This page contains the information provided by the speakers at:
The ABC of EVs: All you need to know about electric vehicles
an event held on the 15th Nov 2018.
It also has extra background information answering questions on the transition from Internal Combustion Engine vehicles (ICE)  to Electric Vehicles (EV) – sometimes called Battery Electric Vehicles.

Q: Why do we need electric vehicles?
  •  – by replacing petrol and diesel internal combustion engines (ICEs) with electric vehicles (EVs)

    Source: Defra Clean Air Strategy 2018Road transport is the main culprit in polluting the air all along public roads – though we need to tackle the other air pollution culprits in the other places too.

    The pedestrian and cyclist journeys here need to be increased to reduce air pollution, as well as the number of shared journeys – whether car shares or public transport.

    Electric vehicles have very few pollutants

    Source: Ofgem Future Insights series 5 from NextGreenCar

    Tailpipe and clutch toxic emissions from Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) pollute roadsides, whereas Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) have no tailpipe or clutch.

    Fuel pollutants and carbon emissions due to petrol and gas  look lower than BEVs, which would incur emissions around power stations, if fossil fuel electricity were used. However, using 100% renewable electricity (ideally very local) avoids this.

    Brake and Tyre pollutants. It is not yet absolutely clear whether BEVs have higher levels of pollution from brakes and tyres than Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs). One study from Kole et al ‘Wear and Tear of Tyres’ was indecisive and just indicated that TRWP [Tyre and Road Wear Particles] concentrations in the PM10 fraction were low. Defra has completed a call for evidence on this topic, as “Abrasion of tyres and road paints produce micro-plastic particles, which enter rivers and lakes from road run-off and can eventually be deposited into the sea.

    Battery despoliation. The manufacturing stage of electric vehicles has the additional issue that extracting cobalt for lithium ion batteries currently involves exploitation and despoliation. (So this is the scandal that needs to be addressed – on behalf of laptop and smart phone users, as well as EV purchasers.) According to Desmogblog in May 2018 “just over 10 percent of the world’s cobalt supply is currently being used for batteries to power electric cars.” The article suggests that EV manufacturers need to insist on ethical supply chains, as Tesla did in 2014, and to continue to research alternative materials, as the market for EVs ramps up globally.

    The cleanest forms of transport are walking and cycling and there are initiatives to promote these, but, where these are not practicable, the more electric vehicles that replace petrol, and particularly diesel, the cleaner our air will be.

  • – by replacing petrol and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs)

    Source IPCC Special report of 1.5deg Oct 2018

    We need to very urgently minimise the rise of global temperatures to minimise climate breakdown. There is only a limited amount of greenhouse gases left that can be emitted, and the ‘ambitious’, but achievable, target is to rise no more than 1.5°C from pre-industrial times by 2030 – just 12 years! A  report, by DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts, commissioned by Greenpeace in Sept 2018, says that “The top-down analysis of the remaining carbon budgets for passenger cars in EU28+2 shows that quick and stringent CO2 emission reductions are necessary to stay below a 1.5°C increase in global mean temperatures”. (p9)

    Do electric cars save carbon? The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is the statutory body to advise the UK Government on ways to reduce greenhouse gases. Its answer to this FAQ is “Yes. Electric cars that run on electricity from the UK grid emit on average around 30% of the carbon dioxide of a conventional (petrol or diesel) vehicle. Electric vehicles typically take more energy to manufacture than conventional vehicles, but the quantities are small compared to the energy used to power a vehicle over its lifetime. This means that, even when you take account of the emissions from the manufacture of electric vehicles, the total lifecycle emissions are roughly 60-65% lower than conventional vehicles according to one of the latest reputable studies. This benefit will grow as our electricity supply becomes increasingly decarbonised.

    Increasing walking and cycling journeys will help reduce carbon, as well as necessary vehicle journeys transitioning from oil to (clean) electricity.

    Next Green Car illustrates the lifetime carbon intensity of a typical electric car versus a typical small new car.

    Source NextgreenCar

    The oil industry is being subsidised across the world. For the UK, in Feb 2016 The Telegraph reported that, as well as £5bn subsidy for fossil fuel production, the government had now announced a further £1.3bn of tax breaks for North Sea oil companies, £250m for propping up oil and gas and £20m on seismic testing. And aviation fuel has no duty at all George Monbiot in Jan 2016 reported a subsidy of £7billion a year on aviation fuel.

