The recent pandemic has highlighted just how essential public transport is to communities around the world and Arrival’s Bus is the tool cities need as they adapt to a new normal whilst striving to make bus travel appealing, sustainable and financially viable.
Designed with an exceptional passenger experience front of mind, the Arrival Bus is equipped with features that promote a positive perception of public transportation and create an environment evoking a sense of space, cleanliness and wellbeing in a world with a heightened awareness of hygiene and personal space.
“Arrival’s core focus is to make your every-day experience radically better, whether that is your daily journey on an Arrival Bus, or through your work as a driver delivering parcels from an Arrival Van. We are working with cities to make every touchpoint within the urban transportation ecosystem not only better, but also more equitable and sustainable. Recent events have made it clear the world needs to take action now in order to improve lives and effect real change,” Kwame Nyanning, Chief of Experience at Arrival, said.
“We are very excited to bring the Arrival Bus to markets around the world and make the passenger experience of bus travel a positive one. By working in partnership with businesses to develop the entire ecosystem around our vehicles, we are supporting their goals of making Public Transport appealing whilst achieving carbon neutrality,” said Ben Jardine, Chief of Product for Arrival Bus.
As Arrival partners with governments and cities to create an Integrated Public Transport ecosystem that supports their net-zero emission goals, the company is also developing cars for sharing, taxis, buses, delivery robots, charging stations, Microfactories and digital services that enable ‘best in class’ public transport without the need for subsidies. This is possible because Arrival’s solutions are intelligently designed, with the Arrival Bus priced the same as a fossil fuel equivalent and realising even greater savings over its lifetime.
The Arrival Bus will be produced in local Microfactories which are designed to be capable of assembling all vehicles from Arrival’s portfolio. These Microfactories support the creation of market-specific products and will regenerate regional economies through the use of local supply chains, retention of talent and payment of local taxes.
As part of the government’s plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, drivers will be encouraged to make the switch to electric vehicles through the introduction of green number plates. The plates will make it easier for cars to be identified as zero emission vehicles, helping local authorities design and put in place new policies to incentivise people to own and drive them.
For example, drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones where those with a green number plate will be recognised as eligible. The plates will be identifiable by a green flash on the left-hand side and will be available for zero emission vehicles only.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “A green recovery is key to helping us achieve our net zero carbon commitments while also promoting economic growth. Green number plates could unlock a number of incentives for drivers and increase awareness of cleaner vehicles on our roads, showing people that a greener transport future is within our grasp. We’re supporting small businesses to develop the transport tech of the future through a multi-million pound investment, ensuring that UK businesses remain at the forefront of low carbon innovation and research.”
This follows the conclusion of a consultation, inviting comments from the public, local authorities and industry stakeholders from a range of sectors including motoring and consumer groups and vehicle manufacturers on how best to introduce green number plates.
To further accelerate the government’s plans to drive a green recovery, £12 million ($14.88 million) funding for ground-breaking research into the zero-emission market has also been announced to develop greener vehicles and help improve vehicle charging technology.
The funding, made available through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and delivered through Innovate UK, will see £10 million ($1.24 million) for a new Zero Emission Vehicle Innovation Competition. This will invite applicants to bid for project funding to support advancements in both battery electric and hydrogen vehicles, as well as charging infrastructure.
OLEV is also providing £2 million ($2.48 million) to UK small and medium businesses to support their research into zero-emission vehicles in areas such as battery technology, which could be used by major vehicle manufacturers in future electric vehicle production.
The funding will help these businesses to drive local economic growth through research and development projects in areas including charging infrastructure and zero emission vehicles, which could in turn create over 6,000 skilled jobs.
Leeds City Council has taken delivery of 122 examples of the award-winning Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 compact van, with 102 to be used in the delivery of a wide range of services across the city, including property maintenance and civil enforcement, and the remaining 20 to be made available to local businesses through its new EV Trials Scheme.
