Zipcar to bring 50 electric vehicles to London

June 22nd, 2016 § Comments Off on Zipcar to bring 50 electric vehicles to London § permalink

Car-sharing service Zipcar is partnering with Westminster city council to bring fifty Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid electric cars to its members in London.
Westminster will receive 40 cars and 10 additional cars are to be sent elsewhere in London, such as Tower Bridge and Old Oak.


Electric car charging points have been installed in 40 of Westminster city council’s club parking bays.

The city council has installed electric charging infrastructure in 40 of its car club parking bays.

Councillor Heather Acton, Westminster city council cabinet member for parking and sustainability, said: “Electric vehicles are key to helping address pollution. Giving more people the chance to drive an electric car in London, and on a shared basis, is a big step towards creating a greener city.

“We are delighted that residents and visitors to Westminster will have the opportunity to try out these vehicles. Car sharing makes so much sense in central London, where a private car is not often needed.”

Price

The cars are available to drivers for £7 an hour, which is the same rate as a petrol Volkswagen Golf.

According to Zipcar Figures suggest that one in 10 UK car club members have used an electric vehicle, which is up on just 4% in 2014.

Mark Walker, Zipcar UK general manager, said: “At Zipcar, we are all about simple and responsible urban living. The Volkswagen Golf GTE fully supports that ethos and is ideal for our members. The combination of pure electric vehicle driving in the city and fully flexibility to escape anywhere in the country, without compromise, is compelling. We believe our members will thoroughly enjoy driving this car in electric mode and will become keen advocates for electric vehicle driving in London.”

The car club strategy for London announced last May by councils, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London is targeting 50% of car-share fleets to be electric vehicles by 2050.

Source: http://www.airqualitynews.com/2016/06/09/zipcar-to-bring-50-electric-vehicles-to-london/

Zipcar to bring 50 electric vehicles to London

June 9th, 2016 § Comments Off on Zipcar to bring 50 electric vehicles to London § permalink

Car-sharing service Zipcar is partnering with Westminster city council to bring fifty Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid electric cars to its members in London.
Westminster will receive 40 cars and 10 additional cars are to be sent elsewhere in London, such as Tower Bridge and Old Oak.
Electric car charging points have been installed in 40 of Westminster city council’s club parking bays.

Electric car charging points have been installed in 40 parking bays

The city council has installed electric charging infrastructure in 40 of its car club parking bays.
Councillor Heather Acton, Westminster city council cabinet member for parking and sustainability, said: “Electric vehicles are key to helping address pollution. Giving more people the chance to drive an electric car in London, and on a shared basis, is a big step towards creating a greener city.
“We are delighted that residents and visitors to Westminster will have the opportunity to try out these vehicles. Car sharing makes so much sense in central London, where a private car is not often needed.”

Price

The cars are available to drivers for £7 an hour, which is the same rate as a petrol Volkswagen Golf.
According to Zipcar Figures suggest that one in 10 UK car club members have used an electric vehicle, which is up on just 4% in 2014.
Mark Walker, Zipcar UK general manager, said: “At Zipcar, we are all about simple and responsible urban living. The Volkswagen Golf GTE fully supports that ethos and is ideal for our members. The combination of pure electric vehicle driving in the city and fully flexibility to escape anywhere in the country, without compromise, is compelling. We believe our members will thoroughly enjoy driving this car in electric mode and will become keen advocates for electric vehicle driving in London.”
The car club strategy for London announced last May by councils, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London is targeting 50% of car-share fleets to be electric vehicles by 2050.

BMW revamps “i” electric car division to focus on self-driving tech

June 5th, 2016 § Comments Off on BMW revamps “i” electric car division to focus on self-driving tech § permalink

MUNICH, June 2 (Reuters) – BMW has transformed its “i” division into a development centre for self-driving cars, a board member told Reuters, a major strategic shift for the unit previously focused on making a family of lightweight electric vehicles.

While Tesla’s Model 3 will hit showrooms in 2017, and as rivals Porsche and Audi are working on all-electric cars for release by 2019, the German carmaker appears to have put such cars on the back burner. Its next fully-electric car is not due until 2021.
The company has changed tack after its only fully battery-powered car, the i3, failed to gain traction with the public, with only 25,000 sales last year. By contrast, Tesla has already received more than 370,000 orders for its Model 3.
Now, rather than seeking to match the likes of Tesla and Porsche with a new zero-emissions sports limousine for release within the next two years, its main focus will be on developing an electric car with the next generation of technology: autonomous driving.
In an interview at the company’s headquarters in Munich, BMW board member Klaus Froehlich, who is in charge of development, said he had relaunched the i division in April as a unit devoted to producing cars that drive themselves.
“It is now in ramp-up stage. We call it Project i Next.”
The revamp also follows at least four high-profile staff defections from the division this year. Dirk Abendroth, manager of BMW’s “i” powertrain group, Henrik Wenders, vice president product management BMW “i”, and Carsten Breitfeld, vice president engineering, head of the i8 vehicle programme, were poached by a Chinese electric vehicle startup.
As part of its autonomous driving push, BMW is hiring experts in machine learning and artificial intelligence. It is also integrating the functions of existing computer driven assistance systems like cruise control, emergency braking, lane-keeping support and automatic parking.
RIDE-HAILING
With a fully autonomous vehicle, BMW could launch a ride-hailing business without having to pay drivers, Froehlich said, giving carmakers a competitive edge over new ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft which are eroding car sales by making part-time use as convenient as ownership.
Earlier this month Toyota Motor Corp said it would invest in Uber, and Volkswagen announced a $300 million investment in Gett, a smaller ride-sharing company.
BMW too may partner with a ride-hailing firm, particularly in markets like China, but the Bavarian carmaker’s strategy on potential partnerships with companies in this space is still being worked on, Froehlich said.
Sales of highly autonomous vehicles – ones where permanent active input from the driver is not required – are not expected to gain traction until 2020, but could then rise to around 9 million a year by 2025, according to analysts at Exane BNP Paribas.
China, the world’s largest car market, is likely to be the market where autonomous cars will first emerge on a large scale, Froehlich said.
“China is extremely fast implementing technology. Last year more electric cars were sold in China than in all the other global markets combined,” he added.
BMW is also considering expanding in the area of reserving parking spaces and electric car charging stations over mobile phones, a market which is still fragmented within countries. The carmaker has already invested in ParkNow and Parkmobile, two digital parking and payment services.
“We want to actively participate in a consolidation process,” Froehlich said. (Reporting by Edward Taylor and Irene Preisinger; Editing by Pravin Chark)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3623212/BMW-revamps-electric-car-division-focus-self-driving-tech.html

USA: Wireless electric car charging system revealed

April 19th, 2016 § Comments Off on USA: Wireless electric car charging system revealed § permalink

A wireless charging system has been unveiled in the US that has the potential to match the power output of plug-powered fast-chargers and is capable of charging electric cars on the go.

The 20kW wireless charging system, which is already around three times faster than some plug-in alternatives, has been developed over the past three years by the government-backed Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with Toyota, Cisco Systems, Clemson University and Evatran.

The system has been demonstrated with a Toyota RAV4 fitted with an additional 10kWh battery, with energy transferred from a transmitting plate in the ground to a receiving plate underneath the front of the car, from where it is then transferred to the battery.

“We now have a technology that is moving closer to being ready for the market,” said Madhu Chinthavali, ORNL power electronics team leader.

ORNL says its next target, along with developing the system’s ability to charge a vehicle in motion, is to up the system’s output to produce 50kW, which would match the power of some plug-powered high-speed charging stations.

Wireless charging of electric vehicles in motion is something which is being developed with a focus on commercial vehicles rather than passenger cars, ORNL says.

Commercial EVs, such as buses, which travel on regular routes and stop at predetermined intervals, would benefit most from wireless charging systems integrated into the road, charging them on the move and also when stationary at bus stops.

The cost of implementing the system is a drawback to more widespread use, though, as it could cost up to $2 million (£1.4m) per mile to incorporate the system into roads, according to ORNL, and the system is still some years away from being implemented.

The institute, which benefited from vehicles and guidance from Toyota in the system’s development, expects to reach its 50kW target this year, but it would take a minimum of a100kW system to make wireless charging viable for bigger commercial vehicles.

The fastest charging station currently is Tesla’s Supercharger, which is capable of delivering up to 120kW and an 80% charge in 30 minutes, while the slowest three-point plug 3kW chargers take around 6-8 hours to deliver a full charge.

Wireless charging systems are set to be tested in the UK, with the government committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, and Nissan has outlined its plans to implement such a system for its cars.

FROM: http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/wireless-electric-car-charging-system-revealed-us

Bath electric cars: Broken charging points to be replaced

February 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on Bath electric cars: Broken charging points to be replaced § permalink

Some electric car charging points in Bath are to be replaced following complaints from drivers they do not work.
Several public charging points in the city, which are owned by Bath and North East Somerset (Banes) Council, have recently been reported as broken.
One driver told the BBC “only three of about 15” were working last week.
Banes said it was “aware of some issues” and it planned to install new units by the end of March.
The BBC found at least three charging stations – at Charlotte Street car park, and at Lansdown and Newbridge park and rides – were currently out of service.
Electric car owner Will Guyatt said: “To find a public charge point is not working, you really are stuffed, because you then need to find somewhere else to charge.”
‘Very unreliable’
Calvey Taylor-Haw, from Charge Your Car – which oversees charging points in the UK, said there had been problems in Bath for a while.
“We’ve had numerous calls about those particular charging stations and they are very unreliable.
“We’ve taken the decision to mark them as ‘off-line’ on our map.”
Erik Fairbairn from the charging point supplier POD Point, which supplied many of the machines in the city, said reliability was “not perfect” and said discussions were taking place with the council about upgrading them.
“These were charge points sold a number of years ago to the council. They haven’t necessarily had the relevant support contract in place.
“Now a number of them are not perfect. We’re hoping the council will say ‘come in and sort them out’.”
A council spokesman said Banes was “in the process of switching its supplier and replacing electric charging points” in the Charlotte Street car park and Lansdown park and ride.

from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-35639000

The North East Combined Authority has received £1.5m to build to super-fast charging points on the A19 and at Science Central

January 25th, 2016 § Comments Off on The North East Combined Authority has received £1.5m to build to super-fast charging points on the A19 and at Science Central § permalink

The drive to see more electric cars on Tyneside has received a funding boost.

New electric filling stations will be installed at Science Central, in Newcastle, and on the A19 on the outskirts of Sunderland, after the North East Combined Authority announced it received £1.5m grant as part of the government’s Go Ultra Low fund.

Each filling station will feature six to eight rapid chargers which top up electric vehicles in 15 to 20 minutes – rather than the eight hours it takes for a standard charger.

And the stations will feature cafes for drivers waiting for their cars to charge.

NECA made a bid to the Office for Low Emission Vehicle’s (OLEV) £40million Go Ultra Low Scheme in October last year and the results were announced on Monday.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council and NECA portfolio holder for regional transport, said: “We made an ambitious bid to the Go Ultra Low City’ scheme and whilst its disappointing that we have not been awarded the Go Ultra Low City status – it’s great news that this development funding will help us showcase the filling stations of the future.

“We are seeing more and more people switching to electric vehicles in the North East and we have done a huge amount to make this a practical and viable choice by installing charging points across the region.

Potential design of an electric car charging station. The North East Combined Authority has received £1.5m for stations in Newcastle and Sunderland
Potential design of an electric car charging station. The North East Combined Authority has received £1.5m for stations in Newcastle and Sunderland

» Read the rest of this entry «

100 electric car charging stations to be installed around Oxford in world’s biggest scheme

January 25th, 2016 § Comments Off on 100 electric car charging stations to be installed around Oxford in world’s biggest scheme § permalink

ONE HUNDRED new charging points will be created in residential streets in Oxford to make electric vehicle ownership possible for 16,000 extra homes.

The largest pilot of its kind in the world will begin when 30 trial points of various kinds are installed in pavements and lampposts by the end of this year.

The most successful types of charger points will then be rolled out in 100 residential streets around the city, probably from 2018.

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council hope to encourage thousands more people to buy electric cars to help cut emissions in the city.

City executive board member for climate change, John Tanner, said: “Climate change and poor air quality are two of the biggest issues facing Oxford and we all need to do everything we can to cut vehicle emissions.

“However, for people living in Oxford’s beautiful but narrow terraced streets, charging an electric car is a real problem. This project aims to remove that barrier.

“By installing 100 electric charging points, we are going to turn the Oxford into a city filled with electric avenues.” » Read the rest of this entry «

Good news at last for Leeds drivers (but only if you drive an electric plug-in car)

October 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on Good news at last for Leeds drivers (but only if you drive an electric plug-in car) § permalink

LEEDS could introduce free parking for electric cars as civic leaders try to forge a path to creating a clean, green and modern global gateway.   
 Environment bosses are considering the parking perk for green-minded drivers in the city centre as part of a raft of measures to urgently improve air quality.

It follows revelations that Leeds is at severe risk of missing its European emissions targets for 2020 – and could face fines of millions of Euros if it doesn’t up its green-friendly game.

It also comes just days after civic decision-makers unveiled ambitious plans to revitalise parts of Leeds city centre, boost the public realm and update the creaking highways network as part of a 20 year vision.

Oslo, Los Angeles and the London borough of Westminster are among a handful of world cities to have already introduced free parking for plug-in electric vehicles – with mixed levels of success.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environmental protection and community safety, said: “With the immensely positive health benefits people could experience and the possibility of severe financial penalties, doing nothing is not an option.

“We want to put the emphasis on rewarding people who make a positive contribution to improving the city’s air quality, such as offering free or discounted parking for ultra-low emission vehicles.

“This alone isn’t going to be enough.

“So we need to think about and act on what we can all do as businesses, communities and individuals about our travel habits that will cut pollution and improve air quality.”

He added the city was already doing some good work – with a quarter of all Leeds’s municipal vehicles set to run on new technologies.

Friends of the Earth’s Simon Bowens, who lives in Leeds and drives an electric car, said the plan was “a step in the right direction” but stressed it wasn’t “the whole solution”.

“Certainly the encouragement of less polluting vehicles in the city centre is welcome, but I don’t know whether electric cars are the whole solution,” he said.

“The question is how do you get more people walking and cycling – and better public transport.

“A lot of problems come from car traffic in the city centre, so if you remove that, it is positive.

“But there are other things – such as areas like Burmantofts and Harehills getting the most HGVS – which are very polluting as well.”

He said improving charging points in the city centre was also vital as “the ability to charge your vehicle is difficult” in Leeds.

Leeds currently has around a dozen public electric car charging points, amongst them the Elland Road Park and Ride, Leeds Arena, the council-run Woodhouse Lane multi-storey and Asda in Middleton.

Public charging points can power a car up to 80 per cent in half an hour – enough for an 80 mile drive.

Mr Bowens added Leeds has some way to go before catching up with promotion of low polluting vehicles, and the North East had been “particularly good” at encouraging usage, partly due to the Nissan Leaf – the leading EV (electronic vehicle) brand – being manufactured in Sunderland.

Opposition leaders from Leeds City Council’s’s Tory and Lib Dem groups welcomed the proposals, but called for “firm action”.

Coun John Procter, Tory group deputy leader, said a free parking initiative for plug-in cars, like Norway’s trailblazing and highly successful scheme in Oslo was the sort of “imaginative approach” that Leeds should look at, and encouraged his Labour colleagues to lobby Central Government to provide extra funding.

Coun Stewart Golton, leader of the Lib Dem group, warned that the city’s emissions readings could get worse before they get better, because new plans to pedestrianise some parts of the city centre would divert traffic to the inner ring road, one of the city’s worst hotspots for poor air quality.

