Thursday, February 17, 2011

Roaming in your electric car, fuel cell funding sputters out

Roam when you want to, roam around the world:  According to All Cars Electric, it appears the cell phone roaming concept may be heading towards the world of electric cars, and specifically electric car charging with a new service known as emerging in Europe. The brainchild of Nokia Siemens and a German public utility group called Smartlab, will authenticate your data across a charging infrastructure, regardless of whom owns the different infrastructres across a country. It can use data such as your EV charging contract ID, an RFID card number, a PIN or a telephone number. This will take away a lot of the limitations of available charging stations for travelers.

Fuel cell funding dwindles: The Obama administration has proposed to stop funding research on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. This is not the first time that the US government has proposed cuts into fuel-cell research funds. With this move, the hydrogen fuel-cell market will be lost to strategic competitors in Germany and Japan, according to members of the industrial community.

 $290 billion green market: National Marketing Institute says that 83% of consumers representing four generations — Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen Ys, and Gen Zs – are some shade of green. Each in their own way, these generations are quickly transforming what used to be a fringe market to a bona fide $290 billion industry ranging from organic foods to hybrid cars, ecotourism to green home furnishings. It seems like this market took its presence to the next level starting about 10 years ago -- publications like GreenBiz started coming out, as did the Toyota Prius and Honda hybrids, a series of meetings and conferences, and natural food products and retail channels including farmer's markets.

Tesla expects a very good year: According to Automotive News coverage, Tesla Motors Inc. said its revenue this year may rise as much as 50% because of higher demand for its rechargeable vehicles and battery packs. The company released annual results today for the first time since its initial public offering in June, posting revenue of $116.7 million in 2010. Tesla’s forecast for this year exceeded the $152 million average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Tesla is seeking to become the leader in battery-powered cars, aided by supply agreements with Toyota and Daimler. Along with development costs related to the Model S, the company is also readying a former Toyota joint-venture factory in Fremont, Calif., that is to begin making the $57,400 Model S next year. “Until the Model S is available, and sold, in large quantities, there is no real channel of revenue for Tesla,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at in Santa Monica, Calif.

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