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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 or contact the EValu8 team.



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123580_10_5 (1)

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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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


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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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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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12 UK cities have been shortlisted as part of the government’s ‘Go Ultra Low’ City Scheme.

Details of the scheme were announced last September. A total of 12 cities have successfully reached the third, final application, phase of the funding process. Up to four of the most ambitious, deliverable and measurable plans will win a share of the £35 million investment.


The cities involved are:

– City of York Council

– Department for Regional Development of Northern Ireland

– Dundee City Council

– Greater London Authority

– Leicester City Council

– Milton Keynes Council

– North East Combined Authority

– Nottingham City Council

– Oxford City Council

– Sheffield City Council

– West of England

– West Yorkshire Combined Authority

The scheme rewards cities that show how their plans could be rolled out across the UK, reports OLEV, (Office for Low Emission Vehicles). Applicants should also show how their initiatives complement other schemes in their city, such as wider transport policies like the Low Emission Bus and Taxi Schemes. Those cities that address local air quality issues, particularly in relation to NO2and other particulate matter, will also be considered favourably.

The final 2 – 4 cities achieving a share of the funding will be announced in autumn 2015.

Are you interested in increasing the number of Electric Vehicles on the road in your area?

Find out about the funding schemes available for  developing and utilising sustainable transport – talk to EValu8.

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Sales of plug-in cars have seen a dramatic rise across Europe during the last year – with the UK leading the way.

Norway remains the country with the greatest number of sales with 20,000 new registrations. The UK has seen the greatest growth however, with the sales increasing by 300% compared with this time last year.

Figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) show how the UK sales compare with the overall European Union total:

Total Electrically Charged Vehicles = Pure Electric Vehicles + Extended-Range Electric Vehicles + Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Q4          Q4          % Chg                    Q1-Q4   Q1-Q4   % Chg

6,086     676         800.3%                  15,361   3,833     300.8%    UNITED KINGDOM

24,552   26,610   -7.7%                       75,331   55,144   36.6%     EUROPEAN UNION

Pure Electric Vehicles

Q4         Q4         % Chg                      Q1-Q4     Q1-Q4  % Chg

2,448     388       530.9%                    7,416        2,719    172.7%    UNITED KINGDOM

12,755    8,418      51.5%                     38,495   24,586   56.6%     EUROPEAN UNION

Electrically Charged Vehicles other than Pure Electric Vehicles = Extended-Range Electric Vehicles + Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Q4        Q4           % Chg                    Q1-Q4    Q1-Q4      % Chg

3,638     288        1163.2%                 7,945          1,114       613.2%   UNITED KINGDOM

11,797 18,192        -35.2%                 36,836     30,558      20.5%     EUROPEAN UNION

How many sales did the other European Union countries achieve? See the full figures at Electric Vehicle News.

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Details of government support up to 2020 were announced yesterday, reflecting the growth in popularity for plug-in vehicles.

These measures assist the uptake of plug-in vehicles in the UK through funding support for chargepoints at people’s homes, on our streets and the public sector estate.

A wave of chargepoints to support the fast-growing popularity of plug-in vehicles will be installed across the UK after the government set out £32 million of infrastructure support up to 2020.

In addition, another £11 million of funding has been announced to boost the UK’s position as a world leader in low emission vehicle technology innovation. The funding will be provided to 50 organisations, ranging from small businesses to major universities, working together on 15 research and development projects.

·         As part of the UK Government Commitment of over £500million to 2020, £32m is being dedicated to offset the cost of installing infrastructure in order to remove barriers to the ever increasing take up of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. In combination with the £15m announced by the Highways Agency to install rapid chargers across the Strategic Road Network (“SRN”) this support totals £47m.

·         £15m is being made available to continue the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, supporting EV drivers to charge safely at home. EV buyers will receive a 75% grant up to an initial maximum of £700 towards the installation of a chargepoint, effective from 13th April 2015.

·         £8m will be available to support public infrastructure across the UK. 75% grants will support on street residential, public sector estate, train station car park and rapid and destination charging. Alongside £15m of funding from the Highways Agency, this will deliver rapid charging across the Strategic Road Network and also offer funding to dozens of local authorities, NHS trusts to provide charging points on their property and town and city streets.

·         Bids for these schemes will open in May 2015. These schemes will ensure new technologies can be supported to address the specific challenges of providing on street residential charging. They will also be now open to 7kw and 22kw destination chargepoints, in addition to rapids, to reflect the ULEV driver preferences.

