Apple Maps update for Europe includes electric car charger spots

Apple is expanding the capabilities of its Maps app in Europe to help users charge their electric vehicles or find bike rental hubs.

The company has added the locations of the UK’s electric vehicle charging stations by incorporating data from Munich-based Cirrantic’s Moovility service, which lists re-juicing points for cars made by Tesla and Nissan, among others.

It has also added public bicycle rental and drop-off points to maps of London, New York and Paris in a catch-up to long-time mobile navigation leader Google, which has listed such stations in multiple countries for some time.Apple laid out its updates to Maps in a briefing in London on Wednesday.

Improving its mapping products has become a key focal point for Apple in its battle with Alphabet’s Google. Apple introduced electric vehicle charging points in Maps in the US in December.

Improving its mapping products has become a key focal point for Apple in its battle with Alphabet’s Google. Apple introduced electric vehicle charging points in Maps in the US in December. Apple

In May last year, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook said his company would open a new Indian development centre in Hyderabad, with a specific focus on speeding up the development of more competitive mapping tools. It plans to employ as many as 4000 people in that facility.

In December, Bloomberg reported that Cupertino, California-based Apple is assembling a team to use drones to create and update map information faster than it can currently do with camera-equipped road vehicles.

‘An enormous undertaking’ 

“There are thousands of layers of useful information that could be added to digital maps as an overlay,” said Martin Garner, an analyst at CCS Insight, “and there’s a benefit in becoming known for adding as many as possible. But adding overlays like this is an enormous undertaking and needs an industrial approach in order to source, manage and maintain the information for a large number of layers across many countries.”

Apple first integrated transit information for the UK into Apple Maps in December, which includes route information for trains and buses across the nation, as well as London Underground services in the capital.

According to data compiled by Zap-Map, there are just under 4400 locations in Britain for recharging an electric vehicle. More than 3000 of these will now be marked in Apple Maps. To identify these, Apple is using live data provided by Munich-based Cirrantic, a mobility services company founded in 2014, and pinpointing EV charge points on a map.

Google lists charging points globally but doesn’t explicitly label them with easily identifiable icons.

“We think that consistent, live information of the growing charger infrastructure increases the confidence of EV drivers and, especially with Apple Maps, attracts new user groups to sustainable mobility offerings like EV cars,” said Arne Meusel, CEO and co-founder of Cirrantic.

“In the UK we started with supporting the major charger operators, including Podpoint, CYC, Ecotricity, NPower and NewMotion. Any interested operator is welcome to set up a connection with us.”

Source london (#ev charging network) Easter Discount offer: 6 months free membership

I have just found this email in my inbox. With the offer to sign up for membership (again) and get 6 months free of this £4/month membership. Mild saving but useful.

The membership typical fee of £4/month is not exactly extortionate but charging cost are a Lot Higher. 3.6p/minute charging on top of this paperwork affair of £4/month is off putting.
Needless to say, despite having(had) two electric vehicles in the household, I do charge at home 90% of the time. And I would* consider topping up where possible, in town,
Even paying this 3.6p/minute rate, – as it deals with dilemma of parking sometime. Thus worth the pennies so to speak. 
The £4/month is a more of how you say, hindrance, not here, not there but I don’t feel like £4/mont payment for “what if”. Worst case I’d sign up right before I need to get to town to use one. And being that “case” not really
Happening, I was content to let go of my membership, and keep zee pennies where they ought to me. In my pocket.
Now this Easter offer: – meh, why not. Maths for “what if” and now that summer is coming, makes more of a likely probability of when not if I would need to top up. Yep. I signed up. 
I personally think it should be silly cheap – to get EV drivers to pay member costs contently when not using the scheme for a while. Scrapped altogether perhaps, better yet, since at-the-point charging fees are not exactly cheap. 
Rough maths tells that in basic 3kw charging that’s, 10-12 mile range for your average Leaf would cost 3.6px60=£2.16!!!!! Without going further I would like to remind you that 1L of petrol would get you some 10 odd miles also (50mpg avg) – yet that would cost £1.15 today! 
That’s £1 over the top making the EV charging more expensive at these points that merely driving a petrol car. Capish?!
Anyway, like I said. I signed up, for that “what if” moment, and I can charge i3 on 7kwh making MY personal charging costs on par with a petrol car, mind.
Anywhoo, read on the good mail from yours truly, Source London:
We have already installed close to 500 new charge points across London and aim to have 1000 installed by the end of the year.

