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Electric Vehicle News & Greentech

February 18, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Greentech

EV News Stars of the Week (Click Pic)

Electric vehicle news and greentech news updated frequently.

EV News Report covers the top electric car, electric bus and electric train stories. Electric vehicles are the crux of the sustainable matter. In a world of 7 billion plus people, transportation is the toughest transition. Battery production is the key.

Approximately 85 million new autos will be delivered globally in 2014 with the vast majority being powered by petroleum. To put that statistic into perspective, Tesla Motors plans to be delivering 100,000 electric cars on an annualized basis in late 2015.

The world demands a clean environment. In congested cities, modern electric subways, streetcars, light rail and train services are the most logical transportation choices. Urbanites want safe walking and biking routes. Clean air zones are good for business. Clean technologies make jobs. A good mayor is the key.

Siemens Electric Locomotive "The new Cities Sprinter locomotives were designed for improved safety and reliability. They also allow for more efficient and cost-effective maintenance, which means they can return to service as quickly as possible, getting you to exactly where you need to be. On time." - Amtrak Photo courtesy of Amtrak Amtrak Delivers Strong FY 2014 Financial Results

Siemens Electric Locomotive
“The new Cities Sprinter locomotives were designed for improved safety and reliability. They also allow for more efficient and cost-effective maintenance, which means they can return to service as quickly as possible, getting you to exactly where you need to be. On time.” – Amtrak
Photo courtesy of Amtrak
Amtrak Delivers Strong FY 2014 Financial Results

Simple metric to judge US Congress

Gasoline demand averaged 9.2 mb/day over the last four weeks (EIA, week ending 11-21), up 1.3% yoy. Congress failed to raise the gas tax! Amtrak asks Congress to develop modern rail.

Secondarily, EV News Report covers leaders in greentech, focusing on solar, wind, battery storage and HVDC. In the drive to 100% renewable, states and localities are finding an increasing number of greentech opportunities to power their economies. Prices keep falling. Demand keeps rising. The world economy booms.

Electric vehicles and solar have the most potential to surprise. However, the world is full of surprises.

Peak Oil

Post Carbon Institute expects US oil production to start declining again around 2016-2017. Production may decline sooner if oil prices stay in the 70s. The US Dollar’s reserve status will only blunt US inflation in the peak oil era. The bond bubble will burst. Gold and silver will rise.

China will float the Yuan to gain reserve currency status. However, weak oil dependent nations will suffer during peak oil. Eventually, humanity riding electric vehicles powered by greentech will kick its addiction to oil. A rising Yuan will float the currencies of the East. The Euro region will integrate its financial system. The world will be more stable under three major reserve currencies.

Latest Electric Vehicle News and Greentech News Below

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AAA: More Than 46 Million Americans to Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Holiday Getaway, Most Since 2007

November 26, 2014 in EV News, Oil

Image courtesy of AAA AAA: More Than 46 Million Americans to Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Holiday Getaway, Most Since 2007

Image courtesy of AAA
AAA: More Than 46 Million Americans to Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Holiday Getaway, Most Since 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. – AAA Travel projects 46.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, the highest volume for the holiday since 2007 and a 4.2 percent increase over 2013.

Almost 90 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will celebrate the holiday with a road trip and likely will enjoy the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, November 30.

Highlights from 2014 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast:

  1. Thanksgiving holiday travel volume is expected to reach the highest level since 2007, with 46.3 million Americans taking a trip.
  2. The 2014 forecast is 4.2 percent higher than the 44.4 million Americans who traveled last year and the greatest growth rate for any holiday since Independence Day 2012.
  3. Road trippers likely will pay the lowest Thanksgiving price for fuel in five years. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.85 per gallon, which is 43 cents lower than the average price for Thanksgiving a year ago ($3.28 per gallon).
  4. More than 89 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will travel by automobile, a 4.3 percent increase from 39.6 million last year.
  5. Air travel for Thanksgiving is expected to be at the highest level since 2007, with 3.55 million Americans taking to the skies.
  6. Travelers will encounter moderately higher prices with airfares one percent higher, mid-range hotels up eight percent and car rentals costing 10 percent more.
  7. The average distance traveled this Thanksgiving will be 549 miles roundtrip and Americans will spend an average of $573 during the holiday weekend.

