Archive for ‘Electric Transport’


18
MAR

Vince Adams says:
Renault Electric Cars in smart deal with Utrecht


Category: Electric Transport, Electric Transport, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: ,


Fleet of 150 Renault ZOE for smart solar charging project
March 11, 2016 | ID: 76330
Fleet of 150 Renault ZOE for smart solar charging project
Renault has signed a letter of intent with the Dutch Utrecht City Council, ElaadNL and LomboXnet on Smart Solar Charging for electric vehicles.
The signature took place during the state visit to Paris of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, under the schedule of Franco-Dutch Economic Year 2015-2016.
THE SMART SOLAR CHARGING NETWORK PROJECT

Renault, Europe’s leading electric vehicles manufacturer, and its Dutch economic partners Utrecht City Council, ElaadNL and LomboXnet signed a letter of intent in Paris on 11 March 2016 to develop a Franco-Dutch framework of smart solar charging solutions for electric vehicles.

The signature ceremony was attended by Renault’s Laurens van den Acker, SVP Corporate Design and Guillaume Berthier, EV sales Director; in presence of the king and queen of the Netherlands, the Dutch minister of trade, Lilianne Ploumen and the French Foreign Affairs Ministry’s secretary of state for European affairs, Harlem Désir.

SMART-CHARGE SYSTEMS FOR ELECTRIC TRANSPORT

According to the letter of intent, the city of Utrecht could be the testing ground for the solar smart-charge project. Renault, Europe’s leader in electric vehicles, would supply a fleet of 150 Renault ZOE models through 2017 to the city. ElaadNL would handle management of infrastructures and the smart-charge standard, and LomboXnet would take charge of installing the network of unique public charging terminals powered by a 44 kW grid connection. Grid operator Stedin would be involved to balance supply and demand of the grid.

Phase one of the project would involve setting up 1,000 smart solar-charge stations, powered by 10,000 photovoltaic panels in the Utrecht region. Infrastructure installation would run side by side with development of a car-share service of electric cars, powered by renewable energy, for Utrecht residents. The Renault ZOE R.Access connectivity and 22 kW charging make it ideal for car-share and smart charging applications.

Phase two of the project would proceed with the partners developing a vehicle-to-grid ecosystem, with the network of solar chargers capable of both charging the electric cars and of feeding energy stored in the batteries of parked cars onto the grid to meet demand peaks. This could be the starting point for a new system storing renewably sourced energy.

STEPPING UP THE ENERGY TRANSITION

Through its pioneering work on EVs and their batteries, Renault contributes to the energy transition in the automotive industry by reducing the use of fossil fuels. Renault, through smart charging experiments, increases the proportion of renewable energy EVs use. One of the goals of the Smart Solar Charging Project developed by Renault, ElaadNL, LomboXnet and the Utrecht City Council is to make a substantial contribution to reducing the carbon footprint not only of the auto industry but of all sectors consuming electricity.

ElaadNL researches and tests the possibilities for smart charging on behalf of the dutch grid operators. With innovative techniques ElaadNL can charge electric cars in a smart way, exactly at the right moment. With Smart Charging, the abundance of electricity from the sun and wind is used to charge our cars. Live off the wind and drive on the sun!

In June 2015, LomboXnet introduced in Utrecht a world-wide scoop: a charging station making Smart Solar Charging accessible worldwide. This charging station can charge and discharge (vehicle-to-grid, V2G), establishing the foundation for a new local energy system based on local energy sources and local storage. The unique charging station is developed in a consortium of GE, Stedin, Vidyn, Last Mile Solutions, Utrecht Municipality and led by LomboXnet.

By implementing the vehicle-to-grid project on a regional scale, the region of Utrecht creates – together with partners like Renault – a large living lab for innovative smart grid solutions. This show case implements not only green power, but ensures also clean air zero emissions in the city and region of Utrecht. Thus, Utrecht makes way with Healthy Urban living. Not only to continuously improve its leading position as the most competitive region of the EU (according to Eurostat) but also to inspire other metropolitan regions as well.

Renault has been making cars since 1898. Today it is an international multi-brand group, selling more than 2.8 million vehicles in 125 countries in 2015, with 36 manufacturing sites, and employing more than 117,000 people. To meet the major technological challenges of the future and continue its strategy of profitable growth, the Group is harnessing its international development and the complementary fit of its three brands, Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors, together with electric vehicles, the Alliance with Nissan, and its partnerships with AVTOVAZ and Daimler.

More information on the Franco-Dutch Economic Year 2015-2016: www.economieFRNL.com #economieFRNL

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Eric van Kaathoven
ElaadNL
06-81400683
eric.van.kaathoven@elaad.nl

Herman van Vuren
Gemeente Utrecht
030 286 37 92
h.van.vuren@utrecht.nl

Robin Berg
LomboXnet
06 41 412 222
robin@lomboxnet.nl



28
SEP

Vince Adams says:
Irony but the future is electric….


Category: Electric Transport, Uncategorized
Tags:


IMG_0220

Having heard so much good about petrol cars, we decided to test drive one. They are said to combine cheap price with long range and fast charging. A winning formula on paper – but how are they in real life?

We sat us in the loaner car at the car salesman’s office. Automakers do not sell the cars themselves, only through independent car repair shops as middlemen. It may sound like a bad omen to buy the car from a car repair shop that you want to visit as seldom as possible. But you apparently can’t buy the car directly from the manufacturer but must go through such intermediaries. The seller was very ”pushy” and tried to convince us to buy the car very forcibly, but the experience is perhaps better elsewhere.

So we sat in the car and pressed the START button. The car’s gasoline engine coughed to life and started to operate. One could hear the engine’s sound and the car’s whole body vibrated as if something was broken, but the seller assured us that everything was as it should. The car actually has an electric motor and a microscopically small battery, but they are only used to start the petrol engine – the electric motor does not drive the wheels. The petrol engine then uses a tank full of gasoline, a fossil liquid, to propel the car by exploding small drops of it. It is apparently the small explosions that you hear and feel when the engine is running.

The petrol engine consists of literally hundreds of moving parts that must have tolerance of hundredths of a millimeter to function. We begun to understand why it is car repair shops that sell the cars – they might hope for something to break in the car that they can mend?

We put in a gear and drove away with a jerk. The jerk came not from any extreme acceleration, but gasoline engines apparently cannot be driven as smoothly as electric motors. The acceleration did not occur at all, because we could not get the car to go faster than 40 km/h! By then the petrol engine literally howled and the whole car shook violently. Convinced that something must have broken we stopped the car. The seller then explained that with petrol engines you need to ”change gears” on a regular basis. Between the engine and the wheels are not a fixed ratio gear, but a variable one. The petrol engine can produce power only in a limited speed range, and must therefore be geared with different ratios in order to continue to accelerate. There are 5 different gears we can select with increasing speed as result. It is -as we learned quickly- very important that each time select a suitable gear otherwise the engine will either stop or get seriously damaged! You need a lot of training to learn to select the right gear at the right time – though there are also models with automatic transmissions that can do this themselves. In the manual transmission car, we needed to constantly guard the engine from damaging it. Very stressful.

We asked if the constant sound of the engine -that frankly disturbed us from being able to listen to the radio- could be turned off. But it couldn’t. Very distracting.

