EVC news – What’s going on with Electric Vehicle Charging in the UK?
We have very little time left to turn climate change around and get it under control. Road traffic is one of the worst climate offenders. But electric vehicles come at a premium price. No wonder we’re hearing increasing appeals for the UK government to subsidise electric cars and help ordinary people on ordinary incomes do their bit. Here’s the EVC news for you.
Did you know electric vehicle tech dates back to the 1800s?
You’d be forgiven for assuming that electric vehicles are a brand new thing, invented to help fix the runaway climate change we’re facing. But you’d be wrong. The world’s focus on the internal combustion was a choice, and as we now know it turned out to be a terrible one. Take a look at this quote from Scientific American magazine, dating back to 1895:
“The electric carriage has made a good record for speed, and the great ease of control and the absence of noise and odor will commend it to those who are anxious to purchase horseless carriages ”
The 1895 Salom Electrobat was an early electric vehicle. It was invented by the chemist Pedro Salom and the engineer Henry Morris, who were awarded the first ever US patent for an electric car. It had front wheel drive and rear wheel steering, three gears and a reverse gear, and the battery weighed in at 159 kg. Its two 1.5 hp motors achieved speeds of 15 mph and a charged battery could keep you going for 25 miles. You can find out more about the Electrobat and more fascinating historic electric cars here.
Electric car technologies of various kinds have been tinkered with, perfected and released regularly over the subsequent 130 or so years. There was even a fleet of electric cabs in use in London 125 years ago, putting the Victorians way ahead of us. Sadly, the technology never really took off. Now it’s essential that it does.
Oxford’s exciting new EV charging hub
It’s predicted to be the most powerful EVC hub in Europe, it is set to open in the city of Oxford by the end of 2021, and this is the first of 40 such facilities planned for the UK. The new Oxford EVC hub represents a vital element in the city’s plans to launch the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone, which pilots in August 2021.
The hub will provide as much as 10MW of power, at first powering 38 fast and ultra-rapid chargers including ten Fastned 300kW chargers, twelve Tesla 250kW Supercharges and sixteen Wenea 7-22kW charge points.
Over time things will be scaled up to meet increasing local EVC needs.
The site, planned for Redbridge Park and Ride, is the only British EV charging hub so far to be directly connected to the high voltage national electricity grid, which means there won’t be any expensive local electricity network upgrades.
A look into the future – Plans to power electric vehicles as they drive
Experts at Cornell University in the USA are busy developing technology that might be able to an electric car while it’s moving. The idea is roads could be embedded with metal plates – a sort of charging lane – that charge vehicles as they drive over them. Apparently we’re looking at a five year wait until the tech can be rolled out, but the idea has already been proved able to ‘power most electric vehicles’.
Ofgem says 24% of Brits want to buy electric cars – but they’re too pricey
It looks like one in four of us would love to buy an electric car some time in the next five years, but they’re too expensive for most people. Over a third of those asked can’t handle the cost, and that puts the fight against climate change in a very tough position, unable to move forwards as far as electric cars are concerned.
24% of those asked in the Ofgem study, a whopping 6.5m people, want to buy an electric or hybrid car. 38% said they were ‘unlikely’ to switch to electric, with the biggest barrier being the cost, quoted by 60% of people. 38% are worried about short EV battery life and 36% are concerned about the lack of available EVC points. It’s no surprise when, as reported by the Northern Scot, electric car drivers are facing a ‘postcode lottery’ for electric vehicle charging.
Multiple businesses kick of EVC tech projects
The government might be dragging its heels over subsidising electric and hybrid cars, but around the world a multitude of companies are getting stuck into exploring the options for EVC. These include Bureau Veritas, Daf, Evgo, UL, and Skanska, to name but a few.
At the same time Arsenal is installing EVC for fans at the Emirates Stadium and Ford has joined forces with Britain’s smallest town, Fordwich, to encourage more people in rural communities to make the switch to electric cars. The town’s 380 residents will sit at the heart of the motor giant’s launch of their first bespoke electric offering, the Mustang Mach-E. And there’s more… the forward-thinking South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has just added two electric Kia e-Niros to its emergency response fleet.
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