Bath electric cars: Broken charging points to be replaced

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.”
‘Very unreliable’
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.


When manufacturers must push for Electrification: Emission Scandal(VW) put all emission validation/rating in the bin

February 1st, 2016 § Comments Off on When manufacturers must push for Electrification: Emission Scandal(VW) put all emission validation/rating in the bin § permalink

In September 2015 the Volkswagen Group was found to have been cheating emissions tests by making it seem that certain cars produced far fewer emissions than was actually the case. The story broke when the US Environmental Agency discovered that many of Volkswagen’s diesel cars emitted up to 40 times more fumes than the permitted limit. They achieved this through the installation of software (known as the ‘defeat device’), which could sense it was running under test conditions and alter its performance accordingly.
Although this issue started with Volkswagen cars in the USA, it has since spread to other brands in other countries and the number of cars affected is thought to be around 11 million.
This infographic cuts through all of the stories and rumours about the scandal to give you the facts about what has happened, the cars affected, what Volkswagen are doing about it, how you can check if your car has the defeat software installed and the effect Volkswagen’s actions have had on the environment and on public health. Of course, part of the issue most discussed in relation to this scandal is the legal ramifications. This infographic looks at this and gives you the most common reasons drivers may be able to make a claim against Volkswagen.

Thanks to Terry H for contribution

Nissan’s 60-kWh, 200-Mile Battery Pack: What We Know So Far

November 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on Nissan’s 60-kWh, 200-Mile Battery Pack: What We Know So Far § permalink

Will the next-generation 2018 Nissan Leaf offer an option that could provide 200 miles of more of real-world driving range?

Based on the concept car and prototype battery pack that officially bowed this past week, coinciding with the Tokyo Motor Show, it’s increasingly likely.

One of them is that it points to how a new generation of vehicles with autonomous-drive modes might look—and function with pedestrians, normally driven cars, and the immediate surroundings.
With the concept Nissan also dropped some hints about a potential styling direction for the next-generation Leaf electric car.

Furthermore, the concept officially threw in a 60-kWh battery—which, if it’s affordable enough, could be the key to stay competitive against a raft of rivals including the Chevy Bolt, and Tesla Model 3.

Although a Nissan official told us that 60 kWh isn’t a hard-and-fast capacity number, the approximate size is something that the automaker plans to offer in the next several years.
And that pack isn’t just concept-car fantasy. It exists (pictured above), developed internally by Nissan, and they’re calling the pack a working prototype, aimed at providing a 500-km (300-mile) range in the very generous European or Japanese driving cycles.

In all, it’s quite different than the currently available 24-kWh pack in the Leaf or its upgraded 30-kWh pack that’s going to be available beginning in a few months. The latter will offer an EPA-rated 107 miles.

At least for now, any claims that the automaker is planning to move to an external supplier are premature.

Lithium-ion battery pack of 2011 Nissan Leaf, showing cells assembled into modules 

 This past week, at the Nissan Technical Center at Atsugi, Japan, we were about to learn more about this pack from some of the team overseeing its development. Here are some key points of this next-gen, 200-mile battery:

Different chemistry. 

The prototype moves from a nickel manganese cathode to a nickel manganese cobalt one. The anode remains made of graphite, and the electrolyte remains a lithium compound.

Flexible pack structure. 

The current Leaf battery uses four cells per module (with 48 modules in the entire 24-kWh pack)—a structure that allows a uniform height and shape for the pack. But this one moves to a multiple-cell configuration; Nissan will be able to adjust the number of cell stacks (and thus height) depending on packaging and capacity demands. An official said that they were conservative with the number of cells per stack in the original battery design, but with essentially no failures or issues, they’re fine perhaps dramatically increasing that number.

Faster charging. 

Engineers have made an effort to reduce impedance, through the increased quantity of cells and a revised electrode material. This allows longer charging at maximum current—and will potentially allow faster-rate 100-kW charging versus the current 50-kW. Higher voltage is under discussion.

More weight, but a lot more power density. Using the 24-kWh pack as a baseline, Nissan says that the new 60-kWh pack weighs just 220 pounds more. So with that older pack weighing in the vicinity of 660 pounds, that ups overall weight to nearly 900 pounds. It’s impressive, considering the gain in kWh per pound.

Air cooling. 

Nissan made the original Leaf battery pack completely air-cooled, and while there were some early, isolated issues in very hot climates like Arizona, those seem to be largely solved today. Liquid cooling isn’t being considered for an entirely new, larger-capacity battery—at least in this prototype form. Forced-air cooling isn’t likely either.

Increased state-of-charge range. 

That’s thanks to a wider voltage range—which runs at about 2.5 to 4.15 volts in the current battery.

Longer service life. 

Nissan has revised the electrode material and optimized the lithium electrolyte (it won’t say how in either case), with the net effect being less of a performance drop over years and hundreds of charge cycles. Suppressed lithium corrosion will help durability, too. One of several charts we saw but were instructed not to publish, if to scale, suggested that instead of a standard capacity degradation to 80 percent after five years, it now might be 90 percent.