Our new smart charge points are maintained 24/7 by our own in-house maintenance team, can be booked for free up to 40 minutes in advance and usually have free on-street parking whilst giving you access to the largest on-street charge point network in London.

As we do not want our customers to pay for a mediocre charging experience, older charge points remain free to use. Our new smart charge points incur a session fee of 3.6p/min (with a minimum session fee of 20mn and an overnight cap of £8.64 from 8pm to 7am.

We will be installing hundreds of additional new smart charge points over the next few months – an update will be sent to you shortly with our installation plans.

Kind regards,

Source London…

A third of Britons set to make switch to electric cars

Almost one in three drivers is considering an electric car as their next vehicle but fears over costs and a lack of information are still putting many buyers off.

New figures show that 29 per cent of UK motorists are considering making the switch from a conventionally fuelled vehicle to a zero-emissions one or replacing one electric vehicle with another.

As new tax rules punish drivers of all but the lowest-polluting vehicles and cities around the country consider charging drivers of older, more polluting vehicles for using their roads there has been a rapid growth in interest in electric and other ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV).

Industry figures for the first quarter of this year show that sales of alternative fuel vehicles, including all-electric and hybrid engined cars, have risen by 29.9 per cent over the same period in 2016, and now account for a larger share of the market than ever, with 33,405 alternative fuel cars sold.

“ULEVs not only save consumers money in the long run, but are better for the environment, yet awareness around the benefits of these vehicles is relatively low”

Andrew Benfield, Energy Saving Trust

However, a poll of drivers found that fears over costs, access to charging points and a general lack of information was still putting many motorists off making the switch.

Almost half (44 per cent) of those who said they were not interested in ULEVs said that cost was their major concern and one in ten said that the Government needed to offer more incentives to convince drivers to switch. The Government currently offers grants of up to £4,500 towards ULEVs and funds up to 75 per cent of the cost of installing home charging points.

Even more (48 per cent) said they were still worried about driving range and a shortage of charging points, despite vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Tesla Model S now offer in excess of 150 miles on a single charge and there being more than 12,000 charging points across the UK.

And almost a third said that a lack of information was also putting them off opting for a ULEV.

Neil Addley, managing director of NFDA Trusted Dealers which commissioned the survey, said: “Our research has revealed that a significant number of car buyers are now seriously considering low emission vehicles for their next car, but are at a loss on where to start. On the Trusted Dealers site we have seen more green cars filtering through to the used car market, with more than 200 vehicles listed on our site.”

Addley’s association has teamed up the Energy Saving Trust to run a series of roadshows at dealers around the country aimed at clearing up some of the confusion and myths around ULEVs.

Andrew Benfield, group director of transport at the Energy Saving Trust, added: “Our work has shown that ULEVs not only save consumers money in the long run, but are better for the environment when it comes to energy use, yet awareness around the benefits of these vehicles is relatively low. Our partnership with Trusted Dealers will allow us to speak directly to consumers and debunk common misconceptions about green cars. We want to give drivers the real facts to about ULEVs so they can consider one as their next vehicle.”

The roadshows come as the Government announced £62 million of funding to help develop low- carbon technology in the UK.

The money is going to the Coventry-based Advanced Propulsion Centre, comprising BMW Motorsport, New Holland Agriculture, Jaguar Land Rover, Williams Advanced Engineering, Penso Consulting, Ford Motor Company and Westfield Sportscars. The initiative aims to save 50 million tonnes of CO2 by 2023.


