All posts by Jo Pegram-Mills

CitiPark is to lower fees for electric vehicles

Drivers of petrol and diesel cars will face higher charges to use private car parks under a plan to tackle pollution.

CitiPark, which operates car parks across Britain, announced yesterday that it would impose a levy on all but the most fuel-efficient vehicles as part of a national drive to cut emissions.

Under the system, cars emitting 75g or less of carbon dioxide per kilometre — typically only electric cars and some hybrid vehicles — would qualify for a “green tariff”.

This would give them an automatic discount of up to 20 per cent of the price charged for petrol and diesel vehicles.

The change has initially been applied to the company’s Clipstone Street underground car park in Fitzrovia, central London.

Read more: The Times via Fuel Included news

First all-EV car showroom opens in Milton Keynes

The UK’s first multi-brand, electric vehicle showroom has opened in central Milton Keynes, with the ambitious aim of trebling the national take-up of EVs and plug-ins in the local area over the next five years.

The showroom, operated by Chargemaster as part of the Milton Keynes’ £9m Go Ultra Low City programme, won’t sell cars directly, and its 11 EV “gurus” are not salesman. They concentrate instead on educating people about the capabilities and advantages of electric vehicles and on showing them a selection of the latest EVs from VW, BMW, Kia, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, Chargemaster’s partners in the venture.

Q&A, David Martell, chief executive, Chargemaster

Will you be looking to attract visitors who are serious about electric cars?

Not necessarily. We’d like to talk to people who are simply curious about them, and want to reach the truth for themselves. We can help with all kinds of facts and figures, impartially delivered because we’re not selling anything. Or we can take people on a familiarization drive.

How does Chargemaster gain from such an apparently philanthropic exercise?

We’re convinced electric cars will play a vital part in future motoring. If that happens, as the country’s leading provider of charging points we’ll benefit. In the meantime, we’re aware of a lack of general knowledge about electric cars and we want to help address that.

When the number of EVs sold is still so small, how can you be confident about their future?

Three things: they’re a great answer to some of the difficult problems we’re facing, the population of EVs is increasing fast (5000 to 100,000 in five years) and the best models are easy to own yet great to drive. Latest forecasts say EV sales will reach 150,000 a year by 2020.

Read more: Autocar via Fuel Included news

Renault Zoe is best selling plug-in car in Germany

Renault Zoe was the best selling plug-in car in Germany last month, keeping up with its sales trend this year and setting a new record for sales of plug-in (BEV and PHEV) vehicles on German market.

Zoe was followed by Audi A3 e-tron (535 units sold, best plugin-hybrid) in the second place, while BMW 225xe Active Tourer was third with 338 units sold. Renault Zoe was also the most successful plug-in car in the first half of 2017, racking up 2.429 sales.

Second ant third place again goes to Audi A3 e-tron and BMW 225xe Active Tourer. Bavarian PHEV edged out Mitsubishi Outlander plugin hybrid in the fight for third place. With 4.624 registrations in June German plug-in car market recorded 181% on year-on-year growth vs. June 2016, and total year to date sales for first six months are up 115%.

Source: Plugin Magazine via Fuel Included news

UK’s ‘largest solar carport’ – with additional storage – planned for St Ives Park & Ride

Cambridgeshire County Council has received planning permission for what it claims will be the UK’s largest solar carport.

The installation, which will be developed at the site of St Ives’ Park & Ride, is anticipated to be 948kW in size and combined with a battery storage system as part of a wider demonstrator project with collaboration from distribution network operator UK Power Networks (UKPN).

Planning documents associated with the proposals do not include any prospective size of the storage unit.
The council is combining with central government, St Ives town council, UKPN and local businesses in a bid to turn the scheme into a replicable model for future smart grid deployment. Should it prove successful, it is hoped that further systems of similar size and scope could be deployed elsewhere.

The £3 million cost of the project is to be supported by European Regional Development funds, which will provide half, while the council will invest the remaining funds.

