Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the category “transport”

Biodegradable Car From Eindhoven/The Netherlands

What have you been smoking, a car made from beets and flax? Meet the Lina, a car designed and constructed by students of the University of Eindhoven.

Embodied energy: 20% of your average conventional sedan made of aluminium.
Weight: 683 pounds (300 kg).
Drive train: electric
Range: 60 km
Topspeed: 55 kmh

[] – Biodegradable Car Made From Sugar Beets and Flax?
[] – Driving a car made from biodegradable materials
[] – Bioplastic

London, Shell eco-marathon 2017


[source] PLA honeycomb structure plate material Lina

Bus Driving on Formic Acid in Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Formic acid = hydrogen 2.0.

You can drive on hydrogen, but only under insane pressures like 700 bar in cylinder shapes. With formic acid, the hydrogen comes as a liquid, under ambient conditions, that can be stored under the passenger’s seats. Formic acid is inflammable and can’t explode. To normal humans formic acid is known from nettles that grow in the wild. Formic acid or hydrozine (HCOOH) can be produced from hydrogen and CO2. Emissions: water and CO2. That is, an amount of CO2 equal to the amounts you have to put into formic acid in the first place, so carbon neutral. A ruthenium catalyst is essential.

Note: the bus drives on batteries, not on a fuel cell. The formic acid merely serves as a “range extender”, it is not powerful enough yet to power the bus entirely by itself. With 300 liter formic acid the range gets extended by 80-300 km, depending on city/long distance travel (flywheel?). In this way the battery can be a lot smaller. A sedan could drive 250 km on 50 liter formic acid. “Well-to-wheel” efficiency is 33%, where a regular hydrogen car scores 25%. In contrast to hydrogen fuel stations, a regular gasoline station can be retrofitted for formic acid for an amount of ca. 35,000 euro (hydrogen 5 million).

[] – Deze stadsbus in Eindhoven rijdt nu op mierenzuur – en dat is behoorlijk revolutionair
[] – Ant power: Take a ride on a bus that runs on formic acid
[deepresource] – Formic Acid as Car Fuel
[] – Formic acid
[] – Mierenzuur is Brandstof voor de Transportsector
[] – Elektrische Stadsbus Rijdt 200 Kilometer Op Een Tank Mierenzuur

New Chinese e-SUV with Interchangeable Battery

Go to [3:45] to see how this works.

[] – Akku, wechsel’ dich!

Lex Hoefsloot (Lightyear) over zijn Eerste Gezinsauto op Zonne-energie

[] – Lex Hoefsloot (CEO Lightyear) in Werkverkeer: ‘Ik zoek nog een investeerder’
[deepresource] – 2015 World Solar Challenge Award Ceremony Closing Video
[deepresource] – Solar Challenge 2015
[deepresource] – TU Delft Wins Solar Challenge 2013
[deepresource] – TU Eindhoven Wins Solar Challenge 2013 (Cruisers)

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Iron Rhine Revitalized?

For obvious reasons, the Belgians have been pushing hardest for a revitalization of the IJzeren Rijn (Iron Rhine) railway between the Antwerp Harbor and German Ruhr-area industrial heartland. The Germans had a prudent approach, but the Dutch were least enthusiastic in cooperating with a project that would create an outright competitor with their own existing railway-lines between Rotterdam and Germany. Now the Germans are changing attitude and offer to take the lead in revitalizing the old railway-line. And there is a reason why even the Netherlands should reconsider its position. And that reason is the zinc-plant in Budel-Schoot and its potential to become a renewable energy fuel source, see previous post.

[deepresource] – Nyrstar – The Next Royal Dutch Shell?

A new proposal for revitalization of the Iron Rhine can be best accomplished using the 3RX-tracé, the ‘Rhein-Ruhr-Rail Connection’ (3RX), from Antwerp, via Mol and Hamont to Roermond and Venlo and finally to Viersen. It would be just as good as revitalizing the historic Iron Rhine, but at half the cost.

[] – IJzeren Rijn : ‘Duitsland bereid overleg over 3RX-tracé te trekken’
[] – Opnieuw beweging in het dossier van de ‘IJzeren Rijn’
[] – 3RX Feasibility study alternative Rhein – Ruhr Rail Connection (dec 2017)
[] – Ook Duitsland nu gewonnen voor 3RX-tracé (IJzeren Rijn)
[] – Iron Rhine
[] – Zinkfabriek (Budel)
[] – The largest zinc smelters worldwide in 2017
Korea Zinc – 1,183
Nyrstar – 1,019 (Budel 350)
(metric kiloton)

[] – IJzeren Rijn: resultaten 3RX-studie (jan 2018)

Impressions Car Solar Team Eindhoven

Solar Team Eindhoven will present its latest solar car in July and participate in the World Solar Challenge in Australia in October 2019. Here a student of the TU Eindhoven in discussion with dr Peter Harrop.

[] – ‘We want to show that solar cars are the solution in the energy transition’
[] – World Solar Challenge Australia 2019
[deepresource] – LightYear Solar One Goes in Production

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2018 Hyundai NEXO Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

[] – The Top Gear car review: Hyundai Nexo
[] – Hyundai Nexo

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Future Driving – Hydrogen or Batteries?

