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Updated: 13 hours 3 min ago

Allego joins Shell & Visa enabling contactless payment

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 15:47

Charging infrastructure provider Allego has launched a global scheme for contactless payment. The first such charging station opened in London today, where Allego works with Shell. A newly developed and certified standard enables payment via EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) with just a touch (NFC).

Today’s opening marks the start of what is to become a global rollout of their contactless payment scheme for which Allego managed to get all mighty and necessary partners on board. Anja van Niersen, CEO Allego, mentioned Visa in particular that helped “accelerate the deployment of the payment services”.

The new system has undergone certification and follows the security standard EMV that stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa. It works via Near Field Communication (NFC) technology meaning electric car drivers pay by just tapping their debit card, credit card or mobile phone when using Apple Pay or Google Pay at the charger’s built-in payment terminal.

The first station opened at Shell Holloway in London with the technology then being introduced across the Shell Recharge network in the UK. As from 2019 every new 50kW charger from Allego will have standard NFC at installation.

Allego is owned by French Meridiam, an infrastructure investment firm. Established in 2013, Allego’s portfolio addresses local authorities, private companies and transport firms. They are active in six European countries and installed more than 8,000 charging points so far. Their latest project will see Allego set up a high-power charging (HPC) network called MEGA-E. It includes the installation of 322 ultra-fast charging stations and 27 so-called e-charging hubs throughout Europe and aims to connect metropolitan areas and to enable continuous fast-charging in more than 20 countries. This April, the Mega-E project received 29 million euros in funding through the European Union. Initially set up together with Fortnum, Allego is now leading the initiative alone.


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Electric car startup e.Go forced to delay deliveries

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 15:04

In an almost Tesla-esque move, e.Go Mobile, the latest startup to come out of the e-mobility hotbed Aachen, has sent an email to reservation holders: The delivery of their electric car e.Go Life would be delayed by months due to suppliers exercising caution after diesel-gate.

As Elon Musk would do for Tesla, e.Go Mobile CEO Professor Günther Schuh took it upon himself to write an email to reservation holders. While all is on track from their side, he said, meaning a first batch of electric cars is being readied to leave the factory in Aachen next month, customer deliveries will be delayed, possibly until April 2019.

To give an explanation, Professor Schuh pointed to suppliers having introduced additional measures of Corporate Governance. This means they not simply deliver the components any longer but also double check whether the OEMs have assembled and integrated these as intended. Those extra checks come in response to the diesel scandal, where carmakers had tweaked third-party software (although it is not entirely clear if or, how they could have done so alone).

Although e.Go Mobile never has and never will build diesel cars, these measures mean that homologation of their e-Go Life electric car will take until April 2019. To speed up deliveries afterwards, they say they will start producing in two shifts from June next year at their factory in Aachen.

Buyers in Germany should note that they will have to sign the contract to buy before or on June, 30, 2019 for it to be eligible for the plug-in grant (Umweltprämie).

Those wanting to remove their reservation for the electric car e-Go Life may do so and will be paid back their 1,000 euro deposit in full, the company said.

Initially e.Go Mobile wanted to start serial production this summer (we reported). They aim for an electric vehicle production capacity between 10,000 and 20,000 units a year.

twizy-forum.de (email to reservation holders repost, in German)

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Meet this solar Polar Explorer made from recycled plastic

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 13:59

A Dutch couple had one, no, actually two great ideas in one. Not only did they want to go to the South Pole, they also built their own polar explorer, a solar-powered vehicle constructed mostly from recycled plastic that is formed by a 3D printer. Clearly, they are on a world-changing mission.

The plan started with a recycling initiative, before escalating to the fully functional vehicle we see today. The Clean2Antartica team states that the vehicle runs using solar power, for which a total of ten solar panels were installed on the lead tractor and the two trailers behind the lead vehicle. The panels power two batteries, with 10 KWh. The vehicle’s top speed is a mere 8 kph, however considering the vehicle weighs 1,485 kg and that it has to cross incredibly difficult terrain, this seems a fair trade-off.

