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February 18, 2013 in EV News

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Terra Motors starts electric motorcycle sales in Iran with Jahanro Industrial Co., Ltd.

August 19, 2014 in Electric Motorcycle, Electric Scooter, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Oil, Politics, Pollution

Electric scooter (motorcycle) A4000i Image courtesy of Terra Motors

Electric scooter (motorcycle) A4000i
Image courtesy of Terra Motors

Tokyo, Terra Motors Corporation, Japan’s leading innovator of electric two and three-wheelers, started sales of “A4000i” and following new products in Tehran, Iran, with Jahanro Industrial Co, exclusively for next five years.

Toru Tokushige, CEO of Terra Motors said, “Jahanro Industrial Co. started from just a small motorcycle shop. But now it successfully became a distributor of Kawasaki, Bajaj, and TVS, with 1,000 employees and 200 dealers in Iran. We believe that this partnership will lead to great expansion of the electric motorcycle market in Iran.”

The demands for electric motorcycles are increasing against government regulation of Tehran.

“Tehran makes it into the 10 Most Air-Polluted Cities in the World,” said Alireza R. Bana, CEO of Jahanro Industrial Co. “For the strategic plan to reduce air pollution, Deputy-Director of Transport & Traffic intends to ban all types of fuel-burning motorcycles from entering restricted areas of Tehran. And only electric motorcycles will be licensed to enter that area.” In addition, the situations below push the spreads of electric motorcycles in Iran:

Cuts in tariffs on electric motorcycles

Against the background of environmental problems, the electric motorcycle that doesn’t discharge any exhaust gas receives preferential treatment concerning customs duty. It is 59% to gas motorcycle, and 4% to the electric motorcycle. The purchase of electric motorcycles receives a big benefit from customs duty.

Reduction of Subsidies from 2010

In Iran, the government has decided to reduce gasoline subsidies since 2010. Petrol prices in Iran have leapt by up to 75%, after state subsidies were cut. Although fuel costs in Iran is still among the cheapest in the world, but the price hikes will be unwelcome for a quarter of the adult population who is jobless or under-employed. Electric motorcycle will be the solution for the users of motorcycles.

Solutions to air pollution

About 800,000-sets of gas motorcycles are sold each year in Iran, and the 90% of them are Chinese-made motorcycles that emit carbon dioxide with high concentration. We can reduce this problem by spreading electric motorcycles.

Generally speaking, the demands for electric motorcycles seem to be small in oilproducing countries. But in fact, there are large demands for electric motorcycles in Middle Eastern countries, because of the environmental and economic conditions.

Terra Motors will continue to expand business all over the world to achieve our vision: “Leading innovations with Electric Vehicles in creating clean & sustainable society.”

This article is a repost, credit: Terra Motors.

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Summer of research to improve hurricane forecasting (NOAA)

August 19, 2014 in Climate Change, Environment, Politics

Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 helps support research to improve severe weather forecasting

This image was taken from the Global Hawk, a NASA unmanned aircraft, that NOAA and NASA will use this summer and fall to obtain weather data on Atlantic hurricanes without placing a manned plane and its crew at risk. (NOAA/NASA) Courtesy of NASA

This image was taken from the Global Hawk, a NASA unmanned aircraft, that NOAA and NASA will use this summer and fall to obtain weather data on Atlantic hurricanes without placing a manned plane and its crew at risk. (NOAA/NASA)
Courtesy of NASA

This summer, NOAA scientists and partners are launching a number of new unmanned aircraft and water vehicles to collect weather information as part of a coordinated effort to improve hurricane forecasts.

Several of these research projects and other NOAA led efforts to improve hurricane forecasting were made possible, in part, because of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. The act was passed by Congress and signed by the President in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. It provides $60 billion in funding to multiple agencies for disaster relief. NOAA received $309.7 million to provide technical assistance to those states with coastal and fishery impacts from Sandy, and to improve weather forecasting and weather research and predictive capability to help future preparation, response and recovery from similar events.

Unmanned Planes Gather Storm Details

As hard as meteorologists work to forecast storms – even flying planes straight into hurricanes to measure wind speed, direction, water vapor and other data – prediction remains an imprecise science. This is particularly true when forecasting hurricane wind speed, known as hurricane intensity.

