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Archive for the category “transport”

Netherlands – Family Will Test Solar Family Car

Rain and wind are big in the Netherlands and few foreigners will visit the country for a beach holiday. Nevertheless, a family from the city of Eindhoven, home of the Technical University TUE, was invited to test a car, designed and produced at the TUE, entirely driven by solar energy.

A predecessor model of this solar car won the Solar Challenge Race in Australia:

[deepresource] – TU Eindhoven Wins Solar Challenge 2013 (Cruisers)

Bye bye petrol station!

Wind Power and Electric Vehicles

A few back-of-an-envelope remarks about powering electric vehicles with wind to get an idea of the scale.

Bitchy European remark: why do we need these ridiculous large cars like the Chevy Volt? With an average occupation rate of 1.25 it makes more sense to work with one or two-seater cars only. When by 2030 the electric self-driving car could very well have replaced a large part of the standard five-seater car fleet, you can order a particular car from the public pool that will suit your needs at that particular point in time.

Take the popular e-vehicle Renault Zoe:

[wikipedia.org] – Renault Zoe

Battery: 41 kWh
Range: 400 km (optimal conditions) or 300 km (real world)

So with 2017 technology you will get 75 km from 10 kWh.
Note that even the Renault Zoe is unnecessary big, in a world where most cars travel with a single passenger. Let’s assume that by 2030 single seater cars will be available that travel 120 km on 10 kWh instead of 75 km. Let’s link that number to wind energy for normal usage (Netherlands car distance average: 12,000 km/year = 1000 kWh/year). Yearly electricity production of a 5 MW offshore wind turbine: 22.8 GWh.

[adwenoffshore.com] – Adwen’S 5 MW Wind Turbine Reaches A Yearly Output of 22,8 GWH

This means that this single wind turbine can power 22,800 e-vehicles. The Netherlands currently has a (petrol) car fleet of 8 million. If we assume continued private car ownership of 8 million single seater e-vehicles, merely 320 large 5 MW offshore turbines would suffice to keep this fleet going.

In the coming few years five 700 MW offshore windparks are going to be built in the Dutch part of the North Sea, the five largest wind projects in the world. Two of these windparks would cover the private transportation needs of the Netherlands, where the Dutch rail system is already fully covered by wind energy.

There is no fundamental energy problem.

P.S. Energy efficient cars like these are far more suitable for a self-driving car future:

[deepresource] – Meet the Carver

“By 2030 You Won’t Own a Car”

Hoorn, The Netherlands on a sunny day. Without these ugly parked cars, the 17th century idyll would be restored.

UK consultancy firm Rethinkx has no doubts: the car society as we know it, will be history much sooner than you think. Key word: self-driving car. Once governments begin to allow these essentially driver-less taxis on its roads, the death warrant for the global car industry will be sealed. Why? Because this development would eliminate the need for expensive car ownership completely.

A privately owned car in Western Europe is not used for perhaps 95% of the time (Netherlands: 12,000 km/year, average speed 60 kmh or 200 hours = 5% of a year). Instead the car could be driving during those idle hours, making money in the process and help earning itself back much, much quicker. That’s how every bus, train or aviation company thinks. So why not you, dear mr Joe Sixpack? Because the opportunity to do so is around the corner.

Within a decade or two, technology, infrastructure and government regulation will exist that will enable you to travel the same distances, without actually owning the vehicle. Instead you will order a vehicle with your smart phone and after some time, a taxi will stop in front of your house, but without the taxi driver. And dependent on how much money you are willing/able to pay, you will drive away in a vehicle that is something between a small bus you have to share with others, like in the video below, or a luxury car you will have all for yourself.

Driverless bus in Sion, Switzerland

Take-away points from the study as summarized by Reneweconomy:

  • The future is to transport-as-a-service (TAAS).
  • This implies a death spiral for the car & oil industry in terms of demand for their vehicles and fuel resp.
  • By 2030 most people won’t own a car any-more.
  • By 2030 95% of the miles driven will be done in on-demand, autonomous, electric vehicles (US).
  • The car you are buying now could well be your last (privately owned one).
  • This development will begin in the big cities and spread from there.
  • By 2030 40% of the cars will still be privately owned, but drive merely 5% of the miles (upper income segment).
  • By 2030 1 trillion $ will be saved annually on transport cost (US).
  • Travelling in a driverless vehicle will be 10 times cheaper per mile than in a new or 4 times cheaper than in a used privately owned car.
  • Electric vehicles last much longer and require far less maintenance than petrol cars (20 vs 2000 moving parts in power train).
  • Added benefits: unclogging city roads, eliminating pollution (Asia!), less accidents and freeing up parking space (cities!).
  • Anything can be made driverless: from 2-seaters to buses.
  • Why TAAS will prevail: cost savings, speed, increased safety and extra free time will be key factors.

