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Elon Musk Had a Deal to Sell Tesla to Google in 2013

tesla-googleThis story is excerpted and adapted from Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, due out May 19 from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins.

On May 8, 2013, Tesla Motors shocked just about everyone by posting its first-ever quarterly profit, reporting higher-than-expected demand for its Model S electric sedan. That moment marked the beginning of a turnaround for Elon Musk’s tumultuous automaker. The next year would see the Model S win most of the automotive industry’s major awards and Tesla’s share price rise roughly fivefold, to more than $200. The 2013 profit announcement was fortuitous. Just weeks before, Tesla had been on the verge of bankruptcy.

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solar and EV

5 solar and EV partnerships making our world much, much cleaner

solar and EVSolar power and electric vehicles (EV) each get a lot of attention amongst their own segments of followers, and there’s certainly a lot of overlap there. Even the mass media is picking up on the exponential growth trends and falling prices in these two markets. However, I don’t think the combination of the two gets the attention it deserves. Solar power + electric vehicles = “driving on sunlight,” or “gallons of light” as some have put it. If your aim is to have a positive impact on the climate crisis (and/or water crisis and/or air quality crisis), there’s often no better thing you can do.

Of course, there are a lot of companies working to make the world a much, much better place via this combo. I wanted to spend a little time highlighting some of these partnerships for those who don’t obsessively follow the solar and EV industries industries.

 

Is "range anxiety" only perception?

Report: EV “range anxiety” is only perception

Is "range anxiety" only perception?Electric vehicles (EV) may be the future, but until the “range anxiety” is taken care of, they may not be able to achieve widespread adoption. Tesla CEO Elon Musk drilled this point home last month with the announcement of “range assurance” and trip planner tools.

But is range anxiety all in the heads of perspective EV owners? A new study, by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), found that the perception of range anxiety may not match up with reality.

The researchers found that most daily travel needs of drivers can be met by EVs. So what is causing the concern over range?

 

Tesla Motors Inc To Run Its Supercharger, Service Center On Solar Power

Tesla runs superchargers on solar powerIt looks like Tesla Motors will be taking its “green energy” initiative to the next stage. The Palo Alto-based automaker is building a network of Supercharger, store and service center in Rocklin, California, which will have photovoltaic cells to power the entire site, according to Green Car Reports.

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Electric Vehicles Poised for Huge 2014 Growth

electric-car-yellow

While sales of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles have taken a downturn in the beginning of this year, analysts are saying it won’t last long. 2014 is set to be the year where electric vehicles gain numbers and the approval of the buying public. An analyst at IHS Automotive predicts that the sales of EV’s will rise by up to 67% this year due to a number of key factors.

Batteries

As we start to seriously mass-produce the batteries required for electric vehicles, we create necessary competition with the handful of companies who make them. With each of these companies battling for the best contracts with automakers, the result is reduced cost for the public when battery manufacturers try to undercut each other with lower prices.

Dealership Price Drops

Electric vehicles such as the popular Nissan Leaf have reduced their sticker price by $6,000 over the last few years. Several other automakers have done the same with their hybrid and plug-in models largely due to the reduced cost from battery suppliers. The dealerships that aren’t lowering their prices are making up for it by offering attractive lease and finance rates, which always seems to capture the public’s attention.

New Models

This year will see several automakers who were previously absent from the hybrid/plug-in race join the fight against gas such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen. The result of this will have those who are still brand-loyal to certain companies turn their heads to look at what the future has to offer in the way off new car technology. In addition to the new models being released, the two top selling EV’s (Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf) will be increasing the amount they manufacture this year.

New Markets

Companies like Tesla Motors are set to start selling their all-electric vehicles in more countries around the world. The most significant of which is the massive Chinese auto market that is sure to cause Tesla’s stock and volume to rise along with its popularity.

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

How Many Electric Vehicles Live Near You?

Last week, Edmunds.com published a list of states that had the highest and lowest percentage of electric car registrations.

Take a look. . .

ev-neighborhood

I can’t say I’m necessarily surprised.

Of the top ten, you have four states (California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington), plus the District of Columbia – all strongholds for liberal types who love electric cars. This is not, by the way, a criticism. Merely an honest observation. As well, gasoline tends to be a bit on the pricey side in these states.

Hawaii actually boasts the highest gasoline prices in the nation, so there’s certainly an economic incentive in paradise.

