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City of Lancaster to Install Energy Storage System and EV Charging Station

March 31, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV Campaigns, EV charging, EV News

LANCASTER, Calif. and SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 31, 2014 — The City of Lancaster has partnered with Green Charge Networks to install an intelligent energy storage system and an electric vehicle charging station at the Lancaster Museum of Art & History (MOAH). During its regular meeting Tuesday, March 26, 2014, the Lancaster City Council approved the initiative. Funded by a California Energy Commission (CEC) grant, the system will be installed by private partner Green Charge Networks at no cost to the City. The project will generate an estimated $3,200 annually in cost savings.

Lancaster Mayor Rex Paris speaking at San Francisco 100% Renewable Conference

Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris speaking at San Francisco 100% Renewable Conference

“The City of Lancaster continues to seek new and innovative ways to foster the use of renewable energy, protect the environment, and create cost savings for our taxpayers in the process,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Energy storage is the cutting edge of renewable energy technology and it will propel our city toward becoming America’s first truly Net Zero City. We are proud to partner with Green Charge Networks to implement this technology in our community.”

The energy storage system will be the first installed in the High Desert region of California. The electric vehicle (EV) charging station – specifically, a Nissan DC fast charger – will also be the first of its kind in the High Desert.  The charger features rapid charging capability which can charge compatible electric vehicles to 80 percent capacity in approximately 20 minutes. The charging station, to be located in MOAH’s rear parking lot, will be available for use by the public.

“Quite simply, this is a win-win for the citizens of Lancaster,” said Vice Mayor Marvin Crist. “Not only will this project contribute to protecting the environment by fostering the use of electric vehicles; it will also save taxpayer dollars by lowering MOAH’s energy costs and make a new charging station available for electric vehicle owners throughout our community. We’d like to thank the California Energy Commission for making this grant opportunity available.”

“We’re honored to partner with the City of Lancaster to help the city continue utilizing power more efficiently. Since solar-generated power is now required in new homes in the City of Lancaster, the next evolution will come from intelligent energy storage and power efficiency, which will help offset demand charges,” said Steve Kelley, Senior Vice President of Sales at Green Charge Networks.

The energy storage system and EV charging station will be installed in April. The charging station will be available for public use immediately upon installation.

MOAH is located at 665 W. Lancaster Boulevard. For more information regarding the museum, visit

About Green Charge Networks

Founded in 2009, Green Charge Networks is a leader in intelligent customer-sited energy storage.  The company gives commercial and industrial customers control of rising demand rates on their monthly electric bills. Green Charge Networks’ product complements solar PV, electric vehicle charging, and energy efficiency. The GreenStationTM was developed in partnership with leading utilities around the country, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Fortune 500 customers. GCN is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA with offices in New York City. For more information, visit or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter @GreenChargeNet.

About the City of Lancaster: The City of Lancaster is a thriving community of more than 158,600 in northern Los Angeles County. Clean air, attainable housing, wide open spaces, and a close-knit community make Lancaster an ideal place for families. A low cost of doing business, endless potential for growth, and a strong commitment to business from local leaders has earned Lancaster the Eddy Award for “Most Business-Friendly City” in Los Angeles County from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. In addition, Lancaster boasts more than 300 days of sunshine per year, making it the ideal place to pioneer new solar energy technologies. No matter how you look at it, it’s positively clear that Lancaster is the perfect place to live, work and play.

This article is a repost, credit: Green Charge Networks.

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First Zero-Emissions All-Electric Bus Launches in Rio de Janeiro

March 31, 2014 in BYD, Electric Bus, Electric Vehicles, EV News

Fetranspor is now evaluating the BYD 12 meter electric bus

Photo courtesy of BYD

Photo courtesy of BYD

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mar. 31st, 2014: Fetranspor and Rio Bus, the public transportation companies for the state and city of Rio, and BYD a Chinese company with leading technologies on batteries and electric vehicles joined together at the opening ceremonies for the launch of the BYD 100% electric bus this week. This is the first pure-electric bus to launch in Rio and is running now on line 249 (Water-Santa Carioca) operated by Matias, the leader of the Consortium Internorte.

