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…)

Toyota cuts US prices for Prius Plug-in hybrid | Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp said Wednesday it is slashing by about $2,000 the price of its Prius Plug-in hybrid, continuing a trend of automakers cutting prices for electric vehicles.

The 2014 Prius Plug-in will be sold for $30,785, including a destination charge of $795, Toyota’s U.S. sales division said.

Sales of the 2014 version of the Prius Plug-in will begin in November in 15 states including California, New York and New Jersey.

Earlier this year, General Motors Co said it was increasing incentives on its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Nissan Motor Co Ltd slashed prices on its electric car, the Leaf. (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…)

USA: Cars in the Green/Hybrid segment are the most transferred

USA: Cars in the Green/Hybrid segment are the most transferred

A slightly unusual source of analysis, but according to Cars in the Green/Hybrid segment are the most transferred. In other words: people who bought hybrids and EVs on lease agreements, are transferring them to new owners, and this is happening more than it did last year for the same segment.

The explanation given by is that car manufacturers have rolled out more car lease options in the Green/Hybrid category over the last few years, which we presume to mean that lots of cars have been purchased and as such; lots are now being transferred, i.e. entering the second hand market. It is also possible that the high purchase costs for EVs and Hybrids compared to their ICE equivalents result in more being purchased by lease.

So really this is just a reflection of the high new sales of EVs and hybrids in the last year in the US, which we have been tracking for a while and it is fairly predictable/obvious that high sales of new cars will translate to high sales of second hand cars, of which this is a measure.

Not really news, but it is interesting, because the wave of low emission vehicles entering the second-hand market will (more…)

Tesla stock recovers after a Jefferies analyst visits the factory & takes a test drive

Tesla stock recovers after a Jefferies analyst visits the factory & takes a test drive

Keeping jittery investors happy is clearly a priority for Tesla after the Model S fire last week, and Elon Musk knows a thing or two about managing investors… well respected Jefferies analyst Elaine Kwei took a tour of the factory, test drove a model S and spoke to investors, after which she voiced her support loud and clear:

“Based on our discussions with investors and opinions expressed by current/prospective owners, it appears the Model S is still considered safer than conventional vehicles, in contrast to media headlines questioning electric-vehicle safety. Risk of a vehicle fire is still far lower in a Tesla”

“…demand remains strong for the Model S and is confident the stock price will quickly rebound from last week´s decline. The company´s track record of innovation and ground-breaking products give us confidence in the execution of future vehicles”

She also boosted her price target on the company’s stock to $210.

Both Elaine Kwei and Elon Musk are mirroring their message on the safety of the car, and referenced “the incredible safety of the company’s vehicles”.

On the Tesla blog, Elon has this to say about the saftey of the Model S vs ICE cars…

“Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the (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…)