The battle to cut choking pollution on London’s roads passes a major landmark this month when an electric car club based on Paris’s popular Autolib hire scheme goes live.
The launch of Bluecity on April 26 will come almost three years after its French operators first revealed they were targeting the UK capital.
Initially it will only be available in Hammersmith and Fulham, where the council is pioneering it in a bid to improve air quality in one of London’s most congested boroughs.
Autolib was launched in Paris in 2011 and now has a fleet of more than 4,000 cars.
Progress in London has been hampered by the complexity of the operator having to strike deals with 33 town halls and TfL, and by the poor state of charging infrastructure.
Drivers who register with Bluecity will be able to pick up an initial 30 vehicles from about 85 on-street charging points in Hammersmith and Fulham – claimed to be the most in any local authority in Britain.
This is scheduled to reach 150 charging points by summer.
The vehicles can be dropped off at any of about 400 charging points across 16 other boroughs.
The number is expected to rise to more than 1,000 by the end of the year.
Hammersmith and Fulham residents will be offered a year’s free membership and 20 hours of free driving. Membership is usually £5 a month with driving 17p a minute.
The red cars have a range of 150 miles and can be driven only within the M25.
Council leader Stephen Cowan said: “When I was growing up in the Seventies everyone thought these sorts of problems facing society would be solved by now. But they have not been.
This scheme is a real nudge to people to help them make lifestyle choices that are better for the environment.
“We want to be the greenest borough in the country. Bluecity is a major boost to this ambition.”
French industrial group Bolloré, which runs Autolib and Bluecity, said the reliability of charging points had risen from as low as 60 per cent to 98 per cent.
Bluecity will be launched at a Hammersmith eco-fair showcasing green schemes.
On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme available since January 1
EV owners must ask their local authorities to apply for chargers on their behalf
Scheme will favour areas where no off-street parking is available
Councils can apply for multiple plug-ins to cover current and future EV demand
IMI says more chargers is great but EVs are still too expensive to insure
The biggest issue strangling the nation’s switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles is undoubtedly the lack of infrastructure in the UK. Too few chargers to replenish batteries – especially in inner-city areas where short journeys are best served by zero-emissions electric cars but most people must park their car on the street – have restricted the take-up of pure electric models in Britain. However, a new £2.5 million ‘On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme’ has been created to allow EV owners to apply to have a plug-in point installed on their street – and perhaps even right outside their house – the only problem is you have to apply through your council. The scheme offered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles from January has made £1 million available to fund installations during the current financial year and an additional £1.5 million to cover applications made during 2017/18. Residents who want one of the twin charge points added on their street will have to ask their local authority to take up their case, with funding then allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Of course, if you (or your local authority) is fortunate enough to secure one of the charge posts, there’s no guarantee it’ll be available for you to take advantage of – any electric-car or plug-in hybrid driver will be able to use it and you’ll have to pay to have access to the supply. So don’t expect to plug your BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf into one overnight every day. The scheme is aimed at EV owners who have no off-street parking, for example those with on-street resident parking bays – suggesting most accepted applications will be in highly-populated urban areas. However, local authorities can also apply to the scheme to meet future demands, meaning plug-in posts capable of charging two vehicles at once could be erected in your area even if there are currently no electric car owners living on your street. Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low – a joint government and industry campaign to encourage motorists into zero-emissions vehicles – said: ‘The growing demand for electric vehicles justifies greater on-street charging infrastructure and for EV owners that do not have access to off street charging, this public infrastructure is vital. ‘2016 marked a record year for plug-in registrations with more motorists than ever making the switch to electric. Annual uptake rose 29 per cent and we expect this strong growth to continue, so welcome all investments made in the national charging infrastructure. ‘While Go Ultra Low research shows more than 90 per cent of charging is done at home, there are already more than 11,000 publically accessible charge points around the country, so this growing national network provides a useful additional option to motorists.’ Applications made by local authorities can be for multiple charge points in the same post code. With funding available for 75 per cent of the capital costs – capped at a maximum of £7,500 per twin charge point and £100,000 per application – the scheme will make owning and charging an electric car much easier for those who don’t have the facility to have a dedicated charge point attached to their home. Not everyone can install a charger at home because they don’t have a garage or driveway, or perhaps live in a flat Andrew Benfield, group director for Transport at the Energy Saving Trust added: ‘The On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme is a fantastic scheme to encourage electric car ownership, especially those who don’t have a garage or driveway and cannot have a private charger installed. ‘There are more than 80,000 plug-in electric cars on UK roads now, and with fuel prices on the rise, this number is set to grow. ‘However, not everyone can install a charger at home because they don’t have a garage or driveway, or perhaps live in a flat.
