Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
Fuel » Technology

Keeping it real

There's no doubting the need for us to take alternatives to fossil fuels seriously. However the reality of using, say an electric vehicle, doesn't always live up to the hype. Take the example of one pure electric car driver Geoff Hands, a chap who featured in a very interesting article in the Sunday Times recently. He wanted to make a trip to a garden centre, 110 miles away from where he lived. To do so, in his Hyundai Ioniq, he had to first download five different apps to help him locate charging stations and then use them. On his journey he visited six charging stations but only one had a fast charger. The shortest time Hands spent at a charger was an hour; the longest two-and-a-half hours. His journey time to the garden centre and back was a staggering 11 hours and he told the Sunday Times he would have been quicker going by stagecoach. After his terrible experience, he took the car back to the dealer and traded it in at a loss for a petrol electric hybrid.

The need for speed

If you're a BP dealer, this summer could be an exciting time for you as BP Chargemaster is starting the roll out of its ultra-fast 150kW electric vehicle (EV) chargers that it expects to be capable of delivering 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes. And the primary focus for the roll out is forecourts. Already BP Chargemaster provides access to over 6,500 charging points on its public charging network, which has more than 50,000 users. However, of those charging points just two are on forecourts legacy units that the company inherited.

Seismic change ahead

The automotive sector is facing a global seismic change, warned Philippa Oldham, head of National Network Programmes, Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), at last month's Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum on the next steps for low emissions vehicles. Against the backdrop of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning that we've got just 12 years to get serious about limiting the global temperature rise of 1.5C; and the 'Road to Zero' setting the expectation that at least 50% ideally 70% of UK car sales being zero emission capable by 2030, she said the shift from our traditional internal combustion engines needs to be addressed. The APC was formed in 2013 through a partnership between industry and government, with a target to match-fund £1bn over the course of 10 years to the UK in low-carbon propulsion R&D technology. Its achievement is measured in C02 targets. It's estimated that 26% of UK greenhouse gas emissions come from transport.

Investment in Tritium gives Gilbarco Veeder-Root entry into EV charging market

Gilbarco Veeder-Root has made a minority investment in Tritium, a privately held electric vehicle (EV) charging manufacturer.

Leading the charge

When it comes to electric vehicles (EVs) their capabilities and how they'll be charged there always seems to be more questions than answers.

Fuelling change

Fuel retailers have experienced unsettling times recently. For years there has been steady growth of diesel vehicles versus petrol, but this has suddenly gone into reverse. Then there were lurid headlines claiming the end was nigh for the industry when the government announced plans to deal with air pollution, and mentioned not for the first time that it aimed to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.

Hydrogen ups the pressure

While the world hasn't yet arrived at the vision created by the 'Back to the Future' film trilogy, which suggested today's vehicles might be powered by processed waste, we are beginning to see the advent of what has always been regarded as a fuel of the future hydrogen.

Go ahead for hydrogen site

A hydrogen refuelling station is to be built on the London forecourt of an un-named "major global fuel retailer", with proposals for a further roll-out.

Cutting red tape

Successive governments have claimed they want to cut the red tape tying businesses in knots, and then piled on plenty more, but changes introduced on October 1 really have simplified the regulatory framework for petrol filling stations.

Diesel in doubt

With electric vehicle charge points springing up in city centres and motorway service stations, and falling road fuel sales, you could be excused for fearing the days of petrol and diesel as the main fuel for cars were nearly over, but most experts agree both will have a strong presence for decades to come.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 4 November 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East130.9367.90138.13126.75
East Midlands130.73139.73126.64
London130.73139.60127.04
North East129.5562.90137.10125.31
North West129.9963.90138.40126.48
Northern Ireland128.05133.57124.33
Scotland130.6059.30137.24126.23
South East131.4566.90139.66127.42
South West130.7674.90137.94126.68
Wales129.84136.06125.42
West Midlands130.4059.90137.63126.57
Yorkshire & Humber130.02139.47126.29

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When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?

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