Highlights from EVS29 in Montreal as Conference Returns to North America

EVS29 logoThe largest electric vehicle conference of the year returned to North America. Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition (EVS29) was held June 19-22 in Montreal with about 2,000 attendees participating in speaker sessions and workshops – and an opportunity to test drive EVs. The international event showcased EVs and charging infrastructure from Québec and all over the world. Sponsors included Nissan, Toyota, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, Hydro Quebec, Investissement Québec, and Charged Electric Vehicle Magazine; the event was organized and hosted by Electric Drive Transportation Association. (Editor’s note: EVS30 will be the 30th EVS venue since 1969 and it will be held next year in Stuttgart, Germany.)

Here were some of the highlights from the annual event:

BMW introduced its energy storage system that taps into the resources of its BMW i3 vehicle battery – and that can be integrated seamlessly with charging stations and solar panels. The system utilizes BMW i3 high-voltage batteries and can be expanded to incorporate second-life batteries as they become available in the market, BMW says. Users of the energy storage system can offset peak energy costs and will have access to backup energy supply during power outages. BMW is adding its new product to the energy story market segment that others automakers had previously entered including Tesla, Daimler, and Nissan.

The Ride, Drive & Charge event organized by EVS29 offered the general public the opportunity to test drive some of the electric cars available on the market in Canada. Car manufacturers will made their latest electric car models available to the public. A side event was held on Sunday, June 19, with an EV parade featuring electrified vehicles including bicycles, delivery vehicles, and cars parading downtown from Palais des congrès.

City of Amsterdam won AVERE’s E-Visionary Award for the second time for continuous efforts in developing e-mobility in the broadest way, including charging infrastructure, taxis, tourist boats, and much more. AVERE is the European association for electromobility. Jury members awarded Amsterdam for its long and solid track record of promoting the use of EVs in the city, putting an effective charging infrastructure in place and promoting in general the transition to electromobility. The targets and the ambitious timing set for zero emission taxis, buses, small delivery vehicles, light vehicles, and boats, were recognized. The E-Visionary Award for North America (chosen by the EDTA & Electric Mobility Canada) was given to the City of Montreal. Professor CC Chan from EVAAP – and World Electric Vehicle Association founder – presented the Asia-Pacific E-visionary Award to the Hon. DU Peng, Consul of the Peoples Republic of China to Quebec for outstanding efforts in the field of E-Mobility by the City of Hefei.

See the EVS29 social media pages on Twitter (@EVSymposium29) and Facebook for highlights from speakers and the exhibit hall. Audiences learned more about Canadian transit districts bringing in electric buses; Montreal Mayor accepting the WEVA e-Visionary award as his city leads the charge for electric mobility; and Parliamentary Secretary Kim Rudd to the Honorable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, giving keynote remarks during the opening plenary.

Highlights from speaker panels included:

  • Takuma Takeuchi of the University of Tokyo spoke on wireless in-wheel motors that he said can make EVs more efficient. The technology could enable induction charging directly from coils embedded in roadways, which would eliminate the need for on-board batteries entirely. The version that the University of Tokyo is working on replaces the cables that carry electricity from the battery to the wheels with magnetic coils that send power through the air.
  • Hydro-Québec announced the electrification of Highway 20, one of Québec’s busiest corridors, between Montréal and Mont-Joli. New fast-charge stations in Daveluyville and Laurier-Station will be in addition to the existing stations in Sainte-Julie, Drummondville and Lévis. A sixth charging station will be available this fall at the St-Hubert restaurant in St-Hyacinthe. Results of a pilot project were also discussed, which was run by the Hydro-Québec’s research institute, IREQ, and aimed to test power exchanges between electric vehicle batteries and homes or the electrical system.
  • Martin Bruell of Continental AG, Germany, revealed progress on elimination of the on-board charger (OBC). In a paper, “Bidirectional Charge- and Traction-System” he reported, “We have developed a cost-efficient solution for E-Mobility targeting all kinds of conductive charging. It solves the chicken-and-egg problem of investment for fast charging electronics by reusing existing electronics in the car. It makes the charging station as simple as possible, which is AC charging. Furthermore all conductive charging interfaces can be used when the BCTS is installed.”
  • New EV telematics service: FleetCarma, a provider of telematics systems for electric vehicles, announced at EVS29 the launch of a new product for fleets seeking to increase the number of electric vehicles they operate. Fleets connecting the new telematics device, named the C2, to gasoline, diesel, and hybrid vehicles in their fleet receive the immediate benefits of standard telematics, while the system also uses the operational data to identify optimal vehicles for replacement with electric vehicles. The single telematics system provides immediate telematics benefits on the gasoline and diesel vehicles while providing the long term benefits of optimized electric vehicle deployment.
  • Nissan Leaf going farther on a charge: As reported last week (along with the FleetCarma announcement), Tthe next-generation Nissan Leaf will be able to travel more than 200 miles per charge from its 60-kWh battery, said Kazuo Yajima, Nissan’s global director of EV and HEV engineering. Watch AutoblogGreen’s Sebastian Blanco doing a video report on what it’s like this week in the expo hall at EVS29. You can hear Yajima talk about Nissan’s new battery pack during the video.
  • The Institut de recherche sur l’hydrogène (IRH) at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, together with Toyota Canada representatives and Quebec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Pierre Arcand, invited media to an event to express their desire to position the province as a leader in sustainable mobility. The recently unveiled energy plan makes hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles an integral part, with a Toyota Mirai vehicle display.

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