The Anonymous Widower

Electric Cars Do 26% More Miles A Year Than Petrol‑Engine Rivals

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

As the research was performed by the RAC Foundation, probably in the UK, I think this is not greenwash from environmental lobbyists!

April 28, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | 3 Comments

Clean Air For All: Lampposts To Charge Electric Cars

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

An “electric avenue” has been developed where lampposts have been converted into chargers for battery-powered cars.

The project has been led by Siemens.

Surely, all lampposts should have an electric car charging point.

A Regret

I am limiting my travel because of COVID-19 and only using Shanks’s pony, so I will not be able to provide one of my pictures of the chargers.

March 17, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 6 Comments

Volvo CE Unveils Electric Compact Wheel Loader Concept

The title of this post is the same as that of this Volvo CE press release.

This is the introduction.

Volvo Construction Equipment demonstrated the LX02 electric compact wheel loader at the Volvo Group Innovation Summit in Berlin. The prototype machine delivers zero emissions, significantly lower noise levels, improved efficiency and reduced operational costs.

I suggest that you read the press release, as it says a lot for Volvo’s plans for carbon, pollution and noise-free construction.

March 15, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Batteries Come Of Age In Railway Construction

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Engineer.

It is very much a must-read article on the subject of constructing and repairing railways in a zero-carbon manner.

These are some extra comments of mine!

Smaller And Lighter First

This is a paragraph from the article.

Smaller and lighter equipment is getting the treatment first – the batteries and motors can be smaller. Volvo Construction Equipment has already supplied its first electric compact loader, to a customer in Germany.

Volvo seems to be busy creating electric loaders.

Size Appears To Be No Limit

This extract shows how a large dump truck can go electric.

If a 25-tonne excavator is not big enough, how about a Komatsu HD605-7 off-highway truck, which weighs 51 tonnes unladen and has a payload of 63 tonnes? Kuhn Switzerland, working with Lithium Storage and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), has converted this 111-tonne gross vehicle weight monster into an electric vehicle.

Out came the 23-litre, 778hp (578kW) diesel engine and in went a synchronous electric motor rated at 789hp (588kW) electric motors. An additional 120kW motor is fitted just to power the hydraulic systems. The battery was a challenge – the four large packs have a combined rating of 700kWh and weigh 4.5 tonnes.

Do you get much bigger than 111 tonne, nearly 600 kW and a 700 kWh battery pack?

Regenerative Braking

The article also says that in some applications, vehicles go up and down a route and can charge the batteries using regenerative braking on the downhill run. In one application batteries only need charging every three days.

Rail Application Of Off-Road Equipment

The article says this.

While an eDumper may be too large to use on the railway, it does show what can now be done. Between JCB’s mini-excavator and eMining’s dump truck, there is room to battery-power almost any item used on the railway today.

I would suspect that there are a lot of companies, including giants like Caterpillar, JCB, Komatsu. Volvo and others working to produce electric versions of their successful products.

What About The Workers

The article says this.

These new machines are only the tip of the ‘electric’ iceberg. As pressure mounts to cut carbon emissions and to protect workers from harmful fumes, there will be more to come.

Health and safety will lead to a big push towards electric, as electric vehicles are pollution, carbon and fume-free, with a substantial noise reduction.

Hydrogen Will Have A Part To Play

This statement is from the Wikipedia entry for ITM Power.

In March 2015 JCB made a strategic investment of £4.9M in ITM Power.

Why would a construction equipment company invest in a company, that makes equipment that generates hydrogen to power vehicles?

  • It is known, that the Bamford heir has purchased Wrightbus and intend to make hydrogen-powered buses for the world.
  • JCB have built their own diesel engines, so are they building their own hydrogen engine?
  • JCB make tractors and I believe a hydrogen-powered tractor may be more than a niche market.
  • Is it possible to build a hydrogen-powered JCB?

Buy any of these products and you get a gas station in the price.

To deliver hydrogen, all you need to do is connect it to the water and electricity mains and switch on.

If you’re using it to power rail or site construction equipment, the gas station could be on wheels, so it can be moved from site to site.

