Published on January 21st, 2021 | by Johnna Crider
January 21st, 2021 by Johnna Crider
Leasing Options, a leasing service that has been serving the UK for over 30 years, has shared its findings on the fastest and cheapest electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK. In an EV range race from John O’Groats to Land’s End, Tesla was the speediest brand. Some key findings from the race are as follows:
- The Tesla Model S and Model X tied at 1st place finishing with a total time of 16 hours and 18 minutes.
- The Tesla Model 3 finished at 3rd place and was over 40 minutes faster than the Audi e-tron that came in 4th.
- The Renault Zoe is the cheapest, and the driver paid only £53.61 to make the 837-mile trip.
- The Tesla Model 3 was the 2nd cheapest at £58.40 for the trip, 30p cheaper than its bigger brothers.
- Volkswagen’s e-Golf is the most expensive, costing £35 more than the winning Renault Zoe, with a total of £89.01.
Tesla reigns king in terms of speed. The brand dominated the time trial and took all three podium positions. The Model S and Model X finished in first place (tied), with a total time of 16 hours and 18 minutes. The Model 3 finished a bit slower but 40 minutes faster than the Audi e-tron, which came in at 4th place.
Compared with the Jaguar I-PACE, Audi demonstrated the importance of a fast-charing battery. The vehicle took frequent stops but was able to get back on the road in under 30 minutes. In comparison, the I-PACE took 45 minutes for its recharge times.
The BMW i3 took 6th place with a time of 18 hours and 48 minutes. It beat the Renault Zoe by around 30 minutes. The EV that finished last was the VW e-Golf. Its time was 20 hours and 36 minutes.
If the race didn’t factor in the speed and only focused on cost, the Renault Zoe would be the clear winner. It cost the driver only £53.61 to make the 837-mile trip. Following directly behind the Renault are the three Teslas, led by the Model 3.
Slowest & Most Expensive
The EV that was both slowest and most expensive was the VW e-Golf. The trip cost the driver £89.01 and the e-Golf was the last vehicle to finish, 43 minutes slower than the second slowest model, the Nissan LEAF. The Audi e-tron was the next most expensive. The driver had to pay around £86.08 for the trip.
Leasing Options had to take many factors into account to plan this epic race, starting with the route, which was planned out using the AA’s route planner. Following that, the organizers worked out the initial cost of charging the car’s batteries prior to the race. These numbers were calculated using guidance from an Auto Express report that detailed the cost per kWh.
The next part was determining how far each vehicle could go before needing to recharge. They used real-life range from the Electric Vehicle Database. Once they had the numbers, they took the fast charge times and miles from the Electric Vehicle Database and plotted those onto the map to pinpoint where each car would need to recharge again. That was repeated until that car crossed the finish line.
Finally, they crunched the numbers to figure out how much each recharge would have cost with the aid of Zap Map’s cost calculator and Auto Express. After this, they totaled up all of the times and costs to give the final figures above. One thing Leasing Options noted in its blog was that these figures could differ slightly from actual times and costs even though they have been calculated as accurately as possible.
The Real Winners Are Those Switching To EVs From Fossil Fuel Vehicles
Although this was a fun race in the UK to determine which EVs were faster and cheaper for such a race, I want to point out that not everyone races vehicles. Many simply use vehicles to go from points A to B and maybe C, D, and sometimes E, and so on.
The real winners are those making the switch to electric vehicles from fossil fuel vehicles. Electric vehicles are more fun, cleaner, and guilt free.
16 hours is notably different from 20 hours for a road trip, but any of these vehicles could be a fun, pleasant option for an electric road trip.
All photos provided by Leasing Options and used with permission.
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Global study of 48 cities finds nature sanitizes 41.7 million tons of human waste a year
The first global-scale assessment of the role ecosystems play in providing sanitation appears to find that nature provides at least 18% of sanitation services in 48 cities worldwide.
Conducted by researchers in the UK and India, the study, published on 19 February in the journal One Earth, estimates that more than 2 million cubic meters of the cities’ human waste is processed each year without engineered infrastructure. This includes pit latrine waste that gradually filters through the soil — a natural process that cleans it before it reaches groundwater.
“Nature can, and does, take the role of sanitation infrastructure,” said Alison Parker, a Senior Lecturer in International Water and Sanitation at Cranfield University and one of the authors of the study. “While we are not marginalizing the vital role of engineered infrastructure, we believe a better understanding of how engineered and natural infrastructure interact may allow adaptive design and management, reducing costs, and improving effectiveness and sustainability, and safeguard the continued existence of these areas of land.”
Wastewater treatment infrastructure that converts human feces into harmless products is an important tool for global human health. However, more than 25% of the world’s population did not have access to basic sanitation facilities in 2017 and another 14% used toilets in which waste was disposed of onsite. While some of this waste may be hazardous to local populations, previous research has suggested that natural wetlands and mangroves, for example, provide effective treatment services.
