Lamborghini Aims For Carbon-Neutral Production; Better Place’s Battery-Swapping Coda Taxis Coming To California
Lots more clean transport news from the past couple days or so:
Tesla Motors Reports Positive Cash Flow For The First Time: “Right on time for a Christmas miracle, the shining star of the electric vehicle movement has perhaps what is the best news for EV owners and advocates all over the world. Last week Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla Motors had its first cash flow-positive week from doing what the company was founded to do; selling electric cars.”
Hubject wants to expand EV-charging payment system across Europe: “Hubject, the collaboration between a half-dozen German companies that earlier this year proposed a standardized electric-vehicle charging payment infrastructure for Germany, is now thinking even bigger. BMW, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, Bosch and the other companies in the collective are looking to broaden Hubject’s efforts across Europe, according to Hybrid Cars.”
Cambridge Race Team Look To Live The Solar Dream: “The Cambridge University Eco Racing team (CUER) has unveiled designs for its latest solar powered racing car. Codenamed ‘Daphne’, the prototype is being developed to take part – and with any luck win – the 2013 World Solar Challenge, an arduous 3,000km road race from north to south Australia in cars powered by the sun.”
Better Place’s Battery-Swapping Coda Taxis Coming To California In 2014: “San Francisco will get a treat of a different kind in 2014 when battery-swapping network builder Better Place starts serving a fleet of electric-powered taxis in the Bay Area, Forbes reports. Using funds from a $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission, Better Place will launch the project with four Coda Sedan EVs that will be customized by FEV to allow their batteries to be switched out in a matter of minutes. Ultimately, Better Place looks to support a fleet of 60 electric taxis between San Francisco and San Jose with six battery-swapping stations along the way.”
Volvo V60 PHEV Gets Five-Star Crash Test Rating From Euro NCAP (VIDEO): “Volvo continues to take kudos for making the safest cars on European roads, with its diesel-engine V60 plug-in hybrid earning the highest score ever for a PHEV given by Euro NCAP. The Euro NCAP tested the all-new V60 PHEV through a series of crash tests and give it a five star rating; if this were in the US, it would be quite similar to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s crash test rating system. But why take our word for it when you can see a video [above].”
Protean’s In-wheel Electric Drive Earns “Most Promising Technology” Honors From Car And Driver Magazine: “Being named to this list is evidence that Protean Electric’s in-wheel electric drive has a bright future in the global auto industry, according to Car and Driver, the world’s largest auto enthusiast magazine. This list of Most Promising Technologies accompanies Car and Driver’s 10Best Cars celebration, which has existed for more than three decades.”
More US Airports Offering EV Charging For When You’re Away: “Airports seem like an ideal place to recharge electric vehicles – the cars sit unused for long periods of time and could benefit from something productive like slow charging. Environmental correspondent Jim Motavalli took an aerial view of the current state of airport electric vehicle charging stations and found charging stations at 11 major US airports.”
CarCharging Group Hopes To Standardize Wireless Charging Into Parking Bumpers: “CarCharging Group, Inc. could one day expand its offerings into the wireless charging arena with an inductive charger in the shape of a parking bumper. Drivers would only have to park their electric car’s wheels close to the charging apparatus, offering seamless and effortless charging.”
Chevrolet Volt Owners Surpass 100 Million Electric Miles: “Chevrolet Volt owners collectively have driven more than 100 million all-electric miles since the vehicle went on sale two years ago this month. The average Volt owner travels more than 65 percent of the time in pure electric mode as the car was designed – only using the gasoline-powered generator for longer trips.”
US DOE Opens “Apps for Vehicles” Challenge; Leveraging Open Data For Fuel Efficiency & Safety: “The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Program (VTP) officially opened the Apps for Vehicles Challenge, which is offering $50,000 in prizes for the best business plans, app ideas and product designs that use open vehicle data to improve safety and fuel efficiency through technology innovation. The challenge had been announced earlier at the DOE’s Energy Datapalooza event in October.”
World’s First Demonstration Of Power Transfer From Wheels To Power An Electric Car: “Electric vehicles (EV) have ten times higher energy performance than automobiles powered by gasoline-based engines. However, they are not yet popular with drivers due to the need to store large batteries onboard. Now, Takashi Ohira and colleagues are developing an innovative method for powering EVs that drastically reduces the number of batteries.”
Bikes & Scooters
The Blue Book On Bikes: Everything You Need To Know And Then Some: “At some point in your life, I bet you’ve looked at yourself in the mirror and said, ‘Hey, I should take up biking. It seems so fun and cool and dammit, I bet the exercise’d be good for me.’
“Then you realized you didn’t know much about cycling, lived in a city that has less-than-stellar bike infrastructure, and were intimidated by things like cars. Oh well.
“But wait! Portland, Ore., bike blogger/evangelist Elly Blue has produced the 127-page solution to all of your pedaling problems….”
Smart Scooter Gets By With A Little Help From Its Friends: “With its easy-to-park cars and high-end, pedal-assist bikes, Mercedes’ Smart brand has spent years positioning itself as the best choice for fashionable, eco-conscious urbanites. Since 2010, the brand has been threatening to add another vehicle to its portfolio of swank city-rides: a plug-in electric scooter.
“Now, it seems that Smart will be getting some help in developing its electric Vespa-fighter, courtesy of the electric scooter experts at Vectrix, who have been building plug-in scooters in series production since 2008.”
Carbon-Monocoque Electric Bike Might Be Worth Price of Admission: “If you think the twin disc brake setup of the LEAOS pedal-electric bicycle hints at the bike’s performance, you’re right. With a 36V 250W electric assist helping you push the pedals through an 8-speed Shimano Alfine gearest, this high-end, carbon monocoque bike is more than capable of blitzing through modern day traffic with (what promises to be) as much “go” as a small scooter.”
From Scrapped to Striped in 16 Months: L Street Goes Green in the Nation’s Capital: “A few weeks ago, I finally saw something I’ve been hearing about for a long while. Heading back to the office from a doctor’s appointment, I wasn’t fighting for space on the road. Instead, I was flying down bustling L Street Northwest on the new L Street cycletrack, a protected bike lane that takes up a whole lane of traffic and is protected by bollards, with green paint near intersections.
“Yesterday, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) hosted a formal ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Vincent Gray, WABA Executive Director Shane Farthing, and the Downtown DC Business Improvement District‘s Director of Infrastructure & Sustainability, Ellen Jones.”
Lamborghini Pledges Carbon-Neutral Production By 2015: “The push for greener cars and more efficient production methods isn’t just coming from the usual suspects of treehuggers and academia. Lamborghini recently signed a pledge to reduce the emissions of its cars by 35%, as well as making its production facility carbon neutral by 2015. Lamborghini, the new leader of ‘green’ cars?”