UK Spends £30 million on V2G Technology

As we reported back in the summer:

The United Kingdom Government… pledged to pump £20 million into vehicle-to-grid technology.

After an apparently interminable wait it was announced on Twitter yesterday that:

Today a plethora of press releases have added some flesh to those bare bones. According to UK Power Networks:

UK Power Networks is part of a consortium that has won £11m government funding for four electric vehicle demonstration projects as part of a series of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) innovation bids.

Vehicle to Grid technology enables energy stored in an electric vehicle’s battery to be fed back into the electricity network at times of peak demand. By recharging when demand is low and putting energy into the electricity network when it is high, V2G helps manage the peaks and troughs, balance the network and make it more efficient.

The government is to ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040, and it sees a smarter and more flexible electricity system as a major benefit to consumers and a key enabler to transport’s future growth.

UK Power Networks currently has more than 30,000 electric vehicles connected to our networks and by 2030 we anticipate that figure will rise to between 1.2-1.9m. Many of these electric vehicles will be V2G capable and could be used to support delivering electricity reliably and at the lowest possible cost.

The competition is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and is delivered by Innovate UK.

The four V2G projects that UK Power Networks will be taking part in are:

  • Bus2Grid: Supporting a project to turn a 30-bus garage into the first of its kind in the UK Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) bus garage.
  • e4Future: A trial on 1,000 V2G fleet vehicles
  • Beating Home: Domestic customer V2G trial involving customers in specific areas.
  • V2Street: Public charging networks with a local authority and a charge point provider. Targeted at the 60-70% of Londoners without off-street charging capability.

Note that the £20 million on offer last August has been increased to £30 million today! Perhaps that’s at least a partial explanation for the delay in the appearance of the announcement? UKPN don’t provide much detail on the four out of twenty one projects revealed so far, so let’s look a bit further afield shall we? Heading back to Twitter there’s an announcement of a new product offering and a new EV web site from Octopus Energy unsurprisingly entitled Octopus Electric Vehicles:

which was swiftly followed by another Tweet explaining that:

which put us on the trail of this press release from ChargePoint Services:

Octopus Energy today launched a new consortium to develop the first large-scale domestic trial of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging in the UK, following a £3 million funding injection by BEIS and OLEV delivered by InnovateUK.

Comprising Octopus Energy, Octopus Electric Vehicles, UK Power Networks, ChargePoint Services, Open Energi, Energy Saving Trust and Navigant, the consortium will roll out vehicle-to-grid charging technology to UK electric vehicle (EV) drivers this year.

The £7million project will install 135 V2G chargers in a ‘cluster’ delivery model that will facilitate research into the impact of widespread EV rollout on the UK’s electricity grid. The project will demonstrate the benefits of using domestic electric vehicle batteries to provide grid flexibility, cheaper transport and energy to homeowners, and faster decarbonisation of the UK’s power and transport sectors.

Customers will be able to discover electric vehicles, take them for a test drive and access a special V2G bundle, Octopus PowerLoop, when leasing a V2G compatible car. A two-way charger will enable the driver to charge their vehicle intelligently, using their vehicle battery to power their home during peak times or selling spare power back to the grid – creating value for the driver.

The technology could revolutionise the energy system by enabling electric vehicles to act as battery packs for the grid, helping to solve the challenge of how to harness the full potential of renewable energy whilst making sure that it is always available on demand. Evidence also shows that V2G use has the potential to increase battery life.

The ChargePoint announcement goes on to quote Octopus Electric Vehicles CEO Fiona Howarth:

Octopus Energy was founded to drive down the cost of energy to customers and the planet, and Octopus Electric Vehicles is the next phase in that mission.

There has been a lot of talk from the sidelines about how vehicle-to-grid technology will change the face of energy, but with this consortium we will be the first in the UK to actually deliver it to hundreds of households. We’re delighted to be working with this consortium of visionary companies, and proud to be backed by Innovate UK.

It sounds as though the Octopus Group are intent on competing head on with OVO Energy who previously “embraced” V2G technology:

We’re hurtling towards a place where ‘two-way’ electric car chargers can enable homeowners with electric cars to sell their energy back to the national network. It’s a smart idea when you consider that over 90% of cars are parked at any one time – which is a lot of energy just sitting there doing nothing. This technology will give you the opportunity to manage your energy your way, and potentially become energy self-sufficient, reducing everyone’s reliance on energy companies. Get solar panels fitted, then adopt vehicle to grid technology and your home could become a private mini-power station!

