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Issue #73 - Half UK learners want electric car lessons, shark skin can give planes lower emissions, Paris bans cars in the city, and Norway's postal service goes electric

The EV Musings Newsletter
Issue #73 - Half UK learners want electric car lessons, shark skin can give planes lower emissions, Paris bans cars in the city, and Norway's postal service goes electric
By Gary Comerford • Issue #73 • View online
With the current unrest and conflict in Ukraine, one notable outcome seems to be the willingness of people on all sides of the political spectrum to look at reducing their fossil fuel consumption. This is either as a way of thumbing their nose at Russia: ‘Hey, Vlad, we don’t need your stinking petrochemicals’, or as a way of reducing costs associated with the price rise from the conflict.
Whatever the reason this could be a tipping point as governments realise how dependent they are on overseas production for their energy.
This can only be a good thing.

This Week's Podcast.
No podcast this week as we are on a hiatus. Instead here’s one from the archives.
Episode 99 - The Electric Bike Episode
Top Five EV/ Renewable Stories.
Almost Half of UK Drivers Would Sign Up for Electric Car Lessons
Filed under the heading ‘At least my podcast is focusing on a niche that people seem to need’
A study by the AA found 44 % of qualified UK drivers would like the chance of an electric vehicle (EV) lesson to boost their knowledge of the new tech
Younger drivers and those in London were among the most likely to be interested in EV driving lessons. Half (49 %) of 18-24-year-olds questioned said they would be interested in an electric car lesson, while 53 % of Londoners said the same thing
“As we head towards 2030, more and more learners will be starting their driving life in an EV,” an AA spokesman said. “Terminology such as ‘charging’ and ‘range’ will be second nature to them, but it is a learning curve for drivers who have been used to combustion engines for decades"
Paris’s Great Experiment Will Ban Cars in Much of the City, Instead Opting for Bikes, Scooters, Leg
It’s always an unpopular move, but banning (or, at the very least, reducing) motor vehicles in city centres is something a growing number of councils are starting to consider. Paris joins that list.
In a bid to clean up the city and reduce the chokehold of traffic congestion, Paris plans to ban cars from much of the historic part of the French capital.
Vehicles banned under the new rules will include most private vehicles used for through traffic.
While covering the development of the plan last year, Bloomberg estimated that the plan’s implementation could remove 100,000 cars per day from Paris’s streets
The city has undergone a number of changes in its bid to become more bikeable. That included adding over 100 miles (160 km) of bike lanes during the COVID-19 pandemic
Some countries in Europe have begun offering tax incentives that essentially pay citizens to cycle to work instead of using a car.
Shark Inspired Film Cuts Tons of Carbon Emissions
Ultimately we need to find ways to power aircraft through methods that don’t involve burning things. But the next best alternative to that is to reduce the level of emissions produced with whatever they burn.
A new breakthrough emulating shark skin may well be the first step to doing that.
An adhesive film that immediately reduces fuel consumption – and, as a consequence, carbon emissions – from just about any vehicle that has large, smooth surfaces. The idea is that millions of years of evolution led to sharks moving away from a perfectly smooth skin towards the denticle design that reduces hydrodynamic drag enough to give the sharks that have them an evolutionary advantage. It’s a successful adaptation that’s been around since the time of the dinosaurs, and if it works underwater, the AeroShark team figured it would work in the air, too
That 950 square meters (10,225 sq ft) of AeroShark film applied to a Boeing 777, in specific patterns that are aligned with the airflow around the fuselage and engines, would be enough to immediately reduced drag and fuel consumption by fully 1.1 %
Lufthansa has also announced plans to roll out the AeroShark film on its entire cargo freight fleet of Boeing 777s as well. That’s “just” 10 planes, but it’s enough to represent a savings of more than 3,700 tons of jet fuel and 11,700 tons of CO2 emissions, annually.
In 2019, the global airline industry used more than 95 billion gallons of fuel. A 3 % savings would mean 2.85 billion fewer gallons of fuel burned – which, come on. That’s a huge reduction in carbon emissions!
Volta Is Installing 1,000 EV Fast-Charging Stations at Walgreens Locations
More chargers are essential to give people the confidence to move to electric vehicles. Walgreens and Volta have signed an agreement to add two fast-charging units at each of 500 Walgreens stores across the US. No word on whether these are 7kW, 22kW, 50kW or higher. For the type of dwell time you have at a drugstore/pharmacy I’m hoping these are at least 50kW chargers.
Drugstores and grocery stores are good spots for EV charging stations since drivers can top up their batteries while grabbing some essentials. On top of that, the easier it is for folks to access fast-charging stations, the more likely they might be to switch to an EV.
Norwegian Postal Service Switches to Electric Trucks
Last-mile delivery is a key area in which decarbonisation will produce large gains. Norway - a leader in the electrification world - is already looking at this with the introduction of electric trucks on the postal service.
The Norwegian Postal Service has recently placed an order for 29 battery-electric trucks from Volvo Trucks (FL and FE models). This is actually a follow-up order after the three units ordered previously.
According to the latest reports, Volvo Trucks is the main electric truck player in Europe right now, while Norway is the second biggest market by volume (after Switzerland).
A cool EV or renewable thing
From Episode 99
As you know we’re big fans of electric aviation on this podcast. So we were interested to hear that Universal Hydrogen has signed letters of intent with three airlines to convert more than 15 regional airliners to run on green hydrogen. The company is developing conversion kits that accept interchangeable hydrogen modules that work like recyclable coffee pods.
They’re doing this on a Dash-8 aircraft. You’ll have seen these all over the place. They’re twin-engine turboprops with the high set wing and wheels that seem to drop out of the engine themselves.
There are a few downsides to this. The pods themselves are modular fuel systems that are 7 feet long and look like massive espresso coffee pods. They take up room in the cabin reducing the passenger space from 56 seats to 40.
The engines are also replaced with pair of two-megawatt Magnix electric motors and a hefty fuel cell.
If tests go as planned we could see these in service by 2025. Fingers crossed.
Something To Think About.
Finally...
Fingers crossed that the conflict in Ukraine is resolved shortly. Double fingers crossed that any potential climate action which results from this conflict does not disappear once the conflict ends.
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Did you enjoy this issue?
Gary Comerford

Topical stories about renewables, EVs and things that are interesting to EV drivers.

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