What’s the GHG Performance of Polluters?

Next 10 has released, “Green Innovation Index, International Edition,” a report that analyzes and ranks the economic and energy performance of the world’s 50 largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting countries. The reports reviews country gross domestic product (GDP), emissions, energy productivity, renewable energy generation, clean tech investments and other key metrics. The report find the European Union collectively, and its individual nations, leads the world on several critical indicators.

Green Innovation Index“Some of the world’s largest economies are now decoupling economic growth and energy use, actually growing their GDPs while shrinking their carbon footprints. Last year marked the first time we’ve been able to say conclusively that a drop in global carbon emissions was caused by something other than an economic downtown,” said F. Noel Perry, businessman and founder of the nonpartisan nonprofit group Next 10.

Perry will be presenting the results as part of the events leading up to the Business & Climate Summit taking place at the UNESCO headquarters. The event is also part of Climate Week Paris.

The report finds the European Union ranks as the: #1 producer of renewable energy; #2 in global electric vehicle sales (2014), accounting for 30 percent of sales worldwide; #1 in clean tech IPOs (2014); #2 in clean tech venture capital, attracting just over $1 billion in 2014; #1 in wind energy patents; and #2 in clean tech patents, with 11,000 registered in 2014.

The Green Innovation Index also found that among these nations, plus California:

  • Spain, Germany, Italy, California, Philippines, the EU, Belgium, Netherlands, U.K. andGreece have the greatest share of electricity from renewable sources among top emitters (in order).
  • France leads the world in lowest carbon intensity; Uzbekistan is highest (GHG per GDP).
  • U.S. (with California), the EU, Japan, South Korea, Germany, California, China, Taiwan,France and U.K. (in order) are top ten in clean technology patents (2014).
  • Clean tech venture capital investment declined in the EU (-10 percent), France (-43 percent), Canada (-19 percent), India (-4 percent) and Israel (-11 percent) from 2013-14.
  • U.S. clean tech venture capital investment grew 74 percent (2013-14), California 153 percent.

“This year’s Green Innovation Index, International Edition tracks a clear shift to clean energy around the world. Although fossil fuels still represent a significant portion of our overall energy use, many analysts believe we have reached an important tipping point—globally, we are now adding more capacity for renewable power annually than fossil fuels,” added Doug Henton, chairman and CEO of Collaborative Economics, which developed the Index for Next 10.

Team Uber Qik Breaks EV Driving Record

Team Uber Qik has broken the unofficial electric vehicle (EV) coast-to-coast world record with an elapsed drive and charge time of just 58 hours and 55 minutes. Drivers Rodney Hawk, Deena Mastracci and Carl Reese departed from Los Angeles City Hall in a Tesla P85D on April 16 at 11:41 p.m. PST and arrived at New York City Hall on April 19 at 1:36 p.m. EST, setting two new records for the fastest U.S. coast-to-coast time and least charging time in an EV.

gI_115274_IMG_6682Accompanied by witnesses and timekeepers, Anthony Alvarado, Matt Nordenstrom and Johnnie Oberg, Jr., Team Uber Qik, led by Reese, broke the previous EV U.S. coast-to-coast time record of 67 hours and 21 minutes set by a team from Edmunds.com in summer 2014. While the team broke two records during this trip, Guinness only recognizes the “least non-driving time to cross the U.S. in an electric vehicle,” meaning the shortest amount of charging time. The team logged just 12 hours and 48 minutes plugged in at Tesla’s growing network of supercharging stations conveniently located along major freeways and free to use for all Tesla owners.

“I was inspired by my grandfather who took me on road trips as a child and Alex Roy who broke the cross-country record in a gasoline vehicle in 2006,” said Reese of Santa Clarita, California. “Tesla is such a compelling car company that is creating tens of thousands of American jobs, with Tesla Motors in Fremont, California, Giga Factory in Sparks, Nevada, and Space X in Hawthorne, California.” Reese prides himself on purchasing products only made in the U.S., from shoes and clothing to the Tesla the team drove across the country.

Global fleet tracking company GPS Insight sponsored Team Uber Qik’s record-breaking trip by providing the GPS tracking equipment necessary for third party verification, as required by Guinness Book of World Records. Other sponsors include InspectMobile.com, TeslaGrille.com and Chalkolot.com. The 691 horse-powered Tesla P85D used for the trip is owned by Reese and Mastracci. The team of timekeepers followed the drivers in a Chevrolet Suburban.

