Daily Archives: April 15, 2017

‘Smart lampposts’ could be on the way as electric vehicle charge points approved

THE first wave of new electric vehicle charging points across Oxford have been approved by transport bosses, with the first set to arrive within months.

David Nimmo Smith, cabinet member of Oxfordshire County Council, hailed the technology as ‘the future’ and said he expected many more to be built over the next few years.

It is part of a trial that officials hope will lead to a further 100 electric vehicle charging points being rolled out across Oxford, in what is thought to be the largest scheme of its kind in the world.

The trial will involve installing different kinds of charging points, with the most successful ones taken forward to a bigger scheme.

Businesses have been asked to put forward proposals for these and it is understood the city and county councils are likely to announce which ones have been chosen in the coming months.

Possible solutions already on the market include low-tech ‘cable gullies’ laid into the pavement and high-tech ‘smart lampposts’ capable of charging a vehicle.

The authorities hope the Oxford scheme will encourage more people to buy electric cars to help cut carbon emissions in the city, with 16,000 homes set to benefit from the 100 charging points proposed.

CHARGE: Andy Edwards, left, and Terry Kirkby with the Rose Hill electric car and charge point at the community centre Picture: Ric Mellis

Andy Edwards, of eco company Bioregional, worked with car club Co-wheels to get an electric car based at Rose Hill. He said:

“Electric vehicles are an essential part of the transition to a low-carbon, cheaper energy economy.

“Without them it would be very hard to achieve the kind of reductions in fossil fuels we are aiming for.”

Read more: The Oxford Times

Solar powered homes worth more 

A recent analysis by Redfin and Sun Number, has rated 10+ cities in the northeast based on their solar power potential.

Sun Number is a U.S. Department of Energy SunShot-funded startup that has developed a patented automatic process for helping homeowners/buyers understand the solar energy potential of their homes or future homes, using a Sun Number Scale that runs from 1-100, where the higher a reading, the better the property is suited for solar energy installation and use.

As early as 2015, a multi-institutional research led by U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory (Berkley Lab) concluded that home buyers have consistently been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems.

The data came from more than 20,000 sales of homes, about 4,000 of which contained a host-owned solar energy installation. The additional price home buyers were ready to pay was significant and worthy of serious consideration: a hefty premium of about $15,000. Redfin and Sun Number partially support that prior data.

Read more: electrek

Canada’s oil industry ponders its fate as the threat of electric cars looms in the rearview mirror

CALGARY – Canada’s energy industry gathered at a petroleum museum Monday to consider how electric cars threaten oil, the country’s biggest export, especially if battery-powered cars make up 50 per cent of vehicles on the road by 2050 as projected.

Peter Tertzakian, executive director of ARC Energy Research Institute — which organized the event — said even a slow or modest adoption rate for electric vehicles over petroleum-burning vehicles could cause pain for oil producers because

“when demand moves, the price of oil moves,”

which could result in large losses for higher cost oil producers.

An impediment to electric vehicle adoption is car dealerships.

Oil and gas companies have attempted to forecast the rise of electric vehicles in recent years to determine the threat to their market. ExxonMobil Corp, for example, issued one of the more conservative estimates that 10 per cent of cars on the road in 2040 will be electric, but analysts at the conference say the transition may be quicker.

Keynote speaker Steve Koonin, former under secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy and New York University professor, predicts that 50 per cent of the vehicles on the road in 2050 would be electric, meaning the threat to the conventional oil and gas business is large but not immediately imminent.

The adoption rate for electric vehicles is relatively slow, but is projected to ramp up over time and with regulations.

“It takes a long time to penetrate the fleet,”

Koonin said, adding that the pace of adoption of electric vehicles will depend on battery technology.

A Tesla Motor Inc. Model 3 vehicle is displayed outside the company’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, U.S.

Larry Burns, a former General Motors executive who has consulted for energy producer Hess Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car subsidiary Waymo, said the threat to the oil and gas industry is more near-term.

“If you’re not prepared for this inevitability, I think you’re in trouble,”

he told conference attendees.

Burns said fuel efficiency regulations in the U.S. could hamper the demand for petroleum in North America by between 30 and 45 per cent by 2025.

Read more: Vancouver Sun