Queen’s Speech introduces Electric Vehicles Bill

June 21st, 2017 § Comments Off on Queen’s Speech introduces Electric Vehicles Bill § permalink

Motorway services and petrol stations may be forced to install electric charging points as part of Government plans to ensure the UK “remains a world leader in new industries”.

An Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill will be introduced to encourage the use of electric and self-driving cars, the Government announced in the Queen’s Speech.

The first all-electric car to be built in the UK rolled off of the production line in 2013, and the Government wants “almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050”.

Of more than 36.7 million licensed vehicles in the UK, just over 100,000 have been purchased with help from a government plug-in car grant.

The speed of adoption has been slowed by a number of factors, including the perceived cost of electric vehicles, according to Dr Ben Lane, a director at charging-point company Zap-Map.

However, the perception of their expense is not always accurate, Dr Lane told Sky News, as the relative newness of most of the electric car models made their price seem higher than other vehicles.

The availability of second-hand electric cars is making them more affordable.

The distance electric cars are able to travel on a single battery charge has also discouraged consumers, as has the availability of charging points and the speed of recharging.

Dr Lane said he “strongly welcomed” the Government’s proposed law.

“Together with more open access, it’s exactly what the market needs and electric vehicle drivers will welcome this development,” he said.

Registrations of electric vehicles are increasing, with 13,800 being registered in the first quarter of 2017, a 17% rise on the same period the year before.

Plans to fund the additional electric charging points have not yet been announced, although the Government said it was committed to spending £600m during this Parliament to support the ultra-low emissions market.

The new law also aims to support British manufacturing and innovation by allowing self-driving cars to operate in the country.

Earlier this year, tests of electric self-driving cars by manufacturer Nissan took place on public roads in London.

Official research has indicated the market for automated vehicles in the UK could be worth £28bn by 2035.

This would be supported by making it compulsory for motor vehicle insurance to cover automated vehicles so that compensation claims can be paid quickly in the event of any accidents.

 Source: Sky new

Nottingham Gets First Electric Home Charger

June 16th, 2017 § Comments Off on Nottingham Gets First Electric Home Charger § permalink

.On National Clean Air Day (15 June), a Nottingham resident has become the first person in the city to have a home smart charger installed for his electric car. The smart charger has been installed free of charge through the Electric Nation project.

Nottingham gets its first electric vehicle home smart charger

Nottingham is part of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme and the city is leading the way with many initiatives that are improving local air quality, which is benefiting people’s health. Such efforts are being recognised today, as former US vice president turned eco activist Al Gore presents Nottingham City with the Ashden Award for Clean Air in Towns and Cities, for developing greener transport that has helped Nottingham achieve the lowest emissions per head of population of all large UK cities outside London.

Air pollution is associated with 40,000 early deaths each year, and the annual costs to the health service and society are more than £20 billion. Air pollution increases the risk of some serious illnesses, and can make existing conditions, like respiratory disorders, worse. It increases the risk of getting lung cancer, and contributes to about 1 in 13 cases. National Clean Air Day is raising awareness about how to reduce the amount of air pollution we create, encouraging discussion and collaboration to beat pollution together, and providing tips about how to avoid harmful air pollution.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have zero tailpipe emissions and therefore help to provide a solution to the challenge of poor local air quality. The UK Government has ambitious targets for the uptake of EVs, and sales are currently increasing at a rapid rate.

While the UK electricity system has plenty of capacity to deliver energy to EVs currently and for the foreseeable future, smart charging can play an important role in ensuring electricity network upgrades are kept to a minimum as the number of EVs increase.

Smart chargers can provide added functionality for electric car owners too, and enable charging to be managed at peak times while ensuring that their vehicle is still charged when they need it. In order to trial how smart chargers can help address the challenge of increasing number of EVs on local electricity networks, the Electric Nation project is recruiting new EV owners and providing a free* smart charger, so it can learn from the data – and the feedback – from trial participants.

