Christmas Holiday in Europe

We spent the last couple of weeks visiting Germany and the UK to see friends and family.  Though this was not an EV related trip we did see some things of note.

In Germany we saw an e-Golf in a dealer showroom. We drove by on a Sunday so we could not check to see if it was sold or not, but it might point to better availability in Germany than we have here in Canada.  We saw a few EVs on the road, Teslas mainly.

We headed to the UK for Christmas with family.  We picked up my sister from Liverpool airport and on the way to my parent’s place we stopped at Burtonwood Motorway Services on the M62 between Liverpool and Manchester.  As with most services in the UK, Ecotricity has installed a pair of L3 chargers supporting CHAdeMO and CCS, with a side of Type 2 AC.  The standards as Renault has high power Type 2 charging on the Zoe, rather than the CHAdeMO of the Leaf, despite Renault owning a controlling interest in Nissan.  There is great video on how the Ecotricity chargers work here.  There is a new 8 bay Supercharger on the other side of the car park that is about to be commissioned.  Installing charging at service areas is an obvious and needed addition, sadly, despite all the service areas in Ontario being owned by the province, there has been no progress on this here.

The UK has fines for ICEing, which is great.  Quebec now has similar rules.

We saw our first electric bus in Manchester. Manchester has a free shuttle bus service in the city centre with at least 3 pure electric buses joining a fleet of diesel-electric hybrids in 2014.

Electric buses make so much sense, Shenzhen has a 16,000 strong fleet of electric buses, more cities should move away from diesel.

In addition to free electric shuttles, Manchester also benefits from the Brompton hire system.  For £3.50 a day you can rent a Brompton, which is a great deal. This dock is at Manchester Piccadilly rail station.  The Bromptons act as the last mile solution.

Seeing integrated transportation options like this in the UK, which has a far more complicated model with many private companies and funding agency shows how far behind we are in Ontario with a much simpler political landscape.

We rounded out our trip to Manchester to two monuments to Vimto, ruiner of many carpets and to Alan Turing, founding father of Computer Science.