This week Grimple has been taking a look at aluminium, electric cars from the past and wind energy through crowdfunding.
Electric Car Before It’s Time
Earlier on this year the first mass-produced car in the UK went into production in Sunderland, the Nissan Leaf. However there was nearly a car that would have made this the 2nd mass produced electric car in the UK.
The Enfield Thunderbolt was years ahead of its time! There was only about 100 of them made 40 years ago! They were built on the Isle of Wight. It had a top speed of 48mph and a range of up to 56 miles. When you compare that to the new BMW i3 offering a top speed of 93mph and a range of 80-100 miles, this is not bad at all, considering it was designed and build 40 years ago!
However production stopped as a result of the cost, people were not willing to pay twice the price of a normal car, so in 1976 production stopped altogether of what could have been the world’s first mass produced electric car.
Aluminium, It Just Keeps Giving!
Aluminium was undiscovered two hundred years ago, however in today’s world it is used for all sorts of things; window frames, drinks cans, packaging and cars! At the moment we will mine for ore, however it is hoped that one day we will be able to stop mining and rely on recycling the metal.
As aluminium is one of only a few materials that is 100% recyclable and recycling the metal only uses a fraction of the cost to produce it in the first place.
Aluminium use in car manufacturing is on the up as well, with an increase in the last year of approximately 25%, one of the biggest increases seen was Jaguar Land Rover, they have started manufacturing Range Rovers with aluminium. Meaning that their cars are 39% lighter, saving fuel costs and increasing performance.
We need to increase the amount aluminium that we recycle so that we can cut out the need to mine for bauxite!
Wind Wins for Villagers
As the majority of the UK sees increases in their energy bills that are above the rate of inflation, one village in England have decided to put their own money into a wind turbine.
The villagers from St Briavels in Gloucestershire used the crowdfunding website Abundance Generation to raise the £1.4m needed to build the turbine. They now benefit in two ways; they will get an 8 percent return on their investment annually and in addition to this between £15,000 and £20,000 per year is paid into fund local community projects.
For more information on this check out the full story here.