The designers/manufacturers/pilots Liesbeth and Edwin ter Velde stated the following about their construction process on their Subreddit, where they have been documenting the process alongside a series of Youtube videos:

“We take plastic from the residual waste, sort it and melt it into the wire which then is taken to the 3-D printer. The printer then creates hexagon-shaped details which are put together like a puzzle to create the parts of the car. And the result is the fully-operating vehicle! It is only one step from seeing plastic as a waste to converting it into a useful resource which can be used in so many different and exciting ways!”

The Clean2Antarctica foundation will continue to document the process along the arduous and freezing (the driver’s cabin is not heated!) journey through the arctic summer on their website, and hope to prove the concept as a pilot project showing that trash is not always simply waste.

The Solar Voyager will start its journey in Antarctica this November.

clean2antarctica.nl.en, reddit.com

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Over 500 electric car charging stations for Florida

Sun, 10/07/2018 - 18:06

Duke Energy plans to install a network of 530 electric car charging stations in Florida. The utility is working with communities to install the units for public use in multi-unit dwellings, workplaces and other busy locations and is currently taking applications.

Apart from the electric car charging stations being installed for the public to use and in close cooperation with communities and clients, Duke Energy also reserved 10 percent of the charging stations to be installed in low-income communities.

The programme runs under the name of Park and Plug and is a pilot for now. The equipment will be provided by NovaCHARGE, who will supply and install the charging stations and integrate services for the scheme as well.

Sites will be selected through an application process which is currently open. You can apply to host a public electric car charging station here.


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Europe: BMW to discontinue range extender option for i3

Sun, 10/07/2018 - 17:42

The rumours have now been confirmed. BMW says they will no longer offer their i3 electric cars with a range extender in Europe. Only in the USA and Japan, they will continue to sell the i3REx and they have interesting reasons.

In a statement retrieved by Autocar, BMW says: “The Range Extender i3 will cease production and we will only sell the pure-electric version going forward. With the gains in pure-electric range, together with the increasing availability of rapid charging facilities we believe the customer demand is shifting to a pure-electric model.”

This however is true only for Europe, where BMW sees fast-charging facilities being set up rapidly, also through their own efforts in the IONITY network for high power charging. However, the new EVs by BMW will only allow for CCS charging at 50 kW for now. Moreover, it is Europe were the upgraded BMW i3 and i3S will first hit the market no later than next month.

Following the facelift, both versions of the electric car will then have a range of up to 310 km according to WLTP standards thanks to a new battery packing 42.2 kWh and 120 Ah. The power pack is made up of eight modules with twelve battery cells each.

Interestingly enough, BMW is not taking off the range extender due to low sales. In fact, the range extender version of the i3 formerly made up 60 percent of sales, despite a higher price tag over the standard car. The Range Extender i3 will still be available in North America and Japan, where demand remains higher than Europe and the rest of the world.

For the new models, BMW has decided to the upgraded electric cars with the range increase at almost the same price as the previous version. This means that the i3 will cost 38,000 euros, compared to the previous 37,550 euro, while the i3s carries a 41,600 euro price-tag (previously 41,150). This is due to a decrease in battery prices says BMW.


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Daimler breaks ground for U.S. battery factory

Sun, 10/07/2018 - 17:16

Mercedes-Benz has broken ground for its new battery plant in Tuscaloosa, USA, which will form part of their global network of production hubs. The carmaker is investing a total of $1BN at the site, which will begin building batteries for the future EQ series.

The battery factory is being built on an area of over 90,000 square meters, some 10 kilometres away from Mercedes’ existing Tuscaloosa car plant. This is where the electric vehicles of the EQ product and technology brand will roll off the assembly line in future, which also explains the decision to locate the battery plant there.

To date, the US production facility supplies customers worldwide with the SUV models GLE, GLS and GLE Coupé. With the imminent start of production of the next SUV generation, the plant will initially expand its portfolio with plug-in hybrids, and shortly thereafter purely electric models will also roll off the assembly line there. The production of EQ models in Tuscaloosa is expected to start at the beginning of the next decade. The battery plant is also scheduled to go into operation at this time.

The future factory is Daimler’s fifth battery assembly plant. In total, Daimler has announced to spend over one billion euros on setting up its global battery production network, which consists of eight existing and yet to be built factories in Kamenz, Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Sindelfingen, Beijing, Bangkok and Tuscaloosa.


