Daily Archives: April 16, 2017

Free Home Smart Chargers For Electric Vehicle Owners Rolled Out In Milton Keynes

Electric vehicle (EV) owners in Milton Keynes have become the latest to benefit from free smart chargers provided by the Electric Nation project.

Milton Keynes is part of the Go Ultra Low City Scheme and it has a high level of electric vehicle ownership, which is helping to improve local air quality. In order to ensure that local electricity grids can cope with charging increasing numbers of electric vehicles at peak times, the Electric Nation project is recruiting new EV owners and providing a free* smart charger, so it can learn from the data – and the feedback – from trial participants.

Keith McLean is one of the first Electric Nation participants in Milton Keynes to have a smart charger installed for his BMW i3. Keith says

“I’m delighted to be able to help with the Electric Nation research project, which aims to ensure that the UK’s local electricity networks can continue to charge the ever-growing numbers of electric vehicles. This 7kW smart charger is one of the latest, most intelligent on the market and can provide useful data on your charging history – as well as being able to charge an EV up to twice as fast as a 3kW home charge point. It has the most up to date functionality, with software updates being carried out remotely.”

Keith will be well known to many Milton Keynes residents as he was previously the Mayor of Milton Keynes, when he tried several electric vehicles, and was impressed with how easily they could be used in a city that at the time had over 200 public charging points.

The project is seeking to recruit 500-700 people buying or leasing new electric vehicles (of all makes and models, pure electric and plug-in hybrids) to take part in the largest trial of its kind. Trial participants will get a free* smart charger installed.

* Subject to eligibility and conditions

Read more: Electric Nation

How conniving carmakers caused the diesel air pollution crisis

Cheating, dodging rules and heavy lobbying by motor manufacturers fuelled the toxic air the UK is struggling with today.

Conniving car makers and their lobbying might, assisted by the 2008 financial crash, were the key factors in producing the diesel-fuelled air pollution crisis the UK is struggling with today, according to key observers of the disaster.

Earlier government decisions to incentivise diesel vehicles, which produce less climate-warming carbon dioxide, sparked the problem but were made in good faith. The heart of the disaster is instead a giant broken promise: the motor industry said it would clean up diesel but instead cheated and dodged the rules for years.

Cars displayed at the Geneva International Motor Show 2017. (Image: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The result has been that the air people breathe in cities and towns is now heavily polluted with toxic nitrogen dioxide, causing 23,500 premature deaths a year in the UK and affecting many schools. The government, whose inadequate plans have twice been declared illegal, will come up with a new, court-ordered strategy as soon as next week.

“We were told by the vehicle manufacturers the [diesel emissions] limits would be met and there was no problem,”

said Greg Archer, who was managing the UK government’s air pollution research two decades ago, when new tax breaks led to the diesel boom.

“What of course actually happened was those limits were not met on the road, as the car manufacturers started to turn down the after-treatment systems and cheat the tests.”

The government’s chief scientific adviser at the time, Sir David King, tells the same story:

“I was convinced the [motor manufacturers] could manage the problem. It turns out we were wrong.”

Read more: The Guardian

Renault Gets an Electric Car to Write Jack Kerouac Fan Fiction via Artificial Intelligence

A new campaign for Renault in Sweden sees its Zoe electric car “write” Jack Kerouac fan fiction for test drivers via artificial intelligence.

According to agency Edelman Deportivo, one of the major obstacles to widespread electric-car adoption is commonly labelled “range anxiety,” or the fear that a vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination. So the effort aims to show how far a Renault can go in a single charge, by showing a car going where no other has gone before — by turning automobile into “author.”

The “Written by Zoe” promotes the Zoe, which has a 400km range. The brand obtained permission from the the estate of Jack Kerouac to write authorized fan fiction stories based on the themes and style of writing of his novel “On the Road” (which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year).

The “stories” are entirely composed through live driving data from Stockholm test drives in the Zoe, with the help of AI-technology. The idea is that, by analyzing “On The Road” and using the car’s internal and external sensor data to turn it into contextual storylines, the system writes unique stories for each driver.

Read more: Creativity Online