More Scots are plugging in electric cars

November 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on More Scots are plugging in electric cars § permalink

SALES of electric cars are increasing but still account for just one per cent of the motor trade in Scotland.
The Scottish Government is keen to support more people to invest in vehicles not powered by polluting fossil fuels, and more than 600 public charge points have now been installed across the country.

There are now more than 600 electric vehicle charging points in Scotland

There are also a range of financial incentives to encourage motorists to switch to an electric car. The Energy Saving Trust offers interest-free loans of up to £50,000 to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle under a new fund, while those who do take the plunge can take advantage of full grant funding via the ChargePlace Scotland programme for an electric car charge point to be installed in their home.

But although sales are up, the number of electric vehicles on the road north of the border remains comparatively low.

“In the past year we have seen a 70 per cent rise in sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which is in line with the motoring industry,” said Scott Willis, sales director at Arnold Clark Group, the country’s largest car sales firm.

“Although this accounts for only one per cent of overall motoring sales, we do expect this to rise exponentially.”
In the past year we have seen a 70 per cent rise in sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which is inline with the motoring industry

Scott Willis, sales director at Arnold Clark Group

Glasgow City Council, Scotland’s largest local authority, has installed 64 electric vehicle charging points across the city. This figure will rise to 78 by the end of the year.

A spokeswoman said they were a combination of rapid and fast chargers and the council also had plans to install further charging points in 2016.

The sites are a mixture of on-road, in council owned multi-storey car parks and at sporting venues such as the Emirates Arena in the east end.

Drivers can charge their electric vehicle free of charge in the city.

The scale of the task in convincing motorists that electric cars are as reliable as traditional petrol-powered vehicles was further revealed in February when the RAC Foundation reported that almost half of the charge points in Scotland were unused during one month in 2014.

There was a wide variation across Scotland, with all Edinburgh, Falkirk and Stirling chargers used but none of East Dunbartonshire – where the council had yet to connect its chargers to the mains.
The number of charge points has since increased.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “The encouraging news is that electric car sales in the UK are at last showing signs of improvement, but we still have a charging network in Scotland that is running below capacity.

“Part of the reason for installing public charge points is to help drivers overcome their fear of range anxiety, but this does not come cheap.

“This data also suggests a good proportion of charge points are located on private premises including council sites. This is encouraging as it was always envisaged that fleet operators would lead the way in the electric revolution.”

The Nissan Leaf, which is sold for around £21,500, is currently the UK’s most popular electric vehicle, with almost 6,000 cars registered by the third quarter of 2014.

London Commuting: #ElectricCar #twizy for sale with a private plate “TW11ZY” – London – £3700 – DM :)

September 6th, 2015 § Comments Off on London Commuting: #ElectricCar #twizy for sale with a private plate “TW11ZY” – London – £3700 – DM :) § permalink

Contact via Twitter: @evmeerkat or email: iam[at]

Owner says:

It’s a 2012 white Twizy with doors and LEXON hard windows,

it comes with the PRIVATE TWIZY plate TW11ZY – I have been pestered for this plate as every Twizy owner wants it,

The plate can be sold between £1000 – £2000 to the right person Im giving it away with the car!!!!!

…so for someone looking this is ideal, its had new brakes recently and a 2015 charging unit fitted as the old charging units had a fault.

To me it the nicest Twizy available especially with the number plate, a real head turner looking for around £3999

Im currently in the West End or IG10 Loughton so if anyone interested please let me know.

One full charge takes 3 hours which gives you a range of 40 – 50 miles

Free parking in Westminster and surrounding areas,


How you like Them Apples: Apple Poaches Fiat Chrysler Exec for Electric Car Dream

July 21st, 2015 § Comments Off on How you like Them Apples: Apple Poaches Fiat Chrysler Exec for Electric Car Dream § permalink

It’d all gone a bit quiet for a little while there when it comes to Apple’s electric car. With apparently 200 staff working on a self-driving electric minivan codenamed project “Titan“, Apple can now push that number up to 201. It’s just acquired the skills of Fiat Chrysler executive Doug Betts.

The manager for Fiat Chrysler’s global quality efforts from 2007 through 2014, Betts (whose role has yet to be divulged) is expected to work to ensure the myriad traditional car, green energy and connected tech elements that will make up the Apple car come together as a meaningful, drivable whole. Hopefully in a better state than the unreliable recent batches of Chryslers and Fiats.

As well as going on a poaching spree of Tesla talent, Apple’s also recently nabbed Paul Furgale, the deputy director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s Autonomous Systems Lab, adding futher fuel to the autonomous driving fire. With Apple not expected to reveal any car plans until 2020, the long game now seems to have its major players. [WSJ]

Electric car grant: time is short before they pull the plug on £5,000 giveaway

July 11th, 2015 § Comments Off on Electric car grant: time is short before they pull the plug on £5,000 giveaway § permalink

A £5,000-a-car government giveaway has sent sales of electric vehicles in Britain soaring to record levels – but eco-conscious buyers may now have only a few months left to grab the grant money before it runs out.

