Some top clean transportation news from around:
“Electric vehicle (EV) sales in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), a region with a population of over 100 million people and a solid macroeconomic environment, are anticipated to cross the 60,000 mark by 2017 and witness even stronger growth post 2017, generating revenue opportunities for existing and new market participants in the e-mobility area.
“New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.automotive.frost.com), 360 Degree Perspective Of The Central And Eastern European Electric Vehicle Industry, finds that the industry is expected to reach unit shipments of around 62,000 units by 2017, increasing from approximately 245 unit shipments in 2011 due to increasing demand for convenient, eco-efficient and sustainable mobility solutions predominantly in dynamically developing urban areas as well as due to anticipated optimisation of the supply chain and, therefore, substantial EV cost reductions.”
“Daimler AG started production of the new smart fortwo electric drive at the smart Hambach plant. Like the models with combustion engines, the electric vehicle is now rolling off the production line in the standardised production process. Furthermore, Daimler invests more than €200 million to upgrade the site and secure its future.”
“A123 Systems Inc said it has developed a new technology that allows lithium ion batteries to function in extreme temperatures, eliminating the need for separate heating and cooling systems and potentially making electric vehicles (EVs) cheaper.”
“With the summer of 2012 just about here, automakers are already beginning to roll out new and refreshed 2013 models. This includes GM, who has just announced several improvements to its green halo car, the Chevrolet Volt. Among the most important improvements to the 2013 Volt is an increase of 3-miles to the Volt’s all-electric range.”
“Wheego will distribute the Level 2 GE WattStation Wall Mount EV charging units at select Wheego dealerships nationwide.”
“To coincide with the opening of the world’s first BMW i Store on London’s Park Lane, BMW has unveiled an updated i3 concept and the i Pedelec concept electric bicycle. The updated i3 is based on the original concept that was unveiled at last year’s Frankfurt International Motor Show, but with updates to the interior. The i Pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle) is set up as the perfect complement to the BMW i3. It can be folded up almost in the blink of an eye and there is room for two of them in the trunk of the BMW i3. In addition to the two vehicles, BMW will also unveil its 360° ELECTRIC package in London for the first time. This extensive range of products and services promises to provide an extremely reliable, comfortable and flexible way of experiencing the benefits of electromobility on a day-to-day basis.”
“Automaker Renault, frustrated by the speed at which electric car chargers are being installed across France, is to fund some of the missing infrastructure itself.”
“Renault all-electric Zoé isn’t even on the market – launch in France is scheduled for the fall of 2012 – but it’s already a champion. It now holds the record for ‘the longest distance driven in 24 hours by an electric car’. The record of 1600 kilometers (994.19 miles) was achieved under controlled conditions on a closed circuit, but still, that’s very impressive for an EV with a nominal range per charge of 210 km (130 miles) under the NEDC cycle.”
Rachel Om and Christine Grant break down the full cost savings and benefits and apply the findings to one city as an example, Seattle. “By shifting 1% of drivers to become cyclists, $57.2 million is saved from reducing the goal [Vehicle Kilometers Traveled] and $14.7 million is profited by increasing the goal [Bicycle Kilometers Traveled] for a total benefit of $71.9 million.”
“A fun project by Instructables user CTY1995 is great for cyclists riding city streets. It’s turn signal arm bands that light up when you lift your arm.”
“[M]ore than 26,000 riders who logged nearly 4 million miles during the first month of the Challenge — a friendly, online competition to inspire and empower thousands of Americans to ride their bikes for transportation, recreation and better health this summer. So far, participants have burned more than 100 million calories — and they’re not nearly done yet. The goal: Unite 50,000 Americans to ride 10 million miles by August 31, 2012.”
You can still join the National Bike Challenge.
“Part of what makes San Francisco such an attractive (and unfortunately very expensive) place to reside is that it is a beautiful livable city — biking and pedestrian infrastructure improvements over the last decades have helped to positively transform our town into a much more pleasant urban environment. The SF Bicycle Coalition announced recently that, according to the official citywide bicycle count, over the last five years bike ridership has increased a whopping 71%.”
“Shared-lane stencils for bikes, a.k.a. ‘sharrows,’ definitely have their place in a balanced and healthy street system. But these friendly reminders to drivers to share the road have their limits as a tool to boost safety and create more inviting streets for biking.”
“June is a great bike-sharing month, because the weather is generally temperate almost everywhere in the world. It is either late spring or early fall, depending on the hemisphere, and always a great time for a sharing experience.
“A perennial event this for time of year is the June Wedding, just another type of sharing.”
“Carmakers will have to slash the carbon emissions of new cars sold in Europe by a third by 2020, according to leaked European Commission documents seen by the Guardian.
“The EC proposals would be legally binding and the document plans for even stricter emissions targets for 2025 and 2030, which could only be met if hybrid or electric vehicles become mainstream.”
“Two scientists are challenging the currently accepted norms of biofuel production. A commentary published [last week] in GCB Bioenergy reveals that calculations of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions from bioenergy production are neglecting crucial information that has led to the overestimation of the benefits of biofuels compared to fossil fuels.
“The critique extends to the Life Cycle Analysis models of bioenergy production. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a technique used to measure and compile all factors relating to the production, usage, and disposal of a fuel or product. The authors conclude that LCAs are overestimating the positive aspects of biofuel use versus fossil fuel use by omitting the emission of CO2 by vehicles that use ethanol and biodiesel even when there is no valid justification.”
Image Credits: Renault; CTY1995; League of American Bicyclists