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From: Eric10/3/2017 12:49:00 PM
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Chevrolet Bolt EV Nets Record Sales In September, Not So Much For The Volt

3 hours ago by Jay Cole

32 Comments


Chevrolet Bolt EVs – finding more US driveways every month!

As the Chevrolet Bolt EV has made its way across the US, making itself move and more available at local dealers in every state, sales have (perhaps unsurprisingly) began to rise. For September, GM blew former numbers out of the water, setting a new all-time high, while logging 7 consecutive months of sales gains!


“Yeah, yeah, the Bolt has lots of twirly information, can you just not touch the screen anymore?”


The 238 mile EV also broke into the “2k” level for the second month in a row. Actually, the Bolt more than broke into the 2,000s…

For September, 2,632 Bolts were sold, a 25% gain over the 2,107 sold a month ago.

For the year, 14,302 all-electric Chevys have been delivered, keeping it firmly in the #5 slot on the best selling plug-in list for the US.

Interestingly, while the Bolt has been reaching a wider audience, the national inventory level on the EV, while more balanced, has been dropping over the past couple months; from a high of ~6,000 earlier in the Summer, to just north of 5,000 on average in August, to a few hundred less than that in September.

At this point we aren’t sure if that is a reflection of the recent higher sales constraining the inventory, or just a keener eye on inventory management from GM.


Hey look, isn’t that the car we seen in the Chevy dealership when we bought the Bolt EV?

As for GM’s other plug-in vehicle, it is hard to now not conclude that the Bolt EV is stealing some sales thunder from the Chevy Volt.

As the Bolt has arrived at more dealers, Volt sales have lessened…and not by just a handful of sales, as the year-over-year number have now turned negative for the last 4 months in a row.



We imagine the Bolt EV at Chevy dealers, and this guy (Prius Prime shown above) are responsible for softer Volt sales of late

For September 1,453 Volts were delivered, off 28.5% from the 2,031 sold a year ago.

For the full year, 15,348 Volts has sold, down 6% from 2016’s total of 16,326 cars delivered through the first 3 quarters.

Just looking at Q3 when the Volt and Bolt EV were better competing for more national eyeballs (and wallets) at the dealer level, Volt sales are off 32% (4,416 vs 6,518).

We should note that it may in fact not just be the Bolt EV taking this consumer attention away from the 53 mile, extended range Volt, it might also be the Toyota Prius Prime, which has found a lot of traction appealing to PHEV shoppers…selling some 15,000 copies this year.

Looking at the best selling EV list, the Chevrolet Volt started 2017 as the leader, had fallen to 2nd place a couple months ago, and is now in danger of falling into 5th spot overall, holding just a couple hundred sales advantage over the Prius Prime (15,056), Tesla Model X (~15,290)…with the Bolt EV just 1,000 deliveries behind (14,302).

What can Chevy do to regain the market share? The most obvious answer (besides spending more money to advertise the car – which seems unlikely with the Bolt’s arrival on the scene), is a price reduction, or more dealer-offered incentives.

But then again, with GM stating this week that they intend to offer two more all-electric vehicles in the next year and a half and “at least” 20 over the next 5 or so yearsdoes the Volt’s pullback really matter that much?

insideevs.com

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From: Eric10/3/2017 1:48:55 PM
   of 4603
 
Nissan Debuts New LEAF And e-NV200 In Europe, Urges Governments To Up EV Support – video

insideevs.com

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From: Eric10/3/2017 9:50:25 PM
   of 4603
 
Navistar & Volkswagen To Launch Medium-Duty Electric Truck In North America By Late 2019

October 3rd, 2017 by James Ayre

The commercial trucking company Navistar International and Volkswagen AG’s Truck and Bus will be jointly launching an electric medium-duty truck in the North American market by late 2019, company execs have revealed.

The two firms will be jointly developing hardware and systems that will be used by both of them — this includes “connectivity” systems to keep trucks connected to the internet and each other.



Andreas Renschler

The two companies will also be collaborating on the development of the next generation of “Big Bore” diesel powertrains, Volkswagen Truck CEO Andreas Renschler and Navistar CEO Troy Clarke revealed in an interview with Reuters.

All of this news of course follows on Volkswagen’s relatively recent acquisition of a 16.6% stake in Navistar.

Reuters provides more: “Commercial truck makers are investing in electrification as regulators and policy makers have stepped up pressure to curtail or eliminate pollution from diesel engines in big cities. … The new electric truck for North America will be a Class 6 or 7 truck based on a Navistar vehicle, and aimed at urban delivery customers.

“Volkswagen will test nine electric trucks in Austria that will offer payloads of about 18 tons and ranges of about 180 kilometers between charges, Renschler said. Rival Daimler AG said last week delivered the first of a smaller range of electric delivery trucks to customers in New York.”

The plan is apparently for this Volkswagen + Navistar collaboration to provide the two companies with a solution if some cities start banning diesel trucks due to concerns about air pollution. How likely is that in the next few years?

cleantechnica.com

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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From: Eric10/4/2017 6:55:54 AM
   of 4603
 
Renault-Nissan To Build All-Electric Compact SUV In China With New JV

15 hours ago by Mark Kane

15 Comments



Renault-Nissan looking to break into China with a new all-electric A Segment SUV (think like Renault Kwid shown here)

Renault-Nissan Alliance has announced a new joint venture – eGT New Energy Automotive Co., Ltd. , which is being established with Dongfeng Motor Group to co-develop and sell electric vehicles in China.


Venucia e30 (aka Nissan LEAF)

Renault and Nissan will each hold 25% of the new JV, while Dongfeng retains 50% of the new company…as per ‘the way it works’ if you want to sell autos in China’.

