Electric cars will challenge state power grids

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A Chevrolet Volt hybrid car connected to a charging station at a parking garage in Los Angeles.

SEATTLE — When Seattle City Light unveiled five new electric vehicle charging stations last month in an industrial neighborhood south of downtown, the electric utility wasn’t just offering a new spot for drivers to fuel up. It also was creating a way for the service to figure out how much more power it might need as electric vehicles catch on.

Seattle aims to have nearly a third of its residents driving electric vehicles by 2030. Washington state is No. 3 in the nation in per capita adoption of plug-in cars, behind California and Hawaii. But as Washington and other states urge their residents to buy electric vehicles — a crucial component of efforts to reduce carbon emissions — they also need to make sure the electric grid can handle it.

The average electric vehicle requires 30 kilowatt hours to travel 100 miles — the same amount of electricity an average American home uses each day to run appliances, computers, lights and heating and air conditioning.

An Energy Department study found that increased electrification across all sectors of the economy could boost national consumption by as much as 38 percent by 2050, in large part because of electric vehicles. The environmental benefit of electric cars depends on the electricity being generated by renewables.

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Shanghai-built Tesla popular in China after new tax break

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Tesla stores across Shanghai have been crowded with customers after a new tax break earlier this month, with most orders coming for the most affordable electric vehicle, the Model 3 sedan built at the city’s Gigafactory.

The Model 3 orders spiked amid a cooling electric vehicle market in China after authorities gave dozens of electric vehicle makers a new tax break which lowers the cost of buying a Tesla in China to less than 300,000 yuan (about 43,745 US dollars).

“We have more customers these days looking for test drives and more information,” said a salesperson in a Tesla store in Shanghai.

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VW unveils charging butler robot concept for electric cars

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Volkswagen has unveiled a new concept for a charging butler robot that can charge electric vehicles in a parking garage using mobile battery packs.

The German automaker says that “mobile robots will charge electric vehicles completely autonomously in the future.”

Mark Möller, Head of Development at Volkswagen Group Components, commented:

“The mobile charging robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities, such as multistorey car parks, parking spaces and underground car parks because we bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around. With this, we are making almost every car park electric, without any complex individual infrastructural measures. It’s a visionary prototype, which can be made into reality quite quickly, if the general conditions are right”,

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Electric-car battery prices dropped 13% in 2019, will reach $100/kwh in 2023

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Tesla Model S lithium-ion battery pack in rolling chassis

Although electric cars haven’t quite taken off in the 2010s the way some had anticipated, sheer economics are pointing to the 2020s as the time when EVs will find that market fever pitch.

From 2010 to 2019, lithium-ion battery prices (when looking at the battery pack as a whole) have fallen from $1,100 per kilowatt-hour to $156/kwh—an 87% cut. From 2018 to 2019 alone, that represents a cut of 13%.

Those numbers were part of an annual report released Tuesday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The report also suggested that we’ll reach the $100/kwh mark earlier than it had previously anticipated—by 2023.

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Ford announces launch of largest electric vehicle charging network in the US

New York (CNN Business)Ford doesn’t currently offer any electric vehicles, but it announced Thursday that, once it does, it will offer the largest North American network of electric vehicle chargers of any automaker — including Tesla.

Unlike Tesla, though, Ford didn’t build this charging network on its own. Working with EV charging companies Greenlots and Electrify America, Ford has created what it calls the FordPass Charging Network. When needed, users will be directed to one of the network’s chargers using an app or in the vehicle’s central touch screen.

Next year, Ford will begin selling an electric crossover SUV with styling based on the Ford Mustang. It’s the first vehicle Ford has ever offered that was designed, from the outset, as an electric vehicle. That vehicle has not been unveiled yet. An electric version of the Ford F-150 pickup is also being developed.

The FordPass network will include more than 12,000 charging stations with a total of 35,000 plugs in the United States and some parts of Canada. Tesla has 4,375 public charging stations with about 15,000 plugs in the United States, according to the Department of Energy.

