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EV Charging Station News

the latest from Green Car Reports on the EV charging industry

Electric-car discovery, education centers are now a thing

Plug'n Drive Education Center Toronto
Enlarge PhotoBreaking with routine and tradition is never easy, especially when it comes to buying, owning, and operating a vehicle powered by an internal-combustion engine.

Around the world, roughly 1 billion vehicle owners stop at fuel stations and keep cars powered by fossil fuels running—and have done for a century now.

Inevitably, it will take more than a few brief advertisements to help consumers understand electric cars.

DON'T MISS: Go Forth Electric Vehicle Showcase in Portland: lessons learned

Thankfully, various organizations have undertaken this daunting task to educate shoppers and help more buyers discover electric cars for the very first time.

Notably, three of these electric-car discover and education centers have opened in the last year, in three different countries: the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands.

Despite being thousands of miles apart, the centers share the common goal of educating the public on ele..

Electric-car showroom, Mazda’s HCCI engine, Tesla Model 3 outlook, the end of engines: Today’s Car News

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Faraday Future FF 91
Enlarge PhotoToday, Mazda will launch a new and far more fuel-efficient engine even as a supplier says engine development will end in a decade; our readers weigh in on the Tesla Model 3; and we look at lessons learned from educating the public on electric cars. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

We kicked off with a survey on the prospects for the Tesla Model 3 now that it's out. Our respondents had some very definite opinions.

Mazda's forthcoming SkyActiv-X engine will feature HCCI, which boosts fuel economy up to 30 percent by letting a gasoline engine behave like a more efficient diesel.

Will $14 million in rescue funds for Faraday Future let it get its FF 91 luxury electric car into production? An already-built factory in California could help.

One supplier has a startling prediction: German carmakers will end refinements to internal-combustion engines by 2025. Wow.

We took a deep dive into the lessons learned at..

Go Forth Electric Vehicle Showcase in Portland: lessons learned

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Chevrolet Bolt EV being charged outside Go Forth electric-car showroom, Portland [photo: Forth]
Enlarge PhotoOne of the challenges in getting car shoppers to consider plug-in electric vehicles is the education required.

Tesla attacked this problem head on, opening its stores in malls and other sites where potential future buyers could dip their toes in and start to learn about electric cars without being pressured to sign on the line.

But at all other carmakers, the number of electric models is swamped by conventional gasoline cars, and salespeople often don't have the necessary knowledge to explain them properly.

DON'T MISS: Drive Oregon goes Forth: new name, broader mission, more states

To address that problem head on, a handful of electric-car education centers has now opened in various North American and European cities.

The Northwest Electric Vehicle Showcase in downtown Portland opened in May of this year, with trained staff and multipl..

Tesla Model 3 electric car: what’s your take? Poll results

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2017 Tesla Model 3 “first production” car, in photo tweeted by Elon Musk on July 9, 2017
Enlarge PhotoWith the Tesla Model 3 electric car now in early production and an aggressive ramp rate targeted, it's getting lots of media attention.

Part of that is due to the allure of the Tesla brand and fascinating with company CEO Elon Musk.

Some more may be due to the widespread misapprehension that the Model 3 is the first long-range electric car for sale at a mass-market price. (It's not.)

DON'T MISS: Tesla Model 3 rated at 126 MPGe, third-best after Ioniq Electric, Prius Prime

One of the Model 3's strongest advantages—the Tesla Supercharger network of DC fast-charging stations—often gets overlooked by breathless media coverage.

But, hey, that's the game these days.

So now that Tesla's third major line of electric cars has emerged, we surveyed our Twitter followers to see what they thought the prospects for the Model 3 were.


Model 3 MPGe, Prime vs Bolt EV vs Volt, electric SUV, Mirai for Hawaii: Today’s Car News

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Teaser for BMW i8 Roadster debuting in 2018
Enlarge PhotoToday, a Tesla Model 3 EPA rating, a future electric SUV from Nissan, who loves tiny crossovers and who doesn't, and hydrogen fuel for Maui. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

Over the weekend, we covered last week's most popular green-car news.

One reviewer called the Chevy Bolt EV user interface “the best of any electric car” on the market.