“This year, more Americans will give thanks for the opportunity to travel to friends and family than any year since 2007,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA President and Chief Operating Officer. “Americans are more optimistic about the future as improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are boosting consumer confidence and the desire to travel.”

“Holiday joy has come early this year with Americans likely to pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2009. Lower prices are increasing disposable income and enabling families to carve out more money from household budgets for travel this Thanksgiving,” continued Doney.

Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans

The national price of gasoline has fallen below $3.00 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010, a welcome gift for travelers as they head into the busy holiday travel season. AAA predicts most U.S. travelers likely will pay the cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years. More than 89 percent (41.3 million) of holiday travelers will drive to their destination, a 4.3 percent increase from 2013.

Travel expenses rise modestly

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase eight percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $154 per night compared to $142 last year. The average hotel rate for AAA Two Diamond hotels has risen nine percent with an average cost of $114 per night.

Weekend daily car rental rates will average $55, 10 percent higher than last year. Airfares will only increase one percent, with an average discounted round-trip rate of $189 across 40 top domestic routes.

Most of travelers’ budgets go toward transportation, food and shopping

Travelers are expected to spend an average of $573 over the course of their holiday travels. Despite lower average gas prices, travelers are allocating 31 percent of their budgets to fuel transportation. Food and beverage and shopping will account for 22 percent and 20 percent of holiday travel budgets, respectively.

Travelers’ spending plans mirror their intended activities this Thanksgiving, with 70 percent of travelers reporting they will enjoy dining during their vacation and 59 percent will go shopping. Eighty-nine percent of travelers plan to spend time with friends and family this Thanksgiving holiday.

This article (11-20-14) is an EV News Report repost, credit: AAA.

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Renault-Nissan Alliance sells its 200,000th electric vehicle

November 26, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, LEAF, Nissan, Renault

PARIS/YOKOHAMA – The Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold its 200,000th electric vehicle and has a leading 58% market share for zero-emission cars.

Together, Renault and Nissan EVs have driven approximately 4 billion zero-emission kilometers – enough to circle the earth 100,000 times. Renault-Nissan’s EVs represent 200 million liters of fuel saved – enough to fill about 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Alliance EVs also represent 450 million kg of CO2 that has not been emitted while driving.

2015 Nissan LEAF  Image courtesy of Nissan Renault-Nissan Alliance sells its 200,000th electric vehicle

2015 Nissan LEAF
Image courtesy of Nissan
Renault-Nissan Alliance sells its 200,000th electric vehicle

The Alliance sold its 200,000th EV in early November, about four years after the launch of the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first mass-market electric vehicle. Nissan LEAF remains the best-selling electric vehicle in history.

From January through the first week of November of this year, the Alliance has sold about 66,500 units — an increase of about 20% from the same period last year. The Alliance sells about two out of three electric vehicles worldwide, including Twizy, Renault’s two-seater urban commuter vehicle and the Nissan e-NV200 van on sale in Europe and Japan.

“Renault and Nissan’s electric vehicles are the zero-emission volume leaders and, most important, they enjoy high satisfaction rates from customers around the world,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. “Based on positive owner feedback and the increasing demand for cars that run on renewable energy, it’s no surprise that EV sales are accelerating – particularly in regions where charging infrastructure is well developed.”

To capture what the first 200,000 consumers love about their electric vehicles, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is launching a series of videos featuring EV owners on three continents. “I Made the Switch” tells why people bought their electric vehicles and how switching to a zero-emission vehicle has changed their lives. The first video features Chris Beers, a software engineer from Holliston, Massachusetts – one of many Americans who powers his Nissan LEAF with clean solar energy.

U.S. and Japan lead the world in EV ownership
In the United States, the Alliance’s biggest electric vehicle market, there are more than 750 quick chargers in operation. Nissan is working with its dealers and charging partners to increase that number to 1,100 by mid-2015. The quick chargers are able to charge a LEAF from zero to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes.