Eseye Joins The New Motion EV Family

Eseye is now supplying connectivity services to The New Motion, who own more than 14,000 EV charging stations, making the company one of the largest and fastest growing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging networks in Europe. Research firm TechNavio is estimating the CAGR for the global electric vehicle charger market of 28.8 percent.

According to Eseye, The New Motion has benefited from their TheNewMotion-Eseyeexpertise in supplying connectivity that is tailored to the customer. For example, all services required for payment and charging credit will be handled by Eseye. The New Motion are said to be very happy with the responsiveness and helpfulness of Eseye’s technical support staff, with all support provided from one central help desk.

Eseye says its roaming, mobile network-agnostic Multi IMSI AnyNet SIM provides reliable mobile network coverage in even the most remote and challenging locations. In addition, all IMSIs are Over-The-Air (OTA) re-programmable which means Eseye is able to help The New Motion future proof the solution without the need to return to site to swap the SIM cards out if they need to switch mobile network providers. This is an important consideration for The New Motion, with Remi Caron, their chief technology and innovation officer, saying, “With each EV charge station expected to have a lifespan of 5-10 years, it is imperative that our suppliers understand our need to have reliable and future proof solutions.”

The New Motion is going through expansion throughout Europe, where charge points and charging services are already available to electric car owners. Currently The New Motion charge card can be used at charge points located in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, the UK and Norway.

Georgia Power Rolls Out EV Fleet

Georgia Power has rolled out a new fleet of 32 new plug-in electric hybrid Chevy Volts during an onsite event. Georgia Power Chairman, President & CEO Paul Bowers was joined by Commissioner Tim Echols of the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) and Michael Beinenson of the EV Club of the South to celebrate the edition of the alternative energy electric vehicles (EVs).

Georgia Power rolls out new fleet of EVs. (PRNewsFoto/Georgia Power)

Georgia Power rolls out new fleet of EVs. (PRNewsFoto/Georgia PowerCEO Paul

“We are leading by example and demonstrating to our customers, and other Georgia businesses, that electric transportation works for all drivers,” said Bowers at the event. “Through constructive regulation, and partnerships with organizations like the EV Club of the South, we are growing the EV market in Georgia and helping our customers reap the overwhelming benefits of driving electric.”

Bowers also noted Commissioner Echols’ leadership in increasing awareness of EVs in Georgia, including support and involvement in the annual Alternative Fuel Vehicle Roadshow each June.

Georgia Power, elected officials and community leaders mark the roll out of Georgia Power's new fleet of EVs. (Left - Right) Latanza Adjei (Vice President of Sales, Georgia Power); Kenny Coleman (Senior Vice President of Marketing, Georgia Power); Michael Beinenson (President, EV Club of the South); Commissioner Tim Echols (Georgia Public Service Commission); Paul Bowers (Chairman, President & CEO of Georgia Power); and Carl Jackson (Electric Transportation Manager, Georgia Power). (PRNewsFoto/Georgia Power)

Georgia Power, elected officials and community leaders mark the roll out of Georgia Power’s new fleet of EVs. (Left – Right) Latanza Adjei (Vice President of Sales, Georgia Power); Kenny Coleman (Senior Vice President of Marketing, Georgia Power); Michael Beinenson (President, EV Club of the South); Commissioner Tim Echols (Georgia Public Service Commission); Paul Bowers (Chairman, President & CEO of Georgia Power); and Carl Jackson (Electric Transportation Manager, Georgia Power). (PRNewsFoto/Georgia Power)

The new, Georgia Power-branded Chevy Volts will be seen around town in communities from Savannah to Columbus to Rome and will be driven daily by Georgia Power employees as they serve customers. The EVs will be used primarily by the company’s energy efficiency experts as they travel to conduct energy audits at homes and businesses, a service provided to help Georgia Power customers save money and energy.

In 2014, Georgia Power launched a new electric transportation initiative to advance Georgia as an exceptionally EV-friendly state through its Get Current. Drive Electric. program. The program currently includes an ongoing public education campaign, EV charger rebates for business and residential customers and special rates and charging options for EV customers.

Biodiesel to Tackle South Pole

zerosouthhummer2A group planning a drive to the South Pole is choosing biodiesel to get it there. According to this article in Green Car Reports, Zero South‘s goal is to be the first to reach the South Pole without using any fossil fuels.

