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Issue #76 - 7 in 10 councils have no EV strategy, Brake and tyre emissions debunked, largest wind farm in North America goes on-line and EV chargers are in the wrong places.

The EV Musings Newsletter
Issue #76 - 7 in 10 councils have no EV strategy, Brake and tyre emissions debunked, largest wind farm in North America goes on-line and EV chargers are in the wrong places.
By Gary Comerford • Issue #76 • View online
Welcome to issue 76 of the newsletter. This week we’re looking at wind farms, local council EV plans, a startup wanting to replace ships with smaller electric container ships, and a former podcast guest debunking a government report.

This Week's Podcast (s).
122 - The EV 101 Episode
123 - The My First EV Episode
Top Five EV/ Renewable Stories.
The Single-Largest Wind Farm in North America Comes Online in Oklahoma
Despite the perception that the United States runs on coal there is a movement more and more towards renewables. This is evidenced by the fact that the single largest wind-farm in the country has just come online in Oklahoma.
The 356 GE turbine-powered wind farm, which spans Blaine and Custer counties in north central Oklahoma, is one of the largest wind farms in the world
Traverse is expected to generate 3.8 million megawatt-hours annually for American Electric Power’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) and Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) customers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana
North Central Energy Facilities’ three wind farms will provide 1,484 MW of clean energy and will save customers an estimated $3 billion in electricity costs over the next 30 years
More Than Seven in 10 Councils Have No Electric Car Transition Plan
Recent Freedom of Information requests have highlighted issues with local councils and their electric car transition plan
Faircharge UK (run by friend of the podcast and former guest Quentin Willson) have shown that 70% of local councils have no electric car transition plan. This is despite huge funds being made available by central government to facilittate EV uptake across the country. London is the region with the highest proportion of councils with a published strategy, at 57
At the other end of the scale are Northern Ireland (0%), the East Midlands (10%) and Wales (13%)
In a recent response to a parliamentary question on EVs, minister for energy, clean growth and climate change Greg Hands said the Government will “monitor and engage with local authorities as they progress with their strategies”. FairCharge spokesman Quentin Willson, a former Top Gear presenter, said: “The figures revealed from councils in our freedom of information requests are extremely worrying"
This is not good news.
The Problem Isn’t the Number of EV Chargers, It’s Where They Are
Looked at in their entirety there are more than enough chargers to cover the needs of the vast majority of electric cars in the UK at the moment. The problem is they are not located in the right place.
it’s easy to turn up at a charger in mid wiltshire and find that it’s ready to be used as the number of cars there is relatively small. But you go to the bp Pulse hub in Hammersmith and those chargers are pretty much full from early morning to late in the evening.
Based on data from thousands of points, the reality is most chargers are used less than 10% of the time, and very few over 20%. Particularly problematic are fast chargers. Traditionally, chargers are placed in the areas cheapest and easiest to get a permit. These are not always the most profitable locations.
UK Environment Secretary Proven Wrong on EV Tires & Brake Pollution
Former guest of the podcast, Dr Euan McTurk has been in the news reently as he debunked a report produced by the UK Environment secretary overstating the impact of tyre and brake pollution for electric vehicles.
Speaking to MPs on the Commons’ environment, food, and rural affairs committee last month, UK Environment Secretary George Eustice claimed that fine particulate matter might be worse with EVs due to their weight, The Daily Mail reported.
Dr. McTurk not only addressed the claims made by the UK Environment Secretary but debunked them in his report. The report discussed brake particulate matter, noting that although all vehicles produce particulate matter dust in the process of slowing cars down, while the overwhelming majority of EVs use regenerative braking which reduces the use of the mechanical brake discs and pads while adding more range to the vehicle
This Startup Designed an Electric Cargo Ship to Cross the Ocean
Alongside aviation, shipping is one of the dirtiest, most polluting method of transportation on the planet. They tend to use bunker fuel - which is the dregs of the oil left in the bottom of the barrel when all the ‘god’ stuff has been refined out. The carbon footprint relative to the size of the vessals is huge. Larger ships use several gallons of this bunker fuel to move the shop a few feet.
