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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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Nissan representatives have been highlighting how Electric Vehicles have played an important role in disaster situations.

A recent UN conference on Disaster Risk Reduction heard how Nissan’s EVs have already provided valuable assistance in areas affected by earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Nissan’s own factories and dealers were affected – they and other Japanese car manufacturers offered much-needed support.

When natural disasters strike, electricity is almost always the first service restored. This is achieved far more quickly than petrol supplies can be reinstated.

Inside EVs reports how Nissan LEAFs were used in Japan after an earthquake in 2011. The EVs became mobile medics, transferring supplies to patients and clinics whose petrol supplies had run out. The LEAFs also worked alongside traditional vehicles with other rescue efforts.

Typically, the area experienced power blackouts – however these were mostly during the day when the EVs were on the road. Overnight, they recharged, ready for another day’s rescue efforts.

Nissan LEAFs were also used to provide light, charge mobile phones and keep radios on.

In America, EVs proved to be essential transport in the aftermath of super storm Sandy as petrol became increasingly scarce.

There’s more information about the role of EV’s in disaster recovery in Nissan’s video below:

So – EVs are incredibly versatile as well as being cost effective and sustainable. Are you thinking of driving green? Talk to the team at EValu8 – we can help with sustainable transport planning, advice and incentives. We’re here to help.

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bus

The 312 bus route Northwood Junction – South Croydon will be the first fully electric bus route in London.

A successful trial took place using two electric buses. This has given Transport for London and route operator Arriva London confidence that the technology involved will meet the demands of London’s intensively urban driving environment. Confirmation of the all-electric route means a further seven buses will be introduced.

The 312 service carries 4,700 passengers each day. The pure electric bus offers lower noise and vibration levels with zero emissions. It also significantly reduces running costs.

In addition, the introduction of the new electric buses contributes towards London mayor Boris Johnson’s plans to make central London the first Ultra Low Emission Zone, planned for 2020.

Daniel Box is a driver with Arriva London and enthuses about the electric bus: “Driving an electric bus is an exciting time for the drivers on the 312, as the electric buses are the future. It’s quite a privilege to be on the first route that’s going fully electric”

He also says: “They are very smooth and efficient and they pick up speed easily. They’re also comfy to drive and the passengers find them very comfortable as well.”

This development is a planned sustainable transport policy, championed by Boris Johnson. If you are interested in a sustainable travel plan for your organisation, let’s talk!

The EValu8 team can offer the advice and contacts that you need to turn green transport plans into reality.

 

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Nissan LEAF

Last month, 6,114 new electric cars were registered in the UK.

That’s an increase of over 400% compared with sales in March 2014 – wow!

A higher number of new car registrations are expected as we see number plate changes in March and September each year. Impressive March sales figures for electric cars were anticipated and did not disappoint.

 

The graph below, from Inside EVs, shows the dramatic achievement for the EV industry:

Inside EVs Sales Graph

 

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) 1,905 of these vehicles were pure electric, domestic cars:

smmt table

 

 

Nissan continues to dominate the UK market achieving 1,254 new LEAF sales during March – 65% of total plug-in sales.

6,104 of the pure electric and plug-in cars sold during March were eligible for the government’s plug-in car grant.

Are you thinking of driving green? Talk to EValu8 about the incentives available.

Our team has expert, current knowledge of the funding opportunities for purchasing and charging your electric vehicle. Let’s talk!

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safe charging

The location of electric vehicle (EV) charging points is key to the successful take up of electric vehicles and use of charging points. There are various and often conflicting criteria to consider when deciding where to site an EV charging point. This blog by Loyd Davies of ElectrAssure offers expert advice about what’s involved with choosing a good location.

ElectrAssure carries out surveys for commercial EV charging points and then goes on to specify and install a large proportion of these – well over 100 so far.

We often visit sites to carry out a survey where the proposed location proves not to be viable.

This blog will help you to find the ideal location. The key criteria are usually:

  1. Cost
  2. Safety
  3. Access
  4. Compatibility
  5. Electrical capacity
  6. Communications
  7. Disruption
  8. Installer

The factors that affect these criteria are as follows:

  1. Cost

EV Charging Point. What type of charge point would be best for you? Wall mounted standard 16 amp or fast 32 amp charge points are the least expensive but there are fewer options available. Post mounted fast chargers are more expensive but provide more options. Rapid chargers will charge an EV in 15 minutes but are the most expensive to buy and to install.

Cabling is much simpler and cheaper with wall mounted units as the cable can be clipped to the wall . Post mounted and rapid chargers usually require trenching so are more expensive to install and cable.

Distance. The costs of the trenching and supply cable rise exponentially with the distance from the supply. The cable size has to increase with longer cable runs and a longer trench has to be excavated.

Surface. What is the surface to be trenched through? Soft soil or grass is the cheapest and easiest but there may then be landscaping costs. Paving or block work are the next easiest but there may be concrete below the paving! The most difficult and expensive are concrete and tarmac.

 

  1. Safety

Existing Installation. Is the existing installation safe? Has it been inspected recently and any remedial works carried out?

Charging Cables. Could the EV charging cables connecting the vehicle to the charger be a trip hazard?

Supply Cables. Can the supply cables be buried to a safe depth (~600mm) or safely clipped to a wall or similar?

Earthing. Is there suitable soft ground close to the EV charging point to install an earth spike?

Shock Protection. Is there a metal structure located close to the proposed site? If so more costly shock protection arrangements may have to be made.

 

  1. Access

Target users. Do your target users have easy access to the EV charging points?

Restrictions. Are there height or security restrictions that will restrict access to the proposed site?

Electric Vehicle. Can the EV charging point be used at the times required. Is it an exclusive EV parking bay or are other drivers likely to block the space?

