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February 18, 2013 in EV News

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Changing People’s Minds about Fossil Fuels

July 11, 2014 in Climate Change, Environment, EV News, Oil, Pollution

Bill McKibben Photo courtesy of Post Carbon Institute

Bill McKibben
Photo courtesy of Post Carbon Institute

By Bill McKibben, Post Carbon Institute

Word came recently that both the Philadelphia Quakers and the Unitarian General Assembly have decided to divest from fossil fuels. It followed by few weeks the news that the Roman Catholic University of Dayton and Union Theological Seminary, the home of many a great thinker, had done likewise.

In each case I felt a kind of surge of joy, that these historic institutions were helping transform the political and moral landscape, redefining for our time what’s right and wrong. Destroying the climate, they were saying, is incompatible with our evolving ethical sense. We used to think investing in fossil fuel was okay, but the new science has convinced us, and we don’t think that way any longer.

I could, I guess, have felt anger that they waited so long — that for years their investment portfolios had helped drive the expansion of coal and gas and oil, in turn driving up the temperature of the planet for decades to come. But that didn’t occur to me. It was joy only.

It did, however, occur to the New York Times, which for a while last Friday had at the very top of its website a strange story excoriating an investor named Tom Steyer, who more than a year ago divested his holdings in fossil fuel companies, and when he couldn’t and when he knew he couldn’t square his new personal beliefs with the investment mandate of the firm he’d founded, he quit his job.

Even so, the Times noted, “the coal-related projects his firm bankrolled will generate tens of millions of tons of carbon pollution for years, if not decades, to come.” Which is both true and obvious: How could it be any different? Tom Steyer’s decision to divest couldn’t shut down the coal mines he’d helped build; it could only help insure no new ones would be constructed. None of us have the power to travel back in time.

The Times story was a transparent hit job. It drew on the work of a partisan connected to the Koch brothers and writing for the rightwing blog Powerline, which had been insisting for months that Steyer — who not only divested but went on to devote a sizeable portion of his fortune to fighting for climate action — was a “hypocrite,” in fact an “epic hypocrite.” One of the two reporters on the story — Coral Davenport — has in her brief tenure at the Times has regularly disdained the grassroots climate movement for action against projects like the Keystone pipeline. (My confident prediction is that when we march in record numbers for climate action in New York City on September 21 she’ll figure out some way to make it all seem small and silly.) The piece on Steyer, that she co-wrote with Michael Barbaro, was not a skeptical but a cynical piece of work: It built a strawman, bent him into an impossible position, and proceeded to light him on fire.

But if the Times should never have run it, the piece does nonetheless allow all of us to think through this question of hypocrisy. Every one of us in the Western world has contributed to climate change. We drive, fly, cool, heat. Perhaps we went to (or, like me, work at) colleges whose endowments are invested in fossil fuels, or perhaps we draw pensions from funds that back Exxon and Shell. If we don’t mine coal ourselves, we likely work for companies that belong to the Chamber of Commerce and hence are active in the fight against climate legislation. On and on it goes, since fossil fuel is knit into the fabric of our society. If, as theTimes puts it, Steyer is “shadowed by coal,” so are the rest of us.

That means that if we are going to make the transformative change away from fossil fuel, we need thousands of institutions and millions of individuals to make the same choice that Steyer and the World Council of Churches and the University of Dayton trustees made: to look at the emerging science and to understand that we can’t go on as we did before. What used to be okay no longer is. Hypocrisy is when you say one thing and do another at the same time. Growth is when you weigh new information and then change your thinking and behavior.

Not everyone will have Steyer’s freedom to make climate action their life’s work, though the scale of the crisis demands that we all do something to help change not just our lightbulbs but the system. And what’s amazing how many people are taking on this greatest of challenges with everything they’ve got, and discovering in the process that when we join together as movements we’re big enough to stand up to the bad guys. The fossil fuel resistance is very real, and it doesn’t depend on billionaires: consider the Pacific Islanders currently building canoes for the trip to Australia to block coal ports, or the doctors arrested outside those Aussie mine gates last month; the native Americans who just finished a Healing Walk across the tarsands country of Alberta and the college students arrested this spring at Harvard and Washington University demanding divestment; the environmental justice advocates who stick it out in the one community after another blighted by refineries, and the entrepreneurs pioneering community-funded solar power, and the scientists who hunker down on the dwindling ice sheets trying to understand how much margin we still have. Together we’re not yet winning, but together we’re giving the fossil fuel industry a run for its money.

