Germany: Simple street lamp post plug-in recharges EV’s

Germany: Simple street lamp post plug-in recharges EV’s  | 28/11/14
by John Brian Shannon John Brian Shannon

One major impediment to the adoption of electric vehicles is the high cost of public charging stations for EV’s, as the charging units are very expensive.

Ubitricity.de has come up with a novel solution whereby the ordinary street lamp post can be fitted with an electric vehicle charging point for the reasonable cost of 500 to 800 euros per streetlight, which is certainly more doable than the 10,000 euros of your typical EV charge point in Europe!

Ubitricity.de - Reuters screenshot
No more petrol stations for you — ever! Image courtesy of Ubitricity.de

Street lamp post locations in selected cities within Germany are now being fitted with a Ubitricity Charge Point, allowing electric vehicle drivers to charge their EV battery.

Drivers prepay the cost of the electricity via Ubitricity to charge at these locations. Ostensibly at least, every street lamp post and parking meter in Europe could be fitted with one of these charge points.

Not only do German drivers have the option of charging their EV’s at home, now they can now pick up a charge while they shop, have coffee with friends, or while they spend the day at their workplace.

We are convinced there is room for this technology to be applied everywhere it’s needed, but we think that in most places there is a pressing need for investment in a charging infrastructure to allow the installation of charging points, not only here on lamp posts, but also in the workplace, at home and in underground carparks.

Governments are keen to cut the number of gas guzzling cars on the roads to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many are offering cash incentives to drivers to buy electric. But take-up has been slow partly due to the lack of charging stations.

There are lots of lamp posts which are already very well connected to the electricity network. Equipping a lamp post costs between 300 and 500 euros, depending on the circumstances at that location. When you consider the production price of our charging sockets, it is a long way from the 10,000 euros which must typically be invested in a charging station. Founder of Ubitricity, Frank Pawlitsche

All you need is an Electric Vehicle and Mobile Phone (app), your prepaid Ubitricity account and Ubitricity connector cable, and you’re set

Ubitricity portable, streetlight-attachable EV charging unit
Ubitricity’s portable, street lamp post EV Charge Point.

The great thing about the Ubitricity parking spots with their electric vehicle charge point is that they’re normal parking spots with a plug-in added. Your mobile phone app displays the Ubitricity ‘Charge Point’ locations.

You can park there all day and return to a car that is fully energized and ready to go. No more gas stations for you!

It’s a wonderful idea. Street lamp post and parking meters are everywhere it seems and combining a parking spot with an EV charge point is a stroke of genius. Boy those Germans are smart. Gut gemacht! (Well done!)

Driving electric is a cornerstone of Germany’s Energiewende energy policy

Only when driving on renewables will EV users avoid greenhouse gas emissions — not just locally but on a global scale. Renewable energies and EVs are natural partners of a sustainable energy and transportation sector. — From the Ubitricity website

Not only Ubitricity — but BMW is getting into the act too!

BMW i3
BMW i3 charging at a Ubitricity location in Berlin, Germany.

Drivers of the much-loved BMW i3 electric vehicle will soon have their own BMW charging network and software to guide you to nearby charge points.

Eventually, BMW will build their network across Europe to facilitate EV travel across the continent.

BMW has a vision to offer buyers their choice of gasoline powered — or as an option electric powered, or hybrid/electric powered cars across all model lines.

BMW is also famous for installing wind turbines, solar panels, and biomass power plants at it’s German factories, and taking their factories completely off-grid!

It also has plans to get into the consumer electricity business throughout Europe.

You’ll soon be able to buy a BMW car and a BMW motorcycle for your driveway and BMW electricity for your home and office. All produced by renewable energy and only renewable energy.

A note about TESLA Model S drivers and their unique charging situation

TESLA Model S at a SuperCharger location.
TESLA Model S at a SuperCharger location. Image courtesy of Edmonds.

All TESLA vehicles can access the Ubitricity lamp post charge points, but don’t forget to bring your Ubitricity charging cable — unlike the TESLA SuperCharger stations where the cable is permanently attached to the SuperCharger unit.

A benefit of TESLA SuperCharger top-ups is that they usually take 10-15 minutes. Look, there’s a Starbucks!

Another benefit is that (TESLA Model S drivers only) enjoy free charging at TESLA SuperCharger stations (for the life of the car) because that’s what you get for 70,000 euros.

But once your TESLA is charged, you must return to move your car in order to let other TESLA drivers access the SuperCharger, much like gas-engined drivers can’t leave their car in front of the gas pump while they go shopping.

Only the Ubitricity solution gives all EV drivers a convenient parking spot — and a charge. The ability to simply ‘Park and Plug’ in one location in today’s crowded cities is a very big plus indeed.

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VW e-Golf Priced at €34,900 and now available in Germany [Video]

by Zachary Shahan

EV Central. EV Sales. The VW Golf is the most-sold European car in history, and now there’s an electric version of it -- the VW e-Golf.
EV Central. EV Sales. The VW Golf is the most-sold European car in history, and now there’s an electric version of it – the VW e-Golf.

The VW Golf is the most-sold European car in history, and now there’s an electric version of it.

The VW e-Golf, unveiled at the LA Auto Show in November, has just been made commercially available in Germany. The starting price is €34,900 (~$47,800). That comes with an 8-year / 160,000-kilometer (99,419-mile) battery warranty. That’s almost exactly the same price as the BMW i3.

