HEAT Talks

Please find presentations, recordings, and information relating to talks and events which HEAT organise on this page.


‘Any EV Questions Show’ – Electric Vehicle question and answer session, 3rd February 2021

A recording of HEAT’s recent online event ‘Any EV Questions Show’ can be found by following this link
zoom_0.mp4 – Google Drive

Report

We have all become familiar with powering our cars with petrol or diesel fuels which we have buy at great expense from forecourt pumps. However, when we contemplate our cars being entirely electrically powered using the electricity alredy in our homes and rechargeable batteries, many new questions crop up.

Conscious of these questions and keen for more of us to eliminate our exhaust pipe carbon emissions and enjoy the quieter, smooth and  lower running cost world of electric vehicles (EVs), HEAT ran the “Any EV Questions Show” on 3rd February in collaboration with West Berkshire Climate Action Network.

61 households joined the 90-minute Zoom-based video and chat event with a panel of existing EV users plus several others willing to share their experiences and lots of people itching to ask questions and find out more – many of whom were already in the process of considering an EV as their next car.

And it wasn’t just about cars – electric bicycles, vans, camper vans were also covered during the event as well as the best electricity tariffs to be on and how solar panels can work with EV charging.

Among the EV topics discussed were:

  • Would you go back to a petrol/diesel car? (Answer – a universal NO from EV owners!)
  • How much is the annual road tax on EVs? (£ZERO!)
  • Which EVs can take me to London and back on one charge? (Lots – see links at end)
  • Can you have a car charger installed at home, before the car arrives? (Yes, with a £350 grant)
  • Can I carry a roof rack? (One owner carries canoes on his EV and another bikes, but as with traditional cars wind resistance will reduce range)
  • Is car range affected by weather? (Yes, batteries perform less well in the cold)
  • Where can I buy a used EV? (There are growing numbers of EV specialist car dealers)
  • What happens if you run out (of battery)? (Some car insurance policies and new car warranties provide recovery to a charger, the AA are starting to carry chargers in their vans)
  • How long does charging the battery take? (It depends on the car, the charger being used and how low the battery is)
  • Isn’t the engine quietness dangerous for pedestrians, especially if visually or hearing impaired? (Legal requirement now for low speed noise makers on EVs and as drivers you are more aware of this and take extra care in built up areas)
  • How do hills affect range? (On the way up just like getting a lower MPG, but on the way down you actually top-up your battery – unlike your petrol tank!)
  • And many, many more questions!!!

By the end of what was a very busy and highly interactive Zoom conference, it was clear that current owners’ experiences had been useful to both prospective EV buyers as well other people already in the EV community.

As people signed off from the chat, comments included “Very helpful”, “Really interesting”, “Thanks for an excellent session”, “Enlightening discussion”, “Will be going electric in March”.

To follow-up, HEAT is hoping that later this year we will be able to re-arrange the physical EV show in Hungerford that we originally planned in 2020. In the meantime we can recommend the following information sources:

                EV-database.uk – for information on every EV available in the UK including real-world ranges

                nextgreencar.com – lots of useful information

                Fully Charged – Youtube video reviews on EV models  and the “Maddie Goes Electric” series

EV car sales in the UK are growing fast now. In December 2020 all-electric car sales were 16% of the total market – up by 344% from a year earlier. This year the available options and increasing climate action awareness mean that we are about to see an exponential rise in EV ownership – perhaps we could even challenge the Norwegian’s 2020 achievement of more than half new cars being EVs!

John Downe


Fuel Cell Systems Ltd talk – local company Fuel Cell Systems spoke to HEAT about the hydrogen industry and what part they are playing within this important field.

Please follow this link for a recording of the presentation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10OrsDoksLGeFdwZ3oRV8sCiAde8HIeeO/view?usp=sharing  

And find the PDF version of the presentation here Fuel Cell Systems Powerpoint Presentation

REPORT

On Wednesday 27th January, three of the team at Fuel Cell Systems Ltd (Hungerford) presented to a group of around 25 attendees online as part of HEAT’s monthly action meeting.

Tom Sperrey, Beth Dawson, and Richard Stockwell spoke about Fuel Cell Systems’ origins, projects past and present, and how hydrogen helps to answer the question of how we can balance both our energy requirements and our environmental responsibilities.

From the start, Fuel Cell Systems (FCSL) have been involved in projects which go right to the core of why hydrogen is useful for us today. At the Rotherham Environmental Energy Technology Centre, FCSL installed three fuel cells as part of the UK’s first hydrogen mini-grid. This system converts excess electricity produced by renewable power generators (wind turbines and solar panels) into hydrogen. The hydrogen, once produced and stored, can then be used in fuel cells which provide energy on demand, when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, therefore creating a reliable power supply throughout both day and night, 365 days a year.

‘Green’ hydrogen (i.e. hydrogen produced from renewable power) used in a fuel cell is commonly understood to be a very clean way of generating power. When a fuel cell electrochemically combines hydrogen, and oxygen taken from the air, the only outputs are electricity and water.

Hydrogen is also versatile; it can be used for heating our homes and fuelling our cars, trains, and planes. Most recently FCSL have been involved with HydroFlex (the UK’s first hydrogen train) and HyFlyer (the world’s first commercial fuel cell powered aeroplane), designing and supplying the hydrogen dispensing solutions needed for refuelling. Due to the current lack of hydrogen infrastructure (refuelling stations, production and storage hubs) in the UK, these projects would not have happened without the reliable solutions provided by FCSL.

For more information, please visit www.fuelcellsystems.co.uk 

Henry Mills