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Illinois state opens U.S.’s largest EV network for fast charging

The U.S.'s largest network of electric vehicle stations that offer fast charging has been opened in Illinois. The chargers are being installed as part of the Chicago-Area EV Infrastructure Project. So far 26 chargers have been installed while 73 more are planned to follow. The city of Chicago is overseeing the project’s installation of 280 charging stations overall to increase accessibility to EV charging. EV stations are being installed mostly in areas with dense residential and worker populations and in high-traffic areas. The project has a budget of $8.8 million.


ABB launches $13,000 fast charger for EV’s

Swedish technology company ABB launched an electric vehicle that can fully charge an electric car in 30 to 120 minutes. The company’s Terra Smart Connect is a direct-current charger to be available in Europe in the second quarter at the starting price of 9,988 euros ($13,312).


Siemens to work with Duke, Ford on EV charging with D.O.E. fund

Siemens, Duke Energy and Ford Motor Company are collaborating on electric vehicle charging stations that can be integrated with the power grid. Siemens was awarded $1.6 million by the Department of Energy, an amount to be matched with $750,000 from Siemens’ low voltage electronics business. Siemens’ work with Duke and Ford aims to study how commercial EV charging and the power grid can be aligned for the sake of their users.


Lithium-ion batteries’ cost seen dropping by 2017

Pike Research says the installed cost of lithium-ion batteries will fall by more than one-third by the end of 2017 as manufacturing efficiencies improve and access to lithium expands. This drop in prices will affect the cost of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which rely almost exclusively on lithium-ion batteries. Pike Research's report indicates that the installed prices of EV batteries could be reduced by as much as $523 per kilowatt-hour in 2017.


First Coda EV rolls off the production line in California

The first fully assembled Coda electric vehicle has rolled off the assembly line, ready for delivery in California. Originally scheduled to be available for sale by 2010, Coda Automotive delayed the launch, adding improvements to their vehicle technology. The Coda 2012 sedan, billed as the first all-electric five-passenger, mid-sized sedan, has a range of 150 miles on a fully charged battery pack.


Electric Focus is most fuel-efficient five-passenger car in the U.S.

With a rating of 105 miles per gallon equivalent or 2.24 liters per hundred kilometers, the new Ford Focus Electric is now the United States’ most fuel efficient five-passenger car, beating current leader Nissan Leaf by 6 MPGe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certified the Focus Electric with 110 MPGe for city roads, and 99 MPGe in highways. The Focus Electric will join its already released 2013 Ford Fusion – the company’s fuel-efficient gas- and hybrid-powered midsize sedan – in Ford’s attempt to create “one of the industry’s most fuel-efficient car lineups.”


Mitsubishi i comes off with AeroVironment home charger

AeroVironment will be an authorized nationwide supplier of home charging systems for electric vehicles, including their installation and support services, for the 2012 Mitsubishi i. AeroVironment’s Level 2 home charging station being offered with the Mitsubishi i is capable of recharging a fully depleted battery in approximately 7 hours, or 80 percent in less than 30 minutes.


Hybrid sales to reach 8.3 million by 2020 – ABI Research

Market research firm ABI Research sees the annual sales of vehicles powered by both electricity and fuel increasing to more than 8.3 million by 2020, representing about 11 percent of new vehicles sold. The introduction of the first plug-in and all-electric consumer vehicles from major manufacturers in 2011 and 2012 will trigger steady growth in this sector for the next eight years, ABI Research said.


Smith Electric Vehicles, Wanxiang to team up for commercial EV’s

Electric vehicle maker Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. and China’s Wanxiang Group Corporation will be investing up to $75 million in a joint venture to develop, manufacture and commercialize all-electric school buses and commercial vehicles in China. The two companies signed a letter of intent at the U.S.-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Los Angeles held this week, in conjunction with a state visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.


Toyota starts assembling 7,000 hybrid Camrys for Taiwan

The hybrid version of North America's bestselling car, the Toyota Camry, has started production of its 2012 model in Taiwan, with 7,000 vehicles expected to roll out for the local market by the end of the year. Toyota said production started on February 15 at its production affiliate, Kuozui Motors, Ltd. As with the rest of the Camry line, this year’s Camry Hybrid is on an all-new platform, although on the outside it is identical to the previous model.


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