A couple of weeks ago the BBC ran a story titled “Climate change: Electric trucks ‘can compete with diesel ones.'” My (admittedly knee-jerk) reaction was that it was obviously a load of nonsense. (The argument is that (counter-intuitively) by shrinking the size of the battery you improve the truck. That reduces the range but supposedly makes the truck more cost effective.) Anyway I reined myself in and thought: “Jit, you can’t just reject the idea out of hand, you have to read the paper the story is based on with an open mind.” So I went to the journal “Joule” but couldn’t access the paper. Then I went to Google Scholar but couldn’t even find the paper. Instead I stumbled across an article called Electric Vehicles and Psychology by Fabio Viola*, lately published in the journal Sustainability. So I began to read that instead. What follows is a brief review.

1. Introduction

Car owners, Viola says, fret about the reduced range of an EV over a good old-fashioned diesel. What psychological tricks can be used to speed up the adoption of EVs? The plan to ban engines had

“…already put the comics industry in crisis, which has not yet found a single onomatopoeia for the noise of the cars. “Brooomm,” “Drooow,” “Vroom,” and “Roammm” are the standard noises, but now we will have to find something more significant than “Zzzz!”. The matter is serious. To solve the problem, the iconic German manufacturer of Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) performance machines asked for the help of one of the greatest modern composers of movie soundtracks, Hans Florian Zimmer, to create a sound of electric cars worthy of the ICE sisters.”

Yes, that Hans Zimmer^. But there was more. The weedy sound of a Porsche EV could be enhanced by artificially-generated grunt.

“The same philosophy [generating artificial noise for an EV] has been adopted by Porsche in its Taycan luxury electric sports car. The buyer can, in fact, decide to add the Electric Sport Sound to his car, an optional item with a cost of EUR 500, which adds a real soundtrack, both inside and outside the car.”

By soundtrack I don’t think he means REO Speedwagon. An alert is required under EU law, but car makers don’t want people to notice that their car merely exists. They want people to notice that their car is Rarrrghh.

“If the reader is looking for simple answers, the author does not recommend reading the subsequent sections, as few paradoxes are solved.”

Naturally I read on.

2. Finding Early Adopters

Where new tech is concerned you can either be an Innovator, an Early Adopter, in the Early Majority, in the Late Majority, or you can be a Laggard. I’m in the last group, which has to be dragged kicking and screaming to the EV shop:

“The descriptor says it all! Typically, they prefer traditional ICE and will adopt new EVs when there are no alternatives. Laggards are convinced of machinations and have their own ideas on everything, often supported by pseudoscientific reasoning.”

Well, we’ll see. The important people are apparently the second lot, the Early Adopters, the opinion formers, the YouTubers, Instagrammers, etc. There is seemingly a “chasm” between the Early Adopters and the third group, the Early Majority, into which some innovations fall, never to be seen again (possibly the Sinclair C5 did not manage to power itself far enough upslope to even reach the precipice, and the Thingummywig must have crawled into a drain before the Instagrammers latched onto it, or before it latched onto them, face-hugger style). Anyway we need the shiny Early Adopters to cajole, encourage, and generally harass the rest of us into jumping on the EV bandwagon.

3. Chicken or egg paradox

This particular paradox is no paradox at all for anyone who has heard of evolution, because the ancestors of chickens were egg-layers. This particular version of the paradox is that folk are reluctant to get an EV until the charging infrastructure is in place. But no company in their right mind would invest in infrastructure when there are no EVs to charge. Paradox!

According to Viola, the “hegemony of the present” dictates that we human car users want to drive, refuel, and carry on driving. It’s what we’re used to, but it is no good for the Anthropocene. If there was a fighting chance of that being possible for EVs, it could only be done with battery swapping. But that would make the battery less well protected, and we all know what might happen when an EV battery gets bashed (see later).

Viola then enthuses about the panaro, the basket that Italians used to lower down from their windows to receive deliveries of bread. The EV version of the panaro is a jungle of extension leads depending from the high windows of tower blocks down to the street below. Dangerous, but it encourages EV adoption, so it gets two thumbs up. I think the upshot here is that although most charging events will happen at home, the most important infrastructure is still the motorway chargers, so that we stop worrying about…

4. Range Anxiety

If you asked me what my principal objection to EVs was, it might be range anxiety. It might also be that I don’t have a driveway, or that an EV costs more than a normal car, except second hand, when it goes for so little that the only conclusion is that the battery must be shot.

“By range anxiety we mean the anxiety of not succeeding, not reaching the goal, an anxiety of performance.”

This particular anxiety cannot be cured by a rhombus-shaped blue pill. Because the battery is the weak point, we overlook all the good things about EVs. Like the Zimmer soundtrack fitted as standard. Here Viola goes into an interesting aside about the way cars with an internal combustion engine displaced EVs, horses, shanks’s pony, etc, in the early 20th century. Initially EVs were better than petrol cars owing to the lack of reliability of the latter. Then the petrol cars started coming off a moving production line, their power increased by an order of magnitude, they were cheaper… and EVs were just too damn gendered. Men, it seemed, wanted grunt. EVs were not only gentle, they were simple to operate, so they were popular with the ladies (I am paraphrasing the history as given here, don’t shoot the messenger).

“…the limited range of EVs cooled the desire to undertake journeys into the wilderness.”

Where once we crossed the desert on a horse with no name, now we sallied forth in a Model T. Ford, Edison, Firestone and Burroughs went on camping trips, calling themselves The Vagabonds**. Naturally this was done in a convoy of petrol cars, not equines or EVs.

At its simplest, range anxiety happens when we have further to go than the dashboard tells us we can go. This is not usually a problem in a car with an engine that can be refuelled in 4 minutes and when there are petrol stations every 30 miles or so. Naturally when recharging takes a long time, it is preferable to do it at home, or at your destination. This makes abundant sense to me. But there’s a more insidious version of range anxiety, something to do with algae apparently:

“…a phycological anxiety arises “the distance to be traveled is below to [sic] the vehicle’s range, but users irrationally are worried about the possibility to finish the charge””

My apologies to Dr Viola, especially since his English is a hundred times better than my Italian, which is limited to “Ciao, bella!” (probably redundant language these days, even in Italy) and a variety of cussing that I picked up from an actual Italian, but can’t repeat here.

There is though yet another form of range anxiety: rhetorical anxiety. Viola discusses at length Hirschman’s The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy as it applies to EV adoption. Intransigents, or conservatives, are opposed to innovation, but for irrational reasons. The first excuse we trot out for our knee-jerk opposition is the Perversity of the entire project: EVs are charged by fossil fuel anyway, so what is the point? Second, we cry Futility! Buying an EV won’t change the world, so why the hell should we bother? Third, EVs place us in Jeopardy. They are too expensive: we don’t want to burn money on an EV when we could be spending it on something particularly appealing to intransigents, bills for example. Jeopardy also comes into play with range anxiety, because we fear conking out in the middle of nowhere. All these objections seem perfectly rational to me.

But wait. There’s something we’ve forgotten. Most of our trips are actually quite short, so at least our fears re: conking out are groundless! Hm, yes, but if I want to drive to a city 200 miles away a few times a year, what am I going to do? Drive all that way, pull up in the hotel car park on my last electron, and find that the two chargers are both occupied?

Apparently we intransigents are naught but foxes, who declare that the out-of-reach grapes are unripe. That’s a reference to a fable I don’t quite grok. I mean, if the fox declared that some out of reach hens were unripe, or better overripe, a bit too stringy for his taste, I could see it. But how many foxes eat grapes, even if they’re ripe?

5. Things that go boom in the night (actually this section is called “My Cousin Told Me EVs Explode…”)

Here Viola argues that any crash that would cause an EV to auto-incinerate and cremate its occupants would be severe enough that the occupants would be dead anyway before they were burned to ash. So that’s all right then. EVs are a neat little self-extracting ACME funeral service machine if you crash them hard enough. They leave nothing unpleasant for the emergency services to clear up afterwards.

6. Viking Men Paradox

“(about Tesla) It’s a real housewives’ car. You can put all the groceries in the back, and your handbag between the seats in front. If you haven’t bought the stupid centre console, you can do that, at least. That’s what women wanted: a place to put their bag.”

I think that was a comment by a Viking Man. Men Want Big Truck. Women Want Handbag Place. Or something.

7. Autonomous Silver Vehicles

Crusties are going to be zooming around in robot EVs, statim. I mean the elderly are naturally going to gravitate towards these things, because they want to knit as they go, or they can’t see very well, or something, all very demeaning non-reasons which I reject out of hand.

8. Marriage or Cohabitation?

Don’t have an arranged marriage with your EV. Shack up with it first, and you will grow to love it. Then you can marry it. Try one and you will be pleasantly surprised.

9. Conclusions

“The advent of Tesla connected the male and female worlds: for enthusiastic males, the Tesla was a technological advancement akin to that from a Nintendo Entertainment System (1983) to a PlayStation 3 (2006), while for enthusiastic women, it was a refined place to put the handbag.”

Unfortunately for EV enthusiasts, finding psychological ploys, or even phycological ploys, to make people believe that EVs beat cars with an engine relies on a healthy dose of petitio principii. The assumption made is that EVs are better, and that resistance to them is therefore irrational. Well, I like to think of myself as rational, and I also like to think of myself as a very small part of the resistance. If I ever have an EV, it will be because the fuel duty/VED of petrol cars has become so punishing that they have been completely driven off the road. Or maybe dragged off the road. Or maybe left on the side of the road to rust into millions of sad little heaps. And as an intransigent, even if I can’t drive a petrol car any more, I might just walk instead, and sneer impotently in the direction of that BMW whizzing past with its Zimmer soundtrack blaring out.

REFERENCES

* The paper

**A bit about the vagabonds

^ Perhaps in embarrassment, BMW have deleted the story about Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack for their EVs, so you have to go to Archive.org to find it.

174 Comments

  1. Presumably, ‘depending from’ should be ‘descending from’. Autocorrect can be such a pain.

    I like to think of the introduction of EV as a transportation autocorrect. We know what we mean to do but someone knows better.

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  2. “I want to drive to a city 200 miles away a few times a year” encapsulates the problem with all the clean and green solutions offered. That sums up my problem with ECs – several times a year I take long trips carrying a big load. Elsewhere the Texas electrical system worked most of the time except when the cold every ten year extreme happened – then disaster. Air source heat pumps for my home may work most of the time but don’t work when I need the heat the most. The arrogance of those who think our concerns about 24- 7 reliability are unwarranted is the true irrational position.

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  3. I live in a small market town, so mostly walk around town. I don’t need an EV for local town journeys. I make a lot of long journeys, whether for holidays or visiting and supporting relatives. An EV wouldn’t begin to work for me, as things stand. My diesel car averaged 67mpg yesterday while making a long journey to support my elderly mother, and the journey used about 1/4 of a tank-full. I couldn’t have got there and back on an EV charge.

    Rejecting an EV on those grounds alone is perfectly rational. That’s before one considers the cost, potential problems with batteries, and the problems for the National Grid if we’re all driving EVs and depending on unreliable “renewables” to provide all the extra electricity that will be needed.

    Oh yes, and what WILL the Government do to replace all the lost diesel/petrol duty and VAT?

    And how are people without drives and garages going to charge their EVs without a massively expensive infrastructure of rapid charging points?

    All rational objections, IMO. For those with a garage and/or drive, and the ability to have a charging point at home, who only drive short distances, fair enough, if they can afford the extra cost of virtue-signalling (and it IS extra cost, even after all the poorest taxpayers have helped to subsidise the virtue-signalling). For everybody else, forget it.

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  4. If anyone has read to the bottom but has not clicked to hear the Zimmer “soundtrack,” you must.

    @John, my writing has a number of acknowledged weaknesses. It has a lightness that may be incompatible with the seriousness of the topic at hand. It also incorporates words or senses of words that should have been retired around the same time as the matchlock. The fifth sense of the verb “depend” at the free dictionary:

    Archaic To hang down: “And ever-living Lamps depend in Rows” (Alexander Pope).

    @Roger, I once saw a petrol tank described as “an organic battery that gets lighter as it discharges.” Seemed like the perfect way to power a vehicle to me. You can even keep instant recharges for the “batteries” in the shed in jerry cans, just in case.

    @Mark, one thing I didn’t have room for was Viola’s admission that, in a lot of circumstances, the uptake of electric vehicles has been by middle-class families as a second car. They can drive into town and back without fear of conking out, they can virtue-signal to their hearts’ content, and they still have the Audi A4 to drive to see the rellies up north. No VED, no fuel duty, easy home charging, what’s not to like?

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  5. @Paul. Try putting that search into youtube. It seemed to me that the connection between the archive page and youtube had broken.

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  6. “bmw zimmer soundtrack” retruns a few things in YT – more than 16 secs – with audio commentary. Second choice even longer talking head …

    I like music but not such a fan of BMW tho I had one as a company car …

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  7. “UK must do better over electric cars – MPs”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-57160298

    “The government has no plan to meet the “huge challenge” of persuading motorists to switch to electric vehicles, MPs have warned.

    The Public Accounts Committee said the official target of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 could be missed without urgent action.

    It also argued that electric vehicles were still too expensive and there were not enough charging points.

    The government said it was on track to meet its targets.

    A spokesman said It was investing £2.8bn to help the car industry and drivers make the switch to electric.”

    Translation: A Government spokesman said it was wasting £2.8Bn of taxpayers’ money to try to persuade taxpayers to buy a product that they neither need nor want, and which in many cases doesn’t work for them.

    “Sales of electric vehicles are by far the fastest growing segment of the car market, but they still only account for only 11% of new registrations.

    The committee warned that this would not get to 100% unless prices fell and charging infrastructure was installed quickly.

    Only 13 electric car models on sale in the UK at the moment cost less than £30,000, its report said.

    It pointed out that the majority of charging took place at home and claimed the government had not focused enough on helping people who do not have off-street parking.

    The committee also said the government needed to develop the skilled workforce and electric power infrastructure needed to support the transition.”

    Goodness knows how much this pointless piece of international virtue-signalling is going to cost in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Ford launching electric F-150 truck in ‘huge’ shift for low-emission vehicles
    F-150 Lightning will be most powerful version of vehicle in lineup as Biden says ‘The future of the auto industry is electric’”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/may/19/ford-f-150-electric-pickup-truck-low-emission-vehicles

    “Ford will launch the electric version of its bestselling F-150 pickup truck on Wednesday, a move that automotive experts called “huge” deal for the shift to low-emission vehicles.

    Joe Biden has pushed for the US to become the world leader in electric vehicles and has proposed spending $174bn of his $2.3tn jobs and infrastructure package to promote the transition from fossil fuels.

