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RoSPA study says e-scooters far safer than bicycles

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By Farooq Beloch, WhichEV 
As a new study from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reveals that electric scooters are five times safer than bicycles: Are we about to see new legislation which revolutionises inner city travel?
Given that scooters are likely to be limited on speed, not raw power – will the UK Government allow for a broader definition of ‘electric scooter’, that might open up new ‘last mile’ delivery options for companies that want to show their green credentials?

Veolia rolls out its first renewable-fuelled fleet

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Broadland District Council has announced the launch of a contract for all waste collection services including residual, recycling and food waste and for street cleaning with Veolia – which is deploying a renewably-fuelled fleet for the first time.

The 10 year contract that started in April 2022 has an option for an extension of up to a further 10 years.

Reducing energy consumption and reaching carbon neutrality is essential for combating climate change and the new contract includes a commitment to reduce operational emissions and to develop low carbon solutions. This supports Broadland District Council’s priority to protect the environment and for continuous environmental improvement.

Every vehicle in the fleet is fully powered by Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a bio-based liquid fuel made from vegetable oils and animal fats. HVO is a low carbon, low emission, fossil-free and sustainable alternative to conventional fossil diesel which eliminates up to 90% of net CO2 and reduces nitrogen oxide (NOX), particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions.

HVO fuel is fully interchangeable with conventional diesel and can be used pure or blended with fossil diesel if required. The fleet in the Broadland district will be solely powered by HVO in a first for Veolia in the UK.

Councillor Judy Leggett, portfolio holder for Environmental Excellence, said: “We’re very pleased to be continuing our very successful working relationship with Veolia through the award of this major new contract. The contract brings together an excellent service for residents with innovative new approaches which will help to make our waste and recycling services more effective and even more environmentally friendly. This new contract will help drive us towards our aim of being carbon neutral well ahead of the Government’s 2050 target.”

Pascal Hauret, Managing Director Municipal, Veolia UK said: “We’re delighted to launch our first fully HVO powered fleet in Broadland. HVO significantly reduces CO2 emissions so this is a hugely positive step in our shared commitment to net zero. Importantly, whilst the availability of HVO is still limited in the UK, Veolia has secured a guaranteed supply for the entire contract term.”

The new contract also offers residents an enhanced service with the introduction of weekly kerbside collections of small electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and textile collections.

The Council will continue to roll out food waste collections and will now be able to achieve its goal of food waste collections to all Broadland residents in 2023.

The WhichEV guide to EV charging made easy

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Charging your EV should be easy. In fact, it should be as easy as the experience people have putting petrol in their internal combustion cars. But some of the time it isn’t. This is frequently used by EV haters as an excuse to avoid switching to an EV, or even to vocally criticise them on social media.

However, a lot of this is merely a cultural change. In the same way that you need to avoid putting petrol in your diesel car (and vice versa), an EV owner needs to know their CHAdeMO from their CCS, their AC from their DC, and other characteristics of their vehicle’s charging capabilities. This WhichEV guide is here to help you navigate the cultural shift, to help you make EV charging easier.

Click here to read the full article.

EV sales for March up 79% year-on-year

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By James Morris, WhichEV

Almost 40,000 new electric cars were registered in March 2022, an increase of 79% on the previous year.

While the increase was spread across a number of popular models from Stellantis, VW and Hyundai – the sales data from Tesla really stood out.

Considering the average price of a new petrol or diesel car in 2021 was around £22,000, the big sellers in March 2022 were the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 – occupying number 1 and 2 spots for March.

On a ‘year-to-date’ basis, they are now the 6th and 7th best selling cars, respectively. What makes that unusual, is that a Model 3 will cost you an average of £45,000 and the Model Y closer to £55,000.

In the past, that kind of money would normally be reserved for executive cars from Mercedes, Lexus and BMW – none of which have a model in the Top 10 so far this year.

Looking at the growth in EV sales, it’s worth noting that the overall car market declined by more than 14% – driven mostly by a drop of more than 55% in diesel registrations.

With diesel prices close to £1.80 a litre and most energy suppliers still offering electricity at lower rates overnight, we’re only going to see an increase in momentum from polluting, fossil fuel cars to cleaner, cheaper-to-run EVs.

Rapidly declining resale values on fossil fuel cars, over the coming years, will only see the rate of change accelerating.

Click here to read more.

