This is a quick walkaround of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle), actually showing the first one we sold.
The Outlander is a good size vehicle, providing plenty of space inside for five people.
It has a large boot, though this loses some height to provide storage for the home charge 13A cable and for the usual car items (tools, first aid kit, etc.).
The PHEV has a Type 1 socket for home charging, same as a Nissan Leaf. However, it also has a Chademo rapid charger socket which arguably is a bit out of place since the PHEV battery isn’t really big enough to justify rapid charging; a full charge at one motorway services would only just give you enough charge to get to the next services before you would have to charge again.
Instead for any long journey you would almost certainly just use the 2.0l petrol engine – the obvious benefit of having a PHEV in the first place.
For news and reviews of the Outlander PHEV see here.
Brexit, migration and climate pressures mean our ‘too big to fail’ global food chain could unravel
The UK’s clock has been set to Permanent Global Summer Time once more after a temporary blip. Courgettes, spinach and iceberg lettuce are back on the shelves, and the panic over the lack of imported fruit and vegetables has been contained. “As you were, everyone,” appears to be the message.
But why would supermarkets – which are said to have lost sales worth as much as £8m in January thanks to record-breaking, crop-wrecking snow and rainfall in the usually mild winter regions of Spain and Italy – be so keen to fly in substitutes from the US at exorbitant cost?
Why would they sell at a loss rather than let us go without, or put up prices to reflect the changing market? Why indeed would anyone air-freight watery lettuce across the whole of the American continent and the Atlantic when it takes 127 calories of fuel energy to fly just 1 food calorie of that lettuce to the UK from California?
The answer is that, in the past 40 years, a whole supermarket system has been built on the seductive illusion of this Permanent Global Summer Time. As a result, a cornucopia of perpetual harvest is one of the key selling points that big stores have over rival retailers. If the enticing fresh produce section placed near the front of each store to draw you in starts looking a bit empty, we might not bother to shop there at all.
But when you take into account climate change, the shortages of early 2017 look more like a taste of things to come than just a blip, and that is almost impossible for supermarkets to admit.
Add the impact of this winter’s weather on Mediterranean production, the inflationary pressures from a post-Brexit fall in the value of sterling against the euro, and the threat of tariffs as we exit the single market, and suddenly the model begins to look extraordinarily vulnerable.
Selfridges boosts it’s green credentials with free all-electric BMW i3 chauffeur service
BMW has loaned a fleet of all-electric BMW i3s to Selfridges in Manchester for the next three months as part of the department store’s Material World initiative to encourage consumers to think more sustainably when shopping. Customers can choose to be chauffeured with their shopping free of charge by a BMWi Genius or get behind the wheel themselves.
The store is also celebrating the permanent installation of charging points within their car park as London looks to improve the charging infrastructure in high footfall locations plagued by poor air quality across the city.
As air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate around the world and cities like Paris, Milan and Rome impose driving bans during the worst periods, Manchester is now also being urged by officials to implement similar rules with the possibility of introducing a congestion charge.
Big brands are now taking steps for change including the likes of leaders in sustainable innovation, BMWi and Selfridges. In recent months BMW’s all-electric i range has been used in a range of initiatives across the city to encourage sustainable driving solutions with the likes of DriveNow – the brand’s car sharing service, London’s police force and now as part of a complementary chauffeur service to Selfridges in London and Manchester.
Vattenfall is one of the largest utility companies in Europe, with operations in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom.
It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Swedish government. Not surprisingly, it has a lot of vehicles in its fleet, including 3,500 cars and light trucks. The company has just announced it plans to switch all of those vehicles to electric cars and trucks within the next 5 years.
Vattenall has been a leader in renewable energy and sustainable mobility solutions since 2009. It operates nearly 6,000 EV Level 2 and DC fast charging charging points in Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands. Those facilities supplied enough electricity in 2016 to circumnavigate the world almost 1,000 times. It is also a front runner in developing wireless and smart charging technology as well as systems for charging public transit vehicles.
“We already help our customers drive electric by supplying charging points. With the decision to switch our own fleet we do not only contribute to reducing CO2-emissions in Europe, but we also want to set an example for other companies,”
says Martijn Hagens, head of E-mobility for Vattenfall.
OK, I know we are past the month of December but with the current cold snap I am elated to finally have the answer to my winter woes. Don’t get me wrong I love my Renault ZOE 22kWh, but one thing I’ve always struggled with is heating her up. I’m not talking about the great pre-heat function; this is for those times when you either forget the pre-heat or you are out and about and want to get in your car knowing you can easily pop on some heat.
I have been driving my ZOE for two winters and have always been cold. I had just assumed it was a limit of the car, but having experimented, I realised there is just a bit of a knack to getting the heating to work right. I now don’t have to wear full hat, gloves and scarf in the car!
After reading a few posts and trying out a few carefully selected combinations it would seem I have my solution ,these are the steps I follow and try to stick to in this order.
Set your heat to 24 degrees, not full whack
Select fan speed 3
Make sure Air Con is Off
Turn on Air Circulation
Leave on windscreen fan for the first minute or so
Change the fan direction and speed to your preference after a few minutes
Tesla Model S – why its diesel–powered rivals should be very afraid: motorists are moving away from diesel cars and opting for alternatively fuelled cars such as electric or hybrid, suggests new research
New car registrations in the UK achieved a 12-year high in January with 174,564 cars being registered – a 2.9 per cent increase on January 2016.
