All posts by Jo

Ford launches ‘green’ police car to save the environment while fighting crime

Ford says US forces with fleets of more than a thousand vehicles will save millions of dollars a year using “gas-electric” cars.

US police will soon be saving the environment as well as fighting crime thanks to a new hybrid car powered by both petrol and batteries.

The car will be on the streets in 2018

The Ford Motor Company says its new Police Responder hybrid sedan – a modified Ford Fusion – is the first “gasoline-electric” car to be “pursuit rated”, which means it can race through city streets and navigate crowded areas or high kerbs.

The car averages 38 miles a gallon when driven in the city and on highways – more than twice that of the current Police Interceptor model.

Ford estimates police forces will save more than £2,000 on fuel for every car over a year, which would translate into savings of millions of pounds for forces with fleets of more than a thousand cruisers.

The new car, which was unveiled in New York and Los Angeles, will be on the streets in the summer of 2018 and can go from zero to 60mph in 8.7 seconds.

Read more: Sky News

 

Firms could be sued over diesel cancer

Employers have been told they are legally obliged to protect their staff from diesel fumes — and could be sued if workers develop cancer later in life.

The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued the warnings because diesel fumes have been reclassified as a

“grade 1 carcinogen”

meaning they are a

“definite cause of cancer”.

As many as 500,000 UK jobs are affected.

 

Researchers say 500,000 UK workers are exposed to diesel fumes (image: ALAMY)

The warning applies to a huge range of employees, including professional drivers, bus and railway station staff, rubbish collectors, garage mechanics and warehouse and construction workers.

Read more: The Times

eVolt launch third-generation Rapid EV charger

eVolt, the Electrical vehicle (EV) charging business, has launched its third-generation Rapid charger, the Raption 50, which uses modular power technology for enhanced reliability and performance. eVolt is the eMobility brand of the SWARCO Group.

Traditionally, Rapid chargers operate via a single power pack, rendering a charger out of use if the power unit fails. The Raption 50, however, uses state-of-the-art modular power technology with four individual power packs delivering 12.5kW each. Should one power pack fail, the Raption unit continues charging EVs at a lower output by drawing power from the functioning packs.

eVolt Raption Rapid Charge Point (image: eVolt)

The new unit completes an 80% charge in 30 minutes with simultaneous charging for two EVs at 50kW DC and 43kW AC. It is smaller and slimmer than its predecessors and has three charging cables that cater for every EV/PHEV model.

Justin Meyer, General Manager of eVolt UK, says reliability is key for Rapid charging:

“While eVolt’s Rapid units have always proved highly dependable, modular power technology makes them even more reliable by reducing the potential for down-time,”

he says.

“The new Raption 50 has been designed with input from our clients. This is one of the ways we make sure our chargers meet their needs.”

In adopting the modular architecture, the Raption range offers flexibility through scalable power:

“The Raption can be scaled down should a local power network not be capable of Rapid charging or if a user only needs to draw 25kW of power,”

Justin adds.

“At the same time the opposite can happen, and we can scale the chargers back up to deliver more power.”

Read more: Swarco via Electrical Trade

 

Tesla will unveil electric lorry in September

Tesla will unveil an electric articulated lorry in September, chief executive Elon Musk has said.

Additionally, he said an electric pick-up truck would be shown off in around 18-24 months.

Elon Musk (Image: Getty Images)

Last year Mr Musk expressed the firm’s desire to branch out beyond cars.

However, analysts are concerned the company will not meet demand for its current projects.

The Model 3, a more mid-market car compared to what Tesla currently offers, has 400,000 pre-orders – vastly more than the company can manufacture in a year. It is due to go into production later this year.

However, despite this hurdle, investors seem confident that Mr Musk will meet his ambitious promises – Tesla’s surging stock price saw it briefly become the most valuable car maker in the US on Monday.

Speaking about the lorry, Mr Musk said his team had done an “amazing job” and the vehicle would be

“seriously next level”.

In a string of tweets sent out on Thursday, Mr Musk also said that the next version of its roadster sports car will be a convertible.

Source: BBC News

First eVolt charge point installed for Electric Nation

The first eVolt smart electric vehicle (EV) charge point has been installed at a residential property outside Nottingham for the Electric Nation trial, which is seeking to find a smart charging solution that will better manage local level power distribution at peak times.

Research suggests that some of the UK’s local electricity networks will need intervention to enable motorists to charge EVs at home at peak times. That research indicates at least £2.2bn would be needed for local electricity infrastructure upgrades.

Electric Nation Matt Tupper

Electric Nation is a Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Network Innovation Allowance funded project, and it is providing new electric car owners with a free smart charger. In return, the project will have access to charging data to help electricity distribution companies better manage electric vehicle charging.

