We are at a moment where the EV car user is being segregated and placed on a pedestal above the petrol/diesel driver. Designated free parking in city centres, access to ULEZ zones, special numberplates, no VED to pay etc. all set the wealthy electric car owner a cut above the rest of the motoring public. Now there’s a special motorway services facility, so that EV owners can relax and spend £4 on coffee and check for Twitter likes, whilst their vehicles are charged up. That’s nice. But the day will come when governments tax ALL movement by car, motorcycle, scooter or van, simple as that.
How can any government replace the billions in tax revenues lost on petrol and diesel cars except by taxing all road users who consume electricity and other resources? Think about it and enjoy the free ride while it lasts.
Meanwhile here’s the news from Thatcham on the Gridserve award.
A new virtual navigation system from BMW promises to consign traditional satnav to the history books, and a smart innovation by Hyundai could revolutionise the way we overcome blind spots when behind the wheel. Yet these impressive technologies had to settle for second and third place respectively in the race for the 2022 What Car? Innovation Award because this year’s winner has more to do with roadside charging infrastructure than in-car technology.
Gridserve’s pioneering motorway service station concept brings the convenience and familiarity of petrol and diesel forecourts to EV charging. Its first Electric Forecourt opened in Essex in 2020, with a further 100 EV-only service stations planned across the UK. Gridserve’s Electric Forecourts will offer up to 36 dedicated EV chargers, including some 350kW fast chargers capable of charging vehicles in around 20 minutes.
Motorists can take advantage of shops, cafés and airport-style lounges while they wait for their charge to complete, and they can even get tech support by using the phones on every charging point to speak to dedicated EV experts at The AA.
BMW WIN HUD AWARD
Runner-up for the award was the BMW iX’s virtual navigation system with Head-Up Display. The HUD projects journey information onto the windscreen, while the virtual navigation system combines augmented reality from live video footage with satnav data to give clear directions while driving.
“This is a great safety innovation because drivers can keep their eyes on the road while having all the information they need right there on the windscreen or the display,” Avery explained. “Using the HUD in combination with the augmented reality satnav makes navigation simpler and driving much safer. HUD isn’t a new development per se but this system from BMW is a real step change – a worthy runner-up.”
BLIND SPOT MIRROR
In third place is Hyundai’s Blindspot View Monitor. While not designed to replace traditional glass mirrors, the technology uses cameras mounted to wing mirrors to give motorists an expanded view around their car.
“It’s so simple, you wonder why nobody has come up with it until now,” Avery suggested. “Well, now Hyundai have done just that. It’s not to be confused with digital rear view mirrors but gives drivers greater awareness of what’s going on around them, and encourages greater use of mirrors while driving. It is precisely the kind of safety innovation that Thatcham Research applauds.”