Photo courtesy of BYD

Photo courtesy of BYD

The partnership, which aims to test the bus on a regular line for one month, has the support from the City Government through the City Department of Transportation, and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (a network of megacities committed to taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) and is currently chaired by Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes.

Participants attending the launch ceremony included Lelis Marcos Teixeira, President Of Fetranspor; Joao Augusto Monteiro, Chairman of Rio Bus, Roberto Carlos Ozorio, Municipal Secretary of Transportation, Julio Lopes, Secretary of State for Transport Of Rio De Janeiro, Stella Li, BYD Motors President, Cristina Mendonca, City Director for C40 in Rio de Janeiro, Vagner Rigon, Sales Vice President of BYD Brasil. Authorities and journalists were able to ride on the electrical bus during its first drive.

Rio de Janeiro at the forefront of reducing emissions

Rio is one of the three cities in Brazil to test the 100% electric buses from BYD (São Paulo and Salvador have done successful tests already). The Operation Manager for Mobility at Fetranspor, Guilherme Wilson said that, “the electric buses are no longer just a promise; the electrical technology is a major innovation in the urban mobility sector. In addition, this vehicle has zero emissions, superior durability and lower operating costs, all considerable advantages towards sustainability.”

Photo courtesy of BYD

Photo courtesy of BYD

Companies in Rio have tested some types of buses before, like hybrids, diesel from sugar cane, biodiesel also CNG buses. The pioneering favored this new partnership. “Fetranspor is a great reference for testing new energy buses in public transportation and the segment in Rio de Janeiro is a model for many cities in the country”, said Vagner Rigon, Sales Vice President of BYD do Brasil. “The partnership with Fetranspor will be important to showcase its economical and environmental benefits and help to develop the market for low carbon buses.”

Besides Brazil, the 100% electric bus has been tested since 2011 in several cities around the world such as Los Angeles and New York (USA), Bogota (COL), London (GB), Copenhagen (DIN) and Oranjestad (Aruba). BYD is testing the buses under different traffic and road conditions, terrain, elevations and temperatures to improve bus design.

BYD electric bus

The BYD K9 model is the first 100% electric bus in mass production in the world and is the only one that uses BYD’s unique Iron Phosphate (or “Fe”) Battery. Iron Phosphate is considered the cleanest and safest in the market. They are recyclable and fireproof. The batteries are contained in three areas, on the roof besides the back axles and over the front wheels of the vehicle. They are recharged via a bidirectional AV systems with grid 380 VAC, which was already installed in the garage at Road A Mathias. Recharging takes four to five hours and allows an average driving range over 250 km.

The electric motors are built into the wheels of the rear axle making it more efficient for passenger loading since the floor height can be dropped lower than where conventional bus axels are. The configuration allows recovering energy when braking. According to BYD, its energy consumption is equivalent to 1.2-1.4 kWh/ km, which is around 75% more efficient than conventional buses, making it a lower operating and maintenance costs. The bus holds up to 80 passengers, 29 seated and 50 standing besides the placeholder for wheelchair users, equal to conventional buses.

About Fetranspor

The Fetranspor – Federation of Passenger Transport of the State of Rio de Janeiro is the combination of ten bus unions responsible for urban, suburban, tour and charter transportation companies. These unions unite 192 companies and 19 public transport charters and tourisms, which account for 81% of regular public transport in the State of Rio de Janeiro. For more information, please visit

About BYD

BYD Company Ltd. is one of China’s largest companies and has successfully expanded globally. Specializing in battery technologies, their green mission to “solve the whole problem” has made them industry pioneers and leaders in several High-tech sectors including High-efficiency Automobiles, Electrified Public Transportation, Environmentally-Friendly Energy Storage, Affordable Solar Power and Information Technology and Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) services.

As the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, their mission to create safer and more environmentally friendly battery technologies has led to the development of the BYD Iron Phosphate (or “Fe”) Battery. This fire-safe, completely recyclable and incredibly long-cycle technology has become the core of their clean energy platform that has expanded into automobiles, buses, trucks, utility vehicles and energy storage facilities. BYD and all of their shareholders, including the great American Investor Warren Buffett, see these environmentally and economically forward products as the way of the future.

BYD has made a strong entrance to the North, Central and South American markets with their battery electric buses, and lineup of automobiles. Their mission lies not just in sales growth, but also in sociological integration and local job creation as they have poured incredible investments into developing offices, dealerships and manufacturing facilities in the local communities they now call home, truly a first for Chinese companies. For more information, please visit

This article is a repost, credit: BYD.

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Department of Energy Announces First Quadrennial Energy Review Public Meeting

March 31, 2014 in Climate Change, Environment, EV News, Oil, Politics

Secretary Moniz Photo courtesy of DOE

Secretary Moniz
Photo courtesy of DOE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy released information on the first six public meetings to collect stakeholder input into the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). As the Secretariat for the QER Task Force, DOE will hold a series of meetings to discuss and receive comments on issues related to the development of a comprehensive strategy for the infrastructure needed to transport, transmit and deliver energy to consumers. Other federal agencies will also join these meetings.

“The QER, announced as part of the President’s Climate action Plan, will provide a roadmap to modernize our energy infrastructure in ways that will support the Nation’s economic competitiveness and energy security, and enable us to move toward a low-carbon future,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Most of our energy infrastructure is owned by the private sector and states and regions have enormous responsibilities and equities in these vast energy networks. Participation and input from across the spectrum — federal agencies, state and local governments, industry, academia, civil society and other non-governmental groups — is critical to ensuring that the QER’s recommendations can be translated into concrete actions.”

The QER, officially launched by President Obama in January, is co-chaired by the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy, and includes representation from all relevant executive departments and agencies. DOE is playing a key role in development of the QER by providing policy analysis and modeling, and coordinating stakeholder engagement.

The first of these stakeholder and public engagement meetings is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 11, 2014, at the U.S. Capital Visitor’s Center in the Congressional Auditorium. The meeting will focus on infrastructure resilience and vulnerabilities, including cyber and physical threats, climate, and interdependencies.

The Nation’s current infrastructure is increasingly challenged by transformations in energy supply, markets, and patterns of end use; issues of ageing and capacity; impacts of climate change; and cyber and physical threats. The QER will serve as a roadmap to help address these challenges.

Details for the next five QER stakeholder public meetings are still being finalized, but will include a meetings on infrastructures constraints in New England, to be held in Hartford, CT; infrastructure constraints related to Bakken, to be held in North Dakota; electricity transmission storage and distribution in the west, to be held in Portland, Ore.; petroleum product transmission and distribution, including carbon dioxide and enhanced oil recovery, to be held in Louisiana; and rail, barge, and truck transportation, to be held in Chicago.

The Federal Register Notice, which contains additional information about the meeting and other ways to submit public comment, can be found HERE.

This article is a repost, credit: DOE.

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Five states and the Gulf of Mexico produce more than 80% of U.S. crude oil

March 31, 2014 in EIA, EV News, Oil

Graph courtesy of EIA

Graph courtesy of EIA

Five states and the Gulf of Mexico supplied more than 80%, or 6 million barrels per day, of the crude oil (including lease condensate) produced in the United States in 2013. Texas alone provided almost 35%, according to preliminary 2013 data released in EIA’s March Petroleum Supply Monthly. The second-largest state producer was North Dakota with 12% of U.S. crude oil production, followed by California and Alaska at close to 7% each and Oklahoma at 4%. The federal offshore Gulf of Mexico produced 17%.

Total U.S. crude oil production grew 15% in 2013 to 7.4 million barrels per day. Texas and North Dakota led that growth, with their crude oil outputs each increasing 29% from 2012. Production gains in both states came largely from shales, especially the Eagle Ford in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota. In the three years since 2010, North Dakota’s crude oil output has grown 177% and Texas’s output 119%, the fastest in the nation.

