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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.


Barcelona: EV Ambitions

First published on the Cleantech Investor website, 21 November 2013

The automotive sector accounts for 10% of the GDP of Spain’s Catalonia region. It ranks as the second largest automotive manufacturing cluster in Europe and number twelve globally – and in automotive components it is number six in the world. Automotive manufacturers with factories in the Catalonian capital, Barcelona, include Nissan and SEAT (part of the Volkswagen Group). Combine this with the fact that Spain has ample resources of ‘clean’ electricity (from renewables including wind, where Spain ranks number three globally after only the US and China, and solar – as well as nuclear), and it’s no surprise that the city of Barcelona has an established programme to promote electric vehicles.  

Barcelona hosted the EVS27 electric vehicles event this week and its automotive credentials were on display for delegates, with standing room only on the (electric) buses offering tours for electric vehicle spotters.

The Logistics for the Implementation of Electric Vehicles (LIVE) programme, a public-private partnership, was set up in 2009, and today the International Energy Agency ranks Barcelona seventh in the list of cities developing electric-mobility initiatives. However, despite a host of incentives, including a 75% reduction in tax on the purchase of an electric car, four years on from the launch of LIVE there are still just 1,000 electric cars on the roads of Catalonia. So, with 500 public free charging points, of which over half are within the city of Barcelona, there’s no need for drivers to queue to replenish their batteries just yet. The recent installation of 15 fast charging points may help tip the balance – but in the meantime the city authorities are actively encouraging the switch to electric vehicles amongst fleets and in the bike sector.


Automotive Cleantech Breakfast 18 October 2013


TheAutomotive Cleantech Breakfast on 18 October 2013, sponsored by K&L Gates, will focus on how the uptake of electric vehicles has reached an inflection point as the EV industry finds its niche amidst mainstream automotive manufacturing. Important recent developments in the EV industry have included a notable upturn in sales for the Nissan Leaf (which has achieved faster sales growth than the Toyota Prius at a comparable point - the two year mark after its introduction) and the dramatic rise in the share price of Tesla Motors shares on Nasdaq, as the market has recognised Tesla's success in with its Model S, following on from the impact it made with the Roadster.


Speakers will include:


Nick Owen - Principal Consultant, E4tech

Nick will discuss whether we have reached a "turning point" for EVs in view of the Tesla success story and recent new models from BMW, Renault / Nissan and Ford - and in the context of a downward shift in battery costs. He will also review the extent to which there is a good "roadmap" emerging for the automotive industry, in the light of other alternatives such as fuel cells or biofuels and where they can, or cannot, get us to.

Dr Koen S Matthys - Motorsport engineering programme, Brunel University

Dr Koen Matthys, course director for the Motorsport Engineering Programme in the School of Engineering and Design at Brunel University, will speak about the role that motor sports is playing in encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles at the consumer level - and in the engineering of more efficient electric vehicles.




Jeremy Deering - CEO, Torotrak

Jeremy Deering, CEO of Torotrak, will speak about the adoption of new technologies in the automotive cleantech space, focusing on applications in use by Torotrak associate Flybrid Automotive (flywheel KERs systems) in vehicles ranging from London buses to Volvo cars.



Company Pitches

The event will also include company pitches from automotive cleantech sector companies including:

The Dearman Engine Company

The Dearman Engine Company Limited is developing a novel, zero emission, piston engine that runs on a common industrial product, liquid air (or liquid nitrogen); the exhaust is cold air. The company works with Ricardo, E4tech, MIRA and leading UK academic and research institutions. The company will be represented by founder and CEO, Toby Peters.



Vicinity Systems

Vicinity SystemsVicinity Systems, a winner of the Galileo Masters, European Satellite Navigation Competition, has developed technology which aims to increase the driving range of electric vehicles by integrating it with in-car satellite systems. Con Costello, the company's founder, will present.



KomattiKomatti Ltd is a new racing and innovation company, born and bred at the renowned Isle of Man TT. Incorporated in 2012, the company was spun off from increasing involvement in the annual low carbon racing class TTZero. Komatti is the first clean tech start-up on the Isle of Man directly derived from the historic TT event. Koen Matthys, the company's founder, will present.








CENEX LCV Exhibitor: Wrightbus

altWrightbus is a leading British bus manufacturer, perhaps best known as the company behind the New Bus for London - which is a standard bearer for the design, technology, innovation and manufacturing excellence of Wrightbus and the wider Wright Group. Its growing international presence means that Wrightbus vehicles are in daily operation in places like Hong Kong, Singapore and Las Vegas.

On display at LCV Cenex is a double deck bus to London specification which has undergone a development and test programme as part of the three-year “TERS” (Thermal Energy Recovery Systems) project. The project utilises market-leading technology to research, design and integrate pioneering thermal managing concepts into hybrid diesel-electric buses. The project aims to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions through the use of a three strand approach to waste heat recovery which ultimately reduces fuel consumption.

WRIGHTBUS participated in the CENEX speed-dating media event at the Automotive Cleantech conference on 27 June 2013 - and will exhibit at CENEX LCV on 4-5 September 2013.


CENEX LCV Exhibitor: Voltimum

altVoltimum is the leading source of information for the electrical industry. At LCV2013 Voltimum will introduce its Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Expert Panel comprised of representatives from industry leading organisations involved in EV’s and related infrastructures. The panel meet regularly and publish the very latest EV regulatory and technical information to Voltimum users. www.voltimum.co.uk/EVI.

VOLTIMUM participated in the CENEX speed-dating media event at the Automotive Cleantech conference on 27 June 2013 - and will exhibit at CENEX LCV on 4-5 September 2013.


CENEX LCV Exhibitor: Sheffield University

altSheffield University's EMD Group focuses on research into advanced electrical machines, power electronic drives and controls, and energy storage systems for EV / HEVs. We work with a number of vehicle manufacturers and OEMs, on industrial and TSB funded research projects on high efficiency drives / battery charging and energy management.

SHEFFIELD UNIVERSITY participated in the CENEX speed-dating media event at the Automotive Cleantech conference on 27 June 2013 - and will exhibit at CENEX LCV on 4-5 September 2013.


CENEX LCV Exhibitor: Siemens

altSiemens will launch its new partner range from EFACEC - home, workplace, public and rapid electric vehicle charging solutions, all underpinned by the company’s extensive service and maintenance packages. Addressing the next phase of market development, Siemens will also demonstrate integration to pay as you go and smart phone applications.

SIEMENS participated in the CENEX speed-dating media event at the Automotive Cleantech conference on 27 June 2013 - and will exhibit at CENEX LCV on 4-5 September 2013.

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