The Navikubo wetland in Uganda processes untreated wastewater from more than 100,000 households, protecting the Murchison Bay and Lake Victoria from harmful contaminants, while in the United States coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico remove nitrogen from the Mississippi River.
“We realized that nature must be providing sanitation services, because so many people in the world do not have access to engineered infrastructure like sewers,” adds Simon Willcock, a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Geography in Bangor University, UK, and another author of the study. “But the role for nature was largely unrecognized.”
To better understand how natural ecosystems process waste, the team from Bangor University, Cranfield University, Durham University, University of Gloucestershire, University of Hyderabad (India) and the Fresh Water Action Network, South Asia quantified sanitation ecosystem services in 48 cities containing about 82 million people using Excreta Flow Diagrams, which leverage a combination of in-person interviews, informal and formal observations, and direct field measurements to document how human fecal matter flows through a city or town. The researchers assessed all diagrams that were available on December 17th, 2018, focusing on those coded as “fecal sludge contained not emptied” (FSCNE), in which the waste is contained in a pit latrine or septic tank below ground but does not pose a risk to groundwater, for example, because the water table is too deep.
Conservatively, Willcock and colleagues estimate that nature processes 2.2 million cubic meters of human waste per year within these 48 cities. Since more than 892 million people worldwide use similar onsite disposal toilet facilities, they further estimate that nature sanitizes about 41.7 million tons of human waste per year before the liquid enters the groundwater—a service worth about $4.4 billion per year. However, the authors note that these estimates likely undervalue the true worth of sanitation ecosystem services, since natural processes may contribute to other forms of wastewater processing, though these are harder to quantify.
Willcock and colleagues hope that their findings will shed light on an important but often unrecognized contribution that nature makes to many people’s everyday lives, inspiring the protection of ecosystems such as wetlands that protect downstream communities from wastewater pollutants.
“We would like to promote a better collaboration between ecologists, sanitation practitioners and city planners to help nature and infrastructure work better in harmony, and to protect nature where it is providing sanitation services,” said Parker.
Research promises to reduce toxicity of broken perovskite solar cells
Scientists at The University of Manchester say they have found a way to increase the environmental safety of perovskite solar cells, thereby boosting their likely uptake.
Perovskite solar cells have attracted interest because, unlike silicon solar cells, they can be mass produced through roll-to-roll processing. Additionally, they are light and colourful, with the versatility to be used in non-traditional settings such as windows and contoured roofs. However, up until now, application has been impacted by potential environmental risks. Perovskite solar cells contain lead, a cumulative toxin, and if the cells get damaged, lead ions may leak.
Taking lessons from nature, Professor Brian Saunders and Dr David Lewis say they have devised a way to eliminate the lead release from broken cells. Using a bioinspired mineral called hydroxyapatite, a major constituent of human bone, they have created a ‘failsafe’ which captures the lead ions in an inorganic matrix. As a result, if cells are damaged, toxins are stored in an inert mineral, rather than released in the environment.
In a dual success, The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded project found that through the addition of hydroxyapatite, the efficiency of perovskite solar cell increased to around 21%. This compares to around 18% efficiency for control cells with no added hydroxyapatite. An increased efficiency in panels means more energy can be generated and at a lower cost.
The research team hope that the cells will bring forward the large-scale application of perovskite solar cell technology. Professor Brian Saunders, Professor of Polymer and Colloid Chemistry at the School of Materials, The University of Manchester, said: “Up until now, the substantial lead component in perovskite solar cells has been a potential environmental concern. If the solar cells are damaged, for example by hail, the ions may leak.
“By creating an in-device fail-safe system, we have devised a way to contain toxic ions in damaged perovskite cells. Through increasing the inherent safety of perovskite solar cells, we hope our research will provide a helping hand to the wider deployment of solar technology as we strive to achieve net zero CO2 emissions.”
Dr David Lewis, Deputy Head of Department and Reader in Materials Chemistry, added, “We embarked on this research as we were committed to eliminating an environmental risk. That commitment has resulted in increasing both the sustainability and the efficiency of perovskite solar cells. We hope these dual outcomes will increase the viability for homes and businesses, worldwide, to host and use solar technology.”
The research was reported in: ‘Bioinspired scaffolds that sequester lead ions in physically damaged high efficiency perovskite solar cells’ in Chemical Communications.
Energy is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons – examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the planet. #ResearchBeacons
The paper, Bioinspired scaffolds that sequester lead ions in physically damaged high efficiency perovskite solar cells, is published in Chemical Communications.
Project aims to boost recycling supply chain for luxury cars
A new research project aims to deliver a sustainable source of rare earth magnets for electric and hybrid vehicles for one of the most sought after luxury car brands in the world. The collaborative effort was announced on 18 February by the University of Birmingham and Bentley Motors.
The £2.6m RaRE (Rare-earth Recycling for E-machines) project is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, and involves six partners who will work together to establish the first end-to-end supply chain of recycled rare earth magnets in the UK.
