Wednesday, November 28, 2007

V2G Test Drive

This story is a month old, but it's an important one because it shows how utilities, car manufacturers, and government labs, coupled with innovative companies can forge an alliance that can test and demonstrate the practicality of plug in hybrids.

Xcel Energy announces six-month test drive
of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

DENVER - Six plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will be on the road by the end of 2007 as part of a demonstration test of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology by Xcel Energy. The goal is to determine how consumers can use the vehicles to significantly lower greenhouse gases, shore up electricity grid reliability and prove PHEVs are a viable alternative to today’s carbon-emitting cars.
The project, which will convert six Ford Escape Hybrids to PHEVs equipped with V2G technology so each can charge and discharge power to and from the grid, is one of the nation’s first real-world demonstrations of the emerging technology.

With operations in eight states, Xcel Energy will study how the vehicles perform in varied geographic regions and climates over a six-month period. Three company employees will serve as test drivers, using three of the PHEVs in typical home settings. The remaining three PHEVs will be used in the company’s fleet.

“With every U.S. home connected to the electricity grid, vehicle-to-grid technology could be key to meeting our growing energy needs,” said Michael Lamb, executive director of Xcel Energy Utility Innovations. “This project will allow us to explore how PHEVs can become an integrated part of a ’smart house’ and our vision of the smart grid energy system of the future - one that allows customers and utilities to work together to balance the power grid, lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve our nation’s energy security.”

Xcel Energy’s demonstration will build on its previous PHEV impact study by examining how drivers - and their vehicles - will react and perform in real-world settings. The project will explore the potential benefits of widespread PHEV use including: reducing petroleum-related emissions and greenhouse gases, enhancing energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil, improving the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the electricity grid, exploring ways to make PHEVs more accessible and lowering vehicle fuel costs.

To make the cars V2G capable, each will be equipped with a V2Green Connectivity Module that controls vehicle charging, collects data and communicates via a cellular modem; and an Inverger (a 6-kilowatt inverter and charger in a single unit) from Hybrids Plus.

In addition, Hybrids Plus will replace the cars' nickel-metal hydride batteries with a lithium-ion phosphate battery pack. V2Green will also supply server software enabling remote control of smart charging and V2G functions.By outfitting the vehicles with these components, Xcel Energy can remotely control the battery cycles in each vehicle by requesting that each postpones charging or begins discharging energy back to the electricity grid.

The project is a joint collaboration between Xcel Energy; Hybrids Plus Inc. in Boulder, Colo.; V2Green Inc. in Seattle, Wash.; and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. (more)


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Here Come the PHEVs

Audi Metroproject Quattro
This has been a big week of announcements from car manufacturers. One is from the new auto start up Fisker.

Fisker's high end-plug in
CNET News Blog
Posted by Michael Kanellos

Fisker Automotive. Think of it as a marriage between the Chevy Volt and the Tesla Roadster.

The company is planning to come to market in about 18 months with a high-performance, high-end, plug-in hybrid sedan. The car will cost $80,000. It will go about 50 miles on a battery charge, which isn't far, but the car will also come with a built-in gas engine that exists primarily to charge the battery. With the charging capability, the car can go hundreds of miles, according to Henrik Fisker, the company's CEO.

With a range of hundreds of miles, the car will go farther than other electric cars coming to market. The new electric cars go only about 225 miles on a single charge at best. Granted, Fisker's car uses a little gas--something electric cars don't--but it won't burn much. (clip)

Fisker also hopes to come out with SUVs and other types of cars. The drive train comes from Quantum Technologies, by the way. Quantum works with a number of companies and government agencies on alternative fuel vehicles. Initial production will be about 15,000 vehicles a year.

The company will show off a prototype at the Detroit Auto Show, according to the company's somewhat cryptic Web site. "


And then there is a Chinese entry called the F6DM, thanks to got2begreen:

Plug-in Hybrid to Recharge in 10 Minutes

"BYD Automobile Company, a fairly new Chinesecar manufacturer owned by one of the world’s largest makers of cell phone batteries, plans to begin producing and selling plug-in hybrid electric cars in 2008 that can recharge in 10 minutes with iron-based batteries.

China will be first to receive the F6DM. Unfortunately, there are no immediate plans to release the plug-in hybrids in North America.The car will be priced at about 150,000 yuan ($19,966)."

And thanks to EV World, here is a new small sports car from Audi

The Tokyo Show isn't all about Japanese cars. As proof, Audi is poised to release the Metroproject Quattro concept, a plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid four-seater designed to make life difficult for the Mini Cooper.

The Audi features a 1.4-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engine producing 148 horsepower and returning about 48 mpg. The kicker is a 30kW electric motor positioned between the rear wheels (which, in a truly inspired touch, is visible through a window in the rear load floor) that provides extra oomph (and all-wheel drive) under full throttle, or drives the car exclusively at lower speeds.

The car's lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged from a standard household outlet, will keep the Metroproject moving for about 60 miles.

The Metroproject also features another interesting concept — a suspiciously iPhone-like handheld unit called the Audi Mobile Device that plugs into a slot on the center console. It's a phone, an entertainment center, a remote vehicle-systems manager, a navigation-system interface, and a LoJack, all in one.

Meanwhile, also thanks to EV World, Misubishi showed off innovative electric sports car , the i-MIEV Sport. This cute and sporty beetle-esque electric car comes with optional photovoltaics for solar power, and will be powered by a pack of Li-ions that will allow drivers to go about 100 miles before needing to recharge.

While concept electric vehicles are released every year that never make it into production, this snappy little vehicle gives us hope for the future, because it will go into production in 2009.

And if that's enough, Shai Agassi has announced his intention to invest 200 million dollars to create an electrical infrastructure for all electric cars. His Project Better Place will install and operate an Electric Recharge Grid consisting of charging spots and battery exchange stations.

Momentum continues. Here at Plug in Partners we've added Oceanlink Energy Solutions, Energyrush TV ,and Green Gears for a total of 625 partners.

Join Us today

What's New

Sign the On Line Petition

News Summary I