    Incumbent oil interests inevitably want to make more, not less, money from petrol and diesel. For instance, in the USA, a Government body accepted, without concern, that global temperatures are on course to rise by 3.5deg C by 2100 (p5-35) according to the IPCC Fifth Assessment figures. The proposal to downgrade fuel efficiency of new American vehicles* was in the  July 2018 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Miles Per Gallon rules for 2021-2026 from the Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – (Page 5-36), whilst the impact statement is clear that the NHTSA position was influenced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The paper accepted that adopting the proposal would increase global temperatures by .003degC by 2100, and the report writers were clearly aware that every increase in global temperature would flood land, damage human and coral health and that increased demand for electric vehicles would reduce the global warming effect of American Driving. (page S-17), They merely stated that “The impact of climate change on the frequency and severity of compound events remains uncertain, and the effects of this rule on any of them would be minimal” (page S-22).

    *average mpg per manufacturer over all models was to be 46.7mpg by 2026, but now will only be 37mpg by 2026, disregarding an alternative of 43.1mpg.

    In contrast, in Oct 2018 the Government reduced support for electric vehicles .   

    Driving  vehicles using (clean) electricity, instead of ones using oil, will make a much more significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions than allowing petrol and diesels to be just slightly less damaging. greenhouse gases emissions from petrol and diesel (which has slightly fewer than petrol) electric cars have lower emissions from electricity, and minimal ones from low carbon electricity.  And ‘regenerative braking’, which returns energy to the battery when the brakes are applied in an electric vehicle, also improves fuel efficiency by up to 20%.

    Every mile driven by (clean) electricity instead of petrol/diesel is a mile contributing to this vital target. According to Carbon Tracker in July 2018 (featuring an interactive tool) 1 million barrels per day of oil demand for Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) could be displaced by just 48.9 million EVs. it is our contention that EVs pose a risk of disruption to the oil industry that should not be dismissed.”

Q: How will electric vehicles address air pollution and climate breakdown?
  • The National Grid has a traditional role of balancing the supply and demand of electricity, using a variety of backup sources. Electric vehicle batteries will be part of this web of storage and dispatch, and have a vital role in balancing out the peaks and troughs of clean local renewable electricity. Increasingly vehicles will store supply peaks when the wind plus sun supply high loads and will feed back electricity when they are low.

    The extra electricity needs to be extra renewable electricity

    Switching from petrol and diesel fossil fuels will increase demand for electricity as it will reduce demand for petrol and diesel, and this electricity must be from low carbon sources to address climate breakdown. Both the new demand and the new sources of renewable electricity will be situated across the whole of the UK and will be owned by ‘ordinary people’, local businesses and community groups in contrast to remote big businesses.

    Ofgem explains in Future Insights Implications of the Transition to electric vehicles that “Electricity flows will become increasingly complex and bi-directional, particularly if EVs are used to feed power back to the grid through Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology.” These new sources of extra electricity will be from multiple locations, and owned by multiple ordinary people rather than just from big companies.

    The paper envisages the need for flexible pricing to incentivise charging when there is excess generation on the system and to shift charging to times when there is peak renewable generation. This will require suitable smart meters installed at premises, similarly to the ‘Red Band’ peak prices already applied to businesses by the local distributor eg Eastern Network (Annex 1) to vary according to supply/demand levels.

    Source: Ovoenergy

    The Solar Trade Association (STA) blog about EVs and Solar – A match made in renewable heaven? explains how sunny car park sites can be used to generate solar electricity and use it to charge electric cars “This match made in heaven needs further investment, strong planning and fast – so that solar EV solutions are ready before EV demand overtakes availability.”

    Vehicles could charge at a car park at a low rate when there is plenty of sunshine and could even supply it back to the grid when demand outstrips supply – for instance during the evening. This would reduce the cost of upgrading the UK power infrastructure, and thus customer costs.

Q: How will we move from ICEs and oil to EVs and (renewable) electricity?
  • Unlike the rapid transition from standard to ‘smart’ phones there is less to adapt to from an Internal Combustion Engine to an Electric Vehicle. The speed of transition depends to a large extent on the public attitude belief in benefits, as well as needing to consider motoring costs, access to charge etc.

    Will UK Drivers be willing to move to EVs?

    Although the predictions below vary, the risk of buying a new petrol or diesel vehicle now is that it will become impossible to resell with any value if the uptake in EVs is what it needs to be, if petrol/diesel is difficult to find and if non EVs have further restrictions imposed.

    The Guardian published results of a YouGov poll in Aug 2018 on public attitudes to changes about low carbon living.

    Four in 10 motorists state that a pure electric vehicle needs to be no more expensive to purchase or lease than an equivalent petrol, diesel or hybrid vehicle for them to choose one as their next vehicle, and 67% say they would require a minimum range of 300 miles. Only 36% of motorists expect to opt for a pure-electric vehicle within the next 10 years and 49%within 15 years” is an important finding from the RAC Report on Motoring 2018.