Via the innovative scheme, which Leeds City Council has launched in partnership with Highways England, West Yorkshire businesses and organisations are able to enjoy a completely free trial of electric vans, including one of 20 Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 for up to two months. Each van will be equipped with telematics devices, which gather journey and charging data, with users receiving a tailored report highlighting the findings and the environmental and potential financial benefits that transitioning to an electric vehicle can generate for their business or organisation. The Renault Kangoo Z.E. will make up nearly half of the 50 electric vans and cars that are available to trial.
As well as their environmental compatibility, Leeds City Council opted for the Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 due to its compact yet versatile dimensions, competitive price and impressive range of 143 miles (WLTP). Availability was another key factor, Renault being able to deliver the order within the timescales required and with no supply issues. The all-electric vans replace several older, less efficient vehicles, with others being added due to the growth and scope of Leeds City Council services.
The addition of the Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 to Leeds City Council’s working fleet will boost the amount of all-electric vehicles it uses in the upkeep of the region to over 330. The award-winning light commercial vehicles reinforce the Council’s status as the country’s leading local authority in terms of how many pure-electric vehicles it has on its operational fleet.
The new all-electric Renaults will make a significant contribution to the Council’s ambitions to improve air quality and make its own operations and the city of Leeds carbon-neutral by 2030, allowing them to progress the transition to a low emission fleet. The change to a more efficient fleet is a core part of the Council’s climate emergency strategy, where it aims to lead by example by introducing such actions as purchasing all its electric from renewable resources, replacing gas with waste powered district heating in its city centre buildings and undertaking extensive tree planting on its own land.
The Renault Kangoo Z.E.33. have been supplied in the popular and generously equipped Business specification. As part of the Business trim level, Leeds City Council operatives and those businesses who choose to trial one of the new vans will enjoy a host of features that are designed to aid comfort, safety, connectivity and convenience. These include pre-heating, cruise control and speed limiter, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Start Assist, Bluetooth, USB socket and DAB radio. Flexible charging options include the ability to recharge 20 miles of driving range in one hour.
Leeds City Council will charge its new vehicles via its existing charge points and is also in the process of procuring a new charging infrastructure.
Councillor James Lewis, Deputy Leader at Leeds City Council, said: “Leeds City Council already operate more electric vehicles than any other local authority and we are a proud signatory of the Clean Van Commitment. Not only are zero emission vans better for the environment and air that our communities breathe, but they are also cheaper to run and maintain than traditional vehicles. We know that switching to electric vehicles feels like it would be a leap in the dark for some, so we’re looking forward to sharing the benefits of these vans free of charge with businesses and charities across West Yorkshire as part of our EV Trials scheme.”
Vincent Tourette, Managing Director, Groupe Renault UK, commented: “We are delighted that the Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 has such a significant role in not only transforming the efficiency of Leeds City Council’s fleet, but that its deployment in the authority’s new EV Trials Scheme will also help many of the city’s businesses experience how electric vehicles can, literally, work for them. We are confident these organisations will be able to see in real-world terms how one of the all-electric Renault Kangoo Z.E.33 can be much more affordable to run, greener for the environment, and offer a better driving experience than other LCVs in the market.”
Available in three body styles (Panel Van, Maxi Panel Van and Crew Cab Van) the Renault Kangoo Z.E.33’s load area stretches up to 4.6 cubic metres, depending on the model. Powered by a 44kW motor with 225Nm of torque and mated to a smooth single speed transmission it’s ideal for urban and open road deliveries, helped in no small part by a potential range of up to 143 miles. The Renault Kangoo Z.E. is priced from £19,380 ($24,031), excluding VAT, after the Plug-in Van Grant.
Renault have been manufacturing its Z.E. range of electric commercial vehicles since 2011. Together with the Renault Kangoo Z.E.33, the line-up also comprises of the large Renault Master Z.E. (available as a Panel Van or Platform Cab) that is ideally suited for last mile deliveries.
Aberdeen-based green tech start-up, Trojan Energy, has secured a £4.1 million round of seed funding to support the roll-out of its on-street flat and flush electric vehicle (EV) charging points. The new product aims to help solve the issue of charging for vehicle owners without access to off-street parking, which is currently a major barrier for electric vehicle uptake, particularly in urban areas.
