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

New Milton Keynes EV centre to feature multiple brands

The Electric Vehicle Experience Centre (EVEC) will open in Milton Keynes on Saturday 22nd July, featuring the UK’s first multi-brand electric vehicle showroom. Part of the city’s Go Ultra Low Cities bid, the EVEC will be located in the centre:mk shopping centre.

Milton Keynes EV Experience Centre
The EVEC will open with cars from a number of EV manufacturers

BMW i, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, and VW have all signed up to be founding manufacturers for the EVEC, and will display a range of EVs spread across a range of costs and electric range.

Set to be run by Chargemaster, the EVEC will both showcase existing electric models and be an information point for EV ownership in general. Visitors will be able to talk with staff about all elements of owning and running an EV, with test drives available too.

Milton Keynes has a target for 23% of all new cars registered in the area to be electric by 2021. The centre is intended to help promote EV sales and use, and also to educate prospective buyers as to the benefits of going electric.

The EVEC is part of a suite of initiatives from Milton Keynes’ Go Ultra Low City bid, including investment in expanding the number of EV charge points available including creating a number of charging hubs, free parking for EVs, and additional grants for home and workplace charging.

Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation at Milton Keynes Council, said:

“The EVEC is a centrepiece of our thrust to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and is a good example of the innovation that Milton Keynes is using to lead the way in transport innovation. We are delighted to be working with Chargemaster and six founding car manufacturers to bring this about.”

David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, said:

“Opening the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre on 22 July will be a landmark day, not only for the electric vehicle sector, but also for Milton Keynes residents.

“Becoming the UK’s first multi-brand EV showroom, it will provide a destination for visitors to make an informed decision about owning an EV, without the pressure of having to make an immediate purchase decision. We are delighted to receive the support from six key electric vehicle manufacturers as founding partners of the EVEC.

“We hope that this platform will change the way that electric vehicles are sold in cities and we’re proud to be working with Milton Keynes and Go Ultra Low to deliver this to the public.”

Source: Next Green Car via Fuel Included news

EV road trip marks 100,000 plug-in car sales

To celebrate more than 100,000 plug-in cars having been sold in the UK, 25 electric and plug-in hybrid cars drove from London to Milton Keynes [on] Sunday 18th June.

Organised by Chargemaster, the road trip covered around 100,000 meters in cars as diverse as the Nissan Leaf to the Tesla Model X, and BMW’s i3 to the Volvo XC90 T8.

The convoy all safely completed the journey of a little over 60 miles, showcasing the variety of plug-in cars on sale in the UK at the moment.

Coinciding with the sales milestone were two celebrations of Chargemaster’s own – 100,000 home charging sessions have been carried out on a single week, and Chargemaster’s Polar network has seen 100,000 public charging sessions so far in 2017.

David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, said:

“Today was a pivotal moment for the EV market, to mark a significant milestone in vehicle adoption and to celebrate two 100,000 milestones of our own. Thank you to the team, and everyone that made the day so special – here’s to the next 100,000 EVs.”

Source: ZapMap via Fuel Included News

Plug-In Vehicles Sales In UK Up 32% In May

While the overall automotive market in UK shrank by 8.5% in May, ahead of June’s general election, the plug-in segment of the market continued to move forward, noting a strong 32% increase year-over-year.

Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – May 2017

Total plug-in electrified sales in May amounted to 3,117 vehicles registered (17,904 YTD), which is one of the best ever results (that is, ex-annual March surges) in terms of market share at 1.67%.

All-electric offerings still only hold a third of the segment, but are now growing faster than their plug-in hybrid counterparts:

  • 926 BEVs (up 79 percent year-over-year)
  • 2,191 PHEVs (up 19 percent year-over-year)

The great result also helps the overall “alt-fuel” vehicle segment set a new record market share of 4.4% (previously 4.2% in January 2017).

We don’t yet know the individual model ranks; however, the new/longer ranged Renault ZOE ZE and reports of more RHD Tesla sales, likely accounted for the bulk of the all-electric sales.

Plug-in Electric Car Registrations in UK – May 2017

Source: Inside EVs via Fuel Included News

Why Americans Should Care About The Renault Zoe

If you’re looking for a true game-changing company in the automotive arena, it’s the Renault-Nissan Alliance, not Tesla, that has a firm grasp on the future.

Renault ZOE

With all the talk of climate change and the Paris Agreement, ask yourself if you’ve ever heard of the Renault Zoe. Probably not. It’s an electric vehicle (EV) sold by French automaker Renault. It’s also the most popular EV in Europe and is mechanically similar to the Nissan Leaf we have here in the U.S. So why should you care about this French EV? One simple reason: Automakers are serving a global market whether they like it or not and Renault-Nissan will soon be setting the agenda for EVs around the world. Partly thanks to partnerships between Nissan, Renault and now Mitsubishi, the Zoe is the perfect barometer for global EV success or failure.

According to CleanTechnica, an EV website, of the top-selling EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in Europe, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have the top three spots for in 2016 and that trend continues into 2017. In total, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi vehicles make up 6 of the top 30 spots, including some oddballs like the Outlander PHEV, Renault Kangoo ZE and Nissan e-NV200. Only VW Group has more total vehicles in the top 30.

EVs Replace Diesel?

Eventually, EVs will replace diesel as the budget and eco-friendly option. Last year, I spoke to a Renault-Nissan executive, and he said that affordable diesel-powered small cars are likely the first to gradually disappear given the stricter emissions regulations coming to the E.U. The main reason is that the cost of compliance is getting to be a serious obstacle. In short, as emissions requirements become increasingly stringent, the cost of building compliant cars will go up. The U.S. pulling out of the Paris Agreement won’t change automakers’ global strategy, but China deferring compliance until 2030 may remove some of the urgency of the agreement.