There are a number of other quotes too. Mark Thompson, Senior Innovation Lead at Innovate UK added:

Vehicle-to-Grid is one of the most iconic parts of the electric vehicle domain, and one that represents a great opportunity for engaging society with the energy system for win-win benefit. The Octopus V2G project is part of a creative, diverse and ambitious group of V2G projects announced today that are way ahead of anything being done currently world-wide, and give the UK a genuine competitive edge in the electrification of transport.

Alex Bamberg, Managing Director, ChargePoint Services, said:

ChargePoint Services’ GeniePoint Network continues to be at the cutting edge of delivering the smartest and most reliable electric vehicle charging network in the UK. With this consortium, we join with existing partners to enable us to provide real benefits to the end user both in terms of efficiency and reduced cost. Our investment in the GeniePoint Network and its class leading reliability is further enhanced, whilst at the same time ensuring protection and flexibility of the UK’s energy Grid.

Ian Cameron, Head of Innovation at UK Power Networks said:

Electric vehicles are effectively energy sources on wheels, so there are tremendous opportunities to explore how electricity networks can use any spare capacity in those batteries to benefit our customers.

In the future you could use your car battery to power your house or earn money by selling its spare energy back into the network at peak times, and all of this whilst ensuring you have enough energy for your next day’s commute. We’re innovating to keep our customers moving at the lowest possible cost.

Dagoberto Cedillos, Strategy and Innovation Lead at Open Energi said:

Smart charging solutions that align the needs of drivers and the electricity grid are fundamental to the future of sustainable energy and transport. In partnership with our fellow consortium members, we’re applying cutting-edge tech to help realise the enormous opportunity that is domestic V2G charging in the UK, and internationally.

That is of course all very good news, but it raises one big question, in my mind at least. For some strange reason the Beating Home/PowerLoop (depending on which press release you prefer) consortium doesn’t seem to include a bi-directional electric vehicle charging point manufacturer and none of the assorted news releases and quotations mentions that rather essential piece of hardware, or indeed shows a picture of such equipment in action. To right that particular wrong, here’s one I prepared earlier:

A Exeter Nissan e-NV200 plugged in to the V2G charging station at EBRI

There’s also no mention of the activity that I’m currently engaged in. Developing international standards for the protocols that ChargePoint Services’s charging station management system (CSMS for short) might one day use to communicate with the unnamed electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE for short) OEM’s V2G capable hardware installed in 135 Great British homes:

Nissan launches “Nissan Energy Solar” for the UK

In a press release today Nissan announced “Nissan Energy Solar“:

Nissan Energy Solar is the all-in-one solution that combines world-class residential solar panels with energy storage system to make the most of UK homes.

The solution has been designed to allow UK homeowners to reduce their energy bills and get more independence from the grid, allowing them to live more sustainably.

Traditionally, solar energy has been used to power home appliances during the day, but now with Nissan Energy Solar householders can collect and store the excess energy from their solar panels and use it during the night – even to charge their Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 – and on cloudy days.

Nissan launches Nissan Energy Solar: the ultimate all-in-one energy solution for UK homes

Nissan launches Nissan Energy Solar: the ultimate all-in-one energy solution for UK homes

The accompanying image shows an xStorage static battery on the garage wall, but no electric vehicle is to be seen. No mention is made of discharging said absent electric vehicle, so Nissan’s new offering only delivers part of the functionality implied by our artist’s impression of our SaMDES project displayed at the top of the page.

The press release continues:

Francisco Carranza, Managing Director, Nissan Energy, Nissan Europe says ‘Solar panels have become the world’s fastest growing source of new energy and we’re thrilled to launch Nissan Energy Solar in the UK. Over 880,000 UK homes already have solar panels installed and they are seeing the benefits every day, from decreasing electricity bills to increasing property values.’

‘Nissan Energy Solar is just one step in supporting our commitment to investing in innovative energy solutions for a more sustainable future and intelligent way of living.’

The new product also includes a home energy management system that will allow users to control how and when they want to use their energy in real time as well as making the entire energy system more efficient and sustainable. The system reduces energy costs and carbon footprint for homeowners significantly, by automating energy flows, purposefully utilizing solar production peaks and storage capacities.

Nissan Energy Solar solution will start at £3881**.

Here’s the small print:

**Includes the supply and installation of a six panel solar system, Home Energy Management system, and VAT at 5%.

The xStorage unit shown in the garage obviously adds to that price, as would upgrading to the “most efficient” or “sleek integrated” solar PV panels. The product web site merely states “On sale soon” and provides no additional pricing information as yet.

