First stop, last week, US petrochemical company ExxonMobil Chemical launched an electric car sharing and rental program called AltCar in Baltimore, Maryland, alongside Canadian battery developer Electrovaya.
Vehicles in the program called the Maya-300, are powered by lithium ion battery technology that uses ExxonMobil’s battery separator film, which the company manufactures in Nasu, Japan, together with Japanese affiliate TonenGeneral.
ExxonMobil said Baltimore residents and tourists can rent the vehicles at the science center in the Baltimore Inner Harbor during the day. (I wonder how much is the rent though?) Aside from the program, the company also invested in an exhibit for the science center that includes hands-on activities for children and a full-scale car that showcases clean transportation technologies currently being used in the automotive industry.
All in all, ExxonMobil invested $500,000 in the car-sharing program and exhibit.The company said it is also working on greener transportation technologies such as a new blend of synthetic rubber and nylon that enables tires to retain air pressure longer, as well as new lightweight plastics that enable auto manufacturers to improve a car’s performance while maintaining affordability and reducing fuel consumption.
More information on electric vehicles, the green blog just got a new report from Pike Research estimating that more than 5 million electric vehicle charging stations will be installed worldwide by 2015.
Pike Research forecasts that China will be the world leader in charging stations, representing nearly half the total market due to a strong government mandate to encourage adoption of electric vehicles. The US will be the second-largest market with more than one million charge points installed by 2015. Other hotbeds for EV charging infrastructure will include Israel and Denmark.
Utilities in the U.S. is expected to slowly see revenue from vehicle charging increase from $3 million in 2010 to more than $200 million in 2015.
Other recent reports on electric vehicles include Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) estimate that 14 million electric and hybrid cars are expected to sold in 2020 in Western Europe, North America, Japan and China, which is up from 400,000 in 2008; and NextGen Research‘s forecast that the global market for EV will grow to 350,000 units by 2013, up from 10,000 units sold worldwide in 2008.
NextGen said more than 300,000 cars were sold in the US alone in January 2009.
Other news on electric vehicles the past few weeks include a deal with Volkswagen and Toshiba on the development of EV; Valeo and Michelin collaborating in the development of systems for electric and rechargeable hybrid vehicles; and venture company JumpStart investing in Myers Motors LLC, a Tallmadge, OH company manufacturing electric vehicles.
I also got an email about an electric vehicle called PeaPod built by Chrysler, which California governor Arnold Schwarzengger tested himself early this month. The Peapod is a low-speed, four passenger neighborhood electric vehicle with a top speed of 25 miles per hour and is legal to operate on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less.