Conclusion

This is the writer’s conclusion.

It seems that ‘battery is the new diesel’. It will be fascinating to see how this sector develops over the next few years.

I don’t disagree, but would add, that I feel that JCB are the elephant in this room!

March 15, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK Electric Van Maker Arrival Secures £340m Order From UPS

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in the Guardian.

Arrival seem to be doing things differently, so read the Gaurdian article and their entry on Wikipedia.

This is their mission statement from the web site.

Arrival is a technology company, we create Generation 2 Electric Vehicles. Devices on wheels — they outperform legacy technology to deliver an experience like no other, but are priced the same as fossil fuel equivalents.

They must be doing something right, UPS, Hyundai and Kia have all invested in the company.

Here’s a picture from the Arrival web site.

Arrival is one of those companies, that will either make a fortune and annoy a lot of established companies in the field or end up in serious trouble, as the rivals gang up on them.

 

 

January 30, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

Road Toll Proposal To Plug Electric Car Tax Shortfall

The title of this post is the same as an article in today’s copy of The Times.

Last year, tax on petrol and diesel raised £27.9 billion. As the Committee on Climate Change (CCC)  is saying that all new cars and vans should be electric by 2030 or 2035 at the latest, it seems very likely that there will be a tax shortfall, as electric cars don’t pay fuel tax.

So the CCC is suggesting that road pricing be introduced

I predict that whichever government introduces it, they will lose the next election.

 

October 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 7 Comments

Amazon Will Order 100,000 Electric Vans To Hit Carbon-Neutral Pledge

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Times.

A few points from the article.

  • The vans will be from a start-up company called Rivian, in which Ford has invested half a billion dollars.
  • Delivery will be within five years.
  • Amazon aims to be carbon-neutral by 20140.
  • Some of the vans will be used in the UK.

Apparently, Jeff Bezos made the announcement close to the White House.

Hopefully, this excellent policy will cause a few ripples.

  • Will it encourage other van users to look at using electric vans?
  • Will it push other vehicle manufacturers to develop zero-carbon vans?
  • Will it help to reduce pollution in cities?

Because major companies are a bit like sheep, the announcement of Amazon and Rivian could start a major change.

Did We Lose The Plot On Electric Delivery Vehicles?

When I was growing up, milk was delivered daily in an electric milk float.

I am also old enough to remember the Harrods electric delivery vehicles, which were actually built by the store in the basement.

This article on LOCity gives a picture and a few details.

Amazon seem to be going back to the future!

Who will be next?

September 20, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Heathrow Plans Runway Over M25 In 30-Year Expansion

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in Saturday’s copy of The Times.

This picture, which I downloaded from this page on the Heathrow web site, shows the proposed expansion.

For comparison this Google Map shows the Airport recently.

These are some of my thoughts.

The Position Of The Third Runway

As can be seen, the new third runway is to the North-West of the North Runway.

  • It will extend all the way to the M25.
  • The M25 will be lowered and the new runway and two parallel taxiways will cross the road on a series of bridges.

This enlargement from the first image shows the crossing of the M25 and two other roads.

Note.

  1. The runway is on the left, which increases the spacing with the North Runway
  2. How openings between the runway and the taxiways will allow natural light onto the motorway.
  3. In the picture you can see five angled taxiways joining the runway from the two taxiways. Does this design mean that aircraft spend a minimum of time queuing for take-off? Similar but not so extreme layouts can also be seen on the two existing runways.

What intrigues me, is what looks to be a hole in front of the ends of the taxiways.

Could it be rail or road access to the airport?

This map from Network Rail shows the route of the proposed Western Rail Approach To Heathrow.

It looks like the dark holes could be the railway, between Langley and Terminal 5.

This section of the rail link is supposed to be in tunnel, but I wonder if costs could be saved if it is in a buttressed cutting, designed in cooperation between Heathrow and Network Rail.

Obviously, it will need to be in tunnel to cross under the M25.

I think that rather cleverly, the runway has been slotted in with the best use of the limited land available.

A Phased Construction Program

The Times says this about the construction program.