    Ford’s F-Series has been the US’s bestselling vehicle since the 1970s. Last year the company sold 787,422 of the vehicles, a disappointing slide amid the coronavirus pandemic from the 896,526 units it sold in 2019, but the number still made it easily the bestselling truck in the US.

    The latest version of the truck will be officially unveiled on Wednesday evening, timed for the California market, which is the largest electric vehicle market in the US.

    The new F-150 Lightning is seen as being so important to the electrification of the US car pool that the president visited Ford in Detroit this week to promote his plans to overhaul the nation’s infrastructure and promote electric vehicles.”

    Right at the end of the article:

    “But the US must tackle significant infrastructure issues if the F-150 and other electric vehicles are to become mainstream. While China has 800,000 public charging locations, the US has only 100,000. Meanwhile Republicans are pushing back against the size of Biden’s infrastructure plan.”

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  9. Mark, I dunno much about the F150 Lightning but I have discovered that thanks to a question from Joe Biden we now know the battery will weigh 1,800 lbs.

    I am also quite confident that it will cost more than the regular version. And a pound to a penny not many people who actually need a truck for their livelihood will buy one over an ICE.

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  10. “Car buyers still sceptical about going electric, says Ford boss”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57200593

    “Consumers are still sceptical about electric cars and switching from petrol and diesel remains “a real challenge”, the boss of Ford UK has told the BBC.

    Lisa Brankin said more government support for the electric car market would be needed ahead of a proposed ban on new petrol and diesel sales in 2030.

    Research from energy regulator Ofgem suggests 6.5 million households plan to buy electric cars by 2030.

    But the number of electric vehicles (EVs) currently in use remains low.

    Research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found EVs account for just over 1% of the 35 million vehicles on UK roads.

    However, numbers are increasing, with sales of battery-powered vehicles more than doubling last year while the number of plug-in hybrids also grew by more than a third.

    But Ms Brankin, managing director at Ford of Britain and Ireland, told Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up to Money programme many customers were sceptical about buying an electric vehicle. The carmaker is still the leading manufacturer in the UK in terms of vehicle sales, according to 2020 figures from Statista.

    “We did a survey looking at customer attitudes and we saw that just over 10% of customers were actively considering a battery electric vehicle as their next purchase,” Ms Brankin said.

    “Most other people were still concerned about a number of things – range, the charging infrastructure, the lack of information available to customers and obviously the price as well.

    On the cost of electric vehicles, she said: “We do recognise that that is an issue and that’s why we’ve been calling on government to continue to support the whole range of battery electric vehicles.

    The government’s goal to phase out vehicles which generate tailpipe emissions is part of a wider plan to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050.

    The RAC said in May the UK’s charging network would need to grow “exponentially” to cope as electric vehicle sales surged….”

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  11. “£300m investment to fuel electric car take-up”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57225856

    “The UK’s energy regulator has approved plans to invest £300m in low carbon projects including support for 3,550 charging points for electric vehicles.

    Ofgem said the funds would allow energy networks to build robust electricity infrastructure for installing charging points across UK motorways.

    It said while more people are buying electric cars, others are put off due to a lack of charging points near home.

    Ofgem said a wider charging network would help address “range anxiety”.

    The new funding will support the infrastructure needed to support 1,800 new ultra-rapid charging points at motorway service areas.

    There are currently 918 ultra-rapid charge points in the UK which can add a range of 100 miles to an electric car in around 30 minutes.

    The investment will also allow an additional 1,750 rapid charging points to be installed. In addition to motorways, cities and train stations will also see increased network capacity to support more charging points.

    In total, the UK has nearly 24,000 charging points, which have more than 41,000 connectors – or cables – that can be plugged into an electric car, according to electric vehicle app and website Zap-Map.

    “As drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric, Britain’s cables, substations and other infrastructure need a massive upgrade to support this new demand for electricity,” Ofgem said.”

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  12. “This is how many electric vehicles there are in Cumbria”

    https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/19326218.many-electric-vehicles-cumbria/

    “The number of Cumbrian drivers that are doing green and using electric vehicles has been revealed.

    Statistics from the Department for Transport show that 1,260 ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) were licensed across the county at the end of last year.

    This is an increase of 420 on the previous year when there were 840.”

    A 50% increase! How exciting. Yet out of a population around 0.5M, that’s a risibly small number. Especially when analysed in a little more depth:

    “Overall, ULEVs still only accounted for about 0.4 per cent of all vehicles licensed in Cumbria at the end of 2020 – below the UK average of 1.1 per cent.”

    And:

    “In Cumbria, 697 of the ULEVs licensed at the end of the year were battery electric vehicles – defined as zero emission.

    A further 510 were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which combine an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine.”

    Perhaps the people of Cumbria know which way the wind isn’t blowing.

    Despite the obvious fact that the people of the UK don’t want these things in other than very small numbers (and then only thanks to the subsidy regime), we still get the same old tired nonsense from politicians:

    ““This is proof that more people are moving away from diesel cars, as we build back greener and clean up the air in our towns and cities,” she added.

    “With £2.8 billion of government support to encourage their take-up, there has never been a better time to switch to an electric vehicle.””

    And:

    “”With the climate emergency worsening, increases in electric vehicle sales are always welcome,” said Kerry McCarthy, Labour’s shadow minister for green transport.”

    Then there’s this:

    “Across the UK, about 431,600 ULEVs were licensed at the end of 2020 – an increase of 162,300 over the year.

    The majority of the spike – about 101,800 – were company-registered.”

    So most individuals aren’t buying them, most new purchases are by companies for tax/subsidy reasons. That’s going well, then.

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  13. First the hype:

    “Tesla Model 3 becomes most popular battery electric car on UK roads
    Surge in sales for US carmaker in first four months of 2021 pushes Nissan Leaf into second place”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jun/06/tesla-model-3-becomes-most-popular-battery-electric-car-on-uk-roads

    “The Tesla Model 3 has become the most popular battery electric car on British roads after a surge in sales, as the race to dominate the car industry’s new era heats up.”

    Then the reality:

    “As the cost of making electric cars falls, other carmakers are hoping to create truly mass-market cars that are cheaper than the Model 3, which at a minimum of £40,990 is still out of the reach of many. Volkswagen is rapidly ramping up production of its small ID.3 family car, while BMW hopes that the electric Mini, built in Oxford, will repeat the success of its petrol version.

    Despite the barrage of new electric models, the scale of the challenge of electrifying the UK’s fleet of 35m cars – and actually reducing CO2 emissions meaningfully – remains enormous. The number of Teslas on UK roads is only a tiny fraction of combustion engine models. In 2020 there were almost 1.6m Ford Fiestas in use in the UK, and 1.2m Ford Focuses, according to the SMMT.

    An electric car model will have to garner as many as 500,000 UK sales to make the top 10. The market for secondhand electric cars is growing quickly as the first generation of models is passed on but it will take years for electrics to trickle through to people who will not or cannot afford a new car.

    Carmakers also face a significant challenge in ramping up production of electric cars. Nissan on Friday revealed it had to delay the release of its Ariya electric SUV because of the global shortage of computer chips. Cars already use as many as 100 chips to control functions ranging from air conditioning to entertainment touchscreens, while electric cars are even more reliant on chips to control their batteries. Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, this week said on Twitter that prices were “increasing due to major supply chain price pressure industry-wide”.

    The industry is also concerned that efforts to electrify the fleet in the UK and elsewhere will also falter without more public investment in charging points across the country.”

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  14. “As NSW roads minister, I know we have to incentivise electric cars
    Andrew Constance
    A road user charge for EVs should be many, many years off. Not before we have a reasonably priced market”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/10/as-nsw-roads-minister-i-know-we-have-to-incentivise-electric-cars

    “…We can’t spend any more time, or expend any more energy, debating climate change. We need to take action now. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s real or not – regardless of your viewpoint, you will be a beneficiary of the innovation.

    An immediate way we can lead change is to increase the number of electric vehicles on our roads.

    What we have seen in Australia is too much concern around losing tax revenue. There is a belief that as we scale up our electric vehicle market, we will see the dollars coming in from the fuel excise scale down.

    But we need to encourage, not discourage, change for the better. We need visionary thinking to deal with this issue. We need to incentivise the market. We need to see a variation in price points – the notion of electric vehicles as being only for the wealthy must be dispelled – and importantly, we need to do this here and now….”.

    If the people thought it was change for the better, they’d embrace it without the need for a carrot and stick approach from the Government.

    “I travelled to Oslo a few years ago to have a look at what is happening with electric vehicles there. ”

    Yeah, right. How did you get there? Was it really necessary to go? I have a pretty good idea what’s going on in Oslo with regard to electric vehicles, and I found that out on the internet without the need to fly half-way round the world (and back) to find out.

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  15. But how many foxes eat grapes, even if they’re ripe?
    For all your love of archaic language, have you never read the Song of Solomon (Canticles) chapter 2:15?

    John

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  16. An electric coach that was taken from London to St Ives to publicise greenwashingsustainability certificates during the G7 conference has managed to limp back as far as Cullompton, where with luck there’ll be a charging station that can cope with the coach’s big battery.

    3/4 mile from the services! 9% charge… don’t want to celebrate too soon, but…

    URL:twitter.com/ThePlanetMark/status/1404783568614838273

    Arriving into Cullompton Services! Whoop whoop!!!

    URL:twitter.com/ThePlanetMark/status/1404787660737204227

    One of two brand new charging stations at the Jamaica Inn was broken and the other was unsuitable, as was another at Launceston. The driver got the coach as far as Cullompton by doing 30mph on the flat and switching the motor off when going downhill so that gravity could charge the battery a little bit.

    Let’s hope the Cullompton charger works!

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  17. John, foxes are a literary goldmine (they feature quite heavily in Aesop’s fables), but their role in the Song of Songs is a mystery to me. Some of the vegetable references and that to a young hart are a little more obvious, but…

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  18. “UK could be left behind in the electric car race, warns report”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57490100

    “The UK risks being left in the slow lane when it comes to building electric cars, according to a new report.

    Influential green group Transport and Environment (T&E) says as recently as 2018, the UK produced roughly half of all electric cars built in Europe.

    But it claims a lack of investment by UK manufacturers means that by the end of the decade that figure will have fallen to just 4%.

    This comes at a time when the market is expanding rapidly.

    As a result, the Brussels-based non-profit says that, despite being one of the first countries to outlaw the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, the UK will be almost wholly reliant on electric vehicles imported from abroad.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. “…the UK will be almost wholly reliant on electric vehicles imported from abroad.”

    OR, with a lot of luck, we simply won’t use them, considering the massive grid expansion issues, the massive problems of charging for much UK housing stock, and biblical sized environmental issues their battery production and later dead batteries are going to cause.

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  20. “Electric Cars: Is it time to buy one?”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-48108627

    “Electric cars are increasingly taking to our roads but many people still have reservations. Common worries include the price of the vehicles, where you can charge, charging times and the wider environmental costs of manufacturing them.

    Reality Check looks at how valid these concerns are.”

    I confess I haven’t watched it, but I suspect their idea of reality and mine are somewhat different. The fact that the public aren’t buying them other than in tiny numbers (despite the hype about massive percentage increases – a massive percentage increase on a small number is still a small number) suggests that the public agrees with me, not with the BBC. If they were such a good buy, we wouldn’t need the relentless campaigning to try to persuade us to buy them.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “Brussels drafts death sentence for the internal combustion engine car
    Targets being discussed would end the sale of carbon-emitting cars by 2035.”

    https://www.politico.eu/article/brussels-mulls-dealing-death-blow-gas-guzzling-cars/

    “New cars powered by diesel and gasoline may have only 14 years left in the European Union, according to new emissions targets under discussion in Brussels.

    Three EU officials told POLITICO that the European Commission is debating setting a zero-emissions target for vehicles sold beyond 2035 — a huge shift from the current trajectory of industry standards that would mark a revolution for Europe’s automakers.

    The details sparked an immediate backlash from the politically powerful German car industry, which has been warning against the Commission’s intentions for months

    “That would not only mean the end of the internal combustion engine, but also the end of plug-in hybrids,” said Hildegard Müller, head of Germany’s VDA car lobby.

    The new rules would come under a revamp of the bloc’s car emissions reduction standards, part of the EU’s Green Deal plan to hit net-zero CO2 emissions by mid-century. The Commission is mulling upping the bloc’s 2030 target to mandate a 60 percent reduction in car emissions, compared to the current goal of a 37.5 percent cut. By 2035, that would rise to 100 percent, the three officials said.

    If the proposal makes it into the final text — due to be published on July 14 — it would then be considered by EU countries and the European Parliament. It’s likely to be heavily opposed by both industry lobbies and countries with economies that are heavily reliant on traditional carmaking.

    While many carmakers are starting to produce zero-emission electric cars, only Volvo and Volkswagen have strategies in place to transition to electric by the end of the decade, according to a new study from green mobility NGO Transport & Environment. VW unit Audi will reportedly stop selling internal combustion engine (ICE) cars in Europe from 2026.

    VW’s German rivals Daimler and BMW are among the least prepared to dump the ICE.

    The industry said the Commission’s plans would force a rapid switch to battery cars, without considering alternatives.”

    Like

  22. The real game plan is slowly being revealed:

    “Climate change: Set target to cut car use, minister told
    By Roger Harrabin
    BBC environment analyst”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57570010

    “Shifting to electric vehicles will still leave the UK with serious transport problems, a report has said.

    The IPPR think tank said emissions will fall, but the number of cars on the road will continue to grow.

    It foresaw a 28% increase in car ownership by 2050, leading to more jams and harm to the economy.

    But the government said it had plans to make transport greener and it was committed to offering people a range of travel options.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in March that car use must shrink.

    The IPPR said Mr Shapps’ long-awaited Transport Decarbonisation Strategy should harmonise with this by committing to peak car ownership by 2030.

    Unless there is a change in policy, car ownership is expected to be driven up by a growing economy and increasing population.

    The IPPR% said failure to tackle this will have negative effects on:

    Health: Walking and cycling (when practical) are healthier than sitting in a car.
    Resources: An ever-expanding car fleet drains raw materials and energy.
    Urban space: Fewer cars would mean more trees, play space, and room for walkers and cyclists.
    Congestion: Traffic jams damage the economy and lead to demand for more and bigger roads.
    Inequality: Allowing current trends to continue will widen the social divide between those who own cars and those who don’t.”

    I liked the last one. Is the plan to reduce inequality by making sure nobody can use cars?