The 40 kWh Nissan e-NV200: The LCV market game changer!

Nissan’s latest electric vehicle press release doesn’t include the exclamation mark in our title for today:

Nissan’s breakthrough e-NV200 100% electric van combines the features of the award-winning Nissan NV200 van with the market-leading New Nissan LEAF, offering businesses a zero-emission vehicle packed with innovative technology and functionality.

From spring 2018, Nissan will introduce in Europe its new zero-emissions van that goes further than ever on a single charge thanks to a new 40kWh battery. The Nissan e-NV200 now offers a 60% extended range with unchanged cargo capacity and single-shift transmission that makes driving easier and safer.

Nissan e-NV200 40 kWh (ab MY 2018)

With more than 15,000 vehicles on the roads since its introduction in Europe in 2014, this new generation of 100% electric Nissan e-NV200, embodying the company’s Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, now goes another step forward. The longer range provided by its bigger battery and a full new series of connectivity features makes the 100% electric e-NV200 a real game changer in the LCV market.

Regular readers will be aware that we wholeheartedly agree with that final sentence! Whilst it was a non-typical use case our mainly motorway road test of a 24 kWh equipped e-NV200 last summer would have been considerably swifter with an extra 60% range. Our local rural post lady assures us that her currently diesel powered round is about 50 miles. Absolutely no problem in the new e-NV200. Are you listening Royal Mail? According to Nissan once again:

As well as helping business customers enhance their green credentials, the van represents a key pillar in Nissan’s wider commitment to cutting the level of emissions in city centres caused by professional drivers making deliveries and/or collections, ranging from CO2 emissions to noise pollution. It can help make 100% electric last mile deliveries achievable for businesses and professional drivers everywhere, with customers now able to drive more than 100 km further on a single charge compared to the previous generation e-NV200 fitted with 24kWh battery.

No more range anxiety then, and Nissan Europe’s Director of Electric Vehicles, Gareth Dunsmore, makes a very important point:

Businesses have a huge impact on air quality and traffic congestion, especially in city centres, and the Nissan e-NV200 helps cut the level of CO2 emissions they create.

The photos accompanying the press release are of the white “Evalia” 7 seater people carrier version of the e-NV200 rather than a red parcel carrying van, and seem to have been shot in amongst some renewable generation on the isalnd of Tenerife:

Nissan e-NV200 40 kWh (ab MY 2018)

Whatever the colour or configuration, we’d love to try one out on some Great British roads in the not so Great British winter. It seems that we’ll have to wait until “spring” though.

Nissan further inform us that:

Using the same battery technology as the new Nissan LEAF just introduced in Europe, and with no increase in the size of the battery itself, e-NV200 customers face no compromise in load space. Crucially, it can help make 100% electric last miles delivery achievable for businesses and professional drivers everywhere.

At long last Nissan get around to the V2G bit:

The Nissan e-NV200 is also much more than just a 100% electric vehicle. It is a mobile power unit complete with unique bi-directional charging. This means it can give back energy to power the world around it by connecting to offices or business facilities. It can even return any excess charge to top up and stabilise the local energy grid thanks to Nissan’s innovative Vehicle to Grid technology.

We couldn’t agree more!

Energiesprong Energy Efficiency Retrofit on BBC East Midlands Today

Regular readers may remember the “SOLCER House” video demonstrating how to build an energy efficent house from the ground up? Not so very long ago I attended a seminar on the Energiesprong technique for retro-fitting energy efficiency to existing housing, and now an Energiesprong UK project in Nottingham has been featured on BBC News! Take a look:

Energiesprong UK BBC News December 17 from Energiesprong UK on Vimeo.

If you listen carefully you will note that the presenters explain that:

Ten houses in Nottingham have become the first in the UK to pilot what’s been described as a revolutionary energy saving makeover, which should mean that residents enjoy warmer homes and reduce their bills.

The new approach comes from The Netherlands. Improvements can be installed within days whilst people still live in their homes, and the scheme is designed to pay for itself.

The Dutch call it Energiesprong, which means “Energy Leap”.

Here’s how that first UK pilot looks:

Energiesprong-Notts-2017-12-17

Shell Agrees To Buy First Utility

It’s all go here in the United Kingdom as Christmas rapidly approaches. We’ve mentioned their name recently in the context of electric vehicle charging, and evidently Shell aren’t going to wait for the January sales to make their next purchase. In a press release yesterday they announced that:

The Shell Petroleum Company Limited (Shell) has signed an agreement to buy 100% of First Utility, a leading independent UK household energy and broadband provider. The deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals and is expected to complete in early 2018.

