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Almost 52,000 alternatively fuelled vehicles, (AFVs) were registered last year according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. This figure includes hybrid and pure electric cars. It shows a 58% rise, year on year.

The Guardian reports that sales of plug-in cars increased from 3,586 in 2013 to 14,498 in 2014, with over 20 plug-in models on the market. Indeed, each of the 10 best-selling car brands in the UK now offers an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle, (ULEV). In 2011, there were just six models.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders explained: “The year was particularly strong for alternatively fuelled vehicles as increased choice, coupled with a growing desire for reduced costs and greater efficiency, resulted in a quadrupling of plug-in car registrations over 2013.”

He added: “With a variety of new plug-in models expected in 2015, this area of the market will continue to grow significantly. For the market as a whole, we expect a more stable 2015 as demand levels off.”

Choice is undoubtedly one contributory factor. Incentive is another.

The government intends the UK to be the global leader in developing, manufacturing and using ULEVs. It aims for every new car registration to fall within this category of vehicle by 2040.

To achieve this take-up, two aspects of driving Electric Vehicles need to be addressed: cost and confidence.

The government’s ‘Go Ultra Low’ campaign has raised awareness and offered assistance when it comes to switching to driving ‘green’.

Nick Clegg launched Go Ultra Low early last year, announcing a £500 million investment in the UK’s Electric vehicle market during 2015, (see our news item).

He said: “The extremely low running costs of these cars help drivers save money. Electric cars are one of the most promising of our green industries and we want to secure the UK’s position as a global leader in both the production and adoption of these vehicles.”

To find out more about the incentives and choices available when switching to an ULEV, talk to the team at EValu8.

 

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Electric Vehicle Charging

A new leasing partnership has created a low cost, accessible solution for Electric Vehicle charging.

POD point and Tower Leasing have joined forces to offer businesses a three-year lease option. It is the first partnership of its kind in Europe.

For less than £50 per month, a POD Point charging unit will be installed and maintained for three years. The unit comes complete with immediate access to ‘Pay as you Go’ facilities.

The scheme offers businesses significant savings as purchasing the same terms and unit would normally cost £1,000 plus VAT.

It is hoped that this scheme will encourage more businesses to get involved with Electric Vehicle charging. As well as boosting sustainability credentials, there is significant potential for recruitment and revenue benefits. In addition, public charging points will be visible on the national charge point map.

The partnership envisages that it will take just two days to cover rental and energy costs. ‘Host’ businesses have options to offer employees free ‘fuel’ whilst they park at work and recharge their EVs. Retailers can expect even more benefits and dwell time with average spend are likely to increase during charging visits.

Erik Fairbairn, CEO of POD Point said: “POD Point is moving EV charging into the mass market. We are on a mission to make sure there are 100,000 POD Points across the country by 2020, and innovative commercial models such as our lease scheme are instrumental in allowing us to reach this goal.”

Are you thinking of installing a charging point at your premises? Talk to the team at EValu8. We can advise you of the incentives available and help you to implement your plans.

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The UK Government is committed to changing in the way we power our motor vehicles. Its vision is that by 2050, almost every car and van in the UK will be an ultra-low emission vehicle.

The £500 million investment announced in May this year involved a variety of projects to establish the UK as one of the most EV-friendly countries in Europe.

 

Further details of the ‘Ultra Low City Status’ project have been announced. Local areas are invited and encouraged to create plans to become an ‘Ultra Low City’. Up to four of the most ambitious, deliverable and measurable plans will win a share of £35 million investment.

This is an opportunity to access extra funds whilst also delivering enduring, positive change for your local area. (It doesn’t need to have official ‘city’ status.) If you are interested in bidding, EValu8 is available to help you.

The scheme is open to organisations throughout the UK with the process involving three key stages:

  1. Notice of application
  2. Screening
  3. Final application

The first stage is now underway, with organisations encouraged to register their interest in developing a bid for funding by 31st December.

Whilst the timescale is tight, the information required is straightforward. It involves:

Project lead details – local authority and named contact

Other organisations associated with the bid

Confirmation of interest in taking part in the scheme – and its full bidding process

EValu8 is available to help with this process, utilising our expertise in transport planning and knowledge of the sustainable transport sector.

For more details and an informal discussion, contact us. Together, we could help achieve funding to help your local area and promote the use of ultra-low emission vehicles.

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France is to invest in a charging network which will ensure that no-one in France will be more than 40km away from a charging station.

