Firm feels London has missed out on a huge chance to create an electric network in London

Nissan has criticised the London 2012 Olympic organising committee for its decision not to include a significant proportion of electric vehicles on the fleet for the games.

BMW was revealed yesterday as the firm to supply more than 4000 vehicles to the games, but only a small proportion are likely to be electric.

Hilton Holloway blog: An Olympic-sized scandalBMW joins 2012 OlympicsBlow for London’s electric network

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) told Autocar yesterday that it doubted the capital would have a suitable electric infrastructure in place in time for the games.

Nissan has confirmed that the Renault-Nissan Alliance was one of BMW’s rival bidders, but missed out to the German firm on what a source described as “financial grounds”.

A spokesman told Autocar that more than half of the firm’s 2012 fleet would have been made up of its all-electric Nissan Leafs.

“As part of our proposition, more than half of the vehicles we were going to supply would have been Leafs,” said the spokesman. “Through LOCOGs decision, London has missed out on a significant opportunity to build confidence in electric vehicles in the UK.

“We have the vehicle and we had the chance to do something with it in the UK.”

Some Nissan sources are said to privately be “concerned” by LOCOG’s comments as the firm has an all-electric vehicle ready to bring to market in time for the games and be willing to help implement the network to support it.

The firm also believes the chances of quickly implementing an electric infrastructure in the UK have taken “several steps back”.

Mark Tisshaw

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19 November 2009

- i think the olympic decision was very short sighted, what better way to promote the UK and legacy (a cornerstone of the olympics).

-here is an EU/Japanese company with world class manufacturing and design facilities in the UK, with world leading tech. and they want to push the infrastructure on a project that they and EDF would not have let fail; the UK Nissan car plant makes them the largest car producer in the UK.

-it would have been a showcase and a way to carry forward the technology torch (as it were); a great way to impress on all the visitors from all over the world that we in the UK can work with others and take the environment seriously

-but no, we went for ugly BMWs and lots of cash; well done Lord Coe (not), next time I here you talk of integrity and legacy i will try ever so hard not to laugh at you.

- still the up side is that BMW have less to spend on R&D and judging by the snaps of the new 5 series (on autoexpress) they have started cutting back already!

-i would like to say to Nissan that the olympic committee do not speak for others in the UK and i for one (at least) think it would have been great for Nissan to get the contract and work with EDF to place in the charging points to showcase the technology, the UKs commitment to the environment and global ability to work effectively with others and to proivde a legacy for the future.

-it was an opportunity missed.

19 November 2009

Don't know why they went for BMWs - fine cars but not especially suited to the games. Electric cars, such as the Leaf, and possibly a small number of the electric Renaults, would have been ideal and genuinely exciting, propelling the Olympics into a new era and getting electric cars some publicity. BMW don't need the boost, electric cars do. Again, an opportunity missed - the Nissans would've been more British, too!!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

19 November 2009

Agreed, a disappointing decision. It would be interesting to know how much of a financial difference there was. Perhaps the extra dosh from BMW will help pay for the no doubt over-spending that will occur on the buildings, etc.

20 November 2009

lets remember how much tax the governement gets from petrol - how much tax would they get from the electricity? Simple - the government sees this as a bit of money making for them - cars running 16 hours a day etc.

20 November 2009

[quote gazza5]lets remember how much tax the governement gets from petrol - how much tax would they get from the electricity? Simple - the government sees this as a bit of money making for them - cars running 16 hours a day etc.[/quote]

Gazza5, I don't think the fuel duty revenues from the tiny number (proportional to UK's vehicle population as a whole) of vehicles involved in the Olympics would really have amounted to much. Thousands of pounds, maybe tens of thousands...but that's small beer to the state of the UK's financial problems.

It's another missed opportunity. I think this new interest and development of electric cars represents the biggest step forward for the industry in my lifetime at least. We could of had the very first of their kind being shown off at the worlds premier sporting event...instead we've got the X6.

20 November 2009

Forget BMW for the moment, what people need to consider is as well as getting the best value LOCOG need to deal with certainty.

