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electric vehicle

Iberdrola and IKEA have signed a cooperation agreement to promote sustainable mobility, under which the energy company will install over 50 e-vehicle charging stations and supply 100% renewable energy to the stores, logistics centres and corporate buildings of the decoration company in Spain in 2019.

With the aim of improving the daily lives of a majority of people, IKEA will offer free electric vehicle charging to all its customers. The stores in Málaga, Badalona and Zaragoza will be the first to have this equipment.

In parallel, Iberdrola will install charging stations at the IKEA main offices in San Sebastián de los Reyes and its logistics centre in Valls (Tarragona). The rollout in Spain, which will start this month, will be completed in 2019.

Clean energy handled from a mobile phone

The customers and users of these IKEA stations will recharge the batteries of their electric cars with 100% green energy, which comes from clean generating sources and has a certificate guaranteeing its renewable origins.

Also, whether they are customers of Iberdrola or not, they will be able to manage charging on their mobile phones using the app that the company has developed as part of itsSmart Mobility plan. With the Iberdrola Public Charging App, e-vehicle drivers will be able to geo-locate and book a charging station.

Iberdrola, leading the transition to sustainable mobility

The agreement forms part of Iberdrola’s plans to promote and lead the transition to sustainable mobility and the electrification of transport as an effective way to fight climate change.

The company has developed a Sustainable Mobility Plan that includes the installation of 25,000 charging stations in Spain in four years. The plan also includes implementing a network of fast, superfast and ultrafast charging stations that will be installed every 100 km on the major motorways and corridors of Spain between 2018 and 2019, which will make it possible to cross Spain from end to end in an electric car.

At the same time, the company is working on developing specific policies and actions to ‘mobilise’ all the players involved: the administration, companies, car manufacturers, etc. Iberdrola has therefore reached agreements or pacts with the various players involved to promote sustainability, such as AVIA, BMW, Renault, Hyundai, Groupe PSA, Volkswagen, Telefónica, the Spanish Electricity Grid, Pelayo, Auchan Retail Group Spain and ZITY.

Source: Iberdrola

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Global clean energy investment was $67.8 billion in the third quarter of 2018, down 6% from the same period last year, according to the latest authoritative figures from Bloomberg NEF (BNEF). The slip in the July-September quarter leaves investment for the year so far running a modest 2% below that in the first nine months of 2017 – leaving open the possibility that 2018 as a whole will end up matching last year’s total, particularly if a few more multibillion-dollar offshore wind deals are concluded before Christmas.

BNEF includes equity raising by specialist electric vehicle companies in its clean energy investment totals, and this element was a conspicuous bright spot in the latest quarter. There was a $1 billion initial public offering by NIO, a $585 million Series C venture capital round by Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors and a $294 million pre-IPO round by Zhejiang Dianka Automobile.

Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport analysis at BNEF, said that there is a growing amount of money chasing China’s electric vehicle boom. “We’re seeing more companies raising funds as they look to make the jump from concept cars to high-volume manufacturing. But the market looks increasingly crowded and consolidation is likely,” he added.

Looking at the third-quarter global investment figures by type, asset finance of utility-scale renewable energy projects came to $49.3 billion, down 15% on 3Q 2017, while the purchase of small-scale solar systems of less than 1 MW totaled $13.5 billion, up 9% on a year earlier.

Public markets investment in clean energy jumped 120% to $3.1 billion, helped by the NIO flotation mentioned above but also by a $1.3 billion convertible issue from waste-to-energy specialist China Everbright International and a $311 million IPO by U.S. fuel cell developer Bloom Energy.

Venture capital and private equity investment increased even more sharply, by 378% to $2.4 billion. VC/PE fundings of specialist clean energy companies have reached $7.5 billion in the first nine months of 2018, making this year certain to be the strongest since at least 2011. The largest six VC/PE new equity deals of 2018 so far have all involved Chinese electric vehicle firms, including the two mentioned above during 3Q.

The three biggest renewable energy asset financings in the quarter were the 860 MW Triton Knoll project in U.K. waters at an investment cost of $2.6 billion, the Enel Green Power South Africa portfolio, at $1.4 billion for 706 MW, and the Guohua Dongtai offshore wind farm phase four in Chinese waters, at an estimated $1.2 billion for 300 MW.

