ABB’s Terra 53 fast charging station ready for Europe-wide deployment

ABB's Terra 53 fast charging station ready for Europe-wide deploymentIn today's electric vehicle market, several European countries are setting up nation-wide electric vehicle charging networks. The infrastructure choices are made more complicated because the electric car makers haven't made quick charging systems that are compatible crosswise vendors. Enter electrical systems giant ABB and the Terra 53 multi-protocol charging station, that just received the CE certification that will allow ABB to start selling equipment at the scale de rigueur for generous-scale charging networks casing whole countries.
On Tuesday, ABB announced they'd achieved CE certification for the 50 kilowatt Terra 53 Combo Charging System compatible quick charging station. This certification is required to sell units in Europe.
ABB's charging stations are being deployed in national-scale charging networks in at least Estonia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, and The Netherlands. “To support the rollout of nationwide charging networks in Estonia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, The Netherlands and more to come, we’ve been relentlessly focused on adhering to diligence-leading public standards of connectivity, quality and reliability. CE certification by an independent certification body is a clear recognition of our commitment to these principles and demonstrates the robustness and high level of safety of our new and already installed public and private charging stations” said Hans Streng, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ABB’s EV Charging Infrastructure Product Assemble.
Today, it isn't just a matter of installing quick charging stations. Some electric cars use the CHAdeMO quick charging standard, others use the SAE DC Quick Charging standard (a.k.a. Combo Charging System, or CCS), while even others use three phase AC (AC Type 2, Mode 3). That means an electric car owner could find themselves at an incompatible charging station and unable to recharge their car.
But the ABB Terra 53, by supporting all three of these standards, gets around that problem. The electric car driver simply plugs in the charging cord that's compatible with their car.
In each of these cases typical electric cars can snag an 80% recharge, for 60-70 miles of range, in a half hour or so. This makes electric cars more flexible than if the recharge required 3-4 hours to end.
ABB recently participated in BMW and Volkswagen’s Interoperabilty workshops with the Terra 53 and demonstrated successful charging of the next generation of CCS compatible EV’s. Most recently, BMW used ABB’s Terra 53 at the IAA Live-Drive event in Frankfurt to charge the BMWi3.
The Chevy Spark EV and the BMW i3 are the first CCS-compatible electric cars on the market, and more are expected over the coming years. The Renault ZOE and the 3rd generation smart ForTwo Electric Drive both support the 3 phase AC quick charging system. Over the course of the next few years it's expected the balance of quick charging standards to budge from the CHAdeMO system that primarily chains the Nissan Leaf, over to the CCS or three phase AC systems.
The Tesla Supercharger system is incompatible with all three of those systems, importance Tesla electric car owners either will charge at a Supercharger system or else require an adapter to use a CHAdeMO or CCS quick charging station. Tesla has committed to developing a CHAdeMO adapter.

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GM CEO Akerson taking on Tesla’s electric with Cadillac’s plugin-hybrid

GM CEO Akerson taking on Tesla's electric with Cadillac's plugin-hybridStart-up electric car maker Tesla Motors, with total sales volume that's a tiny fraction of GM's volume, might not seem like a huge threat to General Motors. At today's TSLA stock price ($181.11) and $22 billion market cap, the stock market is valuing Tesla at nearly one-half GM's $51 billion market cap. On Friday, when GM's CEO Dan Akerson told the Detroit News that GM is plotting to take on Tesla with the Cadillac brand, he may be looking nervously at the message the stock market is speaking in this area the automobile diligence.
Last week Tesla's stock price popped from the upper $160's to over $180 a share, following news in this area plans to give up autonomous pouring features starting in 2016-17, and a major stock analyst raising his TSLA price target to $200 and reiterating a buy recommendation. Over the last six months Tesla's stock price has risen nearly six-fold in an amazingly strong performance. It has risen so high, so quick, that the stock price is clearly not based on a normal valuation based on Tesla's current performance as a company. At this price level, the stock market is either betting Tesla Motors will completely disrupt the automobile diligence, or else the company is caught in a hype bubble and will eventually disappoint the investors.
GM CEO Dan Akerson reiterated in an interview with the Detroit News that GM plans to "take on" Tesla Motors, while at the same time downplaying the potential of electric cars and playing up the potential of plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt. His plot to take on Tesla is, “If you want to compete head-to-head with Tesla, and we eventually will, you want to do it with a Cadillac,” he said to the Detroit News.
That's the kind of statement that seems somewhat rational, Cadillac is GM's luxury car brand after all. But it belies a fundamental misunderstanding in this area Tesla. They're not just another automaker, Tesla is pushing for a generous scale rethink of what's normal for automobiles. The public is responding extremely positively to the model that Tesla is offering.
Akerson, again, admitted that GM is losing money on the Chevy Volt by saying “We’ll sell more (Chevrolet) Volts and lose less money on the Volts than they’ll lose on the (Tesla) Model S.” But, his claim that Tesla is losing money on the Model S seems off-base given the company's financial results in 2013. Tesla has a healthy "margin" on the Model S (essentially, profit) already and is working hard to improve the profit earned for each car sold. In part the analyst upgrade mentioned earlier was based on reasoning that Tesla was going to improve their margin quicker than expected, by humanizing their manufacturing process.
He reiterated again that GM is working on a 200-mile range electric car, but downplayed the significance of all electric cars. Instead he fell back on the range anxiety bugaboo that GM's marketing department always trots out. “What we see on the line of sight is a 200-mile battery car, but at the same time 200 miles is fantastic, but it’s not going to satisfy the range anxiety that persists. It’s still a major issue with the purchasing public and I reckon you’ve got to have a generator on board so that you basically have unlimited range.”
This is the version of reality which GM has pushed since unveiling the Chevy Volt in 2009. That we have to be frightened of range anxiety, and therefore a gasoline generator is required to mollify that dread. While many do agree with that model, as evidenced by Chevy Volt sales, strong Tesla Model S sales tells us there is a huge demand for the version of reality existing by Tesla Motors. Namely, sufficient electric range (265 miles) to erase most range concerns, and a high poewer quick charging infrastructure for any long road trips.
The Tesla Model S is the first electric car that can credibly perform a standard road trip. So long as the driver can recharge at Tesla Supercharger stations, they can drive for 265 miles then recharge completely in under an hour. While an hour is a bit longer than the typical gasoline refill, it is healthy to take a break after spending 4ish hours pouring. But more importantly, it is a lot shorter recharge time than any other production electric car. The Nissan Leaf would require 5 charging sessions to travel 265 miles, at a total charging time over 6 hours if using CHAdeMO quick charging stations.
The race for electric car leadership is a three way tie (nearly) between General Motors, Nissan, and Tesla Motors. Each are selling at approximately the same level, albeit with month-to-month variations as to which is ahead in a given month. In one corner is the Chevy Volt laden with a gasoline engine to mollify range anxiety fears. In another corner is the Nissan Leaf, with an nearly adequate electric range, and an nearly useful quick charging feature for longer trips. The Tesla Model S is a no-compromise design, offering an enormous electric range and very quick charging, but at a no-compromise price.
Even at that price, the Model S is taking a significant place in the luxury car market outselling several major luxury car models from major automakers. Perhaps GM has a aptly to be worried in this area whether Cadillac will carry on?
Source: Detroit News

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EV Week kicks off plug-in car education in SF Bay Area from Sept 23-27

EV Week kicks off plug-in car education in SF Bay Area from Sept 23-27September is going to be a month of education in this area electric cars in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. The SF Bay Area education outreach will start with EV Week 2013 organized by Charge Crosswise Town, and is followed by National Plug-in Day 2013 organized by Plug-in America. EV Week covers three cities, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and San Jose, with events and activities meant to educate Bay Area drivers in this area the benefits of pouring all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. While the SF Bay Area is the top Nissan Leaf market, and maybe the top market for electric cars overall, there are still a lot of public here to educate in this area their benefits.
Getting drivers behind the wheel of a plug-in electric car (butts in seats) is widely recognized as the best way to educate drivers in this area electric vehicle benefits. EV Week 2013 will feature EV Ride & Drives at each event, and the organizers goal is to have 1000 public test drive plug-in electric cars. In 2012 they had over 300 public take test drives.
Each major auto manufacturer will be involved, and the list of vehicles on show will include: Honda Treaty PHEV, Honda Fit EV, Ford C-MAX Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, Ford Focus Electric, Chevy Spark EV, Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Toyota RAV4 EV (Gen 2), Smart Electric Drive, Fiat 500e, and the Tesla Model S. EV Week organizers hope to show that there is an EV for everyone. Other participants include
Scoot Networks will be screening the electric scooters used in their San Francisco based scooter sharing arrangement; Mahindra GenZe will be screening their electric scooter design; See Solar will be screening the EV ARC solar powered electric car charging station; PG&E will be screening the Via Motors VTRUX and several of their clean fleet cars; Schneider Electric, ChargePoint will be screening their electric car charging technology.
EV Week is in its second year. In its 2012 incarnation, EV Week was held solely in San Francisco, had a similar range of activities, and had over 300 public test pouring plug-in electric cars. The 2013 incarnation is larger and better, and includes Silicon Valley as well as San Francisco.
The event will run from Sept 23 to 27, beginning in San Francisco at the Justin Herman Plaza. Test drives will occur along the Embarcadero, and an EV Expo will run all day on the 23rd and 24th at Justin Herman Plaza.
On the 25th the event moves to Palo Alto, at the Palo Alto City Hall Plaza. That location is just off University Ave, giving simple access for anyone on that busy street full of shopping and technology companies.
On the 26th and 27th, EV Week moves to San Jose at the Santana Row shopping center, as well as an event in collaboration with GreenTown Los Altos at the Los Altos Farmers Market. At Santana Row test drives will be conducted in Santana Row, along with learning exhibits, and a reception to be held at the Santana Row Tesla Store.
The EV Week activities are immediately followed by National Plug-in Day. This nation-wide event is scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 28-29, and is organized by Plug-in America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association. The 2013 Plug-in Day will be held in over 50 cities crosswise the U.S. and will feature local drivers and advocates of plug-in cars, as well as other events such as EV parades, test drive events, tailgate parties, press conferences and more. In the SF Bay Area, Plug-in Day events will be held at
De Anza College, Sept. 28, and is also the 41st annual Silicon Valley EAA EV Rally (the event which used to be held in Palo Alto); Folsom Premium Outlet Mall, Sept. 29, for the Sacramento region; Petaluma Plaza South, Sept. 29, for the North Bay Area; Marin County Town Center, Sept. 29, for Marin County, next to the Sunday Farmers Market; Staff of Life Market, Santa Cruz, Sept. 29, for the Monterey Bay are

