If you can soup up a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle(EV), what features would you want? For some fleet managers, turning plug-in hybrids into a source for powering up construction tools or buildings during a blackout is high on the list.
That’ why Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has been helping VIA Motors to convert new General Motors trucks into plug-in hybrids with the ability to export a large amount of power. The utility, the largest in California, envisions sending a bunch of these trucks into the field for routine maintenance work and to deal with emergencies. The amount of exportable power here will be large enough to run hydraulic lifts to send workers up the powerlines to do repairs or serve as backup power for homes while workers fix faulty circuits or transformers, said Dave Meisel, director of transportation services at PG&E. (EV motors)
Hybrid cars offer fuel savings over time – the price of gasoline has risen and will continue to increase at greater rates than the price of electricity – as well as environmental benefits such as lower emissions, he said. As federal and states introduce stricter fuel economy and emission standards, businesses must comply by buying vehicles with more fuel-efficient engines or ones that run on cleaner sources of fuels. But alternative-fuel vehicles also tend to cost more partly because they aren’t made in large volumes, and fleet managers very much focus on the payback period of their investments. (electric motor conversion kits)
Adding the exportable power feature creates additional savings for fleet owners like PG&E, Meisel said. It eliminates the need for buying portable generators that run on fossil fuels, for example. Using the hybrid trucks to reduce the length of a blackout also is an attractive proposition for utilities, which face fines if their customers experience a high number of outages or if they can’t restore power quickly.
“We are looking at broader savings that a lot of people are not looking at,” Meisel said. “When I look at the total operational savings, including fuel savings, the math starts to look really nice.” PG&E has about 9,000 vehicles in its fleet, and roughly 3,100 of them run on alternative fuels, such as natural gas, electricity and biodiesel. (electric car motor)
PG&E has been field-testing two EV trucks since last year and giving the car company feedback about its experience and suggestions for improvements. The utility estimates that the trucks could deliver annual fuel maintenance savings of $7000 per vehicle compared with conventional trucks, said Greg Pruett, senior vice president of corporate affairs at PG&E, during a press event at the Detroit auto show earlier this month when VIA discussed its plans to launch not just hybrid trucks but also hybrid SUVs and vans. VIA plans to convert only GM models, such as the Chevy Silverado, for now.
VIA has developed a powertrain that includes a 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which can last up to 40 miles per charge. The gasoline engine is for generating electricity to run the electric car motor, which moves the wheels. The company is putting its technology in brand new vehicles only, not used cars. When VIA Motors showed up at the Detroit auto show, its executives rattled off a list of things that people can do with vehicles that double as power generators, such as catering to outdoor parties and running outdoor concerts.
“Think of a 3-day camping trip where you have unlimited power with the car you drive into the woods with,” said Bob Lutz, a member of VIA’s board of directors and the former vice chairman of GM, during a press conference at the auto show.
The two VIA trucks PG&E has been trying out cost about $400,000 total, Meisel said. The trucks are the early version of what VIA plans to produce commercially later this year, Meisel said. The price for the trucks at “low volumes” should be in the $70,000 range, and it should continue to drop as production increases, he added. (electric motor conversion kits)
VIA isn’t the only company PG&E is turning to for converted hybrids with exportable power. The utility also is considering vehicles from Electric VehicleInternational, which turns beefier pickup trucks to plug-in hybrids. VIA’s truck delivers 15 kilowatts of exportable power and is working on boosting that to 50 kilowatts while Electric Vehicle (EV) International is working on trucks with 100 kilowatts of exportable power. Figuring out a good way to cool the equipment that generates and routes the power becomes a greater hurdle as the size of exportable power increases.
PG&E and other fleet owners are turning to companies that can do after-market conversion for now partly because major automakers have yet to introduce the plug-in hybrid version of the trucks that the fleet owners want to buy.(EV motors) But that day will come if consumers continue to show interest in electric cars (and the prices for them drop). When that happens, companies such as VIA Motors may find it difficult to compete, said Kevin See, an analyst with Lux Research.