    Like

  23. “UK car industry ‘could lose 90,000 jobs without new battery gigafactories’
    SMMT says government must increase support for electric car production to German and US levels”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jun/29/uk-electric-car-industry-battery-factories-smmt-jobs

    “Up to 90,000 jobs could be lost in UK car manufacturing unless the government increases support for electric car production to German and US levels, the industry body has said.

    Industry leaders accused the government of being long on words but short on action to help the UK build capacity for electric vehicles, both to support the industry and reach climate emergency targets.

    Not only were more incentives needed for multinationals to build electric battery factories in the UK, but grants for consumers to purchase vehicles, and at least 2.3m charging points nationwide before the end of the decade, according to a new industry report.”

    And there I was thinking that the transition was a win-win, cost-free and all that. Instead it appears the taxpayer is going to be forced to pay for the costs of a transition to a form of transport that, by and large, the taxpayer doesn’t want.

    Like

  24. “Vauxhall set to announce Ellesmere Port electric van”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57700749

    Good news if it preserves jobs. I’m not against electric vehicles, just against being told I must have one when that won’t work for me half as well as my current diesel does; also I remain concerned at how the National Grid will cope if we’re forced to be reliant on unreliable “renewables” and we’re all driving electric cars.

    Yet again, though, we learn that taxpayer money is necessary to make this “win-win” work. Not so much of a win-win, then…

    “Fleet operators are increasingly turning to low-emission options because of the tax advantages they provide.

    For Carlos Tavares, the pragmatic and outspoken CEO of Stellantis, it offers a useful compromise. He has been scathing about the UK government’s plans to outlaw the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 – accusing them of destroying his company’s business model in the UK.

    Now there is a new business model – and with Mr Tavares having previously made it clear that future production in the UK would depend on what support the government could offer, it’s likely help from the taxpayer will be part of it.”

    Like

  25. “Electric cars: UK government urged to prevent ‘charging deserts’
    Competition watchdog investigates dominance of one provider across motorway service stations”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/23/electric-cars-uk-government-urged-to-prevent-charging-deserts

    “The UK’s competition authority has called for the government to intervene in the electric car charger market to prevent “charging deserts” and increase availability in locations outside London, which remain underserved.

    The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also said it had opened an investigation into the dominance of one provider, Electric Highway, in the fast-charging network at motorway service stations.

    Electric cars are a crucial part of the UK’s plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as part of its effort to alleviate the climate crisis, and the government announced in 2020 that sales of new petrol and diesel cars would be banned by 2030.

    However, the industry has long argued that much more public investment is needed to solve a chicken and egg problem: some consumers are put off from buying an electric car because of poor charger availability but charger companies are unwilling to invest until enough consumers have bought them.

    Forecasts cited by the CMA suggest the public charger network needs to expand by at least 10 times by 2030, from the current 25,000 to between 280,000 and 480,000 public charge points. A quarter of UK households – 8m – will be unable to install chargers at home.

    However, a study by the regulator published on Friday suggested Britons faced a “postcode lottery” for access to public chargers. Outside London there are only 1,000 on-street chargers across the whole of the UK, while within the capital there are 4,700.”

    Like

  26. “Hitting global climate target could create 8m energy jobs, study says
    Researchers suggest net increase would mostly occur in renewables sector, with decline in fossil fuels”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/23/hitting-global-climate-target-could-create-8m-energy-jobs-study-says

    “If some politicians are to be believed, taking sweeping action to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement would be calamitous for jobs in the energy sector. But a study suggests that honouring the global climate target would, in fact, increase net jobs by about 8 million by 2050.

    The study – in which researchers created a global dataset of the footprint of energy jobs in 50 countries including major fossil fuel-producing economies – found that currently an estimated 18 million people work in the energy industries, which is likely to increase to 26 million if climate targets are met.

    Previous research suggests that pro-climate polices could increase net energy jobs by 20 million or more, but that work relied only on empirical data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and generalised the results for the rest of the world using a multiplier. But the data varies dramatically across regions, driven by differences in technology and rates of unionisation, among other factors. For instance, extracting 1m tonnes of coal in India takes 725 workers, versus 73 in the US.

    The latest analysis, published in the journal One Earth, combined such employment factors across a global dataset (including key fossil fuel, non-OECD economies such as Russia, India and China) with an integrated assessment model, which combines climate and economic estimates to predict the costs of climate change.”

    Apart from the fact that I don’t believe it, does it not occur to them that if they are correct, then either:

    1. More people producing energy means the process is less efficient and makes it more expensive; or

    2. If it isn’t to be more expensive, then these will be low-paid jobs?

    And at the end of the article, we get this:

    “Johannes Emmerling, an environmental economist at the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment in Italy, another author of the study, acknowledged that the analysis did not account for the gaps in skills.

    People working in the fossil fuel industry do not necessarily have the expertise or the experience to carry out jobs in the renewable sector, but given that there are few estimates of jobs as the world aims to forge a greener future, the focus was on firming up estimates, he said, adding that skills were the next avenue of research.”

    All rather vague and pie-in-the sky, if you ask me. Still, it’s good for yet another headline.

    Like

  27. Mark, as you note, jobs in energy are a cost, not a benefit. You could employ a billion in energy if you wanted to. Give everyone an exercise bike and a dynamo, and pay them minimum wage to pedal as hard as they could. In fact if we get rid of diesel tractors we can increase employment in farming quite markedly.

    That academics can be so stupid, or so committed to the cause that they will just spout untruths deliberately, is a sad sign o’ the times.

    On the electric chargers, I am glad they note the chicken and egg paradox. However, I read today that installing electric charging points benefits from 100% first year allowance. That must soften the blow. Nevertheless, I suspect that there is no money in them. Why? Because nobody would use a motorway charger by choice. The only economic option and the only option reducing battery wear is to slow charge at home. What about long journeys? Well, as the head post notes, a lot of EVs are owned as second cars by folk who use their proper car for long journeys. And too, we hear constantly about how range is increasing. If that is true – I don’t know, but I doubt it – that makes public chargers less profitable. While we must go to a petrol station to fuel our petrol car, we never have to charge away from home if we have a) a home charger and b) sufficient range to get home.

    There were no shenanigans required to build the first petrol stations. Entrepreneurs saw a gap in the market and filled it. EVs are a dead duck.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. We bought a Model 3 Tesla a year ago. Its primary function is for local trips and we have a ICE SUV for longer excursions. I believe we are the low hanging fruit for EV purchases. It is a fun car for those who can afford it and can easily charge at home. We have never used a charger away from home. Tesla have a good network of nifty proprietary superchargers which are great for the wealthy but rather a waste of resources as they can only be used by Tesla owners.

    Once those people who have the wherewithal have bought an EV, I suspect that EV sales will slow significantly. The projections of future EV purchases I suspect are optimistic and should not be based on the rate of take-up by early adopters.

    Like

  29. Is there perhaps an analogy to be made with the replacement of the horse by motor vehicles? The gradual disappearance of stables, food suppliers and veterinarians, and their replacement by garages, petrol stations and mechanics. Some jobs, you could hardly call them professions, like horse dung removers, would go by the board..

    Like

  30. Alan, I think that’s a very reasonable analogy.

    The big difference is that people adopted (petrol-fuelled) motor vehicles en masse, and the private sector rapidly moved in to provide the necessary facilities in the form of garages, petrol stations etc. No Government subsidies, neither carrot nor stick, were needed, because they were so obviously an improvement on the previously available form of transport (horse and cart). EVs aren’t taking off in the same way, nor are charging facilities being rapidly supplied by the private sector, because they lack that necessary element of being an improvement (for most people) on what already exists. For some people EVs are a good idea, and that’s fine. For most people, what we already have does the job better and more cheaply.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. As seen in the Guardian weekend magazine Saturday – an advert for the Renault Zoe at the stellar price of “£199*/month”.

    The * leads to the small print – so small it is almost unreadable:

    Metallic paint shown at £600
    17” alloys not available in the UK

    Then the admission that the offer is certainly well deserving of that *:

    £8,953 deposit
    36 monthly payments of £199
    Optional final payment of £14,228

    Price based on 6000 miles p.a. Excess mileage 8p a mile inc VAT.

    So your £199*/month actually costs you about 9K + 7.2K + 14.2K or about 30 K if you want to own your swanky electric car. Of course this figure includes finance, but it also includes your £2500 plug-in car grant.

    Meanwhile if you would like to consider a petrol equivalent (Clio), it begins at £16,000, not much more than half the cost of the sparky car.

    But what about the cost of the fuel? By the time you’ve accounted for the outrageous duty + VAT that the petrol car gets hit with and the “subsidy” for the electricity that the sparky car gets when it charges at home, you’re still onto a winner, surely?

    Clio 6 l petrol/100 km; 18,000 miles over 3 years = 1740 l
    Let petrol be £1.30/l
    Cost over three years = £2,252

    Zoe 4 miles/kWh; 18,000 miles over 3 years = 4500 kWh
    Domestic rate = 14.4 p/kWh
    Cost over three years = £648
    (Does not include the cost of a home charger, which, by the way, is subsidised by your taxes to the tune of £350 out of the c. £1K cost)

    Public charger rate = 35 p/kWh ish
    Cost over three years = £1,575

    So, as long as you charge at home you’ve made up £1,600 of the 14K difference.

    Aha, but what about the VED? You don’t pay that, do you, on electric cars? What does the Clio pay?
    About £140 in the first year and £155 per year thereafter, so £450 over three years.

    Add both together and you knock £2,000 off the 14K difference, which means that the electric car only costs you £12K more.

    That little asterisk sure was a powerful one.

    And depreciation would be a whole ‘nother can of worms.

    [Edit: missed out the word “print.”]

    Like

  32. “Electric car charging prices ‘must be fair’ say MPs”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57963912

    “People must be protected from excessive pricing for public electric car charging, MPs have said.

    Charging an electric car at home is much cheaper than using public charge points.

    This could put pressure on people who are less able to afford it, the Transport Select Committee said.

    The government also needs to make charging infrastructure accessible and reliable, and make sure people in rural areas have equal access, the MPs added….

    …”Charging electric vehicles should be convenient, straightforward and inexpensive and drivers must not be disadvantaged by where they live or how they charge their vehicles,” said committee chair Huw Merriman.

    In addition, drivers who live in rural or remote areas or who do not have off-street parking “risk being left behind”, the committee said.

    The committee said industry must use pricing “to change consumer charging behaviour to a ‘little but often’ approach and at times when the National Grid can meet total demand”.

    Graeme Cooper, head of future markets at National Grid, said that the energy network operator was “working with government to map out where critical grid capacity is needed to enable the faster roll out of charging points”.

    “There will be an uptick in demand for energy so we need to ensure that we are future proofing, putting the right wires in the right place for future demand.”

    He said National Grid would have to ramp up capacity to help achieve the UK’s net zero goals, both by making it smarter, but also putting in more physical infrastructure.”

    It seems to be dawning on them that there are all sorts of problems associated with this, but it hasn’t yet occurred to them that therefore perhaps we shouldn’t go down this route.

    Like

  33. “Leading the charge! Can I make it from Land’s End to John o’Groats in an electric car?”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/28/leading-the-charge-can-i-make-it-from-lands-end-to-john-ogroats-in-an-electric-car

    “Range anxiety hits hard on the A9 in the Highlands of Scotland. For the uninitiated, this is the fear that an electric vehicle (EV) won’t reach its destination before running out of power. I’m driving through some of Britain’s loveliest landscape – mountains, rivers, lochs and firths – but I hardly notice. I’m focused hard – on the road in front, but mainly on two numbers on the dashboard. One is how far it is in miles to where I’m going; the other is the range in miles remaining in the battery. Sometimes, especially on downhill stretches when what is known as “regenerative braking” means the battery is getting charged, I tell myself it’s going to be OK, I’ll make it. But going uphill the range plummets. Squeaky bum time….

    …t’s the hottest day of the year so far, but I can’t risk the air conditioning, because that immediately wipes about 10% off the range. I’ve heard that opening windows makes a car less aerodynamic, so they remain closed. Sweaty bum time, too. Driving as gently as possible, nursing the car along, barely touching the accelerator or the brake, phone unplugged, radio off, I head north in sweltering, silent panic. Guilt-free, though, on account of being emissions-free at the tailpipe.

    I find myself behind a lorry. I tuck in behind, into its slipstream. Potential salvation by Alsop Transport Services of Oban, Argyll. I’m going to surf this baby all the way home. Well, hopefully, all the way to John o’Groats, because that is where I’m heading….

    …It’s not my Enyaq: it has been loaned to me by Škoda. This one costs £34,495 to buy, including a £2,500 government grant. Still a fair old whack, but EVs are expensive: even a little Renault Zoe costs £27,500. The cheapest Tesla is more than 40 grand.

    …Land’s End is a miserable place: expensive parking before you queue up to pay more to have your photo taken by a signpost. But, more importantly, there is a rapid charger there (Gridserve, 30p/kWh). I can get from low up to 80% in about half an hour, as opposed to hours on a slow charger or at home…..

    …One of the really annoying things about Teslas is that they have their own special superchargers, sometimes at the same site; other stations are for Teslas only. We, by which I mean non-Tesla EV plebs, can’t use them, whereas they can use ours….

    …In Carlisle, I meet Anne-Marie from Newcastle, who is having a weekend away from the kids to go swimming in Ullswater. She loves her five-year-old Nissan Leaf, but gets a range of only 80 miles, so she is stopping off to charge….

    …At Gretna, I meet Sarah and Phil from Sheffield, on the way to Hamilton races, although they are going to miss the first race because they are having problems charging their Jaguar I-Pace. The charger at home was tripping all the circuits in the house, so they had to have that fixed. “Then trying to find a superfast charger when you’re out and about is not always possible, because they don’t always work,” says Sarah. Phil says too many companies offer charging: “It should have been three or four franchises from the government and it should have all gone on one app.” It’s a common complaint: that the charging infrastructure is confusing and frustrating – some are fast, others slow, some require an app (EV drivers have screens full of apps), some don’t work at all.

    My own experience reflects this. In Perth, for example, I identify a BP Pulse point. “Ultra fast charging here,” says the big sign, which, after crossing the Cairngorms, is like reaching an oasis in the desert … Guess what, though? It doesn’t bloody work….

    …There isn’t a lot of room for spontaneity with an EV. A sign to Alton Towers? The Lakes? Or Stirling Castle … No waytime for a visit, because it would mean leaving the route, messing with the plan….”

    This being the Guardian, there are also quite a lot of positive comments and plugs (pardon the pun) for electric cars, but all in all it’s surprisingly down-beat for a newspaper that is constantly pushing this agenda. Maybe actually trying one out has given a long hard dose of reality?

    Like

  34. “This predictable electric cars fiasco highlights the intrinsic problem with green targets
    We are heading for a giant national breakdown – though it will conveniently come after the current crop of cabinet ministers has departed”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/28/predictable-electric-cars-fiasco-highlights-intrinsic-problem/

    “If we don’t tackle climate change, it is commonly asserted, we will through our own selfishness leave behind a horrible mess for our children. The same might be said of Prime Ministers’ promises to slash carbon emissions. They love lapping up the praise for setting over-ambitious targets – while leaving their successors to suffer the consequences.

    How virtuous Boris Johnson must have felt when announcing that the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030 – bringing forward by a decade a target which he had himself inherited from Theresa May. The year 2030 lies just beyond the timescale which Johnson could possibly hope to remain in Number 10, which is just as well given that it is hard to see what his government has done to make it possible to achieve the target. As things stand we have nothing like the network of chargers we would need to switch fully to electric vehicles, nor do we have the electricity grid which could cope if we did. The Commons select committee on transport warns today that owners of electric vehicles may have to be stopped from charging their vehicles during the day for fear of causing blackouts. As things stand, they say, owners of electric cars tend to plug them in between 5pm and 7pm, when they get home from work – and a time when the grid is already facing peak demand.

    UK governments have rushed ahead with proposed bans on petrol and diesel while falling behind on building the necessary infrastructure. Back in 2009 the Brown government announced £20 million worth of seed funding in the hope of building a network of public recharging points by the end of the next Parliament – ie 2015. By January of this year we finally got to, er, 20,000. The government has argued that an extensive network of recharging points is unnecessary because most people will charge their vehicles at home or at work. But that somewhat ignores the 30 percent of motorists who, according to the RAC, do not have anywhere to park their cars except the street. If all 32 million cars on Britain’s roads were to go electric it would mean the owners of approximately 9.5 million vehicles fighting over 20,000 charging points. If, as some people claim, we now have more recharging points than we have petrol stations it rather misses the point – a car only needs to use a petrol pump for a couple minutes at a time. As for recharging, the fastest take half an hour to an hour while most take overnight.

    There is little chance of recharging becoming much easier in the near future. Local authorities are under no obligation to provide on-street chargers, and few have bothered. The district least-supplied with public chargers – Fenland – has just 3.9 of them per 100,000 population. At least motorists there are spared having to push their electric cars uphill when they run out of juice. Even if you can find a charger you face a nightmare of getting it to work. The government has failed to insist on standardisation of the network, with the result motorists face different types of connectors. What about a rule insisting that recharging points will accept cash and cards, and thereby be open to everyone? At the moment, many require apps to be loaded onto smartphones – extending even further how long it takes to charge a vehicle.

    There was an obvious solution: if we were going to go electric, why not encourage hybrids as an interim technology while the recharging network has a chance to develop? You don’t need a hugely powerful engine to constantly recharge the batteries of a car with an electric car, thereby extending its range by hundreds of miles. The job could be done with a small engine powered by biofuels. Instead, the government announced that hybrids, too, are to be banned from being sold new after 2035, guaranteeing that innovation in this field will now cease. Bizarrely, the government is simultaneously introducing hundreds of hybrid trains to the rail network – a form of transport which is vastly easier to electrify.

    Committing to becoming one of the first countries to ban petrol and diesel cars must have felt good at the time. But we are heading for a giant national breakdown – though conveniently enough a little after the current crop of cabinet ministers has left office.”

    Like

  35. “Home car charger owners urged to install updates”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-58011014

    “Security researchers have discovered failings in two home electric car chargers.

    The researchers were able to make the chargers switch on or off, remove the owner’s access, and show how a hacker could get into a user’s home network.

    Most of the faults have now been fixed but owners are being told to update their apps and chargers, to be safe.

    Two home chargers, Wallbox and Project EV – both approved for sale in the UK by the Department for Transport – were found to be lacking adequate security when used with an accompanying app for smartphones.

    Cyber-security researcher at Pen Test Partners, Vangelis Stykas, discovered the vulnerabilities.

    “On Wallbox you could take full control of the charger, you could gain full access and remove the usual owner’s access on the charger. You could stop them from charging their own vehicles, and provide free charging to an attacker’s vehicle.

    “Project EV had a really bad implementation on their back end. Their authentication where it existed was pretty primitive, so an attacker could easily escalate themselves to being an administrator and change the firmware of all the chargers.”

    Mr Stykas says changing the firmware – the programming that is built in to the hardware – would allow an attacker to permanently disable the charger, or use it to attack other chargers or servers.”

    Like

  36. “Climate Change: Half US cars to be zero-emission by 2030 – Biden”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-58101907

    “President Biden wants half of cars sold in the US by 2030 to be zero-emission vehicles, the White House says.

    Achieving this would reduce carbon emissions and help the US compete with China, a statement said.

    Transport accounted for 29% of US emissions in 2019. Sales of zero-emission vehicles in the US lag behind those in Europe and China.

    The three biggest US carmakers have welcomed the target, though it is not legally binding….

    …Only about 2% of US car sales last year were electric vehicles compared to about 10% in Europe, according to the International Energy Agency. Many of the electric vehicles sold in the US are Teslas, with the company reporting surging profits last month.

    Mr Biden’s move does not go as far as the US state of California, which requires that by 2035 all new cars sold be zero-emission vehicles. Cars produce more than half of all the state’s carbon emissions.

    China is aiming for 20% of cars sold in 2025 to be zero-emissions, rising to half by 2035. The EU meanwhile has proposed limits that would effectively end new petrol and diesel vehicle sales by 2035.

    The White House said Mr Biden also planned to toughen fuel consumption and emissions regulations but did not give details….”.

    Like

  37. Meanwhile, as reported at Notalot: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2021/08/05/stand-up-to-the-climate-fanatics-some-mps-call-to-scrap-2030-petrol-and-diesel-car-ban/

    A GROUP of MPs have come out to condemn the 2030 ban on new fossil fuelled car sales.

    The group of 13 MPs and Lord Lilley have endorsed a ground-breaking new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Fair Fuel for UK motorists and hauliers. The report lists seven practical recommendations to lower emissions without banning new diesel and petrol vehicles.

    The main recommendation is: “The Government should immediately remove the threat of the ban on the sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles.”

    Liked by 1 person

  38. “Second-hand car sales soar amid shortage of new models”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58150025

    “Second-hand car sales in the UK have more than doubled in the last few months due to coronavirus restrictions easing and a shortage of new models.

    Year on year, the used car market grew 108.6% in the second quarter, with more than 2.2 million vehicles changing hands, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

    The number of sales was up 6.6% on pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

    But petrol cars made up most of the sales, with uptake of electrics slow.”

    Just wait until 2030 – sales of second-hand petrol and diesel cars will go through the roof.

    Like

  39. “‘I’m just not ready to buy an electric car'” – when you click on it, it becomes:

    “Can Americans pull the plug on petrol-powered cars?”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58123729

    “US President Joe Biden wants Americans to switch to electric vehicles. Carmakers are on board – but are consumers willing to pull the plug on petrol?

    Tom Beckett, a former truck and bus driver, says he’s driven at least two million miles in his lifetime, and he is all for burning less gasoline to protect the environment.

    But like many Americans, he is “just not ready” to buy a low-emission electric car because of so-called range anxiety – the fear he won’t be able to go far enough on a single charge.

    The 62-year-old lives in rural Arkansas where he regularly has to drive long distances to get around, and electric vehicle (EV) charging points are few and far between.

    “Unless the battery capacity and the range doubles, I don’t think electric cars will ever become a big deal in states like this,” he tells the BBC.

    “People need the confidence to know their cars won’t run out of juice. Otherwise they’ll just stick with gas.”

    Transport accounted for almost of a third of US emissions in 2019 and the White House has pledged to bring this down. But people like Mr Beckett pose a big challenge to a new administration plan to make zero-emission vehicles account for half of all automobiles sold in the US by 2030….

    …But none of it will make much difference if consumers don’t buy in.

    Outside of a few major metropolitan areas, EVs still aren’t very common in the US and the country accounted for just 2% of new EV sales globally last year, compared to 10% from Europe.

    Moreover, while just under half of US adults say they would support a proposal to phase out production of gasoline-powered cars and trucks, a similar proportion would oppose it, according to a Pew Center survey published in June.

    A major concern about low-emission vehicles is price. Even with federal subsidies, EVs and hybrids tend to cost more than pure petrol cars, even though the vehicles are more economical to run….”.

    Like

  40. Mark,

    But I thought that part of the utopian dream was that someday we will all be living in big cities and the countryside would be just left to the wind farms. Problem solved.

    Like

  41. “GM extends recall to cover all Chevy Bolts due to fire risk”

    https://apnews.com/article/technology-joe-biden-business-health-environment-and-nature-bbe51b0c8e644c4448d634fc3c0f3461

    “General Motors said Friday it is recalling all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide to fix a battery problem that could cause fires.

    The recall and others raise questions about lithium ion batteries, which now are used in nearly all electric vehicles. Ford, BMW and Hyundai all have recalled batteries recently.

    President Joe Biden will need electric vehicles to reach a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half 2030 as part of a broader effort to fight climate change.

    The GM recall announced Friday adds about 73,000 Bolts from the 2019 through 2022 model years to a previous recall of 69,000 older Bolts.

    GM said that in rare cases the batteries have two manufacturing defects that can cause fires.

    The Detroit-based automaker said it will replace battery modules in all the vehicles. In older versions, all five modules will be replaced.

    The latest recall will cost the company about $1 billion, bringing the total cost of the Bolt battery recalls to $1.8 billion.

    GM said owners should limit charging to 90% of battery capacity. “

    Like

  42. “ChargePlace Scotland: Why the ‘world’s largest’ electric vehicle switchover turned into a ‘disaster’ and how a Dundee team are trying to fix it”

    https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/business-environment/transport/2486779/chargeplace-scotland-why-the-worlds-largest-electric-vehicle-switchover-went-wrong-and-how-a-dundee-team-are-trying-to-fix-it/

    “Massive problems at a Dundee service centre have wreaked havoc on Scotland’s £45m electric vehicle (EV) charging network.

    Drivers are furious with “significant” software issues preventing them from finding and using one of the ChargePlace Scotland (CPS) network’s 1,800 points.

    Scores of existing charging points are missing from official maps, while others appear available but will not work for many customers.

    EV drivers say the problems are so serious they could set the electrical vehicle roll out – key to reducing Scotland’s transport carbon emissions — “back years”.

    The transport sector is currently the greatest contributor to Scotland’s emissions. Road transport is responsible for the largest share.

    Driver Ian Jones said he would not have bought an electric vehicle earlier this year had he known about the problems.

    “Not knowing whether a charger I need to use will be working causes a lot of stress and anxiety. Mainly because the map is not accurate or the network can fail without warning.

    “I am loathe to recommend that anyone in Scotland, or intending to visit Scotland, buy an EV until they have a proven network.”…”.

    Like

  43. Mark, it would be logical, would it not, for governments and manufacturers to come together to define a standard charger, to which all chargers would adhere, and at which any electric vehicle could charge. We do not as a rule have to worry about which petrol station we should stop at, because we know every one, regardless of badge, offers the same products with the same nozzles.

    You should not need apps, or have to register with the owners. Just drive up on your last 3 joules and put your card in, type in PIN, remove, plug in and go and do whatever you want to do for the next hour or three. (Naive question: if I pulled up alongside your charging vehicle, could I just unplug it and plug mine in, thus getting you to pay for my leccy? Perhaps this explains all the added hassle.)

    Liked by 1 person

  44. “Finding Early Adopters

    Where new tech is concerned you can either be an Innovator, an Early Adopter, in the Early Majority, in the Late Majority, or you can be a Laggard.”

    How long will we all have to wait to discover into which of the last 3 categories our #COP26 president Alok Sharma and Extinction Rebellion founder Gail Bradbrook fall?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cop26-alok-sharma-climate-diesel-car-b1899950.html

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/08/23/extinction-rebellion-founder-admits-drives-diesel-car/

    Like

  45. Joe, there are 5 categories! But I think it is safe to say that Bradbrook and Sharma are firmly on the downslope of the normal curve. Late Majority or Laggard for sure. (Perhaps, their hypocrisy having been pointed out, they will uncomfortably lurch forward into the Early Majority. We will wait to see.

    ==

    By the way, the paper that originally spurred me to write on this subject – the one about electric trucks being competitive with diesel ones, as reported by the BBC – is now available, except that it is behind a paywall.

    Click to access S2542-4351(21)00130-6.pdf

    The graphical abstract implies that rather than try to match the capabilities of diesel trucks, electric truck designers should instead reduce battery sizes and therefore ranges, and rely on several recharges for every long trip.

    It is not difficult to spot the obvious problems with this plan. But it is apparently difficult for salarymen to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. What a dilemma for fossil fuel company-hating “Greens”:

    “Shell aims to install 50,000 on-street EV charge points by 2025
    Oil firm sets out plans to provide a third of Britain’s network needed to hit climate targets”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/sep/01/shell-on-street-ev-charge-points-2025

    “The oil company, which has been regularly targeted by climate crisis campaigners in recent years, has pledged to invest heavily in greener businesses and become net zero by 2050.

    This week Extinction Rebellion activists glued themselves to the Science Museum in London in protest against Shell’s sponsorship of an exhibition about greenhouse gases.”

    Of course a target isn’t necessarily the same as reality.

    Like

  47. This reminds us of the new two-tier society we are heading for. According to the front page of the FT (also covering this story) 62% of urban households do not have driveways. Thus, generally below-average income urbanites will be expected to plug in to third-party chargers, costing them more per unit of leccy and causing increased battery wear owing to the higher power.

    Meanwhile, suburbanites with driveways will be able to charge up overnight with their 7 kW home chargers at domestic rates, and preserve their battery life.

    Shell might consider that they will be providing an overpriced service to annoyed people with no alternative, and that the provider of such a service might become less popular as a result.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. At a Shell petrol station in Newark the other day I parked up close enough to the electric charging station to notice the fee: 41p/kWh.

    Now the energy in 1 kWh is of course 1 kWh, or to put it another way it’s 1000 W * 3600 s = 3.6 MJ. How does that compare to 1 l of petrol, I wondered? Referring to the datasheet I put together for Denierland, I find that the energy in 1 l of petrol is 46.7 MJ/kg * 0.692 kg/l = 32.3 MJ/l.

    So for £1.30 you get 32.3 MJ of petrol, and for £0.41 you get 3.6 MJ of electricity.

    Next we must note that of that £1.30, about 50p is the base price, to which 57.95p is added for duty and about 22p for VAT. To be scrupulous we should also note that of the 41p/ kWh for the leccy, about 7p is VAT. The comparison becomes:

    50p for 32.3 MJ (petrol) vs 34p for 3.6 MJ (electricity).