This year, Nissan also launched its “No Charge to Charge” program, which provides free access to selected charging stations for two years with the purchase or lease of a new Nissan LEAF. “No Charge to Charge” is currently active in 12 U.S. markets, and Nissan plans to expand to additional markets by mid-2015.

In Japan, the Alliance’s second-biggest EV market, there are more than 2,900 quick chargers in operation. Nissan and Japan’s three other top automakers have pledged to work together to raise that number to 6,000 by March 2015.

In Europe, the UK is the most advanced market in terms of electric vehicle infrastructure. Today, the quick charging network already covers 87% of the UK’s motorways.

Nissan LEAF is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle; Renault led in Europe in October

With six electric vehicle models on the road, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is the only global car group with a full range of 100% electric vehicles – and they can be fully charged with purely renewable energy.

Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan has sold a cumulative 148,700 units worldwide since December 2010, when Nissan LEAF went on sale. Nissan LEAF has collected industry honors including the 2011 World Car of the Year, European Car of the Year 2011 and Car of the Year Japan 2011-2012.The electric vehicle has the highest global customer satisfaction rate for any Nissan vehicle ever.

The top markets for Nissan LEAF are the United States with about 67,000 sales since its launch, Japan with about 46,500 units and Europe with about 31,000 units.

In the United States, LEAF is on track to be the top electric vehicle in 2014, outselling all other electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Sales so far this year are up 35%, and Nissan LEAF has enjoyed 21 consecutive record sales months and has already shattered its own yearly U.S. sales record with two months to go. In addition to LEAF, Nissan also sells the e-NV200 van, which went on sale in Europe in June and in Japan in October.

Meanwhile, Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based Renault has sold a cumulative 51,500 electric vehicles worldwide since its first model the Kangoo Z.E. went on sale in October 2011. Kangoo Z.E. was voted International Van of the Year 2012. Renault recently delivered its 5,000th Kangoo Z.E. to La Poste, France’s national postal service and operator of the country’s largest corporate fleet. An additional 5,000 units will be delivered in the coming years.

In addition to Kangoo Z.E. and Twizy, Renault’s zero-emission range also includes the ZOE subcompact and the Fluence Z.E. sedan. In South Korea, the Fluence Z.E. is sold as the SM3 Z.E. under the Renault Samsung Motor badge. Like Nissan LEAF, ZOE enjoys the highest satisfaction rate of Renault’s global product lineup.

Renault’s top markets in Europe – its main electric vehicle market – are France, Germany and the United Kingdom. In October, Renault regained the number one EV position in Europe with a market share of 31%. ZOE was the most popular vehicle with a 23% market share.

Note: The zero-emission distance and CO2 data are based on a calculated average.

About the Renault-Nissan Alliance
The Renault-Nissan Alliance is a strategic partnership between Paris-based Renault and Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan, which together sell one in 10 cars worldwide. The companies, which have been strategic partners since 1999, sold 8.3 million cars in nearly 200 countries in 2013. The Alliance also operates strategic collaborations with automakers including Germany’s Daimler, China’s Dongfeng, and India’s Ashok Leyland and has a majority stake in the joint venture which owns Russia’s top automaker, AVTOVAZ.

This article (11-25-14) is an EV News Report repost, credit: Nissan. Video courtesy of Nissan.

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Transportation Reinvention Commission Calls For MTA Improvements: Report Recommends Seven Strategies To Meet Challenges Ahead

November 26, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV Mass Transit, EV News, Politics

Image courtesy of NY MTA Transportation Reinvention Commission Calls For MTA Improvements: Report Recommends Seven Strategies To Meet Challenges Ahead

Image courtesy of NY MTA
Transportation Reinvention Commission Calls For MTA Improvements: Report Recommends Seven Strategies To Meet Challenges Ahead

The MTA Transportation Reinvention Commission has released it’s final report outlining seven strategies.