None of us, as I’ve said, are perfect. Actually, a few of us are. If you’re looking for people who can never be accused of any hypocrisy, it’s the Koch brothers that you want if you deny science and disdain democracy, there’s no way for anyone to hold you intellectually or morally accountable. While the Times was busy trying to shame Steyer for the crime of changing his mind, real journalists at the Toronto Star were completing an investigation into the extent of the Koch holdings in the far north. Piecing together all the scattered data, they found that they control an astonishing 1.1 million acres of the tarsands, and that they are huge contributors to all the “thinktanks” and campaigns trying to build Keystone and other pipelines. And there’s nothing even remotely hypocritical about it it’s just disgusting.

This article is a repost, credit: Post Carbon Institute.
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Formula E – First and Second Official Pre-season Tests

July 11, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Videos courtesy of Formula E.

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Zero emission and quiet as a whisper: eight new Fuso Canter E-Cell in customer trials

July 11, 2014 in Daimler, Electric Truck, Electric Vehicles, EV News

Lisbon/Portugal: eight new Fuso Canter E-Cell in customer trials July 2014 Photo courtesy of Daimler

Lisbon/Portugal: eight new Fuso Canter E-Cell in customer trials July 2014
Photo courtesy of Daimler

The cleanest technology, whatever the application: Fuso is a pioneer of “green” drive systems in the commercial vehicle sector. The Daimler subsidiary in Japan is the home of Daimler Trucks’ centre of competence for hybrid technology, and with this experience behind it, Fuso has also been responsible for developing the new battery-electric-powered “Zero Emission” Canter E-Cell. The first all-electric light-duty truck, produced in a small series, runs emission-free and almost silently. The Canter E-Cell for Europe is manufactured at the Tramagal plant in Portugal. Eight vehicles have now been released for customer trials.

Runs emission-free and almost silently

The “Zero Emission” Canter E-Cell provides the answer today to the ever-increasing traffic restrictions in major conurbations that are sure to be applied over the coming years, such as road tolls based on CO2 emissions or restricted access times. It is particularly suitable for use in limited-mileage operations in environmentally sensitive areas, for example in city-centre traffic or in eco-zones and pedestrian precincts.

As a particularly sustainable form of transport, it also provides companies with an opportunity to enhance their profile with customers and the public in general.

“The Fuso Canter E-Cell allows us once again to emphasize our leadership in the field of alternative drive systems,” said Dr. Albert Kirchmann, President & CEO Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation. “Led by Daimler Trucks’ advanced engineering team based in Japan, our colleagues in Portugal now realized yet another big milestone, bringing the latest Daimler Trucks innovation into the world.”

Eight Fuso Canter E-Cell in real-life testing with customers for a year

These customer trials with the Canter E-Cell under real-life conditions are set to run for one year. The eight Canter E-Cell are based on the Canter with a wheelbase of 3.400 mm and feature a single cab in the wide, comfort specification. Each is fitted with either a 4.3 m-long platform body or a 4.4 m-long box body.

The capabilities of these electrically-powered light-duty trucks will be put to the test under a wide range of conditions. The city of Lisbon will be using the Canter E-Cell for horticultural and waste disposal purposes, the city of Porto as a means of transport between its various municipal buildings and the city of Abrantes similarly in the field of horticulture. The company Transporta will use the Canter E-Cell for house-to-house deliveries as part of its short-radius distribution service, the energy supplier REN for transport purposes within the port area of the town of Sines, to the south of Lisbon. And lastly, the Canter E-Cell will be helping the Portuguese national postal service CTT with transport runs between its distribution centres in Lisbon.

Powerful, high-torque electric motor

Compared with the original prototype model – which celebrated its world premiere at the IAA 2010 – the Fuso Canter E-Cell has now seen considerable further development. The design of the electrically-powered light-duty truck is based on the chassis of the conventional Canter and allows a permissible gross vehicle weight of 6.0 t. The resulting payload of the chassis is therefore remarkably high, at around 3.0 t.

The electric motor in the new Canter E-Cell gives it a top performance of 110 kW (150 hp) and high maximum torque of 650 Nm. Power transmission to the rear axle is via a single-speed transmission. Both the cardan shaft and the rear axle are components that have been adopted from the Canter with combustion engine. Good performance is a given, as it is a feature of the design of an electric motor that its maximum torque is available immediately upon start-up. The top speed of the Canter E-Cell, as with all vehicles in this weight class, is limited to 90 km/h.

Battery capacity ensures range of more than 100 km

Located on each side of the frame are a total of four battery packs, accommodated in two fully encapsulated boxes. These are lithium-ion batteries with an impressive nominal capacity of 48.4 kWh. This gives the Fuso Canter E-Cell a range of over 100 km, more than many short-radius distribution trucks in fact travel in a day. Charging the batteries at 230 volts takes around seven hours, while use of a rapid-charging system can reduce this to just one hour.

