Author Archive


27
MAR

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Is This The Future for Electric Vehicle Charging?


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


I recently heard about this novel approach to providing Charging Points for Electric Vehicles.

The idea is being proposed by the German Electricity Company Ubitricity (http://www.ubitricity.com/en) and has the advantage if it becomes a reality of providing vast numbers of Charging Points at very little cost.

The proposal is for charging points to be installed in things such as street lights, parking meters, and in fact anywhere where there is an electricity supply – the installation cost of the charging point being only 100 Euros and a running cost of only 2 Euros per month. Ubitricity foresee, if the idea is put into practice, a future where there are as many available public charging points for Electric Vehicles as there are Electric Vehicles, an amazing thought.

For the Electric Vehicle owner the method is – a smart meter (pictured above) is placed between the Electric Vehicle and the Charging Point, and this meter monitors how much Charge is drawn and automatically (via built in mobile phone connection) charges for the precise amount.

Ubitricity Charge Points can even be installed in dwellings (especially useful when several people have electric vehicles or when each person is paying their proportion of the bill), workplaces, public car parks and so on.

It is a very clever idea – and although the Ubitricity Charge Points are not the Fast Charge points that are available in certain places, they can complement that infrastructure, as the Fast Charging can be used when available and the Ubitricity Points used at other times – for instance when at work or parked for a longish period of time while doing the shopping and so forth.

We shall see of course if this idea becomes a reality in this country – it does seem likely it might happen in Germany – but if it does it might well go some way to solving that ubiquitous problem of Electric Vehicle ownership, of where on earth can I charge the battery!



20
FEB

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Another Auto Giant Alliance to Market Fuel Cell Cars


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


After an apparent loss of interest by the car industry in Fuel Cell powered vehicles, there has suddenly been a flurry of announcements by a number of manufacturers. Of course as anyone who has taken an interest in alternative (and renewable) fuelled vehicles over the last few years would know, the enthusiasm for (& investment in) hydrogen powered cars by the major vehicle manufacturers waxes and wanes. However it is interesting that hydrogen has reappeared as a possible future fuel for vehicles and that many of the world`s largest car makers are forming partnerships to co-develop the necessary technologies.

(See the news item here: www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fuel-cell-car-20130129,0,6861638.story)

The interesting thing about Fuel Cell powered vehicles is that they are ultimately electric vehicles, the Fuel Cell operating to provide the electricity, which can either be used immediately or stored for use in higher demand situations (such as hills) via batteries or even capacitors. Being electric vehicles most of the technology exists already, the challenge thus being to develop fuel cells that are affordable and to provide the refuelling network. The advantage of electric vehicles as currently available being of course that they can be refuelled (recharged) using an ordinary electrical plug and socket (although quicker recharging is generally regarded as desirable and is increasingly available at charging “stations”). So we’ll see – after all however good a vehicle is, it is of no use unless the fuel for it is available and at affordable prices – which is of course the reason why these alternatives are being sought by companies worldwide, petrol supplies being expected at some point in the (possibly) not too near future to diminish and thus increase considerably in price.

Of course it is not only the large car manufacturers who are seeking to develop fuel cell vehicles – a British Company called Riversimple (www.riversimple.com) has been working on their own vehicle for a number of years and if things go according to plan they’ll have a vehicle on the market sometime in 2015, so maybe we’ll see one of them being tested on Top Gear before anything from the big companies becomes available?

But cars aren’t the only vehicles which can be powered by fuel cells, electric bicycles can potentially be powered by them as well one fuel cell bicycle has been around in prototype form for sometime (www.horizonfuelcell.com/mobility.htm) while others it seems are currently in development such as the Pedego bicycle as mentioned in this interesting article (www.gizmag.com/signa-hydrogen-portable-fuel-cell/22820).

So we shall see – fuel cells have been around for a number of years, and the early promise from the beginning of this 21st century when we were being told that fuel cells would be with us soon, in affordable form and powering everything from laptops to cars, has been followed by either silence or reports of the high cost and impracticality of this technology. Time will tell I guess. But all the same the transport industry has been testing fuel cells in larger scale applications such as for trains (http://hydrail.org) and freight carrying ships – and here the costs are more likely to be outweighed by the advantages and the economies of scale, so the technology is beginning to find practical transport applications and perhaps is the coming thing?

