Archive for May, 2011

Solar carport open for business

Or not?  I’ll have to check it out someday as I live in CT.  GE opened a solar carport in Plainville, CT with Level 2 charging stations.  Is it free to park and charge up?  Inovateus Solar installed it with GE.

The average freestanding home uses approximately 7,000 to 10,000 kW hours per year. With greater than a 25-year lifespan, the EV Solar Carport will annually deliver 125 MW hours via 100 kW DC power,” GE said in a statement.  Below is their release.

GE EV Solar Carport links renewable energy with EVs, local demonstration of global commitment to building EV infrastructure

PLAINVILLE, Conn.-May 26, 2011-Luis Ramírez, CEO of GE Energy Industrial Solutions today joins Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and GE employees to unveil the GE Electric Vehicle (EV) Solar Carport in Plainville, Conn. The GE EV Solar Carport Project, one of the most expansive undertakings of its type in North America, uses GE’s new smart EV Charging Stations to charge the electric vehicles hitting the streets of America.

“We see anywhere you park your electric vehicle as a great opportunity for charging infrastructure,” says Ramírez. “Now we also lead the future of electrification for electric vehicles with supplied power from the sun. The GE EV Solar Carport provides clean energy alternatives to oil and biofuels, expands our ability to capture the sun’s energy and helps us deliver a viable EV ecosystem. This is a bright day for EV infrastructure development in Connecticut and the nation.”

“This is innovative technology and it’s right in our backyard,” says Governor Malloy. “This exciting project will be a blueprint for people all around the country who are interested in developing this type of green solar charging technology, linking renewable energy with electric vehicles and making our lives cleaner and greener. I’m excited to witness the future of this project, and I’m energized about the innovative projects GE is undertaking in our state.”

The GE EV Solar Carport, a demonstration of the expansive horizon GE envisions for renewable energy within the EV ecosystem, produces the energy equivalent to power 20 homes per year. The average freestanding home uses approximately 7,000 to 10,000 kW hours per year. With greater than a 25-year lifespan, the EV Solar Carport will annually deliver 125 MW hours via 100 kW DC power. According to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, more than half of American drivers today travel less than 30 miles in a typical day and more than 75 percent travel less than 60 miles. EVs with a range of 50-100 miles could easily meet the daily needs of most customers.

“Consumers want the convenience and peace of mind knowing they can get from point A to point B without running out of energy,” adds Ramírez. “GE is working with a number of utilities and municipalities, in the U.S. and abroad, to address this issue of creating a widely distributed network of electric vehicle charging stations. The presence of ubiquitous, Level 2 charging will make consumers far less worried about their car running out of power.”

GE Energy Industrial Solutions combined forces with Inovateus Solar LLC, a national solar power distributor and integrator, to install the carport. The companies use solar energy and smart grid technology to fully charge up to 13 electric vehicles per day via six Level 2 GE EV Charging Stations and to power the overhead lighting in the parking lot.

“Our objective with this project is to utilize a mix of installation formats to create a practical on-site ‘lab’ to illustrate a range of design options when creating a solar system,” says T.J. Kanczuzewski, executive vice president of Inovateus Solar LLC. “We are excited to collaborate with GE on this important alternative energy development and education project and look forward to other future projects.”

The carport incorporates GE’s infrastructure technology, utilizing GE EverGold* Safety Switches and GE Combiner Boxes along with the GE EV Charging Stations. GE’s core AC equipment safely distributes the power generated from the solar panels. The GE EV Solar Carport connects to the grid, where it deposits extra energy and withdraws that energy when needed.

Innovation is a tradition at GE. For more than 100 years GE has built and serviced infrastructure to optimize energy generation and use. The development of this next-generation technology with GE reliability is a natural progression as the company offers a network of EV chargers and software support that are all part of the end-to-end EV infrastructure solution.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at

GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas-work together with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.

About Inovateus Solar LLC

Inovateus Solar is a leading distributor and integrator of cutting-edge solar electric solutions. Headquartered in South Bend, Ind., and recently voted one of the State of Indiana’s Top Companies to Watch, in the past six months Inovateus Solar has completed the largest solar installation in the states of Michigan and Indiana and some of the largest utility grade installations in the Midwest.

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Fastest way to charge up an EV battery

That’s one way to do it!  Just have it towed with the car in regen mode.

There are English subtitles in case you don’t speak Dutch.

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VW to launch new electric sub brand Kai Li

First and foremost, this brand will be for the China market only.  Second, it will be electric cars only.  The first model to be produced is the mk4 Jetta (known as the Bora in the rest of the world) or the Golf.

Of course, any lessons learned from this brand will be applied to the rest of the VW Auto Group through the Chinese partner, FAW-VW (first auto works-vw).  Many cars for the North American market are assembled in Mexico to save labor costs.  Perhaps the mix of educated workers and cheap labor could mean more high tech cars built in China?  Is this the first step in shifting the gravity of electric car development to the far East?

source: china car times

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VW plans to have plug in hybrids for 2013

Martin Winterkorn, chairman of VW Auto Group, confirmed that VW will introduce plug in hybrids by 2013 or early 2014.

From Green Car Congress:

In his announcement, Winterkorn said that over the mid-term, the plug-in hybrid offers great potential because it combines the best of two worlds in one vehicle: unlimited internal combustion engine performance combined with attractive electric mobility ranges in everyday driving. Winterkorn noted that there are no limitations to the vehicle’s speed, climbing or towing abilities. He also stated that plug-in technology has excellent potential for reducing CO2 emissions.

Electric mobility is the task of the century for the automotive industry and the European industrial community as a whole. Manufacturers, suppliers, energy providers, scientists and politicians—everyone must step up to the plate here.

—Martin Winterkorn

Winterkorn spoke in support of more targeted research funding, especially in the field of electro-chemistry for battery technology.

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US carmakers worried about China theft of battery technology

Intellectual property rights are more lax in China although they are trying now more than ever to enforce international laws.  However, what does it mean when their laws state that you have to share intellectual property to do business with them?

As mentioned in prior blog posts like this one laying out long term plans for China’s hybrid technology , China is trying to get an advantage in hybrid car battery technology by forcing automakers to share their technology with them in their “New Energy Vehicles plan”.  Foreign carmakers are already partnered with a domestic automaker to share technology and produce cars locally.  For example, VW does sell cars in China but they’re sold with their local partner FAW (First Auto Works).  In fact, VW only holds 20% of FAW-VW, Audi holds 10%, and FAW holds 60%.

Two US senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, are trying to get the U.S. Trade Representative to step in and block Chinese regulations on plug-in vehicles and other auto-related technologies.  According to the Detroit News, the Senators say that the regulations could “prevent U.S. automakers from accessing the Chinese market.”

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