The Canter E-Cell is very simple to drive: the light-duty truck is started by turning an ignition key. As with a torque-converter automatic, the driver can select between the gear settings D – N – R and P. The practical crawl function in D and R is also comparable with that of an automatic transmission – the driver can thus manoeuvre the Canter E-Cell simply by operating the brake pedal.

Highlight of anniversary year for the Canter plant at Tramagal

The handover of the eight Fuso Canter E-Cell to this group of Portuguese customers represents a further highlight of this anniversary year for the Tramagal plant, which took up production of trucks 50 years ago. The plant, some 150 km to the north-east of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, is the central production plant for Fuso Canter in Europe. Last year saw the production of around 4.000 Canter. The location is an integral part of the global production network for Daimler Trucks.

Since 2011, Daimler Trucks has invested some 27 million euros in the Tramagal plant. Also the Portuguese government has supported the Canter E-Cell project. The Canter E-Cell is built at Tramagal on a special production line for prototype models.

Since 2012, series-production of the hybrid variant of the truck, the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid, has also taken place in Portugal. The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid squares the circle: high-tech helps to protect the environment and really pays off. The Canter Eco Hybrid reduces fuel consumption by as much as 23 percent, which means that despite the slightly higher price, the investment can be recouped within a few years. Rather than being an experimental vehicle, the first series-production truck in its class to feature hybrid drive is a sturdy production model that is absolutely viable for everyday use. The step up to meet the Euro VI emissions standard brought with it a further reduction of the already low fuel consumption, while CO2 emissions have also been reduced. This is thanks to the longer axle ratio and an optimised gearshift strategy. The Canter Eco Hybrid boasts an array of outstanding and robust technology including a start/stop device, all-electric starting and the Duonic dual clutch transmission, which is unique in this class.

The drive system to suit your needs: Canter Euro VI, Canter Eco Hybrid and Canter E-Cell

The logical next step is now the Canter E-Cell. Fuso is thus able to offer the Canter as the only light-duty truck with a choice of three state-of-the-art drive systems: as the straightforward Canter with an economical diesel engine that is compliant with the currently applicable Euro VI and Euro 5b+ emissions standards, as the Canter Eco Hybrid with hybrid drive system and now – in the context of customer trials – as the Canter E-Cell with battery-electric drive system.

Lisbon/Portugal: eight new Fuso Canter E-Cell in customer trials July 2014 - chassis Photo courtesy of Daimler

Lisbon/Portugal: eight new Fuso Canter E-Cell in customer trials July 2014 – chassis
Photo courtesy of Daimler

This article is a repost, credit: Daimler.

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Nissan creates “world’s cleanest car” – a zero emissions Nissan LEAF with self-cleaning nano-paint technology

July 10, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, LEAF, Nissan

For LEAF owners who never qualify for gas stations’ “Free Car Wash with Purchase” offers, this technical study might be the perfect solution

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Photo courtesy of Nissan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – What do you get when you combine the world’s best-selling zero emission vehicle with innovative paint technology that repels mud, rain and everyday dirt? Answer: a very special Nissan LEAF electric vehicle that might just be the “world’s cleanest car.”

Created to demonstrate its potential use in future production vehicles, this Nissan LEAF’s exterior was treated with a specially engineered superhydrophobic and oleophobic paint that is designed to repel water and oils.

The “self-cleaning” paint, called Ultra-Ever Dry®, creates a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, effectively stopping standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the LEAF’s surface. Nissan is one of the first carmakers to apply this technology to a vehicle.

The coating, which is being marketed and sold by UltraTech International Inc., has been undergoing testing by engineers at Nissan Technical Center Europe. So far it has responded well to common-use cases including rain, spray, frost, sleet and standing water.

While there are currently no plans for the technology to be applied to Nissan vehicles as standard equipment, Nissan will continue to consider the coating technology as a future aftermarket option. For the North American demonstration, the paint is featured on a white Nissan LEAF.

“The 100 percent electric LEAF provides the perfect canvas for this new, advanced paint technology,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. ”This is one LEAF that never has to stop at gas stations – not even for a car wash.”

“No matter what the road throws at this LEAF, its Ultra-Ever Dry® exterior coating will throw right back,” said UltraTech International Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Shaw. Shaw presented the benefits of superhydrophobic technology and how it creates an “umbrella of air” on a surface at a TED Conference last year.

For 2015, the zero-emissions Nissan LEAF is available in three trim levels: LEAF S, SV and SL, along with option packages offering advanced systems such as Around View® Monitor and seven-speaker Bose® energy-efficient audio and Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant*. The EPA estimated driving range for LEAF on a fully charged battery is rated at 84 miles and MPGe ratings are 126 City, 101 Highway and 114 Combined.** Nissan LEAF can be charged up to 80 percent of its full capacity in 30 minutes when equipped with a quick charge port and using a fast charger. Charging at home through a 240V charging dock is estimated to take less than five hours with the 6.6 kW onboard charger (less than eight hours with the S grade’s standard 3.6 kW onboard charger).  However, charging times may vary.

