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Archive for December, 2011

Sears to offer the Evatran Plugless Power Wireless Electric Car Charger

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Sears to offer EV customers the Evatran Plugless Power Wireless Electric Car Charger!

2012 Electric Cars Unplugged

If the idea of inserting a plug to your vehicle every time you need to charge up is a pain, here’s promising news: Sears has connected with Evatran to sell the wireless

Evatran's Plugless Power

charging systems for residential and commercial use. The Evatran system, known as Plugless Power, means that you could simply drive to your office or home garage and jump from the vehicle without needing to worry that you simply didn’t remember to hook it up.  This of course might not be among life’s large problems but getting a vehicle that will not go is worse than getting an iPad that is not juiced up, so you shouldn’t be too quick to laugh about this.

Installation will be handled by Sears Home Services that has been setting up home appliances and electronics for many years.

“Sears is very excited to announce this agreement with Evatran to support the installation and servicing of these stations. We look forward to being one of the leaders in this growing industry,” said Stu Reed, SVP and President, Home Services at Sears Holdings.

The companies say the benefits of the Sears-Evatran agreement includes:

  • Simplified Purchasing: Evatran will offer Plugless Power systems with optional basic or standard home installation wrapped into the purchase price of the equipment; this full price may be included in the vehicle purchase or lease at the time of sale.
  • Pre-Installation Site Visits: Site visits, as necessary to quote non-standard and commercial installations, will be completed in advance of installations.
  • Timely Installation: Sears will receive automatic notification of a customer’s installation request; Sears will contact the customer within one business day of equipment purchase to schedule home installation.
  • Convenient Additional Services: Sears will offer ongoing service and maintenance to Plugless Power owners.

Sears installation network technicians will be trained and certified on the wireless charging systems and will work with Evatran to structure a comprehensive launch plan for aftermarket systems throughout 2012, the companies said.

Product offerings will initially focus on Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf models but Sears and Evatran said they will quickly expand to include additional electric vehicles. Installation will be offered with the sale of each Plugless Power system and priced based on the customer’s home and current electrical service. Sears will also offer commercial installation for electric vehicle fleet owners and managers.

Aftermarket systems will be available for installation starting in 2012 for Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt models. A specific geographic rollout plan will be announced next year with final installation pricing for basic and standard home installations.

Tesla Motors TSLA recently Adds Fresh Faces to Management Team

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

EV Manufacturer Tesla Motors recently Adds Fresh Faces to Management Team!

Tesla Motors Inc, (NasdaqGS: TSLA) is a company that is making a big name for itself in the electric vehicle market.  The company was founded by a group of Silicon Valley engineers back in 2003 and since that time, the company has been working hard to create efficient, stylish electric vehicles that consumers will want to drive.  The company strives to reduce dependence on petroleum while also working to decrease the cost of EVs, and with each new model, the company is coming closer to achieving these goals.  Of course, no company can achieve greatness and perfection without talented and motivated experts to help facilitate the process, and in August 2011, Tesla announced the addition of four new members of their management team

These new members represent top talents from the tech, travel, and manufacturing industries.  The first addition is Greg Reichow, who has been appointed as the lead for powertrain

Greg Reichow

manufacturing operations for the company.  Reichow is expected to help make existing lines more efficient while also helping to increase innovation on future projects and designs.

Peter Carlsson

Peter Carlsson is another newcomer to Tesla Motors.  Carlsson comes from NXP semiconductors, where he actually helped to build a successful global purchasing organization.  His expertise will help him to lead supply chain and purchases for Tesla so that he can help ensure greater quality and timeliness while also helping to boost the company’s overall cost efficiency in a number of ways.

Ravi Simhambhafta has been hired on to help Tesla Motors streamline their information and technology platform so that they can not only provide greater efficiency within, but so that they can work to improve the customer experience as well.  Ravi was a founder and CIO at Virgin America and

Ravi Simhambhafta joins TSLA

Ravi Simhambhafta

helped to build both the website and the IT platform for the award winning airline.

Last is John Hillegass, whose experience includes work with the likes of HP, Intel, Pixar, and more.  Hillegass has overseen the creation and development of new stores for a variety of his clients, and his 25 years of experience will help Tesla design and build successful retail stores across the country.

In all, these individuals represent four very experienced additions to Tesla’s team.  But if we have learned anything about Tesla Motors since their creation, it is that the company works not as a group of individuals, but as a team that truly works together on all fronts.  Tesla has already experienced great success in the EV market, and these new managers will certainly help to increase the company’s success in the future.