After getting the car up to speed through intricate changing of gears we approached a traffic light. Releasing the accelerator pedal resulted in no significant braking, we had to use the brake pedal very much to slow down the car. We were surprised to hear the brakes are completely mechanical! The only thing they generate is heat – braking gives no regeneration of gasoline back into the tank! Sounds like a huge waste, but it would soon get even worse.

When we came to a stop the engine continued to run and the car vibrate – even though the car was standing still! The engine continued to burn gasoline without moving the car forward. Can it really be true? Yes, the seller explained, it is so with gasoline cars: the engine is always running and burning gasoline – even when the car is stationary. Some models however switches off the engine at a red light, he explained. Well that certainly makes more sense.

After a while we came to a gas station where we could charge the car. The car claimed that it still had half a tank left, but we wanted to try the famous super-fast charging of petrol cars!

So we drove to the gas station and opened the fuel cap. The filling nozzle is very similar to a charging connector, but it is not electrons that come out of it but gasoline. Gasoline is a highly carcinogenic, smelly and flammable liquid derived from plants and animals extinct since millions of years ago. The gasoline is pumped to a tank in the car, which then drives around with about 50 liters of this hazardous liquid in it.

We put the nozzle to the car, but nothing happened. The seller then explained that we must pay to fuel! Much like those extremely expensive fast chargers some electric utility companies have set up. After we put the credit card in the reader we could start fueling. It was extremely fast! In just two minutes we filled the gas tank to the max! But there were two counters on the pump: one that showed the number of liters we have fueled and one that showed how much it would cost us. And that counter was spinning so fast that we could hardly keep up with its pace! Sure we filled the tank full in two minutes, but it did cost us an unbelievable €30! A full charge would thus cost us double that – a whopping €60! We cursed our luck that we apparently have chosen one of the most expensive gas stations, and began to ask the seller what other alternatives are there? How much does it cost to fill up at home, and how many free stations are there?

The seller looked very puzzled at us and explained that it is not possible to refuel gasoline cars at home, and there are no free gas stations. We tried to explain our questions, in case he had misunderstood, but he insisted that you can not. Apparently you have to several times a month drive to the gas station to recharge your petrol car at extortionate prices – there are no alternatives! We thought it was very strange that no gasoline car manufacturers have launched their own free gas stations?

There are no gas stations either where you can fill up more slowly at a cheaper price. We started calculating price versus consumption and came to the shocking conclusion that a petrol car costs unimaginable €12 per 100km! Sure, electric cars could also theoretically come up to these amounts if they quick charged at one of the most expensive charging stations in the country – but for petrol cars there are no cheaper alternatives! While electric cars are comfortably charged at home every night for €2 per 100km petrol cars must make detours several times a month to fill up at these extortionate rates – without exception! Monthly cost for a petrol car can -just for the gasoline alone- easily exceed one hundred Euros! We begun to understand why they are so cheap to purchase – operating them is extremely expensive instead.

We also begun to understand why there must be so many petrol stations everywhere, if all petrol cars always have to drive to them to refuel. Imagine if you could charge your electric car only at the power companies’ most expensive fast chargers – and nowhere else!

With this in mind we ended up in a traffic jam and was horrified that the gasoline engine continued to burn these expensive gasoline drops even when the car was standing still or moving very little. With gasoline vehicles it is easy to run into cost anxiety – the feeling that the car literally burns up your money! No cheap home charging and no regeneration of gasoline back to the fuel tank when braking sounds like economic madness – especially given that all gasoline must be imported from abroad.

We returned the car to the dealer’s premises, pulled the handbrake and step out of the car. The petrol engine continued to run! Apparently one must manually switch off the combustion of the precious liquid. But we wanted to see the petrol engine, so the seller opened the bonnet. The entire front portion of the car was completely cluttered with hoses, fittings, fluid reservoirs, and amid all a huge shaking cast iron block which apparently constituted the motor’s frame. There was no space for luggage in the front of the car! Despite its enormous size, high noise and vibration, the engine barely delivered one hundred horsepower. The engine was also extremely hot, we burned ourselves when we touched it. Even though this was on a warm summer day so the engine did not need to generate heat to the passenger compartment.

We became also worried about what would happen if we crashed with a petrol car? The cast iron block that occupied most of the engine compartment was sitting in the middle of the collision zone! Where would it go if we collided – would we get it in our lap? The salesman assured us that the motor in such case somehow gets folded down under the car but we could not escape the impression that the engine block was very much in the way at the front – the safety beams were built around it, which surely impairs their functionality. Avoiding that one hundred kilo iron lump in the front of the car makes it so much easier to build safe cars. In addition, we have seen on the Internet hundreds of pictures and videos of burning gasoline cars. The petrol tank apparently often leaks after an accident so the flammable liquid pours out and becomes ignited!

From the engine, under the car runs an exhaust system – a kind of chimney for engine exhausts. When you burn the carcinogenic gasoline a lots of noxious gases are produced. The car cleans away the most dangerous gases, but what remains is released into the open air behind the car. It is still unhealthy to breathe in – and smells very bad! And petrol cars are allowed to emit these harmful gases in the middle of our cities? Do not confuse petrol cars’ exhaust pipes with fuel cell cars’ – while hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles emit only water vapor gasoline cars spew out noxious gasses, and even fossil carbon dioxide that contribute to Earth’s future-catastrophic warming!

We thanked the seller for the display, shook our heads and gave back the ignition key (yes, it’s called that) to him. He realized that there would be no business for him so except for one lame attempt he did not try to sell us the car any more.

On the way home in our electric car we looked with completely different eyes at our poor fellow commuters, who still had to put up with their gasoline cars. But soon it will be their turn to trade up, too!


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "I heard a little snippet from the VW fallout that rather excited me. There is a rumour that they have a peoples photo-type electric car similar in concept to the launch of the beetle many years ago.
    The price and performance would make this available to millions more motorists and revolutionise the car industry overnight.
    VW you have sinned but this is your moment in time to put that behind you and do something amazing for us all.
    “Beetle Electric the new people’s car”, could it be true ? "

    October 9, 2015 a 9:01 am

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "A very interesting take on the situation. I agree, petrol cars are so old fashioned. "
    October 8, 2015 a 11:53 am


16
SEP

Vince Adams says:
Are Americans bright or just caught in the headlights ?


Category: Electric Transport
Tags:


Cheap Gas Fires Up Big SUV Sales, Slows Electric Cars, Hybrids

More cars and trucks are being bought in the U.S.—and fewer of them are gas sippers

By Benjamin Hulac and ClimateWire | September 8, 2015

©iStock.com

Consumers in the United States bought automobiles in the four months from May through August at the fastest clip in more than a decade, propelled by strong appetite for trucks, sport utility vehicles and crossover models and by low gas prices.

Light-vehicle sales for August surpassed 17 million units for the fourth month in a row, measured at an annualized, seasonally adjusted rate, according to automotive data company WardsAuto. The last time that happened was 2000, the firm said.

Compared against August last year, total sales were down less than half a percent for all light-duty vehicles, and light car sales were down about 10 percent. But light-duty truck sales—up a little more than 8 percent for the month, despite the fact that Labor Day sales will be counted in September—pushed some models to record sales totals and buoyed results overall.

Ford Motor Co., the second-biggest player in the United States by market share, reported a 5 percent increase and the greatest sales volume since 2006. “Consumer demand for our newest vehicles made August a strong month for Ford,” Mark LaNeve, vice president for marketing, sales and service in the United States, said in a statement. “We also had our best month of Ford SUV sales in 12 years.”

