Clean Fuel Connection Inc. News

Sep 082011
 

First CODA Experience Center Opens in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — CODA Holdings, a California based leading developer of advanced Lithium-ion power battery systems for its all-electric CODA sedan, EV propulsion system and stationary energy storage applications announced the opening of its first consumer store, located in the Westfield Century City Shopping Center in Los Angeles County.

“We’re thrilled to be opening our first CODA Experience Center in such a consumer rich environment,” said Phil Murtaugh, CEO of CODA Holdings. “We want to open dialogue between consumers, provide a stress-free purchase experience and ultimately accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).”

Staying consistent with a green message, the CODA store features eco-tech building materials, such as salvaged wood from Utah’s Lucin Cutoff Railroad Trestle, energy efficient lighting, neutral concrete flooring, formaldehyde free plywood and recycled stainless steel. Both convenient and functional, the bright 900 square foot space is located adjacent to a multiplex theatre, dining terrace, and valet parking, and features an engaging and interactive in-store environment:

Electric Vehicle Bar – An interactive educational area focused on communicating the benefits of electric cars.

Technology Display – A full-scale replica and explanation of CODA’s industry-leading battery and propulsion system.

Test Drive Check-in Counter – A one-stop shop for interested consumers who can sign-up for a test-drive at the time of their visit, make an appointment for a future date, or check-in from an online inquiry (www.codaautomotive.com).

Located in the parking garage directly below the store, CODA’s Test Drive Center will offer customers the chance to take a CODA for a test drive. Drivers can also become comfortable using an EV charger and the installation process, at the six reserved CODA parking spaces with dedicated EV chargers.

Read the full Story At Alaska Dispatch

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110908/LA65112)

Sep 082011
 

Natural gas-powered Ford taxis start rolling in Orange County

An Orange County taxi company became the first cab business in California to put new compressed natural gas-powered Ford Transit Connect Taxis into service.

California Yellow Cab of Orange County started using the first 10 of 50 Transit Connect Taxis it plans to put into service by 2012.

Yellow Cab of Anaheim also has ordered 69 of the vehicles. That means that soon more than 100 of the distinct, boxy Transit Connects will be plying Orange County streets. The CNG-powered Ford-built taxis are already in use in Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and St. Louis. They cost about $35,000.

The taxis are based on the gasoline-powered version of the Transit Connect, a small van popular as a delivery or commercial vehicle. Dallas-based BAF Technologies is retrofitting the taxis as natural gas vehicles certified by the California Air Resources Board.

The Air Resources Board encourages the use of natural gas-powered vehicles because they are less polluting than autos with standard gasoline engines.

Taxi companies and other businesses like them because natural gas costs less than gasoline.

“We have a situation here in Orange County where the per gallon equivalent of CNG is almost $2 less than the price of a gallon of traditional fuel. Given that, along with the increased infrastructure support, it’s not hard to see why it makes sense for us to go with the CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxi,” said Tim Conlon, president and general manager of California Yellow Cab.

Orange County has 30 compressed natural gas filling stations.

“Our goal is to convert our entire fleet to alternative fuels,” Conlon said.

Read the full Story At Los Angeles Times

Sep 072011
 

New stations offer free charge for electric cars

Electric car owners may find it a bit more convenient to recharge when traveling through Roseville.

The city recently installed three new EV charging stations, two at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville and one on the corner of Oak Street and Washington Boulevard in downtown.

“We want to give people the ability to charge their car when they need to,” said Vonette McCauley, public relations director for Roseville Electric. “Whether they are here for employment or they are shopping, we want to provide some ability for them to recharge.”

But the city isn’t the only entity making it easier for electric car owners to charge up.

John L Sullivan Chevrolet at the Roseville Auto Mall is in the process of installing two large solar canopies that will act as a charging station for customers.

“This will provide a free charge to our customers who want to come in and hook up,” said Steve Ruckels, controller with John L Sullivan Chevrolet.

All these efforts are in response to increasing demands for electric vehicles, albeit the demand might be slow moving, according to Kris Blair, account representative with Roseville Electric.

Read the full Story At Granite Bay California

Sep 072011
 

Staples to add 10 CNG tractors to California fleet

Ryder System will supply 10 compressed natural gas (CNG) heavy-duty tractors to the dedicate fleet for office products company Staples, the company has announced.

The tractors will be the first of their kind in Staples’ third-party dedicated operations and will replace 10 diesel tractors currently used by Ryder in the fleet. The trucks are part of the $38.7 million Ryder/San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) project.

The project is a public/private partnership between the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the Southern California Assn. of Governments Clean Cities Coalition, and Ryder. It includes the purchase of 202 natural gas vehicles, the upgrades to three Ryder maintenance facilities to support natural gas use, and the construction of two fueling stations.

The CNG tractors will be used to transport inventory to Staples stores in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and the Inland Empire, and will be serviced out of Ryder’s maintenance facilities in Southern California, Ryder said.

Read the full Story At Fleet Owner

Sep 072011
 

Smartphone apps help EV drivers find chargers

A variety of smartphone applications are being launched to help smooth out driving an electric vehicle.

Some, such as the Chargepoint app, point out nearby charging stations on a map.

Coulomb Technologies Inc. created the app to help users find the chargers it is installing across the country. The app notes whether stations are available, in use or out of service, all in real-time. It can also distinguish between free and paid chargers and be used to make reservations.