We should note that, Nissan already has a JV with Dongfeng to produce cars under the Venucia brand (including the e30 “morning wind” – AKA Nissan LEAF).

The goal with this new JV is to develop an all-electric vehicle using an A-segment SUV platform from the Renault-Nissan Alliance – think something like the Renault Kwid (pictured above).

The car would be then produced from 2019 in Dongfeng facility in City of Shiyan, Hubei Province in central China, with capacity of up to 120,000 cars.
“The new joint venture, eGT New Energy Automotive Co., Ltd. (eGT), will focus on the core competencies of each partner and will harness the full potential of the Renault-Nissan Alliance electric vehicle leadership, as well as the resources of Dongfeng in the new energy industry, to meet the expectations of the Chinese market.

eGT will design a new EV with intelligent interconnectivity, that will be in line with the expectations of Chinese customers. It will be jointly developed by the Alliance and Dongfeng on an A-segment SUV platform of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. It will draw on the global leadership on EV technologies and cost-effective car design experience from the Alliance, and the competitive manufacturing costs from Dongfeng.”

“The newly formed eGT is planned to be based in the City of Shiyan, Hubei Province in central China. The electric vehicle will be produced at the Dongfeng plant of Shiyan which has a production and sales capacity of 120,000 vehicles a year. Start of production of the new EV is forecast in the year 2019.”


Another look at the A-segment Renault Kwid

Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer of the Renault-Nissan Alliance said:
“The establishment of the new joint venture with Dongfeng confirms our common commitment to develop competitive electric vehicles for the Chinese market. We are confident to meet the expectations of the Chinese customers and to strengthen our global electric vehicle leadership position.”
Official vehicle sales data shows 256,879 BEVs were sold in China last year (up 121%).

And despite a slow start in the Chinese market for 2017, production YTD stands at 223,000 units (up 37.8%), while sales have reached 204,000 units (up 33.6%).

insideevs.com

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From: Eric10/4/2017 2:56:30 PM
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New Anode In Toshiba SCiB Battery Adds 200 Miles Of Range In 6 Minutes

October 3rd, 2017 by Steve Hanley

This story about Toshiba’s next-generation SCiB battery was first published by Gas2.

When we think of electric car batteries, we think of Samsung SDI, Panasonic, LG Chem, and Tesla. The name Toshiba seldom enters the conversation. Yet Toshiba has been toiling away in relative obscurity at the margins of battery research for several years. Now it says it has developed a new version of its SCiB battery that can be recharged in less time and at higher power than batteries from its competitors.



The anode and cathode are the keys to any battery. Those are the places where electrons rush in during charging and out again to power electric motors or other devices. The more electrons that can be stored and the faster they can move, the better. Anodes and cathodes degrade over time, reducing battery performance. Some can be damaged by physical impacts or high temperatures, leading to the escape of poisonous gases or fires.

Designing anodes and cathodes that have high energy density, long life, and low volatility is very much an occult science worthy of alchemists. Toshiba introduced its SCiB rechargeable battery cells in 2008, which differ from most other lithium-ion batteries in that they use lithium titanium oxide for the anode.

The company says LTO improves battery performance at low temperatures (we can’t all live in Palo Alto). It also gives excellent power density, long battery life, and is resistant to the damage that can occur in other batteries from external impacts. In tests, the new battery maintains 90% of its capacity after 5,000 charging cycles.

The next generation of Toshiba’s SCiB battery cells uses titanium niobium oxide for its anode material. Toshiba says it has double the storage capacity of the graphite-based anodes generally used in conventional lithium-ion batteries. The new battery has both high energy density and ultra-rapid recharging characteristics. Its titanium niobium oxide anode is less susceptible to lithium metal deposition during ultra-rapid recharging or recharging in cold conditions — a frequent cause of battery degradation and internal short circuiting.

Toshiba claims the new battery can add up to 200 miles of range to an electric car after just 6 minutes using a high-power charger, but doesn’t define what it considers “high power.” Typical DC fast charging equipment in the US operates at 50 kW. Tesla Superchargers have 135 kW of power, and ABB has just announced the first installations of chargers that have up to 350 kW of power. Which is high power? All of them? Only the latter?

“We are very excited by the potential of the new titanium niobium oxide anode and the next-generation SCiB,” said Dr. Osamu Hori, director of Toshiba’s corporate research & development center. “Rather than an incremental improvement, this is a game changing advance that will make a significant difference to the range and performance of EV. We will continue to improve the battery’s performance and aim to put the next-generation SCiB™ into practical application in fiscal year 2019.”

cleantechnica.com

Source: Electric Cars Report

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From: Eric10/5/2017 7:28:10 AM
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  • Boeing & Aerospace
  • Business


  • Zunum brings Silicon Valley startup style to electric-airplane concept

    Originally published October 5, 2017 at 4:00 am Updated October 4, 2017 at 8:29 pm


    An artist’s rendition of Kirkland-based Zunum Aero’s hybrid electric-airplane concept. Zunum is initially developing a 9-seater model for city-to-city commuting. (Zunum)

    Kirkland-based Zunum Aero aims to have its first hybrid-electric commuter airplane in flight tests within two years, though many technological details remain to be worked out


    By
    Dominic Gates
    Seattle Times aerospace reporter


    Zunum Aero, a local startup that’s won funding from both Boeing and the state of Washington, aims to begin small but grow fast. It says it will flight test its first nine-seat hybrid-electric plane just two years from now.

    The company as yet has no hardware to show the world, only ambitious plans and alluring illustrations. It also has a Silicon Valley-style pitch.