Nottingham’s first Electric Nation participant, Peter Slack, comments: “I am excited to be part of this forward-thinking project run by Electric Nation. Our old family car had come to the end of its working life, and with second-generation electric vehicles available, the time felt right to go electric. I researched the available EVs and settled for a new Nissan LEAF. The electric LEAF is easy to drive; there are no gears, so you just press and go! It’s quiet, comfortable and quick. Our LEAF will primarily be used for urban and ‘extra urban’ travel (up to 100 miles a day) meaning almost all of its charging will be done at home.”

“The Electric Nation project has provided and installed a high quality smart charger which is now in regular use. This has been a great success so far and we look forward to contributing to Electric Nation’s research, especially into the ‘human factors’ aspects of electric vehicle ownership and charging patterns. I hope this research will ensure that many more people can enjoy the electric vehicle experience, providing us all with a clean air urban environment and cost-effective travel.”

Cllr Jon Collins, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Infrastructure, Nottingham Council, said: “The health of people in Nottingham is a top priority for us which is why we are keen to show support of the National Clean Air Day to highlight what is being done to improve air quality in the city. We are really proud that Nottingham has been recognised as an exemplary core city which has been pioneering green and clean initiatives that are rapidly developing to improve the air in Nottingham.”

“Nottingham has an excellent reputation for providing sustainable travel solutions which in turn will help reduce congestion and air pollution in the city. Travelling on our clean buses and trams, together with cycling and walking, helps improve air quality, has health benefits and can also improve access to jobs, education and training. Working with the pioneering project, Electric Nation, this supports Nottingham’s Go Ultra Low project in increasing the uptake of electric vehicles to improve air quality in the city.”

Electric Nation is a Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Network Innovation Allowance funded project. WPD’s collaboration partners in the project are EA Technology, DriveElectric, Lucy Electric GridKey and TRL.

The Electric Nation trial is taking place in the WPD network areas in the Midlands, South West and South Wales. This area includes Nottinghamshire and Derby, which will use £6 million of Go Ultra Low funding to install 230 charge points and offer ULEV owners discounted parking, as well as access to over 13 miles of bus lanes along key routes across the cities. The investment will also pay for a new business support programme, letting local companies ‘try before they buy’.

The Electric Nation project is seeking to recruit 500-700 people buying or leasing new electric vehicles (of all makes and models, pure electric and plug-in hybrids) to take part in the largest trial of its kind. Trial participants will get a free* smart charger installed.

Places on the trial are now filling up fast, so any new EV owners who want one of the latest smart chargers installed free of charge are advised to apply as soon as possible.

Chargemaster to open EV showroom in Milton Keynes

June 15th, 2017 § Comments Off on Chargemaster to open EV showroom in Milton Keynes § permalink

Chargemaster will be opening an EV showroom in Milton Keynes on Saturday July 22.

The 4,000sq ft showroom based at centre:mk will sell the latest EVs from a range of manufacturers, in what the company believes to be the first multi-brand centre in the UK.

Its electric vehicle experience centre’s (EVEC) official founding partners BMW i, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen, will display a range of EVs. Visitors will be able to discuss all elements of owning and running an electric vehicle.

Managed by Chargemaster and funded by Milton Keynes’ go ultra low city scheme, the EVEC has been established to increase the number of EVs sold in the area. Milton Keynes’ target is for 23% of all new cars registered locally to be electric by 2021.

Chargemaster’s chief executive David Martell said, “Opening the electric vehicle experience centre will be a landmark day, not only for the electric vehicle sector, but also for Milton Keynes residents. Becoming the UK’s first multi-brand EV showroom, it will provide a destination for visitors to make an informed decision about owning an EV, without the pressure of having to make an immediate purchase decision.

“We hope that this platform will change the way that electric vehicles are sold in cities and we’re proud to be working with Milton Keynes and Go Ultra Low to deliver this to the public.”

