2013: How did the EV do?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 16:29
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EXPERT: Alexandra Prescott, of Charge Your Car

In our latest Expert Blog, Alexandra Prescott, of Charge Your Car, reviews how the electric vehicle has progressed over the past 12months…

It’s January and as the new year lies ahead of us, we have a chance to look back at 2013 to examine if it fulfilled its potential for the electric vehicle.

Many things happened to take the EVs forward; most of them positive and some of them controversial.

In January, Drayson Racing became the first team to join the FIA Formula E racing championship.

The ‘Type 2’ plug developed by the German company Mennekes was announced, by the European Commission, as the common standard for charging electrified vehicles across the European Union.

On February 27, 2013, Team China became the second team to join the Formula E championship.

March, and the Chancellor’s budget brought good news – the first-year capital allowance of 100% for businesses purchasing low emission vehicles was extended to March 31, 2018.

The first mass-produced Nissan Leaf rolled off the production line in Sunderland, Renault picked the Geneva Motor Show to premiere the production-ready version of their Zoe electric car and Jaguar Land Rover also unveiled their 2014 Land Rover Electric Defender at the show.

The very first model, the Land Rover 110 Pick Up, was on its way to the Eden Project in Cornwall to draw a four-carriage road train to take visitors around the site.

In April, Mitsubishi and Hitachi launched a 200-strong electric vehicle and infrastructure scheme in Malaga, Spain, to reduce CO2 emissions through the use of advanced transportation and power technologies.

British motoring journalist Nigel Burton published A History of Electric Cars in May.

Tesla announced a contract with Panasonic for the supply of 1.8billion cells over the next four years to solve their biggest challenge  – the supply of battery cells.

After a successful trial, the West Midlands Police took on a fleet of 30 EVs on a three year lease for use in Coventry and Birmingham.

June saw the second anniversary of the bankruptcy of Norwegian company Think Global, manufacturers of the Th!nk City.

This was the company’s fourth bankruptcy in their 20-year history.

The Nissan Leaf is Norway’s best-selling EV.

At the Tokyo Smart Grid Exhibition, Fujikura launched their CHAdeMO standard high-power EV connector and cable for ultra-fast DC charging, reducing charging times to less than half an hour – dramatically improving the practicability of EVs.

There are already more than 1,500 CHAdeMO chargers installed around the world, used by electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

In July, the centenary was celebrated, with a vintage car rally, of the founding of the Arrol-Johnston factory on the Edinburgh Road in Heathhall, Dumfries, Scotland.

In 1913, the Arrol-Johnston Motor Company was the largest motor car manufacturer of in Scotland, and also one of the most significant in Britain.

In 2013, the factory bought a licence to build 50 cars under Detroit Electric’s (Anderson/Elwell-Parker) design and patents.

In August, the FIA announced that Gil de Ferran, the two-time IndyCar National Champion and Indianapolis 500 race winner, would become the FIA’s Formula E Championship official ambassador and Larry David’s new HBO comedy  ‘Clear History’ – about electric cars – was premiered in the US.

The Frankfurt Motor Show in September showcased the production version of the BMW i8 and the long-awaited BMW i3.

Smart displayed their Fourjoy concept car – an all-electric four-seater.

Nissan announced that their e-NV200 electric van, which is now in its final stages of development, will enter production early 2014.

Volkswagen made announcements about the e-Golf and an electric version of the Up.

Also in September, Tesla Motors filed a patent for a hybrid lithium-ion and metal-air battery pack that could extend the range of the company’s electric vehicles to 400miles between charges.

In October, Kia announced the release of their first electric vehicle in 2014 and in the USA – the Kia Soul EV.

Barcelona in November was host to the 27th Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition (EVS27), which Charge Your Car attended.

EVS27 had lots of great discussions at the congress and, at the exhibition, we spotted Robert Llewellyn, Nissan’s electric taxi, the e-NV200 and a charging post that dispenses coffee while you wait for your EV to recharge.

The year ended on a high with Sir Richard Branson announcing Virgin’s entry back into motor racing – the new Formula E electric car championship; as did Leonardo DiCaprio, who has partnered with Venturi Automobiles.

The DiCaprio-backed team is the 10th and final entrant to the open-wheel series set to launch in 2014.

An action-packed year, demonstrating that electric vehicles are coming of age – privately, commercially and in the motor sport arena.