I start the September Hybrid Electric Vehicle (H/EV) Newsletter with a correction and apology. In the August diagnostic section, I mentioned the progress made on the Chevy Volt (misprinted as Chevy Bolt) – thank you to those that picked up on the error!

FYI, a Chevy Bolt (cross over) is a full electric GM vehicle which has a range of 380km and does 0 to 100 in 6.5 seconds. A Chevy Volt is a bigger vehicle with a direct injection high efficiency ICE (1.5L, 75KW), 16 kWh (10kWh usable) 45Ah as a range extender and can travel 61km on an electric motor, 3.8L/100km and does 0 to 100km/h in 8.4 seconds.

This month I turn my attention to London and their methods in addressing H/EV vehicles as an answer to some of the current environmental issues they face. As with all cities, the air in London is polluted; 40 per cent of the toxic air comes from diesel engine vehicles and 10 per cent from petrol vehicles. So, to put this into context, half the pollution in London affecting the 8 million people that live there and causing an estimated 9,000 deaths annually, is caused by vehicles. This isn’t helped by the sheer number of cars in use. Each day, six million cars journey into London. Two million of these journeys are under 2 km and 24% of schools are in areas that breach the legal limit for poisonous gas nitrogen dioxide. (As reported by the London Council).

We cannot afford to continue burying our head in the sand when the problem could be easily rectifiable as we enter the age of H/EV technology.

So how is London combating this problem?

Although there is already a congestion charge which has been in place for many years, from October 2017 certain vehicles that are deemed too old, and a pollution risk will face a toxicity charge in addition to this. As an incentive to avoid unnecessary fines, manufacturers are offering a minimum trade in for all old vehicles, and Hyundai are offering a $12k scrappage scheme for petrol or diesel Euro 1-3 emission standard vehicles. Moving forward, all new taxis will be electric, there will be no additional diesel taxis licensed from 2018 and no diesel buses will be purchased from 2018 onwards. (As reported by the London Express, Aug 25).

How is this currently affecting the mindset of the general public of London?

Go Ultra Low is a joint UK government and car industry newsletter and they have reported over 90,000 people have already switched to electric vehicles. This can of course be credited to the UK government who offers grants up to $10,000 on those purchasing H/EV vehicles and already has in place infrastructure that supports 96% of UK motorways being serviced with a rapid charger. Note: this means an 80% charge in only 30 minutes.

London has also put in an additional 1,500 charging points across the city with plans for 3,000 more to come. The vision is to have all London vehicles to be zero emission by 2040 and by 2050 all public transport will also be zero emission. These standards are expected to be implemented all over Europe, China, India, and Asia.

Whilst the Australian government has been making some leeway in supporting H/EV vehicles, it’s easy to see how far behind we are in terms of infrastructure, resources and public mindset compared to other countries.

In other H/EV news:

  • Sunlight could soon power the air conditioning system that keeps you cool throughout the year. Audi has teamed up with Chinese solar cell specialist Hanergy to develop thin-film solar panels for its electric cars. Read More HERE
  • Hyundai has already confirmed it will release its new FECV globally in early 2018, shortly after which its Australian arm will supply 20 examples of the new model to the ACT Government in late 2018 as part of the Hornsdale Windfarm Stage 3 project. Read More HERE
  • Australia’s diesel-fuelled garbage truck fleet could be about to begin turning emissions-free, as a council in Melbourne’s inner north is adapting its trucks to hydrogen fuel. As part of the $9 million project, Australia’s first commercial-scale hydrogen refuelling station will be built in the local area. Read More HERE