Monthly Archives: February 2016

Mervyn King: ‘Failure to tackle the disequilibrium in the world economy makes it likely that a crisis will come sooner rather than later.’ (Image: Philip Toscano/PA)

New financial crisis is ‘certain’ without reform of banks

The former Bank of England governor says in his new book that imbalances in the global economy makes a crash inevitable

Mervyn King: ‘Failure to tackle the disequilibrium in the world economy makes it likely that a crisis will come sooner rather than later.’ (Image: Philip Toscano/PA)
Mervyn King: ‘Failure to tackle the disequilibrium in the world economy makes it likely that a crisis will come sooner rather than later.’ (Image: P. Toscano/PA)

Another financial crisis is “certain” and will come sooner rather than later, the former Bank of England governor has warned.

Mervyn King, who headed the bank between 2003 and 2013, believes the world economy will soon face another crash as regulators have failed to reform banking.

He has also claimed that the 2008 crisis was the fault of the financial system, not individual greedy bankers, in his new book, The End Of Alchemy: Money, Banking And The Future Of The Global Economy, serialised in The Telegraph.

“Without reform of the financial system, another crisis is certain, and the failure … to tackle the disequilibrium in the world economy makes it likely that it will come sooner rather than later,” Lord King wrote.

He added that global central banks were caught in a “prisoner’s dilemma” – unable to raise interest rates for fear of stifling the economic recovery, the newspaper reported.

A remark from a Chinese colleague who said the west had not got the hang of money and banking was the inspiration for his book.

Lord King, 67, said without understanding what caused the crash, politicians and bankers would be unable to prevent another, and lays the blame at the door of a broken financial system.

He said: “The crisis was a failure of a system, and the ideas that underpinned it, not of individual policymakers or bankers, incompetent and greedy though some of them undoubtedly were.”

Spending imbalances both within and between countries led to the crisis in 2008 and he believes a current disequilibrium will lead to the next.

To solve the problem, Lord King suggests raising productivity and boldly reforming the banking system.

He said:

“Only a fundamental rethink of how we, as a society, organise our system of money and banking will prevent a repetition of the crisis that we experienced in 2008.”

Lord King was in charge of the Bank of England when the credit crunch struck in 2007, leading to the collapse of Northern Rock and numerous other British lenders, including RBS, and has been criticised for failing to see the global financial crisis coming.

Source: The Guardian

Electric car drivers can ‘fill up’ at most motorway service stations (Image: RAC)

Charge points at most motorway service stations

Seventy service stations on England’s motorway network now have electric vehicle charge points.

Electric car drivers can ‘fill up’ at most motorway service stations (Image: RAC)
Electric car drivers can ‘fill up’ at most motorway service stations (Image: RAC)

This equates to 72% of the 97 total.

Of the 165 individual charge points, 92% are rapid, allowing batteries to be almost fully replenished in around 30 minutes.

RAC Foundation analysis of data from the publicly available, government established, National Charge Point Registry shows that an electric vehicle driver will now be no more than 20 miles from a service station charge point on 98% (1,831 miles out of 1,859 miles) of the motorway system in England.

When the analysis is broadened out to the whole of the Strategic Road Network managed by Highways England – not just motorways but also major A roads – then 82% (3,845 miles out of 4,668 miles) of the system is within 20 miles of a charge point.

Read more: RAC Foundation

Naomi Oreskes (Image: Harvard University photographer Claudio Cambon)

Climate Change: We’ve Blown It… But Pessimism Is Not Acceptable

In 2000, Naomi Oreskes, a geologist by training, was working at the Scripps Institute for Oceanography in San Diego, an organization with a long history of climate change research.

Naomi Oreskes (Image: Harvard University photographer Claudio Cambon)
Naomi Oreskes (Image: Harvard University photographer Claudio Cambon)

“All the scientists around me spoke about climate change as if it were a settled matter. Proven scientifically. Manmade,” recalls Oreskes, a renowned Harvard professor specializing in the history of science. “Yet I noticed that in the media, the issue was reported as if there were a big debate over whether it was even real. That contrast led me to the work I published in 2004.”

Oreskes, whom The New York Times has called “one of the biggest names in climate science,” did what any interested party could have done then, but didn’t. She counted the scientific papers on climate change — 928 at the time — and determined that not one disagreed: all found that climate change was real, underway and manmade. She exploded the myth that any debate existed. The media took notice; and she, of course, came under attack from climate science deniers.

Read more: Pulitzer Center

Dundee Cabs charge points

Evolt’s charging infrastructure sets example to the ranks!

The Evolt Electric Vehicle (EV) charge point infrastructure supplied and installed by APT Controls at the Dundee taxi company 203020 has become an ‘ideal model’ for cab firms looking to go electric, according to its CEO David Young.

Dundee Cabs charge points
Dundee Cabs charge points

203020 is increasing its fleet to 100 fully electric vehicles, making it the largest EV taxi fleet in the UK.

Dundee is currently vying with seven other cities for £20 million of funding to become the UK’s electric taxi capital – and Evolt is playing a significant part in helping to achieve this.

APT Controls was selected after a full tender process as the key supplier to 203020’s fleet of 30 EVs, and has subsequently installed five top-of-the-range 50kW Tri-Rapid chargers, which efficiently charge vehicles in half an hour, and a further ten 7kW chargers that are ideal for quick ‘top ups’.

David says Evolt came highly recommended:

“Two companies informed me of its reliability, and when it came to choosing a product, Evolt really stood out.

“The equipment is very well installed, maintained to high levels and we have never had a problem with their use – which is testament to the manufacturer’s quality since each Rapid Charger is in consistent use with approximately 17 and 21 charges every day.”

Now the charging infrastructure is in place, David says that another 100 EVs are currently on order:

“Since the EV programme started one year ago, over 30 taxi firms from all over the UK have visited to see our set up,” he says. “It’s an ideal model of environmental success, and Evolt has really helped in driving it forward with its reliable charge points.”

David says 203020 will have 100 EVs on the road within six months:

“This time next year every vehicle we own will be 100 percent electric, and with that expansions come an increased use of the charge points. Two of our Rapid chargers are already the busiest in the UK, and our original 30 EVs will very soon reach 1,000,000 miles, saving hundreds of tons of carbon emissions.”

Justin Meyer, General Manager for Evolt, anticipates an increased role in the future:

“The take-up of EVs, and therefore the increased need for charge points, is accelerating and we forecast significant growth in the supply of our EV charging solutions to taxi companies as well as to local councils for their fleets and initiatives.”

Evolt’s Rapid Charging range of 50kW DC and 43kW AC output systems is made up of two carefully designed products; the Compact Charger and the Advanced Charger. Both are proven systems allowing EV charging at AC and DC outlets on the unit (when enabled). Each unit also has a built in 3G communications modem enabling remote monitoring of the charging process and charging data collection (where needed). And its 7kW dual-socket range is robustly designed and features an intelligent tamper-proof opening mechanism to increase security.

Source: Evolt via Gravity London

Buying a Renault Zoe: introducing the electric car convert

Apologies that it’s been a while since I wrote an update on life with our Renault Zoe, bought on PCP and undergoing the rigours of everyday family life in south-west London.

renault_zoe_blog_0
Since delivery 10 weeks ago it has covered 1000 miles, mostly in the hands of my wife, who traded her eight-year-old Ford C-Max for life on the electric superhighway. Well, as the low mileage suggests, perhaps more of the electric urban highway.

The experience so far has been overwhelmingly positive, the Zoe slotting in to our lives seamlessly. There have been no worries about range, or charging times, or space, or ride quality (all supposed shortcomings), just general joy at the instant torque, silent running and modern high-tech kit list that makes the £150 a month lease with battery a steal.