To improve this predictive aspect of our environmental intelligence, NOAA scientists and partners are sending unmanned aircraft into places where it would be unsafe, impossible or prohibitively costly for manned aircraft to fly. By using dropsondes –instruments that are dropped into storms to measure weather data – and other sensors on unmanned aircraft, researchers are gathering information on a storm’s structure, intensity and evolution.

Global Hawk measures 44 feet in length, with a wingspan of 116 feet. NASA operates the Global Hawk with payloads up to 2000 lb and at altitudes up to 65,000 feet. Its range is greater than 10,000 nautical miles and its endurance is greater than 31 hours. - NASA Photo courtesy of NASA

Global Hawk measures 44 feet in length, with a wingspan of 116 feet. NASA operates the Global Hawk with payloads up to 2000 lb and at altitudes up to 65,000 feet. Its range is greater than 10,000 nautical miles and its endurance is greater than 31 hours. – NASA
Photo courtesy of NASA

Such targeted observations help significantly improve forecast models for predicting hurricanes, especially when the data can be gathered on a nearly continuous basis for an extended period in areas not now being observed. This fall, NOAA will join with NASA to launch two 115-foot wingspan Global Hawks. These unmanned aircraft will take off from Wallops Island, Va., on several data-collecting missions during five weeks at the height of Atlantic hurricane season.  “With the Global Hawk we can fly farther out over the ocean and get to storms that manned aircraft cannot reach. We can look at storms when they first come off the coast of Africa,” said Robbie Hood, director of NOAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems program. “Getting these data early in a storm’s life cycle is critical to understanding and predicting its ultimate evolution. Our goal is to begin using unmanned systems to improve weather operations and the Sandy funding is helping us move toward this goal.”

NOAA Research scientists at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and partners are also testing smaller unmanned aircraft to collect weather information at the boundary between the ocean and the atmosphere.  These aircraft – called Coyotes – are scheduled to be launched in late August from aircraft off the island of St. Croix to gather data at the lowest parts of a tropical storm just above the ocean surface.

Gliding Along the Ocean for Clues

To learn more about how the ocean modifies severe weather, including hurricanes, NOAA and its partners are also launching underwater gliders to gather continuous data as they “glide” from the ocean surface to depths of more than 3300 feet, and back.

Early in July, AOML researchers and their partners released two underwater gliders in the waters near Puerto Rico. Each glider is equipped to take precise measurements of ocean temperature, salinity, oxygen levels, and currents. This information will give scientists data on the evolution of the temperature and ocean current velocity patterns across the upper layer of the ocean, which can fuel hurricanes.  With these data, researchers will be able to better evaluate the ocean models that are used to predict hurricanes, and eventually improve them.

AOML scientists and partners at the Northern Gulf Institute will be studying the use of another unmanned system called a Wave Glider in the Gulf of Mexico. The Wave Gliders that will be launched in August off Biloxi, Mississippi, float on the ocean surface, propelled by ocean waves, and are equipped with sensors to measure air and water temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and barometric pressure.

“Often forecasters do not have access to real-time hurricane environmental data since much of it can only be gathered by entering directly into extremely dangerous parts of a storm,” said Alan Leonardi, AOML’s deputy director. “New technologies like the Wave Glider are giving us real-time ground truth while also safely providing a closer look at the dynamics of air-sea interactions in a storm environment.”

Another remotely-operated robotic boat, the Emergency Integrated Life-Saving Lanyard – known as EMILY – will collect data on barometric pressure, air and sea surface temperatures, salinity, and wind speed and direction at the ocean surface as part of the Gulf project. On-board high definition cameras will provide images directly to NOAA researchers. These details reduce the data gaps that impede improvements to hurricane forecasts. These observing systems are remotely operated and can be redirected into the center of developing hurricanes. They transmit data through satellites.

Where Will the Storms Go and How Strong Will They Be?

Determining how many hurricanes will form in a season, and then trying to pinpoint how strong they will become and exactly where they will track, has always been a significant hurdle. But thanks to the combined efforts within NOAA and the academic community, more coordinated research efforts are taking place under the NOAA Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP).

