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Sydney’s fleet cleans up at top green awards

October 31, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, LEAF, Nissan, Politics

Sydney’s fleet cleans up at top green awards Photo courtesy of City of Sydney

Sydney’s fleet cleans up at top green awards
Photo courtesy of City of Sydney

The City of Sydney’s green vehicle fleet has taken out the top plaudit for ‘Local Government Sustainability’ at this year’s Green Globes for energy saving and environmental leadership.

The NSW Government Green Globes are awarded annually for excellence in environmental leadership and innovation. The City’s fleet was announced as a winner last night at a gala event at Parliament House, and the City’s Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) a runner up in the collective collaboration category.

The City has been awarded a Green Globe for reducing fleet emissions by 26 per cent through investment in zero emission electric cars, hybrid vehicles and driver training to create a cleaner, greener fleet. This exceeds its target for 2014 of a 20 per cent reduction.

The City’s fleet of 66 traditional diesel trucks have been replaced with diesel-electric hybrid trucks, reducing emissions by 30 per cent.

The City’s passenger fleet has almost entirely been replaced with electric vehicles that are powered by low-carbon energy and offer additional benefits of lower running costs, lower pollution and less noise.

“This recognition is a credit to the City’s commitment to tackling climate change through dozens of initiatives, many of which have influence well beyond our local government area and even across Australia,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“These vehicles keep our city moving. By switching to electric cars powered by low carbon energy there are a range of associated benefits. We are also significantly slashing carbon emissions to tackle climate change.

“Climate change is the biggest threat we face as a city, a nation and a planet and the City of Sydney is committed to doing all we can to tackle that threat.

“We’ve embraced clean energy by installing one of Australia’s largest building-mounted solar systems and our fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles is cutting carbon emissions.

“We’ve retrofitted our buildings with technology to reduce energy and water use, and we’re replacing Sydney’s park and street lights with LEDs – the first council in Australia to do so.

“We’re delighted the City’s efforts to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases has been recognised at this year’s Green Globes.” 

The City’s plaudits at the 2014 Green Globe awards:

  1. Green Globe: Local Government Sustainability – sustainable fleet emissions reduction program. 
  2. Highly commended: Built Environment Sustainability – BBP for collective collaboration.
  3. Finalist: Waste and Recycling – BBP office fit-out waste program; and
  4. Finalist: Environmental Innovation – BBP and Investa Building Run installation.

Improvements to the City’s total vehicle fleet include:

  1. Reducing the fleet from 600 to 450 vehicles;
  2. Replacing large vehicles with smaller, more fuel-efficient ones;
  3. Introducing 18 Nissan LEAF zero-emission electric vehicles;
  4. Adding hybrid cars and diesel-electric hybrid trucks that save up to 30 per cent carbon emissions each;
  5. Using sustainable biofuels that combine recycled cooking oil and waste animal fats;
  6. Retrofitting older trucks to achieve minimum Euro 4 emission standards which aim to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

“We are working with businesses to reduce emissions and make significant savings on overheads through programs, including Smart Green Business, CitySwitch and the Better Buildings Partnership,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The tremendous work being done by the BBP has been recognised at this year’s awards as highly commended in the collective collaboration category. This innovative program has supported vital research, and produced wide business collaboration, significant emissions reductions and great bottom line savings.”

The BBP’s highly commended award recognises how strong leadership and a practical commitment can significantly reduce carbon emissions and deliver value for the bottom line.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: City of Sydney.

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Chicago Announces First Electric-Powered Buses Added to its Fleet

October 31, 2014 in Electric Bus, Electric Vehicles, EV News

New vehicles replace 14-year-old buses and are part of CTA’s commitment to going “green”; complements ongoing modernization efforts of CTA’s entire bus fleet

Chicago Announces First Electric-Powered Buses Added to its Fleet Photo courtesy of CTA

Chicago Announces First Electric-Powered Buses Added to its Fleet
Photo courtesy of CTA

The Chicago Transit Authority today (10-27-14) unveiled the first all-electric powered buses to be added to CTA’s fleet, as part of the agency’s efforts to modernize its entire bus fleet, which includes making CTA buses more efficient and environmentally friendly.

