2016 Car Show. There is New Technology in Electric on the Horizon

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Nissan Leaf

Photos: Tom and Nadin Abbott

Video: Tom Abbott

Dec 29, 2016 (San Diego) There is new technology upcoming in electric vehicles. Reporting San Diego spoke with Valerie Kornahrens of Nissan North America. She is the Electric Vehicle Fleet Business Development Manager for this region. We learned from her that the industry considers a tank of gas a range of about 250 miles.

We asked when will the technology be there to allow for electric vehicles to reach that? Kornahrens said “the technology is out there right now. It’s a matter of being able to apply it.”

She also said that the accessories, for example, your GPS or your phone, deplete the batteries and the range. The target to make electric vehicles take off is a 200 miles range. “You are going to start seeing that probably in the next probably six months.”

She also said that the Tesla and the new Chevrolet Volt achieve that mileage already. (The Chevy Volt has a range of 238 miles, while the Tesla S has a range of 315.). We also spoke about the recharge times, which range anywhere from 3 hours to overnight. This depends on the charging level. If you are considering getting an electric vehicle (EV) realize there are three levels of charging. All vehicles come with a standard cord, that you can plug to your wall with nothing fancy.

According to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, that will give you about 4 miles per hour of charge, but it takes a 120 volts outlet. This vehicle will have to be plugged in overnight. Then there is the level 2 charging. which means a hard wired 240-volt installation at home. It will give you 10-20 miles per hour of charge. These also include the public charging stations. Some are free, some require a membership. Some places of employment have these as well. Kornahrens said that people take turns, and after four hours, about the time it takes to charge, they move their vehicle. They are also becoming more common across government facilities that are adopting EVs for their fleets.

Finally, there is a level three fast charging facility. They are commercial units and they are quite expensive for home use. They run from a 480-volt unit and will charge to 80 percent of the battery in about 30 minutes.

Specific to the Nissan Leaf, Kornahrens said that it takes about three hours to recharge the Nissan Leaf at the level 2 charges, that is the 240-volt unit.

We also talked off the lobbying and legislation that will drive the switch from gasoline to zero emission vehicles. Senate Bill 32 is the backbone of the program. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists:

The key provision of SB32 directs the state’s Air Resources Board to put California on track to reduce heat-trapping emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Because transportation is the largest source of emissions, this will require the state to not only continue its programs to switch from petroleum to electricity for our cars, trucks, and buses, but to accelerate the transition. In order to meet this 2030 target, the state will likely need to have EVsmakeupp around 30% of new car sales by 2030 and have about 4.2 million EVs on the road by then.

 

So California will continue to lead in this regard in the United States. If California were an independent country, however, we would be trailing both Germany and Holland. In Germany, no new gas vehicles will be registered as of 2030. Holland will do this by 2025, as well as Norway. This is not just happening in the developed World, but India is considering the same.

Regarding how long batteries are guaranteed by Nissan, but they do deplete over time, and if you own a cell phone you are familiar with this, as over time it no longer holds the same charge. According to Nissan Leaf fans, citing the Nissan Guarantte.

In addition to the existing lithium-ion battery coverage provided under the Nissan Electric Vehicle Limited Warranty for defects in materials or workmanship, the lithium-ion battery for your 2011 or 2012 Nissan LEAF is now also warranted against capacity loss below nine (9) bars (or approximately below 70 percent) as shown on the vehicle’s battery capacity level gauge for a period of 60 months or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.”

 

If you are in the market, ask the manufacturer what are the guarantees and how all that works.

She also told us that as far as the infrastructure, Nissan has donated chargers to cities and counties, and she remarked that part of the settlement with Volkswagen included some of this infrastructure development. San Diego Gas and Electric is one of the utilities in the state that are cooperating in developing this. You can find more information here.

There are also rebates to help those in the market make the switch. You can go find these at the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

It is not just electric vehicles, but also hydrogen cell vehicles. For this new family of vehicles, Toyota has delivered with the Mirai. These vehicles use hydrogen, and the emissions produced is simply water. This is breaking edge technology, and you can find more information at this Toyota site, including where there are hydrogen fuel stations.

One last thing, if you have one of those classic vehicles that you absolutely love. you can have Zelectric Motors convert your gas guzzler to an electric vehicle.

Jeep Adventure.

As usual, there is the Jeep demonstration, where the full line of Jeep is shown, as a trail ready vehicles. This means they leave the factory ready to go to the back country and explore the trails. We posted a short video of the new setup. This year they have new obstacles.

The interior of the Trailhawk has not changed that much, but what is important is that the 4 wheel drive system, except for the Wrangler, is all automatic. So as a driver this is easier. The obstacle course has added a few things like stairs, and that shows the capabilities of these vehicles.

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We also went to the mobility center, and this year not only do they have a demonstration, using a Play Station Two, of how to drive if you are disabled.

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They also have a few vehicles converted that show off a few items, including one classic truck that can go very low and is set up for an operator that has no legs.

 

This allows a driver to confidently get on the road and get where they need to get. They also had a few specialized wheelchairs. You can go visit Golden Boy Mobility, which will help to set your vehicle as it needs to be set up.

The show runs until Sunday, and here is a link to the site for both ticketing and hour information.

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