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In an effort to cut its transport emissions by 80% by 2018, the Finnish capital region’s local public transit provider Helsinki Region Transport (HSL), together with Veolia Transport, has begun a new trial program integrating electric buses into local traffic in Espoo. The initial pilot includes plans to test between four and six buses from a variety of different manufacturers, the first of which was taken into use on local Espoo route number 11 and comes from Portuguese manufacturer Caetano Bus.

The pilot program is scheduled to run through 2015 and will evaluate the various bus models’ performance under Finland’s severe winter conditions, particularly engine performance and battery life as well as comparing different alternative fuel options. Through the trial, HSL also hopes to gather commuter opinions and experiences of riding one of these new electric buses. The pilot supports HSL’s plans to have up to a hundred electric buses in use by the year 2018 and will help to identify the models capable of standing up to Finland’s rough climate.

Keep an eye out for one of these new buses and report back on your ride If you live in the Tapiola or Matinkylä area! You can get back to us on our Facebook wall or on Twitter!

Source: (English and Finnish) and (in Finnish)

A new survey, conducted by Pike Research, of consumer attitudes towards plug-in electric vehicles found that consumer interest had declined slightly from the 2010 survey. According to the survey, those consumers listing themselves as "extremely" or "very interested" in EVs fell to 36%, from 2010's 40%. While the 4% decline may seem fairly marginal, these results are evidence of the need for ongoing technological improvements and increasing the level of public awareness as a significant number of the concerns voiced by respondents involved battery range and reliability concerns; concerns rooted in technological shortcomings but considerably amplified by misconceptions. A third major, often cited by respondents, was the high cost of electric vehicles, one which has long kept the industry from developing a significant mass-consumer market.

Source: Autobloggreen post on the study

Read more: You can read further details from the study, as well as buy the full study, at Pike Research's website

According to a report from national news agency YLE, Finnish consulting firm, and leader of the electric vehicle development project Electric Traffic, Eera will gather together the nation’s leading electric companies to begin planning the development of a nationwide electric vehicle charging network. The project aims to increase the number of charging poles available from the current 150 EV charging points nationwide to, at least, one thousand charging poles. Furthermore, the group also aims to develop a simple, uniform means for billing drivers for the electricity consumed at these charging stations.

Source: Report on (in Finnish)

Back ground on the project from consulting firm Eera (in Finnish)

The UN Green Climate Fund, first launched at the 2011 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 17) in Durban, South Africa convened for its first session  in Geneva on the 23rd of August, 2012 for a three day series of talks .The fund’s 24 member Board gathered in Geneva to establish the basic operations and processes of the fund following a lengthy delay in the wake of its founding in the winter of 2011. This period saw several accusations of developed nations dragging their feet and showing strong signs of reluctance to commit further resources at a time when their economies are very unsure. The fund, initially founded to serve as a means to manage the flow of international climate aid, currently around $10 billion annually but developed nations committed in 2009 to raising this to a targeted $100 billion a year by 2020 providing and initial $20 billion to support the fund’s operations through 2014.

At the conclusion of its three day session, the Green Climate Fund’s board selected six potential candidate countries willing to host the Green Climate Fund. The Board is set to announce who among the six candidates (Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Poland, Republic of Korea, and Switzerland) will host the fund at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar this winter (November 26th – December 7th).

Decisions regarding the practical management of the fund’s planned $100 billion in aid were left unaddressed at the meeting as expected. The fund’s board is expected to begin discussion regarding the facilitating and direction of the aid funds at successive meetings, the next of which is scheduled to be held in Songdo, South Korea, from October 18th to the 20th, 2012.

Source: Press Advisory from the Green Climate Fund (pdf)

Read more: Full archive of all documents presented at and concerning the first meeting are available at the GCFs’ website

Speculation regarding the meeting’s possible agenda at Reuters

Further advance reporting at Retuers

A report on the meeting’s decisions at

The Manilla Times on the Fund’s first meeting

German automaker BMW has been operating an electric-car sharing program in Germany since June 2011 which offers local commuters the opportunity to rent one of its EV models. Through this service, BMW hopes to introduce drivers unfamiliar with driving an EV to the new technology by giving them a chance to get behind the wheel for themselves. The service offers models from the BMW 1 Series and models from its Mini subsidiary.

The German automaker has expanded its DriveNow service to the United States, beginning in San Francisco. A totally of 70 ActiveE vehicles have been distributed across San Francisco at 8 service stations for a pay-as-you-go rental program. The program encourages flexible use by allowing drivers to return the vehicles at any of the 8 stations, regardless of where they picked the vehicle up. “We’ve found that the A-to-B model works, and works well,” Thomas Cole, a BMW of North America executive, said in an interview.

The cars are rented by the minute or for the day; allowing for both short term use, in the manner of a traditional car-sharing network, as well as long-term rental. Users of the service pay an initial, one-time membership fee after which individual rentals are charged according to a tiered system.

Source: NY Times Wheels blogpost

Read more about the program at its website DriveNow

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