‘This infrastructure is vital to help people make better choices about the car they drive and to do so without any difficulty.’ Residents, community groups and housing associations who want electric vehicle charge points installed in their area should contact their local council to ask for one to be installed. For more information on the fund on how to apply to the scheme, contact the Energy Saving Trust. Insurance costs will restrict EV take-up, IMI A lacking infrastructure isn’t the only hurdle preventing consumers from buying electric and low-emissions cars. Research conducted on behalf of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) found that while 40 per cent of the public would be willing to own a car of this type, they are unwilling or unable to pay the increased insurance premiums currently levied on these cars. Insurers were found to be charging up to 50 per cent more to cover electric and hybrid cars, according to research by Auto Express last year. The higher premiums were due to the expensive purchase price and lack of skilled technicians available to repair them, with just one per cent of mechanics in the UK qualified to work on high-voltage electric systems on behalf of franchised dealers.
The IMI has called on Ministers to help with a £30 million investment in training from its £600 million fund created to promote emission free vehicles. CEO at the institute, Steve Nash, said: ‘Millions of taxpayers’ cash spent on charging points will be wasted if the Government won’t help independent garages and wider industry keep up with the switch to electric. ‘It’s not rocket science. Small businesses are uncertain about future demand for work on electrified cars and won’t risk investing in the skills they need without help from the government. ‘This means insurance and servicing costs will stay out of the reach of many drivers and car buyers will still be attracted to diesel cars as the most fuel efficient alternative, keeping them on our roads in significant numbers for decades to come.’ Source:http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-4245190/How-electric-car-charge-point-street.html
The Government is planning to incentivise the UK’s petrol station to install electric car charging points as it aims to reduce emissions.
Ministers want to make charging points more accessible in order to encourage drivers to switch from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric cars.
Any new measures would also see charging points being staffed as many of the current points often require maintenance.
Operators of motorway service stations will be expected to introduce more ‘rapid’ chargers, so drivers do not have to worry about taking an electric car on a long journey.
As reported by the Financial Times, Shell will install charging points on its European forecourts later this year – with its British and Dutch garages the main benefactors. John Leech, UK head of automotive for the KPMG consultancy, believes many battery charging points as traditional filling stations in Britain around 2020.
“We will start to see mass market adoption of electric vehicles early next decade, but it will take until about 2030 for them to form a majority of cars on the road,” he said.
Sometimes, it’s a good thing to change your spots. Shell is doing a bit of that. Shell is not a name I think of at all in terms of clean air infrastructure. More often, I reflect on the problems of the oil company in places it should not be — rainforests, the Arctic, etc. Changing its spots, Shell is offering a new face with a clean air emphasis. Shell is planning a second choice in how it fuels up cars, and it is a good thing for once. Parts of Europe will see the beginning of the change. Some Shell stations in UK and Netherlands will reportedly be adding EV charging stations later this year.
Gas is not cheap at all in that part of the world. The push towards renewable, clean energy is strong in Europe. One of the benefits of electric cars is the convenient ability to charge at home, or perhaps at your workplace, the grocery store, IKEA, etc. However, installing EV charging stations at gas stations can be helpful to bridge gaps in charging infrastructure for those who are out and about and low on charge.
