All posts by Jo Pegram-Mills

Electric Vehicle Experience Centre (EVEC) Preview Event

We [Fuel Included Limited] were grateful to Chargemaster for inviting us to their Preview Event ahead of the opening of the new Electric Vehicle Experience Centre (EVEC).

The event took place on Friday evening 21 July 2017 ahead of the official public opening on Saturday 22 July. The EVEC is located on Crown Walk in the main Central Milton Keynes shopping centre.

The event ran from 6-8pm and included welcome speeches from David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, and Ted Foster, EVEC Manager.

For more details see our EVEC news page.

Source: Fuel Included blog


UAE’s Farnek adds Renault Zoe electric vehicle to fleet

Farnek has become the first company in the GCC region to purchase a Renault Zoe electric vehicle.

The Renault Zoe will save more than 17 tonnes in carbon emissions during its first year of operations, according to Farnek.

The UAE-based facilities management (FM) firm has added the environmentally friendly model to its 200-strong transportation fleet.

When compared to the saloon cars in its existing fleet, which travel approximately 72,000km annually, Farnek expects the Renault Zoe to save more than 17 tonnes in carbon emissions during its first year of operations.

Commenting on the purchase, Markus Oberlin, chief executive officer of Farnek, said:

“It is part of our strategy to have a more energy efficient fleet, in line with the UAE government’s recommendation to ensure that 10% of our transportation fleet is electric by 2030.

We also wanted to show leadership within the FM sector, and inspire other organisations to do the same,”

he added.

Powered by a Z.E.40 battery, the Renault Zoe boasts a New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) range of 400km, which equates to approximately 300km in real-world driving conditions.

The battery can be charged from 0% to 80% within the space of an hour, owing to the patented Chameleon Charger.

Read more: Construction Week Online

China just built a 250-acre solar farm shaped like a giant panda

The Panda Power Plant in Datong, China. China Merchants New Energy/Panda Green Energy

The Panda Power Plant in Datong, China.

Most solar farms align their solar arrays in rows and columns to form a grid.

A new solar power plant in Datong, China, however, decided to have a little fun with its design. China Merchants New Energy Group, one of the country’s largest clean energy operators, built a 248-acre solar farm in the shape of a giant panda.

The first phase, which includes one 50-megawatt plant, was completed on June 30, according to PV magazine. The project just began delivering power to a grid in northwestern China, and a second panda is planned for later this year.

Read more: Business Insider via Fuel Included news

The Electric Car Revolution Is Accelerating

  • Electric cars will be as cheap as gasoline models by 2025
  • Battery manufacturing capacity will triple in the next four years
The charging port of Honda Motor Co.’s Fit electric vehicle. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Electric cars will outsell fossil-fuel powered vehicles within two decades as battery prices plunge, turning the global auto industry upside down and signaling economic turmoil for oil-exporting countries.

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast says adoption of emission-free vehicles will happen more quickly than previously estimated because the cost of building cars is falling so fast. The seismic shift will see cars with a plug account for a third of the global auto fleet by 2040 and displace about 8 million barrels a day of oil production—more than the 7 million barrels Saudi Arabia exports today.

“This is economics, pure and simple economics,”

BNEF’s lead advanced-transportation analyst Colin McKerracher said before forecasts were published on Thursday.

“Lithium-ion battery prices are going to come down sooner and faster than most other people expect.”

The forecast is BNEF’s most bullish to date and is more aggressive than projections made by the International Energy Agency.

Read more: Bloomberg Businessweek via Fuel Included news

France will ‘ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040’

Environment minister unveils five-year-plan to fulfil country’s commitments under Paris Agreemen.

France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, the country’s new environment minister has announced.

Nicolas Hulot made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make the country carbon neutral by 2050.

Mr Hulot said he recognised the target would put pressure on France’s car manufacturers, but he said they currently had projects which

“can fulfil that promise”.

As part of the plan, poorer households will receive a premium so they can swap their polluting vehicles for clean alternatives.

