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This is the Kodak Moment for the Auto Industry

Plug-In Drivers Not Missin' the Piston Electric vehicles are here to stay. Their market acceptance is currently small but growing...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tesla-Class Range Extender for the Nissan Leaf & BMW i3

If you drive a Nissan Leaf, a BMW i3, or any one of the 100 miles or less range EVs, then you might occasionally have, shall we say, range envy when you look at a vehicle such as the Tesla Model S.

A German company called Nomadic Power is hoping that they can help you alleviate this envy with a Tesla sized battery on wheels. It's a pack that you can hook up and take with you when you want more range.

They call it the Nomad and they tout it as an on-demand range extender.

A total of 85kWh worth of batteries are nestled into the aerodynamic egg-shaped trailer. They claim that, along with your car's original batteries, you can have 300 miles of range.

300 miles range will certainly help on long trips, however, if things go as this company would like, you'll be able to drive even farther. They would like to establish a network of roadside depots where you could pull in with a depleted trailer and drive off with a fresh fully charged one in just a couple of minutes.

Disconnecting a trailer and hooking up a new one is certainly simpler to design than a system to swap battery packs that are built into the car.

Nomadic Power sees the potential for many applications for the Nomad. The simplest is you buy one and use it when you need it. Group ownership is also a possibility; local EV clubs could buy one and share it among the members. Rental is a nice option if it is something that you would only occasionally need. Rental has the additional advantage that you have no attachment to a particular pack and you can swap it or drop it off at any location in your rental network.

Hello U-Haul company, are you reading this? This could be just what you need to expand your business into the 21st century.

Roadside assistance is another option. If AAA could quickly snap this on and get you back on the road, that would be much better than towing the car or waiting for a roadside charge. If your car is not equipped to take energy from a trailer, these units have Level 2, CCS, and CHAdeMO charging available. So you can pull over and quickly give your ride a few miles boost to make it to your next stop. 

The portable battery can also serve as mobile power source for your off-grid needs. So next time you are camping or attending a tailgate party, this could give you more than enough energy to keep the lights on or the party going.

They are planning to start shipments in 2016 and they have opened a US office in California.
The end

Monday, February 23, 2015

Exxon Mobil Entering The EV Charging Game

An article here reports that Exxon Mobil plans to build EV-charging facilities in the US.

The story details that Exxon already has some charging stations in Switzerland via a subsidiary and that they were involved in a low speed EV project in 2008.

The more interesting part of the story, IMHO, is that Exxon expects 40% of new car sales in 2040 to be plug-in vehicles. This is less than most EV advocates predict, but more than I expected from an Exxon report. The good news about a 40% market share, is that it means that plug-in vehicles will emerge from the trough of disillusionment and cross the chasm.

Technology adoption curve and hype cycle
This story is making its rounds on social media and the EV forums. As you might imagine, there are some EV fans proclaiming that they will NEVER use an Exxon charging station.

Where do you stand on the issue? Would you avoid Exxon stations because they are an evil company, or would you want to reward them for turning over a new leaf and encourage this portion of their business?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fuel Cell Manufacturers Struggle As Technology Remains Uncompetitive Long Term

via  Seeking Alpha


  • Even the biggest proponents of the technology are having trouble proving that fuel-cells will be economic long-term versus (plug-in) alternatives.
  • Without the ability to bridge the large cost gap between fuel-cells and electric vehicles, this technology shouldn't remain viable long-term.
  • Major companies producing fuel cells include Ballard Power and Plug Power.
  • Without the long-term viability of their technologies, both companies face a continued need to raise capital.