Death-spiral of the car industry in a single picture. Sudden death in a matter of four years (according to Rethinkx ).

[rethinkx.co.uk] – UK consultancy company behind the report
[reneweconomy.com.au] – Death spiral for cars. By 2030, you probably won’t own one

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Hermes Eindhoven Realizes 1,000,000 KM All-Electric

Nice and quiet and clean. After 2025 sales of new cars driving on fossil fuel will be prohibited and the old ones phased out largely by 2032. The Netherlands will be a silent place, much more than today.

On 18 April 2017, Dutch passenger transport company Hermes reached the milestone of 1,000,000 kilometres travelled with the 43 electric buses that have been in service since last December. The fully electric VDL Citeas, with their futuristic design, are now a common sight in Eindhoven. The drivers operate the buses on eight different zero emission routes with due pride. The electric operation is now operating at full capacity, with the buses clocking up over 9,000 km every weekday. Several buses even cover more than 340 km per day on their own.

[vdlgroep.com] – 1,000,000 electric kilometres in Eindhoven. VDL congratulates Hermes on electric milestone
[vdlgroep.com] – 100 electric VDL Citeas and 18 VDL Futura double-deckers for Connexxion

Canada’s New Shipping Shortcut

Daimler & Bosch Will Bring Autonomous Car Within 5 Years

Daimler & Bosch have no choice as all the other major players are doing it. In the long term it means the beginning of the end of private car ownership for many. The car fleet will become an extension of public transport. Substantially fewer cars will deliver the same transport effort. Autonomous driving cars will have a much higher occupancy rate, both in terms of hours per day on the road as well as the ability of transporting more than one person at the same time. Especially younger people can defer the moment of private car ownership until they are really settled, if they can be persuaded to own an expensive car at all, now that a much cheaper alternative will be available. Retired people won’t need to own an expensive car at all.

It is good for everybody except the car industry itself, that will sell decreasing numbers. It is good for the cities with fewer cars parked for 95% of the time and it is good for the environment as the same transport effort can be accomplished with fewer cars with corresponding less embodied energy. Commuting can be done by occupying cars with five or more rather than one passenger, by applying intelligent algorithms to match transport supply and demand, allowing for small detours and/or changing cars en route. Traffic jams will disappear as a consequence. The taxi driver will vanish once and for all.

The autonomous driving car, essentially a cheap taxi, could be a good compromise to continue to bring door-to-door transport for everyone, yet at the same time diminish the role the car is playing in day to day life.

Win-win situation.

[techcrunch.com] – Daimler and Bosch: fully autonomous cars within 5 years

Nissan Leaf Autonomous Drive Demonstration in London

The London experience was not without problems and glitches. But again: the self-driving car harbors the potential to abolish expensive private car ownership and make it part of the public transport system. This will lead to fewer cars driving on the roads and zero cars parked, with as a consequence less embodied energy of the entire car fleet, that will be far more utilized than privately owned cars. More people will have access to affordable (because driverless) “taxis”.

[cleantechnica.com] – Firsthand Account Of Self-Driving Nissan LEAF Trip In London

Track Side Solar Panels in UK?

Belgium giving the good example: railway tracks covered with solar panels.

Great-Britain is a mid-sized country with high population density. Not strange then that a study has been started to see if space near railway tracks can be used to place solar panels.

[solarlove.org] – UK Studying Track Side Solar Panels To Power Electric Trains

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Dutch Rail Runs 100% on Wind Power

Roger van Boxtel, the CEO of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Rail, DR) could be persuaded to pull a stunt and let himself be tied to a wick of classic Dutch wind mill to promote the point that as of January 1, DR is for 100% powered by wind energy.

The international dispersed wind parks obviously don’t really power the locomotives of DR, but what DR did was subsidize the construction of sufficiently wind power, matching their own electricity demand. In end effect it doesn’t really matter, since Europe has an interconnected grid. What DR did was giving the good example to other corporations to do the same and as such give themselves a well deserved green image and help realizing the renewable energy transition.

