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Seine Alliance has unveiled the Black Swan, the first electric boat specifically designed for private or business cruises on the Seine to be fitted with second life batteries. The aim of Seine Alliance and its partners – Groupe Renault and Green-Vision – is to be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of a model based on the principle of the circular economy, in order to reproduce it and create synergies between the various mobility players.

In the current ebullient atmosphere, in which innovative solutions are being sought to preserve our planet, the initiatives taken by professionals in the river sector offer encouragement for the future. Highly mobilised around the environmental aspects of their activities, they have been the source of many exemplary projects that are setting the pace for energy transition. The Black Swan, a zero-emissions* boat with a capacity of 2 to 8 people for family excursions of around 2 hours, has been designed in this spirit. It is powered by two electric motors and needs no generator or back-up internal combustion engine. So, it won’t emit any exhaust gases and proceeds noiselessly. It is a voluntary transformation approach towards reducing the impact of river activities on the environment.

Circular economy, safety and onboard comfort

The Black Swan is equipped with two wholly independent, autonomous, 100% electric propulsion lines. This redundancy means worry-free sailing.

Lithium-ion batteries taken from Renault electric vehicles once they have reached the end of their “first car life” are being re-conditioned and re-purposed. They are then installed beneath the boat’s side bench seats in 4 battery stainless steel housings that have been specially designed to ensure safe, water-tight operating conditions. Thus, the energy and raw materials required to produce new batteries has been avoided.

Each propeller is connected to two battery arrays that have a nominal power output of 10kW (20kW at maximum power), which easily allows the boat to reach the usual cruising speeds (there is a speed limit in force on the Seine in Paris). In total, the batteries weigh 278 kg, which is lighter than the fuel tank fitted in the boat when it was powered by an internal combustion engine.

The hull, with the dynamic lines and timeless design of its Italian builder, Tullio Abbate, has been retained, but it has neither outboard nor inboard motors. Propulsion and turning is provided by underwater directional units (known as pods). This is a technical development that gives the boat a sleeker profile and makes it possible to optimise the ergonomics of the cockpit to make steering easier and ensure maximum comfort for passengers as the boat glides silently along. And those passengers are able to enjoy 2-hour cruises after a charging time of just 2 to 3 hours.

A boat to inspire the rest of the profession

The technical presentation of the Black Swan took place yesterday, Monday 4 November, at the Atelier du France. The professional from the world of river navigation gathered at the Port de Grenelle in Paris to learn about an elegant, operational boat that could inspire the 150-odd commercial boats that ply their trade in Paris’ waterway, now that the migration to more environmentally friendly propulsion systems has become possible.

Demonstrations for the press will take place in the first quarter of 2020, at the same time as the Black Swan comes into service (once the necessary government permits have been obtained).
This is also when Seine Alliance will begin to refit a new analogue boat, before continuing with other boats to reach the target of a 100% electric fleet by 2024.

The Black Swan is the precursor of a new generation of boats, setting the bar for creativity, carbon neutrality and functionality, without compromising on elegance. The synergy developed with Groupe Renault and Green-Vision will allow the smart use of re-conditioned products that forms part of a truly sustainable development approach.

* zero emissions in operation

Source: Groupe Renault

Foto cortesía de/Photo courtesy of: Toyota

At Digital Solar & Storage 2019, SolarPower Europe launched a new report on solar mobility, thought to be the first of its kind, which explores the potential of clean mobility solutions and solar power. The report documents various solar mobility business models, illustrating the experience of European and global pioneers with detailed case studies. Three solar mobility models are highlighted: (1) solar-powered mobility, (2) solar smart charging, and (3) vehicle-integrated PV, all of which can lead to vast carbon reductions in the transport sector.

