Running the cabin heater, seat heaters, defroster, and other accessories that combat the cold weather inside the car all sap range. For cold temperatures, what we have found is that 20 degrees Fahrenheit and colder is when the range really drops.
We’ve done some testing on how the cold weather affects range, and one of the biggest takeaways is that a buyer needs to consider how many miles they drive in a typical day and double that number to determine the driving range that’s right for their needs. If you drive 50 miles a day, you’ll want an EV that has at least a 100-mile range. The good news is that many electric cars are getting 200-plus miles of battery range nowadays, and that number is generally improving from model year to model year. (Where this is a greater concern is with an older EV that may have lost some range due to the ravages of time.)
A key reason to choose added range is not only the energy demands but also the unpredictability of weather. You don’t want the stress of being caught in a winter storm not knowing how long the drive will take.
To reduce the impact of cold, park the car in a garage where it can remain on a charger. “It takes less energy to maintain a temperature than to raise it, so this can make a significant difference in range,” says Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst at the automotive research and consulting firm Navigant.
Most large U.S. cities have yet to institute strong policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, and they are not on track to meet their climate goals for the sector—or have yet to set any—according to the 2021 City Clean Energy Scorecard. The report, released Wednesday by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), ranks 100 major U.S. cities on efforts including reducing energy waste in homes and buildings and moving toward a cleaner power grid—and doing so equitably. It identifies the leading cities, the most improved, and those with ample room for progress, citing opportunities for each to advance.
San Francisco took top honors for the first time in this sixth edition of the Scorecard, followed by Seattle (#2), Washington, DC (#3), Minneapolis (#4), and Boston and New York (tied for #5). San Francisco launched a new program that provides free home energy-saving kits to residents in areas that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution and are economically disadvantaged. The city also updated its energy code for new residential and commercial buildings with requirements that will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and it was the top scorer on transportation policies.
The city of Oslo is taking this initiative and moving ahead of the national government.
Einar Wilhelmsen is a member of the Green Party and the finance minister for Oslo. At the Nordic EV conference recently, he told Elbil, the Norwegian electric car association, “It is important that we stop selling fossil cars. That process must be turned off completely. It is clear that we will struggle to get rid of every fossil car sold now, so this should simply not happen anymore.”
The City Council plans to create a zero emissions zone in the center of the city where only electric vehicles will be permitted, a policy initiative that will encourage people to buy electric cars. In coming years, that zone will be expanded to cover more of the city. The city does not intend to ban the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars and trucks. It believes its zero emissions zones will accomplish that goal without resorting to mandates.
Built by Yara to transport their mineral fertilizer stocks between the towns of Porsgrunn and Brevik, a trip which normally requires 40,000 trips by diesel truck per year, the Yara Birkeland will save around 1,000 tons of CO2 annually.
On November 19th, Yara Birkeland departed for a crewed maiden voyage—which included Norway’s prime minister—on a short 43-mile trip across the fjord from Horton to Oslo.
“We have been looking forward to this day for a long time,” stated Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara. “This is an excellent example of green transition in practice, and we hope this ship will be the start of a new type of emission-free container ships. There are a lot of places in the world with congested roads that will benefit from a high-tech solution like this.”
Onboard the 262-foot (80 meter) vessel is a 6.8 megawatt-hours battery pack that can generate 17 mph (28 kph). It can carry 3,200 tons of fertilizer, and should begin commercial operations next year while it carries out lengthy certification for its autonomous navigation technology.
In an ideal world, each of those lithium-ion batteries stacked in the Oklahoma warehouse would be reused and recycled, ad infinitum, to create the lithium-ion batteries of 10, 25, even 50 years from now—with little new material required. Experts call this a “circular economy.” To make it work, recyclers are racing to come up with an efficient and planet-friendly way to reduce a used battery to its most valuable parts and then remake them into something new. Entrants include Redwood Materials, a Nevada firm led by former Tesla executives; Europe’s Northvolt; and Toronto-based Li-Cycle. Others plan to squeeze every possible electron from a battery before it’s recycled by offering second or third uses after it comes out of a car.
In theory, according to research done in the lab of Alissa Kendall, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis, recycled materials could supply more than half of the cobalt, lithium, and nickel in new batteries by 2040, even as EVs get more popular. The emerging EV industry needs a smart end-of-life process for batteries, alongside widespread charging stations, trained auto technicians, and a fortified power grid. It’s essential infrastructure, key to making our electrified future as green as possible. “We have to control these end-of-life batteries,” says Kendall. “It shouldn’t be a horror stream.”
One thing appears certain: The current way of dealing with cars past their prime won’t cut it. Cars are typically globe-trotters; the average vehicle may have three to four owners and cross international borders in its lifetime. When it finally dies, it falls into a globe-spanning network of auctioneers, dismantlers, and scrap yards that try to dispose of cars as profitably as possible. “These vehicles go to auction and anybody can grab them,” Kendall says. “That’s where the Wild West is.”
The carmaker, which has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, said on Wednesday it had entered a strategic partnership with EIT InnoEnergy and will become a shareholder in the EU-backed venture.
The move is in line with other steps by Volkswagen, which in September unveiled plans to set up its own 300 million euro ($348 million) venture capital fund to invest in decarbonisation projects and start-ups in the field.
“The idea is simply … to use InnoEnergy as an additional way to find interesting enterprises and support them in scaling up their business models,” said Jens Wiese, Volkswagen’s head of group M&A, investment advisory and partnerships.
Each engine burned about 600 gallons during the flight, according to United, and created about the same carbon emissions (12,660 pounds). But because the sustainable fuel is made from plant-based sources instead of petroleum, and because plants consume carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, it has a carbon footprint that’s about 70 percent smaller.
“What we were trying to do is demonstrate that the aircraft can operate in the same capacity with sustainable fuel as with blended fuel,” says Lauren Riley, United’s managing director for global environmental affairs and sustainability. “It did. This is a true step in the path of decarbonization.”
Imagine sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, as part of a big plant-fuel-engine carbon recycling loop, rather than a one-way ticket that sends carbon from a subterranean oil patch directly to the atmosphere. In fact, federal government and industry estimates hold that using SAF can reduce lifetime carbon emissions from 50 to 80 percent depending on the feedstock and type of energy used during manufacturing. The Houston test flight was the first time a commercial aircraft ran at least one engine on 100 percent SAF, which is currently limited to a 50/50 blend on passenger flights.
Also » United Airlines flies first commercial jet on sustainable fuel from IAH » Huston Chronicle