Meanwhile the search is still on for the “holy grail” of the electric appliance and vehicle industry, a light, yet very high capacity battery that is also affordable. A recent breakthrough as reported here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124150756.htm, perhaps makes that goal a step nearer – again we shall see.

I can’t help but being reminded of the much missed Tomorrows World TV program when looking at these new technologies. So many of the wonderful inventions we saw being demonstrated never seemed to appear in the shops (or anywhere) and perhaps never will. Time, as I said, will tell – and of course it is pretty obvious that petrol will one day (and perhaps in the not too distant future) be too difficult to get and too expensive anyway for it to be regarded as the everyday thing that it currently is.



18
FEB

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
North Dorset Renewable Energy Exhibition – A Great Success


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy
Tags:


On Saturday the 16th of February 2013 I went with a friend to the Sturminster Newton Renewable Energy Exhibition and Forum and I’m glad I went!

I went of course with a set of expectations and to a certain extent these were confirmed; there were various exhibitors passing on useful information about Renewable Energy and how it can be applied to ones own life and there were also exhibitors showing of the latest technologies in energy saving, such as LED lighting. Being fairly involved in all this myself I tend to think I am fairly well informed, but after attending this Expo I am definitely now better informed – there is always more to learn, especially as this is an ever developing field, and that sure adds to the fun of it.

But as I said I went with a set of expectations – and one thing I was not expecting was the “conversation” as one person described it, going on at the Forum part of the Exhibition. And this was interesting – seeing various people with expertise in Renewable Energy stand up and give a short presentation on a particular aspects of the Renewable Energy “thing” and then open up the floor for a questions and answers & general discussion. This proved to be very interesting, various points being raised, ideas being proposed – people feeling involved. Should there be another of these Exhibitions I fervently hope that it will include that Forum part.

Going by the numbers of people coming into the room – some staying to hear the speakers, some just browsing the stands of the exhibitors, some deep in discussion amongst themselves, I would say the event was a great success. The exhibitors will no doubt have their own criteria but it would seem likely to me that if another such event was run, then those who were there on Saturday would seek to return and quite possibly there will be others also seeking to exhibit.

On a closing note I ought to mention my friends impressions – she is someone not necessarily taken up by the Renewable Energy cause, but like many people she takes an interest in what is happening with our energy supplies and so forth. She like me found the Forum part interesting, but did feel that the discussion about the proposed Community Renewable Energy scheme in Sturminster Newton might have been more fully explained, and I could see her point. So perhaps a Forum event in the future might include the opportunity to talk more in depth with the people presenting or perhaps some information sheets to accompany the talks (though to save on paper these could perhaps be printed on demand at the venue).

Anyway all I can add is that I’m glad I went and many thanks to the people who were there, exhibitors and visitors – all were involved and included in making it the success it was (and the sun shone!).



30
JAN

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
The New EZ-EV Self-Build Electric Car


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


Here’s something I thought you might find interesting – an American designed self-build Electric Car – it looks like fun!

The ETA writes:

“Engineer Gary Krysztopik is hoping his design for an easy-to-assemble, three-wheel, all-electric kit car will encourage his fellow Americans to make the switch to battery-powered motoring.

The EZ-EV (‘easy electric vehicle’) project is a 680 kg street-legal trike that can be assembled in one week by one person with basic tools. Expert DIYers can buy open source plans and build the three-wheeled car from scratch.”

Read the full ETA article here: https://www.eta.co.uk/2013/01/25/latest-electric-car-is-diy/

To find out about your current electric transport options here in Dorset/UK go to: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/energy/electric-transport



28
SEP

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Ebike Innovation


Category: Electric Transport, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: , ,


So we have a bicycle, and it has two wheels, a seat and pedals, and it gets you from A to B. Bicycles, they’ve been around a long time and perhaps it seems little is new in the world of cycling. But in the Ebike sector, innovation is bursting out everywhere – perhaps this is understandable, it’s a relatively new field and a growing market for manufacturers to sell to? (In Holland now the latest data shows that 1 in 5, or 20%, of a ll new bicycles sold are electrically assisted – and the Dutch do know a thing or two about cycling after all. See here for full story: http://www.bike-eu.com/Sales-Trends/Market-trends/2012/9/E-Bike-Marketshare-Grows-to-20-in-Holland-1068901W).

