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Issue #49 - Dead EV Batteries, solar panels on landfill, climate FUD campaigns change tack, and KIA add-on for cheaper Ionity charging

The EV Musings Newsletter
Issue #49 - Dead EV Batteries, solar panels on landfill, climate FUD campaigns change tack, and KIA add-on for cheaper Ionity charging
By Gary Comerford • Issue #49 • View online
A busy week this week on the podcast with Melanie Shufflebotham coming on to talk about Zap-Map and where that app is going.
I have some embargoed news to tell you about Zap-Map but I’m waiting until the embargo is lifted next month to bring you up to date. Looking forward to that!

This Week's Podcast.
The EV Musings Podcast: 88 - The Zap-Map Episode
Top Five EV/ Renewable Stories.
What Will Happen to All the Dead Batteries?
“The rate at which we’re growing the industry is absolutely scary,” says Paul Anderson from Birmingham University. He’s talking about the market for electric cars in Europe. But associated with this is a growth in the number of EV batteries that will need to be recycled - eventually.
EV batteries are larger and heavier than those in regular cars and are made up of several hundred individual lithium-ion cells, all of which need dismantling. They contain hazardous materials and have an inconvenient tendency to explode if disassembled incorrectly.
This is something which - quite rightly - is seen as a problem. However, the value locked up in lithium-ion batteries means that there are many companies running the gamut of battery recycling. As ex-Tesla employee JB Straubel - currently looking at battery recycling - is quoted as saying “The largest store of lithium in the world is in people’s junk drawers’ He means the large number of old pieces of tech where the battery is ‘dead’ but could easily be recycled.
Solar Over Abandoned Landfills — Let the Sun Shine In!
Installing solar over abandoned landfills is generally viewed as a win-win solution for waste and energy management. Yes, converting a detrimental disposed waste infrastructure to scale up renewable energy in the electricity generation portfolio certainly presents challenges. It also offers opportunities.
The US is quite active in the field of solar landfills, hosting completed landfill solar photovoltaic system (SPVS) projects and having more in the planning stage
I like this idea. Landfills are - generally - sites that are either eyesores to look at or - if they have been there for a long while - are used for non-residential/commercial activities. Generally, you don’t build on top of a landfill.
So the ability to take over the landfill area and just use it for solar panels seems to kill two birds with one stone. Firstly it makes use of some of the otherwise unusable land that exists as a result of landfill. Secondly, it uses land which is otherwise unusable and makes it into a site for generating renewable electricity.
A double win.
Kia Adds IONITY Bolt-On to Kia Charge for Discounted Ultra-Fast Charging
Kia UK has introduced a new IONITY bolt-on to its Kia Charge service, opening the door to low-cost high-power charging for Kia EV owners.
The bolt-on costs £11.25 per month. Thanks to Kia’s partnership with IONITY, this allows Kia Charge users to enjoy heavily discounted rapid charging on the IONITY network. The bolt-on reduces the standard charging rate from £0.70 per kWh by 64 per cent, to £0.25 per kWh. It also eliminates the £0.49 session fee.
At first glance this looks like a good deal: get Ionity high powered charging for 25p/ kWh. However, the devil is in the details.
This is only available to Kia owners who are already purchasing a KIA subscription. There are two available - one with a charge per session on top of the price of the energy, the other with a monthly subscription. THEN you need to pay for the Ionity subscription. THEN - if you also want to use bp Pulse - you have to pay for THAT subscription as well.
If you plan on using Ionity a lot, this could be worth your while. If you’re buying it just so you don’t have to take out a mortgage every time you fill up, this might not be the best option.
Climate FUD Campaigns Change Tactics as More Accept Climate Science
Despite the best efforts of climate deniers, Americans are beginning to accept the connection between human activity and a warming planet. It’s hard to watch the infernos that have swept through the West Coast and Australia without putting two and two together. Farmers who make their living from the soil are more aware of changes in the growing season and the decrease in available water to irrigate their crops.
The Associated Press says misinformation about climate change has now shifted from denialism to focus on its real-world impacts. “We still see claims that global warming doesn’t exist, but we also see misinformation about specific areas — such as the wind turbines in Texas,”