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Paul Scott predicts electric car tipping point in 2017 at EV Summit 2013

Paul Scott predicts electric car tipping point in 2017 at EV Summit 2013The San Francisco Bay Area was recently named by Nissan as the top US market for the Nissan Leaf, and on Saturday the force of that area's electric vehicle convergence made itself known with a generous gathering, the EV Summit 2013, organized by the SF BayLeaf's and the Silicon Valley stage of the Electric Auto Association. Hundreds of electric vehicle owners gathered in celebration and even drew participants from far outside the SF Bay Area, including Paul Scott and Zan Dubin Scott, both long-time electric vehicle activists who helped with starting Plug-in America. Speaking before the crowd, Paul Scott, now working as a Nissan Leaf dealer, talked of the massive upswing in electric car sales and a coming "inflection point."
The event was held on the Google campus in Mountain View, and featured food, entertainment and plenty of electric cars in the parking lot. In addition to the dozens of electric cars driven by participants, both manufacturers and car dealers came with cars to show including: Toyota RAV4 EV, Tesla Model S, Fiat 500e, Nissan Leaf, Renault Twizy, Via Motors VTRUX, Chevy Spark EV. The AAA had a contingent of public screening their mobile charging truck for electric vehicle response. The truck carries both level 2 charging, and a 20 kilowatt CHAdeMO quick charger.
Talking in this area the US sales success of plug-in hybrids and all electric cars, Paul Scott noted there are now over 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles pouring the roads of America, including both plug-in hybrid and all electric cars. We're in this area 2 1/2 years past the introduction of the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, and in this area 1 year past the introduction of the Tesla Model S. Prior to the introduction of these electrified cars, there were only a few thousand electric cars in total, including Tesla Roadsters, the remaining Gen1 Toyota RAV4 EV's, Ford Range EV's, and several thousand home-built electric conversion cars. Jumping to a population of over 100,000 plug-in electric cars is a unusual leap, but it is just the beginning.
The coming inflection point Paul Scott spoke of will come, he says, when Tesla delivers on its promise of the affordable mass production electric car, now expected for the 2017 model year. They have to line up some technology partners to make that car feasible, but the company is repeatedly promising that it will have a 200+ mile electric range, will cost $35,000 MSRP (before any tax breaks), and that Tesla will be building those cars in the hundreds of thousands of units per year.
By comparison the Gen2 Chevy Volt should become available in in this area the same time, have a $30k MSRP, and an electric range around 70 miles. The Volt or the Leaf or other electric cars may have a hard time competing against a 200+ mile range Tesla sitting in the middle of their price range.