Of course the innovations that we are seeing maybe in part due to the legislative restrictions that Ebikes have to conform to? After all legislation can create a market – thus in the majority of the EU (inc the UK) a standard electrically assisted bicycle must be limited to 250watts (nominal power) and the motor is only permitted to power the bicycle up to 15mph (25kph). This presents challenges – how to make the motor perform well on the hills (give it lots of torque), how to get the motor to run without too quickly draining the battery, and so on. Various manufacturers meet these challenges in different ways – and although a motor may be limited to 250watts nominal power, many at peak power are producing nearer a 1,000watts (and all quite legally). Another factor in some parts of Europe is that there are now different permitted classes of Electric Bicycle – for instance in Germany beyond the standard 250w/25kph class, there are others including a 45kph/28mph class which are still permitted on bicycle paths (within local speed limits), but the rider is required to wear a helmet and to have motorcycle insurance. So far in the UK we only have the one type of electric bicycle standard (250w/15mph) but many are lobbying to include more flexibility, such as they have in Germany. The faster bikes making things such as longer distance Ebike commuting a more practicable possibility maybe?

Here’s an example of such an Ebike in action – the Grace One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFfqJ9hh9b0&feature=player_embedded

Of course innovation is not only driven by legislation, sometimes new solutions to existing problems are sought, or simply new ways of doing things that might work better, or need less maintenance, or maybe just look better?

From Germany a couple of new innovative bike systems are coming along – new ways of propelling the bike along.

Firstly, and already in production and shortly to be available from Wisper Bikes in the UK, are Grace Ebike’s with Belt Drives. A Belt Drive being oil free is one way of reducing the chances of getting mucky on your bike, and they do tend to require less maintenance than a chain as well – and on these bikes they also look pretty cool.

Here’s a video of one in action: http://www.grace.de/produkte/grace-mx/?L=1

Secondly, and shortly to be in production, how about shaft drive? Something you see on some (top end) motorcycles, and of course the standard system on cars, but on bicycles not a common thing – there have been one or two shaft drive bicycles, but the new system from a company called Protanium is the first in which the shaft is driven by an electric motor (as well as by the pedals). A shaft drive electric bicycle, will mean little maintenance, no dirty chain, potentially “cleaner lines”.

Now there is innovation, have a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDAfvgAuh48&feature=player_embedded

Bikes using such innovative technology perhaps won’t be the cheapest, but they will be made to a high standard and last well (with a good guarantee). Perhaps the saddest thing is the paucity of British manufacturers in this sector – maybe, and returning to the legislative aspect, if we had other and faster classes of electric Bicycles then they would become more of interest and more widely purchased and encourage British manufacturing companies to get involved?

Heck Bosch now make on of the best Ebike Motors – a crank drive (as pictured above) – http://www.bosch-ebike.de/en/ebike/homepage.html (as used in the belt drive bike mentioned above, as well as in many others), so perhaps Dyson or someone similar might one day get involved? (Interestingly some German manufacturers who initially shipped the production side of making electric bike systems, to the far east, are now bringing production back home – it seems the Made in Germany badge increases sales, as does the Made in Britain – if you can ever find it!).



06
SEP

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Buildings & electric cars to be charged by moonlight


Category: Electric Transport, Solar Energy
Tags: , , ,


One complaint about solar power sometimes raised, is how unattractive solar energy installations appear. They so often, some say, do little to enhance the appearance of buildings or indeed the landscape.

Well from Germany comes a new design by architect André Broessel for a beautifully-striking spherical glass solar energy generator that could revolutionise the appearance of electric vehicle recharging posts! It’s for producing either solar electric power, or hot water from solar heat and looks very different from what we are used to. It utilises the focusing power of a sphere – in the same manner a drop of water can focus the sun’s light – to produce useful energy. It is claimed by the inventor to be up to 35% more efficient than existing designs and could conceivably (it is claimed) produce electricity from the light of the moon as well as the sun.

An extraordinary possibility and one offering the chance of making solar power more viable and cost effective – and to my eyes at least larger versions might well enhance the landscape or a cityscape, while a smaller installation could bring something interesting to a garden or roof.

