All posts by Jo Pegram-Mills

Projections estimate UK electric car sales will hike in the next five years

Recent studies have suggested that electrically powered vehicles could become more affordable within the next five years.

The revolution of electric cars got off to a somewhat slow start in the UK, but figures have been slowly improving over the last few years with sales in 2015 reported to be around 49,700.

With the battery pack accounting for around 25 per cent of the overall price, electric cars were somewhat unaffordable on their initial launch.

However, research conducted by Nature.com highlighted battery pack prices (measured by the cost per kilowatt-hour) fell by around 80 per cent between 2010 and 2016, causing vehicles sales to soar in the UK.

Using current trends and patterns, optimistic researchers have predicted electric car battery prices might pass the affordability threshold soon after 2020, with overall sales figures said to be at a staggering 1.6 million in the UK alone.

Read more: Car Keys via Fuel Included news

The Inevitable EV

Four decades ago, the electric car looked set to be an acceptable commuting vehicle within a few years.

The electric car seems inevitable. As oil resources dwindle, it will appear far more prudent to develop an automobile powered by electricity, charged by an already-in-place power generation system, than to invest in huge plants to produce synthetic gasoline. Electric automobiles would snuggle nicely into a large, unexploited niche in the electric economy by recharging at night when electric demand is low and power plant capacity idle.

But as yet electric cars have proven abysmal technical failures. For example, in its 1975 tests of two electric cars on the market, Consumer Reports magazine found ‘major safety and operating problems.’ The cars performed poorly, not even living up to their modestly advertised abilities. They accelerated sluggishly, balked at hills, and petered out at inopportune times. The magazine declared that ‘it would be foolhardy to drive either car on any public road.’ The electric cars now on the market have a range of only about 30 miles at 50 miles per hour, with 0-to-30 acceleration times of about 12 seconds. What’s more, the cars were not significantly cheaper to run than comparable gasoline-powered subcompacts.

Two test electric vehicles recently commissioned by the Energy Research and Development Administration could mark some resurgence for the electric car. The two electric car versions are being built for E.R.D.A. by General Electric Co. and AiResearch Manufacturing Co.

Read more: Technology Review via Fuel Included news

EU contemplates introduction of minimum quotas for the sales of electric vehicles

BRUSSELS – The European Commission is considering the introduction of a ‘zero emission vehicles’ (ZEV) mandate.

If translated into legislation this means that Europe’s car makers will have to comply with minimum quotas for the production and sales of zero emission vehicles. Such a move will give an unprecedented push to the supply of electric vehicles in Europe, while putting an end to the transport sector’s stubborn CO2 emissions which have seen no significant decline over the past decade and still remain higher than in 1990.

he introduction of a ZEV mandate is being deliberated as the EU regulation setting CO2 standards for new cars and vans (together referred to as light duty vehicles) is currently undergoing reform. Late last year the Commission conducted a public consultation, to which Bellona submitted its views, strongly supporting the tightening CO2 standards, and the inclusion of a targeted mechanism, mandating quotas for the sales of zero emission vehicles. The Commission’s legislative proposal is expected later this year, following which it will be handed over to the European Parliament and Member States.

Read more: BELLONA via Fuel Included news

New Renault Kangoo Z.E. Gets Larger Battery, Motor, Charger And Heat Pump

This summer Renault is introducing four major upgrades for the Kangoo Z.E. – a new battery, a new motor, a new charger and the incorporation of a heat pump for the climate control system.

Renault Kangoo Z.E. (Z.E. 33)

The battery option is the new Z.E. 33 (33 kWh), which extends range by around 50% compared to previous one:

  • 270 km (168 miles) NEDC compared to 170 km
  • 200 km (124 miles) real range in the summer (previously 125 km)
  • 120 km / 135 km (84 miles) with heat pump in the winter

The new electric motor is still rated at 44 kW (225 Nm), but this time it’s all-Renault designed and produced, which should help with costs.

On-board charger power has (thankfully) doubled to 7 kW (now required 6-hours for a full recharge).

And finally, for the very first time in an electric LCV, there is a heat pump. Additionally, Renault has implemented a pre-heating feature. All welcome additions.

Renault Kangoo Z.E. (Z.E. 33)
Renault Kangoo Z.E. (Z.E. 33)
Renault Kangoo Z.E. (Z.E. 33)
Renault Kangoo Z.E. (Z.E. 33)

Read more: Inside EVs via Fuel Included news

Mayor reveals zero emission London transport plans

Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn has revealed the proposals that will help achieve his aim of dramatically cutting vehicle emissions in the capital. The plan is to make London’s transport network zero-emission by 2050.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone and T-Charge proposals are already confirmed to come into force in the near future, but zero-emission zones will be launched in phases, with central London and town centres first from 2025, inner London between 2035 and 2040, and a blanket London-wide zone by 2050.

Between now and 2025, a ‘major expansion in electric vehicle charging points’ is planned, along with the installation of at least 15 hydrogen refuelling stations in and around London. These investments in infrastructure will continue in a significant manner to encourage expansion until at least 2035.

In terms of public transport, all new buses bought will be hybrid, electric, or hydrogen, before all buses operating in the capital being zero-emission of hybrid from 2030. All buses will be zero-emission between 2035 and 2040.

 

Read more: Next Green Car via Fuel Included news

The U.K. Wants to Lead World in Driverless and Electric Vehicles

The U.K. government plans to invest more than 800 million pounds ($1 billion) in new driverless and zero-emission vehicle technology as it seeks to boost its economy while leaving the European Union.