·         The remaining £9m will be utilised in the period to address key strategic issues including maintenance, interoperability and accessibility which will ensure the UK continues to build a world class charging network.

More detailed information is available from OLEV and the Department of Transport by clicking here.

If you would like to discuss any of funding opportunities, please contact the team at EValu8.

Funding Success!


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The Innov8 with EValu8 project has helped over 100 businesses across the region. We are delighted to have helped these companies to grow and introduce new products to the market.

The scheme is now closed and the EValu8 team is delighted to have provided the targeted number of vouchers to a wide range of businesses across Herts, Beds, Cambs, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.


“The Innovation Vouchers were intended to support businesses offering ideas, product and services which promoted sustainable transport and reduced CO2 emission levels,” explains Russell Fenner of EValu8.

“We’ve assisted businesses in a wide range of sectors – from engine design to electric bikes and new technology – all aimed at supporting low emission, sustainable transport.”

He adds: “The EValu8 team would like to thank everyone who participated within the scheme and ensured that the funding made a positive contribution to their businesses.”

Although the Innovation Voucher funding has expired, EValu8 is still supporting businesses that either are working in, or aiming for, the sustainable transport sector.

In particular, EValu8 can help with:

- Collaborative bids – partner with us to get your innovations to a wider market and attract funding to support sustainable transport projects

- Testing your ideas –take advantage of our charging network and related infrastructure to test your electric vehicle innovations

- Maximise your marketing impact – make sure your messaging and approach is right for your market place

Talk to the team at EValu8 – let’s make the most of the opportunities available.

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Improved battery technology has boosted expected sales of commercial EVs.

A new report from Navigant Research shows that global sales are expected to reach 160,000 per year by 2023. That’s a huge increase from the 16,000 level achieved in 2014.

Due to advances in battery technology and range, electric hybrid vehicles are becoming a realistic option for commercial applications.

This is especially true when a lot of city driving in stop-start traffic is involved, reports Pure Green Cars.

Governments’ action to reduce emissions from city traffic will encourage take-up in large urban areas. Japan is forecast to achieve 21.2% conversion to electric commercial vehicles by 2023.

David Alexander, senior research analyst with Navigant research commented “Overall, we expect diesel hybrid drive to remain the most popular of the electrically assisted medium- and heavy-duty vehicle powertrains for the whole of the forecast period. Battery-electric commercial vehicles will also see growth in demand within urban fleets that average low daily mileage.”

This forecast is good news for London mayor, Boris Johnson. He is determined that London will become the first Ultra Low Emission zone by 2020.

London has a fleet of 800 hybrid buses with 900 more to be introduced by the end of next year. London’s bus fleet will then be 20% hybrid.

Are you involved with transport planning? With technological advances and many practical options, there’s a lot to consider. Talk to EValu8; we can support you in a variety of ways.

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When it comes to new cars, technology has become as important as manufacturing.

In fact, car-making companies have become increasingly reliant upon technology partnerships.

The reality of driverless cars, automated vehicle charging and connected software is upon us. How will this affect the traditional make up of the car industry?

According to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, technology companies such as Google have the potential to disrupt rather than dominate the car manufacturing industry. (Google launched its own self-driving car last year.)

In an article by Automotive News, Zetsche said: “Google and the likes want to get involved, I don’t think in the first place to build vehicles. We have to understand that, and then to find our roles, to which extent they are complementary, to which extent we become dependent, to which extent we are competitors.”

This is illustrated by the issue of controlling data collected from cars, including self-driving vehicles. Zetsche explains: “When we talk about high safety with Mercedes, it does not apply specifically for protection from accidents, but this means safety of their personal data as well. To be able to provide that, we have to keep control, and we can’t do that when it is collected by Google.”

As technology plays an increasingly larger role within car manufacturing this dilemma will have to be addressed. It seems that the car industry will have to develop secure collaboration alongside connectivity and capability.

Are you thinking about your transport strategy for the future? Talk to EValu8 about the range of sustainable travel options you could consider.

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Keith's iPad 020

The BMWi3 advert ‘Newfangled Idea’ will appear during the first quarter of tonight’s SuperBowl XLIX.

The 60 second clip marks BMW’s return to advertising during the American Football Super Bowl after a four year break.

‘Newfangled Idea’ likens the introduction of Electric Vehicles to when the internet was first used.

“In 1994, people had not yet grasped what the internet was, which is similar to how electric mobility is viewed today,” said Trudy Hardy, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America. “Electric mobility is at a tipping point. We are on the verge of something great and we hope that with this spot, we can educate audiences about the BMW i3 and e-mobility in a fun and engaging way.”

Have a look at the advert here:

Plus – enjoy a look ‘behind the scenes’… here’s how the BMW i3’s Super Bowl advert was made:

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We understand the environmental benefits of driving Electric Vehicles. But how successful have advertisers been in conveying the practicalities of green driving?

Switching to Electric Vehicles is often viewed as a lifestyle choice for people with a green agenda.

In reality, EVs now offer a practical alternative to many drivers alongside – rather than because of – environmental benefits.


It’s important that manufacturers covey the everyday issues involved with EVs. Experience has shown us that environmental benefits are important to many people – however it’s the cost and convenience of EVs that determine whether people are prepared to change.

This ‘real world’ approach is demonstrated clearly by the changes to Nissan’s adverts for its market-leading LEAF.

When the LEAF was initially launched in 2010, its ’Innovation For All’ campaign clearly focused on the environment, with a polar bear in the starring role:

Fast-forward to 2014 and the LEAF’s new advert ‘Silent Ride’ demonstrates an Electric Vehicle that is “100% electric, 100% silent, 100% exciting”:

Many drivers don’t realise that Electric Vehicles can offer a practical, realistic driving choice. To reach these people and encourage them to consider driving ‘green’, it’s important that the ‘real world’ advantages of EVs are demonstrated. The change in the focus of Nissan’s adverts shows that manufacturers recognise that promoting Electric Vehicles needs to show how these cars perform and meet the needs of drivers rather than purely concentrating upon an environmental angle.

If you are thinking about switching to an Electric Vehicle and would like to discuss the incentives and options available, talk to the team at EValu8. Switching is easier than you may think!

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police leaf

£5 million of government funding has been announced for public sector organisations to introduce Ultra Low Emission Vehicles, (ULEVs) into their fleets.

This second phase of funding (the first was announced in August 2014) is open to the wider public sector. Last week, up to 35 organisations were invited to bid. These included the police, fire services and the NHS.

Successful bidders will be offered a fully funded fleet review to identify how to introduce greener vehicles. The funding is intended to help introduce ULEVs into central government fleets.

The first phase will result in around 150 vehicles entering government department fleets from next month. This new, second phase is expected to result in over 200 plug-in and hybrid vehicles introduced to other public sector organisations.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “We want the public sector to lead by example. This £5 million investment will see a significant increase in the number of plug-in vehicles used by public bodies such as local authorities, police forces and the NHS and help both the environment and the economy. I look forward to seeing the results.”

ULEVs are seen as a major growth area within the UK economy, supported by a quadrupling of ULEV sales during 2014.

If you would like to review options for your fleet, or would like to know about the funding incentives available for Electric Vehicles and charging points, talk to the team at EValu8.

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With an unprecedented choice of Electric Vehicles and rocketing sales during 2014, what can we expect from the EV market in 2015?

Nissan remains the market leader thanks to its star performer, the LEAF. During 2014, 14, 658 registrations were recorded in Europe giving Nissan 26% market share.

Having dominated the European market, does Nissan need to start looking over its shoulder? Renault is catching up fast – its ZOE sold 11,227 units in Europe during 2014 with market share rising to 20%. The new battery options available from Renault could help attract those wanting green driving on a budget.

But what about 2015?

The year ahead will see the launch of even more EV models. VW has started the year in style, launching the Golf GTE with a blaze of publicity and the promise that this model will be available at every dealership. (Read the What Car review.)

Next Green Car’s top ten highlights for 2015 low emission launches is:

  1. VW Twin-Up! (plug in hybrid)
  2. Smart Fortwo (petrol)
  3. Skoda Fabia (diesel)
  4. Kia Soul (electric)
  5. Mazda Skyactiv-D (diesel)
  6. Mercedes-Benz B-Class (electric)
  7. VW Passat GTE (hybrid)
  8. Volvo XC90 (hybrid)
  9. Toyota Mirai FCV (hydrogen)
  10. Tesla Model X (electric)

An interesting range! Full details are here.

Many models are expected to be available in time for the new registration plate in March.

There’s little doubt that EVs are becoming more popular, with the government’s £5,000 grant helping to make the affordable choices.

Are you thinking of driving green? Talk to the team at EValu8 – we can help with information and advice.

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