Folks in Tennessee build Nissan LEAFs, so I suspect there’s a connection there, and the state of Illinois ponies up $4,000 in tax credits for electric car buyers, as well as a 50% rebate on home charging stations. Georgia also has a very generous program that offers a 20 percent rebate (up to $5,000). The only one I’m uncertain about is Utah. But I plan to look into that.

On the other side of the coin we have a number of states with small metropolitan areas and a lot of open land. Not a good combination for electric vehicles which currently have all-electric ranges cutting off at around 80 to 100 miles per charge. Unless, of course, you count the Tesla Model S, which can deliver up to 300 miles per charge. It’s a beautiful car, but given the median income in those states is rather low, you’re probably not going to find a lot of folks in those areas with $70k to spare for such a magnificent machine.

No, on range, electric cars are perfect for places like Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Chicago. Not so much, however, for all ten of the states listed as having the lowest percentage of electric car registrations. These are: Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana, Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Mississippi.
How Many Electric Cars Live in Your Neighborhood? originally appeared in Green Chip Stocks. Green Chip Review is a free 2x-per-week newsletter, is the first advisory to focus exclusively on investments in alternative and renewable energies.

Electronics for Efficient Electric Vehicles

tesla-charger

For decades, futurists have been predicting that the use of electric vehicles (EVs) will overtake conventional vehicles, providing clean, green and cheap transport for all. Although increasing numbers of electric vehicles are being sold in Europe, the internal combustion engine still remains king of the road. EU-funded researchers are trying to change that, developing technology that promises to significantly improve the range and efficiency of EVs without compromising comfort or safety.

As battery and electric motor technology has advanced in recent years, manufacturers have started to produce more commercial electric vehicles, from buses to cars and bikes. But while sales are rising rapidly, there are still fewer than 100,000 purely electric vehicles on Europe’s roads – compared with more than 250 million conventional vehicles, 90% of which are passenger cars.

Several factors are holding back the electric vehicle market, despite its promises of cheaper transport, less noise, reduced fuel imports and lower emissions of CO2 and other pollutants.

‘The most obvious barrier that explains the hesitation of consumers to choose an electric vehicle is the cost-performance ratio which is, compared to conventional vehicles, not very attractive,’ says Dr Volker Scheuch, a researcher at German automotive electrics group Intedis. ‘One of the drawbacks on the performance side is the short range of electric vehicles due to battery technology, which is still at the beginning of its evolution, and vehicle concepts that still use ideas from times when the economical use of resources was not really a topic.’

Often, the design and many of the components of electric vehicles still borrow features from their conventional predecessors that may not be optimised for EV efficiency or safety. But simply optimising each component individually is not sufficient – the overall architecture and the interactions between components also need to be addressed if EVs are to meet their full potential.

Several new EV concept vehicles employ parallel motors – offering not only greater manoeuvrability and performance compared to more conventional single-motor designs, but also increased energy efficiency. However, controlling two motors at the same time safely is a considerable challenge, requiring a novel system architecture and a range of electronic devices, from sensors to control units.

The issue is being tackled by a team of researchers working under the direction of Dr Scheuch in the ‘Safe and efficient electrical vehicle’ (EFUTURE) project, which received EUR 4 million in funding from the European Commission. Their goal is to prepare the next generation of electric vehicles by creating intelligent software that minimises energy needs while still being able to dynamically optimise decisions between safety and energy efficiency.

‘Today’s vehicles have a very high level of operational safety which needs to be kept for the electric generation,’ according to Dr Scheuch. ‘New challenges arise when more than one motor driving the wheels comes into play. This is what we investigated in EFUTURE – which additional requirements are to be met for two parallel front motors and how can they be implemented into a system safety concept.’

Among other key innovations, the team implemented central decision units in such a way that motor controls are subject to redundancies in case of failures, based on the concept of ‘functional safety’ – which means that any component or system must include the safe management of any likely operator errors, hardware failures or environmental changes.

The team were therefore able to demonstrate an electric prototype vehicle that is not only safe, but also more efficient. They have therefore achieved a potentially much longer range than most existing EVs, achieved ‘virtually’ through use of software alone.

Increasing the range – and attractiveness – of EVs

‘We have therefore demonstrated the feasibility of creating a “virtual range extender”, which has no hardware associated with it, by using new driver-assistance functions, founded on a lean architecture, while keeping a superior level of operational safety,’ Dr Scheuch explains.