The project will receive an investment 150 million euros from French industrial organisation Bolloré. A network of 16,000 public charging points will be installed over the next four years.

 

French Economy and Finance Minister Emmanuel Macon said: Through a private initiative with public support, we are accelerating our route towards having a truly national network of electric car charging points.”

The news comes along with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ statement that France intends to phase out the use of diesel fuel for private passenger transport – despite 80% of French cars using diesel fuel. He said “In France, we have long favoured the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically.

If you think that now is the time for you to consider driving an Electric vehicle, talk to the team at EValu8. We have advice and information available for you as well as details of financial incentives that you may be eligible for.

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A £40 million programme to test driverless cars has been jointly funded by the UK government and private industry.

Catapult System Catapult reports that three self-driving vehicles will be trialed on footpaths in Milton Keynes in 2015.

 

The “Introducing driverless cars to UK roads” competition was launched in July by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, as a result of the interest in pioneering projects such as the LUTZ Pathfinder driverless pods programme.

Initially involving £10 million funding, The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement pledged a further £9 million injection with private investors brining the total to £40 million.

“The Transport Systems Catapult was created to champion Intelligent Mobility and to drive major investment in new technologies that can position the UK as global leaders in this field,” Transport Systems Catapult CEO Steve Yianni said, following the 3rd December announcement.

“It is testament to our success in getting that message across, that we have now seen the planned investment in driverless vehicle technology quadrupling in just over four months since Innovate UK launched the competition.”

The partners in the ‘UK Autodrive’ consortium are Arup, Milton Keynes Council, Coventry Council, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Motor Company, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, RDM Group, MIRA, Thales (UK), Oxbotica, AXA, international law firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, the Transport Systems Catapult, the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and the Open University.

 

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Source East and green energy uk partnership

The Rapid Charge Network project is the development of a multi-standard, rapid charge network for electric vehicles across the UK and Ireland. The project brings together the four major manufacturers – Nissan, BMW, Renault and VW – to provide easy charging for EV drivers.

The project is also a vital real-life study of the impact that a network of rapid charge points can have on electric vehicle drivers now and in the future. We are therefore looking for electric vehicle drivers to take part in the study and provide us with your views on both driving and charging. You will live within 30 miles of the new Rapid Charge Network route http://rapidchargenetwork.com/drivers.php and drive an electric vehicle regularly – whether this is your own personal car or part of a company fleet.

Drivers will be asked to take part in a number of different ways – either through completing a questionnaire 2 – 3 times throughout the next 12 months, by taking part in a focus group, providing us access to your electronic car data (for example through Carwings) or even by having a data logger installed into your car. A financial incentive is available for those willing to take part in the data logger trials. The data loggers and data from the cars will provide the project with specific charging and driving data from your vehicle so we can monitor how your charging patterns change when the network is developed.

This will be a high profile trial, working with major fleets across the UK and market leading vehicle manufactures.  The data will be analysed by Newcastle University, and those involved in the trial will provide us with vital insight which will help shape EV charging networks in the future, both in the UK and across Europe.

I hope that you will be interested in joining the RCN project, and taking part in the trial.  To register your interest please complete the following questionnaire https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N7LCPTW

We would appreciate it if you would also pass this on to any EV networks that you work with.

Kind regards,

Gilly 

Gilly Durkin

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DriveNow car sharing is to be launched in London in spring 2015.

The scheme run jointly by BMW Group and Sixt SE offers spontaneous car hire with every journey charged to the exact minute. London driving will cost 39p per minute and a maximum ‘cap’ of £20 charge will be in place for any one journey.

 

Initially 210 vehicles will be available, comprising of 210 BMW 1 series and MINI countryman vehicles. DriveNow intends to add 30 all-electric BMW i3 cars to the fleet. Pure Green cars reports that the fleet size will grow to 300 vehicles during 2015.

The area covered is 25 square miles in size, encompassing Islington, Haringey and Hackney boroughs, with a intention of expansion.

The registration fee will be £29 and hourly-based packages will be available, each with an incentive of some free miles included. DriveNow’s London serviced will also include fuel, road tax, insurance and parking.

DriveNow already has 360,000 customers across five cities where similar schemes are operated.

If this is of interest and you would know more about driving Electric Vehicles, please contact the team at EValu8. We’re here to help.

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Renault UK is to offer flexible ownership packages to people buying the ZOE and Kangoo Van ZE models.