“We shall draft a symbol of military defense for the front lines of environmental defense,” expedition organizer Nick Baggarly declared.

Each Hummer is equipped with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel engine that will run on biofuel during the expedition.

There’s also an electric motor for each axle, retaining the Hummer’s four-wheel drive capability.

Electricity is supplied by a 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, mounted in an insulated battery box to maintain consistent temperature.

The whole trip will cover 1,200 miles, and the group plans to document its journey and produce a 10-episode television miniseries and feature-length film.

Proterra EV Buses Travel Million Miles

Proterra battery-electric(EV) buses have been driven one million miles. The company recently congratulated its customers on achieving the EV industry milestone and held a celebratory event at its plant in Greenville, S.C. where they honored their transit agency partners for their leadership as EV pioneers.

Each transit agency was honored with award commemorating their early adoption of EV bus technology and acknowledging their role in building the future of mass transit and sustainable urban mobility.

Proterra battery electric busCustomers receiving the awards were: Foothill Transit (Pomona, Calif.), WRTA (Worcester, Mass.), the City of Seneca, S.C./Clemson Area Transit, RTC Washoe (Reno, Nev.), TARC (Louisville, Ky.), VIA Metropolitan Transit (San Antonio, Texas), San Joaquin RTD (Stockton, Calif.), and StarMetro (Tallahassee, Fla.).

“Reaching our 1,000,000th mile in revenue service is a significant milestone, not just for Proterra, but for the entire transit industry,” said Proterra President and CEO Ryan Popple. “Along with our forward-thinking and highly valued transit agency partners, we can offer the world a million proof points to bolster the fact that electric vehicles not only offer great performance, but represent the best total cost of ownership and environmental option for transit agencies.”

By combining performance, efficiency and flexibility, Proterra buses offer the lowest per passenger cost and environmental impact of any transit bus technology—electric, diesel, hybrid or natural gas. Proterra has now received orders from 14 different transit agencies in cities across North America. Over the course of their 1,000,000 miles in service, Proterra customers have saved nearly 250,000 gallons of fossil fuel and have eliminated nearly 3.5 million pounds of emissions from being released into the environment.

How to Deflate Range Anxiety

Millions of people could be suffering from “range anxiety” a condition that keeps consumers from purchasing electric vehicles for fear of becoming stranded with an empty battery. A new study published in Human Factors addresses range anxiety and aims to explain what it is, and determine whether putting a consumer in a battery electric vehicle (BEV) to drive would reduce or eliminate the fear.

In “Understanding the Impact of Electric Vehicle Driving Experience on Range Anxiety,” Rauh and fellow researchers Thomas Franke and Josef Krems asked 24 experienced and inexperienced BEV users to drive a test route through country roads, in villages, and on the German Autobahn. To increase range stress, participants were told that because of an unexpected technical problem, the BEV was not fully charged.

Chevy Volt Photo Joanna Schroeder“Range anxiety is a popular topic in the field of electric vehicles, and is frequently named as a key barrier for widespread adoption of BEVs,” said coauthor Nadine Rauh, a research assistant in the Department of Cognitive and Engineering Psychology at Germany’s Technische Universität Chemnitz. “We strongly believe that a better understanding of the phenomenon of range anxiety can help us to find ways of enhancing user experience in BEV driving, thereby increasing acceptance of this type of alternative vehicle.”

The authors found when the vehicle’s display showed that the remaining range was less than the anticipated trip length, experienced BEV drivers exhibited significantly less anxiety than did those who were unfamiliar with electric cars. The researchers caution that further study is needed to determine what other variables play a role in decreasing range anxiety.

“Drivers who are new to BEVs can experience a lot of stress, but as time goes by they will become more confident in both the BEV’s range and in their own abilities to manage any situations that may arise,” added Franke, a postdoctoral researcher at Technische Universität Chemnitz. “Despite advances in technology that will allow for a longer range, human factors research will remain an important tool for helping to design sustainable and user-friendly electric mobility systems.”

San Fran No 1 Electric Vehicle City

ChargePoint_Infographic_EV_GrowthChargePoint has released a list of the top 10 friendliest metropolitan areas for EV drivers. The San Francisco Bay Area (including San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose) led the nation, followed by Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego and Honolulu. The company scored the cities based on the number of EVs on the road and the number of charging stations available on the their network as of December 31, 2014 while adjusting for population differences.

