Tough but gotta be done: Netherlands may ban sale of non-electric cars by 2025

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.


Source London: what the next Mayor will do for London’s electric charging network. A word from candidates…

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

Source LondonThe 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

98% of England’s motorway network’ within 20 miles of electric car 

February 12th, 2016 § Comments Off on 98% of England’s motorway network’ within 20 miles of electric car  § permalink

Some 98% of England’s motorway network is no more than 20 miles from an electric vehicle charge point, according to new research.

A study by motoring organisation the RAC Foundation found that the proportion of service stations offering the facility has risen to 72%.

It stated that the vast majority (92%) of the individual charge points are rapid, meaning batteries can be almost fully replenished in around half an hour.

When the analysis was extended to include major A roads managed by Highways England (HE), it was calculated that 82% of the strategic road network is within 20 miles of a charge point.

There are currently just over 20,000 battery-only vehicles licensed in the UK.
The report found that just 28% of the major road network in Scotland is within 20 miles of a charge point, and 45% in Wales.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Electric car drivers might still struggle to drive from Land’s End to John O’Groats but they can now travel from Southampton to Perth in a relatively straight line and be confident of being able to ‘fill up’ along the way.

“The growing charge point network is good news but there are important caveats.

“Though many of the charge points are rapid, it will still take about 30 minutes to fully replenish a battery. This is fine if you’re first in the queue but could be a challenge if the hoped-for take up of electric cars materialises and you’re stuck at the back of a very long line.”

Research previously published by the RAC Foundation suggested that a third of charge points in London were not working at any one time.

From next month the £5,000 subsidy for electric cars is being reduced and replaced by a tiered system.

Vehicles with a zero emission range of over 70 miles will be eligible for up to £4,500 while those with a shorter range – such as plug-in hybrids with a petrol or diesel engine – can receive £2,500.

London : Bluecity will mimic the Autolib scheme running in Paris

December 21st, 2015 § Comments Off on London : Bluecity will mimic the Autolib scheme running in Paris § permalink

Over the next four years, thousands of new cars will be pouring onto the streets of London. The British capital will see 3000 new cars, French cars, pouring in from a French company, the Bolloré group. What is going on? » Read the rest of this entry «

“What it’s like riding in a million-dollar autonomous Nissan” (yes, it is self driving)

November 7th, 2015 § Comments Off on “What it’s like riding in a million-dollar autonomous Nissan” (yes, it is self driving) § permalink

Here’s the ironic thing about today’s autonomous car development programs: The latest prototypes actually require that the person behind the wheel concentrate more, not less.

from cNet Post

That’s because while self-driving vehicles like this Nissan Leaf Piloted Drive 1.0 prototype can do a remarkable job negotiating roads on their own most of the time, a drive of any length and complexity almost always carries with it the specter of an occasional flub or near miss. By contrast, were a human behind the wheel, most of these situations would have never escalated to the point where a need for a momentary swerve or panic braking resulted.

Here’s the ironic thing about today’s autonomous car development programs: The latest prototypes actually require that the person behind the wheel concentrate more, not less.

 That’s because while self-driving vehicles like this Nissan Leaf Piloted Drive 1.0 prototype can do a remarkable job negotiating roads on their own most of the time, a drive of any length and complexity almost always carries with it the specter of an occasional flub or near miss. By contrast, were a human behind the wheel, most of these situations would have never escalated to the point where a need for a momentary swerve or panic braking resulted.

That may sound discouraging, but it’s not meant to. The radical progress that has been made on autonomous vehicles in just the last couple of years suggests that such incidents will be nothing but a brief transitional hiccup for the technology, a blip on its evolutionary timeline. In fact, my 40-plus minute Nissan test drive in unrestricted, live Tokyo traffic was nothing short of hugely impressive.

 Even with the current state-of-the-art tech’s momentary autonomous foibles, it’s easy to see the promise such vehicles have for greatly decreasing accident rates and traffic congestion, not to mention for restoring autonomy to the world’s elderly and infirm. Autonomous technology isn’t just a game-changer for personal transportation, it’s poised to usher in a whole new game.

On my drive, Nissan’s all-electric hatchback prototype executed a complex drive route including merging, along with left and right turns. It negotiated dense traffic including busses, commercial trucks and pedestrians, all with minimal intervention. It was truly fascinating to have a front-row seat while the car moved itself nearly seamlessly through dense traffic.

Were it not for the logos slathered on the sides of our Leaf, our fellow motorists would likely have never suspected that this was anything other than an ordinary human-piloted car. That’s a remarkable achievement. Just a couple of years ago, a car with half of this vehicle’s capabilities would’ve had the outward appearance of a science project.

In part, this dramatic progress has been made possible because the Leaf’s complex network of cutting-edge cameras, sonar hardware and lidar sensors (remote-sensing technology which uses lasers and radars to measure distances) have been miniaturized and innocuously mounted to its bodywork. Up until now, these sensors have been large and ungainly, incorporating an attention-grabbing, aerodynamics-spoiling spinning element that needed to be mounted on a vehicle’s highest point (the roof) for a 360-degree view.

