This Week's VOLT | Uk's Largest Charging Hub, Renault Vehicle to Grid and a FiskeR SUV

Hello, and welcome, to another week of VOLT. Looking to get away from the dreaded B****t word? Bury your head for a brief moment in our best picks of this weeks E.V news stories. First up…

UK’S LARGEST RAPID CHARGING HUB INSTALLED

BP Chargemaster have opened up the largest rapid charging hub in the UK, just off junction 14 of the M1 in Milton Keynes Coachway. The site houses 8, 50 kW Universal Rapid Chargers, allowing cars with CCS, CHAdeMO and Type 2 43 kW capabilities to charge via a tie in with the Polar network.

BP Chargemaster Milton Keynes.jpg

The site was designed by Milton Keynes Council along with Ringway as part of the city’s Go Ultra Low programme, with £9m of investment funding for the project coming from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

The site incorporates three highly visible canopies that will help drivers locate the chargers, as well as a Café providing food and drink for drivers. This is a great move to help encourage E.V use, and one which other towns should follow. With the high street in decline, and retail spaces growing on the edges of major towns, why can’t something similar be part of a minimum requirement of planning? Especially for those that are close to motorways and major A road’s. The funding is likely an issue for most Council’s so what better way than to make it part of a retailer investment? Purpose built facilities will always be better than retrofitting a few charge points in a car park.

One of the common concerns we hear about at Volt-Age, is about charging and range anxiety so more charging points will certainly reassure those who are worried about going electric, and perhaps encourage them to leave the fumes behind.

RENAULT LAUNCHES LARGE SCALE VEHICLE TO GRID INITIATIVE

Renault Zoe Electric Cars

The idea of Vehicle to Grid energy storage is nothing new. Nissan has openly discussed using the Leaf as a way of storing Electricity when it’s cheap (such as from solar panels) , and using it when it is expensive. Nissan’s system requires a storage device to be fitted to the users home which manages the whole process.

Renault have taken a different approach and have adapted 15 of it’s Zoe’s that are capable of storing Electricity during periods of low demand, and giving it back to the grid when the demand is high. Renault demonstrates this below.

Renault Electric Vehicle Charging

Sounds, great, what’s in it for me?

Apart from feeling great that you are helping to feed renewable energy into the grid, the user would also be paid for the privilege, or as Renault puts it “The electricity grid optimises the supply of local renewable energy and reduces infrastructure costs. At the same time, customers enjoy greener, more economical consumption of electricity and are financially rewarded for serving the electricity grid”

Win Win. Renault plans to trial the vehicle across Europe in 2019, starting in Holland and Portugal.

FISKER PLANS $40,000 Electric SUV to “rival” the TESLA Model Y

Fisker, the company headed up by car designer Henrik Fisker (of Aston Martin V8 Vantage and DB9 fame) is back again, this time with plans of a $40,000 (£31,00 ish) SUV, one of three “affordable” E.V’s planned. Timing couldn’t have been better, announcing the vehicle just days after Tesla announced the Model Y. The vehicle is unnamed at the moment, but Fisker plans on offering it with a 300 mile range and with dual motors. Sound familiar?

Fisker Electric SUV

Fisker was a main competitor of Tesla back in the day, but got it badly wrong with it’s Range-Extender Karma Sports Car. Despite a whole host of celebrity customers, such as Justin Bieber and Leonardo Di Caprio, the Karma was a dreadful car which was slower, more expensive and less efficient than the Tesla Model S, with a track record for awful build quality, and the odd self combustion here and there thrown in, it was no wonder the company went pang.

The electric Fisker SUV is planned for 2021, but it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t just buy the Model Y, especially as it won’t feature the solid state batteries they had promised in the past.

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James O'TooleComment