“There may be a short-lived window for them to make their mark,” See said. “I wouldn’t expect their businesses to be long-term because of the competition that will enter the market. (EV motor)” MSD
Media Borough has created another reason to make “Everybody’s Hometown” a destination. This time an initiative will make downtown the hometown for owners of electric vehicles (EV).
As only the third known location in Delaware County, Media has inaugurated a charging station in the municipal parking lot next to the Media Fire Department, across from Media-Upper Providence Library and one block from all that State Street has to offer.The borough is participating in a pilot project for EV charging powered by 100 percent Pennsylvania wind energy. Borough officials and Community Energy, Inc. had the ribbon cutting recently, with attendance by representatives of the energy firm, Mayor Bob McMahon, Councilman Eric Stein, Environmental Advisory Council Chair Walt Cressler and several other borough staff member.While the technology includes several cutting-edge elements, charging station operation is fairly simple: pull into the dedicated parking space (lot is between Jasper and Front streets just east of Jackson Street); plug the electric vehicle (EV) into the charger; dine, shop or attend to other borough business. In the span of an hour or two, EVs can be charged enough for at least several dozen miles.“We are pleased to be partnering with Media Borough and the Media Fire Company as this becomes one of the first charging stations in the county,” said Jay Carlis, Vice President of Retail Marketing for Community Energy, Inc. based in Radnor. “This pilot project, funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, comes early in the electric vehicle transition. At the government level, Media has been a leader in environmental sustainability. This is a great location for residents and visitors.”Carlis said there are electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Radnor and Wayne and only a handful in the state, placing the borough in the forefront of the technology. To kick off the enterprise, he drove a Chevrolet Volt and hooked it up to demonstrate the virtual plug, charge and go technique.Representatives from Thomas Chevrolet brought a second Volt. Amy Ercolani of Thomas said the dealership has sold several Volts, has one in stock, and expects the manufacturer to supply a small but steady stream of the model, which has a gasoline back-up capability. EVs are available from other automotive manufacturers as well.Running at a 240-volt service, the public station works twice as fast as a charge from, for example, a home outlet which is generally half the volts. An hour charge is expected to cost $3.50 with Community Energy paying a fee to the borough for the actual electric used. The mileage value of a charge varies depending on the electric vehicle and road conditions, not unlike gas mileage. Not surprisingly, there are “apps” which can monitor the charge from mobile devices.In the borough’s view, the station sends multiple signals about the alternative energy commitment which already includes a solar energy grid and wind-generated electricity purchase.“I’m a strong supporter of renewable energy and any electric car conversion. I have solar energy at my home, so I’m not just talking theoretically,” said Stein, liaison to the Environmental Advisory Council. “It’s good for the economy, and good for the environment.” MSD Continued...
General Motors will be collaborating with Spanish energy company Iberdola on a feasibility study to determine the infrastructure needs to support electric car motor vehicles in Europe. Similar studies are underway already between automakers and utility companies in the United States and elsewhere. The two companies have a relationship through other EV projects being run by EPRI. Under examination will be the needs for private, residential, and commercial customers as well as for publicly-accessible electric vehicle plugs. Among the issues that need to be resolved are how rates will be determined for EV (electric vehicle) charging and billing mechanisms. The study will be focused in Spain and the UK. As long as a good electric auto motor and electric vehicle motor controller can be procured, of which both can be procured at D&D Motor Systems, inc., anyone can build an EV car. (Electric car motors kits) MSD
A Tesla-Like All-Electric Sports Car
Today on CNBC, Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli revealed a Tesla -like all-electric performance sports car called the Dodge ev along with three other vehicles operating either partially or entirely on an electric powertrain. The four vehicles are Chrysler's ENVI electric car motor program, and include an extended -electric Chrysler minivan, a new "gated community" electric called "the peapod" and a Jeep Wrangler four-door. The ev (electric vehicle), the first of the four unveiled, not only operates entirely on plug-in power like the Tesla Roadster and appears to have similar performance numbers, also has some striking visual similarities with the Tesla. And why shouldn't it? While the Tesla's built on the Lotus Elise, the Dodge ev appears to be based on the Lotus Europa. (electric motor conversion kits)
Which draws more juice from the electric grid, a big-screen plasma television or recharging an EV (electric vehicle)?