The announcement comes after Volvo said on Wednesday it planned to build only electric and hybrid vehicles from 2019.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Hulot told reporters France would stop using coal to produce electricity by 2022 and that up to €4bn of investments will help to boost energy efficiency.

The announcements are part of a five-year-plan to encourage clean energy and fulfil the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Mr Hulot said the government wanted to maintain the country’s “leadership” in climate policy.

“We want to demonstrate that fighting against climate change can lead to an improvement of French people’s daily lives,”

he said.

France is not the only country which aims to ban combustion-powered cars. The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany and India announced similar plans ahead of 2030.

Reacting to the news, ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “This is a huge statement of intent from the French government and an example of how we’re likely to see exponential change in the coming years as governments grapple with the necessary changes we have to make for air quality and our climate.

Read more: Independent via Fuel Included news

Renault Actually Considering Production Of Hot Zoe RS

Fingers crossed that it will make it!

Renault ZOE E-Sport

The pint-sized Zoe is far from being the most exciting electric car out there, but it’s a whole different story with the bonkers E-Sport concept. Unveiled earlier this year in Geneva, the zero-emissions city car had a pair of electric motors good for a combined output of close to 460 horsepower (343 kilowatts) and a torquetastic 472 pound-feet (640 Newton-meters).

As it turns out, Renault Sport is actually analyzing the prospects of coming out with a high-performance Zoe that would carry the “RS” suffix. In an interview with Autocar, the go-faster division’s boss, Patrice Ratti, admitted

“we are thinking about doing a Zoe RS but it is a big study that will take time.”

He went on to specify the hot e-hatch is being considered thanks primarily to the developments made in battery technology, thus making the Zoe RS a feasible project worthy of being evaluated for a potential production model.

Renault ZOE E-Sport

If green-lighted, the Zoe RS (see render here) will go through some significant changes compared to the concept. Besides being subjected to steering and chassis modifications, the batteries would also have to be tweaked in order to boost range over the E-Sport, which had enough juice for a mere 15 minutes while being driven at full throttle. For the sake of comparison, the regular Zoe ZE 40 you can actually buy can cover up to 250 miles (400 kilometers) between charges as per the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

Should the road-going model get even close to the concept’s performances, it’s going to be a little electric beast. Renault Sport said the show car would do 0 to 62 mph (100 kph) in just 3.2 seconds. Top speed was electronically capped at 130 mph (210 kph), a process which took less than 10 seconds from a standstill.

Renault ZOE E-Sport

But Renault Sport has bigger fish to fry right now as it’s gearing up to introduce the all-new Megane RS. Slated to debut on September 12, the newest performance model carrying the diamond logo will premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Source: InsideEVs via Fuel Included news

Renault Zoe becomes first EV pool car for Slough Council

Slough Borough Council has purchased three Renault Zoe EV vehicles as staff pool cars.

The purchase follows Slough Borough Council’s ‘journey to clean air’ initiative, as part of its low emissions strategy.

The pool car scheme is part of Slough’s wider fleet challenge programme, providing ‘environmentally friendly’ solutions for staff travel to meetings, site inspections and client visits. This all helps towards Slough’s aim to decarbonise its fleet.

Leader of Slough Borough Council Cllr Sohail Munawar said:

“The fleet challenge is just one of the ways we are making a difference to our communities and our environment. By introducing a pool of both ultra-low emissions electric cars and e-bikes, we are moving towards that goal.

“Forty staff tried the Renault Zoe and the feedback was excellent. They found it easy to drive and the controls clear and simple to understand. The charging lead is easy to connect and the range the car offers makes it ideal as a pool car.

The three Zoe Dynamique iNav R90 Z.E.40 models were sourced through Renault Croydon and have been fitted with the optional rear-view parking camera.”

Groupe Renault UK’s national fleet manager Mark Potter said:

“We’re delighted that Slough Borough Council has chosen the Renault Zoe as its first electric pool car. The Zoe creates no emissions at the tailpipe, and with the 250-mile range (NEDC) available from its Z.E.40 battery, it will be able to complete return journeys across the borough without needing to stop and charge up again. We are sure staff will also enjoy its smooth, quiet performance and fun character.”

Source: FleetNews via Fuel Included news

Plug-In Vehicle Sales In Europe Increased By 50% In May

Europe has increased plug-in vehicle sales every month so far this year, exceeding 21,000 deliveries in May (21,371 – a “non December”/year end record), up a strong 48% over a year ago.

After five months, sales are now approaching 105,000 (which is up 21% year-over-year).

Six models exceeded the 1,000 sales mark in May:

  • Renault ZOE #1 – 2,095 (12,957 YTD)
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV #2 – 1,842 (8,018 YTD)
  • BMW i3 #3 – 1,629 (8,660 YTD)
  • Nissan LEAF #4 – 1,378 (9,404 YTD)
  • Volkswagen Passat GTE #5 – 1,170 (5,374 YTD)
  • Mercedes GLC350e #6 – 1,105 (4,589 YTD)
Renault ZOE Z.E. 40

Tesla sold some 1,640 cars during the month, including 899 Model S (5,191 YTD) and 741 Model X (4,036 YTD).

As you can see, there is no threat for the Renault ZOE at the top, which has pulled ahead by some 3,500 registrations over the second place LEAF in five months. Truly, this race is already over. We suspect that the new 2018 Nissan LEAF when it arrives in Europe in early 2018 will put up a much better fight, as will the Tesla Model 3.

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

Source: InsideEVs via Fuel Included news

Paris to host on-demand driverless vehicle service

Europe’s first on-demand driverless vehicle service on open roads is set to begin operating in France later this year.

Delphi Autonomy

The pilot service, a collaboration between Delphi and French-based public transport operator Transdev, will see autonomous vehicles operating in Saclay, a Paris suburb, and Rouen in Normandy.

In Paris, initially one shuttle will operate along a fixed route from the train station to the campus of the University of Paris-Saclay.

In Rouen the service will operate in an area of the city where there is currently no public transport, and will initially consist of two driverless Renault Zoe cars.

Customers will be able to use a smartphone app to book a ride in the vehicles, which will be tracked by a remote control and command centre. A driver will initially sit in on the journeys to monitor the vehicles, but by 2018 the companies hope to operate the service without a driver on-board.

For the pilot the companies have chosen the so-called “last-mile” of public transport – the journey between a train or bus station and the commuter’s place of work, for example – as it is seen as an area of particular need, according to Serge Lambermont, director of automated driving at Delphi.

“People like to travel by public transport, but this last mile, how to get from your subway station to your destination, is an inconvenience,”

he said.

“So if you can arrive with the ticket already on your smart phone connecting you to an automated, mobility-on-demand taxi or pod system, which takes you on to your location, you take all the inconvenience out.”

Read more: The Engineer via Fuel Included news

Renault Kangoo ZE small electric van now on sale with longer range

French automaker Renault has given its small light commercial electric vehicle a handful of upgrades, including a significantly longer battery range.

Renault Kangoo ZE 2017

The Renault Kangoo ZE is now officially on sale with a longer rated range, a more powerful charging system, and a heat pump to keep the little van efficient in the coldest temperatures.

Renault revealed the Kangoo ZE back in 2010 as an electrified option for light commercial vehicle buyers, even before its 2012 Renault Zoe subcompact electric hatchback.

An electrified Master ZE joined the smaller van earlier this year. Just shy of six months later, the Kangoo ZE updates should receive a warm welcome from commercial-vehicle buyers with an eye for efficiency.

Rated range for the updated electric van jumps from 170 kilometers (105 miles) to 270 kilometers (167 miles) on the New European Driving Cycle.

Renault Kangoo ZE 2017

However, Renault acknowledges the NEDC’s shortcomings, noting that a real-world range of 120 km (74 miles) to 200 km (124 miles) may be more likely.

That’s still a jump from its previous non-NEDC estimates of 80 to 125 km (50 to 77 miles).

Read more: Green Car Reports via Fuel Included news