    Two-thirds of motorists (66%) say they are either confused or unsure whether they are confused or not about which vehicle to buy next as a result of media and political coverage of the environmental impact of motoring, Almost half (47%) say they are unsure whether new diesel vehicles are bad for the environment, while there is strong support (69%) for the idea of a central database that could enable motorists to look up the Euro emissions standard of any vehicle.”

    The International Market

    Vehicles are manufactured and marketed internationally, with the UK just one portion of the transition, though the Government can affect the UKs leadership in the transition.

    A vital part of the attempt to keep global warming to 1.5˚C is moving road transport across the globe from petrol/diesel to (clean) electricity.  The DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts report, commissioned by Greenpeace in Sept 2018, says that “To achieve the goal of the 66%-likelihood scenario, a budget of 3.6 Gt CO2 must not be exceeded…….. Therefore the number of diesel and petrol sales drops significantly, from around 15 million in 2018 to around 5 million from 2025 ongoing…….. The last vehicle with an internal combustion engine is sold in 2028, while the market declines by 50% until 2022..…….in 2030 the number of diesel and petrol cars in the stock are reduced by two thirds and in the mid-forties, no diesel or petrol powered cars can be found in the car stock.” (p17) The Institute also points out that “further measures, especially a behavioral change towards other transport modes like walking, cycling or public transport, are necessary to be able to limit the cumulated CO2 emissions to the given budget”.(p20)

    The UK Market

    As at Sept 2018 there were just 168k EVs registered in the UK, out of 35.3m cars. There are various predictions as to how that will that grow when drivers replace their vehicles and choose EVs.

    Source: Next Green Car statistics and Government licensing statistics June-Sept 2018

    The UK’s National Grid Future Energy Scenarios July 2018 (p03) is preparing for “as many as 11 million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030 and 36 million by 2040”, as it will be necessary to be aware that “Balancing demand and supply and power flows will become increasingly complex and need a coordinated approach across the whole industry.”

    The Committee on Climate Change (CCC)’s  Plugging the gap Jan 2018 has a ‘Central scenario’  that “envisages electric vehicles accounting for 60% of new car and van sales (approximately 30% of the total fleet) by 2030.” In it’s Road to Zero Falls Short July 2018 the CCC says that to “meet the Government’s stated goal of every car and van being zero emission in 2050, only pure battery electric vehicles and long range plug in hybrids can be sold after 2035”, and that the targets for new vans is at too low a level.

    The UK Government is not so ambitious. Defra announced in July 2017 that the UK will ban the sales on new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040. (see Carbon Brief report). The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said in Oct 2018 that “If we are serious about being EV world leaders, the Government must come forward with a target of new sales of cars and vans to be zero emission by 2032.

    The Green Alliance believes that incentives from the Government, could ramp up purchases of EVs instead of ICEs to the levels required – particularly for business fleets, where the cost of running EVs is already on par with ICEs.

    Source: Green Alliance  How the UK can lead the electric vehicle revolution (p7)

    Vehicle Manufacturers are all predicting that a significant proportion of their own sales will be Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) by 2025 and 2030.

    Source: CCC Progress Report to Parliament (p167)

    As well as these incumbents, there are new entrants to the zero emission market, including Tesla, River Simple and Dyson and these will build exclusively clean vehicles.

    • Tesla is the market leader in zero emission only cars, and also sells home batteries and solar panels (and roof tiles) for the full zero emission driving package.

    • River Simple Rasa has a prototype hydrogen vehicle being developed in Wales. “you can go 200 miles on a kilo of hydrogen in a Rasa” They want the hydrogen to be zero carbon “Electrolysis from green electricity, photo catalysis, waste from methane-eating bacteria”

    Source: River Simple blog: Claire Perry minister for BEIS

    • Dyson has a reputation for innovation and is developing a prestige electric vehicle in Wiltshire, due to launch in 2021. Few details have yet been announced, except that it will be manufactured in Singapore.

    Although the scale needed of immediate, dramatic change from ICE to EVs is ambitious. the alternative is to accept the increasing effects of climate breakdown.

Q: Your next car an ICE or an EV?
A: Moving from the familiar routine of needing of needing to find a ‘petrol station’ before you run out of fuel, to needing to find a chargepoint before you run out of electricity, can seem daunting, and buying a car is a major decision. The most common aspects to be understood include 1) costs, 2) knowing where you can recharge and 3) where to find out about EVs, but thinking about resale values and environmental benefits are also important.
  • Although new electric vehicles typically cost more upfront than equivalent ICE models, they can be very low cost to run. The lifetime cost comparison for you depends on these factors, expanded below, and available as a spreadsheet proforma to download: Five-year-costs.

