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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Tesla Is The New Apple

Steven Johnson on the impending electric car revolution being led by Tesla:

And if that’s the case, then the automobile industry will go through exactly what the computer and software world went through with the rise of the PC, the Web, and the mobile revolutions. Smaller companies that bet heavily on the new paradigm will become dominant in an amazingly short amount of time; behemoths who cling to the old models will swiftly become afterthoughts. The EV revolution will be like Hemingway’s classic line about going broke: it will happen gradually, then all of a sudden.

Agreed. This is going to happen sooner than most people think.

[via Daring Fireball]

The electric bus that charges when driven | SmartPlanet

The fledgling electric vehicle industry is fraught with problems including so-called ‘range anxiety’ and the long wait for charging at stations, but an EV developed in South Korea could show us a glimpse of future public transport.

The Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is an electric vehicle that can be charged while stationary or driving — removing the lengthy wait at a charging station between trips.

About those 'environmentally friendly' electric cars...

We’ve said it before on this blog. Those electric cars that are supposedly helping save the environment pollute more than gasoline powered vehicles.

The study, by the National Bureau of Economic Research, looked at five major pollutants: carbon (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen (NOx), particulate matter (PM 2.5), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
They took into account 11 different 2014 models of EVs, as well as the ‘closest substitute’ gas car.

For gas cars, the researchers studying the car’s fuel-efficiency rating, the average wind patterns in an area and other environmental factors, such as farmland.

This provided researchers with the total emissions of driving a certain gas car one mile in a given U.S. county.

For EVs, researchers analysed at how much electricity each car drew from a regional grid and the hourly emissions profiles for the five pollutants at 1,486 power plants across the U.S.

This gave them a figure for the amount of environmental damage that car produced at the power plant, according to a report in CityLab.

Overall the results showed that the west of the US is a lot cleaner than the east when it comes to driving EVs.

In monetary terms, electric cars are about half-a-cent worse per mile for the environment than gas-powered cars.

With gas cars, the worst damage, which is shown on the map in red, took place in highly-populated urban areas such as New York.

Environmental damage for EVs appears to be worse in the Midwest and Northeast, where the electricity grid tends to rely on coal power plants.
In places like LA, EVs produce less environmental damage because the city’s air shed traps pollutants from gas cars.

Here, electric cars are 3.3 cents per mile better for the environment than gas-powered vehicles. Outside of populated areas, electric cars are generally 1.5 cents per mile worse than gas-powered.

The federal government currently pays $7,500 for every electric car purchased — a subsidy that the study authors say the US should scrap.

As JWF notes, the science on this is settled. So stop denying science, you crazy science denier.

High Temperature Capacitor Could Boost Electric Vehicle Reliability

A new capacitor design which can better handle the temperatures in electric vehicles has been developed as part of the Advanced Capacitors for Energy Storage (ACES) project, a technology strategy board project.

According to National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the goal to get electric vehicles an automobile market share of more than 50% by 2050 is impeded by the ability of capacitors to handle high temperatures generated by electric vehicle components, making them less reliable than desired.

Read more.


Porsche Mission E Concept Electric Supercar 

There was something strange at the Porsche stand at the Frankfurt Auto Show this year. Between the gas guzzling 911s and Carreras there was an imposter, the first electric Porsche. Although still a concept car, theMission E shows that Porsche is focused on the future and is ready to embrace new ideas and standards. Not only does the Mission E meet the new ecology standards, it does it in true Porsche style.  Check this impressive car!

Water-Based Battery Could Extend Electric Car Range

by GE Reports

Imagine a brave new world where an affordable family electric vehicle (EV) could cover the distance between New York City and Washington, D.C., on a single battery charge. It remains a fantasy, but perhaps not for long. Scientists at GE Global Research and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing a new kind of water-based “flow” battery for EVs that could achieve this driving range and go beyond it.

Grigorii Soloveichik, who leads the project at GRC and serves as the director of the GE-led and Department of Energy-funded Energy Frontier Research Center, says that the batteries could be 75 percent cheaper than those available on the market today and might also multiply the current EV driving range. “The DOE wants a battery that can power a car for 240 miles,” he says. “We think we can exceed that goal.”

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