When I talk about innovation in the auto sector, I’m referring to the development of electric vehicles – EVs. The arrival of EVs and PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) is now a given and no longer an ‘it may happen’ vaguely possible event.Almost every car manufacturer from BMW to Nissan now has low carbon product on the way to market. Several will hit the market in 2010 coming from China, Japan, the USA and even Norway. Some like Tesla, Think City and Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV are already for sale.
Apart from their impact on carbon emissions, what change can we expect when EVs hit the streets?First of all - impact on urban infrastructure. The new electric vehicles will bring new forms of street furniture in the form of EV recharge posts and dedicated parking bays.Impact on business and personal life - They will change market mix and impact on our business and personal lives bringing changes in the patterns of use. explain furtherPossibly a higher rate of market adoption than expectedAs a marketing man I see an outcome that the urban planner may not see. I believe that the public are more likely to accept this cool new generation of vehicles than governments or city planners anticipate. Think like this. What would your son or daughter prefer? More of the ICE old or an ultra cool plug-in made from sexy materials that you just plug into your garage socket. And it’s Internet-ready.
Are UK cities EV-ready?The simple answer is no. Last year CABE launched its Sustainable Cities Programme which covers eight of Britain’s largest 2nd tier cities. When the city chiefs of Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham and Bristol were asked what plans they had to accommodate the coming generation of electric cars, the answer was ‘None’.(link to next slide)The topic of electric vehicles and carbon reduction is vast, so in the time available I will highlight just two smart ideas that will help us reduce the carbon footprint of our cities.
Barriers to EV adoptionRange anxietyRe-charge timeTwo of the key barriers to EV adoption that research consistently flags up are range anxiety and the time taken to re-charge, let’s say, a lithium-ion battery. Smart re-charge facilities can now help mitigate these concerns. The UK government released £250 million in April 2010 to encourage the adoption and proliferation of on-street re-charge facilities. This Technology Strategy Board programme is called Plugged-in Places.
From Tel Aviv to Texas cities are getting the message and investing in readiness for the arrival of the plug-in electric carRight now there is no standard automotive re-charge post. Systems proliferate in complexity, levels of smartness and aesthetic design. Many of you will know that Project Better Place took root in Israel, but the mayor of Tel Aviv wants to make sure that no one company has a monopoly and so has just agreed to allow Coulomb Technologies to put in 50 of their units. Coulomb Technologies is the main competitor for Shai Agassi’s Project Better Place. DraftMeanwhile in Austin Texas, the spiritual home of the US gas guzzler, plans are advanced for a programme called ‘Texas Unplugged’ to welcome the electric car.
Is anything happening in Britain?The good news is that this year Nissan announced that Sunderland would be one of the key global plants to manufacture its all-new electric family car called LEAF. In addition it selected the North-east to build a brand new plant to supply the auto industry with lithium-ion batteries. No wonder then that the Technology Strategy Board selected the North-east as the location for one of Britain’s three ‘Plugged-in Places’. So the North-east at least is getting ready for this new technology.
For a maximum smart carbon reduction car makers and energy providers must work together.In the USA general electric and Nissan have joined forces to develop smart EV re-charging systems. They plan to work together to study the impact of EVs on the US power grid. They are not alone – many manufacturers have teamed up with powerful utilities to do the same, but in Britain we now urgently need to follow that example.
Co-operation between car makers and those supporting the development of the Smart Grid is key to carbon reductionIn March 2010 Ford and Microsoft teamed up to work on a computerised link between houses, electric cars and utility companies to help manage energy use. For the first time the new digital technology associated with electric cars allows optimisation of the use of energy. The system will allow utilities to vary electricity rates based on a diurnal demand pattern for power.
More efficient traffic flowCarbon emission control in city centresNoise and pollution-free urban journeysThe need to invest in the right smart infrastructureThe smart integration of EVs into the pattern of travel in our cities means that we have to choose carefully when specifying our re-charging infrastructure, for there are products with varying levels of sophistication and it is this sophistication that we need to make the most of this carbon reduction opportunity. The new generation of EVs tend to be smaller and so we should be able to fit more on the road while the inbuilt safety systems allow them to maximise the efficient use of space on our city streets through intelligent transport systems. There are new battery chargers that claim to be really fast, re-charging 50% of a lithium-ion battery in just 3 minutes. This system by JFE uses lithium-ion batteries to store energy during off-peak hours, then directs all of this energy in a 3-minute burst into the EV without using super-high amperage or special wiring. There is a catch of course in that the EV systems need a special programme to be ready to take these power injections, but JFE hopes that the auto makers will ‘get it’ and make the changes necessary.(link to next slide)Now let’s turn to the 2nd of my smart ideas to reduce carbon through transport – self-drive public transport using dedicated EVs.