The first area to feel this will be small, typically inexpensive cars where the buyers are very price-conscious. Renault-Nissan Alliance Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn echoed those sentiments at a press conference at the Paris Auto Show in 2016. And judging by his comments and how he essentially spun every emissions question into a talking point about EVs and the Zoe/Leaf, the next version of that car will likely put the Renault-Nissan Alliance in the catbird seat when it comes to global EV sales.

Maybe they’re already there: If budget friendly, diesel-sipping small cars go away, the next best option for budget-strapped motorists is an EV like the Zoe. According to Forbes, Renault-Nissan is on track to sell nearly 10.5 million vehicles in 2017, second only to Toyota. Therefore, Alliance decisions and innovations are bound to have a ripple effect on the global automotive marketplace.

Read more: Huffington Post via Fuel Included News

Stylish Andersen A1 Home Charge Point Launched

Andersen has launched its first charge point – the A1 – offering EV drivers a premium option for home charging. The Andersen A1 is inspired by Scandinavian minimalist design, and hides away the cables within the unit.

Andersen A1 Charge Point

As part of a second wave of new charge points coming to the UK market, Andersen is aiming their product at those who want a sleeker, more stylish design. Although existing options perform well and offer a reliable home charge option, there are few on the market that look stylish.

Now though, charge point manufacturers are opening up the options available to buyers with a more expensive, but also more aesthetically pleasing product. There is a choice of five colours on offer too.

David Simpson, Technical Director at Andersen, said:

“The whole idea came from my own frustration with the home charge points that were available. I’d just bought an EV and I was looking for a charge point. I wanted one that didn’t have messy cables or flashing blue lights – just something that would sit happily on the side of my house.”

Jerome Faissat, Managing Director at Andersen, said: “A home charge point is something an electric car owner uses on daily basis and they’re often mounted in very visible places on the front of your house.

“The A1 is designed to complement the style of your home and work perfectly for you all the time. You can choose the colour you want and tidy the cables away if they bother you. It was important for us to create something that looked timeless and functional to last for many years.”

Andersen A1 Charge Point, Various Colours

Priced from £1,499 excluding OLEV grant and installation, Andersen has partnered with Just Energy Solutions as its OLEV accredited installer.

Source: ZapMap via Fuel Included News

Renault-Nissan to build energy storage plant from EV batteries to rival power stations

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is planning to build a 100MW energy storage plant big enough to power 120,000 homes, which can replace a gas or coal-fired power station, sources told Reuters. It is widely seen as a pilot project that could lead to a major new business opportunity for OEMs.

Following trialling using electric vehicle (EV) batteries for home energy storage, this is a further sign the Alliance is planning to establish an energy storage division. The energy storage plant intentions highlight the Alliance’s growing confidence in the powerful position OEMs will find themselves in following the upcoming electric vehicle revolution.

Energy storage plants – essentially gigantic batteries – help save costs and emissions by charging up in times of cheap excess electricity supply. This is when, for example, wind farms generate too much electricity than needed on a windy day. The storage plants then sell the electricity back to the grid at peak times, when the high demand means the electricity commands a higher price.

This helps solve two key problems holding back efficiency in the energy sector: the need to smooth out the variable energy generated from wind and solar, and the desire to remove the need for gas- or coal-fired power plants to be idling on standby for most of the day, and switched on ad hoc in order to meet times of peak electricity demand.

The Renault-Nissan project both aims to cultivate this demand for a second-hand battery market, as well as encouraging the development of energy infrastructure (which can have 10-year lead times) that will synergise with booming EV sales over the next decade. If successful, the expected high demand for these second hand EV batteries would help drive down the costs of electric vehicles (and raise residual values), and also provide an attractive mechanism for recycling the power cells which contain environment-harming heavy metals.

Read more: Autovista Group via Fuel Included News

Renault: Plug-in Hybrid and electric versions of Koleos SUV could happen

The new five-seater SUV is currently offered with two diesel engines, but there is scope for this to change in future

Renault Koleos SUV

A Renault director has not ruled out the possibility of a plug-in hybrid or pure electric version of its new Koleos SUV making its way into production.

The Koleos will go on sale in the UK in July, and will only be offered with a choice of two diesel engines – a 1.6-litre, 128bhp unit and a larger 2.0-litre 173bhp unit.

When quizzed on whether the recent bad press diesel has received in the UK could see an electric or PHEV version of the Koleos introduced to the market, Renault UK’s managing director Vincent Tourette said it was a possibility.

“It’s technically possible because we’re part of the alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi now, so that’s something we have in the bank between us,”

he explained.

Renault Koleos SUV

“But at the moment, we are monitoring closely the way the market is going and if at some point we consider it’s a strong customer requirement, we will go for it. But today, it’s not in the plans.

“Today we have made the choice to offer our vehicles with petrol engines, with diesel engines and as pure EVs, which by the way, most manufacturers have decided to invest in too.

“So that’s our positioning and that’s the way our product plans have been formulated. But then we do have within the Renault-Nissan Alliance other possibilities, and if at some point we consider that [an electric/PHEV Koleos] something Renault also needs to bring to the market, we will have the possibility to do it.”

Source: Express and Star via Fuel Included News

News and comment on the Renault ZOE electric car – quiet, lively, and non-polluting for £300 per month including fuel.