Industry welcomes £450m government EV charge point investment

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By James Morris, WhichEV

More EVs were sold in 2021 than in the previous decade. With close to 450,000 EVs on our roads today, the 30,000 public chargers that are available to the public are clearly not enough.

To help bridge the gap, the Government has confirmed a direct contribution of £450 million alongside a massive investment from the private sector. This programme has been driven by the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, and has been applauded by industry leaders like Ian Johnston from Osprey Charging.

WhichEV looks at the details and evaluates the impact this money is likely to have – Click here to read more.

Electrification of van fleets ‘requires new approach’

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New managerial solutions may be needed for some fleets in order to overcome the inherent operational limitations of van electrification.

That’s according to Peter Golding, managing director at the fleet software specialist Fleet Check, who says it’s becoming clear that compromises in terms of range and payload would have unavoidable real world impacts for a significant minority of operators.

He explained: “Fleets have found that car electrification is a relatively simple affair. Electric cars can simply be substituted for their petrol and diesel equivalents in the vast majority of cases with no real issues.

“For some van operators, the situation is similar. If your driver has access to home charging and your eLCV covers no more than perhaps 120 miles in a day with a light load, then everything is relatively simple.

“However, if you need vans to cover long motorway journeys with a full load on a cold day, and your driver is one of the many who don’t have access to off-street parking and therefore can’t have a charger fitted, then the picture is quite different.

“For some fleets, this means that electric vans are simply incompatible with their current operations. A few are hanging on to see whether hydrogen will emerge as an alternative but that remains a marginal choice because of the absence of refuelling infrastructure. The bottom line is that new operational solutions may need to be found to enable electrification. The way in which your fleet is currently organised and used may no longer be appropriate.”

Golding said that fleets were beginning to discuss a range of possible options, with some very creative thinking being proposed.

“One idea that is gaining some traction is the possibility of using vans as shared transport resources. This could work for courier companies, for example. Instead of three electric vans being used on the same long delivery route, three could be shared across shorter runs.

“There is also talk of exploring what is called backloading in the heavy goods world where an effort is made to ensure that no vehicle returns from a long delivery run with an empty payload, instead being effectively rented to a third party.”

Golding added that new approaches may also need to be adopted that would change the working day of employees, building charging times into how their work is structured.

“Most route planning is currently undertaken on the basis that mileage and payload are effectively limitless but that will obviously change. It could be that routes will need to be planned where driver breaks are planned around access to charging points and indeed, this is something that is already happening on fleets where eLCVs are being adopted.”

Golding concluded that the fleet sector needed to be open about this subject in general and adopt an approach of knowledge sharing, where best practise experience was widely discussed.

“The fact is that, outside of a few major businesses, electric vans remain something of a rarity and operational experience is so far relatively limited. What is needed is a very open level of discussion about the real world solutions that are enabling fleets to operate most effectively.

“We are certainly encouraging this across our user base and some other organisations, notably the AFP, are also establishing excellent forums. Van electrification means that fleet management will have to change for some fleets, and the key to a successful shift over the next few years will be identifying solutions that work for all.”

Ford reveals plans to ramp European EV offering

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Ford has confirmed that it will launch a new generation of seven, all-electric, fully-connected passenger vehicles and vans by 2024, building on the recent creation of the Model e business unit tasked with the design, production and distribution of EVs.

Ford says expects its annual sales of electric vehicles in Europe to exceed 600,000 units in 2026, and also reaffirmed its intention to deliver a 6 per cent EBIT margin in Europe in 2023.

The acceleration in Europe supports Ford’s goal to sell more than 2 million EVs globally by 2026 and deliver company adjusted EBIT margin of 10 per cent.

The company also says the plans boost its global stratgey to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Ford is targeting zero emissions for all vehicle sales in Europe and carbon neutrality across its European footprint of facilities, logistics and suppliers by 2035.

“Our march toward an all-electric future is an absolute necessity for Ford to meet the mobility needs of customers across a transforming Europe,” said Stuart Rowley, chair, Ford of Europe. “It’s also about the pressing need for greater care of our planet, making a positive contribution to society and reducing emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.”

“I am delighted to see the pace of change in Europe – challenging our entire industry to build better, cleaner and more digital vehicles. Ford is all-in and moving fast to meet the demand in Europe and around the globe,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “This is why we have created Ford Model e – allowing us to move at the speed of a start-up to build electric vehicles that delight and offer connected services unique to Ford and that are built with Ford-grade engineering and safety.”