* Compatible smartphone required. Standard text rates and/or data usage may apply.

**Based on EPA formula of 33.7 kW/hour equal to one gallon of gasoline energy, EPA rated the LEAF® equivalent to 126 MPG measured as gasoline fuel efficiency in city driving, and 101 MPG in highway driving. Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions — use for comparison only.  Charging times and range estimates may vary depending on driving/charging habits, weather, temperature and battery age. The 6.6kW onboard charger is a standard feature on SV and SL trims. It is an optional feature on the S trim. 240-V home charging dock is sold separately.

About Nissan North America

In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and, or visit the Americas media sites and

About Nissan

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at

This article is a repost, credit: Nissan. Video courtesy of Nissan.

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Volkswagen Selects Bosch and ChargePoint as E-Golf Charging Solution Providers

July 10, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, Volkswagen

Bosch® will provide home charging stations and installation services, while ChargePoint® is the chosen public EV charging solution for all e-Golf drivers

E-Golf Image courtesy of Volkswagen

Image courtesy of Volkswagen

Herndon, VA  — Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced providers of charging services for e-Golf models, the first zero-tailpipe emissions electric vehicle to be sold by Volkswagen in the U.S. market. The e-Golf will go on sale later this year as a 2015 model. Bosch Automotive Service Solutions has been selected as a charging station and installation services partner for the e-Golf. ChargePoint® was chosen to complete the driver experience by providing VW branded stations to all e-Golf dealerships and access to the largest network of public EV charging stations.

Bosch® will provide a suite of 240-volt charging options, including the Power Max charging station, as well as full-service installation for e-Golf drivers. The charging station and installation will be offered at highly competitive prices.

A Bosch Vehicle Charging Advisor will support customers through the entire installation process, including:

  1. No-cost, on-site quotation
  2. Local permit application, coordination, and inspection
  3. Installation completed by a Bosch Certified Electrician

All Volkswagen e-Golf owners will be given automatic access to the ChargePoint network, the largest in the world with more than 18,000 charging locations. Every e-Golf will come with a ChargePoint membership card in the car at no additional cost, giving owners far greater opportunities to charge their cars while on the go. About 60 percent of stations on the ChargePoint network are free to use and drivers can start a session with their ChargePoint card, the ChargePoint mobile app or by calling the support line listed on the station.

In addition, all Volkswagen e-Golf dealerships will have the latest generation ChargePoint stations with VW branding, installed by Bosch. The stations will be available for public use and dealers will use them to walk prospective buyers through EV charging. All e-Golf drivers will also get access to the ChargePoint mobile app, where they can navigate to stations, see real-time status updates (to see if the station is in use, available or down) and start charging sessions.

“We are delighted that Bosch is going to provide stations and installation services and are thrilled to provide our e-Golf drivers access to the ChargePoint network,” said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy. “Although the e-Golf is not the first BEV to market in the U.S., we are taking a holistic approach to e-Mobility. We want to offer the most competitive suite of services for what we think is the most versatile and most fun-to-drive electric vehicle on the market.”

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 644 independent U.S. dealers.

This article is a repost, credit: Volkswagen.

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A Supercharging Milestone, By The Tesla Motors Team

July 10, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Model S, Supercharger, Tesla

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

In June, Tesla’s Supercharger network passed a charging milestone, delivering more than 1 GWh of energy to Model S vehicles in a single month. That energy accounts for a collective 3.7 million miles driven, 168,000 gallons of gas saved, and 4.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide offset. That’s like driving to the moon and back seven and a half times, and nixing a day’s worth of CO2 from 73,684 Americans.

Tesla’s Supercharger network is now the largest fast-charging network on the planet. It’s also the world’s fastest-growing charging network.

At a Supercharger, Model S customers can get half a charge in as little as 20 minutes, and it’s totally free. Supercharger routes now span the entire width of the United States, from Los Angeles to New York, as well as up and down the East Coast and the West Coast. By the end of next year, 98 percent of the U.S. population will be within 100 miles of a Supercharger. We are also aggressively expanding the network in Europe and Asia. Last week alone, we opened eight new Supercharging sites in Europe, bringing the total number of stations on the continent to 32. We unveiled China’s first Superchargers in June and more are coming soon.

You can find a Model S charging at a Supercharger any given second of the day, and to date Superchargers have powered a total of 24.7 million miles of driving – which means the world has been spared the burning of 1.1 million gallons of gasoline.

For more details on the continued global expansion of the Supercharger network, visit

This article is a repost, credit: Tesla.

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Ride onboard with Virgin Racing (Formula E)

July 10, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Photo courtesy of Formula E

Video courtesy of Formula E.