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PG&E Joins with EDI to Unveil Utility Trucks Capable of Shortening or Eliminating Electric Outages

September 17, 2014 in Electric Truck, Electric Vehicles, EV News

Plug-in electric hybrid utility trucks capable of providing power to homes and businesses during outages

DIXON, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Efficient Drivetrains Incorporated (EDI) today unveiled two new utility trucks, including the industry’s first electric hybrid drivetrain Class 5 truck featuring 120 kilowatts of exportable power that can be used to shorten or eliminate electrical outages, at an event at the manufacturer’s facility in Dixon.

The utility trucks, developed by EDI in partnership with PG&E, were designed, built and tested in the heart of California at EDI’s manufacturing plant in Dixon. The vehicles feature the “EDI Drive” plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) system, which provides up to 30 miles of all-electric range and an additional 300 miles of range in PHEV mode and an 80% reduction in emissions when compared to conventional trucks. In addition, these vehicles are the industry’s first to also offer both parallel and series hybrid modes, allowing the vehicle to maximize fuel efficiency in both highway and in-city driving conditions.

In addition to the fuel savings offered by a PHEV, the class 5 utility work truck model also offers up to 120kw of exportable power, which can be used to shorten or eliminate planned and unplanned outages. To put this technology in perspective, nearly 80% of the transformers in PG&E’s service area are 120kW or less, meaning that the vehicle’s exportable power capacity is “right-sized” for PG&E’s needs.

“These vehicles were custom designed to meet PG&E’s goals of both electrifying its utility fleet and to utilize that on-board generating capability to fundamentally change how the utility manages electric outages,” said Joerg Ferchau, chief executive officer for EDI. “PG&E had an extremely ambitious vision for a new vehicle, and Efficient Drivetrains Inc (EDI) was able to offer a solution that met their goals.”

PG&E and EDI also unveiled a Class 5 PHEV bucket truck that they partnered on with Altec Industries, featuring a customized version of Altec’s Jobsite Energy Management System (JEMS). This technology allows crews to operate all onboard vehicle equipment, including the boom, climate control, lights and other auxiliary systems off of the onboard batteries, eliminating the need to idle the trucks while at jobsites. PG&E has been utilizing this technology on its Class 5 and Class 8 bucket trucks for nearly 5 years, and last year saved nearly $750,000 in fuel costs when compared to conventional bucket trucks.

“These cutting-edge trucks not only will help us reduce our fuel costs as well as our carbon footprint, but in the event of an outage, we would be able use their exportable power capacity to supply electricity to homes and businesses,” said Dave Meisel, senior director of transportation and aviation services for PG&E. “In addition, being able partner with two companies with manufacturing plants in the heart of our service territory will also help us meet our goal of creating economic vitality in the communities we are privileged to serve.”

EDI, a California-based clean technology success story, was founded in 2006 and began operation in 2007 with a small government loan from the State of California. Since that time, they’ve grown into a multi-million dollar company, commercializing hybrid and electric drivetrain solutions, continuously variable transmissions, and drivetrain software for automotive manufacturers worldwide. In addition to their US presence, EDI exports electric vehicles to China, and attracts foreign investment from China to support local jobs. EDI has operations in Dixon, California and worldwide headquarters in the Silicon Valley.

PG&E currently operates 942 Class 5 vehicles, including bucket trucks, flat beds, and other service trucks. If the utility were to replace all of those vehicles with EDI’s plug-in electric hybrid models, the utility would save nearly $3.5 million in fuel costs and reduce GHG emissions by over 9,000 metric tons annually. PG&E operates the greenest utility fleet in the industry, with nearly 3,500 alternative fuel vehicles, including approximately 1,000 electric and electric hybrid units.

About EDI

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) develops and markets state-of-the-art proprietary drivetrain products and technologies that have application in PHEVs, HEVs, and BEVs worldwide. EDI’s leading plug in electric drivetrain systems and technologies provide significant cost and efficiency advantages for both electric and hybrid drivetrain architectures across nearly all platform classes and configurations. EDI is active in automotive projects in North America and the APAC region. More information about EDI is available at www.efficientdrivetrains.com

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), and the PG&E Corporation Foundation strive to power strong communities throughout Northern and Central California. In 2013, PG&E contributed more than $23 million to more than 1,300 charitable organizations, including matching the generosity of employees who donated more than $6.5 million and volunteered more than 48,000 hours to company-supported events. Community investments are funded entirely by the company’s shareholders. For more information, visit www.pgecorpfoundation.org.

This article is a repost, credit: PG&E.

