Sunday 18th March 2018.
Welcome along to your two part weekend special. If you heard yesterday’s show you’ll know I had to split up the news that seemed to come through on twitter and email on Friday. Yesterday was all about car announcements and today is about everything around the cars. So if you missed yesterday’s show we were talking Ford’s EV Hybrid, the more powerful Renault Zoe, a Nissan concept going into production which will effectively be a LEAF SUV and how Audi will use the VW group MEB platform.
Listen through to the end of the podcast today because there’s a new way to get hold of it which you might prefer.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROADSTER
- But first?happy birthday to the original Roadster which first went into production 10 years ago yesterday. Tesla posted an update to their website in May 2008 which said: “Since we last provided a program update we have achieved an extraordinary milestone – on March 17th, the Tesla Roadster entered regular production. Now that production has started, we would like to provide you with an update on the plan and status of production. Although everyone is eager to receive their cars as soon as possible, it is important in this program, and any automobile program, to start the production line slowly and to increase the rate at which cars are manufactured at a very deliberate pace. This “slow ramp” ensures a high level of quality even with the first cars off the line. Inevitably, there are process and quality issues that come up as one increases the rate of production and a slow ramp rate enables us to address a myriad of issues in a controlled manner ? remember that the Roadster is not just a new car it is a new automotive paradigm.
- It’s worth remembering the Roadster was originally meant to be built at a rate of one per week. It held two people and a small amount of luggage, and when you see those shots of the lineup now ? the roadster along with the S, X and E ? it’s a reminder how tiny it is.
- 10 years still makes Tesla a new, young company in the automotive world. The last mainstream car company to launch was DeLorean before Tesla, and we know how that ended. And the future looks good for the new Roadster with 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds with 620 miles of range. And of course the future isn’t looking bright for one particular roadster, as it orbits the solar system, it’s going to gradually get battered by solar radiation.
TESLA BID FOR MORE GRID STORAGE
- According to Clean Technica, in Colorado Xcel Energy has solicited bids for grid-scale energy storage, and the favourites in my eyes has to be Tesla. They’ve pitched for a battery of over 75 Megawatts with 300mWh of energy, for four hours use. It’s 1,500 Tesla Powerpacks. In total Colorado wants to have 12 facilities by 2023 which will store more than 1 gigawatt.
- Also of particular interest to those watching Tesla from power grids about the world, the price of Wind + Battery and Solar + Battery are remarkably low, putting further pressure on those gas and coal peaker plants which currently have to be turned on to cope with short term increases in demand.
- And you know this already, but worth saying, the cleaner the grid then the cleaner your EV.
CONTACTLESS PAY-AS-YOU-GO CHARGING
- According to the Greenfleet website in the UK: “Electric vehicle rapid charging specialist Engenie is making payment fast and easy with the recent installation of contactless credit/debit card and Apple Pay terminals at their chargers. With this method, customers are also protected by in-built financial security features. For a short time from 19 March 2018, an Engenie charge will cost a flat rate of £4 (incl VAT). Then from May 2018, with the release of new functionality on these best-in-class rapid chargers, drivers will only pay for what they use. There’s no connection fee or sign-up cost: simply tap and charge, and get back on the road. The pay-as-you-go rate will be a straightforward 36p/kWh, which makes an average (11kWh) charge cost £3.96”
- So many EV drivers have been asking for a long time, apart from Tesla Supercharger users of course, to make charging easier with the use of contactless cards, and Apple Pay or other cashless technologies.
ENERGY CONFERENCE SHINES LIGHT ON EVS
- How do you fancy a trip to Berlin in April? There’s a conference called Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing, at the IDTechEx Show!, which they say “goes beyond passenger cars to cover electric vehicles for land, sea and air. Whilst the event focuses on automotive, it is the only place to follow the electrification of not just cars but light electric vehicles, commercial vans, and industrial vehicles and other emerging electric vehicle segments. Join IDTechEx in Berlinon the 11th and 12thof April at the Estrel Convention Centre. Among the leading companies speaking at Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing you will find: Porsche Engineering, LG Chem Europe, Renault Trucks, Zero Motorcycles, Siemens AG, Enel
AMERICAN UTILITES UNDERPREPARED FOR EVS
- Renewable Energy Magazine report that 486 utilities in North America, which accounts for about 70% of all customers, were surveyed and they say 75% were either in the early stages of planning for EV charging or had yet to start.
- “Utilities have a key role to play in EV market growth, as providers of ‘fuel’ — electricity — as a platform for charging infrastructure, and as a leader in standards development and consumer education,” said Erika Myers, SEPA’s Director of Research and lead author on the report. “Yet, our research shows that the situation right now is similar to what we saw with the growth of distributed solar. If predictions are correct, many utilities will be caught unprepared, with few ready to take full advantage of this new demand by leveraging EVs as a grid asset.”
- That just shows how much work there is to do with the grid for a time when all cars are electric.
NEW SOLAREDGE PRODUCT SUPERCHARGES WITH SOLAR
- And finally, Solaredge has announced the launch of their new inverter for electric car owners. We’ve talked about this before as a product I love the sound of, and now it’s on the market as of next week.
- The combined inverter and EV charger can utilize ‘solar boost mode’ ? where it draws power from both the grid and a PV installation ? to charge up to 9.2kW (32 Amp), which the company says is up to 2.5 times faster than standard EV chargers. Without a PV installation to drawn additional power from, the inverter can charge up to 7.4 kW.
- There’s a similar product I love called the Zappi from MyEnergi which can also direct excess PV power to your car, rather than send it to the grid, or just behave like a regular EV charge point, whilst being able to detect cheap rate off peak tariffs and when to charge most economically.
NOW ON TUNEIN!
Thanks for listening all the way through. I did promise some news about how to get hold of the podcast, of special interest to Tesla owners, because as of today this is now on TuneIn. I had this as a request several weeks ago so I submitted our feed to them, and it has just been approved. Thank you Tune In. If you like to use Tune In, just search EV News Daily in the app or desktop.
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