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Posts Tagged ‘electric vehciles’

Charging your new Nissan LEAF

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Henry Ford’s gasoline-powered cars wouldn’t have become the standard transportation of the 20th century without gas stations. And electric vehicles won’t become the next-generation car unless there are charging stations.

That’s why the introduction of electric vehicles on the West Coast coincides with a planned charging network stretching from British Columbia to Baja California.

Charging stations now can be seen in some Intel parking lots and at Portland General Electric’s headquarters. Soon they will be found in more places, including the homes of electric vehicle owners.

Local governments, businesses and the auto industry are betting that electric cars will amount to 20 percent of new vehicles sold in Oregon within the decade, and they’re working together to make sure there are plenty of places to charge.

Gary Graunke owns two electric cars he built himself: one from a Honda Insight and another from a Toyota Prius. Both were hybrid cars using gas engines and electricity, until Graunke converted them to all- electric vehicles. He has two 240-volt outlets in his garage where he charges them with enough electricity to get him to his job at Intel.

He also ordered Nissan’s electric Leaf, introduced last month in Oregon. Graunke, 61, is co-chairman of the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association and has been thinking about electric cars since the 1960s, when he heard some General Motors engineers say fuel-cell cars were just around the corner.

Car manufacturers know they could count on true believers like Graunke who are passionate about electric cars. What they need are people like Jared and Charlotte Townsley of Tigard, who aren’t mechanical geeks that spend time taking cars apart and putting them together.

They pre-ordered a Leaf back in July, and figure they’ll need a 240-volt outlet in their garage to charge the new car.

Three levels of chargingSoon there will be an estimated 1,200 public car-charging facilities in Oregon, with more than half of those in the Portland area. Hundreds more will be installed in garages of electric car owners.

A regular 110-volt garage outlet will suffice, but it can put a strain on a home’s electrical system. Known as Level 1 charging, a 110-volt outlet takes eight to 14 hours to charge an electric car.

Level 2 chargers require 240-volt outlets, and can provide a full charge in 4 to 6 hours. Level 3 chargers, requiring 480 volts of power, can recharge a car battery to 80 percent capacity in a half-hour or less.

The cost to install a charging outlet in a home garage could range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, says Art James, innovative partnerships project director at the Oregon Department of Transportation. The upper-end figure is a worst-case scenario such as when a 1920s house with an original fuse box requires a new service panel.

Nissan Leaf buyers participating in a special electric vehicle partnership program get their Level 2 home-charging unit for free, James notes.

Outside the home, some public and corporate charging stations will offer recharging at no cost.

Companies are offering it as a benefit for patrons, James says. Lincoln City has installed several.

http://www.electroleaf.net

EV Innovation: One inventor wants to boost EVs Range with a towable turbine

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

San Francisco’s P Youthful Museum is really a modernist copper-and-glass statement that challenges the attention and mind to consider past the quotidian. Exactly the same could be stated for that funky vehicle and it is oddball trailer parked just next door in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Should you thought the all-electric Nissan Leaf would be a walk into the near future, Phil Sadow would love you to consider again.

“What you are searching at is really a gas-powered Capstone turbine engine that spins at 100,000 revoltions per minute, but only has one moving part and may help electric vehicle proprietors circumvent the possible lack of quick-charging stations,” Sadow states, starting right into a flurry of scientific jargon that’s the San Francisco Bay Area engineer’s natural language.

When Nissan revealed its Leaf EV this past year, the wedge-like machine lifted the spirits associated with a driver disgruntled through the Who Wiped out The Electrical Vehicle? era. None much more than Sadow, who was raised criss-crossing the nation because of his father’s job using the electric golf buggy giant, E-Z-Go.

“You can tell I acquired the EV bug early, around age 7,” Sadow states.Skip forward couple ofseveral decades, which kid has become an electric engineering whiz that has become consumed with creating this version from the electric vehicle live.

“Transpire is always to make EV’s successful, because it is factoronly factor that’s likely to save us,” statesaccording to him. “The west is dependant on cars, so that is not vanishing. However when oil becomes scarce, our economy will most likely tank given our addiction to foreign oil. I simply hope what we are doing is not not enough past too far.Inch

Sadow is a component of the growing number of savvy fanatics who’re wanting to enhance whatever alternative-fuel automobiles auto producers can produce. In lots of ways, this smart number of renegades aren’t unlike the garage-based computer nerds who, in the past from the PC, compromised around to be able to find more effective methods of the machines to operate.

