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Standard Mazda 2 hatchback
Most emissions-free driving yet

With several other automotive giants like Ford, Nissan and Chevrolet jumping on the EV, hybrid bandwagon, it's no surprise that Mazda is following suit with their solar-to-electric converted Mazda 2 test fleet in Tsukuba, Japan.

The converted Mazda 2 EV charges from a station that is powered by the sun's rays, making it an emissions-free vehicle. Mazda provided the cars, EnerDel produced the batteries and solar energy storage units, Think Global made all-electric drivetrains, and Itochu helped with the funding. 

"EnerDel's top quality battery systems provide a robust platform for rapid -recharge," said Murase Hiroaki, deputy manager battery business unit of Itochu Corporation. 

EnerDel's large batteries store the sun's energy with solar panels attached to stationary grid-storage units. When a vehicle is charging, the juice is sent out via direct current. This direct current can fill the car to 85 percent capacity in approximately 15 minutes.

"The integration of rapid charging, smart grid and electric vehicles is a crucial step in the transition to clean, efficient, low-carbon energy and transportation systems, and something that countries all over the world are moving toward," said Charles Gassenheimer, EnerDel parent company Ener1's CEO.

"This project also demonstrates how critical a secondary-use strategy is unlocking economic value that becomes a key driver for the EV battery industry."

Drivers testing the converted Mazda 2 will obtain smart cards used for tracking charges and wear, billing and gaining access to the cars and charging stations.  The vehicles will be part of a car-sharing program allowing users and potential buyers to reserve a converted Mazda 2 ahead of release time. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. 



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By ArtM72 on 5/24/2010 2:30:56 PM , Rating: 3
Here's how it works. Mazda took a standard Mazda 2 body and put Think's all electric drive train with EnerDel's LI ion batteries in it. EnerDel batteries also were installed in the convenience store with the charging station. The sunlight charges the batteries in the store during the day. When the car "plugs in" the 440DC current flows from the batteries in the store to charge the batteries in the car.

There is a grid connection for solar backup.

Lots of different ideas being demonstrated at once, the most climate sensitive being the solar end. On the battery side this will demonstrate the technology for secondary uses of EnerDel's batteries (in the stores) which should have 80% of their service life remaining after the car is retired.

Hope that helps.




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