Like cross-town rival Ford, which saw sales of its brawny Mustang and immense Lincoln Navigator models jump 70 percent or more, General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler, the smallest by market share of the former U.S.-owned and so-called “Big Three,” reported sharp increases in demand for many of their largest vehicles.

General Motors sold more than a quarter of a million cars in August, down from the same month last year, but buyers snapped up Chevrolets, pushing the brand’s truck sales up for the 16th month straight. Sales for Chevrolet’s Silverado climbed 20 percent, and Tahoe deliveries rose 5 percent; it was the best performance for both models since 2008. And GMC, the maker of freight-hauling, burly pickups, had its best month since 2005, the company said.

Fiat Chrysler also reported a monthly gain: The company’s U.S. division had its best August since 2002, as eight Fiat Chrysler cars sold in the country set sales records.

“In spite of a tough 2014 comparison and extreme stock market volatility, our dealer’s competitive spirit kicked in and propelled us to our 65th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases,” Reid Bigland, the head of U.S. sales for Fiat-Chrysler, said in a statement.

Market fundamentals look good
“All of the economic fundamentals that we look at, including job growth, disposable income and fuel prices, are in good shape and that should keep sales strong,” Kurt McNeil, vice president of General Motors’ U.S. sales operations, said in a statement. Sales at Toyota Motor Corp., the third-largest player in the U.S. market, declined about 9 percent.

Economists consider rising demand for and orders of durable goods—items expected for work for three years or more, such as appliances, furniture, heavy machinery and vehicles—as an indication of improving consumer sentiment and a rosier economy.

And wings of the federal government haven’t overlooked the industry’s growth and brisk business.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said Wednesday that new orders of manufactured goods rose in July by 0.4 percent.

Transportation equipment—including light trucks, utility vehicles, heavy trucks, and vehicle bodies, parts and trailers—fueled an increase with a 5.5 percent gain in new factory orders. Shipments of transportation equipment, which climbed about 3 percent in July, pushed up shipments nationwide. According to Commerce Department data, heavy-duty truck sales in June and August this year reached their highest volume since January 2007, before the global financial collapse. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that businesses that produce and maintain motor vehicles and parts added about 6,000 jobs in August alone.

“The majority of auto dealer contacts indicated an increase in sales since the beginning of July compared with the same period last year, and many expect the trend to continue through the fourth quarter,” said the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, summarizing business activity in its region in a report published last week. “Several dealers reported a shift toward more high-end and new cars. One dealer reported record sales of its high-end models. A few contacts noted that low gas prices continue to have a positive impact on demand.”

Flagging interest for fuel-sippers
In the same report, officials from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which covers central Plains states between Wyoming and New Mexico and Missouri and Colorado, described flagging interest for more fuel-efficient cars.

“Dealer contacts noted increased sales of larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, and slower sales for small and hybrid cars,” the bank said. “Auto inventories fell modestly, although most contacts expected levels to rebound in the next six months.”

The latest figures from the Electric Drive Transportation Association, a trade group that advocates electric, electric-hybrid and fuel-cell car technology and infrastructure, reveal a diminished share of the car market.

Cars that either partially or entirely use electricity to function make up slightly more than 3 percent of the U.S. auto market, the lowest share since 2011 and a sharp contraction from 3.5 percent last year, according to EDTA.

Meanwhile, the AAA motor club predicted in a statement called “Gas Prices Under $2 on the Way” that drivers over the Labor Day holiday weekend would pay the lowest gas prices since 2004. In the winter months, when there are fewer drivers on the roads and refineries are typically finished with autumn maintenance, gas prices could dip below $2 per gallon by Christmas, AAA said in an August report.

Americans are also driving more, whether or not they’re directly influenced by low prices at the pump.

The Federal Highway Administration, housed within the Department of Transportation, said in mid-August that Americans drove more in the first half of the year than ever before in the same time period. U.S. drivers covered 1.54 trillion miles in their cars from January through June, besting the previous record of 1.5 trillion miles set in June 2007.

“This is more than double the amount driven during the same period in 1981, continuing a trend of America’s driving mileage doubling nearly every generation,” FHWA said.

Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "Comments from my Friend Jack Olver an electric car owner in Montereym Ca
    “Americans have never been the brightest bulbs in the bin when it comes to buying cars and that is playing out once again. After years of being informed of the devastating impact of burning fossil fuels US consumers, now presented with the gift of cheap oil, are buying gas guzzlers at a record pace. This is like getting on the scale and seeing that you’ve lost a pound and therefore deciding to eat nothing but cheese cake for the next month.” "

    September 16, 2015 a 2:58 pm


29
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Nigerian Inventiveness


Category: Electric Transport, Electric Transport, Uncategorized
Tags:


http://themindunleashed.org/2015/01/nigerian-engineer-converts-vw-beetle-6000-solar-wind-powered-car.html

I have often been asked by people if my e car has a solar panel roof and the Nissan Leaf doesn’t have one. Why not ? wouldn’t it help add range to the car as it re-charges during the day ?

Anyway one Nigerian has proved it can work and has inspired the next generation of e car drivers.

If you havn’t driven electric then test drive one of the many options of models over this Summer.

We at Letsgetenergized plan to test as many new models as possible and post up our thoughts and assessment of each one.

Oh and by the way did you see this weekend e grand prix in Battersea Park, you can watch it now on IPlayer, its great action and very much the future.

 

IMG_0220



27
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Grand Prix Racing E Style


Category: Electric Transport, Uncategorized
Tags:


This weekend the first year of the electric car grand prix season will climax at Battersea Park in central London.
Exciting new technology developments and engineering make this just as exciting as its counterpart F1. The drivers are all top people from motor sport and in time we believe this cleaner and quieter racing will become a major World attraction.
Read more about it and see videos of all the cars:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33281931

Maybe we can get some of the cars to come down to Dorset and get F1 enthusiasts involved with e transport in all its forms.



16
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Hydrogen Car takes to the road


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


Hydrogen Car takes to the road

I’m an electric car freak but really its my interest in forward proofing that really gets my juices going. So its was with real excitement that I watched this video demonstrating the use of S T turned into hydrogen and fuelling a prototype Toyota car.
Everything is possible folks you just have to support the future for our kids and their kids to live better lives and create a healthier Planet without the overuse of fossil fuels.

Believe in the future my parents did and take TV look at what has happened over 50 years, from huge wooden boxes with hardly any screen to wonderful flat screen sets.

Here`s the link:
http://www.toyota.com/mirai/fueledbyeverything.html?dfaid=DFA:1486496:118556398:291377340:0#watch-episode



20
MAY

John Olver says:
Tesla Tour of America`s South West – Part 2


Category: Electric Transport, Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Tesla Tour of America`s South West – Part 2

Roger Manley bought his Tesla Model S about six months ago and has put quite a few miles on it since then. He and his wife and son are adding a lot more miles while touring America’s National Parks in Arizona and Utah. I’ll let Roger continue his tale.

After 2,560 miles driving in the Tesla Model S, my son Brian and I are now home. We had a great trip and saw natural wonders in Arizona and Utah that everyone should plan to see one day. During the trip we used 787 KWh and averaged 307 wh/mi. We made 17 Tesla Supercharger stops, two charges at BLINK 25 AMP stations in Scottscale, AZ., one HPWC 100 AMP charging station at the Tesla Sales location in Scottsdale, and used two 50 AMP charging stations at RV parks in Utah. In general charging was easy and quick at the Tesla Supercharging infrastructure. The BLINK 25 AMP stations were slow, but available, only charging at approximately 20 miles per hour. Charging at the Tesla Superchargers and HPWC is free. The BLINK chargers cost $.02 per minute and I spent about $13 total, plus $8.50 at one of the RV parks.

The Tesla Model S ran perfectly. The first part of the trip featured in the last post I checked the mileage at every stop to make sure I understood how the car was performing. I had printed out detailed spreadsheets from evtripplanner.com and compared actual to planned from Monterey to Scottsdale. After that I just used the navigation and trip software in the car. The last post was from Monument Valley, about 300 miles north of Phoenix on the Utah and Arizona border. After staying overnight at Goulding Lodge and RV Park we took a 3.5 hour guided tour narrated by a local Navajo an. He drove us through amazing scenery in Monument Valley, all off the main roads and completely on reservation lands. He talked about Navajo traditions and culture. After the tour we headed to Blanding, Utah and plugged in at the Tesla Supercharger. Blanding is a small town and relatively closed up on a Sunday afternoon. We ate lunch at the local A&W and headed off to stay the next two nights in Moab, Utah. On the way I had researched a stop called “Newspaper Rock Monument” just a few miles from the south side of Canyonlands National Park.

Newspaper Rock is a large rock wall with a dark patina that has petroglyphs carved in the face. It is estimated these were carved by Native Americans between 2,000 BC and 1,300 AD. An hour later we stopped in Moab at the Best Western Plus Canyonlands hotel. A Tesla Supercharger is located in the parking lot of this hotel making it an easy choice. Moab is a small vibrant town with tourists visiting many local attractions including Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. The next day we drove through Arches National Park making many stops and taking two different hikes. The first was to the lower viewpoint for Delicate Arch. The second at Devils Garden where we hiked to many different arches including Landscape Arch and Double O Arch. The scenery was amazing and we were tired after 10 miles of combined hiking. On the way out of Arches we stopped at Park Avenue and were blown away by the beauty of this small valley at dusk. Needless to say there is lots to see at each of the stops we made. The next day we were off to Bryce Canyon National Park.

We made two Supercharger stops along the way and reached the Best Western Ruby’s Inn at the entrance to the park. The rim of this park reaches over 9,000 feet and we could feel a big difference in elevation as we hiked up to Inspiration Point at dusk. The weather was cloudy with a few rain showers, but the clouds parted and sunshine filled the valley right before sunset. The next morning we stopped at the Visitor Center. Each of the parks we visited had a theatre that shows a 20 minute film on the history and geology of the areas. We hiked down into Bryce Canyon at Fairyland Point and got a different perspective down among the “hoodoo’s”. Later that afternoon we drove to Zion National Park with an elevation of 3,500 feet and only used 15 KWh over 88 miles. Zion National Park has many outstanding features, one being cars are not allowed into the park, unless you are staying at the National Park Lodge. Everyone else parks at the Visitor Center and uses a free shuttle that is very convenient. Again more hiking to Weeping Rock, The Emerald Pools, and the Riverside Walk.

That night we blindly ran into two friends coming off the shuttle bus we have known for thirty years and had a nice dinner at “Wildcat Willies” in Springdale, Utah. What a surprise!

The last day of our trip was Friday April, 24th. We left Zion National Park at 6am and drove 680 miles to home in Monterey. I thought it was quite a feat in an electric car given we stopped to charge in St. George, Utah; Primm, Nevada; Barstow, Mojave, and Harris Ranch in California before arriving home at 10pm. The Tesla Model S was flawless the whole trip and both my son and I agreed the miles went by faster because of the quiet, smooth ride.

I decided to make this trip last September after seeing an article in Sunset Magazine about the national parks in Utah. I hadn’t taken a long road trip in the Tesla and thought this would be an excellent journey especially since I was turning 60 this year. My wife and I spent a week in Scottsdale, AZ and then my son joined me in Flagstaff, AZ for the rest of the trip. The national parks were even more than what I could have imagined, having never been to these previously, and definitely left me wanting to spend more time there in the future.



29
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015

As the Environment and Community Services Apprentice for North Dorset District Council. The Renewable Energy Marketplace 2015 provided me with an excellent opportunity to find out more about local companies as well those further afield who shared my general philosophy and interest in renewables with a view to identifying possible future employment opportunities. I was grateful to Vince Adams, co-founder of Energise Stur Valley who very kindly sponsored my attendance as well as providing transport to the event in his electric car, so minimising our impact on the environment. I was extremely fortunate that following an initial discussion, a local renewable energy company offered me a post as administrator. Although extremely flattered I indicated that I wish to complete my apprenticeship at North Dorset prior to securing further employment within the industry.

The event hosted a good range of companies including installers, facilitators and informers. At the start there was a stimulating debate between the local (to Exeter) leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and The Green Party. They took questions from attendees and there were clearly many differences in opinion. Diana Moore representing The Green Party made clear her disagreement with the views put forward by Neil Parish representing the Conservatives. The debate has not affected who I plan to vote for in the upcoming elections, although it has encouraged me to undertake further research into the finer details of each party’s policies.

The stalls were well grouped in terms of subject matter and the stall holders were all very approachable, knowledgeable and keen to promote their organisations. The arts and communities section was of particular interest and through discussion I met a fellow attendee who is considering putting on an Eco Fashion Show in Dorchester, so I may get involved in this as I enjoy textiles and fashion. There were various seminars including one on arts and energy which discussed Whitby the Musical, a performance which uses the opportunity of using musical theatre to portray a positive image of the renewable energy industry. It would be the first of its kind and a brilliant way of getting local communities on board with a renewable energy scheme and raising awareness amongst young people.

Outside the exhibition area there were several electric and hybrid cars, which in addition to my conversation with Vince travelling to and from the event, persuaded me that they offered a viable future mode of transport, particularly now that charging points are more widely available including at service stations. The choice of cars available on the current market is varied ranging from a little run-around such as the Toyota Yaris Hybrid to the larger BMW i8. Some of the cars could be test driven which was a great way to attract future customers and raising interest in them.

The Renewable Energy Bake Off was quite a success and there were some very decorative cupcakes with wind turbines, solar panels and other renewables iced on which someone had carefully crafted. The cakes were delicious and particularly welcome given there was little else on offer in terms of food at the event. Next time, I would suggest having a greater range of stalls providing local produce.

In terms of attendees it appeared only to attract those already involved in the renewables market in some way, rather than wider members of the public. I feel it would have been beneficial and more attractive to wider audiences if admission had been free rather than £18 entry plus £54 if wishing to attend a conference.

Overall the event was a success with Westpoint in Exeter buzzing with environmental enthusiasts and companies. There were many interesting organisations and individuals available and it was an ideal opportunity to network. I hope to attend again in the future.

This is a first posting to our site by Kathryn Flint



27
APR

John Olver says:
Tesla Tour of America’s Southwest


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,


Tesla Tour of America’s Southwest

Roger Manley bought his Tesla Model S about six months ago and has put quite a few miles on it since then. He and his wife and son are adding a lot more miles while touring America’s National Parks in Arizona and Utah. I’ll let Roger tell the tale.