Trojan Energy estimates that 10 million people park on the street in the UK and 100 million in Europe. Switching to EV could potentially reduce European CO2 emissions by over 120 million tonnes per year.
To date, councils have been reluctant to install on-street charging points due to their cumbersome size and space requirements on pavements. However, Trojan Energy’s charging points are flat and flush to the pavement, removing the need to sacrifice pedestrian space. Users simply carry a charging ‘lance’ in their vehicles and plug the lance into the connector point to start charging.
Trojan Energy’s funding round comprises £1 million investment led by business angel syndicate Equity Gap, profit with purpose investor SIS Ventures, Aberdeen-based investment syndicate Alba Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. SIS Ventures will also be helping the business to lock in its social mission of democratising the transition to low carbon energy. The equity funding unlocks a further £3.1 million from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Investment in the mission-led business enables Trojan Energy to advance testing and certification of the product, with the aim of installing the first 200 units in Brent and Camden Councils by early 2021. The company also plans to follow the roll-out of its on-street product with a similar driveway product for homeowners, eliminating the need for posts or wall boxes to charge at home.
While the UK remains Trojan Energy’s immediate focus, longer-term the business plans to export to Europe, India and China, aiming to capture a large part of the emerging global on-street charging market.
Ian Mackenzie, CEO, Trojan Energy said: “This is such an important milestone for Trojan Energy. Ever since we started this business, we have wanted to ensure that the benefits of the low carbon transition can be realised by everyone and not just those with a driveway. With this investment, our vision has moved a step closer. The rewards for our customers and our planet will be massive and prove the point that a big idea and great engineering can change the world.”
Fraser Lusty, Director, Equity Gap said: “We are pleased to back Trojan Energy and its strong Scottish team who have brought their expertise from the Oil & Gas sector to partner with industry, energy suppliers and councils to help accelerate the adoption of EV usage in dense urban areas where the technology is needed most. Their technology is pivotal to the greater adoption of EV’s, the future decarbonising of our transport infrastructure and central to the UK government’s target for net-zero emissions.”
Rob Halliday, Fund Manager, SIS Ventures said: “SIS Ventures believes that in the wake of Covid-19 there is an opportunity for Scotland to re-build an impact economy. As Scotland’s leading impact investor we are delighted to be playing our part in supporting this innovative mission-led business in its ambition to deliver growth and impact at scale. Trojan Energy is the step change urban EV charging desperately needs.”
John Duncan, Alba Equity said “We are delighted to bring together local investors to support the team at Trojan Energy. Our members were attracted by the strength of the team and the innovative nature of their technology and we believe that the business has the potential to play a significant role in increasing EV usage, which will benefit all through lower emissions.”
Kerry Sharp, Director, Scottish Investment Bank, said: “It’s been suggested that over half of European car owners will be driving electric vehicles by the end of the decade, so developing an innovative, non-invasive and cost-effective solution to the problem posed by on-street charging is essential. By drawing on years of engineering and commercial experience, we believe the Trojan Energy team can achieve that.
“This is the latest example of a forward-looking Scottish company bringing its expertise to bear on one of the defining issues of our time. With our support, and that of our fellow investors, we believe Trojan Energy can help position Scotland at the forefront of the global transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Trojan Energy was founded in 2016 to solve the challenge of on-street charging.
As Lucid’s 1,000+ employees return to work in a phased approach based on local and state mandates – with none ever laid off or furloughed – they resume vehicle development work that was only briefly delayed during shelter-in-place. Furthermore, that effort is accelerated by over 160 new employees who were hired in the last 90 days alone, with the goal of adding over 700 by the end of 2020.
Updating original plans for an April premiere at the New York International Auto Show, Lucid will now unveil the production version of the Lucid Air during a global online reveal in September. In addition to the vehicle’s final interior and exterior designs, new details on production specifications, available configurations, and pricing information will also be shared.
“Although we are experiencing an unprecedented time in our history, the determination of this company’s employees in developing a game-changing electric vehicle burns ever more brightly,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid Motors. “Our mission is to deliver sustainable luxury with class-leading range in the form of the Lucid Air, and we are closer than ever to turning that dream into reality.”