 

  1. Compatibility

Charging options for your vehicle. What type of charger is required? Check compatibility with the UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Association.

 

  1. Electrical Capacity

Main Supply. Is an adequate supply available or will a new main supply be required? Is there available capacity?

Sub-main Supply. Is there a sub-main supply located close to the EV charging point location? Typical supply required by EV charging points (which can have one or two outlets) are as follows:

Standard – 13-16 amps per outlet

Fast –  32 amps single or three-phase per outlet

Rapid AC – 63 amps 3 phase per outlet

Rapid DC – AC input 80 amps 3 phase

 

  1. Communications

3G, GPRS network coverage.  Will your charging point form part of a charging network such as Source East or Source London? If so the charging point will normally be fitted with a SIM card and will require a good quality mobile phone signal.

Datacomms. Will the charging point be connected to the building network for control, monitoring or metering? If so a wireless connection or data cabling will be required.

 

  1. Disruption

Conflict. Will there be disruption to your business, the highway, footpath or cycle lanes during installation. Is this allowed? Are permits required?

Contention. Will there be contention for parking bays (see also 2 above)?

 

  1. Installer

Qualifications and Approval. Is the installer qualified to install EV charging points? ElectrAssure engineers have had City & Guild 2919 Level 3 qualifications in ‘Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation since it was first introduced in May 2013. ElectrAssure is also NICEIC and Safecontractor approved.

Experience. Does the installer have experience of installing the EV charging equipment you need? Can they help you to understand your requirements and the specific regulations for installing EV charge points? ElectrAssure has installed well over 100 sites including all types of chargers. We have frequently been asked to correct installations carried out by inexperienced contractors.

ElectrAssure is recognised as an industry expert in the installation of each type of EV Charging Points. It offers a specialist service to install, maintain and support your EV Charging Points. See more details here.

For information and advice about your charging infrastructure and funding talk to the team at EValu8.

Posted with kind permission of author Loyd Davies, ElectrAssure Ltd.

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A raft of funding for sustainable transport was announced in the recent budget.

This includes a £100 million investment into the research and development of Intelligent Mobility. This funding is to focus upon driverless cars and the systems needed to support their introduction, including telecommunications.

 

Announcing this initiative within the National Recovery part of his speech, Chancellor George Osborne said: “we’re going to back our brilliant automotive industry by investing £100 million to stay ahead in the race to driverless technology.”

The £100 million investment will be matched by a similar commitment from businesses.

Business secretary, Vince Cable, said: “Today’s £200m investment will ensure the UK stays at the cutting edge and is well placed to profit from the growing market for high-tech vehicles of the future – creating jobs and driving economic growth.”

Transport Minister Claire Perry said: “Driverless cars are the future. I want Britain to be at the forefront of this exciting new development, to embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment.

Companies can now bid for a share of the funding through a series of competitions. Projects are expected to show the automotive, IT, telecoms and infrastructure sectors working together. They will aim to show how driverless cars would connect to the transport system and to each other.

This funding announcement follows the launch of driverless car trials in four British cities: Milton Keynes, Coventry, Bristol and Greenwich in London. Public interaction with the vehicles will be tested alongside the technology involved.

If you are interested in researching and developing sustainable transport technology, talk to the team at EValu8. We are aware of the funding opportunities available plus collaborative possibilities within consortiums applying for funding.

 

Glow-in-the-Dark EV

Mar
2015
23

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The world’s first glow-in-the-dark car has ben driven along the world’s only luminescent highway.

Watch Nissan’s glow-in-the-dark LEAF on the luminous Smart Highway in Oss, Holland.

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EValu8_Welcome

Plug-In vehicles are more popular in the UK than ever before, with the biggest growth in sales of any European country. Why?

Here are our five ‘P’s explaining the success of the plug-ins:

1. Purchase. The maximum grant of £5,000 of funding support for vehicle purchase the UK government has been available since 2011. It offers a significant saving.

Plus – as most manufacturers now offer plug-in choices, options have increased and the premium associated with buying a plug-in vehicle is getter lower. Affordable options exist.

Renault UK is to offer flexible ownership packages with the ZOE and Kangoo Van ZE models, introducing the option of buying or leasing the EV’s battery. Leasing reduces the initial expense involved.

2. Penalties. Low emission cars are incentivised via low running costs, road tax, congestion charge and free parking opportunities. Bigger moves are on the way – penalising rather than encouraging drivers who aren’t ‘driving green’. London mayor Boris Johnson is preparing London to be the first Ultra Low City by 2020. He plans to increase to congestion charge for diesel vehicles to £10. Paris will be banning diesel engines from 2020. London could follow.

3. Pollution. Having been unsure – even cynical – about the environmental benefits of plug-in vehicles, popular opinion now accepts how important these are. New Scientist explains that low emissions are not the only advantage involved: the team estimate that replacing conventional cars with electric ones could have reduced the heat by nearly 1 °C.

4. Promises. Range anxiety is a big barrier when drivers think of moving from conventional to electric cars. Manufacturers are working hard to extend the distance that their vehicles will travel on a single charge. The Tesla model  S already boasts a market-leading range of 265 miles. Audi is promising an electric SUV with a 300 miles range by 2018

5. Popularity. In 2012, Toyota’s Takeshi Uchiyamada said: “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.” Fast forward to 2015. In just three years the industry has worked hard to address these lifestyle concerns. Almost every car manufacturer offers plug-in options. Charging speeds and infrastructure are also improving fast.

Tempted? Discuss the options available to individuals and organisations with the team at EValu8. We have the latest information on incentives and offer transport planning advice too. Contacts us for details.

 

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