Government announces continued support for plug-in grant and EV home-charging

The Government has announced continued support for the plug-in car grant and the installation of EV home-chargers as it revealed who will receive funding to help develop the next generation of driverless and low-carbon vehicles.

People buying an electric vehicle (EV) will continue to benefit from up to £4,500 off the cost of an ultra-low emission car, up to £2,500 off a hybrid and receive £500 towards the installation of a charge point in their home.

Business secretary Greg Clark and transport minister John Hayes gave their backing to the schemes when awarding £109.7million to 38 automotive research and development (R&D) projects yesterday (Tuesday, April 11).

Hayes said: “This Government is investing £109m to support British businesses in developing innovative, important technologies which will greatly reduce our emissions footprint.

“The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads is at record levels and our renewed support for these exciting technologies is yet another significant milestone.”

Seven projects will share grants from the latest round of funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the joint industry-Government programme to put the UK at the forefront of low carbon vehicle technology.

The projects will be led by BMW, CNH Industrial, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Penso Consulting, Westfield Sportscars and Williams Advanced Engineering.

Successful schemes include:

  • The development of a high power battery suitable for high-performance vehicles
  • A project to address gaps in and strengthen the UK supply chain
  • The development of the fuelling system for a concept gas tractor
  • Technologies to reduce the weight and improve electrification in SUV vehicle platforms

A further seven projects have won funding from the government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) to advance the development of a range of ultra-low and zero emissions vehicle technologies in the UK. These projects will be led by Equipmake, Ford Motor Company, Great British Sports Cars, Jaguar Land Rover, Ricardo Innovations, Romax Technology and Wrightbus.

Clark said: “The projects being awarded funding today will help extend our excellence in these cutting edge research fields, helping to safeguard jobs while ensuring the UK remains the go-to destination for automotive excellence.”

The Government also announced the first set of winners of the second round of its connected autonomous vehicles competition, CAV2, with projects set to receive a share of up to £31m, match funded by industry.

Twenty-four projects demonstrated clear commercial value and identified technical solutions for CAV technology, including how these vehicles will work within the UK transport system. Further successful projects from this competition round will be announced soon.

Funding is divided into four streams and ideas include projects using cars and pods platooning, or going in formation, to transport passengers from Stockport train station to Manchester Airport, create vehicles capable of driving in a range of road environments and technology which could make any car operate autonomously.

The CAV2 competition includes funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, for 4 one-year research and development projects supporting CAV vehicle developments, specifically in the areas of energy reduction and air quality improvements. The government will launch its third CAV competition, CAV3, to fund further industry-led research and development projects later in the year.

Innovate UK chief executive Ruth McKernan said: “These successful industry-led R&D projects will further spearhead UK development of low emission, and connected and autonomous vehicle technology, building on our world-leading research and innovation capability in this area and the significant strength of UK businesses large and small in this field.”

The announcements follow the launch of the first phase of Government’s £100m CAV test bed programme at the end of March with a competition worth £55m.

In a speech to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Connected Conference in London, the business secretary outlined plans to create a cluster of excellence in CAV testing along the M40 corridor between Birmingham and London.

The test bed programme forms part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy commitment to develop world-class CAV testing infrastructure.

The programme will use some of the UK’s existing CAV testing centres to create a concentrated cluster of testing facilities in the UKs automotive heartland in the West Midlands, including; Coventry, Birmingham, Milton Keynes as well as Oxford and London.


Electric car hire scheme to launch in London

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.


Startup Tests Car-Charging Lamp Posts in London

A new business in London has the dream of adding electric car chargers to many of the city’s lamp posts, meaning that even the people who live in the converted loft up on the fourth floor that doesn’t even have any windows (£1,450pm, shared bathroom) can manage to charge their contract hire BMW i3s while they sleep. is asking potential users to badger their local councils to see if they’d like to get the chargers installed too, with the company promising local councils that the installation cost is paid for by an OLEV grant and then leased back, so, technically, there’s not much in the way of barriers to turning every residential street’s lighting post into a 7.7kWh charger.