This Nissan makes use of groundbreaking pre-production flash lidar sensors from Santa Barbara’s Advanced Scientific Concepts Inc. which are exponentially smaller than rooftop sensors and contain no moving parts. I bet you didn’t notice them subtly flush-mounted on the car’s front doors and in the bumpers in the pictures above. In all, this car has no fewer than a dozen cameras, four lidar scanners and five radar sensors attached to its panels. I bet you didn’t notice those, either.

Two years ago, a previous-generation system utilized just five cameras and employed comparatively bulky and primitive laser sensors. In the case of this Leaf, which is one of three such million-dollar prototypes, this network of sensors is acted upon by a trunk full of wires and silicon chippery. This hardware figures to be much easier to miniaturize than the sensor arrays themselves, and Nissan expects to downscale the associated componentry to the size of a laptop by the time it introduces a production system by 2020.

At the wheel keeping tabs on the prototype’s systems during my test ride was Tetsuya Iijima, Nissan’s general manager of its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous engineering department. Iijima has been working on ADAS and self-driving technology at Nissan for a remarkable 18 years — he spearheaded the development of the company’s first intelligent cruise control, which he proudly notes was among the very first systems in production over a dozen years ago (concurrently entering the market with a similar technology from Mercedes-Benz).

During our drive, Iijima constantly scanned a trio of screens, including a 10-inch center-stack display that looked production ready (the current Leaf features a 7-inch unit) and a 12-inch screen in place of traditional analogue gauges. There’s also a third, temporary-mounted tablet screen mounted just ahead of the round gear selector displaying additional information, and a head-up display. The in-cluster display is the one Iijima spent the most time looking at. It shows a radar image of the traffic ahead highlighting objects the sensors detect with either red or green boxes depending on their relevance. These objects can include other vehicles, traffic lights or pedestrians.
The vast majority of our test loop was uneventful in the best possible way — the Leaf accelerated, braked and negotiated turned with alacrity under almost all circumstances. It signaled nearly every time it changed lanes, and it even functioned perfectly in a long tunnel with a substantial bend in the middle and a fair amount of traffic.

After noting our smooth progress, I asked Iijima whether the instant-on torque of electric motors and the lack of a multi-speed transmission makes developing an autonomous EV easier than a traditional internal-combustion vehicle, and his face lit up as he nodded.
Given that there are occasions where Piloted Drive may require human intervention, the person in the driver’s seat needs to continue to pay attention to his or her surroundings. Even when this technology is perfected and autonomous drive becomes at least as safe as human piloting, Iijima says it will be important for drivers to remain awake and maintain situational awareness. To that end, he says, “We may need something to keep the driver involved in the driving task.” That could take the form of vehicle occupant monitoring, something this car doesn’t do (but Nissan is working on), or it could even take the form of something like an interactive game. This, too, may be a temporary need. In its just-revealed IDS Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan envisions a future where the steering wheel actually folds away when not in use, and where the seats shift toward each other to encourage conversation.

As it turns out, fast-approaching cars or an oblivious pedestrian at a crosswalk seems easier for the Piloted Drive to react to than a nearby vehicle whose speed closely matches that of our car — it’s hard for the sensors to determine relative speed in such scenarios.

To illustrate the point, while queuing in slow-moving traffic, our Leaf attempted to merge into the rear end of a commercial truck, coming within inches of wiping off its own front end in what would’ve been a sickeningly expensive slow-motion accident. Only Iijima’s override with the brake pedal saved our car’s skin. Piloted Drive also had trouble detecting a merging Nissan X-Trail under similar circumstances. In that situation, Iijima was able to use the steering wheel as a momentary override, at which point the car immediately retook control seamlessly and uneventfully. Piloted Drive won’t disable itself fully in the latter circumstance, it will only turn off when the driver manually activates the brake pedal or hits an emergency kill switch — integrating momentary manual steering or accelerator inputs seem easy.
Interestingly, while Piloted Drive won’t call out lane-change maneuvers or bends in the road, when it comes time for a significant directional change (as when turning on to another road at a four-way stop), the system will call out its maneuver over the speakers, just like a normal navigation system. Iijima says that’s so that vehicle occupants aren’t taken by surprise. IIjima believes that voice support like this could be a transitional step until people get used to the sensation of traveling in autonomous cars.

The auto industry’s pace of development of autonomous technology has been nothing short of thrilling, and much of the basic “blocking and tackling” work is nearing production readiness. But there’s still lot of scenarios for which it will be very tough to program. For instance, while Nissan’s Piloted Drive can account for a pedestrian in a roadway, it can’t detect that the individual is actually a policeman, urging the vehicle’s driver to proceed with a wave of his hand.

Weather remains a challenge, too — Iijima says sun glare and heavy rain isn’t a problem, but admits fog and snow are more difficult. Will an autonomous car’s exterior sensors need to be heated and self-cleaning in order to work in inclement weather, or will the technology simply shut off when sensors get dirty or packed with snow, the way today’s intelligent cruise-control systems warn check out?

