All posts by Trevor Larkum

Software engineer and electric vehicle advocate

Introducing Night-time Solar Charging for Electric Vehicles

As we transition away from polluting fossil-fuelled vehicles to electric vehicles it is common for owners to think about the source of the electricity they use for charging. Here I’d like to touch on the options for charging with renewable electricity, and introduce the idea of charging at night using spare solar electricity.

A rule of thumb is that moving from a fossil-fuelled vehicle to an electric vehicle (EV) roughly halves the pollution and carbon footprint if that vehicle is powered from the grid. It is natural, therefore, for an EV owner to look to renewable energy to reduce their footprint further.

Until recently electric vehicle (EV) owners had two main options for charging their vehicle from renewable electricity.

Electric car charging from home battery (Copyright: cheskyw / 123RF Stock Photo)
Electric car charging from home battery (Copyright: cheskyw / 123RF Stock Photo)

Option 1: Renewable Electricity Supply

The simplest option for renewable EV charging is to switch your entire home electricity supply over to a renewable supply. This is very easy and takes little effort. There are often lots of options for renewable supply companies (in the UK historically it tended to be Ecotricity and Good Energy but now there are many others).

It used to be that such supplies often had a price premium over more polluting (i.e. coal-based) tariffs but that’s become less true over time. When I switched I hadn’t previously switched for some time so going renewable actually saved me money over staying on my previous coal-based tariff.

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Renault Zoe retains its ‘Best Ultra-Low Emission Car’ crown

The Renault ZOE has reaffirmed its ever-increasing popularity with business users after being named the ‘Best Ultra-Low Emission Car’ for the second consecutive year at the Fleet World Honours 2018.

Hosted by Fleet World magazine, the annual awards, held today at the Royal Automobile Club in London, recognise vehicles, individuals and service providers that demonstrate excellence in the fleet sector in terms of innovation, quality and sustainability.

The all-electric Renault ZOE took home the highly-coveted award after impressing Fleet World magazine’s industry experts with its ‘real world’ range, style and competitive pricing. The win underlines its status as an unrivalled choice for business users who require an exceptionally efficient compact vehicle that is incredibly easy to live with.

On the judges’ decision, Alex Grant, Editor, Fleet World, said:

“ULEVs have come a long way since the ZOE launched in 2013, but so has Renault’s chic electric supermini. The larger-capacity battery only widens its appeal, offering a real-world range of almost 200 miles in a segment that’s perfectly suited to electrification, with quick charging for longer trips. It’s a well-rounded, good-value reason to make the switch to electric power.”

Source: Fuel Included News

Used Renault ZOE buying guide: 2013-present (Mk1)

Repost

The Renault ZOE was arguably the first modern electric car ‘for the people’ and now makes an intriguing secondhand option

It’s easy to forget that electric cars have been with us for over a century – in fact they were around before petrol engines came about. Only recently, though, have they started to become truly viable for daily use – and that’s if you can afford the expensive technology that forces electric car prices beyond their fossil-fuel alternatives.

The Renault ZOE, though, was among the first electric cars with price tag that made it a true electric alternative to the petrol and diesel supermini norm, and with plenty of choice on the secondhand market, moving to electric power has never been more affordable.

The ZOE is a pleasant car to drive, particularly on urban roads where the instant urge of its electric motor puts you at an advantage over conventionally powered traffic. It’s very quiet, the seats are comfortable and the ride is generally smooth. Some of the interior trim feels a little insubstantial, but the interior is quite attractive. It’s spacious, too, with loads of front and rear headroom, and the boot can swallow 338 litres of luggage – or 1,225 if you lower the rear seatbacks.

The ZOE has done rather well in our annual Driver Power survey, too, which demonstrates that owners have few regrets in their choice, while its excellent Euro NCAP crash-test scores are sure to reassure families. Of course, the ZOE makes even more sense if you can find the right example for your needs; so here’s our in-depth guide to what to look for.

Source: Fuel Included News

107bhp Renault Zoe R110 due for reveal at Geneva motor show

[Repost] Renault will launch a new version of its Zoe electric hatchback with 107bhp at the Geneva motor show this March.

A source told Autocar that the Zoe R110, as it will be called, would supersede the current R90 with 16bhp more from its Z.E. 40 battery-powered electric motor, although the car’s focus would remain the same and so it won’t have a sportier guise than the regular version.

The R110 will be available in both Dynamique Nav and Signature Nav trims, but not the entry-level Expression, unlike the current R90 variant that is offered with all three. This means the R110 will get 16in wheels, a hands-free keycard and automatic headlights and wipers as standard.

Renault is yet to comment on the Zoe’s Geneva arrival and so it is not yet known whether there will be changes to the car’s battery range. The current model is capable of 250 miles according to the NEDC test.

Prices for the R110 are expected to slightly increase on the equivalent R90. The R90 Dynamic Nav starts from £18,170, including the government’s £4500 EV car grant.

Renault’s boosted Zoe will come at a time when the model, which was launched in 2012, continues to grow in popularity. European sales totalled 30,134 last year, which represented an increase of 8894 on the year before.

Source: Fuel Included News