Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Scots to get charging points at 50 mile intervals on trunk roads and free points installed at home

It’s a funny coincidence that I should have completed and published a short write-up on hybrid and battery ferries last night, and then had that followed by the news that Scotland has some surprisingly forward thinking plans published in the news the following day.

I have to declare an interest of sorts, since I have followed the development of the various forms of electric vehicle (EV) in America, where things are much more mature and sensible, and although there are arguments, they don’t degrade to the level of pure politics and attract the attention of the Green Loonies as they do here. In many respects, we are probably about 5 years behind our American cousins, and need to stop playing at “winning points” for the best put down of electric cars, and start growing up.

I would write more about developments in this area (and there are many), but when I see the childish remarks and scorn poured on those who do, consider I might as well not bother, as the anti-car brigade have their own mindset, and appear closed to any sort of sensible discussion. If you are nor walking, on a bike, or using public transport, then you are largely dismissed before even saying something. You can see this attitude in the comments of the greenies and the opposition in the news items linked below. They really have to stop slating EVERY plan simply because they don’t think it is the right shade of green. And it’s really poor quality argument, if the best one of them could come up with was some sort of out down based on the class system. (You’ll have to read the full news stories linked, in order to see their comments, which I am not repeating.)

Given that I also wrote about the drive to increase Scottish tourism a few days ago, it was also interesting to see that the scheme extends to include charging points at ferry terminals, so tourists can leave their EVs on charge while they go for a sail – although the concept may have a little quirk in that most ferries allow them to take their cars with them, so they can tour the island they sail to. I also wonder how many charging points will be provided at each ferry terminal.

Electric car

Plans have been announced which will see Scotland have charging points installed such that drivers of electric vehicles are never further than 50 miles from a charging point when on trunk roads. Leisure centres, council car parks, and ferry terminals are also to have points.

This was accompanied by the announcement of a further scheme which will allow householders to have home charging points installed for free, through 100% funding.

Announced on Wednesday, the government plans to introduce a £2.6m scheme to install home charging points for free as well as a network of public charging points.

Transport Scotland will contribute £750,000 towards the scheme, which it is hoped will help the country meet their target of having only electric vehicles on the roads by 2050.

Funding will be provided to put points in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, Stirling, Ayrshire, Fife, North and South Lanarkshire. Park and rides, leisure centres, libraries and public car parks will be used as the location.

Ferry terminals at Tarbert, Oban, Harris and Islay will also have rapid charges installed, allowing motorists to top up to an 80% charge in half an hour.

Via Scotland will have electric charging points installed every 50 miles | Scotland | News | STV

A total of £2.6m is being invested in the scheme, which the Scottish government hopes will contribute to their aim of “decarbonisation” of road transport by 2050.

Reducing emissions It is being funded by the Scottish government’s transport agency, Transport Scotland, and the Department for Transport’s Office of Low Emission Vehicles.

Mr Brown (Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown) also said the government was launching a new website, ChargePlace Scotland, which will allow the public to find charging points and detail financial help available to switch to an electric vehicle.

Transport Scotland’s Plugged-in Places project provides 100% funding to buy domestic charging points, which will be installed by energy firm SSE.

David Densley, head of sustainable transport at SSE, said: “Electric vehicles have an important role to play in contributing to a low carbon economy and the installation of charging points across Scotland in the coming years will go some way to helping achieve this.”

Via Plan for electric car charging points across Scotland

It’s interesting to note this was quickly followed by a UK announcement which highlighted the fact that this sort of funding is not nationally decided, but changes at each border on this tiny island nation, and those outside Scotland will only get 75% of their home charging points installed for ‘free’, meaning they have to come up with something in the order of £250.

Electric car charging points in garages and driveways get 75% subsidy

I mentioned earlier how childish the attitude I find the attitude in this country currently is towards EVs, and this was exemplified in the article about the 75% subsidy where it was noted:

A report by the Commons Transport Select Committee in September last year questioned whether government subsidies to encourage people to drive electric cars were a good use of public money.

They had benefited only a “handful of motorists”, MPs said, and were being used to help more affluent households with the cost of a second car.

What exactly were they expecting? The subsidy is relatively small, so only affluent “Early Adopters” can afford to buy EVs at the moment, as they are essentially low-volume experimental vehicles, which will probably have lousy resale values compared to conventional vehicles, or later and more developed EVs. The subsidy is intended to stimulate this market, not create it completely and buy EVs for the non-affluent. As far as I’m aware, no-one is buying that group an ordinary car at the moment, and the Government would not last long if it did such a thing.

It looks as if MPs also need to grow up, and stop just tying to score points.

Information

The following sites provide further information:

Transport Scotland

E-cosse | Advancing Electric Vehicles in Scotland

Electric Vehicle Association – Scotland | For EV owners and drivers

ChargePlace Scotland

NCR – National Charge Point Registry

Office for Low Emission Vehicles

You can also get a world wide idea of charging location on the following site:

PlugShare – EV Charging Station Map – Find the nearest location to charge your electric car!

But this will only work if those who know where the sites are actually add them.

Tesla Model S Performance versus Dodge Viper on the drag strip

Here’s the latest Tesla Model S Performance running the quarter-mile against a Dodge Viper SRT10 – when I say the Americans are well ahead in EVs, I really do mean it.

They had to mount the camera on the BACK of the Tesla so it could watch the Viper behind it.

This particular Tesla saloon car is the 85 kWh Model S, which has an impressive 265-mile EPA-rated range, and eats the standard benchmark 0-60 mph sprint in only 4.4 seconds, and has achieved 3.9 seconds in its best run. Not bad for a production EV weighing in at 4,690 lbs kerb weight. There are few internal combustion production 4-seat family saloons that can reach that sort of performance, let alone sports/performance cars. That figure turned out to be a world record – when the car ran a best time of 12.371 @ 110.84 mph with 0-60 mph coming up in just 3.9 seconds.  The National Electric Drag Racing Association (NEDRA) was on site running their Winter EV Nationals and verified the Tesla runs to have set a new world record for the quickest production electric vehicle in the 1/4 mile.

It’s not all about party pieces though, and the American are running many more hybrid vehicles, and gaining experience with what is, after all, still a very young car technology which is changing all the time as battery technology changes almost daily.

For example, although most EVs use lithium based battery technology to reduce the size and weight of the battery pack, it was recently announced that traditional lead-acid battery had now advanced to the stage that such batteries could now match the size, weight, and performance of current lithium types. The advantage would be one of cost, and it remains to be seen if any manufacturer chooses to follow this route, which represents yet another new technology that would require further research and development to make it work in EVs.

Update

Brilliant!

I started this post with a comment about how backward this country (as in Britain or the UK as opposed to Scotland, just to be accurate) was with regard to EVs and any proposals made around them – it wasn’t long until I was proven right.

The very next day after the news of the ’50-mile’ charging points was announced, the news was followed by a story which claimed they would lie unused, and was followed by a string of comments from readers who dismissed EVs almost completely out of hand.

And then there was poll on the page, where 33 respondents (66%) chose the option of “No chance, they’re not an effective means of travel.”

Like I said above, there’s little point in posting about EVs in the face of closed minds, probably 5 years or more behind the rest of the world. Even China is more realistic, even if its EVs and charging infrastructure is rubbish – it has a stated aim to be a leader in the technology in a few years. It has to be, as it has so many cars it it is choking under a killing smog on some days.

Via Fears electric car charging posts will go unused – Transport – Scotsman.com

I bet readers are assuming I am an EV advocate, but I’m not.

I just take the time to follow all the alternative to ICE (internal combustion engines), and see that they are the current next step. At this stage, I wouldn’t dare predict we will all be using them in 15 years, or that one of the alternatives will not have overtaken them by then, merely that burying one’s head in the sand and carrying on with ICE is not going to work.

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February 6, 2013 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

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