BMW Partners With Solar City To Offer Solar + EV Bundle

by Nicholas Brown

Image Credit: SolarCity.
Image Credit: SolarCity.

BMW, a manufacturer that knows how to make cars sell, has partnered with SolarCity, which happens to be very good at selling its solar services to provide a package in which they could enjoy SolarCity’s famous solar leasing plan (but at a discount) when they buy BMW i series vehicles at any of the participating BMW i Centers in SolarCity’s territory.

According to SolarCity, BMW i vehicle owners will receive a 10% discount (for now) on SolarCity’s residential solar service with flexible financing options. This includes their zero-down solar leasing offer. As a reminder, the zero-down plan enables customers to obtain solar panels without any up-front payments, their electric bills are eliminated, and monthly, they pay SolarCity a fraction of what their electric bill used to be.

So, the 10% discount offered is on a plan which is already excellent!

“Experience with our MINI E and ActiveE field trials has demonstrated that driving electric is a lifestyle, where customers gain a keen understanding of their driving habits beyond driving and are often inspired to find ways to live more sustainably,” said Rob Healey, BMW’s EV Infrastructure Manager. “With help from SolarCity, BMW i customers will have the opportunity to maximize the commitment to sustainability. This reinforces the entire concept behind the BMW i3, which is engineered and produced by the most sustainable manufacturing process in the automotive industry.”

Electric vehicles are part of a bigger plan to reduce reliance on both fossil-fueled automobiles and power plants. Electric vehicles enable us to use clean energy to power transportation, as all sources of energy can be used to generate electricity.

Normally, the high initial cost of a solar system plus the high initial cost of an electric vehicle is a major problem. However, BMW and SolarCity’s bundle marks a big step forward towards zero emissions transportation, and away from that financial issue.

“This partnership makes the more sustainable fuel option—emissions-free solar electricity—also the more affordable one,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “By making renewable energy far more accessible and affordable for its customers, BMW is helping to bring clean transportation into the mainstream.”

Follow me on Twitter @Kompulsa.

This article, BMW Partners With Solar City To Offer Solar + EV Bundle, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

 

Nicholas BrownNicholas Brown has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, geography, and much more. My website is: Kompulsa.

 

1 Million EVs In Germany Within The Decade An Achievable Goal According To VW CEO

by Nathan

Image Credit: Volkswagen
Image Credit: Volkswagen

The goal of having over one million electric vehicles on the roads of Germany within the decade is an achievable one, according to Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. At a recent panel discussion in the northern European country, the noted CEO stated that VW was committed to the ambitious goal set by the German government and would do it’s part in helping to achieve it.

There is a catch, though — Winterkorn thinks that plug-in hybrid vehicles should count towards that goal — not just fully electric vehicles. While PHEVs are certainly a big improvement of gas-mobiles, they simply don’t do as much to help limit carbon emissions and to move away from fossil fuel dependency, as fully electric vehicles do. By including PHEVs, the ambitious goal would end up relatively watered down — though, perhaps including PHEVs would be a net positive anyway? They are a vast improvement over gasmobiles and conventional hybrids.

Volkswagen is currently planning on having at least 14 electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid vehicle models available in Europe by the end of next year — including an electric version of the Golf sedan and the Up! city car. A number of other notable German automakers, such as BMW, have begun to make moves into the EV market. BMW’s first designed-from-the-ground-up EV model, the i3, is being released in Germany later this month.

Autoblog Green has more: “Executives from German automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have squawked about the challenges of meeting stricter emissions standards set for 2020 by the European Union, though those companies’ cars tend to skew more towards the heavier, luxury variety than Volkswagen. Still, like VW, both of those companies have plans to soon expand their stable of EVs and plug-in hybrids, most notably with BMW’s soon-to-debut i3. Plug-in vehicle sales in Germany doubled last year, albeit to just 4,157 vehicles, Bloomberg says, citing the automotive industry association VDA.”

On a related note — despite the seemingly huge market in Germany, sales of Tesla’s Model S have been rather low in the country. It’ll be interesting to see if Tesla can make the necessary adjustments in strategy and crack that market.

Keep up to date with the latest EV news by keeping an eye on our EV news archives or subscribing to our free EV newsletter.

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This article, 1 Million EVs In Germany Within The Decade An Achievable Goal According To VW CEO, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Nathan For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. – Ecclesiastes 3:19

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BMW To Electrify Its Entire Lineup

BMW To Electrify Its Entire Lineup | 10/02/13
by Zachary Shahan

There have been some chuckles about the BMW i3, but it seems clear that BMW is actually quite serious about the assertions that electric vehicles are the future, and that it is enthusiastically jumping into that future.

BMW has actually now stated that it intends to make plug-in hybrid electric versions of every single car it builds.

BMW X5 eDrive SUV
BMW X5 eDrive SUV

The first two are of course the BMW i3 and BMW i8. Next will be the BMW X5 eDrive SUV.

What held BMW up until now? Battery pack issues, according to BMW’s head of production line for large vehicles, Peter Wolf. But, with those apparently out of the way, they ”are planning to have a plug-in hybrid [vehicle] in each and every model series.”

Better torque, better fuel economy, fewer problems and less maintenance… there are a lot of reasons to shift to electric.

This article, BMW To Electrify Its Entire Lineup, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

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2015 BMW i8 PHEV Priced At $135,925

20th Century Thinkers in the 21st Century

by John Brian Shannon

Many people in this 21st century would be surprised to hear they are deeply immersed (and some would say, horribly stuck) in 20th century thought, a century where for ninety of those hundred years, the endless game of nation-state vs. nation-state was played, and often played with brutality. Nation against nation, democracy competing with communism and authoritarianism, freedom vs. repression and ‘the West’ against ‘the East’, or occasionally, ‘North’ against ‘South’ — these were the headlines of a turbulent century.

All these battles were fought diligently, usually for valid reasons (but not always) by nation-states, their citizens, and soldiers, all over the world from about 1914 onwards.

In terms of the success against such social ills as world war, small hot wars, the Cold War, fascism, tribal wars, poor governance and even poorer economics, plus a low global standard of health care, we have come far in the past 100 years.

The problem is, some just don’t realize how far we have come and are still ‘fighting the last war’ to use a military euphemism.

The last war is well and truly over. Unfortunately, some have utterly missed that, profound as it is.

Illogically, many of these people are still holding positions of power, many of them from the baby-boom generation, that for now at least, continue to call the shots for the rest of the world.

A world of change has occurred, and yet many of those holding either political office or powerful unelected positions are completely blind to it, as their hatred for their former enemies burns so bright.

In the West, for just one example, most citizens are pleased that Vladimir Putin is running Russia. We all know that Russia is experiencing the problems associated with a former Soviet-era economy, but that they are recovering nicely from it. We also know that they are dealing with incredibly rapid economic growth – which is a great problem to have! If your country must have a major problem to deal with, that’s the one to have.

And many people in the West and around the world, socialize with Russians every day, online, in the workplace or at universities around the world. Everyone is getting along just fine, thank you.

Спасибо, очень понравилось! (Which is Russian for, “Thank you, very much!”)

But are Western political office holders or powerful unelected leaders happy about any of that? For the most part, NOT! And therein, lies a tantalizing clue about what ails the geopolitical world in this century.

The people in (elected and unelected) positions of power in the West today are the same generation that taught us to fear, hate, and fight, the Soviet Union at all costs (one of those costs being lessened Western civil liberties from the onset of the Cold War right up to the present day) — and the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists and communism in modern-day Russia is about as important as it is here (it’s not) does not decrease their deeply-held hatred of our former enemy.

The better the Russian economy does, the more they hate Russia. The more Russian citizens smile on TV, the more they castigate Vlad Putin. As Russia became the 13th most powerful economy in the world, some in the West were tearing their hair out. Russia is on-track to become the 10th most powerful economy in the world within the next decade. Can’t wait to see the contorted faces then!