Nissan were not promising an entire fleet of EVs, around half of the cars supplied would be. Sure, fulfilling that would probably be like falling off a log too Nissan, but what if EDF didn't come up with the goods, or worse, only providing minimal infrastructure which could lead to cars lying idle while others are charging? Or Nissan simply ship down some more diesel cars...where's the innovation then?

Fast forward two-and-a-bit years from now, we could have news stories of "panic stricken Olympic chiefs desperately tryng to make up the shortall", and no-one would be congratulating LOCOG for trying to bring innovative modes of travel, they'd just be sneering at the failure, including this magazine, I'm sure.

All that said, those decrying BMW as the choice, what did you do to lobby for Nissan, including you, Hilton Holloway?

21 November 2009

-colonel - hi; firstly its not BMW that is being decryed, it is the Olympic committee and importantly Lord Coe; who as said I think should step down with immediate effect.

-secondly; I understand what you are saying re. electric vehicles, but the Leaf is up and running and being tested, the Leaf is due for general release I think quite soon and if not before 2012 certain for 2012.

-thirdly; even if lots of vehicles died (which they would re. notes above on testing) then standby vehicles would be in place (without doubt) and thus you always end up no wrose than the BMW offer.

-think about BMW wheel cracking, what would that have done, hell, it took BMW months before they even did anything about it; thus the point is not one against BMW, it is simply saying you always have contingency plans and that would be part of the bid/inplementation

-Fourth, honestly, EDF and Nissan would have done whatever it takes i.e. can you imagine the PR downside for the both of them if they got it wrong! they would not let that happen (they would not), the infrastructure would have been placed in without doubt and even if it was not in time for the games (which it would have been) they would have placed mobile charging points in place (if needed) and then put proper ones (where needed) in after the games; BUT THEY would have GOT all "proper" ones in to start with before the games anyway.

-Fifth; think of all those jobs created for all that infrastructure and they are skilled jobs, electricians, ground works, surveyors etc, engineering companies etc; the Olympic committee could have made local company usage for the manufacture of items etc conditional on the bid (which does not break EU rules as extra weighting can be given to local firms); thus not only would the infrastructure of the City been good, the "ripple" would have gone right across the UK and we effectively are given (have made) a platform to enable national infrastructure.

So, basically, the Nissan car is proven for the games, the infrastructure is not just about charging points, the UK could have got loads of jobs and stolen a march on every other country in the World (without doubt) and what DO we GET; an idiot decision by an idiot man i.e. Lord Coe the idiot; all that opportunity was missed.

-if you Colonel think that this is about BMW bashing, think again; it is not; this is about the opportunity that Lord Coe and his pals sacrificed and for what? a few bits of silver when they could have had streets of Gold right across the UK; Nissan showed far too much common sense and well meaning and for the decision that Lord Coe the idiot made, I for one apologise to them i.e. Nissan, not only the UKs biggest car maker, but one that was brave enough to place the EU design HQ in the UK (others have them in Germany) and is a world technology leader.

-Sorry its a long post, but this is upsetting and I hope Lord Coe does resign, I doubt it, but he should.

21 November 2009

[quote CapsLock]firstly its not BMW that is being decryed[/quote]

You're right, I should have written "decrying the choice of BMW". Besides that, the first line of my reply above absolved BMW.

[quote CapsLock]-secondly; I understand what you are saying re. electric vehicles, but the Leaf is up and running and being tested, the Leaf is due for general release I think quite soon and if not before 2012 certain for 2012.[/quote]

You misunderstand me, in fact. I have no doubt that Nissan can, would, supply the cars; the issue is not with Nissan. The issue is the likelihood of EDF providing enough charging points to ensure that no cars lie idle while others charge ahead of them. That would be fatal to the runninng of the fleet, and that is an unacceptable risk.

[quote CapsLock]-thirdly; even if lots of vehicles died (which they would re. notes above on testing) then standby vehicles would be in place (without doubt) and thus you always end up no wrose than the BMW offer.[/quote]

Again, I'm not so worried about the quality of the vehicles. Maybe one or two would flip out, unlikely I think, but on the whole things go wrong on cars, regardless of the method of propulsion, and the supplying organisations will, as you mention in your next point, have contingency in place. Presumably any "standby" vehicles would have combustion engines? How will that play?

