We had reported the blocked EV space to Castletown Commissioners via the following URL; http://www.castletown.gov.im/forms.aspx and on our way back to the car, 100% charge by the time to roads opened for the lunch break at the Southern 100 races, we received a phone call from the Commissioners to say that Police had found the owner of the car and ask them to move it. Which they did.
So thanks to Castletown Commissioners, the Police and the owner of the car for moving. Seems the system works.
After our travels to England in the Leaf I've been thinking about public charging infrastructure in the Isle of Man. The regional model in the UK makes things a bit tricky and difficult for visitors. It's great for those that travel those routes regularly but to join a subscription service for all the regional schemes is impractical. Ecotricitys Chargers and Ireland's eCars scheme are free once you've registered.
For the Isle of Man I'd like to see a network of public charging stations that are free at the point of use and open for visitors to use. We don't make non-residents register in advance before they can buy petrol from a petrol station. Also, without an extensive public charging infrastructure I can't see how we could encourage EV ownership for those without their own driveway or some kind of off street parking.
I want to see what people's views are on public charging. Do you think more points are needed? What type of connectors and power output would you like from them? Would you pay a subscription or like them to be free to use? Should tourists be able to use them for free?
A big question is how should we finance them? A subscription fee? Rates? Car tax? Corporate sponsorship and/or government funding? Or even set up a cooperative?
My own opinion is that a good public charging infrastructure is key to breaking the chicken and egg paradox for greater EV ownership. If you think about it we can charge our cars almost anywhere there is power. At someone's home, quayside, lamp post, pub car park.
It may be that in a couple of years with affordable cars than can easily achieve 200+ miles it may not be so much of an issue. However, if you have to park your car on the street or public car park overnight you need somewhere to plug in.
10:45 this morning (Wednesday 10th June) will see the 6th Zero Emissions motorcycle race over the TT Mountain Course. Due to poor weather conditions and other unfortunate delays over practice and race week the schedule has been a bit mixed up, but hopefully things will go to plan for the rest of the week.
The first electric race took place in 2009 under the banner of the TTXGP and was split into the Pro and Open classes. Rob Barber won the Pro class and overall on the Agni machine with a standing start lap speed of 87.43mph. The Open class was won by Chris Heath at 66.02mph. These were the winning times, the slowest time of the race being 40.09mph for the Brunel X-team.
The following year the the Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Leisure took over and the TT Zero was born. The story of what happened between Azhar Hussain's TTXGP series, the FIM and the Isle of Man can be left for another article.
2010 saw the lap record rise to 96.82mph with Mark Miller and the MotoCzysz E1pc. An impressive increase in performance on the previous year.
The following year a prize was offered for the first bike to break 100mph average speed. Michael Rutter and Mark Miller got close with 99.6mph and 98.29mph respectively on their MotoCzysz machines.
MotoCzysz saw some real competition in 2012 with the appearance on Mugen on the TT Zero grid ridden by King of the Mountain John McGuinness. There was a close battle between McGuinness and Rutter for the honour of being the first achieve 100mph. The three podium place men ended up all lapping over 100mph. Micheal Rutter taking the top step with 104.056mph!
2013 saw the same top top men in the same order. MotoCzysz mounted Rutter breaking the ever increasing lap record with 109.675mph while the Mugen Shinden still wasn't far behind with 109.527mph...
MotoCzysz didn't return in 2014 due to it's maverick creator Michael Czysz's ill health. Now Mugen had two Shinden San machine's ridden by John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey. Lap times took another big leap with a new fastest race time on 19' 17.3" and 117.366mph.
This year so far hasn't seen such a big increase in speed, although the lap record has been unofficially broken in practice by McGuinness on the latest Mugen Shinden incarnation at 118.056mph and registering 162mph on the Sulby straight.
Mugen's main competition this year come from the Victory motorcycles. This is basically the Brammo bike and team after Victory Motorcycles owner Polaris took over Brammo. Both Victory machines have lapped over 100mph so far. A last minute change of rider from William Dunlop to Guy Martin after Williams crash in Monday's Supersport practice which has taken him out for the rest of this years TT.
The Saroléa team also managed to lap at 101.02mph in thier final practice. So out of 7 entrants that made it to this years TT (10 listed in the programme) 5 have lapped over 100mph. Can the Lightweight lap record be broken today? Or will we see 120mph?
It would seem that the Mugens will take the top two steps followed by Martin or Johnston on the Victory. However, the Mountain Course if tough on bikes and the saying says "to finish first, first you have to finish" is as true for the TT Zero bikes as it is for the other classes.
Good luck to all competitors and teams and here's to a good race that see's some close racing, lap records and everyone back home safely.
This has already been posted in a discussion on the EVIOM Facebook page but I thought it was a good point to make so here it is again:
When thinking about the CO2 emissions per mile of a fully electric vehicles versus a petrol or diesel equivalent you have to remember to account for the large amount of energy (electricity and fossil fuels) used to drill, refine and distribute the petrol/diesel.
The Leaf has a 24 kWh battery that takes it 100 miles. Let's say an equivalent petrol car uses 16 litres of fuel to cover the same distance. That's approximatky 72.6KWh of electricity to refine (ignoring extraction and distribution) the petrol to cover the same distance that the leaf covers on 24 kWh.
Consumption figures and CO2 emission are of course all estimations and as you've all seen they're are plenty of articles online with varying numbers arguing many different points.
In my opinion an EV is more efficient and wastes less energy than a petrol car and will get cleaner as long as renewable energy replaces more fossil fuel sources. In addition, and I can prove this with my finances, EVs are cheaper to run in terms of "fuel" and running costs. And the lack of exhaust emissions at street level makes it a much more pleasant option.
Victory Motorcycles has announced they intend to race in the 2015 TT Zero race with their electric prototype ridden by William Dunlop and Lee Johnston.
Victory is part of the Polaris Group which recently purchased the pioneering electric motorcycle manufacturer Brammo. Brammo has competed in the Isle of Man since 2009 in the TTXGP race held that year. In 2014 two teams ran the Brammo Empulse RR.
It will be interesting to find out how closely the Victory machine is the Brammo Empulse RR.