The car park will be covered by three main canopies fitted with solar modules. Generated electricity will be used first and foremost to power LED lighting and adjacent electric vehicle charging points.

Any surplus will be stored using the battery system and sold to local customers, helping to finance the project’s development.

Read more: Solar Power Portal via Fuel Included news

Renault Sets New EV Sales Record In June At 4,500

In June, Renault set a new all-time record for electric vehicles sales. The month saw sales of 4,498 EVs, which was 56% higher than a year ago, and 350+ units higher than the previous all-time record set in March.

For the Renault brand, EVs (not including the city Twizy) stand at 1.65% share of all sales in June, and 1.4% for the first half of 2017.

Renault electric vehicle sales in June:

  • Renault ZOE – 4,251 (up 73%)
  • Renault Kangoo Z.E. – 245 (down 42%)

In the first six months, Renault has sold total nearly 18,900 electric cars (up 34%), including nearly 17,300 ZOE.

Cheapest electric car uk

Europe:

“Renault maintained its lead in the electric vehicle segment with a market share of 26.8%. Sales volumes increased 34%. Registrations of ZOE, Europe’s top-selling electric vehicle, rose 44%.”

France:

“ZOE remains the clear leader in the electric vehicle market, accounting for almost 70% of electric passenger car sales in France with over 9,200 registrations – a year-on-year increase of over 42%.”

The Kangoo Z.E. doesn’t account for many sales, but the new longer-range version maybe will enable higher sales.

Source: Inside EVs via Fuel Included news

Renault Zoe still dominates Europe electric-car sales; longer range boosts sales

Ask a North American driver to name companies that make electric cars, and you’ll probably hear Tesla, maybe Nissan, and perhaps Chevy or BMW or Toyota.

Longer-range Renault Zoe electric car, introduced at 2016 Paris Motor Show

Chinese drivers may be more likely to say BYD (and perhaps Tesla), but Europeans will likely name Renault. (And Tesla.)

The Renault Zoe, now in its fifth year but entirely unknown to U.S. and Canadian buyers, continues to be the best-selling battery-electric car in Europe.

Its maker is part of the longstanding Renault Nissan Alliance, which recently added Mitsubishi to become the fourth largest automaker in the world collectively.

The French maker just released its first-half global sales figures, and the Zoe continues to dominate the sales charts within Europe.

In Europe, as Renault notes, overall the carmaker had 26.8 percent of the market for battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

Longer-range Renault Zoe electric car, introduced at 2016 Paris Motor Show

Its first-half sales volumes grew 34 percent, and registrations of the subcompact hatchback Zoe rose 44 percent.

That meant the Zoe remains Europe’s top-selling electric vehicle.

One factor that may keep the Zoe, which went on sale in late 2012, at the top of the charts is this year’s substantial upgrade in battery capacity.

Read more: Green Car Reports via Fuel Included news

Electric Vehicles Are On the Rise

It seems like most major car retailers are jumping into the electric vehicle game.

Let’s talk about one of our favourite things: cars. And more specifically, how the internal combustion engine is on the verge of extinction.

Not only that, but we’re also being told that in five years we’re going to be driving self-driving cars. OK, that’s not accurate. They will be driving us — or at least a lot of us.

Unless you were at the beach and had your head buried in the sand because of worries about Russia’s determination to wipe out democracy on the planet, you undoubtedly heard that Volvo will stop making cars that run solely on gasoline.

Volvo announced that starting in 2019 all new models it introduces will be either hybrids or vehicles powered solely by batteries. While the new electric cars will initially be made in China, where air pollution is critically dangerous, a new plant is being built near Charleston, S.C., and some will be built in Europe.

Tesla, the posh electric car maker, plans to sell hundreds of thousands of new electric models priced at “only” $35,000, which is substantially less expensive than most of the flashy vehicles it currently sells. The new cars will be serviced at 250 centers that don’t charge service fees! If you live too far from a service center, Tesla will send one of its 350 special vans to your home or office to repair your vehicle on site! The vans will have toys for children, espresso machines and, you won’t believe this, replacement parts. I know. I know. Except for the sticker shock, it seems like heaven.

