One of the biggest challenges with the rollout of electric vehicles remains the electric charging infrastructure. In most major cities around the world, there are electric chargers available at locations like parking garages, grocery stores, and business parks. However, in many rural areas worldwide, there is no electric vehicle charging infrastructure. A company from Russia called L-Charge wants to change that with electric vehicle charging stations that are mobile and produce zero emissions electricity without needing to connect to the grid.
Mobile and Stationary Chargers
L-Charge has two types of charging stations. One is a charging station mounted inside of a truck that can drive wherever the electric vehicle owner is to charge them up. Its other charger type is a large stationary unit with a power generating station is stacked atop a large shipping container with four charging stations on the side. The stationary charging station can charge electric vehicles as fast as they can accept electricity.
L-Charge notes that the stationary charging station can also power the electric grid during peak hours to generate additional income. It’s also capable of providing surplus electricity to nearby consumers. L-Charge says that a single stationary charging unit can charge up to 288 cars per day while generating up to 7200 kWh of daily electricity. Each stationary charging station requires no permanent staff and can be fully installed in a single day.
The mobile charging station can also charge vehicles as fast as they can accept electricity. L-Charge sees its mobile charging station as an ideal solution for EV car-sharing and subscription services. Since it’s mobile, the company also believes it would promote electric vehicle use in urbanized areas.
While the company aims those mobile charging stations at urbanized areas, they may be the ideal way to get electric vehicle charging into smaller cities that lack a charging infrastructure. Each mobile charging station can charge up to 48 cars per day, generating 1440 kWh of electricity daily. With its mobile nature, the vehicle-based charging station can be used anywhere in the city.
L-Charge mobile charging stations would be dispatched using an app, giving users the option of calling the mobile charger immediately, within a few hours, or within 24 hours. The kWh rate would vary depending on how quickly the EV owner required the mobile charger to show up. In the app screenshot, the rate is listed at seven cents per kWh for the mobile charging station to show up immediately, six cents per kWh to show up within three hours, or five cents per kWh for it to show up within 24 hours.
The app screenshot shows that a complete vehicle charge would be $38.16. Oddly, the app screenshot shows a Mustang GT, which is not an electric vehicle. It’s very odd for electric vehicle charging company to share screenshots showing a traditional combustion-powered car. Certainly, it’s a placeholder, but any electric vehicle would’ve been a better placeholder than the Mustang.
Both the mobile and stationary charging stations utilize the same technology inside to generate electricity. L-Charge says natural gas and hydrogen can be used as gas or liquid for conversion into either low-carbon or clean energy. The charging stations can operate on liquefied natural gas or a mixture of liquefied natural gas and hydrogen, producing their electricity on-site.
L-Charge says that low-carbon fuels are the most economically feasible fuels on the market and could be utilized as a bridging technology in the move towards carbon-neutral solutions such as hydrogen. The company also says that even if electricity is generated using pure liquefied natural gas, it still substantially reduces emissions. Presumably, the company means it substantially reduces emissions compared to charging from the grid.
L-Charge Goals and Usage
L-Charge has a goal of generating $2 billion in revenue by 2026. The company sees its mobile and stationary charging stations as a solution for the lack of charging availability. Perhaps the most likely place for its charging stations to be utilized is by fleet owners who need a way to charge heavy trucks and machinery. While electrified semi-trucks and heavy machinery aren’t common today, they are certainly being developed and will be common in the future.
L-Charge also believes its off-grid charging stations are an ideal solution to traditional electric grids that are limited for new connections. Since both of its charging systems can charge vehicles as fast as they can accept the electricity, the solutions could also be an answer to getting FAST chargers deployed more quickly. L-Charge stationary charging stations can be fully autonomous for up to two weeks at a time. Presumably, the limitation is how long its fuel source can last.
2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series confirmed: What we know of this Super SUV
Cadillac’s most lavish model is about to get a sports upgrade, with the 2023 Escalade V-Series marking the first time the SUV has worn the badge. While already notorious for its scale, luxury cabin, and general excess, the V-Series flavor of Escalade will add performance to that mix.