The new design is in its early stages as yet, so currently no pricing is available to compare with standard types of solar power installations, but it just goes to show that there is much more to come in the developing world of alternative energy technology.

Check out more information on the spherical glass solar energy generator: http://www.eta.co.uk/2012/08/31/electric-cars-charged-moonlight 

Check out Rawlemon’s B.torics system which is also being developed, to offer fully integrated building solutions with efficient solar energy generation (as pictured above): http://www.rawlemon.com/betatorics.html



23
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Are Renewable Energy Co-operatives the Way Forward?


Category: Renewable Energy, Solar Energy
Tags: , , , , ,


It’s interesting to see that one oft raised objection to commercial and larger scale Renewable Energy installations is one concerning profit. Perhaps understandably some find it to be a problem that wealthy and/or distant investors are making large profits from a Renewable Energy installation, though I must say that particular problem or issue had not occurred to me, but perhaps there is a way of addressing this problem by sharing the profits locally? For instance on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire border there is a Solar Power installation which is seeking investors to join a Co-operative, a Co-operative that will reap the profits as well as the benefits of supporting clean and renewable energy.

There’s an interesting article about the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire Solar Power project on the Low Impact website here: http://www.lowimpact.org/blog/2012/Jul/you-can-be-part-owner-of-a-solar-power-plant.htm

Perhaps such a method of bringing Renewable Energy to an area might make it more palatable by being far more inclusive – and of course by demonstrating that just because Renewable Energy makes a profit that does not make the energy it produces somehow less clean.

One thing that often crops up when discussing Renewables is how the larger scale installations seem to be more readily accepted in the countries of, say, Northern Europe than they are here in the UK. Perhaps one reason for that acceptance is that in those countries people are used to having smaller conventionally fuelled Power Stations in their neighbourhoods and towns – often these Power Stations providing piped hot water as well as electricity. Here in the UK we are used to (& generally expect) our power generation to be large scale and remote from where most of us live – perhaps then accepting local larger scale Renewable Energy plants (Solar, Wind, etc) for us in the UK is a bit more challenging than it is for our continental neighbours used, as I say, to having local coal or gas fuelled Power Stations? Could be that this extra level of unfamiliarity might be one further reason for the oft expressed reluctance to embrace Renewable Energy, it being a steeper learning curve, so to speak?

Let us know your thoughts!


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • CheaperGasEnergy comments:
    "I suppose many people may have not been properly educated on how they can use renewable energy. Some people that have had solar panels installed are making some money back. It really can be a good way to make money and save on energy bills. "
    August 28, 2012 a 4:04 pm

  • Paul McIntosh comments:
    "yes, yes, yes!
    Why is it those on the continent are more comftorble with sharing the wealth and in turn taking collective responsability. Perhaps the Germans can help (below is taken from the Low Carbon Communities Network Newsletter) German-British Parliamentary initiative in sharing lessons in Community Energy The success of Germany’s 600-plus locally accountable co-operatives in green energy carries inspiration, plus important lessons, for us here in the UK. In this International Year of Co-operatives, co-operatives now provide 13 per cent of Germany’s electricity, itself a market double the size of ours. Central to Germany’s success in energy co-operatives is wide support across the entire political spectrum for community energy, in national and in local politics, as well as in civil administration. LCCN committee member Alban Thurston is launching a freelance Parliamentary initiative, aiming to link pro-renewables Conservative parliamentarians in the Bundestag with their less numerous brothers & sisters on Conservative benches at Westminster. The goal would be a ‘trickle down’, strengthening the will of the minority of pro-renewables British Conservative MPs to convince the vocal opponents within their own party, through close experience of the electoral and social success achieved by the equivalents in Germany. Launched only as Parliament rose for the summer, the initiative, dubbed ‘Projekt Sonnenschein’ has attracted interest from leading pro-renewables Conservatives such as Tim Yeo, Zac Goldsmith, and Martin Vickers. Alban is working with the Bundestag office of Josef Goeppel, spokesman on energy collectives in Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU party. One or more briefings in Westminster are planned in October, where Goeppel will spell out to British Conservatives how right-of-centre politicians should be embracing in their planning, financing and civil policies the benefits of democratised, locally accountable energy. Drawing on his 10 year advocacy of energy co-operatives, Goeppel recently sent the UK think tank ResPublica his message of support for democratised energy in the UK. In it, he said: “The most successful way of letting many people participate in energy production is through community energy co-operatives. They allow the broader public to share in the profits of energy production…In addition they foster responsible energy consumption”. "

    August 24, 2012 a 2:39 pm


10
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
The Wiggins Effect


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: ,


There’s been much talk recently, in the media and elsewhere, about the Wiggins effect. It being wondered if, as a result of the recent successes of Bradley Wiggins in competitive cycling (in Tour de France 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics), more people will take up cycling.