The answer is the car. But the electricity draw by plasma televisions is easing the minds of utility company executives across the nation as they plan for what is likely to be an electric car conversion of much of the country's vehicle fleet from gasoline to electricity in the coming years.
Rechargeable cars, industry officials say, consume about four times the electricity as plasma TVs.
But the industry already has dealt with increased electric demand from the millions of plasma TVs sold in recent years. Officials say that experience will help them deal with the vehicle fleet changeover to EV's. (electric motor conversion kits)
So as long as the changeover from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles is somewhat gradual, they should be able to handle it in the same way, Mark Duvall, program manager for electric transportation, power delivery and distribution for the Electric Power Research Institute, said Tuesday.
"We've already added to the grid the equivalent of several years' production of EV hybrids," Duvall said at a conference on EV's (electric vehicles) in San Jose. "The utilities, they stuck with it. They said, 'All right, that's what's happening. This is where the loads are going, and we're going to do this."'
Automakers, such as General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. , are planning to bring EV motors to the market as early as 2010. But speakers at the Plug-In 2008 conference say it will take much longer for them to arrive in mass numbers, due in part to a current lack of large-battery manufacturing capacity. (electric motor conversion kits) MSD
Electric cars or EVs (electric vehicles) have been around for almost 170 years, but it's not
just the limitations of battery power that have thwarted their more widespread
use. Since Scottish businessman Robert Anderson pioneered the first electric
carriage in the 1830s, most EV's have lacked one of the key markers
of auto success: good looks. Just take a look at La Jamais Contente, designed
by Belgian Camille JÃ©natzy in 1899, or Billard and Zarpe's space-age
oddity, the Elektra King (1961). Even today's EV models â€” the REVA, or Zap!'s Xebra â€” are proof that the best adjective to
describe most electric cars remains quirky.
Now two new
models show that green can be given a devastatingly cool makeover. Britain's
Lightning GT and the U.S.-built Tesla Roadster both reach 60 m.p.h. in 4 seconds or less,
their makers claim, with top speeds approaching 130 m.p.h. The Lightning GT
â€” unveiled at London's International Motor Show last week and set to be
available from the end of 2009 â€” sports an impressive, sleek and sexy
design, drawing on Aston Martin's classic British look. Tesla, which launched its
hot, little open-top two-seater a couple of years ago, has already sold out of the
2008 model and is eagerly taking reservations for 2009. Battery power has rarely,
if ever, looked this good.
Larry Horsley loves that he doesn't buy much gas, even though he drives his '95 Chevy S-10 back and forth to work each day. (Electric Car Conversion)
Horsley, a self-described do-it-yourselfer, simply plugs his EV motor(electric vehicle) truck into an electric wall outlet in his Douglasville, Georgia, garage and charges it overnight, instead of buying gasoline refined from mostly imported oil. Using electric motor conversion kits, many hobbyists are doing the same thing.
"If I can keep a dollar from going overseas, I'll spend two dollars," he said. The whole electric car motor conversion, including the truck and high performance EV motor, cost him about $12,000, which parts dealers say is about standard for an electric car conversion.
Another Atlanta-area tinkerer, David Kennington, converted his Honda Civic del Sol from gasoline to an EV for a different reason: "I'm a raging greenie," he said. (Electric Car Conversion)
Both Horsley and Kennington are fed up. They're among a growing number of Americans who are refusing to wait for big-car manufacturers to deliver a mainstream electric car, called EVs. Not only have they rebelled against the status quo by ripping out their gas-guzzling engines and replacing them with a zero-emission electric car motor, they say just about anyone can do an electric car conversion. As long as you get a good electric vehicle motor controller and electric auto motor, both can be purchased from D&D Motor Systems, Inc, you are well on your way. MSD
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