Assuming Volkswagen is serious about selling this car, it could do well, but I’d be surprised to see its sales compare to sales of the BMW i3 or the much-lower-priced Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, or German-market-leading Smart Electric Drive.

I’d assume the VW e-Up!, launched just at the end of 2013, will also do better. It has been doing quite well, is widely available (across Europe), and it comes in at a much lower price of €26,900. Mike Millikin of Green Car Congress has some info on how these two electric Volkswagens compare, and how they compare to the world-market-leading Nissan Leaf:

The e-Golf features low power consumption of 12.7 kWh/100 km (the frugal e-up! offers power consumption of 11.7 kWh/100 km). As a comparison, the Nissan LEAF consumes 15 kWh/100 km (in accordance with UN/ECE Regulation 101).

I still slightly prefer the Nissan Leaf over the VW e-Up!, but have yet to drive the VW e-Golf. Looking forward to that. Here are more details on the e-Golf for now:

The e-Golf’s electric motor delivers 85 kW / 115 PS and from a standing start develops maximum torque of 270 N·m (199 lb-ft). The high-performance 12,000-rpm motor and the single-speed EQ270 transmission form a compact unit: the EQ270 also incorporates an integrated differential and an electro-mechanical parking brake. The motor and transmission was developed in-house and is made at Volkswagen’s components plant in Kassel, Germany.

The e-Golf reaches a speed of 60 km/h within 4.2 seconds and 100 km/h after 10.4 seconds.

The Golf A7 was developed from the outset to be a battery electric vehicle. As the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture that underpins the new Golf A7 is so flexible, Volkswagen was able to integrate the lithium-ion battery in a space-saving frame in the vehicle floor, under the front and rear seats and in the center tunnel. Like the electric motor and the transmission, the battery was also developed in-house at Volkswagen and is made at the company’s facility in Braunschweig, Germany.

The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery accounts for 701 pounds (318 kg) of the e-Golf model’s 3,090-pound (1,402 kg) curb weight. It comprises 264 individual prismatic cells, which are integrated into 27 modules (each with six or twelve cells). Collectively, the cells have a nominal rating of 323 volts, with an overall capacity of 24.2 kWh.

Depending on the nature of the route, driving style and load, the range is between 130 and 190 kilometers. More specifically, Volkswagen says, under the NEDC cycle, the range is 190 km. Practical range according to Volkswagen is the 130-190 km spread; and in winter operation, the range is expected to be 80-120 km.

Volkswagen seems to have gotten serious about electric vehicles after Martin Winterkorn took over as CEO in 2007. Nonetheless, it has taken the German auto giant a while to get into the game. Jumping into the market just within the past 6 months, it now has two high-volume cars available at competitive process and with unique features. Statements from some board members also makes it seem that the company is serious about an electric vehicle transition. Notably, in less than one month the company will be highlighting its new electric mobility options via public events that even include music concerts.

Under the slogan “electrified“, Volkswagen will be launching a series of e-mobility weeks in March on the site of Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport. Volkswagen will offer a comprehensive overview of Volkswagen capabilities in the field of electrically powered motoring. From 14-16 March, members of the public can avail themselves of the numerous facilities on offer, such as test driving vehicles. The e-mobility weeks will be rounded off with public concerts in the evening.

Whether by force (European requirements) or choice, it’s nice to see Volkswagen finally jumping into this. Let us know if you happen to have had any experience with the VW e-Golf yet!

This article, VW e-Golf Now Available In Germany — Price = €34,900, is syndicated from EV Obsession and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

EV Central. EV Sales. Zachary ShahanZachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

New Colibri EV City Car for Germany

Originally published on Gas2 by Christopher DeMorro

colibri
The Colibri is a German-built EV city car with a goal-price of just 8,831 euros, ($12,000 U.S. for comparison purposes only as it won’t be sold in the U.S.) as well as a $74 monthly battery rental fee.

Buying a car anywhere isn’t cheap (except maybe for India), though there is a growing market for cheap transportation in an increasingly expensive world. It is notoriously expensive to buy a new car in Europe, though a small electric car company plans to launch a $12,000 city EV sometime in 2015, and if such a car can succeed anywhere, it’s Europe.

The Colibri is a German-built electric car with a goal-price of just 8,831 euros, or about $12,000 U.S., as well as a $74 monthly battery rental fee. Equipped with a tiny 6 kWh battery pack, the Colibri is strictly a city commuter, with room for a single person and a few bags of groceries. Weighing in at less than a thousand pounds, the Colibri claims a range of 68 miles per charge, and can scoot from 0 to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds. Despite its size, the designers claim it can comfortably fit people up to 6 feet 3 inches tall.

While the top speed is limited to 74 mph, most drivers probably won’t even come close to maxing out this miniscule EV. A full charge takes just two hours from a Level 2 charger, and you can supposedly squeeze two of these tiny cars into a normal parking space. There are no plans to sell the Colibri in the U.S., and a planned 2014 launch date was pushed back to 2015.

Though a car seems difficult to find a market for, Europe’s best-selling EV is similarly designed and priced. I am talking about the Renault Twizy, which doesn’t even have a fully-closed cockpit, but has found plenty of urban buyers looking for an alternative to mass transit. If the Colibri makes it to market, it could find a decent following, though America is still many years (and much higher gas prices) from embracing such a small, limited-use vehicle.

Source: Plug-in Cars

This article, $12,000 Colibri EV Set For Launch In Germany, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Chris DeMorroChristopher DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMI’s. You can follow his slow descent into madness and non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar