Estonia has become the first country to launch a nationwide fast-charging network for electric vehicles, using technology provided by ABB. The 165 web-connected direct current fast chargers are installed in urban areas with more than 5,000 inhabitants, and on major roads throughout the country, creating the highest concentration of DC chargers in Europe. On highways, the chargers are never more than 60 km apart, making it possible for electric vehicles to travel anywhere within the Baltic state without running out of power, ABB says. ABB also announced it will integrate the Combined Charging System standard for electrical vehicles into its model range. The new multistandard functionality will be available in Europe in the second quarter of 2013, followed by a targeted launch in the US in the second half of 2013.
The UK’s largest home improvement retailer, B&Q, has introduced 50 dual-fuel tractor units to its fleet following a successful trial last year. The 25 Mercedes and 25 Volvo units have been introduced to a new distribution centre in Swindon, England, and are powered by biomethane, produced by the retailer’s partners Gasrec. To reduce travel carbon emissions by a further 11 per cent, the home improvement retailer is currently waiting on planning permission to invest in its own biomethane gas filling station at the Swindon site.
ROUSH CleanTech has unveiled propane autogas fuel systems for the Ford F-59, F-53 and E-450 stripped chassis (pictured). The systems can help companies save $35,000 or more on fuel and operating expenses over the course of a vehicle’s lifetime, ROUSH says.
ChargePoint announced its entry into the Atlanta market with the installation of networked EV charging stations. Lanier Parking Solutions, headquartered in Atlanta, facilitated the placement of six ChargePoint EV charging stations at locations in Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead, with the location of a seventh charger to be determined.
Pennsylvania American Water has launched a compressed natural gas pilot for its vehicle fleet. Initially, the company will be using four new CNG-powered Ford F-250 trucks. PAW is also applying for a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to add more CNG-powered vehicles to its fleet. The company will construct a fueling station in Scranton, Pa., in 2014, to support up to 36 CNG vehicles.
Green Automotive Company, having recently acquired Liberty Electric Cars Ltd. in Europe, announced that it has signed a binding agreement to buy UK-based electric vehicle distributor Going Green Limited. The latter company, doing business under the brand name “GoinGreen,” has sold over 1,400 G-Wiz electric vehicles, making it Europe’s largest single retailer of electric vehicles and generating annual revenues in excess of $1 million.