EV triple test: Hyundai Ioniq Electric v Renault Zoe v Nissan Leaf

With the announcement of the 2040 ban on all new petrol and diesel cars, we get behind the wheel of three electric vehicles to see if the future really is green.

(L to R) Nissan LEAF, Hyundai IONIQ, Renault ZOE

WHAT’S NEW?

Since the announcement of the 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel cars, all you read in the news is about how we’re all going electric. So if that’s the case, which is the best electric car to buy? We chose three to test – a Renault Zoe, Hyundai Ioniq and Nissan Leaf.

The Hyundai Ioniq is by far the newest and in our opinion one of the best-equipped. The Nissan and the Renault have both been around for some years now, and the Leaf is actually due to be replaced by a new model next year.

The Ioniq is Hyndai’s first attempt at making an all-electric car, and it’s very good.

Inside, the cabin feels solidly built and very comfortable. It also has lots of kit including, on our car, heated and cooled electric seats.

Next is the Renault Zoe, a great-looking little car with bags of character on the exterior alone. Step inside and it’s also a funky place to be. It also features the best-claimed range of the three EVs, with 250 miles on the NEDC cycle thanks to its new ‘Z.E. 40’ battery.

Finally, we have the Nissan Leaf, the oldest of the three in terms of design and this shows in its rather ungainly styling and outdated technology. It also has the lowest theoretical range with just 155 miles.

LOOKS AND IMAGE

This is where the Nissan Leaf falls down – massively. It is not appealing at all on the outside with its bulbous rear-end and huge headlights. This continues inside where it can best be described as dull and old-fashioned.

The Hyundai is in a different league. It looks fresh, funky and modern. Add a touch of colour and you have a car that will be very enjoyable to own. This continues inside too where it feels light and airy with a very easy to use dashboard and centre console.

The Renault is the best looking of the bunch. Its chic Parisian styling blends well with modern life and makes it look more premium than it actually is. However, this doesn’t quite continue inside. Although the cabin looks chic, it feels cheap, with the plastics belonging in a cheap supermini.

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Renault Zoe: Australian launch imminent with two variants coming

While Renault remains stubbornly quiet on the topic, we can reveal that the Renault Zoe launch is now imminent, with the vehicle recently listed on a government vehicle guide.

As revealed by CarAdvice in June, Renault’s local arm has gone through the motions of registering the Zoe with Australian government regulatory bodies – a sure sign of intent to bring the little electric hatch to our market.

Listings with the government confirm approval has been granted, and now the vehicle has been officially listed with the Green Vehicle Guide, a website operated by the government as a key resource to Australian car buyers.

According to information on the website, the Zoe will be offered locally with two variants — one will feature the choice of 15- and 16-inch wheels, while the other will come with 17-inch alloy wheels and a higher specification level.

With up to 41kWh of usable battery energy, the new ZE.40 battery pack is capable of fast charging and has charging options that span from 60 minutes to 13.5 hours (depending on current available).

When it finally does go on sale, the Zoe is expected to be Australia’s most affordable electric vehicle, with a starting price of under $40,000 expected.

Read more: CarAdvice

Car makers offer cash incentives to trade in older vehicles

As buyers consider getting rid of their older diesel cars, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Vauxhall are launching trade-in schemes designed to get more of us driving low-emissions cars

Owners of older diesel vehicles will receive an incentive of up to £2000 when they trade in their old car for a new BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini or Vauxhall, and up to £7000 towards a new Ford.

The new plans are designed to reduce the pollution caused by diesel cars, as well as increasing the uptake of low-emissions cars in the UK. Despite the sales of such cars rising by more than 30% over the past year, they still account for just 4.3% of the total market.

BMW

To qualify for BMW’s incentive, owners must trade in diesel cars that comply with Euro 4 emissions standards or older – which covers cars registered before September 2009. Owners can check if their car qualifies here. Euro standards set the limits for emissions from new cars, with the first, Euro 1, being introduced in 1992.

Buyers will be offered up to £2000 to trade in their cars – on top of the vehicle’s residual value, as determined by used car experts CAP.

The value of the incentive must be put towards buying a new BMW or Mini. In particular, it must be either a BMW i3, a plug-in hybrid car (such as the BMW 3 Series 330e or the Mini Countryman S E All4) or a car that complies with the most modern Euro 6 emissions limits, with CO2 emissions of less than 130g/km.

That means owners will be able to choose from the majority of BMW’s range, including multiple versions of the 5 Series luxury saloon, which is our Car of the Year for 2017. Some of the brand’s larger SUVs do not qualify, though. BMW says that 80% of its range qualifies for the discount, alongside 70% of Mini models.

