Tag Archives: electric vehicles

Greek island ditches fossil fuel cars to go green

For one Greek island the future is green. It’s switching from internal combustion-driven transport to electric vehicles.

LONDON, 12 November, 2020 – Not a lot happens in the winter months on Astypalea, a butterfly-shaped Greek island in the Aegean Sea.

The thousands of summertime tourists have gone: the locals – there are about 1,300 of them – work the land and busy themselves painting their neat white houses and tidying up ready for the next holiday season.

But this year life on the island is set to be a little different.

In what’s considered as a groundbreaking experiment with implications for the battle against climate change, the Greek government has teamed up with the Volkswagen car group to establish a complete system of sustainable energy on Astypalea.

Under the scheme, VW will provide the island with 1,000 of its electric vehicles (EVs), replacing 1,500 internal combustion vehicles.

Police cars, ambulances and the island bus service will all become electric. The more than 70,000 tourists who visit Astypalea each year will be encouraged to hire EVs and electric scooters and motorbikes.

Climate-neutral vision

The Greek government is said to be giving considerable state aid and tax incentives to the project.

“Politics, business and society have a common responsibility to limit climate change”, said Herbert Diess, the VW group CEO.

“Our long-term goal is climate-neutral mobility for everyone – and with the Astypalea project, we will explore how to realise that vision.”

Astypalea, part of the Dodecanese group of islands in the south-east Aegean, is 18 kms long and 12 kms wide at its broadest point.

VW says it will install more than 200 private and public charging points on the island. The government says Astypalea will become a pioneer for sustainable tourism throughout the country.

At present four diesel generators supply the island’s power. Within two years, the government says, Astypalea will become completely self-sufficient in energy, with wind turbines and solar panels replacing the ageing and inefficient generators.

“Electric transport and a holistic, green and sustainable action plan will have a positive impact on the everyday life of the island’s inhabitants”

“Today is a great day for Astypalea and all of Greece”, said Konstantinos Fragogiannis, Greek deputy foreign minister.

“We are launching the first ‘smart green island’ project in our country, which marks a major change in our outlook.

“Electric transport and a holistic, green and sustainable action plan will have a positive impact on the everyday life of the island’s inhabitants. Combined with a pioneering public transport system, we are turning futuristic ideas into reality.”

Tourism plays a central role in the economy of Greece: the country has a population of under 11 million but in recent times more than three times that number have visited each year, putting considerable strain on local infrastructure and on the environment.

Scandal to forget

Many Greek islands suffer severe energy and water shortages during the peak tourist season. Air pollution caused by growing numbers of cruise ships is another problem.

VW says it’s committed to adjusting its production processes in order to meet the challenge of climate change.

The company, considered by some measures to be the world’s biggest car maker, aims to manufacture more than a million electric cars a year by 2025.

In recent days VW announced that Bentley cars – the luxury UK brand now owned by the German carmaker – will cease manufacturing diesel and petrol-driven vehicles by 2030 and concentrate solely on hybrid vehicles and EVs.

The German conglomerate has been struggling to repair its image after a widespread scandal in 2015, when it was forced to admit it had sold nearly 600,000 cars in the US which had been fitted with devices deliberately designed to circumvent emissions regulations and to falsify exhaust gas tests.

VW had to pay out billions of dollars in compensation as a result of what US prosecutors described as an “appalling” fraud – Climate News Network

For one Greek island the future is green. It’s switching from internal combustion-driven transport to electric vehicles.

LONDON, 12 November, 2020 – Not a lot happens in the winter months on Astypalea, a butterfly-shaped Greek island in the Aegean Sea.

The thousands of summertime tourists have gone: the locals – there are about 1,300 of them – work the land and busy themselves painting their neat white houses and tidying up ready for the next holiday season.

But this year life on the island is set to be a little different.

In what’s considered as a groundbreaking experiment with implications for the battle against climate change, the Greek government has teamed up with the Volkswagen car group to establish a complete system of sustainable energy on Astypalea.

Under the scheme, VW will provide the island with 1,000 of its electric vehicles (EVs), replacing 1,500 internal combustion vehicles.

Police cars, ambulances and the island bus service will all become electric. The more than 70,000 tourists who visit Astypalea each year will be encouraged to hire EVs and electric scooters and motorbikes.

Climate-neutral vision

The Greek government is said to be giving considerable state aid and tax incentives to the project.

“Politics, business and society have a common responsibility to limit climate change”, said Herbert Diess, the VW group CEO.

“Our long-term goal is climate-neutral mobility for everyone – and with the Astypalea project, we will explore how to realise that vision.”

Astypalea, part of the Dodecanese group of islands in the south-east Aegean, is 18 kms long and 12 kms wide at its broadest point.

VW says it will install more than 200 private and public charging points on the island. The government says Astypalea will become a pioneer for sustainable tourism throughout the country.

At present four diesel generators supply the island’s power. Within two years, the government says, Astypalea will become completely self-sufficient in energy, with wind turbines and solar panels replacing the ageing and inefficient generators.

“Electric transport and a holistic, green and sustainable action plan will have a positive impact on the everyday life of the island’s inhabitants”

“Today is a great day for Astypalea and all of Greece”, said Konstantinos Fragogiannis, Greek deputy foreign minister.

“We are launching the first ‘smart green island’ project in our country, which marks a major change in our outlook.

“Electric transport and a holistic, green and sustainable action plan will have a positive impact on the everyday life of the island’s inhabitants. Combined with a pioneering public transport system, we are turning futuristic ideas into reality.”

Tourism plays a central role in the economy of Greece: the country has a population of under 11 million but in recent times more than three times that number have visited each year, putting considerable strain on local infrastructure and on the environment.

Scandal to forget

Many Greek islands suffer severe energy and water shortages during the peak tourist season. Air pollution caused by growing numbers of cruise ships is another problem.

VW says it’s committed to adjusting its production processes in order to meet the challenge of climate change.

The company, considered by some measures to be the world’s biggest car maker, aims to manufacture more than a million electric cars a year by 2025.

In recent days VW announced that Bentley cars – the luxury UK brand now owned by the German carmaker – will cease manufacturing diesel and petrol-driven vehicles by 2030 and concentrate solely on hybrid vehicles and EVs.

The German conglomerate has been struggling to repair its image after a widespread scandal in 2015, when it was forced to admit it had sold nearly 600,000 cars in the US which had been fitted with devices deliberately designed to circumvent emissions regulations and to falsify exhaust gas tests.

VW had to pay out billions of dollars in compensation as a result of what US prosecutors described as an “appalling” fraud – Climate News Network

Solar suburbia to power modern cities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Urban sprawl may not be as bad for the environment as we thought – as long as every home is fitted with solar panels and electric cars become the norm. LONDON, 8 August – Modern planners are building compact cities, believing tightly controlled zones are better for the environment. New research suggests the opposite: urban sprawl might be a better option, with solar power fitted to suburban houses and the adoption of electric cars transforming the energy needs of a city. Research in Auckland, New Zealand – the largest urban area in the country and a city built for the age of the motor car – shows that solar panels fitted to the average suburban home can produce enough power for that household, extra to charge an electric vehicle, and still generate enough watts to export a surplus to the grid. Adopting a citywide approach to fitting solar panels and providing charging points for cars would enable suburban homes to provide most of the power for the city centre as well as keeping the transport running, according to Professor Hugh Byrd, from the School of Architecture at the University of Lincoln in England. In collaboration with the New Zealand Energy Centre and the University of Auckland, Byrd and his colleagues found that detached suburban houses typical of a motor car age city are capable of producing ten times more solar power than is possible from skyscrapers or other commercial buildings. The calculations are based on a detailed cross section of Auckland, which has skyscrapers in its business centre but has most of its homes spread out over the surrounding countryside in an urban sprawl. Transform planning Although every city is different, the pattern of building in Auckland is repeated in many cities around the globe. Byrd’s idea is that if planners insist solar panels be fitted to properties and charging points be provided for electric cars, then cities judged to be damaging to the environment could be transformed. “While a compact city may be more efficient for internal combustion engine vehicles, a dispersed city is more efficient when distributed generation of electricity by photovoltaic installations is the main energy source and electric vehicles are the principal mode of transport” says Byrd. “This research could have implications on the policies of both urban form and energy. Far from reacting by looking to re-build our cities, we need to embrace the dispersed suburban areas and smart new technologies that will enable us to power our cities in a cost-effective way, without relying on ever dwindling supplies of fossil fuels.   Sprawl is good “This study challenges conventional thinking that suburbia is energy-inefficient, a belief that has become enshrined in architectural policy. In fact, our results reverse the argument for a compact city based on transport energy use, and completely change the current perception of urban sprawl.” Byrd concedes that the only way his ideas will work is if planning policy made fitting solar panels obligatory. Planning would also need to require the installation of photovoltaic roofing, smart meters and appropriate charging facilities for vehicles as standard in every household. The advantages would be a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions, long term energy security, and a reduction in city pollution.  – Climate News Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Urban sprawl may not be as bad for the environment as we thought – as long as every home is fitted with solar panels and electric cars become the norm. LONDON, 8 August – Modern planners are building compact cities, believing tightly controlled zones are better for the environment. New research suggests the opposite: urban sprawl might be a better option, with solar power fitted to suburban houses and the adoption of electric cars transforming the energy needs of a city. Research in Auckland, New Zealand – the largest urban area in the country and a city built for the age of the motor car – shows that solar panels fitted to the average suburban home can produce enough power for that household, extra to charge an electric vehicle, and still generate enough watts to export a surplus to the grid. Adopting a citywide approach to fitting solar panels and providing charging points for cars would enable suburban homes to provide most of the power for the city centre as well as keeping the transport running, according to Professor Hugh Byrd, from the School of Architecture at the University of Lincoln in England. In collaboration with the New Zealand Energy Centre and the University of Auckland, Byrd and his colleagues found that detached suburban houses typical of a motor car age city are capable of producing ten times more solar power than is possible from skyscrapers or other commercial buildings. The calculations are based on a detailed cross section of Auckland, which has skyscrapers in its business centre but has most of its homes spread out over the surrounding countryside in an urban sprawl. Transform planning Although every city is different, the pattern of building in Auckland is repeated in many cities around the globe. Byrd’s idea is that if planners insist solar panels be fitted to properties and charging points be provided for electric cars, then cities judged to be damaging to the environment could be transformed. “While a compact city may be more efficient for internal combustion engine vehicles, a dispersed city is more efficient when distributed generation of electricity by photovoltaic installations is the main energy source and electric vehicles are the principal mode of transport” says Byrd. “This research could have implications on the policies of both urban form and energy. Far from reacting by looking to re-build our cities, we need to embrace the dispersed suburban areas and smart new technologies that will enable us to power our cities in a cost-effective way, without relying on ever dwindling supplies of fossil fuels.   Sprawl is good “This study challenges conventional thinking that suburbia is energy-inefficient, a belief that has become enshrined in architectural policy. In fact, our results reverse the argument for a compact city based on transport energy use, and completely change the current perception of urban sprawl.” Byrd concedes that the only way his ideas will work is if planning policy made fitting solar panels obligatory. Planning would also need to require the installation of photovoltaic roofing, smart meters and appropriate charging facilities for vehicles as standard in every household. The advantages would be a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions, long term energy security, and a reduction in city pollution.  – Climate News Network

