Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

VW ID.3 [image credit: Alexander Migl @ Wikipedia]


The car is about the same size as VW’s Golf model but weighs 200 kilograms more due to the battery, which has an 8 year guarantee. What is guaranteed is not clear. List prices for most versions are well in excess of 30,000 euros, but subsidies are on offer. Don’t all rush at once…
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Volkswagen ID.3 latest news

Even before the Volkswagen ID.3 goes on sale, it has managed to pick up an award – from carwow!

The ID.3 collected the Most Wanted award at the 2019 carwow Car of the Year awards, says Green Car Congress.

This award is given to the brand that has the most-read news story here on carwow – and the ID.3 scooped that accolade by some margin.

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Image credit: RAC


Hardly a day goes by without a climate propaganda item from the BBC, and here’s another one, laced with pollution claims as well. Now it’s claimed even electric cars are bad for the environment, if not for the climate. No mention of trucks, buses, taxis, tractors, vans and the like, which can’t work from home or switch to cycling. The madness never ends.
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The vast majority of emissions cuts from electric cars will be wiped out by new road-building, a report says.

The government says vehicle emissions per mile will fall as zero-emissions cars take over Britain’s roads.

But the report says the 80% of the CO2 savings from clean cars will be negated by the £27bn planned roads programme, reports BBC News.

It adds that if ministers want a “green recovery” the cash would be better spent on public transport, walking, cycling, and remote-working hubs.

And they point out that the electric cars will continue to increase local air pollution through particles eroding from brakes and tyres.

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This is from a press release via Green Car Congress. The maker ‘estimates that its technology would be able to achieve a carbon emissions reduction of 25% for this vessel’.
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Norsepower Oy Ltd., the leading global provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems, and SEA-CARGO, leading logistics provider in the North Sea market, announced an agreement to install two of Norsepower’s largest Rotor Sails (earlier post) on board the SC Connector, a sidedoor Ro-Ro.

The agreement aso marks the installation of the world’s first tiltable Rotor Sail, showcasing the innovative design adaptations that can be made for individual vessel requirements.

The SC Connector, a 12,251 gross tonne (GT) Ro-Ro cargo vessel operates in the North Sea, which allows for some of the most favorable wind conditions for Rotor Sails.

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Image credit: BIRD


Who will be busier – the police or the hospitals?
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Electric scooter rental start-ups have been lobbying the Government to change transport laws since 2018, says The Daily Telegraph.

The Government has approved plans for trials of electric scooters to begin on the UK’s roads from July 4, clearing the way for scooter rental companies to start offering their services across the country.

The Department for Transport announced new rules on Tuesday which will govern local trials of the scooters starting from this weekend.

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Raising taxes on something you’re trying to get rid of doesn’t look like a great way to raise lots of money. But it should make a big dent in the culprits’ political popularity, especially with car and motorbike dealers. Another product of climate fantasies.
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The ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars should be brought forward from 2035 to 2032 “at the latest”, a group of politicians and scientists that advise the Government has said.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) – an independent body that advises ministers on decarbonisation – is asking the Government to provide “detailed policy arrangements” to enable the 2032 ban, reports Auto Express.

The CCC also advises that sales of new motorcycles with an internal combustion engine should be outlawed.

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Standing around at the EV charging station [image credit: makeitsunderland.com]


At the moment this is like trying to fill a bath from a very slowly dripping tap. A lot would need to happen to turn the tap of public enthusiasm for EVs on, starting with much lower prices. Where is all the extra electricity supply supposed to come from, and who voted for ‘net zero’ anyway?
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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) today publishes new research on the uptake of low carbon technologies (LCTs) required to put the UK on the road to net zero.

Examining the expected changes in SSEN’s two distribution areas in the south of England and north of Scotland, the data reveals electric vehicle ownership will increase from 44,000 to 5m in these two areas alone.

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Image credit: DFT


Is this the thin end of the green wedge, as EV owners get ever more preferential treatment from the authorities – on the roads every UK citizen has to pay for?
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Drivers of zero-emission cars are to be given green number plates which could make them eligible to by-pass congestion zone charges or secure cheaper parking, says Metro News.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said they will be available from autumn and would help ‘show people that a greener transport future is within our grasp’.