An earlier CleanTechnicastory on Shell and solar energy showed an adaptive shift might be planned: “Solar energy will comprise the backbone of the world’s energy system in years to come, according to the CEO of Shell (yes, that Shell), Ben van Beurden.”
The interesting/odd thing is that, to avoid a visit to a gas station and not have to smell gas so closely is one of the reasons some of us prefer EVs. On the other hand, I do think this will help many less adventurous types to feel secure. It will also help to normalize the idea of electric cars. People like familiarity. On a long trip without other options, this is a good additional location, I admit, even if $ is at the root. Ever wonder how much $ gas stations bring in with those high-priced bottles of water and snacks?
Shell sees the chargers as a business opportunity to sell more snacks. “We have a number of countries where we’re looking at having battery charging facilities,” John Abbott, Shell director of downstream business, commented in an interview with the Financial Times. “If you are sitting charging your vehicle, you will want to have a coffee or something to eat.”
Electric car sales are slowly rising in the UK. Fresh figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 7,279 “alternatively fuelled vehicles” were registered in January. That’s a 19.9 percent increase from the 6,072 reported last year. The category is still dwarfed by traditional gas guzzlers — more than 78,000 diesel cars and 88,000 petrol cars were registered last month — but progress is being made. Electric and hybrid vehicles made up 4.2 percent of new cars in January, beating the previous record (3.6 percent) set in January and November last year.
The interest in electric vehicles is growing. Most manufacturers are developing ‘green’ cars now, which is giving British customers more options to choose from. The number of electric chargers is also increasing — following Tesla and Ecotricity, Shell has announced plans to launch a small charging network in the UK. That should help solve the long-standing ‘chicken and the egg’ problem. To persuade people to buy cars, you need more chargers. But to justify new chargers, you need more people buying cars. Thankfully, the situation is improving on both sides. Fingers crossed a certain Tesla accelerates the process later this year.
DETROIT, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Electric cars will pick up critical momentum in 2017, many in the auto industry believe – just not in North America.
Tighter emissions rules in China and Europe leave global carmakers and some consumers with little choice but to embrace plug-in vehicles, fuelling an investment surge, said industry executives gathered in Detroit this past week for the city’s annual auto show.
“Car electrification is an irreversible trend,” said Jacques Aschenbroich, chief executive of auto supplier Valeo, which has expanded sales by 50 percent in five years with a focus on electric, hybrid, connected and self-driving cars.
In Europe, green cars benefit increasingly from subsidies, tax breaks and other perks, while combustion engines face mounting penalties including driving and parking restrictions.
China, struggling with catastrophic pollution levels in major cities, is aggressively pushing plug-in vehicles. Its carrot-and-stick approach combines tens of billions in investment and research funding with subsidies, and regulations designed to discourage driving fossil-fueled cars in big cities.
The road ahead for electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States, however, could have more hairpin curves.
Regulators in California and a group of other U.S. states are pushing ahead with state-level rules mandating rising quotas for electric, or “zero emission” vehicles.
But plug-in registrations in the United States fell in 2015, and the market share of electric-only vehicles declined further to 0.37 percent in 2016, as cheap fuel drove demand for gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to roll back environmental and climate rules. Groups representing established automakers asked Trump to review Obama administration fuel economy targets out to 2025, even before the outgoing administration formally signed them into effect on Friday.
Automakers have also asked Trump to work toward a single, national set of rules to govern automotive greenhouse gas emissions, a move that could spark legal challenges to electric car quotas in California and other states on grounds they present a separate standard.
“THE WORLD IS GOING ELECTRIC”
Still, industry executives in Detroit said hitting the brakes on electric vehicles in the United States would not relieve the pressure to bring them to market, because China and Europe are forging ahead with policies to expand sales of plug-in cars.