Novel ‘Advanced driver assistance systems’ (ADASs) developed by the EFUTURE team include a green ‘Autonomous cruise control’ system (Green ACC) that automatically adjusts vehicle speed depending on traffic and road conditions while improving efficiency, and an ‘ECO mode’ that coaches the driver to adopt driving habits that use less energy.

Less visible to drivers, but no less significant are other EFUTURE innovations such as an automatic Vehicle Observer sensor system to enhance safety, and a Torque Vectoring functionality that improves driving stability and comfort. Torque Vectoring also extends the ‘Anti-lock braking’ (ABS) and ‘Electronic stability control’ (ESC) functions to normal driving, thereby extending the dynamic range of the vehicle.

‘There are also functions not visible to the driver, such as the vehicle energy management system, and decision units that define trajectory and actuator control, which also contribute to the overall efficiency,’ Dr Scheuch says.

The project manager explains that one of the biggest challenges the team had to overcome was adapting a first-generation electric vehicle to meet the project requirements – exemplifying the problem of the use of legacy components based on systems used in conventional cars.

‘To convert our architecture concept into hardware we substituted the core components with new ones: the vehicle control unit, the battery control unit, the battery and motors. Furthermore, we added a complete system for ADAS functionality (cameras and radar), and implemented an entirely new set of control software for all components. In short, we converted a very basic vehicle to a highly instrumented car full of innovative functions,’ Dr Scheuch says.

The prototype concepts and systems developed by the project partners, which includes the European Technical Centre of Tata Motors, are expected to find their way into future generation EVs.

‘Many of the ideas of EFUTURE will be found in future products and services of the partners. The domain architecture of the vehicle controller, the algorithms, the Green ADAS functions, safety concepts and many more will be part of new research projects or are already part of new hardware products for future vehicles,’ the project manager says.

‘The more innovative concepts for efficient driving exist, the higher the impact on the vehicle market in Europe, and EFUTURE is one part of it. Economically, we have shown a feasible way towards a higher EV range, thus enhancing consumers’ acceptance of electrically driven cars – they will get more value for their money.’

EFUTURE received research funding under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

For more information, click here

Original Article on 2050 Magazine

FUTUREWATCH: A Smart Grid for Electric Vehicles

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While the increasing number of electric cars carries is expected to reduce the fuel demand, there is some concern about how the widespread use of electric vehicles would affect the stability of the electrical grid. What would be the best way to integrate plug-in vehicles with the electrical grid? Now, with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation the University of Central Florida will help to answer this question.

The Electric Vehicle Transportation Center operated by UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa is a newly funded, four-year, $9 million research effort to help develop the nation’s electric-vehicle transportation network. Research conducted by the center will help transportation planners prepare our nation’s highways for the influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), while developing “smart grid” applications that will strengthen the ability of our electric system to accommodate the power demands of electric vehicles.

PEVs need a reliable, predictable network of charging stations to allow them to travel long distances without the fear of “running out of fuel.” Workplace charging, community charging, and highway fast-charging systems are in development. A new PEV transportation network designed in conjunction with the modernization of our electric grid system will result in a sustainable highway and energy network.

“Today, electric vehicles—using Florida utility power—operate at an equivalent gasoline price of 99 cents a gallon,” said FSEC director James Fenton. “With fuel costs that low, it’s no surprise projections indicate that Florida will have as many as 500,000 electric vehicles on its roads within 10 years, placing an unprecedented demand on today’s utility grid.”

Plug-in electric vehicle sales in the U.S., led by the Volt, Leaf and plug-in Prius, were 50,000 in 2012. The upward trend in sales is expected to continue during the next several years as automakers introduce up to 40 different plug-in models.

Transformation of the U.S transportation system into one that uses electricity and its integration into a dynamic electrical grid will occur over many years and require extensive research and development.

The new Electric Vehicle Transportation Center will leverage the resources of the University of Central Florida and its partner universities—the University of Hawaii and Tuskegee University—to conduct the research and development, and to train and support the scientists, engineers and technicians of the future.

Original Article on The Daily Fusion

In Focus: How Green are Electric Vehicles?

electric-vehicle-tesla-model-s

For many years, the electric car has been the face of eco-friendly alternative energy. The cars operate on rechargeable batteries as opposed to gasoline, and are thus perceived as an ideal way of going green, since they do not deplete fossil fuels or release emissions harmful to the environment. Recently, however, the electric car has been the subject of scrutiny, with some critics claiming that these vehicles are not, in fact, as eco-friendly as the purport to be.