A country split of the overall numbers shows China as yet again the largest investor in clean energy in 3Q at $26.7 billion, marginally above the numbers for the same period of 2017. However, there were further signs of one important, expected change: a cooling-off in the country’s solar installation surge, in the face of deliberate action by policy-makers. In 3Q, Chinese solar investment was $14.2 billion, down 23% on a year earlier.

Other countries and trading blocs investing in clean energy in excess of $1 billion in 3Q 2018 were:

  • Europe at $13.4 billion, up 1%
  • Germany at $1.3 billion, down 49%
  • India at $1.5 billion, up 14%
  • Japan at $4 billion, down 21%
  • Netherlands at $1.1 billion, up nearly fourfold
  • South Africa at $2.6 billion, up 90-fold, making investment in 2018 the highest for five years
  • Spain at $1.9 billion, up 11-fold, making investment in 2018 the highest since 2011
  • Turkey at $1.2 billion, up 25%
  • The U.K. at $2.9 billion, down 46%
  • The U.S. at $11.4 billion, down 20% compared to 3Q 2017

A typical mid-size electric vehicle (EV) can generate up to 67% lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than a gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE) car on a well-to-wheel basis. However, the crucial factor is the location in which they are driven, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest research on mobility transition.

The analysis is focused on well-to-wheel assessment. This involves a number of factors – how the fuel is produced in refineries, where the crude oil is sourced from, mileage of the car, how the electricity is produced, and the energy use associated with vehicle and battery manufacturing and charging. These factors differ from country to country.

Comparing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from an EV and an ICE car is not straightforward. It’s worth noting that, even though EVs have zero tailpipe emissions, they are not GHG emissions-free when evaluated on a well-to-wheel basis. When using Wood Mackenzie’s integrated model, based on the existing electricity generation mix in developing economies such as China and India, an EV can only displace up to half the GHG emissions of an ICE gasoline car.

The demand for road transport is growing rapidly with urbanisation – and EVs are starting to challenge the supremacy of ICE cars by addressing air quality concerns. However, when there is a high share of coal or other fossil fuels in the power mix, typical in APAC countries, the competitiveness of EVs versus ICE cars decreases. To overcome this issue, governments in developing countries – such as China and India – could look at electrifying the current ICE car taxi fleet. In doing so, this would help achieve emissions abatement faster than incentivising and promoting the use of privately owned EVs because of their greater utilisation in terms of miles travelled.

The most crucial factor in sustaining the current advantage for EVs is decarbonisation of the power sector. As gasoline ICE vehicles become more fuel efficient, the power mix must comprise more renewables for EVs to remain GHG competitive. Currently, the power sectors in the UK and US are 30% less emissions intensive than markets in Asia.

For climate change enthusiasts and regulators, electrification of transport is a useful remedy to tackle air pollutants and GHG emissions, and fulfil NDC pledges as a result. The focus again shifts to the power sector. However, the findings in this report reflect the current state. Only time will tell if power sector decarbonisation will go hand-in-hand with EV cost reduction and adoption.

Source: Wood Mackenzie

We are progressing towards a new era in which technology is radically and exponentially changing the way people and goods are transported. Citizens not only have more options to choose from when travelling from A to B, but also, our journeys are increasingly linked to smart and digital solutions. Today more than ever, it is likely that the automotive sector will see as much change or more over the next five years as it has done in the last five decades.

This trend demonstrates a (R)evolution that is not just evident in the form of new drive technologies from an industrial perspective, such as the electric vehicle, but also from a technological standpoint, with strategies geared towards the connected, shared and autonomous vehicle.

As regards industry, chain production (or mass production) was a clear representation of progress during the industrial age of the 20th Century. The model of the mass assembly line for the utility-scale production of cars created a revolution in the sector, bringing down costs to make them more affordable to the middle class of the age, that a few years’ earlier would not have been able to acquire ownership of a vehicle. Read more…

Arturo Pérez de Lucia
Managing Director of AEDIVE

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2018

The city of Valladolid has undergone a dramatic urban transformation as a result of innovation and one strategic element of this transition towards the smart growth of a city that is resilient to climate change is e-mobility. So much so that e-mobility actions are present in many of the European Projects being developed in the city, co-financed by H2020 and ERDF funds.