Matt Tupper, who has had an eVolt smart charger installed for free at his house near Nottingham says:

“I believe that more and more people will be buying electric cars in the coming years, so it’s really important that we can all recharge them. I would certainly recommend anyone buying an electric car to sign up to the project.”

Dave A Roberts, Director of Smart Interventions at EA Technology, the business responsible for trialling the demand control system, and delivering an electricity network modelling tool that will enable WPD to identify which parts of their network are susceptible to EV loads and to assess solutions to avoid network reinforcement works, explains the challenge facing electricity distribution companies:

“Many local electricity networks serving our homes were never designed to cope with the demand from large numbers of high capacity electric vehicles,”

he says.

“To avoid costly and disruptive upgrading work to cables and transformers, a smart solution, as being trialled by Electric Nation, could provide a much cheaper option to ensure we can charge our EVs.”

Electric Nation Matt Tupper

Justin Meyer, General Manager of eVolt UK, emphasises the importance of working together to find a solution:

“The problem has been identified and the industry is coming together to find an appropriate and cost-effective resolution,”

he says.

“Electricity capacity has to develop side-by-side with EV and charge point innovations, and we are very happy to have been chosen as one of the two EV suppliers to enable this.”

The trial is seeking 500 – 700 members of the public to install a smart charge point on an ongoing basis to accurately measure charging levels, and eVolt, which is the eMobility brand of the SWARCO Group, is providing half of the trial’s chargers. All smart charging units are subsidised by OLEV eligible households are initially required to be within the bounds of WPD (South West, South Wales, and the Midlands.) OLEV grants are only available to people with an EV who have not previously received OLEV funding for a charge point for that vehicle.

Source: Swarco via Professional Electrician & Installer

Longer range BMW i3 on Business Lease (BCH)

BMW i3 Business Lease Offers

We have new deals available from 18th April for businesses looking to lease the new longer range BMW i3.

BMW i3 'Stormtrooper' (Image: BMW)
BMW i3 ‘Stormtrooper’ (Image: BMW)

We are offering a BMW i3 (94Ah) auto hatchback on 3 year BCH (Business Contract Hire – effectively a long term rental) with a 3 month upfront payment on a 3 year term (‘3+35’ respectively). As these are business leases, there is no Fuel Included service as standard. However, you do get the usual free car tax (for the BEV version) and congestion charge exemption as well as often free public parking and charging.

These are the current prices (with the lowest ones highlighted):

Battery Electric (BEV)Range Extender (REx)
Payment Terms:3+353+35
8,000 miles pa£284£313
10,000 miles pa£292£322
12,000 miles pa£304£335
15,000 miles pa£316£348
20,000 miles pa£338£374
Contact Us

 

The i3 is a very exciting car – arguably the most advanced in the world being 100% electric and the only mass production car made with a carbon fibre frame (plus aluminium chassis and plastic body panels). We have selected news and reviews (and blogging about our own i3) to read here.

A battery upgrade for the BMW i3 sees range almost doubled
The new BMW i3 (94Ah) in the new Protonic Blue colour

A unique feature of the i3 is that it comes in two versions:

  • As a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – the car just uses electricity from the battery to drive and you recharge it as necessary.
  • With a Range Extender (REx) – as an option the i3 can have a small petrol engine fitted under the boot which recharges the battery when it runs lows on charge.

In both cases we only provide the longer range version of the i3 battery known as the ’94Ah’ (which relates to the specification of the battery cells). Where the previous i3 battery had a range of 70-90 miles this new battery has a range of 120-140 miles. In the case of the REx version (with its engine and 9 litre petrol tank) the total range is over 200 miles.

The other offer terms are as follows:

  • Prices shown exclude VAT.
  • Prices are for a standard car (solid paint, options as listed) – ask us to quote for other options such as automatic cruise control and automatic parking.
  • Maintenance is not included.
  • You get free road tax for the BEV and congestion charge exemption for both versions.
  • While benefits for electric cars are changing, currently you get cheap charging on motorways and many public locations, plus free parking in many town centres and railway stations.
Contact Us

Buy a New BMW i3 on PCH

BMW i3 Personal Contract Purchase (PCH) Deals

We have new deals available from 18 April for private buyers looking to buy the new longer-range BMW i3.

BMW i3 'Stormtrooper' (Image: BMW)
BMW i3 ‘Stormtrooper’ (Image: BMW)

We are offering a BMW i3 (94Ah) auto hatchback on 2, 3  or 4 year PCH (Personal Contract Hire – effectively a long term rental). To keep these prices low, there is no Fuel Included service as standard. However, you do get the usual free car tax (for the BEV version) and congestion charge exemption as well as often free public parking and charging.

