Automotive

Electric or hydrogen powered vehicles to be available from 2035 | | #UKmfgFocus

In an attempt to go green the British government announced it was bringing forward the deadline on the banning of petrol and diesel-powered cars by five years.

It also said hybrid cars would be included in the ban and only electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles would be available from 2035, or even earlier if possible.

The change comes after experts said that 2040 would be too late if the UK wants to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050.

Experts had warned the previous target date of 2030 would still leave old and conventional cars on the roads following the clean-up date of 2050.

About a third of CO2 emissions in the UK come from transport, so the ban on conventional car sales will certainly help move the UK towards the net-zero target the government announced in 2019.

We looked at how big an effect driving a car had on the environment compared to other forms of transport?

That’s less that both short and long haul flights, although they do produce other contaminants.

The biggest amount of aircraft emissions come during take off, so short-haul flights have come under particular scrutiny with calls for alternative methods of transport to be used where possible.

And indeed short-haul flight produce around 200 times more CO2, than a similar journey on Eurostar. Those championing HS2 say it investing in rail will encourage more people off the roads and planes and onto railways.

So is flying the number one culprit? Well, a rigorous defence of the aviation industry came from the chief executive of Heathrow Airport.

According to John Holland-Kaye, The answer is not to stop people flying but to encourage the aviation industry to become decarbonised.

The aviation industry is another one targeting the middle of the century to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero.

The industry group Sustainable Aviation said this will be achieved in a number of ways – with cleaner engines and new fuels combining with the planting of trees.

The whole of the UK’s transport infrastructure is coming under the microscope, and one area of controversy over recent years has been Heathrow’s ambitions to build a third runway.

Campaigners argue this will see a drastic increase in emissions but John Holland-Kaye argues that the failure to expand Heathrow Airport has actually led to an increase in carbon emissions.

He said that people wanting to come to London now are forced to fly through Amsterdam and Paris instead, taking two flights instead of one.

Sustainable Aviation says the industry’s plan will mean airlines can cut pollution even as passenger numbers grow by an expected 70%.
But campaigners say the only way to cut airline pollution is by reducing air travel and cancelling new airports and runways.

But other developments are taking place within the aerospace industry to try to make flying greener moving forwards.

And again this story we covered shows how ingenuity and invention can come from facing up to a challenge.

Rolls-Royce has now started production of the world’s largest fan blades, which measure 140 inches in diameter.

They are being built at the company’s £25 million pound technology hub in Bristol.

They feature hundreds of layers of carbon-fibre materials, toughness-enhanced, resin material and thin titanium leading-edge.

The blades will be used for the company’s UltraFan demonstrator engine which is designed to reduce fuel usage by 25% compared with Rolls-Royce’s Trent first-generation engine.

Despite being much larger than conventional engines, its expected to be considerably quieter and lighter, making it far more fuel-efficient.

In the long term aircraft, and aircraft engine manufacturers are looking to produce planes which will be powered by electric or hybrid propulsion systems.

So much for cars and planes, but environmental groups are pushing for further investment in public transport.

And this led to a big order for bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis.

It’s signed a framework agreement with the Republic of Ireland’s National Transport Authority for the delivery of up to 600 Enviro400 double-deck hybrid buses.

The single supplier framework contract will run for up to five years, with the first 100 66-seat buses due for delivery in autumn 2020.

The 11 metre long buses are capable of running in zero-emission mode for at least 2.5km.

UK based Electric van maker Arrival has secured an order for 10,000 vehicles from the US delivery company, UPS.

The purpose-built vans will be rolled out in the UK, Europe and North America starting this year and continuing until 2024, with UPS retaining the option to purchase another 10,000.

Initially the deal is worth 400 million Euros but could increase to as much as €600m, depending on how many larger or longer-range vans were needed.

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