Comuta-Car and Comuta-Van. 1979. A range of electric vehicles which had begun life in 1974 as the CitiCar, made by the Vanguard-Sebring company in Florida. After the original company was dissolved the assets were sold to Frank Flower a New Jersey  businessman. He re-engineered vehicles and obtained a government contract to build 500 electric postal vans for the USPS. The contract was canceled due to problems with the vans and some of the unused postal Comuta-Vans were sold to the public. The company was wound up after Flower’s death

China Hastens the World Toward an Electric-Car Future
The biggest automakers in the world are being forced to follow Beijing’s lead as China takes steps to dominate in electric vehicles and technology.
By Keith Bradsher


There is a powerful reason that automakers worldwide are speeding up their efforts to develop electric vehicles — and that reason is China.

Propelled by vast amounts of government money and visions of dominating next-generation technologies, China has become the world’s biggest supporter of electric cars. That is forcing automakers from Detroit to Yokohama and Seoul to Stuttgart to pick up the pace of transformation or risk being left behind in the world’s largest car market.

Beijing has already called for one out of every five cars sold in China to run on alternative fuel by 2025. Last month, China issued new rules that would require the world’s carmakers to sell more alternative-energy cars here if they wanted to continue selling regular ones. A Chinese official recently said the country would eventually do away with the internal combustion engine in new cars.

“We are seeing ourselves at a crossroads in the development of the automobile industry in this country, with a global scale in mind,” said Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen’s top executive for VW brand sales and marketing, during a visit to Shanghai.

China has reshaped industries before — clothing, steel making, even lace — through a potent mix of government support and cheap labor. More recently it has transformed green-energy businesses like solar and windpower.

China's Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race
China joins U.K., France to phase out combustion-engine cars

China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.

Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.

The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban on combustion-engine automobiles will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities.

“The implementation of the ban for such a big market like China can be later than 2040,” said Liu Zhijia, an assistant general manager at Chery Automobile Co., the country’s biggest passenger car exporter that unveiled a new line for upscale battery-powered and plug-in hybrid models at the Frankfurt motor show last week. “That will leave plenty of time for everyone to prepare.”

While many global manufacturers from billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. to Nissan Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are racing to grab a slice of the electric-vehicle market in China, it is the local manufacturers that have found considerable success thanks to generous government subsidies.

Leading the Pack

Warren Buffett-backed BYD led the pack in sales in the first seven months of this year, delivering 46,855 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, according to the China Passenger Car Association. Beijing Electric Vehicle, the EV division of state-owned BAIC Motor, followed with 36,084 units. In comparison, General Motors has sold 738 cars run on electricity since it launched the Velite 5 plug-in hybrid model at the Shanghai auto show this April. That is 0.04 percent of its 2.1 million vehicles sold in total in China during the seven months.

Besides subsidies that also are aimed at meeting the strategic goal of cutting expensive oil imports, the government plans to require automakers to earn enough credits or buy them from competitors with a surplus under a new cap-and-trade program for fuel economy and emissions.

Honda Motor Co. will bring its electric car for the China market in 2018, China Chief Operating Officer Yasuhide Mizuno said at the Tianjin forum. The Japanese carmaker is developing the vehicle with Chinese joint ventures of Guangqi Honda Automobile Co. and Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co. and will create a new brand with them, he said. Nissan, which unveiled an upgraded model of its Leaf EV last week, said it will introduce the car in China in 2018 or 2019.

Startup Electric SUV

Internet entrepreneur William Li’s Nio will start selling ES8, a sport-utility vehicle powered only by batteries, in mid-December. The startup is working with state-owned Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group, which also is in a venture with Volkswagen AG to introduce an electric SUV next year.

Tesla said in June that it’s working with the Shanghai government to explore local manufacturing, a move that would allow it to achieve economies of scale and bring down manufacturing, labor and shipping costs.

Though Chin has announced its intentions, the process will be complicated and will take time for all the auto-sector regulators to come up with an implementation plan, said Zhang Yang, a vice president at Nio. But it will help set a clear direction for manufacturers, he said on the sidelines of the Tianjin forum. China has the world’s largest scale of fossil-fuel vehicle production facilities.

Changing Lane

“This will ask everyone, from energy and technology sectors as well as traditional automakers, to change to the lane to develop new powertrains,’’ said Zhang. “It’s hard to say who can be the winners at the moment. All of us should stand the test of speed and endurance in this run.’’

The U.K. said in July it will ban sales of diesel- and gasoline-fueled cars by 2040, two weeks after France announced a similar plan to reduce air pollution and meet targets to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Norway and the Netherlands are considering a more aggressive way to put an end on fossil fuel cars years earlier than its European peers.

Chery’s Liu said as newer technologies are developed in the meantime, the strongest among the manufacturers with better resources will adapt to the market and continue to dominate.