In recent years, the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project has helped NOAA significantly improve the precision of forecasts and reduce errors in the prediction of both the location of the hurricane track and its intensity.

For example, a key forecasting tool used at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) called the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model can forecast rapid intensification of a hurricane with far greater accuracy today than a decade ago. Scientists at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory have also upgraded their high-resolution hurricane modeling system this year. These improvements help scientists better reproduce the processes that occur within the core of hurricane and how they interact with the warm ocean waters,  and contributed to the more precise track forecast for Arthur, the first hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic season.

Looking Directly into the Eye of Hurricane Forecast Challenges

Other important work to improve forecasting takes place at NOAA’s Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT). This is where world-class researchers and forecasters come together online and in person to develop, test and verify improvements to forecast computer models with the goal of moving research into day-to-day operations.

One recent JHT success is the development of a hurricane wind speed graphic, which clearly depicts the chance of wind speeds exceeding certain thresholds in a particular geographic area. Along with the graphical information, forecasters at NHC now issue a companion text product that provides the probability of certain wind speeds over the next five days at numerous locations.

Some JHT projects are aimed at improving the observations of storms to help forecasters better analyze a storm’s structure, particularly winds in the lowest levels of this atmosphere, while other efforts focus on upgrading the computer models so that predicting when a hurricane will undergo rapid intensification becomes less of a challenge. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 showed the world the danger of a rapidly intensifying hurricane and the importance of continuing to improve forecasts of intensification.

“NOAA’s testbeds, including the Joint Hurricane Testbed, are an important part of how we transition new research into the hands of NOAA weather forecasters working on the front lines of providing the public with timely, accurate and life and property-saving weather forecasts,” said John Cortinas, director of NOAA’s Office of Weather and Air Quality.

Image courtesy of NOAA (National Hurricane Center) 8-19-14

Image courtesy of NOAA (National Hurricane Center) 8-19-14

This article is a repost, credit: NOAA.

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Testing Electric Propulsion (NASA)

August 19, 2014 in Electric Plane, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Research

Greased Lighning (GL10) project 10 engine electric prototype remote control plane. Photo taken 8/14/14 by David C. Bowman Courtesy of NASA

Greased Lighning (GL10) project 10 engine electric prototype remote control plane. Photo taken 8/14/14 by David C. Bowman
Courtesy of NASA

On Aug. 19, National Aviation Day, a lot of people are reflecting on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future – a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter and fly like a plane, and that could revolutionize air travel?

Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., are studying the concept with models such as the unmanned aerial system GL-10 Greased Lightning. The GL-10, which has a 10-foot wingspan, recently flew successfully while tethered. Free-flight tests are planned in the fall of 2014.

This research has helped lead to NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate efforts to better understand the potential of electric propulsion across all types, sizes and missions for aviation.

This article is a repost, credit: NASA.

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New record high: 22% of UK electricity from wind

August 19, 2014 in Environment, EV News, Wind

Econnect Wind Farm Photo courtesy of RenewableUK

Econnect Wind Farm
Photo courtesy of RenewableUK

RenewableUK says a record high of 22% of the UK’s electricity was generated by wind on Sunday (17th August), beating the previous 24-hour record of 21% set earlier this month (Monday 11th August). Before that, the record stood at 20%, set on 20th December 2013.

The UK’s onshore and offshore wind turbines generated an average of 5,797 megawatts (MW) on Sunday – enough to power more than 15 million homes at this time of year, according to the statistics from National Grid.

RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs, Jennifer Webber, said “We’re seeing very high levels of generation from wind throughout August so far, proving yet again that onshore and offshore wind has become an absolutely fundamental component in this country’s energy mix. It also shows that wind is a dependable and reliable source of power in every month of year – including high summer”.

On Sunday 17th August, wind was generating a greater proportion of the UK’s electricity needs than coal (which was providing 13%), solar (3%), biomass (3%) and hydro (1%). Nuclear generated 24% and gas 26%.

This article is a repost (8-18-14), credit: RenewableUK.