In parallel with the development of the Lucid Air, the company has also made great strides in expanding its manufacturing infrastructure. Lucid’s factory in Casa Grande, AZ – the only purpose-build facility in the US for electric vehicle production – is on target for the completion of construction on its phase one build this year.
In addition, major components and equipment for the paint and shell lines are being installed and are coming online in advance of the completion of construction. The coming weeks and months will see an acceleration of this critical process.
“We’re building a brand-new factory to produce the world’s first true luxury EV,” said Peter Hochholdinger, VP of Manufacturing, Lucid Motors. “That requires an incredible amount of effort and planning, with our ‘just-in-time’ model continuing to serve us well as we enter this critical home stretch.”
The electrically powered S models reveal their power through defined details on the exterior – the wheel arch trims, for instance, are 23 mm (0.9 in) wider on both sides than on the basic version. The striking design takes it cue from aerodynamics based firmly on new technologies. The SUV coupé’s quickly downward-sloping roof line further improves the drag coefficient compared with the sister model. And in particular a spoiler edge on its boot lid improves the airflow direction at the rear.
Optimised airflow through the front wheels: air curtains and airflow through wheel arch trims
The controlled airflow at the front wheels is fundamental to the aerodynamics concept. The side air inlets in the front – the air curtains – route the air over a channel in the wheel houses to optimise the airflow to the wheels and the vehicle flank. The airflow through the wheel arch trims serves the same purpose: Narrow horizontal bars in the recesses formed by the widened trims in the front channel the airstream to surround and encapsulate disruptive swirl in the wheel houses. The upshot is “cleaner” airflow along the vehicle flank with reduced flow losses.
The design of the 20-inch wheels as well as the tread and the pattern on the sidewalls of the tyres have also been optimised accordingly.
The airflow through the wheel arch trims helps Audi resolve the conflict of objectives between outstanding aerodynamics and athletic looks. For the first time, the brand with the Four Rings is bringing this innovative, patented solution to high-volume automobile production. The future Audi e-tron S Sportback will achieve a drag coefficient figure of 0.26 – the Audi e-tron S 0.28.
Virtual exterior mirrors with OLED displays in the interior
Compared with standard mirrors, the sleek virtual exterior mirrors further reduce aerodynamic drag. They help improve aerodynamics by around the same amount as the airflow through the wheel arches and increase range by around three kilometres (1.9 mi) in the WLTP cycle. The virtual exterior mirrors were another world first from the Four Rings that already went into volume production in the Audi e-tron quattro. Each of their flat supports integrates a small camera at the ends. The captured images appear in the interior on high-contrast OLED displays located in the transition between door and instrument panel. Whether driving on the motorway, turning or parking, the field of view adjusts to each driving situation.
The sophisticated aerodynamics concept of the future e-tron S models continues under the vehicle floor. Here underfloor panelling with spoiler elements cleanly routes the air around the vehicle. The underfloor together with the aluminium cover plate for the high-voltage battery is enclosed. The bolting points come with bowl-shaped indentations, similar to the dimples on a golf ball. They make the air flow much better than a totally flat surface. The standard adaptive air suspension – the air suspension with controlled damping – further helps improve the aerodynamic drag: At high speeds, it lowers the body up to 26 mm (1.0 in) below the standard height in two stages.
Part of thermal management: the controllable cool-air inlet
The controllable cool-air inlet is an important component, which also acts as the thermal management control centre. It comprises a frame behind the Singleframe with two electrically operated louvres. At speeds between 48 and 160 km/h (29.8 and 99.4 mph) these are usually closed so that the air flows over the bonnet with virtually no swirl. If the air conditioning system or the drive components require more cooling air, the louvres open gradually. If the hydraulic wheel brakes are subjected to extremely high loads in exceptional circumstances, the controllable cool-air inlet releases two channels that route air to the front wheel arches.
If necessary, the cooling fan is turned on.