Decarbonising the transport sector, responsible for one quarter of European CO2 emissions, is a crucial step in achieving the European Union’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Electrification, direct and indirect, appears clearly as the fastest and most cost-efficient technological solution to decarbonise transport. EV battery costs have achieved important cost reduction in the past years, with prices decreasing by 85% between 2010 and 2018, allowing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of small and medium electric vehicles to be the same as conventional vehicles by 2024. Technology improvements and investments in fuel cells and electrolysis technologies have enabled a reduction in vehicle and fuel costs that could support the future cost-competitiveness of indirect electrification for certain segments of transport.

The electrification of transport makes even more sense when done in parallel with the deployment of renewables in the EU electricity mix. Without significant additons of renewable capacities in Europe, the full potential of electrification to reduce CO2 emissions in transport cannot be harvested. A study from the Paul Scherrer Institute shows that electric vehicles charging on fossil fuel-based electricity (e.g gas or coal) do not lead to an optimum reduction in CO2 emissions compared with conventional gasoline and diesel cars, while the CO2 emissions decrease by 50% with electric vehicles driving on CO2 -free electricity. The electrification of transport must therefore be thought of in synergy with the deployment of renewables in the power mix.

Solar energy is the ideal candidate to fuel green, electric mobility. As an illustration, in light road transport only, a typical rooftop, 5-kW PV module can easily produce the daily amount of electricity needed for the average commute of an electric vehicle, even though the adequacy of the PV system will depend on its geographical location and on time variations, including seasonal.

Solar energy is also a cost-competitive fuel for transport. It has achieved important cost reductions in the past years. The LCOE has reached €0.04/kWh worldwide and keeps decreasing, as a result of decreasing manufacturing costs and increasing cell performance. The deployment of solar can therefore support a cost-efficient energy transition with limited public support. Furthermore, in many countries, direct sourcing of solar energy is already cheaper than grid electricity.

Solar installations are modular and can adapt perfectly to the energy needs of the end-consumer or various means of transportation. Small solar installations can therefore fit well in urban landscapes, on rooftops, parking lots, rail infrastructure, etc. and can be installed as close as possible to the consumption point, be it a charging point or a refuelling station, thereby reducing reliance on the power grid.

Looking at the physics, solar is complementary to electric mobility, particularly in certain use cases like day charging at work places or combined with battery capacity at home. Solar has a predictable generation curve and produces electricity during the day. This PV generation curve matches well with the time at which the majority of electric vehicles are parked and can be charged, for instance at workplaces or public parking – a match that can be optimised with smart charging devices. Solar generation also matches perfectly the load curve of trains, trams or metros that run and consume energy during the day, making them good candidates for solar consumption.

Finally, recent surveys show that solar is the most popular source of energy and can support the public acceptance for sustainable transport policies. In Europe, solar has the highest level of support among citizens. Solar empowers consumers to invest into their own energy transition and gives them a sense of independence. As a result, one can easily observe the mutually reinforced dynamic between solar energy and electromobility: a recent survey by EuPD Research on electric-mobility has shown that for 77% of the respondents, the main reason to purchase an electric car was to charge it using their own solar energy, making it the most important motivator for purchase.

The synergies between solar and clean mobility can unlock significant benefits to accelerate the European energy and transport transition. The solar industry must therefore be imaginative and forward-looking to exploit these synergies and offer solutions to consumers that wish to drive on solar energy.

The benefits of solar mobility are vast, and include significant improvements in air quality for European citizens, as well as the reduction of noise pollution. Smart mobility strategies that rely on the increasing deployment of solar energy can lead to a more affordable and reliable solar electricity supply. This has the effect of optimising grid integration of future vehicles, unlocking new flexibility sources, and ultimately creating new business models for solar prosumers, EV owners, and charging station operators. Further, solar mobility and all of its related technologies can help Europe lead the global energy transition.

This aim of the report – the first of its kind developed by SolarPower Europe’s Solar Mobility Taskforce – is to look at existing and promising business cases of solar mobility and draw a first benchmark of renewable mobility models. It features existing case studies and pioneering projects.

