Notes, links and jottings for the week so far

December 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

PRIUS_PLUG-IN_HYBRID_TEC_01_2012__midBig reads of the week: first up, the new EV Casebook from Urban Foresight. It outlines 50 ‘big ideas’ for electromobility – the co-developments and influences, potential outcomes, business models and just plain Good Ideas – and supplies plenty of case studies to show how these are being implemented around the globe. And secondly, a 12-essay collection from the RAC Foundation, Moving Cities: The Future of Urban Travel – thoughts and recommendations from a variety of perspectives.Thirdly: Delivering the Smart City, from Arup with UCL, on the use of big data and analytics; concludes that investment, a holistic research agenda and leadership are needed, along with the understanding of what a smart city entails. And how are international financial institutions approaching urbanism? Report here from the Future Cities Catapult.

  • London private-hire firm Openstart has ordered a fleet of 80 plug-in Prius and Prius+; 50 are already in service.
  • France – where diesels have dominated for decades – is to raise excise duty and remove purchase incentives on oil-burners; French car manufacturers, unsurprisingly, are complaining. More here… Germany, meanwhile, is pushing forward with plans to get a million EVs on its roads; Chancellor Merkel is supporting further subsidies.
  • The EU’s putting up 2million euros for a network of fastchargers along major Northern European routes; the Fastned network already has 18 stations in the Netherlands, is adding more at the rate of one a week, and is to expand into Germany. Its to-be-94 stations will form part of a 155-fastcharger corridor across Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, to be completed by close of play December 2015. Oh, and the Fastned stations are solar- and wind-fuelled (80 solar cells on each one).
  • Veniam, the tech provider behind a 600-vehicle V2V trial in Porto, Portugal, is to set up operations in Silicon Valley: its early experiments with a mobile wifi network, vehicles acting as mobile hotspots, are said to have found improved congestion, near-constant wifi connectivity (for public transport users, for example), and optimisation of freight transport, as well as potential for money- and energy-saving benefits such as more efficient rubbish collections (thanks to ‘smart bins’). Report at CityLab.

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