[] – It’s too early to write off hydrogen vehicles

Our comment: we are uncomfortable with these huge batteries too. Our educated guess: batteries for light-weight 2-3 wheel vehicles for the shorter distances like commuting/local traffic and hydrogen for larger vehicles like multi-person on-demand transporters, trucks, trains, ships, planes.

Driving Patterns

A 2016 British study can give us an idea of how the car is being used. Results: most trips are rather short, with 95% less than 25 miles and 66% less than 5 miles. However, if you add all journeys below and above 25 miles, the results is about 50-50. The number of all trips, short or long, has declined over the past 12 years.

Combining the data, perhaps a compromise solution for future transport architecture could be: private ownership of a cheap, light-weight vehicle for 1-2 persons, like the Carver in the previous post, for the short distances, that still comprise 95% of all trips and do the rest with public transport, like bus and train and later autonomous driving vehicles. A range of 100 km would suffice for that purpose and allow for relative light batteries.

[] – Road Use Statistics Great Britain 2016
[] – On the distribution of individual daily driving distances

Carver Goes Into Production

The Carver presented at Top Gear in 2011 was the gasoline version, of which at least 500 were produced and sold for 42,000 euro. In 2015 there were Chinese plans to produce the vehicle, didn’t happen. Now an e-version is out, produced in the country of origin, Holland.

Price: €7,990,-
Range: 90 km
Battery: 5.3 kWh
Weight: 330 kg
Top-speed: 185 kmh, formula-1 feeling comes included
(Just kidding, that was the original Carver One like the one in the Top Gear video, the e-version does merely 45 kmh in order to keep it in the scooter range; in some Asian countries 60 kmh will be possible, according to local legislation. There is no inherent design limitation to a speed of just 45 kmh, it is just that the producers want to market this vehicle as a scooter first, with lower legal admission hurdles)
Storage: 75 liter

Average Dutch commuting distance: 34 km. Dutch holidays: 6 weeks, which leaves 46 working weeks = 230 working days or 7,820 km. Efficiency: 90 km/5.3 kWh = 17 km/kWh. Yearly commuting electricity consumption: 7820/17 = 460 kWh. In grey, rainy Holland the relationship between a solar panel peak-Watt and yearly yield = 0.85. A standard 280 Watt panel produces per year 280 x 0.85 = 238 kWh. In other words, in order to produce the electricity to keep a Carver going for commuting, you merely need TWO solar panels extra on your roof!

It is high time that we draw conclusions from the simple fact that the average occupation rate of a car is merely 1.25. These standard 5 seats are massive overkill and so are the 1200 kg or so that the average 5-seat car weighs (in Europe, do not get us started about the US).

Vehicles like these could be a serious alternative to autonomous vehicles. The Carver could be autonomous too. Perhaps the passenger seat should be dropped for more battery capacity.

[] – Company site
[] – Carver (automobile)
[] – Carver keert terug, ook in Nederland!
[] – Carver One keert terug, bouwt fabriek in Friesland
[] – Carver opent assemblagefabriek in Leeuwarden
[] – Jobs at Carver
[] – Carver One images

Flyland – Dutch Airport at Sea?

With the offshore energy Bonanza in full swing and city state Holland becoming full, the potent Dutch maritime industry is developing an appetite to develop an extension of Amsterdam “Schiphol” airport at sea. Now that Britain is retreating from the European world, possibilities arise for Amsterdam to take over from Hearthrow Airport as the greatest European intercontinental hub. But a large expansion of the existing airport is no longer possible, for space and noise reasons. But at sea there is sufficient space, the horizon is the limit.

[] – Een vliegveld op zee lijkt niet langer te hoog gegrepen
[] – UK alarmed at £10bn Dutch plan to build airport at sea (1999)
[] – Flyland – A Future Airport in the North Sea? (2004)
[] – 3 existing airports at sea

City state Holland is full

The Netherlands has more space at sea than on shore.

Dutch industry promotion video

Affordable E-Vehicle – e.GO Delivery Q2-2019

Planning: 100,000 vehicles/year as of 2022
Range: 75-114 miles
Speed: 72-94 mph
Price: $18-22.5k

[] – e.GO Plans To Boldly Go Where No EV Startup Has Gone Before

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Hydrogen Fuel Cells Penetrating Shipping

Initiatives in Europe and America to bring hydrogen fuel cells to shipping propulsion.

[] – Hydrogen ship
[] – ABB & Ballard advance fuel cell ships
[] – Is there a future for H2-powered ship propulsion?
[] – Signs the H2 Fuel Cell Ship — or Truck — Has Sailed
[] – Maritime Applications for Hydrogen Fuel Cells

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Sailing the Oceans with Renault

Youtube text:

Car manufacturer, Groupe Renault, is partnering with French designer and operator of cargo sailing ships, NEOLINE, to reduce the carbon footprint of the Group’s supply chain.