Hacker, however, is really a term which make Sadow wrinkle his nose. “We’re making appropriately designed items,” he states. “We are not hacking things together.”

Although Sadow themself drives a heavily modified Prius — run by a 6.5 kilowatt-hour battery power and monitoring system of their own devising — he understood that Leaf proprietors would benefit most out of his brainstorms. His first thought had related to japan EV’s 120-volt energy cord, which could re-charge the Leaf in around 20 hrs, “that is just way too lengthy to become practical.”

Joining track of fellow EV enthusiast Mark Dutko, EVSE Upgrade was created. The internet company sells re-designed Leaf energy cords for $240, which may be blocked into 240-volt connections — what most houses have for any washer/dryer or spa — therefore reducing re-charge occasions close to seven hrs. Another $25 buys a fast-220, a forked adapter that enables the Leaf to charge off two separate 110-volt shops.

Dutko will not release sales figures, but he states EVSE Upgrade has put connects to the hands close to 15 % from the nation’s 7,000 Leaf proprietors. Nissan hasn’t endorsed Sadow’s invention, something he finds vexing.

“It’s certainly simple for individuals to panic,Inch he states, referencing the fires some Chevrolet Volt proprietors faced consequently of this plug-in hybrid’s energy cord issues. “However I think overall there’s an excessive amount of untrue stories available.”

Sadow states he’s heard no reviews of incidents from his clients. That’s given him the impetus to further upgrade the Leaf. Next is really a $150 tweak towards the car’s climate controls. In the as-shipped condition, the Leaf’s heater — a substantial energy drain, because it does not come with an car engine producing spare warmth — can’t be turn off using the press of the mouse, much the means by a regular vehicle the energy-drawing AC could be shut lower with one touch.

“Using what we are developing, the Leaf owner can very simply turn off the heat tank,Inch states Sadow. “What we should find is the fact that with many EV proprietors, an obsession evolves around mileage. People wish to go so far as they are able to off electric power charge, and do not want almost anything to get when it comes to that mission.”

Sadow happily announces he has not put gas in the Prius since last March.

Such obsession is part associated with a new technological boom, states Andy Frank, the plug-in hybrid pioneer whose transmission system improvements produced as they was in the College of California-Davis happen to be licensed to a different firm he’s managing, Efficient Drivetrains, Corporation.

“Should you look in time, the beginning associated with a new technologies have found people tinkering, in the Model T on up,” states Frank. “I performed with hot rods like a kid. Exactly the same is happening with plug-inches and hybrid cars. It’s a part of American culture.”

Frank salutes leaders for example Sadow, but, like a passionate Volt owner, thinks that plug-in hybrid cars possess the best possibility of beginning a genuine automotive revolution due largely towards the vexing problem of re-charging EVs, whose range typically tops out around 100 miles.

“For brief drives out and about, my Volt runs only on electric,” states Frank. “But when I were an EV owner and needed to move from Davis to Bay Area and back, I’d need to rent a vehicle.”

That kind of talk will get Sadow’s motor running. Actually, he was partially driven to action by EV owners’ frustration over both how gradually electric re-charging stations are now being folded out by the prices - $6,000 or even more - of in-home re-charging models.

“I needed a means for individuals to recharge without resorting to city assessments and major electrical rewiring projects,” he states.

What quickly adopted suit was the Leaf’s upgraded plug, its enhanced Air conditioning system, and — perhaps his most impressive if up to now not scaleable invention — a transportable electrical powerplant that will get towed behind the Leaf.

It’s this contraption which has Golden Gate Park drivers slowing down and bike riders preventing.

“Uh, what’s that factor?” asks a biker because he pulls a set of buds from his ears.

Sadow does not have to be requested two times within minutes, he’s off and running having a science-heavy explanation of methods he fabricated a tow-hitch to drag a micro-turbine given by gas you can use to charge the vehicle from zero to 80 % in about half an hour (the final 20 % takes another 40 minutes), or utilized on-the-go therefore stretching the plethora of the EV as lengthy because the gas lasts.

“This can be a evidence of concept, and we are still tinkering,” states Sadow, explaining the way the somewhat bulky package may ultimately be sleek right into a sleek tow-able oblong. He stays he mind within the turbine’s exhaust and sucks inside a lungful of air. “It’s cleaner than most air you breathe,” he states.