Three other states that were among the top 10 U.S. producers in 2013 also experienced production growth rates above 20% during the past three years. Colorado, which overlies part of the Niobrara Shale, had 93% growth in production from 2010 to 2013; Oklahoma, with the Woodford Shale, had 62% growth; and New Mexico, which shares the Permian Basin with Texas, had 51% growth.

Crude oil is produced in 31 states and two offshore federal regions—the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Coast. Of those 33 producing areas, 10 supply more than 90% of U.S. output. While 9 of those top 10 areas were also among the top 10 producers five years ago, their relative contributions have changed.

North Dakota has risen from the seventh largest oil producer to the third. The Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and California, which together in 2008 supplied nearly half of U.S. crude production mainly from conventional oil reservoirs, provided less than one-third of national output in 2013. Output in those areas has declined at the same time that overall national production has expanded.

Principal contributors: Allen McFarland, Tom Doggett

This article is a repost, credit: EIA.

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United Kingdom: Millions to benefit from massive multi-billion pound railway investment programme

March 31, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Trains

CGI of new London Bridge station as it will be when finished Image courtesy of Network Rail

CGI of new London Bridge station as it will be when finished
Image courtesy of Network Rail

Millions of people across the country are set to benefit from an ambitious five-year £38bn spending and investment programme – part of the biggest sustained investment programme ever – that will transform today’s railway giving passengers more trains, more seats, reduced congestion and bigger, better stations.

The five-year plan will see the busiest parts of Britain’s rail network targeted making a very real difference to millions of people’s lives and providing a significant boost to the economy.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “A key part of this government’s long term economic plan is investing in world class infrastructure. That is why we are putting record amounts of government funding into our railways over the next five years. That investment will generate growth, create jobs and boost business while delivering faster journeys, greater comfort and better punctuality for passengers across the UK.”

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “Millions of passengers and freight users will benefit enormously from the plans we set out today to wisely spend and invest £38bn in transforming some of the busiest parts of our railway network.”

The people of Devon and Cornwall also heard some good news today as Network Rail confirmed that their railway will be reconnected to Britain’s network on 4 April following two months of tremendous efforts by hundreds of railway engineers in, and around, Dawlish. A massive landslip, involving the collapse of 20,000 tonnes of cliff-face near Teignmouth on 4 March, had threatened the planned opening.

“Dawlish has shown us at our best when we work in a planned, disciplined and innovative way. Our aim is to emulate that approach and embed it in our organisation so that we are continuously improving the service for our customers.”

Today, more than 1.5bn passenger journeys are made by rail each year and by 2019 the railway will be carrying more people than at any time in its history. The rail industry’s five-year plan will:

  • Provide capacity for 170,000 extra seats for commuters at peak time
  • Shorten journeys and provide for hundreds more daily services between the cities of the north (Northern Hub)
  • Electrify more than 850 miles of railway and see whole new fleets of electric trains
  • Transform hundreds of stations around the country including London Bridge, Manchester Victoria, Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Queen Street
CGI of new London Bridge station as it will be when finished  Image courtesy of Network Rail

CGI of new London Bridge station as it will be when finished
Image courtesy of Network Rail

Improving passenger, public and workforce safety will also feature prominently throughout control period 5 (2014-19) with plans to close a further 500 level crossings on top of the almost 800 closed since 2010, reducing risk by a further 25%.

Mr Carne commented: “Passenger, public and workforce safety will be at the core of our plans. Good safety performance and good train and business performance go hand-in-hand and in both, we must strive for, and deliver, continuous improvement day by day.”