    Now we must acknowledge that EVs are far more efficient at point of use than petrol cars, about 4 times (c. 80% vs 20%). Which in terms of energy at the wheels brings us to:

    50p for 6.5 MJ (petrol) vs 34p for 2.7 MJ (electricity), or

    8p / MJ (petrol) vs 13p / MJ (electricity).

    Of course, once duty etc is added the leccy still wins, at about

    20p / MJ (petrol) vs 15p / MJ (electricity).

    Nevertheless, that sum is already uncomfortably close to parity.

    Like

  49. “Electric vehicle chargepoints set to become next great British emblem”

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/electric-vehicle-chargepoints-set-to-become-next-great-british-emblem

    Electric vehicle chargepoints across the UK could become as recognisable as the red post box or black cab, following the appointment of the Royal College of Art (RCA) and PA Consulting to deliver an iconic British chargepoint design, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced today (9 August 2021).

    Like

  50. Jit: There’s another disadvantage of not having a driveway with an EV. To maximise range and efficiency in the cold, extra steps are required for a Tesla to keep the battery warm and conserve energy. Tesla recommends being plugged in as much as possible when the car is not in use. This uses the charging system, rather than the battery, to retain heat. I have found that to activate the regenerative braking system, our Tesla has to be pre-warmed for about an hour before driving when the temperature is below about 10 degrees C. If you don’t have a driveway with convenient plug so that you can precondition the battery, the range will be reduced in the winter months.

    Like

  51. “E-car chargers will turn off to prevent blackouts”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/e-car-chargers-will-turn-off-to-prevent-blackouts-jnm2m86pz

    “Electric car charging points in people’s homes will be preset to switch off for nine hours each weekday at times of peak demand because ministers fear blackouts on the National Grid.

    Under regulations that will come into force in May, new chargers in the home and workplace will be automatically set not to function from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm. Public chargers and rapid chargers, on motorways and A-roads, will be exempt.”

    Unfortunately that’s all I can see – the rest is behind a paywall – but we can see enough to get the gist!

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Thanks Mark. The consultation response is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/electric-vehicle-smart-charging

    The bottom line is that new chargers will have to be “smart” and will come with timings such that peak times are blocked out from use. However, the settings will be capable of being overriden. Government are afraid that a) charging EVs will cause power cuts and that b) people won’t engage with the Brave New World and will therefore be disadvantaged because they will have to pay a higher rate for leccy during peak time. Hence the default settings preventing peak time charging “protects” such folk.

    Of course, this implies time of use tariffs for everyone.

    Also:

    Government will mandate a randomised delay function, to help address grid stability concerns arising from smart charging.

    So it won’t start charging straight away when you plug it in. (I almost wrote a cuss word there.)

    And this:

    Load controllers will become an increasingly important group of organisations as we transition to a smarter, more flexible energy system, yet they also present new and growing risks to the energy system and consumers.

    By this they mean entities with the power to turn off your smart charger or to start energy flowing in the other direction. Such entities, having control over the charge points, will wield a power that will require a high degree of oversight (imagine for example if they were owned by foreign powers who might want to punch us on the nose).

    Welcome to the sunlit uplands.

    Like

  53. “…a smarter, more flexible energy system…”.

    I see nothing smart about all this! It’s bonkers.

    Like

  54. “Electric vehicles divide opinion as car-loving Germany goes to polls
    Election has framed future of automobility as showdown between petrolheads and green zealots”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/20/electric-vehicles-divide-opinion-as-car-loving-germany-goes-to-polls

    “As the country heads to the polls on 26 September, all main parties on the ballot apart from the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) say they are committed to Germany reaching net zero within the next 14 to 29 years, and to curbing combustion engine emissions accordingly.

    The promise – and some say fiction – that these parties offer to voters is that such a historic change can be achieved without risking the world-leading status of Germany’s automobile industry. “Our great challenge is that we remain a car nation that is successful at making electric vehicles instead,” Olaf Scholz, the frontrunner in the race, said in a recent interview.

    The outgoing government claims existing subsidy schemes will suffice for Germany to meet its green targets, forecasting 14m electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to populate its roads by the year 2030. The Greens and the Social Democratic party (SPD) are even more ambitious, by another 1m vehicles.

    But the question is whether the enthusiasm required for a pivot to electric vehicles can be mustered in a country as romantically attached to a car culture of old as Germany….”.

    Like

  55. “Ford announces $11.4bn investment in electric vehicle plants”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58714608

    “Ford has announced a major investment in electric vehicle (EV) production in the US, promising to build its biggest ever factory in Tennessee, and two battery parks in Kentucky.

    Under the $11.4bn (£8.3bn) plan, the carmaker said it will build zero-emission cars and pickups “at scale” for American customers.

    It will also create 11,000 jobs.”

    Will it “create” 11,000 jobs, or will they simply replace the jobs of those workers laid off from building petrol and diesel vehicles?

    And there’s a but:

    “Yet the additional government investment required to make it happen is still in question.”

    And:

    “Outside of a few major metropolitan areas, EVs still aren’t very common in the US and the country accounted for just 2% of new EV sales globally last year.

    The Biden administration hopes to change this with tougher tailpipe emissions rules from 2026 and billions of dollars of spending on new charging points and consumer incentives.

    However, the cash is tied up in two spending bills that Democrat leaders must get through a divided Senate.

    On Thursday, lawmakers will vote on the first – a $1.5tn infrastructure plan – which appears to have enough bi-partisan support to pass.

    But a second, $3.5tn bill – which focuses on widening America’s social safety net – is opposed by every Republican and some moderate Democrats who say it is too expensive in its current form.”

    If you have to force people both to buy them and to subsidise them through Government support, then they’re not as good as the vehicles that they’re replacing, or at least not so fit for purpose for the vast majority of drivers. If this stuff worked for people, they’d be buying them without pressure and without subsidies.

    Like

  56. “UK electric car inquiries soar during fuel supply crisis
    Sellers of plug-in vehicles say petrol shortages are driving people to adopt the new technology”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/27/uk-electric-car-inquiries-soar-fuel-supply-crisis

    Note to Guardian journalist – it’s “enquiries”, not “inquiries”.

    “As petrol stations in parts of the UK started running out of fuel on Friday, business at Martin Miller’s electric car dealership in Guildford, Surrey, started soaring.

    After what ended up being his company EV Experts busiest day ever, interest does not appear to be dying down. This week the diary is booked up with test drives and the business is low on stock.

    “People buy electric cars for environmental reasons, for cost-saving reasons and because the technology’s great,” he said. “But Friday was one of those moments where people said, ‘Do you know what, this is a sign that we need to go electric’.”

    While scenes of chaos play out at petrol stations across the country amid shortages, for many electric vehicle (EV) dealers the fuel crisis has led to an unexpected surge in inquiries and sales.”

    So what’s next? A surge in EV use, surging demand for electricity that’s also in short supply, and blackouts?

    Like

  57. I wonder what proportion of American tradespeople would consider throwing in their existing pickup for an electric version? My judgement of human nature tells me that the large majority would opt for the cheaper, more flexible, reliable, and quick to refuel pickup, i.e. the one that enables them to do their job at maximum productivity without anxiety about the vehicle – which does not mean the EV. Ford can reduce the cost of EVs with the help of government subsidies, but that does not improve their flexibility etc.

    That would mean that for widespread takeup to occur gov’t would have to ban the better option.

    Ford should concentrate on small EVs and try selling them in cities, where they actually have strengths as well as weaknesses. Even there, without coercion, they will remain niche without banning the competition. Sorta like whelks. A whelk stall at a festival would do ok trade, so long as all the alternative food stalls were banned.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. Mark, I’m thinking of writing an A to Zee of annoying Americanisms in British journalism. It will start with ‘alternate’ when ‘alternative’ was intended.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. For purchasers without off-street parking, buying an EV would be like being in a permant queue for petrol. So they would be throwing in a temporary problem for a permanent one.

    I refuse to visit theguardian.com because they wanted me to register before I could read something. I think I left after 0.1 secs when that message popped up, never to return. It would be different if I actually enjoyed reading their climate change ****.

    Like

  60. “The classic cars being converted to electric vehicles”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58578061

    “Oswald is a black 1953 Morris Minor. But he is as quiet as a mouse after having his fossil-fuel drinking heart replaced with a recycled electric motor.

    Previously, the car’s 68-year-old petrol engine would have masked most other sounds. But driving beside the Thames in London all you can hear are a few creaks, and the revving of motorbikes and other traffic passing by.

    The image of electric vehicles (EVs) as sleek and futuristic is changing.

    Oswald is owned by a man called Matthew Quitter, who on a mission to help save old gas guzzlers from the scrapheap, converted him to battery power, and set up a company called London Electric Cars back in 2017.

    Working out of a garage under a railway arch in Vauxhall, the company replaces the combustion engines in classic cars with electric motors and batteries that would otherwise be scrapped.

    These parts typically come from crashed EVs, such as Teslas and Nissan Leafs, that have been written off by insurance firms but have motors and batteries that are not damaged.

    “We’re the ultimate recycling,” says Mr Quitter.”

    Then it’s money, money money:

    “The firm currently charges around £20,000 per conversion, so not cheap. But the company says it aims to drive that cost down to £5,000 to make it affordable for more people.

    While the UK government currently offers a grant of £2,500 towards the cost of buying a new EV, Mr Quitter says they should also consider introducing grants for conversions.

    “It’s a disaster to waste the millions of old [petrol and diesel] cars on our roads, and the governments’ EV rebates are encouraging scrappage,” he says.

    “The government needs to offer affordable conversions on cheap old cars, to make use of the scrapped EV batteries – which have raw materials that are still sky-rocketing in price,” he adds.”

    What on earth is this?

    “Oswald has a 40-mile range…”.

    And this?

    “He adds, however, that some classic cars are more suited to electrical conversion than others. Aston Martins are apparently challenging because their light and nimble nature is “not done as well by electric yet”, while Bentleys and Rolls-Royces are “made to be electric because they are built to drive smoothly”.”

    Then there’s this:

    “But for some classic car enthusiasts electric conversion is sacrilege….

    …He adds that if his Triumph TR8’s four-litre engine was converted to electric it would “turn a fire-breathing, rumbling monster that everyone marvels at, into a rattley, drafty old car.””

    Meanwhile, back to the money:

    “But David Lorenz, founder of the high-end electric car conversion firm, Lunaz, says that the classic car industry “needs to think about what we can do to make them relevant… a viable, sustainable prospect”.

    His firm has received investment from former footballer David Beckham, and charges up to £500,000 for a electric Rolls-Royce.”

    So, yet more evidence that “green” subsidies are simply a means of taxing the poor to cut prices for the rich.

    Like

  61. “New car registrations fall to lowest level for two decades”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58795798

    “New car registrations fell to their lowest levels in September for more than two decades, according to figures from the industry’s trade body.

    The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said new registrations dropped 35% compared with the same month a year earlier.

    Falling car production has been blamed on an ongoing global shortage of computer chips.

    However, sales of electric cars are rising rapidly, the SMMT said.

    While the car market as a whole has suffered through the pandemic, more than 32,000 electric cars were registered in one month in September, almost as many as registered in the whole of 2019 – 37,850 electric cars.”

    The reality, however, isn’t that people are turning to electric cars in their droves. Rather, they’re buying them in small numbers, often (I suspect) because they can’t buy a new diesel or petrol, because they’re not available. Also, of course, the various Government announcements are creating uncertainty that is crippling the new car market, as if the shortage of computer chips isn’t bad enough.

    People do still want diesel and petrol cars, but are perhaps reluctant to pay a lot of money for a new one, in view of the uncertainty down the line. To me, this is the central part of the story, which have been at the front of the article, rather than tacked on at the end:

    “Second-hand car sales in the UK have more than doubled in the last few months due to a shortage of new models.

    Year-on-year, the used car market grew 108.6% in the second quarter, with more than 2.2 million vehicles changing hands, according to the trade body.

    Increased demand led to a rise in sales of older used cars, with only 12.7% of all vehicles sold being made within the last three years, the lowest on record.

    In August, SMMT boss Mike Hawes said many consumers had turned to the second-hand market due to the shortage of new cars at a time of “increased need for personal mobility with people remaining wary of public transport as they return to work”.

    When lockdowns forced production lines to halt, microchip manufacturers diverted the chips that would normally go into new cars to the consumer electronics market, and supply is yet to fully recover.”

    Like

  62. “Discount on buying electric cars could be cut with Cop26 on horizon
    Chancellor locked in a battle over cuts to grants designed to encourage drivers to swap their polluting vehicles for green alternatives”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/10/12/discount-buying-electric-cars-could-cut-sunak-embroiled-cabinet/

    “Electric car grants are set to be slashed under Treasury plans, with Rishi Sunak embroiled in a Cabinet row over the Government’s green agenda just weeks before the Cop26 climate summit….”

    Unfortunately the rest of the story is behind a paywall.

    Like

  63. Mark, from the article, with no sniff of irony:

    There are also concerns that pressing ahead with the plans will undermine the work of Alok Sharma, the COP26 President, who is currently flying around the world in a bid to convince other countries to take bolder action on climate.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. “Fuel duel in the race to power green trucks
    Batteries and hydrogen both have a role in zero-emissions heavy transport.”

    https://www.politico.eu/article/fuel-duel-in-the-race-to-power-green-trucks/

    “Millions of trucks rumbling across the Continent keep supermarket shelves stocked, factories humming with just-in-time deliveries of parts and online purchases showing up on doorsteps — but something’s going to have to change.

    Trucks and buses account for about a quarter of the EU’s CO2 emissions from road transport and some 6 percent of the bloc’s total emissions. To hit its goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the EU needs transport emissions to fall by 90 percent compared to 1990 levels.

    Truckmakers are already developing green vehicles in a bid to meet EU requirements: The bloc’s CO2 standards for trucks mandate a 15 percent cut in emissions by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

    That means at least 270,000 battery-electric trucks and 60,000 fuel-cell trucks will have to be on EU roads by the end of the decade, according to Thomas Fabian, commercial vehicles director for automobile manufacturing lobby ACEA — and that’s “pre-Green Deal,” he said. The standards could increase when the legislation is up for a revision next year.

    While there’s no argument that the current system has to undergo a revolution, what’s less clear is how.

    “There aren’t many people yet who would dare to cross Europe with an electric truck,” said Rob Aarse, sustainability policy adviser at Dutch road transport industry group TLN. …

    …Companies making green trucks insist the transformation can be done, but say they can’t do it alone. Beyond investment in charging infrastructure, putting zero-emission trucks on EU roads will also depend on operators shelling out to buy them.