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Formula E course cars to be equipped with Qualcomm wireless charging

August 19, 2014 in BMW, BMW i3, Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

The all-electric FIA Formula E Championship has today confirmed that its course cars for the inaugural season will be fitted with Qualcomm Halo™ wireless charging technology – an inductive charging system which allows the car’s battery to be charged without the use of cables.

With the final specification of car set to be announced shortly, the championship’s technical team took advantage of today’s final test at Donington Park to trial two BMW i8 and two BMW i3 models with the aim to evaluate them for the series’ official course cars. Earlier this year, the German marque was part of the Global Launch event of the Formula E in London.

All four BMWs have been specifically modified to meet FIA requirements, with one of the BMW i3 models featuring an inductive charging system from Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), with the remaining three vehicles set to be adapted at a later stage. The technology has been developed by San Diego-based Qualcomm Incorporated, one of the official Founding and Technology Partners of the series and a global leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. The Qualcomm Halo™ technology uses resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy between a ground-based pad and a charging pad fitted to the underside of the vehicle. The cars can then simply park over the base pad for charging to start automatically.

The chosen safety car – which will be officially entitled the Qualcomm Safety Car – will be driven by experienced driver Bruno Correia, whilst the medical and extraction cars will be overseen by FIA Medical Delegate Dr Phil Rayner and his team. The cars will be positioned at the end of the pitlane, charging wirelessly and ready to be rapidly deployed as required during each practice, qualifying and race.

Steve Pazol, GM, Wireless Charging at Qualcomm Incorporated, said: “Qualcomm is honoured to be an integral part of FIA’s Formula E Championship. As electric vehicles become more ubiquitous, charging them wirelessly is an obvious next step in the EV evolution and we are excited to showcase this in Formula E. Motorsport is a known proving ground for new technologies, and in addition to our wireless EV charging technology, Qualcomm will be bringing more of its technologies to bear as the series goes forward.”

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said: “Qualcomm’s wireless charging system is ground-breaking technology and represents an exciting evolution for charging electric vehicles. Wireless charging has the potential to radically improve the electric vehicle driver experience and Formula E provides the perfect platform in which to develop, test and showcase this exciting new technology.”

Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the interest in electric vehicles and promoting sustainability. Competing entirely on city-centre circuits – with races also in China, Malaysia, Uruguay, USA, Monaco, Germany and the UK – it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). Its 10 teams and 20 drivers feature some of the leading international names in motorsport including Alain Prost and Michael Andretti, along with high-profile environmental supporters including Sir Richard Branson.

This article is a repost, credit: Formula E.

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Siemens tests eHighway system in California

August 18, 2014 in Electric Truck, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Politics, Pollution

In the context of the research project ENUBA (Electromobility in heavy commercial vehicles to reduce the environmental impact on densely populated areas), Siemens produced a holistic concept for the electrification of HGV traffic by means catenaries and to test the technical feasibility of the system on a specially built test track in the north of Berlin, Germany.  Image courtesy of Siemens

In the context of the research project ENUBA (Electromobility in heavy commercial vehicles to reduce the environmental impact on densely populated areas), Siemens produced a holistic concept for the electrification of HGV traffic by means catenaries and to test the technical feasibility of the system on a specially built test track in the north of Berlin, Germany.
Image courtesy of Siemens

Siemens is to conduct demonstrations on a two-mile stretch of highway after installing a catenary system for electric and hybrid trucks in the vicinity of the largest US ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The company was awarded the associated contract by Southern California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The objective is to completely eliminate local emissions such as nitrogen oxides and to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and cut the operating costs of trucks. The test results should be available in the summer of 2016, and will indicate the suitability of the systems for future commercial use. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are seeking an emission-free solution (“Zero Emission I-710 Project”) for a section of Highway 710, which carries a high proportion of shuttle truck traffic. The 30 kilometer route links the two ocean ports and the railroad transshipment centers inland.