The EVEC is one of a number of initiatives being launched by Milton Keynes Council under the Go Ultra Low City scheme to promote the uptake of electric vehicles. These include significant investment in infrastructure, including the creation of several EV charging ‘hubs’, free parking for EVs and further grants for workplace and home charging.

Milton Keynes Council’s head of transport innovation Brian Matthews said: “The EVEC is a centrepiece of our thrust to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and is a good example of the innovation that Milton Keynes is using to lead the way in transport innovation. We are delighted to be working with Chargemaster and six founding car manufacturers to bring this about.”

 

source: http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/car-industry-news/2017/06/14/chargemaster-to-open-ev-showroom-in-milton-keynes

Legendary car designer Henrik Fisker unveils his Tesla rival

June 15th, 2017 § Comments Off on Legendary car designer Henrik Fisker unveils his Tesla rival § permalink

Henrik Fisker, the automotive designer behind iconic cars like the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9, unveiled his long-range, electric sedan on Saturday.

Fisker has made bold claims about the car. Last October, Fisker said the vehicle would have a range surpassing 400 miles and will be able to charge in just 9 minutes thanks to new battery technology.


Fisker previously told Business Insider that he will use graphene supercapacitors instead of traditional lithium-ion batteries to power the sedan. The technology is being developed by a team of UCLA researchers, but it’s still patent pending.

The car will have autonomous capabilities, but Fisker hasn’t specified whether it will be fully self-driving. A trapezoid frame on the front of the car will hold lidar, a key sensor that uses lasers to detect obstacles.

The sedan will be built by Detroit-based VLF Automotive, an auto company Fisker joined in January that is producing his supercar, the Force 1.

The electric car will fall in the same price range as a Tesla Model S, Fisker previously told Business Insider.

Fisker has a controversial and complicated past.

Fisker was involved in the initial design phase of the Tesla Model S, but later left Tesla to create the Fisker Karma — a $100,000 luxury hybrid sedan.

But the Karma had a host of battery issues before the company behind the car, Fisker Automotive, ultimately went bankrupt.

Fisker said he is gunning for Tesla with his new electric car.

“I think it’s pretty clear when you look at the market, when you look at the premium market, there’s really only one company that is out there, and it’s Tesla,” he previously told Business Insider.

Chargemaster announces Electric Vehicle Experience Centre launch and vehicle partners

June 12th, 2017 § Comments Off on Chargemaster announces Electric Vehicle Experience Centre launch and vehicle partners § permalink

A defining moment for the electric vehicle (EV) sector, the UK’s first multi-brand EV showroom will open its doors to the public on Saturday 22 July.

Located in a 4,000 sq ft state-of-the-art showroom at Milton Keynes’ centre:mk, the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre (EVEC) will help inform the town’s residents and visitors about the benefits of electric vehicle ownership in a relaxed setting. Showcasing the latest EVs from a range of leading vehicle manufacturers, visitors will be able to discuss all elements of owning and running an electric vehicle, as well as having the option to test a range of cars on local roads.

The EVEC’s official founding partners BMW i, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen, will display a range of leading EVs to suit all budgets and buying needs in a relaxed shopping centre environment.

Managed by Chargemaster and funded by Milton Keynes’ Go Ultra Low City scheme, the EVEC has been established to increase the number of EVs sold in the area. Milton Keynes’ target is for 23% of all new cars registered locally to be electric by 2021. Chargemaster is the UK’s largest manufacturer and operator of electric charging points.

David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster said, “Opening the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre on 22 July will be a landmark day, not only for the electric vehicle sector, but also for Milton Keynes residents. Becoming the UK’s first multi-brand EV showroom, it will provide a destination for visitors to make an informed decision about owning an EV, without the pressure of having to make an immediate purchase decision. We are delighted to receive the support from six key electric vehicle manufacturers as founding partners of the EVEC.