These popular Electric Vehicles will now come with the option of buying or leasing the EV’s battery. This development is intended to make the vehicles more accessible to drivers.

The vehicles will remain identical, regardless of the purchase option chosen. The only difference is the inclusion of an ‘i’ badge on the tailgate of vehicles purchased with full ownership of the battery. This will enable easy identification within the used vehicle market.

An average saving of £5,000 on the purchase price is available throughout the ZOE and Kangoo Van ZE ranges if the battery is leased rather than owned.

Monthly lease costs start at £25 per month, over a three year period. Battery hire also includes an attractive Lifetime Performance Guarantee and roadside recovery scheme, (if drivers run out of charge away from a charging point).

Even more savings can be offered if either vehicle is bought through the Government’s Plug-In Car Grant. Contact EValu8 for details.

 

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A new battery promises to extend driving ranges and lower Electric Vehicle prices. Best of all – it will be available in just over 12 months’ time.

The lithium battery, developed by Dr Qichaoe Hu and Professor Donald Sadoway, could prove transformational; overcoming two of the largest barriers to driving EVs… cost and range.

 

Professor Sadoway explains to Electric Vehicle News: “We’ve got to get a car on the showroom floor for $30,000, not $130,000 and the big piece is the battery: it’s too expensive and it runs down too fast.”

The new battery operates safely at a wider temperature range than existing options. Therefore, it doesn’t need to same temperature control system. This means that this revolutionary battery is 20% cheaper than current ones.

In addition, independent experts have found that the new battery can store more than twice the energy of existing choices. This is due to its prototype lithium cells.

The new battery will be highly significant due to its impact upon price and range improvements.

“That’s game-changing,” says Arndt Ellinghorst, head of global automotive research at ISI Group, an investment research group. “There are a lot of experienced battery makers trying to do exactly that because it’s the killer application.”

Electric Vehicle News explains: The main difference between their battery and existing ones is that it has an ultra-thin metal anode with higher energy density than the graphite and silicon anodes in current batteries, and uses safer electrolyte material.

It is expected that the battery will available in the first half of 2016 and in place in EVs by the end of 2016.

For more information about this game-changing new battery, visit Solid Energy.

For a faster conversion to driving green, contact the team at EValu8 for current advice and incentives.

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The 40 seater Bio-Bus started active duty in the UK yesterday.

Powered by food waste and human poo, this is a first for the UK.

The bus runs on gas generated by Bristol sewage works, created from food waste and the treatment of sewage. In fact, a range of 300km can be achieved from the annual waste of around five people.

 

Whilst this may not be a pleasant thought, it is a renewable and sustainable energy option. It is achieved through the process anaerobic digestion. Powering buses by using the gas created improves air quality as fewer emissions are produced, (compared with diesel engines).

The service is run by Bath Bus Company and is currently used to take passengers from Bristol Airport to Bath via South Bristol.

Bath Bus Company’s Collin Field told BBC Bristol: “With so much attention being directed towards improving air quality generally, the public reaction to the appearance of this bus on a service between a world heritage city and an airport will further focus on the potential for this particular fuel.”

He said the bus was being launched at a very “appropriate” time, as Bristol is to become the European Green Capital next year.

Do you have ideas for sustainable transport? Talk to EValu8 – we can help with contacts and funding initiatives.

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This prestigious environmental award is in its 10th year. With more models to consider than ever before, Green Car Journal created a shortlist of vehicles to compete for Green Car of the Year 2015.

According to Green Car Journal, “finalists are selected for their achievements in raising the bar in environmental performance. Availability to the mass market is a factor to ensure honoured models have the potential to make a real difference in environmental impact, and finalists must be available for sale by January 1st of the award year.”

The five vehicles vying to win this coveted global accolade were:

  • - Audi A3 TDI
  • - BMW i3
  • - Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel
  • - Honda Fit
  • - Volkswagen Golf

The winner? The BMW i3 (pictured above).

This was announced at the LA Auto Show in mid-November, where there were 30 global vehicle debuts. These included models from Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Toyota, Volvo, Volkswagen and others.

There is no doubt that green cars are more plentiful and stylish than ever before.

If you are thinking of converting to an Electric Vehicle, have a look at the charging point incentives available. Talk to the team at Evalu8 to secure these grants and start driving green.

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Whilst many companies hope to capture the commercial EV market, most are concentrating on conversion kits. (Taken up by Coca Cola, for example – see out recent blog.)

EV Fleet Inc. has decided to do things differently.

