Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

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The GreenFleet Capital Arrive ‘N’ Drive and Fuel Challenge proved that low and zero emission vehicles offer a greener, cheaper way for fleet vehicles to operate around London. The Guildhall Yard in London EC2 was host to the 2007 event, sponsored by Transport for London and GlobalLive, and featured an impressive display of cleaner transport options.

These included zero emission delivery vehicles from Modec, electric car charging posts from EDF Energy and Elektromotive, a hydrogen powered BMW and the Aixam Mega, which was featured on BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ as competing teams battled to sell coffee in Islington.

Other manufacturers on display included Vectrix, Toyota, Honda, Citroen and The Nice Car Company. Intelligent Energy displayed the ENVbike, the world first purpose built fuel cell motorcyle, while new vehicle rental company Green Motion displayed hybrid Lexus and Prius models. Green Motion will also be the first rental company to offer the VW Polo Bluemotion, which runs on Low Sulphur Diesel and is available from October.

The Capital Fuel Challenge was set off by Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron (Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership) with each of the participants navigating their way through London traffic to pick up objects from each of four checkpoints in the correct order. A range of competing fuel types included petrol, diesel, bio-ethanol, electric and hybrid petrol/electric. As soon as the vehicles returned, they were quickly transported to Millbrook Proving Ground, where they will be independently tested to determine the amount of CO2 that was produced by the journey. For electric vehicles, the calculation will take account of the amount of CO2 generated by their charging cycle.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists were also on hand to offer ten tips on how to drive ‘greener’. Examiner Lloyd Brown briefed all fuel challenge entrants before they set off.

And here are some of the winners ;

*Alternative Fuel Supplier of the Year: Rix Biodiesel
*Car Manufacturer of the Year: Citroen
*Industry Innovation Award: Elektromotive
*Dealership of the Year: Evans Halshaw
*Electric Vehicle of the Year: Modec
*Green Motoring Journalist of the Year: Richard Bremner, cleangreencars.co.uk
*Tfl Public Sector Fleet of the Year: London Borough of Islington
*Lifetime Achievement Award: Lord Oxburgh, D1 Oils

… well, fewer at any rate.

Westminster launches free electric vehicle charging points.

Westminster City Council has launched the UK’s only free on-street charging points for electric vehicles in a pioneering move aimed at boosting environmentally friendly travel.

The exciting pilot project, if successful, will lead to more charging points across the capital making it ever more practical and convenient to drive electric cars.

There are currently 48 free car charging points in 13 council-run Masterpark car parks across the City of Westminster. For the first time though the two new charging points (NB. pilot scheme) will be placed at on street parking bays in Wellington Street and Southampton Street in Covent Garden.

More here.


[1]. London Hydrogen Partnership
[2]. Vectrix Maxi Scooter
[3]. VW Polo Bluemotion for hire from Green Motion.

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Tourists can now see London on two wheels using the OYBike system of rental bikes. The OYBike System is a street-based rental station network that allows you to hire and return a bicycle via your mobile phone.

The OYBike system is based on the availability of rental bicycles at key locations:

*Tube stations
*Public buildings
*Key transport interchanges
*Car Parks

To use the OYBike system you will need to pre-register with an initial usage credit of £10. Optional theft insurance is available at additional cost. OYBikes are free to use for up to 30 minutes a time! For longer hire times see their Hire rates.

The OYBike concept was spotted at the recent London Freewheel event where more than 38,000 bikes took to the city’s streets.

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The Vespa electric.

The Powascooter PS168, a bike which aims to become the Vespa of the 21st century, is an electric scooter. Fed up with traffic jams, high car taxes and parking charges then this transport option maybe for you.

The concept is simple. Charge the bike for four hours on a standard mains point, via its portable adapter, and you’ve put 20-25 miles ‘in the tank’. Each 30 miles will add just 9p to your electricity bill. This equates to 1,000 miles of emissions-free motoring for just £3. With no internal combustion engine, you can bank on fewer pit stops and running repairs.

Chances are you’ve never noticed one. Because this is an almost silent bike. Turn the ignition key, twist the throttle and you’re away. There’s no clunking kick-start, no throaty misfiring on chilly mornings. If the 1500w motor emits anything, it’s the slight whoosh of a milk float. Out on the road, this can make for an almost eerie experience. Pull away from a junction and watch the heads on the pavement turn. No noise, they’re thinking.

The PS is as easy on the eye as it is on the environment. The slightly dropped handlebars and deep-drum speedo and rev counter crown a smart front end, while the chrome fittings and yellow dials add a handsome gloss to the metallic bodywork.

A new Powascooter ps168 will cost you £1,850. To purchase and for more technical info see Readspeed Scooters. There are many of these on the road already so second hand could be an option.

There are also an increasing range of other makes and models to choose from. For some ideas check this UK site.

US buyers check out this site. 🙂

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Image: from Carbusters magazine. They provide useful background to car free development.

This new approach to modern urban living is supported in Government planning policy guidance and for the city of London, by the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy and London Plan. Camden is one such central London borough that has this approach on its agenda. See here for more.

This is a planning policy for new housing schemes where the space traditionally reserved for car parking is instead used for more housing units or greener uses such as more play spaces and cycle parking. Residents of car free housing schemes are not eligible for on-street parking permits.

Up to the summer of 2004, Camden says they have granted planning permission for 2,523 car free housing units (in 287 residential schemes), saving approximately 5,046 car trips each day once they are all built.

Car free housing is also being introduced in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Bremen, Cambridge and Edinburgh. In London, a number of other councils are now also encouraging the development of car free housing.

An example of such a development in the city of Glasgow can be found here. The positive approach of such developments can lend them to widening their environmental remit into other areas such as energy. The Glasgow example utilizes geothermal energy from a coalmine and solar ventilation.

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The first grand is always the sweetest! Especially celebrating it here in Norway. 🙂

Think I’ll offset the flight with another donation to the BBC’s Planet Earth tiger appeal.

Don’t trust those offset options!


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Car sharing. You’ve heard of it but probably never found it! At least not on an organised level. Look no more as liftshare have a national database in the UK that you can tap into.

They say, ‘Before liftshare was founded in 1997, car sharing was almost unheard of in the UK. Since then, through our continuous campaigning at both grass root and government levels, the concept of a national car-sharing database has now become a reality. In 2006 we launched a series of new services under the new BUDi branding. These include BikeBUDi, WalkBUDi, TaxiBUDi and TravelBUDi.’

Check out the above link to get started.

Liftshare recently won a Business in the Community Award too. They have some interesting ‘live’ stats here such as ‘estimated number of tonnes of CO2 saved per year: 13,039 tonnes’.

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