    At Zunum’s Kirkland headquarters, Chief Executive Ashish Kumar — a former Google and Microsoft senior executive with a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering — insists his small electric planes will open up aviation to many more travelers.

    Existing planes of this size, such as the Wichita-built Beechcraft King Air or the Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12, today are flown by city-to-city commuter airlines that typically serve lucrative short-hop routes — say San Francisco to Los Angeles — and by operators offering on-demand air-taxi service.

    They serve mainly business executives who like to fly out of small airports to avoid the security and logistical delays of major commercial airline travel.

    Kumar says Zunum’s battery-powered plane will open up this aviation sector by dramatically lowering the cost of operating such planes. He cites $260 per flight hour, compared to $600 to $1,000 and up per flight hour on similarly sized nonelectric planes.

    “It will give rise to a much more distributed air system, where smaller to midsize planes fly to many more airports than have service today,” Kumar said.

    A family of electric planes

    Zunum won some credibility in April, when Boeing gave it an undisclosed amount of startup funding.

    In June, the state of Washington’s Clean Energy Fund kicked in an additional $800,000 research-and-development grant.

    The concept is a plane, mostly built of composites, with Tesla-style battery packs in the wings. As a hybrid, it will also carry a relatively small amount of fuel.

    All the electric propulsion gear will be stored behind the passenger cabin and will power two engines mounted on the fuselage, just ahead of the V-shape tail.

    Zunum promises a range of 700 miles and a cruise speed of 340 mph, which is 9 percent faster than the Pilatus and King Air planes.

    The plane would theoretically seat up to a dozen people, but since Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules would require two pilots for 10 or more passengers, in practice, it’ll be a nine-seater in the U.S.

    Zunum sees this as the first of a family of hybrid-electric planes. “In the grand scheme of things,” said Kumar, it’s “also a demonstrator for the 30- to 50-seater that we think is the next logical step.”

    Not content with that ambition, Zunum says its planes will have the capability to be flown autonomously — without a pilot. And its presentations include concept illustrations of a vertical takeoff military model.

    Tech-style startup mentality

    Yet even the baseline technology is still in development.

    A new generation of batteries is needed to power this plane. Kumar says Zunum will rely on the auto industry to come up with those.

    His engineers are focusing on developing the powertrain that will drive the engines. As for the airframe, Zunum will get to the details on that later — next year, Kumar said.

    Myriad regulatory hoops will have to be jumped through to achieve FAA certification. And while Kumar insists this can all be developed for “less than $200 million,” the business plan is sketchy.

    With another round of fundraising ahead, Kumar looks past the challenges, presenting his case as if Zunum were a Silicon Valley tech startup.

    He points out how much investor money is today being poured into innovation in ground transportation, from ride-sharing to electric cars to autonomous vehicles, and says, “that money is now crossing over” into electric, short-range flying as the next big opportunity.

    Yet it’s clear Zunum is still in the early planning phase.

    The company has hired a few high-end propulsion experts and will set up a center near Chicago to start ground tests of the electrics and motors by next summer.

    Around then, Kumar says, the company will also start wind-tunnel tests of a half-scale engine fan at Boeing Field.

    He says Zunum will deliver its first four aircraft in 2022 and ramp up from there.

    And where will they be built? Too early to discuss, says Kumar.

    In March, longtime aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group wrote a piece dismissing the various sleek and sexy Silicon Valley-style projects aiming to transform aviation — from electric planes to urban air taxis.

    He pointed out that electric airplanes specifically will require a completely new level of battery endurance and reliability compared to those powering cars, since an airplane can’t just pull over to the side of the road.

    “We’re a long way from there,” Aboulafia wrote. “It may take many decades.”

    Undeterred by such doubters, Zunum confidently predicts it will put electric planes into service five years from now.

    seattletimes.com

    Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com

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    From: Eric10/5/2017 9:27:11 AM
       of 4603
     
    Business

    Boeing Buying Drone Maker Aurora Flight Services

    The proposed deal expands the aerospace giant’s reach in the field of electric-powered aircraft



    A Boeing Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aerial system is displayed at the IMDEX Asia maritime defence exhibition in Singapore on May 19, 2015. Photo: edgar su/Reuters

    By
    Doug Cameron

    Oct. 5, 2017 8:59 a.m. ET
    0 COMMENTS


    Boeing Co. BA 0.12% on Thursday said it plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences Corp., a maker of aerial drones and pilotless flying systems that also expands the company’s reach in the new field of electric-powered aircraft.

    Virginia-based Aurora is a specialist in autonomous systems that allow military and commercial aircraft to be flown remotely, including technology that automates many functions.

    The proposed deal marks Boeing’s second acquisition in less than a year involving autonomous systems following last December’s purchase of Liquid Robotics Inc., a maker of ships and undersea vehicles, and adds to a portfolio that includes aerial drone maker Insitu.

    Boeing’s venture capital arm also this year invested in Zunum Aero, a Washington state-based startup that on Thursday unveiled its plan for an electric-hybrid regional passenger jet.

    Terms for the proposed purchase of Aurora weren’t disclosed. The firm has more than 550 staff and will be run as an independent unit in Boeing’s engineering and technology business.

    Aurora also produces composite parts for aircraft and other vehicles. Boeing is looking to produce more of its own parts as part of an insourcing strategy to reduce costs and potential disruption in its supply chain.

