Dieselgate & Beyond

This event, in the Cleantech Investor Automotive Cleantech series, will review the implications of "Dieselgate" for the future of the automotive industry. Dieselgate began last year with the revelations that Volkswagen had deliberately attempted to cheat emissions tests on diesel vehicles. Other major automotive manufacturing companies, including Renault and Daimler, have subsequently been implicated, to varying degrees, in the scandal - which has impacted the industry through Europe and North America.

The morning will be divided into two sessions. During the first half, a panel of experts will set the scene and will discuss the implications of dieselgate for the automotive industry.  


With air quality in cities increasingly becoming an issue, forecasts for the importance of diesel in the fuel mix are being revised downwards. But is diesel dead? And who will be the winners? In particular, what are the investment opportunities emerging out of the scandal (for example, emissions mitigation solutions or alternatives to diesel such as gas, battery electric and hydrogen vehicles)?

Expert speakers will include:

Karl Markus Doerr - Managing Director, Ricardo Strategic Consulting
Jane Thomas - Global Sales Manager, Emissions Analytics
Kerry-Anne Adamson - Founder, 4thEnergyWave

The second session will involve investment presentations by companies in the sector which are seeking funding. The specific business propositions of the companies presenting will not necessarily relate to diesel emissions mitigation, but the common denominator will be that all are working towards cleaner automotive industry solutions than legacy diesel vehicles. Companies presenting will include: 

Tevva Motors (innovative electric van company)

Zapinamo (movable electric vehicle charging technology developer) 

Rotovane (low carbon petrol engine technology based upon a high power exhaust energy system)

Check back for the full list of companies pitching ahead of the event!



Call for independent accreditation initiative on fuel emissions

28 September 2015

Emissions Analytics (www.emissionsnalytics.com), a company which tests emissions in real-world driving conditions and compiles data comparing its tests to laboratory tests, has announced that it will be launching an independent accreditation initiative on vehicle testing, in the wake of the illegal actions revealed by Volkswagan.  

According to Emissions Analytics, consumers are "being mislead on emissions - with or without illegal acts". The company observes that:

"The illegal action of one manufacturer in the United States threw light, in dramatic fashion last week, on a European situation of higher than expected real-world emissions generated wholly or largely through legal activities. Even legal activity, where it gives rise to misleading results, can be enough to cast wrongful doubt on a whole industry. Having robust, independent real-world emissions data that can sort good from bad is the future, and we plan to lead this."

Since Emissions Analytics was established four years ago, it has tested over 1000 cars in Europe and the United States, including over 200 European diesel passenger cars. Its  data, which is made commercially available to many parts of the automotive industry, shows that real-world emissions of the regulated nitrogen oxides are four times above the official level, determined in the laboratory. Real-world emissions of carbon dioxide are revealed to be almost one-third above that suggested by official figures. For car buyers, this means that fuel economy on average is one quarter worse than advertised.

Emissions Analytics points out that these differences may well be explained by limitations in the official system, rather than through illegality. The company has been highlighting these issues for some years now, as well as similar data from other sources. In order to make its findings more accessible and useable to the market, Emissions Analytics will now launch an independent accreditation initiative. All interested parties are invited to participate (more information at www.emissionsnalytics.com),


80 Day Race to set off from Paris

15 June 2015

The organisers of 80 Day Race, a circumnavigation of the globe via sustainable transport, inspired by the Jules Verne classic 'Around the world in 80 days', have confirmed that the competition’s 'Grand Départ' will be from the front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, in April 2017. 80 Day Race competitors will cover 40,000 kilometers using land-based vehicles which do not consume fossil fuel and which do not contain a combustion engine. The competitors will be free to choose their own route between eight host cities, where qualifying events, educational programmes and tradeshows will also take place.


On the buses: wirelessly charged electric bus trial in Milton Keynes

On 19 January 2014, eight StreetLite electric buses will take over from the current diesel vehicles on Milton Keynes Route 7, between Wolverton and Bletchley. The project is being billed as the world’s most demanding electric bus route.

Key to the success of the trial, which is being managed by Mitsui-Arup joint venture MBK Arup Sustainable Projects (MASP), will be the deployment of wireless, 'inductive power transfer' (or IPT) charging technology. The wireless charging will permit the buses to run non-stop throughout a 17 hour working day (and seven day week) – ensuring that they can perform as well as the diesel equivalents.

In addition to saving 500 tonnes of CO2 annually, the initiative is expected to reduce bus-running costs by between £12,000 and £15,000 annually. According to project director, Professor John Miles of Cambridge University:

“Electric buses’ physical and economic potential has historically been sidelined because no-one could see around the range problem associated with the batteries. Wireless charging can bring electric buses in from the cold and potentially put them neck-and-neck with their diesel counterparts. If we can demonstrate true parity with diesel buses during this trial, we’ll have reached a tipping point for low-carbon transport – we’ll have proved it can be cost-effective as well as green”.

The Milton Keynes trial is being financed by eFleet Integrated Service Ltd (eFIS), and involves a host of partners including Milton Keynes Borough Council, Arriva, The University of Cambridge, SSE, Wrightbus Limited, IPT-Technology, Western Power Distribution and Chargemaster Plc. eFIS aims to use the data collected during the trial to demonstrate the viability of electric buses and potentially to kick-start electric bus projects elsewhere in the world.

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