Electric Vehicle news
According to Pike Research, the successful launch of plug-in electric vehicles greatly depends on the deployment of a robust residential and commercial network of charging equipment. This market is largely in its infancy, as many of the companies involved have been selling product for less than five years. International companies with product portfolios that span the power distribution and energy services division have only recently entered the market and their participation is likely to erode the significant margins currently enjoyed in the market.
The residential market for charging equipment is largely influenced by the sales of electric vehicles, which in most cases will be paired with a home charger. Much of the commercial electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) infrastructure, as it is known, is being installed due to government grants and incentives. Business models are continuing to take shape, as the return on investment for companies other than utilities to own and operate EVSE has yet to be proven. Suppliers need to improve their marketing and communications messaging to substantiate the value to customers before the market can experience the rapid growth necessary to support the rollout of EVs.
Chevy Volt safety concerns were not greater than any other car on the road
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the following statement last friday regarding the conclusion of its safety defect investigation into the post-crash fire risk of Chevy Volts (PE11037). It stated that its safety defect investigation into the potential risk of fire in Chevy Volts that have been involved in a serious crash. Opened on November 25, the agency’s investigation has concluded that no discernible defect trend exists and that the vehicle modifications recently developed by General Motors reduce the potential for battery intrusion resulting from side impacts.
Based on the available data, NHTSA does not believe that Chevy Volts or other electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles. Generally all vehicles have some risk of fire in the event of a serious crash. However, electric vehicles have specific attributes that should be made clear to consumers, the emergency response community, and tow truck operators and storage facilities. Recognizing these considerations, NHTSA has developed interim guidance — with the assistance of the National Fire Protection Association, the Department of Energy, and others — to increase awareness and identify appropriate safety measures for these groups. The agency expects this guidance will help inform the ongoing work by NFPA, DOE, and vehicle manufacturers to educate the emergency response community, law enforcement officers, and others about electric vehicles. Read the release.
Fee proposed for electric, hybrid vehicles
“An electricity highway fee” would be assessed when a plug-in electric or hybrid vehicle is recharged, under a bill by state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence.
Under House Bill 2455, the amount of the fee would be determined by Kansas Department of Transportation and “shall be comparable to the motor fuel tax.” The Kansas gasoline tax is currently 24 cents per gallon.
The electricity highway fee would go to the fund that maintains streets and highways.
“I believe that such vehicles should pay the equivalent of the motor fuels tax so that they do not “ride free” when gasoline/diesel vehicles pay to maintain the system,” Sloan said.
A hearing on the measure will be 9 a.m. Tuesday before House Energy and Utilities Committee.
High Performance Electric Motorcycle
AllCell Technologies has teamed with two Purdue University engineering students to produce an electric motorcycle with cutting-edge performance and drive range. The 10.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery incorporates AllCell’s proprietary thermal management material, allowing the students to quickly and easily design the high energy density system capable of delivering up to 72 kilowatts of power. Initial testing indicates a maximum speed of over 120 miles per hour and a range of over 120 miles.
In addition to providing manufacturing and design support and equipment, AllCell custom manufactured its phase change material-graphite composite (PCM-graphite) to provide thermal management for the battery cells. The PCM-graphite improves safety by preventing the propagation of thermal runaway if one cell has an internal short circuit. The material also absorbs and distributes heat during discharge and when the bike is exposed to elevated ambient temperatures, protecting the cells and prolonging battery life.
Further support for the vehicle development was provided by Tesla Motors and Delphi Corporation. Read the release here.