    Boeing has been considering further acquisitions as part of the push to expand sales at its newly formed services arm to $50 billion over the next several years from around $14 billion at present.

    wsj.com

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    From: Eric10/5/2017 11:38:33 AM
    1 Recommendation   of 4603
     
    Electric Vehicles Report: Part 2 – The Impacts Of The Electric Vehicle Revolution

    October 5th, 2017 by John Farrell

    The following is an excerpt of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Choosing the Electric Avenue: Unlocking Savings, Emissions Reductions, and Community Benefits of Electric Vehicles report. We’ll be republishing the full report in order to bring more attention to the changing landscape of electric vehicles. Read part one.

    Impact: Improving the Grid Electric vehicles boost demand for electricity

    On one hand, that’s great news for utilities. The average electric-powered car driver covers 12,000 miles annually, and one study calculated that the additional 4,000 kilowatt-hours used by an electric vehicle would increase a typical household’s yearly energy need by 33% (without adoption of energy efficiency measures). In small numbers, electric cars will change little, but in large numbers they could reverse the stagnant growth in electricity use, which has dropped in five of the last eight years and affected the bottom line of many electric utilities.



    On the other hand, could this increased demand also increase the cost of operating the electric grid (and costs for electric customers) by shortening the life of grid components, requiring replacement or upgraded infrastructure such as transformers and capacitors, or even building new fossil fuel power plants?

    Fortunately, the evidence suggests that electric vehicle expansion will reward, not ruin, the grid and its customers.

    A rigorous analysis spearheaded by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2016 found substantial net benefits in electric vehicle adoption for the state’s electric grid and customers: worth $3.1 billion by 2030, even without smart charging policies and with vehicle adoption clustering in particular areas of the grid. This included the benefits of capturing federal tax credits, gasoline savings, and carbon credits in California’s greenhouse gas allowance transportation market plus all of the associated costs to the customer and grid.

    The study also found surprisingly low costs for upgrading the local distribution grid. Even with a much higher vehicle adoption assumption of 7 million cars by 2030 (one-quarter of all registered vehicles), annual distribution infrastructure costs would be just 1% of the annual utility distribution budget.

    A rigorous analysis by the California Public Utilities Commission found substantial net benefits in electric vehicle adoption: $3.1 billion by 2030, even without smart charging policies and with vehicle adoption clustering in particular areas of the grid.

    A set of studies for northeastern states found a similar net benefit, even without smart charging policies, for vehicle owners, utilities, and society.

    Relatively simple policy changes can enhance the payoff of adding thousands or millions of electric vehicles to the grid. California’s study suggests that the most potent and simplest tool to smoothly integrate electric vehicles is controlling when they charge. This can be done with special rates that give customers a discount for charging at grid-friendly times, or even using special chargers that disallow charging when grid demand is at its highest. These tools increase the efficiency of the electricity system, but also mean lower-cost fuel for electric vehicle owners, a win-win.

    Relatively simple policy changes can enhance the payoff of adding thousands or millions of electric vehicles to the grid. California’s study suggests that the most potent and simplest tool to smoothly integrate electric vehicles is controlling when they charge.

    In an exhaustive analysis using time-of-use (TOU) pricing to strongly incentivize nighttime charging, the California Public Utilities Commission found that shifting from flat-rate to time-of-use charging increased net benefits from $3,600 to $5,000 per vehicle through significant reductions in the energy and infrastructure costs of charging.



    While the California calculation includes the federal tax credit, the benefits are expected to persist even when that incentive expires because of falling electric vehicle and battery costs.

    This following sections explore pricing tools that allow utilities and regulators to better manage grid supply and demand, rather than building new power infrastructure that could be obsolete early in its decades-long life.

    EV Charging Terminology

    A quick note on charging before we dive in. Electric vehicles can be charged at different speeds by using different voltages. A standard 120-volt outlet can deliver about 1.3 kilowatts per hour but may take 12 or more hours to fully charge a vehicle. A 240-volt circuit can deliver a substantially faster charge and can be wired in a typical home or business. Direct current (DC) fast charging uses 440-volt charging that can “refuel” an electric vehicle battery in less than an hour. The following graphic from FleetCarma illustrates.



    Managing Demand

    With proper price incentives, grid managers can motivate electric vehicle users to avoid charging during periods of peak demand, to instead charge when demand is otherwise low, and to help smooth out large increases or decreases in demand.

    The electric grid is designed around periods of peak energy use, with requirements for significant energy reserves dictated by the single-most congested hour of the year. By raising electricity prices at times of peak energy use (and reducing them elsewhere), utilities can largely minimize electric cars’ contribution to peak energy demand. Recent modeling by the Rocky Mountain Institute suggests optimized charging rates would limit Minnesota’s peak demand increase, for example, to just 0.5% when electric vehicles hit 23% penetration, compared with an increase of more than 3% without charging controls.

    Minnesota wasn’t alone. In the four other states modeled, the Rocky Mountain Institute found peak demand impacts of widespread electric vehicle adoption could be significantly reduced with controlled charging. The following graphic illustrates.



    Utilities can also leverage electric vehicles to manage rapid changes in electricity demand. Historically, these ramps up or down have been driven by a morning surge in demand as people wake up and turn on lights and appliances, and another in the evening when stores remain open and residents return home. In some cases, these ramps are also influenced by rooftop solar generation, which sharply reduces demand from solar-powered neighborhoods in the daytime but spurs a sharp increase in local demand in the evening when residential demand increases as the sun sets.

    Utilities typically prepare for these surges by activating gas power plants that can be put on standby or ramped up quickly. However, because these plants are relatively under-utilized, the electricity provided at peak periods is expensive. An August heat wave in Texas, for example, sent hourly electricity prices on the grid well over $1 per kilowatt hour on several occasions, more than ten times the usual price.