    Next Green Car has this generic comparison, but the comparison needs to be specific to you.

    Source: Ofgem Future Insights series 5 from NextGreenCar

    1. Purchase price. The kickstart incentive to encourage the UK EV market to grow is the ‘Plug-in Grant’. Since 2011 it reduced the price of new plug in vehicles by £4,500 and the price of hybrids by £2,500, though car dealerships. In Oct 2018 the UK Government cut this Plug In Grant by early November 2018 to £3,500 for new EVs and removed it for new hybrid cars.  Reported by The Guardian Scrapping uk grants for hybrid cars astounding. Another consideration is the resale value, given the trajectory of electric car penetration, and todays difficulty in selling diesel vehicles already.

    The Chair of the parliamentary BEIS Committee said: “The Department for Transport’s slashing of the Plug-in Grant scheme drives the incentives of buying an electric vehicle into reverse. Cutting support is a perverse way to encourage drivers to move to non-polluting cars.

    2. New or Used. Some companies for used electric cars include:

    Eco-cars which also has a very good FAQs. Eco-cars will transport the EV to the customer for a small fee.

    Go Green Autos has a good selection of used electric cars. So Green Autos specialises in “used and second hand electric plug-in cars and vans from as little as £4,000. All vehicles are 100% electric and zero emissions.” It is based near Oxford and has nationwide delivery.  “All vehicles come with free home wall charger and the free loan of a portable charger so you charge at home or work and can start using your zero emission vehicle straight away.”

    3. Leasing option. Particularly when the annual cost of the electricity used for driving is low it can make sense to lease rather than buy a vehicle. Companies in this market include:

     Leaseplan offers personal leases , which absorb the higher list price, where you can search for a particular model from here to get an upfront and annual cost and also commercial leasing .

    Next Green Car, also has a leasing partner – Green Car Leasing.

    4. Daily and Annual miles. According to the Department for Transport Road use statistics 2016 (p28) in 2014 an average trip in the UK was 7 miles, only 6% of car trips were > 25miles. And the TfL/Mayor of London’s Travel in London report 10 (p37) shows that, in London, car drivers in 2015/16 averaged just 36km a day.

    5. Charging at home. For those with suitable drives the annual mileage x the kWh per mile x cost at the time you would charge.

    6. Sharing your facilities with friends (or strangers) you could charge them a premium for using your charger. Zap Home has details of the network for homes and the Zap Work network. “around half of EV drivers on the Zap-Map network are willing to share their home charge point.”

    7. For those with roofs and parking close to their home – ‘free’ Solar mileage? The Feed-In Tariff from the Government is ending at the end of March 2019, so the calculation would be the capital cost eg £3,770 for a typical solar system that would generate about 2,800 kWh a year. Although this would not all be generated at the time when the car needs charging EVs are ideally suited to capturing solar electricity when it is available for use later, so the annual mileage calculation would be the cost of electricity for periods when the sun is not shining, but a charge is vital. 

    These owners can also benefit by joining Zap Map/Yourparking space scheme to allow others to charge. 

    8. Cost of public chargepoints eg Source London?

    Other networks are listed on Zap Maps, including Polar, Ubitricity, Ecotricity. Zap Maps also links to an app with Yourparking space that allows you to book a place to charge.

     9. Congestion Zone. From April 2019 the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), will cost high polluting vehicles a toxic surcharge, with the congestion charge added (during the times of day it is applicable), for motorists with non-compliant cars £24 a day. And the ULEZ will be expanded up to the North and South Circular roads for cars and vans in 2021. Electric vehicles will continue to be £0.

    10. Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for Vehicles first sold after April 2017 are subject to a cost of £140 a year from the second year Electric Vehicles priced at less than £40,00 have £0 VED so long as “electricity must come from an external source or an electric storage battery not connected to any source of power when the vehicle is moving to be exempt.

    11. Service costs, according to eco-cars faqs are “very, very low, as there’s no oil, clutches, pistons, spark plugs, belts etc. Most EVs require a yearly check on the brakes, tyres, lights and a pollen filter change (this keeps the inside of the car smelling nice!). All it costs is around £100 for a yearly check over.

  • Drivers are used to checking their fuel gauge and finding a garage with petrol/diesel before they run out. Potentially this should be easier with electric vehicles, particularly for drivers with suitable parking places adjacent to their homes but also many business premises, car parks and local roads are suitable for charging points, compared with a limited number of garages. Zap Maps is the main go-to map to find where the nearest public chargepoint is, and whether it is working, engaged, the charge type etc.

