Norway: Why do they love electric cars in the Arctic Circle?

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.

Free juice

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.

Range anxiety

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.”

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36402942

Forced hand, clean future? Norway to ‘completely ban all petrol powered cars by 2025’

June 5th, 2016 § Comments Off on Forced hand, clean future? Norway to ‘completely ban all petrol powered cars by 2025’ § permalink

Norway will ban the sale of all fossil fuel-based cars in the next decade, continuing its trend towards becoming one of the most ecologically progressive countries on the planet, according to reports.
Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum have reportedly reached some concrete conclusions about 100 per cent of Norwegian cars running on green energy by 2025.
According to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv, “FRP will remove all gasoline cars”, a headline which makes reference to the populist right-wing Framstegspartiet, or Progress Party.
Yet there is some denial from other right-wing representatives that the move has been confirmed.
If passed, it would be particularly significant because a large proportion of Norway’s funds rely on the country’s petroleum industry.
Energy saving options in pictures
The report also follows the announcement that Norway will become the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation.
Speaking about the possible 2025 ban on non-electric cars, Elon Musk, chief executive of US electric car company Tesla Motors, lauded the announcement.
“Just heard that Norway will ban new sales of fuel cars in 2025,” he wrote.
“What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!!”.
Just heard that Norway will ban new sales of fuel cars in 2025. What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!! pic.twitter.com/uAXuBkDYuR
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 3, 2016

Yet while the Democratic Party and the Liberal Party have corroborated Dagens Naeringsliv’s report, the FRP have said the move is still being looked at, according to Aftenposten.
If the measure is fully confirmed, it would be more ambitious than the Labour Party’s proposal that no new diesel or petrol cars should be sold by 2030.
The four parties, who rule together through a system of proportional representation, have also agreed a new climate tax on electricity.
About 24 per cent of the country’s cars already run on electricity, and it is a heavy producer of renewable energy with more than 99 per cent of electricity covered by hydropower.
Norway also aims to triple its capacity of wind power by 2020, with a new $3bn investment in the sector approved in 2013.
Meanwhile critics in the UK have accused the Conservative Government of reneging on its commitment to green energy and looking for solutions in fracking and nuclear energy instead.
This follows a 25 per cent rise in renewable energy investments pouring into the UK last year, according to a global paper on the topic. 

Twizy Travel: 2 people, 2 suitcase, 1 bag, 1 twizy #electricCar #ev ride #commute #london

June 4th, 2016 § Comments Off on Twizy Travel: 2 people, 2 suitcase, 1 bag, 1 twizy #electricCar #ev ride #commute #london § permalink

Who said you can go for a quick weekender in a #twizy…

Ok, so we had to get from A to B really, but with 45odd mile range I’d get on my Renault twizy, you can see the convenience,(or not and I won’t blame you) of the ride, vs public transport lugging all this and change several times along the way. And Before you ask: No, I don’t have another car at the moment. So twizy or train&tube&bus.

Cost of this travel option: £1 in electricity.

Cost of would be alternative public travel for two people would be £20 (+ time inconvenience)

Uber equivalent would be £50

—- so, can #twizy holiday be done?

 Yes —-

Would I do it again? 

Not really – my i3 delivery is nearly upon us. 🙂

Go Aberdeen: Electric vehicle no charge cost to continue in Aberdeen

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.

From http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/CouncilNews/ci_cns/pr_electricvehicles_160316.asp

Baby steps: Affordability of Electric Cars Expected to Increase Rapidly

March 15th, 2016 § Comments Off on Baby steps: Affordability of Electric Cars Expected to Increase Rapidly § permalink

By 2022 it may be possible to buy an electric vehicle for the same amount as a vehicle powered by a traditional petrol or diesel engine, according to a report published by Bloomberg Business this month.

