The electric jolt that roused Big Oil

Identifying a tipping point is not always easy. But when one of the world’s most powerful oil bosses says he is in the market for an electric car, there can be little doubt.

The UK’s electric vehicle drive has put the energy sector on the road to change

Ben van Beurden, the Royal Dutch Shell boss, last week delivered the clearest indication yet that the burgeoning electric vehicle industry is already hastening the decline of global oil demand.

“When that will be is not certain. But that it will happen, we are certain,”

he told investors.

It was not so much a foil to the group trebling second quarter profits as a statement of intent: for “Big Oil” it is time to adapt or die, and Shell intends to adapt.

The Anglo-Dutch giant is already shifting its focus from drilling for oil to natural gas, but within the next year Shell will unveil early plans for a deeper presence in renewable energy and the electrical chain to tap the boom in electric vehicles.

“Everyone is repeatedly surprised at how fast electric cars are coming forward,”

Professor Dieter Helm told The Telegraph in April. The number of new registrations of plug-in cars has grown from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 100,000 at the end of May.

“But the political pressure to adopt this technology is increasing all the time. It’s not due to concerns over climate change – it’s city air pollution,”

he said.

Shell boss Ben van Beurden CREDIT: EPA/BART MAAT

Read more: The Telegraph via Fuel Included news

POLAR charging network to be powered with 100% renewable electricity

  • UK’s largest electric vehicle charging network switches to 100% renewable energy
  • Electric drivers benefit from a reduced emissions footprint from POLAR charging points
  • Cost of POLAR network membership remains the same with no price increase

The UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, POLAR, which includes Charge Your Car sites, is switching to 100% renewable electricity from 1st August.

The electricity consumption of the POLAR network, operated by Chargemaster, will be certified and matched to energy generated from renewable sources by OVO Energy, one of the UK’s largest independent energy providers. It means that every mile driven by EVs charging on the POLAR network will be matched by renewable energy.

The electricity consumption of the POLAR network, operated by Chargemaster, will be certified and matched to energy generated from renewable sources; meaning every mile driven by EVs charging on the POLAR network will be matched by renewable energy.

Chargemaster, the UK’s largest provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, provides over 40,000 EV drivers with access to more than 5,600 public charging points in the UK across the POLAR and Charge Your Car networks. Combined, they represent more than 40% of all the charging points in the UK and, in the first half of 2017 supplied vehicles with more than 500,000 kWh of electricity.

The POLAR network is growing significantly, with Chargemaster installing more than 250 of its UK-manufactured Ultracharge rapid chargers this year. POLAR plus membership, which provides unlimited access to charging points in the network (over 85% of which are free to use) costs just £7.85 per month and will not increase with the switch to renewable energy. In addition, new members benefit from free membership for the first three months.

Electric vehicles already reduce local air pollution, as pure electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid and range-extender models running in electric mode, produce no tailpipe emissions.

Read more: Chargemaster via Fuel Included news

Londoners are much more geared up for the rise of electric vehicles than the rest of Britain

Londoners are much more enthusiastic about moving to electric cars than the rest of Britain, according to new research from Baringa Partners.

The majority of those in the capital (77 per cent) believe that pure electric cars will replace their petrol/diesel counterparts as the preferred type of car in the UK, while nationwide 68 per cent of people feel the same.

Just over a third of London residents said they would consider an electric car as their next vehicle (Source: Getty)

There is still work to be done to convince drivers of electric vehicles’ mainstream capabilities though, as while considerably more London residents were likely to consider an electric car next time they get a car, that was still just over a third at 36 per cent.

The national average was 18 per cent, while the lowest interest was in the East of England where 10 per cent of people said they would consider an electric car as their next vehicle.

As for what the concerns were regarding electric cars, 37 per cent of Londoners pointed to difficulties installing a home charger while 62 per cent expressed range anxiety, worrying they would not be able to travel far enough on a single charge.

Baringa surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,005 UK adults.

Oliver Rix, partner at Baringa, said this was good news for “the critical problem” of air qualities in cities.