Investment in research and new recharging infrastructure is intended to make Britain a “leader” in electric and autonomous vehicles, Queen Elizabeth II said in a speech marking the state opening of Parliament in London on Wednesday. The technology may be worth 28 billion pounds to the economy by 2035, the government estimates.

In order to deliver on that goal, the government will:

  • Extend mandatory vehicle insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles
  • Set a target for almost every car and van to be zero emission by 2050
  • Allow government to require motorway service areas and large gasoline stations to install electric vehicle recharging points
  • Require a set of common standards for charging points so they can be used widely across all vehicles
  • Invest 200 million pounds in researching and testing driverless car infrastructure and 600 million pounds during the course of this Parliament in supporting the ultra-low emission vehicles, sums which had been previously announced

The measures were welcomed by businesses, which had been concerned that Prime Minister Theresa May’s focus on withdrawing Britain from the European Union would push issues like air pollution down the agenda.

Read more: Bloomberg via Fuel Included news

EVs are ‘clearly’ the future despite slow start, Renault’s Normand says

The global market for electric vehicles has not grown as fast as Renault expected when CEO Carlos Ghosn announced a bold investment of 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) six years ago to develop the technology, said Gilles Normand, the automaker’s senior vice president for electric vehicles.

Although most EV buyers are in cities or suburbs, increasing numbers of people in rural areas are choosing battery powered cars, Normand says.

However, electric vehicles are “clearly” the future of the automotive industry, Normand told attendees of the 2017 Automotive News Europe Congress here on Wednesday.

In 2011, Ghosn had predicted that the Renault-Nissan alliance would have the ability to produce half a million electric vehicles by 2013. Last year, total sales of electrified vehicles including pure electric and plug-in hybrids from all automakers were about 465,000.

While overall sales figures have not hit Ghosn’s early target, the alliance is the global leader with its Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf electric cars.

Read more: Automotive News via Fuel Included News

First electric vehicle charge point set up in Brent as council looks to tackle poor air quality

The first of 33 electric vehicle charge points has gone up as the council looks to have them placed in 24 different locations throughout Brent

Brent’s first Electric Vehicle Charge Point is up and running on Dudley Road (Photo: Brent Council)

Brent council has erected its first electric vehicle charge point in the borough as it looks to tackle poor air quality.

Dudley Road is the home to the first of 33 charge points for electric cars in the area as the council aims to set them up in 24 locations.

Cabinet Member for Environment, Councilor Eleanor Southwood, said:

“This is a really proactive step forward in the move towards greener energy sources in the borough.

“We want to make it easier and more convenient for existing owners of electric vehicles in the borough and create the infrastructure so that more people are able to switch to electric vehicles in the future.

“Poor air quality is one of the biggest issues facing London and we will work hard to find innovative ways to improve air quality in Brent.

“Everyone has a part to play when it comes to reducing air pollution and we will continue to work with residents, schools and businesses to improve things in all parts of the borough.”

Source: GetWestLondon via Fuel Included News

Should you join the charge and buy an electric car?

Green motoring is becoming financially attractive thanks to a drop in leasing prices and lower running costs

Renault ZOE ZE40

Is now the time to buy an electric car? Falls in financing costs mean that switching to a zero carbon-emitting vehicle won’t just help the environment, it can be cheaper than buying and running a conventional car.

When Guardian Money last looked at electric cars, the price premium for most models meant they made most financial sense to central London drivers keen to avoid the £11.50-a-day congestion charge – but for other motorists the case for going electric was less obvious. However, a drop in leasing costs, plus much lower running costs, have made the financial package much more attractive.

The popular Nissan Leaf, with a large 30kWh battery, can now be leased for about £240 a month with a deposit of £2,000. This is just £70 a month more than the larger, petrol-engined Nissan Juke and many supermini class vehicles.

When you consider that someone who uses their car to commute each day could easily be spending £70 on petrol a month, the green option is starting to look as good for your wallet as for the environment. The cost of an overnight charge that delivers a typical 100 miles of driving is about £3-£4 depending on your electricity tariff. To go the same distance in a petrol car would typically cost £15 – more if your journeys are all around town. This in part is why there are now 100,000 electric cars on UK roads, and 2m worldwide.

“Once you’ve got used to living with an electric car, most people say they’d never go back to a conventional one. You are driving the future,”

says Melanie Shufflebotham who runs NextGreenCar, a website dedicated to low-carbon vehicles. An enthusiastic Nissan Leaf owner, she says improvements to the charging infrastructure, a greater awareness of the benefits of going electric in cities, and the fact that the technology is now proven have all allowed electric cars to move into the mainstream.

Read more: The Guardian via Fuel Included News

Queen’s Speech introduces an Electric Vehicles Bill

New Bill unveiled in Queen’s Speech to require charging points to be fitted at services and fuel stations, support driverless cars and keep insurance claims simple

Renault ZOE

Motorway services and petrol stations may be forced to install electric charging points as part of Government plans to ensure the UK

“remains a world leader in new industries”.

An Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill will be introduced to encourage the use of electric and self-driving cars, the Government announced in the Queen’s Speech.

The first all-electric car to be built in the UK rolled off of the production line in 2013, and the Government wants

“almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050”.

Of more than 36.7 million licensed vehicles in the UK, just over 100,000 have been purchased with help from a government plug-in car grant.

Registrations of electric vehicles are increasing, with 13,800 being registered in the first quarter of 2017, a 17% rise on the same period the year before.

Plans to fund the additional electric charging points have not yet been announced, although the Government said it was committed to spending £600m during this Parliament to support the ultra-low emissions market.

The new law also aims to support British manufacturing and innovation by allowing self-driving cars to operate in the country.

Source: Platts Garages via Fuel Included News