    Baseline of chargepoints and current issues – as well as insufficient chargepoints across the country there are compatibility issues between different systems and EVs, and memberships required to access charge points.

    Laws to improve provision UK wide – The Automated and Electric Vehicle Act (AEV) 2018. “….aims to ensure that all publicly accessible charge points are accessed by the widest section of the population.” The official announcement says that “The new laws will improve consumer confidence in charging their vehicles by:
    – making sure that public chargepoints are compatible with all vehicles
    – standardising how they are paid for
    – setting standards for reliability”

    London wide actions  – to address the problems in London The London Shared Delivery Taskforce , run by TfL, was convened in Summer 2018, consisting of energy and fuel businesses and experts in chargepoints, motoring, freight and local authorities. + London Councils. The taskforce aims to “encourage the boroughs, Government and all those involved in the taskforce to work together and redouble efforts to install vital rapid charging points and help tackle London’s filthy air. Encouraging more Londoners to make the switch from diesel to electric cars is vital to tackling the city’s air pollution and realising the Mayor’s ambition of becoming a zero-emission city.” The taskforce is focussing particularly on a comprehensive and consistent provision of public chargepoints, but also facilitating home charging and business charging.”

    Electric Streets – increasing concern about air pollution and climate breakdown is leading to trials to ban petrol and diesel from some streets, particularly near schools. The Guardian Aug 2018 reported on plans to ban petrol and diesel cars to incentivise more electric cars.

    “This ground-breaking proposal for ‘electric streets’ – the first of its kind in the UK – will prioritise low-pollution transport such as electric cars and cut polluting vehicles during peak hours in the streets surrounding Central Foundation Boys school in Islington – the most polluted state secondary in London.” TfL confirmed the delivery plan for Rivington St off Gt Eastern St.

  • Public chargepoints, provided by Local Authorities, can currently be incompatible with charging connectors, charging speeds and payment methods. SSE had hoped to install 6,000 chargepoints across London by Sept 2018 for Source London (owned by Bollore), according to The Guardian, but said that they are being held up by council slow decision-making and bureaucracy and fitted just 762.

    Concerns about detriment to public realm –  badly sited chargepoints on pavements can present an obstacle to wheelchair users, pram pushers and partially sited people, where they allow insufficient room to get through safely, and drivers should not be expected to go into the road to charge their vehicles. The Islington Gazette published an article  about the issues with the EV charging points in July 2018 “Electric vehicle chargers: Rapid charge points cluttering up Islington’s pavements ‘could cost blind pedestrians their independence’” And where drivers lay an electric cable over the pavement to charge this presents a trip hazard.

    Another concern is that the electricity supplied by SSE will not be new renewable electricity.

    Alternatives to pavement chargepoints

    EVfleetworld in Aug 2018 reported on the TfL contract to roll out 1,150 new chargepoints by the end of 2020. There are two contracts for chargepoints with dedicated power (eg a new post), four for those with shared power (eg an existing lamppost) including a company that asks residents which lamppost they want to connect to.  BP’s Chargemaster PLC, Dutch company Allego, Swarco (eVolt) and Bollore Group subsidiary Bluepoint London have contracts to install units with a dedicated power supply. Four companies – British startup Char.gy, Siemens (in partnership with Ubitricity), solar power specialist Joju, and Swarco – also have contracts to install points using a ‘shared power supply’, such as utilising a lamp post. And Ubitricity offers customers “a green electricity contract with a provider of their choice and charge green electricity at all Ubitricity charging spots.”

    As well as avoiding an issue of reduced parking for petrol/diesel vehicles the replacement of traditional bulbs offer Local Authorities a large reduction in electricity bills and an opportunity for income from drivers charging – though again not necessarily 100% renewable.

    Another solution to big chargepoints is an ‘armadillo’ in the gutter. Connected Kerb have a solution where they use renewable electricity and go under the pavement to provide a neater road side armadillo, at a low installation cost.

    Electric Streets – increasing concern about air pollution and climate breakdown is leading to trails to ban petrol and diesel from some streets, particularly near schools. The Guardian Aug 2018 reported on plans to ban petrol and diesel cars to incentivise more electric cars.

    “This ground-breaking proposal for ‘electric streets’ – the first of its kind in the UK – will prioritise low-pollution transport such as electric cars and cut polluting vehicles during peak hours in the streets surrounding Central Foundation Boys school in Islington – the most polluted state secondary in London.” TfL confirmed the delivery plan for Rivington St off Gt Eastern St.

  • Across London 48% of households have access to off-street parking compared to the national average of 84% (PwC, Charging ahead! April 2018).