So when someone comes up with a potential electrified solution it pays to sit up and listen.
A container ship with room for 10,000 or 20,000 shipping containers, designed to circumnavigate the globe on a single tank of fuel, wouldn’t have the room for batteries, which don’t have the energy density of liquid fuel. The company realized they were solving the wrong problem. They calculated that if ships were smaller—their new design will have space for between 3,000 and 4,000 containers—and made quick stops along the way, current battery technology could make sense. Modern ships are optimized around fossil fuels but what would it look like if you optimized ships around batteries?
The company’s batteries are designed to fit into standard shipping containers, so a crane can lift them off the ship at a port and replace them with batteries that have been freshly charged.
A cool EV or renewable thing
From EP 122
We spoke last season with Matthew Thompson about his Polestar 2. Well, we were delighted to hear recently that Polestar have shown a new concept car which, it’s fair to say, has had many an EV fan drooling over it.
It’s a two door hard-top convertible roadster and it goes by the name of the O2.
The look of Polestar O2 shows how Polestar’s evolving design language can be adapted to different body styles with a strong family resemblance. The low and wide body with an assertive stance, compact 2+2 cabin design, minimal overhangs and a long wheelbase, embody classic sports car proportions but with a clearly modern, electric feel.
But behind all the posh-looking designs is one thing that jumped out at me: it has an in-built drone which - thanks to a specific aerodynamic design quirk at the back - can be launched whilst still in motion and which will follow you autonomously as you drive.
Sure, it’s a silly idea and only useful in certain situations.
But it sure is cool
From EP123
This is specifically a UK thing but I wanted to highlight it in case there were any other similar products around elsewhere.
The National Savings and Investment (The organisation that manages Premium Bonds) has released a new investment product. It is a Green Savings bond.
You can invest between £100 and £100,000 for a fixed 3-year term. Once you invest, you won’t be able to access your money until it reaches the end of its term, but in return you’ll be guaranteed a fixed rate of interest for three years. The investments go only into green organisations and projects such as improving green public transport, funding renewable energy products such asa wind and solar farms, recycling projects to eliminate or reduce waste, and projects such as flood defences and early warning systems.
The interest rate at the moment is 0.65% gross. Which is not fantastic (The last bond I bought was 2.5%) but it is a lot better than other products you can get at NS&I which are at about 0.1%
I’m not a financial advisor and this is not investment advice. But if you want to check it out the link is in the show notes.
Something To Think About.
With the IPCC recently releasing a report which, basically, said ‘We are right on the tipping point where climate change will become irreversible’ it’s frightening to see the number of mainstream media outlets which have pushed this to inside pages. I mean the slap that Will Smith gave Chris Rock at the Academy Awards has had more coverage than the IPCC report.
It is, however, encouraging to see how many organisations, countries and similar are making moves forward when it comes to climate change. While we may not like Boris Johnson and his Tory chums here in the UK at least he’s making moves towards setting the country in the right direction climate-wise (although that doesn’t always turn out well…)
I’m increasingly concerned for other countries and, indeed, individuals, when it comes to their reaction to this. I wrote an article recently about Carbon Offsets and flying but someone on Twitter basically rubbished the whole idea by saying ‘flying accounts for just 2% of global emissions so stopping it won’t make a difference to anything’ In the strict sense of the word that’s accurate. But considering the knock-on effects of reducing flying, it’s not. If we reduce our flights we reduce emissions caused by the 40% of global shipping that’s used just to carry fossil fuels. Flying is also set to double over the coming years as a result of cheap flight availability. If the demand drops so will flying. 2 billion air tickets are sold each year for flights under 500 miles. The number for more than 500 miles will be almost as much.
That’s horrendous and we need to do better.
Oooo. I wonder what's in the mystery box this week?
Oooo. I wonder what's in the mystery box this week?
Did you enjoy this issue?
Gary Comerford

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