He urged more “firm action” by the council rather than ideas.

UK sales of electric cars have seen a massive boom in the past year.

From January to September this year, Nissan’s Leaf model sold 43 per cent more than in the first nine months of 2014, and year-to-date sales are already dwarfing the 2013 total of 1,812 by more than double.

Sales of the firm’s e-NV200 electric van have also more than doubled since last year, according to a Nissan spokeswoman.

Nissan Pushes UK Government For EV-Specific Road Signs

October 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on Nissan Pushes UK Government For EV-Specific Road Signs § permalink

Nissan joined forces with Ecotricity green car charger network operator to call the UK government for official EV-charging road signs.   
The two companies created the campaign in order to accelerate the progress of the EV infrastructure, demanding from the UK government the introduction of official road signage than can be used to designate the different types of EV charging points available on British roads. 

UK currently hosts over 9,000 electric car charging stations across its road network with no official road signs leading to them. The campaign demands for specific EV-signs that will host new universal symbols for each different type of charger available to electric vehicle users, much like the signs used for fuel stations

Ecotricity, currently operating Europe’s biggest rapid charging network, says that the phenomenal 2015 growth in the use of electric vehicles demands the use of official road signs, as over a million electric miles have been driven every month.

Its Electric Highway members have now driven over 15 million miles since the charging network first established in 2011. “It’s time to introduce charging point road signs in Britain,” said Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity. “They’ll provide necessary direction for the thousands of electric car drivers in Britain as well as increasing public awareness that the infrastructure is ready for them to make the move to an electric car.”

Nissan has currently sold more than 11,500 Leafs since its UK debut and almost 200,000 on a global scale, making them the manufacturer of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle in the world. 

Further improving the electric vehicle infrastructure will not only make the lives of their users easier, but also drive more customers into purely electric mobility, as they will feel more secure about their new purchase.

ICED Justice: Council powers on with plan to install more electric car charging points in North Lincolnshire

July 10th, 2015 § Comments Off on ICED Justice: Council powers on with plan to install more electric car charging points in North Lincolnshire § permalink

COUNCIL bosses are looking to increase the number of locations to charge electric cars in North Lincolnshire.

It comes after 88 of the vehicles were registered in the area in the first quarter of this year – up from 33 in the whole of 2014.

Electric cars run on electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries, or other energy storage devices, and are said to be more efficient than standard petrol-fuelled vehicles.

North Lincolnshire Council is currently conducting a study into where charging points could be located in town centres. They would add to the two points currently available for charging the cars, both at garages in Scunthorpe.

Council leader Liz Redfern said she wanted to ensure more facilities were available for electric car owners locally, to stop them having to leave the region.

She said: “There seems to be a significant increase in the sales of electric cars locally.

“The technology seems to have advanced and residents are clearly considering them as a real option for travel.

“However, we don’t want our town centres to be disadvantaged if electric car owners are limited to where they can travel to.

“I am told that there were 88 new registrations of electric vehicles in the first quarter of this year.

“For me, that means we need to make sure our 88 vehicle owners use our town centres instead of other towns with these charging points.”

The Zap Map website, which gives the locations of charging points, shows there is currently one at the Marshall Motor Group’s Renault dealership on Normanby Road, Scunthorpe.

The other existing charging point in North Lincolnshire is listed as being at the Hartwell Nissan dealership on Station Road in the town.

Mrs Redfern said exact locations for where the new facilities could be located had not yet been identified.

But she said: “They will be in prominent car parks, but there is a bit of infrastructure work to do before we can put them in.”

Figures show a total of 10,174 plug-in electric vehicles were registered nationally from 2006 to March 2014.

Around three-quarters were being run by businesses and local authorities in fleets, where they can help to meet emissions targets and reduce operating costs.

Electric cars are exempt from vehicle tax and have significantly lower running costs than petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicles.

But their relatively low sales so far have been blamed on high purchase costs and anxiety over their mileage range.

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