As well as the big projects, the day-to-day task of delivering a safe and reliable railway will be even more important and tough to deliver as more services and more improvement work becomes ever more challenging to balance. Investment in this area includes:

  • Renewing over 7,000km of track – enough to reach from London to Mumbai
  • 75 football pitches worth of station platforms replaced (300,000m²)
  • Improving train punctuality to 92.5% across the country – the best performing in Europe
  • Cutting the cost of running the British railway network by 20% making it one of the most efficient in Europe
  • Investing in new technology and equipment that will deliver step-changes in productivity and efficiency

Mr Carne concluded: “Britain’s railways are a vital part of our national infrastructure. They connect homes and workplaces, businesses with markets, they create jobs, stimulate trade and support the growth of a balanced economy.

“We are good at delivering projects both great and small and at providing a safe and reliable railway but want to do even more for the people that rely on our railway network. This investment responds to the growth and demands being placed upon us by delivering bigger, better stations, more trains and seats, reopened railway lines and fewer level crossings. We all want an improving, safer, successful and better value railway for everyone, and that is what we will do.”


Control period 5 runs from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019. Over this period, Network Rail and its industry partners will deliver a programme of investment to tackle the severe problem of congestion on the busiest parts of the network, providing capacity for 170,000 extra commuter seats at peak times including capability to run hundreds more trains a day between the key cities of the north of England and a 20% increase in central London’s commuter rail capacity through completion of the Crossrail and Thameslink projects.

Of the £38bn to be spent on Britain’s railways over the next five years, £13bn will be invested in capital expenditure projects to relieve overcrowding by building new tracks, uncorking bottlenecks, increasing capacity and upgrading outdated stations:

  • The Northern Hub programme will deliver a step-change in connectivity across the north of England, providing faster journeys and the capacity to run hundreds more trains per day between key northern cities.
  • The Thameslink programme will be completed, with 24 trains per hour each way through the centre of London, taking much needed pressure off the Tube network and relieving commuters of the aggravation of changing trains during the busiest part of the day. Crossrail trains will also be running, increasing capacity for travel through the capital by a further 10%.
  • More than 850 miles of railway will be electrified, including the Great Western Main Line from Maidenhead to Swansea, the Midland Main Line from Sheffield to Bedford and across the north and north west of England, bringing greener, more frequent and more reliable journeys for millions of people.
  • A new, electrified railway linking the Great Western, West Coast and Midland Main Lines will connect Oxford with Bedford and Milton Keynes as part of the East West Rail project.
  • More than 30 miles of new railway and seven new stations will reconnect the border towns of Scotland with Edinburgh for the first time in 50 years, reversing a Beeching closure of the 1960s and providing a faster, greener alternative to travelling by road.
  • Stations including Birmingham New Street, Manchester Victoria, Glasgow Queen Street and London Bridge will be transformed, as King’s Cross has been, restoring former Victorian glory alongside modern facilities and retail opportunities, bringing investment and jobs into our cities and further income for the railway to invest.

In addition to this capital expenditure, £12bn will be invested in replacing and renewing older parts of the network. More than 7,000km of track and nearly 6,000 sets of points will be renewed or refurbished and 7,000km of fencing and almost 300,000m2 of platforms at stations will be replaced or renewed. A further £13bn will be spent on day-to-day maintenance and the costs of operating and running one of the busiest, most intensely used networks in Europe.

Safety improvements at level crossings will continue, with the company pledging to close a further 500 crossings by 2019, investing more than £100m as part of its ongoing programme of work to improve safety and reduce risk to passengers and the wider public.

The next five years will also see Network Rail committing itself to furthering its environmental sustainability and resilience in the face of extreme weather and changing climate. By September, a series of ten route-based climate change strategies will be published, setting out specific measures to be taken to mitigate the effects of severe weather and improve the railway’s long-term sustainability.

Network Rail is committed to making even more trains run on time. By 2019 it has agreed to deliver punctuality levels of 92.5% across England, Wales and Scotland while running more trains and carrying more people than ever before. The company will also provide even better value for money for the British people, reducing annual government subsidy from around £4bn today to £2bn by 2019.

About Network Rail

Network Rail is the not for dividend owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations – the largest of which we also manage. We aim to provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use. Twitter: @networkrailPR

This article is a repost, credit: Network Rail.