How so, sceptics may ask? The answer lies in the fact that it suits our needs so perfectly. If we lived in the country, commuted far and wide, didn’t have a drive or a second car, it just wouldn’t work. But none of those things are an issue, so on we motor – even when the sub-zero temperatures reduce full charge range to an eyebrow raising 55 miles.

Yes, I choked at first, but the point is a 25-mile run is as far as we’ll typically do. We just have to charge it more than we expected – but even that is painless, and at roughly two hours to 80% full not remotely inconvenient.

You guessed it, I’m a convert. As I said at the beginning of this series, electric cars aren’t for everyone, but if they suit you they really suit you.

Source: Autocar

EVs cost £300 less in servicing and maintenance costs, and around £750 in fuel bills

Easy to maintain electric cars save owners £1,000 a year

Motorists could save more than £300 per year on car maintenance by switching to electric cars according to Go Ultra Low, the ultra-low emission vehicle campaign. When combined with fuel savings, the total adds up to savings of more than £1,000 each year.

EVs cost £300 less in servicing and maintenance costs, and around £750 in fuel bills
EVs cost £300 less in servicing and maintenance costs, and around £750 in fuel bills

The Go Ultra Low study discovered that the average motorist spends £400 each year for servicing and maintenance for their petrol or diesel car – compared to the equivalent £96 annual costs for owners of electric cars.

For the county as a whole, the average cost racks up to £13 billion spend each year on maintenance and servicing for petrol and diesel cars, with a saving of up to £10 billion if every motorist switched to plug-in cars.

The main reason behind the difference in maintenance costs is the simplified powertrain found in electric cars, with fewer moving parts, things to go wrong, and consumables.

The calculations are fairly conservative too,with the Go Ultra Low survey reporting that more than one third of respondents who own petrol and diesel cars saying that they paid between £100 and £200 extra on unanticipated costs.

Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said:

“Pure electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than cars with an internal combustion engine. This means that there are fewer things which require maintenance, and servicing is simpler and cheaper to complete with fewer consumables. Drivers dread unexpected large repair bills, but as more motorists switch to electric vehicles, these killer bills are becoming a thing of the past.

“It’s time that the British public realise just how cheap electric vehicles are to live with – and it’s not just the cut-price servicing. Fuel and running costs can be as low as 2p per mile and plug-in vehicles benefit from the lowest rates of tax, offering the average driver significant cost savings.”

Last year, Go Ultra Low revealed that motorists could cut £750 on their annual fuel bills by going electric. Today;s results show that more needs to be done to educate car buyers on the costs involved with electric cars. More than a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents think that electric cars are more expensive to run and 17 per cent consider plug-in vehicles to be more expensive to service.

Sales of plug-in cars continue to grow as more drivers realise the benefits the ultra low emission vehicles’ ultra low running costs.

Source: Next Green Car

Electric vehicles on charge (Image: ELN)

Are Londoners ready to switch to EVs?

A majority of people in London would switch to electric vehicles (EVs), according to a new survey.

Electric vehicles on charge (Image: ELN)
Electric vehicles on charge (Image: ELN)

It claims 80% said they would consider going green if they were buying a car in the next six months.

At least six in 10 Londoners also said they are worried about the environment and the long term impact of air pollution.

The new survey of more than 1,700 people from Vital research and statistics and commissioned by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), also reveals 16% intend to vote for the London Mayoral candidate who promises to tackle the city’s air pollution.

A study published this week found around 40,000 deaths a year are linked to air pollution in the UK.

Despite the enthusiasm for EVs, Londoners are concerned about the price as they believe greener cars are more expensive to buy and run compared to diesel or petrol cars and have a limited range.

They are also worried there aren’t enough charging points and qualified technicians in the capital to service the cars.

However according to the IMI, electric and hybrid cars are “just as fast as petrol cars and the running costs are a fraction of current vehicles”.

Steve Nash, CEO at IMI added:

“Very soon drivers will realise the true capabilities of electric vehicles with manufacturers continuing to advance the technology. As our research indicates demand will surge and it’s clear the next London Mayor has an urgent task to ensure the charging infrastructure is capable of keeping pace as Londoners make the switch to greener fuel to get around the city.

“The government will also need to focus on the skills base required to keep these cars on the road. With only 1,000 technicians currently qualified in the UK, they have some way to go.”

Yesterday a new report revealed EVs will represent 35% of new car sales globally by 2040.

Source: Energy Live News

Projected electric-car sales by 2040 (Image: Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

Electric Cars To Be 35 Percent Of Global Sales By 2040

Despite steady progress over the past few years, electric cars still make up only a very small percentage of the tens of millions of new cars sold globally every year.

Projected electric-car sales by 2040 (Image: Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
Projected electric-car sales by 2040 (Image: Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

And while that won’t change immediately, energy-industry analysts believe a surge in electric-car sales could be just around the corner.

Electric cars and plug-in hybrids could come to represent 35 percent of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2040, according to a recent report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

They will achieve that through a major increase in sales beginning in the 2020s, analysts say, driven primarily by steady decreases in the cost of lithium-ion battery cells.

By 2040, they expect electric-car sales to hit 41 million units, around 90 times the number sold in 2015.

Electric cars could also represent about a quarter of the vehicles on world roads by that date, according to Bloomberg.

Read more: Green Car Reports

Growth of the new Source London charging network

One year into its new ownership, the Source London charging network isn’t only improving its offering to electric vehicle owners, it’s about to become the basis of a large-scale car sharing scheme.

23505-1454519897_sourcelondon_charging_unk

“London should be even more electric vehicle orientated than Paris – it should be the leading city in Europe,” says Cédric Bolloré. “We want to give the citizens of London an easy way to use non-polluting form of transport. Autolib appeals to public transport customers who occasionally need to use their own car – one Autolib car takes nine cars off the street according to our studies.”

The challenge:

Bolloré Group took control of the former Plugged-in Places scheme, Source London, in September 2014. Notoriously unreliable, this included 835 charging points spread across the Capital’s boroughs, with a 60% availability rate.

In its first year, the Group’s subsidiary, BluePoint London, has invested £10m in a back-office system enabling boroughs to see how often the network is used, and replaced units as necessary. At the end of August, it reached 85% accessibility and grew network slightly to 845 charging points, targeting of 98% of 1,000 units by the end of 2015.

Read more: Fleet World

Superior electric cars wreck oil markets

Another Oil Crash Is Coming, and There May Be No Recovery. Superior electric cars are on their way, and they could begin to wreck oil markets within a decade.

It’s time for oil investors to start taking electric cars seriously.

In the next two years, Tesla and Chevy plan to start selling electric cars with a range of more than 200 miles priced in the $30,000 range. Ford is investing billions, Volkswagen is investing billions, and Nissan and BMW are investing billions. Nearly every major carmaker—as well as Apple and Google—is working on the next generation of plug-in cars.

This is a problem for oil markets. OPEC still contends that electric vehicles will make up just 1 percent of global car sales in 2040. Exxon’s forecast is similarly dismissive.

The oil price crash that started in 2014 was caused by a glut of unwanted oil, as producers started cranking out about 2 million barrels a day more than the market supported. Nobody saw it coming, despite the massively expanding oil fields across North America. The question is: How soon could electric vehicles trigger a similar oil glut by reducing demand by the same 2 million barrels?

That’s the subject of the first installment of Bloomberg’s new animated web series Sooner Than You Think, which examines some of the biggest transformations in human history that haven’t happened quite yet. Tomorrow, analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance will weigh in with a comprehensive analysis of where the electric car industry is headed.

Even amid low gasoline prices last year, electric car sales jumped 60 percent worldwide. If that level of growth continues, the crash-triggering benchmark of 2 million barrels of reduced demand could come as early as 2023. That’s a crisis. The timing of new technologies is difficult to predict, but it may not be long before it becomes impossible to ignore.

Source: Bloomberg