“We hope that this platform will change the way that electric vehicles are sold in cities and we’re proud to be working with Milton Keynes and Go Ultra Low to deliver this to the public.”

The EVEC is one of a number of initiatives being launched by Milton Keynes Council under the Go Ultra Low City scheme to promote the uptake of electric vehicles. These include significant investment in infrastructure, including the creation of several EV charging ‘hubs’, free parking for EVs and further grants for workplace and home charging.

Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation at Milton Keynes Council commented, “The EVEC is a centrepiece of our thrust to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and is a good example of the innovation that Milton Keynes is using to lead the way in transport innovation. We are delighted to be working with Chargemaster and six founding car manufacturers to bring this about.”

Source: http://www.automotiveworld.com/news-releases/chargemaster-announces-electric-vehicle-experience-centre-launch-vehicle-partners/

Electric cars accelerate past 2m mark globally

June 12th, 2017 § Comments Off on Electric cars accelerate past 2m mark globally § permalink

The number of electric cars in the world accelerated past the 2m barrier last year, as prices fell and manufacturers launched new models.

The number of battery-powered vehicles numbered just hundreds globally in 2005 and passed the 1m milestone in 2015, but sales jumped 60% in 2016.

China, the US and Europe accounted for more than 90% of electric vehicle sales last year, with China the single biggest market, according to research by the International Energy Agency.

In some European countries, growth has been so fast that electric cars are taking significant market share from petrol and diesel cars. 

Nearly a third of new cars sold in Norway are electric, the highest proportion worldwide, followed by 6.4% in the Netherlands and 3.4% in Sweden.

While the UK lags behind on annual registrations, industry figures this week showed that a record 4.4% of new cars sold in May were hybrid or pure electric models. More than 100,000 electric cars have been sold in the UK under a grant scheme launched in 2011.

The growth globally indicated a “rapid market evolution” in electric cars, the IEA said, but it cautioned that they made up only 0.2% of all passenger cars. 

Greg Archer, clean vehicles director at the Brussels-based Transport and Environment group, said: “The rapid rise in electric vehicle sales is a consumer-driven phenomenon rather than being down to the efforts of suppliers.” 

Decreasing costs, longer battery ranges and an increasing number of charging points were driving demand, he said.

Worldwide, the IEA found there were 2.3m charging points, although public ones were outnumbered more than six to one, suggesting most drivers were recharging at home.

The agency estimates that there will be 140m electric cars by 2030 globally if countries meet the Paris climate deal’s goal of avoiding dangerous temperature rises.

Previous forecasts for the growth of the cleaner vehicles has been overly optimistic. Barack Obama hoped US drivers would have bought 1m by 2015, but the actual number was 280,000. In May, Angela Merkel admitted that her goal of 1m electric cars on Germany’s roads by 2020 would also be missed.

However, the IEA said government policies to tackle air pollution and global warming would buoy electric cars. 

The vehicles also got a boost this week from 10 countries including the UK, US, France, Germany and Japan, which have committed to an aspirational but non-binding target of 30% of market share for electric vehicles by 2030.

Oil companies have been sceptical about the impact electric cars will have on oil demand. BP projected this year that even with a hundred-fold growth in electric cars by 2035, oil demand will still be growing. 

However, the company’s chief executive, Bob Dudley, said recently that in the 20 years “obviously sales of electric vehicles will accelerate”.

Carl-Henric Svanberg, BP’s chairman, told shareholders at the group’s AGM in May that the company would benefit from producing the gas to generate electricity for the increasing number of battery-powered cars.

Wired: Electric cars could soon charge as you drive

June 7th, 2017 § Comments Off on Wired: Electric cars could soon charge as you drive § permalink

Qualcomm has introduced a new system that can charge a car while it’s travelling at ‘highway speeds’.

Called dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC), the technology is integrated into a specially-built track, cutting out the need for electric cars to stop at charging stations.