Much of this focus is of course on the competitive element of cycling and it might well be the case that people will start to take an interest in the sport – and possibly might even boost the numbers taking part, who knows. It’s interesting though that Bradley Wiggins and Chris Boardman (who set the ball rolling with the recent British successes in cycling sport) have both mentioned cycling as a means of everyday transport as well as for sport. To my way of thinking that is a good thing. Bicycles can be a practical means of getting around, doing the shopping, and so forth.

Of course if you haven’t cycled in years or aren’t quite as fit as you might be, then cycling can seem more chore than fun, impractical as it seems just too hard, rather than practical. And that of course is where an electric bike can come in – it did for me some years ago. Got me back into cycling despite not being as fit as I once was back in my teens – and once riding the bike with the electric motor, well the realisation came that this is fun, as well as practical.

The problem might be of course that although an electric bike can make cycling accessible to those less fit – the fact that electric bikes are often very expensive can be itself a reason why cycling again seems inaccessible. There are many expensive electric bikes available, and many of those expensive electric bikes do perform superbly, while the cheaper ones might often perform well at first, but soon problems arise, especially with the batteries, and then…. Well perhaps the bike goes into the shed or garage and is forgotten, the purchase regretted?

However their are reasonably cheap and affordable routes into electrically assisted cycling – one such method is buying a kit to fit (or to have fitted) to an existing bike. Again many are available and again there are some that are very expensive (and work very well) and others that seem cheap, but perhaps might not last very long.

From my own experience though, I would say there is a reasonably cheap option available which will do the job and that will give good service over many years. I’m talking about the Currie Pro Drive – an American made kit. I bought one second hand off the internet years ago and it has served me well – I’ve fitted it to a variety of bikes; my Rebike recumbent, where it worked well pulling me up steep hills on what is a rather heavy bike, and also on a mountain bike where it helped me get places pretty quickly on the road and even took me along some rather muddy and bumpy bridleways and forest tracks while doing a bit of off roading. All in all I’d say the Currie Pro Drive is a practical and fairly affordable route into electric cycling – tried and tested technology that perhaps looks a little less sophisticated than some of the more recent and/or expensive kits, but it works and it works well. Powerful little motor which on a 26″ wheel bike (standard mountain bike sized wheel) will take you up to the legal limit of 15mph, it will pull you up hills if you do your share of pedalling as well – and with the Lead Acid batteries that come with it as standard you know you have the energy available to take you 10 miles or so on mixed terrain if you pedal a bit as well.

So how much might you pay – well from Electric Mountain Bikes near Glastonbury the Currie kit is available for £400 (http://electricmountainbikes.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/currie-electro-drive.html) and possibly second hand ones might come up on Ebay now and then.

Oh and a little word on batteries – many electric bikes now come with Lithium Ion batteries and they are generally considered state of the art, but they are expensive and have been prone to malfunction on the cheaper electric bikes – meaning expensive replacements and so on – it’s definitely a good idea to check what guarantee there is on the battery, the better packages include a proviso that if a Lithium Ion battery loses it’s ability to hold a set level of charge within 1 or sometimes 2 years of purchase it will be replaced. The Lead Acid batteries as used on the Currie Pro Drive (and elsewhere) are old technology, and hold less charge per kilogram – but they are reliable and cheap to replace.

Anyway to return to the Wiggins Effect – let’s hope there is one, and if you feel too unfit to participate, why not try electric. You might even find that you are fitter than suspected or maybe after a few months cycling electrically assisted, discover fitness returning and either move onto a non assisted bike or just enjoy the whole cycling experience more and find yourself out there on two wheels when you used to be on four.