Surely there will soon be rules about not dangling cables all over the pavements though. Can’t have trip hazards criss-crossing the nation, can we? [Char.gyvia TechCrunch]


My #twizy finds a new home! It will be well missed.

It’s time to say bye bye to the most funky ride I’ve ever owned. The new owner in Kent promised to take good care of it. 


Good times! 

It’s gonna be well missed! 2 years of epic joy riding. These lot don’t depreciate as fast as one thinks.

Ownership summary? 

Picked up for 3800 in April 2015

And now sold for 3450 April 2017. 

I say it’s a decent good deal as far as depreciation is concerned. There isn’t much to It. Car battery is leased, and warranted. As well as insured.

I covered 7,500 miles in that period – not really a lot but I did opt for the longest battery rental deal with 7,500 miles a year @£53/month. Could have saved a few pennies if I was a little more conservative on the estimate but it was not worth the hassle, the 4,500mile/year term was £6/month cheaper. 

So suppose it could have worked out £144 cheaper overall. Ah well. I blame the battery lease arrangement – you gotta estimate your future mileage for upto 3 years in advance! Very stupid setup indeed.

Besides that,

The very shell requires minimal maintenance to be honest. Good cleaning and yeh, brakes perhaps. 

So all and all, Good luck to the new owner!




And now,
#twizy at the new home! 
“Best travels and epic journeys, L.”

Scots racing team creates UK’s first electric rally car

It’s a sport associated with revs, noise and litres of burning fuel – but one group of Scots motorsports devotees has sought to “future proof” car rallying for the next generation with the UK’s first electric competitive car.


The Project eRally team, based in Fife, has created their prototype from a Renault Zoe EV (electric vehicle) with the car to be fully tested by the sport’s regulatory body, the Motor Sports Association, later this month.

It will go on display on Friday, April 7 at the Future Vehicles Showcase at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) as part of Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Jean Hay, eRally project co-ordinator, said the idea took shape around 10 years ago as she and Ellya Gold, former British Rally Championship driver, mentored young rally drivers at the Junior 1,000 Ecosse Challenge.

Ms Hay said: “We have been watching these young drivers move into senior rallying and we started thinking about the environmental issues and sustainability of what we do. 

“Basically, we wanted to future proof our sport.”

Ms Hay said “huge amounts of rallying fuel” were burnt during a race which “goes against everything we think is good for the environment”.

She added that EVs made “perfect” rally cars with the Zoe eRally designed specifially for the junior driver. 

“Because of the way electric motors work, it is perfect for rallying. Power is instant and you don’t have to go through the gears.

“You basically press the throttle and go. Electric cars tend to have double the amount of torque than the equivalent standard combustible engine,” she said.

Custom-built suspension and wheels have been added to the Zoe eRally as well as safety features, including a roll cage, a fire extinguisher and electric cut off switch.

Around 100kg of the car’s interior has been stripped out to cut weight.

With the car batteries stored in the floor, the car’s handling is improved given its lower centre of gravity.

It is hoped the company can release the world’s first EV rally fleet next year.

Reaction from the rallying faithful had been “really surprising,” Ms Hay added.

She said: “Their reaction has always been pretty much the same – that this is the future. 

Spectators have raised one concern about the electric rally car – the lack of noise from the vehicle.

Ms Hay added: “Rallying fans are used to the sound of the popping and the lagging of the engine and it’s fair to say that is part of the atmosphere. That is something you don’t get with the electric car. You only really get the squeal of the tyres.”

Ms Hay said it could get a little “eerie” if all cars taking part were EV models but added she was sure the speed of the vehicles would make up for the lack of noise.

The car will appear at the showcase with other EV models including the Tesla Model S – which accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 2.5 seconds – and the Nissan Leaf.