Green vehicles are EU's win-win option

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Powerful message to Europe’s politicians that building low-carbon cars and vans is the way to create a million jobs, boost the economy − and improve air quality

LONDON, 24 June − Europe will gain up to a million new jobs and reduce its dependence on foreign oil by supporting “green” technologies for cars and vans, and then building its own fleets of high efficiency, hybrid and electric vehicles, says a new report.

Far from it being too costly to embark on developing low-carbon vehicle options during an economic crisis, a consortium of companies contends that adopting the new technologies can only increase jobs, economic activity and wealth − as well as improving air quality and health.

The report, Fuelling Europe’s Future, was produced by Cambridge Econometrics − along with other independent energy and climate change consultancies − following a research project commissioned by the European Climate Foundation to assess the economic impact of decarbonising cars and vans.

Wide support

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the report is that it has the wide support of some of Europe’s biggest manufacturers, along with heavyweight trade union and environment groups. Rarely do these organisations agree on the core issue of transport.

At a time when Europe’s economy is in crisis, the report estimates that savings of between €58 billion and €83 billion a year in oil imports can be made by improving vehicle technology − in addition to creating jobs and new exports.

Among the organisations that reviewed and approved the report are Nissan, General Electric, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers and the European Aluminium Association.  All of them, and many other stakeholder groups, provide supporting testimony for the report.

The report says there have been concerns that the EU’s plans to cut transport emissions by 60% by 2050 would damage an automobile industry already in the doldrums because of the economic crisis.

There were uncertainties about which technology would emerge the winner from the current low-carbon options of hybrid, battery and fuel cell vehicles, but all of them offered more jobs, fuel import savings, and a healthier economy. There were also the fringe benefits of cleaner air and better health for European citizens.

Competitive advantage

Jobs created in building a new generation of vehicles are offset in the report against losses as the industry restructures to reduce over-capacity. Europe and Japan currently have the most demanding fuel efficiency targets in the world, and this gives them a competitive advantage when it comes to international markets, which are rapidly catching up.

The report says that, depending on how the various technologies develop, by 2030 there could be between 500,000 and one million net additional jobs, and another million by 2050.

Getting down to the cost to individual motorists of using advanced technology, the report calculates that the average cost of a vehicle will rise by around €1,000 by 2020, but the owner will save between €300 and €400 a year on fuel.

Olivier Paturet, general manager of electric vehicle strategy for Nissan Europe, said: “The accelerated market penetration of electric vehicles in Europe would result in a significant step being made towards a better urban air quality, creation of new jobs, and a stronger European economy.”

The global trade union group IndustriAll also endorsed the report. Wolf Jacklein, the group’s policy adviser, said: “From the workers’ perspective, it is important that this study shows that low-carbon technologies for motor vehicles offer the opportunity for new and additional jobs in this sector. Therefore, the current crisis should not become the pretext to slow down the transition, but should be an occasion for training workers and preparing the change.” – Climate News Network

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Powerful message to Europe’s politicians that building low-carbon cars and vans is the way to create a million jobs, boost the economy − and improve air quality

LONDON, 24 June − Europe will gain up to a million new jobs and reduce its dependence on foreign oil by supporting “green” technologies for cars and vans, and then building its own fleets of high efficiency, hybrid and electric vehicles, says a new report.

Far from it being too costly to embark on developing low-carbon vehicle options during an economic crisis, a consortium of companies contends that adopting the new technologies can only increase jobs, economic activity and wealth − as well as improving air quality and health.

The report, Fuelling Europe’s Future, was produced by Cambridge Econometrics − along with other independent energy and climate change consultancies − following a research project commissioned by the European Climate Foundation to assess the economic impact of decarbonising cars and vans.

Wide support

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the report is that it has the wide support of some of Europe’s biggest manufacturers, along with heavyweight trade union and environment groups. Rarely do these organisations agree on the core issue of transport.

At a time when Europe’s economy is in crisis, the report estimates that savings of between €58 billion and €83 billion a year in oil imports can be made by improving vehicle technology − in addition to creating jobs and new exports.

Among the organisations that reviewed and approved the report are Nissan, General Electric, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers and the European Aluminium Association.  All of them, and many other stakeholder groups, provide supporting testimony for the report.

The report says there have been concerns that the EU’s plans to cut transport emissions by 60% by 2050 would damage an automobile industry already in the doldrums because of the economic crisis.

There were uncertainties about which technology would emerge the winner from the current low-carbon options of hybrid, battery and fuel cell vehicles, but all of them offered more jobs, fuel import savings, and a healthier economy. There were also the fringe benefits of cleaner air and better health for European citizens.

Competitive advantage

Jobs created in building a new generation of vehicles are offset in the report against losses as the industry restructures to reduce over-capacity. Europe and Japan currently have the most demanding fuel efficiency targets in the world, and this gives them a competitive advantage when it comes to international markets, which are rapidly catching up.

The report says that, depending on how the various technologies develop, by 2030 there could be between 500,000 and one million net additional jobs, and another million by 2050.

Getting down to the cost to individual motorists of using advanced technology, the report calculates that the average cost of a vehicle will rise by around €1,000 by 2020, but the owner will save between €300 and €400 a year on fuel.

Olivier Paturet, general manager of electric vehicle strategy for Nissan Europe, said: “The accelerated market penetration of electric vehicles in Europe would result in a significant step being made towards a better urban air quality, creation of new jobs, and a stronger European economy.”

The global trade union group IndustriAll also endorsed the report. Wolf Jacklein, the group’s policy adviser, said: “From the workers’ perspective, it is important that this study shows that low-carbon technologies for motor vehicles offer the opportunity for new and additional jobs in this sector. Therefore, the current crisis should not become the pretext to slow down the transition, but should be an occasion for training workers and preparing the change.” – Climate News Network

 

 

 

 

Green vehicles are EU’s win-win option

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Powerful message to Europe’s politicians that building low-carbon cars and vans is the way to create a million jobs, boost the economy − and improve air quality LONDON, 24 June − Europe will gain up to a million new jobs and reduce its dependence on foreign oil by supporting “green” technologies for cars and vans, and then building its own fleets of high efficiency, hybrid and electric vehicles, says a new report. Far from it being too costly to embark on developing low-carbon vehicle options during an economic crisis, a consortium of companies contends that adopting the new technologies can only increase jobs, economic activity and wealth − as well as improving air quality and health. The report, Fuelling Europe’s Future, was produced by Cambridge Econometrics − along with other independent energy and climate change consultancies − following a research project commissioned by the European Climate Foundation to assess the economic impact of decarbonising cars and vans.

Wide support

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the report is that it has the wide support of some of Europe’s biggest manufacturers, along with heavyweight trade union and environment groups. Rarely do these organisations agree on the core issue of transport. At a time when Europe’s economy is in crisis, the report estimates that savings of between €58 billion and €83 billion a year in oil imports can be made by improving vehicle technology − in addition to creating jobs and new exports. Among the organisations that reviewed and approved the report are Nissan, General Electric, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers and the European Aluminium Association.  All of them, and many other stakeholder groups, provide supporting testimony for the report. The report says there have been concerns that the EU’s plans to cut transport emissions by 60% by 2050 would damage an automobile industry already in the doldrums because of the economic crisis. There were uncertainties about which technology would emerge the winner from the current low-carbon options of hybrid, battery and fuel cell vehicles, but all of them offered more jobs, fuel import savings, and a healthier economy. There were also the fringe benefits of cleaner air and better health for European citizens.

Competitive advantage

Jobs created in building a new generation of vehicles are offset in the report against losses as the industry restructures to reduce over-capacity. Europe and Japan currently have the most demanding fuel efficiency targets in the world, and this gives them a competitive advantage when it comes to international markets, which are rapidly catching up. The report says that, depending on how the various technologies develop, by 2030 there could be between 500,000 and one million net additional jobs, and another million by 2050. Getting down to the cost to individual motorists of using advanced technology, the report calculates that the average cost of a vehicle will rise by around €1,000 by 2020, but the owner will save between €300 and €400 a year on fuel. Olivier Paturet, general manager of electric vehicle strategy for Nissan Europe, said: “The accelerated market penetration of electric vehicles in Europe would result in a significant step being made towards a better urban air quality, creation of new jobs, and a stronger European economy.” The global trade union group IndustriAll also endorsed the report. Wolf Jacklein, the group’s policy adviser, said: “From the workers’ perspective, it is important that this study shows that low-carbon technologies for motor vehicles offer the opportunity for new and additional jobs in this sector. Therefore, the current crisis should not become the pretext to slow down the transition, but should be an occasion for training workers and preparing the change.” – Climate News Network        

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Powerful message to Europe’s politicians that building low-carbon cars and vans is the way to create a million jobs, boost the economy − and improve air quality LONDON, 24 June − Europe will gain up to a million new jobs and reduce its dependence on foreign oil by supporting “green” technologies for cars and vans, and then building its own fleets of high efficiency, hybrid and electric vehicles, says a new report. Far from it being too costly to embark on developing low-carbon vehicle options during an economic crisis, a consortium of companies contends that adopting the new technologies can only increase jobs, economic activity and wealth − as well as improving air quality and health. The report, Fuelling Europe’s Future, was produced by Cambridge Econometrics − along with other independent energy and climate change consultancies − following a research project commissioned by the European Climate Foundation to assess the economic impact of decarbonising cars and vans.

Wide support

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the report is that it has the wide support of some of Europe’s biggest manufacturers, along with heavyweight trade union and environment groups. Rarely do these organisations agree on the core issue of transport. At a time when Europe’s economy is in crisis, the report estimates that savings of between €58 billion and €83 billion a year in oil imports can be made by improving vehicle technology − in addition to creating jobs and new exports. Among the organisations that reviewed and approved the report are Nissan, General Electric, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers and the European Aluminium Association.  All of them, and many other stakeholder groups, provide supporting testimony for the report. The report says there have been concerns that the EU’s plans to cut transport emissions by 60% by 2050 would damage an automobile industry already in the doldrums because of the economic crisis. There were uncertainties about which technology would emerge the winner from the current low-carbon options of hybrid, battery and fuel cell vehicles, but all of them offered more jobs, fuel import savings, and a healthier economy. There were also the fringe benefits of cleaner air and better health for European citizens.

Competitive advantage

Jobs created in building a new generation of vehicles are offset in the report against losses as the industry restructures to reduce over-capacity. Europe and Japan currently have the most demanding fuel efficiency targets in the world, and this gives them a competitive advantage when it comes to international markets, which are rapidly catching up. The report says that, depending on how the various technologies develop, by 2030 there could be between 500,000 and one million net additional jobs, and another million by 2050. Getting down to the cost to individual motorists of using advanced technology, the report calculates that the average cost of a vehicle will rise by around €1,000 by 2020, but the owner will save between €300 and €400 a year on fuel. Olivier Paturet, general manager of electric vehicle strategy for Nissan Europe, said: “The accelerated market penetration of electric vehicles in Europe would result in a significant step being made towards a better urban air quality, creation of new jobs, and a stronger European economy.” The global trade union group IndustriAll also endorsed the report. Wolf Jacklein, the group’s policy adviser, said: “From the workers’ perspective, it is important that this study shows that low-carbon technologies for motor vehicles offer the opportunity for new and additional jobs in this sector. Therefore, the current crisis should not become the pretext to slow down the transition, but should be an occasion for training workers and preparing the change.” – Climate News Network