Read more:  GOVTECH via Fuel Included news

UK electric and plug-in car registrations hit record high

More electric and plug-in hybrid cars were registered during the first half of 2017 than in any previous six-monthly period.

More than 22,400 plug-in models were registered between January and June 2017, a rise of 14.3% on 2016 and 53.8% up on the same period in 2015.

June exceeded all previous non-plate-change months with 4,405 new plug-in models sold during the month (33% up on June 2016). Demand from private buyers has driven growth with 44.9% more consumers opting for plug-in hybrid and electric power between January and June 2017, compared to the same period last year.

Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “It is great to see that electric and plug-in hybrid cars are helping more UK motorists to cut fuel costs and emissions.

“The total number of plug-in cars on our roads is at record levels, with the latest figures showing that there are now over 100,000 plug-in cars and vans registered in the UK.

“The UK is a world leader in tackling climate change and the Government is committed to supporting the transition to a low carbon economy and improving air quality. Our aim is that nearly all cars and vans on our roads are zero emission by 2050.”

The Nissan Leaf was the UK’s best selling plug-in car in the first six months of 2017, while BMW’s plug-in hybrid 3-Series saloon was one of the year’s biggest growers, rising 79.9% following its launch last year.

 

Read more: FleetNews via Fuel Included news

Fleet in focus: Chargemaster

Chargemaster uses electric vehicles on its own fleet to prove to companies that plug-in cars make good business sense, John Maslen discovers.

The company behind the country’s biggest electric vehicle (EV) recharging network is now using its fleet to prove the significant potential of zero-emission motoring in business.

Chargemaster is used by thousands of private owners, businesses and councils, with more than 50,000 customers across the UK and Europe. In the UK, it operates the Polar network, which has more than 5,000 recharging points.

It is also the official charging partner for most of the leading plug-in vehicle manufacturers, including BMW, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault and Toyota, along with a range of other fleet providers, such as leasing giant Alphabet.

For Chargemaster’s founder and chief executive officer, David Martell, the company’s own vehicle choice is a public vote of confidence in the future of electric vehicles within the fleet market.

He says:

“We are showing customers through our vehicle choices that we are serious about the potential growth in the market. We are also giving them confidence that plug-in vehicles are a viable fleet choice.”

Chargemaster operates a fleet of around 40 electric cars, including battery electric vehicles (BEV), range-extenders and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

They are used for everything from management cars to vehicles for sales staff and pool cars, with models including the BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander, Renault Zoe, Vauxhall Ampera, Volkswagen e-Golf and Tesla Model S.

From its Luton headquarters, the company serves customers throughout the country, so different types of technology are allocated for different types of usage.

Read more: FleetNews via Fuel Included news

UK to fund research into letting electric cars return power to grid

Vehicle-to-grid technology could help meet demand for electricity at peak times, with owners paid in money or free parking

Plug-in electric cars with connectors attached to charging stations in a company car park. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The UK plans to invest millions of pounds to explore how the batteries in thousands of electric cars could help the power grid and drive take-up of the cleaner vehicles.

British businesses will be able to bid for £20m of government funding for undertaking research and trials of vehicle-to-grid technology, which officials believe holds “enormous potential” benefits for drivers and the energy system.

The announcement comes on the heels of a week of good news for electric car manufacturers and battery-makers.
Volvo said it was turning its back on cars powered solely by an internal combustion engine, France declared it would ban sales of diesel and petrol cars by 2040 and Tesla revealed plans to build the world’s largest battery storage plant in South Australia.

There are now more than 90,000 electric or plug-in hybrid cars on UK roads, which currently only draw electricity from the grid when owners recharge them overnight at home or for half an hour at rapid charging stations in towns, cities and motorway service stations.

Read more: The Guardian via Fuel Included news