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London Mayor announces doubling of EV charging points across London

Electric vehicle (EV) drivers in London, UK will soon be able to access 1,500 new EV charging points across the city thanks to a £4.5 million investment announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The residential charge points being installed across 25 London boroughs are aimed at Londoners currently without access to off-street parking, in a bid to try and encourage more citizens to transition from polluting fossil-fuel vehicles to new zero-emission vehicles.  They will add to the rapid charging points that Transport for London (TfL) is already installing, the full complement becoming available for drivers by 2020.

“This substantial investment in electric charging points will make a real difference, making electric vehicles an easier and more practical option for Londoners across our city”

said Mr Khan.

“We have a bold ambition to make London’s transport system zero emission by 2050, and working with boroughs to roll out more charging infrastructure is a vital part of making this a reality”.

But it’s not only in London that momentum towards an electric vehicle future is increasing. Auto Express reported recently that the Government is to pass a new bill requiring motorway and major fuel stations to install charging points. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill was announced in the 2017 Queen’s Speech. It also requires easy access to charging points, establishing a seamless network of points across the UK that conform to the same technical standards.

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Live Or Work On A Busy Road? The Truth About Noise Pollution

Studies conclude there are very real health risks from noise pollution – but EVs are bringing the quiet.

While we’re all aware of the term noise pollution, most of us regard it as just an irritant we have to put up with. The construction site near the office, the busy road near the children’s school, the flight path roaring overhead – such noise, we tell ourselves, is the price we pay for living in densely populated environments like cities.

Yet we might not be quite so complacent if we were more aware how bad noise pollution is for our health. For example, did you know that people living with an average of 55-80 decibels a day are more likely to suffer from high-blood pressure and cardiovascular ailments due to stress? Or that noise over 45 decibels at night can interfere with our sleep patterns, meaning we function less effectively during the day?

Such effects were confirmed in a recent study by Imperial College London, which analysed data from 144,000 adults, reinforcing evidence from the World Health Organisation, which rates noise pollution as the second largest environmental cause of health problems after air quality.

Road Traffic is the main culprit

The vast majority of noise pollution in Europe is caused by vehicular traffic on our roads – about 70 percent of it, according to European Environment Agency (EEA) statistics. Around 100 million people on the continent are subject to road traffic noise in excessive of 55 decibels, with more than 32 million exposed to over 65 decibels, while a good night’s sleep is not possible for around 50 million Europeans because of noise levels.

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Energy supplier Ovo launches tariff for electric vehicle drivers

LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – British electricity and gas supplier Ovo Energy has launched a new tariff aimed at drivers of electric vehicles, hoping to tap a growing market days after Britain announced a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040.

Ovo Energy’s EV Everywhere tariff offers customers a two-year fixed energy rate that also includes free membership of the POLAR network of charging stations over that period.

Electricity consumption by electric cars is expected to rise as consumers opt for more environmentally friendly transport and the cost for batteries used in the cars falls.

Britain said last week it would ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040 in an attempt to reduce air pollution.

Ovo estimates Britain will have at least one million electric vehicles on its roads by 2022, up from about 110,000 now.

“Mass adoption of electric vehicles will completely revolutionise the energy sector,”

said Ovo Energy CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, who set up the energy company in 2009.

Users of Ovo Energy’s new tariff will receive electricity from renewable energy sources, guaranteed by certificates proving its origin. The company said it was only Britain’s third energy tariff targeted at electric vehicles.

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Renault-Nissan Alliance Cumulative Electric Vehicle Sales Approach 500,000

Renault-Nissan Alliance, after the acquisition of Mitsubishi, is now approaching 500,000 cumulative all-electric car sales – more than any other automotive group.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance includes also Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

At the end of June 2017, the Alliance counter stands at 481,151 units (some 130,000 more than year ago).

The biggest impact on the number comes from the Nissan LEAF and Renault ZOE.

The number doesn’t include plug-in hybrids – of which, new Alliance partner Mitsubishi has sold over 130,000 copies of the Outlander PHEV.

Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn with Renault ZOE and Nissan LEAF For COP21

“Cumulative sales of electric vehicles by the companies also rose significantly to 481,151 units, reaffirming the Alliance’s role as the leading electric car manufacturer for the mass-market segment.

The increase was driven primarily by demand for the Nissan LEAF and the Renault ZOE, which remains the #1 EV sold in Europe, and Mitsubishi’s i-Miev.”

Renault-Nissan Alliance is now aiming to become industry’s number-one automotive sales group for full year 2017.

Total Renault-Nissan Alliance increased in the first six months of 2017 by 7% to 5,268,079 million.

The newly updated Renault ZOE is the best selling EV for Europe so far in 2017

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BP in talks with electric carmakers on service station chargers

LONDON (Reuters) – BP (BP.L) is in talks with electric vehicle makers on partnering to offer battery re-charging docks at its global network of fuel service stations as it seeks to benefit from the move away from diesel and petrol cars, Chief Executive Bob Dudley told Reuters on Tuesday.

BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley addresses the gathering during a media interaction in New Delhi, India, June 15, 2017.

The expected rapid growth in the use of electric vehicles in the coming decades is threatening oil companies’ business model as demand for some road fuels could plateau as early as the late 2020s, according to some oil company estimates.

Looking to take a slice of the growing market, London-based BP is however examining different ways to get involved in the sector.

“We have discussions going on with a lot of the EV manufacturers to have a tie-up with our retail network for charging,”

Dudley said in an interview.

Rival Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has already launched a pilot scheme to install battery charging docks at a few of its service stations in Britain and the Netherlands.

The number of electric vehicles on roads is forecast to grow significantly in the coming decades, particularly in cities, with BP estimating that there will be 100 million by 2035, up from 1.2 million in 2015.

Dudley has been a vocal advocate of the oil and gas industry’s need to take part in the move away from fossil fuels toward using cleaner sources of energy in order to combat global warming.

But BP, along with rivals including Shell have yet to come up with a clear plan for increasing their interests in renewable energy production such as solar and wind.

“We’ll be ready for this world but we’re not going to dive in too deeply,”

he said, referring to BP’s previously unsuccessful ventures into renewable energy, including solar power.

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Van and taxi drivers offered pathway to electric vehicle transition

Drivers of old and polluting vans and taxis have been offered fast-track options and incentives to purchase electric vehicles (EVs), with revamps to licensing and a new £42m taxi fund set to increase compliance with the diesel vehicle phase-out.

From January 2018, no more new diesel taxis will be licensed in London

Following on from Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s launch of the Air Quality Plan last week, which included a ban on all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040, both Transport for London (TfL) and the Department of Transport (DfT) have launched new EV initiatives.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced on Friday (28 July) that TfL would host a £42m fund to encourage owners of older and polluting diesel black cabs to retire them from the Capital’s fleet.
Owners of black cabs between 10 and 15 years old can check whether they are eligible of a “delicensing” scheme and to apply for a grant worth up to £5,000 to retire a taxi. The three-year scheme will attempt to speed up the process of tackling the illegal pollution levels in London’s air as part of a long-term goal of making the Capital a zero-carbon city by 2050.

“London’s filthy air is a health crisis that needs urgent action,”

Khan said.

“The plans announced by the Government this week go nowhere near the action needed. Cleaning up London’s taxi fleet will play a significant part in our toxic air battle and there will be no new diesel taxis licensed in London by the end of this year.

“However, it is important we financially support drivers to help them retire their oldest vehicles and upgrade to greener models. I hope this fund helps deliver a new generation of zero-emission taxis on our roads and paves the way for the Government to offer a diesel scrappage scheme so all London motorists can ditch their dirty diesels.”

From January 2018, no more new diesel taxis will be licensed in London, and the London Taxi Company officially rebranded after unveiling its new electric model. Taxis are thought to be responsible for 16% of NOx and 26% of particulate matter (PM) road transport emissions in central London.

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The electric jolt that roused Big Oil

Identifying a tipping point is not always easy. But when one of the world’s most powerful oil bosses says he is in the market for an electric car, there can be little doubt.

The UK’s electric vehicle drive has put the energy sector on the road to change

Ben van Beurden, the Royal Dutch Shell boss, last week delivered the clearest indication yet that the burgeoning electric vehicle industry is already hastening the decline of global oil demand.

“When that will be is not certain. But that it will happen, we are certain,”

he told investors.

It was not so much a foil to the group trebling second quarter profits as a statement of intent: for “Big Oil” it is time to adapt or die, and Shell intends to adapt.

The Anglo-Dutch giant is already shifting its focus from drilling for oil to natural gas, but within the next year Shell will unveil early plans for a deeper presence in renewable energy and the electrical chain to tap the boom in electric vehicles.

“Everyone is repeatedly surprised at how fast electric cars are coming forward,”

Professor Dieter Helm told The Telegraph in April. The number of new registrations of plug-in cars has grown from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 100,000 at the end of May.

“But the political pressure to adopt this technology is increasing all the time. It’s not due to concerns over climate change – it’s city air pollution,”

he said.

Shell boss Ben van Beurden CREDIT: EPA/BART MAAT

Read more: The Telegraph via Fuel Included news

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