Only the runway would be built by the opening date of early 2026.

Other facilities such as new terminals, car parks, hotels and transit systems would open from 2030, with an expansion of Terminal 5 the priority

This means that the extra runway capacity can be used initially to better accommodate the same number of flights.

If Heathrow get it right passengers. should see the following.

  • They would suffer less from construction.
  • Fewer taxi delays on the ground.
  • Less long fuel-burning taxiing between gate and runway.
  • More flights leaving on time.

It might also enable air traffic controllers to allocate aircraft noise in a fairer manner.

Car Psrking

Two huge new car parks are to be built North and South of the Airport, which in conjunction with new hotels would be connected to the terminals by an underground transit system.

This article on International Airport Review is entitled Heathrow To Launch First Airport Ultra Low Emission Zone.

So doesn’t the building of large car parks contradict this policy.

It would unless, the car parks are designed for the future.

  • Electric cars only.
  • Intelligent chargers for every parking space.
  • Whilst the cars are parked and connected, they would be a massive energy storage battery for the National Grid.

When you arrived back to your car after a week in Greece, there would be enough power in the battery for your next journey.

By 2030, there will be a substantial need for parking for electric cars at railway stations and airports. Parking solutions like this will help reduce the carbon footprint of airports.

Conclusion

2030 is ten years away and Heathrow will have to work hard to build an airport fit for those times.

June 16, 2019 Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Empty’ Uber Cabs Driving Pollution And Congestion

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in today’s Sunday Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Uber cab drivers carry a paying passenger for less than half their shift, according to new data that raises serious concerns that the ride-hailing giant is adding to congestion and pollution.

The article also says that Uber cabs are carrying a paying passenger only 42% of the time.

This fits with my observation around busy points in London like Kings Cross station, where you see lots of Toyota Prius card with just a driver in them.

Only an hour ago, one such car, did a U-turn at Highbury Corner causing delay to everybody else. I can’t be sure it was an Uber cab, but it very much looked like one.

On a related point, a couple of months ago, my son paid for me to have an Uber cab from Walthamstow to Dalston. The cab had come all the way from Ealing around the North Circular Road, to pick me up.

How environmentally-friendly is that?

Conclusion

We need to cut pollution and non-electric cars crawling around waiting for business or driving half-way across London for a fare, is not a good idea.

  • Perhaps, Uber and other non-electric cabs should only be licensed to pick up in one London Borough.
  • All cabs should also be clearly marked with their company.

The sooner though, all vehicles inside the North Circular Road are zero-carbon the better..

 

June 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

London Taxi Protest Against Safety Rules Brings Gridlock to City

The title of this post is the same as this article on Bloomberg.

I had heard there was a protest about something last night and this explains what it was.

I should declare an interest, in that I use black cabs about five or six times a month, when I am in a hurry or am coming home late at night from say a station.

I have used Uber once, when my son paid for a cab from Walthamstow. The driver had come all the way from Ealing and got lost twice getting to my house.

Never again!

London Needs Clean Air

I am affected by London’s dirty air and feel strongly that as many vehicles in Central London should be zero emission.

So I very much agree with the Mayor’s strategy of making all London’s new black cabs electric.

But surely, this policy should also apply to Uber, mini-cabs and local delivery vehicles inside the Central area.

It will in the future and it can’t happen soon enough.

Black Cab Drivers Think Sadiq Khan Doesn’t Like Them!

Black cab drivers never have a good word for Sadiq Khan, but then they didn’t Boris either. I didn’t live in London, when Ken was Mayor, so I can’t comment on that!

But then I always say, that because we have a South London Mayor, we are getting a higher proportion of bus cuts.

I don’t think, I’ve ever been driven by a South Asian black can driver, although, I’ve been driven by many Africans and Caribbeans. Go to Birmingham, and you’ll find lots of South Asian black cab drivers.

On the other hand, I’ve been driven by several South Asian mini-cab drivers, from the firm round the corner.

So is the Mayor playing to his constituency and ignoring the views of black cab drivers?

Hence the protests!

 

December 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment