EV round-up

Collaboration is the focus of EV developments.

The energy and automotive industries will collaborate for the first time in an EV Energy Taskforce aimed at preparing the electricity system for the mass take up of EVs.

In particular, it will address the challenge of vehicles returning charge to the grid, helping to reduce costs and emissions. The Taskforce will have secretariat functions provided by LowCVP whose managing director, Andy Eastlake said: "The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce is a major initiative as we stand on the brink of dual transformations in the ways we generate and supply electricity and in the energy we use for transport."

But what is the impact on the environment if there is mass adoption of EVs?

A recent report has indicated that by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced to less than 13% of the 2015 level whether there is mass EV adoption, a significant proportion of vehicles using biofuels and eFuels or a greater number of plug-in Hybrid (PHEVs) along with increased us of bio and eFuels.

According to Ricardo, mass EV adoption could have cost infrastructure implications to the tune of €30bn per annum by 2040. Producing enough batteries for complete transition to BEVs could be a challenge.

Ricardo Chief Technology and Innovation Office Professor Neville Jackson said, "...the analysis suggests that we will achieve more greenhouse gasses reduction faster and at less cost, if we drive towards a mix of electrification and low carbon, clean fuel."

Meanwhile commercial EV adoption is rising in the UK with several companies and organisations including Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, signing up to the Clean Van Commitment, aiming to switch to electric vans over the next decade.

Pod Point

Pod Point Image: Creative Commons

EV development is about new alliances - Pod Point has signed a three-year deal with construction group Kier, allowing it to install charging points at the firm's offices and possibly even the homes of its employees. Anthony Parish, group director of fleet for Kier, said, "More and more of our workforce are interested in and opting to drive electric cars."

Audi's new E-tron SUV will integrate Amazon's Alexa voice assistant allowing the driver/passenger to issue a standard range of Alexa commands to playback music, access weather information, add items to your to-do list, order food for your arrival, and even control any Alexa-enabled devices they might have at home.

With EV technology comes a different kind of vehicle ownership. New Zealand's Mercury Energy is offering a "subscription" service with a monthly fee model, similar to the way many people pay for software. Drivers simply hand the car back when they no longer need it.  Mercury is charging $469 a month for a second-hand first-generation Nissan Leaf, falling to $399 a month if customers agree to a minimum six-month term.

The latest EV stories around the globe are:

  • Mercedes has launched the EQC SUV as a rival to Tesla as a premium brand
  • Total has acquired G2mobility in a bid to increase the growth of its EV charging businesses
  • Ashok Leyland's new EV facility will be working on eLCV, Low Floor City Buses, Last Mile Connectivity and Power Solutions products
  • Groupe PSA has committed to every new model coming in a hybrid or all-electric version by 2019
  • Dyson's first EV will be built in Singapore in a facility set for completion in 2020
  • The US's ChargePoint has committed to deploy 2.5 million EV charging points by 2025
  • Owners of EVs in Russia will have new benefits - access to dedicated lanes and free travel on toll roads