EGEB: UK gets its first road made partially from plastic

  • Construction of the UK’s first road made partially from plastic has begun in Carlisle.
  • An EV coalition (but not Tesla) asked congressional leaders for help in the latest stimulus package.
  • EV alliance ChargeUp Europe gains Portugal’s energy giant EDP as its eighth member.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and your bank account — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card.

UK’s first plastic road

Carlisle in Cumbria will be the first city in the UK to have a road partially built out of waste plastic. More than 3,000 square meters of the road network will be repaved on Lowther Street in the city center (pictured above).

Asphalt specialist MacRebur is working with Cumbria County Council and will use around 240,000 single-use plastic bags that would otherwise have ended up in landfill. The plastic will be processed and combined with asphalt to resurface the road.

According to MacRebur, plastic in asphalt will be more resistant to movement, reducing cracks and potholes. The plastic also replaces some of the bitumen in the asphalt, lowering the use of fossil fuels and cutting emissions.

Cumbria received £1.6 million, as one of eight projects selected, to carry out tests using new technology on local roads in an innovation program called ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs. The Lowther Street resurfacing project will cost around £150,000.

MacRebur CEO Toby McCartney said:

Implementing waste plastic roads across the country would provide a real opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of road construction.

Congressional support for EVs

A coalition of organizations representing EV charging hardware and software companies, light-to-heavy-duty EV manufacturers, and aligned non-governmental communities sent a letter to congressional leaders this week — Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — asking for the following EV incentives in the latest pandemic stimulus package:

Our organizations support focusing COVID-19 recovery funding on infrastructure investments that would immediately accelerate job growth and unlock private investment in a cleaner refueling economy and promote a diverse, competitive market place for consumers.

Specifically, we ask that you include the following policies in any economic recovery package that Congress may be considering:

Establish a rebate program to stimulate private investment in electric vehicle charging
infrastructure in workplaces, multifamily housing, and commercial locations in
communities across the country, as contemplated by Section 33332 of H.R. 2.

Extend the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Investment Tax Credit (ITC),
which is known as “30C” and increase the cap on business investments to ensure that the
ITC can be applied to each item of refueling property, as contemplated by the Securing
America’s Clean Fuels Infrastructure Act (S.3735). As with other clean energy tax
credits, allowing for direct payment or refundability to facilitate monetizing tax credits
would enable 30C to be effective in the immediate term, creating additional jobs along
with the incremental infrastructure deployed.

The letter then continued:

Providing clear incentives to accelerate industry investment in a competitive and sustainable refueling economy will create thousands of jobs in the auto industry and the EV charging ecosystem, while helping the environment and the American public.

The signatories on this coalition letter are Rivian, NEMA, CALSTART, Electrify America, EVgo, ABB, and ChargePoint. Tesla is not part of the coalition because CEO Elon Musk believes that a stimulus package isn’t in the best interest of consumers, but if there is one, it should be a direct payment to consumers. Musk is in favor of universal basic income.

Yet Tesla benefited from the government’s original coronavirus stimulus program. Tesla’s second quarter financial filing released Tuesday said:

As part of various governmental responses to the pandemic granted to companies globally, we received certain payroll related benefits which helped to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our financial results.

European EV alliance grows

Brussels-based ChargeUp Europe is an alliance representing the EV charging infrastructure sector. It was formed to accelerate the switch to zero emission mobility, and it’s just gained its newest, and eighth member, Energias de Portugal (EDP).

ChargeUp Europe founding members Allego, ChargePoint, and EVBox (all based in the Netherlands) have now been joined by GreenWay (Slovakia), Fastned (Netherlands), evway by Route220 (Italy), has·to·be (Austria), and EDP (Portugal).

Headquartered in Lisbon, EDP is a multinational utility company with a presence in 19 countries across four continents. It is one of the biggest wind energy production companies in the world with almost 66% of their energy produced from renewable resources. EDP aims to lead the energy transition and mobility ecosystem growth in Portugal, Spain, and Brazil.

Vera Pinto Pereira, CEO of EDP Commercial said:

Sustainability is part of our DNA and ChargeUp Europe is the perfect place to address some of EDP’s key priorities, namely ensuring the availability of electric vehicles and accelerating the rollout of charging infrastructure. We want to guarantee a seamless charging experience for people all over Europe via EU harmonization and interoperability.

Photo: The Edge Guide

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.