Hi John, I’m sitting in my Tesla charging at the Buckeye supercharger. I am meeting Carolann at airport at 3 PM this afternoon. We’re staying in Scottsdale for the week. My son Brian is flying into Flagstaff next Saturday and we are driving a loop around southern Utah to see the national parks. I left yesterday and stayed Needles last night. I’ve driven seven hundred and 20 miles to the Buckeye charging station. I didn’t have to wait anywhere except for Barstow because there is a lot of traffic going to Las Vegas for some major convention. Thought I’d let you know that I’m taking the Tesla on the trip! The Tesla is working perfectly and getting the mileage that I expected based on evtripplanner.com.

The goal of this trip was to try out the Tesla on a long drive, using supercharger capability where possible and a few RV parks along the way. The first leg of the trip was driving from Monterey to Phoenix. The second leg from Phoenix through Southern Utah with stops in Monument Valley, and then four National Parks including Arches, Canyon Lands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion. I also planned the entire trip on Evtripplanner.com. This allowed me to select the route with energy usage estimates for the various charging legs. Overall, I found this tool to be fairly accurate and would recommend it highly. In addition the 6.2 release from Tesla was received the week before I left and it promised “the end of range anxiety” with its new trip planner software. However, it is a beta version currently. It worked fine until I got to the first stop and then I couldn’t get it to recognize my second planned stop at Mojave. There weren’t a lot of directions on usage so maybe it was pilot error on my part. After I finally got it to cancel, I went back to using the Energy Usage App showing the Trip Leg planned in Navigation which estimates battery usage at the finish point. I find that works really well and matches closely to Evtripplanner estimates. I’m sure the new software will get better with the next OTA release.

The first day my goal was to drive from Monterey to Needles. Initially I had planned to drive through Los Angeles and Palm Springs, but found the Coachella Music Festival was going on at that time and there wasn’t a place to sleep within a 100 miles of the Indio Supercharger. So with the Mojave Supercharger just opening I decided to go north and stay out of the traffic. My first stop was Harris Ranch in Coalinga after a beautiful drive over highway 198 from just south of King City. It was 127 miles. I used 40.4 kWh at 318 W/m with 44% battery left. I was a bit surprised that I used 144 rated miles. But, I figured out it was 46 degrees that morning which probably increased energy usage slightly.

Harris Ranch is a huge beef “CAFO” with restaurant and Inn. There were 8 superchargers and space when I arrived, but within a few minutes all were full. Most of the time I was charging at 87 to 120 amps. I believe this is one of the original superchargers and isn’t as fast as the new ones which are much more powerful. Next stop was the Mojave Supercharger. Actual mileage was 164 and rate miles used was 185. I used 51.5 kWh at 315 W/m. Arrived at Mojave with 57 rated miles left. The rated miles are higher on this leg because of the approximate 3000 foot climb up the mountains out of Bakersfield. The Mojave Supercharger is brand new and charges very fast. It is located in a small shopping center next to a cafe that serves Mexican food, a grocery store, and a few other various shops. Third stop of the day was in Barstow, only 73 miles from Mojave, but I wanted to top off for the longer drive to Needles. Barstow was very busy on this Friday afternoon. All eight superchargers were full and I had to wait about 10 minutes for an open stall. Barstow is a huge freeway crossroads with lots of traffic from L.A. to Las Vegas. Apparently there were some big conventions in Vegas that weekend. There were several new P85D’s there and that was the first time I had seen one. The Barstow Supercharger has a solar platform over 4 of the charging stalls that also provides shade. I used 76 rated miles, 20.7 kWh at 284 W/m.

I left Barstow and set out to Needles, my last stop of the day. I arrived around 6:15 pm after starting the day at 7am. The last leg was 149 miles and I used 152 rated miles. I used 43 kWh at 288 W/mile. I arrived at Needles with 35% battery left. Needles has 4 superchargers at a Shell station and I was the only one charging there. It was right next to the Rio Del Sol Motel where I stayed that night. Total mileage that day was 515 miles. I made 3 charging stops that day which added about 2 hours and 45 minutes. I actually enjoyed having an hour off every couple hours so I could eat or stretch. I charged in Needles for about 45 minutes that evening. One other note, the first leg of the drive was cool under 50 degrees so I had the air conditioning off and just used the fan. The rest of the day had warmed up, mostly high 70’s to low 80’s and I used the air conditioner the whole way and still achieved the efficiencies as listed above. I was pretty happy that the EPA numbers for the car were pretty accurate and Evtripplanner was a great tool.

The next morning I was and on the road to Phoenix via the Quartzsite and Buckeye supercharger stops. The first leg to Quartzsite was straight south from Needles about 100 miles. I saw about 4 cars the entire way and desert landscape was beautiful. Arrived in Quartzsite at 8:30am after driving 105 miles. I used 110 rated miles, 32.1 kWh at 303 W/m and 45% battery left. There were 6 superchargers there and I was the only one charging. The last leg to the Buckeye Supercharger was 101 miles. I arrived at 11am, using 119 rate miles, 34 kWh, and 336 W/mile. The speed limit was 75 and I ran at 77 mph the whole way. I arrived with 42% battery left. It was 79 degrees. Each of the superchargers is located with restaurants or shopping near by, some better than others. I made one stop each day at a Rest Stop on the side of the road. California and Arizona have quite a few along the way.

From Buckeye I drove about 30 miles to the Phoenix Airport to pick up my wife and then off to the Westin Kierland Villas where we are spending this week. The total trip was 763 miles. I stopped at 6 superchargers along the way. I may not have needed to stop in Barstow, but I didn’t want to take a chance since this was my first voyage out in the Starship Teslaprise, yes, that is what I named my car. The Tesla ran perfectly the whole way. For the most part it was uneventful and I saw some beautiful scenery and learned a lot how the car really operates on the open road. Everyone should take a trip in a Tesla! On Saturday I will pick up my son in Flagstaff and be off to Utah. More to come.

Roger’s son and Starship Teslaprise at the Blanding, Utah charging station

Roger’s son and Starship Teslaprise at the Blanding, Utah charging station

Oh, in Phoenix I had the Tesla washed and detailed to remove all the bug art! Blink Network has charging stations all around the area. They are only 25amps and charge at 15 mph at a cost of about $3 per hour!! No wonder they all show available. I talked with the Tesla Sales Center at Scottsdale Fashion Mall and they let me use their HPWC at 80amps. This bye the way, was the spot I took my first test drive last year before ordering the car.

Blanding, Utah Tesla station, 44 panels @ 230 watts each

Blanding, Utah Tesla station, 44 panels @ 230 watts each

Stayed in Monument Valley last night and added 50 miles of charge at Gouldings Lodge RV Park via NEMA 14-50. Monument Valley was awesome and took tour this morning. In Moab now to see Arches and Canyonlands over next two days, then on to Bryce an Zion!

More to come….



02
MAR

John Olver says:
Will.i.am, Joanna Lumley and the Future


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,


Will.i.am, Joanna Lumley and the Future

Several months ago British journalist Joanna Lumely recorded a four day interview with Will.i.am, formerly of the Black Eyed Peas. Much of the interview was done while Will drove Joanna around to several Los Angeles locations that were of importance in his life. Will drives a Tesla Model S as do many other California celebrities. In many ways Will’s life and the interview itself provide a clear image of the near term future.

First of all the interview was not filmed, it was recorded digitally. It could very well have been recorded using a smart phone but was probably done using a digital device that could easily fit in someone’s carry-on luggage. Compared to similar efforts just 20 years ago this ability is almost magic.

