Press Release: Liberty e-care Launch Repair Programme for the Ford Transit Connect Electric Van

COVENTRY, England – Liberty e-care, a division of Liberty Electric Cars, is expanding its business as ever more EVs populate our roads. The company recently launched its repair programme for the Ford Transit Connect electric van, an all-electric van developed in a collaborative venture between Azure Dynamics and Ford Motor Company. The Transit Connect Electric is well suited for commercial fleets that travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-start driving, in urban and suburban environments. The vehicle has a 75 mile per hour top speed and can drive up to 80 miles on a single charge—perfect for the requirements of a local delivery cycle.

The electric van had been launched in 2010 in the US and Europe; among the first US customers were AT&T, Canada Post, the New York Power Authority and Southern California Edison. Around 1500 units were sold globally before Azure stopped production in March 2012. Liberty e-care’s staff has developed a full programme to service and repair these vehicles especially with regard to the battery which is no longer available. This unique service is available to both Ford main dealers and directly to the owners of Transit Connect Electric vehicles.

Liberty e-Care is one of the key (more…)

WardsAuto – “Hydrogen technology developing faster than market demand”

In an article by Penton-owned Auto-industry news and data service WardsAuto, Executive Director of the EU PPI Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative; Bert De Colvenaer is quoted as saying “there is no market for this technology”.

It’s an interesting statement to make at a time when three major manufacturers (Hyundai, Mercedes and Toyota) have announced they will be launching fuel cell vehicles in 2 years time.

Clearly there is not going to be a market for a technology which is still prohibitively expensive, and requires a refuelling infrastructure that doesn’t yet exist, but I think the point that Bert De Colvenaer is making, is that 2015 is the earliest that the market may exist, and as such there is likely to be a blend of technologies before any one dominates, if indeed any one technology does become dominant.

The EU are investing €1.4bn in to the technology through the Public/Private initiative, with a view to making the technology cheaper and to support and generate a demand and a market for the technology – they recognise that Hydrogen has a part to play in the move to cleaner vehicles and a reduction in emissions and pollutants.

While the likes of Hyundai, Mercedes and (more…)

Hyundai fuel cell ix35 – on the farm

Hyundai fuel cell ix35 – on the farm


Hyundai are one of a number of manufacturers who have chosen to favour the fuel cell route to low emissions motoring, and their Hydrogen powered ix35 is being trialled in Europe by the EU Commission backed ‘Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking’ group, who use the vehicle to demonstrate the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell technology to EU policy makers, by driving them around Brussels.

Hyundai claim that the ix35 is “the world’s first production model Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle”, Honda’s FCX-Clarity was actually there first, but none the less; the ix35 is an impressive vehicle and like Toyota and Mercedes, they plan to launch a full scale production model in 2015.

Leading up to that launch Hyundai are busily promoting the benefits of Hydrogen to consumers as well as the Policy makers of Brussels – with battery EVs already available to the public, charge networks growing, and the fact that Hydrogen Vehicles will only be useful if drivers can buy Hydrogen: there is a great deal of work to be done to lobby and encourage the infrastructure investment to happen for fuel cell vehciles as well as Battery EVs: the role out of hydrogen filling stations is now (more…)

Body-panel batteries from Volvo: Carbon fibres, nano structured batteries & super capacitors

Body-panel batteries from Volvo: Carbon fibres, nano structured batteries & super capacitors


Volvo Car Group has developed a concept for lightweight structural energy storage components that could improve the energy usage of future electrified vehicles.

The material, consisting of carbon fibres, nano structured batteries and super capacitors, offers lighter energy storage that requires less space in the car, cost effective structure options and is eco-friendly.

The EU-funded research project, including nine other major participants, identified a feasible solution to the heavy weight, large size and high costs associated with the batteries seen in hybrids and electric cars today, whilst maintaining the efficient capacity of power and performance. The research project took place over 3.5 years and is now realised in the form of car panels within a Volvo S80 experimental car.

The breakthrough

The answer was found in the combination of carbon fibres and a polymer resin, creating a very advanced nanomaterial, and structural super capacitors. The reinforced carbon fibres sandwich the new battery and are moulded and formed to fit around the car’s frame, such as the door panels, the boot lid and wheel bowl, substantially saving on space. The carbon fibre laminate is first layered, shaped and then cured in an oven to set and (more…)

Lexus Hybrid becomes Toyota Hydrogen Prototype – available to buy in 2015

Lexus Hybrid becomes Toyota Hydrogen Prototype – available to buy in 2015


As widely reported in the automotive press this week; Toyota have unveiled their latest working prototype hydrogen car to journalists in Japan. Apparently based on the discontinued Lexus HS 250h, the car has received positive feedback on ride and performance, and Toyota say a production version will be available to buy in 2015.

A similar concept vehicle that will give a better clue as to what the production car might look like, is expected to be unveiled at the upcoming Tokyo Motor show (22 Nov – 1 Dec). Toyota don’t say how much it will cost, but the unveiling of this working prototype comes shortly after Toyota announced they would knock $1m USD from the price of their hydrogen vehicles.

Somewhere between £50,000 and $75,000 USD seems to be the ball-park figure, which if true would be a massive step for fuel cell vehicles: it has been estimated that Honda’s FCX-Clarity (the only current series production fuel cell car) costs more than $120,000 per car just to build.

Much of 2013 has been dominated by EV news and launches, and now it seems the headlines are owned by hydrogen vehicles: the major manufacturers are developing power-trains, often in (more…)

TÜV SÜD buys a crash test centre for EV development

TÜV SÜD buys a crash test centre for EV development


TÜV SÜD further expands its test portfolio for electric vehicles

By acquiring a crash test centre located in Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich, Southern Germany, TUV has continued to expand its portfolio of services for the electromobility industry. In the future, the test centre – which has a floor space of 1,000 square metres – will offer all types of dynamic tests needed in areas including the design and development of electric vehicles.

Sled tests at speeds of up to 80 km/h and maximum loads of 2,000 kg, system crashes, dummy tests, climatic test chambers, shock testing systems and much more besides: the new crash test centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, Southern Germany, which TÜV SÜD Battery Testing GmbH acquired from Key Safety Systems this week, enables the experts to increase their portfolio of services for the design and development of safe electric vehicles.

In addition to the comprehensive tests carried out in their battery test centres, the e-mobility experts now also offer the entire range of dynamic tests. The acquisition took place against the backdrop of the increasing popularity of lightweight materials in automotive engineering and promotion of the large-scale spread of electric vehicles.

Volker Blandow, Global Head of e-Mobility at TÜV SÜD, says: (more…)