    Utility wonks illustrate this challenge with the “duck curve,” shown below for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). The issue is the steep curve starting around 4 p.m. and peaking around 8 p.m., driven largely by adoption of rooftop solar that drives down daytime electricity demand. One caveat: the deep dip is sometimes called “overgeneration” — implying that there’s too much solar energy production — an issue enhanced when the bottom axis reflects a minimum of 14,000 megawatts. One German observer notes that this issue (as opposed to the ramp) is exaggerated. For context, the chart is also shown with a zero axis.



    Although there are many potential solutions (the linked report from the Regulatory Assistance Project is particularly thorough), electric vehicles can help smooth the curve. By drawing power from the grid during the midday hours when solar output is greatest, electric vehicles can soak up the sun-generated power and in turn reduce the evening ramp-up. Fortunately, data from California suggests that 40% of electric vehicles remain at home even through the midday hours. If vehicle owners have access to charging at home and at work, over 70% of vehicles are available to absorb excess daytime electricity generation.



    By charging these idle electric vehicles during daytime hours, grid operators could reduce the steep afternoon ramp-up in electricity demand. The chart below illustrates how charging these vehicles between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. would help smooth the rise in demand, giving grid managers more time to accommodate increasing electricity consumption.



    The amount of additional demand needed from electric vehicles to achieve this outcome is well within projected capacity. The 1.5 million electric cars California expects by 2025 would have a maximum energy demand of about 7,000 megawatts, more than double the capacity needed to substantially smooth the current afternoon rise in peak energy demand.

    As discussed later, widely distributed charging infrastructure will be key to accessing this resource, as few homes or businesses currently have car chargers. Furthermore, the amount and availability of bill credits or compensation for grid exports (or in the case of Hawaii, a tariff that provides no payment for excess solar production) will strongly impact customer behavior.

    Soaking Up Supply

    Charging controls or pricing incentives can also motivate electric vehicle drivers to charge overnight, or whenever clean energy production is strongest.

    In markets like the Midwest that have abundant wind power, clean energy production often peaks overnight when demand is lowest. The chart below shows the daily demand curve for the Midwest Independent System Operator, which serves a number of states in the Midwest. The 50,000 megawatt-hour gap between daytime and nighttime demand (in July, when the grid is built to accommodate daytime load boosted by air conditioning) could accommodate over 7.5 million electric vehicles on Level 2 (240-volt) chargers without building a single new power plant. That’s almost 2 million more cars than the total number registered in the entire state of Illinois.



    The 50,000 megawatt-hour gap between daytime and nighttime demand could accommodate over 7.5 million electric vehicles on Level 2 (240-volt) chargers without building a single new power plant.

    The hungry batteries of electric vehicles can also be coordinated to improve the capture of wind and solar power.

    The most common constraint in a grid with high levels of renewable energy (over 30%) is overgeneration. This happens when there’s so much renewable energy available that making room for it would mean ramping down or turning off inflexible power plants (coal, nuclear, hydro). In electricity markets, renewables tend to undercut any other resource because — having no fuel — they have almost no marginal cost to produce electricity.

    Electric vehicles represent a new source of electricity demand that can absorb this excess production.

    Charging electric cars during nighttime low-demand periods, for example, means increasing the use of wind energy. A 2006 study from the National Renewable Energy Lab found that electric vehicle deployment “ results in vastly increased use of wind” because overnight vehicle charging overlaps with windier nighttime conditions. A 2011 study from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories found that if one in eight cars were electric, the additional storage capacity would allow the Northwest grid to handle 12% more wind energy.

    Electric vehicles can also help grids put more solar power to use. The illustration in the previous section — Ready to Charge — illustrates how most electric cars could be available to charge during afternoon hours to absorb solar energy output, although it requires daytime charging (and potentially non-home charging infrastructure) that nighttime charging does not.

    Portuguese researchers found that growth in both solar generation and electric vehicles maximizes the grid benefits of each. Portugal’s heavy emphasis on solar generation means that, as time goes on, it will build up a “substantial amount” of excess daytime solar energy. Because neighboring countries are also building out their solar portfolios, Portugal’s exports would yield low prices, suggesting that solar power might be curtailed (or lost) instead. But researchers found that an expanded electric vehicle fleet — and a preference for midday workplace charging — could decrease the midday solar surplus by 50%.

    A separate Portuguese study includes analysis of simulated solar production during a given week in April. With no electric vehicles, 202 gigawatt-hours — or 48% of solar production — was curtailed during that span. With electric vehicles added to the mix, curtailment fell to 123 gigawatt-hours, or 29% of solar production.

    Together, solar and electric vehicles can do more to smooth the demand curve than either technology could on its own. The following chart, from the Rocky Mountain Institute, shows how optimized electric vehicle charging increases daytime electricity demand by over 200 megawatts (nearly 14% of peak demand) in Hawaii, allowing for more solar production.



    Other studies confirm this potential. A 2012 study by the Imperial College of London, for example, suggests that energy storage, including electric vehicles, can reduce curtailment of renewables by more than half.



    Providing Ancillary Services to the Grid



    By starting, stopping, or varying the level of charge, electric vehicle batteries can provide two crucial “ancillary” services to the grid: helping maintain a consistent voltage (120 volts) and frequency (60 Hertz). These services are provided by short bursts of “reactive” power: either drawing power from the grid or putting it back in. Since nearly all commercially available electric vehicles lack the ability to send power to the grid, car batteries would provide reactive power today only by drawing power (charging).

    The vehicle’s ability to aid the grid also hinges on the power of its charger and the ability to aggregate with other vehicles. On a typical home 120-volt outlet allowing up to 1.3 kilowatts of power per vehicle, it would take over 250 vehicles to reach the minimum threshold to provide ancillary services in energy markets run by regional grid operators PJM or MISO, which cover a substantial portion of the U.S. A 240-volt Level 2 charger with a capacity as high as 6.6 kilowatts per car significantly reduces the number of vehicles needed ( as few as 27) to join the market.

    Electric vehicles can provide substantial value to the grid as they charge (and in the future, perhaps by supplying power back to the grid, see Appendix A — The Vehicle-to-Grid Future).

    Impact: Cutting Pollution

    One major benefit of electric vehicles is reducing pollution impacts of driving. The following chart shows the greenhouse gas emissions from electric vehicles based on the grid electricity supply in 2015. The numbers on the chart are the miles per gallon required from a gasoline-fueled vehicle to have the same greenhouse gas emissions impact as an electric vehicle. The numbers will have risen since 2015, as additional coal plants have been retired.



    Driving electric also significantly reduces other pollutants. The adjacent chart is from a 2007 study of the pollutant impact of hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars in Minnesota. It assumes a grid with a mix of 40% wind power and 60% coal power. The former is likely in the next decade, the latter is laughable in the face of a massive switch from coal to gas and renewables. With that context in mind, the bar representing sulfur dioxide should be ignored as the emissions rate of sulfur dioxides is 99% lower with natural gas, and 100% lower with more wind or solar power.



    Impact: Readying Energy Democracy

    The cumulative power of electric vehicles goes beyond stabilizing the larger electricity system; it offers an opportunity to draw more power from the local economy. Electric vehicles operate in a distinct geography (near the owner) and therefore their benefits are localized. This makes electric vehicles part of a larger transition from energy monopoly to energy democracy, as distributed technology from solar to smartphones localizes everything — production, consumption, and decision making — on the electric grid.

    The following graphic illustrates the shift from energy monopoly to energy democracy. The flow of electricity changes from one-way to two-way as many customers install rooftop solar and purchase electric vehicles. The share of renewable energy grows and that of fossil fuel power shrinks. In general, the community sources more of its energy locally.



    This section details the three key local benefits of electric vehicles: enabling the combination of the “sexy electrics” (solar and electric cars); increasing the capacity for local distributed solar energy production; and providing resilient, local backup power.

    Complementary, Sexy Technology

    Electric vehicles can encourage increased deployment of distributed solar. The same environmental values and spending habits that helped rocket the Toyota Prius to 1 million sales in a decade propel people to install solar panels. Like the conspicuous sustainability credential provided by the unique Prius, economists have speculated that homeowners invest more in solar panels than more affordable insulation and caulking. As such, it is not surprising that two of the clearest signals of green values — electric vehicle ownership and rooftop solar installation — often go hand-in-hand.

    In California, roughly 39% of electric vehicle drivers also owned residential solar in 2013 — far outpacing the general population in the US, where less than 1% of all households had rooftop arrays through the second quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, 17% of California electric vehicle drivers expressed “strong interest” in installing solar in the near future. Of those that already had both, 53% said they sized their at-home solar systems with electric vehicle charging in mind, exposing synergies that reduce grid strain and help accommodate higher electricity demand.

    Boulder County, CO, captured this complementary relationship by offering a program that promoted bulk buying for electric vehicles and solar. Area residents could opt in to access discounts on their purchase of either upgrade. The initiative provided a significant boost to electric vehicle sales. During the September-to-December promotional period, a local dealership sold 85 Nissan Leafs in 2013 and 2014 before jumping to 173 in the same period in 2015. Boulder County, home to less than one-tenth of 1% of the US population, accounted for 3.5% of all US Leaf sales over that span.

    Meanwhile, program participants installed 147 solar arrays totaling 832 kilowatts. At least 19 households (over 10% percent of those participating) purchased both a Leaf and a solar array, and of that group, 11 right-sized their solar project to ensure it could power both their home and their new electric vehicle. By harnessing the federal electric vehicle tax credit alone, participants brought $1.8 million into the local economy — a huge gain, considering Boulder County estimated the program required just 165 hours of staff time and $650 in out-of-pocket expenses. The program was aided by the state electric vehicle tax credit, worth about $3,800 per car or $660,000 altogether.

    The relationship between solar and electric vehicles may not remain as tight in the long term. A 2016 survey of plug-in car owners found that the percentage owning a solar array had fallen from 25% in 2012 and prior to 12% in 2015. This could be due to less affluent car owners or vehicle sales in areas with poorer solar resources. On the other hand, it also means that electric vehicles are dispersing beyond the very savvy customers that already own solar.

    Either way, electric vehicles and solar arrays are both appealing to consumers, in a way that other energy improvements are not. And fortunately, this marriage of sexy electrics delivers benefits to the grid and local economy.

    Electric Vehicles and Community Solar?

    As electric vehicle ownership expands, it will reach many Americans who lack a sunny rooftop but may still have interest in solar. Community solar programs allow these customers to invest in or subscribe to solar energy projects, and the revenue from these subscriptions could offset the cost of charging an electric vehicle. It also allows them to, indirectly, charge their car from the sun.

    The technical benefits of marrying solar and electric vehicles using community solar would be diminished unless customers subscribed to a community solar array located on the same distribution feeder as their primary place of vehicle charging.

    Increasing Local Energy Capacity



    Electric vehicles boost electricity demand and expand local storage, increasing capacity to produce more electricity from local, renewable sources.

    Solar energy, for example, can reduce a neighborhood’s peak energy consumption. If a community is served by a distribution line with a maximum capacity of 1 megawatt and it’s running near that limit, the utility may consider an expensive hardware upgrade. But adding local solar can reduce demand during hot, sunny summer afternoons, potentially allowing the utility to defer that upgrade.

    We illustrate the effect in the graphic to the right. If many homes and businesses in a neighborhood add rooftop solar, it supplants power from the grid with local energy to avoid new capacity needs.

    As solar continues to proliferate, a second set of issues can arise. Lots of small solar power plants can result in a portion of the local grid remaining energized when there’s a larger blackout. This could cause safety issues for utility workers who would expect power lines they’re repairing to be dead. However, smart inverters for solar arrays can automatically turn off power production when the grid goes dark. An even better solution is to island the home or business with solar, allowing them to have power even when the grid is dark. Newer inverters can supply up to 1500 watts for use during blackouts, even as the solar array stops sending power to the grid.

    A second issue is a technical and competitive concern called “backfeed.” Backfeed is what happens when the supply of electricity (including from local solar) exceeds total use on a certain area of the grid. In this case, power flows back onto the grid, as shown in the illustration below.



    This may require substation upgrades to mediate power flow from the high-voltage regional grid to the low-voltage local grid, which weren’t designed with this flow in mind. It also allows local solar generation to compete against many other sources of electricity, including traditional fossil fuel power plants. In the many states where the utility company is responsible for grid safety and owns power plants that would be in competition with local solar, this creates a challenging conflict of interest.

    Electric vehicles can solve backfeed issues by absorbing more local power generation, in turn enabling it to serve local needs. This also reduces wear and tear on utility hardware, inevitable in longer-distance power distribution. The following illustration shows how increasing electric vehicle ownership can reduce solar energy exports to the larger grid.



    Without an additional local source of energy consumption, utilities can “curtail,” or effectively shut off, clean power production from local solar arrays. But a 2016 study in Hawaii confirmed that more electric vehicles on the grid translates to greater potential reductions in curtailed energy. That is especially significant in a rooftop solar stronghold — 17% of utility customers in Hawaii generate their power this way, including at least 32% of single-family homes on Oahu. The study’s authors modeled a scenario where 10% to 30% of Oahu vehicles were electric, and predicted an 18% to 46% reduction in curtailed generation when vehicle charging was controlled to match local power production. In this model, wind and solar provided close to 50% of the island’s total electricity needs.

    The authors cautioned that marked day-to-day fluctuations in wind and solar curtailment obscure the precise effects of controlled charging in capturing curtailed energy, but found that using electric vehicles to integrate more storage makes distributed generation more valuable, more effective, and even more pervasive.

    It’s a scenario that could play out in markets across the country. For example, the California grid operator CAISO reported 132 megawatt-hours in local curtailments of solar generation between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sept. 15, 2016. These curtailments were due to a limit on the capacity of the local grid to export. Typically, such curtailments involve utility-scale solar. If the capacity of the average electric car battery is 30 kilowatt-hours (the size of that in the 2017 Nissan Leaf), 8,800 parked electric vehicles needing a 50% charge could collectively offset that day’s curtailment, benefiting those generating solar power and helping to stabilize the grid.

    Local Value

    Sourcing power locally has two spillover benefits. First, it keeps more of the economic benefits of power generation within a given community. A typical 1-megawatt solar array creates $2.5 million in local economic activity and 20 jobs. Through its 25-year lifetime, a locally owned solar project will redirect an additional $5.4 million of electricity spending back into local hands.



    The energy may also be more valuable to the grid if it is consumed locally, as ILSR explains in our 2016 report, Is Bigger Best? In many debates nationwide over the proper valuation of solar, most policy outcomes include a higher value for energy that can be used on-site or locally, rather than exported to the larger grid. Utilities and regulators in Hawaii and New York, for example, have adopted measures for distributed solar that favor on-site consumption.

    Resiliency

    Electric vehicles can also provide individuals and communities greater resiliency in the face of natural disaster. In the wake of week-long power outages following Hurricane Sandy, many communities on the East Coast sought ways to reduce their reliance on their (often distantly located) utilities. Many states encourage the installation of solar energy generation and even microgrids, miniature versions of the electric grid that can operate when the larger grid goes dark. Microgrids, typically powered by solar and batteries, could use electric vehicles to soak up excess energy production — and keep it local — to provide power during extended grid outages.

    A pilot project at the University of California-San Diego, a campus which supplies more than 90% of its own energy, equipped its microgrid to host 70 electric vehicle chargers. The microgrid can ramp down charging to reduce campus-wide demand. In turn, drivers who allow flexibility in charging receive compensation when their vehicles perform services like frequency regulation. This symbiosis makes electric vehicle integration a compelling prospect for microgrid operators and vehicle owners.

    “The link between a microgrid and an electric vehicle can create a win-win situation wherein the microgrid can reduce utility costs by load shifting while the electric vehicle owner receives revenue that partially offsets his/her expensive mobile storage investment,” researchers wrote in a 2010 study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    While microgrids currently comprise a small portion of the total US electric generation capacity, their numbers are expected to double or triple within a decade — rising in tandem with electric vehicle ownership in the US. Particularly as both markets grow, outfitting microgrids with technology to tap into storage and ancillary services from electric vehicles can fortify local power systems. Together, electric vehicles and microgrids promote resiliency.

    As noted above, electric vehicles may also offer a resiliency benefit to existing “microgrids” — homes. The typical second-generation electric vehicle battery (such as the Chevrolet Bolt) stores sufficient electricity to power the average American home for two days. This is a powerful secondary benefit for a purchase centered on mobility.

    The typical 2nd generation electric vehicle battery (such as in the Chevrolet Bolt) stores sufficient electricity to power the average American home for two days.