As part of its planning milestones, Valladolid has implemented an open innovation methodology, providing SMEs and start-ups that are undertaking innovative projects with physical spaces in which they can create their new products or services. In addition, the City Council itself is leading by example with an electric fleet of already more than 20 vehicles, in particular the five e-buses that serve a regular route. There is also a car sharing service for council personnel and a Clean Vehicle Programme that prioritises the purchase of EVs and alternative energy vehicles, under a sector programme that forms part of the Integrated Safe and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan of the city of Valladolid (PIMUSSVA in its Spanish acronym), a pioneer of its type in 2004 and which is currently under review.

The Electric Vehicle Office (OVE in its Spanish acronym), part of the Innovation and Economic Development Agency, is responsible for coordinating and promoting every municipal initiative from both public and private entities relating to e-mobility, as well as every project designed to boost corporate actions on sustainable mobility. Read more…

Modesto Mezquita
Innovation Coordinator, Innovation and Economic Development Agency of the Valladolid City Hall. President of Sub-Committee 3 on the Mobility and Transport Platforms of the Technical Committe on Smart Cities (CTN 178, MINETAD/AENOR)

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2018

51-year-old Roberto San José Mendiluce, born in and resident of the city of Valladolid in Castilla-León, is Spain’s first 100% electric taxi driver – an honour he has held for the past six and a half years. With 12 years experience under his belt, his life changed completely in October 2011 when he unknowingly purchased the country’s first 100% electric taxi. Since then, his 100% electric Nissan LEAF has travelled over 323,000 km. In this article, Roberto shares his experience of the past six and a half years, which have been very encouraging in every sense, as we will see below.

To take the decision to buy a 100% electric taxi, I basically compared the fuel costs generated by my previous taxi, a Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI 140 CV DSG (with an estimated consumption of 8.5 l/100), knowing that in four and half years it would have travelled 320,000 km and have consumed some 27,200 litres of fuel. Taking an approximate fuel cost of 1.2 €/litre, the total cost of fuel would amount to €32,640. The purchase price of the Nissan LEAF was €30,650 (including a €6,000 discount resulting from a subsidy). Taking the consumption of the old taxi at 8.5 l/100 and the cost of fuel at €1.20, the investment in the purchase of an e-taxi would be paid back after 300,000 km (cost of diesel €30,600).

Of course, to the gross fuel saving must be added the savings made in maintenance costs and breakdowns. These are essentially brake pads (for example, I have still got the original set that are 50% worn), filters, fan belts, injectors, distributor, etc. Read more…

Roberto San José Mendiluce
Spain’s first 100% electric taxi driver, since October 2011

Article published in: FuturENERGY April 2018

The battery is the heart of an electric vehicle. Using a battery in an eBus means that the battery has to handle a great deal, from the high mileage of the vehicles to the daily charging cycles and high performance requirements. As a result, the capacity of the batteries decreases over the course of a vehicle’s life, and at some point, the required range can no longer be achieved – MAN expects the batteries used in our eBuses to last at least six years. Given the long service life of an average city bus of 12 years, the batteries would have to be replaced but still be able to manage a certain capacity.

The question is what to do with the batteries. Disposing of them directly is neither ecologically nor economically sound. For this reason, VHH and MAN Truck & Bus want to jointly test the second life of these batteries in a stationary storage facility, as they expressed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 16 March 2018 in Munich.

This second life storage, as it is known, is designed to prevent power consumption peaks during bus charging (peak shaving) by filling up on charge during quieter periods, which the buses can then use at peak times. This saves costs and stabilises utilisation of the power grid, which is the intention of the participants. Further insights are expected on the aging behaviour of the batteries, the life cycles of future batteries and battery technologies, as well as opportunities to stabilise the electricity grid through use of electric transport. The prototype of the stationary storage facility is to start operating in Hamburg-Bergedorf during the course of the year. This involves working with used batteries obtained from vehicle testing, with cells of the type that will also be used in MAN’s eBuses.

This project underlines our aspiration to provide our customers with a complete range of electrification solutions for their fleet,” emphasised Florian Hondele, Project Manager at MAN Transport Solutions. The MAN Transport Solutions team of consultants has been supporting transport companies and freight forwarders since last year in all matters relating to the transition to alternative drive systems and, in particular, electric vehicles.