The Shell group’s energy supply, trading and marketing expertise, combined with First Utility’s experience in serving around 825,000 homes in the UK, will enable First Utility to grow and develop more innovative services for customers. Expanding our energy supply business from commercial and industrial customers into the residential sector through First Utility allows us to bring our products and services to more customers every day.

According to Shell’s Executive Vice President of New Energies, Mark Gainsborough:

The supply and demand of residential energy is rapidly changing, driven by new technologies that enable householders to better manage their energy use, and the need for a low-carbon energy system. This combination will enable Shell to enter a new part of the energy market in the UK and to improve choice for customers by delivering innovative services at competitive prices. We believe that the time is right to build upon our strong relationship with First Utility by investing to grow its business.

Shell’s press release also takes the trouble to point out that:

  • First Utility is one of the largest independent UK household energy and broadband suppliers, with a 3% share of the UK residential energy market. First Utility’s 100%-owned subsidiary in Germany, First Utility GmbH, is also included in the deal.
  • Shell sees a new electricity value chain emerging in the UK, in which customers play an increasingly important role – managing their use and selling some power back to the grid.
  • This agreement complements the Shell group’s growing network of forecourt charging points and our recent acquisition of NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest vehicle charging providers, which gives customers the flexibility to charge their electric vehicles at home, work and on the go.

I don’t know about you, but all of that seems to me to imply a fourth bullet point that includes the three letter acronym du jour. V2G.

Scotland Announces New Energy Strategy

Hot on the heels of the UK Government’s new Clean Growth Strategy and Industrial Strategy the Scottish Government announced today its first ever Energy Strategy! Needless to say the first thing we did was to scan the document for any mention of the phrase “electric vehicle”, and sure enough EVs get a mention in Paul Wheelhouse’s ministerial statement:

We are well on the road to fully decarbonising our electricity system in Scotland. The challenge facing us now is to ensure a similar decarbonisation of our energy requirements for sustainable transport – and to deliver a well-balanced system capable of providing secure and affordable energy to meet Scotland’s needs.

Scotland is taking a leading role in promoting electric and other low-emission vehicles – with an ambition to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032. This is as much an energy system ambition as a transport one. We will need to develop and manage the necessary charging and other network infrastructure, while building awareness and confidence on the part of consumers. The challenges here are more than matched by the economic opportunity and environmental benefits which success will bring.

Yes Minister! Precisely so.

Scottish_Energy_Strategy_2017-12-20

Moving on to the body of the document we are informed that:

More of us are turning to electric vehicles (EVs). At the end of June 2016, there were 3,575 electric cars and vans licensed in Scotland (eligible for the UK Government’s plug-in car and van grant schemes), compared to 2,050 at the end of June 2015. 78 More EVs were sold in Scotland in 2015 than the previous four years combined, with 2016 sales expected to have risen further. Our ChargePlace Scotland network has expanded to over 600 publicly available EV charging points, equating to over 1,200 charging bays. This includes over 150 ‘rapid’ charging points, one of the most comprehensive networks in Europe.

Searching further for any mention of static and/or mobile storage technology we learn that:

Combining storage with wind and solar assets presents a valuable solution for the energy system as a whole, offering the potential for demand to be managed locally. This kind of flexibility and control will be important as electric vehicles become an integral part of the transport system.

not to mention:

More ULEVs will mean higher electricity demand, creating particular pressures for local distribution networks as drivers look to connect and charge their vehicles. We are already discussing these issues with Scotland’s grid operators, and starting to consider different options and approaches.

There will be big challenges here – but opportunities too, for example, in developing solutions such as smart chargers, and interfaces which can manage and reduce pressure on electricity networks. The development and use of innovative software can reduce the need for investment in more expensive and disruptive “hardware”, in the form of grid upgrades. There is a big innovation opportunity here for Scottish businesses, and a chance to develop and export the necessary technology and solutions. Initiatives such as the “My Electric Avenue” project have already looked at some of these issues, and others are underway. A report by Transport Scotland and Urban Foresight published in 2016 concluded that large numbers of EVs across Scotland can help support ‘whole-system’ energy solutions by:

  • providing significant and distributed energy storage capacity, able to absorb intermittent loads from renewable generation;
  • helping to integrate more micro-generation;
  • increasing overall energy efficiency; and
  • potentially providing a source of grid power input when required.

which is vehicle-to-grid technology in all but name!