Pollution and congestion relief for historic city coresPublic mobility within designated areas of cities which have been made vulnerable through congested trafficCarbon savings, less noise, less toxic emissionsReduced vibration and damage to buildingsIn cities with fragile city cores like York, Edinburgh, Windsor and Harrogate, or world cities like Rome, Paris and Amsterdam, there is a bright solution. Self-drive public transport using emission-free, noiseless electric vehicles. These would work very much like the Velib kerb-side bike service in Paris.
The mayors of some major European cities already ‘get it’. The mayors of Paris and London have both intimated their desire to introduce such schemes. In Paris the scheme is called Autolib. Here they plan to make 4,000 electric cars available for Parisians to pick up and drop off at rental stands. This was first proposed by Mayor Delanoe of Paris two years ago claiming that it would reduce CO2 emission by 22,000 tonnes a year while improving traffic congestion and negating the need for car ownership for some Parisians. Consortia are bidding for the scheme and these include car makers like Daimler, Renault, PSA Peugeot and Citroen. Berlin and London are also looking at similar schemes with Boris Johnson championing the concept. Rome too is keen to embrace such a solution with its very narrow streets and intricate matrix of circulation.
Daimler ‘Car-2-Go’ scheme‘Mobility on demand’ from MITSurprisingly some car companies and academic centres of transport excellence such as MIT have embraced this radical solution for town centre travel. Whilst electric buses and the Metro do reduce carbon, there will always be some people who seek the freedom and privacy that one would expect in one’s own car. The self-drive public transport system ticks those boxes. This system helps reduce city centre congestion while also reducing carbon Nox and SO2 tailpipe emissions. These small vehicles take less space and can use optimising software to minimise journey times and the use of road space. They can also become ketchup-carriers for product innovation without impacting on the conventional supply chain relied on by today’s auto industry.
Fly-by-wire drive systemsElectronic brakingIn-wheel motorsSmart materials for body shellsApplied ITSCurrent investment levels in legacy technology linked to last year’s meltdown of the auto industry and the global recession has created the situation where the vested interests of the auto industry make it reluctant to put companies, plants and jobs at risk by embracing new technologies. However, if we were to do this we could completely redesign the concept of any vehicle from a car to a truck. If we were to integrate these kinds of innovation through the medium of a public service vehicle and thereafter license the IP to the mainstream auto industry we could obtain the sea change in technology whilst controlling the potential risk to jobs and investment.
I’ve highlighted two elements of the electric vehicle revolution that I believe are vital for it to start contributing significantly to carbon reduction. Widely available smart re-charge points for electric vehiclesSelf-drive public service vehicles using state-of-the-art electric cars where we have a real need to protect the core of historic citiesLet‘s make sure that Great Britain participates fully in this next transport revolution. It’s not rocket science, but our city fathers don’t seem to see the threat of a Pearl Harbour-type invasion of the electric cars which will soon provide glittering, gadgety temptation in dealership showrooms across the UK. Now finally here’s an invitation. For some years I have championed the concept of self-drive PSVs. It is a huge market and one that has a certain logic behind it. If there is someone out there in the audience that feels as strongly about the topic as I do, team up with me and let’s make it happen.Thank you for sharing my carbon dreams.
All Energy 2010 - Capturing Opportunities to Reduce Urban Carbon from Innovation in The Auto Sector.
Capturing Opportunities to Reduce Urban Carbon from Innovation in the Auto Sector<br />Ash Gupta, Managing Partner, The Gupta Partnership<br />
EVs and PHEVs are on their way<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />2<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
What change can we expect when EVs hit the streets?<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />3<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
Are UK cities EV-ready?<br />NO<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />4<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
On-street re-charging<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />5<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
What’s happening outside Britain<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />6<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
Is anything happening in Britain?<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />7<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
Utilities and automakers need to co-operate<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />8<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
EVs and the Smart Grid<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />9<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
What does this mean for UK cities?<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />10<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
Self-drive public transport electric vehicles<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />11<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
London, Paris, Rome<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />12<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
Are self-drive PSVs too radical a step for the car makers?<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />13<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
Enabling innovative technologies<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />14<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />
Closing invitation<br />All Energy, 20 May 2010<br />15<br />Ash Gupta, The Gupta Partnership<br />