In early 2011 the government introduced the £5,000 grants (£8,000 for plug-in electric vans) and promised that the scheme would continue until 50,000 were awarded. Early take-up was slow, and two years later just 3,200 had been made – largely because there were so few electric vehicles to choose from. But the launch of the Nissan Leaf, the remarkable success of the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in, and the fact that there are now a further 35 models to choose from, has ignited the market. » Read the rest of this entry «

EV Growth: Mitsubishi Outlander is top UK plug-in as electric car sales surge

July 2nd, 2015 § Comments Off on EV Growth: Mitsubishi Outlander is top UK plug-in as electric car sales surge § permalink

Boosted by Government grants, the number of ultra-low emission plug-in vehicles in the UK has more than tripled over the past year as motorists begin to embrace the new age of the electric car.

According to the RAC Foundation, at the end of the first quarter there were 29,469 vehicles on the road in the UK that were eligible for grants, a rise of 37pc on the final quarter of last year and three times the number on Britain’s roads at the start of 2014.

Under existing schemes, buyers of plug-in hybrid cars and vans are eligible for a £5,000 and £8,000 grant respectively. Although the pace of increase is impressive, motoring groups are concerned this will slow should subsidies be removed from plug-in vehicles.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Better Late Than Never: Longbridge caretaker tests out electric cars for Birmingham City Council

July 2nd, 2015 § Comments Off on Better Late Than Never: Longbridge caretaker tests out electric cars for Birmingham City Council § permalink

Caretaker Gary Chalke demonstrates his electric works van which he can keep and charge on his driveway at home in Longbridge

Caretaker Gary Chalke demonstrates his electric works van which he can keep and charge on his driveway at home in Longbridge

A caretaker from Longbridge has been selected to test out electric cars for the whole of Birmingham City Council.

The authority has installed a charging point in Gary Chalke’s home to see if it can save thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash from its budgets.

Over the next three months, Gary, a district neighbourhood caretaker, will be tasked with using a low carbon Nissan e-NV200 van to measure its cost-efficiency.

If the trial is successful, and money is seen to be saved, more council staff will be asked to drive electric vehicles and offered the British Gas charging points, either at home or their workplace.

What is an electric car?

An earlier trial involving a pool car, a Nissan Leaf, used by care workers found that, as well as having zero carbon emissions, the car cost £1,660 less to maintain and tax over five years compared to regular council vehicles, and saved 6.2p per mile on running costs – cositng 3.3p instead of the 9.5p per mile for diesel.

Council cabinet member for neighbourhood management John Cotton said: “The results from the initial trial are encouraging and show there are clear advantages to making our fleet of vehicles greener.

“But we need to test a number of different scenarios to get the most out of such technology. Doing this the right way will save the council and the taxpayer money, while also helping to address issues relating to air quality and the health and wellbeing of our citizens.

“This latest trial will help shape a green vehicle fleet for the council in future.”

Andy Butler from British Gas added: “Innovative trials like this demonstrate that using electric vehicles as part of a council’s fleet can bring significant benefits – from saving money to improving local air quality.

“Electric vehicles are also really convenient for council staff as they can be charged at home or at work while they’re parked. The charging point we’ve installed is as easy to use as plugging in a mobile phone, so we’re confident that it will support the neighbourhood caretaker in their duties.“

Peterborough gets first ever zero-emission vehicle for private hire

July 2nd, 2015 § Comments Off on Peterborough gets first ever zero-emission vehicle for private hire § permalink

The zero-emission vehicleFor the first time a zero-emission electric vehicle will operate as part of Peterborough’s private hire fleet.

The city’s first ever electric private hire is now picking up passengers after being granted a licence today (Wednesday, July 1).

The green light was given by the council’s licensing committee last month who agreed to change conditions to allow the licensing of electric vehicles.

Tod Howard of Green Leaf Cars initially approached the council’s licensing team expressing an interest in licensing all-electric vehicles.

His firm has a strong commitment to the environment and already operates a fleet of hybrid Toyota Prius’.

The Nissan Leaf can travel around 110 miles before it needs recharging and will be able to utilize a number of electric charging points around the city. As well as being more environmentally friendly, it also cuts fuel costs.

If the two month trial proves a success, the operator hopes to permanently introduce one of the vehicles into his fleet.

Donna Hall, the council’s public protection manager, said: “This is a great opportunity for the city and I hope further taxi and private hire providers look to broaden their fleet with electric cars.”

Councillor Nigel North, cabinet member for environment capital and communities, said: “This decision demonstrates our aspiration to become the UK’s environment capital as well as our commitment to reduce carbon emissions in the city.

“We have a number of charging points in the city so I hope this is the first of many electric private hire vehicles on our roads picking up fares.”

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