The EV Musings Newsletter — Issue #25 — Rivian sold out, on-street charging and Texas going solar!
An interesting week this week. The UK government announced that the ban on the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles will be brought forward to 2030. There’s a huge amount of work to be done to make this happen. One main item, though, is combatting the many lies, statistics and downright pieces of misinformation coming from those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo (as well as those who just don’t know any better).
So, in a change to the advertised programme this week’s episode discusses some of these matters and puts forward answers: This week its ‘Myths and Legends: The Sequel’
This Week’s Podcast.
Today’s show is a change to the scheduled events. We were going to be talking about wireless charging in this week’s episode. But the government’s announcement of the ban of fossil fuel cars in the UK from 2030 has prompted a different discussion. Yes, it’s Myths and Legends : The Sequel! Today we’ll be discussing those ‘arguments’ the fossil fuel lobby (and certain Right Wing media outlets) are going to put forward for why the move to EVs for new car sales in 2030 won’t work.
Top Five EV/ Renewable Stories.
Oil state Texas going solar
Texas is one of the largest oil producing states in the US. So to hear that the largest solar plant in the country(1,310 megawatts) is going to be located there is something of an eye-opener.
V2G trial starts in the UK
We’ve said many times on the podcast that V2G (Vehicle to grid) technology will be one of the key enablers for grid management when mass adoption of electric vehicles happens. It’s a key way of ensuring that loads on the grid are minimised and costs are kept low. As an ancillary benefit it can help to reduce the required ‘base load’ needed to keep the country running if renewables are struggling.
So a new V2G trial launched this week in the UK is good news. The main problem with this trial — as with all the other V2G trials that are happening — is that it is limited to Nissan Leaf vehicles as these are the only ones that have the Chademo protocol set up for V2G operation. To enable mass market adoption of this tech the market has to open up and CCS (or, more likely, type 2) V2G needs to be defined and implemented.
Powerwall too expensive? Try this.
If the thought of a Tesla Powerwall leaves you empty pocketed, Sonnen — a German company — has an alternative. sonnenCore is an all-in-one home battery system. Per the article the sonnenCore has:
4.8kW/10kWh of maximum usable capacity and pairs with new and existing photovoltaic systems. It uses long-lasting, cobalt-free, recyclable, safe lithium iron phosphate batteries and has a warranty of 10 years/10,000 charge cycles. sonnenCore costs $9,500, excluding installation, and is available now.
The actual Powerwall battery is cheaper but sonnenCore includes all the inverters etc. which brings it down to below the price of the Powerwall before installation costs.
Want a Rivian Launch Edition? Too late…
After teasing their vehicles for what seems like years now, Rivian finally officially launched the R1T truck recently and opened up a configurator to the public (mainly US buyers). The R1T Launch Edition — which will be manufactured until January 2022 — has completely sold out
Reserving an R1T required a $1,000 deposit, but that only covers a fraction of the well-specced Launch Edition’s $75,000 sticker price.
Nobody really knows what the production capacity is for Rivian but they’re already producing delivery vans for Amazon.
There is a school of thought which thinks that this will eat into the capacity for producing the R1T’s but, as yet, nobody knows for sure.
On-Street charging on the rise in the UK
With 40% of UK households not having off-street parking, the need for on-street charging facilities to enable this is paramount for the 2030 fossil fuel ban to be effective. At the moment 266 of the countries 316 councils and local authorities have not installed any on-street charging. This is despite the fact that the government’s On-Street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS) allows councils to seek up to 75 percent funding to install charging infrastructure in residential areas.
Our podcast discussion next week with two of the major Charge Point Operators in the UK also indicates that — while government help (and finance) is important to ensure a widespread roll-out of charging infrastructure in the UK — it is actually private organisations such as PodPoint and bp Chargemaster that are providing large numbers of fast (7kW) chargers in places where people can ‘graze’ for their electrons.
But to increase public confidence it is important that as many councils as possible are being seen to install these points. Lack of awareness of facilities like this is one key reason the general public fears for the introduction of EVs.
A cool EV or renewable thing
Pay as you go solar TV. That’s right. Solar TV. This is being trialled in Kenya by a company called Azuri technologies
The principle is quite simple: For a down payment and a fixed monthly fee you get the following: a 32” flat panel TV with a solar panel to power it, a battery to store the energy from the solar panel, two high power tube lights, two spot lights rechargeable radio, rechargeable torch, USB phone charging, and a subscription to the Zuku Smart package (“offering over 55 channels including all local content plus the EDU channel featuring the National Curriculum content, BBC and National Geographic documentary channels, Movies, Music and Religious programs”)
How much does it cost? The solar TV comes at an upfront price of KES 8,999 ($82.39), followed by KES 129 ($1.18) per day for 30 months. After those 30 months, “the system is unlocked and all additional power is free of charge.”
In some places in Kenya 80% of homes don’t have access to electricity. A package like this which offers light, power, a radio, a TV and a battery, the impact is incredible and allows people access to information — and resources — they wouldn’t normally have.
Something To Think About.
Conspiracy theories, explained — www.vox.com
Americans are embracing dangerous conspiratorial beliefs, from QAnon to coronavirus denial. Eleanor’s dad loved science — or so she thought. Eleanor grew up listening to stories of the Apollo missions and audio clips from space expeditions.
Next week is a major episode. We talk with Osprey Charging and bp Chargemaster on the podcast about the state of public charging in the UK. Patrons can listen to that episode from Friday of this week. Everyone else will have to wait until next Monday to hear it.
It’s a doozy.
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