November, 2007

V2G Test Drive

Plug In Partners

T his story is a month old, but it's an important one because it shows how utilities , car manufacturers , and government labs , coupled with innovative companies can forge an alliance that can test and demonstrate the practicality of plug in hybrids.

2007 130

London Calling: Congestion Charge Recharges Electric Cars

Plugs and Cars

London could soon replace California as the electric car capital of the world. Thanks in large part to Mayor "Red Ken" Livingstone, who enacted London's much criticized congestion charge policy in 2003.

2007 130

Trending Sources

Still waiting for the Transmission

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, it's been over a month since I've posted since the holidays are here and I'm still waiting for the transmission to get back. I talked with a guy at Rennsport Systems last week and he said he'd see what was going on and get back to me. Still haven't heard from him. I'll try again tomorrow. On a more positive note, Ross Cunniff got his 914 AC kit running recently and Bob has been making progress on his BMW 325i performance EV (see links at right).

2007 100

Here Come the PHEVs

Plug In Partners

Audi Metroproject Quattro T his has been a big week of announcements from car manufacturers. One is from the new auto start up Fisker. Fisker's high end-plug in CNET News Blog Posted by Michael Kanellos Fisker Automotive. Think of it as a marriage between the Chevy Volt and the Tesla Roadster.

2007 130

First New Th!nk City Rolls Off Line

Plugs and Cars

Good news from Norway. Automotive News (subscription required) reports: Think Global has launched production of an electric minicar for European markets. On Wednesday, the first City minicar rolled off the assembly line at Think’s plant in Aurskog, northeast of Oslo. This project is on time. We are building full production cars with all the right components from the right suppliers,” Think Global CEO Jan-Olaf Willums said.

2007 100

Fahrvegnügen and fuhgedaboutit: V-Dub Disses Hybrids, Hydrogen & CO2 Concern

Plugs and Cars

Edmunds Inside Line 's Alistair Weaver interviewed Wolfgang Hatz, the head of powertrain for the entire Volkswagen Group. The title of their piece, Mr Engine Fuels the Future , probably tells you all you need to know. Quotations from the interview below; first, my somewhat snarky synopsis. Hatz, in short: Hybrids are bogus - "a very expensive way to save a small amount of fuel." But because Americans have fallen for the idea, the politically expedient thing for VW to do is make some hybrids.

2007 100

Andy Grove Advocates Disruption

Plugs and Cars

In the Wall Street Journal Online, The Informed Reader , Andy Grove, onetime CEO of Intel, discusses corporate "cross-boundary disruption," such as Apple moving into the music business. As a suggestion, Mr. Grove says General Electric Co. could benefit from a cross-boundary disruption by building an electric car. Neither auto makers nor energy companies seem willing to exploit new energy sources or reduce the U.S.’s s dependence on foreign oil.

2007 100

More Trending

GM's Bob Lutz Queried

Plugs and Cars

US News and World Report interviews GM's Bob Lutz. So of all the different technologies GM is working on, how would you prioritize them? Electric. Advanced hybrid. Plug-in hybrid. Advanced clean diesels. And far out, there's hydrogen.

2007 100

LA Times Op-Ed Poses Real Choice Facing California

Plugs and Cars

The op-ed in today's LA Times (We Need Voltswagens in the print edition; Bring back the electric car online) deserves attention from the public and state policy makers.

2007 100

Th!nk on the Move

Plugs and Cars

Aftenposten TV news clip of the new Th!nk nk City here including shots of the assembly line and interview with CEO Jan Olaf Willums. The report mentions a price for the car and monthly charge for the battery, but more than that I couldn't comprehend. How's your Norwegian?

2007 100

Sierra Club California Weighs in for Electric Cars at CARB

Plugs and Cars

The California Air Resources Board's (CARB) monthly meeting today included the adoption of the State Alternative Fuel Plan. The analysis by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and CARB of the smorgasbord of non-petroleum alternatives was mandated by AB 1007. And quite a buffet it is.

2007 100

Volt Project on Track, Says Lutz

Plugs and Cars

Bob Lutz of GM is in LA. He's meeting with journalists and electric drive advocates. The first report I've seen from the LA Auto Show regarding the much anticipated Volt, in the UK's Guardian , says Lutz expects to see road-tests of "a street-drivable" Chevy Volt by the end of Q1 2008. Now talking specifically about a November 2010 showroom launch.

2007 100

Renault to Build Electric Cars in Israel?

Plugs and Cars

Associated Press is reporting out of Paris (via Forbes.com) that Renault is "studying a possible plan to build a manufacturing plant for electric cars in Israel, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday." Shai Agassi, an Israeli entrepreneur whose Project Better Place is looking at infrastructure and battery schemes to facilitate electric cars, could be involved in a partnership, according to Renault spokeswoman Rochelle Chimenes.

2007 100

IEEE: Will CARB Take Part in Plug-in Car Revival?

Plugs and Cars

The IEEE Spectrum Magazine for November 07 touts on its cover "Battery or Fuel-Cell Cars? A California Cabal Will Decide." Interesting choice of headlines. Surely a strong argument can be made that something approaching a cabal turned a practical electric-cars-on-the-road mandate into a research and development program for hydrogen fuel cells vehicles. Carmakers are desirous of delaying the inevitable but problematic move to electric drive.

2007 100

$98.62

Plugs and Cars

One 11am EST AP report in the NY Times •U.S. oil supplies fell last week for the third straight period. Stockpiles of gasoline also dropped, the government reported Wednesday. Demand for gasoline over the past four weeks was 0.8 percent higher than a year earlier. •.prices prices had climbed as high as $98.62 in electronic trading. •At At the pump, gas prices rose nearly 2 cents overnight. For the week ending Nov. 2, crude oil inventories fell by 800,000 barrels to 311.9

2007 100

$97.07

Plugs and Cars

As the price per barrel goes beyond $97, one story in the NY Times reports : •Bombing in Afghanistan kills 64. Attack on pipeline in Yemen. Domestic oil inventory to fall. Severe weather forecast for North Sea. Oil platforms evacuated. Dollar weak. Severe weather shuts Mexican ports, disrupts oil supply to US.

2007 100

Ballard wants out of fuel cells for cars; investors smile

Plugs and Cars

Another sign that fuel cells for cars are history. Ballard Power systems, long time fuel cell hot shot, wants out of the automotive fuel cell business. The Globe and Mail of Toronto reports that Ballard is hoping to unload this part of the business on Daimler and Ford, which already own 19% and 11% of Ballard respectively. Once viewed as a business worth billions, soon, it will be interesting to see what Daimler and Ford might be willing to pay. Investors have spoken. Ballard shares are up 10.5%

2007 100

Changes Delay Phoenix

Plugs and Cars

Just as major and mid-size auto makers are announcing what seem to be real electric cars for 2009-2010, for example here (Subaru) and here (Mitsubishi iMiev), newly formed independents are finding it difficult to get product out. TeslaMotors' delays have received attention in the blogs and mainstream media. Autobloggreen is reporting what can only be considered major changes in the Phoenix Motors SUT vehicle. New motor and a smaller Altairnano Lithium battery pack.

$95.93 a barrel

Plugs and Cars

Nuf said

2007 100