Here’s a guest post for you from Ecotricity staffer Dave. He was recently asked to put the Nemesis to the test as a commuter vehicle! Here’s his thoughts:
A few weeks ago I was asked if I would mind driving the Nemisis for a few weeks. We apparently needed to get a few miles on it and test it in ‘normal’ daily use – whatever that means?
I work in the Ecotricity offices in Stroud and live in Worcestershire, a daily commute of about 51 miles in each direction, assuming that I take no detours on the way home. My normal mode of transport is either a diesel VW or a motorcycle that each do around 50mpg for the journey (over £12 per day in fuel).
Well, the chance to drive a car like the Nemisis was too good an opportunity to miss so of course I welcomed it with open arms, I mean the chance to drive a super car that would do 0-100mph in 8 seconds doesn’t present itself every day! (more…)
I’ve been without a car for the last two years or so – I don’t count the Nemesis since I rarely seem to drive it lately, it’s always out at a show or away being tweaked – my daily transport has been my Motorbike. Until about three weeks ago, when I got myself a Nissan Leaf.
Nissan had lent me one for a while and I was impressed, so impressed I wanted to get one. Partly to use myself, for trips my motorbike isn’t so suited to, partly also to get a better idea of how life with a mainstream all-electric car can be, and I wanted to see how realistic it might be to replace ecotricity pool cars with electric cars, anytime soon.
Several weeks later and I have to say I love it. It’s a really cool car to drive, and I simply love driving without burning anything.
My son Rui (4 now) loves it too. He plugs it in for me, works the Sat Nav and all that stuff – you know like four year olds do these days… 🙂
In stark contrast, Kate, my other half – hates it (or she did). I was just saying one day what a great car it was and she just went all Clarkson on me – “as long as you don’t want to go anywhere” she said in a rather strident and mocking tone, strikingly reminiscent of the old fossil himself. Ouch.
Then along comes the ‘Fuel Crisis’…. and next thing I know, Kate is boasting on Facebook, about not needing to get in garage queues, oh yes – she went from Clarkson to Swampy in a heartbeat. That made me smile… 😀 (more…)
One Saturday, mid-November 1896, a small group of pioneering motorists set off in some of the first horseless carriages – their plan was to drive from the Metropole Hotel London to the Metropole Hotel Brighton. We know this now as the London to Brighton run.
Their aim was to demonstrate and promote the recently invented motor car. In addition, they celebrated the new Road Act, which that year raised the speed limit from 4mph to 14mph and removed the need for a man to walk in front of each motor vehicle waving a red flag. Quite a breakthrough for drivers of the day.
The cars taking part that day included those powered by electricity, steam and the internal combustion engine (petrol): back then it was a three horse race, technology wise. The internal combustion engine eventually won out of course. Fast forward to today and we take for granted the quite incredible travelling capability of modern cars. We Britons collectively drive 250 billion miles a year in our 30 million cars – all but 2,000 of which have internal combustion engines. (more…)
It’s actually the world’s first national charging network for electric cars. That may sound a bit grand, for something quite wonderfully simple – a series of charging posts installed at motorway services up and down the country. Charging stations, for electric cars, that are easy to access and free to use (yes free). Enabling Britain’s electric car drivers to drive the length and breadth of the country – with all the convenience of simply pulling into a motorway service station to top up. We’re pretty chuffed with it, truth be told.
You may have read about already it in the Sunday Times this weekend. You shouldn’t have, but they broke the embargo on our story three days early for some reason – perhaps they’re a bit keen for stories that don’t involve phone hacking. Bless…. 🙂
Anyway – Why are we building this Electric Highway? There are after all only some 2,000 electric cars on the road today. In fact that’s a big part of the reason – a lack of demand.
It’s often said that one of the reasons more people don’t buy electric cars is because of a lack of charging facilities – while the reason more charging facilities aren’t built is said to be because not enough people are buying electric cars – classic chicken and egg stuff. We’re hoping to break that impasse.
And at the same time another barrier to the faster take up of Electric Cars – is something called ‘range anxiety’ – the fear of running out of juice when doing any kind of serious distance. (more…)
Finally. About two years after we started – the Nemesis is ‘finished’.
I’ve been meaning to post something before now, but the last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. Here’s a quick heads up, some stuff you might know already from the news, some you probably won’t.
The car arrived in Stroud nearly three weeks ago now (Tuesday the 28th Oct) looking simply awesome. It was the first time I’d seen it in it’s finished form, complete with grey and black union jack paint job and all sorts of other bits and pieces – it really is transformed from the car that was here in the summer of 09 – for a few months.
It finally happened. Last Monday on a windswept old airfield in Norfolk, we got the wind car out of the workshop and took it for its first spin on tarmac.
Not entirely without a little drama mind you – the car barely being able to climb the transporter loading ramp at full throttle was a challenging start to the day… 🙂 but we quickly enough adjusted the bugs out of that and it flew, really flew. (more…)
Meeting the Sun’s environment correspondent – yes seriously. They’ve not had one very long but they do have one and he is serious about it – and:
That amazing machine at Leeds University – the one that looks like it belongs on a Sci Fi film, in fact I’m sure I’ve seen versions of it, recreating humans from DNA samples… In our case we used to make a ‘gear lever assembly’.
As you’ll see here we’re getting close to the end game now, in fact I’m ready to predict that episode 10 of 6 will see me driving the Wind Car for the first time… ! (more…)
This blog is about answers to the big questions - how will we keep the lights on, what kind of cars will we drive (will we drive?) and how will we feed ourselves - in a post oil world, and a world where we can't afford to keep burning things and throwing things away. Energy, Transport and Food are the three big issues.