Cause for Concern

Electric cars have come under fire for two main reasons. First of all, some critics are concerned that the batteries used to power the cars are not produced in an environmentally friendly fashion. Secondly, some have pointed out the electricity that is used to charge the car battery is not generated via green technology. Both concerns suggest that while there might be some environmental benefits gained from eliminating the use of gasoline, these pros are cancelled out by the irresponsible ways they are manufactured.

Norwegian Study

The study that has brought the most publicity to this issue, and which has provided the best support for these criticisms, was conducted at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Researchers at the university studied the overall impact of the electric car on the environment, and determined that ultimately, the production of these vehicles is just as harmful to the environment as that of a regular car. In fact, some evidence from the study suggests that electric cars may even have a greater negative impact than a more “traditional” car.

The Reasoning

The main evidence for these findings lies with the materials used to manufacture the vehicle. Researchers point out that purchasing a used vehicle would be a more environmentally responsible choice than purchasing a brand new electric car, which requires energy and raw material to build. They are particularly concerned about the ways that the batteries are both produced and disposed of, which they argue does more harm than good. Analysts involved in the study also noted that the electricity used to power the cars is typically produced by coal, a factor that seems to undermine the claim that electric cars eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

The Response

Experts both within and outside of the electric vehicle industry, however, have been quick to denounce the claims put forth by the Norwegian study. These individuals concede that the production of any vehicle will require the use of energy, but also note that the long-term benefits of electric cars outweigh the environmental costs levied during their production. They also note that when charged from an electric grid, these cars are infinitely more environmentally responsible even than hybrid vehicles.

In light of recent research, the overall verdict seems to be that electric cars are eco-friendly—but perhaps not as eco-friendly as the marketing would suggest. Ultimately, the individual who purchases and drives an electric car must also do his or her part to ensure that the electricity used to charge the car battery comes from a sustainable source, so as not to negate the positive effects of the vehicle.


Steve Hood is a reader, researcher and a freelance writer who like to share his passion about eco-friendly technologies that can change our world in a better one. Currently he writes for SellYourCarFast.com.au

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

Will These 5 Electric Vehicles Change The World?

The number of electric cars being manufactured each year is still limited. However, we have tried to come up with some predictions about which plug-in hybrid vehicles have the potential to change the entire world. Check it out:

Chevrolet (Chevy) Volt

Developed by General Motors (GM), the Chevrolet Volt or Chevy Volt is a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) that combines the features of both traditional hybrid electric vehicle and all-electric vehicle. It has already won a number of prestigious awards including the ‘Green Car Vision Award 2009’, ‘European Car of the Year 2012’, etc. The sophisticated car comes for a price $41,000, and GM has been trying to uplift their production up to 60,000 per year in order to meet the excessive demand. The company is all set to come up with Cadillac ELR, an upmarket version of Chevy Volt by this year.

800px-DCA_06_2012_Chevy_Volt_4035

Toyota RAV4 EV

Manufactured by Toyota, this all-electric vehicle RAV4 EV is an upscale version of its own popular predecessor RAV4 SUV. The company teamed up with Tesla Motors in order to get its hands on the brand new battery-only electric vehicle RAV4 EV with a set of rechargeable batteries and high performance. The car has been known to give tough competition to the General Motors (GM) EV1.

Fisker Karma

Fisker Automotive has finally launched its much expected luxurious Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV) Fisker Karma. It is basically a sports sedan with a good and sporty look of Italian supercar. Though the engine of the Fisker Karma is sourced from General Motors (GM), it is less competent than Chevrolet Volt, the high-class production of GM. The vehicle is priced at $100,000 in the market.

BMW i3

The Mega City Vehicle (MCV) from BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke), also known as BMW i3, is an urban electric car. The company has long been in the business of manufacturing electric cars, and BMW i3 is an all-electric version of its previous versions of Mini-based electric vehicles as well as plug-in versions of the popular i-series. As the name suggests, it is a perfect fit for driving on the roads of different Mega cities around the world. However, the price of the car is reasonable enough.

bmw-m3-electric

Honda Fit

Honda Fit or Honda Jazz is one of the most discussed electric cars available in today’s market. It is basically a ‘hatchback subcompact’ developed by Honda Motor Company. The specialty of the vehicle is its affordable price. It comes under $30,000 which is certainly a great deal for middle class people.

Original EcoFriend

Can China meet its Electric Vehicles Target?

china-ev-hottie

New energy vehicles are one of China’s seven strategic emerging industries.  Unlike its other “new energy” counterpart industries, NEVs, and electric vehicles in particular, are still waiting for commercial breakthrough.