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Motorway speed limits could rise to 80mph across the country – and it’s all thanks to electric cars

 

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SPEED limits on motorways across the country could be increased to 80mph, according to the transport secretary.

Grant Shapps said he was “thinking about” increasing the speed limit following a surge in the number of eco-friendly vehicles on the road.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he is considering raising the motorway speed limit to 70mph

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, Mr Shapps said: “On 80mph speed limits, I’ve been thinking about this issue and maybe even sought advice on the subject of late.

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Tesla battery researcher unveils new cell that could last 1 million miles in ‘robot taxis’

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Tesla’s battery research partner has released a new paper on a battery cell that could last over 1 million miles, which they say is going to be particularly useful in ‘robot taxis’ — something that Tesla wants to bring to market.

When talking about the economics of Tesla’s future fleet of robotaxis at the Tesla Autonomy Event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasized that the vehicles need to be durable in order for the economics to work:

The cars currently built are all designed for a million miles of operation. The drive unit is design, tested, and validated for 1 million miles of operation.

But the CEO admitted that the battery packs are not built to last 1 million miles.

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Lamborghini Sián: The world’s first supercapacitor-hybrid supercar

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Sensual curves meet jagged angles in the remarkable Sian, Lamborghini’s first hybrid and the first car in production history to use a supercapacitor hybrid system

Lamborghini has chosen a radically different way of dipping its toe in the waters of hybridization with the announcement of its new Sián, which couples a screaming, naturally aspirated V12 engine with a supercapacitor-based secondary electric system.

Supercapacitors, as opposed to batteries, offer a unique set of advantages and drawbacks to automakers. They have enormous charge and discharge rates, meaning they can put out huge amounts of power, charge up almost instantly, and pull in a much larger amount of energy through things like regenerative braking, in which a battery’s ability to accept charge becomes a limiting factor. They also don’t deteriorate over time, maintaining their performance over millions of cycles.

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Chinese shadow growing longer over India’s electric-vehicle dream

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India’s dream of getting more and more middle-class families to use electric vehicles (EVs) seems to be hinging to Beijing, which controls the supply of some key battery components. And this might well become another flashpoint in the volatile relations between India and China.

With nations placing a strategic interest in controlling the supply chain, political interference in mining activities is increasingly making the availability of lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper scarce, EV major Tesla has warned. India might soon have to join a global struggle for Lithium, the most consequential of these minerals.

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Automakers run into collision with Centre’s electric vehicle plan

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Two- and three-wheeler manufacturers are stoutly resisting the government’s e-mobility plan. The government wants to ban internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered three- and two-wheelers (with an engine capacity of less than 150cc) by 2023 and 2025, respectively, and replace them with electric vehicles (EVs).

With the meeting between the NITI Aayog and auto industry executives ending in a stalemate on Friday, the two sides may continue to spar over the road map for e-mobility in one of the world’s most polluted countries..

Via Wap Business Standard

 

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Tesla pickup truck to be priced below $50,000, makes Ram seem puny

 

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The target starting price is even lower.

This is a real shocker. In fact, it’s a bit hard to believe.

According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the upcoming Tesla truck will have a target price of under $50,000. This seems an impossible figure given the fact that other Tesla products (aside from the Model 3) start at a price that’s much higher. However, Musk stated this in a recent Ride The Lightning Podcast:

“You should be able to buy a really great truck for $49k or less.”

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EU will force electric cars to emit a noise below 20 km/h on July 1

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Starting July 1, all electric vehicles with four or more wheels in the EU will be required to emit noise of at least 56 decibels if the car is going 20 km/h or slower, the New Atlas reports.

This makes a ton of sense as electric cars don’t make any of the engine noises we’ve grown accustomed to from standard Earth-killing gasoline cars. Making sure pedestrians can hear cars coming could increase the safety of visually impaired individuals, as well those of us who have the bad habit of walking into traffic while looking at their phones.

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