[quote CapsLock]-Fourth, honestly, EDF and Nissan would have done whatever it takes i.e. can you imagine the PR downside for the both of them if they got it wrong! they would not let that happen (they would not), [/quote]

You're kidding, right? Do you think the likes of Laing, Multiplex, Balfour Beatty et al, thought their reputations, if not their businesses, would be at risk when they went into poorly executed ventures? £10, I think, it cost O'Rourke to buy Laing, after just one project went bad on them.

[quote CapsLock]the infrastructure would have been placed in without doubt and even if it was not in time for the games (which it would have been) they would have placed mobile charging points in place (if needed) and then put proper ones (where needed) in after the games; BUT THEY would have GOT all "proper" ones in to start with before the games anyway.[/quote]

I think you underestimate the scale of the task ahead of them. First, the "network" they promise will have been restricted to the venues and WC1, W1 and SW1...maybe SW3 (thus limiting the "legacy" effect). Worse, the installations at the venues are going to be clustered. What use is that to anyone?

Next, unless they are all installed on private property, they will have to deal with nine, that I can think of (maybe more), separate local authorities. I know a Street Works Director in one of those authorities that would be delighted to have EDF come and knock on his door to discuss their erstwhile shortcomings before they got anywhere near installing charging points on the public highway in that borough.

So other than at the venues, charging points will be on the public highway. What guarantee will be in place that they will be accessible? Ban all on street parking in the borough? "Electric Cars Only" parking? Given the "popularity" of Olympic Lanes, how do you think that is going to play in the Town Halls?

How sure could the person signing off on the order be that in two-and-a-half years time every car that needs charging will be able to, when it needs to?

Do I need to mention vandalism?

[quote CapsLock]-Fifth; think of all those jobs created for all that infrastructure and they are skilled jobs, electricians, ground works, surveyors etc, engineering companies etc; the Olympic committee could have made local company usage for the manufacture of items etc conditional on the bid (which does not break EU rules as extra weighting can be given to local firms); thus not only would the infrastructure of the City been good, the "ripple" would have gone right across the UK and we effectively are given (have made) a platform to enable national infrastructure.[/quote]

Maybe there'd be some new jobs created, though I would suggest EDF already have the predominant workforce employed already. As for the kit, EDF has been supplying this sort of thing to the town of La Rochelle in France since the early 1990s. It's made in France, so there is no reason on Earth why that would change. It wouldn't make commercial sense for them.

[quote CapsLock]So, basically, the Nissan car is proven for the games, the infrastructure is not just about charging points, the UK could have got loads of jobs and stolen a march on every other country in the World (without doubt) and what DO we GET; an idiot decision by an idiot man i.e. Lord Coe the idiot; all that opportunity was missed.[/quote]

There is nothing, I repeat nothing, to stop Renault/Nissan and EDF approaching the Mayor to get on with installing a Londonwide network. London is probably the ideal city to do it, given the out-to-in-to-out nature of commuting. Even if Nissan/EDF got the Olympic gig, their network wouldn't have delivered that. May have been a start, but not one your average Nissan LEAF buyer is going to relate to...unless they are going for a swim...in Stratford.

If Nissan think the knock back is bad news for EV take up, and quickly implementing an electric infrastructure in the UK have taken “several steps back”, then their business plan for the car was flawed in the first place, and EDF aren't the commercial powerhouse (exscuse the pun) I thought they were. Of course, they never did rely on the Olympics for this, but it is a convenient podium from which to whine, and a good excuse if things don't go so well for them going forward, so they can be thankful for that.

The point is, if you are in charge of a large project with many and varied areas of procurement, for which you are scrutinised to within an inch of your life, you go for certainty. You do not go down a route on the promise of something that does not yet exist. The brickbats slung LOCOG's way now would be nothing compared to what they'd receive if they went the EDF way, and EDF failed to deliver on everything they promised.

