Rollout Of Chevy Bolt May Mark Turning Point For Electric Car Market
The Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is now hitting the market, could be the first of a new wave of game-changing electric vehicles.
Its longer range and lower price could attract new buyers to the electric car market, but there’s uncertainty over whether federal tax incentives will continue and whether California will be allowed to keep tougher emissions rules under President Trump.
GM is marketing the Bolt as a small crossover. It has the footprint of a subcompact and the interior space of a standard car. More important are its range of 238 miles and price tag of $30,000, after the $7,500 federal tax credit offered on electric vehicles.
Written by Sean Gallaghervia School Transportation News
Bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corp. was awarded $4.4 million by the federal government to develop a zero-emissions, electric-powered school bus that could fund school districts through ‘Vehicle-to-Grid’ technology.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced last year that they would give $15 million to organizations to accelerate the adoption of advanced and alternative fuel vehicles. Blue Bird received the largest chunk of the money.
“As the leader in alternative fuel bus solutions, the addition of an electric school bus rounds out our portfolio,” said Blue Bird President and CEO Phil Horlock. “Thanks to this award…we will be able to pursue the development of this technology based on our many years of research.”
Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Georgia-based Blue Bird hopes to implement V2G technology that will allow the bus to put electricity back into the grid, which could bring much-needed funds to school districts.
For Blue Bird, the electric-powered school bus is not unfamiliar territory.
“We were first to market with an electric school bus in 1994,” said Dennis Whitaker, vice president of product development at Blue Bird. “Since then, we have been closely monitoring this technology, and have found that recent battery management advances have made this project viable.”
Whitaker said that the new Blue Bird electric school bus should roll out in 2019.
According to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, the initiative will help in “the development of a low-cost electric school bus is an investment that could save state resources in the long term.”
The award stipulates that the electric bus has to be an affordable solution for school districts.
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson shared in Deal’s excitement, applauding the decision by the DOE to reward companies that continue to make “positive impacts.”
“Blue Bird has a solid reputation and the company has been an asset to Georgia’s economy,” he said.
U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, who represents Georgia’s middle and southwest regions, praised Blue Bird’s contributions to “produced a multitude of ‘green’ vehicles in recent years.”
“I am excited to see they are now able to produce even more solutions that positively impact the environment and future generations of bus riders,” he said.
TransPower President and CEO Michael Simon added that this electric bus solution could also create additional jobs throughout the country.
“Once these electric buses go into production, there is a huge potential for job growth,” he said. “Supplying electric drive components for say, 500 buses a year, would have the potential to create up to 250 new jobs in California.”
National Strategies Managing Director Kevin Matthews, whose firm developed the application, said this project “will take us far down the road to deploying and operating a zero emission school bus that is cost effective for school districts across the United States.”
“We thank DOE for this award, and applaud Blue Bird’s leadership in this arena,” added Matthews, who will serve as project manager.
With the goal of accelerating the adoption of zero-emission battery-electric buses in the heavy-duty transit market
BURLINGAME, CALIF., June 28, 2016 – In a significant move intended to accelerate widespread EV technology adoption and infrastructure development, Proterra, the leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, today announced it would be opening its overhead on-route fast-charging technology to the transit industry on a royalty-free basis. With the recent issuance of foundational patents covering this technology, Proterra is now clear to offer a complete technology package to the market. Proterra will grant anyone royalty-free access to its patents covering its industry leading single-blade overhead charging design. This includes the bus-mounted, single-blade charging design and the overhead charging coupler. Consistent with this, Proterra is working with its suppliers to open up Proterra’s single-blade overhead charging design for direct sale to third parties. Industry-wide availability of the company’s single-blade overhead charging design will advance standardization efforts and will facilitate additional innovation. For more details on Proterra’s royalty-free access to its single blade technology, see www.proterra.com/charging-technology-details.
“As more and more electric buses operate on U.S. roads, it will be critical for the transit industry to have access to open technology platforms in order to effectively scale this technology and enhance the transit industry,” said Lee Gibson, Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, Nevada. “With Proterra opening up its technology to other manufacturers, this will significantly benefit communities across the nation with this proven technology. Together they can move the industry forward.”
With more than 2.4 million miles of revenue service across the United States, Proterra has more battery-electric buses on the road today than any other manufacturer, and the Proterra single-blade overhead fast-charge system is the most utilized on-route charging technology in the industry. Over the past five years, public transit agencies across the country have performed more than 250,000 charging events using the Proterra single-blade overhead fast-charge system, providing these agencies with the flexibility of keeping their buses on the road all-day, and seamlessly integrating electric buses with existing route schedules. In order to meet the needs of transit operations, the single-blade vehicle coupling mechanism supports a charging voltage range of 250-1000 VDC, and can provide electrical current of up to 1400 amps, with safety taking the highest priority in these systems. Proterra’s unique technology was specifically designed to limit exposure to high voltage components, unlike catenary or third-rail solutions.
“At Proterra, we’re focused on designing and manufacturing the safest, highest-performing EV transit solutions on the market, but we’re also determined to enhance and expand the sector as a whole. We believe that everyone benefits from open platforms and greater customer choice,” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “We hope that this decision will encourage even more transit agencies to bring clean, quiet, emission-free vehicles to our city streets and community roadways.”
Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission vehicles that enable bus fleet operators to significantly reduce operating costs while delivering clean, quiet transportation to the community. Proterra has sold more than 206 vehicles to 26 municipal and university transit agencies throughout North America. Proterra’s configurable EV platform, battery and charging options make its buses well-suited for a wide range of transit and campus routes. With unmatched durability and energy efficiency based on rigorous U.S. certification testing, Proterra products are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in America, with offices in Silicon Valley and South Carolina. For more information visit: http://www.proterra.com/ and follow us on Twitter @Proterra_Inc.