ECOtality, an electric-vehicle infrastructure developer also in the midst of a nationwide build-up, launched a similar app linking to and named after its growing network of Blink charging stations.

Recargo, created by Dictionary.com founder Brian Kariger, also tracks public charging stations. The app comes equipped with a comments section for updates on specific chargers, a photo-sharing feature to locate hard-to-find units and maps with Google Street View.

Developer Xatori has a more crowd-sourced take on a station-finder app. PlugShare is a social network of homeowners and business owners willing to give drivers access to their outlets. Providers can give out contact information so drivers can make appointments to power up.

Other apps allow drivers who are still considering EVs to pretend.

Read the full Story At L.A. Times

Aug 262011
 

UPS, AT&T Announce Green Fleet Additions

UPS is purchasing 100 fully electric commercial delivery vehicles from Electric Vehicles International.

The class 6 walk-in delivery trucks with a 90-mile range (pictured) will be placed in service early next year in California’s South Coast Air Basin, San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley.
LG will cover half the cost for the new EVs and will work alongside engineers from GM to collaborate on components, vehicle structures and architectures. LG will also become GM’s supplier for the components, which it’s permitted to sell to other auto makers. That means this partnership will be good for the electric vehicle industry as a whole, and not just GM.

This purchase marks the largest deployment of zero emission delivery vehicles in California, and one of the largest single deployments of commercial all-electric vehicles in the world, EVI says. It estimates that the vehicles should save UPS 126,000 gallons of fuel a year.

In related news, AT&T has announced the deployment of the 4,000th alternative-fuel vehicle in its corporate vehicle fleet. The AFV, a Ford E250 van running on compressed natural gas, was deployed in Chicago.

Currently, 3,000 of the company’s AFVs use compressed natural gas. Half of all of AT&T’s AFVs are deployed in California, the company says.

Read the full Story At Environmental Leader

Aug 262011
 

GM and LG Team Up on Electric Vehicles

Auto maker General Motors and LG Group will be working together to design and engineer electric vehicles thanks to a new partnership that expands on LG’s earlier work for GM in lithium-ion batteries. Previously, LG delivered batteries for the Chevrolet Volt, the Opel Ampera, and later for a demo fleet of Chevrolet Cruze electric vehicles.

According to the companies, their goal is to reduce both the cost and the time it takes to build electric cars.

LG will cover half the cost for the new EVs and will work alongside engineers from GM to collaborate on components, vehicle structures and architectures. LG will also become GM’s supplier for the components, which it’s permitted to sell to other auto makers. That means this partnership will be good for the electric vehicle industry as a whole, and not just GM.

Read the full Story At Tech Crunch

Apr 212011
 

Chu cranks up funding for EVs and energy research

Google Maps to provide information on US charge point locations through new government partnership
US energy secretary Steven Chu announced a raft of new funding awards this week, designed to accelerate the development of advanced clean technologies and speed the rollout of electric vehicles.

Chu confirmed yesterday that the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is to receive a further $130m in funding to support five new projects, partly as a result of the budget deal thrashed out earlier this month.

The advanced research programmes will focus on a number of areas, including biofuels, energy storage, solar and potential alternatives to rare earth materials.

Speaking to reporters during a teleconference yesterday, Chu said that the hard fought budget deal brokered between Democrats and Republicans had effectively saved the agency’s research programmes.

“We do know that without additional Congressional funds … the programme essentially would have been put on ice,” he said.

The agency has been tasked with investing in relatively high risk research projects that cannot attract private investors but have the potential to revolutionise the low carbon energy sector.

The news came just a day after Chu unveiled a new partnership with Google to help electric car drivers locate recharging points, and announced a further $5m of funding to support community-based efforts to deploy electric vehicle technologies.

The initiative has also been backed by the Department of Transport and the Clean Cities Coalition, which brings together over 100 city governments committed to cutting carbon emissions and air pollution.

“The Department of Energy’s Clean Cities initiative is bringing together local governments and industry to demonstrate the benefits of advanced technology vehicles and help communities use less oil and gasoline to power their vehicles,” Chu said.

“The initiatives announced today are just the latest steps in our broader efforts to reduce America’s dependence on oil, improve our energy security and save families and businesses money.”

Read the full story at Business Green

Apr 212011
 

EV industry gets ready for bumpy ride

WASHINGTON–The auto and battery industries have come up with some impressive electric vehicles. Now they’re wondering how to make money on them.

The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are at the head of a parade of plug-in and hybrid vehicles slated to come out in the next three years. At the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) conference here, auto executives said they were confident their products can deliver, but not everyone is sure how the demand for them will form.

With few plug-in vehicles actually in the market, the surrounding industry of component and charging infrastructure suppliers need to stay roughly in synch with the automakers in order to profit from this new industry, which will help bring down the costs of plug-ins for consumers.

Read more: cnet News
Apr 212011
 

LADWP offering rebates for home vehicle chargers

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is offering up to $2,000 in rebates for customers who want to install electric vehicle chargers in their homes.

On Wednesday, LADWP commissioners approved a rebate program called “Charge Up L.A.” for those who want to install rapid chargers. The utility’s goal is to give rebates for up to 5,000 home chargers.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is set to announce the rebates and discuss installation costs at a news conference Thursday.

Last year, he announced plans to streamline the permitting and inspection process for new charging stations. He said the city’s goal was to help customers go from applying for a permit to plugging in their electric vehicles at home in 7 days.