Its Condor 2015 is a pick-up size electric truck.

The Condor is a safe and affordable option for fleet use, with a range of more than 100 miles between charges.

No special charging station necessary and it costs just 1.5 per mile to operate.

Take a look…

Sensing The Future

Nov
2014
04

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The 11th annual design competition of the Los Angeles Auto Show will explore ‘Sensing the Future: How Will Cars Interact With us in 2029?’

Car design studios have been challenged to explore a car interior – or part of an interior that emotionally, comfortably and safely connects the driver and/or passenger with the car in 2029.

 

The 2014 Design Challenge is part of this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show (21 – 30 November). It intends to push design teams to think of new instruments and knowledge. Pure Green Cars reports that the global manufacturers competing in the challenge are: Acura, Honda, Infiniti, Peterbit and Qoros.

Factors influencing how entries are judged include:

  • - Comfort
  • - Attention to human sense and emotional connection
  • - Ecological sensitivity
  • - Creativity of concept
  • - Control
  • - Function of concept
  • - Reflection of brand

Entries are futuristic and exciting yet realistic:

Acura – an exterior and interior shell, connected through a modular adjustable mesh material that can flex to custom fit a passenger’s preferences.

Honda –the CARpet concept offers seamless and uninterrupted space with the freedom to change its shape to accommodate each user. The Honda ball provides users a calm interface that responds to voice, touch and gesture commands for human-to-vehicle communication.

Infiniti – a brand new universal fuselage pod that can transform into three vehicle types. This vehicle will be used for the brand’s unique triathlon competition, the A.R.C. race (Air, Rally, Circuit).

Peterbit – explores and illustrates how human-to-machine interfaces will be transformed by vehicles operating symbiotically. The spaces and interfaces of a vehicle in “pilot mode” will be purpose-driven to enhance energy efficiency, reduced accidents, traffic and prevent overall wear and tear.

Qoros – the vehicle will become an intelligent, multi-dimensional personal management assistant, learning from the user via the five senses, (e.g. favourite restaurants, places regularly frequented, music preferences). The car is designed to maximise safety by identifying when the user is acting irresponsibly and quickly switching to automated driving mode.

The winner will be announced at this month’s show – watch this space!

20th November: NEWS UPDATE... the winner is… Honda’s CARpet. Congratulations!

 

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Untitled

Coca Cola is introducing 140 XL hybrid vehicles, aiming for a 10% replacement level across its fleet.

The company will double the number of hybrid vans in its fleet by early 2015.

Its investment in vehicle conversion has increased the range of its vans a single tank of fuel by 20%.

The order of 140 converted vans will be delivered by spring 2015 taking the total number within the Coca Cola fleet to 243.

With a total fleet size of 3,600 vehicles, Coca Cola’s goal of a 10% replacement is an ambitious target. This new order shows that work has started and progress is being demonstrated.

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geneva

Communication with Electric Vehicles via cloud technology will optimise charging and improve the efficiency of power grids.

The new system will offer direct communication between utility companies and plug-in vehicles.

Signals can instruct an EV to suspend charging if the grid that it’s plugged into is becoming overloaded.

Last week, eight global care manufacturers including Ford and BMW were involved with the initial test of this technology in California. They are collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute, key utilities companies and Sumitomo Electric.

EV drivers may choose whether they participate within this scheme. Typically, drivers would select a departure time when charging their cars. Paused charging may mean that the EV will not be fully charged by this departure time – if this is the case, charging will not be stopped.

If the departure time will not be disrupted, charging will be paused, saving power for the grid. In addition, the request to suspend charging may be refused by the driver.

Cloud technology will offer a two-way communication channel that can contact EVs direct, involving all participating manufacturers’ vehicles. Pure Green Cars also reports that financial incentives may be offered to EV drivers who are involved with the scheme.

This exciting development is at its initial test stage. Click here to see at the charging technologies currently available for today’s EVs.

If you have any queries, contact us at EValu8. We can help with financial incentives too.

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Researchers in Singapore have developed a revolutionary new battery with fastest ever charging time and an increased life span.

The super-fast charging batteries can gain a 70% charge in just two minutes.

They have an expected life span of 20 years; significantly longer than that of current lithium-ion batteries.

 

Battery life and charging time are two of the biggest obstacles to Electric Vehicle take-up. The achievement of the research team at Nanyang Technology University will overcome these concerns.