Read more: City AM via Fuel Included news

Europe Notes 54% Growth Of Plug-in Car Sales In June, ZOE Sells 4K

It’s getting better and better in Europe for plug-in vehicles, as some 54% growth was noted in June, with total sales for the month reaching more than 28,000.

Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Europe – June 2017 (data via EV Sales Blog)

The half year numbers have also crested 133,000 (which is up 30% year-over-year), and encourages us that the 250,000 mark will be easy to achieve in 2017 given the traditional year-end weighting of EV sales.

The Eco Tour di Sicilia and Renault ZOE

Overall plug-in market share stands at 1.5%.

Specific to the EVs themselves, the Renault ZOE shines in June, exceeding 4,000 sales – more than double the second best result from the BMW i3!

Models within Top 5 in June or Top 5 YTD:

  • Renault ZOE #1 – 4,189 (#1 17,146 YTD)
  • BMW i3 #2 – 1,634 (#3 10,260 YTD)
  • Nissan LEAF #3 – 1,590 (#2 11,007 YTD)
  • Tesla Model X #4 – 1,552 (#8 5,613 YTD)
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV #5 – 1,435 (#4 9,294 YTD)
  • Tesla Model S #6 – 1,373 (#5 6,580 YTD)

Here is comparison of U.S. and Europe results:

Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Europe – June 2017

Source: Inside EVs via Fuel Included news

V2G found to improve the lifetime of electric vehicle batteries

Intelligent use of vehicle to grid (V2G) technology can improve the battery life of electric vehicles according to a new study from the University of Warwick, potentially disproving a key criticism levelled at the technology.

Working with the Energy and Electrical Systems group of the university’s research division WMG and Jaguar Land Rover, Dr Kotub Uddin analysed advanced lithium ion batteries used in commercially available EVs over a two year period.

This allowed him to create what is thought to be one of the most accurate battery degradation models existing in the public domain to predict battery capacity and power fade over time, under various ageing acceleration factors including temperature, state of charge, current and depth of discharge.

Using this model, Dr Uddin developed a ‘smart grid’ algorithm to calculate how much energy a vehicle requires to carry out daily journeys, and how much energy can be taken from its battery without negatively affecting it, or even improving its longevity.
This algorithm was then applied to WMG’s International Digital Laboratory to see if energy from EVs parked on the University of Warwick campus could power the multi-use building.

The study concluded that the number of EVs parked on the campus (around 2.1% of cars, in line with the UK market share of EVs) could spare the energy to power this building. In doing so, capacity fade in participant EV batteries would be reduced by up to 9.1%, and power fade by up to 12.1% over a year.

Read more:  Clean Energy News via Fuel Included news

Britain to ban sale of all diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040

Plans follow French commitment to take polluting vehicles off the road owing to effect of poor air quality on people’s health

Britain is to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health.

Ministers believe poor air quality poses largest environmental risk to public health in UK. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The commitment, which follows a similar pledge in France, is part of the government’s much-anticipated clean air plan, which has been at the heart of a protracted high court legal battle.

The government warned that the move, which will also take in hybrid vehicles, was needed because of the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality was having on people’s health. Ministers believe it poses the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, costing up to £2.7bn in lost productivity in one recent year.

Ministers have been urged to introduce charges for vehicles to enter a series of “clean air zones” (CAZ). However, the government only wants taxes to be considered as a last resort, fearing a backlash against any move that punishes motorists.

“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible,”

a government spokesman said.

“That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3bn programme to clean up dirty air around our roads.”

The final plan, which was due by the end of July, comes after a draft report that environmental lawyers described as “much weaker than hoped for”.

The environment secretary, Michael Gove, will be hoping for a better reception when he publishes the final document on Wednesday following months of legal wrangling.
A briefing on parts of the plan, seen by the Guardian, repeats the heavy focus on the steps that can be taken to help councils improve air quality in specific areas where emissions have breached EU thresholds.

Read more: The Guardian via Fuel Included news

AA Trust launches free EV driving course

The AA Trust is launching the first ever free of charge EV driving course in collaboration with Chargemaster.

AA Trust’s chairman Edmund King

The course was launched following an AA Populus survey of 16,239 drivers, of which 32% said they want to learn to drive in an EV.