    A conventional truck is cheaper than a green one — and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

    A diesel truck costs €100,000 on average, while battery-electric and fuel-cell trucks cost around €300,000, according to road transport organization IRU.

    That’s why the EU needs a policy framework that puts a price on polluting trucks, NGOs and truckmakers say.

    “No zero-emission technology will ever have a chance in a market where carbon doesn’t have a price,” Fabian argued….”.

    Like

  65. “‘Ambitious’ UK plans for electric vehicles welcomed – with reservations
    Green groups fear the policy will embed car use at the expense of healthier and ultimately cheaper alternatives”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/oct/20/ambitious-uk-plans-for-electric-vehicles-welcomed-with-reservations

    “Car manufacturers in the UK will be mandated to produce a growing proportion of zero-emission vehicles each year under government plans to cement the transition from fossil fuels to electric cars.

    Targets will be introduced from 2024 for zero-emission vehicle sales, before the 2030 deadline when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned.

    Environmental campaigners welcomed the move, while manufacturers gave a guarded response ahead of the detail of the scheme being announced. The exact targets and mechanisms will be set out for consultation in spring next year.

    The government said it would also commit an additional £620m to electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and targeted grants, as part of its net zero strategy published on Tuesday….

    …The number of public charge points in the UK has doubled over the past two years, but another 40-50 need to be installed a day over the next decade to meet demand, according to thinktank New AutoMotive.

    With transport now the biggest single sector for carbon emissions, dominated by road vehicles, phasing out the internal combustion engine has become a clear, attainable goal for the UK to hit carbon targets.

    However, some have voiced concern over the rush to adopt EVs, with questions over carbon and costs as well as the need to upgrade infrastructure – and more broadly, whether the policy will embed car use rather than greener alternatives such as public transport for generations to come.

    Chris Boardman, Manchester’s transport commissioner, said embracing electric cars risked missing bigger opportunities: “It’s politically the most palatable option, because you’re not asking anyone to do anything they’re not doing already. But EVs don’t solve the problem of your local neighbourhood street being clogged with cars, of rat-running, obesity, inactivity that is costing the NHS billions, of traffic accidents, wider congestion.

    “They are cheaper to drive and so you could lock in car use for generations. It allows people to take the moral high ground and think they’ve done their bit, but it just enables more driving.””

    They’re only cheaper to drive because diesel and petrol vehicles are burdened with massive taxes. On a level playing field, electric cars would lose hands down.

    Like

  66. “Net zero strategy: Tory MPs’ anger over Treasury assessment on high costs
    Treasury document suggests move to electric vehicles could hit poorer citizens hardest”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/20/net-zero-strategy-tory-mps-anger-over-treasury-assessment-on-high-costs

    “Anger is growing across the Conservative party over a Treasury document on the costs of the net zero strategy which MPs claim has been “neutered” – though sources insisted estimates had not been reliable enough to include.

    Alongside Boris Johnson’s strategy to end Britain’s contribution to the climate crisis by 2050, the Treasury released an assessment warning it may need to raise taxes or cut public spending to fund the strategy.

    Multiple government insiders did not deny the document had excluded some high cost estimates, only warning in general terms that there could be “potentially significant implications for the UK’s fiscal position”. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has suggested costs are more than £1tn over 30 years, though much will come from private investment.

    Backbench anger over the alleged neutering comes amid renewed disquiet over relations between No 10 and the Treasury. One of Boris Johnson’s closest cabinet allies, Kwasi Kwarteng, directly contradicted an assessment in the Treasury’s report, saying he did not agree a switch to electric vehicles would hit poorer families.”

    Like

  67. “The bumpy road to India’s electric car dreams”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-58977080

    “India sold more electric vehicles in September than any month previously. Sales have been rising since April – the start of this financial year – and are already nearing the previous year’s total.

    It’s a glimmer of hope for an industry that has been struggling with a global shortage in semiconductor chips, coming on the heels of a period of sluggish growth.

    But it’s only a glimmer. Electric vehicle sales – 121,900 this financial year – account for only 1.66% of India’s 20 million automobile sales, according to the Delhi-based think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

    Some electric vehicle firms, especially makers of two-wheelers, are betting big, but the demand is lukewarm for cars and commercial vehicles like lorries….

    …He said the challenges range from too few charging stations (India has less than 2,000 compared to some 900,000 in China) to battery disposal to resale value (India has a massive second-hand market for cars).

    And then there is the cost. The average price of a car in India is around 700,000 rupees – the cheapest electric car available starts at 1.2m rupees.

    All of this leads to few options, Mr Gulati said, and even those disappear outside of the big metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore – which make up just a fifth of the market. “Ultimately, firms have to create a market for electric vehicles.”

    India’s car buyers are fussy – aspirational but cautious with spending. It’s why Maruti, India’s biggest car maker, has made no move to launch an electric car, saying the prices are still too high. It’s also why foreign brands have struggled to crack the market, and have even shut shop. Ford announced last month that it would stop making cars in India, even as it invested $11bn in electric vehicles in the US.

    And yet Tesla is slated to enter the Indian market soon – it has complained of high import tariffs, and Mr Gadkari has said his government would provide “whatever support” was needed, but the firm should produce locally and not sell Indians Chinese-made cars.

    More foreign firms may arrive when the Indian market for electric cars expands, said Puneet Gupta, the head auto sector analyst at IHS Markit. But he doesn’t see that happening before 2030. Mr Gulati too is sceptical of any immediate surge in electric car sales unless the government introduces a “drastic policy”….”

    Like

  68. The news the Guardian and the BBC won’t let you know about:

    “‘Naive is an understatement’: German safety official tells RT that risk of electric vehicle fires is ‘completely unaddressed’”

    https://www.rt.com/news/538335-germany-electric-vehicle-bus-fires/

    “A series of fires involving electric buses is calling into question Germany’s reliance on these zero-emissions vehicles. “The risk of these fires,” safety regulator Heinrich Duepmann told RT, “is completely unaddressed.”
    Europe is experiencing a green transport boom. Sales have quadrupled since 2018, and one in every ten new vehicles sold on the continent is now fully electric, a share that rises to four in ten when hybrid vehicles are taken into account. In Germany, where the Greens are in talks about joining a coalition government, the number of electric buses doubled last year compared to 2019.

    The switchover from diesel to electricity has not been entirely smooth. Three bus depots were gutted by fire this year alone, with the most recent in Stuttgart last month destroying 25 buses and sending a column of smoke towering over the city.

    The fires prompted the cities of Munich and Stuttgart to suspend use of these battery-powered buses, and Heinrich Duepmann of Germany’s Electricity Consumer Protection Association told RT that he shares their concerns ​​– not just about buses, but electric vehicles in general.

    “The risk of these fires, including in other locations such as bicycle basements or large apartment blocks, is completely unaddressed,” he said. “Also, insurance companies are not yet tackling the issue.”

    The lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles can catch fire if damaged, or in some cases during charging or spontaneously. Lithium burns ferociously on contact with air, and once ablaze, these fires can be extremely difficult to put out. While burning, lithium-ion batteries have been shown to emit toxic quantities of fluoride gas.

    Aside from the fire risk, Deupmann is also concerned that as private electric vehicles become more popular, the country’s electricity infrastructure is “completely undeveloped” to facilitate widespread fast charging.

    “People have been too naive about this,” he said, adding that “naive is an understatement.””

    Liked by 1 person

  69. “Climate change: Should I buy an electric car?”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-59040632

    “Guto Lloyd-Davies got his first electric vehicle in 2018 and loved it so much he bought another.

    “They’re smooth, there’s no gears… in many respects they’re easier,” he said.

    While the cost of switching and a lack of charging points has put some drivers off, Mr Lloyd-Davies said the cheaper running costs were worth it.

    The Welsh government will announce a plan later to install more charging points, but campaigners say the pace of change has been too slow.

    Funding from the Welsh government has helped launch some electric vehicle projects, but this has not been done at a great enough speed for some.

    …On Tuesday the Welsh government will announce its plan to convince drivers to make the switch.

    Transport generates about 17% of all carbon emissions in Wales, making it a prime target in getting down to net zero.

    The electric vehicle charging action plan aims to boost confidence in electric car use and improve charging infrastructure across Wales.

    There are about 1,000 public charging points in Wales, one for every six battery electric vehicles.

    According to the Welsh government, by 2025 there will be rapid charge points every 20 miles on main trunk roads as fossil fuels are phased out….”

    It’s just a PR piece, and certainly not news. The claim that EVs are cheap to run rather ignores the obvious point that diesel and petrol cars are (relatively) expensive due to the enormous taxes loaded on them. Once diesel and petrol are phased out, that £37Bn p.a. will have to come from somewhere. Anyone who thinks EVs will be cheap to run at that point hasn’t been paying attention.

    Like

  70. Mark, I refer you to my comment of 6 September. My envelope back tells me that, absent duty, petrol is far less expensive already (8p per MJ vs 13p petrol per MJ leccy allowing for the greater efficiency of leccy cars). (This sum is for public chargers so home charging would be cheaper, for those of us with off-street parking.)

    Naturally the leccy car is more expensive so even if running costs were lower, you would have to keep it for a long time to break even. (Of course the lack of VED helps.)

    Then there is the embodied carbon dioxide in the car itself, which seems to favour the petrol car, so again you have to keep the leccy one for a long time before you break even in carbon dioxide.

    Save the planet: buy two electric cars, one to be on charge and the other in use?

    Like

  71. https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1511569/brexit-news-musk-tesla-gigafactory-britishvolt-glencore-blyth-electric-battery-vauxhall

    The government’s plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and hybrids by 2035 will require vehicle plants to shift to producing electric models.

    Ministers have set aside £850m to attract battery investment in the UK.

    Britishvolt wants 200 mill towards their “gigafactory” in Northumberland. I think I read somewhere they want to create 3,000 jobs. That’s only 67 thou per job, if my memory is not faulty.

    Meanwhile, the story is somewhat baffling. ICE cars have been banned from 2030. That would mean that the only cars being made were sparky cars. The audience is captive. They have to buy an EV if they want a new car. How is it then that subsidies are required AS WELL AS BANNING THE COMPETITION?

    Liked by 3 people

  72. “Shock bills for EV drivers after charging glitch”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-59347468

    “Hundreds of electric vehicles drivers across Scotland have been presented with huge bills for charging after a glitch developed.

    One driver in Aberdeenshire found a £3,016.22 charge on his account after a 16-minute charge.

    ChargePlace Scotland, which runs the network, said it was aware of the issue and that no money had been taken from customers.

    Teams are going through the data to remove erroneous charges.

    Stephen Trayner, from ChargePlace Scotland, said the figures that were appearing in customers’ accounts were the result of a “pre-invoicing exercise” – but he stressed that they were not actual invoices and should be ignored.

    He said: “We apologise for any inconvenience and upset this internal exercise may have caused but would like to assure customers that any ongoing invoicing issues will be swiftly dealt with by our service centre team.”

    Invoices for the correct amounts should be issued from Monday, he added.”

    Like

  73. “Tesla drivers left unable to start their cars after outage”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-59357306

    “Tesla drivers say they have been locked out of their cars after an outage struck the carmaker’s app.

    Dozens of owners posted on social media about seeing an error message on the mobile app that was preventing them from connecting to their vehicles.

    Tesla chief executive Elon Musk personally responded to one complaint from a driver in South Korea, saying on Twitter: “Checking.”

    Mr Musk later said the app was coming back online.

    The Tesla app is used as a key by drivers to unlock and start their cars.

    Owners posted a multitude of complaints online about not being able to use their vehicles.

    “I’m stuck an hour away from home because I normally use my phone to start car,” one owner tweeted.

    About 500 users reported an error on the app at around 16:40 ET (21:40 GMT) on Friday, according to the outage tracking site DownDetector. Five hours later, there were just over 60 reports of an error.

    “Apologies, we will take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” Mr Musk tweeted.”

    Like

  74. Mark, this is no way to access a car. What if you lose your phone? Or its battery runs flat? Does the system fail if you’re somewhere with no signal? What happens if there are power cuts/climate apocalypses? Obviously great strides have been made in car security* – radio entry etc – but there are limits. Is there actually an advantage to getting rid of a key altogether?

    *I once opened the boot of my friend’s Ford Granada with my bike lock key. My SLR which was sitting on the boot flew into the air and landed on the concrete when the boot popped open. Lesson: never try anything if you are assuming failure.

    Like

  75. Jit, my thoughts exactly. Just because you can use new technology, doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea or that it is an improvement on what already exists. What’s the point of abandoning keys? It looks like pointlessly trying to show that Teslas are ultra-modern, but being modern is not a lot of use if you can’t use your car. Maybe it’s to get Tesla drivers used to not being able to drive anywhere when the National Grid is under pressure. ☹️

    Like

  76. As a Tesla Model 3 owner I can shed some light on this. The primary access is a key card which communicates using RFID. The key card is the equivalent of a physical key and I ALWAYS carry it just like you would always carry you car keys. Use of the mobile phone to unlock your Tesla is a secondary option and is not failsafe as noted in the article. The RFID key card is as good as a physical key and in my experience is failsafe. Tesla owners who do not carry their RFID cards are asking for trouble.

    Having said that, the Tesla is surprisingly buggy. It has a lot of cool technology that is fun but doesn’t always work as you would expect. That’s why I would never use a Tesla in autopilot mode. I think we are 50 years away from that. Depending on your driving needs and other circumstances I would still recommend purchasing a Model 3.

    Like

  77. Potentials, thanks for the explanation. First-hand knowledge trumps speculation every time!

    Like

  78. And we have temporary gasoline rationing in SW British Columbia because of the interruptions to supply chains caused by the recent floods. So we Tesla owners are feeling even more smug than usual !

    Like

  79. “New homes in England to have electric car chargers by law”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59369715

    “New homes and buildings in England will be required by law to install electric vehicle charging points from next year, the prime minister is set to announce.

    The government said the move will see up to 145,000 charging points installed across the country each year.

    New-build supermarkets, workplaces and buildings undergoing major renovations will also come under the new law.

    The move comes as the UK aims to switch to electric cars, with new petrol and diesel cars sales banned from 2030.

    Announcing the new laws at the Confederation of British Industry’s conference on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say: “This is a pivotal moment – we cannot go on as we are.

    “We have to adapt our economy to the green industrial revolution.”

    But Labour said the announcement does not address the “appalling” geographical divide in available charging points.

    “London and the South East have more public car charging points than the rest of England and Wales combined. Yet there is nothing here to help address this.

    “Nor is there help so lower and middle income families can afford electric vehicles or the investment required to build the gigafactories we need,” Labour said.

