EVs coming to Palmerston North
Aconvoy of electric cars will pass through Palmerston North next month. Locals will have an opportunity to inspect the cars on April 13 – 14 and talk ‘EV’ with their drivers. Expected to be among the vehicles are a Tesla, BMWEVs and the Nissan Leaf.
Local EV owner Sue Pugmire would like to see the cars officially welcomed by the mayor and media, and is inviting ideas about how to go about this to make the most of the visit, as well as other options towards making Palmerston North an ‘eco city’ and leader in adopting sustainable green clean technology.
FUEL FOR THOUGHT
The future is on its way. Motorists could soon be driving drive their EVs into a charging station, and instead of waiting while it recharges, they simply swap their discharged battery for a fullycharged one – just like with barbecue gas bottles.
Or maybe there won’t be charging stations. Vehicles could be refuelled wirelessly via a smartphone app whenever the car is paused say at traffic lights, over some form of fast-charge facility.
At present, the world’s energy companies produce 92 million barrels (that’s 92 million x 158 litres) of crude oil a day, with a large portion of that being refined into petrol and diesel. In 25 years this is expected to be 110 million barrels a day.
New Zealand annually consumes 7.5 billion litres as petrol, diesel, jet fuel. fuel oil, and bitumen – a lot for a small country due maybe because we have one of the oldest vehicle fleets in the developed world, and own heaps of them.
The Motor Trade Association estimates that our passenger vehicle fleet is around 2.7 million vehicles or 574 cars per 1000 people, and growing. The internal combustion engine-dominated transport sector accounts for 37 per cent of New Zealand’s total energy use, and 43 per cent of the country’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Carmakers are now moving away from building brand new cars from scratch every seven years.
This is in response to consumer demands for cars to have the latest tech and innovations, while the speed of change outpaces vehicle model life.
Mercedes, BMWand others want to shorten the time it takes to develop a car and introduce interchangeable parts that can be updated in a ‘‘product refresh’’ while sticking to the seven-year product cycle. The big challenge is how to introduce the latest whizz-bang tech as frequently as possible without interfering with the economics of earning back the cash spent on expensive tooling, production and distribution.
Carmakers are now employing modular systems, with some components in use over two generations of vehicle.
Hardware, steel, engines, crank-cases, transmissions will have long life cycles, while software and processors will be incorporated with potential upgrades in mind during the vehicle’s life cycle.
QUANTINO OF SOLACE
Car manufacturer nanoFlowcell has offered a sneak preview of the new car in its Quant range, the Quantino at the Geneva Motor Show.
Marketed as the world’s first ever low-voltage car, rated at 48 volts, its motors are powered by electricity generated from a process of filtering ionic liquid – basically saltwater – through separate cells where a ‘‘cold burning’’ takes place. Oxidation and reduction processes then produce electrical power for the drive train.
The nanoFlowcell battery is said to run 20-times further than a conventional lead-acid battery and 5-times further than lithiumion technology.
The smaller brother of the Quant sports car which debuted a year ago, the Quantino has a top speed of over 200kmh and a predicted range of more than 1000km.
The 2015 Tesla S P85D batterypowered car.