Smart Grid Symposium 2010

Smart Grid is revolutionizing the electric utility industry, transforming today’s aging electric grid into a dynamic, optimized Smart Grid that is better suited to meet client demand and the challenges of today’s economic and political climate.

Smart meters are all the rage right now, but Smart Grid is far more than just meters, and it’s coming faster than you ever expected. Driven by aggressive public policies and funding, Smart Grid is reshaping the utility industry and how utilities build and manage their information and communication technology (ICT) networks. This vital symposium:

  • Examines best practices and case studies of utilities on the front line of Smart Grid implementation today
  • Reveals unexpected effects and costs of Smart Grid on planning and development
  • Highlights new and anticipated regulations, business change drivers, and technical standards that will affect your ICT networks now and in the future

Attend this symposium for actionable information and deep insights into how Smart Grid is transforming everything in our industry.

This event is from May 23 to May26th at Indiana Convention Center , IN.

Some of the topics are :

  • Building the Smart Grid for Electric Cars—How You Can Plug in
  • Smart Networks Council Open Meeting
  • Smart Grids: Managing Data from Massive Numbers of Networked Devices—Better Planning for Better Results
  • New Wireless Options for Utilities
  • and more….

For more info click here

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Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Now that Toyota’s plug-in hybrid development is no longer a secret, the company is putting plug-in prototypes on the road in Japan and California to further improve the technology. The Toyota Plug-in HV, a test platform based on the production hybrid Prius, has been approved for public road use by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport – the first certification of its kind. Toyota will field eight vehicles in Japan to verify the electric-only cruising range and optimal battery capacity.

The Prius PHEV is based on a third generation Toyota Prius (model ZVW30) outfitted with 5.2 kWh lithium-ion batteries co-developed with Panasonic,which enable all-electric operation at higher speeds and longer distances than the conventional Prius hybrid.

The Prius plug-in total all-electric range is 13 mi (21 km) with speeds up to 62 mph (100 km/h).The lithium-ion battery pack can be charged in 180 minutes at 100 volts or in 100 minutes at 200 volts.The Prius plug-in is rated at 134 mpg-US (1.76 L/100 km; 161 mpg-imp) with a combined efficiency based on a 43.6 % of driving in EV mode and CO2 emissions of 41 g/km. Fuel efficiency operating as a gasoline-electric hybrid, like the regular Prius, is 72 mpg-US (3.3 L/100 km; 86 mpg-imp) with CO2 emissions of 76 g/km.

A global demonstration program involving 600 pre-production test cars began in late 2009 and will continue in 2010 in Japan, Europe, Canada, China, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.The commercial version is expected to sell for around USD 48,000 (ouch)  and production during the first year is expected to vary between 20,000 and 30,000 units.

The Plug-in HV features two major changes over the production Prius. Toyota has doubled the battery capacity to 13 amp-hours by installing a larger nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) battery pack. Accordingly, the overall weight of the prototype is about 70 pounds greater than a stock Prius. Toyota says the larger NiMH battery pack is meant to simulate the level of performance the company expects to achieve when it eventually develops its own more compact and powerful battery systems, presumably with lithium-ion batteries. The other major modification is the addition of plug-in capability. Plugging into a standard 110-volt household outlet via a socket located on the rear fender will fully replenish the batteries in three to four hours.

The increased battery capacity means electric-only driving range is extended to approximately eight miles. The Plug-in HV is also capable of driving electrically at speeds up to 62 mph before the 1.5-liter gasoline engine turns on. Maximum electric-only cruising speed in the production Prius is 42 mph. This electric-only range is not as great as some of the unofficial Prius conversions that have been demonstrated in California and elsewhere. Nevertheless, Toyota reportedly claims that even with this experimental number, substantial gains in fuel economy and a major reduction in total tailpipe emissions over current conventional hybrid systems can be achieved.

Specifications

The Prius Plug-in uses three different batteries, two to provide all-electric drive and a third battery engages when the first two are depleted, allowing the car to operate in hybrid mode, like a regular 50-mpg Prius. According to Toyota, when the vehicle starts, the plug-in operates in all-electric mode, drawing electrical power directly from the first battery pack. When its charge is depleted, it disconnects from the circuit and the second pack engages and supplies electrical energy to the motor. When the second pack is depleted again it disconnects from the circuit and the system defaults to conventional hybrid mode, using the main battery as the sole electrical power source. Pack one and pack two will not reengage in tandem with the main battery pack until the vehicle is plugged in and charged.

Demonstration program

According to Toyota a total of 600 Prius plug-in demonstration vehicles will be available for lease to fleet and government customers, 200 will be delivered in Europe and 230 Japan in late December 2009, along with 150 models to be released in the U.S. by early 2010. All program vehicles will be sent to limited geographical areas and will be equipped with special data tracking devices designed to allow Toyota to monitor the car’s usage for further development of the plug-in hybrid system.

Canada

In March 2010 Toyota launched its demonstration program in Canada with five Prius Plug-ins in partnership with academic institutions, hydro-electric producers, and governmental agencies in each of the four provinces participating in the program, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec. Canada is home to Toyota’s global cold weather research center in Northern Ontario, and the country’s cold weather will serve to evaluate its adverse effect on battery performance and range.