The two new buses will provide a cleaner, quieter ride that reduces fuel costs and significantly decreases emissions, improving air quality for customers and the general public.

“Adding all-electric buses to our municipal fleet of city vehicles is another way that we are building both a great city and a greener city at the same time,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “These new electric buses will help move Chicago’s transit system into the 21st century and ensure that the City on the Move keeps moving forward in a way that protects our environment for future generations.”

The CTA announced in 2012 it would purchase two electric buses and hired New Flyer Industries Inc. for the $2.5 million project, which is funded by federal grants. The CTA is the first of any major U.S. transit agency to use all electric-powered buses as part of regular service. The electric buses are part of CTA’s ongoing modernization of its bus fleet announced by Mayor Emanuel in June 2012,complementing brand new clean diesel buses manufactured by Nova Bus that are currently being added to CTA’s fleet.

“We continually pursue the latest technology and innovation to improve service to CTA customers and reduce the agency’s costs,” said President Claypool. “These buses are our latest effort to go ‘green’, in addition to increasing the number of hybrid buses in our fleet, replacing old lighting with energy efficient LED lighting and recycling employee refuse and vehicle materials, such as oil, anti-freeze and batteries.”

CTA’s bus fleet upgrades since 2012 have included adding 300 new buses to replace buses purchase 2000-2002 and overhauling more than 1,000 buses that are seven to eight years old to extend their lifespans. About 15 percent of CTA’s buses are hybrid, which use a combination of electricity and clean diesel fuel). The CTA buses that are currently being overhauled will be more fuel efficient and emit fewer harmful emissions than when they were brand new.

Features and benefits of electric buses include*:

  1. A much quieter ride. The noise produced by the new buses is about the equivalent to a human conversation.
  2. Lower harmful emissions – emissions from each bus is the equivalent of removing 23 cars from the road annually.
  3. Improves air quality, leading to fewer occurrences of illness and respiratory diseases, which is valued at approximately $55,000 annually per bus, or $660,000 over the expected 12-year bus lifespan.**
  4. Saves the CTA more than $25,000 annually in net fuel costs per bus, or more than $300,000 over the expected 12-year bus lifespan.

*When compared to the Nova 6400 Series buses they replace.
**Based on the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Quantifier Health Benefits Methodology

The two new buses are the same size as CTA’s standard-sized 40-foot buses and will have the all of the same features, including a similar seat layout to existing CTA buses, a low-floor, ramp accessible design, a camera surveillance system and an Automatic Voice Announcement System (AVAS).

What’s different about these buses from the rest of the CTA fleet is that they will feature an all-electric propulsion system built by Siemens and that are powered with lithium-ion batteries. The buses can travel 80-120 miles on a single charge. Because of Chicago’s extreme winter temperatures, the buses have a small diesel heater that can be used in very cold temperatures for passenger comfort.

The buses have been rigorously tested for reliability and adaptability to extreme weather conditions, including their ability to heat and cool for passenger comfort. Their batteries also have safety features that preserve the battery by preventing it from being completely drained. The speed, acceleration and handling of the electric buses is equal to or better than buses in the existing fleet and also meets current industry performance standards.

The buses hit Chicago streets immediately and will be used on the #7 Harrison, #120 Ogilvie/Streeterville Express, #121 Union/Streeterville Express, #124 Navy Pier, #125 Water Tower Express, and #157 Streeterville/Taylor routes.

This article (10-29-14) is an EV News Report repost, credit: CTA.

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Formula E INSIGHT: Williams battery technology

October 31, 2014 in Battery Energy Storage, Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, FIA Formula E

Robert Llewellyn discovers more about Williams and the technology behind the 200kw batteries that power the Formula E cars.

Video Courtesy of Formula E.

Sustainability: EU aims to reduce GHG emissions by up to 40% by 2030

Sustainability: EU aims to reduce GHG emissions by up to 40% by 2030 Image courtesy of EU Williams / Formula E

Sustainability: EU aims to reduce GHG emissions by up to 40% by 2030
Image courtesy of EU
Williams / Formula E

Last week the European Union made a pledge to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by 2030.