One feature of the interview focused on Will and Joanna in Will’s recording studio while he created a song. The process by which Will composed, recorded, edited and mastered a complete song in just four hours would have mystified studio engineers from just a few decades ago.

Technology is evolving at an ever increasing pace. Wrist watches are soon to be on the market that will provide most of the functionality of today’s smart phones.Glasses can now serve as full motion high definition video cameras. How long before phones become implants? The point is that what we see as cutting edge now will be old news in just a few months and the pace is quickening.

That brings us to Will.i.am’s Model S and EV’s in general.

Will.i.am with his Model S

Will.i.am with his Model S

There are still many people who insist that the technology for practical, affordable EV’s just doesn’t exist. Not enough range, batteries are too expensive, charging time is too long….. The list goes on. These naysayers can be countered with sound arguments. Most major auto manufacturers already produce hybrid vehicles, sort of half EV’s and consumers really like the better gas mileage. Most major manufacturers are working on delivering plug-in EV’s within the next few years and the auto industry has lots of money and employs lots of great engineers. Does anyone really believe battery range won’t be extended, charging times reduced and costs brought down when major corporations are throwing money and expertise at the problem?

This one interview that Joanna did for the BBC provides a very good lesson about the pace of technology as well as a peek at the future. Are practical, affordable EV’s a part of our near term future? Without a doubt.

Here a link to the interview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOJUv1Kh47E


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Thanks to John for his coverage of the Joanna Lumley – Will-I.am documentary. John gives us an American eye view of the issues and I echo his thoughts about the future of electric transport. Once you have driven electric you never want to go back to the old technology, smell and rage of the petrol engine. Its yesterday as they say, electric is tomorrow. This weekend talk to Nissan or your favourite car deal about what the options are to test drive and see the future for yourself. "
    March 4, 2015 a 9:42 am


06
FEB

John Olver says:
Why did we get an electric vehicle (EV)?


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,


Why did we get an electric vehicle (EV)?

The most compelling reason for the purchase is that we strongly believe fossil fuel use must be reduced for many reasons and EV’s are one of the biggest changes we can make at the individual level to meet that need. The UK’s Department of energy and climate change says that to hold global warming to less than 2C, among other things “There would need be hundreds of millions of electric cars on the road by 2050, and the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of electricity would need to fall by at least 90%.” (BBC News 28Jan2015) So the need for EV’s and the need to power them with solar is obvious

By coupling our EV to a few solar panels we have decoupled ourselves from the corner gasoline station and from the gas fired power plant that provides electricity to the Monterey Bay area. Since we were going to buy a new car the decision to go EV translates to a much smaller carbon footprint for our household.

We also wanted to press for change at the societal level and supporting the budding EV industry seemed like a good way to achieve that goal. Nissan’s Leaf is an excellent EV and hybrid’s are certainly a step in the right direction. But neither of them caught the public’s attention the way Tesla has with the Model S. It’s been just three years since the Model S came on the market and major auto builders around the world have been forced to respond with EV’s of their own. Porsche, Kia, Volkswagen, Fiat, Mitsubishi, Diamler, Honda, BMW, Ford, Toyota, GM, Nissan as well as new auto companies either have entered the EV market or are just about to do so. The first company to offer a 200 mile per charge car for under $40K US will sell a lot of cars.

Not many years ago Toyota came out with the Prius. Nay sayers scoffed but now every manufacturer has a line of hybrid vehicles. The Nay sayers are at it again but the industry seems to be saying that EV’s are here to stay. Battery technology will advance and so will solar power technology. As these technologies advance the prices will fall and sales will rise.

The future of driving is as bright as the sun

Mini E recharging in the UK

Mini E recharging in the UK


4Comments | Post your own comment

  • Jack Olver comments:
    "I second all of Roger’s reasons. Next month it will have been a year since I visited a gas station – don’t miss it a bit. Yes, the regenerative braking is great. It’s amazing how little I use the brake pedal. I’m due to bring Mr. T in for a yearly check up in late March. The service folks will probably refill the windshield washer fluid for me. And by the way, having Mr. T’s abilities upgraded from time to time while I sleep is very nice. "
    February 13, 2015 a 8:43 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "Roger what colour is yours and where do you charge it ? "
    February 7, 2015 a 11:19 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "as a leaf owner I can only echo the story that ev is here to stay and will grow hugely as all the technologies improve.
    By the way in the UK we have gone in 18 months from 500 to over 5000 charging points to make the ELECTRIC HIGHWAY a reality. "

    February 7, 2015 a 11:16 am

  • Roger Manley comments:
    "Hi John, beyond the reasons you mentioned I also bought the Tesla Model S for a few others. My 5 KWH photovoltaic system provides lots of power etc. But it is an awesome car. It looks great, drives well, and just puts a smile on your face as you pass by the gas stations. I have just under 8,000 miles and had no scheduled services since there isn’t anything specifically to service on an EV on a regular basis. I doubt I will ever have to replace the brakes because of the regenerative braking system, but I may have to add windshield wiper fluid and have to change the tires a few years down the road. So besides doing it for all the “right” reasons you can still have a very safe automobile that is very fun to drive. "
    February 6, 2015 a 4:20 pm


24
JAN

John Olver says:
Life with Mr T – the Tesla


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , , ,


Life with Mr T – the Tesla

Here are two pictures. One of our Model S charging in our carport and the other of the solar panels on the roof of our house. Perhaps this will be a good starting point from which to discuss the experiences of my wife and I as well as other electric car owners.

Tesla S

 

Tesla S - charging

We picked up our Tesla Model S 85 on March 28th, 2014 at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. I had ordered the car through the Tesla web site and expected the car to be completed and ready for pickup during the first week of April but it was ready a week early. When the Tesla rep called us with the good news I shocked her by telling her we’d already arranged for public transportation to get us the 110 miles from our home to Fremont for the following week and we’d rather wait than change our plans. It turns out they don’t like having cars sitting on the lot so after a bit of haggling and three calls from the rep we agreed to accept a free taxi ride to Fremont on the 28th.

The Tesla dealership experience is different than any other auto dealership I’ve ever dealt with. Since every customer coming in the door has either already bought their car or desperately wants to order one there is no salesperson trying to make as much money from the deal as possible. The price is the price and that’s it. We were seated in a very nice lounge where we could examine a Model S platform. Without the body and interior there is very little to a Tesla. A watermelon sized electric motor, the axles, wheels and a 4’X 8’X 4″ (approximately) battery pack. Nice and clean, not a lot of moving parts. We had a cup of coffee and talked with the other excited soon to be new owners while waiting for our tour of the factory.

The factory tour can be found on U-Tube.

After a forty minute hands on session with a tech to explain how to operate our Model S we drove home to Pacific Grove, first through heavy Silicon Valley traffic and then to highways 101, 156 and 1. I was recovering from a heart operation so my wife drove. She was a bit nervous at first but the Model S put her at ease within the first few miles. It is the smoothest, most easily controlled car either one of us has ever driven. During the month before we picked up our car, we’ve named it Mr. T, I’d had a 50 amp, 240 volt circuit installed in the carport. This charges Mr. T at a rate of 30 miles per hour of charging. So the 110 miles from the factory was recharged in a little less than four hours. I programmed Mr. T to start charging at 11pm so it was charged by the next morning.

