June 22nd, 2016 § Comments Off on Council aims to turbo-charge electric car use in Oxford § permalink
Council aiming to turbo-charge electric car use in Oxford
AN ATTEMPT to jump-start Oxford’s slow uptake of electric vehicles is now in motion, with up to 30 new charging points arriving in the next 12 months.
People and businesses across the city are being called on to help develop the plan and find suitable places for the trial stations, which will be bought in the summer.
In April this year Oxford City Council received an £800,000 grant to add an extra 100 charging stations to the city – where only 85 people currently drive electric cars.
John Tanner, the council’s board member for climate change, said: “What we have at the moment is the early adopters, the enthusiasts.
“But with more plug-in points around the city, I think more people are going to take the plunge and buy electric vehicles.”
There are currently 13 on-street charging stations around Oxford, of which three, Summertown Car Park, Cowley Road and Worcester Street Car Park, have reported faults.
It is hoped the 100 new devices will begin to be rolled out in 2018, making make electric vehicle ownership possible for 16,000 extra homes.
Mr Tanner added that another barrier to more people making the switch was the initial cost of a vehicle, which he said was comparatively “quite high”.
But he added: “We have to get into our heads that although these vehicles cost a lot to buy in the first place, they are very cheap to run, and don’t pollute the atmosphere.
“A petrol or diesel vehicle is pumping nitrogen dioxide into Oxford’s atmosphere. To switch to renewable energy from fossil fuel is the right way to go.”
Those already driving an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) could struggle to get around Oxford due to a lack of available charge points.
Low Carbon Hub CEO Barbara Hammond, who lives in a terraced house on Osney Island, bought a Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid – which can switch between electrical power and fuel-burning – three years ago.
She said: “When we get the space outside we would like to plug in from our house and use a ‘cable gully’ – a safe means of getting the cable across the pavement.
“If you live in a city being able to charge it is an issue. A lot of people would have an electric vehicle if they could be sure of charging it.”
Research recently carried out by the city council suggested one in five people would consider going electric with their next vehicle.
Giles Dobson, 37, the owner of Oxford River Cruises based at Folly Bridge, said he would definitely buy an electric car if there were a place to charge it.
The Lake Street resident said: “My introduction to electric vehicles was the boats we operate – they’re electrically propelled themselves.
“To me the attraction of electric vehicles is the environmental benefit primarily, but also they have company car and tax benefits.”
Mr Dobson was among a small group of Oxford residents who met with the council on June 8 to discuss having a charging point on their street.
He added: “Lake Street is one of the worst for on-street parking because of the community centre, the health centre and the swimming pool.
“This scheme would make it feasible for me to get an electric car.”
June 19th, 2016 § Comments Off on [img] Messy way to charge your car: hope it’s a one-off. § permalink
Typically charges are well tested to get o confirm to well known and relied-upon standards. But the issue I experienced is not with he unit per se, but acceptable plug dimensions.
You see, in my, Twizy charging joy – plug comes straight out the charging port – there is “only one”, as you may say, yet it is sized tad bulkier than what the replaceable plugs you may find, say at the kettle unit. For durability: wear and tear purposes, the charging unit does not support it.
In my case; original twizy plug didn’t plug in all the way, due to the extra bulk on the [particularly] width of the charging plug. This in turn would not let the pod close. This, in turn would not initiate the charging cycle. #fail.Luckily, a fellow EV driver did mention the issue in the past (which went in one ear and out the other with me – sorry) not that it was very helpful at that very point even if I realise what’s pears and what’s apples at time.
Luck has it, my trusty and emergency extension lead. You never know… Sorted the trick. See “after” photos with the White plug. That sorted it.
But it did leave the twizy being on charge in a very peculiar state of “look-like”…a mess.
Anyways, little birdie tells me these charging units (pod point?) are OEL? Will confirm. I also see new simikar(upgraded units being fitted about town, replacing both faulty and other units (which I used in the past without a hiccup) due to a possible support contract re-negotiation with Bollore(Source London)
Live and see. Comments? Leave below or DM. Otherwise do share along.
