Five years as Zero Carbon Futures: what we didn’t know in 2011

Five years as Zero Carbon Futures: what we didn’t know in 2011

2011 was quite a memorable year. It was the year of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami; the year of the London riots and, for the Royalists out there, the celebrations of a Royal wedding. It was also the year that we set up Zero Carbon Futures in response to the closure of One North East. With only one project in hand (Plugged in Places) and complete uncertainty about what would come next, it really was a step in the dark. However five years later, Zero Carbon Futures is still going strong. With our fifth birthday here this month, it has got me thinking that we really had no idea about what the future looked like for the industry so here’s my top five things that we didn’t know in 2011. Whether these electric vehicles would actually take off as a product The marketplace was a completely different place back then. With a choice between the Mitsubishi iMiev / Peugeot iOn or the Nissan LEAF, consumers weren’t exactly spoilt. And since at that point, neither models were being made in Europe getting your hands on one took a little more effort. The first Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) trials started in the region around this time which helped place 44 electric cars on the roads (some of those are still going strong today as we continue to drive three of those original Nissan LEAF on a daily basis) but the market has grown significantly with 30 makes and models now available. Was anyone going to use these charge points? In the early days when we were installing charge points in...
New initiative to kick start hydrogen vehicles but who will benefit?

New initiative to kick start hydrogen vehicles but who will benefit?

electric vehicle project management The Government has recently announced grants of £2 million for businesses and local authorities to accelerate the uptake of hydrogen vehicles. Now call me cynical (I know many people do) but as I stated in my previous blog, I still can’t see a day when these vehicles will become mass market. Firstly, the cars are just not being produced in large enough numbers to make a significant difference. According to Autocar there will be just 50 Toyota Mirai arriving in the UK in 2016 and global production for the car in 2017 is only 3,000. In a recent news report by USA Today, they forecast that global sales will amount to only 70,000 by 2027 which is only 0.1% of all new vehicles sold. These are hardly ground breaking figures. Secondly, the price is expected to place hydrogen cars out of reach for most normal households or businesses.  The expected price of the Toyota will be £60,000 (Autocar) and the Hyundai ix35 is slightly cheaper at £53,000. Based on these figures increasing uptake will be a challenge. In times of austerity, it will be interesting to see which local authority will be brave enough to put staff in a £63,000 car even if it is subsidised. Most importantly, the final barrier will be the lack of refuelling stations. With hydrogen refuelling stations costing in excess of £2 million, it’s hardly surprising that there’s only plans to install a handful across the entire country. Currently London, Swindon and Rotherham are home to hydrogen refuelling stations and the UK Government has plans to bring the total up to 13...
Secured By miniOrange