Birmingham Clean Air Zone charges begin

Clean Air Zone charges in Birmingham started on Monday, June 14, following the last-minute announcement of a two-week grace period. No charges or fines have been imposed for the first fortnight after the original launch date of June 1.

From Monday, cars, taxis and vans that do not meet Clean Air Zone emission standards will be charged £8 a day, and non-compliant coaches, buses and lorries will be charged £50 per day.

Payments can be paid online using the Government’s payment system or over the phone by calling 0300 029 8888 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 4.30pm).

You can use the Government website to check your vehicle to see if it will get charged.

Source: Birmingham Mail


Zap-Map includes Apple CarPlay as part of new app release

The latest app update from ZapMap is welcome news for retailers, although customers will need to subscribe to access its services. The app now supports Apple CarPlay (Android Auto to follow) and gives EV drivers in car access to find their closest public chargers, plan routes and much more.

Full article: Zap Map


UK in talks with six companies over battery ‘gigafactories’ for electric cars

Six companies are in talks with the UK about building so-called gigafactories for production of batteries for electric cars in moves that could secure the future of Britain’s automobile industry, according to the Financial Times.

Carmakers Ford and Nissan, conglomerates LG and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in discussions with the UK government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, according to people briefed on the talks.

British research institutions, such as the Battery Innovation Center and the Faraday Institution, are seen as key levers to attract investment in battery manufacturing. But the UK risks being outgunned by the EU, which has prepared a large incentive package to woo battery makers. While the UK government has a £500m fund to help finance battery plants, the EU has assembled a €2.9bn war chest, with countries such as France and Germany offering additional money to augment their attractiveness. […]

Source: Financial Times


UK consumers think EVs beat petrol in several areas – except convenience

Data from YouGov Direct indicates that the general public feel that electric cars outperform petrol cars in a number of key areas – except when it comes to convenience.

For all the positivity around the features of electric cars, a major sticking point for Britons when it comes to EVs is the hassle associated with charging a car compared to filling it up with petrol. A comfortable majority of the public thinks battery-powered vehicles are more inconvenient to run than petrol cars (64%), while just 14% think petrol cars are worse in this area.

The British public is more likely to say they are superior in every other area. In terms of acceleration, three in five believe they perform the same or better (59%), while just a fifth say they are worse (19%). When it comes to handling, more than three in five (62%) say electric cars handle at similar or superior levels, with just 12% saying they are inferior.

This extends to aesthetics: in terms of exterior design, three-quarters say they look the same or better (76%); when asked about interior design, four in five (80%) think they’re superior, while just 7% think they look inferior.

According to YouGov, Britons are also more likely to think that electric cars represent a better investment on a day-to-day basis than petrol cars. Half of the public think electric cars cost less to run than petrol cars (51%) – although a fifth (18%) think they cost about the same and 16% say they cost more.

When drivers were asked about the barriers to buying an electric car, the major problems do tend to revolve around convenience and charging. YouGov Profiles shows that, while the top challenge for Britons with a driving license is the initial cost (26%), half of the top ten reasons to avoid buying an electric car all have to do with charging the battery.

A quarter think there aren’t enough charging stations (24%), while a fifth think charging takes too long or is too much hassle (21%). Nearly as many (17%) say that the battery doesn’t last long enough or that the cost of charging at home presents a problem (16%).

Source: YouGov


Gigafactories: Europe tools up against US and Asia as a car battery force

Surrounded by a forest of tall green pine trees, 125 miles south of the Arctic circle, a giant electric battery factory is rapidly taking shape on a site as big as 71 football pitches.

The project will be a gigafactory, a term coined by Tesla founder Elon Musk to describe his first high-volume plant for producing lithium-ion electric battery cells, deep in the Nevada desert.

Startup Northvolt, co-founded by two former Tesla executives, is in Skellefteå, a much chillier location, in northern Sweden.

But from here, as well as a base in Västerås just outside Stockholm, it is hoping to provide a quarter of Europe’s electric batteries, as demand for electric vehicles surges amidst the global race to cut carbon emissions.

By 2030, 40% of all new cars sold will be electric according to the latest forecast by the investment bank UBS, rising to almost 100% of the new car market by 2040.

Source: BBC News


H2Offroader: Land Rover unveils its prototype electric Defender powered by hydrogen

Jaguar Land Rover is stepping on the gas with a new hydrogen-fuelled electric 4X4, the British car maker has announced.

The zero-emissions prototype Defender uses the hydrogen in a fuel-cell chemical reaction to generate electricity which then powers electric motors to drive the wheels of the off-roader.

The project confirms that the British marque looks set to follow rival 4X4 maker Ineos Automotive, which has said its ‘green’ version of the forthcoming Grenadier offroader will be hydrogen electric rather than using heavy lithium-ion battery packs.

Source: Daily Mail


With Electric Car Investment, David Beckham Did It for the Trucks

David Beckham was not in the original business plan.

When Lunaz Group said on June 3 that the celebrity footballer had purchased a 10% stake in its business converting Rolls-Royces and Bentleys into electric vehicles, the company had already announced backing from Jamie Reuben, the son of British billionaire investor David Reuben; Alistair Barclay, the son of David Barclay, who’s one-half of the British billionaire “Barclay Twins”; and Alexander Dellal, the grandson of Jack “Black Jack” Dellal, who at the time of his death in 2012 was one of the wealthiest men in England. In April, Lunaz’s 63 employees had moved into a 44,000-square-foot space, five times larger than its original facility. […]

Source: Bloomberg


China’s electric car leaders predict new energy vehicles will dominate the local market by 2030

“New energy vehicles” will dominate the world’s largest auto market in about ten years, two executives from major Chinese electric car companies has predicted.

New energy vehicles refer to battery-powered and hybrid cars. The category accounted for more than 10% of new car sales in China in March, and grew to 11.4% in May, said Wang Chuanfu, founder of BYD.

He forecast that the penetration rate would surge to more than 70% in 2030. That’s according to a transcript the company provided of his remarks at the China Auto Chongqing Summit held June 12 and 13.

Source: CNBC


New Zealand unveils $8,600 subsidy for electric vehicles to reduce emissions

The New Zealand government is introducing subsidies to make electric vehicles thousands of dollars cheaper and new petrol and diesel cars more expensive, as the country tries transition to an emissions-free fleet.

The changes follow New Zealand’s Climate Commission recommendations which laid out sweeping changes required to get the country closer to its emissions targets. The subsidies for electric and some hybrid vehicles would be up to NZ$8,625 (£4,360) for new vehicles and NZ$3,450 (£1,744) for used cars. They will start next month.

Transport now makes up almost 33% of long-lived greenhouse gas emissions in Aotearoa, and last week, the Climate Commission laid out new benchmarks for the country to transform the makeup of its fleet. The commission’s recommended plan included banning imports of petrol and diesel cars by 2032, and that road transport be almost completely decarbonised by 2050. To meet its goal for transport emissions, the commission concluded electric vehicles would need to make up half of all light vehicle registrations by 2029, and 100% by 2035.

Source: The Guardian