Nissan promises a full-autonomy system like this will be in production by 2020 and Iijima says it will have a “common-sense” price, but admits it will be initially offered on a high-end model. By that time, less capable self-driving systems will also be available on more mainstream Nissans, which will likely be hardware similar to the semi-autonomous tech currently offered on luxury cars like the Tesla Model S or Nissan’s own Infiniti Q50.

In the face of such impressive technology, I couldn’t help but ask Iijima if he thinks manual driving has a long-term future, especially if self-driving cars ultimately prove to be significantly safer, as most experts believe. Iijima pointed to the continued presence of motorcycles in a world where four-wheeled cars are infinitely less dangerous and suggested that “(driving) will become kind of a sport,” in other words, a source of entertainment. Many experts agree, pointing to how some people enjoy horseback riding even though the sun has long since set on using equines as primary transportation.

Me? I’m not so sure. I welcome autonomous technology, especially for boring freeway transits, megacity stoplight-to-stoplight slogs, and for drivers who can’t be bothered to look up from their mobile phones. But I suspect that over the long haul, if human beings are causing a disproportionate amount of accidents versus their computerized counterparts, manual driving will be taken off the table, at least on public roads. Whether that reality manifests itself legislatively or merely practically — likely taking the form of prohibitively high insurance rates — I’m not so sure.

Either way, while the road to autonomy isn’t fully mapped out, it’s clear we’re well on the way to a self-driving future. And thanks to engineers like Nissan’s Iijima, that future is coming up in the rearview mirror far quicker than you might imagine.

Nissan Pushes UK Government For EV-Specific Road Signs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nissan LEAF 2016 electric car upgraded with improved range

September 11th, 2015 § Comments Off on Nissan LEAF 2016 electric car upgraded with improved range § permalink

25% increase in LEAF driving range – 155 miles (250km) on a single charge

Significant battery updates improve performance

New NissanConnect EV infotainment system with greater functionality; off-board telematics for remote operations

Nissan has updated its LEAF electric car with a new 30kWh battery that promises to give drivers 155 miles of motoring range. It’s hoped the new battery will also help to broaden the LEAF’s appeal and boost sales. » Read the rest of this entry «

Amazed: UK To Test Wireless Charging Lanes For Electric Cars

August 13th, 2015 § Comments Off on Amazed: UK To Test Wireless Charging Lanes For Electric Cars § permalink

A graphic of what the scheme could look like if introduced on the UK's motorways

It’s hoped the technology will help cut CO2 emissions Pic: Highways England

New technology is being tested by Highways England that could allow electric car owners to charge as they drive.

The trials are the first of their kind and will test how the technology would work on the country’s motorways and major A roads, allowing drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles to travel long distances without needing to stop and charge the car’s battery.

Electric and hybrid car sales are on the rise in Britain with a total of 9,046 ultra-low emission vehicles registered in the first quarter of 2015 – a rise of 366% from the same period in 2014.

Graph showing the rise in sales of low emission and electric vehicles

There has been a surge in the sale of low emission vehicles this year.

The Government hopes that the new technology could entice more drivers who may be put off by the current distribution of charging points.

Off-road trials of the Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer technology will begin later this year after a procurement process.

Video: GoUltraLow Campaign Success

The trials will involve fitting vehicles with wireless technology and testing the equipment, installed underneath the road, to replicate motorway conditions.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “The potential to recharge low emission vehicles on the move offers exciting possibilities.

“The Government is already committing £500m over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology, which will help boost jobs and growth in the sector.

“As this study shows, we continue to explore options on how to improve journeys and make low-emission vehicles accessible to families and businesses.”

The trials are expected to last for approximately 18 months and, subject to the results, could be followed by road trials.

As well as investigating the potential of wireless power, Highways England also says it’s committed in the longer-term to installing plug-in charging points every 20 miles on the motorway network as part of the Government’s Road Investment Strategy.

The UK Government has committed itself to reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050.

In 2013, 25% of UK CO2 emissions were from transport, so there is a drive to increase the use of Low Carbon Vehicles.


Then and Now. Recapping history, admiring Renault #Twizy. How i came to own one.

August 4th, 2015 § Comments Off on Then and Now. Recapping history, admiring Renault #Twizy. How i came to own one. § permalink

Came across some shots of Twizy loan “back in a day” a year or so ago actually, when i was given one for a few-day loan. I take it that marketing ploy paid off. i ended up owning one.


Innocent Looking thing. Takes 1/3rd of the parking spot too.Renault-Twizy-.JPG

That was a very memorable experience, plenty comments, wow, and all the attention. » Read the rest of this entry «

The UK’s cheapest electric car will cost less than £10,000

July 31st, 2015 § Comments Off on The UK’s cheapest electric car will cost less than £10,000 § permalink

Sub 10k electric car from IndiaMahindra thinks it’s spotted a gap in the electric car market. The Indian manufacturer plans to return to the UK market with an all-electric car called the e2o, which will sell for less than £10,000.
» Read the rest of this entry «

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