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 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.
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)
May 18th, 2016 § Comments Off on Sales of electric cars rise by 120% in a year § permalink
- Number of electric cars on the road has more than doubled in a year
- Figures show 45,326 plug-in and hybrid cars were in service in 2016
- This is compared to just 20,522 vehicles at the start of last year
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3595898/Sales-electric-cars-rise-120-year-45-000-plug-hybrid-vehicles-road.html#ixzz490tjPtwJ
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The number of electric cars on Britain’s roads has more than doubled in the last year, according to new government data.
There were 45,326 plug-in and hybrid cars on the streets at the end of last year compared to just 20,522 the year before – a 120 per cent increase.This compares to just a two per cent rise in the sales of traditional cars over the same period.
It represents a phenomenal growth since 2010, when there were just 134 electric vehicles on the roads, according Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) data.Growth has accelerated rapidly since the Government introduced the plug-in car grant scheme at the start of 2011, which offers up to £4,500 off the price.
However, the number of electric vehicles is still just a tiny fraction of the 31 million petrol and diesel engined cars in the UK.The best-selling fully electric car in the UK is the Nissan Leaf, 11,219 on the road but this is dwarfed by the hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with 16,100 models.
Edward Jones, electric vehicle manager at Nissan GB, believes the UK electric vehicle market is at a ‘tipping point’.’
Each year we see thousands more motorists switched on to the capability, performance, and reliability of pure electric motoring,’ he said.’ With current electric vehicle ranges enabling more than 90 per cent of daily driving needs, we believe the UK is at a tipping point for mass EV adoption.’ Richard Hudson, sales director at BMW UK, said advances in technology are overcoming the drawbacks of electric motoring.
May 18th, 2016 § Comments Off on German cabinet gives green light to electric car incentives § permalink
The German cabinet approved new incentives and tax breaks on Wednesday to boost demand for electric cars in an attempt to
meet its target of bringing 1 million of them onto its roads by the end of the decade.
Under the new plans, electric cars will be exempt from paying vehicle tax for ten years with retroactive effect from Jan. 1, 2016. This is up from a previous exemption of five years.
Employees who charge their electric vehicles at work will also pay a reduced tax rate of 25 percent on this non-cash benefit, the Finance Ministry said.
The tax breaks come on top of plans agreed last month between government ministers and the car industry to give buyers of electric cars a 4,000 euro incentive, while buyers of plug-in hybrid cars will get a premium of 3,000 euros.
The costs of about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) will be shared equally between the government and the car industry.
The program includes 300 million euros of spending on charging stations.
“The key for a breakthrough in electromobility is nationwide charging infrastructure,” Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said in a statement.
Germany, the biggest carmaker in Europe, currently has only about 50,000 purely battery powered vehicles and plug-in hybrids among the 45 million cars using its roads.
The government hopes the new incentives will help sell an additional 400,000 electric cars.
Other countries in Europe already have incentive schemes in place to get more consumers to buy electric vehicles, including Norway, the Netherlands, France and the UK.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley and Andreas Rinke, editing by Louise Heavens)
April 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on Tough but gotta be done: Netherlands may ban sale of non-electric cars by 2025 § permalink
Times are changing folks and yet human attitude towards worsening air pollution and climate change is all slow behaviours which, unless have the tangible impact, are rarely well pondered upon.
This is why I personally gotta commend Duth government on their effort, forced hand, in fact to make legal steps to ensure that Changes are Made and Made Now rather than later, and promote zero emission transportation, with this proposal to make it illegal to sell pure fossil-fuelled car from 2025 in the country.
Europe’s developing market in on-street charging points and hydrogen fuelling stations will be given a boost if the Dutch parliament passes a law that would ban the sale of non-electric cars by 2025.
The bill was initiated by the Labour party, and has attracted sufficient support in the lower house of the Dutch parliament. It will become law if it gains the approval of the Dutch senate.
If introduced, the law would give a regulatory push to the market for electric vehicles. At present, consumers are deterred from buying non-petrol or diesel vehicles because of the lack of charging infrastructure, and companies are deterred from installing the infrastructure because of the lack of cars to use it.
There are signs that this chicken-and-egg problem is beginning to be overcome in the battery car market, particularly in the Netherlands. Last year, 43,000 new electric vehicles were purchased in the country, giving them a 10% share of the market. In Norway, the leader in electric vehicle adoption, that figure is 22%. By contrast, electric vehicles make up only 1% of UK sales and 0.35% of Canadian sales.