We have solar panels on the roof of our house that reliably generate 15kW a day. That translates to a full charge, 85kW or 265-300 miles depending on how and where you drive, every five and a half days. Since we seldom drive more than fifty miles a day we are almost always driving on sunlight. Our electric bill, Mr. T included, was about $39.00 US for all of 2014.

Although we’ve only had Mr. T for a bit less than ten months my wife and I both agree it is the best car we’ve ever owned and one of the best purchases we’ve ever made.

I have some friends that own a Leaf as well as several friends that have Teslas. I’ll find out what their experiences have been and would be interested in reading the experiences of other electric car owners.

This a blog post by guest energizer John Olever


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "I just talked to Tesla UK and what do you think about having the opportunity to test drive the worlds best electric car down here in Dorset. Special event for the Spring and idea’s what would make a good venue ? "
    January 28, 2015 a 10:53 am


06
OCT

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Dorset Energized at the Eden Holistic Fair


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , ,


Eden Holistic Fair

On Saturday just gone (4th October) Dorset Energized along with our friends from Cyclelife Wessex attended the Holistic Fair, organised by Primrose Matheson of Primrose`s Kitchen, at Eden Park, Buckland Newton, Dorset – and what an enjoyable, and well organised event it was.

View from Eden Park

View from Eden Park

Holistic being a description of how all things are interconnected there were a wide variety of exhibitors at the Fair. People offering meditation and retreat, technology to prevent harm from electro-magnetic radiation, herbal remedies and massages, organic vegetables, scented soaps and essential oils (wonderful aroma`s from that stall), Compassion toward animals (our friends Compassionate Dorset), organic hot food, Homeopathy, organic Tea, and of course Primrose Kitchen`s naturopathic mueslis and food supplements. And not to forget Teatonics who came to the rescue with some of their lovely and remarkably restorative Yerba Mate tea when I arrived somewhat damp from the cycle ride there in the rain.

Ourselves from Dorset Energized and Cyclelife Wessex were of course there to talk renewable energy and all things environmental and to demonstrate the fun and practicality of riding electric bikes. Our side of the Holistic “coin”, being that (and this is my own take on it) the Earth, this planet, also has a mind, a body and indeed a spirit – and being friends with the Earth (in all it`s aspects) is essential and actually makes you feel good as well. After all if we neglect the Earth and do not treat it as our Friend then we alienate ourselves and in practical terms endanger our own long term survival. Which of course is the whole point of Wholism and being Holistic (it`s all connected . . . .).

So during the day Jeremy Molger – from Cyclelife Wessex – gave a number of people the opportunity to ride an Ebike and without exception everyone who took a test ride came back full of enthusiasm – that`s the effect they have, though you have to try one to know.  Indeed our very own resident Illustrator Stu Jones (who shot the photos here) took an e-bike for a test run around the beautiful rolling countryside that the new Eden Business Park is surrounded by, and said it was brilliant and that he was really surprised how well it worked and how easy it was to use and to go up hills! Meanwhile myself, Vince Adams and Keith Wheaton-Green talked a lot about Ebikes – and other things renewable, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and made new friends. It was a good day – and eventually the sun came out, which at the end of proceedings made my and Keith`s cycle ride to our respective homes that much more enjoyable.

Vince & Simon & Ebike

Vince & Simon & Ebike

Vince and Jeremy and Ebikes

Vince and Jeremy and Ebikes

 

 



24
SEP

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Electric Car Charging


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories
Tags: , , ,


Electric Car Charging

I extracted the text below from a recent speech by Baroness Kramer.

“The UK already has the best network of rapid chargepoints in Europe.

And London has more chargepoints than petrol stations.

By the end of this year, there will be rapid chargepoints in every motorway service station in England, taking as little as 20 minutes to charge up a car.”

I have a friend with an electric car and frequently travel with him. It is Ecotricity who have put the rapid chargers at motorway service stations and they are free (amazing!) The journey to London in a Leaf takes just one stop at Fleet services (which you would probably stop at anyway) and there are fast chargers all over the place. Travelling back from Bridport to Dorchester we stopped to top up at the little chef’s fast charger and when you look at a charger map (such as this one) to plan a 100 mile plus journey, your range anxiety disappears.



08
AUG

Lets Get Energized says:
Dorchester`s new Ebike Shop


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories
Tags: , , , ,


Dorchester`s new Ebike Shop

Last Saturday, 2nd of August, the first ever Raleigh Bicycle shop dedicated entirely to selling Electric Bikes opened in Poundbury, Dorchester. Having started the Dorset Ebike Centre on his farm at Chalmington, Peter Claxton decided that the levels of interest warranted a shop in town, so Cyclelife Wessex was born.

The shop will be selling the full Haibike range and Raleigh`s own brand electric bikes – so choices for all styles of riding and backed by Raleigh`s class leading after sale service.

Having tried several of the range of bikes ourselves we know how good they are – and after much good feedback after demoing a Haibike and a Raleigh at Dorchester`s recent Ecofair we know that these bikes only take one ride for someone to start wanting one.

We have a few pictures – first one is of a lady who took a ride on a Raleigh Ebike at the Ecofair and loved it. And then some pictures of the new shop and it`s owner Peter Claxton and some prospective customers:

Having Enjoyed a Raleigh Ebike ride

Having Enjoyed a Raleigh Ebike ride

 

Peter Claxton in Cyclelife Wessex

Peter Claxton in Cyclelife Wessex

Cyclelife Wessex - off for a test ride

Cyclelife Wessex – off for a test ride

Cyclelife Wessex - happy to be open

Cyclelife Wessex – happy to be open

 

 



06
AUG

Vince Adams says:
What Range Anxiety?


Category: Electric Transport, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living
Tags:


What Range Anxiety?

I drove to London on Friday in my Leaf Electric car and was amazed at how easy the journey now is.

I charged up overnight on Thursday and set off to London stopping at Fleet services 85 miles from home then onto Richmond few miles around London and then back to Fleet services, coffee and another free charge fro Ecotricity and home to Sturminster in Dorset.

Total cost £2’s, comfort, huge ease of drive, tremendous. Can’t wait for next trip up to Birmingham this weekend.

Vince and his Leaf

Vince and his Leaf



18
JUL

Vince Adams says:
1000 FREE miles with Ecotricity Green Electricity + Car Tariff


Category: Electric Transport, Green Electricity
Tags: , ,


ecotricity-electric-highway

I recently changed energy supply to Ecotricity and was surprised yet delighted to be given 1000 free miles for my Nissan LEAF electric car. This equates to nearly 15% of my annual mileage so is an enormous help.

Equally I have recently used Ecotricity charging points at IKEA in Southampton and at a number of M3, M5 service stations. The points have all worked really well and are free at the point of use, once again reducing my energy costs for travelling.

Late last week I had to travel up to Lincolnshire a round trip of 500 miles and in the short time I had, this meant going by my LEAF would be very hard. So I talked to my local Nissan dealers F J Chalke in Wincanton, and without any fuss they offered me the use of a courtesy (non-electric) car. My only comments was how much I missed my LEAF! My first trip to the filling station took my breath away – £79.00 to fill up with diesel and although the car was pretty economical I still had another trip to make to the garage to top up.

So for cost, comfort and everything to do with green energy, I just couldn’t wait to get back behind the wheel of my LEAF!

Ecotricity are doing so much to improve the Electric Highway, that the next long trip I make, I shall give myself a little more time so I can take my LEAF.