June 11th, 2016 § Comments Off on Norway: Why do they love electric cars in the Arctic Circle? § permalink
Tromso, a Norwegian city known as the “Gateway to the Arctic”, receives no sunlight for two months of the year.
Yet this remote, beautiful, snowy city is the unlikely focus of the global electric car industry, attracting the attention of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, founder of electric car maker Tesla.
His company has recently opened a showroom there – its most northerly outpost.
Why? Because Norway, it seems, is simply nuts about electric cars.
The country is the world leader in electric cars per capita and has just become the fourth country in the world to have 100,000 of them on the roads.
When you consider the other nations on the list are the US (population: 320 million), Japan (pop. 130 million) and China (pop. 1.35 billion), then that is quite an achievement for this rugged, sparsely populated country of just five million.
Some of its politicians want to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2025, which prompted Musk to tweet: “What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!!”
On an earlier visit in April, he attributed a lot of Tesla’s success to the country’s pioneering stance on electric cars.
So how has Norway managed it?
Elisabeth Bryn helps explain the answer. The 56-year-old teacher enjoys driving in the icy streets of Tromso and she can barely contain her excitement as she misses our turn.
“It is such a good feeling to drive a clean car. It means I have a clean conscience and it works out cheaper in the long run,” she tells the BBC.
But it is economic incentive as much as environmental concern that is fuelling the rise in green cars – Norway introduced a raft of generous subsidies to encourage people to go electric.
Electric Car Incentive List
- No purchase taxes
- Exemption from 25% VAT on purchase
- Low annual road tax
- No charges on toll roads or ferries
- Free municipal parking
- Access to bus lanes
- 50% reduction in company car tax
- No VAT on leasing
It launched an aggressive tax policy towards high-polluting cars, while offering zero tax on zero-emission cars. This “polluter pays” policy brought the cost of an electric car into line with a conventionally powered one.
Bryn is clearly shrewd about the numbers and says the entire cost of her car will be recouped within eight years thanks to the tax and fuel savings.
But aren’t people worried about running out of power? Lack of range is the electric car’s Achilles heel after all.
This is where Norway comes into its own, as Bryn demonstrates at a public charging point on an industrial estate out of town.
The electricity being pumped into her car is free.
Norway is fortunate enough to have close to 100% renewable and cheap hydro power production.
According to the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, even if all three million cars on the country’s roads were electric, they would suck up just 5-6% of the annual hydro power electricity production.
Elisabeth Bryn loves her electric car, but some of her friends worry about flat batteries
Rapid charging points can pump her Nissan Leaf with up to 80% charge in just 30 minutes. Alternatively, Bryn can charge her car at home at a much slower pace overnight.
It helps that Norway is also the biggest oil producer in Western Europe and the world’s third largest exporter of natural gas. In other words, Norway is rich enough to subsidise its electric car lifestyle.
But despite these considerable perks, not everyone is convinced.
In Oslo there are more than 14,000 electric cars – about 30% of the market. But in the more northern reaches – cities like Tromso – enthusiasm has been more muted.
This may be explained by the tough terrain and “range anxiety” – concerns that a flat battery will leave them stranded in arctic conditions.
Can electric cars perform as well in far northern climes?
Studies have shown that electric car performance can deteriorate markedly in extreme cold or hot conditions. And Nissan, whose Leaf model is the biggest selling electric vehicle in Norway, admits that the car’s 124-mile maximum range can fall significantly in icier conditions when the heating, lights and demister are all draining the charge more thirstily.
Bryn says such concerns have put off some of her friends: “They have a cabin deep in the countryside and said they just couldn’t trust an electric car to get them there. They said there just weren’t enough charging points.”
Yet Tesla’s new showroom in Tromso, and the steady growth in the number of public charging points, demonstrates the industry’s commitment to spreading the green message no matter how inhospitable the environment.
And the rest of the world is learning lessons from Norway.
Germany has just announced a €1bn (£784m; $1.1bn) incentive scheme to get more consumers buying electric cars, for example.
Christian Ruoff, publisher of US electric car magazine, Charged, sums it up: “Electric car makers in the US see Norway as a window into the future.
“Norway shows that if governments can make electric cars as affordable as petrol equivalents then motorists, even in the Arctic Circle, will buy them.
“It also busts the myths that electric cars and their batteries are only suitable for cities with more moderate climates like Oslo or San Francisco.”
April 30th, 2016 § Comments Off on UPDATED: 6 mths to go Until my Next #EV Lease! Let the shopping commence… Now what should that next car be? hmm. ideas? § permalink
ORDERED OUR BMW i3 Rex due to be delivered on 1st July 2016 !!!
Check out my “Cheapest Electric Car Lease deal” section for more information on the lease deals.
My Nissan Leaf Lease Expiry CountDown or rather CountDown to my new #ev Deal!
Woohoo! 6 months and counting (down) until my new Electric Vehicle Lease.
Now, what would it be?.. hmm
- BMW i3 with Range Extender?
- Outlander PHEV?
- Mercedes Benz B Class Electric?
- Bigger better leaf 30KWh?
- Golf PHEV?
I guess, this summer, it’s time to Get Deal Hunting… for timely October 2016 Delivery
- Big Boot (same as Leaf or bigger)
- Minimum 25 EV Miles Range for daily commute on a single charge (even in winter)
- Cheap(ish) and Longer Travel requirements.
April 22nd, 2016 § Comments Off on Sadly: No 200-mile electric car in Ford’s immediate future § permalink
DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. has no immediate plans to chase General Motors, Nissan and Tesla in the electric car range race.
Kevin Layden, Ford’s director of electrification programs and engineering, said the 100-mile range coming this fall in the 2017 Focus Electric — up from the 2016 model’s 76 miles — is enough distance to cover the daily commute of most drivers.
Speaking on the sidelines of the SAE World Congress last week here, Layden said keeping the car’s range at 100 miles will help rein in weight and cost. The lower range enables the use of a smaller, lighter and less expensive battery pack, Layden said.
But during a panel discussion last week on the future of electric cars, several speakers said a range of at least 200 miles is needed to alleviate consumers’ range anxiety about battery-powered cars.
“I think right now with the launch of the Focus Electric at 100 miles, it is going to satisfy a big chunk of the population,” said Layden. “It’s going to be really affordable and a step up from where we are now.”
This fall, GM will launch the Chevrolet Bolt hatchback, a compact electric car that GM says will go at least 200 miles on a single charge, while Tesla is promising its Model 3 compact sedan will be able to drive 215 miles on a charge. And Nissan plans to launch a redesigned Leaf in 2018 with a promised 200-mile range.
In December, Ford committed $4.5 billion to rejuvenate its electrified vehicle lineup.
From : http://www.autonews.com/article/20160418/OEM05/304189970/no-200-mile-electric-car-in-fords-immediate-future
April 21st, 2016 § Comments Off on Renault to double electric car range by 2020 § permalink
Renault is planning to double the distance its electric vehicles can travel per charge by 2020, thanks to more efficient batteries with higher energy densities, according to Eric Feunteun, Renault’s head of EV.
This comes as the brand plans to sell two tiers of electric cars: affordable models with limited range and more expensive versions that can travel further on each charge.
“If you ask somebody on the street, ‘do you want a larger battery and greater range?’, the answer is, of course, ‘yes'”, said Feunteun. “But then, when you move from emotion to facts and they have the choice between 100 miles and 200 miles with a different price, then probably the reaction of people is getting more rational,” he continued. Consequently, Renault expects to have two solutions: to satisfy drivers after the greatest range or the lowest price.
With four electric models already on offer – the Zoe, Twizy and Kangoo EV (plus the non-UK Fluence saloon) – the company is looking to develop these models rather than introduce new ones.
“We have the widest range of [electric] cars, so our focus now is more on improving those cars – the features themselves, the range, charging and costs,” Feunteun claimed. “We have with our four cars strong assets and we’d rather put our energy and technology into improving those four cars than just trying another project.”
Renault, meanwhile, is to recall 999 Zoe EVs in the UK manufactured before 6 October 2014 to correct “the small possibility” of the front wheel arch liner causing damage to the front brake hose.
From : http://www.businesscar.co.uk/news/2016/renault-to-double-electric-car-range-by-2020
April 19th, 2016 § Comments Off on Mahindra launches e2o electric car in UK § permalink
Mahindra has launched its e2o REVA successor small electric city car in the UK.
Mahindra said that in addition to its competitive purchase price, e2o owners that drive the UK average of 7,900 miles per year, and who charge at home at night on an Economy 7 tariff, will pay under GBP10 per month on fuel.
Speaking about the e2o’s arrival on British roads, Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group said, “I am very proud to announce that the e2o is now available in the UK and this marks a true milestone for the Mahindra Group. Sustainability is at the heart of Mahindra’s business practices and with the introduction of the e2o to the UK market, we are offering a product that perfectly encapsulates our corporate philosophy.”
The Mahindra UK website http://www.mahindrauk.com is now live and ready to take orders, with first deliveries to UK owners commencing in May this year, Mahindra said.
The car comes with an electric powertrain capable of 79 miles range and a top speed of 63mph.
There are two trim levels and the higher-spec TechX version includes a touchscreen infotainment centre with reversing camera, telematics, revive remote emergency recharging, leather seats, alloy wheels and a rapid charging port.
The car is being targeted at commuters and as a second car. Pravin Shah, President & Chief Executive of Mahindra’s Automotive operations said the e2o is “the ideal urban runabout or second car for the two-and-a-half-million UK households that can charge the car at home in a driveway or garage.”
The car comes with the e2o Remote smartphone app which allows users to remotely control key functions of their e2o, including the ability to pre-heat/cool the car, start and stop charging, route plan and search for nearby charging stations.
Mahindra also said the car offers emergency reserve remote charging for customers suffering ‘range anxiety’. The technology is called REVive. It allows the driver to simply telephone or send a text to Mahindra REVA and the company will electronically contact the vehicle and activate a reserve amount of energy (for an extra 9 miles of range).
The e2o went on sale in India in March 2013. The e2o was the first vehicle to enter production at Reva’s Bommasandra plant in suburban Bangalore. Initial build got underway in September 2012 but full production did not commence until early 2013.
In May 2010, 55% of REVA was acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra. The firm was immediately renamed ‘Mahindra REVA’.
The name of the vehicle is pronounced ‘ee to oh’. The company says the e stands for the energy of the sun, and the o for oxygen.
The car, which was styled by India’s DC Design, does not have painted body panels; instead these are impregnated with colour with the advantage being they are scratch resistant and will also bounce back after impacts of up to 15km/h. It also means the Bangalore plant which makes the e2o can be seen as more environmentally friendly thanks to its lack of a paint shop.
March 29th, 2016 § Comments Off on BMW battery facelift to 2017 i3 model § permalink
BMW Blog is reporting that instead of just updating the i3’s battery for both the hybridized (range-extending gas engine paired with an electric motor) and full-electric versions and calling it a day, the automaker will offer two battery sizes: the same 60Ah configuration as at present, and a new 94Ah setup. Since both batteries will be available in both versions of the i3, BMW will actually be selling four i3 variants.
…it’s widely believed that BMW will be using the new Samsung 94Ah battery cells for the 2017 i3, which I first speculated here, back in November.
The current i3 uses 96 Samsung 60Ah battery cells which are 3.75v ea. This adds up to a total of 21.6kWh (96 x 60 x 3.75= 21.6). The new 94Ah cells are the same physical size and voltage so an upgrade to these cells would mean BMW could use the same modules and battery tray, greatly reducing the cost as compared to engineering all new packaging for the new cells. Therefore, the new pack should increase from 21.6kWh to 33.8kWh (96 x 94 x 3.75 = 33.8). If the weight of the cells is the same, that should increase the BEV i3’s range from the existing 81 miles per charge to approximately 125 miles per charge and the i3 REx’s range from 72 miles per charge to about 112 MPC.
Additionally, a facelift is planned for the 2017 model year that is debuting later in 2016, and with it will come new software and improved electronics. As a result, the larger battery i3 pure-EV will achieve a range of 120 miles, which is an improvement of about 40 miles over the current model.
Since BMW will be breaking out the i3 into battery designations, pricing will vary accordingly. The current all-electric version starts at USD $42,400 before incentives while the range-extender goes for USD $46,250. Therefore, we can probably expect these two variants with the smaller batteries to drop a bit in price to make room for their 94Ah battery counterparts.
Considering how many pure electric vehicles now best BMW’s i3 in drive range, the move for larger battery packs is essential, but the automaker may have trouble with sales unless pricing is competitive. Obviously, Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 is a big concern with its planned 200+ mile range and USD $35,000 starting price, but even the Chevrolet Bolt’s 200-ish range will be a threat when BMW can only offer 120 miles maximum.
The official premiere of the refreshed i3 is expected during the Paris Motor Show in October of this year. Sales of the 2017 model will kick off before year’s end in an attempt to exceed the 24,057 units delivered in 2015.
Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/bmw-i3-improved-batteries-and-range/#ixzz44ILFRurn
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March 17th, 2016 § Comments Off on Go Aberdeen: Electric vehicle no charge cost to continue in Aberdeen § permalink
People can continue to charge their electric vehicles at no cost apart from the on-street or car park charge for a further 12 months after it was agreed at committee yesterday (Tues 15 March).
Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure committee approved a report on the service.
Aberdeen City Council’s Communities, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: “This is a fantastic scheme and will help to encourage more people to change to electric vehicles.
“We hope many more motorists will go electric and will make use of our facility of not charging for the electricity.”
The report to committee said the supply and installation of the EV Charging Units has, to date, been 100% grant funded by Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government Transport Agency, OLEV, the UK Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Energy Saving Trust Scotland. Funding has been awarded to Community Planning Partnerships in each local authority area with Community Planning Partners (CPPs) the recipients.
Since the Aberdeen public network was installed in 2013, the cost of providing the electricity for these units has been absorbed by the City Council.
Figures obtained from EDF, the City Council’s energy provider, reveal that, since they were installed, the cost of running the 34 charge points that the Council has figures for is £13,116.
The Aberdeen Air Quality Action Plan (2011) identifies road traffic as the main contributor to poor air quality in Aberdeen. Given that Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) offer zero and reduced tailpipe emissions respectively when compared with 100% Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, facilitating the use of such vehicles could make a difference to Aberdeen air quality.
The report to committee further said evidence suggests that people choose EVs and PHEVs partly for their environmental credentials and partly due to the low running costs. An 80 mile journey in an EV typically costs around £2.50 in electricity, around a quarter of the price of an equivalent fossil fuelled vehicle. Still, only 1% of new car sales in Scotland are EV and PHEV and it is argued that the current low cost of petrol and diesel at the pumps is doing little to help uptake.
The free use of the charging infrastructure could be considered as a significant incentive to stimulate interest. If this is not offered, the uptake could be limited and this could have a detrimental impact upon sustainability and environmental issues.
Aberdeen City Council won a Scottish Transport Award in 2015 for its work “Powering ahead with electric vehicles”, and is regarded by the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland (EVAS) as the best EV Council in Scotland. By continuing to present the city as EV friendly, the Council aims to uphold this reputation both with users and transport professionals alike.
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.”
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.