Archive for May 2015 | Monthly archive page

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Driverless cars are gaining awareness and momentum – in fact, they are a reality within four UK cities pioneering trials on their roads.

Britain is hoping to lead the world in the integration of these Electric Vehicles. A report by KPMG for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, (SMMT), shows that there are huge advantages to be gained.

In fact, the report claims that by 2030 driverless cars will:

– Create 320,000 new jobs in the UK, of which 25,000 will be in automotive manufacturing

– Add £51bn a year to the country’s economy

– Save 2,500 lives by preventing 25,000 serious accidents between now and 2030

KMPG’s results also show that 25% new cars will be fully autonomous by 2030 – with online connectivity becoming a standard feature in every new vehicle. The Telegraph also reports that whilst creating jobs, driverless cars will also add value by reducing traffic and parking congestion as cars will be able to ‘talk’ to each other.

Robert Goodwill, Transport Minister, said: “New technology is fundamental to government’s vision for our roads. Connected and autonomous cars will help us move to a smart, safe, efficient and low carbon future.”

Tests show that driverless cars are extremely safe. Google has been testing driverless cars for six years – covering over 1.7 million miles. During this time, they have been involved in 11 accidents – none of which were caused by the self-driving cars.

So – how will connected and autonomous vehicles transform our roads? Take a look at the SMMT video:

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The Department of Energy and Climate Change funded EVEREST energy storage project is now giving a 2nd life to used electric vehicle batteries, by providing grid support for electric vehicle charging at the Lotus Cars manufacturing site in Norfolk.

The newly commissioned energy storage system charges and discharges to manage and control the load that an electric vehicle rapid charger places on the local electricity network.

The system promises a potentially cheaper and faster alternative to increasing grid connection capacity as demand for EV rapid charging continues to grow.

When commercialised, the system will reuse the increasing quantities of lithium ion batteries that have become depleted by their use in electric vehicles. The reduced capacity of the batteries may make them unappealing for electric vehicle drivers but they remain suitable for many stationary electricity storage applications.

The project was contracted by DECC in 2014, to prove that the so called 2nd life batteries could be used to manage the load that clusters of electric vehicle chargers will place on the grid network. An additional benefit is that the same system could discharge electricity back to the grid network on demand.

The EVEREST project is led by Evalu8 Transport Innovations with technical leadership and project management provided by Future Transport Systems. Other partners include battery specialists Goodwolfe Energy, electric vehicle charging infrastructure specialists APT Technologies and Circontrol.

“With sales of electric vehicles growing dramatically we expect the demand for rapid chargers to grow too, as drivers seek to extend their range.  Clusters of chargers are likely to develop along major routes. The EVEREST storage technology is ideally suited to managing the increasing loads on the grid network, thus avoiding costly reinforcement,” commented EValu8’s Managing Director, Keith Bevis.

Ian McDonald, Technical Director of Future Transport Systems said, “This is a double win, the use of 2nd life batteries for this application should not only assist in the development of charging infrastructure for EV drivers but also contribute to the sustainability credentials of the EVs themselves.”

The EVEREST consortium includes:

Evalu8 Transport Innovations – Recharging network provider and Consortium lead.

Future Transport Systems – Technical lead, back office integration and project management.

Goodwolfe Energy – Cell integrator and battery specialist, battery build and test.

APT Technologies – EV charging equipment provider

Circontrol – Power electronics supplier, power conditioning and monitoring equipment

For further information see www.futuretransportsystems.co.uk or contact the EValu8 team.

 

 

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The Renault-Nissan partnership has announced that it aims to develop batteries that can offer a 400km range on a single charge by 2020.

Achieving this goal will almost double the distance that existing Electric Vehicles can travel. The current range of a Nissan LEAF is 228km.

As range is one of the barriers to purchasing EVs, this will offer a tremendous incentive to drivers who are thinking of buying pure electric vehicles.

Renault-Nissan hopes that this added convenience will boost sales and contribute to sales targets… Nissan plans to:

– Increase the sales share of electric cars to from 1% to 10% by 2025

– Sell 1.5 million EVs by 2016 – although just 200,000 units were sold as of the end of 2014

Nissan’s Kazuo Yajima oversees the joint development of electric and hybrid vehicles. Nikkei Asian Review reports that he is considering battery suppliers alongside Nissan’s joint venture with NEC, “provided there are no problems with costs, performance or availability.”

Increased range will undoubtedly be reassuring to drivers and will combine well with the financial incentives involved with driving EVs.

To find out more, speak to EValu8. We can provide the latest funding details and advise regarding sustainable transport.

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