Finally, for the moment at least, here’s video of the proceedings in the Scottish Parliament earlier today:

We’ve set it to start where the Ministerial Statement mentions:

New commitments on electric and other low emission vehicles, and our intention to support up to £60 million of new innovation funding under the Low Carbon Innovation Fund, setting Scotland apart as a country at the vanguard of the global move to low carbon energy systems.

MRH Announces a Partnership with IONITY

MRH say they are the:

UK’s leading independent service station operator by number of sites, serving 2.5 million customers every week at our 491 sites across the country.

Following in the footsteps of Shell at the end of last month they announced today that:

MRH, the leading independent forecourt trader, today announces a partnership with IONITY : a joint venture formed by leading car manufacturers which develops and implements a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe. The joint venture between BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, will build 400 fast charging stations across Europe by 2020.

MRH will be responsible for a significant number of sites across the UK by that time. The network will use the European charging standard Combined Charging System to significantly reduce charging times compared to existing systems. Each station will offer a capacity of 350 kilowatts, greater than the input capacity on any EV today. The current industry standard is just 50kW.

According to IONITY’s chief executive officer, Michael Hajesch:

We are excited to welcome MRH in the IONITY network. The partnership with MRH is key for us to leave a significant footprint in the United Kingdom as one of the major EV markets in Europe. It’s great to see how we are getting closer to our goal of enabling EV travel throughout Europe.

I’ll get excited once there’s a 350 kW EV charging station installed somewhere this side of Exeter!

Nissan Start European Production of 2018 LEAF

In a press release earlier today Nissan announced that:

Production of the all-new Nissan LEAF, the next generation of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, is officially underway for European customers.

With the first new LEAFs now rolling off the line at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, UK, the countdown has now started to the first customers receiving their vehicles in February.

Embodying Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision and already winning international awards for innovation and technology, this new model has been reinvented to offer greater range, dynamic design, advanced driver assistance technologies and enhanced connectivity.

Production begins of the new Nissan LEAF in Europe

Production begins of the new Nissan LEAF in Europe

According to Nissan Europe’s Divisional Vice President for Manufacturing, Kevin Fitzpatrick:

Nissan led the way in introducing electric vehicles to Europe in 2011, and every year since then it’s been clear that more and more customers share our vision for the future of driving.

We’re excited to start production in Sunderland and to bring the new Nissan LEAF to European markets from February.

The 2018 Nissan LEAF production line in Sunderland

The 2018 Nissan LEAF production line in Sunderland

The press release continues with a list of the new features of the 2018 LEAF, then concludes:

The Nissan LEAF has been in production in the UK since 2013 for European markets, with more than 85,000 units sold in Europe since 2011, when the first deliveries began from Nissan’s Oppama plant in Japan. Following an initial investment of £420m, the introduction of the new Nissan LEAF has been supported by a further £36m investment in Nissan Sunderland Plant, supporting more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in the UK supply chain.

Nissan's Sunderland Plant

Nissan’s Sunderland Plant

The start of production follows the new Nissan LEAF’s first major international awards last month, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) annual CES Unveiled ceremony in New York, presented by the Consumer Technology Association. LEAF was awarded:

  • CES Best of Innovation award winner for Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology, and
  • CES honoree for Tech for a Better World

Here’s a video of the 2018 LEAF production line in Sunderland in action:

Here at V2G UK we cannot now help but wonder when the first 2018 model year e-NV200 van will become available here in the United Kingdom?

Power Cuts in SW England from Stormin’ Noname

Following in the footsteps of Storm Caroline a couple of days ago, another storm is now putting some people’s lights out here in South West England. This one doesn’t have an official name, but nonetheless here is the United Kingdom Met Office’s recent forecast:

Whilst areas further north have an “amber” warning for snow, here is the Met Office’s official “yellow” wind warning for Southern England this morning:

UKMO-2017-12-10_0400

A spell of strong winds is expected to spread eastwards across the far south of the UK. Gusts of 50 mph are likely quite widely, with 60 mph gusts in places and close to 70 mph at times in the most exposed coastal locations. The highest gusts and strongest winds are expected Bristol Channel coastal areas during Sunday morning. High winds will also be accompanied by heavy showers, with a chance of hail and thunder, in parts of south Wales and southwest England.