This encompasses four key targets:

  1. a binding EU target of at least 40% less greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990
  2. a target of at least 27% reduction of renewable energy used at EU level
  3. an energy efficiency increase of at least 27%
  4. the completion of the EU-internal energy market by reaching an electricity interconnection target of 15% between member states and pushing forward important infrastructure projects

As well as the very ambitious targets the council members also requested further research on electric transportation. They stated clearly that their goal was to decarbonise using a diverse mix of technologies.

We at Formula E are convinced that the mobility of tomorrow will rely on electric vehicles. But also that these need to be powered by renewable energy sources – this is why we are not only racing the first fully-electric single-seater cars but we power them thanks to Aquafuel – our great innovative zero-emission fuel made from glycerin. Also there is not only one answer, we want to showcase a range of innovative and sustainable solutions.

This article (10-28-14) is an EV News Report repost, credit: Formula E.

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La Poste group and the Renault group pursue their cooperation on new forms of mobility

October 31, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV enthusiast, EV News, Politics, Renault

La Poste group and the Renault group pursue their cooperation on new forms of mobility, coinciding with the delivery of the 5,000th Kangoo Z.E. Photo courtesy of Renault

La Poste group and the Renault group pursue their cooperation on new forms of mobility, coinciding with the delivery of the 5,000th Kangoo Z.E.
Photo courtesy of Renault

Coinciding with the delivery of the 5,000th Kangoo Z.E.

Philippe Wahl, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of La Poste group, and Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Renault group, are signing a partnership on October 31, 2014 to pursue and strengthen their cooperation on the search for eco-mobility solutions.

Carlos Ghosn Photo courtesy of Renault La Poste group and the Renault group pursue their cooperation on new forms of mobility

Carlos Ghosn
Photo courtesy of Renault
La Poste group and the Renault group pursue their cooperation on new forms of mobility

Since the launch of France’s low-carbon vehicle project in January 2009, La Poste group, which has the country’s largest industrial fleet with some 69,000 vehicles, has equipped itself with a complete range of electric vehicles, including small light commercial vehicles, quads, three-wheelers and electrically assisted bicycles. Today, La Poste mailmen and mailwomen use nearly 25,000 means of electric transport daily. The keys to the 5,000th Kangoo Z.E. will today be symbolically handed over by Philippe Wahl, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of La Poste group, and Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Renault group, to mailperson Vivien Malungu at the Issy les Moulineaux mail platform south of Paris.

The Renault group and La Poste group are working together in a wide range of fields on forward-looking issues independently of their business relations. By signing the new partnership agreement, the two French companies are pursuing their collaborative efforts on the search for eco-mobility solutions. Through research work and studies, the two groups will develop pilot projects on new mobility solutions and continue to foster the sustainable mobility of the present and future, focusing on four main areas:

Improving vehicle range to accelerate rollout

The two companies plan to dialogue and share information on their tests and study programs to improve the range of the clean vehicles produced by Renault that are currently part of the La Poste fleet. R&D projects have already been initiated in this area. The “MobilHyTest” range extension falls within the scope of today’s partnership.

Making vehicles used in urban areas cleaner

Current projects concern research into solutions for parcel delivery needs in urban, peri-urban and rural areas for 5 m3 to 17 m3 vehicles. A key player in urban logistics, La Poste every day tackles the same equation of meeting the growing demands arising from e-commerce by delivering parcels in city centers while limiting the harmful impacts stemming from traffic and parking. The aim is to generate solutions for a cleaner and quieter urban logistics better adapted to its environment, and also to improve the working conditions of mail delivery and collection staff.

Working on different sizes of electric vehicles

The two groups will conduct a watch, carry out tests, and dialogue on new vehicles measuring up to 17 m3 for mail use and in respect of competition law. Several new ideas have already emerged, including in the 8 m3 segment, the “service” vehicle segment and the small urban vehicle segment.