The breakthrough could pave the way for the building of more roads capable of charging cars, and an eventual move to other electric vehicles.

Based on the Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging technology (WEVC), the DEVC tech can charge two vehicles on the same track simultaneously. What’s more, vehicles can pick up charge while travelling forwards and in reverse.

The technology was demonstrated at the 100-metre FABRIC test track at Satory Versailles, France, where the two vehicles were able to charge at up to 20 kilowatts while travelling at high speed.

Testing on the track will continue until the end of the year
Testing on the track will continue until the end of the year

The pseudo-acronym FABRIC stands for FeAsiBility analysis and development of on-Road chargIng solutions for future electriC vehicles and is a €9 million (£7.6m) project, mostly funded by the European Commission. Built by VEDECOM, the FABRIC test track was fitted with charging tech by Qualcomm, while VEDECOM and Renault worked together to equip two Renault Kangoo vehicles with the receiving part of the technology.

“The installation of one of the world’s first DEVC test platforms has provided us with a unique test facility and we look forward to expanding our expertise with the future testing,” said VEDECOM CEO Luc Marbach.

The FABRIC project began in January 2014 and is scheduled to continue until December 2017. The initiative is being undertaken by 25 organisations from nine European countries, including car makers, suppliers, and automotive research groups.

It is hoped the breakthrough in dynamic charging will make electric vehicles a far more attractive option for car users.

“We see dynamic charging as a great vision to further enhance the ease of use of EVs [Electric Vehicles], thus the accessibility of EVs for all,” said Eric Feunteun, Electric Vehicle Program Director, Groupe Renault.

The aim of the current project is to investigate how the range of electric cars ban be boosted.

“The combination of a global team of expert engineers and Qualcomm Halo technology, which covers all aspects of WEVC systems, irrespective of the magnetics used, has enabled us to really push the boundaries of the possible and outline our vision for future urban mobility,” said Steve Pazol, vice president and general manager for Wireless Charging at Qualcomm.


Source: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/electric-cars-charging-qualcomm

Electric car charging fees on UK motorways to change

June 7th, 2017 § Comments Off on Electric car charging fees on UK motorways to change § permalink

The UK’s sole motorway charging provider for EVs is scrapping its £6 flat fee, and replacing it with a pay as you go pricing struture. 

Last year, Ecotricity introduced a £6 flat fee for a 30 minute charge on its 300 strong network of EV charging stations across the UK’s motorway network. The company has now scrapped the flat fee rate and replaced it with a new pay as you go system. 

Electricity will now be charged at £0.17p per kWh, with an additional £3 fee everytime you plug your car in. The maximum amount of charging time has now also been increased from 30 to 45 minutes and the new rates will apply from 26 June onwards.  

In an e-mail, the company said: “The new model that we’ve developed will give more flexibility and typically lower charging costs across all makes and models. The main issue we’ve been wrestling with is the fixed time period charging and the different amounts of energy that various models can use in that time – coupled with the need to reflect in the pricing model the costs of installing and running the infrastructure, not just the energy.” 

“To better balance these issues we are separating the cost of energy from the cost of providing the service. The new energy will be charged at 17p per unit, which is pretty much the rate that people pay at home and the cost of providing the service will be via a £3 connection fee for all sessions.” 

Ecotricity also said that its customers will still benefit from 52 free charges per year, and even after the free charges run out, won’t face the £3 connection fee. 

Chargie: Airbnb for EV charging points

May 8th, 2017 § Comments Off on Chargie: Airbnb for EV charging points § permalink

Concerns around running out of power during long journeys for electric vehicle (EV) drivers could be a thing of the past, thanks to a new initiative.

Chargie is a peer-to-peer service which allows people to rent out their charging points in a similar way to renting out rooms or homes through Airbnb.

An EV owner wanting to charge their car can find a domestic charge point on the website and send a booking request to the homeowner, who then reviews the profile of the person making the booking before accepting or declining it.

While owners of charge points can register with the service, bookings can only be made from the 16th of May.

The service has been set up by a couple from Maidenhead, Jan Stannard and Jeremy Coulter, who recently invested in their first EV.

They came up with the concept after realising there wasn’t a public charging point anywhere near their UK holiday destination.

Mrs Stannard said: “We want Chargie to help make electric cars the dominant form of transport in the UK, not just for short local runs, which is how many electric cars are currently used.

“For that to happen, you need to be able to go a distance and know for sure that you can charge at the other end. At the moment, that’s simply not possible. Other than major cities and motorway service stations, most areas of the UK still have no meaningful charging infrastructure.”

Based on current electricity prices, a full recharge of an electric car costs the homeowner between £2 and £4.

Earlier this year, new research revealed higher insurance premiums are putting off most drivers from switching to hybrid cars or EVs.

Source: https://www.energylivenews.com/2017/05/04/chargie-airbnb-for-ev-charging-points/

Indian automaker Mahindra pulls the plug on electric car sales in UK

May 8th, 2017 § Comments Off on Indian automaker Mahindra pulls the plug on electric car sales in UK § permalink

Mahindra & Mahindra has stopped selling electric cars in the United Kingdom due to weak sales and is winding up sales operations there, according to a document seen by Reuters, in a new setback to the Indian automaker’s global ambitions.

Mahindra’s decision comes less than a year after it launched the e2o car in a market it considered a launchpad for selling electric cars in European countries like Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands.

“The level of e2o sales achieved is at an untenable level for us to maintain the investment required, hence our decision to cease trading at Mahindra UK with immediate effect,” Mahindra said in a letter dated April 10, addressed to one of its buyers in the country.

Mahindra said it has stopped the sale of all e2o cars in Britain with immediate effect.

“Immediately post Brexit, the e2o has not met the desired sales targets as per the plans for the UK market,” a Mahindra spokesman said in an emailed response, without explaining how Britain’s decision to leave the European Union hurt sales.

“We’ll reconsider the UK market at an opportune time,” he said, adding that electric vehicles are poised for a take-off in India and Mahindra will focus on its home market.

The move is a new setback for the company, part of the US$17 billion (NZ$24.6 billion) Mahindra group, which struggled to enter the United States a decade ago despite spending about US$100 million on launch plans.

More recently, it was forced to stop selling pick-up trucks and sport-utility vehicles in Brazil in 2015 due to a sluggish economy and changes in local regulation.

The automaker, however, continues to expand in other places. Its South Korean arm Ssangyong Motor is considering manufacturing in China, where import duties are high, and could make a decision by mid-2017.

CANCELLING ORDERS

Mahindra, in the letter, said it has stopped the sale of all e2o cars in Britain with immediate effect, cancelled all pending orders and is buying back cars from existing customers at the price they paid for it.

“It is with great sadness that we have had to make this decision, but ultimately the level of interest in the vehicle and the extremely low volume of sales has left us with no alternative,” it said.

Mahindra did not comment on its investment in the UK or the number of cars it has sold in the country.

While Mahindra blames Brexit for its performance, car sales in the UK have continued to rise despite forecasts that demand would be hit by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

UK car sales hit a record high of 2.69 million vehicles in 2016, industry data showed. Of this, alternative fuel models, primarily plug-in hybrid and electric cars, made up a little over 3 per cent but are growing faster than conventional cars.

In April 2016, Mahindra launched two variants of the e2o car in the UK at a starting price of £12,995 ($24,282). Buyers could test drive the cars at a handful of locations, but the vehicles were only sold online and not through dealerships.

Dubbed as India’s Tesla, Mahindra sells the e2o in its home market and in the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bhutan. Like in the UK, Mahindra has struggled to significantly ramp up sales of electric cars in India in part because of the lack of charging stations and low buyer interest.

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