The most amusing thing about this, is that many people are dismissive and sneer when significant construction and infrastructure projects are discussed (never on time, massively overbudget, etc), and rightly so in some cases, but why the supreme confidence in EDF to pull this off?

22 November 2009

colonel;the benefits far out way the risks and the benefits to the UK far out way any risk you flag up.

-risk is ONLY ever an issue if you cannot discount it, every single point you state can be discounted:

-you can have stand by cars (thus no worse than the BMW solve in worst case); the Leaf will be well tested, Nissan are doig that now and it will not be a problem at all; but as said look at BMW wheels (on non-electric cars); Nissan will do a great job (as always) and have superbly reliable vehicles.

- you can (and people do) have 24hr security; although I would like to see a youth having a go at a 3 phase live plug; some youths can lack advance thought at times, but I think the pormise of a shock would very much stun them into advance thought!

-you talk about road side issues and parking etc, but we have parking meters (which are effectively the same), we have parking permits etc.....you are going to have to pool those cars anyway, so what's your point?.....the argument on Olympic car parking is exactly the same for BMW as it is for Nissan; to convert parking meters is easy; the hole in the ground is already present.

-so we have now sorted the placement of the units etc but you ask about "private property"; what about, supermarkets, halfords, Shell stations, BP stations, company buildings, governement buildings car parks, charging points in the olympic village etc etc charging points at the airports, charging points at the NHS car parks, NCP car parks the list is endless and thus in all respects your argument are indeed totally invalid; these things are coming so you have to start bringing them in (as said, the olympics was an opportunity lost); charging points for disability scooters etc.

-just on the points above your argument is invalid.

-as for EDF, yes they employ people in the UK, but to do what needs to be done, they will need more people, you will need designers to design the charge points, you will need engineering companies to make them, you will need engineers to install them, surveyors to survey for them, lawyers for agreements, you will need extra transport, tarmac, concrete; thus the "ripple" and the infrastructure will be vast and across the entire UK (as the entire UK was promised in terms of benefits from the London Olympics); just think of all the world wide regulations and standards, all the health and safety etc; all that would be centred on the UK and exportable (Lord Coe lost the UK and all its people a massive opportunity); we could have got the metres to include wireless, panic buttons (you talk of security); there is so much you can do, its like a fresh start and that was our opportunity.

-the above then makes the UK companies and UK EDF staff (newly taken on for the project and present) and the same for UK Nissan Staff skilled in these works, this allows other cities to advance and develop and those are exportable skills; it also means that universities and colleges etc can start working on focused courses so the infrastructure spreads to education and allows the next generation chances in life etc.

- EDF and Nissan is not the same as "Laing" in any way shape or form; if you do not understand that or see that then it is difficult to discuss that point with you; it is totally different, this is a massive event, its a huge PR drive and it will not fail, they cannnot afford it to and like the first few points I make, you take out risk anyway, you retrie the risk and then its not a problem.

-so you can see that change and risk cann be managed and that there is nothing to fear; simple facts are that Lord Coe (the idiot) messed up and failed on many aspects of the promises that were made not only to London but the UK.

-Lord Coe should instantly step down, he missed the biggest opportunity of a decade to propel the UK to the lead of global electric car usage and infrastructure design, manufacture, planning and installation etc; he missed the ability to link technology to sport in an wider manner etc, he missed the engagement of children in that the opportunities therein; in short he did not only Nissan a disservice but the entire UK and all people therein.

-shame on Lord Coe and he should resign today (I doubt he will) - but he without doubt should; he is an idoit quite clearly and I am ashamed of the olympics decision and very much ashamed that Lord Coe after this is still heading up the committee; Lord Coe is a disgrace to the UK and its people; I just hope Lord Coe did not bring party politics into this and made his deicsion based on that; either way, its a disgrace and he needs to resign.

22 November 2009

Electric cars ! Transferring the emissions from the car to the Power Station, in the meantime its BMW and not Nissan which has achieved the greatest reduction in CO2 emissions for the cars it sold last year !

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