Source: SolarPower Europe

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Eurelectric and Transport & Environment (T&E) are calling on the European institutions to facilitate a rapid roll-out of smart charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. This is a unique collaboration as it marks the first time that the EU auto industry, electricity sector and the green group have joined forces to push for a common goal.

E-mobility has a crucial role to play in decarbonising road transport and meeting Europe’s climate objective. As Brussels gears up for a new political term, the three associations are therefore urging policy makers to guarantee the ‘right to plug’ to all those who use an electric vehicle, so that everyone across Europe can get access to charging which should be as simple as refuelling today.

This will require a massive deployment of strategically located ‘smart charging’ infrastructure right across the EU. Smart infrastructure will enable drivers to charge without severely affecting, or overloading, Europe’s electricity grids. It provides clear benefits to customers, the power system, the automobile industry and society at large, the associations believe.

ACEA, Eurelectric and T&E signed this joint call to action today at ACEA’s ‘Leading the mobility transformation’ Summit in Brussels. On this occasion, the auto and electricity industries confirmed their commitment to making more focused investments in both vehicle technology and smart charging solutions.

Whether it is urban or motorway public charging, all barriers to infrastructure deployment and e-mobility growth must be removed. In order to make charging at home, work and on motorways easy and accessible for all drivers, policy makers should reform and strengthen key legislation, such as the soon to be revised EU alternative fuels law (AFID) and the EU buildings directive (EPBD). Existing EU funding instruments must also be better leveraged to speed up the roll-out of infrastructure, and other financial instruments should be targeted to unlock new solutions to improve coverage across all member states.

“The EU auto industry wants to work with all stakeholders to make zero-emission mobility a reality,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “To convince more customers to make the switch to electric vehicles, we have to remove the stress associated with recharging. This means that everyone must have the option to recharge their vehicle easily, no matter where they live or where they want to travel to.”

“The race to the future is on. We must remove all barriers and make the shift to electric mobility as easy and convenient as possible. Every consumer should have a ‘right-to-plug’ – and the roll-out of public charging points must accelerate. By 2025, we need 1.2 million public charging points in Europe,” said Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric.

Julia Poliscanova, Clean Vehicles Director at T&E said: “A rapid shift to electric cars powered by clean electricity is essential if we want to halt dangerous global warming. Now that carmakers are preparing a wave of new and affordable electric models, we need to ensure the fast and easy deployment of charging points at home, at work and on the road so that charging an electric car becomes a completely hassle free experience for citizens across the EU.”

Source: ACEA

At the 2019 Shanghai international auto show, Valeo its revealing its latest technological innovations, which are at the epicenter of the revolutions shaping mobility. Valeo is presenting its low-voltage (48 V), all-electric urban vehicle prototype, just one example of its electrification solutions for all the different mobility needs and uses. The fully functional two-seater electric vehicle can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h, with a range of 150 km. It can be charged via any power socket, offering an idea of what an affordable, compact vehicle that is perfectly adapted to urban mobility could look like in the future.

In a world first. Valeo is also unveiling its reversible charger, a major innovation enabling vehicles to become links in the power grid. Developed in collaboration with the Chinese company Xcharge, this system makes it possible to send excess electricity back to the grid. This marks a major step forward for technologies designed to store electricity, especially that are generated by low-emission systems such as solar panels and wind turbines.

The vehicle electrification revolution does not stop at the powertrain, which is why Valeo is presenting its all-weather, all-season thermal and comfort solutions for electric vehicles, designed to optimize travel range. The Valeo stand is also showcasing a demo car that features a number of solutions to detect and protect the cabin from outside pollution.

Determined to lead the way in the emergence of autonomous and connected vehicles, China has set out an ambitious roadmap for 2020, when half of all new vehicles produced are expected to feature semi-autonomous driving systems. These driving systems will be based on different types of sensors, which will enable the vehicle to map out its environment. The Shanghai auto show will be the perfect opportunity to rediscover Valeo’s portfolio of sensors, the most comprehensive on the market. It includes Valeo SCALA® , currently the first and only series-produced LiDAR in the automotive industry, as well as sensor cleaning solutions, including Valeo everView.

Source: Valeo

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FuturENERGY Dec. 18 - Jan. 2019

The unsustainable mobility milestones implemented in little more than a century at global level can only be changed when the different societies that comprise our “global village” become truly aware of the multiple problems involved in pursuing the current model and in parallel, identify the existence of viable alternatives. The most visible part of the problems is currently focused on the large conurbations and can be seen in the millions of journeys made using private vehicles and the resultant damage they cause such as pollution, air quality, public health and the use of space… By EV Division at Circutor.

FuturENERGY Dec. 18 - Jan. 2019

Along with artificial intelligence, new methods of payment, IT convergence and e-commerce, the industrial transformation is one of the five technological changes that will have the greatest economic impact on the world over the coming years. As part of that industrial transformation, automotion is witnessing a process of technological and services revolution as regards road mobility which is going to transform a sector that, despite slight adaptations and regardless of its growth, has been working at the same pace for over a century….By Arturo Pérez de Lucia, Managing Director of AEDIVE, the Business Association for the Boosting and Development of the EV Market.

Norway leads the way in the transition to a 100% electric mobility model. The volume of energy that transportation needs constitutes a fourth of the country’s total consumption, which is the reason why they find their electrification absolutely feasible. In addition, its mobility goals are aligned with the rest of the sustainable goals: to reduce 40% of the emissions by the year 2030 and become neutral in carbon emissions by 2050.

There are many characteristics that make Norway ideal for transport electrification. Among them, the political consensus for implementing measures that incentivise the use of electric vehicles, their knowledge of the electric transportation sector, their experience in R&D, their search for sustainable solutions and the country’s natural resources that enable them to have an almost 100% electric system.

Current situation

Norway is the country with the highest number of electric vehicles per capita in the world. Only in 2017, 21% of the new vehicles were electric and adding the hybrid models, 52% of the cars sold in the country last year were electric or hybrid. Thus and for the first time, the Scandinavian country had a participation in the fossil fuel market below 50%.

One of the keys to their success has been the support plan to the citizens, which exempts new electric cars from almost all taxes, giving benefits such as free or subsidized parking, a system of recharge points and use of highways, ferries and tunnels.

Land, sea and air, the ambitious proposal of the Norwegian electrification

By land: the country’s target is that all new cars, city buses and light vans should be zero-emissions by 2025.
If we look at the railway transport, we will find that it is already electrified by 78%.

By sea: 40% of all ships in the local transport should use biofuels or be low or zero-emission by 2030.
The Ampère Ferry initiated the technological change in the sea. Since then, four additional electric ferries have come into operation and another 62 are on its way. Furthermore, by the year 2021 they expect a third of the Norwegian vessels to be electric.

By air: being aware that airplanes use big quantities of fossil fuel and generate high levels of emissions, they are planning that all national air traffic becomes electric by 2040.

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

For around ten years, MAN Truck & Bus has been working on inno-vative concepts for supplying and removing material in the urban environment. Cities increasingly find themselves faced with the challenge of reconciling a healthy climate and their inhabitants’ quality-of-life demands with the transport of goods and deliveries in central urban areas. This problem involves developing ideas for re-ducing traffic at specific times and relocating it out of the city alto-gether, new approaches to the use of land, plus new transport and drive concepts. In view of this situation, MAN Truck & Bus has put forward a wide variety of ideas and studies from the truck and bus sectors in recent years. Advancing these ideas consistently, the sales of MAN’s first fully electric-powered production vehicle are now underway with the eTGE.