Contributing to future road mobility with the advent of connected vehicles

Through their collaborative work, Renault and La Poste are making an active contribution to the development of connected and communicating light commercial vehicles by 2020, as well as to their management and monitoring in professional contexts.

Renault, a pioneer and leader in electric vehicles in France with a 55% share of the market

With numerous carmakers starting out on the electric adventure, Renault remains a clear step ahead with its complete range of electric vehicles featuring Twizy, ZOE and Kangoo Z.E. Nearly 50,000 electric vehicles from Renault’s Zero Emission range are on the road worldwide and rollout continues today, underpinned by extremely high customer satisfaction, top-level technology and an increasingly favorable environment in terms of charging infrastructure. The Kangoo Z.E. has been a strong success at La Poste – and with numerous logistics customers around the world – because it corresponds to requirements on the reduction of operating costs and CO2 emissions, the needs of fleet managers, and expectations on improved working conditions for employees (for example, in the form of automatic gearboxes and low noise levels).

Outside Europe, Renault has begun to market its Z.E. range in South America and Asia, responding to needs on CO2 emissions reductions, improved air quality, and the energy independence of numerous countries. Through its partner network, La Poste group enables Renault to share its experience in electric vehicles.

La Poste group, committed to sustainable mobility

La Poste group has launched a wide-ranging sustainable development policy and currently boasts the world’s largest fleet of electric vehicles.

5,000 electric cars

With a range of up to 70 km in optimal mail use, a load volume of 3 m3 or 4 m3 depending on the model, zero CO2 emissions and a pleasant and silent drive, these vehicles are perfectly adapted to 100% responsible mail routes. The commitment of La Poste and its mailmen and mailwomen is underscored by the environmental message “+ proche + vert” (“closer and greener”) marked on each vehicle. The vehicles are built for La Poste by Renault.

1,000 electric quads

The electric quad is poised to replace motorized two-wheelers and, in some cases, internal-combustion four-wheelers. It will be used in particular in cities and suburbs as well as in pedestrian areas closed to internal-combustion vehicles. The vehicle has a range of around 25 km and can transport up to 150 kg of mail and parcels. The vehicles are built for La Poste by Ligier.

18,000 electrically assisted bicycles

Electrically assisted bicycles have a range of 20 km and can be used to replace motorized two-wheelers. Electrical assistance can supply more than 80% of the power required.

Two in three bicycle mailpersons are equipped with an electrically assisted bicycle. The bicycles are built for La Poste by Cycleurop and Arcade (France).

100 STABY® electric three-wheelers

STABY®, the latest addition to La Poste’s electric vehicle fleet, is used to deliver and collect mail and small goods in city centers and peri-urban and rural areas. The vehicle has a range of 35 km in mail use and can transport nearly twice as many letters and parcels as a scooter. Highly maneuverable and easy to drive, it is also more stable and safer to use than a two-wheeler, which it is set to replace. These vehicles are built for La Poste by Ligier.

A subsidiary dedicated to promoting eco-driving…

To capitalize on all the expertise acquired in the field, La Poste has created MOBIGREEN, a subsidiary dedicated to promoting eco-driving with all the players concerned by this type of training, including managers of company fleets, large companies and local authorities.

…and another providing advice on eco-responsible transport and mobility

GREENOVIA shares its expertise in vehicle fleet management with companies looking to introduce, develop or optimize automotive fleets while meeting their social, environmental and financial objectives.

About La Poste group
A 100% publicly funded corporation since 1 March 2010, La Poste has an original group model structured around five core business areas: Services-Mail-Parcels, La Banque Postale (banking), Réseau La Poste (network), Geopost, and Digital. The Group is present in over 40 countries on four continents. Every day, La Poste’s 17,000 contact points – constituting the largest local commercial network in France – welcome some 1.7 million clients. La Poste distributes 25 billion objects worldwide a year, six days a week, including letters, printed advertising and parcels. In 2013 La Poste group reported revenue of €22.08 billion, 17% of which internationally, and employed 266,000 people. With its strategic plan, “La Poste 2020: Conquering the Future”, La Poste group aims to step up the development of its five business areas and win new clients in new territories. La Poste places human factors and trust at the heart of customer relations. Through the convergence of its networks, available for all, everywhere and every day, it supports its clients with a view to simplifying their future.

