Tesla and Google lead the way in electric vehicle infrastructure push
Global innovators Tesla and Google have announced plans to accelerate the growth of commercial electric vehicles (EVs) by launching new schemes aimed at increasing the infrastructure options available to consumers.
As leading EV producers, Tesla has announced a new roll-out scheme to offer Tesla owners the ability to charge their vehicles at home for up to 28,000 miles over a 3 year period, free of charge.
The scheme - currently being trialled in Sweden where Tesla has experienced a 270% increase in sales – sees Tesla team up with Swedish electric utility Skellefteå Kraft to supply Supercharger networks across the country as well as installing home charging ports.
Tesla’s director for Nordic countries Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen said: “Skellefteå Kraft is a highly sustainable brand that really stands out approaching the world’s contemporary challenges. It requires motivation, creativity and perseverance.
“We like partners with a strong maverick profile. With this agreement, our Swedish customers can enjoy even more environmentally friendly electricity, free of charge, whilst we at Tesla can look forward to our first energy company partnership that can serve as a role model for how to build sustainable partnerships in the future.”
Web giant Google could potentially go one step further by introducing a wireless charging system for its autonomous, self-driving car concept.
Documents filed at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal that Google has been using California as a testing site for two wireless charging systems for its prototype vehicle.
Currently, all prototype cars using the experimental systems are recharged using traditional cable EV charging points.
The ideology behind the idea is that the self-driving vehicles would be positioned over charging pads between travel. Ultimately more infrastructure would need to be put in place to allow the car to continuously charge along the road.
Research suggests that without new infrastructure, one third of UK local power networks could be overloaded if EVs become a mainstream motoring choice. However Innovate UK has claimed that EVs offer a "car park of energy storage" for UK network companies after 2025.
In other EV news, Volkswagen has also been ramping up its EV ambitions in at attempt to recover from the ‘dieselgate’ fiasco. The German car manufacturer recently revealed its intentions to release the world’s first high-volume, mass market electric car.
The newly installed CEO, Dr Herbert Diess is planning an EV with a range of at least 186 miles as part of a huge new ‘innovation plan’ for the company.
The unnamed EV looks set to use similar technology as the upcoming, electrified, eighth-generation VW Golf, although VW aim to make the cost much more affordable.