And it is getting increasingly difficult for certain Western news outlets to show recent pictures or videos taken in and around Moscow, without the many Mercedes Benz and BMW cars and SUV’s driven by ordinary Russian citizens ‘crapping up the frame’ – thereby contradicting the verbal op/ed piece.

No! All those Mercedes and BMW’s are NOT driven by “filthy rich Russian oligarchs with ‘dirty money’ or high ranking KGB officers that hate Fox News… er… America.”

That was LAST century.

The real story, in case you missed it, is that it is no longer about nation-state against nation-state (although, some people are desperately trying to make it ‘still that’), nor is it even, democracy against practically all other forms of government (although, some people are desperately trying to make it ‘still that’), nor is about some well-intentioned fight against horrible social ills such as apartheid, which is mostly won at this point (although, some people are desperately trying to make it ‘still that’).

What it is about, is that 98% of the world’s citizens want their governments to stop fighting the last war, to cease with the old hatreds and prejudices and get on with clearing a path for citizens, so that they can progress — financially, socially, and for those who want it, spiritually.

Feudalism was replaced with something better (from the point-of-view of 98% of the world population back in the day) which manifested itself as freedom and democracy in half the world, while the other half endured communism, which was still a lot better than feudalism, for most citizens. The governance systems in use in the 21st century are mostly democratic ones — and the ones that aren’t, are reforming at different speeds towards democracy anyway — whether we bomb them or not.

Our representative governments must begin to focus on what democracy was originally created to achieve. Can anyone even remember what this was, this far out from democracy’s beginnings? In general terms, it was to bring freedom, the rule of law, education, economic prosperity, and the pursuit of pleasure to the vast majority of citizens (the 98%) living within that voluntary state of governance.

But truth be told at this point, citizens around the world would settle for this generation of powerful elected and unelected people stuck in their 20th century mindsets, just getting out of citizens’ way and letting individuals and families solve their own issues and get to their goals, themselves. A new generation will soon take the reins.

In the meantime, try not to blow up the world with your 20th century thinking. Thanks.

Signed, the 98 percent.

JOHN BRIAN SHANNON

To follow John Brian Shannon on social media – place a check-mark beside your choice of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn: FullyFollowMe/johnbrianshannon

2015 BMW i8 PHEV Priced At $135,925

by Nicholas Brown – Special to JBS News

BMW i8 PHEV with doors open.Image Credit: BMW.com

At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled its first plug-in hybrid, which is the i8 sports coupe. The US price is set at $135,925. Decide whether you think this is justifiable after reading the specifications below, and leave a comment or two!

It is a two-door, two-seat car outfitted with full LED, laser headlights, as well as 20 inch wheels. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and can achieve a top speed which is electronically limited to 155 MPH.

This performance is partially attributable to a drag coefficient of 0.26, and the light 3,285-pound curb weight, which was achieved with its “LifeDrive” architecture, which consists of a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) body (like what the i3 has) and an aluminum platform (aluminum is lighter than the traditional steel).

It is equipped with a 362 HP powertrain that produces 420 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain consists of an electric motor and gasoline engine. The gasoline engine uses only three cylinders to generate 231 HP and 236 pound-feet of torque, and that 1.5 liter gasoline engine, which is mounted in the rear of the vehicle turns a 6-speed automatic transmission. Wow! That engine packs a punch!

The electric motor, which drives the front wheels, generates 96 kW (131 HP) of power (mechanical, not electricity), and 184 pound-feet of torque. In electric mode, this vehicle can travel 22 miles per charge, provided that velocity does not exceed 75 MPH.

Finally, the vehicle is equipped with a 5 kWh lithium-ion battery bank which the performance of this vehicle benefits from as well, as older hybrids had less powerful, heavier nickel-metal hydride battery banks. This 5 kWh pack achieves 4.4 miles per kWh, which is not bad for a vehicle weighed down by a gasoline engine.

This article, 2015 BMW i8 PHEV Priced At $135,925, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, geography, and much more. My website is: Kompulsa.