About the Renault group
Present in 118 countries with more than 350 industrial and commercial sites, the Renault group designs, develops, manufactures and sells a broad range of innovative, safe and environmentally respectful vehicles. Renault pursues its strategy of profitable growth under the Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors brands. At end-2013 the Renault group employed 122,000 people worldwide, reported net revenue of €40,932 million, and sold more than 2.6 million vehicles. In 1999 the Renault group formed an Alliance with Nissan that is unique in the automotive sector and ranks as the world’s number-four automotive group. The Alliance signed a partnership with Daimler in 2010 and with AVTOVAZ, Russia’s largest carmaker and owner of the Lada brand, in 2012.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: Renault.

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Breakthrough: 4.6 billion dollar deal secures gas for Ukraine and EU

October 31, 2014 in EV News, Oil, Politics

Discussion between Aleksey Miller, CEO of Gazprom, on the right, and Günther Oettinger. Photo courtesy of EU Breakthrough: 4.6 billion dollar deal secures gas for Ukraine and EU

Discussion between Aleksey Miller, CEO of Gazprom, on the right, and Günther Oettinger.
Photo courtesy of EU
Breakthrough: 4.6 billion dollar deal secures gas for Ukraine and EU

After seven rounds of gas negotiations, last night’s talks moderated by Günther H. Oettinger, Vice-President of the European Commission, yielded finally a breakthrough: A 4,6 billion dollar winter package, agreed by Russia and Ukraine, secures gas for Ukraine – and ultimately also for Europe.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission who witnessed today’s signing of the winter package, said: “I am delighted that I can announce a major success at the end of my mandate as President of the European Commission. With our strong support, Ukraine and Russia have today found agreement on their outstanding energy debt issues, and on an interim solution that enables supplies to continue this winter. I am glad that political responsibility, the logic of cooperation and simple economic sense have prevailed.”

Günther H. Oettinger, Vice-President of the European Commission, said: “This breakthrough will not only make sure that Ukraine will have sufficient heating in the dead of the winter. It is also a contribution to the de-escalation between Russia and Ukraine.”

The winter package consists of two documents:

  1. A binding protocol, signed by the European Commission (Vice-President Oettinger), the Russian Federation (Energy Minister Alexander Novak) and Ukraine (Energy Minister Yuri Prodan);

  2. An addendum to the existing gas supply contract, signed by Gazprom of Russia (CEO Alexey Miller) and Naftogaz of Ukraine (CEO Andriy Kobolyev);

The package covers the period from now until the end of March 2015 and includes the following main points:

  1.  Debts: Ukraine would settle its debts based on a preliminary price of $268,5/ 1000m3 by making payments in two tranches: 1,45 billion dollar without delay, and 1,65 billion dollar by the end of the year 2014. This adds in total up to 3,1 billon dollar of debt payment. The final price and thus the final sum of debt will be determined through the pending arbitration by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce between Gazprom and Naftogaz.

  2. New gas: Russia will deliver gas following advanced, monthly payments by Ukraine. The price is below $385/ 1000m3 and calculated according to a formula in the present contract and a price reduction through a discount in export duties by the Russian Federation. Ukraine is free to order as much gas as it needs and is not subject to take-or-pay obligations foreseen in the current contract. Ukraine foresees to purchase 4 bcm until the end of the year 2014, meaning 1,5 billion dollar.

In the last weeks, the European Commission has been working intensively with the International Financial Institutions (IFI) and Ukraine to help Ukraine prepay for deliveries of gas in the coming winter. Unprecedented levels of EU aid will be disbursed in a timely manner, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reassured Ukraine that it can use all financial means at its disposal to pay for gas. Further work with the IFIs on financial assistance to Ukraine, also in relation to gas supplies, will still continue, but all three sides are reassured that Ukraine will have the necessary financial means.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: European Commission.