We kicked off today with a request from contributor John Briggs for some advice: should he buy a Toyota Prius Prime, Chevy Bolt EV, or Chevrolet Volt? The comments are flooding in.

An alert fan snapped the photo that gave us the missing EPA efficiency rating for the Tesla Model 3 electric car.

U.S. buyers are flocking to SUVs and crossover utility vehicles, but the smallest SUVs aren't equally popular in all regions; we broke down who loves 'em and who's all, like, meh.

Once the 2018 Nissan Leaf is unveiled next month, more ele..

Should we buy a Toyota Prius Prime, Chevy Bolt EV, or Volt?

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2006 Toyota Prius and 2015 Nissan Leaf [photo: John C. Briggs]
Enlarge PhotoIt's now time to shop for a new car for my wife, as her wonderful 2006 Toyota Prius has 144,000 miles and we're ready for something new.

So I thought I might throw the question out to Green Car Reports readers.

What car should replace our 2006 Prius hybrid?

DON'T MISS: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime: gas mileage, electric range review

Our needs and requirements are clear:

No plug, no deal: it must be electric, either a full battery-electric or a plug-in hybrid
The main use is a 16-mile daily roundtrip commute to work.
It must also handle occasional 300-mile round trips from Boston to Woodstock, Vermont, with minimal charging hassles
Base price must be less than $40,000 before incentives
Map: CHAdeMO and CCS electric-car fast-charging sites between Boston and Woodstock, VT, Aug 2017
Enlarge Photo

Fully electric models

Any modern all-electric car can handle the 16-mile daily commute in..

Tesla Model 3 launch, 2018 Leaf, CAFE debate, Porsche faster charging, ‘dead’ coal: The Week in Reverse

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2018 Tesla Model 3
Enlarge PhotoWhat did we learn about the Tesla Model 3 electric car this week?

Why is the EPA planning to remove an exhibit on climate change?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending on Friday, August 4, 2017.

Friday, we noted that while the Trump administration plans to freeze or even roll back fuel-efficiency rules, known as CAFE, automakers don't want them tossed out entirely—but do want some changes.

The Tesla Model Y will use the Model 3 platform, according to CEO Elon Musk, who said he had been “reeled back” by his team from what would have been “insanity.”

Andrea Kerr driving Fiat 500e electric car in autocross, Great Park, Irvine, Califronia, July 2017
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On Thursday, our reader Doug Kerr wrote about taking an electric car to the track: his daughter Andie drove her Fiat 500e in a local autocross, and he told us how it went.

A piece we published on the n..

Fiat 500e autocrossing, Model 3 update, Canada EV news, charging at gas stations: Today’s Car News

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Distracted pedestrian, walking and texting
Enlarge PhotoToday, we've two two Tesla stories covering its entire model lineup, an electric car that went racing, a news roundup from Canada, and a distracted-pedestrian idea. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

A piece we published on the net number of Tesla Model 3 reservations may have contributed to CEO Elon Musk's response: Tesla has 455,000 net reservations for the new model, he said.

Imagine that: BP will add electric-car charging stations to gas stations, having noticed projections that the gasoline market may start to decline as EVs hit the road.

We've got a roundup of six electric-car news items from Canada, from more charging stations to a new EV Discovery Centre.

Ever wanted to take an electric car racing? Our reader Doug Kerr did: his daughter Andie drove her Fiat 500e in a local autocross, and he told us the whole story.

Before the Tesla Model 3 went into production, the Tesl..

Canada electric-car news: EV Discovery Centre, more charging sites, ZEV mandates debated

Plug'n'Drive EV Discovery Centre, Toronto
Enlarge Photo
As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, the plug-in electric vehicle sector has charged forward, with developments on the national, provincial and even municipal levels.

Here’s our take on six of the most salient stories.

Federal ZEV committee

On May 26, the Canadian government announced its intent to develop a national Zero Emission Vehicle strategy.

DON'T MISS: Quebec passes Canada's first zero-emission vehicle rule, to start in 2018 (Nov 2016)

Stakeholders and experts from government, industry, academia and non-government organizations have gathered to develop recommendations for a five-pronged strategy outlined below, along with some approaches that might plausibly be under consideration.