Europe

Toyota wil lease approximately 200 units in Europe, with approximately 100 going to Strasbourg, France. Other countries where the Prius Plug-in Hybrid will also be introduced are the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, and another eight European countries that are being considered

France

The demonstration program in Strasbourg was launched in April 2010.The 3-year program involves around 100 Prius Plug-ins and the deployment of dedicated charging infrastructure. The program will set up more than 150 charging points at private parking lots of firms participating in the program, user homes, public parking lots and on public roads

Germany

The demonstration program in Germany will be conducted in Baden-Württemberg with ten Prius Plug-ins and the corresponding dedicated charging infrastructure. The program will be run by German energy provider EnBW.

United Kingdom

The demonstration test in the U.K. will include only 20 Prius plug-ins.

Japan

In Japan, TMC will lease approximately 230 units to government ministries, local governments selected for the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s EV & PHV Towns program, corporations such, as electric power companies, and other entities

For more info click here

Prius Plug-In Hybrid Demo Program

In late 2009, Toyota began delivery of 600 Prius Plug-in Hybrid vehicles, equipped with lithium-ion batteries, to participate in a global demonstration program. 150 vehicles are being placed with program partners in the U.S. to demonstrate plug-in hybrid technology, educate and inform the public, evaluate performance and better understand the technology’s benefits to future customers.

On the consumer side, this program will allow Toyota to gather in-use driving feedback and understand customer expectations for plug-in technology. On the technical side, the program aims to confirm, in a wide variety of real world applications, the overall performance of Toyota’s first-generation lithium-ion battery technology, while spurring the development of public-access charging station infrastructure.

In October 2009, Toyota announced its first demonstration program partnership with Xcel Energy’s SmartGridCity program in Boulder, CO. Ten PHVs will be placed with Boulder residents who will participate in an interdisciplinary research project coordinated by the University of Colorado at Boulder Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), a new joint venture between the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Toyota also has announced partnerships with Qualcomm, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Southern California Air Quality Management District, University of California, Berkeley and Portland State University.

Additional specific partners will be announced soon, with regional programs slated for northern and southern California, Washington D.C., New York City, Portland, Oregon and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Each placement scenario will have a variety of ‘use cases’ or driving conditions (ie: commute length, usage type, access to charging) to gain maximum input to vehicle performance and customer needs.

As it becomes available, dashboard data from the 150 U.S. demonstration programs will be posted to this Web site. This in-use, readily available data will help consumers understand how the plug-in hybrid vehicles are being used, how they’re performing and if the vehicle might be right for them. As the vehicles gather miles, data such as fuel economy, miles driven, charge incidents and additional content will be viewable online. In addition, demonstration partners will be sharing data amongst themselves and comparing usage and performance of the vehicles.

This demonstration program is a necessary next-step in societal preparation in that it allows Toyota the unique opportunity to inform, educate and prepare customers for the electrification of the automobile in general, and the introduction of plug-in hybrid technology, in particular.

For more info click here

Tax Credits to Plug-in Cars

In a few weeks, Ford will become the third auto company to see federal incentives for its hybrid gas-electric cars completely vanish. Tax credits for Honda hybrids bit the dust at the beginning of last year, and Toyota hybrid credits completely phased out in late 2007.

The clean vehicle incentives instated in 2005 provided tax credits, as much as $3,400, for 60,000 buyers per each automaker before a phase-out period of 16 months. Ford reached the 60,000 hybrid mark before April 1, 2009—so beginning on April 1, 2010, there are zero tax credits for a Ford Fusion Hybrid or Ford Escape Hybrid. Tax credits remain for hybrids and clean diesel vehicles from General Motors, Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW—but with the exception of the VW Jetta TDI, these are low volume vehicles.

Instead, legislators have jumped to the next technology breakthrough: tax credits for plug-in hybrids and electric cars. A combination of local and national credits—up to $7,500 at the federal level, plus a $2,000 credit for charging equipment installation, plus state-based incentives— represent so far the largest bundle of incentives for private purchasers of green electric-drive vehicles.

Yet, these grid-enabled vehicles are not yet available—and when they arrive in later 2010, they will be expensive (even with tax credits) and available in limited supply. This is a good argument for generous tax credits to jumpstart the market. However, the first wave of buyers of plug-in cars will be highly motivated early adopters—a group likely to buy regardless with or without large tax credits. Meanwhile, there won’t be an incentive for some mainstream buyers who need a slight nudge to go hybrid.

The phase-out of incentives for conventional hybrids, combined with the slow rollout of plug-in hybrids and EVs, could mean a multi-year gap in the right incentives for the right markets for greener vehicles.

See a summary of the hybrid and clean diesel tax credits for all years, and the appropriate forms. The exact amount of your credit may vary. Please consult a tax professional.

Federal Tax Incentives

Energy Tax Credits for Hybrids

The phase out of incentives for conventional hybrids, combined with the slow rollout of plug-in hybrids and EVs, could mean a multi-year gap in the right incentives for the right markets for greener vehicles.