That is why Ford is moving forward with previously announced plans to invest $4.5 billion for plug-in vehicles by 2020, Chief Executive Mark Fields said earlier this month.
“The industry is changing, the infrastructure’s starting to build, and that’s why our view is (that) within the next 15 years we’ll see more electrified offerings than we’ll see gasoline-powered,” Fields said as he unveiled a $700 million plan to build a battery SUV and other plug-in vehicles in Flat Rock, Michigan.
To drive the shift to electric, industry executives said they needed more help from governments.
In China, Europe and the United States, automakers are advocating new infrastructure money go to public electric car charging networks.
In the United States, EV manufacturers are pushing for the continuation of a $7,500 federal tax subsidy for consumers who buy a fully electric car. Even if Trump were to try to eliminate it, it would take time as Congress would have to act.
“There is not a disagreement that the world is going electric,” California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols said on the sidelines of the auto show, noting that all vehicle makers were now investing in electric models across their entire product lines. The debate, she said, was “over timing, not the goal.”
The Chinese electric car market cast its shadow over the Detroit auto show, where manufacturers showed off plug-in hybrid and electric models that will likely do scant business in the United States.
IHS Automotive predicts Chinese plug-in deliveries will hit 1 million in 2019, four years before the United States. China pulled ahead in 2015 with a fourfold sales surge before adding 55 percent last year to 348,000 vehicles, with the United States at 138,000.
“Look to China rather than the U.S. for the future of electric cars,” Gerard Detourbet, a Renault-Nissan executive leading low-cost plug-in development, said recently. “China is compelled to act – that’s the main difference.” (Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall, Norihiko Shirouzu, Joe White and Alexandria Sage; Editing by Andrew Hay)
2016 has been a successful year for the UK’s new car market thanks to a boom in the popularity of electric vehicles.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has today published the latest figures on new car registrations and adoption of electric vehicles is up 3.3% on 2015, with more than 10,000 motorists choosing to go electric.
It adds to a rosy picture for the UK’s automotive industry, with annual registrations on all types of cars climbing for the fifth year in a row to almost 2.7 million.
The number of people choosing to go electric has been welcomed by Tim Payne, CEO of InstaVolt, which is on a mission to install more than 3,000 rapid charging points for electric vehicles in the UK by 2020.
The fact that 10,000 motorists chose to switch to electric last year shows that the British public is mindful about its impact on the environment
He said: “This is fantastic news not just for the electric vehicle market and the UK economy but also for the environment. The fact that 10,000 motorists chose to switch to electric last year shows that the British public is mindful about its impact on the environment and willing to embrace new technology to minimise that.”
Tim, whose Basingstoke-based company InstaVolt is different from many other electric vehicle charging companies because it offers a pay-as-you-go charging service with no subscription required, says he would not be surprised to see the figure to rise even further in 2016.
“The UK’s roads are becoming more and more of a welcoming environment for electric vehicles, with the Government ploughing millions into charging infrastructure and companies like ours making rapid charging simple and much cheaper than petrol or diesel.
“As every year passes, the reasons not to go electric are getting fewer and fewer.”
The latest figures from the SMMT show the UK’s new car market has experienced uplifts in 10 out of the last 12 months, albeit finishing with a December down slightly by -1.1% – with 178,022 new cars registered in the month.
Alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) experienced a strong uplift in demand, up 22.2% across the year. Plug-in hybrids and petrol electric hybrids, in particular, experienced significant growth, with demand up 41.9% and 25.1% respectively.
Fleets were responsible for most of the growth, with demand growing to a record 1.38 million units. The private market remains at a historically high level, with more than 1.2 million private buyers registering a new car in 2016.
The UK’s government is preparing to tackle the problem of extortionate fees to charge electric cars at public locations. Ministers are set to enact legislation that will see standard prices applied and ensure electric vehicle users are provided with better access to roadside charging locations.