Drivers were asked, to what extent would you be interested in a free one-hour electric vehicle driving lesson – aimed to show you how to get the best out if an EV – in your local area?

  • 32% were interested (16% extremely interested, 16% interested)
  • 33% males interested, 30% females
  • 35% younger drivers (18-24, 25-34) interested as opposed to 31% older drivers (65+)
  • Drivers in London were more interested (35%) followed by those in West Midlands and South West (34%)
  • Drivers in North East least interested (26%) followed by those in eastern region (28%)
  • Those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also showed high levels of interest.

AA Driving School and Drive Tech trainers developed the experience in conjunction with Chargemaster and will be piloted in Milton Keynes with a view to be rolled out nationally.

AA Trust’s chairman Edmund King said: “We are approaching a tipping point as more and better electric cars come on stream.

“We want to help drivers understand this exciting new technology at the EV experience centre but we also want to help them get the most out of their electric cars.

“Drive electric sessions, conducted by AA instructors, can either be carried out in the driver’s own electric car, or in one of the EV experience centre’s test drive fleet. The EV Experience and Drive Electric experiences be really put Milton Keynes on the map as the most go-to EV City in the world.”

Chargemaster’s chief executive David Martell said: “The number of electric vehicles in the UK is continuing to grow, and we recently marked the 100,000th plug-in car registration in the UK.

“To get more people driving electric vehicles, getting them behind the wheel is key. The EV experience centre aims to do exactly that, and the drive electric experience sessions from the AA Trust will be a great way to help consumers better understand electric vehicles and how easy they are to live with and how to get the best out of them when driving.”

Source: AM Online via Fuel Included news

Visit the showroom where you can test drive every electric car

Yet to be convinced that electric cars are the future? EV stalwarts are hoping this unique ‘experience centre’ located in a shopping centre in Milton Keynes could be the encouragement you need to swap your diesel for a plug-in – and we’ve been for a behind-the-scenes look at the showroom which is being described as a “landmark moment”.

Renault ZOE ZE40

The EV experience centre is operated by Chargemaster using Government funds through Milton Keynes’ Go Ultra Low City status. It’s not a pop-up dealership – there’ll be no hard sell, just experts on hand to talk people through electric cars and advise about whether they’ll fit into their lifestyle.

“[There’s] a series of myths people have about electric cars,” transport minister Jesse Norman told Motoring Research during our preview of the EV experience centre.

“They think about whether they might be expensive or whether they’re hard to charge, and how long that takes. An experience centre that actually gives a person the experience of actually sitting behind the wheel or potentially driving it, that just knocks down a whole series of these myths and that makes it much easier to think about buying one.”

BMW i3

The showroom, located in Centre:MK, is multi-brand, displaying cars from partners including Renault, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Nissan, BMW and Kia. The experts on hand won’t be on commission and will be able to give independent advice on which – if any – electric car suits a particular person’s needs.

Read more: Motoring Research via Fuel Included news

New battery technology could cut energy bills by up to £40bn by 2050, says Ofgem

The new rules will help households generate and store electricity and sell it back to the National Grid.

File photo dated 24/11/10 of electricity pylons as a Parliamentary report has found that electricity prices have soared because of constant intervention in the energy sector by successive governments.

The first phase of a four-year £246m Government investment into battery technology has been launched in a move that could help bring down household electricity bills.

The long-term vision includes creating giant battery facilities around the National Grid to store excess wind and solar energy for when demand rises.

In addition, new rules will help households with solar panels to generate and store their own electricity with new battery technology and sell it back to the Grid when they do not need it. They will also reduce costs for people and businesses who power down appliances at peak times and use electricity at cheaper times.

The Government and Energy regulator Ofgem estimate that consumers could save between £17bn and £40bn by 2050.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark unveiled details of the first phase, known as the Faraday Challenge, on Monday.

This includes a £45m competition to establish a centre for battery research which he said would help make the UK a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries. This will be spearheaded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a ‘battery institute’ to make products more accessible and affordable.

Read more: Sky News via Fuel Included news