The group of 24 experts, convened by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to address challenges facing the regional transportation network, recommends the MTA take significant steps to re-engineer its way of doing business and make its system more resilient, while all those who benefit from the MTA’s services must contribute to reliable long-term funding to continue to drive the region’s prosperity.

The report says the continued economic success of the New York region is by no means guaranteed and depends on a world-class transportation network that reliably, comfortably and seamlessly takes customers where they want to go. It says the MTA must change its practices and become more resilient in order to accommodate a growing population, changing travel patterns, rising expectations and a more volatile climate. It calls on the MTA to accelerate investments to keep the network in a state of good repair, streamline the project delivery system and work more effectively with its regional partners in order to enhance and expand the system in a more efficient and effective way. Additionally, the report challenges the MTA to implement a comprehensive program to cut costs and generate more revenue, The report also says everyone in the region who benefits directly or indirectly from MTA services must contribute to a reliable long-term funding plan, and offers several examples of funding mechanisms that have been successfully used to fund transit systems around the world.

“New York will never have a world-class transit system unless the MTA reinvents itself and the public invests in it. A robust transportation network is essential to the region, but its past achievements do not make future success inevitable. Our work shows that the MTA can meet the array of challenges it faces, but doing so will require careful stewardship, creative thinking and heightened investment to ensure it can continue to be the engine that drives New York,” said Ray LaHood, co-chair of the Transportation Reinvention Commission and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

“The subway, bus, commuter railroad and bridge and tunnel network that made New York into America’s economic center cannot be taken for granted. The MTA needs to think creatively to ensure this $1 trillion asset is maintained, improved and expanded to accommodate growth and change. Without bold action, the MTA will not be able to serve the future needs of the New York region, and the impact will be felt in the region’s economy as well as in its quality of life,” said Jane Garvey, co-chair of the Transportation Reinvention Commission and former Federal Aviation Administrator.

“The Transportation Reinvention Commission is performing a valuable service to the MTA and to the entire New York region, which can only function with a strong mass transit network. We selected commission members who would bring a wide range of perspectives and concentrated expertise to the task, and this report shows that while difficulties lie ahead, none of them are insurmountable. The report confirms the importance of the MTA to the region and the nation, as well as the need for significant investments to ensure its continued importance going forward. Some of the commission’s recommendations challenge the MTA to perform better, and some challenge the entire New York region to contribute to the improvement of our transportation network. I appreciate the service the commissioners have provided with their important work,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast.

The MTA created the Transportation Reinvention Commission in May at the recommendation of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who urged the MTA to consult with international experts on how to prepare the transportation network for the next century. The report recommends seven key strategies for meeting future challenges:

1) The MTA must reengineer its way of doing business by creating a “new MTA” that is more efficient, transparent, and accountable to the public, including a new center of excellence to optimize project delivery and engage the private sector.

2) The MTA must accelerate and sustain core capital investment to bring its infrastructure into a state of good repair in order to maximize safety, reliability and resiliency.

3) The MTA must create a 21st-century customer experience to provide all customers an information-rich, accessible, reliable, frequent and easy-to-use service.

4) The MTA must aggressively expand the capacity of the existing system both to alleviate constraints and to meet the needs of growing ridership, which will provide greater redundancy as well as fewer disruptions.

5) The MTA must make investments designed to serve existing and emerging population and employment centers not well served by the existing system, pursuing new flexible service alternatives and operating modes.

6) The MTA must forge partnerships with its local, state, and federal economic development and planning partners, as well as the private sector, to drive the region’s economic growth; and must establish more collaborative working relationships with other transit agencies to better integrate regional transit.

7) The MTA must have a balanced, stable and reliable long-term funding plan that includes dedicated revenues and contributions from all who benefit from MTA services, directly or indirectly. The MTA must implement a comprehensive program to cut costs, and embrace a more entrepreneurial approach to revenue generation.

A copy of the Transportation Reinvention Commission report is available at this link: http://web.mta.info/mta/news/hearings/pdf/MTA_Reinvention_Report_141125.pdf

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: NY MTA.