Figures collected by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and traders show that diesel car sales were down by 4.3 per cent in January.
The reason for the dip in interest for car buyers purchasing diesel cars could be due to the recent emissions scandals that have embroiled companies such as Volkswagen.
The government is now planning a diesel scrappage scheme to encourage motorists to ditch cars that are heavy polluters.
In total there were 78,778 diesel cars registered in January.
It is good news for electric car companies however as the alternatively fuelled vehicle segment grew 19.9 per cent to take a record 4.2 per cent market share.
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular as car companies are looking to vehicles powered by alternative and sustainable fuel sources.
Figures show that 7,270 AFVs including hybrids, were sold in January.
Just about every analyst agrees that the electric vehicle market is poised for rapid growth. But how rapid?
It’s not an idle question. The rate of EV growth will have huge implications for oil markets, auto markets, and electric utilities. Yet it is maddeningly difficult to predict the future; forecasts for the EV market are all over the place.
I don’t think the wide range of projections means that we’re blind here, though — I think we can make educated guesses. Specifically, I think history justifies optimism, the belief that the high-end projections (like those in a new study I discuss below) are closer to the truth.
Let’s walk through it.
EVs could do serious damage to oil — or not much
Transportation accounts for a huge portion of US carbon emissions. As recently as 2014, it was behind the electricity sector — 26 percent of US emissions to electricity’s 30 percent. But as Vox has reported, and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) just confirmed, as of 2016, they have crossed paths. “Electric power sector CO2 emissions,” EIA writes, “are now regularly below transportation sector CO2 emissions for the first time since the late 1970s.”
This is happening because power sector “carbon intensity” — carbon emissions per unit of energy produced — is falling, as coal is replaced with natural gas, renewables, and efficiency.
The only realistic prospect for reducing transportation sector emissions rapidly and substantially is electrification. How much market share EVs take from oil (gasoline is by far the most common use for oil in the US) will matter a great deal.
However, as Rice University’s Dan Cohan explains in The Hill, EV forecasts are all over the map.
The EIA’s “Annual Energy Outlook 2017” is much more bullish about EVs than in previous years — its forecast for the EV market is “nearly double its forecast from last year, and nearly 10 times its forecast from 2014.” It no longer thinks hybrids or plug-in hybrids will play a major role. It believes EVs are ready.
Solar power and clean cars are ‘gamechangers’ consistently underestimated by big energy, says Imperial College and Carbon Tracker report
Falling costs of electric vehicles and solar panels could halt worldwide growth in demand for oil and coal by 2020, a new report has suggested.
A scenario that takes into account the latest cost reduction projections for the green technologies, and countries’ pledges to cut emissions, finds that solar power and electric vehicles are “gamechangers” that could leave fossil fuels stranded.
Polluting fuels could lose 10% of market share to solar power and clean cars within a decade, the report by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative found.
A 10% loss of market share was enough to cause the collapse of the coal mining industry in the US, while Europe’s five major utilities lost €100bn (£85bn) between 2008 and 2013 because they did not prepare for an 8% increase in renewables, the report said.
Big energy companies are seriously underestimating the low-carbon transition by sticking to their “business as usual” scenarios which expect continued growth of fossil fuels, and could see their assets “stranded”, the study claims.
Emerging technology, such as printable solar photovoltaics which generate electricity, could bring down costs and boost take-up even more than currently predicted.
Luke Sussams, a senior researcher at Carbon Tracker, said:
“Electric vehicles and solar power are gamechangers that the fossil fuel industry consistently underestimates.
“Further innovation could make our scenarios look conservative in five years’ time, in which case the demand misread by companies will have been amplified even more.”
The growth of battery-powered cars could be as disruptive to the oil market as the OPEC market-share war that triggered the price crash of 2014, potentially wiping hundreds of billions of dollars off the value from fossil fuel producers in the next decade.
About 2 million barrels a day of oil demand could be displaced by electric vehicles by 2025, equivalent in size to the oversupply that triggered the biggest oil industry downturn in a generation over the past three years, according to research from Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank, published Thursday. A similar 10 percent loss of market share caused the collapse of the U.S. coal mining industry and wiped more than a 100 billion euros ($108 billion) off the value of European utilities from 2008 to 2013, the report said.
Major oil companies are waking up to the potential disruption plug-in vehicles could have on their industry. BP Plc says electric vehicles, or EVs, could erase as much as 5 million barrels a day in the next 20 years, while analysts at Wood Mackenzie say they could erode as much as 10 percent of global gasoline demand over that time. Global oil demand could peak in as little as five years, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry.
By 2040 16 million barrels a day of oil demand could be displaced, rising to 25 million by 2050, a
“stark contrast to the continuous growth in oil demand expected by industry,”
according to the report. The impact on the oil industry could exceed price slump of 2014 to 2016 that “wiped hundreds of billions off capex,” Stefano Ambrogi, a spokesman for the Carbon Tracker Institute, said by e-mail.
The cost of EVs is already falling faster than previous forecasts and they could reach parity with conventional internal combustion vehicles by 2020, eventually saturating the passenger vehicle market by 2050, the report said.
EVs may take 19 to 21 percent of the road transport market by 2035, according to the researchers. That’s three times BP’s projection of 6 percent market share in 2035. By 2050, EVs would comprise 69 percent of the road-transport market, with oil-powered cars accounting for about 13 percent.