01
AUG

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
In awe of Tour De France and the specialized turbo electric bicycle


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


It is such an extraordinary experience watching the Tour de France, something I did for the first time this year. Cyclists travelling 100+ miles at speeds almost unimaginable to the non racing cyclist. To put their performance into perspective – if an Electric Bike could go at the average speeds the Tour cyclists do, that bike would be considered illegal.

15mph is the speed Electric Bikes are allowed, in the UK and most of Europe too, yet on many days 28mph was the speed the Tour cyclists averaged – extraordinary. A real exhibition of human energy – as an Electric assist cyclist myself, I stand back in amazement and awe.

Here’s an example of an Electric Bike made by Specialised (who also make bikes for the actual Tour de France) that is capable of doing 28mph – it’s not road legal of course, but sure looks fun – especially for those of us not quite as fit as the pro cycling teams.



18
JUL

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
The showstopping Audi Electric Bike (I’ll stick with mine though!)


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


Check out these short films featuring the Audi Electric Bike…

It is an extraordinary piece of kit, however being capable of 50mph it does not qualify as an Electric Bicycle as far as the law in the UK and anywhere else in the Europe is concerned!

It does though showcase what Electric Bikes are capable of when money is no object; things such as a wheelie mode where the riders balance is maintained automatically, while the carbon frame of the bike weighs only 1.6kg. Perhaps this Audi might best be regarded as a Concept Bicycle, but if there was such a thing as an off road Electric Bike Championship this bike would in all likelihood be a contender, and an awful lot of fun!

Meanwhile Audi have apparently scrapped their plans for an Electric Car – who knows perhaps Audi foresee a more bicycle based future? Though industry commentators suggest that Audi have been put off by the current low demand and high prices. I guess we’ll see, but in the meantime I’m happy with my Heinzmann electric bike! See my previous post on My Route Into Electric Cycling: www.letsgetenergized.co.uk/archives/2012/03/09/my-route-into-electric-cycling/.



10
JUL

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Eco Travel Taking Off in the Brecon Breacons


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , , , , , ,


Things Electric seem to be taking off in the Brecon Beacons – the tourist sector embracing the new technology to boost trade and to bring the joys of Electric Transport to holiday makers.

Here in Dorset we also have many visitors seeking to enjoy the countryside and of course those visitors wish to enjoy the rural scene in a way that keeps it the quiet and peaceful place that drew them here in the first place.

In the Brecon Beacons they are setting an example of how this might be done – using quiet electric vehicles so people can explore and enjoy without disturbing, tourism with a light footprint.

Of course what is needed to make this effective are more charging points so those using electric vehicles of any type, can recharge their batteries. Businesses seeking to boost trade might well profit from offering charging facilities, and of course feel good by doing so as well.

In Dorset there is signs of this Electric Transport tourism emerging as well – the electric bicycle hire available near Bridport – and of course the same factors apply, electric bikes need recharging facilities as much as cars – and while the vehicle recharges, well opportunity signals for the alert business people!

Of course as electric vehicle ownership increases, more and more people will need the charging facilities – surely an opportunity not just for the switched on people in the tourist industry?!

Check out the sites below for more info on eco travel and of course our page on Electric Transport.

www.ecotravelnetwork.co.uk – The Brecon Beacons project

www.marshwoodtrails.co.uk – Electric Bike Hire in Bridport



28
JUN

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Green grant gives Dorset 2 new electric buses!


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , , ,


New no. 6 electric bus at South Dorchester train station

Dorset goes electric – on the buses, or at least two to start with! From the 11th June 2012, the number 6 bus service between Dorchester and Poundbury will be operated using two new Optare Electric Buses recently acquired by Dorset Passenger Transport (and funded jointly by Dorset County Council, West Dorset District Council, the Duchy of Cornwall and assisted by a £166,000 grant from the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund).

So far there are very few fully electrical buses in operation in the UK, so Dorset could well be only the third county to have such a environmentally friendly bus service. The impetus for the introduction of these electric buses seems in part to have come from Prince Charles and it’s thought that the leather seats on the two buses were requested by the Prince – a touch of extra comfort, for what are by all accounts very comfortable buses already.

It’s early days yet but Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council have indicated an interest in purchasing more of these buses to serve other routes – a good sign for the future and making logistical sense as the battery charging infrastructure for the first two buses has already been installed.