Around 70 percent of light commercial vehicles used in urban areas travel fewer than 100 kilometres per day on average. The average speed reached during this is low. With this in mind, the vehicle’s theoretical range of up to 160 kilometres covers about three-quarters of all urban-core transport. Sooner or later, as with mobile phones, it will be completely normal to plug a fully electric vehicle in to charge for the coming day – usually overnight.

Charging times vary. A 40 kW charging station fills a battery up to 80 percent in 45 minutes. The MAN eTGE can be restored to full opera-tional capacity after just under five and a half hours on an alternat-ing current wallbox. Approximately nine hours are needed for a full charge with 220V AC. With the relevant battery maintenance, the 36 kWh rechargeable battery only loses around 15 percent of its ca-pacity after ten years and around 2,000 charging cycles. Especially since individual modules of six or twelve cells can be replaced sepa-rately. The modules are located under the slightly higher load floor, as used for rear-wheel drive body versions with diesel engines.

The choice made for the electric front-wheel drive TGE was a per-manently excited synchronous motor with 100 kW maximum availa-ble power. It has 290 Nm of torque at its immediate disposal, which can also be used over the entire speed range, ensuring highly agile handling. Combined with the maximum speed of 90 km/h, this re-sults in fuel consumption of around 20 kWh per 100 kilometres.

In addition to the carrying capacity, the assistance systems have al-so remained unaffected by the electric technology. The eTGE comes with a comprehensive range of built-in standard equipment, includ-ing a navigation system, heated windscreen and other features that help to make driving easier and safer. Naturally, as with all TGEs, the emergency brake assist (EBA) continues to be installed as standard.

In the initial phase of the roll-out, the MAN eTGE can be ordered with the standard wheelbase and high roof. The product line is pri-marily aimed at fleet customers with a tailored service concept to tend to their needs. Initial customer enquiries and signed sales con-tracts have already been made for the MAN eTGE, which costs around €69,500. The first electric-powered vans from MAN are to be used for the first time in metropolitan areas of Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Norway and the Netherlands.

FlixBus, Europe’s largest long-distance mobility provider, is now investing in E-Mobility as the first company in the world to test E-Buses on their long-distance bus routes. Beginning in April, the first all-electric Flix-E-Buses will begin test operations with the premiere route between Paris and Amiens, France. The second Flix-E-Bus will hit the road between Hessen and Baden-Württemberg, Germany, in Summer 2018 as part of the German domestic network expansion for summer travelers.

“We want to help shape the future of mobility. Although e-buses are currently much more expensive to buy, we are convinced that this will be a worthwhile investment in the long run, for our company, our customers and the environment,” said André Schwämmlein, Founder and CEO of FlixBus. “As a provider, we are demonstrating that this is a potential turning point in mobility. Likewise, the first all-electric long-distance bus is a signal to bus manufacturers to drive innovation and develop alternatives to pure diesel vehicles. Sustainable mobility is not only about driving business but is also about the social and environmental aspects of traveling.”

Giving Everyone the Option to Travel Sustainably

The long-distance bus is one of the most environmentally-friendly modes of transportation available today, thanks to a modern fleet and the ability to fill large capacities within each vehicle. People who choose bus over car for longer routes reduce their CO2 emissions by 80 percent.

“The current trend is moving away from private car travel and towards shared mobility options such as buses,” said Schwämmlein.  “FlixBus is proud to be a pioneer in helping to propel this change and reliance on transportation with fossil fuels by providing some of the most climate-friendly mobility options in Europe.”

FlixBus will continue to invest in grid expansion in the coming months. In addition to international lines, approximately 140 new destinations will be added in German-speaking countries alone, with further connections planned across the 26 other markets in which FlixBus currently operates.

To fulfill the company mission of providing smart and green mobility for everyone to experience the world, FlixMobility is preparing for two major milestones with the launch of FlixTrain, the first long-distance green train, on March 23 in Germany and the launch of FlixBus USA beginning in Los Angeles, California, in Spring 2018.

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