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C4V looking to manufacture semi-solid-state battery cells

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 17:19

The New York based Charge CCCV (C4V) took the opportunity at the NY BEST 2018 fall conference to announced they had developed a semi-solid-state battery cell, which will go into production in the second quarter of 2019.

As the prefix “semi” suggests, the cells are not completely solid. More than 80% of the liquid electrolytes were replaced by a solid electrolyte, so that a semi-solid state is achieved in the cells, according to the manufacturer.

The current version has an energy density of 380 Wh/kg and 700 Wh/L, however this is not the end of the line for the manufacturer: In the next six months, C4V is looking to further increase the performance to 400 Wh/kg and 750 Wh/L. Afterwards, process optimization will take place before the product is commercialized, and production of the semi-solid-state battery cells begins.

The US American company explained that the new cells would increase the range of electric vehicles by 70%. Furthermore, they could be constructed without cobalt and make batteries more accessible, compared to the current construction and material requirements.

insideevs.com, chargecccv.com

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Oxis Energy improves Li-S Battery energy density

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 17:07

The British company Oxis Energy has announced that they have improved the energy density of their lithium sulfur battery cells for use in electric aircraft to 425 Wh/kg. By the end of 2019, the manufacturer intends to increase this number to 500 Wh/kg with the help of selected partners.

The energy density of 425 Wh/kg was achieved with their 16 Ah pouch cells for HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo Satellites) applications. As an in-between step, a value of 450 Wh/kg is being aimed for before the end of this year. Next year, the 500 Wh/kg are then on the plan. According to Oxis CTO David Ainsworth, the technology is already of interest with the most important actors from the aerospace industry. The cells are also about to enter the prototyping stage.

The company already has a battery module concept for the aerospace industry, which can help triple the flight range, according to the manufacturer. It is based on lithium-sulfur pouch cells with an energy density of 300 Wh/kg. The commercialization of electric aircraft is dependent on the development of extremely light batteries, according to Oxis, which will be able to store enough energy to allow for sufficient range and speed.

Financially, Oxis is being supported by the British subsidy initiative Innovate UK. According to Oxis CEO Huw Hampson-Jones, the speed of the technological development had greatly increased over the last twelve months. The company currently holds 141 patents, with another 108 being processed. Furthermore, they are also using a 10 million dollar programme to develop lithium-sulfur battery cells for electric buses and trucks.

Early this year, the Brazilian venture capital fund Aerotec invested 3.7 million pounds (4.2 million euro) in Oxis. The next step will see the company set up a battery manufacturing facility in the Brazilian state Minas Gerais. The research and development division will remain in the UK, however.

insideevs.com, oxisenergy.com

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Avid contracted to manufacture e-motors valued at 34 million pounds

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 16:52

The British supplier Avid Technology has received six orders valued at a total of 50 million pounds (56 million euros) annually, including a 34 million pound contract to develop an integrated electric motor system for an unnamed OEM.

Furthermore, Avid has signed a five-year agreement for 5 million pounds to deliver 48 Volt motor components with a luxury sportscar manufacturer. “We have been developing powertrain technology for electric and hybrid vehicles for over 12 years and are now seeing the market take off in a huge way,” said AVID director Ryan Maughan.

Only recently, the company hired a new business development manager, who is heading to the office in the US American state of Michigan. A core goal for Avid Technology is to improve their standing on the North American market.


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Bolivia selects ACI Systems to help industrialize national lithium deposits

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 16:42

Bolivia’s plan to industrialize their lithium deposits for the growing EV battery market are taking shape: The South American nation’s state-owned company Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) has selected the German company ACI Systems as a strategic partner to industrialize the Salar de Uyuni lithium deposit, which is speculated to be the world’s largest lithium deposit.

Initially, the Bolivian state-owned company had invited eight international consortia to help with the industrialization phase, before deciding on the German EV service providers. Now, ACI Systems will help Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos with “extracting and producing raw materials from residual brine, developing production capacities, as well as manufacturing and marketing cathode material and battery systems in Bolivia.”