“Those who currently are outrunning the others in EVs will not necessarily continue to stay ahead,” he said.

— With assistance by Yan Zhang

Amsterdam, Zeedijk, solar energy powered electric truck.

All rights reserved, please only reblog if you leave all captions, information and credits intact, no reblog to NSFW blogs.

Text copied from the Heineken website: Solar energy powered electric trucks in Amsterdam. Every passer-by in Amsterdam will be able to encounter one of our eight electric trucks. These fully electric 13 -ton trucks are used for distribution of our beers in Amsterdam.

Our electric trucks, deployed by carrier Simon Loos, run on electricity that is generated by solar panels located on the roof of our distribution center in Amsterdam. Due to a load capacity of 5 tons and a range of up to 120 km, they are ideal for urban distribution.

Why 2017 will go down as the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine
The tipping point, experts say, follows three developments, each rippling outward with their own economic and cultural consequences.
By https://www.facebook.com/peter.holley.923


Electric vehicles no longer seem like a futuristic fever dream, but they remain a rarity on most American city streets, accounting for less than 1 percent of the nation’s auto sales, according to the automotive website Edmunds.com.

Yet, when future auto historians look back, they may pinpoint 2017 as the year electric vehicles went from a promising progressive fad to an industry-wide inevitability.

The tipping point, experts say, follows three developments, each rippling outward with economic and cultural consequences.

  1. China’s flexing: In addition to setting aggressive production quotas for EVs, China plans to scrap internal combustion engines entirely as soon as 2030. By taking a lead role in the shift to plug-ins, the world’s largest auto market is forcing the rest of the international community to follow in its footsteps.
  2. The debut of Tesla’s Model 3: The company’s first mass-market vehicle has ushered in an era of excitement about EVs because of the car’s slick design and starting price of around $35,000.
  3. Major automakers announce plans for an “all-electric future.” General Motors finished 2016 as the world’s third-largest automaker, meaning its decision to create 20 new electric vehicles by 2023 is bound to have an impact on the global marketplace. Volvo, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Ford have also announced EV plans in recent months.

Cummins AEOS Electrified Semi, 2019. Cummins have revealed a prototype for an electric truck with a range of 100 miles that can be extended to 300 with additional battery packs. The AEOS has a claimed gross vehicle weight rating limit of 75,000 pounds when paired with a trailer. Features include regenerative braking, potential for solar panels on the trailer roof, and an in-dash camera system that replaces conventional side mirrors for better aerodynamics. Production of the electric semi is scheduled for 2019, though Cummins only want to supply the battery and powertrain and outsource the production of the truck’s body.

Reuters: The Electric Car is Doomed (Again)

The Reuters staff dealt a blow to the EV enthusiasts today, calling the electric car a “dead end” and “not ready for primetime.”  The news agency pointed out that EVs’ two biggest advocates, Pres. Barack Obama and Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, have backed away from their ambitious goals of having electric cars fill streets.

In case you need reminding, Pres. Obama intended to have one million EVs on US roads by 2015.  How many EVs are out there?  Well, 2012 was a banner year for EVs in the US.  That banner year totaled only about 53,000 EVs sold, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). 

Carlos Ghosn predicted EVs would be 10% of the global auto market by 2020.  That 10%, as Reuters points out, is roughly equal to six million units. Let’s just say that EVs are having to settle for fraction of that number.  Nissan’s Leaf is measuring sales in the low thousands–hardly enough to inspire.

If the EV falters again, this would be the third time in history.  EVs first crashed in the 1910s as gasoline-powered autos secured dominance in the market.  The EV’s state-backed revival in the 1990s was short-lived in the face limited range, the popularity of SUVs, and cheap gas.


Power Up On The Go

A major concern for people thinking about buying their first electric vehicle is something that has come to be known as range anxiety, the fear that the car will run out of juice before they get to their destination or a recharging point. The perception is so widely felt that it’s considered an obstacle to large numbers of consumers adopting the technology. Yet experts say electric vehicles powered by renewable sources like the sun and wind are necessary to achieve energy independence and to slow human contributions to climate change.

One way of extending electric vehicle range besides the difficult road of improving battery technology is to build recharging infrastructure like that which has been developed for gasoline distribution and sales. But the act of recharging itself also throws up obstacles for widespread adoption–getting a quick boost to extend range by 50 miles can take 20 minutes using DC fast charging, and connecting to a regular AC household plug can take 20 hours to refill a depleted battery. 

A few groups of researchers around the world are looking beyond these early issues in the developing electric vehicle industry. Instead of building refuel points like those used in the gas station model, they are working on delivering electricity to vehicles while they’re on the go, no stopping needed. It’s called wireless power transfer, and it is starting to show promise. Learn more and see the video below.

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