Ecotricity Green Electricity + Car Tariff

If you own an electric car, you too can switch to Ecotricity’s Green Electricity + Car tariff and get the equivalent of 1,000 free miles of electricity each year.

For an electric vehicle to run emission free, one vital piece of the jigsaw is often overlooked – where your electricity comes from. Ecotricity think electric cars – powered by green energy – are the answer.

The main benefits for electric car drivers:

  • Green Electricity + Car customers will enjoy the equivalent of 1,000 free miles of electricity each year
  • Ecotricity’s Price Promise means that for many they are cheaper than the in-region standard electricity tariff of the Big Five
  • Get free membership to Ecotricity’s Electric Highway to charge when you’re away from home
  • Ecotricity have frozen their prices until at least April 2014
  • Ecotricity’s customer service is the best in the business – they have topped the 2014 Which? Energy Consumer Satisfaction Survey.

For more information or if you need help checking that your car is eligible, visit www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-road/green-electricity-car or call Ecotricity (and quote ‘Dorset Energized’) on 08000 302 302.



12
JUN

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Electric Assist Tricycles


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories
Tags: , , , , ,


Electric Assist Tricycles

I recently wrote a piece for this Blog (Ebike Fun in the Sun) in which I mentioned people enjoying riding Electric Bicycles for the first time. And how my own bicycle, which is fitted with a Mojo Crank Motor, proved popular with one electric bicycle first timer.

Well yesterday we were contacted, via the Comments section of the Blog, by John Thraves who also has a Mojo equipped bicycle. But John has his motor fitted to an ICE Trike. John it turns out is an amputee and is keen to spread the word about how Electric bicycles can assist those with such a disability to get back out on the road – an excellent project indeed, so we thought it would be great to post some of John`s photo`s and his introductory words.

John has sent us some photo`s of his Trikes – like many of us cyclists he has more than one bike (they just seem to accumulate :-)

So below are the words from John and then the photo`s of his rather excellent Trikes:

3 Great Trike`s

These trikes have helped to give me my independence, confidence since I lost the lower half of my right leg nearly 4 years ago. I was a keen cyclist before then but I found that I could not ride two wheels anymore due to the balance problem. However it is worth noting that the electric assist on all of them provides me with the ability and enjoyment of managing around 30 miles in one ride with no pain or discomfort and as I have said I would like to link other amputees to the benefits of this facility.

If you require further information or advice then please do not hesitate to contact me (which you can do via the Comments Box at the foot of the page – Ed)

The Scorpion is the next on the list for conversion to the MOJO and I am thinking of selling the Adventure.

The bikes are pictured below: The top one is of the ICE SPRINT with the MOJO motor, the second one is the HPV Scorpion, my first trike, and considered to be the Rolls Royce of the trike world. The third and fourth are of the ICE Adventure, my general workhorse and both the Scorpion and the Adventure are both powered by BIONX, which I do consider to be the best of the hub motors around. (Editors Note: Hub motors are, as the name implies, mounted in the center of a wheel, which can either be front or rear. Crank Motors (or Mid Motors) such as the Mojo are mounted by the front chainring/crank and drive the bike via the chain and can use the rear gears)

ICE Sprint with Mojo

ICE Sprint with Mojo

 

Scorpion with BionX Motor

Scorpion with BionX Motor

 

ICE Adventure with Bionx

ICE Adventure with Bionx

 

ICE Adventure

John with ICE Adventure



10
JUN

Vince Adams says:
Cycling to boost Dorset economy


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , ,


Cycling to boost Dorset economy

I was walking through the Overcombe beach carpark when I saw this huge rusty container close to where another new cycle path is about to open, being renovated initially with paint to protect rusty patches.

 

Container for bicycle Store

Container for bicycle Store

I wondered what it was and met Jacqui who told me that it was all part of a new project combining a number of Dorset small business. The aim is to create holiday experiences for visitors who want to get out and see the area when on holiday near and around the Weymouth/Jurrassic coastal area.

The container will be the hub for bike rental and when finished fit snugly into the surrounding Lodmoor landscape. There will be kayak rental and tour Company and one or two other Companies involved when the scheme opens later this month.

Container interior

Container interior

Its a hell of an idea, tourism is down in the County and Jacqui believes that visitors will really respond to something different. The cycle path network will be second to none and there are a number of other ideas that could be included like electric bikes to help with the hills and even small electric cars with zero carbon emissions could be included.
Dorset Energized wishes them well and Jacqui has promised to let us know much more about the project as it swings into action, By the way the view across Lodmoor from the container is amazing as is the wildflower path leading from the carpark to the swings.​

Wild Flower Meadow - Lodmoor

Wild Flower Meadow – Lodmoor



03
JUN

Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Ebike fun in the sun


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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Ebike fun in the sun

Well I attended the Hazelbury Bryan cycling day organised by Keith Wheaton-Green`s son Myles and friends, Jeremy & Luke – as publicised here previously (see blog post just below)

I went along to assist and take part – cycling from my home in Milton Abbas on my Mojo (aka Bafang/8Fun) Mid-drive motor equipped mountain bike. The ride over was accomplished in good time – the electric motor taking most of the strain out of the steep hills on the way.

On arrival at Hazelbury Bryan I accompanied Keith as he brought down the ebike (loaned for the event by the Dorset Ebike Centre) to the Antelope Inn which was the centre of operations – and a very welcoming place it proved to be.

The event started slowly, but there was a lot of interest and discussion about ebikes – even my own was attracting some interest. Gradually the day began to take shape – a few people turning up to take a turn or two around the circuit on their bicycles. And I and Keith and some of those doing the cycle to Spain also began to do some circuits – Keith was using the time to put in some practice miles as were Jeremy & Luke.

After doing a few circuits I asked Luke`s father, a keen motorcyclist, if he`d like to try out my electric mountain bike (I`d been describing how it was converted to electric and he had become interested). Well he took up the offer and came back from the ride with the “ebike smile” – they have that effect. As the day progressed every now and then I`d notice my bike wasn`t there – and it was out being ridden by the new “convert” It had made.

Sometime after 3.00pm the band “Not Made in China” began to play – the Antelope`s landlord had kindly allowed them to set-up on the decking in the pub garden. And a rather good sound they made (using the amps & p.a. equipment provided by the band #Hashtag who played some good tunes after them).

After their set several of the “Not Made in China`s” took an interest in the Batribike (electric bike) that the Dorset Ebike Centre had lent. Initially a bit sceptical – as people so often are – one then another took the Batribike out for a circuit. Once the ground began to rise and the motor was engaged – light dawned and the point of the electric was realised & fun was had.

Batribike - Diamond

Batribike – Diamond

That`s the way it is with ebikes – once tried, most people realise why we ride electrified. Not everyone of course – but you have to try one (or two, or . . . . ) to really know.

The upshot is one of “Not Made in China” quite possibly asking me to fit an ebike kit to his bike and another quite seriously thinking of buying a ready made one – and maybe more to follow (though not necessarily from the band).

So from an Ebike point of view the day went well – but also the two supported charities Help for Heroes, & Canine Partners (who were well represented on the day) hopefully managed to raise much need funds during the event and hopefully more donations will follow (via the event website) when the cycle to Spain gets underway on the 8th June.


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • John Thraves comments:
    "Please contact, I have an ICE Sprint with a Mojo fitted by Tony Castles, photos available, plus two other trikes with Bionx fittings, I live in Wareham and am an amputee. John Thraves. "
    June 11, 2014 a 3:03 pm


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