The seven new EVs follow the European introduction of the all-electric Mach-E in 2021 and Mach-E GT this year, plus the launch of the E-Transit in the next quarter.

Starting in 2023, Ford will begin production of an all-new electric passenger vehicle, a medium-sized crossover, built in Cologne with a second electric vehicle added to the Cologne production line-up in 2024. In addition, Ford’s top-selling passenger vehicle in Europe, the Ford Puma, will be available as an electric version made in Craiova, Romania, starting in 2024.

Ford’s Transit range will include four new electric models – the all-new Transit Custom one-tonne van and Tourneo Custom multi-purpose vehicle in 2023, and the smaller, next generation Transit Courier van and Tourneo Courier multi-purpose vehicle in 2024.

Ford confirmed that the first volume all-electric passenger vehicle to come out of the Ford Cologne Electrification Centre will be a five-seat, medium-sized crossover. In 2021, sports utilities and crossovers accounted for 58 percent of all Ford passenger vehicle sold in the continent, up nearly 20 percentage points from 2020.

The all-electric crossover breaks new boundaries for Ford. Capable of a 500km driving range on a single charge, the vehicle and its name will be revealed later in 2022, with production commencing in 2023.

Confirmation that a second, all-electric passenger vehicle – a sports crossover – will be built at the Ford Cologne Electrification Centre means that electric vehicle production at the facility will increase to 1.2 million vehicles over a six-year timeframe. Investment in the new electric passenger vehicles to be built in Cologne is expected to be $2 billion. The investment includes a new battery assembly facility scheduled to start operations in 2024.

To support Ford’s ambitious vehicle electrification plans, Ford, SK On Co., Ltd. and Koç Holding have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding for a new, industry-leading joint venture business in Turkey. Subject to execution of a final agreement, the three partners plan to create one of the largest EV battery facilities in the European wider region.

The joint venture would be located near Ankara and will manufacture high Nickel NMC cells for assembly into battery array modules. Production is intended to start as early as mid-decade with an annual capacity likely to be in the range of 30 to 45 Gigawatt hours.

The investment the three partners are planning in the battery joint venture – including support from the Turkish Government – will directly benefit large and small commercial vehicle operators across Europe, reducing energy and running costs and providing a significant contribution to CO2 reduction.

Finally, Ford says its manufacturing plant in Craiova, Romania, will play a significant role in its electric and commercial vehicle growth plans in Europe.

From 2024, European customers will be able to purchase an all-electric version of the Ford Puma, Ford’s popular compact crossover. The Puma was Ford’s best-selling passenger vehicle in Europe in 2021, and the all-electric Puma will bring this successful new nameplate to an even wider group of European customers when it goes into production in Craiova in 2024.

Additionally, the all-new Transit Courier, the popular light commercial vehicle, and Tourneo Courier, a compact multi-purpose vehicle, will also be produced in Craiova from 2023, with all-electric versions coming in 2024.

To further boost electric and commercial vehicle capacity, Ford announced that Ford Otosan will assume ownership of the Craiova plant and manufacturing business, subject to regulatory approval and consultation. Ford Otosan, a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Koç Holding, is one of the longest running and most successful joint ventures in the global auto industry.

OPINION: Fleet Electrification concerns amid rise in EV sales

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By André Dias, Founder and CTO, GoWithFlow

Sales of Electric Vehicles (EV) are booming in the UK, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) annual sales snapshot for 2021. Britons bought more electric cars in 2021 than in the previous five years combined, including a 27 percent rise in commercial van registrations.

In 2020 EV sales accounted for just 6.6 percent of new cars bought in Britain, yet December 2021 alone saw electric cars make up 26 percent of sales, a record for a single month. The SMMT said sales of battery electric vehicles were a bright spot for an industry badly impacted by supply chain issues caused by the global pandemic.

The data released by the SMMT paints a compelling and encouraging picture of the EV adoption curve in the UK. Across private and commercial drivers, 2021 marked a dramatic rise in the registration of electric vehicles. This new appetite is not just promising, it is also essential. With UK targets to end sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2030, the shift to electric vehicles is a necessity.