It’s important that we keep ahead of efforts to undermine the climate change message. With sites such as Facebook making it difficult to put good climate science out there but a lot easier to put denial and misinformation up it’s a battle, but one we have to win.
Interest in Used EVs Up by a Fifth in 2020, New Data Reveals
Consumer interest in second-hand electric vehicles (EVs) rose by around a fifth last year, according to the used car website AA Cars. The site’s data showed interest was up by 18.85 percent in 2020, despite prolonged coronavirus lockdowns and dealership closures, and even greater growth is expected in 2021.
Any time data shows that more and more people are looking at EVs it indicates that the trend is moving in the right direction. The message the government is pushing around the 2030 new fossil fuel sale ban is starting to register with people. The manufacturers - especially legacy manufacturers - are starting to roll out new cars and, as a result, people are buying them.
For those early adopters who’ve bought and sold an EV, their old cars have hit the second-hand market and this is spiking interest and demand.
This is all good
A cool EV or renewable thing
We’ve talked often on this podcast about putting in new and updated chargers in volume to give people confidence in finding a working charger. Grid serve have gone for this in a big way and companies such as Instavolt, BP Pulse and Osprey charging have put together charging hubs that allow you to do that. The issue with a lot of these (but not all of them) is that they are usually a little off the beaten track - especially for drivers doing lots of motorway charging.
This week saw the opening of the new motorway service station at Warwick. It’s a couple of miles up the M6 from the M1 junction and it’s fantastic.
I went up there with Rob Shaw (RS Thinks), we shot some video for his channel and spent a couple of hours up there looking at the chargers.
There are 25 in total. 12 of them are operated by Gridserve/Electric highway as part of the recent deal they did. 12 of them are Tesla Superchargers.
There are lots to like about them (and one or two things to not like)
  • Firstly they are 350 kW chargers.I plugged my Kia Soul in there - a car that is rated for 80kW max charging but has never achieved anything higher than 51 kW. Within 10 seconds of plugging in - at 30% SOC - it was up at 70kW charging! It stayed up there until 83% when it dropped down to 45kW
  • Secondly, the chargers have both Chademo and CCS connectors. However, only 6 of the 12 Electric highway chargers have Chademo. The remaining six are CCS only. The chargers are paired by the looks of things at the cabinets which mean that if all the chargers are being used your charge speed might be nerfed slightly. But that’s a small price to pay.
  • Thirdly: All chargers are contactless only. Literally, plugin, swipe your card and go. 30p/kWh - which, for 350kW charging is at the cheaper end of the market. I think only Gridserve at 24p/kWh are cheaper. Fortunately, the chargers were on free vend for a couple of days as they check everything out.
  • Fourthly: The chargers are located way from the main entrance to the building itself so the chances of them being ICEd are small.
Things I didn’t like:
  • Despite the fact the services has been opened for only two days, one of the CCS chargers was already not working.
  • The chargers are not covered. There’s no canopy - and they are quite open to the elements, being a fair bit higher than the motorway. It was a little windy when we were there.
  • There is no AC charging for older Zoe cars. Gridserve has said they haven’t forgotten about Zoe owners so, perhaps, they’re thinking of adding 22kW posts to Phase 2 of this install.
  • Parking is free for a maximum of two hours. After that, you will be fined £80 for overstay. If you want to pay, it’s £15 for the day. A little steep, I feel, so watch your clock when you’re there - especially if you’re going up there to do some filming.
The facilities are good with both indoor and outdoor dining, plenty of food options, plenty of seating and loads of parking.
If this is a sign of things to come with EV charging at the motorways there’s going to be a lot of very happy EV drivers in the future.
Well done Electric Highway and Moto services.
Something To Think About.
Finally...
Last weekend made me very, very, happy as I popped up to the new Moto MSA at J1 of the M6. As stated in the ‘Cool Thing’ section of the newsletter above, this is the site of the UK’s first motorway service area High Powered Charging hub. If this is a sign of things to come with EV charging in the UK, the future looks bright.
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Gary Comerford

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