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What if charging your plug-in electric vehicle was as easy as parking it? No need for cords or cards. Just as Wi-Fi has freed consumers of wires when accessing the Internet, wireless charging technology may soon be as widespread, thanks to research supported by the Energy Department.
With support from the Vehicle Technologies Office, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. have been working since 2012 to demonstrate wireless charging on a variety of vehicles. ORNL is working with a mix of Toyota vehicles, including models of the all-electric RAV 4, plug-in hybrid electric Prius and all-electric Scion iQ, while Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. is testing its technology on five all-electric Kia Souls.
The technology behind wireless charging creates a connection between a transmitting pad on the ground (such as in a garage) and a receiving pad integrated on the bottom of the vehicle. In the projects ORNL is leading, the transmitting pad is connected to a 240-volt outlet and generates a magnetic field of a certain frequency. When the coil in the receiving pad is tuned to oscillate at the same frequency, the magnetic field will generate a current in the receiving coil, charging the vehicle’s battery.
Engineers are developing systems under these projects aimed at exceeding the power and speed of wired Level 2 charging. Level 2 charging currently takes about 4 to 6 hours to charge most all-electric vehicles. The projects are focusing on high power charging with a transfer of more than 6.6 kilowatts (kW). In the future, the engineers hope to reach 10kW and eventually 19kW to facilitate faster charging.
After initial testing, researchers will send the vehicles and charging units for validation testing at Idaho National Laboratory. ORNL has already sent one of its developed vehicles there for researchers to fully examine, and Hyundai will be doing the same as soon as it finalizes its prototype. This form of testing ensures that the systems meet international safety standards. For example, the transmitted energy cannot interfere with a pacemaker and other medical devices or harm human health. In addition, Idaho National Laboratory researchers will test how well these devices detect objects, so that, for instance, if a pet runs under the vehicle, the system would shut down and alert the owner.
Beyond static charging, ORNL is already looking ahead at the next phase of wireless charging that can be used for low-speed dynamic charging, with vehicles moving up to 25 miles per hour. In the future, drivers may be able to charge their cars while driving! Wireless charging, be it static or dynamic, will bring real benefits to the real world sooner than people expect.
The 2015 Nissan Leaf has a $12,000 discount promotion at Royal Nissan in Baton Rouge! Ask for Matt Mcbrayer and mention Louisiana Clean Fuels for an additional $1000 off!
Toyota has released a single teaser image of the upcoming Prius Plug-In Hybrid ahead of its debut at the New York International Auto Show.
In addition to the single teaser image of the taillights of the new Prius Plug-In, Toyota also put out the following two-sentence statement:
“Toyota is rolling out the next mechanical marvel in the Prius lineup at 9:10 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, March 23. Put limits in the rear-view, and check out the reveal at https://livestream.com/Toyota/NY2016.”
The last generation Prius Plug-In had similar fuel economy to the standard Prius hybrid, in addition to offering drivers an all-electric driving range of up to six miles due to a 4.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This was less electric driving range than competitors, such as the Ford Fusion Energi (21 miles) and the Chevy Volt (38 miles), and the Prius Plug-In was only sold in 15 states, hindering sales.
The next Toyota Prius Plug-In to be revealed next week could offer north of 30 miles of electric driving range, making it a far more competitive and attractive option. It is also likely to offer the same improved fuel economy as the standard 2016 Prius hybrid, which can achieve up to 56 MPG in Eco trim and 52 MPG in standard guise.
Invitations to the unveiling of the $35,000 Tesla Model 3 have begun going out, with the reveal set for March 31 in Los Angeles. Tesla has released just a single teaser image of the upcoming Model 3, which will reportedly have a 200-mile driving range when production begins in 2017.
According to Electrek, Tesla workers and current owners of the Tesla Model S or Model X will get first dibs on the Model 3 reservation process, which also opens on March 31. A $1,000 refundable deposit is required to reserve a place in line for the Model 3.
It’s unclear whether the Model 3 will be eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit when it enters production. The Tesla Model 3 is the electric automaker’s first official entry into the “affordable” car market, though analysts expect the average Model 3 to cost between $40,000 and $50,000 once option boxes are ticked off.
There have also been rumors that the Model Y crossover could debut alongside the Model 3, though Tesla has vehemently denied those rumors. A hack has also revealed the potential existence of a Tesla P100D model that could offer over 300 miles of driving range per charge, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk didn’t deny the rumors.
Two years ago, the Port of New Orleans stated their commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. Since then, the port has made leaps and bounds in their accomplishments. In July, the port launched Louisiana’s first public fleet of Nissan Leaf vehicles. This effort will reduce greenhouse gasses and air pollutants significantly as EVs generate 0 tailpipe emissions.
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LSU students get to experience the newest in living arrangements on campus in Cypress Hall which is the 1st eco-friendly dormitory hall at LSU. It’s built from the ground-up with recycled materials and is designed to be energy efficient. The dormitory features solar panels and sensor lighting in each room. Cypress Hall will be the new home for more than 300 students this year. LSU officials say they plan to submit for LEED certification with the potential to reach silver status.
“What makes Cypress different from our other facilities on campus are the preparations that’s went into everything from taking this previous parking lot and building this beautiful facility, to the constructions products that were used, to recycling the construction products,” said Catherine David, Associate Director of Communications and Development of LSU Residential life.
The dorm features an indoor bike storage area and Bio swells to control storm water as well as to filter storm waste.
LCF is especially excited about the dorm’s electric vehicle charging stations!! We will be working with residential life to promote these stations and record their usage to track alternative fuel use in the state of Louisiana.
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