As part of the demonstration of the eHighway systems, two lanes of Alameda Street in the city of Carson, California, are being electrified via a catenary system. On the road, e-trucks equipped with hybrid drive and smart current collectors will be supplied with electricity from the catenary, offering local zero-emission operation. Siemens and the Volvo Group, via its subsidiary Mack Trucks brand, are developing a demonstration vehicle for the project. Siemens also is supplying current collectors, the technology that allows trucks to connect and disconnect from the catenary system at any speed, to local California truck integrators whose vehicles will also be part of the demonstration. The smart current collectors enable overtaking maneuvers and automatic connecting as well as disconnecting at speeds up to 90 km/h. On roads without overhead lines the vehicles make use of a hybrid system which can be powered alternatively with diesel, compressed natural gas or via an on-board battery.

“Our eHighway technology eliminates local emissions and is an economically attractive solution for freight transport on shuttle truck routes,” says Matthias Schlelein, head of Siemens Division Mobility and Logistics in the USA. “Long Beach and Los Angeles, the two US ports generating the most traffic, can benefit hugely from our technology.”

“This project will help us evaluate the feasibility of a zero-emission cargo movement system using catenary,” said Barry Wallerstein, SCAQMD’s executive officer. “Southern California’s air pollution is so severe that it needs, among other strategies, zero- and near-zero emission goods movement technologies to achieve clean air standards.”

“I’m happy to see the Los Angeles region leading the way in bringing cutting edge technology to an increasingly important economic center,” said Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino. “The eHighway project is a great example of how electricity can help power the next generation of transportation systems while also providing cleaner air for our citizens in the process.”

This article is a repost (8-6-14), credit: Siemens.

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Energy Department Reports Highlight Strength of U.S. Wind Energy Industry

August 18, 2014 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Politics, Wind

Photo courtesy of Vestas Wind Systems A/S. Caption courtesy of DOE

Photo courtesy of Vestas Wind Systems A/S.
Caption courtesy of DOE

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. continues to be a global leader in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity in the world, according to two reports released today by the Department of Energy. Wind power is a key component of the nation’s all-of-the-above strategy to reduce carbon pollution, diversify our energy economy, and bring innovative technologies on line. With increasing wind energy generation and decreasing prices of wind energy technologies, the U.S. wind energy market remains strong and the U.S. is moving closer to doubling renewable electricity generation from energy resources like wind power yet again by 2020.

“As a readily expandable, domestic source of clean, renewable energy, wind power is paving the way to a low-carbon future that protects our air and water while providing affordable, renewable electricity to American families and businesses,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “However, the continued success of the U.S. wind industry highlights the importance of policies like the Production Tax Credit that provide a solid framework for America to lead the world in clean energy innovation while also keeping wind manufacturing and jobs in the U.S.”

Wind Technologies Market Report

After modest growth in 2013, total installed wind power capacity in the United States now stands at 61 gigawatts (GW), which meets nearly 4.5 percent of electricity demand in an average year, according to the 2013 Wind Technologies Market Report, released today by the Energy Department and its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The report also found that wind energy prices – particularly in the Interior region of the United States–are at an all-time low, with utilities selecting wind as a cost-saving option.

With utility-scale turbines installed in more than 39 states and territories, the success of the U.S. wind industry has had a ripple effect on the American economy, spurring more than $500 million in exports and supporting jobs related to development, siting, manufacturing, transportation and other industries.

Distributed Wind Market Report

In total, U.S. turbines in distributed applications, which accounted for more than 80 percent of all wind turbines installed in the U.S. last year, reached a cumulative installed capacity of more than 842 MW–enough to power 120,000 average American homes–according to the 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report, also released today by the Energy Department and its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This capacity is supplied by roughly 72,000 turbines across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In fact, a total of 14 states, including Iowa, Nevada and California, among others, now each have more than 10 MW of distributed wind capacity.

Compared to traditional, centralized power plants, distributed wind energy installations supply power directly to the local grid near homes, farms, businesses and communities. Turbines used in these applications can range in size from a few hundred watts to multi-megawatts, and can help power remote, off-grid homes and farms as well as local schools and manufacturing facilities.

For more information on these two new reports – including infographics, video and updated interactive map – visit www.energy.gov/windreport. Join us Tuesday, August 19, to discuss key findings from the reports on a live Twitter chat about wind energy in America.

Graphic courtesy of DOE

Graphic courtesy of DOE

This article is a repost, credit: Energy Department.