A fleet of electric bicycles will feature at the show case of emission-free vehicles.

ECCI director Andy Kerr said: “Our transport behaviors are changing rapidly as we move to a more low carbon way of life. 

“The Scottish Government has pledged an almost complete decarbonisation of road transport by 2050 and as Scotland’s charging infrastructure develops every year and vehicle technology improves to rival traditional options, electric vehicles are becoming an ever more viable choice for businesses and commuters.” 

The University of Edinburgh estimates 30% of its Carbon Footprint is from the travel by its staff, students and visitors and has pledged to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2040 by moving all its vehicles to electric fleet.


RT to DVLA re Road Tax waste of paper for ULEV. Why send out letters if Tax is 3 clicks away ado+free. 32k letters (-2015 records)

I am all content with free tax for ULEV. as it should be. Going “Ultra Low Emission”, or i say, full battery Electric Vehicle could be an experiment in itself and for the greater better breathable city air, Free Road Tax as incentive, benefit, expectation – whatever you call it.

it is all good and its welcomed.

But what boggles my mind is the waste associated with sending out all these ROAD TAX RENEWAL letters. Surely that is a gross waste of paper this reminder is written on.

free road tax. 100% battery electric ride
Road Tax piece of paper reminding me … to get taxed. its free. but i need to go online and click 3 times. This letter is sent to at least 32 thousand people (ULEV count upto 2015 inclusive) and this figure is likely to be in excess of 60k in reality. Consider the waste of this paper and postage fees.

It literally serves no actual benefit. This whole thing could be approved/auto-taxed by default and automatically. Surely.

Owner/Driver (driving the vehicle in question or not) can get this Road Taxed in 3 simple clicks online.

If is free in any case, and would be for foreseeable future, why not simply automate the process and save this bureaucratic nonsense and save the paper, ink and indeed the cost of postage the DVLA, TAX Payer coughs up for, to send all these pointless reminders.

Like it said. It boggles me mind. Feel free to RT to DVLA, better yet Gov Petition anyone?

I jsut looked up the official figures by doing a quick google on

Upto 2015 inclusive, there were 31,943 ULEV registration.

I would think by today, 2017, this figure actually doubled at the very least, due to a good range of PHEV(at the very least) and EVs becoming available as indeed the uptake of those (no thanks to Dieselgate, aghem)

This is to be around 60k letters – consider the amount of letters and postage costs involved, this incurs. Honestly, time to move on with the times and end this waste.

ROAD TAX RENEWAL. a bit of a waste of this paper. why not automate and simplify this process entirely.

See for yourself. Ultra-low emission vehicles registered for the first time: United Kingdom (ODS, 20.2KB) This will require OpenOffice (free) installation to view the spreadsheet.

Electric vehicles inquiry launched! Read more!

Scope of the inquiry

In this short inquiry, the Committee examines barriers to the market’s development and the support it needs to progress, and considers how the Government can optimise electric vehicles as part of a strong Industrial Strategy. MPs also look at charging infrastructure as well as purchase costs and incentives to increase electric vehicle sales.

The Government’s road transport decarbonisation strategy and its ability to respond to potentially disruptive shifts in the market, such as the emergence of driverless cars, are also scrutinised. The inquiry covers all electric vehicles, including buses, HGVs, cars, motorcycles and vans.

Written submissions

The Committee is inviting submissions on written evidence on the following issues:

  • What are the key barriers to development of the UK’s electric vehicle market?
  • Does the Government’s Industrial Strategy sufficiently address the challenges and opportunities for electric vehicles?
  • What support for purchase costs should the Government provide after 2018, in response to the changing costs of electric vehicles?
  • How best can the Government ensure that there is consistent provision of charging infrastructure across the country?
  • Is the Government’s road transport decarbonisation strategy sufficiently flexible to adapt to potentially disruptive market trends such as driverless cars? How might these impact requirements for, and use of, charging infrastructure?

The closing date for submissions is Thursday 13 April 2017.