ChargePoint’s Top 10 EV-Friendly Metropolitan Areas:

  1. San Francisco Bay Area, CA
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Seattle, WA
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Honolulu, HI
  6. Austin, TX
  7. Detroit, MI
  8. Atlanta, GA
  9. Denver, CO
  10. Portland, OR

“Although the West Coast continues to lead the nation in EV friendliness, the fact that cities like Atlanta and Denver broke into the top 10 demonstrates that this is not regional trend, but that our nation is quickly transitioning from gas powered cars to EVs.” said ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano. “In cities across the country, it’s becoming easier than ever to drive an EV – and that’s good news for our industry and for our environment.”

Although Los Angeles leads the nation in terms of registered EVs (nearly 57,000), the San Francisco Bay Area takes top billing after accounting for population differences (more than 48,000 EVs). Austin fell to the number-six ranking after having held the number-four spot on the 2013 list; Washington, DC and Boston, MA fell from the ninth and tenth spots, respectively, while EV infrastructure growth and registrations propelled Atlanta and Denver into the top 10.

FPL to Power Miami ePrix

Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) will be powering the electric vehicles (EVs) racing for first place with solar power. The inaugural event will take place in downtown Miami on March 14, 2015. Formula E is a new FIA single-seater championship and the first fully-electric race car series. It kicked off in Bejing last September and ends this June featuring 10 teams, each with two drivers, racing on city streets. The racing series was developed to showcase R&D and excitement around EVs and the Miami ePrix marks the first U.S. appearance of the series.

“Our partnership with Formula E and the Miami ePrix is another example of our commitment to advancing zero-emissions solar energy and the use of electric vehicles in Florida,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “By the end of 2016 we Formula E racing series in Buenos Aireswill triple the energy we are able to produce from the sun, furthering our mission to provide low-cost, reliable and clean energy to our 4.7 million customers.”

“It’s an honor for us to have been selected as one of the 10 founding Formula E teams for the inaugural season,” said Michael Andretti, chairman and CEO of Andretti Sports Marketing who participated in the announcement. “I look forward to bringing this exciting series to North America and joining an impressive field of competitors at the upcoming race in Miami.”

During the announcement, electric race cars were charged with power generated from the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, one of three solar power plants operated by FPL. Earlier this year, FPL announced plans to install more than 1 million solar panels at three additional solar power plants by the end of 2016. When combined with other community projects, FPL will triple its solar capacity, which currently totals approximately 110 megawatts.

“The Formula E Miami ePrix is all about sharing our passion for electric vehicles,” added Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings. “The race series is exciting, it’s entertaining, and we hope it will turn the world’s attention to the potential electric vehicles have to change the way we power transportation. We are pleased to partner with FPL – a company that shares our vision for powering the future with affordable, clean energy.”

Electric Vehicle Charging Standards Needed

With the increase of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road, aka the burgeoning of the “Electric Highway,” unified standards for public EV charging are needed. In many states, this will fall on the weights and measures officials. As more plug-in EVS hits U.S. roads, charging stations will require inspection and testing for accuracy, just like a gas station today. As the infrastructure rolls out, accruacy, labeling and advertising requirements will need to be addressed.

The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) established the kilowatt hour as the appropriate method of sale of electricity for electric automobiles, effective January 1, 2014. This was at the recommendation of a U.S. National Working Group established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). By establishing the measured units of sale, consumers are now able to make price comparisons just as they do for gasoline.

gI_67293_Electric-CarAt its 100th Annual Meeting in July 2015 in Philadelphia, NCWM will vote on additional recommendations from the NIST work group that would establish standards for recharging stations including accuracy requirements, testing procedures by weights and measures officials and design and installation requirements such as indications, labeling and security from tampering. All of this will enable the same level of regulatory oversight that already exists for gas pumps. If adopted by NCWM in July, those model standards will be published in NIST Handbook 44 and enforceable effective January 1, 2016.

Carol Hockert, chief of the NIST Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) noted, “NCWM and NIST have worked in partnership since 1905 to develop standards covering commercial weighing and measuring practices. It is a never-ending task as manufacturing, marketing and new technologies rapidly evolve.”

She also explained that OWM personnel at NIST serve as technical advisors on NCWM Committees and serve as liaisons between NCWM and federal agencies. These two organizations are devoted to a common cause: strengthening the nation’s weights and measures infrastructure and in doing so, protecting consumers and giving business owners a level playing field through fair competition.