More info on Tesla Motors Officers/Directors check Yahoo finance: http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=TSLA&ql=1

Or Tesla’s Website: http://www.teslamotors.com/

OTHER EV INDUSTRY COMPANIES TO WATCH:
Nissan Motor Co - Nissan Leaf:  http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/index#/leaf-electric-car/index

Mitsubishi - i-MiEV: http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/special/ev/

Fisker Automotive - Fisker Karma: http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/en-us

Ford - Ford Electric: http://www.ford.com/technology/electric/

GM - Chevrolet Volt (hybrid): http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car/

Toyota EV & Hybrids: http://www.toyota.com/concept-vehicles/rav4ev.html

EVCA CNG Industry Article: Better Business with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

In August of 2011, the California-based “Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market” proudly announced the use of 25 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) operated vehicles within its distribution fleet. This is a reflection of the company’s desire for and policies around the use of less energy than most of its competitors in the food industry. What needs to be assessed in this solid example of earth friendly “big business” is how this use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is passed on to shoppers in the form of reduced food costs.

Here’s how it works – the company already has hybrid refrigeration units that transport food and yet keep it at safe temperatures while in motion or parked at delivery and storage locations. They worked with the United States Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition, and Ryder System, Inc. to purchase the fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) delivery trucks that would produce 30% fewer emissions than other vehicles of the same size and transportation capabilities.

By using the hybrid cooling along with the advanced Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) delivery equipment, the company is dramatically cutting transportation, storage, and refrigeration expenses. By doing this they can then reduce the costs of the foods that they sell in each of their stores. For example, if it now costs 20% less to obtain and distribute strawberries, this will be reflected in a notable decrease in the cost of the fruit when put up for sale.

This sort of system proves that CNG fleet vehicles are one of the best ways to save the environment while simultaneously helping consumers to enjoy more affordable lives. What is interesting to note is that this same sort of approach could leave consumers open to some of the abuses that the major fuel companies have perpetuated. Consider that the Pakistani government has continually increased the prices of commuter tickets even as they rely on thousands of CNG vehicles. The reasoning for the escalating prices is open to dispute, but many believe that it has to do with the desire of the government to pass on financial difficulties to the consumer market even as the costs of operating public transportation decline.

What this all means is that there is a tremendous amount of potential in the CNG vehicle industry. It also shows that some of the world’s most polluting vehicles can be easily replaced with buses and trucks that produce around 30% fewer emissions, with some reaching around 90% fewer emissions too.

The Chevy Volt Promised Greater Efficiency than Hybrids - Did it happen?

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Electric vehicles are gaining rapidly in popularity, and with the end of 2011 bringing us a large number of EVs, there is little wonder why so many states and cities are working hard to install electric charging stations in public areas.  EVs are expected to sell fairly well in big cities, especially among two car families looking for a vehicle to be used primarily for city driving and commuting.  The Chevy Volt is one of the newest entrants in the EV game, and the car is promising big benefits over traditional hybrid vehicles.

One thing to understand about the Chevy Volt is that while the car does consume gas, it does not power the car.  Instead, the car has a range of about 35 miles that it can run on battery alone when fully charged.  After this initial period is up, the car’s generator kicks on to keep it powered.  This generator is the part of the car that is fueled by gas.  This certainly helps lower emissions, but it also serves to greatly increase overall gas mileage.  For consumers driving less than 35 miles per day, it is possible to go significant periods of time without ever consuming any of the gas in the car.

As to whether or not the car is more efficient than a traditional hybrid vehicle, the answer is an absolute yes for people who will be doing less than 35 miles of driving per day.  The cars will generally offer better performance even on longer drives, but if you plan to use your vehicle for frequent long distance trips, you will certainly experience a significant reduction in fuel efficiency.  The Chevy Volt is designed for the average city dweller and short distance driver and makes an ideal second car.

One thing that should be noted about the Chevy Volt is that the car has been given an EPA estimated fuel rating of over 90MPG.  This takes into account the daily driving habits of the average user, however, which is someone taking the vehicle to and from work and on daily errands.  The Chevy Volt certainly offers greater fuel economy than hybrid and traditional vehicles, as well as lower long term maintenance costs.  When coupled with the $7,500 Federal rebate currently being offered on the vehicle, it is certainly something that city dwellers, daily commuters, and two car households would be well advised to consider.

So whats better, Nissan’s Leaf all electric car or GM’s Chevy Volt EV/Hybrid?

Interesting Approaches to Electric Vehicle (EV’s)

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Over the years we have all been able to monitor the ways that electric vehicles (EV’s) have increased in popularity and capability. Though early models were simply equipped with large arrays of batteries, today we can find a huge number of improvements and options. For this brief discussion on the most recent evolutions in electric vehicles (EV’s) we’ll consider Israel’s use of Better Place cars, solar powered electrical powering poles and stations, and the release of the fully electric Focus in the United States.

We’ll begin this look at interesting approaches to the use of electric vehicles (EV’s) with a review of the innovative system about to be launched in Israel. The Better Place vehicles come with a promise of around 20 percent savings in annual automotive expenses for their owners, but they do this through a series of unique concepts. The first is that the system uses a monthly membership plan similar to most cell phone plans. This locks the costs of operating the Renault Fluence Z.E.s into a fixed range and requires only that the driver “swap” batteries at the appropriate stations when necessary. The company also has a nice package deal that will actually decrease total costs by 35% by including three years of use of the car, all of the battery swaps needed, all service fees, and around 25km in mileage per year. The company indicates that it isn’t just making electric vehicles (EV’s) possible, but also affordable – which is something that is a major challenge in the industry.

