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Venucia charges ahead in China

May 16, 2014 in China, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Nissan

BEIJING, China – Venucia, Dongfeng Nissan’s local brand in China, has unveiled its fourth production model – the R30 – amid plans to increase sales by 50% this year.

The two-year old brand sold more than 100,000 units in 2013, a 152% increase from a year earlier.

Ren Yong, deputy managing director of Dongfeng Nissan, says the latest model will appeal to first-time buyers, especially those outside of China’s biggest cities.

“Customers in the third- and fourth-tier cities appreciate affordable cars, but they must also be attractive,” said Ren. “The car [R30] will be priced at less than 50,000 yuan ($8,000). In China, no other joint-venture auto manufacturer has an offer at this competitive price.”

Venucia will increase the network of full-service dealerships from 160 to 180 this year and boost the total number of dealers to over 1,500 to support sales.

This year also marks an important milestone for the all-electric Venucia e30, which will go on sale ahead of schedule in September.

More than 300 units of the EV have been on trial with various government agencies and have racked up more than a 1 million kilometers on China’s roads. Another 1,000 EVs will also be delivered to the Dalian government this year.

“China needs to solve its energy crunch, so the government is very keen on new energy and electric vehicles and promoting various measures,” said Ren. “Consumers are also starting to be more interested in clean energy and EVs and the new driving experience that they offer. So there are opportunities in the market.”

Nissan hopes the e30, which begins production at the Huadu plant in July, will help boost sales as it charges ahead in China.

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Photo courtesy of Nissan

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

Tesla in a Troubled World

September 7, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Oil, Politics, Tesla

"Fashion Week may be taking over NYC but Fremont has 500 #ModelS headed down the catwalk every week." - Tesla tweet (9-6-13) Photo courtesy of Tesla

“Fashion Week may be taking over NYC, but Fremont has 500 #ModelS headed down the catwalk every week.” Tesla tweet (9-6-13)
Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla stock (TSLA) closed Friday at $166.97 per share, down 1.74%.  The stock has had a great run, so it is not surprising to see a bit of a pullback.  Considering all the various troubles in the world over the past month, TSLA has been a well behaved stock.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk may have behavior on his mind with his upcoming trip with the kids.  Mr. Musk tweeted on 9-5-13: “Just finalized the LA to NY family road trip route in Model S.  6 day, 3200 mile journey with only 9 hrs spent charging.”  Are we there yet?  Hopefully, Mr. Musk and the kids have fun on this historic trip across the US in a Model S via Supercharger.  Mr. Musk added: “At 1.5 hrs/day, we will only ever need to charge when stopping anyway to eat or sightsee, never just for charging itself.”

World Troubles

  • Syria
  • Oil
  • Asian currencies
  • Rising US interest rates

On the various world troubles front, the Syria issue has pumped up the price of oil (WTI oil $110.53).  Any military involvement by the West in the Middle East is cause for concern for oil traders.  Oil is likely to be very volatile in the coming days and weeks depending on the headlines.

Pope Francis made a splash across the headlines, which was certainly good for Catholicism.  He paused the world.  

India’s currency has had a much needed pause.  The Rupee is currently 65.25 to the US Dollar, off its low of 68.85, due in part to news about a BRICS currency stabilization fund being organized (BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).  These countries have not determined all the specifics yet; however, China will likely be the dominate player since it has agreed to deposit the largest sum into the fund.

US interest rates have been edging higher.  The US 10 year Treasury is 2.93%.  It is doubtful that interest rates can rise too far due to high oil prices.  Overall, oil remains the ruthless dictator over growth in the global economy with interest rates playing a minor thuggish role.

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New analyses find evidence of human-caused climate change in half of the 12 extreme weather and climate events analyzed from 2012, Source: NOAA

September 6, 2013 in Climate Change, Environment, EV News, Greentech

The "Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective" report was published today by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. (Full report). Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Courtesy of NOAA

The “Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective” report was published today (9-5-13) by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. (Full report).
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy
Courtesy of NOAA

Human influences are having an impact on some extreme weather and climate events, according to the report “Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective” released today by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Overall, 18 different research teams from around the world contributed to the peer-reviewed report that examined the causes of 12 extreme events that occurred on five continents and in the Arctic during 2012. Scientists from NOAA served as three of the four lead editors on the report.

The report shows that the effects of natural weather and climate fluctuations played a key role in the intensity and evolution of the 2012 extreme events. However, in some events, the analyses revealed compelling evidence that human-caused climate change, through the emission of heat-trapping gases, also contributed to the extreme event.

“This report adds to a growing ability of climate science to untangle the complexities of understanding natural and human-induced factors contributing to specific extreme weather and  climate events,” said Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). “Nonetheless, determining the causes of extreme events remains challenging.”

In addition to investigating the causes of these extreme events, the multiple analyses of four of the events — the warm temperatures in the United States, the record-low levels of Arctic sea ice, and the heavy rain in both northern Europe and eastern Australia — allowed the scientists to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of their various  methods of analysis. Despite their different strategies, there was considerable agreement between the assessments of the same events.

Thomas Peterson, Ph.D., principal scientist at NOAA’s NCDC and one of the lead editors on the report, said, “Scientists around the world assessed a wide variety of potential contributing factors to these major extreme events that, in many cases, had large impacts on society. Understanding the range of influences on extreme events helps us to better understand how and why extremes are changing.”

Location and type of events analyzed in the Paper. Image Credit: NOAA Courtesy of NOAA

Location and type of events analyzed in the Paper.
Image Credit: NOAA
Courtesy of NOAA

Key findings include:

Heat Wave and Drought  in United States:

  • Human-induced climate change had little impact on the lack of precipitation in the central United States in 2012.
  • The 2012 spring and summer heat waves in the U.S. can be mainly explained by natural atmospheric dynamics, however, human-induced climate change was found to be a factor in the magnitude of warmth and was found to have affected the likelihood of such heat waves. For example:
  • High temperatures, such as those experienced in the U.S. in 2012 are now likely to occur four times as frequently due to human-induced climate change.
  • Approximately 35 percent of the extreme warmth experienced in the eastern U.S. between March and May 2012 can be attributed to human-induced climate change.

Hurricane Sandy Inundation Probability:

  • The record-setting impacts of Sandy were largely attributable to the massive storm surge and resulting inundation from the onshore-directed storm path coincident with high tide. However, climate-change related increases in sea level have nearly doubled today’s annual probability of a Sandy-level flood recurrence as compared to 1950. Ongoing natural and human-induced forcing of sea level ensures that Sandy-level inundation events will occur more frequently in the future from storms with less intensity and lower storm surge than Sandy.

Arctic Sea Ice:

  • The extremely low Arctic sea ice extent in summer 2012 resulted primarily from the melting of younger, thin ice from a warmed atmosphere and ocean. This event cannot be explained by natural variability alone. Summer Arctic sea ice extent will continue to decrease in the future, and is expected to be largely absent by mid-century.

Global Rainfall Events:

  • The unusually high amount of summer rainfall in the United Kingdom in 2012 was largely the result of natural variability. However, there is evidence that rainfall totals are influenced by increases in sea surface temperature and atmospheric moisture which may be linked to human influences on climate.
  • The magnitude of the extreme rainfall  experienced over southeastern Australia between October 2011 and March 2012 was mainly associated with La Niña conditions. However, the likelihood of above-average precipitation during March  was found to have increased by 5 percent to 15 percent because of human  influences on the climate.
  • Extreme rainfall events such as the December 2011 two-day rainfall in Golden Bay, New Zealand, are more likely to occur due to a 1 percent to 5 percent increase in available moisture resulting from increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • The July 2012 extreme rainfall events in North China and southwestern Japan were mainly due to natural variability.

The report was edited by Peterson, along with Martin P. Hoerling, NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory; Peter A. Stott, UK Met Office Hadley Centre and Stephanie C. Herring of NCDC and written by 78 scientists from 11 countries. View the full report online.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.

This article is a repost, credit: NOAA,

Tesla Supercharger Networks, A New Era

September 2, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Supercharger, Tesla

Tesla Supercharger Map Norway Courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Supercharger Map Norway
Courtesy of Tesla

Tesla stock (TSLA) closed the week at $169 per share.  EV fans are certainly pleased.  TSLA investors can add an exclamation mark to that comment!  The company continues to execute on plan, if not better, which is what Wall Street likes, steadily meeting or beating expectations.  The Supercharger networks, US and Europe, are clear indications of progress.  The Tesla maps are guides to a better world, for businesses and governments to follow.  The new electric era is here.  No oil.  Zero emissions.

Tesla wasted no time getting Superchargers installed in Norway, which garnered media attention in Europe.  Yes, Tesla Europe is off and running, and the media will follow.  The company tweeted on 8-30-13: “Norway is Supercharged!  Lyngdal, Aurland, Dombås, Gol, Cinderella & Lillehammer stations opened today!”  With the Superchargers looking somewhat akin to a runic character, the Norwegians should feel right at home with these alien stations.

Photo courtesy of Tesla

Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla is making progress with US Superchargers as well.  The company tweeted on 8-29-13: “Rain or shine, Model S owners can now Supercharge for free in Woodburn, Oregon!”

In international markets, Asian stocks are trading higher.  A report showed Chinese manufacturing had expanded in August.  Bloomberg reported: “China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 51.0, an official report showed yesterday.  The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey was 50.6.”  This report would normally be bullish for oil prices, but oil has been sidelined as the market awaits a decision on Syria from Congress.

It is doubtful that China can decouple from the recent economic troubles across Asia, especially if foreign investors continue to pull monies from the region.  The real problem remains energy, high oil prices.  Until this is rectified, China’s economic growth is simply at the expense of other nations that cannot afford the oil.

The real winner is Norway:

  • Clean electric grid
  • Big oil exporter
  • Stable democracy
  • Highly educated populace and diversified economy
  • Progressive EV adoption
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CODA to Provide Energy Storage for Solar Integrated Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Station in the San Francisco Bay Area

August 29, 2013 in Battery Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, Solar

Eco-Station will create additional revenue streams and advanced functionality for site operators

CODA Energy Logo.   Image courtesy of CODA

CODA Energy Logo.
Image courtesy of CODA

MONROVIA, Calif., Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — CODA Energy, with Energy Vault and Growing Energy Labs (GELI), will deploy the first Eco-Station, a solar integrated electric vehicle (EV) fast charging station optimized by energy storage, in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The charging station will incorporate a 175 kW solar array, DC fast charging, a 40kWh CODA Core™ UDP energy storage system, and GELI’s intelligent Energy Operating System (EOS) software.

DC charging, which refuels a typical EV battery in 30-60 minutes, improves the usability of EVs by extending their effective range and enabling road trips.  These stations require high quantities of power to operate, and as a result, incur costly utility peak demand charges that can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars per month.  The Eco-Station contains a battery energy storage system (ESS) supplied by CODA Energy that mitigates this problem by serving as a buffer between the charger and the grid, lowering the charging station’s peak power demand.  The addition of GELI’s intelligent Energy Operating System (EOS) software will enable the Eco-Station to make operational decisions based on the price of power and energy, which in conjunction with demand response programs, could bring site operators new sources of revenue.

“As is the case in California, electric vehicle adoption tends to correlate with renewable energy deployment,” said Ed Solar, COO, CODA Energy. ”Energy storage complements these technologies by reducing operational costs, improving functionality, enabling new revenue streams and mitigating grid stress.”

  • Energy storage enables the Eco-Station to make smart choices with respect to electricity prices and the environment.  During peak consumption periods, costly utility demand charges are minimized.  At night, stored solar power can be used to charge vehicles and inexpensive, off-peak energy can be used to recharge the battery.  When the Eco-Station is unoccupied during the day, it can sell excess generated or stored power back to the grid and generate revenue.
  • Energy storage optimizes the delivery of zero emissions, solar electricity.  Fast charging stations with integrated solar panels typically rely on grid power – even when the sun is shining – as the power needs of the vehicles and chargers often exceed the output of the solar array.  A single CODA energy storage tower can discharge up to 100kW of power, far exceeding the capacity of common DC chargers.  This allows drivers to refuel with 100% zero emissions electricity generated on-site.  As charging systems are developed with even faster charging rates, energy storage will limit the need for expensive grid connection upgrades.
  • Energy storage enables the Eco-Station to provide valuable grid services.  The CODA ESS enables the Eco-Station to participate in utility demand response programs and provide valuable grid services, creating additional revenue streams for the station operator.  Multiple Eco-Stations connected by sophisticated network control software could become a valuable dispatchable load source during peak demand periods.

About CODA Energy

CODA Energy designs and builds scalable energy storage solutions that support a smarter, cleaner and more reliable grid.  The CODA Core UDP™ combines advanced batteries with proven battery and thermal management systems (BMS and TMS), all managed through a sophisticated power source controller.  CODA energy storage systems are optimized for generation, distribution and behind-the-meter applications for commercial and industrial end users.  CODA Energy professionals have deployed a combined 140 MW and 50 MWh of energy storage in stationary and mobile applications to date.

This article is a repost, credit: Coda Energy,

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China poised to become the world’s largest net oil importer later this year, Source: EIA

August 9, 2013 in China, EIA, EV News, Oil

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Short-Term Energy Outlook, August 2013. Note: Net oil imports are defined as total liquid fuels consumption less domestic production. Courtesy of EIA

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Short-Term Energy Outlook, August 2013.
Note: Net oil imports are defined as total liquid fuels consumption less domestic production.
Courtesy of EIA

EIA’s August 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecasts that China’s net oil imports will exceed those of the United States by October 2013 on a monthly basis and by 2014 on an annual basis, making China the largest importer of oil in the world.