The fact that 27 percent of the recorded electric vehicles registered are vans is evidence of a shift in the way businesses think about transport. The advantages of transitioning to electric commercial vehicles are clear: as conscious consumerism becomes ever more important to the public, and as the 2030 deadline looms closer, fleet electrification is an essential transition.  Additionally, according to Deloitte’s 2020 outlook report EV sales are set to rocket from 2 million units in 2018 to 12 million in 2025, before growing to 21 million in 2030. However, concerns remain about the need for better charging infrastructure – something which critics say the UK government is giving mixed signals about. Grants for electric cars were cut in 2021, however, the UK government has drawn up plans to mandate a charger for every new home or office from 2022, meaning all newly built residential properties and offices must have electric car chargers installed to comply.

Furthermore, last year Shell and Ubitricity announced plans to install 50,000 on-street EV charging stations in the UK by the end of 2025, greatly improving access to charging for drivers in urban areas. Shell-owned Ubitricity has designed charging hardware that can fit into streetlight posts, providing charging access to cars parked on-street, without taking up any additional space. This is important because more than 60 percent of households in cities and urban areas don’t have access to off-street parking, which makes home charging virtually impossible.

The requirements for infrastructure improvements to make mass electric mobility possible remain a challenge. Without the relevant infrastructure in place, anxiety amongst enterprises and individuals about switching to Electric Vehicles will continue.

A survey from British Gas showed that one in every three respondents feel nervous about switching to EVs due to high charging costs. While uptake of EVs is rising in the UK there is a need to ensure the infrastructure, education, and management tools are in place to provide the smoothest transition towards a green mobility service. This is the only way of reassuring companies and individuals that this is the future of transport – away from fossil-fuel-based vehicles.

The British Gas survey also revealed that only 21 councils across England and Wales allow motorists to top up their batteries for free. With energy prices set to rise further in April, it is not ideal that Electric Vehicle users are already reporting that they are facing steep costs to charge their vehicle.

Over half of UK councils are yet to begin transitioning to EV fleets, according to research by consultancy Smart Cities Connections. Via Freedom of Information requests, it obtained responses from 295 local authorities across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland about their EV plans. Of these, it found 19 percent had no transition strategy planned at all, while a further 37 percent said they had strategies planned, but had not yet started.

Regardless of energy prices, EVs will continue to be expensive to operate if a roadside, on-demand fuel supply model is replicated and EVs are used in the same way that internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are. This is particularly true for organisations with fleets of vehicles. They will need to look for more innovative ways to move both people and goods around.

Any transition towards electric vehicles, whether this is part of an overall ‘sustainability’ effort, or a standalone project, requires conscious, defined strategy and real commitment to carbon reduction.

Without this the steps required might be seen as too complex at this stage in industry and infrastructure development. The software that fleet managers and businesses use to manage their operations during and after their electric transition is just as essential in keeping their vehicles operational as the infrastructure.

This is where intelligent, data driven management software, such as GoWithFlow’s Mobility Change Platform (MCP), delivers clear benefits to fleets and businesses because it allows users to find and reserve available charging stations. And it presents a cohesive platform through which organisations can track, schedule, pay, and audit charging across their fleets.

So, as we continue to count down to the 2030 deadline and individuals and businesses transition across to EVs and fleets, it is worth noting that with the correct, data-driven approach, fleet electrification can be a seamless and valuable choice for any business, without compromising on either efficiency or costs.

WhichEV releases its Guide to Public Charging 2022

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By James Morris, WhichEV

Experienced EV drivers find the whole charging process relatively simple, but it can be daunting for those new to electric vehicles. WhichEV has created an updated guide to charging that helps to demystify the process and explain some of the more important terms.

Knowing where to find the latest high-powered public charging hubs from industry leaders like Osprey can be really useful when you need a quick, reliable charge during business hours.

WhichEV also covers street charging, that can offer a low cost overnight solution for those without a driveway – as well as public destination charging and the options you’re likely to find at motorway service stations. Finally, the guide covers the kind of charges you’re likely to pay and the kind of etiquette that will make you popular with other EV users.

Click here to read more.

The key EV challenges facing the fleet industry

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With less than a decade to go until the sales of all new petrol and diesel cars, vans, and pickups are banned in the UK, the pressure is very much on for fleet operators to make a start in transitioning their fleets to electric vehicles (EVs).

Planning and preparing for the adoption of electric vehicles within a fleet is not without its challenges. It’s a complex issue with wide-ranging implications, from fleet finance and maintenance to national infrastructure and supply chains.

With this in mind, Lightfoot set about identifying the key challenges facing UK fleets when it comes to switching to EVs by launching a survey where fleet operators could share their thoughts.

To discover the biggest concerns, read the full story at Lightfoot.co.uk