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Design to Begin on “The Red Line” – America’s First E-Bus Rapid Transit Route

September 17, 2014 in Electric Bus, Electric Vehicles, EV Campaigns, EV News, Politics

INDIANAPOLIS – Mayor Greg Ballard and other Central Indiana Mayors, transit and community leaders today (9-16-14) announced that planning and design will commence next year on “The Red Line” – the first full electric bus rapid transit in the nation. Last week Rep. André Carson (IN – 7) and the US Department of Transportation announced IndyGo received a $2 million TIGER grant for environmental and design work on the 28-mile route that would run from Hamilton County through Indianapolis to Greenwood in Johnson County.

“This federal grant is an enormous win for Central Indiana,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “After decades of study and debate we can now get to work on a regional rapid transit system that will better connect people to where they work, live, learn and play.”

The $2 million TIGER grant will be matched by $1 million in local contributions by the City of Indianapolis ($687,636), City of Carmel ($196,592), City of Westfield ($146,206), and the City of Greenwood ($64,366).

“The city of Carmel, its residents and especially its business community support public transportation on a number of levels. It’s good for the environment, it helps attract employers and it helps connect employees to their jobs,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. “It is important to note, too, that rapid transit lines run in both directions and will benefit both of our communities, as well as the economy of all of central Indiana.”

“As the City of Westfield continues to grow, important projects such as The Red Line will provide our residents with increased access to transportation, and allow our community to engage in regional economic development in ways we have not yet realized,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook. “We are excited to be partners in this transit initiative.”

“Connecting our people to where they work, learn and play is a competitive advantage to our region. Our younger generations want to create a greener environment, and are looking for the option of leaving their car at home. The Red Line will give the Greenwood Community just that opportunity and will further strengthen our connection to the Indianapolis market,” said Greenwood Mayor Mark W. Myers.

The Red Line System

Central Indiana is proposing to make The Red Line America’s First Electric Bus Rapid Transit route.  The project will explore the use of Electric technology based on systems already successfully being used in parts of Europe. The system would utilize existing traffic lanes as well as dedicated lanes built in high traffic areas. The line would feature approximately 40 stations. According to The Red Line operating plan, busses would run every 10 minutes during peak times and 15 minutes during off-peak Monday through Friday, and every 20 minutes during the day and 30 minutes in the evenings on weekends.

“Indianapolis is ready for rapid transit,” said Mike Terry, president and CEO of IndyGo. “The current IndyGo bus network would be transformed by a new fast, frequent service that runs most hours of the day.”

The Red Line Route

The 28-mile long Red Line will make its way from Hamilton County and Carmel to Indianapolis on City Center Drive and Pennsylvania Street.  At the Marion County line it will shift to College Avenue, running through Broad Ripple and past the Indiana State Fairgrounds. From 38th Street, the line will use either Meridian Street or a combination of Capitol Avenue and Illinois Street to downtown Indianapolis. The line will exit downtown along Virginia Avenue through Fountain Square, pick up Shelby Street past the UIndy campus, and then take Madison Avenue through Southern Marion County, to the Greenwood Park Mall and beyond.

“Moving forward on The Red Line is the right step for the region,” said Anna Gremling, executive director of the Indianapolis MPO. “This corridor houses 4 major universities, more than 160,000 jobs, and nearly 6% of the region’s residents—connecting these community assets with an investment like The Red Line just makes sense.”

The Timeline

Following approval of local funding matches by local officials, study and design work will begin early 2015. At the conclusion of this study and design work, the City and its transit partners will request federal funding to begin construction of The Red Line. If that funding is approved, construction could begin in 2016 with The Red Line opening 2-3 years later.

This article is a repost (9-16-14), credit: City of Indianapolis.

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Free Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations Installed for Public Use at Point Reyes National Seashore

September 17, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV enthusiast, EV News, Politics

By John Dell’Osso, NPS

Point Reyes, National Seashore in California Photo courtesy of NPS

Point Reyes National Seashore in California
Photo courtesy of NPS

POINT REYES STATION, CA – Three electric vehicle (EV) charging stations have been installed at the Bear Valley Visitor Center parking lot at Point Reyes National Seashore and they are available and free to the public.

The chargers were installed by Sustainable Solutions Partners coordinated by Adopt A Charger, Inc. through financial support from the Transportation Authority of Marin Measure B Fund, County of Marin Community Services Fund, the Craig Matthew Childers memorial fund, the Electric Auto Association, and the Golden Gate Electric Vehicle Association.

Photo courtesy of NPS

Photo courtesy of NPS

The chargers are operated on a first-come, first-serve basis. The chargers are using solar electricity generated at the Bear Valley Visitor Center via photovoltaic cells. In fact, the Seashore now generates approximately 35% of the energy it uses from 18 photovoltaic solar arrays on various buildings throughout the Seashore. The Park also has 8 alternative fuel vehicles in its fleet, including 5 Toyota RAV4 all-electric vehicles.