[cleantechnica.com] – All Dutch Trains Now Run 100% On Wind Power
[deepresource] – Dutch Railway Powered for 100% by Wind in 2017

Dutch Railway Powered for 100% by Wind in 2017

Windpark Westermeerwind – largest power contributor Dutch Rail

By 2017, all of our trains will run on sustainable energy. This will provide passengers with access to climate-neutral travel over longer distances… The electricity will be generated by newly constructed wind farms belonging to our energy supplier Eneco. This will also stimulate the energy market and help the growth of sustainable energy providers. By 2017, all electric trains in the Netherlands will run on sustainable energy.

ns-windpark-source
European wind parks contributing to Dutch Rail

[ns.nl] – Sustainable Energy
[wikipedia.org] – Windpark Westermeerwind
[westermeerwind.nl] – Official site (English)

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How Big Oil Conquered the World

No Peak Car Yet

peak-car-not

Predicting is easy, being right a different matter altogether. Many voices said that peak car was in 2008, coinciding with the Lehman crash. Apparently, a somewhat recovering economy and more important collapsed fuel prices, growing population as well as more fuel efficient cars, have made that Americans are driving more miles than ever before.

[vox.com] – Why driving in the US is making a big comeback

E-Raw & Juicer Retro Design E-Bikes

[spiegel.de] – Elektro-Zweirad-Studien: Die große Freiheit
[gizmag.com] – e-raw electric moto

eraw1E-Raw

eraw2Juicer

Carmageddon

Wisdom from the East? Not really, they are repeating all the mistakes the West made. The entire world wants to copy the West, that isn’t too wise either, but at least understands best that the situation is untenable.

[zerohedge.com] – Carmageddon: This Is What 750 Million Chinese Hitting The Road Looks Like

#howtogetridofthecar

Charging While Driving

UK-charging

[mashable.com] – The UK is testing out roads that charge electric cars as they go

Cars Don’t Belong in the City

Electric Cars Are Dirty

prius[source]

The naive thought is: electric cars have no exhaust, hence they are clean.

Wrong.

Electric cars drive on electricity, that is generated in power stations running on fossil fuel.

Richard Pike of the Royal Society of Chemistry provocatively determined that electric cars, if widely adopted, stood to lower Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions by just 2 percent, given the U.K.’s electricity sources. Last year, a U.S. Congressional Budget Office study found that electric car subsidies “will result in little or no reduction in the total gasoline use and greenhouse-gas emissions of the nation’s vehicle fleet over the next several years.”

Rather than powering your car, fossil fuel is used to power a generator in the power station. Next, the generated electricity is send down the wire to charge your battery. That charging-discharching cycle costs energy that wouldn’t be wasted if you would use fossil fuel to power your vehicle directly.

Theoretically, driving would be clean if the electricity would come from solar and wind. but that is not bound to happen any time soon. Not during the economic life span of your Prius.

[spectrum.ieee.org] – Unclean at Any Speed

BMW Technology Applied to Bicycles

[evobsession.com] – Heisenberg XF1 Electric Bike Utilizes BMW i Patent

Not BMW, but an illustration of how fast an e-bike really can go.

100 kmh. With these kind of speeds, who needs a car for average commuting distances?

Electric Vehicles Infographic

ev-infographic

[gas2.org] – EV Infographic With Ton Of Interesting Stats

Stella Lux

Solarteam Eindhoven, a club of students from the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, has presented the successor of the ‘Stella’ solar car that won the Solar Challenge 2013 in Australia: the Stella Lux. In Oktober the Stella Lux will participate in the 2015 edition, 3000 km from Darwin to Adelaide. Improvements: more comfortable, more solar cells, increasing range from 750 to 1000 km (on a sunny day + fully charged batteries). A few key facts:

  • Development effort: more than 20 student year
  • Participation cost Solar Challenge 2015 Australia: 100,000 euro (donate here / premium)
  • Less aerodynamic drag due to a ‘tunnel’ under the car
  • Improved interior
  • Maximum speed: 125 kmh
  • Solar roof: 5.8 m2
  • Electrical storage capacity: 15 kWh (City Smart: 17.6 kWh)
  • Dimensions: 4,52m long, 1,75m width, 1,12m height
  • Weight: 375 kg (carbon fiber)
  • Obviously you never have to visit a petrol station ever again. An Australian pensioner wit modest income, who happens to owns a solar car, can spend the rest of his life driving if he wanted to. Since operational cost is near zero, expect congestion of solar cars to be a distinct possibility in the future.

graph_range_1The average commuting distance in countries like Holland and Germany is ca. 40 km/day. That means that almost all year round these types of cars can be utilized without extra charge from the grid. It is enough to have the car parked in an open space to get the batteries sufficiently charged for these kind of relative short trips.

Solar cars like the Stella Lux require far less maintenance than the diesel/gasoline powered standard car; electric motors can run for decades.

[solarteameindhoven.nl] – Stella Lux, The energy positive family car
[e52.nl] – Stella Lux sees the light and it’s going to surprise the world
[spiegel.de] – Solarmobil Stella Lux: Schnell, bequem, 100 Prozent öko
[ed.nl] – Opvolger van gezinsauto op zonne-energie Stella heet Stella Lux

SolarTeam_Interior0005


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