The Wind Explorer pilot vehicle is a two-seated electromobile that weighs just 200 kg (441 lbs) and with a range of 400 kilometers (249 miles) per battery charge. The bodywork consists mainly of a carbon fiber composite with ROHACELL structural foam from Evonik Industries. Its lithium-ion batteries, based on yet another Evonik technology, are charged by a mobile wind turbine or in the conventional way from the power grid. Windexplorer The Wind Explorer weighs just 80 kilograms (176 lbs) without the batteries and wind turbine. Click to enlarge. German extreme sports enthusiasts Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer made a 17-day journey across Australia in late January of 2011 in this electric vehicle powered by wind and lithium-ion batteries. The wind turbine and a 6-meter-high telescopic bamboo mast are set up within 30 minutes. The Wind Explorer was propelled partly by parasail-style kites in addition to wind power, achieving in this way a maximum speed of about 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph) on the approximately 4,900-kilometer (3,045-mile) stretch from Albany on the Indian Ocean to Sydney. Only in exceptional cases did the drivers resort to electricity from conventional sources. When they built the electromobile, the duo opted for a sandwich structure of carbon-fiber fabric and a structural core of Evonik’s ROHACELL polymethacrylimide (PMI) rigid foam. This fiber plastic composite has been used for many years in aircraft, helicopters, trains, and ships, and is also rapidly gaining ground in automotive construction: ROHACELL structures allow weight savings of 60% or more over conventional steel parts.and the lightweight bodywork was made from Evonik:
Lighter and further When they built the electromobile, the duo opted for a tried-and-proven lightweight construction material: a sandwich structure of carbon-fiber fabric and a structural core of Evonik's ROHACELL® polymethacrylimide (PMI) rigid foam. This fiber plastic composite has been used with great success for many years in aircraft, helicopters, trains, and ships, and is also rapidly gaining ground in automotive construction: ROHACELL® structures allow weight savings of 60 percent or more over conventional steel parts. “And every gram of weight saved reduces CO2 emissions in conventional fuel vehicles and increases the range of the electric vehicles of the future,” says Stefan Plass, who is responsible for ROHACELL® business at Evonik, describing the driving force behind developments for the automotive industry. The high rigidity of the foam also improves the inherent rigidity of the components. And thanks to the high thermal resistance of the material, three-dimensional ROHACELL® cores are easily produced by thermoforming with short cycle times. ROHACELL® is CFC-free and, in compliance with Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, heavy-metal-free, and is listed in the IMDS. Tests at KTH Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering in Stockholm and the University of Cranfield, and by Lotus Engineering, testify to its excellent crash properties. Further information is available at www.rohacell.com
Dow Kokam to provide Li-ion packs to Motiv Power and ZeroTruck for medium-duty electric commercial vehicles (correction) 7 March 2011 Dow Kokam has signed two agreements to provide lithium-ion battery solutions to power electric medium-duty commercial vehicles with Motiv Power Systems and ZeroTruck, all designated for fleet operations. Made with nickel metal cobalt technology, Dow Kokam battery cells are designed with a patented Z-fold process and currently feature an energy density of 143 Wh/kg, a good energy/power balance (14 kW peak power), and offer a cycle life of 2,000 cycles at 80% discharge. Dow Kokam says that the design of the cells results in lower impedance and heat generation, with improved lifetime and faster charge and discharge. Motiv Power Systems, an electric drive power control system provider, with funding from the California Energy Commission, is using Dow Kokam’s battery system to convert a Class 4, Ford E-450 diesel chassis to a completely electric system for a passenger shuttle bus. The fully-electric, 20-passenger shuttle bus has a 100-mile (161-kilometer) range. The shuttle bus will be operated by Bauer Transportation to provide daily service for the San Francisco region, including the Google and Facebook headquarters in the high-tech corridor of the Silicon Valley. The vehicle is projected to operate for at least 8 years, and will begin its deployment in August. ZeroTruck, a developer and producer of commercial electric trucks, is using Dow Kokam’s large-format lithium-ion battery systems to power fully-electric, Class 3-6 work vehicles based on the Isuzu N series chassis—a flexible medium duty truck platform. The ZeroTruck is available in Class 3-6 chassis and can operate at full highway speeds, with a 70-mile (113-kilometer) range in city driving. The Isuzu N series chassis design enables ZeroTruck to be modified for utility, dry freight, stake bed, tow, sweeper, and refuse body type applications. ZeroTruck is building one truck for service on a federal campus in Washington DC, featuring an 18-foot dry freight body for facilities with delivery in early April 2011. Dow Kokam was established in 2009 to develop and manufacture advanced energy storage technologies for the transportation and other industries. The company is owned by The Dow Chemical Company, TK Advanced Battery LLC and Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault.