By entering the partnership, this will also provide access to the sought-after material for the Germans. “The decision in favor of ACI Systems is therefore also of strategic importance to Germany and Europe.” Other factors included in the decision-making process included environmental factors, such as energy sourcing, as well as the expertise to deal with the by-products of the process.

The next step in the cooperation will see YLB and ACI found a public-private joint venture in Bolivia, where the Bolivians will hold 51% of the company. The joint venture will be a number of tasks, such as: “to clearly define the areas of activity, as well as to draw up detailed business and environmental plans for the subsequently – founded project companies for extracting and processing lithium. The differentiated conception of the technical and economic implementation of the project also falls within the company’s common field of activity.”

While the tasks will be addressed in a cooperative and joint manner, the Germans will be responsible for the final choice of tech and implementation partners, up until the construction of production lines “ensure innovative, efficient and sustainable production.”


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Polestar 1 production officially begins in Sweden

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 16:22

Volvo’s electronic performance brand Polestar has finally begun production of their first vehicle, the Polestar 1, which was introduced by Polestar one year ago, and floated as a concept by Volvo in 2013. Yesterday, Polestar announced having completed 34 of the electric supercars on a dedicated production line in Gothenburg, Sweden.

It bears mentioning, that serial production will mainly take place at the factory parent company Geely is constructing in Chengdu, China. The factory will not be ready until next year, according to the manufacturers, and the current 34 vehicle models, as well as the rest of those produced at the headquarters in Sweden, will be used as testing vehicles for crash tests and further evaluations.

Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath stated that the first batch is a major milestone towards production, as well as enabling their engineers to fine-tune the Polestar 1 before delivery begins next year: “The assembly of the VP cars means that the Polestar 1 has taken its next step towards production.”

This also marks the first time Volvo engineers have had to work with carbon fiber construction. Further details of the production process are shown in Volvo’s video below:


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Toyota to launch second, multi-million vehicle recall

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 15:19

Toyota will have to recall 2.4 million hybrid vehicles worldwide. The reason for this was named as software issues. Only one month ago, the Japanese automobile manufacturers also had to launch a recall of more than 1 million hybrids because of potential short-circuit and fire danger.

The newest recall will affect the Toyota Prius and Auris models, which were manufactured between October 2008 and November 2014. In Europe, this will affect 290,000 vehicles, while in the US 830,000 vehicles are affected. In the Japanese market, a total of 1.25 million vehicles will have to be re-calibrated.

Currently, the vehicle manufacturer cannot guarantee that the software malfunction in the control system would not lead to an accident, meaning that driving the affected vehicles may be a serious danger for the driver and those around them.

The newest faux-pas certainly will affect the credibility of the Japanese automobile manufacturers. The news following so shortly after the last recall in early September, which had affected more than 1 million hybrid vehicles – specifically the Prius manufactured between July 2015 and May 2018, as well as the Prius Plug-in Hybrid and the C-HR between May 2016 and May 2018 – will likely affect their standing as a trustworthy brand. On the other hand, the fact that they are so direct regarding the communication of problems is a good sign – nothing worse than an automobile manufacturer who keeps safety problems secret for the sake of good PR. bbc.com, rte.ie

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Don’t surf and drive

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 14:58

A driver of a Tesla Model 3 was stopped by police, but not because the officer was curious to see the car. Instead it was to inform the driver that the use of computers when driving is prohibited and pointed to the large display – the one that makes the Tesla dashboard.

Luckily the driver did not have to pay the fine normally attributed to the crime, as he was able to explain that the screen is the standard equipment for the vehicle, however it is a sign that electric mobility still has yet to arrive in the societal main stream.


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Germany as not too humble a hub for electric mobility

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 23:58

Germany Trade & Invest is the country’s economic development agency that appears to have discovered electric mobility as “the” market. An image clip promotes the auto nation as a business location with a special focus on e-mobility, ideally “Made in Germany” of course.

Germany Trade and Invest is owned by the Federal Government a 100 percent and intent on attracting foreign trade and international investors to enter the German market. The video takes a sweep over the existing initiatives, be it the BMW i plant in Leipzig, global suppliers, or the charging initiative IONITY. True to its mission, the GTI is all praise and not in subtle terms, but do see what you make of it yourself.