    For new residential developments the current London Plan at 6.13 D a) requires 1 in 5 spaces to provide an electrical charging point and the incoming London Plan at T6.1C  will mandate “All residential car parking spaces must provide infrastructure for electric or Ultra-Low Emission vehicles. At least 20 per cent of spaces should have active charging facilities, with passive provision for all remaining spaces”. However residential developments in different Public Transport Accessibility Levels (PTAL – a way of measuring the density of the public transport network) – have varying quotas of parking allowed, many will be required to be ‘car free’.

    Home owners can typically buy home chargers when they buy an electrical vehicle, or go to Chargemaster Homecharge . Just Energy Solutions will install Anderson, Schneider or Rolec chargepoints and Energyeasy specialise in installing chargepoints. Chargepoints at domestic premises are eligible for 75% towards the cost under the UK Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.

    How long does it typically take to charge at home? IBC Solar have this useful chart.

    Concerns about EV chargepoints at peoples homes include the worry that people will want to convert grassed front areas into parking or have more homes allowed to have a dropped kerb, which can sometimes reduce the number of parking places in a road.

    Another concern is that the extra electricity will mean that fossil fuel electricity, particularly from coal will increase, so it is vital that EV drivers use as much 100% renewable electricity as possible for EVs. The Green Electricity Marketplace and  10:10’s Big Clean Switch are easy ways to switch to 100% renewable electricity, triggering production of more. And prices are not necessarily higher than the Big Six, as they are not subject to increases when fossil fuel prices rise.

    One opportunity from charging from home will be Vehicle to Grid (V2G) contracts. For Ovo customers with a Nissan Leaf  there is an electricity product trial  using local solar or other renewable source and involving 1,000 households and specially developed charger technology. “Our V2G Charger stores electricity in your Nissan LEAF battery when it’s cheaper and more likely to have been produced by renewable sources1, then sells energy back to the grid when it’s in demand, which might even save you enough to charge your car for free”……. “This groundbreaking trial is completely free,” and “we’ll pay you at your electricity unit rate + 6p for every kWh sold back to the grid.“

    And EDF has a similar offer for 1,500 customers.

    Another opportunity is to allow other EV owners to charge at your premises, using an app such as Zap Home.

  • – The Automated and Electric Vehicle Act (AEV) 2018 at 11 (2) is due to allow Mayors to request installations at large fuel retailers in their areas “may, for example (a) require large fuel retailers or service area operators to provide public charging or refuelling points. (Regulations under subsection (1))

    At the same time Shell has started introducing Shell Recharge chargepoints on some forecourts.

    BP has bought Chargemaster and Freewire and has tested mobile charging on forecourts. “Using FreeWire’s mobile system we can respond very quickly and provide charging facilities at forecourts where we see the greatest demand without needing to make significant investments in today’s fixed technologies and infrastructure. The opportunity also to explore options for providing charging services away from our existing retail sites makes FreeWire an ideal partner for BP.”

  • Increasingly businesses, schools, hospitals etc will be expected to provide electric charging for customers and staff, with the opportunity to make a profit and/or enhance their reputation. Zero carbon world have offered businesses free chargepoints for businesses where customers spend about three hours (installation costs apply).  Polar instant also specialises in providing chargepoints at business premises, to be part of the Polar Network.

  • Most motor manufacturers have electric models – from modest, through mainstream to prestige.

    Where to find more information – especially for those unfamiliar with EVs

    The EV Experience Centre in Milton Keynes is “the UK’s first brand neutral centre dedicated to electric vehicles and our aim is to provide completely free education and advice about electric and plug-in vehicles. Based in centre of Milton Keynes, we also offer visitors the chance to test drive a range of different electric and plug-in cars on the market.” In Oct 2018, for instance, they offered test drives in:
    – BMW i3
    – KIA Soul EV
    – Renault Zoe
    – Volkswagen e-Golf
    – Volkswagen 2-Up
    – Plug In EVs: KIA Niro PHEV and KIA Optima PHEV

    EV Roadshows popped up during Green GB Week in Oct 2018 in Durham, Nottingham, Bournemouth and Bristol. And LCV Cenex hold exhibitions of EVs.

    TryEV have a carousel of electric car and motorbike models for purchase or finance term. They arrange test drives and can deliver purchased cars as required.

    Tesla also has a showroom in Brent Cross with current models and waiting lists for future models.

    In light of the importance to UK people of cleaning the air and contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases increasingly community groups, such as the Highgate Society and individuals will be needed to spread the word about electric vehicles.

