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Issue #40 - EVs close to 'tipping point for mass adoption', FedEx plans to be carbon neutral by 2040, and wave power gilds the lily for Irish wind power

The EV Musings Newsletter
Issue #40 - EVs close to 'tipping point for mass adoption', FedEx plans to be carbon neutral by 2040, and wave power gilds the lily for Irish wind power
By Gary Comerford • Issue #40 • View online
Plenty of interesting things coming out this week. From the release of the EVA England survey on consumer experience at chargepoints (If you live in the UK and haven’t filled that in, please do!) to the government looking to break the Ecotricity monopoly on Motorway Service Area charging to the Sussex EVs group webinar on owning an Electric Vehicle.
So let’s see if we can pinpoint a number of specific articles of interest to you.

This Week's Podcast.
As we are still on an end of season break might I suggest an episode from our archives? This one is all about charging curves and how to set yourself up to charge as fast as possible:
Top Five EV/ Renewable Stories.
Six American utilities across the South and the Midwest announcing a new EV charging network called the Electric Highway Coalition.
The following American energy companies are banding together to develop this new network:
  • American Electric Power
  • Dominion Energy
  • Duke Energy
  • Entergy Corporation
  • Southern Company
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
The network will stretch across 16 states and connect “major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast, through the Midwest and South, and into the Gulf and Central Plains regions,” as outlined in a statement from American Electric Power (AEP), which happens to be one of the U.S’s largest electric companies. This is an excellent start - anything that can persuade people that EV charging is as simple and seamless as fossil fuel usage has to be applauded. But I can’t help but think that if there was some sort of federal mandate (with appropriate incentives, of course) this would happen a lot quicker than it would otherwise have to. This should be purely a capitalist move: get companies to link together to allow more customers to use more chargers. Why are businesses not embracing it?
Electric Vehicles Close to ‘Tipping Point’ of Mass Adoption
Electric vehicles are close to the “tipping point” of rapid mass adoption thanks to the plummeting cost of batteries, experts say.
The tipping point has already been passed in Norway, where tax breaks mean electric cars are cheaper. The market share of battery-powered cars soared to 54% in 2020 in the Nordic country, compared with less than 5% in most European nations.
There were always, traditionally, two big barriers to EV adoption. The first one was that they didn’t go far enough and would run out of charge. This has been put firmly to bed with EVs now doing 250 - 300 miles on a charge with no issue.
The second issue has always been the cost. There is a school of thought that says EV prices are being kept artificially high by legacy manufacturers to deter people from adopting them. But with the underlying components coming down in cost all the time this is becoming less and less possible (although Jaguar has revealed that just the battery enclosure on one of their vehicles cost thousands and thousands to replace, so maybe there is still some way to go with this!)
How FedEx Plans to Become Carbon Neutral by 2040
If you get a FedEx delivery in some Californian cities later this year, it might show up in a new electric delivery vehicle —and come down the path in a new electric pallet that helps couriers carry heavier loads. The company will be receiving 500 of the vehicles, from GM’s BrightDrop, as one part of a larger push to make all pickup and delivery vehicles zero emissions. By 2040, FedEx says it plans to become carbon neutral.
FedEx is one of the world’s largest transport companies. It has announced a mandate to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2040. However, this does not mean it will be easy. Ground-based transport is relatively easy to do. There are already numerous companies providing electric delivery trucks. But the key to bringing the carbon footprint down is aviation. However: The only viable carbon-neutral fuel for aviation is hydrogen. And even then only when using blue hydrogen which is very inefficient.
They’ve set themselves an ambitious target where the underlying technology to do so isn’t mature as yet. This is one to watch.
Wave Energy to Gild the Floating Wind Turbine Lily in Ireland
Floating wind turbine technology is just starting to get off the ground, and now suddenly wave energy is coming around to turbo-boost the industry. Floating wind turbines aim at harvesting wind power from offshore sites that are too deep for fixed-platform structures. Attach a tether to something that floats, and you could put a wind turbine just about anywhere. The floating wind turbine project in Ireland is part of the Western Star project proposed by Ireland’s Simply Blue Group. As one indicator of the commercial-ready status of the technology, earlier this year Simply Blue hooked up with Shell for another proposed floating wind turbine project called Emerald. The Emerald project is located in the Cork region and is aimed at 300 megawatts of wind power initially, with the potential for 1 gigawatt eventually. The wind turbine part is dubbed Project Ilen. It aims at 1.1 gigawatts for a site about 35 kilometres off the coast of County Clare.
Wave energy devices work by converting the mechanical up-and-down motion of waves into an electrical current. That sounds simple enough, especially considering the 24/7 availability of an endless supply of waves in the ocean. However, the devil is in the details. Wave energy developers have been hammering away on a number of key issues including the ability to withstand saltwater and stormy weather.
This is exciting technology. Both wind and tidal energy have, independently, proven to be worthwhile (although - as indicated above there have been one or two barriers to full tidal energy implementation) Linking them both together allows economies of scale and a bigger energy footprint with a lower carbon footprint.
YourParkingSpace Teams Up With EVBox to Spark EV Park and Charge Revolution for UK Motorists
A new partnership between the UK’s fastest growing parking technology provider YourParkingSpace and EVBox, one of the world’s leading EV charging solutions companies, is set to revolutionise how and where motorists can charge their electric vehicle. Motorists are never more than 20 minutes away from an available charge point, which can be booked and paid for in advance through the YourParkingSpace app. As a result of this ground-breaking partnership, they’re rolling out 200 charge points across the UK’s largest Holiday Inn Express franchise, Atlas Hotels, alongside a further 3,000 charge points for our comparable clients across the UK over the next 18 months.
I’m torn with this one.
  • On the one hand, anything that can get more people charging in a more seamless way is obviously good for everybody
  • On the other hand, having to sort out another app for charging becomes problematic
  • On the third hand, we don’t have to do this with petrol or diesel. Why should we make it so different for electricity?
As far as I’m concerned the jury is still out on this. (and what to do with the third hand when gloves only come in pairs.)
A cool EV or renewable thing
From our episode from the archive, the cool thing is:
E-bike riders pose a far lower risk than non-assisted riders: https://electrek.co/2020/07/10/new-data-shows-e-bikes-are-safer-offer-less-risk/
By conducting a survey of over 3,000 of its riders across Europe, Bikmo found that riders of electric bikes accounted for 38% fewer insurance claims compared to pedal bike riders, on average.
The survey included approximately 1,000 e-bike riders and 2,000 pedal bike riders.
Something To Think About.
Your Thinking Rate Is Fixed
Finally...
This is an exciting area of society to be involved in. The rush to get new electric cars out there, alongside new technology (stay tuned to the podcast for an interview with someone electrifying an area of transport we’ve rarely touched on before..) and the 2030 new fossil fuel-sale ban in the UK (and other countries) looming closer and closer (it’s around 3000 days, but that will go in a heartbeat, believe me!) means something new is being announced almost every day. Each week we’ll dissect the news and bring you the most important - or relevant - items in the newsletter.
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Back next week with more.
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Gary Comerford

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