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 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
 

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

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.

Apr 202011
 

BMW gambles sporty image on electric cars

NEW YORK — BMW, gambling its image as a high-performance brand, will put 700 of its 1 Series coupes on the streets this fall with an all-electric drive that it says will satisfy sports car fans and also use no petroleum.
BMW promised the ActiveE will be “100% electric and 100% BMW.” And it will go about 100 miles on a charge, the automaker says.

It is the start of a move toward electric power by the car company famous for its smooth, powerful gasoline engines and its crisp-handling sedans.

If the test of the so-called ActiveE coupe is successful, BMW will follow in 2013 with an electric vehicle it has designed from scratch to run on battery power, using a lightweight aluminum chassis and a strong, light carbon-fiber passenger-compartment cell.

That car will be called i3, even though BMW says it won’t resemble the current 3-Series sedan.The company’s first test was of a handful of electric Mini Coopers.

The 170-hp ActiveE was shown Monday at a Manhattan dealership at an event ahead of the New York International Auto Show that begins later this week.

BMW will lease 700 ActiveE’s to interested drivers in U.S. coastal cities this fall for 24 months at $499 per month, plus a $2,250 payment at the start of the lease.

Read the full Story At USA Today

Apr 202011
 

Nation’s Largest EV Charging Network: Strangers’ Garages


PlugShare, the smartphone app that’s created an ad hoc EV charging infrastructure from individuals willing to let strangers plug in, is now the largest EV charging network in the United States.

According to Xatori, the outfit that created the app, PlugShare has more than 12,000 users active in 47 states sharing 2,500 outlets. Of those places to plug in, 1,000 are public charging stations. The rest are ordinary people sharing their plugs with other PlugShare users. Cooler still, 35 percent of those people are providing access to their 220-volt charging stations with J1772 plugs, the standard for home-charging an EV.

PlugShare users include EV owners looking for a place to plug in, and EV advocates who have a wall outlet to share. The app, available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, shows outlets on a map. Users click on the plug icons to get in touch with plug owners and set up a time for charging. Money can change hands, but so far users have found a sense of community more important than profit.

Xatori founder Forrest North credits PlugShare with building a community of EV owners who depend on the kindness of strangers.

“In addition to its utility as a charging network, PlugShare is also a valuable communication platform for EV owners and enthusiasts,” North said. “People are excited to connect with each other via PlugShare – it’s becoming a cause-based social network.”

Read the full story at WIRED