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VW sets up battery task force with LG Chem

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 23:08

Volkswagen is intensifying their electrification efforts and have agreed a biweekly meeting with LG Chem. Thomas Ulbrich, VW’s man for e-mobility called the gathering of executives a “task force” that is to secure their timely supply of batteries for VW.

And batteries Volkswagen will need indeed and no later than 2019. Volkswagen wants to issue 30 electric cars across all brands by 2025 according to the Roadmap E and LG Chem is to help them with that as they become an official supplier to VW, a deal that had been expected.

The Koreans have set up a cell production facility in Poland for the task but Ulbrich said he needed to make sure, they were is in line with the carmakers goals. “There are risks in third- and fourth-tier areas, especially in these new technologies. This is the reason why we created this task force with LG Chem,”  said Thomas Ulbrich according to Autonews.

It should be said that LG Chem also works with carmakers General Motors, Volvo, Renault, as well as South Korea’s Hyundai and Kia, so they are likely to bring some experience to the battery task force table.

LG Chem is not VW’s only partner reportedly. They will also work with CATL and overall, Volkswagen set 20 billion euros aside for battery supply deals.

It has not been disclosed how much the deal is worth for LG Chem. On the wire, LG Chem said the number and prices of the batteries to be supplied are fluid due to orders needing to be placed and market conditions. Volkswagen though is gearing for a large market with their latest announcement of an electric car costing less than 25,000 euros.

autonews.com, yonhapnews.co.kr

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EU lawmakers push for stricter CO2 regulation

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 21:54

A majority of EU Parliamentarians backed a more ambitious target to cut CO2 emissions from cars and vans. MEPs voted for a 40 percent target by 2030, thus setting the stage for tough negotiations with national governments and introducing an EV sales quota through the backdoor.

Yet it is a call not entirely unexpected. The Environmental Committee of the EU Parliament had initially agreed on a proposal to reduce emissions of cars and vans by 45 percent by 2030 and set an interim goal of 20 percent reduction by 2025. These targets were considerable tighter than the EU Commission’s initial draft that called for 15 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2021 levels.

The EU Parliament has responded favourably and agreed on a target which is more stringent than that proposed by the European Commission, by a vote of 389 to 239. While they went from 45% to 40% they kept the 20 percent target for 2025, with the reductions based on 2021 figures, thus accelerating the push towards lower emissions from transport.

Moreover, carmakers will also have to ensure that zero- and low- emission vehicles (electric cars or vehicles which emit less than 50g CO2/km)—have a 35% market share of sales of new cars and vans by 2030, and 20% by 2025. This is the PEV quota some had been calling for and which carmakers had wanted to avoid. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) quickly cried their concern when calling the CO2reduction targets and the imposition of sales quotas for battery electric vehicles “extremely aggressive“. Environmental organisations had deemed the new targets still too low when they were introduced first (we reported).

Now it is on the EU ministers to adopt their common position on October, 9. Negotiations with MEPs for a first reading agreement would then start on October, 10. Germany had already said it would back the EU Commission’s initial proposal. Yet, other EU member states, including France, are seeking a higher target such as proposed by the EU Parliament.

greencarcongress.com, reuters.com

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Innogy takes over EV software specialist Recargo

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 18:08

Innogy has successfully taken over the e-mobility software specialist Recargo, securing unfettered access to their PlugShare app. This is the second purchase in the USA, where Innogy is currently expanding their market presence.

PlugShare is a leading, operator-independent charging app in the USA, according to the RWE subsidiary, and is used by 350,000 active users to find charging stations. Innogy plans to use the app and the attached data to provide a software solution covering geo data from the whole USA and Europe.

The move is also designed to rapidly expand Innogy’s presence in the US market. The “largest and most accurate public charging map in the world” from Recargo will certainly help, as well as the included IT resources. Two months ago, the Innogy US subsidiary announced plans to acquire the California-based charging infrastructure specialist BTCPower. The two companies had previously cooperated on the US market, and the transaction then provided the US Innogy subsidiary with a complete fast-charging product portfolio for the North American market and access to production capacities and the corresponding knowledge from the company.