Up to 973 Nm (717.6 lb-ft) of torque: innovative drive concept with three electric motors
The future e-tron S models will stand out thanks to their extraordinary performance in addition to their outstanding aerodynamic characteristics. The two new flagship models in the Audi e-tron model line use three electric motors, two of which work at the rear axle. Together they produce 370 kW boost output and up to 973 Nm (717.6 lb-ft) of torque. The S models each sprint from a standstill to 62mph in 4.5 seconds. Their intelligent drive control raises vehicle safety, and dynamic handling in particular, to a new level. In addition to the electric all-wheel drive, there is the electric torque vectoring with active and fully variable torque distribution on the rear axle.
The company offers a balance between hydrogen energy and kinetic and externally charged electricity using an advanced hybrid system which can determine the most efficient approach for any given journey. With a focus on efficiency of the design of the body and chassis and renewable materials inside and out, the goal of H2X is not only to bring to market clean power technologies but also to make vehicles the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable right from the outset.
“Today we launch our company which not only demonstrates the advanced technology and engineering capabilities of Australia in the clean energy arena but also provides a real clean alternative in terms of transportation,” said Brendan Norman, Chief Executive Officer of H2X. “With the development of many Green Energy projects in Australia at the moment, we have a unique opportunity to bring a significant manufacturing operation back to the country.”
The company is focussed on reaching market-leading volumes by 2025. The portfolio will include locally designed and built heavy and industrial vehicles as well as a range of passenger cars. The core team at H2X has been working for a number of years on hydrogen and alternative vehicles. Some have gained extensive experience working in Asia on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles and brought their skills and knowledge to H2X. Others had been involved in Powertrain development for a number of major fuel cell power projects for a number of successful vehicles currently in the Asian market. The learnings from the advanced development in these projects will be applied to H2X vehicles but the focus is ultimately on vehicles that are tuned for the challenging environment of Australia.
Chris Reitz, H2X’s Chief Design Officer, said that Australia is now becoming a platform for the development of these vehicles to the world. “H2X is an Australian Company which aims to demonstrate a unique Australian Spirit to the Vehicle Industry. We have a unique character in our vehicles and we are using Australia’s strong resource, educational and innovation strengths to come up with products which are developed to excel in extreme conditions, and like many things Australian they will win themselves into the hearts and minds of many around the world,” Reitz said.
The H2X team is already involved in projects for rail, marine, stationary power, and heavy vehicles which will come to market shortly. This will give significant support to the hydrogen production industry. H2X will partner with Australian and some overseas companies to bring into Australia full production of the core of the vehicles in early stages.
H2X will locate in Regional New South Wales, focused initially in the Illawarra district. From Port Kembla comes not only a significant deep-water transportation hub for the export of vehicles but also a key location as part of a growing network of green hydrogen projects throughout the New South Wales Renewable Energy Zone and beyond for the East Coast of the Country.
“We have projects producing Energy and Hydrogen in Port Bundaberg, Port Kembla, and in Dubbo in the NSW Renewable Energy Zone. Together with H2X and others including ANT Renewables in Victoria, we are establishing clean energy and clean transportation to put Australia on the map as world leaders in terms of a cleaner future,” said Ken Mathews, Managing Director of Denzo PL, Board Advisor and significant investment Partner in H2X. “What is important for us is we have the ability to supply green hydrogen and the ability to use that hydrogen in Australian Made vehicles, providing a strong platform for the country to build a highly intelligent manufacturing network and do that in a Green environment for Generations of Australians to come.”
The ambition of the company is to create a community of manufacturing in Australia which is dynamic, engaged in leadership in the clean energy power field, and one which has every potential to lead the world. H2X will immediately lend its team skills to work with other Australian companies in the field on many different levels and from the start will launch into exciting activities of development.
The Chairman of H2X is Samuel Blackadder. He is also Managing Director of Elvin Group Renewables, he believes the expertise around the table at H2X will re-invigorate the Australian vehicle manufacturing sector. “Elvin Group has a diverse range of targets from creating the world’s first emissions-free concrete distribution and setting business to launching our own Australian made electrolyzer which will make cost-effective hydrogen later in the year. With H2X we are able to cooperate on the production of this revolutionary product and also work on a number of hydrogen and clean energy powered applications for our Concrete activities creating a world benchmark in an industry that is often considered one of the world’s greatest opportunities for emissions reduction,” Blackadder said.