Posts Tagged ‘Energy’

Heather HunterNew study conducted by the AAA Automotive Research Center shows electric vehicle driving range can be nearly 60 percent lower in extreme cold and 33 percent lower in extreme heat.

ORLANDO, Fla., (March 20, 2014) – Electric Vehicles (EVs) are energy efficient and environmentally-friendly with the added benefit of reducing fuel costs for motorists. But, just as motorists need to know how far the gas in their tank will take them, EV drivers need to be aware of how far their vehicle can travel on a single charge. According to new AAA research conducted with the AAA Automotive Research Center in Southern California, electric vehicle range can be reduced by an average of 57 percent based on the temperature outside.

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“Electric motors provide smooth operation, strong acceleration, require less maintenance than internal combustion engines, and for many motorists offer a cost effective option,” said John Nielsen, managing director, AAA Automotive Engineering and Repair. “However, EV drivers need to carefully monitor driving range in hot and cold weather.”

To better understand the impact of climate on electric vehicle batteries, AAA conducted a simulation to measure the driving range of three fully-electric vehicles in cold, moderate and hot weather. Temperature made a big difference in driving range for all three EVs.

Vehicles were tested for city driving to mimic stop-and-go traffic, and to better compare with EPA ratings listed on the window sticker. The average EV battery range in AAA’s test was 105 miles at 75°F, but dropped 57 percent to 43 miles when the temperature was held steady at 20°F. Warm temperatures were less stressful on battery range, but still delivered a lower average of 69 miles per full charge at 95°F.

AAA performed testing between December 2013 and January 2014. Each vehicle completed a driving cycle for moderate, hot and cold climates following standard EPA-DOE test procedures. The vehicles were fully charged and then “driven” on a dynamometer in a climate-controlled room until the battery was fully exhausted.

AAA has initiated several projects including mobile recharging units and EV charging stations to support members who drive electric vehicles. EVs provide owners with many benefits, but every motorist needs to be aware of conditions that can impact vehicle driving range. EV drivers need to plan carefully in hot and cold weather. Mapping tools such as the AAA TripTik® Travel Planner pinpoint charging stations to keep motorists on the go.

Additional information regarding AAA’s electric vehicle testing is available on the AAA NewsRoom.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

WASHINGTON (Dec. 5, 2011) —

Crude oil prices moved slightly higher today, building on the upward momentum of last week.  Equities markets continued to surge on positive signs for the U.S. economy and renewed optimism that Europe may address its debt crisis.  These same factors, along with weakness in the U.S. dollar and geopolitical concerns with Iran, put upward pressure on oil prices as well.  Oil futures are priced in U.S. dollars, and as the currency weakens relative to those abroad, the effective purchasing power of those holding foreign currencies increases.  As this happens, oil futures become a more attractive investment, which exerts upward pressure on prices.  At the same time, mounting geopolitical tension between major-oil-producer Iran and the Western countries that rely heavily on foreign oil — including today’s report that Iran shot down a U.S. drone this weekend — sent prices higher on increased uncertainty surrounding the Iranian supply of crude to Western markets.  The sum effect of this upward pressure was West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settling three cents higher at $100.99 per barrel at the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX.

Last week’s increase in crude oil prices was keyed by positive economic news both internationally and domestically, and geopolitical concerns surrounding Iran.  Global central banks on Wednesday unexpectedly announced a coordinated move to inject liquidity into the financial system and address what has been growing concern surrounding the debt crisis in Europe.  This news helped stock indices surge, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its largest one-day gain in more than a year, and oil prices move higher as well.  The upward momentum for oil prices was dampened by a bearish same-day Energy Information Administration report, which highlighted a drawdown in crude oil stocks but more importantly continued weakness domestic gasoline demand. 

On Thursday the European Union and U.S. announced they would tighten sanctions against Iran over that country’s suspect nuclear program.  This report built on those earlier in the week of Iranian protestors storming the British embassy in Tehran and speculation that the EU could start an embargo on Iranian crude in January.  While Iran warned that such sanctions could send global crude oil prices as high as $250 per barrel, the impact on the market was muted as traders viewed these developments as posturing rather than market moving.  The EU imported 450,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Iran last year and any news that escalates the situation beyond posturing could have a significant impact on crude prices.

Optimism that the U.S. economy is recovering was boosted by data on Friday showing a much better than expected jobs report.  This built on reports earlier in the week that U.S. manufacturing activity had reached the highest level in five months and of positive consumer spending and private sector job creation numbers.  A recovering U.S. economy would be expected to demand more crude oil and put upward pressure on crude prices. 

Since the beginning of October, crude oil prices have increased substantially while retail gasoline prices have decreased.  Crude prices have increased from $75.67 per barrel on October 4 to $100.99 today.  During this same period, gasoline prices have decreased 15 cents per gallon.  This seemingly counterintuitive price movement is primarily due to historically weak demand for gasoline counteracting the upward price pressure traditionally expected with higher crude prices. The weekly Department of Energy report last Wednesday showed domestic petroleum demand of just 17.946 million barrels per day — the lowest weekly number since June 2009.  While gasoline demand was up 177,000 barrels per day from the week prior, this increase was attributed to Thanksgiving holiday travel and was 3.8 percent lower than the same period in 2010. 

The current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.28.  Today’s price is two cents cheaper than one week ago and 14 cents cheaper than one month ago but is 34 cents more expensive than one year ago. 

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

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