The move is designed to make switching to electric vehicles more appealing as the government looks to meet its target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

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Electric ferry Ellen [image credit: Erik Christensen @ Wikipedia]


No evidence is offered, of course. The article is about an electric ferry, but the temptation to lapse into lurid climate propaganda was obviously too great. As for the ferry, the article implies the batteries will last for 30 years, which looks ambitious to say the least.
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Ellen, Denmark’s first all-electric ferry, has completed its first 10 months of revenue service, reports CleanTechnica.

Passengers like its silent running and absence of diesel fumes.

The operator likes that it costs less to run than a diesel-powered ferry.

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Avinor’s electric plane [image credit: inhabitat.com]


More ‘net zero’ tomfoolery. Batteries are heavy and unlike fuel don’t allow the plane to lose weight during flight, meaning harder landings or lower carrying capacity. Meanwhile biofuel still emits carbon dioxide, which is supposed to be what the climate obsession is about.
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today announced a dual boost to the UK’s nascent low carbon aviation sector, confirming the formation of a new ‘Jet Zero Council’ and the award of fresh funding for green fuel specialist Velocsys, reports BusinessGreen.

Shapps used his appearance at the daily coronavirus press conference to announce the moves, which he said would support the government’s vision of a “greener transport future”.

Building on the recent confirmation the government is to invest £2bn in new active transport infrastructure, Shapps said the challenge was “to make transport – currently our biggest emitter of greenhouse gases – part of the solution, not the problem”.

He added that decarbonisation was particularly difficult for an aviation industry that has faced an “impossible few months” as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

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Hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai [image credit: Nikkei Asian Review]


A tank of hydrogen is obviously lighter than an equivalent fixed-weight battery pack, and filling up is much quicker than any recharge, but in many ways hydrogen cars struggle to compete, according to The Conversation. Very few manufacturers are interested in them any more, and list prices look higher even than EVs.
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Hydrogen has long been touted as the future for passenger cars.

The hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), which simply runs on pressurised hydrogen from a fuelling station, produces zero carbon emissions from its exhaust.

It can be filled as quickly as a fossil-fuel equivalent and offers a similar driving distance to petrol.

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Electric car charging station [credit: Wikipedia]


Of course somebody has to pay these costs in the end, i.e. all the other electricity customers.
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“Curtailment” is a word utility companies don’t like to hear. It means they have more electricity available than they need to meet demand, says CleanTechnica.

In the absence of some sort of storage medium, whether is is pumped hydro, a lithium-ion battery, or a trainload of concrete blocks going up and down a mountain, the excess electricity is wasted.

In the UK last weekend, a combination of a bank holiday, reduced demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, and sunny skies left Octopus Energy, a UK utility that uses only renewable energy, with an oversupply of electricity.

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The focus here is on heavy duty engines. Of course they have to claim that carbon dioxide, vital to plants and vegetation, is a ‘pollutant’ but this is from the crazy side of today’s climate-obsessed world.
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Southwest Research Institute engineers have developed the next generation of clean diesel engine technology to reduce hazardous nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide emissions while minimizing fuel consumption, says Green Car Congress.

Working with regulatory agencies, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, SwRI combined engine modifications with integrated aftertreatment technology and control strategies to reach near-zero emissions levels (0.02 g/hp-hr NOx emissions).

SwRI developed the technology for the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The work is described in a pair of SAE Technical Papers.

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Typical electric car set-up


For the vast majority of today’s car buyers it’s welcome to stay there, judging by the puny sales figures.

Materials required for the emerging global electric vehicle industry can be found in abundance on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and Mexico, says DW.com.

In a region called the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), on the seafloor at depths between 4 and 5.5 kilometers, an estimated 21 billion metric tons of “polymetallic nodules” wait to be picked up by mining robots.

The nodules have been estimated to contain 6 billion tons of manganese, 270 million tons of nickel, 230 million tons of copper and 50 million tons of cobalt.

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Promotional video:

Regardless of questionable greenhouse climate theories, who wouldn’t want lower fuel consumption rates for their vehicle? ‘Up to 30%’ better economy is mentioned.
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A technology developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory could pave the way for increased fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions as part of an octane-on-demand fuel-delivery system, reports Phys.org.

Designed to work with a car’s existing fuel, the onboard separation technology is the first to use chemistry—not a physical membrane—to separate ethanol-blended gasoline into high- and low-octane fuel components.

An octane-on-demand system can then meter out the appropriate fuel mixture to the engine depending on the power required: lower octane for idling, higher octane for accelerating.

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Assessing integrated solar roofs for EVs

Posted: May 15, 2020 by oldbrew in innovation, Travel
Tags: ,

Lightyear One prototype


A novel range extender, or just another way to make costly EVs even more expensive? Insurance costs could be eye-watering too.

High-tech mobility innovator Lightyear and Royal DSM will jointly scale the commercialization of Lightyear’s unique solar-powered roof for the electric vehicle market, reports Green Car Congress.

With this solution, both companies aim to accelerate the global adoption of a broad range of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Specifically, the partnership aims to integrate solar-powered roofs in a variety of electric vehicles, including cars, vans and buses, thus enabling users to charge their vehicle directly with clean energy.

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Heathrow airport


Coronavirus has obviously reduced the pressure on the airport for quite a while, at least. Restricting Heathrow capacity would mean some flights going somewhere else, but little likely effect on total air miles.
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The case will now be heard by the UK’s highest court as the airport tries to overturn campaigners’ earlier victory, reports Sky News.

Heathrow airport has been given permission to appeal to the Supreme Court against a block on its plan for a third runway.

Judges said Heathrow could appeal against a February ruling which said the government’s airports policy was unlawful as it failed to take into account climate change commitments.

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COVID-19 puts brakes on driverless cars

Posted: May 4, 2020 by oldbrew in Analysis, Travel


Is ride-sharing going out of favour before its time due to social distancing ideas? But any form of public transport also has its challenges in that regard.

In recent years, the automotive industry has been addressing the megatrends set to transform long-term urban mobility and the industry, reports Green Car Congress, but the current crisis is now re-setting priorities, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) strategies were seen by car companies as elevating them to another plane in terms of being able to make money and bring their market capital up to the levels enjoyed by Silicon Valley tech companies.

—Calum MacRae, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData

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Hydrogen-powered London bus


Fare-paying travellers can rejoice in subsidising the buses and the means of producing the fuel for them, i.e. the wind turbines, under this plan. Maybe do the same for trains too.

The owner of manufacturer Wrightbus has said he hopes to bring another 1,500 jobs to Ballymena as he pushes for a Government subsidy to fund the building of more than 3,000 buses in the town, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

Jo Bamford, executive chairman of the historic bus-builder, said the use of hydrogen could usher in a new era of environmentally-friendly transport.

It’s seeking subsidy funding of £500m from the UK Government, with the aim of building over 3,000 hydrogen-fuelled buses in Ballymena by 2024.

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How many were aware of the likely costs compared to fuel powered vehicles, before answering the questions? Improving urban air quality is no doubt a sound idea, but attempting to link EVs to climate – not so much.
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A quarter of people say they will become an EV driver in the next five years, according to a new survey, reports Energy Live News.

Coronavirus is convincing people to buy electric vehicles (EVs) with 45% of UK drivers claiming they would consider swapping their current car for an EV in the wake of the pandemic.

That’s according to a new poll conducted by Venson Automotive Solutions, which reports the current lockdowns around the world and the radical improvement on air pollution as a result of the demobilisation of transport have a positive impact on people’s awareness of the benefits to the environment.

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Shanghai, China aerial view over Yan’an Elevated Highway. [click on image to enlarge]


The car industry is under big pressure right now, but there could be a lot of new buyers in the pipeline, regardless of wailing climate obsessives. The study finds: “Due to the epidemic, people will rethink how they move around in the future.” Whether they opt for electric or fuel-powered models remains to be seen, but at the ‘entry-level’ mentioned here electric cars lose out on the key cost factor.

In a recent study by the market research institute Ipsos, two out of three respondents say that they prefer their own car to public transport—twice as many as before the COVID-19 outbreak, reports Green Car Congress.

At the end of February, Ipsos asked 1,620 Chinese citizens about their mobility preferences, and the fear of the coronavirus in changing their habits.

Private cars jumped from 3rd to 1st place in terms of preferred means of transport, while buses and metros lost ground to a similar extent.

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