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The Electric Forum is a news site and discussion community allowing you to follow the latest developments in the world of electric vehicles. It offers the chance to check out the latest news, technology and reviews as well as the opportunity to share your own experiences in the new world of environmentally friendly transport.
EV charging stations becoming more common
July 25, 2013 06:12 AM - MOVEFORWARD, Electric Forum
As the race to the mass market continues it seems as though the thoughts of electric vehicle drivers are now turning towards charging stations in their area. If you read the motoring press you will see much focus upon battery journey capacity when in reality there are now more charging stations than ever before, with recharging times now falling dramatically, a 30 minutes recharge while you shop could be all it takes to get you home. It will be interesting to see as and when the EV industry moves on to promote charging stations more aggressively to the wider public. Initially there were concerns about electric vehicle technology, this then switched to battery technology and while it would be wrong to say these two issues have been resolved conclusively there is no doubt that great progress has been made.
Electric Vehicles outpacing hybrids
July 23, 2013 04:36 PM - MOVEFORWARD, Electric Forum
The US Department of Energy has this week released a very interesting graph which shows the early-stage development of the hybrid market compared to the electric plug-in market. Many people have been of the opinion that hybrids offer an interesting steppingstone for the electric vehicle market but if sales forecasts are anything to go by the electric vehicle market is likely to outperform its hybrid counterpart. The graph took into account sales of electric vehicles and hybrids over the first three years of the technology. The start date for hybrids was 2000 and the start date for electric vehicles was 2011 — while some will point at an earlier Tesla Roadster Model made available before 2011 this was not designed for the main market.
US electric cars out sell hybrids in first half of 2013
July 19, 2013 01:37 PM - Editor, Electric Forum
In a surprising move for the US electric car industry, the Electric Drive Transportation Association has released figures which show that US electric cars outsold their hybrid counterparts in the first half of 2013 by 22,712 to 18,335. This is a resounding result for the electric car industry although the momentum which led to this switchover will need to be maintained in the longer term as the industry sets its sights on the mass market. There may be a number of one-offs which have assisted this switch in momentum but the fact remains that electric vehicles are now more popular in the US than they ever have been.
A new approach to calm potential EV battery worries
June 23, 2013 07:26 AM - MOVEFORWARD, Electric Forum
While the Nissan Leaf is perhaps the best known EV in the mass market today there have still been issues with regards to the journey capacity and battery technology. Even though battery technology continues to catch up with EV technology there is something of a vacuum while this process is completed. As a consequence, like competitors such as Tesla, Nissan is now launching a new service to put EV driver's minds at rest. In simple terms Nissan will offer Nissan Leaf drivers in the US the opportunity to replace their battery for whatever reason while part of the battery replacement program (cost $100 a month). When you bear in mind that the cost of the battery pack in an EV is the single most expensive piece of equipment this will certainly help.
Is EV battery technology more advanced than we thought?
June 19, 2013 06:51 AM - Editor, Electric Forum
Are EV manufacturers holding something back? If we take a look at the EV market it seems that we have barely moved on, at least in the mass market, since the General Motors EV1 debacle in the 1990s. Mainstream battery journey capacity is still roughly the same as was available for the EV1 despite the fact that the industry has received billions of dollars in additional funding from governments and private investors. So, are EV manufacturers holding something back? There is some speculation that various EV manufacturers are holding back the best of their technology until it has been fine tuned and thoroughly tested. There is speculation that while some of the "financially weak" companies are falling by the wayside, in the shape of Fisker for example, we are starting to see some stronger companies emerge from the market. This is potentially the perfect storm for the EV market, with companies falling by the wayside leaving the lion's share of future investment to those looking further forward and able to give stability and long-term credibility.
Nanotechnology could lead to better batteries for EV's
June 9, 2013 08:11 AM - MOVEFORWARD, Electric Forum
If you search the Internet for information on nanotechnology the likelihood is that you will see a number of scare stories suggesting that nanotechnology robots will take over the world but if you dig a little deeper you will see that nanotechnology will play a major part in every area of our life going forward. Indeed researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico seem to have stumbled upon a new type of technology which could lead to batteries able to hold 10 times the storage capacity at the moment. While the fact that these batteries could be commercially viable in the future is amazing in itself, it is also worth mentioning that unlike traditional batteries they do not require expensive precious metals such as platinum. This nanotechnology carbon-based catalyst is said to be able to squeeze maximum efficiency out of new lithium air technology which is currently being investigated by IBM for one.
Has power in the electric vehicle market switched from the US to China?
June 5, 2013 02:20 PM - Move Forward, Electric Forum
When we think of automobiles the likelihood is that the US is a country which will spring to mind and then perhaps other operations in the Far East, Europe and beyond. For many years the likes of Ford and General Motors have dominated the automobile industry giving the US government enormous power to lead while the rest follow. However, there is a growing concern that the US government may well be losing control of the electric vehicle market with the Chinese authorities now keener than ever to invest in this new technology. It seems almost inconceivable that President Obama, who has recently been forced to renege on his 1 million electric vehicle target, should lose control of the electric vehicle industry to China.