    The government said the new laws will “make it as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel car today”.

    It said “simpler ways to pay” to charge vehicles through contactless payments would also be introduced at “all new fast and rapid charge points”.”

    Government announces bonkers plan. Labour says it doesn’t go far enough.

    Like

  80. Government announces bonkers plan. Labour says it doesn’t go far enough.

    Mark, that is par for the course these days. Trying to be objective about it for a minute, this plan is going to work for those identikit sprawling out of town new estates with roads that lead nowhere and where every box house has its own driveway but only a tiny patch of garden. This will also be a chance to charge more for each new-build property.

    However, should a developer want to build a row of terraced houses or a block of flats, problems will ensue. (There may end up being exemptions. You would hope so.)

    But perhaps a more significant problem is that the scheme of increasing the number of charge points does not automagically make EVs a better option than ICE cars. If the government wanted us all to eat carrot chips rather than potato chips, then exposing us all to the choice of carrot chips by building a carrot chip shop on every corner may not make us switch from the faithful potato version, if the latter is still superior.

    Yesterday I saw a story that said that a manufacturer was producing electric jerrycans to provide 20 miles of range with a half hour charge. Don’t worry about range anxiety. If you carry around our £800 battery you can stand around for half an hour and get yourself another 20 miles down the road, as long as you remembered to keep it fully charged! (I’ll find the link if I have a mo.) (And work out the volumetric petrol equivalent, if I have more time than that.)

    Like

  81. That story about the portable batteries: https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/money/motoring/electric-cars-portable-ev-chargers-20-miles-30-minute-charge-2022-release-1306816

    “Electric cars: Portable EV chargers providing 20 miles range on 30-minute charge set to land in 2022”

    UK firm ZipCharge revealed its “game-changing” portable charger, called the Go, which is due to be available to customers from the end of next year. The power banks can provide up to 20 miles of range from a half-hour charge (at 7.2kW), which the provider says is sufficient for the average daily commute in the UK.

    Yours for £49 per month, or “in the region of £800.”

    Assuming that 7.2 kW for half an hour is the battery’s capacity, then it’s 3.6 kWh. The equivalent energy in petrol would need 400 ml. [This is unfair. The battery car’s efficiency is 4 times as high as the petrol cars: up the jerrycan size to 1.6 l.]

    Now looking at it the other way, the original jerrycan held 20 l, so holding an equivalent energy, allowing for the better efficiency of an EV, of 20 / 1.6, or 12.5 times the newfangled battery thingy “go”. Go, or perhaps better, shove it.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. “Builders slam plans for electric car chargers in all new homes”

    https://www.constructionenquirer.com/2021/11/22/builders-slam-plans-for-electric-car-chargers-in-all-new-homes/

    “The National Federation of Builders has slammed government plans to require all new homes to have electric vehicle (EV) chargers as another “stealth tax” on construction.

    The federation fears the construction industry will foot the bill for chargers while electricity companies benefit.

    It said that to achieve planning permission builders are required to fund substations so that electricity companies can provide enough load to new and old developments.

    Costs are considerable – upward of £50,000 for a handful of homes – and neither the builder or homeowner profits from this infrastructure because the electricity companies receive revenue in perpetuity from someone else’s investment.

    Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB said: “We support the green industry and a green transition because it is a necessary part of change but due to how infrastructure investment works in practice, once again, the Government is seeking to grow its political capital and advance big business, at the expense of the construction industry and taxpayer.”

    Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing at the House Builders Association (HBA), the housebuilding arm of the NFB, said: “This Government has only been in power for two years and has already introduced four new and stealth taxes on the construction industry. EV charging will be the fifth.

    “It’s a disgusting way to treat a sector who worked throughout the Covid-19 lockdown to help pay for furlough and the impact of Covid-19.

    “The Government needs to think very carefully about how it achieves a green revolution. It must require electricity companies to shoulder this cost, as they will be profiting from these investments in perpetuity.

    “Or perhaps it is time to bring services into public ownership because the Government is not proving able to regulate the sector in a way that doesn’t cost the taxpayer.

    “As we told the Prime Minister during COP26 in relation to retrofitting and onshore renewable energy, it is time the Conservatives began risking some of their own political capital and not simply expecting taxpayers and business to risk their financial capital. The Governments green legacy is looking like taxation and flawed policy, not revolutionary change.””

    Like

  83. “Plan for car chargers in all UK new homes ‘will make access exclusive’
    Industry leaders say Boris Johnson’s plan risks leaving behind motorists from poorer areas”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/nov/24/plan-for-car-chargers-in-all-uk-new-homes-will-make-access-exclusive

    “The prime minister’s plan to mandate electric car chargers across all new homes from next year risks making access to charge points “exclusive”, leaving behind motorists from poorer areas, industry leaders have warned.

    Senior voices in the energy and motoring sectors said the plan for all new homes and buildings to be fitted with car charging infrastructure risks benefiting wealthier areas with space for off-street parking and leaving “blackspots” in areas where homes have less space.

    Instead, they argue, the government should be doing more to make convenient, high-speed car charging more accessible to the public to help give all motorists a realistic opportunity to switch their fossil fuel cars for electric versions.

    Guy Jefferson, the chief operating officer of Scottish Power’s energy network business, warned that the burgeoning electric vehicle market was “less likely to provide for all in our society” without deliberate action to ensure a fair energy transition.”

    Scottish Power (that’s a Spanish company) seem to have an awful lot to say about how UK taxpayers’ money should be spent.

    “Ross Easton, a director at the Energy Networks Association, added that while the plans for more home chargers was “great news for those living in new homes” the government “must make sure access to charging points is not exclusive”.

    “Charging points must be accessible to everyone. To truly ‘level up’ charging point access and deliver on the Cop26 electric vehicle pledges requires strategic planning at all levels of government, nationally and locally,” he said.

    Many modern homes do not have car parking spaces, and the number of new homes built each year in the UK is so small it would take decades to make much difference by this measure alone, according to industry sources.”

    And of course there’s the lobby which doesn’t want us to have cars at all:

    “…Agathe de Canson, of the Green Alliance thinktank, said: “To cut air pollution and tackle congestion more widely we need to encourage more walking, cycling and journeys by public transport. This should be factored into planning rules to ensure new homes are not car dependent.”…”.

    Like

  84. “TV tonight: a deep dig into Tesla’s electric car revolution”

    https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/nov/24/tv-tonight-tesla-electric-car-revolution-elon-musk-rare-metal-supply-chain-jimmy-perez-shetland-murder

    “Panorama: The Electric Car Revolution – Winners and Losers
    7.30pm, BBC One
    Elon Musk’s Tesla is a trillion-dollar car company that’s valued at more than all the other major car makers put together. Just about digested that? It’s time to investigate any dark truths behind the electric car revolution with reporter Darragh MacIntyre, who wants to know where Tesla gets the rare metal for its car batteries and how ethical its supply chain is. He meets the African nuns who say Musk needs to do more to protect some of the poorest people on the planet.”

    Like

  85. “Rising lithium prices risk pushing electric car dreams off the road
    With battery costs predicted to soar by 16pc, vehicle makers face a defining choice”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/12/02/rising-lithium-prices-risk-pushing-electric-car-dreams-road/

    “As demand for electric vehicles grows amid a push for a greener economy, carmakers globally are grappling with rising prices of everything from semiconductor chips to copper and aluminium….”

    The rest, unfortunately, is behind a paywall.

    Like

  86. “FIA boss: Electric F1 racing is ‘simply not possible'”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59556016

    “The car industry may be going green and heading for an all-electric future, but the same cannot be said of Formula One motor racing – at least, not for decades.

    That’s according to the outgoing president of the sport’s governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA). “It’s simply not possible,” explains Jean Todt, with a shake of the head and a wry smile.

    “In Formula One, a race distance is about 200 miles (305km). Without recharging, with the performance of the cars, electricity will not allow that,” he says.

    “Maybe in 20 years, 30 years, I don’t know. But at the moment it would be simply impossible.”…”.

    Like

  87. “E-scooters to be banned from TfL network over battery fire risk
    Ban will apply to privately owned e-scooters and e-unicycles even when folded or carried, with fines issued”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/09/e-scooters-banned-tfl-network-battery-fire-risk

    “E-scooters will be banned from the public transport network in London from Monday for safety reasons after a spate of battery fires.

    The ban will apply to privately owned e-scooters and e-unicycles even when folded or carried, after a number of incidents when the electric vehicles have combusted.

    Transport for London and fire services said such incidents, when defective lithium-ion batteries ruptured and caught fire, could lead to significant harm to life and premises, not least with toxic smoke being emitted, potentially in confined spaces.”

    Like

  88. “Motoring groups criticise cut in electric car subsidies”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59669915

    “Motoring groups have criticised plans to further cut the size of government grants towards buying electric cars.

    From Wednesday, the amount has been reduced from £2,500 to £1,500. Electric cars priced under £32,000 are eligible.

    The Department for Transport says it’s targeting the funding at more affordable vehicles.

    The government’s plug-in subsidy scheme has been used to buy nearly 500,000 cars over the past decade….

    …Under the changes announced on Wednesday, the maximum grants for electric motorcycles or mopeds have been cut to £500 and £150 respectively. Previously drivers could get up to £1,500 for both.

    Large electric vans are now eligible for a grant of up to £5,000 – down from £6,000 – with the support for small vans falling from a maximum of £3,000 to £2,500.

    However, the RAC motoring group said sales had grown from a relatively low base, and the government was taking this step too soon.”

    Personally I think EV subsidies are shocking – nothing other than a scheme for transferring money from poor taxpayers to the relatively wealthy who can afford to buy EVs (often as a second car/about town runaround.

    Like

  89. It seems I’m not the only person who thinks like that:

    “The Looking Glass World Of “Climate Injustice” — Part III”

    https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2021-12-12-the-looking-glass-world-of-climate-injustice-part-iii

    “n our wacky world where almost nothing makes sense any more, there is no shortage of examples of politicians, let alone self-important academics, journalists, and wealthy elites, looking foolish with incoherent and self-contradictory policy demands. My favorite among all of them is the demand for “climate justice” for the poor while simultaneously seeking action that will dramatically increase the price of energy and things derived from it (e.g., transportation, heat) — an increase that obviously will hit hardest on the poor. The contradiction is so stark that I have dubbed the situation a “looking glass world” and, in a piece this past September, promised a series of posts highlighting the craziness.

    But then I have to wait for just the right news to give a perfect illustration of the absurdity. This week has provided an excellent example….

    …But then another key part of Biden’s environmental agenda is sharply reducing so-called “greenhouse gas” emissions. A huge proportion of those come from automobiles, nearly all of which today have gasoline-burning internal combustion engines. And thus in August Biden announced his plan for a rapid forced reduction in internal combustion automobiles, and their replacement with what he calls “zero emissions vehicles,” otherwise known as electric cars:

    [T]he President will sign an Executive Order that sets an ambitious new target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles.

    One small problem not mentioned in Biden’s press releases and executive orders: electric vehicles cost substantially more than do gasoline-powered versions. Plenty of lower-end new cars of the gasoline-powered types can be found in the range of $20 – 25,000, and some even for well under $20,000. By contrast, the cheapest electric vehicles are barely under $30,000 — and those have terrible range of under 150 miles. The price of the cheapest Tesla has recently shot up sharply to over $47,000.

    It is therefore no surprise that electric cars appeal mostly to affluent consumers — and almost not at all to racial minorities. In 2018 a market research firm called Hedges & Co. did a study of the demographics of Tesla Owners. Average income of a Tesla owner was reported as $143,177 for a Model X and $153,313 for a model S. As to ethnicity:

    The ethnicity of Tesla owners skews toward Caucasians, at 87%. Owners who identify with Hispanic ethnicity make up 8% of Tesla owners, leaving 5% to other ethnicities.

    The 8% of owners who are Hispanic might seem decent until you realize that the majority of Tesla Owners are in California, which is 39% Hispanic. The 5% for “other ethnicities” includes both blacks and Asians, which for some reason they did not break out separately. My bet is that the figure for blacks was so low, probably less than 1%, that they were too embarrassed to report it.

    Which brings us to the big Washington Post report just out on December 9: “Without access to charging stations, Black and Hispanic communities may be left behind in the era of electric vehicles.” (Ed Morrissey at Hot Air suggests that a more appropriate headline would have been “Come and see the systemic racism of electric vehicles.”). It seems that the WaPo has made the shocking discovery that there are next to no EV charging stations in minority neighborhoods in the major cities of the United States…”

    Like

  90. “UK police trial Tesla cars as fleets prepare for shift to electric
    Positive results may lead to Model 3 cars being adopted by police, paramedic and fire services”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/24/uk-police-trial-tesla-model-3-electric-cars

    “British police have been testing out Tesla cars as part of a drive to electrify more of their fleet, and the results so far are promising, according to a Tesla spokesperson.

    Early findings show “great results” around the suitability of the firm’s Model 3 vehicle for emergency service operation, said Max Toozs-Hobson, emergency services lead at Tesla.

    He told the Guardian that while the average blue light run in the UK was seven to 15 minutes, the Model 3 had been able to take part in runs that lasted four hours on active deployment under advanced driving conditions, and said that “it’s achievable to do over 200 miles of blue light advanced driving with the [Model 3]”.

    Positive results could lead to more Tesla Model 3 cars being adopted by UK police, paramedic and fire services.”

    Let’s hope they have a Plan B, just in case.

    Like

  91. “Plans in England for car chargers in all commercial car parks quietly rolled back
    Only new or refurbished commercial buildings should install charge points, the DfT says, citing fears over cost”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/dec/27/plans-in-england-for-car-chargers-in-all-commercial-car-parks-quietly-rolled-back

    “The government has quietly backtracked on proposals to require every shop, office or factory in England to install at least one electric car charger if they have a large car park, prompting criticism by environmental campaigners.

    The original plan required every new and existing non-residential building with parking for 20 cars or more to install a charger. However, the Department for Transport (DfT) has now revealed it will only require chargers be installed in new or refurbished commercial premises amid fears over the cost for businesses, according to a response to a consultation.

    The move has prompted concern in the car industry and among experts that public charger access will lag behind demand, as sales of electric vehicles accelerate ahead of the 2035 ban on sales of new fossil-fuelled internal combustion engines. A quarter of new cars bought in the UK in November can be plugged in to recharge, according to industry data.”

    Like

  92. Yesterday’s You and Yours: “Will 2022 be the year of the electric car for you?” A snippet that I caught while making lunch and have now transcribed:

    Peter White: Annie is calling us because your EV car stole your Christmas I gather.