The joint testing of second life storage is part of the innovation partnership between MAN Truck & Bus and VHH. “Switching to electric transport means much more than just the purchase of electric buses. The testing of the second life energy storage unit fits in perfectly with our holistic strategy,” said Toralf Müller, Managing Director of VHH.

The research is part of the transport partnership between the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Volkswagen Group, which also includes MAN. Together, the partners are working on innovative solutions to make urban transport more environmentally friendly, safer, more reliable and more efficient. One area of focus here is promoting electric-powered vehicles, which should result in fewer emissions and less noise in the city. As part of the partnership with the city, around 150 electrified Volkswagen vehicles are already on the streets of Hamburg. From the end of 2018, MAN electric buses will transport Hamburg’s residents through the city.

“We are about to make crucial strides in the development of vehicle batteries. And we want to play an important role as a vehicle manufacturer,” says Felix Kybart, Head of Alternative Drives at MAN Truck & Bus, on the occasion of the signing of the contract. And this does not end with the delivery of the vehicles – it also includes the secondary use of batteries and recycling.

Vekehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH (VHH), headquartered in Hamburg, transports more than 100 million passengers per year, employing 1,600 people from 60 nations. Their fleet includes 527 buses. VHH is investing in the future with the switch to electric transport. Two electric buses have been in regular use since 2014. More eBuses have been ordered. An electric bus workshop is under construction and will open in summer 2018.

With the number of electric vehicles on the road rising, the global demand for powerful and energy efficient vehicle charging stations is ever increasing. At Hannover Messe, ABB has launched its newest EV charging solution, the Terra HP, the first 350 kW product on the market. Charging time for a range of 200 km is just eight minutes.

Ideally suited for use at highway rest stops and petrol stations, Terra HP’s ultra-high current has the capacity to charge both 400 V and 800 V cars at full power.

The addition of Dynamic DC power sharing technology, allows a two-power cabinet charging system to charge a couple of EVs simultaneously, with up to 350 kW, while dynamically optimizing the available grid connection and the power delivery to the two vehicles.

Additional power cabinets and charge posts can be added after installation, delivering a cost-effective and future-proof solution for expandable charge points that can grow as the EV base grows.

To further improve performance, Terra HP delivers the highest uptime due to redundancy on power and communication, and individually cooled charging cables. Having proven its paces in numerous commercial electric bus field installations, the power cabinet is also extremely reliable.

For charging operators, Terra HP provides the additional benefit of ABB Ability™ Connected Services, which deliver enhanced functionality, including the ability to easily connect chargers to back offices, payment platforms or smart grids systems. More importantly, remote diagnostics, repair and over-the-air software updates, minimize downtime and keep running costs low.

Terra HP delivers a number of additional benefits for consumers, including an intuitive, easy to use touchscreen display and multiple payment options.

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Clean energy investment was US$61.1bn in Q1 2018, down 10% year-on-year however there were pockets of strength. Developing countries were prominent in clean energy investment in the first three months of 2018, with China once again accounting for more than 40% of the world total, along with eye-catching projects reaching financial close in Morocco, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico.

The latest quarterly figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show global clean energy investment at US$61.1bn in Q1 2018, down 10% on the same period last year.

The quarter to the end of March saw solar investment slip 19% to US$37.4bn, affected both by weaker activity in some markets and by lower unit prices for PV systems. BNEF estimates that benchmark global dollar capital costs per MW for utility-scale solar PV have fallen 7% in the last year.

BNEF expects the world to install even more solar in 2018 than last year’s record of 98 GW. Two of the main drivers are the ongoing boom in China for both utility-scale and smaller, local PV systems, and the financing of very large solar parks in other developing countries as cost-competitiveness continues to improve.

The biggest solar project reaching financial close in the early months of 2018 was the 800 MW Noor Midelt complex in Morocco, made up of a mix of PV panels and solar thermal systems with storage. Development banks including KfW of Germany and the European Investment Bank have agreed to fund the complex, which is likely to cost around US$2.4bn.

The largest conventional PV installations financed in Q1 were the 709 MW NLC Tangedco solar project in India, at an estimated US$660m, and the 404 MW Acciona and Tuto Energy Puerto Libertad project in Mexico, at US$493m.

Wind investment showed a rise of 10% in Q1 to US$18.9bn, while biomass and waste-to-energy declined 29% to US$679m. Geothermal rose 39% to US$1bn and small hydro-electric projects of less than 50 MW attracted US$538m, down 32%. Companies specialising in energy-smart technologies such as smart meters, energy storage and electric vehicles attracted US$2bn, down 8%. Biofuels staged a recovery, with investment up 519% year-on-year to US$748m, thanks to the financing of two US ethanol plants.

Looking at the geographical split, China dominated yet again, investing US$26bn in clean energy in Q1, although this was down 27% from a hectic first quarter last year. The US saw investment of US$10.7bn, up 16%, while Europe suffered a 17% decline to US$6bn, reflecting an absence of German and UK offshore wind deals. India saw investment rise 9% year-on-year to US$3.6bn, while Japanese outlays fell 54% to US$1.4bn.

Country highlights included Vietnam, where the financing of wind projects helped its Q1 investment tally to US$1.1bn, a quarterly record; and Mexico, where continuing activity in both solar and wind pushed up its total by 3% year-on-year to US$1.3bn. The financial close on a 91 MW geothermal project in Indonesia helped that country’s total of US$757m in Q1 2018.

The global Q1 figures are the lowest for any quarter since Q3 2016 but, according to BNEF, it is too early to predict a fall in annual investment this year. For instance, BNEF expects to see the financing of a number of big-ticket offshore wind projects in UK, Belgian, Dutch and Danish waters during the months ahead.

Breaking investment down by type, Q1 saw a 16% fall in the asset finance of utility-scale renewable energy projects worldwide, to US$44.3bn, but there was a 16% rise to US$14.3bn in the funding of small solar systems of less than 1 MW.

Public markets investment in specialist clean energy companies plunged 75% to US$509m, the lowest in any quarter for two years. Venture capital and private equity investment was much more impressive, climbing 65% to US$2.4bn, its highest since Q3 2016.

VC/PE deals in the latest quarter were led by US$475m and US$348m Series B rounds for Chinese electric car companies Beijing CHJ Information Technology and Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors, and a US$224m private equity expansion capital round for Enerkem, the Canadian biofuel technology developer.

A report recently published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that there is still serious underinvestment in electric vehicle recharging infrastructure across Europe, with only one in three EU member states providing incentives.

According to the EEA report, specific incentives for electric vehicle charging points were found in only 10 out of the EU28. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) cautions that investments need to be stepped up, as future reductions of CO2 emissions from cars and vans are strongly dependent on increased sales of electric and other alternatively-powered vehicles.

This will only happen with an EU-wide roll-out of a charging and refuelling infrastructure. As the EEA points out in its report: a sufficient charging infrastructure is required to give people the confidence that fully electric vehicles will reliably meet their travel needs and help reduce anxiety linked with possible limitations in range. In this respect, the Directive on Alternative Fuel Infrastructure (DAFI) set clear objectives for the 28 member states as far back as 2014. To date, however, the implementation of the DAFI by national governments has been poor.

Although electric vehicle sales have increased in line with global car sale growth in recent years, their overall market share remains low (1.4% of total EU car sales), growing by just 0.8% between 2014 and 2017.

Even though all manufacturers are expanding their portfolios of electric cars, we unfortunately see that market penetration of these vehicles is quite weak and patchy across the EU,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “Consumers looking for an alternative to diesel often opt for petrol or hybrid vehicles, but the large-scale switch to the EV is not yet taking place. This new EEA report confirms that a dense EU-wide charging infrastructure network is an absolute must if we want consumers throughout the EU to really embrace electric vehicles.”

Although the European Commission has acknowledged that the market uptake of alternatively-powered vehicles and infrastructure roll-out are intrinsically connected, its recent proposal on post-2021 CO2 targets for passenger cars and vans does not link the availability of charging infrastructure to the proposed CO2 objectives.

In order to reflect the reality of the market, ACEA believes that Europe’s long-term climate goals should be linked to future infrastructure availability and consumer acceptance.

AERZEN
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