Dear R-EV enthusiasts
It’s summer, lockdown is progressively lifting, the garage is picking up more pace and it’s time to ask “what has Covid 19 done for us?”. It has given our R&D time to flower, as discussed in the May Newsletter and it has prompted us to invest more in our premises, but there must be something at the bigger picture? And the answer is “yes” – for the last few months we have been driving around on completely coal-free electricity. And long may it continue.
It’s also time to look to the future and to Build Back Better. At Electrogenic, our environmental mission is key to what we do, but we are also firmly rooted in our community. We not just part of Oxfordshire, we are part of the national community of independent garages. And that community is starting to wither. The switch to EVs is a fantastic environmental revolution, but it is also a threat to independent garages, because all new EVs are only serviced at main dealers. So let’s not choose between jobs and environment, let’s do both. Electrogenic has proposed a solution to Government, and if you are interested, you can read further here.
Electric cars powered by coal-free electricity since 9 April
What has Covid 19 done for us? Well, it has accelerated the switch away from coal – the dirtiest fuel used for electricity generation. You have been driving around in your Electrogenic R-EV coal-free since 11:35pm, 9 April 2020 (assuming you were safely tucked up in bed when Drax Power Station tested one of its coal-fired units last Tuesday night). So since demand fell at the beginning of the lockdown, your electricity has been supplied (in descending order) by gas, British nuclear, imported nuclear from France and renewables, renewables, renewables. On one day last month, renewables delivered 60.5% of all UK electricity supply. Drax did their tests at night because there was no space for their power during the day: too much solar power – even in Yorkshire! As more grid-scale energy storage is built, that solar energy will be supplying power to the grid during the nighttime too. 50MW of high-voltage storage is being built just down the road from us outside the Cowley motor works, birthplace of the Mini, and Oxfordshire is the home of Project LEO (Local Energy Oxfordshire): one of the most ambitious, wide-ranging, innovative, and holistic smart grid trials ever conducted in the UK.
This is great news, and places even more emphasis on transport emissions: 33% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 27% from energy supply. Electric cars still only account for 0.5% of the 40 million cars on the road. Electrogenic is doing its bit to help change this.
Where does this leave us in the even bigger picture? The global pandemic has precipitated the largest drop in carbon emissions since the second world war, taking total emissions back to 2006 levels. Assuming everything is back to “normal” by the end of the year, however, the drop will be the equivalent to 0.001 degrees less warming and the world is still on course for three degrees of warming – the highest in 2 million years.
There is a lot to do, but Steve says that his thirty years in clean energy have convinced him that the only way to turn climate change around is by the concerted action by all of us, not just governments. So that’s what we are doing at Electrogenic: saving the world, one car at a time…
What's in the workshop?
This is where we make you do some of the work: figure out what vehicles these photos are from, and earn yourself a pat on the back when we publish the answers in the next newsletter.
Answers from May:
Mystery Picture 3 – it’s a Rover V8 engine – in a box! Aha, we hear you say, that’s how you fool the ECU into thinking the engine is still there…
Mystery Picture 4 – it’s a Mini front sub-frame all ready to fit a Hyper9 motor and a “secret sauce” gearbox…
Welcome to our new pet project!
At Electrogenic we have a weakness for stray cats, and this little Mini van looked up at us with its big, kitten eyes, and just begged for a new home. So it’s our new pet project – we always like to have even more to juggle around client work! As you can see, it has been de-seamed and needs a little TLC. So lots of scope for Julio’s welding prowess and plenty of room for batteries. Then with a lick of paint and our new Hyper-9 Mini front-end, which will simply bolt right in, we expect her to do 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds – creating one more timeless classic that hasn’t yet seen the end of the road.
We have added to our YouTube playlist of dream cars for conversion. Check it out and make some more suggestions – we love receiving them.
And with the progressive relaxation in social-distancing, we are making plans to start giving test-drives again – certainly by the end of July. So please give us a call to make an appointment and see you soon!