Plug In Santa Barbara Welcomes the First Nissan Leaf Pure Electric Vehicle to Our Region Santa Barbara is projected to be a top early adopter market in the nation, and the Community Environmental Council is leading local efforts to prepare for electric vehicles. Goleta, CA. March 12th, 2011 - A local UCSB physics professor, Roger Freedman, will take delivery of the region’s first mass market pure electric vehicle, a Nissan Leaf, on Saturday, March 12th at 11 am at Santa Barbara Nissan, 425 South Kellogg Avenue, Goleta, CA 93117. The event is open to the public. The vehicle is the first of thousands of electric vehicles that are projected to appear on local streets in the next few years, and a newly formed group, Plug in Santa Barbara, is preparing for the arrival of these environmentally friendly vehicles. The Leaf is a pure electric vehicle which the EPA rates at 106 mpg equivalent in the city, 92 mpg equivalent on the highway, 99 mpg equivalent combined. The Leaf has zero tailpipe emissions, and on California’s clean electricity grid reduces greenhouse gases by around 75 percent. California is an exceptional place to leverage the benefits of an electric car, as the local Southern California Edison grid contains almost 20 percent renewable energy like wind, geothermal, and solar, and contains very little coal. Electric vehicles will get cleaner as they age, as the amount of renewable energy in California is mandated to increase to 33 percent by 2020. The Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt (a plug in hybrid electric vehicle, also available now) are the first of around a dozen electric vehicles expected to be on the market by 2012. In fact, Southern California Edison recently projected Santa Barbara to be in the top four early adopter markets out of the 180 cities in their service territory. To prepare for these new vehicles, the Community Environmental Council is organizing Plug in Santa Barbara, a group of government, utility, business and other stakeholders working to build out a public charging infrastructure, reduce barriers to electric vehicles, and attract state and federal funding to our region. “Electric vehicles are the largest revolution in a century of driving. As electric motors are three times as efficient as gasoline motors, and can be powered by renewable electricity, plug-in cars will help us transition to a future free from dependence on imported fossil fuels” explained Michael Chiacos, Transportation Specialist at the Community Environmental Council. “Electric vehicles can take advantage of California’s clean electric grid, one of the least polluting in the nation, and ones that park near and draw power from a building with solar panels can literally be “driving on sunshine.” “The interest in the Leaf is over the top” said Gordon Jenkins, Leaf Product Specialist at Santa Barbara Nissan. “We expect to deliver 20 Leafs in the next 45 days and I’m getting a dozen calls a day, especially with gas prices hitting $4 a gallon.” He continued, “Even some of the service guys, who were naysayers about electric vehicles, took one spin and came back amazed at this revolutionary new vehicle. This in no golf cart!” The owner of the first Leaf and representatives from the Community Environmental Council and Santa Barbara Nissan will be on hand to answer questions at the event. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view the vehicle and learn more about Plug in Santa Barbara. To follow the Plug in Santa Barbara efforts, visit www.tinyurl.com/pluginsb or “like” Plug in Santa Barbara on Facebook. For information from Southern California Edison about preparing for electric vehicles, visit www.sce.com/pev About the Community Environmental Council The Community Environmental Council is forty-year old environmental non-profit focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy, sustainable transportation, peak oil and climate change. Our goal is to end our region’s dependency on fossil fuels in one generation – Fossil Free by 2033. Website: www.cecsb.org
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The Santa Barbara Electric Vehicle Association (SBEVA) is a group of people with a strong interest in electric vehicles of all types, from electric bicycles, electric motorcycles, and three and four wheel electric cars. Currently, members are working on two different three-wheeled cars and an electric motorcycle. Past projects include numerous electric bicycle projects, two cars, and an electric motorcycle conversion.
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SHANGHAI -- Even for a person like me who covers China's auto industry on a daily basis, I can't help feeling amazed at how fast the government is moving to encourage development of "green" cars. Late last year, the Chinese government was still unsure which powertrain technology to support to help domestic automakers leapfrog the international competition. But this year, it chose to subsidize plug-in hybrids and "pure" EVs, then quickly mobilized all its resources to prepare the country for the age of the electric vehicles. And all these decisions have taken place in little more than a month. On May 31, the central government announced a pilot subsidy program for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. The state will provide a maximum subsidy of 50,000 yuan ($7,386) for plug-in vehicles and 60,000 yuan ($8,863) for pure electric vehicles purchased in five cities. On July 6, officials from three ministries and the nation's highest economic planning agency flew to Shenzhen to declare the launch of the pilot subsidy program. The message to auto executives was clear. The government was united; there would be no more debate. That same day, Shenzhen's city government announced plans to provide up to 30,000 yuan for plug-in purchasers and up to 60,000 yuan for EV buyers. Those funds were in addition to Beijing's subsidies – a major boost for BYD Co., which is headquartered in Shenzhen. The other four cities in the pilot program soon disclose how much they will contribute. If this doesn't sound fast enough to you, there's more: The central government has assigned China's two electric utilities, three largest oil companies and major electrical equipment makers to build EV charging stations across the country. These state-owned companies also are helping to draft technical standards for battery charging stations. And what is their deadline for the new standards? It is the end of this year, according to official media. The Beijing government is running – not walking – to keep pace with the auto industry.
My comment:A must read. I have some quibbles and one or two typos ( see the comments), but the methodology is explicit, so if you want to re-weight the factors, you can make your own spreadsheet calcs. The author tries to calculate the energy used to carry cargo across a wide range of vehicles over time. He uses an interesting method ( see the explanation of Q, rejected energy, and contained energy) of equating various sorts of dissimilar energy sources. He factors time in as a finite resource - less time spent moving the cargo ( i.e. higher speed) is a tangible benefit. This is not wrong, it's just not always useful - comparing a 20 minute bicycle commute versus 10 minutes in the car for instance, over-values the car. His method favors airplanes when surely a 4 hour point-to-point train ride is more efficient than a three hour airplane ride where 1 hour is in flight and two hours are local transport. He does not factor in well-to-wheels numbers nor embodied energy nor special cases like jetliners dumping CO2 directly into the stratosphere or leaking natural gas pipelines. Those can be evaluated once the basic physics of the vehicle are assessed. The main chart: Where "energetic performance" means efficiency, sort of. Links from the article and comments: Is Cumulative Fossil Energy Demand a Useful Indicator for the Environmental Performance of Products? Racing bicycle streamliner which supplied some absolute measurements ...a list of transportation modes by fuel efficiency Right up SBEVA's alley: Energy, Global Warming, and Electric Bicycles Again, the whole post How Green Is Your Ride? The Oil Drum says:
This is a guest post by Jeff Radtke. Jeff is an independent researcher holding BS degrees in Nuclear Engineering and Physics, and an MS in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics. He is a member of the American Physical Society and The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. In addition to recent work with electric bicycles, for the past 27 years he has been designing and building nuclear instruments for materials studies, medical, physics and educational applications.