China’s clean energy targets are usually just temporary placeholders. Targets for wind and solar power installed have been met, surpassed, and updated numerous times. New research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), however, suggests that China’s 2015 and 2020 targets for electric vehicle (EV) rollout will not be met due to “weak capability throughout the supply chain.” China has become a dominant force globally in wind and solar manufacturing and deployment; their supply chains are capable albeit recently consolidated with wavering demand in an oversupplied market. So why is that EV’s may not find similar success?

China’s medium to long-term development plan for renewable energy had a 2010 wind target of 5 gigawatts (GW) installed and a 2020 target of 30 GW. China had already surpassed this 2020 target by 2010, with 31 GW of grid connected wind. Knowing the target would be surpassed early, China updated its target to 100 GW by 2020…or rather by 2015. Well now, BNEF forecasts that China will hit 100 GW slightly before 2015, while Greentech Media predicts that China will have more than 150 GW of wind capacity by 2015. In solar, an original 2020 target of 1.8 GW was updated to 20 GW, but that also was temporary. Facing weakened demand abroad for solar modules, China has increased the near-term 2015 target to 35 GW. Although China continues to face problems with grid connection and grid purchase of energy produced from all of these wind and solar farms being constructed, the fact remains that China is hitting its targets about 10 years early and increasing its targets by at least fivefold based on revised expectations of industries that have grown mature supply chains and reduced costs precipitously.

In the field of EV’s, China apparently skipped the setting of meaninglessly small targets that would need to be later upgraded. They have set a target for production and sales of EV’s to reach 500,000 by 2015 and 5 million by 2020. Actually, China may find that this target will need a downgrade not an upgrade, if the industry does not make some serious changes. BNEF predicts sales of only 1 million by 2020.

Even with generous consumer rebates offered for EV’s, sales numbers are dwindling. In the second quarter of 2012, apparently only 235 EV’s were sold in China. BNEF estimates “just 13,000 EV’s were sold between 2009 and 2011, including buses and public utility vehicles.” BNEF cites lack of consumer interest, lack of charging infrastructure, and lack of technological expertise as the three main factors plaguing the Chinese EV industry.

Lack of consumer interest is easy to understand. Just take a look at Exhibit A above, the “QQ EV” from Chery. Would you want to drive this toy? Kandi’s 28E looks equally as bad.  China’s new car consumers want status in their vehicle purchase. They are not going to find that from these second-tier manufacturer EV offerings.

Kandi’s buggy-lookin 28E (Source: Kandi)

BYD’s main EV offering, the E6, is more attractive, perhaps one reason why BYD recently got pimped out with a Zayed Energy Future Prize nomination in Abu Dhabi. Even if the car is attractive and affordable, a number of fires and accidents with electric vehicles in Shenzhen and Hangzhou have been well-reported in the media, decreasing consumer interest in EV’s further.

Forbes reports that a research institute under China’s State Council has published a white paper addressing how Chinese consumers might more quickly adopt EV’s. Given that battery costs are not coming down very quickly (a point echoed in last week’s interview with Richard Muller), the white paper suggests a business model of cheaper, swappable batteries. It also suggests fleet purchases, rental services, and local government promotion as the main near-term avenues for EV adoption.

Indeed, business models will likely play a critical role in the fate of the Chinese EV industry. While BNEF suggests that China needs to import foreign technology expertise to improve the industry’s prospects, I’m not sure that expertise exists yet. EV sales in the U.S. are nothing to write home, not even reaching 0.5% of total vehicle sales in 2012, and again, that’s with the generous rebates. Charging infrastructure, high battery costs, consumer interest, and business models remain wild cards in all EV markets globally. They just happen to be more pronounced in the immature Chinese market.

Original Article on The Green Leap Forward

Electric Vehicles: 35% Cheaper to Maintain

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Much ink has been spilled over whether or not electric vehicles are a cost-effective replacement for conventional cars. Considering their high upfront cost, the return-on-investment isn’t exactly a short-term proposition. But a new study reveals that when it comes to basic maintenance, electric vehicles have the distinct advantage of costing a whole lot less to maintain.

The German study found that on average, EVs, cost about 35% less to maintain over an 8 year period of ownership, which is about on par with how long the average car buyer keeps their vehicle. Critics say the study doesn’t take into account battery pack replacement, but considering that there hasn’t been any EV on the market that long, it is hard to say whether or not that will be an issue yet. With battery pack prices predicted to come down quite a bit in the next few years, it is hard to make an accurate comparison of battery replacement costs right now.