Another great challenge with EVs is the fact that they need to have access to charging stations, but there are not a lot of them available at the current time. This is being changed in many ways including the recent “launch” of the first solar “tracking” pole station in the state of Maryland. Originally the concept created by children of the real estate developer who installed the device, the idea was to mount solar panels that track or follow the sun to a special utility pole. This pole would then serve a few cars at a time. The very first was installed in Bethesda, MD in August of 2011.

Of course this sort of concept is going to come in very handy as the first full fleets of electric vehicles begin rolling out across the U.S. In 2012, the states of California and New York will be the first recipients of fully electric Ford Focus vehicles. These are cars that will require the presence of such things as charging poles, and fortunately the timing is almost perfect!

EV NEWS: California and New York Poised for First Ford Focus EV Release

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

California and New York Poised for First Ford Focus EV Release

When Ford Motor Company announced that the Ford Focus would soon be available as a fully electric car, eco-minded consumers everywhere sat up and took notice. As Ford unveiled more and more details about their electric cars, order numbers went up rapidly. While Ford quickly shut down rumors that the release of the vehicle would be delayed, it was recently announced that most markets would not see the vehicle until spring of 2012, when production of the vehicles would increase. 19 target markets will receive their vehicles in early 2012, but for California and New York, the wait is considerably shorter.

Ford has long promised that the initial delivery of its all-electric Focus EV would come at the end of 2011, and for consumers in the California and New York markets, which the company has long been focused on, this will certainly be the case. evcarco, evcaThe vehicles are set to be delivered by year’s end, where lucky consumers will be able to be the first in the world to get to drive and report on these exciting electric vehicles. Release of the EVs in these two areas makes sense not only because of higher populations and more media coverage, but because both have worked exceptionally hard on the installation of charging stations throughout the states- something that will be necessary to combat the range anxiety that many owners of electric cars feel when driving far from home.

Because the average electric car can drive around 100 miles without needing a charge, many consumers are worried that vehicles like the Ford Focus EV will leave them stranded away from home and away from the ability to charge. In areas like San Francisco, however, this has been combated by the installation of numerous charging stations throughout the Bay area, including many rapid charging stations.

evcarco, evca

For many, access to these stations within close proximity to work means the ability to receive a full charge during the work day and to be able to charge the vehicle again at home if needed. But with the average commute equaling far less

than 100 miles, most consumers will be pleased to learn that the Ford Focus EV should stand up to daily driving needs without any anxieties needed. While cross country trips will take a great deal of planning, most Americans will find that EVs are perfectly designed to offer more efficient and economical commutes with less environmental impact and far less financial cost.

EVCARCO’s Early Review of the Fisker Karma

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

EVCARCO’s Early Review of the Fisker Karma

Putting out a review of the Fisker Karma is hard. It has only been out for a very short time now, the price tag is well over $100k, and most importantly, there are very, very few of them in the United States. Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Ray Lane was lucky enough to be one of the first in the nation to get his hands on the car, and already he has set a lofty goal- to use the car daily for a full year without ever consuming a drop of gas. A big project? Absolutely. An impossible feat? Not for the Karma.

One thing we learned about the Karma fairly quickly was that the car can go a fairly impressive 50 miles daily without needing to use any gas at all. After this, the owner needs to simply switch the car to sport mode to engage the 2.0 liter engine that will charge the battery while providing another 250 miles of driving range. For those who stay under 50 miles per day, far less than the average commute, this certainly indicates that it really is possible to never need gasoline. Considering that many corporations around the globe are installing recharging stations, even those with slightly longer commutes may be able to recharge during work in order to avoid using gas in their vehicles at all.

Depending on your driving style, the Fisker Karma can range from 100 to unlimited miles per gallon. The only real complaint that users so far seem to have with the car is that the engine can get slightly loud whenever the vehicle is making use of the gas engine. To that end, however, Fisker plans to have each car retrofitted with a quieter exhaust by the end of 2011.

In terms of design, the Karma both looks and feels like a luxury vehicle. Showing off the skills possessed by Fisker, the companies CEO and a former Aston Martin designer, the exterior of the Karma is exceptionally sleek. The interior of the car is quite luxurious as well, offering recycled wood as well as the option for leather or an animal free interior. Add in a touch screen infotainment system, tons of leg and head room, and plenty of other options, and you have a car that is as fun to drive as it is eco-friendly. The Fisker Karma is truly a luxury electric vehicle with something big to prove to a market that seems hesitant to trust EVs.

Other news:

Electric-Car-Hating Top Gear Names Fisker Karma Luxury Car Of The Year‎

Top Gear Crowns 2012 Fisker Karma ‘Car of the Year’‎ PluginCars.com

Anaheim’s hybrid Fisker Karma in action

FISKER KARMA LANDS DOUBLE HONORS AT 2011 BBC TOP GEAR AWARDS …‎ CisionWire (press release)

Fisker Still Promises 15000 Cars Next Year

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