Q: What would move the UK to electric vehicles fastest?
A: Despite policies and support from the Governments, London and Local Authorities there are also disincentives and not enough knowledge by drivers yet to make informed choices about their next car. To move to electric vehicles as quickly as possible some actions follow for 1) the Government, 2) GLA and Local Authorities and 3) Businesses 4) individuals - but these are not exhaustive:
  • The UK Government could:

    a) Encourage UK Car makers to make more low carbon vehicles with an attractive investment environment. – the BEIS commons select committee called “on the Government to work to create an attractive investment environment that will encourage manufacturers to locate new EV facilities in the UK.” This would be for new manufacturers including Dyson (due to build in Singapore) and River Simple Rasa (based in Wales) as well as for existing plants retooling for electric models.

    b) Apply meaningful testing to encourage more low emission vehicles and discourage any more polluting vehicles. Emissions Analytics test the emissions of petrol and diesel models under real conditions, showing that categories such as ‘diesel’ and ‘hybrid’ do not identify high and low polluters without proper testing.

    b.1) Ban the sale of new models that fail real world tests where NOx pollution is above.06gm per km or PM10 is above .005gm per km (Euro 6 limit based on petrol lab test). When the EUpassed the legislation to bring in Real World Driving Emission (RWED) tests they also raised pollutant limits but using these original limits, but based on Real World Testing would protect against the actual sky high levels of pollution along actual roads.

    b.2) Introduce a labelling scheme telling car buyers of real world emissions and publicity of this data, such as the Mayor of London’s clean vehicle checker site. The announcement from TfL explained that it will provide “robust and independent ‘on the road and real-world’ emissions testing provided by Emissions Analytics and the International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT)”.

    b.3) Use MOTs to test emissions per vehicle and ban vehicles that emit more than permitted levels of NO2 and PMs. EU Directive 2014/45/EU on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailersrequired the DVSA/Dept Transport, by May 2017 to introduce legislation for much improved air quality tests in MOTs from May 2018. This could have been the point at which MOTs could use updated smoke test technology to be more sensitive – according to The Guardian in April 2016 but the opportunity was lost.

    c) Use taxation to encourage more electric vehicles and discourage polluting ones 

    and extend the clean air fund for London from the proceeds, (The Guardian Nov 2017.)

    c.1) Replace tax on petrol and diesel with one that taxes mileage per fuel type, using smart technology eg diesel miles would be more than petrol miles, electric miles from fossil fuel electricity would be more than from renewable sources. The total take could be more than current fuel tax.

    c.2) Make tax on diesel fuel at least as much per mile as on petrol, as an interim measure. The Treasury keeps fuel tax on diesel at 58p a litre, the same as for petrol – encouraging motorists to buy diesel cars for the cheaper fuel, whilst the IPPR/Greenpeace report Lethal and Illegal explains that “Diesel vehicles, even those at Euro 6 standard, are too polluting……..

    c.3) Reform vehicle excise duty (VED) for existing vehicles from current rates to the former banding to incentivise zero emission vehicles. The Treasury decides on vehicle excise duty levels and changed the rates for new cars from April 2017 from ‘polluter pay’ levels that depended on carbon emissions, ranging from £0 for up to 100g/km of C02 to £1,100 for over 255g/km CO2 to £145 a year for all models (after the first year that will range from £10 to £1,000). See Money Savings Expert for full rates.

    c.4) Cease subsidising fossil fuel to have a level playing field – or at least do not compare clean projects for energy and transport against high polluting alternatives, where the bill is picked up by the tax payer.

    d) Invest in research to maximise low pollution vehicles

    d.1) Research retrofitting high polluting diesel cars. Flexerent considers this.  

    d.2) Expedite research and study of and mitigation of Brakes and Tyres emissions to human health and Ocean health.

    d.3)Research how best to compensate drivers who bought high polluting models, based on misleading information eg review the TfL Proposal for a National Vehicle Scrappage Fund.

    d.4) Review research spend on ‘Driverless’ vehicles in terms of the problem being solved (eg climate breakdown v accidents due to humans) the costs required and the likelihood of solutions. The Industrial Strategy White paper, updated in June 2018 says (p50)  “The government wants to see fully self-driving cars on the UK roads by 2021” and that “Building on the corridor’s expertise in driverless vehicle technologies, the government recently announced a £6.9m investment in a driverless vehicle testing infrastructure scheme involving the Culham Science Park in Oxfordshire and the Millbrook proving ground in Bedfordshire.  

