You don’t need to be HUGE to go green

204 global companies pledge to go green

Many of the world's largest companies have pledged to switch their businesses over to 100% renewable energy They recognise that there is no business case for a wrecked planet and that the transition can actually provide a competitive advantage. Companies of all sizes recognise the financial and economic, as well as the environmental advantages of going green.

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Can seaweed help curb global warming?

A TED talk by environmentalist Tim Flannery

It's time for planetary-scale interventions to combat climate change, and environmentalist Tim Flannery thinks seaweed can help. In a bold TED talk, he shares the epic carbon-capturing potential of seaweed, explaining how oceangoing seaweed farms created on a massive scale could trap all the carbon we emit into the atmosphere. Learn more about this potentially planet-saving solution -- and the work that's still needed to get there. Watch this 14 minute talk on Youtube


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  • We are simply signposting this video as we believe it is of interest to our readers.
  • Image captured from Youtube video

Could stately homes help the EV revolution?

The key to unlocking demand for electric cars in Britain may lie in its patchwork of stately homes.

Electric car demand in the UK is rising steeply, doubling over the past year. Sales of pure battery cars are still only around 1 per cent of new car sales in the eight months to August this year. So what might be the connection be for institutions such as The National Trust and English Heritage in helping with the take up of the more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly EVs rather than their fossil fuel firing counterparts?

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Everything you need to know about electric vans

As concern for environmental pollution and carbon emissions grows, businesses and private drivers are turning to electric vans as an alternative to traditionally fuelled vehicles. However, there is a lot to consider before making the initial investment in a greener vehicle, especially if an organisation is expanding their fleet. In this article, we explore everything you need to know about electric vehicles, so you can make the most informed decision for your business.

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New Gov requirements for EV charging points

As of July 2019, any government-funded charge points installed are required to be ‘smart’. These new requirements for charge points follow on from the UK Governments plans designed to reduce vehicular emissions and phase out the sales of conventionally fuelled vehicles as broached in their announcement The Road to Zero. So, by way of an explanation...

  • what is a charge point?
  • who does this effect?
  • what is the electric vehicle home charge scheme?
  • why do we need these new requirments
  • why OLEV approved equipment and installation?

What is a smart charge point?

A smart charge point is one that can:

  • receive, interpret, and react to a signal,
  • can be accessed remotely,
  • reduce the load of electric-vehicle charging on the electricity system by ‘ smart charging’ during off-peak hours, and
  • help keep the charging costs low for consumers.

Who does this effect?

The new requirements for smart electric charge points offer a good guideline for all new charge point installations. However, they directly affect any such points installed under the Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme.

Specifically, if you are installing a new charge point under this scheme, it needs to meet those requirements.

However, workplace charge points do not have to meet these requirements… yet.


What is the electric vehicle home charge scheme?

The Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme, also known as the OLEV grant), is an effort by the UK government to encourage people to ‘go zero-emission’. The grant is a discount off the purchase and installation of electric charge points in homes.

As registered owners, lessee, or primary users of an electric vehicle that is eligible, you can get 75%, and up to a maximum of £500 including VAT, off your charge point installation costs per vehicle.

Additionally, you can only claim a rebate on one charge point per qualifying vehicle.

How do you qualify for the OLEV grant?

If you want to take advantage of the OLEV grant, you must check all of these boxes:

  • Have acquired an eligible electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle from 1st October 2016 onwards
  • Have off-street parking
  • Installing a smart charge point approved by OLEV
  • Using an OLEV-approved charge point installer
  • Installation must be within 4 months of purchasing or becoming the registered driver of the electric vehicle

Is your vehicle eligible for the OLEV grant?

If you have recently purchased an electric or a plug-in hybrid vehicle, you might be eligible for the OLEV grant. If you have a fully battery-operated vehicle, you do qualify.

However, if you have a plug-in hybrid, the vehicle’s CO₂ emissions need to be below 75g/km to qualify.


Why do we need these new requirements?

The UK Government's Transport Minister explained that this new regulation was to ensure that the UK is ‘the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle’.

By ensuring low rates for charging, the government hopes to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles by more people.

Smart charging also future-proofs the country’s charging points. The new requirements will let homes benefit from lower tariffs as well as new technologies like rooftop solar and battery storage to reduce their bills.

The government is also proposing that all new residential buildings with off-road parking should have electric vehicle charge points. The proposal also says non-residential buildings should include requirements for the infrastructure for charge points.

Industry experts are pushing for the smart charge point requirement to extend to workplace charging as well.


why OLEV approved equipment and installation?

The idea behind smart charge-points is to keep charging costs (and the load on the electricity supply) low. Since home charging is the most convenient and low-cost option for most EV and PHEV owners, they would want to restrict the charging of their car to off-peak hours to keep tariffs low.

That’s what a smart charge point will manage – smart charging.

However, not all companies are authorised to install these charge points. Additionally, not all charge points meet the requirements set by the government. This is why OLEV has created a list of approved smart charge point installers as well as a list of approved smart charge point models.  These installers are authorised to install smart charge points and claim the grant on your behalf.


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20% of petrol stations now have EV charging

Its around a hundred years since the first fuel station was installed in the UK, at Aldermaston in Berkshire inNovember 1919. We understand that there are now about 8,400 (8,394 as of 2018 according to statista) across the UK. As you may have read in our previous article, there are now more electric than petrol stations in the UK, a ‘tipping point’ in the EV revolution  that number is now exceeded by the number of public places to charge electric vehicles.

According to ZapMap, more than 1,600 of these already provide DC fast-charging for EVs with two new DC fast-chargers coming online every day. Apparently, all of the motorway fuel stations in the UK are reported to now have charging stations installed, the majority of which provide a DC fast-charge option. To further encourage the take-up of electric vehicles in the uk, the Government is now looking to increase EV adoption with their recently proposed law requiring the installation of charge points for EVs in all new housing.

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Range Anxiety? Jaguar does London to Brussels on a single charge!

Jaguar I-PACE demonstrated its real-world usability by driving 229 miles (369km) from London to Brussels on a single charge. This electric performance SUV’s trip began at London’s South Bank, travelled 50km through the world’s longest undersea tunnel to arrive in Brussels, Belgium with 32 miles and 8% of the battery capacity to spare. Read more “Range Anxiety? Jaguar does London to Brussels on a single charge!”