million, bristles at the attention given to Asian automakersMichelin Develops Revolutionary Active Wheel for Electric Cars
After three years of quietly designing prototypes, Porteon Electric Vehicles Inc. wants to raise $15 million to begin production of a lineup of electric cars.
Is this tire really the "Holy Grail of Eco-Transportation," as Treehugger believes? Maybe. Time will tell if the electric engine inside the Active Wheel from Michelin will catch on and further drive down the cost of electric vehicles.Electric Car Conversions See Increase
Despite gas prices creeping down, a local man who converts cars from gasoline engines to electric motors says he's seen a spike in business.Tesla Schooled By Tango In Electric Car Drag Race
[Highly recommended. The video is hilarious.]
In what may be the first ever drag race between production electric cars, the geeky Tango electric cruiser edged out the trendy Tesla Roadster electric sports car.Companies in Europe plan electric car infrastructure
Automakers in Europe plan new business models for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids before 2011.Enel, smart launch electric vehicle initiative in Italy
The business models will eliminate the need for gasoline stations. Energy will be supplied by utility companies. The automakers also will need to take into account the life span of batteries, which will depreciate and wear out quicker than the cars themselves.
Toyota Motor Corp., Daimler, Renault-Nissan, Volvo, and General Motors are among the carmakers that plan to bring plug-in hybrids and full-electric cars to market in 2011.
When that happens, carmakers, utility companies, and battery suppliers will need to be ready to take over the role of energy suppliers from oil companies. This will require a restructuring of energy supply arrangements and infrastructure.
Italian utility Enel and smart, a Daimler Group brand, have launched the e-mobility Italy initiative aimed at spreading the use of electric vehicles supported by a specially tailored infrastructure providing intelligent and safe service.Fuji Heavy Shows off Spacious Electric Vehicle
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd exhibited "Plug-in Stella Concept," a new electric vehicle, at the G8 Hokkaido-Toyako Summit (See related article).Mitsubishi to start electric car production
Fuji Heavy Industries brought five of the vehicles to the site of the summit and showcased them to government officials and journalists from all over the world. The company plans to commercialize an electric car in 2009.
While many car companies are still trying to perfect their electric cars, Mitsubishi Motors Corp has forged ahead with its i MiEV electric car that is set to enter production next year .Chrysler's plan to beat the Chevy Volt
Unveiled to the media yesterday ahead of this week’s International Petroleum Technology Conference, the i MiEV electric car does not look much different from the 660cc petrol-powered “i” car on which it was based.
The original “i” car’s engine and fuel tank have been replaced by an electric motor drive system and lithium-ion battery pack.
Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Keizo Ono said the i MiEV was not a concept car but one ready for mass production.
The electric car will go on sale in Japan next year with launches planned in the US and Europe markets in 2010.
Chrysler is pinning a huge part of its future on a plan to produce a full line of electric vehicles, at a reasonable cost to both the carmaker and the consumer.
While General Motors is moving ahead with its Volt electric midsized car, Chrysler says it already has plans in place, not just for electric cars, but also for minivans and even off-road vehicles.