1. Infrastructure: partnering with the private sector to deploy infrastructure, including support for installations in multi-unit residential buildings (apartments) and workplaces.

2. Technology: streamline regulat..

BP follows other gas-station brands, adds electric-car charging

Highway sign for electric-car fast-charging station at BP in Metrolina area of Charlotte, NC
Enlarge PhotoMajor oil companies are beginning to take the threat of electric cars seriously, and the latest evidence comes from British Petroleum.

BP has begun discussions with electric-vehicle makers to partner on a network of charging stations.

The move comes as many European countries announce plans to ban the sale of fossil-fuel powered cars in coming decades.

DON'T MISS: Electric-Car Charging Station At Gas Station In Tar-Sands Land

BP hopes to earn a piece of the charging market, which is forecasted to grow significantly in the coming years, according to Reuters.

The report says multiple discussions are ongoing with makers of electric cars, though BP is examining other ways it can enter the new market.

A recent analysis from BP predicts more than 100 million electric cars will be on the road by 2035—meaning 100 million fewer cars purchasing gasoline or diesel fuels.

2017 Chev..

Tesla Model 3 net reservations clarified after 16 months: 455,000

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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013
Enlarge PhotoSometimes, if you ask a question often enough for long enough, an answer will eventually be forthcoming.

In the case of the net number of $1,000 reservations for the Tesla Model 3 electric car, it took 16 months for the company to cough up the latest data.

It came, not surprisingly, from CEO Elon Musk, speaking on a conference call for financial analysts yesterday afternoon.

DON'T MISS: Tesla won't discuss net Model 3 reservations number; why?

In April 2016, Tesla quoted a number of 373,000 reservations taken for the Model 3 following its splashy debut and enormous publicity.

The company then resolutely declined to respond to queries from journalists or financial analysts asking for an update of that number—until yesterday.

In the analyst call, Musk raised the issue himself after a question about Porsche's announcement of 15-minute DC fast..

Mazda exec: engines can get cleaner, EVs will die without subsidies

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2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring
Enlarge PhotoSmall Japanese automaker Mazda is in a tough spot.

It's been on its own for most of a decade now, after Ford sold its shares in the company, and now Mazda must fund numerous new models all by itself.

With global sales of just 1.5 million vehicles, it's one-seventh the size of Toyota or Volkswagen.

DON'T MISS: Mazda to launch homogeneous-charge compression engine next year

But as the saying goes, 'You dance with the girl that brought you” (or perhaps “Run what ya brung”?), so Mazda product strategists have doubled down on highly efficient gasoline and diesel engines.

While the carmaker will sell a plug-in hybrid in California within a few years to meet that state's zero-emission vehicle rules, the technology for that model will likely come fully or in part from Toyota.

Instead, Mazda is plowing its research dollars into the next generation of its Skyactiv efficient combustion technolog..

Decline of oil: Bloomberg suggests what it could look like

Oil well (photo by John Hill)
Enlarge PhotoPredictions on the future of global energy vary greatly, but many analysts largely believe that peak demand for the oil industry is coming relatively soon.

The world's largest oil companies, however, see it differently: they say their business will only continue to grow through the year 2040.

Exxon and OPEC each believe more than 100 million barrels of oil will be needed globally each day by 2040; the International Energy Agency (IEA) also predicts growing demand.

DON'T MISS: How Shell Oil Sees The Future Of Energy And Vehicle Fuels In 2050

But many factors that affect future oil demand haven't been factored in, says Bloomberg, which has laid out its analysis in detail in assessing that IEA forecast.

A combination of smaller changes could see oil production not growing, but waning, over the next few decades.

About 60 percent of all oil is used for transportation, and that's a sector expected to see incredible change.

New propaganda video on electric-car tax credits: time to debunk!

Nissan Leaf at West Coast Electric Highway charging station (Photo by Pine Mountain Sports)
Enlarge PhotoThe U.S. federal income-tax credit for purchase of an electric car has seen its share of attacks over the years.

Now a new video seeks to twist the facts to paint those subsidies in a bad light.