At the moment the biggest barrier to wider EV adoption is arguably their high asking price. And with infrastructural improvements and technological upgrades, this type of eco-friendly vehicle is becoming more practical by the day, leaving the upfront cost as an enduring issue.

But if analysts are accurate in their predictions, it could be just six years before the choice between EVs and other cars is not affected by such considerations.

The main reason that EVs are comparatively costly today is that the batteries required to power them still put a significant burden on the total expense of the vehicle. But the report points out that battery prices have fallen by just over a third in the past 12 months and are likely to continue to tumble as demand rises and the technology involved in manufacturing them improves.

In 2015 there was a 60 per cent increase in the number of EVs sold internationally. And within 25 years they are expected to account for 35 per cent of the market as a whole.

This suggests that petrol- and diesel-powered cars will still be in the majority by 2040, or hybrids will account for the rest of the market. But ultimately it seems like complete EV dominance is only a matter of time.

Today less than a single percentage point of the new car market is made up of EVs. But as battery prices slide southwards, the predictions made in the report suggest that a major up-tick in sales is just around the corner.

While this is great news for drivers who want to reduce the harmful emissions their motoring activities produce without feeling the sting in their wallets, there are other economic considerations involved with the rise of EVs.

Specifically, it is the industries built around supplying the fossil fuels that power current cars which are likely to suffer. And analysts believe that by 2023 the need for oil will have dropped by up to two million barrels per day.

For companies and indeed entire countries which rely on the demand for oil to survive and thrive, this could be a significant issue. Some are even warning of a looming crisis which will come if steps are not taken today to ensure that the falling need for oil is balanced by investment in other areas.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are expectations surrounding the rise in EV ownership in terms of how this will impact the electricity infrastructure of the UK and other developed nations. With more people charging up their cars at home or while parked elsewhere, the demand for power will only increase.

Globally the amount of power drawn annually by EVs could be equal to a tenth of all electricity generated around the world in 2015. This annual total of 1900 terrawatt-hours of consumption is not likely to be hit until 2040, but it gives an indication of the scale of the challenge that electricity providers are going to face.

This will no doubt lead to debates about the resources which are consumed in order to provide the electricity to charge EVs. Because getting rid of a petrol-guzzling car only to replace it with an EV that plugs into a mains connection supplied by a power station that burns coal will seem like a less than perfect solution to many motorists.

Questions about the mining processes and economic impact of extracting the minerals required to build the batteries which are found within EVs also exist. But in the long term there is no doubt that vehicles must shift away from a reliance on fossil fuels, since non-renewable resources are necessarily limited and unsustainable.

from: http://www.carcraft.co.uk/news/articles/2814/affordability-of-electric-cars-expected-to-increase-rapidly

Nissan Carwings APP Stats: Jan 2016 #EV #electricCar Miles travelled 500, electricity cost estimated £15 – typical cost of electric car “fuel”

February 14th, 2016 § Comments Off on Nissan Carwings APP Stats: Jan 2016 #EV #electricCar Miles travelled 500, electricity cost estimated £15 – typical cost of electric car “fuel” § permalink

Something I discovered in the update carwings aka Nissan Connect app lately.

It’s been a while since I have used it, due to faulty/buggy previous edition and reliance on third party apps to kick off that remote climate control.

It appears things have really turned about, first day use here, so more to be told on reliability of such update app, Nissan, and I do say “Re-Launched”, – I have however enjoy looking over the travel metrics – something which previous version lacked. 

All these electric miles, kWh consumption and Eco-driving statistics was/is available online, via the web portal, but was not, however in the app form. Now that this has all been combined, it’s handy, helpful and downright encouraging.

Example of our January Nissan Leaf Travels. 500 miles covered, some 150 odd kWh electricity used at cost of some £15 odd pounds. All handy statistics supposed to help budget, plan and improve on Eco driving. Kudos To Nissan.

Estimated Cost of driving our “Linda” in January   
Our driving stats for that month January 2016, our driving economy, and consumption outlined.

 
All in all, I welcome this update. 

Nissan Carwings APP Stats: Jan 2016 #EV Miles travelled 500, electricity cost estimated £15

February 14th, 2016 § Comments Off on Nissan Carwings APP Stats: Jan 2016 #EV Miles travelled 500, electricity cost estimated £15 § permalink

Something I discovered in the update carwings aka Nissan Connect app lately.

It’s been a while since I have used it, due to faulty/buggy previous edition and reliance on third party apps to kick off that remote climate control.

It appears things have really turned about, first day use here, so more to be told on reliability of such update app, Nissan, and I do say “Re-Launched”, – I have however enjoy looking over the travel metrics – something which previous version lacked. 

All these electric miles, kWh consumption and Eco-driving statistics was/is available online, via the web portal, but was not, however in the app form. Now that this has all been combined, it’s handy, helpful and downright encouraging.

Example of our January Nissan Leaf Travels. 500 miles covered, some 150 odd kWh electricity used at cost of some £15 odd pounds. All handy statistics supposed to help budget, plan and improve on Eco driving. Kudos To Nissan.

Estimated Cost of driving our “Linda” in January   
Our driving stats for that month January 2016, our driving economy, and consumption outlined.

 
All in all, I welcome this update. 

Lynn councillors to decide fees for electric vehicles

January 23rd, 2016 § Comments Off on Lynn councillors to decide fees for electric vehicles § permalink

Lynn councillors to decide fees for electric vehiclesNew Electric Car Charging Points at St James Car Park King’s Lynn
Brian Long (Cabinet Member for Environment) launches the new facility, with Scott Walker (Nissan Sales Manager at West of King’s Lynn. ANL-150611-160211009

The fees for electric vehicle charging in Lynn will be decided by councillors in the coming weeks.

Members of West Norfolk Council’s cabinet are being recommended to agree a maxium of three hours parking with a 5p per KWH fee for charging up.

Last year the council received a grant from the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles to fund the installation of charging points in Lynn and Hunstanton.

But the authority does not currently have a policy for charging electric vehicles.

A report to the next cabinet meeting on February 2, states that the council will incur a 60p transaction fee every time the charge point is used along with a £300 annual charge.

The report states: “Irrespective of any use there is a daily standing charge fee fo the electricity supply to the metre. This is circa 25p per day in Hunstanton (£91 per year). In Lynn the Maximum Demand Tariff is an additional £200 per month (£2,400).

“The chargers can deliver a charge from 0 to 80 per cent of battery capacity in approximately 30 minutes. It is unlikely that a charge point would be used for more than 1 hour for vehicle charging.

“Users have a registered credit card with CYC that operates the charge point.

“At the end of the initial three year period the cost of maintenance of equipment will fall to the council.”

The report states that the charging points have been used 41 times during November by six unique vehicles.

It also adds: “Over time it is likely that the number of visits for electric vehicles will increase. A further 640 visits would equate to breakeven on current costs.”

The charging points can be found outside the multi-storey car park in St James’ Street and at Hunstanton’s Central car park.

independent.ie: “We’re not serious enough on electric cars”. I concur.

November 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on independent.ie: “We’re not serious enough on electric cars”. I concur. § permalink

As Published on idependent.ie

Everyone lauds the attempts being made to have more electric cars on our roads. There are major drawbacks, of course, with range anxiety prime among them – though with a little bit of management in an urban environment that can be just about coped with now.

But, without in any way detracting from the effort, we should still bear in mind that electric cars are not emissions free.

Well, most of them aren’t. Most rely on power generated somewhere else. And generating that power can invoke considerable emissions. I think we lose sight of that.

I read somewhere recently that an electric car can use as much electricity in one charge as your average fridge does in six weeks. Which is a fair bit if you are charging it every day.

But that shouldn’t be regarded as a downer. Why not use the goal of significantly reducing the environmental impact of power for electric cars as an incentive to produce them more efficiently?

And why not encourage wider use of electric cars by making it even more worthwhile to have one?

All sorts of proposals have been made for Ireland (where monetary incentives are quite generous) such as free parking, tolls etc.

But there is a lethargy about our official approach to them and the numbers sold bear that out. Either we are serious or we are not. And I don’t think we are. We require a different sort of commitment.

I’m prompted to say so on the basis of charges that are coming down the line. This is a great juncture for the Government to step in and say: “We’re going to back electric cars to the hilt and here’s how.”

That would show real intent.

* Speaking of range anxiety . . . BMW is anxious to play down reports its BMW i3 electric car is ready to go further in the not-too-distant future.

Reports suggested it has developed a new higher-density battery that will extend the range to 200km instead of the current 160kmh. But a spokeswoman in Ireland said it was just press speculation.

* On a different electric-car tack . . . Tesla is recalling every Model S that has been bought so far after discovering a fault with a passenger’s seatbelt.

It recently found a Model S in Europe with “a front seatbelt that was not properly connected to the outboard lap pre-tensioner”.

There was no crash or injuries but Tesla says: “However, in the event of a crash, a seatbelt in this condition would not provide full protection.”

* Despite its travails, Volkswagen is pushing ahead with plans for an electric Phaeton to rival the likes of the Tesla Model S. But it will be three or four years down the line.

* Moving away from electrics . . . Toyota here is claimingit is first in Ireland to fit an advanced safety system as standard to a city car. Its ‘Safety Sense’ technology pack will be on the AYGO. The company says there is “no extra cost to the driver”.

* Good to see Jaguar Land Rover here expanding its retail network with the appointment of the Joe Duffy Group as North Dublin’s Jaguar dealer for Sales and Aftersales at HB Dennis.

Based in Airside Motor Park, Swords, the HB Dennis outlet is also a Land Rover dealership.

* And speaking of Land Rover: production of the great Defender will end early next year.

Less Energy-Intensive Heating For Electric Cars Demonstrated At Frankfurt Auto Show

September 15th, 2015 § Comments Off on Less Energy-Intensive Heating For Electric Cars Demonstrated At Frankfurt Auto Show § permalink

Less Energy-Intensive Heating For Electric Cars Demonstrated At Frankfurt Auto ShowFilm-based heating system for electric cars from Fraunhofer Institute

Onboard accessories can be a major drag on the efficiency of cars.

While it’s hard to imagine a new car being sold without heating or air conditioning, these systems draw a not-insignificant amount of power.

And electric cars particularly, that can have a negative impact on range.

Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute hope to mitigate that impact with a prototype heating system to be demonstrated at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show.
The system uses a “film-based panel” that researchers claim is more efficient than conventional electric heaters.

The film is coated with a thin layer of conductive carbon nanotubes (CNTs). When electricity flows through the film, the CNTs create resistance, generating heat.

Because the film is only a few micrometers thick, and flexible, it can be applied directly to surfaces like door panels.

This helps reduce weight, and allows heat to be more efficiently dispersed into the cabin, researchers say.

Heat is distributed evenly over the entire surface of the film, and those surfaces cool down very quickly when the system is shut off, they claim.

Replacing conventional heaters with this setup could also be a boon to those in charge of packaging car interiors, in theory.

Many electric cars currently rely more heavily on heated seats and steering wheels–rather than full cabin heating–to cut energy consumption and maintain range.

But the Fraunhofer researchers claim a more expansive heating system is actually more necessary in electric cars, because less heat is generated by the powertrain, compared to an internal-combustion car.

For the prototype system, sheets of film were cut into strips, and then glued to door panels.

But researchers hope to eventually develop a spray-on film, which could be applied more quickly and more evenly.

However, this technology will likely remain in the laboratory for now.
No manufacturers have publicly shown interest in it, and promising test results do not inevitably lead to commercial viability.

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