By “adopting” a charger, the Transportation Authority of Marin Measure B Fund, County of Marin Community Services Fund, the Craig Matthew Childers memorial fund, the Electric Auto Association, and the Golden Gate Electric Vehicle Association agreed to make a donation to Adopt A Charger to cover the cost of hardware, installation, maintenance, electrical usage, and administration for three years. After that time period, the electrical usage will be paid by the Park’s non-profit, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association.

“The Seashore is committed to sustainability,” stated Cicely Muldoon, Superintendent of Point Reyes National Seashore. “Having the ability to utilize new technologies as they become operational and investing in our future by educating the next generation all contribute to our goal of energy conservation and efficiency.”

“The National Park Service has always stood for environmental stewardship, and I am grateful that Adopt a Charger can help them address climate change,” said Kitty Adams, Executive Director of Adopt A Charger. “The existing EV chargers at Crissy Field and Muir Woods provide inspiration to visitors who want to reduce their carbon footprint, and provide resources to expand the park’s green fleet. I am especially grateful to be honoring my friend Craig Childers, who was very passionate about the environment and a huge advocate for plug-in cars.”

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:30 pm on September 18, 2014 at the Bear Valley Visitor Center parking lot to celebrate the public accessibility to the electric vehicle charging stations. The public is invited to attend.

This article is a repost (9-4-14), credit: NPS.

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Terra Motors Corporation signs up with Sri Lanka’s Brown & Company PLC

September 16, 2014 in Electric Scooter, Electric Vehicles, EV News

Tokyo, Terra Motors Corporation, Japan’s top electric two and three wheeler developer and manufacturer recently entered into an exclusive partnership with Sri Lanka’s Brown & Company PLC – one of the country’s oldest diversified conglomerates, currently operating in seven key industry sectors. This exclusive deal will lead the way for Brown & Company PLC to sell Terra Motor’s electric products in Sri Lanka.

Toru Tokushige, CEO of Terra Motors said, “There are lots of advantages to use electric vehicles in Sri Lanka, which is eco-friendly and tourism oriented island country. We would like to contribute to create sustainable society in Sri Lanka, by promoting hi- quality electric vehicles with the excellent partner, Browns.”

Browns have once again pioneered the introduction of new technology to the market.

“Browns have once again pioneered the introduction of new technology to the market. Through this partnership, we will not only introduce a cost-effective mode of transport into the industry, but also a pollution-free vehicle. We are quite excited to work together with Terra Motors on this initiative, and look forward to the launch,” said [INSERT NAME, DESIGNATION], Brown & Company PLC.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been generating a lot of buzz in the global auto industry. EVs are also gaining momentum in Sri Lanka, with a number of battery-charging stations scheduled to be opened around the country as well. Statistics reported by the Department of Motor Traffic also indicate a rise in the number of registrations of EVs.

Sri Lanka market advance

The difference in customs duty between gasoline and EV automobiles

There is a considerable difference between electric and gasoline three-wheelers in terms of duty tariff in Sri Lanka. This is a direct encouragement provided by customs to promote EV vehicles in order to reduce the carbon emission and noise pollution. This has given the EV vehicle importers an opportunity to retail vehicles at cheaper prices than existing gasoline vehicles which can be a huge boost to popularize the EV vehicles in the country. (Source – Prevailing tariff rates published by Sri Lanka Customs, 31st August 2014)

Raising cost of gasoline prices

The current gasoline prices in the region has risen to highest world over despite the stable crude oil prices in the world market. ( Source energy-pedia ) In Sri Lanka too it has risen three fold with in a span of 10 years and indication are so that it will have a further climb. (Central Bank of Sri Lanka). Recent studies show that expenditure on gasoline accounts to around 30% of an average household income in the country. German Technical Assistance Agency (2010), World Bank(2010). Usage of Electric vehicles will have a significant reduction on the spending on gasoline providing the masses a relief in managing their cost of living.

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”.

About Terra Motors Corporation

Terra Motors Corporation is an electric two & three wheeler developer, manufacturer and retailer in Japan. Its mission is to devise leading innovations in electric vehicles (EV) in order to create a clean and sustainable society.

The company was established in 2010 and occupies the number one market share in Japan. It is headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, and it has overseas affiliate firms in Vietnam and in the Philippines.

Investors include Mr. Nobuyuki Idei (former President of Sony Corporation), Mr. Koichiro Tsujino (former President of Google Japan) and Mr. Kenji Yamamoto (former President of Apple Japan and former Vice-President of Sales at Apple Inc. in the USA).

About BROWN & COMPANY PLC

Brown & Company PLC is a diversified conglomerate with operations in seven key industry sectors. Over 135 years in business has given Browns a deep understanding of the Sri Lankan consumer, enabling it to deliver top quality products and services.