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Car2Go will launch in Paris with 400 E-Smarts in 2019

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 17:52

Daimler took the opportunity at the Paris Motor Show to announce that Car2Go will be launching in Paris at the start of next year with an e-carsharing service. The Parisian EV fleet will launch with 400 Smart EQ Fortwo.

The German automobile manufacturer explained that the carsharing service would be run in a free-floating system, which would be expanded by another few hundred vehicles in the future. Car2Go boss Olivier Reppert added that Paris provides ideal conditions for a free-floating carsharing system.

Car2Go currently operates fully electric fleets in Amsterdam, Stuttgart and Madrid. This has provided the company with considerable experience and expertise in the management of large electric vehicle fleets, according to the company’s statements. Renault also introduced their planned carsharing system Moov’in very recently, which will launch this month in the French capital. They will only launch with 120 EVs, although they plan to stock up the fleet quickly in 2019. PSA is also preparing a carsharing solution for Paris called Free2Move, which will launch before the end of the year with 500 Peugeot and Citroën. As the name suggests, PSA’s system will use a free-floating concept like the other two operators.

The market dynamic is no accident: the city of Paris and the surrounding communities only recently pulled the plug from the highly indebted carsharing service Autolib by Bolloré. Next to the French companies, also foreign companies, such as Daimler, were called upon to fill the gap.

Car2Go currently has more than 400,000 customers, according to their statements, who have driven their electric vehicles for a combined 79 million kilometres. That correlates to 1,972 trips around the planet. The company is also poised to fuse with DriveNow soon: After Daimler and BMW announced the planned merger in March, it was later announced that the seat of the joint venture would be based in Berlin.


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Austrian government to offer additional incentives for EVs

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 17:35

The Austrian ministerial cabinet has agreed on a new e-mobility package which will include further incentivization of electrified vehicles. The package covers different speed limits for electrified vehicles, lane privileges and parking rebates.

A change to the emissions and air law will create a legal exception for the speed limits of EVs on highways. In future, anyone with an electric vehicle will be allowed to drive 130 km/h on the IG-L-Hunderter highways, which normally allow for a 100 km/h speed. This covers a total area of 440 km of roads. The statement specified that the speed advantage would be given to EV drivers over drivers in combustion motor vehicles, which possibly means that hybrid vehicles will not benefit from the arrangement.

Lane privileges will also be granted for EV drivers, and they will be allowed to use bus lanes on public roads, with the statement adding that the allowance was particularly aimed at people living in urban areas. The third part of the plan will pressure states and communities to provide incentives on parking spaces, such as free parking opportunities for EVs.


bmnt.gv.at (In German)

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HES Energy Systems presents plans for h2 passenger plane

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 17:19

The Singaporean company HES Energy System has presented plans for a hydrogen-electric passenger plane named Element One. The plane will be capable of carrying four passengers on stretches from 500 km to 5,000 km. The first prototype is expected in 2025.

The range difference of the Element One depends on whether the hydrogen is stored in liquid or gaseous form. The manufacturer does not specify whether this will be issued in different performance variations, or whether this is up to the pilot. The company is however cooperating with industrial-scale hydrogen producers to optimize the system and explore energy-efficient refueling systems.

The refueling system will be modular, allowing the user to swap a depleted unit for a fresh one in “no more than 10 minutes”, using an automated nacelle swap system.

HES Energy is certain of the potential of hydrogen technology for long range flight, particularly in decentralized and regional air travel. “It’s now possible to break past the endurance limits of battery-electric flight using HES’ ultra-light hydrogen energy storage in a distributed propulsion arrangement,” said Taras Wankewycz, founder of HES. The company aligned it’s zero carbon aviation roadmap with Wingly, a French startup specializing in flight sharing services. Wingly CEO adds: “By combining autonomous emission free aircraft such as Element One, digital community-based platforms like Wingly and the existing high density network of airfields, we can change the paradigm. France alone offers a network of more than 450 airfields but only 10% of these are connected by regular airlines. We will simply connect the remaining 90%.”

greencarcongress.com, hes.sg

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