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…)

USA: University of Michigan open battery lab with funding from Ford
Academic organisations

USA: University of Michigan open battery lab with funding from Ford


A unique $8 million battery lab at the University of Michigan will enable industry and university researchers to collaborate on developing cheaper and longer lasting energy-storage devices in the heart of the U.S. auto industry.

Initial support for the lab includes $5 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., $2.1 million from Ford Motor Co. and roughly $900,000 from the College of Engineering. It will be housed at the U-M Energy Institute within the newly renovated Phoenix Memorial Laboratory — a project completed with $18 million in U-M funding.

From left, U-M Energy Institute Director Mark Barteau, Regent Katherine White, President Mary Sue Coleman, Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest, and Ed Krause, global manager of external alliances at Ford Motor Co, cut the ceremonial ribbon to reopen the Phoenix Memorial Laboratory on Monday. (Photo by Jospeh Xu, College of Engineering)

“This kind of collaboration is essential to addressing complex challenges like sustainable energy and efficient transportation. I want to thank our campus leaders, MEDC and Ford for having such a singular focus on developing solutions to such challenging energy issues,” said President Mary Sue Coleman, who announced the lab at the dedication celebrating the renovation of the Phoenix Memorial Laboratory.

The (more…)

UK: Renault & the Office for Low Emission Vehicles join forces
Government funding

UK: Renault & the Office for Low Emission Vehicles join forces

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles will work with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and five vehicle manufacturers, including Renault, to joint-fund a brand new campaign. Due to launch early next year, this will include radio, digital and print advertising as well as the creation of an online information resource which will aim to raise awareness, bust myths and answer common questions about ULEVs.

Ken Ramirez, Renault UK’s Managing Director, said: “We welcome the initiative the Government are taking to encourage consumers to understand the benefits of ultra-low emission vehicles. We are genuinely passionate about our industry reducing our CO2 emissions and Renault will play a major part in this drive with our Zero Emission range – the ultimate ultra-low emission vehicle!. The market for these vehicles is very much in the early stages of growth and at a critical point for continued mainstream adoption and so this campaign is very welcome to tackle the challenges we face”

Renault leads the electric vehicle market in Europe where it has sold over 34,000 electric vehicles since its first model, Kangoo Van Z.E., went on sale in late 2011. In this developing European electric vehicle market, Renault (more…)

Malaysia: Hybrid and EV industry anticipates National Automotive Policy update
Feature

Malaysia: Hybrid and EV industry anticipates National Automotive Policy update

With Malaysia’s exemption of import and excise duties on hybrid and electric cars expiring at the end of this year, a National Automotive Policy update is widely expected, and industry experts are predicting that a New Policy Could Make Malaysia The Next Big EV Market.

The infrastructure of Malaysia is one of the most developed in Asia and it has had one of the best economic records in the region, with GDP growing an average 6.5 per cent annually, making it the third largest economy in ASEAN and the 29th largest in the world. The country has shifted towards an industrial/manufacturing based economy and aims to attain developed country status in 2018 – most economists agree that it has all the right ingredients to achieve that.

Automotive manufacturing is a key part of Malaysia’s economic development plans, and in particular the manufacture and development of low emissions vehicles that will also help it to realise it’s COP15 commitment to reduce its CO2 emission’s to 40 per cent by the year 2020.

According to regional press: Datuk Takashi Hibi, Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd, says [Toyota] are considering the possibility of assembling hybrid vehicles in Malaysia – The company (more…)

New policy could make Malaysia the next big EV market
Government funding

New policy could make Malaysia the next big EV market


According to Malaysian newspaper The Star Online, prices of hybrid cars may go up if the Government decide not to extend the exemption of import and excise duties on hybrid cars, that expires at the end of the year.

In the same week UK business newspaper the FT is reporting “Carmakers flock to new southeast Asian growth frontier“, in which case; they should be looking at manufacturing or part-completing their vehicles locally: An industry insider believes that the current exemption will be extended for vehicles which are partly manufactured/finished in Malaysia, but not for pure imports, and both Honda and Toyota are preparing for a drop in sales of their imported hybrid models.

Import duties have been high in Malaysia for many years as part of a strategy to support local automotive manufacturers such as Perodua, and Proton. Foreign vehicles are seen as highly desirable, status-products due to the high cost compared to domestic vehicles – the exemption has so far been effective in boosting sales of hybrids in the country, because it has made a number of popular Japanese vehicles affordable to consumers, which also happen to be fuel efficient (more…)

VIA Motors Receives $20 Million Contract to Supply Electric Pickups & Vans to Fleets
Clean air & anti-polution

VIA Motors Receives $20 Million Contract to Supply Electric Pickups & Vans to Fleets

PRESS RELEASE: VIA Motors president Alan Perriton announced that VIA have signed a contract to build & deliver $20 million of electric pick-up trucks and vans to over 50 participating fleets. In addition, VIA will install proprietary technology into each vehicle that will record and transmit real-time data to allow the DOE to quantify improvements in fuel economy and emissions.

The contract is administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) acting as project manager. The California Energy Commission is also participating the program. The DOE plans to publish the data for use by government agencies, participating fleets and the general public to use to help quantify the benefits of operating plug-in electric vehicles. VIA’s electrified pickup trucks have already demonstrated the potential to reduce gas consumption and emissions by up to 80% on average in early beta testing with large fleet customers.

“Plug in electric passenger vehicles are now becoming widely commercialized,” said Matt Miyasato, SCAQMD’s deputy executive officer for Science and Technology Advancement. “Expanding the commercialization of near zero-emission vehicles to include pickups and cargo vans will drive us closer to our (more…)