    Read the full report online, here. For timely updates, follow John Farrell or Karlee Weinmann on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update.


    cleantechnica.com

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    From: Eric10/5/2017 1:09:45 PM
       of 4603
     
    Nissan e-NV200 electric van gets longer-range battery; still no U.S. plans

    John Voelcker

    4 Comments Oct 5, 2017

    While U.S. buyers eagerly await the arrival of the 2018 Nissan Leaf electric car at dealerships early next year, the company has updated another of its electric vehicles as well.

    Unfortunately, it's one that the company has no current plans to sell in North America.

    That's the new longer-range version of the Nissan e-NV200 small delivery van, which has been on sale for several years in Japan and various European countries.

    DON'T MISS: Nissan e-NV200 beats Renault Kangoo ZE in electric van sales in Europe

    On Monday, Nissan unveiled the updated e-NV200 at its Nissan Futures 3.0 event in Oslo.

    The Norwegian capital may have the highest concentration of electric cars of any city in the world, given the strong financial incentives to buy them. Norway expects to end sales of cars with combustion engines by 2025, and appears to be well on its way to that goal.

    Europe, meanwhile, is expected to be at the forefront of rapid growth in electric trucks of all sizes and classes over the next decade.


    2018 Nissan e-NV200 electric delivery van (European version)

    The 2018 version of the e-NV200 uses the same 40-kilowatt-hour battery pack that the 2018 Leaf does.

    The longer-range Leaf, incidentally, went on sale in Japan this week as well, while U.S. pilot production is now underway at the company's sprawling assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee.

    The e-NV200 is the all-electric version of the gasoline-powered NV200 that has been sold in the U.S. since 2013.

    READ THIS: Driving Nissan e-NV200 All-Electric Small Commercial Van (Jun 2014)

    Nissan Europe said it is rated at up to 280 km (174 miles) on the NEDC test cycle, though a comparable U.S. EPA figure would likely be 120 to 140 miles.

    The 2018 Leaf, which is considerably more aerodynamic than the upright e-NV200 van, is rated by the EPA at 140 miles from its 40-kwh battery.

    A longer-range Leaf with a 60-kwh battery and range of more than 200 miles will go on sale at a higher price as a 2019 model in the U.S.







    "Given the huge impact that business deliveries and collections and professional drivers have on air quality and traffic congestion," said Gareth Dunsmore, Nissan Europe's electric-vehicle director, "helping cut the CO2 emissions they create is a vital part of creating a more sustainable future."

    Buyers in numerous European countries will be able to order the longer-range Nissan e-NV200 electric van before the end of this year.

    CHECK OUT: VW Westfalia Camper Van Spiritual Successor: Nissan e-NV200 Camper (Nov 2014)

    While Nissan has been testing earlier versions of the e-NV200 in the U.S. for a few years now, it has made no moves toward importing it for sale.

    Reasons likely include far cheaper gasoline in the U.S., lower sales for small commercial vehicles the size of the NV200, and longer and more unpredictable delivery routes and usage than in European city centers.

    greencarreports.com

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    From: Eric10/5/2017 1:19:15 PM
       of 4603
     
    Costco members now get GM Supplier Pricing on Chevy Bolt EV, Volt

    Sean Szymkowski

    15 Comments

    Oct 5, 2017


    2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

    Costco members in the market for a new vehicle now have a new round of incentives to consider as they head into the final car-buying months of 2017.

    Specifically, shoppers interested in a General Motors vehicle will discover Supplier Pricing on nearly every car—including the Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car and Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.

    Even better news: buyers can combine that Supplier Pricing from Costco with nearly all other incentives available on a particular vehicle, including leasing and financing rebates.

    DON'T MISS: 2017 Chevy Bolt EV price: electric car starts at $37,495 before incentives (as promised)

    It's an understandable incentive as well: Costco members pay the factory invoice, plus a small program fee, and the no-haggle price is fixed.

    Buyers are still able to negotiate a lower price if they feel compelled, but many historically see the no-haggle price as a major benefit.

    Cars Direct reports the supplier pricing even extends to newly launched GM vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Equinox Diesel crossover utility vehicle.


    2018 Chevrolet Volt

    There are few exclusions; the only cars not eligible for Supplier Pricing include various base models that most dealers rarely stock.

    (Think of L-trimmed Chevrolet vehicles, which exist mostly for advertising purposes.)

    If an interested car shopper isn't currently a Costco member, the money saved through the incentive likely outweighs the membership fee to join the buyer's warehouse club.

    READ THIS: Driving a Chevy Bolt EV electric car halfway across the U.S.: what it takes

    Becoming a Costco member costs $60 annually for Gold status and $120 for Executive status.

    Executive members receive a 2-percent rebate on purchases, though it's capped at $1,000 annually so buying a car doesn't help boost that figure.

    To sweeten the deal, Costco will include a $300 Costco Cash Card for Gold members, and Executive members who purchase a GM vehicle through the program will receive a $700 cash card.


    2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV - 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

    California and other CARB-compliant states will likely see the best deals on the Bolt EV under the Costco program; lease rates and finance offers in these states continue to exceed national offers.

    The Bolt EV has seen steadily rising sales figures, despite launching nationwide just several weeks ago.

    September sales of the Bolt EV tallied 2,632 vehicles, which brings the running sales total to 14,302 units over nine months.

    greencarreports.com

    CHECK OUT: Plug-in electric car sales for Sep: Bolt EV hits new monthly high (updated)

    Chevrolet's affordable electric car starts at $37,495 before federal tax credits up to $7,500 are applied.

    greencarreports.com

    Costco and GM's Supplier Pricing will run one day past 2018; the offers expire on January 2, 2018.

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