As the world’s Governments prepare for the COP15 Climate meeting in Copenhagen to find ways to avoid the threat of climate change, Green MotorSport shows how vehicles powered by renewable energy could contribute. For the past ten years we and our partners have been working to develop technologies which will reduce the impact of transport emissions on the environment.
Green MotorSport’s vehicles are powered by electricity generated on site from solar panels and wind turbines. We are encouraging our partners to develop advanced micro wind energy collectors, which will operate efficiently when wind speeds are low or variable. Even in the cloudy UK, a solar panel can provide enough power to drive an efficient electric vehicle for 5,000 miles each year for up to 30 years. Electric vehicles can meet the requirements of most people. Depending on your daily requirements, you can get a range of 70 miles with cheap batteries or over 150 miles with advanced batteries, which can be recharged quickly if necessary. The Government’s allocation of £250 million in grants for electric vehicles will help to build up initial sales and once volume production is reached, costs will come down. It would help the UK to lead the world with our electric vehicles if the grants could be made available within the coming year, so that we could start to build up substantial fleets with the necessary recharging infrastructure and trained engineers.
Cost effective technology
Green MotorSport’s lightweight and efficient electric drive trains are currently being evaluated by several automotive companies, both in the UK and overseas, who are aiming for production of electric vehicles. We aim to utilise renewable energy sources to power our manufacturing and administrative facilities. Micro hydro technologies are currently under investigation for our production facilities.
Our unique twin motor electric drive train called the GMS Dual Powertrain can replace the engine, gearbox and differential in existing cars, or new vehicles will be designed ‘from the ground up’. There will be no more heavy steel bodied cars built in huge factories and transported for long distances around the world, but new tough, lightweight materials would be fabricated in regional centres. New materials make it possible to manufacture the car’s bodywork in much lower volumes than steel bodied cars. People will not scrap cars at the end of their useful life, but the materials, including the batteries, will be recycled.
Most of the electric vehicle recharging will be carried out at people’s homes overnight, but communities and businesses will establish recharging equipment at charge spots, located in garages, in residential streets, bus and railway stations, shopping areas, commercial and industrial centres, leisure facilities, schools and hospitals. The charge spot infrastructure could be compared to the roll out of super fast broad band services across the country. The new transport system will include faster reliable public transport and car hire clubs and will also encourage people to walk or cycle for short distances.
More backing needed for local renewable energy
It is important that electric vehicles are powered by renewable energy. The electricity suppliers and the Government have issued a discussion document about the future of electricity production in 2020. It is projected that electricity consumers will pay about £1,000 million per year, mainly for on and offshore wind farms. If about 20% of this were allocated to the development and deployment of smaller scale wind and solar power, this would enable many of us to generate our own electricity at home or at work and use surpluses to recharge our electric cars. This would mean involving communities, businesses and individuals in the generation of their own energy.
The Government’s Low Carbon Industrial Strategy recognizes that there are often market failures associated with innovation investment, especially in the low carbon sector, where key innovations may involve entirely new technological approaches, such as vehicle propulsion or energy generation. Given initial ‘pump priming’ a variety of small and medium scale renewable technologies could be brought to market and systems could be rapidly deployed. Individuals, communities and businesses will be able to recharge their own electric vehicles on site.
Biomethane Compared to other fuels.
Indigenous, renewable energy sources will provide electricity on site. Energy from municipal, agricultural and forestry waste has great potential. At present about 8% of the UK’s domestic waste provides electricity for 250,000 homes. Burning is an inefficient means of generating energy from waste, but new efficient technologies such as fuel cells, which convert fuel to electricity electrochemically, could provide double the energy from the same primary energy source.
The graph below shows the comparison of Biofuels from an EU Well to Wheels Study. Green MotorSport would like to thank Organic Power Ltd
for supplying this information.
This technology would also be more widely accepted as it significantly reduces harmful emissions. The organic residues are not wasted, but can be used as fertilizer. Apart from the new sources of waste being produced every year, there is a tremendous energy store locked up in existing landfill sites. New technology has already been developed in the UK, which will simplify the process of anaerobic digestion of agricultural and forestry waste. Converting organic materials and wastes into renewable energies using proven biogas to biomethane technologies is certainly commercially viable. Green MotorSport is currently investigating the benefits of using these biomethane technologies.
Emissions: Grammes of CO2 equivalent per km
Renewable Energy Transport
Our present transport system has grown up with the availability of cheap oil but this is no longer an option as the world’s governments unite to obviate the threat of dangerous climate change. Green MotorSport supports the proposal for Contraction and Convergence, under which high emitters of greenhouse gases cut back, so that by 2050 our emissions' allocations will converge with those of people in every country.