The government is responding to complaints that the cost of a 30-minute charge at a public point can be as high as £7.50. Motoring critics say this high cost means the cost of running an electric car is on a par with that of a diesel engine, although home charges are generally a lot cheaper.
The move to make public charging more user-friendly comes hot on the heels of news UK motorists are not buying the targeted amount of ultra-low emission vehicles. The government had aimed for nine per cent of vehicles on the country’s roads to be low emission by 2020. Current estimates show the number will be seven per cent at best.
The UK currently has about 11,000 public charging stations for electric cars and vans. Motoring critics claim they are distinctly unfriendly and come with varied pricing structures. They are also typically not an option for all electric vehicle owners as they require pre-registration and password access.
The Department for Transport (DfT) launched a study designed to revamp the electric charger network in October. A spokesperson noted that the reforms would give electric vehicle owners 24/7 access to chargers and ensure pricing structures were economical to encourage more drivers into opting for low emission engines.
An alternative to batteries which could give electric cars the same range as petrol cars and the same re-charge time as filling a tank of petrol, has been developed by Augmented Optics and Surrey University.
The researchers developed new polymers based on large organic molecules composed of many repeated sub-units and bonded together to form a 3D network.
The development could translate into very high energy density supercapacitors making it possible to recharge mobile phones, laptops or other mobile devices in just a few seconds.
The technology was adapted from the principles used to make soft contact lenses, which Dr Donald Highgate (of Augmented Optics, and an alumnus of Surrey University) developed 40 years ago.
Although supercapacitors can charge and discharge rapidly over very large numbers of cycles, their poor energy density per kilogramme (approximately just one twentieth of existing battery technology), means that they can’t compete with batteries in most applications.
“While this research has potentially opened the route to very high density supercapacitors, these polymers have many other possible uses in which tough, flexible conducting materials are desirable, including bioelectronics, sensors, wearable electronics, and advanced optics,” says Dr Ian Hamerton, Reader in Polymers and Composite Materials from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Bristol University
A revolutionary material has been revealed that can make charging an Electric Caras quick as filling up with fuel.
The scientific supercapacitor breakthrough announced by UK-based Augmented Optics could make existing battery tech defunct and transform the EV market.
The new material has been tested by experts at the University of Surrey and University of Bristol, with their analysis estimating it to be 1,000 times more effective than current supercapacitors.
Engineers are now working to produce a prototype that would give a car 150 miles of range from a recharge taking seconds – just like a petrol or diesel pump – as opposed to the hours currently needed.
Dr Donald Highgate, technical director at Augmented Optics, said: “If these are half as good as we think they are, and with more experience, they may take over entirely. Disruptive, yes – it would be a terrible shock to car manufacturers – but cars could be built on the same factory lines.”
Currently, supercapacitors can’t hold charge as efficiently as batteries, with some existing examples used on buses in China requiring charging every three miles. The new material brings them closer to the storage capacity of a lithium-ion battery, but with the added benefits of immediate recharging and cheaper production costs.
Should the prototype be successful, it’s believed that a test mule using a supercapacitor as its power source could be in operation as early as next year.
University of Bristol’s Dr Ian Hamerton, a scientist on the project, said: “Although we didn’t initially look at the automotive industry, as the results came in, it became apparent the car industry could be one of the first ones to adopt this technology.”
The new material is suitable for mass production, with aims to create a UK factory to manufacture the system. As an added benefit, it can be moulded into different shapes, making it more versatile in design than a standard battery stack.
2016: “The government’s current air quality plan with respect to London is based on the very limited ambition of the previous mayor to tackle air pollution and isn’t enough to protect Londoners health,” said Khan. “I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health as I suffer from adult-onset asthma myself.”
Khan’s first major policy announcement after winning the mayoral election for Labour were new plans to tackle the capital’s air pollution. These include more than doubling the size of the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone.