Monthly Archives: September 2016

Renault ZOE Edition One

A pioneer in electric mobility and the market leader for electric vehicles in Europe, Renault is innovating again. The brand is offering its customers an unprecedented 400km NEDC driving range (300km in real conditions) by fitting ZOE, the top-selling electric car in France and Europe, with a new ZE 40 battery. From Saturday 1 October, customers will be able to order their ZOE from the Renault stand at the Paris Motor Show, as well as throughout our sales network.

Simplified battery hire pricing

Renault is using the ZOE ZE 40 launch to unveil a simplified battery hire price plan with no minimum commitment. It includes a “Flex ZE 40” package that is adjusted to your mileage, and the “Relax” package with unlimited mileage, for private customers only. With this clarified pricing, customers will be able to better plan their expenditure and manage their budget for their electric car.
For the launch of the new ZE 40 battery, this dual price plan comes with a promotional special offer including :
– Vehicle + battery rental (5,000 km/yr)
– Contribution to charging socket + installation up to €500
– 2 charging cables (flexi-charger for domestic sockets and a cable for Wall-boxes and public recharge points).

New design features

ZOE is available in two new shades: Intense Red and Titanium Grey
The INTENS model now comes with electric fold-away wing mirrors and new 16” two-tone aluminium wheel rims. Its interior has been given an elegant makeover with a harmonious black colour scheme for the upholstery and various passenger compartment components. A new blue interior colour pack is available for this model, combining elegance and colour.


Edition One, a top of the range limited edition

Based on the Intens model, the Série Limitée Edition One stands out thanks to its premium leather upholstery, heated front seats, and the Bose® audio system. It comes with a unique and exclusive paint-job in Yttrium Grey.

ZOE Edition One boasts an elegant interior:
– Luxury leather upholstery, with a soft, natural appearance
– Elegantly designed seats with cushioned backrest and topstitching
– New shiny metallic Smoky Grey steering wheel decoration
– Velvet protective carpets in front and back
– Badges on flanks and threshold of front door with “Edition One” stamp

With no engine noise or vibrations, the ZOE’s passenger compartment offers a particularly silent ride, and is the perfect setting for enjoying the Bose® sound system with its 4 high-performance speakers, 2 tweeter speakers, and subwoofer.

The Série Limitée Edition One also emphasises warmth and comfort.
– Heated front seats with three temperature settings for immediate warmth
– Driver’s seat with manually adjustable lumbar support to suit all body types

Source: Renault Nissan Blog

The 100 Per Cent Electric Renault ZOE: A New Record Driving Range Of 250 Miles (NEDC)

  • Renault has introduced a new battery for ZOE that provides up to 250 miles of driving on a single charge (NEDC)
  • ZOE has the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle on sale today
  • The new ZOEs fitted with the new Z.E. 40 battery are made at Renault’s Flins plant in France
  • ZOE owners can benefit from a range of new connected services and equipment upgrades
  • New Z.E. 40 battery will go on sale in the UK in November
  • Renault ZOE is Europe’s best selling electric vehicle


A Renault ZOE with the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle – 250 miles (400km) – was unveiled today by Carlos Ghosn, Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO during the Mondial De L’Automobile Paris 2016. It will go on sale in the UK in November.

“This month Renault surpassed 100,000 electric vehicles sold and now ZOE will travel up to 250 miles (400km) without recharging. We are continuing to push in areas where innovation matters most for Renault customers. Making it easy for them to choose electric, with new connected services to enhance their driving experience, is a top priority for us and for ZOE customers.”

Carlos Ghosn – Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO

“Renault has added a new dimension to the world of electric vehicles now that the ZOE’s range stands at 250 miles (400km) NEDC. It’s a breakthrough in all-electric motoring that will provide the range needed to make any motorist comfortable choosing electric.”

Eric Feunteun – Vice President, Electric Vehicle Programme


As the pioneer of all-electric mobility and Europe’s number one seller of electric vehicles, Renault has stepped up its innovation programme and the deployment of its Z.E. strategy (Zero Emissions (1)).

Fitted with the new Z.E. 40 battery, the Renault ZOE now delivers a record NEDC driving range of 250 miles (400km), which is twice the distance delivered by the model at the time of its original launch.

In real-world driving, Renault estimates the new Z.E. 40 battery has a range of 186 miles (300km) in urban or suburban areas.

The range offered today by the new ZOE is the longest of any mainstream all-electric vehicle and motorists can take advantage of this step forward now. The ZOE is the best-selling electric vehicle in Europe and provides a real alternative to internal combustion- engine cars, since average daily commuting distances are well within the ZOE’s capabilities.

The new battery removes the final psychological barrier that stands in the way of buying an electric car, so-call ‘range anxiety’, since ZOE users can now travel further and enjoy a wider variety of driving situations without worry about charging.

(1) Zero emissions during road use: no CO2 emissions or emissions of other regulated airborne pollutants during road use in compliance with the NEDC cycle (not including wear parts).

The ZOE’s driving range in miles (and kilometres) with a complete charge(2) :

NEDC cycle certification (1) Real-world traffic conditions – Urban and suburban use, temperate climate
The New Z.E. 40 battery (41kWh) 250 miles (400km) 186 miles (300km)
The existing 22kWh battery

Will remain on sale alongside the new battery

149 miles (240km) 106 miles (170km)


The time required to charge the Z.E. 40 battery is similar to that necessary for the standard battery, so ‘topping up’ doesn’t take long at all. For example, just 30 minutes is required on average to charge the battery for an extra 50 miles (80km) of driving range when plugged into one of the many public charging points in operation in Europe(3). The ZOE continues to be available with the Quick Charge function to take full advantage of the maximum capacity of fast charging points located predominantly along motorway corridors.


The ZOE’s new Z.E. 40 battery boasts 41kWh of useful energy, equivalent to almost double the storage capacity of the ZOE’s standard battery (22kWh of useful energy).

Developed in close partnership with LG Chem, the battery uses high-energy density lithium-ion technology.

Renault and LG engineers have succeeded in increasing storage capacity without making the battery any bigger or a lot heavier. It was optimised by working on the chemistry of the cells in order to increase their energy density, rather than stacking additional battery modules, a commonly used technique.

This major new technology has been developed while ensuring the battery’s reliability and safety.

The battery’s large storage capacity ensures longer range for the ZOE thanks to the meticulous work that went into integrating the battery in the vehicle. The electronic management system of the battery optimises the ZOE’s energy use on the move, while the new air circulation system maintains the temperature of the ZOE’s battery at a constant level, making the car economical to run in very hot or very cold weather.

To complement the new battery, the ZOE motor has undergone a naming restructure, moving from being related to range (in kilometres) to power output (in horsepower) to match internal combustions engine vehicles, as follows:

ZOE motor (2012-2016) ZOE motor (2016- ) Max. charge speed Power
R240 R90 22kWh (Rapid) 90hp
Q210 Q90 43kWh (Quick) 90hp


(2) ZOE equipped with the R75/90 motor and 15- or 16-inch wheels PZE – the R75 motor is available in certain European markets

(3) Charging speeds may vary slightly depending on air temperature, the battery’s initial charge level and the power effectively delivered by the charging station


Just as it conceives and manufactures the majority of its powertrains, Renault designed and makes the ZOE, thanks not only to the expertise it has acquired as a pioneer in the world of electric-vehicles mobility and as Europe’s number one electric-vehicle brand, but also to its technical and sporting partnership roles in the FIA Formula E Championship. Groupe Renault’s know-how is chiefly rooted in France where its high added-value vehicles and components are primarily designed and produced.

Like the 22kWh battery, the new Z.E. 40 battery is assembled at Renault’s Flins plant, near Paris. The same factory is responsible for the production of the Renault ZOE, alongside the Renault Clio. The ZOE was designed and engineered at the Renault Technocentre in Guyancourt, also near Paris.

The R90 motor is made at Renault’s Cléon factory in Normandy, a flagship facility in the field of engine and transmission production for the group. Launched in the spring of 2015, and originally known as the R240, this motor was entirely developed by Renault and led to the filing of 95 patents.

