The EPN Consulting Newsletter - 083 - July 2017
Editorial
Dear Colleague,

In the last couple of weeks we read a couple of interesting and revolutionary pieces of news:
- France plans to ban sales of all petrol and diesel cars by 2040
- Volvo decided to make only hybrid and electric car as of 2019

These two plans join others designed by cities that have each different objectives such as increase the use of public transport, introduce Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services, encourage soft transport modes (i.e. walking and cycling), promote the use of car pooling and car sharing,  up to planning to become a car-free city such as Hamburg by 2025.

All these initiatives are certainly beneficial to the environment and consequently to ourselves as citizens, but let's think a bit about the two major announcements.

France ban - there will be 23 years available to get prepared for this ban. This means at least three important steps have to be carried out pretty in parallel:
1) an extended and diffused network of (fast) car charge points must be installed across the whole country (urban, inter-urban and extra-urban roads as well as motorways)
2) a resilient and reliable smart grids infrastructure must be set up to avoid frequent energy supply service black-outs
3) a heavy incentives plan to convince citizens to buy electric cars, currently more expensive than their corresponding endothermic-engine-powered models

I didn't read the plan in details but this move certainly is going to have an immediate and lasting extremely high cost for the French government and according to their current state of economy, I am not entirely sure they will be able to make it in this time frame.

Volvo's change of strategy - it is understandable as the brand is not as popular as it used to be some decades ago (do you remember that Volvo 240 station wagon model you could see anywhere across Europe?) and they need to revamp it.
I can see some difficulties in gaining shares in the EV market where other car manufacturers have put already their foot in it such as Tesla, Renault, Volkswagen for instance. Maybe with an effective marketing campaign (and high-quality products v acceptable prices) they could convince potential customers to buy their cars.
With regard to hybrid cars, well, the market is already very much crowded with them by nearly any car maker so, again, if they don't offer a robust USP, it will be not easy to acquire customers that have already owned/rented/leased other brands' hybrid vehicles for years.   



EPN Consulting Ltd.
Founder, CEO


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EU
Horizon 2020 & other calls close to deadline

31 Aug 2017  - Deadline to submit proposals to the ERC-2017-ADG call (ERC Advanced Grant)

05 Sept 2017 - Deadline of No.7 H2020 calls for proposals


07 Sept 2017  - Deadline of No.4 H2020 calls for proposals

13 Sept 2017 - Deadline of No.25 H2020 calls for proposals

TfL to launch Night Overground

04 July 2017 -  Weekend 24-hour services will launch on the London Overground from December 2017, following the success of the Night Tube.

The service will initially only operate on Fridays and Saturdays along the East London route between New Cross Gate and Dalston Junction. It will be extended to Highbury & Islington next year.

The 'Night Overground' will connect with the Night Tube network at Canada Water on the Jubilee line and via the Victoria line when the night service reaches Highbury & Islington.

Pedestrians rage at autonomous pods and delivery bots on pavements  

06 July 2017 - Enthusiasts for walking and cycling have vented their annoyance at the decision to unleash self-driving vehicles on UK footways as part of government-backed trials which fly in the face of "carriages" convention.

Groups critical of Britain's dependence on the motorcars that clog city centres are furious at plans to trial a fleet of 40 autonomous taxis in pedestrianised zones, saying the project makes a mockery of efforts to encourage walking.

Four-seater battery-powered pods with top speeds of 15mph (24.14 km/h) will use roadside footways in Milton Keynes as they ferry business passengers from the railway station to offices and a shopping centre as part of a series of multi million-pound government-backed trials.

TomTom to develop Innovative Traffic Services for Future of Driving

06 July 2017 - TomTom announced it is developing ultra-fast lane level traffic technology supporting autonomous driving and smarter mobility.
Research will be done in cooperation with Cisco to leverage roadside data captured by Cisco's array of sensors, routers and controllers to create the next generation of traffic information technology.

The research combines Cisco's data with TomTom's traffic fusion technology and expertise, supported by Cisco's Internet of Things platform. One particularly innovative aspect of this cooperation is the use of Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology, which has the ability to convert a fibre optic cable into an array of virtual microphones that detect and measure vehicle movements.

This data is to be merged with TomTom's pool of floating car data from over 500 million devices. It will then be displayed and analysed in a TomTom interface specifically designed for the needs of Traffic Management Centres.

France to end sales of all Gas and Diesel cars by 2040

07 July 2017 -  Emboldened by President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, France rolled out ambitious plans to reduce its carbon footprint.

The country aims to end sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040 and become carbon neutral 10 years later, environmental minister Nicolas Hulot said.

France will also halt all coal-fired energy production by 2022, slash the share of nuclear power from 75% to 50% in the next eight years and stop importing palm oil and soy beans that are grown unsustainably. The announcement came one day after Volvo Cars said it would build only hybrid and electric cars by 2019.

Reflection Paper on harnessing Globalisation 
EU

10 July 2017 - The National Interoperability Framework Observatory (NIFO) of the European Commission has just published the State of Play of Interoperability in Europe 2016 report (pdf).

The report presents the highlights of the results of the 2016 NIFO monitoring exercise and compares them with previous years. It identifies technology trends concerning interoperability initiatives that have been identified during the analysis over the years. The European Commission shares these trends to allow Member States to profit from existing expertise and initiatives.

The trends identified are:
- Open Data and Open Technologies
- Cyber Security
- Cloud Computing
- Social Media
- Mobile technologies
- Big Data and Analytics

Read more
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Upcoming Professional Events in Europe

27-30 Aug 2017 - Tallinn (EE) -  TRA  -  XXIX INTERNATIONAL BALTIC ROAD CONFERENCE
12 Sept 2017 - Brussels (BE) -  ENV+FIN -  BE CIRCULAR Annual Meeting 2017
12-13 Sept 2017 - Amsterdam (NL) -  TEC+TRA -  ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR URBAN RAIL SYSTEMS IN EUROPE
13-14 Sept 2017 - London - BIZ+ICT+TRA - OMNI-CHANNEL Conference 2017
13-14 Sept 2017 - Luxemburg - ENE - HYDROPOWER DEVELOPMENT 2017
14-15 Sept 2017 - Milan (IT) -  ITS+TRA -  CITYTECH 2017
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Currently, a technology that performs well above normal standards or that presents an innovative approach to solve an environmental problem can face difficulties in penetrating the market due to lack of independent and credible evidence of its advantages.

On the other hand, technology purchasers or investors committed to finding the best solution for their situation are often faced with non-comparable, incomplete or non-trustworthy performance information when assessing the available choices on the market.

The Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) programme is to offer a verification procedure to cutting-edge environmental technologies that may otherwise find it difficult to establish their environmental added value.   The ETV is neither a label nor a certification scheme.

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