Full details of the 2023 Escalade V-Series won’t be shared until spring of this year, Cadillac has warned. These newly-released photos, meanwhile, show the pre-production form of the SUV. Still, it gives us plenty to go on, as does the trajectory of the V-Series line in general.
For Cadillac, V-Series is more than just speed
You can’t accuse Cadillac of underplaying just what a V-badged model can do. “With nearly two decades of racing-inspired prowess,” the automaker promises, “the V-Series designation is reserved for vehicles that encompass the peak of Cadillac performance, bold, distinguished design, and innovative technology.”
The route from V-Series’ founding in 2003 to today has seen a few big changes along the way. Initially intended as a way for Cadillac to compete with Mercedes-AMG and BMW’s M division, it debuted with the 2004 Cadillac CTS-V sports sedan. That managed to score a role in the original Matrix movie series, (specifically The Matrix Reloaded, released in 2003), helping secure the green-light for the second-generation V Series in 2009.
Cadillac stuck with a familiar strategy: big, high-horsepower V8 engines, paired with its Magnetic Ride Control system for a sedan that could flick from luxury cruiser to track hero at the push of a button. By the time the ATS-V arrived in 2015, however, the criteria had expanded. Smaller and more affordable than the third-generation CTS-V – which got the Corvette C7’s 6.2-liter LT4 V8 to play with – the ATS-V packed a twin-turbo V6.
Beyond that, Cadillac attempted to replicate what BMW and Mercedes had achieved, expanding “V” as a broader badge to indicate a more sporting – though not necessarily the most sporting – iteration of a regular model. It tried, and abandoned, the V-Sport trim, and has most recently settled on “V” badged models as being entry-level performance options. The CT5-V and CT4-V are the current examples of that.
Meanwhile, a new Blackwing designation flags the most extreme examples of V-Series performance. Initially referring to Cadillac’s new Blackwing engine, but since expanded, the trim has so far appeared on the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing, each produced in limited number.
What we expect from the 2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series
For the 2023 Escalade V-Series, the expectation is an evolution in performance rather than the outright leap that Blackwing badging would indicate. The current Escalade – now in its fifth-generation – already features a V8 engine as standard. That’s 6.2-liters in size and offers 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic is standard.
They’re not small numbers, but then again the Escalade is not a small SUV. One possibility for an upgrade is the V8 from the CT5-V Blackwing, supercharged and with upwards of 600 horsepower on tap. Cadillac would obviously need to upgrade other components such as the brakes to balance that uptick in power, though Magnetic Ride suspension is already available on the SUV in its current form.
To better distinguish the V-Series truck visually, Cadillac has given it a moody makeover. The grille switches to black mesh, and most of the chrome has been deleted in favor of gloss-black trim. The bumpers front and rear, and the side sills, have been tweaked, and of course there are vast blacked-out wheels, too.
For the inside, Cadillac is playing it even more coy. A single image previews the “V” badging on the steering wheel, though we’d expect a fair amount of carbon fiber and Alcantara to feature, based on the other V-Series cars. The Escalade already offers a huge, curved dashboard display and plenty of space across three rows, not to mention a whole host of toys to play with.
As for 2023 Escalade V-Series pricing, there too Cadillac is saving full details. The current model spirals up to over $109k for the standard-length 4WD Sport Platinum trim, and that’s before you head into the options list. A six-figure V-Series is basically guaranteed, then, as Cadillac takes on well-esteemed (and well-equipped) performance SUVs from its German rivals.
Brabus 800 Adventure XLP Superblack is taking it to the extreme
Renowned Mercedes-Benz tuning house Brabus has unleashed its latest creation based on the Mercedes-AMG G63 sport-luxury SUV. It’s the newest variant of the 800 Adventure XLP Superblack, a go-anywhere pickup truck hiding a mighty powerful V8 engine under the hood.
Images: Brabus GmbH
This Airstream eStream concept is an electric camper with an innovative twist
Thor Industries, maker of the Airstream and other popular RVs, recently unveiled the eStream electric camper concept. It’s essentially a hi-tech Airstream travel trailer with some nifty innovations hiding underneath.
Images: Thor Industries
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