China: low speed electric vehicle industry gains government approval

China: low speed electric vehicle industry gains government approval

The proliferation of small electric vehicles in China and in particular the Shandong province over the past 10 years has been driven in-part by favourable Chinese policy support and restrictions on alternatives such as petrol scooters, but also by loose regulation and a demand for low-cost transport from a fast-modernising, increasingly urbanised population.

Rural Chinese people are choosing small EVs instead of petrol engined cars, because there is no requirement for the driver to have a license and insurance. Plus the vehicles are very simply constructed, and are not subject to the same safety requirements as regulated combustion powered vehicles; so the production costs and purchase price for these simple cars is also low.

The demand for low-speed EVs is growing, and many new, un-regulated EV manufacturers have sprung up to meet it, with more than 20 companies now building low-speed EVs in Shandong Province.

Some of the larger automotive manufacturers have recognised the demand too, and are manufacturing their own low speed EVs for the market, including Shifeng Group, Fulu Motor and Dezhou Baoya New Energy.

But China’s Government have still been under some pressure to introduce new regulation; to ensure these vehicles are safe (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…)

EU approves €20.5 million of aid to Renault for the development of diesel hybrid commercial vehicles
Clean air & anti-polution

EU approves €20.5 million of aid to Renault for the development of diesel hybrid commercial vehicles

In a press release on the website, the European Union have announced the approval of a €20.5 million grant to Renault for the development of diesel hybrid commercial vehicles.

Renault applied for the funding through the French Government National Loan programme in 2012, to support their HYDIVU project: to develop a diesel hybrid drivetrain for a low carbon vehicle based on the Trafic and Master range of commercial vans. The project was accepted by the French Government in 2012 and has since been approved by the EU.

Renault will carry out the HYDIVU project in collaboration with three other companies (Continental, Valeo and LMS International) and a research body (IFPEN).

The approval has been granted despite concerns that it presents an unfair market advantage to Renault – The EU considered that drive trains for vehicles of this type were not being developed by other manufacturers or by Renault, and would not be without funding of this type.

In the words of the EU, there was a “genuine market failure” and it is “both necessary and sufficient to spur Renault to carry out an R&D project that it would not otherwise have launched of its own volition”

To explain: commercial (more…)

Hong Kong: 12 Green Mobility Innovations hybrid minibuses go on trial

Twelve hybrid minibuses powered principally by rechargable electric batteries will undergo trials on Hong-Kong city streets in October, with a view to the hybrid model replacing the existing fleet.

Green Mobility Innovations (GMI) who build the vehicles say the minibusses consume a third less oil and produce 70 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than the LPG-powered and diesel minibuses currently in use.

“The battery will recharge when it runs low or when the vehicle is stopped… …a fully charged battery would last 450 kilometres at 80km/h, after which the diesel engine would kick in. That would make the hybrid no different in operation from a conventional minibus, which clocked about 300 kilometres a day” said Lo Chee-pui, director of Green Mobility Innovations (GMI).

Three big operators of green-topped minibuses are taking part in the trial, which will start in the middle of October 2013.

Chan Man-chun, of AMS Public Transport, which bought eight of the hybrids, said the government’s green transport fund paid HK$900,000 for each of the HK$1.33 million hybrids. A diesel version costs about HK$600,000.

Origional story here, from the South China Morning Post: Green hybrid minibuses go on trial this month

Green Mobility Innovations (GMI) website: (more…)

California Governor approves 6 laws encouraging electric cars

On the US “National Plug In Day” 2013, Jerry Brown, Governor of California signed six new bills to encourage drivers to buy electric cars.

“Today, we reaffirm our commitment in California to an electric vehicle future,” Brown said.

The bills:

  1. Extend until 2019 the white-sticker program that permits pure zero-emission vehicles – 100 percent battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and compressed natural gas – to use carpool lanes, regardless of the number of occupants.
  2. Extend until 2019 the green-sticker program that allows up to 40,000 advanced-technology low-emission vehicles to use carpool lanes. Qualifying vehicles include superclean plug-in hybrids and possibly some hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines.
  3. Make charging stations open to all electric-vehicle drivers, as well as easier to locate and simpler to use.
  4. Require state housing and building standards agencies to develop standards for including electric-vehicle charging infrastructure in multifamily housing and nonresidential developments.
  5. Provide $48 million to fund incentive programs to encourage electric-vehicle purchases and fleet modernization efforts.
  6. Extend until 2024 several programs that intend to reduce automobile emissions by supporting low-emission vehicle technology development and modernization.

Full story via Governor approves 6 laws encouraging electric cars (more…)

Bolloré in drive to sell electric car-sharing scheme to Asia –

According to the FT, Bolloré, the French conglomerate behind the successful Autolib EV rental scheme in France, aim to sell their electric car-sharing scheme to Asia and also in London in the UK.

Bolloré view Asia as a key area of growth, and mention the demand generated by the need to tackle air pollution; London also have a problem meeting internationally agreed pollution targets, and it would seem likely that Bolloré are focussing on the markets with more than one incentive to adopt EVs: pollution as well as energy reduction.

This planned expansion comes on the back of a recent announcement that they would be expanding battery production, and partnering with Renault. article (requires subscription): Bolloré in drive to sell electric car-sharing scheme to Asia –

Renault joins Bollore electric success autolib –

Billionaire Bollore Returns to Brittany With Batteries Plant – BLOOMBERG (more…)