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 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 22nd, 2016 § Comments Off on Source London: what the next Mayor will do for London’s electric charging network. A word from candidates… § permalink
The next Mayor will have a pivotal role to play in the uptake of electric vehicles in London and we look forward to working closely with them to achieve this.Charging Point.
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Air pollution causes more than 9,500 premature deaths in London every year. Sixty years after the Clean Air Act helped…
Zac Goldsmith MP Conservative
There is no doubt that London is the greatest City on Earth. But, as a lifelong environmentalist, I want it to be the greenest too.
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My aim is to be the greenest Mayor that London has ever seen. Our capital should be a leader in low-carbon…
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Under Transport for London the service provided was frequently very poor. Yet, since being taken over by the Bolloré…
Full Proposal on Source London and tackling emissions in london could be read in the attached Source London Mayor Candidates PDF
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.
November 14th, 2015 § Comments Off on London: New electric car-charging bays as Hammersmith council steps up fight against pollution § permalink
The battle against pollution is being stepped up with the introduction of 40 new electric car-charging bays across Hammersmith and Fulham by end of next year.Planning applications for 10 new on-street car-charging points, each with two bays, have been submitted to H&F by service providers Source London Network, with applications for a further 10 charging points expected to follow shortly.
The new facilities are being considered in response to growing demand from residents as the popularity of low and zero-emission cars continues to rise in Hammersmith and Fulham, with numbers tripling year on year.
H&F revealed earlier this year that air pollution kills more than 200 people in the borough every year.
And before that, a cycling group carried out tests which revealed pollution on the in the borough was worse than thought, with children being hit hardest .
Cllr Wesley Harcourt is head of transport and environment at the council. He said: “We are committed to improving air quality by driving-down harmful emissions in H&F. These new on-street charging points will help power the welcome growth of low-emission vehicles in the borough.
“More residents using electric cars will see a reduction in CO2, NOx and particulate matter emissions that have detrimental effects on health and the environment.”
The first ten charging points, if granted planning permission, should be installed in early 2016, with the remaining ten expected to be up-and-running before the end of the year.
With Westfield shopping centre having 40 charging bays in its car park, it will bring the total in the borough to 80 by the end of 2016.
Residents who are keen to have a charging point in their street can notify the council online. If sufficient requests are made the H&F will investigate installing one.
November 8th, 2015 § Comments Off on The Twizys are back! Electric cars return for New Forest visitors § permalink
THEY are being hailed as the perfect way to save money – and carbon.
Similar #twizy of evmeerkat – commuter moi
A fleet of 26 all-electric cars called Renault Twizys have been launched in the New Forest for the second time in two years.
The multi-coloured two-seaters have a top speed of 52mph and can travel for 50 miles before they need to be re-charged.
They made their debut in the Forest in 2013 but have been off the road for several months.
Now Hire A Twizy, based at Setters Farm in Lymington, has bought the vehicles from the previous operator and is also planning to launch a similar venture on the Isle of Wight.
The “funky” vehicles were paraded at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu – scene of the original launch.
People can hire a Twizy for £49 a day. The package includes free use of all car parks owned by New Forest District Council and a complimentary Brand New Forest card, which entitles the user to discounts in shops, pubs and restaurants across the district.
But the environment is set to benefit just as much as Twizy users.
Chris Beach, owner of Hire A Twizy, said: “The idea is to get people out of their cars and into a sustainable form of transport.
“We’re going to roll out another 20 charging points not only for Twizys but for electric cars as a whole. When you use a Twizy you will never be more than two or three miles from a charging point.”
Representatives from the council and the National Park Authority gathered to celebrate the launch of a new business with a zero carbon footprint.
Anthony Climpson, the council’s employment and tourism, said: “Twizys are great fun to drive – and so silent you can enjoy and really ‘feel’ the Forest in a way you can’t in an ordinary car.”
Ben Fletcher, of Renault, said he was attending an event in Scotland when someone mentioned the Forest’s fleet of Twizys.
“It shows what a great job Hire A Twizy are doing – they are putting the New Forest on the map as a tourist destination,” he said.
“We can talk about how manoeuvrable they are and how easy they are to park, but the chief thing about them is that they’re fun to drive.
“Once you’ve been in a Twizy you will know that they’re the perfect way to explore the area.”
For details call Hire A Twizy on 01590 675675.
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.
July 14th, 2015 § Comments Off on Both Birmingham and Liverpool airports join Electric Highway § permalink
Birmingham Airport and Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport have become the first two British airports to join the Electric Highway.
The two airports now offer fast charging for electric motorists as part of the network of charging stations run by utility firm Ecotricity, which now covers almost the entire motorway network in Britain.
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: “Installing pumps at airports such as Liverpool and Birmingham is the next phase of our national network which enables electric cars to drive the length and breadth of Britain. Now e-drivers can charge up at the airport if they’re picking up, dropping off, or on their way in and out of the country.”
Andrew Dutton, Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s head of environment, said: “Liverpool John Lennon Airport is proud to play a small part in the electric car revolution. The journey to the airport can be one of the major contributors to CO2 emissions associated with our business.
“By installing this charging point we are now giving those customers with electric or hybrid cars the opportunity to use these vehicles on a potential lengthy journey to the airport, relaxed in the knowledge that we have a charging point for them to use for their return journey home. Just as important though, this will also help to reduce CO2 emissions.”
Jo Lloyd, commercial director at Birmingham Airport, added: “We’re always looking at new and innovative ways of improving the passenger experience at Birmingham Airport, which is why we have installed these electric charging points.
“The growing popularity of electric and hybrid cars means it is vital we provide the facilities that will enable our passengers to travel to-and-from the airport as easily as possible. We’re extremely proud to support this green form of energy and the obvious benefits it brings to the environment.”
July 11th, 2015 § Comments Off on Chargemaster to expand network and replace broken charging points for free § permalink
Electric vehicle charging point operator Chargemaster has announced it will expand its network by installing 2000 new points across the country.
The new points will join the firm’s existing network of 4000 charging stations.
Chargemaster said the move intends to resolve issues where several third-party charging points installed under the Government’s Plugged in Places scheme have been unserviceable.
Chargemaster is offering to replace these units for free to enable the nation’s infrastructure to be upgraded.
The company said it will install around 1000 points in London, some of which will replace non-functional stations, while 600 stations will be placed in new locations with a focus on hotels, supermarkets and health clubs.
“Chargemaster is committed to making electric vehicles a viable option to people across the UK, and this latest move solidifies that intention,” said David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster. “By growing our network nationwide, but also focusing on traditionally poor areas of service, such as London, we are confident we will make a marked difference for EV owners wanting to charge on the move”.
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.