TÜV SÜD buys a crash test centre for EV development
e-mobility

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…)

Business lease & fleet management operator focussing on e-mobility
e-mobility

Business lease & fleet management operator focussing on e-mobility


As often reported here; business vehicle and rental fleets are a key part of taking EVs to the mass market – not only are fleets a bigger win in terms of the number of vehicles covered per transaction, but they also influence the market in other ways:

1) Fleet operators and businesses that offer company lease vehicles to staff, are an obvious target for expanding charge networks: charge points at the work-place is a key part of the strategy in most countries to encourage adoption of plug-in vehicles. It makes sense for many business to reduce fuel costs long term, through a short-term investment in charge hardware that can be off-set as a capital expenditure. Installing charge points at employees homes is another possibility, and would be considered an employee benefit for many staff.

2) Pragmatism: with the right information in front of them; Businesses tend to be more likely to recognise cost savings, and act by incorporating vehicles in to their fleets that reduce longer-term operating costs, because businesses are focussed on the bottom line: Businesses are more likely to invest short term than many than consumers who might find it harder, or less-attractive to spend more at the (more…)

Toyota i-Road not just a crazy concept: you can rent one
e-mobility

Toyota i-Road not just a crazy concept: you can rent one

Toyota has announced the introduction of the i-Road personal mobility concept to the “Ha:mo” urban transport system trials in Japan. The concept, which made its début at 2012 Geneva motor show, will be used alongside existing Toyota COMS personal mobility vehicles from early 2014.

In other words: this is more than a crazy concept, it’s actually going to be in use in Japan. Users will be able to rent and return vehicles at 17 new locations from October, an increase from the four currently in operation.

Much like the Nissan Zero Emission concept, this is a vehicle which fills a niche that currently doesn’t really exist: another manufacturer using the electric vehicle revolution to re-invent personal transport?

The overall concept of e-mobility makes a great deal of sense – long-term it’s not enough to replace combustion vehicles with EVs and ULEVs, we should be looking at personal transport from the ground up, and using technology to connect all modes of transport and reduce our overall energy consumption at every stage. But I’m still not convinced that niche, impractical little vehicles like these are where the OEMs need to be focussing their efforts right now.

Trying to engage the public towards EVs as a (more…)

NISSAN concept car: for one-child single parents who don’t need to carry anything
e-mobility

NISSAN concept car: for one-child single parents who don’t need to carry anything



Nissan believe this is what we really need for “today’s’ actual vehicle of short driving distance with few passengers”.

I guess they are making the point that most car journeys have one person and travel a short distance, which is a waste. Linking with the European e-mobility agenda: this is a connected vehicle, which in Nissan’s words is a “Seamless mobility service”, designed to connect with public transport systems.

G-wiz_VideoThere is a place for vehicles like this in cities, in fact GoingGreen proved it with the REVA (called the g-wiz in the UK), which has been in service over 10 years.

I can see from the pictures alone that the G-wiz is a better car: it has a boot for one thing. It’s affordable to buy, extremely cost effective to own and practical, it’s become a bit of an icon in the UK, and a sales success.

I don’t personally think that Nissan have achieved a great deal producing this concept – no doubt designing, building and manufacturing a working concept, and then marketing it was a very expensive exercise. What they ended up with is (more…)

Policy explained: UK Government strategy for ultra low emission vehicles until 2020
e-mobility

Policy explained: UK Government strategy for ultra low emission vehicles until 2020


The UK Government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) is a cross Government, industry-endorsed team combining policy and funding streams to simplify policy development and delivery for ultra low emission vehicles, setup in 2009.

OLEV currently comprises people and funding from the Departments for Transport (DfT), Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The core purpose is to support the early market for electric and other ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

In September 2013 the coalition government published an updated, 104-page report outlining their ambitions, funding and policy support for ultra low emission vehicles in the UK: “Driving the Future Today – A strategy for ultra low emission vehicles in the UK”

Here is a summary of the report by EVMarkets.com to explain how much money is being committed, the structure of the funding and the schemes in place to support the EV and ULEV industries…

Summary of funding and investments:

Total claimed investment between 2009 and 2020: £1bn GBP ($1.6bn USD €1.19bn EUR), as follows:

  • £400 million initial funding from 2009 to 2015
  • Creation of a £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre, funded by Government (£500m) and industry

Detailed breakdown of funding and support packages:

The age of the electric car deserves its own sound
e-mobility

The age of the electric car deserves its own sound

The noise, or lack thereof, for EVs has led to a fascinating area of development: what sound should they make?

Design and engineering services company Semcon had an installation at the Frankfurt Motor show explaining the concept, and have now published a website; a really great website – especially if you have good sound on your PC/Tablet/phone to watch and listen.

I guess we are at the dawn of a new age – a complete revolution in personal transport, as big as the change from horses to cars over 100 years ago. The reduction noise pollution that EVs will deliver is a benefit that isn’t always mentioned; as someone who has lived in London since 1994, I can fully appreciate the negative aspects of road noise, but I also appreciate the positive aspect of vehicle noise: we rely on noise to navigate urban areas – the sound the vehicles makes warns us before we cross the road as a pedestrian, or change lanes as a cyclist.

As a London cyclist I often have near misses with pedestrians who didn’t hear me, and I had the same experience driving EVs in the city – people have become accustomed to using (more…)