While facts don't lie, it's easy to create a new narrative by taking carefully chosen facts out of context and presenting only a small part of a broader story.

DON'T MISS: Propaganda video claiming 'dirty electric cars' debunked

The video from Koch-funded group Fueling U.S. Forward recently surfaced and was promptly debunked, thanks to Desmog Blog.

We're not linking to it here, but you can find it on YouTube under the title “Hidden Costs of Electric Cars,” if you want to see the whole thing.

The video claims that the electric-car tax credits go solely go to “wealthier households.”

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car at EVgo fast-charging station, Newport ..

Model 3 mania, Porsche fast charging, electric Buick SUV, gas-mileage rollback? Today’s Car News

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Porsche Mission E concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show
Enlarge PhotoToday, it's mostly about the Tesla Model 3, but we also have a future electric SUV closely related to the Bolt EV, some startling and dire news for fuel-economy rules, and a change of heart from Fiat Chrysler. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

The big news over the weekend and again today was the Tesla Model 3, officially launched into production at a Handover Party that also revealed some (but not all) specifications and features of the two models to be delivered before the end of this year.

This morning, we ran down the reviews of the Tesla Model 3, which were largely positive and in many cases downright glowing.

Yesterday, we described a secret focus group for a new Buick small electric SUV based on the Bolt EV.

This morning, we noted that not only is NHTSA reviewing fuel-economy rules from 2022 through 2025, it said it might even roll back rules for 2021—not something expect..

Porsche prototype 350-kw electric car fast-charging station installed

Porsche solar pylon
Enlarge PhotoPorsche has big plans to expand the capability of the Combined Charging System (CCS) DC standard into much higher voltages to allow much faster electric-car charging.

Now, it's completed a first step: at the brand's new branch office in Berlin-Adlershof, Porsche has installed a prototype 350-kilowatt, 800-volt charging station.

The new technology has the capability to charge an electric car's battery at speeds that simply can't be achieved using today's technology.

DON'T MISS: Porsche's 800-Volt fast charging for electric cars: why it matters

Modern CCS charging stations in the U.S. are capped at 50 kw, but Porsche hopes to roll out the 350-kw stations by the end of the decade to coincide with its first electric car—a production version of the Mission E.

The prototype charging station receives power from the branch office's 25-meter (82 foot) high solar pylon, composed of 7,776 photovoltaic cells.

Porsche s..

All-electric Buick small SUV to be based on Bolt EV: report

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2018 Buick Encore
Enlarge PhotoThe Chevrolet Bolt EV, initially intended to be adapted from the next-generation Chevy Sonic subcompact, ended up with unique underpinnings designed solely for use as a battery-electric vehicle.

Carmakers virtually never limit dedicated architectures to a single vehicle—they're simply too expensive to develop—so it's long been expected that the Chevy Bolt EV platform would spawn other vehicles.

Now InsideEVs has an exclusive report on what one such Bolt EV derivative may be: a small Buick crossover utility vehicle.

DON'T MISS: GM goal: profitable, affordable electric cars built in big numbers

The site spoke to a person who had attended a focus group for the future electric SUV, which reportedly resembles a next-generation Buick Encore.

That's the subcompact crossover built on Sonic underpinnings, first launched in 2013 and now an aging but surprisingly popular model in Buick's lineup.

According t..

One electric car owner’s experiences in adding solar panels: why, what, and how (updated)

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Photovoltaic solar panel installation on house, Fremont, California [image: Shiva Singh]
Enlarge Photo
The purchase of an electric car that plugs into the power grid to recharge its battery often gets drivers thinking about the source of their energy.

We haven't seen data from recent years looking at the overlap between electric-car drivers and home solar panels.

But early analyses in California indicated as many as four in 10 electric-car drivers were already using or considering the addition of home solar panels to generate electricity.

DON'T MISS: Montana solar-power law rigging caught on live video, regrettably

California has been at the forefront of emission reduction and renewable energy for decades, so those 2012 results may not reflect the national average.

Still, Green Car Reports reader and frequent commenter Shiva Singh, of Fremont, California, is one of the electric-car owners who have recently added solar panels.

What follows ar..