Rare earth magnets are found in almost every appliance that uses electricity to generate motion. In the last 30 years their use has increased exponentially, and although they are increasingly important in the transition to a low carbon economy, less than 1% of these magnets is recycled.
RaRE will build on an innovative technology developed by Professor Allan Walton and Professor Emeritus Rex Harris of the University’s Magnetic Materials Group, the only research group in the UK focussed on processing and recycling of permanent rare earth magnetic materials.
The technology, called Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (HPMS), extracts rare earth metals from waste electronics by breaking them into a powder that is easily separated from remaining components.
The technology was patented by University of Birmingham Enterprise, and subsequently licensed to HyProMag Ltd, the company that was set up by the Birmingham researchers. HyProMag has since received substantial investment from Mkango Resources, which will be fully funding HyProMag’s contribution to RaRE.
The project will develop a process to recycle magnets extracted from computer hard drives to make rare earth magnets for use in bespoke ancillary motors, and will involve HyProMag scaling up the recycling techniques developed at the University of Birmingham.
The University will also provide cast alloys, which HyProMag will blend with secondary materials in order to produce the ‘sintered’ magnets, which are formed by press moulding the metal powders.
Nick Mann, Operations General Manager at HyProMag, added: “RaRE is an exciting project and a fantastic opportunity. HyProMag’s recycling technologies allow us to produce NdFeB magnets with a much lower embedded carbon cost than using virgin supply and with independence from Chinese supply and we are working closely with our major shareholder Mkango Resources to further grow the business. We are proud to be working with established, innovative and renowned companies in the RaRE project with whom we can showcase the technologies of the RaRE project as a whole – recycled magnets being used for cutting edge products in a prestige application.”
Jon Bray, R&D Manager, Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles commented: “We are excited to be supporting this innovative project as part of our ambition to put the UK at the forefront of the design, manufacture and use of zero emission vehicles.”
In addition to the University, Bentley and HyProMag, the other partners in the RaRE project are:
- Unipart Powertrain Applications Ltd, which will lead the development of manufacturing scale up routes to ensure facilities and processes defined are suitable for volume automotive manufacture.
- Advanced Electric Machines Research Ltd, leading on the design and development of the motors.
- Intelligent Lifecycle Solutions Ltd will pre-process computer hard disk drives to remove the rare earth magnet containing components from the waste, which will be shipped to HyProMag for recycling of the rare earth magnets.
Over half of UK manufacturers seemingly on target to achieve net zero goals
- Research reveals manufacturing sector as one of the best prepared to meet 2050 UK Net Zero targets with 57 per cent of businesses having a strategy to reduce their carbon footprint.
- 33% of manufacturing businesses said the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the sustainability goals of their manufacturing business as priorities have shifted.
A new survey of SME decision makers conducted by YouGov on behalf of World Kinect Energy Services appears to reveal that the manufacturing industry is one of the leading sectors to set sustainability goals, therefore reducing its carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
Reducing the world’s emissions and slowing down climate change has become a top priority. The UK Government recently set out its plan for a green industrial revolution to ensure the country reaches its 2050 net zero targets to reduce carbon emissions.
YouGov conducted the survey on behalf of leading energy management, fuel supply and sustainability company, World Kinect Energy Services, which included MDs and CEOs from over 12 different UK industries including hospitality, construction, retail, medical and health as well as manufacturing.
The survey revealed that over half (57 per cent) of UK manufacturing businesses have a sustainability plan in place to help reduce carbon emissions, and only 23 per cent admitted to not having any future plans to introduce one.
Overall, 40% of the 1,021 UK SMEs surveyed do not have a plan in place to become more sustainable, with 30% not intending to put a net zero strategy in place at all. 53 per cent, however, do have a plan in place, which is hopeful that they will hit the 2050 deadline, yet only 34 per cent have actually achieved any goals.
Barriers to sustainability
The study also sought to identify the barriers that could be preventing businesses from making further progress towards hitting sustainability targets, such as implementing energy saving solutions or adopting renewable energy technology.
Budget is cited as the biggest hurdle with almost half (47 per cent) of manufacturing businesses saying financial costs are the largest barrier to sustainability/ carbon neutrality.
A third (33 per cent) of operators in the manufacturing sector have also seen their plans to become more sustainable halted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as priorities have shifted, or they have had to close.
“Organisations must act now.”
Commenting on the research findings, Senior Director of Global Sustainability, Therese Gjerde, said: “Despite some sectors leading the way to reduce their carbon footprint, such as the manufacturing industry, we are still coming across so many businesses who simply aren’t ready for net zero, which is reflected in this independent research.
“The 2050 deadline for net zero is a lot closer than people think and it can take time to develop a realistic, achievable strategy and even longer to implement it. Organisations must act now and start their sustainability journey by developing a long-term emissions reduction strategy that will benefit their impact on the environment.
“Net zero targets could be brought forward, so ignoring the deadline may lead to penalties or larger pay outs further down the line.”
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