It is no secret that your typical gas or diesel-powered car requires constant maintenance to keep in tip-top shape. Oil and coolant changes, serpentine belts, fuel filters…these are all regular items that require replacement from time to time. That isn’t even taking into account larger, more expensive (though less frequent) issues like water pumps and timing belts. Over the lifetime of the car, these items can add up to thousands of dollars, more than making up for the difference in resale value between EVs and conventional cars.

But electric vehicles have literally none of those requirements. Electric motors are fairly simple compared to internal combustion engines, requiring little or no maintenance  Sure, you still need to change your tires, but regenerative braking leads to longer-lasting brake pads, there are no exhaust systems that will one day rust out, and fewer moving parts means a lot less wear and tear.

True, EVs may not have the same resale value as comparable conventional cars. But if prices come down as predicted, then these lower maintenance costs could start attracting buyers who may not have otherwise considered an EV. I know far too many people who do little and less to maintain their vehicles in proper working order…which reminds me, I need to get my oil changed…

Source: Christopher DeMorro at gas2.org

Original Article on 2050 Magazine

Sodium-Ion Batteries: The Future of Electric Vehicles?

AutoBlog Green had some interesting news to report this morning.  Apparently Toyota is looking into potentially replacing the lithium-ion batteries in their hybrids and EVs with sodium-ion batteries.  Though at best it’s just a rumored possibility at the moment, according to the AutoBlog report, sodium-ion batteries would have the potential to turn EVsinto what we’ve been hoping they’d be for a long time now: reasonably priced vehicles with extended ranges that don’t limit us to strictly city driving.

At a battery engineering conference in October, it was suggested that if sodium-ion batteries ever become a real possibility for EVs, they’ll be a lot smaller than the lithium-ion batteries that most hybrids and EVs are currently lugging around.  While lithium-ion battery packs are typically the heaviest part of any electric vehicle, a sodium-ion battery could weigh as little as a coin. Obviously reducing the weight of a vehicle will allow a battery to power it for longer periods of time, which will therefore increase its range.  Some are suggesting that with the lighter sodium-ion batteries, EVs may be able to travel between 300 and 600 miles per charge—that’s quite an accomplishment as the average all-electric range of available EVs is not even 100 miles per charge.

According to Nissan’s website, their Leaf EV has an all-electric range of 73 miles, while Chevy’s website says their Volt can go only 38 miles on electricity alone.  On the other hand, some of the higher-end EVs like the Tesla Roadster and Tesla Model S for example, have better all-electric ranges at 245 miles and 300 miles per charge (when equipped with the largest battery options). But as is expected, you’ll pay a lot more for a Tesla EV than you would for a Nissan or Chevy EV.  With the smallest battery, the Tesla Model S has a starting MSRP of $57,400 in comparison to the Chevy Volt’s $39,145 and the Leaf’s $35,200.

Speaking of cost, since EVs have been mass produced, the biggest problem for most consumers has been the price of them.  With the MSRPs above, electric cars are generally only accessible to those who can afford luxury vehicles.  We can’t all afford BMWs and Lincolns, so while it’s great news that EV ranges might be extended with the sodium-ion batteries, it’s even better news that their prices might be reduced.  While lithium is a fairly rare and thus expensive material, sodium is everywhere and therefore much cheaper for automakers to get their hands on.  Remember however, at this point sodium-ion batteries are just a possibility for EVs, but I’ll admit—I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more about them.


This post was contributed on behalf of Toyota of Wilmington.

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

Electric Vehicles Running on Moonlight?

EVs will soon be able to be powered not only by sunlight but also with moonlight thanks to German architect Andre Broessel whose new spherical glass solar energy generator, the ß.torics, will allow electric cars to recharge using moonlight.

According to a story published on the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) web site, the sun-tracking glass globe allows sunlight and moonlight to concentrate up to 10,000 times and it is said to be 35 percent more efficient than existing dual-axis photovoltaic designs.

“Striking design like the ß.torics can help transform perceptions of sustainable energy as well as the potential of electric vehicles,” said an ETA spokesperson.

According to rawlemon.com, the official site for the ß.torics, there are different uses for this solar energy generator. The design allows for it to be mounted on the side of buildings or in a mobile unit to provide power for heating, recharging an EV or other domestic uses.

Original Article on SolarChargedDriving.com