(ZEM) Initiative at the Climate Conference (COP 15) in Copenhagen – Moving from Ideas to Action The Climate Conference in Copenhagen was the setting for launching the Zero Emission Mobility (ZEM) Initiative and its bold international research effort to make electric vehicles cheaper and available. ZEM also signed a cooperation with one of the largest regional EV demonstration program in Europe, and joined at the Climate Leader Summit in the launch of a working group with leaders from cities and regions to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles with a focus on policy, finance and deployment.
While Nobel Laureate Pachauri and the chief negotiators at the Copenhagen Climate Conference were chauffeured around in electric cars managed by Move About, the EV car sharing company that is part of the ZEM Initiative, ZEM signed an agreement with Europe’s largest research network, the leading US research center, and the leading technical certification group to build a large data model to understand how to make the use of EVs cheaper. Make the EV affordable:
To get the best financing for EV batteries, we need to quantify the factors that influence their value throughout their lifetimes, extend that useful life by regularly monitoring and optimally managing batteries while in use, and capture the maximum value possible after the batteries have ended their useful lives in cars (i.e. to help repurpose them in other energy storage applications). This requires a global R&D effort and a partnership among EV pioneers.
· Therefore, ZEM signed research partnerships with DnV, (the Norwegian technology certification group) and with the German Fraunhofer Institute (Europe’s largest research group) to assess the key factors which affect battery life and performance. This research is done in close cooperation with leading battery producers, OEMs, and electric utilities.
· ZEM has also concluded an agreement with the US Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with respect to information and analyses of battery designs and their cell chemistry, energy and power performance, and degradation mechanisms in real life driving cycles. “Such collaborative efforts are needed so that the electric vehicle can make a substantial contribution to lowering the CO2 emissions in the transport sector,” says Prof. Matthias Busse, Head of the Fraunhofer Institute IFAM in Bremen”. Make the EV accessible:
In order to advance the broader acceptance of the EV, cars have to be out in the field and become accessible to a broader clientele, ranging from corporate users and local authorities to individuals. ZEM is therefore initiating a number of early commercial projects in partnership with local utilities, financial institutions, and governments.
· As part of this effort, ZEM signed a Partnership Memorandum with VLOTTE, the Austrian energy consortium, launching a large scale EV Program in Austria that will test both the operational and financial/economic aspects of operating EVs.
· The project with VLOTTE who already as one of the largest EV fleets in EUROPE, will demonstrate the “mobility-on-demand” with Move About. one of the largest EV fleet providers in the world. Eveline Steinberger, head of the Austrian Government’s Climate and Energy Fund, announced at the ZEM meeting additional support of the VLOTTE Project.
“We need a radical rethinking of how tomorrow’s vehicles will be used. We are therefore happy to work with ZEM and MoveAbout on their international roll-out of the shared use of EVs – the concept of “clean mobility on demand” says Christian Eugster of the Vorarlberg Kraftwerke in Austria, a member of the VLOTTE Consortium. Make the EV a city priority:
At the Climate Leaders Summit in Copenhagen, ZEM also joined the non-profit Climate Group in creating a working group on EV policy, finance and deployment. The goal is to launch “EV20”, a global initiative to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles by working with leaders from cities, states and nations together with auto manufacturers, financiers and the electric vehicle supply chain. Prince Albert II of Monaco who chairs the working group said, “The EV20, convened by The Climate Group with the support and collaboration of my Foundation will work to turn electric vehicles into a mass market solution to climate change by mobilizing leading public and private players to adopt bold new EV projects, policies and commitments, identify and address barriers, and share emerging understandings around best practices.”
The ZEM initiative emerged from the work in the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Council for the Future of Transport to make the EV cheaper and accessible for the global consumer. The resulting ZEM Alliance is a coordinated demonstration and research initiative by global electric vehicle pioneers among automobile manufacturers, electric utilities, research centers and service partners that jointly work to overcome barriers and create business solutions to be launched in January 2010. The Battery Bottleneck and the lack of Infrastructure
Battery cost is the main bottleneck to widespread EV adoption. Given that the battery technologies are still quite young, and have not yet attained economies of scale, they remain expensive. Capturing the total value of the full life cycle of the batteries, and reducing the risk to the consumer in this new technology fields are key to overcoming the battery challenge. Similarly, the chance to become familiar with the electric car is important, and we need the engagement by corporations and municipalities to make EVs accessible to many new users. A New Model The electric vehicle must be simple to manage and cost efficient to run. The consumer value proposition must therefore insulate the end user from the complexities of battery technology and the risk associated with new technology, offer simple payment plans that includes a lease of the battery, and promote mobility-on-demand (EV car sharing) : i.e. moving from CAPEX to OPEX.
In order to achieve this we have to better understand what influences the battery value of its lifetime, capture the life cycle value of the battery’s energy storage capability, and extend the batteries useful life by regularly monitoring and optimally managing the battery while in use. Finding Solution with a Scientific Approach
As a first step we have agreed on a joint work plan to identify key factors which affect battery life and performance, to develop and test ways to convert the battery investment cost to a mobility fee per month/mile, to link the battery technology to utility requirements, and to research post-mobility applications of EV batteries. For that we have established 7 working groups to which international experts and the partners in the ZEM Alliance will work on the next two years, to find answer to:
· what affect battery life and performance under real life conditions, and how can we influence it?
· What are second life application for EV batteries, and what repurposing technology is required?
· What are the economics of battery recycling and can we expect a raw materials shortage?
· What are new models for government support and grant/loan programs for EVs and batteries?
· How are data best collected and transferred, and what communications to the grid are desired?
· How do consumers use the EVs and how to they accept sharing EVs and leasing batteries?
· What business models do best meet the needs of utilities and automakers – and the consumers?
Implementing ZEM Programs in Real Life today: Think Global and Act Local In order to advance the broader acceptance of the EV, we believe that cars have to be out in the field and become accessible to a broader clientele, ranging from corporate users and local authorities to individuals. ZEM initiates therefore early commercial projects beyond mere demonstration efforts in partnership with local utilities, financial institutions, and governments in order to implement the global ZEM Model and make the EV affordable and accessible to global customers. Finding viable options for financing the batteries is a key to making the EV accessible and affordable.