Those “strongest winds in Bristol Channel coastal areas” have certainly done some damage to Western Power Distribution’s electricity distribution grid this morning. It looks as though the snow and ice across the Midlands has had an effect too:

WPD-Map-2017-12-10_1028

WPD-Table-2017-12-10_1028

As has been our recent custom, here too is UK plc’s current electricity generation mix courtesy of Gridwatch:

GridWatch-Main-20171210-1030

and here is a graph of UK plc’s carbon intensity so far today:

CarbonIntensity_20171210-115134

 

[Edit – December 11th 10:00]

STOP PRESS! We had a brief power cut here at V2G Towers in Tremail this morning. It only lasted for a couple of minutes, and is presumably related to this problem just up the road in Davidstow:

WPD-Davidstow2017-12-11_1000

 

[Edit – December 11th 17:45]

Suppy has now been restored to the remaining 15 properties in the Davidstow area that have been without mains electricity for most of today.

WPD-Map-2017-12-11_1745

Whilst the number of properties without power across WPD’s network has been reducing today there are still a little under 4,000 remaining, largely in the West Midlands:

WPD-Table-2017-12-11_1745

Earlier today WPD issued a press release concerning the effects of Storm Caroline on their distribution network:

Over the weekend we restored just over 99,500 customers, 70,000 of those were in the West Midlands and 15,000 in South Wales which have been the two worst affected areas.

We do not anticipate any further disruption to be caused by the weather conditions based on the latest forecasts we have received.

Since first light this morning, additional resources from other areas have been drafted into the West Midlands to aid with outstanding restorations and repairs.

Over the course of Saturday and Sunday the Contact Centre handled over 20,000 calls with an average speed of response of 7 seconds. 94% of calls were answered in twenty seconds or under. Extra staff worked in both Centres with Ramp Up Rooms opened in our Bristol and Plymouth offices in addition to homeworkers being logged in as well. The transport team also assisted in getting staff into the Contact Centres who were struggling due to the adverse weather conditions.

The British Red Cross were activated twice but were also offered to multiple customers in addition to this who turned down the offer of the support. 969 proactive calls were also made to registered vulnerable customers offering support and advising them when their power supply would be restored.

Below is a snapshot of our performance and associated information covering Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December.

WPD-Storm-Caroline

 

[Edit – December 11th 23:55]

An intriguing carbon intensity graph for the coldest night of the winter so far:

CarbonIntensity_20171211

Coal fired generation is working quite hard at the moment!

GridWatch-Main-20171211-2355

 

[Edit – December 12th 11:00]

UK plc’s carbon intensity reached a peak of over 480 gCO₂/kWh overnight:

CarbonIntensity_20171212-105540

Meanwhile WPD’s power cut map has finally reverted to something approaching normality:

WPD-Map-2017-12-12_0706

Jeremy Clarkson on a Grand Tour to Save the World!

We’re currently planning a Grand Tour in an electric vehicle ourselves at the moment, heading to Italy via Switzerland. We were therefore both surprised and delighted to discover that ex Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May had revealed how to approach the challenge of charging an EV in Switzerland in the very first episode of the second series of Amazon’s “The Grand Tour” series!

In the boys supercar tour around Switzerland Jeremy was driving a Lamborghini Aventador S ICE, James was behind the wheel of a Honda NSX hybrid and Richard was piloting a Rimac Concept One all battery electric vehicle! Here’s a brief extract of some of Jeremy’s words of wisdom from the preview of the new series:

Here too is a sample of some of today’s other Grand Tour related Tweets:

It’s great to hear the Grand Tour team singing the praises of a 100% electric vehicle. However it looks to us as if Jeremy et al’s researchers didn’t do their due diligence desperately doggedly. By way of one example, the episode was cut to suggest that Richard needed to go to the Swiss Museum of Transport on the edge of Lucerne in order to charge his Concept One. However in actual fact the ultra rapid EVTEC charger shown is located on the other side of Lucerne in Kriens. Here it is in all its glory in a photo on EVTEC’s web site:

Grandtour_EVTEC_Richard_Hammond_1

As you can see, the supercar fast charges via a CCS connector. Which leads us on to another example of The Grand Tour’s undue lack of diligence, since here is Chargemap.com‘s current map of CCS rapid chargers en route from Lucerne to Hemberg:

GrandTourCH

As you can see, there was really no need for Richard to drive the Rimac to Hemberg on the back of a truck, since there are any number of eminently suitable rapid chargers en route. I guess we’ll just have to put that down to dramatic licence on behalf of The Grand Tour’s producers?

Once the Rimac was unloaded from the back of the lorry, presumably with a fully charged battery pack, Richard managed to successfully negotiate the hill climb course. Here is what happened next:

Somehow I don’t think that was in the original script, do you?