The Energy for Future Transport - Can Formula E electrify mainstream motoring?
The LowCVP Conference 2015 which took place on Wednesday, 24 June in Central London, was sponsored by EDF Energy. This year's event focused on future fuels for transport and the infrastructure required to support them, particularly in the city environment.
Timed to take place in the week leading up to Britain's first FIA Formula E electric car race - held in London's Battersea Park on 27-28 June - the LowCVP Annual Conference provided an opportunity to find out how electric vehicle motor racing will affect the mainstream car market. Formula E's Chief Executive, Alejandro Agag, spoke at the event. The newly-appointed transport minister Andrew Jones MP gave the keynote address (See his speech here and video section here.) Short video sections of speeches by other participants, including jeremy Leggett, Alejandro Agag, Edmund King, Roger Harrabin, Andy Eastlake and Sian Berry are now available to view.
At a press briefing held before the main proceedings, Alejandro Agag announced the start of a Formula E initiative to recharge Formula E vehicles with solar-generated electricity. See the press briefing video embedded below. (Also AA press release for LowCVP Conference here and Michelin press information here.)
This year's event presented the findings of the DfT/LowCVP Transport Energy Task Force, providing a road map towards a low carbon future for road transport fuels. It also provided an opportunity for local policy makers to find out more about policy best practice in low carbon road transport, particularly valuable for the twelve cities involved in OLEV's £35m Go Ultra Low City Scheme for which final bids are due at the end of August.
The Conference morning session focused on how Formula E can help drive electric motoring into the mainstream. Featuring Edmund King, President of the AA, who announced the results of the latest Populus survey of nearly 20,000 'mainstream' motorists. Chaired by ITV's lead presenter for Formula E, Jennie Gow, the session will also included responses from Renault, Michelin, the Campaign for Better Transport and the Department for Transport.
The afternoon featured parallel sessions focusing on a roadmap for future transport fuels - including the findings of the joint DfT/LowCVP Transport Energy Task Force - and the fuels infrastructure challenges we face.
The final Conference session brought together some of the earlier discussions and focused on Mobility in Future Cities. This session was chaired by BBC's Roger Harrabin and included Christophe Arnaud, MD of Bluepoint London, the planned EV car-sharing scheme ('Autolib London') and Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor Boris Johnson's senior advisor on environmental issues.
The post-Conference Reception (sponsored by Michelin) featured a speech from Smart Cities expert, Dan Byles, former MP, soldier and adventurer and Richard Burden MP, the shadow transport minister.
The LowCVP issued the results of a survey of 303 stakeholder experts at a media briefing which took place just before the main conference. The survey showed that nearly half of respondents expected their next car to be a battery electric or plug-in hybrid model. (See press release here.)
The LowCVP Conference generated a significant amount of social media activity, particularly on Twitter. The event generated 500 Twitter posts and, initial statistics suggest, reached nearly 0.5m people, delivering over 1.5m page impressions. (At one point in the morning, #LowCVP15 was even 'trending' on Twitter!) A selection of Twitter posts from the day can be seen on our Storify page here.
Media Coverage: Different elements of the Annual Conference have been widely covered by the media. There has been an article in The Guardian as well as wide-range of on-line, trade and specialist publications. Some examples include: Business Green, Air Quality News, Fleet News, Business Car, Edie.net, Transport Engineer, Fleet News (local policy guide), Fleet World and Green Car Congress.
LowCVP Conference 2015 speakers included:
Alejandro Agag, Chief Executive, FIA Formula E
Christophe Arnaud, Managing Director, Bluepoint London ('Autolib London')
Sian Berry, Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport
Richard Bruce, Director, Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV)
Dan Byles, Living PlanIT (former MP, Smart Cities expert)
Celine Cluzel, Principal Consultant, Element Energy
Mark Constable, Senior Product Manager, Electric Vehicles and Future Heat, EDF Energy
Richard Cook, Design Manager - Network Design, National Grid
Dr Graham Cooley, Chief Executive, ITM Power
Andy Eastlake, Managing Director, LowCVP
Richard Folkson, President, Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
Vincent Geslin, Deputy Programme Director for Twizy and Kangoo Z.E, Renault
Jennie Gow, Freelance broadcaster and lead presenter of Formula E on ITV
Roger Harrabin, BBC Environment Analyst (Chair)
Peter Harrison, Programme Director, Transport, European Climate Foundation
Michael Hurwitz, Director, Energy, Technology and International, Department for Transport
Andrew Jones MP, Minister of State, Department for Transport
Edmund King, President, AA
Dr Jeremy Leggett, Climate policy expert and founder, Solar Century
Patrick Lynch, Biofuels Sustainability Manager, Greenergy
Darran Messem, Managing Director Carbon Trust Certification, Carbon Trust and Chairman, LowCVP
Jay Parmar, Director of Policy, British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA)
Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist and Policy Director, Greenpeace
Matthew Pencharz, Senior Advisor, Environment and Energy to the Mayor of London
Dave Roberts, Project Director, My Electric Avenue
Claire Wenner, Head of Renewable Transport, Renewable Energy Association
Click below for clip from the LowCVP press briefing which broke the news that Formula E is to recharge some of its electric cars with solar energy (via Green TV)