The housing that permits the battery’s integration in the ZOE, as well as the model’s front and rear suspension systems, were all conceived by Groupe Renault’s Chassis and Electric Vehicle Engineering Division and are manufactured at Renault’s Le Mans plant.


About 80,000 public charging stations are in operation across Europe. To provide ZOE owners with easy access to them, Renault has released two free services: Z.E. Trip helps customers to locate charging points, while Z.E. Pass gives access to a high number of charging stations.

Z.E. Trip: Using the R-LINK navigation system to locate all charging points

Z.E. Trip makes long-distance driving a breeze in the ZOE by allowing drivers to locate all public charging points in some of the main European countries(4). Z.E. Trip can be accessed directly via the Renault R-LINK navigation system using the steering wheel-mounted controls or via the internet to prepare trips in advance. The service indicates the real-time availability of each charging point, as well as its type and whether it is compatible with the car. The driver can select a charging point based on its charging capacity so the speeds suit their requirements.

Z.E. Trip began its rollout to ZOE customers in certain European markets in September and is anticipated to be rolled out in the UK in the coming months.

Z.E. Pass: a single access and payment solution for most public charging points

The Z.E. Pass app makes charging the ZOE easier at most public charging points in Europe even though they are owned by various operators. The driver can pay using the smartphone app or with an RFID badge. They can also locate available charging stations and compare prices at different stations nearby using their smartphone or tablet without having to be a registered member of each network.

Developed in association with Bosch, the service was released in Germany in September 2016 and will be rolled out over the next few months in France, UK, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

(4) France, Germany, Benelux, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland by end-2016.


New features will be added to the Z.E. app that is freely available to all Renault Z.E. customers, in the first half of 2017 to make journeys in the ZOE even easier, including door-to-door navigation.

Thanks to this feature, the user can enter his or her complete trip using their smartphone app and then forward it to the ZOE’s navigation system (Renault R-LINK). Once in the car, the driver can access their pre- programmed itinerary automatically.

After parking, the app takes over from the ZOE’s navigation system to indicate the final part of the journey on foot. The driver can also use the app to help find where they parked their ZOE or to look up their trip history and any other information in their trip computer.

Remote battery charging management

The Z.E. smartphone app keeps ZOE drivers connected to their car, even when they are not driving, in order to optimise battery charging.

ZOE owners can remotely:

  • Check information, such as the car’s charge level, the estimated remaining range, the time remaining until the vehicle is fully charged, etc. It also receives messages when charging begins and is completed.
  • Operate some of their car’s functions, including the cabin’s pre-conditioning system (cabin temperature) and activating the battery charging process, as well as taking advantage of off-peak electricity rates and different CO2 footprints depending on type of electricity generation (i.e. renewable energy sources may be more widely used by energy companies during off-peak periods)

(5) Available for all equipment levels, except Signature Nav versions.

Green Mobility’s Renault ZOE

Green Mobility To Expand Car Sharing Fleet In Denmark By 450 Renault ZOE

Green Mobility and Renault have raised the bar when it comes to car sharing in Denmark.

The duo announced that 450 ZOEs will be introduced into Copenhagen by the end of this year.

Green Mobility’s Renault ZOE
Green Mobility’s Renault ZOE

To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest one-off fleet order for any car sharing program’s launch, the previous standard bearer was BMW’s DriveNow program with 400 i3.

For Renault, such an order is major boost, as in all of 2015 only 330 ZOEs were registered in Denmark.  Similarly important last year, was the 400 i3s out of a total of 645 BMW plug-ins ultimately registered in 2015.

More about the Green Mobility here.

Source: Inside EVs

Exclusive London New Build Installs 38 Evolt Charge Points

Exclusive London New Build Installs 38 Evolt Charge Points

One of London’s most high-profile and successful new mixed-use developments, Fitzroy Place in Fitzrovia, W1, has installed 38 electric vehicle (EV) charge points from Evolt.

Exclusive London New Build Installs 38 Evolt Charge Points
Exclusive London New Build Installs 38 Evolt Charge Points

The developer of Fitzroy Place, Exemplar, appointed Evolt not only to supply and install single outlet AC wall mount charge points, but also the latest load distribution technology.

The latter ensures the total power to all charge points is consistently available, evenly distributed and prevents overloading. When an EV is fully charged, its power usage is re-distributed to the other EV’s so that they can achieve a full charge in the fastest possible time.

The charge points are split into four groups, with each group being controlled by a distribution board. They are also connected to a centralised server, which manages the entire system and provides a real-time reporting function for operators. The server also has a failsafe mechanism in case of a local power outage, where it ‘instructs’ the distribution boards to continue charging vehicles at a default setting.

Michael Bucknell, Development Director at Exemplar says:

“Evolt’s installation of car charge points was a key contribution for us meeting our demanding sustainability objectives at Fitzroy Place.

“As we see Central London’s air quality moving up the political agenda, encouraging residents and occupiers to embrace electric vehicles will become increasingly key to tackling this very serious health and environmental issue”.

Justin Meyer, General Manager of Evolt, says that EV’s are fast becoming an essential part of city life:

“Charge points at new builds are becoming commonplace, as an increasing number of city dwellers and office workers are increasingly environmentally conscious.

“We are visibly seeing the demand for AC charge points at new builds,” he continues, “and it is important to install technology that manages power distribution, otherwise a site’s charge point network may never effectively charge numerous EVs simultaneously”.

The recently completed Fitzroy Place development provides 235 private apartments, 54 affordable homes, 20,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, 220,000 sq ft of commercial office space in addition to health and education facilities, and public open space.

Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in hybrid prices and specs announced

Prices and specs for Volkswagen’s plug-in hybrid Passat GTE have been announced; it costs from £36,525 before a £2500 government grant


Volkswagen’s Passat GTE plug-in hybrid will arrive in showrooms this month, costing from £36,525.

Four models are available – two saloons and two estates. The prices exclude a government plug-in car grant of £2,500.

When this grant is applied, costs come down to £34,035 for the GTE saloon. The GTE Advance saloon costs £40,180, or £37,680 after the grant.

The Passat GTE estate costs from £38,075 (£35,575 with the grant), while the GTE Advance estate is £41,730 (£39,230).

All models are powered by a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, which give a combined output of 215bhp and 295lb ft of torque.

The car runs by default on electric-only ‘E-mode’, with 113bhp, 243lb ft of torque a range of up to 31 miles from a lithium-ion battery mounted under the rear seats.

The petrol engine kicks in when the battery is depleted. At this point, the Passat GTE runs as a full hybrid, recharging the battery using kinetic and braking energy. The driver can also select Battery Charge mode to save up electric power, for example for electric city driving at the end of a petrol-powered motorway journey. GTE mode runs both systems in tandem.

With both petrol and electric power engaged, the Passat GTE will go from 0-62mph in 7.6sec and reach a top speed of 140mph. It comes as standard with a six-speed DSG gearbox that features a third clutch, which disengages at the appropriate time to harness kinetic energy and increase efficiency.

The Passat GTE can have its battery charged from a home electricity supply in about four hours, 15 minutes, or using a dedicated 3.5kW wallbox in around two and a half hours.

The specifications of the Passat GTE are generous, and based on the Passat GT. Standard equipment includes LED head and tail lights, Alcantara and leather seats and a GTE-specific blue-stitched gear knob, as well as adaptive cruise control, parking sensors and Bluetooth connectivity. The Passat GTE also comes fitted with VW’s Car Net e-Remote system, which lets you control several functions from a smartphone, such as the locks, climate control and charging settings.

The GTE Advance model adds features that include an 8in Discover Pro sat-nav screen, a digital Active Info Display dashboard, LED premium headlights and Nappa leather upholstery.

Visually, you can spot a Passat GTE by its C-shaped LED running lights and a blue line running across the radiator grille, as well as a redesigned front bumper and 18in alloy wheels.

Source: Autocar

Nissan Leaf

Birmingham is the UK’s EV capital

The DfT’s data shows a total of 57,207 electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars registered in the United Kingdom in the first quarter of 2016. That’s 0.18% of the 31.4 million total passenger cars on the road, including models which aren’t eligible for the government’s Plug-in Car Grant.

Audi A3 e-tron, Mitsubishi Outlander and BMW i3 plug-ins
Audi A3 e-tron, Mitsubishi Outlander and BMW i3 plug-ins

Discounting anomalies due to small volume areas, the West Midlands has the highest concentration of these vehicles, at 8,146 units or 0.27% of a total 2.98 million passenger cars in the region. Within that, 5,449 are registered in Birmingham – that’s almost one in every 100 vehicles, and only just behind the 6,094 in the London Boroughs.

At 0.92% of all passenger cars, that means Birmingham residents are four times more likely to own a ULEV than those living in Greater London (where these account for 0.23% of the total).

In England, one in every 500 registered cars (0.20%) is a now plug-in hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel cell model, with uptake skewed towards the south of the country. The North East, North West, Yorkshire and East Midlands were all significantly below that overall average.

By region or local authority, the largest concentrations are found in the Cotswolds (2.03%), Peterborough (1.59%) and Slough (1.52%).

Uptake is slower in the other nations. Scotland has 3,041 ULEVs registered, or 0.13% of a total parc of 2.42m, with Glasgow (408 vehicles) and Edinburgh (252 vehicles) as the largest by volume. The technology is also finding a home in the Islands, with the Shetland Islands at 0.20% and the Orkneys at 0.74% – though obviously of a much smaller overall parc.

That falls to 0.13% (903 vehicles) in Northern Ireland, while in Wales, 0.09% (1,320 of 1,52m vehicles) are plug-ins, with Swansea recording the highest number of registered vehicles (171 units).

Source: EV Fleet World

Our BMW i3 94Ah manages 196.3 miles on a charge (Image: T. Larkum)

Our BMW i3 (94Ah) Nearly Achieves 200 Mile Range

After my recent attempts at testing the range of the BMW i3 94Ah achieved 130 miles and 150 miles per charge I decided to go all-out for a final ‘ultimate’ test and see if I could reach 200 miles on a charge, something of a milestone for any electric car.

The method was the same as ever; commute to work for 4 days in a row driving 40 miles each day for work plus an additional mileage up to 10 miles each evening for family trips. This time I used Eco Pro+ Mode which limits the acceleration, the climate control system and the top speed. Moreover I made a lot of use of the cruise control set to 37mph for the faster stretches of the route, but 27mph wherever I could (e.g. passing through villages). Towards the end of the test I used the 27mph limit most of the time.

Only a quarter of the charge left but less than 150 miles done (Image: T. Larkum)
Only a quarter of the charge left but less than 150 miles done (Image: T. Larkum)

After two days, halfway through, the car was teasing the possibility of 200 miles on the charge, with 100.3 miles achieved and only 49% battery used. After the third day, however, it wasn’t looking quite so good with 147.2 miles achieved on 74.5% battery used. I believe this was largely my fault as during the day I had ‘shown off’ the i3 to a colleague, including demonstrating its acceleration, and that had cost me precious range.

And so it was that I failed. At the end of the fourth day, using up the last remaining bit of charge driving around a loop near my house, the range display changed from blue to orange and instead of showing a projected range it read ‘low mi’. I finally gave up and let the car drive down the local hill to home once the battery charge read 0%.

Our BMW i3 94Ah manages 196.3 miles on a charge (Image: T. Larkum)
Our BMW i3 94Ah manages 196.3 miles on a charge (Image: T. Larkum)

After 4 days driving on a single charge the i3 had achieved 196.3 miles of range, with a displayed efficiency of 4.9mi/kWh. I had failed to achieve the intended 200 miles. So near and yet so far…!

Given how long the test had taken, and how slowly I had had to drive to achieve the mileage, I currently have no plans to repeat it (at least not this year, perhaps next summer).

The eDRIVE eco results showing 10+ mi/kWh consumption and 20+ mi/kWh regeneration (Image: T. Larkum)
The eDRIVE eco results showing 10+ mi/kWh consumption and 20+ mi/kWh regeneration (Image: T. Larkum)

So I lay down the challenge – who is going to be the first i3 94Ah BEV driver to achieve 200 miles on a single charge?

The two firms will launch an information campaign, install chargepoints, and improve network access

AA and Chargemaster partnership set to bust EV myths

A new partnership between the AA and Charagemaster is set to help boost sales of electric vehicles. In the first partnership of its kind, the Automobile Association and EV charge point specialists will combine forces to provide discounted charging, increased access to home charge points, an information campaign, and the roll-out of charge points at AA-rated hotels.

The two firms will launch an information campaign, install chargepoints, and improve network access
The two firms will launch an information campaign, install chargepoints, and improve network access

According to research conducted through AA members, 96 per cent of motorists don’t know the real cost of running an EV. This is despite the Association predicting that more than 500,000 plug-in vehicles will be on UK roads by 2020.

To combat this, the AA and Chargemaster will be attempting to overcome misconceptions with an information campaign that highlights the benefits of EV use and ownership. The partnership will also have practical financial impact on AA members with a discount worth more than 10 per cent on Chargemaster’s Polar Plus network. This brings monthly membership down by £1 to £6.85.

The number of charge points located at AA-rated hotels is also set to expand dramatically thanks to the partnership. With 2,500 hotels in the UK rated by the AA, the potential expansion of the EV charging network is huge.

Edmund King OBE, AA president, says:

“We think that the EV revolution is about to take off and we want to help consumers understand the benefits of low cost, low emission driving and to show them it is accessible and affordable. Per mile driven an EV is five times cheaper than the average petrol car and carries no Vehicle Excise Duty.

“Modern electric vehicle designs and performance are comparable to conventional internal combustion-powered vehicles. Concerns and regulations about diesel emissions may also prove to be a tipping point. Sales of new ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEV) doubled over the last year. And 63,000 drivers have taken advantage of the plug-in car grant. We expect the market to grow substantially, as buyers overcome their misconceptions.

“The vast number of car journeys are under 25 miles and a third of households have two or more cars. Hence, we estimate that more than two million second cars could be electric tomorrow, with no disadvantages and many cost-saving benefits. The AA’s research also shows that if drivers owned an electric vehicle, three-quarters (75 per cent) would expect to charge it overnight, mainly at home while a quarter (25 per cent) would rely on public charging points away from home.”

David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, points out that a significant barrier to electric vehicle ownership is concern that when they reach their destination, drivers will not find a charging point available. This worries 81 per cent of respondents to the AA’s research.

“We want to change that perception,” he says. “This new relationship with the AA will see hundreds more AA branded charging points installed. They’ll go in at AA-rated hotels and other accessible public places such as supermarkets, public car parks and town centres while we will be embarking on a public awareness campaign to show that charging a vehicle at home is neither difficult or costly.”

Edmund King concluded:

“The facts speak for themselves. The cost of electric vehicles is coming down and the £4,500 government grant helps make them competitive. Myths about batteries not lasting long have been blown away by use. Some of the earliest models have clocked up very high mileages with almost no diminution of battery capacity.

“Modern EVs have a much greater range and battery technology is advancing as fast as the cost is falling. Most family saloon cars will drive for 80 to 100 miles without difficulty, well over the average journey length. EV performance is startling – top-range vehicles will accelerate faster than sports cars and provide all the creature comforts.

“This is the future of motoring and we are proud to be launching this initiative with Chargemaster today. Now is the time to charge up the EV revolution.”

Source: Next Green Car

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (Image: Rijin/Wikimedia)

Paris weekday ban on pre-1997 cars takes effect

Beginning this week, drivers will not be able to take older cars into the center of Paris on weekdays.

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (Image: Rijin/Wikimedia)
Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (Image: Rijin/Wikimedia)

The ban encompasses most cars made before 1997 and motorcycles made before 2000, and was enacted to combat rampant air pollution in the French capital.

Older cars and motorcycles now face fines for entering the city between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm on weekdays, although they are still free to drive into Paris on weekends.

Announced last year, the ban is one of the toughest measures taken by a European city to curb air pollution so far.

In order to enforce the ban, cars will be required to display colored stickers corresponding to one of six levels of exhaust emissions.

After an initial grace period extending to October, drivers who violate the ban will be fined 35 euros ($39).

The amount of the fine is expected to rise over time, starting with an increase to 68 euros ($75) early next year.

Paris has issued temporary car bans before, but this permanent ban of older cars has incited protests from groups expecting to be impacted by the new policy.

Driver groups initially expressed concern that classic cars—including iconic Citroën 2CVs commonly used to shuttle tourists—would no longer be allowed on Paris streets.

However, the Fédération Française des Véhicules d’Epoque (FFVE) collector-car organization recently met with government officials to secure an exemption for what are deemed “historic vehicles,” according to Hemmings Motor News.

Cars more than 30 years old that display a “Carte Grise de Collection” sticker—as opposed to the “Carte Grise de Normale” sticker issued to normal cars—will be excused from the ban.

FFVE officials reportedly hope to extend the exemption to newer cars that still fall into the “collector” category as well.

Read more: Green Car Reports

DECC Minister Amber Rudd visits UK Power Networks ‘Big Battery’, in Leighton Buzzard (Image: DECC)

National Grid sees major boost for solar, electric vehicles and batteries

The UK could adopt solar, electric vehicles and batteries much faster than expected just a year ago, according to the National Grid.

DECC Minister Amber Rudd visits UK Power Networks ‘Big Battery’, in Leighton Buzzard (Image: DECC)
DECC Minister Amber Rudd visits UK Power Networks ‘Big Battery’, in Leighton Buzzard (Image: DECC)

The new outlook is part of a rapidly changing landscape for the UK energy system, laid out in the 2016 Future Energy Scenarios. Marcus Stewart, National Grid’s head of energy insights, says in a foreword to the report: “We are in the midst of an energy revolution.”

Carbon Brief runs through the key changes in the outlook compared to last year.

Energy revolution

The idea that the UK energy world is in the midst of a period of rapid and fundamental change has been gaining traction since the start of the year. The usually conservative National Grid is the latest of several industry and government groups to use the language of “revolution”.

In February, a report for industry group Energy UK talked of a coming “revolution”, similar to those that have overtaken telecomms and banking. Then, in March, the National Infrastructure Commission said embracing a “smart power revolution” could save the UK £8bn a year by 2030.

The National Grid report and press release includes Stewart’s quote on energy revolution, as well as saying that “electricity supply is going through a period of unparalleled transformation”. However, the report fails to spell out exactly how much the National Grid’s scenarios have shifted since last year.

They now see up to 39 gigawatts (GW) of solar installed by 2035, up from around 12GW today and up 7GW from last year’s maximum expectation for 2035 of 32GW. Two years ago, National Grid expected as little as 8GW and no more than 17GW of solar in 2030. Now, its minimum is 15GW.

The raised expectations for the number of electric vehicles on the road in 2035 is equally dramatic, ranging from a 23% to a 120% increase on last year’s report, with the range depending on the wider economic and policy environment. In total, there could be as many as 8.3m electric vehicles in 2035, the report says, making up nearly a quarter of all cars on the road.

This year’s scenarios also include, for the first time, a significant future role for battery electric storage. Last year’s outlook merely noted that storage was important and said new capacity could be unlocked with technological improvements, regulatory change and subsidies.

As of this year, “the value proposition has improved for storage”, says a National Grid document discussing stakeholder feedback received during its scenario development process.

This improvement is set to continue. The Future Energy Scenarios report says the cost of lithium ion batteries could halve by around 2019, and halve again by the early 2020s. It says:

Commercial and regulatory changes which are expected in the next 12 months will be key to the successful large-scale deployment of new storage technologies.

Read more: Carbon Brief