Battery replacement costs will be reduced and recharging EVs will take minutes – literally. The team uses a natural gel material instead of graphite to create the negative battery pole, reports Next Green Cars. The resulting material is 1,000 thinner than a human hair. This allows ultra-quick chemical reactions, creating super-fast charging.

There is no anticipated timescale for availability. An application for a Proof-of-Concept grant will be submitted, enabling a large-scale battery prototype to be constructed. Nevertheless, this is an exciting, market changing development.

“Electric cars will be able to increase their range dramatically, with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars,” said inventor Prof Chen. “Equally important, we can now drastically cut down the toxic waste generated by disposed batteries, since our batteries last ten times longer than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries.”

Current charging technology involves a fastest charging time of 30 minutes.

This new technological development has the potential to have a major impact upon the industry, influencing perception and take up enormously.

A range of incentives are available to help with current charging technology installation.

If you have any queries or would like to apply for these incentives, talk to the team at EValu8.

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Innovations

How important is sustainability to the UK public?

Recent research conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Virgin sought the answer.

The findings confirm public opinion about sustainable transport, including which innovations they would most like to see developed during the next 20 years.

The most popular answer? Carbon-free commercial flights, (40%).

Take a look at some of the obstacles and innovations in people’s minds…

Meet Sparky!

Sep
2014
29

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Sparky is a Nissan LEAF crossed with a Nissan Frontier, brought to life by Nissan’s Roland Schellenberg and Arnold Moulinet.

This is a truly unique Electric Vehicle; a one-of-a-kind creation with a specific mission in life.

He supports operations at Nissan’s proving grounds located on 3,050 acres in Stanfield, Arizona,

Originally created as part of a team building exercise, Pure Green Cars reports that Sparky has proved to be extremely useful, carrying supplies and people around the site.

“We tried to keep it a secret and be exciting for everybody. But we have visitors and they come and they see that truck and they go straight to ‘what is it?’ and they start looking at it, and it makes great conversation,” said Roland Schellenberg, Nissan Durability & Reliability.

Meet Sparky…

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A consortium of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) manufacturers is creating a UK Rapid Charging Network.

Lead by Nissan, partners also include Renault, BMW and VW. This joint project is co-funded by the European Union’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme.

This programme aims to improve transport infrastructure across Europe.

The scheme is expected to cost over €7 million. It will be co-funded by consortium members.

This is the first time that leading BEV manufacturers have worked together to improve the EV charging infrastructure. The pooling of such experience is seen as a big step towards achieving zer0-emission mobility.

The state-of-the-art charging points will be inter-operable and multi-standard, making them compatible with Electric Vehicles using 44kW CCS, 44kW CHAdeMO or 43kW AC systems.

When complete, the UK Rapid Charge Network (RCN) will comprise more than 70 multi standard rapid chargers, reports Pure Green Cars. These will cover some 1,100km of major trunk routes and providing EV-friendly links to five seaports and five international airports.

Ten rapid chargers have been already installed with a further 28 sites soon to be commissioned. The start of the project’s deployment was officially marked on 9 September 2014 at a ceremony at the Corley Services on the M6 motorway in Coventry, UK.

The Rapid Charging Network will ensure the EV drivers in the UK will never be far from a rapid charging point.

To find out about charging options and incentives, contact the team at EValu8.

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Ford Focus Electric

In the UK, 515 plug-in vehicles were registered in August, up from 118 just twelve months ago. 234 of them were pure electric vehicles. In August 2013, it was just 71.

Most major manufacturers offer an electric model. The market leader is the Nissan with its top selling Leaf. Sales of the industry-leading Leaf grew to 3,186 in August, a 32% increase from a year ago. This figure is a new all-time monthly record for any pure electric vehicle.

Meanwhile, EV Fleetworld reports that the Electric Highway rapid charging network has had almost a four-fold rise in the number of vehicles plugging in over the last nine months. (Levels have been published by green utility company Ecotricity, which is responsible for running it.)

A total of 4,080 cars used the network in the last quarter of 2013, more than doubling to 8,891 in the first quarter of this year, and 15,152 in the second quarter – a 271% rise, as plug-in car registrations in the UK continue to climb.

The network, which now spans 90% of all UK motorway service stations and includes 170 charging points, has so far provided 250,000 kWh of 100% renewably sourced electricity, or over a million miles of electric driving, for free.

Are you thinking of driving green? EValu8 can help with details of a range of incentives to consider. Contact us for an informal discussion.

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