A household name, across the island, Browns has a depth, diversity and strength in operations whilst working with several leading global brands.

Browns has grown exponentially into the active, sophisticated and valuable company it is today –gradually and unobtrusively, greatly expanding its portfolio and delivering excellence in products, services and value.

This article is a repost, credit: Terra Motors.

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First All-Electric Garbage Truck in North America, Developed by Motiv Power Systems

September 16, 2014 in Electric Truck, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Politics

Hits the Road in Chicago

The City of Chicago is currently running the Motiv ERV on different residential refuse and recycling routes of up to 60 miles, saving 2,688 gallons a year.  Photo courtesy of Motiv Power Systems

The City of Chicago is currently running the Motiv ERV on different residential refuse and recycling routes of up to 60 miles, saving 2,688 gallons a year.
Photo courtesy of Motiv Power Systems

FOSTER CITY, Calif.,  — The City of Chicago is now home to the first and only all-electric garbage truck in North America.  Designed by Motiv Power Systems, the Electric Refuse Vehicle, or ERV, was made possible using Motiv’s modular, plug-and-play electric Powertrain Control System (ePCS) technology and in collaboration with Chicago’s existing refuse truck vendors.  The City of Chicago is currently running the Motiv ERV on different residential refuse and recycling routes of up to 60 miles, saving 2,688 gallons a year.  The public will be able to ride in the ERV for the first time at the CALSTART High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum or HTUF, Ride and Drive event in Chicago on September 23, 2014.

“We are constantly looking to modernize and improve the City’s fleet operations through environmentally conscious choices,” said David Reynolds, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management.  “The City in a Garden is proud to be home to North America’s first all-electric refuse and recycling truck, and we look forward to examining how this truck can boost efficiency, reduce emissions and save tax payer dollars in the future.”

To supply Chicago with North America’s first all-electric garbage truck, Motiv Power Systems won the competitive contract in 2012, against two other companies in the semi-final round.  Motiv has emerged as the leader in electric trucks with its scalable ePCS, and was recently recognized in the 2104 Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies rankings as 12th in Energy and 241st overall.

The first ERV, delivered earlier this year, is one of an estimated 20 that could be built within the exclusive 5-year purchase order.  The development and production of the Motiv ERV was facilitated through a Department of Energy grant to the City of Chicago.

“While Motiv did not have an ERV at that time, our ePCS was installed on other truck types, and we leapt at the chance to use the ePCS on a significantly larger truck,” said Motiv Founder and CEO Jim Castelaz.  “The Motiv ePCS’s flexibility allows it to run on electric trucks as diverse as a Type A school bus to this ERV without costly powertrain redesigns.”

Chicago specified that this ERV must meet the demanding requirements placed on all of its garbage trucks.  This included 60 mile range, a payload capacity of nine tons and 1000 pounds per cubic yard of compaction.  These specifications make the ERV capable of use anywhere in Chicago.  To supply enough electricity to move the truck and power the hydraulics all day, the ERV is equipped with 200 kilowatt-hours of energy, in ten battery packs.  Full charge time is 8 hours using the Motiv Universal Fast Charger.

“Besides dramatically lower fuel and maintenance cost, value of the ERV goes beyond strict payback,” said Castelaz.  “Each truck offsets over 55 barrels of petroleum and 23 tons of carbon dioxide each year.  Plus, no one wants large, noisy truck engines idling next to their house at 6 am when they could have clean, and quieter ERV’s keeping the morning peace instead.”

This ERV was built using a Loadmaster 20 cubic yard rear loader body – the exact same model of body used on other City of Chicago refuse trucks.  The chassis, manufactured by Crane Carrier, was furnished by Cumberland Servicenter.

“By developing our electric trucks in collaboration with existing diesel truck manufacturers, we build vehicles that are just as tough and capable as the diesel versions these partners build,” said John Knudtson, VP Business Development at Motiv.  “We are leveraging the expertise of existing truck manufacturers. They can offer electric options of their existing trucks, to their existing customers, and service them with their existing infrastructure.  The Chicago ERV is illustrative of this unique business model and is applicable throughout the US in many different truck segments.”

About Motiv Power Systems
Founded in 2009 and based in Foster City, CA, Motiv Power Systems designs and builds electric Powertrain Control Systems (ePCS) for the commercial transportation industry.  Truck and bus builders use the ePCS to create all-electric versions of existing vehicles types, such as box trucks, flat-/stake-bed trucks, refrigerated trucks, utility/service trucks, shuttle buses, school buses, delivery vehicles and refuse trucks.  For more information, please visit www.motivps.com.

This article is a repost, credit: Motiv Power Systems.