Howerver, hydrogen fuelled cars still face barriers. At present there are few ways to refuel a fuel-cell-powered car.
Shell has made a start on installing hydrogen stations, having set up a partnership in Germany with industrial gas manufacturers Air Liquide and Linde, car maker Daimler and energy companies Total and OMV, to develop a network of 400 hydrogen refuelling stations by 2023. However, only three stations have been set up.
The UK government last year made £6.6m ($9.5m) available to set up 12 hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK, including new Brentford and Croydon outside London, and a mobile station that will be used across the south of England.
Despite the lack of a fuel network, production model hydrogen cars are beginnign to appear. Yesterday, 21 April, Toyota annouced that it would introduce the Mirai to the UK. The £66,000 ($95,000) four-door Mirai (it means “future” in Japanese) is part of the car maker’s plan to shift to alternative fuels as soon as possible – a decision that will be vindicated if the Netherlands enacts its law, and other countries follow suit.
So far, the city of Oslo is looking to ban private cars by 2019 and the mayor of Paris has announced that the city will be rid of diesel cars by 2020.
The process of building a hydrogen refuelling station is shown here.
Toyota’s take on the rapidly changing car industry is shown here.
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.
Sian Berry Green Party
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.
Sadiq Khan MP Labour
My aim is to be the greenest Mayor that London has ever seen. Our capital should be a leader in low-carbon…
Caroline Pidgeon AM Liberal Democrats
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
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.
March 24th, 2016 § Comments Off on woop: Dyson to build electric cars § permalink
Dyson is developing an electric car at its headquarters in Wiltshire with help from public money, according to government documents.
The company, which makes a range of products that utilise the sort of highly efficient motors needed for an electric car such as vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and bladeless fans, last year refused to rule out rumours it was building one.
But on Wednesday, the government appeared to have accidentally disclosed Dyson is working on one, along with other big companies outside of the automotive industry, such as Apple.
“The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering,” said the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, published on Wednesday.
When Dyson CEO, Max Conze, was asked last year if the company was working on an electric car, he said: “We are ruling nothing out. Like our friends in Cupertino [Apple] we are also unhealthily obsessive when it comes to taking apart our products to make them better.”
Dyson recently reported profits up 20% in 2015, driven by strong growth in China, and said it plans to invest £1bn in battery technology over the next five years. Last October, Dyson bought solid-state battery company, Sakti3, for $90m, which founder Sir James Dyson said had “developed a breakthrough in battery technology.”
Asked if the company was, as the government suggested, developing an electric car, a Dyson spokesman said: “We never comment on products that are in development.”
The Guardian has also contacted the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles, which encourages the roll-out of electric vehicles as a way to cut air pollution and lower carbon emissions, and is awaiting details on the exact level of funding.
Dyson, 68, has a long history of inventions. He designed the Rotork Sea Truck, a fast cargo boat in 1970, which has been used by the military and is still sold today. In 1974, he designed the Ballbarrow, a barrow with a ball replacing the wheel, having been frustrated by wheelbarrows getting stuck in mud on a building site.
His breakthrough was the bagless vaucum cleaner, which was inspired by air cyclones used in sawmills to suck up sawdust. Since then, he has created bladeless fans and the Airblade hand dryer.
Many of Dyson’s devices use small, light and efficient electric motors developed over 10 years by his company, which may find application in developing a new electric car. Dyson is a now worth several billion pounds and in 2014 pledged his company would spend £1.5bn on research and development to create future products, aiming to launch 100 new electrical products by 2018.
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 29th, 2016 § Comments Off on BMW prepping for next generation of electric cars § permalink
A new generation of electric cars is coming, whether we like it or not. Some experts are claiming that by 2050, only about 10 percent of all vehicles on the road will be powered solely by internal combustion engines. Hybrids and EVs are becoming the future of the automotive world and it’s happening rather quickly. So BMW must be ready and it’s doing so by investing heavily into an electric future.
We’ve already seen the new concepts from BMW of what the future holds and that’s just the beginning. BMW is working very hard to implement electric and hybrid technology into almost every single model line possible and it must do so to survive.
Reason being is that BMW isn’t the only German car company that’s doing this, as both the entire Volkswagen Group and Mercedes-Benz are working hard on this new generation of EVs as well.
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