NEOLINE has designed a 136-meter ro-ro with 4,200 square meters of sail area it says has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent through the use of wind power primarily, combined with a cost-cutting speed and optimized energy mix.

The vessels will be commissioned by 2020-2021 on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire in France, the U.S. Eastern seaboard and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada).

[] – Company site
[] – Renault Will Use Sails To Cut Emissions On Trans-Atlantic Routes

LightYear Solar One Goes in Production

Solar Team Eindhoven in the Netherlands made good on its promise to bring the world’s first solar car into production. Born from the Australian Solar Challenge, a race for solar cars through the Australian desert, students/engineers from the Technical University of Eindhoven helped maturing the technology to the production stage, realized earlier this month in Helmond, the Netherlands. Initial small volume price tag: 119,000 euro.

[] – Solar EV News — Buzz Lightyear, Your Car Is Ready!
[deepresource] – LightYear Solar Car – Update
[deepresource] – Solar Driving – State of the Art
[deepresource] – TU-Eindhoven Presents Stella Vie
[deepresource] – TU Eindhoven Wins Solar Challenge 2013 (Cruisers)
[deepresource] – Stella Lux (2015)
[] – LightYear ist Bereit für die Zukunft
[Google Maps] – Helmond, the Netherlands production facility

For the average Dutch daily range of 34 km and weather conditions, most of the year the car doesn’t need charging from the grid.

Solar Challenge Australia 2013 – Team Eindhoven

LightYear One chassis revealed

Volkswagen ID Review

This is how affordable e-vehicles will look like in the very near future (2020). With car battery costs coming down rapidly to less than $2,000 by 2025 and electro-motors cheaper than gasoline ones, e-vehicles could become cheaper eventually.

Available: 2020
Battery: 48 kWh base
Charger: 7.2 kW or 11 kW (onboard) or 125 kW external (charging 80% in 30 minutes)
Range: 205 and 311 miles using the (now obsolete) WLTP; EPA numbers should come in about 30 to 40 % lower
Chassis: MEB

[] – Fully Charged Calls VW ID Prototype “Absolutely Amazing”
[deepresource] – Battery Storage Cost < $50/kWh by 2025
[] – VW Claims It Will Build 50 Million Electric Cars Using Its MEB Chassis
[] – VW ID — New Specs, Range, & Charging Compared To Other 2020 EVs

Volkswagen ID Market Entry November 2019

[] – Volkswagen Releases A Few Specs About Its Upcoming ID Sedan

Read more…

New Impetus Street Car Ground Level Power Supply

Bordeaux street cars, still with old-fashioned catenary

The French city of Bordeaux was the first to replace the catenary of its street cars and replaced it with a third ground rail. After 2011 the technology has been adopted in Reims, Angers (both France) and Dubai. The system is safe for humans and animals. Wikipedia:

APS uses a third rail placed between the running rails, divided electrically into ten-metre rail segments with three-metre neutral sections between. Each tram has two power collection shoes, next to which are antennas that send radio signals to energise the power rail segments as the tram passes over them. At any one time, two consecutive segments under the tram will be live.

[] – Pioneering Light Rail System in Bordeaux
[] – Light Rail Without Wires
[] – Ground-level power supply

Below, how Bordeaux ground-level power supply looks like:

Arlanda Test Results

The idea: mount a metal conductor strip/rail to the road and voila, you have an e-road, a sort of inverted trolley-bus system for cars and trucks. If a country like Sweden would install these rails in the main routes only, ensuring that no home would be further away from a road with such a rail, it would reduce the required size of the battery of e-vehicles enormously. Think 50 kg instead of 400 kg, because the car would charge the battery during driving.

A test route was equipped with a conducting rail earlier this year and the test results are in. And they are encouraging. 200 kW can be delivered, think a truck. The system works good under snow and ice conditions. No need for heating the rail.

Back-of-an-envelope calculation of the cost of an e-road system: The producer Elways claims that the cost per kilometer for 2 lanes is less than 1 million dollar. Go to Google Maps to verify that from Malmö in the South to Gällivare in the North it is 1740 km over road. Two parallel North-South roads exist, that’s 3500 km at a varying distance of 50-150 km. Add some East-West legs to connect these two roads and you arrive at perhaps 5,000 km or less than 5 billion $ to electrify your roads. Sweden has 10 million citizens, so that would be 500 $/capita. That’s very affordable. Note that autonomous driving will relieve the population of the need of owning a car, reducing the per mile cost with a factor of 4-10 according to this study.

More videos below and even more in the elways-link.

[] – Arlanda Test Results
[deepresource] – E-Road, E-Vehicles Breakthrough in Sweden?

Read more…

City Transformer – Fold-up Car

Israeli startup “City Transformer” has developed a small city e-vehicle. Range 150 km, 90 kmh top-speed, 2-seater, width can vary between 100-140 cm and can be parked on a motor cycle parking spot. Price tag $10.500. Production start 2020.

[] – Company site
[] – Foldable eletric vehicle future urban driving
[] – Israeli folding vehicle to take on urban street woes
[] – Dieses E-Auto lässt sich einklappen

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