Better Place has announced a strategic agreement with China Southern Power Grid Co. (CSG), the world’s eighth largest utility company. The first step of the deal calls for the establishment of a battery swapping station and joint education center in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou before year’s end. Meanwhile details of a full-blown joint-venture partnership will be formalized. Additionally, the Guangzhou city government will encourage local automakers to manufacture electric cars with switchable batteries.
Our collaboration with China Southern and the support of the Guangzhou government open the door to new opportunities for switchable-battery electric cars made by Chinese manufacturers for the domestic and export markets.
Better Place sees a trend towards battery swapping being spearheaded by utility companies and local governments in China, says company spokesman John Proctor. Recently, at the “2011 International Forum on Electric Vehicle Pilot City an Industry Development” in Shanghai, the State Grid Corporation of China boldly announced that the nation will likely have more than 2,300 swapping stations installed by the end of 2015.
Meanwhile, Toyota unveiled three new models of their Prius hybrid line to enter the markets in 2011 and 2012.
Pioneer plug-in hybrid
The Ford claims its C-MAX Energi can provide more than 500 miles of overall driving range through the combined electric-gasoline drivetrain – more than any other plug-in or extended-range electric vehicle in the market.
The C-MAX Energi has an electric drivetrain comprised of an electric traction motor powered by a high-voltage lithium-ion battery. This will be combined with a high-efficiency Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine to achieve optimum fuel efficiency. Read more…
Microsoft Corporation and Toyota Motors Corporation are jointly investing 1 billion yen ($12 million) in one of Toyota’s subsidiaries to develop a service that can connect its electric and plug-in hybrid cars to homes and smart grids by 2012 using cloud computing.
The world’s biggest software company and the biggest automaker made the investment in Toyota Media Service, a subsidiary that handles the automaker’s digital information services for its customers. Microsoft and Toyota did not disclose the breakdown of how that investment would be split between the two companies.
The pair is planning to provide data services to Toyota car owners worldwide using Microsoft’s Azure, its cloud computing system that can deliver and collect data and software delivered over the Internet.
Aside from offering telematics services such as navigation, in-car entertainment and multimedia, thesystem might also manage energy use of the vehicle and houses connected to the smart grid, the companies said. Read more…
The first of the cars will be delivered in about a month or so, though production will be very slow to begin with.
The car will start off at $88,000, but the company is already looking to use its technology to a cheaper model that it hopes to sell for $39,900 after the $7,500 federal EV tax credit.
Porsche has started taking orders for the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercar, but they’re keeping the list exclusive with a super high price and a limited production number — the German automaker is asking $845,000 for the car and is capping production at, ahem, 918.
If you’re one of the lucky people out there that can gets themselves on the list, you’ll be getting a lot of performance from the sporty hybrid. The vehicle is outfitted with a 500-horsepower V8 engine and two electric motors worth another 218 horsepower. It will be able to go from zero to 100km/hr in 3.2 seconds and has a maximum speed of 199 mph.
From an efficiency stand point, it should get 78 mpg under normal driving conditions, but if you’re taking it to the race track, expect the fuel economy to drop. The car can run in all-electric mode for up to 16 miles and the battery can recharge in three hours.
Porsche isn’t set to start production on the car until September 18, 2013, so for those that make an order, you’ll have to wait about 2.5 years before it’s in your driveway.
German automobile manufacturer Daimler A.G. and China’s BYD Company Limited will make a $87.7 million investment in order to establish a R&D center that will focus on the development of electric vehicles in China.
The Shenzhen BY Daimler New Technology Company will capitalize on Daimler’s expertise on electric vehicle architecture and safety and BYD’s know-how of battery technology and electric drive systems to develop a new generation of electric vehicles. Developed cars, will be marketed under a new joint brand name.
“Our new joint venture is well positioned to make the most of the vast potential of electric mobility in China. The establishment of the joint center will strengthen the company’s growing presence in an important market. China is already the world’s second largest automobile market, and a 2008 study by McKinsey & Company predicts that the Chinese market will overtake the United States by 2030” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler.
This market boom is expected to put an enormous strain on the country’s energy resources and the environment, leading the Chinese automakers to turn toward various alternatives such as electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles.
Daimler is a leader company in upscale market and will introduce two electric Mercedes-Benz cars this year, the B-Class F-Cell vehicle with fuel cell technology and the battery electric vehicle A-Class E-Cell.
Meanwhile, BYD established itself as the first manufacturer in China to commercialize taxi business with its e6 pure electric vehicle. The Chinese company has invested in developing advanced battery technology since 1995 and has been rapidly growing in the automotive sector since 2003.
- Even with problems in the U.S., BYD looking to Germany for Euro expansion (green.autoblog.com)
- China’s BYD Auto posts $106M second-quarter profit, but not from clean vehicles (green.autoblog.com)
- Video: Ride along in BYD’s E6 electric taxi (green.autoblog.com)
- Buffett-Backed BYD Posts 717 Million Yuan Second-Quarter Profit (businessweek.com)
- Chinese Electric Car Manufacturer BYD Establishes U.S. Headquarters in Los Angeles (brainz.org)
<!––>SB 535 will allow up to 40,000 new HOV plug-in hybrid access stickers to be issued prior to 31 December 2014. In order to be eligible for PHEV HOV access under SB 535, vehicles must meet the California Air Resources Board’s Enhanced AT-PZEV standard.
This bill is good public policy because it creates a very strong incentive for the next generation of plug-in vehicles and will encourage more California drivers to plug in and reduce oil consumption.—Jay Friedland, Legislative Director of Plug In America