The price of Sadow’s portable generator continues to be within the prohibitive category, around $30,000. But he’s going to bring that lower, in addition to expand the scope of the potential marketplace for the invention. He’d particularly prefer to interest traditional gasoline stations covering the country’s interstates. “Not just could they assist EV proprietors fill, however they could likely get free heating for his or her garages” because of towards the extreme warmth produced through the turbine, states Sadow.

Not sometime ago, Sadow reached demonstrate his invention in a gathering of EV fans for Hidetoshi Kadota, Nissan’s chief vehicle engineer for that Leaf. Sadow reviews that although impressed, Kadota felt such improvements would only attract “techies, but that is not really a fair description of who Leaf proprietors are,” states Sadow. “Should you continue any EV discussions groups (online), you’ll find yourself speaking to everybody from doctors to mechanics, Dems and Republicans. We are just individuals who want to get rid of the earth, and believe that cars make the perfect starting point.Inch

Sadow shrugs. “I possibly could make much more money talking to than I actually do with EVSE, however i am going to help begin to see the EV grow,” he states. He then confesses for an odd dream to have an entrepreneur.

“Eventually, we’ll get beyond these habits that we have produced over decades, of seeing a service station to fill on oil therefore we can drive these noisy, smelly gadgets,” he states. “When on that day comes and you will find a lot more EVs on the highway in addition to easy methods to recharge them, I’m going to be happily bankrupt.”

Nissan Leaf and Household Power

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Nissan Leaf and Household Power

One of the biggest news stories to come from the world of EVs (electric vehicles) during 2011 was the announcement by Nissan that their Nissan Leaf could actually provide emergency energy supplies to a home during the event of a power outage or failure. They went on to explain that the Nissan Leaf (due to reach consumer markets in 2012) has the option for two-way energy flow. This means that the vehicle can accept energy into its batteries, but that a simple switch can re-direct that energy back into the charging station, and then back to the source. In that case, say the carmakers, the Nissan Leaf can operate a home should the power supplies be interrupted or fail.

They went on to indicate that the car could keep the average American home functioning for roughly 20 hours after the power loss. So, is it possible? That is something that will not be determined until the vehicles appear in the spring season of 2012. What people do know about the Nissan Leaf is that the car has a power control system rated at 6,000 watts with lithium-ion batteries capable of storing up to 24,000 kilowatts for up to two days at a time. Continue reading “Nissan Leaf and Household Power” »

Fisker Karma Closer to Final Release

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

The Fisker Karma is heading our way after a long and painstaking development. The plug-in hybrid sports/luxury car will see its first examples delivered to high-profile celebrities and political figures, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore, and Colin Powell.

So far a total of 3,000 cars are ordered. At present five cars a week are being built at the Valmet production plant in Finland, with production set to rise to 300 cars a week from November. This means the Karma is sold out until sometime in early 2012. According to Henrik Fisker the orders are split 50/50 between early-adopter hybrid/electric enthusiasts and wealthy buyers that just like having the next new thing.

Secondly, they believe that a new gearbox it is developing for electric motors can help deliver “Veyron levels of performance” for extended-range electric vehicles. A multi-speed gearbox could significantly improve acceleration and performance of cars. In the end it all depends on the reliability of the setup.

The first drive tests are starting. Fisker Santa Monica recently held an exclusive test drive event for future customers. Professional drive Kyle Shields goes into detail below about what makes the Karma so unique.
Fisker Karma Test Drive

EV Revolution Has Begun - Walgreen Pledges to Host 800 E.V. Chargers by End of 2011

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Walgreen (NYSE: WAG) describes itself as the nation’s largest drugstore chain, and the company has another superlative to promote. On Thursday, it vowed to become the country’s biggest host for public electric vehicle charging stations by the end of the year. In total, stores will have about 800 EV charging points.

“Our stores are located along major commuting corridors, so we saw this as a great way to serve the environment,” said Menno Enters, director of energy and sustainability at Walgreen, in a telephone interview. “We got a great customer response from the first stations we hosted, so for us this is a great fit. A national rollout seemed like the right thing to do.”

Walgreen said that its providers already had installed or were in the process of installing chargers at 60 stores in Houston, the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Chicago.

The retailer has signed on partners including 350Green, a charging-infrastructure provider, to perform the installations. The introduction will begin with the New York metropolitan area, particularly the outer boroughs, according to Tim Mason, the president and co-founder of 350Green. The company will account for 425 of the nationwide total. Continue reading “EV Revolution Has Begun - Walgreen Pledges to Host 800 E.V. Chargers by End of 2011” »

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