The imminent emergence of China as the world’s largest net oil importer has been driven by steady growth in Chinese demand, increased oil production in the United States, and a flat level of demand for oil in the U.S. market.

U.S. total annual oil production is expected to rise by 28% between 2011 and 2014 to nearly 13 million barrels per day, primarily from shale oil, tight oil, and Gulf of Mexico deepwater plays. In the meantime, Chinese production increases at a much lower rate (6% over this period) and is forecast to be just a third of U.S. production in 2014.

On the demand side, China’s liquid fuels use is expected to grow by 13% between 2011 and 2014 to more than 11 million barrels per day while U.S. demand hovers close to 18.7 million barrels per day, well below the peak U.S. consumption level of 20.8 million barrels per day in 2005.

Looking beyond 2014, higher U.S. oil production and stagnant or declining U.S. oil consumption, coupled with China’s projected strong oil demand growth and slow oil production growth, suggest that once China replaces the United States as the world’s largest net oil importer, the gap between net oil imports in China and the United States will grow.

There are several different ways to measure oil import dependence. Discrepancies in the way dependence is assessed arise because oil is imported as crude oil but consumed as refined products, of which crude oil is the main but not only input.

Net oil imports reflect the broadest measure of liquid fuels and include the following elements in the volumes of oil liquids produced and used within national borders: crude oil, lease condensates, natural gas liquids, biofuels, other liquids, and refinery processing gain, which in the United States has been roughly 1 million barrels per day in recent years.

Another common (and narrower) measure of oil import dependence is the ratio of net imported crude oil to net crude oil inputs to refineries. The United States has emerged as a significant net exporter of petroleum products in recent years and a portion of U.S. crude oil imports is used to produce products not consumed domestically. The advent of China as the world’s largest importer based on the narrower measure occurs on a different schedule than for the broader one, but the basic trends and drivers remain the same as for the broader measure. However, imports of crude oil alone do not automatically imply domestic dependence on foreign supplies.

This article is a repost, credit: US Energy Information Administration,

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china petroleum & Chemical Corp : China July crude imports soar to record high

August 8, 2013 in China, EV News, Oil

Image courtesy of US Energy Information Administration

Image courtesy of US Energy Information Administration

China’s crude imports in July soared to a record high of 6.15 million barrels per day (bpd), up 14 percent from a month ago, as refiners replenished inventories to meet higher runs and a new condensate splitter started test operations.

China, the world’s No.2 crude buyer after the United States, shipped in 26.11 million tonnes in July, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. On a daily basis, imports rose 19.6 percent from 5.14 million bpd a year ago.

The July imports were 760,000 bpd more than June’s 5.39 million bpd, the data showed on Thursday, outstripping the previous record of 6.01 million bpd hit in May 2012.

China’s oil demand is expected to grow to 9.96 million bpd in 2013, up 3.75 percent, and account for nearly half of the global consumption growth of around 790,000 bpd, according to the latest International Energy Agency report.

Over the first seven months of the year, crude imports rose 1.4 percent to 5.65 million bpd, customs data showed.

Top Asian refiner Sinopec Corp <0386.HK> is expected to process 60 million tonnes, or 4.76 million bpd, of crude in the third quarter of this year, up 3 to 4 percent from the second quarter, energy consultancy ICIS C1 Energy has said.

China’s imports may also get a boost from purchases by Dragon Aromatics, owned by Taiwan’s Xianglu Group, which is one of China’s biggest independent petrochemical producers.

It has emerged as a regular importer of condensate since late last year and in early July started test runs at its 4 million tonnes-per-year condensate splitter, bringing in condensate from Iran and Indonesia. China counts condensate as crude oil.

Also contributing to higher overseas crude purchases will be Sinopec’s Wuhan refinery in central China, which was started up in July after its capacity was expanded to 160,000 bpd from 100,000 bpd.

China’s commercial crude oil inventories dropped 1.42 percent by the end of June from a month ago, official news agency Xinhua has said, the first fall after rising three months in a row.

China’s oil product exports were 2.03 million tonnes in July, while oil product imports were 3.25 million tonnes, leaving net oil product imports at 1.22 million tonnes, down 7.6 percent versus a year ago, the customs data showed.

(1 Tonne =7.3 barrels for crude oil conversion)

(Reporting by Judy Hua and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

This article is a repost, credit: 4 Traders,