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
Europe

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…)

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

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…)

USA: Fuji Electric to Offer Financing Program for Charging Stations

Fuji Electric Corp. of America announced that they have partnered with Union Bank and Marlin Leasing Corp. to offer their customers convenient Financing Programs on their DC Quick Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles. The program offers Zero-Down, Zero-Interest financing in an effort to offset the cost of equipment and encourage small businesses to install charging stations at their sites.

“We firmly believe that the development of charging infrastructure in the US, particularly publicly available quick charging, is a critical factor in the mass adoption of EVs,” said Larry Butkovich, Fuji Electric’s General Manager for EV Systems. “Drivers need reassurance that they will be able to access charging stations while on the road, and our Financing Program gives businesses the assistance they need to make a business case for the installation of these Quick Charging Stations.”

Fuji Electric’s UL-Certified 25kW DC Quick Charging Station provides a complete charge to EVs in under an hour, making it ideal for commercial applications such as hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and public highways/interstates. With over 400 units deployed worldwide, the global manufacturer entered the US market in March 2012, and immediately recognized the hesitation among businesses to invest in this technology. Butkovich adds, “Whether we are working (more…)

In Silicon Valley hub, new homes must be wired for electric cars

No sooner had we predicted building standards being used to encourage EV uptake, it happens in Palo Alto.

In our article “Electric Vehicle Ready Garage Now A Standard Feature For Washington DC Based Builders” we suggest it will eventually become part of government and/or regional policy frameworks, to encourage EV uptake: building standards is already one the of the key areas of focus for reducing carbon emissions and this is a logical step.

Now read the article reported by Grist.com: In Silicon Valley hub, new homes must be wired for electric cars

If you build a new home in Tesla Motors’ hometown, your electrician is going to need to wire it up for an electric vehicle charger.

The Palo Alto, Calif., City Council recently endorsed a building-code change that would require builders to include wiring in new homes that can easily be connected to a charger. The council also directed city staff to figure out how to make it easier and cheaper to obtain permits for new EV chargers.

To wire a new house for an electric vehicle charger, it costs under $200 — a quarter of the price tag for installing a charger at an existing home, Palo Alto (more…)