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MAX Red Line flies to new heights as riders take the train to the plane

November 25, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Light Rail

Red Line provides direct trips to PDX

MAX Red Line Image courtesy of TriMet MAX Red Line flies to new heights as riders take the train to the plane

MAX Red Line
Image courtesy of TriMet
MAX Red Line flies to new heights as riders take the train to the plane

Heading out of town for the holidays? Or hosting out-of-state guests this holiday season? TriMet’s MAX Red Line provides direct service to and from the terminal at Portland International Airport (PDX). Red Line ridership has reached a new high. From September 2013 through August 2014, the Red Line’s 13th year in operation, more than 1.249 million trips were taken on the line, which runs between Beaverton Transit Center and PDX. Red Line ridership had last peaked at 1.2 million in 2008.

MAX Red Line was the first train-to-plane connection on the West Coast and continues to serve as a quick connection to bypass traffic. You can get from Portland City Center to PDX in just 38 minutes. Plus, it’s easy to roll your luggage on board. Just keep it in your possession and under your control. The line serves more than 20 stations between Beaverton and the airport, allowing for easy pick up or drop off of those coming from or going to the airport. Trains run about every 15 minutes most of the day. Plan a trip to the airport.

This article (11-24-14) is an EV News Report repost, credit: TriMet.

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50 States in Model S

November 25, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Model S, Supercharger, Tesla

Tesla Supercharger Photo courtesy of Tesla 50 States in Model S

Tesla Supercharger
Photo courtesy of Tesla
50 States in Model S

 Lead Writer

Lita Elbertson had never seen a lake before she decided join her friend Michael Fritts on an epic cross-country tour of the United States. In fact, the Hawaii resident hadn’t even seen a duck. Or a Model S.

There are probably more straightforward ways to make contact with a duck, but few are more fun than driving a premium electric sedan to every state in the United States. That’s what Elbertson and Fritts, a Model S owner from Upstate New York, set out to do late this summer.

While Fritts took inspiration for the trip from the Harley Davidson “ABC’s of Touring” contest, Elbertson took responsibility for planning the route, which she built around Tesla’s Supercharger network with stops at friends’ places factored in. They would eventually complete a 48-state route in 32 days before Fritts dropped off Elbertson in Washington and continued on to Alaska alone. In the next few weeks, he’ll ship the car to Hawaii and cross the 50th state off the list.

Elbertson simply loves to travel, but for Fritts the trip was a way to demonstrate the benefits of electric vehicles. Earlier in the year, he drove solo from New York to Miami and back without taking his wallet. He charged the car for free at Superchargers all the way and packed his meals, so he didn’t need to spend a penny. For this adventure, he carried a miniature oil can, which he plans to leave in Hawaii at the conclusion of his route as a memento of a fading era. “This trip symbolizes the transition from fossil fuel to electric transportation,” Fritts says.

Fritts has long been interested in technology – as a 10-year-old, he wrote a paper about maglev trains – and, as an ex-trucker, he’s used to long-haul travel. In 1991, he drove from San Francisco to Hamilton, NY, in a 1977 Chevrolet LUV pickup that he bought from a friend for $500. The trip took him 57 hours. Since retiring from truck driving after surviving an aneurism, he invested his savings in Tesla stock because he believed in the future of electric mobility and was impressed by CEO Elon Musk’s business track record. He later sold the stock to buy a Model S, sight unseen.

The Model S performed wonderfully on his tour of the country, Fritts says. “The car was fantastic. It runs the same as it did the day I got it – and I’ve put 40,000 miles on it.”

Elbertson’s first impressions of Model S were also positive. “The car’s really fast and comfortable, which made it really easy,” says Elbertson. “A lot of the time we had planned to stop and stay the night but instead we just kept going.”

More than a few ducks and lakes made an appearance during the trip – Vermont served up plenty of both – and the mountains of Colorado and Utah were scenic highlights. For Elbertson, New Orleans, Chicago, and New York City were the best cities. But there was one clear standout on the road.

“The fact that we were able to drive 11,500 miles without spending a cent on gas or oil or putting a single emission in the air was amazing,” Elbertson says. “I’m still shocked that we did that.”.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: Tesla.