These are the current prices (with the lowest ones highlighted):

Battery Electric (BEV)Range Extender (REx)
Payment Terms:3+353+35
8,000 miles pa£385£420
10,000 miles pa£393£429
12,000 miles pa£402£439
15,000 miles pa£415£454
20,000 miles pa£436£479
Contact Us

 

The i3 is a very exciting car – arguably the most advanced in the world being 100% electric and the only mass production car made with a carbon fibre frame (plus aluminium chassis and plastic body panels). We have selected news and reviews (and blogging about our own i3) to read here.

A battery upgrade for the BMW i3 sees range almost doubled
The BMW i3 (94Ah) in the new Protonic Blue colour

A unique feature of the i3 is that it comes in two versions:

  • As a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – the car just uses electricity from the battery to drive and you recharge it as necessary.
  • With a Range Extender (REx) – as an option the i3 can have a small petrol engine fitted under the boot which recharges the battery when it runs lows on charge.

In both cases we provide the longer range version of the i3 battery known as the ’94Ah’ (which relates to the specification of the battery cells). Where the previous i3 battery had a range of 70-90 miles this new battery has a range of 120-140 miles. In the case of the REx version (with its engine and 9 litre petrol tank) the total range is over 200 miles.

The other offer terms are as follows:

  • Prices shown include VAT.
  • Prices are for a standard car with solid paint, with or without REx – ask us to quote for other options such as automatic cruise control and automatic parking.
  • Maintenance is not included.
  • The excess mileage fee is 8p to 10p per mile, depending on contract terms.
  • You get free road tax for the BEV and congestion charge exemption for both versions.
  • While benefits for electric cars are changing, currently you get cheap charging on motorways and many public locations, plus free parking in many town centres and railway stations.
Contact Us

Earth Day, 22nd April 2017

Earth Day 2017’s Campaign is Environmental & Climate Literacy

Earth Day Network is launching a campaign for global environmental and climate literacy by Earth Day 2020. We are dedicated to ensuring that every student around the world graduates high school as an environmental and climate literate citizen, ready to take action and be a voice for change. This goal is not only an enormous undertaking, it is critical and timely. The signing of the Paris Agreement is one step towards mitigating the impacts of climate change. Education needs to be a key part of this effort.

In the coming months, Earth Day Network will release research on the status of environmental literacy policies in the United States. We will also be joining a large collaborative network of nonprofits, government organizations and business leaders in a campaign for global environmental and climate literacy. This is more than a campaign issue and more than a US issue, this is a global issue. We ask that you help us take a stand and support teaching for environmental and climate literacy in K-12 schools. Education is the key to advocacy and advocacy is the key to change.

Read more: Earth Day Network

Electric car market statistics

The last four years have seen a remarkable surge in demand for electric vehicles in the UK – new registrations of plug-in cars increased from 3,500 in 2013 to almost 95,000 by the end of March 2017.

There has also been a huge increase in the number of electric and plug-in hybrid models available in the UK with many of the top manufacturers in the UK now offering an EV as part of their model range.

How many electric vehicles have been sold in the UK?

Monthly figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that electric car sales in the UK have risen dramatically during the past two years. While only around 500 electric cars were registered per month during the first half of 2014, this has now risen to an average of more than 3,000 per month over the past 12 months.

By the end of 2016, more than 35,000 plug-in cars had been registered over the course of the year, the highest number ever. As a percentage of new car registrations, electric cars now represent around 1.3 per cent of the total new car market in the UK. That figure for the first three months of 2017 sits at 1.5 per cent.

Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, April 2017.

The cumulative figure also shows sustained and dramatic growth of the EV car and van market. According to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and SMMT, more than 95,000 claims have been made through the Plug-in Car and Van Grant schemes.

Taken together with the fact that a significant number of electric cars and vans which are not eligible for the grant schemes have also been registered, the total UK light-duty electric fleet is 100,000 electric vehicles strong.

Source: SMMT, OLEV, DfT Statistics; Analysis: Next Green Car, April 2017.

Read more: Next Green Car

Great Barrier Reef at ‘terminal stage’: scientists despair at latest coral bleaching data

Back-to-back severe bleaching events have affected two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, new aerial surveys have found.

The findings have caused alarm among scientists, who say the proximity of the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events is unprecedented for the reef, and will give damaged coral little chance to recover.

Great Barrier Reef (image: Ed RobertsARC)

Scientists with the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies last week completed aerial surveys of the world’s largest living structure, scoring bleaching at 800 individual coral reefs across 8,000km.

The results show the two consecutive mass bleaching events have affected a 1,500km stretch, leaving only the reef’s southern third unscathed.

Where last year’s bleaching was concentrated in the reef’s northern third, the 2017 event spread further south, and was most intense in the middle section of the Great Barrier Reef. This year’s mass bleaching, second in severity only to 2016, has occurred even in the absence of an El Niño event.

Read more: The Guardian