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94.2 mpg 2014 Mercedes S 500 Plug in hybrid sets new benchmarks

94.2 mpg 2014 Mercedes S 500 Plug in hybrid sets new benchmarksA few years ago mileage like this from a luxury sedan would have been plotting impossible. Mercedes has just announced a new S 500 plug-in hybrid that will achieve 94.2 mpg in the European cycle. This sets new benchmarks for the luxury sedan segment and it can cover 100 kilometers while burning just three liters of fuel. The new S 500 Plug-in hybrid will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month. Mercedes has released information ahead of schedule on the new fuel-stingy luxury sedan.
This new Mercedes hybrid is not only fuel-efficient, but it's quick. The new luxury saloon uses a 80-kW electric drive with externally rechargeable battery allows emission-free pouring for in this area 18 miles. It’s mated to a new 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged engine which produces 245 kW plus 80-kW electric motor and torque of 480 Nm of the combustion engine plus 340 Nm of the electric motor. Top speed of the luxury hybrid is 155 mph and will sprint from 0-62 in just 5.5 seconds.
Mercedes says the new system allows for the gas engine to be completely decoupled from the electric motor for a seamless integration into the powertrain. Prof Dr Thomas Weber, reliable on the Daimler Board of Management for Assemble Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Product Engineering says, "With the S 500 Plug-in hybrid Mercedes-Benz sets another milestone on the road to emission-free mobility on the basis of our modular hybrid matrix. In this way the S-Class turns into a genuine three-liter car with generous space and superlative drive-system comfort."
Mercedes reveals that the new S 500 uses a high-voltage lithium-ion battery that has ten times the energy content and offers the option of being recharged from an external source with a charging socket located on the aptly side of the rear bumper. It delivers this kind of efficiency while providing brilliant performance and passenger comfort thanks to the pre-entry climate control of the interior. More information will be revealed when it presents itself in Frankfurt.
The new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-in hybrid will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month and will launch in Europe next year. This writer will be casing Mercedes-Benz here on Rawvehicle.com so check back often to see the newest Mercedes news coming from the Frankfurt Auto Show.

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Electric cars don’t swamp the grid, have enough driving range

Electric cars don't swamp the grid, have enough driving rangeSouthern California Edison, a generous utility company in Southern California, has over 12,000 plug-in vehicles within its service area, in place of in this area 10% of nation-wide plug-in hybrid and electric car sales. On Tuesday the company released a white paper today full of insights gleaned from its Electric Vehicle (EV) readiness program.
“The Southern California region and SCE’s service territory in particular is seeing significant uptick of ahead of schedule plug-in vehicle adoption,” said Ed Kjaer, SCE director of Transportation Electrification. “SCE is partnering with auto makers, dealers and the communities we serve to help educate our customers on ways to seamlessly connect their new EVs to an ever-changing electrical system.”
What SCE cultured is boiled down to six points:
Impression on the grid from electric cars is miniscule: Of the 400 upgrades SCE made to circuits that serve owners of plug-in cars, only 1% of those upgrades were due to increased electrical demand. One of the bugaboo-fears in this area electric cars is they'll overload the grid, but SCE is just the newest in a string of grid operators saying there's plenty of room to handle electric cars.
In this area 65% of SCE's customers who own plug-in vehicles own a plug-in hybrid, while the other 35% own an all electric vehicle. In this area 50% of the plug-in hybrid owners are charging on regular 120 volt outlets rather than springing for a full charging station.
But SCE is beginning to see higher adoption of all electric cars, most of whom have more powerful 6.6 kilowatt (or more) chargers.
Using the “end charge” time programing feature is excellent for EV customers and their neighbors: Most electric cars can be programmed to end the charging at a specific time of day (or night). By doing this it randomizes the time when charging starts, importance there won't be hundreds of electric cars all starting their charge cycle at midnight.
What do new plug-in car owners most want to know? Looking at traffic on SCE's website, they see the most well loved areas of their website are: The Plug-In Car Rate Supporter Tool, which helps estimate charging costs; use the link to the Dept of Energy's list of public charging station locations; and watch videos on electric cars as well as reading background information on the environmental impression.
Ahead of schedule adopters report that electric car pouring range is fine: A survey of Nissan Leaf owners shows that "range anxiety" disappeared after a period of ownership and acclimation. Most reported their overnight charging at 240 volts was sufficient to support their daily pouring patterns.
Multi-unit residents may face complex challenges: Residents of apartment, condo or townhouse complexes face tough challenges to charging a plug-in car at home. That's because charging station installation has to be negotiated with the landlord or home owners association. These third parties may not see the need for the charging station in the same way the plug-in car owners does. Current California law does say landlords and HOA's cannot place up unreasonable blocks against charging station installation.
SCE and the cities we serve are exciting up and ready to go: Virtually all of the 180 cities in SCE’s service territory are committed to helping their residents plug in by streamlining permitting and inspection processes.
To view the white paper and accompanying materials, see bitly.com/SCEChargedUpNews.

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