If you happen to be in Dorchester and want to try out the electric transport revolution – it’s now no harder than buying a bus ticket, or using your bus pass, if you’re fortunate enough to have one, for the Number 6 bus.

More information is on http://news.dorsetforyou.com/2011/04/green-grant-for-groundbreaking-new-electric-buses and there is a highly informative article about this exciting and ambitious project in the latest June 2012 issue of AtoB Magazine available here: www.atob.org.uk/featured/a-to-b-90free-download.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Anna Celeste Watson comments:
    "Yay, I just spotted my first electric bus in Poundbury and it looks pretty swanky!!! Hope they’ll be LOTS more to come and soon… "
    August 6, 2012 a 12:51 pm


08
MAY

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Zagato Volpe electric car video


Category: Electric Transport, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: , , ,


Check out the video for the new single-seat electric Zagato Volpe car (classified as a ‘quadricycle’ or a micro-car).

According to the car breakdown company ETA, as well as the fully electric version, the Volpe will be available as a petrol or LPG hybrid. They said, “A retail price of £5,600 would make the Volpe no more expensive than many of the larger petrol scooters and it would be a drier, safer and greener way to travel around a city.”


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "That`s the trouble with so many of these concept cars – so few make it to production. As far as I know, and you may know differently, the only Quadricycle type vehicle currently available to buy in the UK is the Renault Twizy. Which by all accounts is a lot of fun – and practical (if you don`t mind the lack of doors in the standard equipment – add-ons being available). "
    May 9, 2014 a 11:04 am

  • paul comments:
    "Great car, trouble is you can’t buy one, in any country I know of. Cannot make them or produce them, unless you know different? "
    April 27, 2014 a 11:19 am


09
MAR

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
My Route into Electric Cycling


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , ,


First steps

It was in 2000 that I first discovered Electric Bikes. I was living in Dorchester, having moved to town from Tolpuddle and living in a flat with no parking I had given up the car. But I was beginning to get bored with walking everywhere so thinking it would be fun I went out and bought myself a Dahon folding mountain bike from Halfords. It struck me though as I was riding the bike home from the shop that although my mind seemed to think I was fit enough to zoom along as I had when I was a teenager, my body was altogether less sure.

A week or so later, during lunchtime at work, I happened to be wandering around the internet and came across a cycling shop called Kinetics that sold kits to turn a bicycle into an electrically assisted machine. I was intrigued – perhaps this might help me. Trouble was the price for the kits was about 6 times what I’d payed for the mountain bike. It just seemed too much to pay – but one evening at home I noticed that Kinetics had a bulletin board on their site where people were selling things and lo and behold there was an electric bike kit for sale and at a decent price. I quickly contacted the vendor and we agreed the price and the cost of the postage and shortly the kit arrived.

The kit in question was manufactured by a German company called Heinzmann and it seemed the person I had bought the kit from was fluent in German as the instructions were in that language. However there were plenty of illustrations and the Kinetic website had many pictures of Heinzmann kits fitted to customers bikes.

So without too many problems and only a few bruised fingers I managed to add the kit to my bike – although not the Dahon, as I had realised that maybe carrying a mountain bike to my second storey flat with the electric kit installed might not be much fun, so I’d bought the cheapest mountain bike that Halfords sold, and had fitted the kit to that.

My first electric bike ride

The first ride was a revelation – the motor would not it seemed pull away for standstill without me pedalling as well, but once I was moving I found myself pedalling to keep up with the motor. How fast I was going I had no idea, but it certainly was fun and there was definitely a lot of wind ruffling my hair.

READ MORE



Lets Get Energized with Renewable Energy!

Lets Get Energized is your online guide to renewable energy and sustainable living with the latest news, views and tips plus exclusive special offers to help you save energy and money, beat rising energy prices, combat climate change and be more self sufficient – right now, and for your future...

READ ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY

ENJOY EXCLUSIVE OFFERS,
NEWS + ENERGY SAVING TIPS:

CONGRATS TO OUR SUMMER E-BIKE HIRE WINNER: CLARE WEBB*

*This competition is now closed but you can still enter for the chance to win future competitions!

No Thanks - Hide This Pop-up