    e) Require Require all ‘last mile’ deliveries to be zero carbon vehicles/bikes/scooters etc in areas of high pollution with a high fine for non compliance, as per the GLA and Innovate UK

     f) Use Litigation to address misleading sales of polluting vehicles

    Take legal action to make the car industry pays for the ill health, deaths and loss of value to drivers for their cheating. The Guardian reported in Nov 2017 that“Angela Merkel secured €550m out of the car industry to pay for a clean air fund, whereas the £220m announced by the chancellor yesterday is going to be paid for by taxpayers?” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/23/london-cannot-bid-for-national-clean-air-funding-mayor-says

    g) Easy access to suitable chargepoints

    g.1) Ensure that there is consistency across EV chargepoints in terms of connectivity and payment (joining up to not exclude drivers)

    g.2) All publicly accessible car parking areas to have EV charging points by 2030, including by induction pads/coils

  • The Mayor of London is introducing Healthy Streets London to get Londoners to reduce their reliance on driving.   It outlines some practical steps to achieve this, including:

    • improving local environments by providing more space for walking and cycling, and better public spaces where people can interact
    • prioritising better and more affordable public transport and safer and more appealing routes for walking and cycling
    • planning new developments so people can walk or cycle to local shops, schools and workplaces, and have good public transport links for longer journeys

    For drivers who still need cars and vans The London Shared Delivery Taskforce is focussingon a comprehensive and consistent provision of public chargepoints, but also facilitating home charging and business charging.”

    Rolling out public chargepoint across London – according to EVfleetworld in Aug 2018, TfL have awarded chargepoint contracts across London to BP’s Chargemaster PLC, Dutch company Allego, Swarco (eVolt) and Bollore Group subsidiary Bluepoint London (trading name of Source London) for new posts and Char.gy, Siemens (in partnership with Ubitricity), Joju, and Swarco for points such as utilising existing power eg at lamp posts. However The Guardian in Sept 2018 claimed that London Councils were holding up the rollout of chargepoints.

     

    Taking information about the transition to electric vehicles to Londoners – Why, How, When etc. Pop up exhibitions would be effective, such as the Green GB Week EV Roadshows, taken to places where Londoners congregate eg public squares, parks and festivals.

    Banning cars in areas and at times where pollution is exceptionally high could be introduced, as applied in Paris. The Guardian reported in Dec 2016 that the alternating traffic rule is only introduced after four consecutive days of continuous high pollution and then vehicles with odd-number licence plates and the even numbers are banned on alternate days. EVs to be exempt from this.

     

    Moving all public authority and contractor fleets to electric. For instance Haringey is investigating options to move its own fleet to electric. The Energy Saving Trust will undertake free fleet 15 analysis and support the development of a business case for lower emitting vehicles on the Council’s and Homes for Haringey’s fleets.

    Enabling Local Authorities to require all ‘last mile’ deliveries to be zero carbon eg cargo bike, electric van.  

  • Uber is helping it’s drivers switch to electric vehicles, with a passenger surcharge and a dedicated Uber charging network eg around airports etc, aiming for a fully electric Uber by 2025. As at Oct 2018 it offers Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul or Hyundai Ioniq for rental or lease (from £99 a week). It claims to Uber drivers that electric charging is less stressful than filling up with petrol and that maintenance costs and time out of service are minimal. It seems that the extra 15p a mile will be ringfenced by the drivers to put towards an electric car, or handed back to Uber if they leave. One example is of a driver doing 9,781 miles of work saving 1.1 ton of CO2 but, with central London traffic increasing since Uber came to town the effects on air pollution are likely to be significant.

     Ikea is just one member of the RE100 initiative and Companies joining RE100 set a public goal to source 100% of their global electricity consumption from renewable sources by a specified year.”  Ikea states that “Almost half of our stores have solar PV installations, reducing our electricity costs and carbon footprint. By 2020, we will generate more renewable energy than we consume in our operations.” and “IKEA Group also offers customers affordable home solar systems in five markets, giving people the opportunity to be part of a low-carbon movement.“ Ikea was also one of the successful installer of Phase 1 of the GLA Solar Together programme.

    Companies can benefit from 75% grant for new chargepoints up to £500 under the Workplace charging scheme, for use of employees, visitors and their fleet (but not customers) according to Zap Map which also has a car tax calculator for businesses.

    Employees and customers for companies big and small can enquire as to how soon they can migrate their company cars to all electric and whether they have the space to provide chargepoints, ideally fed by solar pv panels.

  • Walk and cycle more, as advocated by Living Streets , quoting Hippocrates

    Walking is man’s best medicine.”

    Plan for your next car to be a green car

    Switch your electricity to come from 100% renewable source. Transition Highgate has more information about green switching and how much carbon other electricity providers have.

    Ask your employer to move to electric vehicles and renewable electricity

    Ask companies where you spend money to move to electric vehicles and renewable electricity.

    Lobby your local authority to contract for 100% fossil free electricity for their public charging points