    Annie: That’s right –

    Peter: Sorry, it’s Annie Bailey isn’t it, I lost your surname

    Annie: That’s okay, yes –

    Peter: Tell us about what happened.

    Annie: Oh, husband was in quarantine with Covid so rather than spend Christmas on my own I thought I’d drive from Oxfordshire to Norfolk to be with my two daughters, a journey of about 200 miles, I’ve got a Nissan leaf, ex-showroom actually but still not cheap but anyway it’s supposed to do 200 miles but it doesn’t, unless you drive at 30 miles an hour, which you know is a bit slow if you’re going to Norfolk. So I looked for a place to charge en route, I had the zap map, I decided where to charge, I got to the point in Thetford, it didn’t work, but eventually on the helpline to ?BT Pulse? they got it working, it then wouldn’t disconnect, which I gather is a common fault – you remain tethered to the machine until they in head office disconnect you, there’s nothing you can do about it. Eventually got to Norfolk, very nice, but I thought on Boxing Day I’d leave early in the afternoon in case it took me longer than anticipated to get home.

    Annie: Every single charger on my route back was out of order, until eventually, having tried many, I ran out of power – I was actually forced at 11.30 at night having left after lunch to check in to a Travelodge and charge my battery overnight through the bedroom window using my extension lead which I carry in the boot.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0012swb

    Available for a year if it is available to you. I also liked the guy who phoned in to say how great his new EV was and how his range anxiety had soon worn off. Some way along his call he let it be known that it was a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. Yes, I’m sure 80 grand gets you a very nice EV! Thanks for call. Now get the hell off my radio.

    Liked by 2 people

  93. Looking at the BBC’s review of the papers on its website today, I see that the Times has a headline: “Electric car travels length of Britain on single charge”.

    I haven’t read the whole article, because it continues over the page, and I am only able to look at the front page. However, nowhere in the 8 visible paragraphs is there a statement to back up the claim that the car has actually been driven between John o’ Groats and Lands End (or the equivalent) under power of a single charge. Instead, the paper talks of driving between Southampton and Inverness, and the actual words used are: “…Mercedes-Benz has become the first mainstream carmaker to produce an electric vehicle that can make it from Southampton to Inverness on a single charge.. developing a prototype that could travel 620 miles without needing to stop for a top-up… The commercial model is unlikely to have the full range of the concept car…”.

    Has the Times gone full Guardian/BBC with headlines which aren’t justified by the story that follows?

    Like

  94. Clarkson in a rusty diesel bomber with 200,000 on the clock vs May in the prototype. A race from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Who wins? [I have never watched The Grand Tour – I presume they still organise races between the presenters.] [No, I don’t know what Hammond is driving.]

    Like

  95. “Electric car sales soar, but chip shortage hits market”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59887024

    “Sales of electric vehicles soared last year, but the market as a whole failed to recover from the Covid pandemic.

    More electric cars were registered in 2021 than in the previous five years combined, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

    Yet the industry body said much more investment is needed in charging infrastructure.

    Meanwhile an acute shortage of computer chips left dealers struggling to get hold of many new conventional models.”

    But this, I think is the real story:

    “Overall, 2021 was another dismal year for the motor industry. Preliminary figures from the SMMT show that some 1.65m cars new cars were registered.

    That was a small increase over 2020, when the impact of the first Covid-related lockdowns and dealer closures sent sales plummeting.

    But it was still the second-worst figure recorded in nearly three decades, and 28% down on its pre-pandemic level.”

    Covid hasn’t helped, of course, but politicians are wrecking the car industry. We normally change our car around every 7 years, which would mean starting to look for a new one around now. Having looked, I’ve realised that I can’t find a new car that’s a patch on the one we already own, whether in terms of mpg, annual road tax, servicing costs etc. All new diesels have to have AdBlue, one major ingredient for which is urea, where (as ever) China is seeking to dominate the market:

    “What is urea and AdBlue, and why does a worldwide shortage threaten Australia’s supply chain?
    How China’s export ban could force diesel trucks that need the AdBlue exhaust fluid off the road and lead to higher food prices”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/dec/08/what-is-urea-and-why-does-a-worldwide-shortage-threaten-australias-supply-chain

    Needless to say we’re going to keep our old car running for the foreseeable future and have postponed (indefinitely) any plans to buy a new one. I suspect millions of others are making similar calculations.

    Like

  96. Mark, if you now look at second hand, you’ll find that everything costs more than it would have a year ago. According to this
    https://plc.autotrader.co.uk/press-centre/news-hub/used-car-prices-rocket-as-inflation-rate-reaches-record-high/ inflation is 26.9% on used. Autotrader helpfully feature a league table of second hand cars with the highest levels of inflation. My knowledge of car models is not what it was when I was twelve, but it doesn’t look like there are any EVs high up on the list.

    That reminds me: a few years ago EVs were showing the highest depreciation rates of all cars. Is this still the case, I wonder?

    With cars being torched in France on New Year’s Eve, I wonder how such nights will go when all cars are EVs?

    Liked by 1 person

  97. Mark, on the Merc EV with 620 miles range: I just saw another story about the same vehicle which claimed the range was “1,000 km”. Funnily enough, 620 miles is 998 km. So it seems likely that Merc’s intention was to build a car with a 1,000 km range, which then became 620 miles in translation: i.e. there is false precision which makes it sound as if the number has been arrived at by real-world testing.

    Like

  98. Dougie, go back up to https://cliscep.com/2021/05/15/i-dream-of-ev/#comment-92274 and read down a couple of comments for something similar. (Not a second meter, but onerous regulations for charge points.)

    You know, these long and occasionally updated threads end up containing a lot of useful nuggets when you read them back. (Reinvigorating old threads with new stories is mostly done by Mark, so thanks to him for that.)

    Like

  99. A refreshingly candid article about EV problems:

    “Streets ahead? What I’ve learned from my year with an electric car
    Record sales and now news of a battery that lasts hundreds of miles. It’s getting better, but going green was tough, admits a reluctant pioneer”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/08/streets-ahead-what-ive-learned-from-my-year-with-an-electric-car

    “…we settled on a Renault Zoe. Of the cheaper cars, it had the longest range: about 240 miles on a full charge, weather and driving conditions dependent. But all EVs are expensive – £31,000 for this small and far-from-luxury car. We opted to lease, paying a small amount of cash and then monthly payments.

    From the outset the whole experience was distinctly lacking in frills; a couple of young petrolheads waved us goodbye with minimal induction to the car and no information about the charging infrastructure, except to “use the Zap[-Map] app to find a charge point”….

    …We were on our own trying to figure out the mysteries of the country’s charging network. BP rang, offering us a charging point outside our house. This domestic charging is cheapest but, living in a London terrace, we were ineligible. Instead we became aficionados of charging lamp-posts, relatively common in our area. But, as often with EVs, there is a catch. Wandsworth borough council does not reserve the parking spaces for EVs, so “ordinary” cars park there, displacing EVs, which are forced to hunt around for one of the faster, more expensive chargers.

    There are numerous providers and not very numerous chargers. Each provider requires you to download its app and subscribe. They all work differently and prices vary. Many chargers are out of order.

    Problems are most visible on longer journeys. When lockdown was relaxed in May we booked to stay at Derek Gow’s rewilding project in Devon. We planned to stop where there were “clusters” of chargers but still got caught out, idling away an hour in a glum corner of Amesbury in Wiltshire, only to discover the charger had stopped working after 10 minutes.

    After that, it was a hunt for other chargers in obscure garden centres, supermarkets and garages. Some worked, some did not, but we began to meet the community of electric adventurers, passing time waiting for chargers by comparing apps, prices and “worst EV journeys”….

    …John had most of the apps on his phone and did more of the technical side, especially midnight trips to find a lamp-post. …”

    Like

  100. “Britishvolt: Electric car battery plant gets government funding”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60066432

    “A firm planning mass production of electric car batteries in the UK has secured government funding for its proposed factory in Northumberland.

    Britishvolt announced plans for the so-called gigafactory in Cambois two years ago, saying it would create 3,000 jobs.

    The BBC understands the government has committed about £100m through its Automotive Transformation Fund….

    …Put simply: If batteries aren’t made here, the chances are carmakers won’t set up shop here either….”.

    At one level, I accept, this is good news. At last, the potential for some “green” jobs to replace a small fraction of the jobs that the “green” drive is destroying. At another level, however, it’s absurd. We now have taxpayers being forced by a mixture of carrot and stick (higher taxes on non-electric cars and fuel; subsidies on electric vehicles paid for by other taxpayers) to buy EVs that they don’t, by and large, want. And now the taxpayer is being forced to subsidise a battery plant in the UK because it wouldn’t have happened if left to the market, and if “batteries aren’t made here, the chances are carmakers won’t set up shop here either.” Next step, no doubt, will be subsidies to EV markers to follow suit and set up or convert plants here.

    We’re almost back to the “good old days” of the 1970s when UK car manufacturing was a headache for governments and a drain on the taxpayer.

    Like

  101. This “gigafactory” – it’s not a gigafactory, it’s a factory – won’t be able to compete on price, so it will require bailouts if it is not to go bust. Good luck competing with China for the raw materials! My prediction is for a further injection of cash in 5 years.

    3,000 jobs for 100 mill = 30 thou per job.

    Like

  102. “How do we make the move to electric cars happen? Ask Norway”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/22/how-do-we-make-the-move-to-electric-cars-happen-ask-norway

    “Two-thirds of all new cars bought by Norwegians last year were electric. Turns out you just need a government with a clue”

    And “Ten years ago, diesel cars accounted for 75% of new sales there. Today they make up just 2.3%. Two-thirds of all new cars sold there in 2021 were EVs and the predictions are that proportion will reach 80% this year. Ye olde internal combustion engine seems destined for extinction in that particular part of the frozen north.”

    With hilarious timing, that article appeared on the same day as this one:

    “More Norwegians want to buy a diesel car, new survey shows”

    https://norwaytoday.info/everyday/more-norwegians-want-to-buy-a-diesel-car-new-survey-shows/

    “Diesel cars are increasing slightly in popularity, and fewer Norwegians say they will invest in electric and hybrid cars in the future, a new survey shows.

    In a survey carried out by InFact for the newspaper Nationen, 18.3% of the respondents answered that they would invest in a diesel car the next time they buy a car.

    That is an increase from 16% last year when Sentio conducted a similar survey for Nationen.
    In the same survey, 34.3% answered that their first choice for their next car purchase is an electric car – compared with 39% a year ago….

    …Car industry experts point out that both record-high electricity prices and long waiting times for delivery of electric cars may be among the reasons why interest in electric cars may have fallen a bit….”.

    Like

  103. The Guardian writer is keen on tipping points:
    “Something similar is going on in relation to adoption of EVs in Britain. The hockey-stick graph is common in consumer technologies.” Good grief. Spare us!
    “Britain hasn’t reached a tipping point with EVs yet, and so the first question is: when is it likely to occur? It needs to be earlier than most people think,”
    There is another outcome that the writer has not mentioned. EVs are quite possibly a niche market. In addition to those who want to own an EV for environmental reasons, the niche is probably defined by others who are able to charge at home, can afford the additional cost and, in Canada for example, can afford to own an ICE vehicle in addition, for long trips, winter driving in the mountains and as security for when the power is out. Based on the survey noted by Mark, the niche market in Norway may be approaching saturation.

    Liked by 2 people

  104. “UK electric vehicle charging network is lagging behind, says Volkswagen
    ‘Charging anxiety’ may prevent the government from meeting its 2030 target for mass adoption of zero-emission cars”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jan/26/uk-electric-vehicle-charging-network-is-lagging-behind-says-volkswagen

    “The lack of a widespread electric vehicle charging network in the UK is holding back the mass adoption of zero-emission cars, according to carmakers and industry analysts.

    This year is considered crucial for electric vehicles (EVs) going mainstream, but the German manufacturer Volkswagen has warned that a significant increase in the number of available chargers is needed to convince consumers to make the switch from petrol and diesel cars.

    The UK government plans to ban sales of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2030, when ministers hope one in every three cars on Britain’s roads will be electric, compared with one in 100 currently.

    “The key thing now is to ensure that the charging infrastructure not just increases to meet the current demand, but accelerates to overtake the current demand,” said Alex Smith, the managing director of Volkswagen UK.

    “We’ve got to get the charging infrastructure ahead of the game to enable us to progress from the quite specific adoption that we have at the moment into mass adoption. And we’re not there yet.”

    Sales of EVs have soared in recent years, and almost doubled between 2020 and 2021, rising from 108,000 to 190,000, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This meant that Britons bought more electric cars last year than during the previous five years combined.

    However, sales have been climbing from relatively low levels, and accounted for just under 12% of sales last year.”

    Yes, low levels indeed. I’m not sure that “soared” is the appropriate word to describe EV sales. Accounting for 12% of a significantly reduced year’s sales isn’t particularly impressive, especially as many of them are hybrids rather than pure EVs. In addition:

    “At the start of the year, there were 28,375 public EV charging devices available in the UK, according to figures published by the Department for Transport. Fewer than 20% of these – only 5,156 – were rapid chargers.

    That is fewer than half of the 66,665 chargers that had already been installed in the Netherlands by 2021, and a third less than the 44,538 chargers found in Germany at that time, according to figures from the EU’s European Alternative Fuels Observatory.”

    Like

  105. “UK car production slumps to lowest level since 1956
    The SMMT said 2021 was ‘a dismal year’, with output down by more than a third on 2019”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jan/27/uk-car-production-slumps-to-lowest-level-since-1956

    “The lowest number of cars rolled out of British factories last year since 1956, as the industry warned that rising energy costs and further shortages of computer chips will plague its recovery.

    Car production slumped across the UK and the world in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, but many in the industry had expected a rapid improvement. Instead, the disruption triggered a global shortage of semiconductor chips, leading to an even worse 2021.

    Total UK car production fell by 6.7% to just under 860,000, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the industry lobby group. Its chief executive, Mike Hawes, described it as “a dismal year”, with output down by more than a third on 2019.”

    No doubt covid, and shortages of computer chips played their part, but rising energy costs (thanks to net zero) are a significant factor and in the case of car manufacturing I strongly suspect it’s because the push to electric and away from diesel and petrol simply isn’t what the public wants. This paragraph is telling:

    “The number of battery electric cars with zero exhaust carbon emissions produced in the UK rose by 72% during 2021, but it remains only a 12th of overall UK output.”

    Liked by 1 person

  106. “Will road pricing answer the UK’s net-zero car-tax conundrum?
    Politicians dislike discussing how to replace fuel duty and road tax but a clear option is now in view”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jan/28/will-road-pricing-answer-the-uks-net-zero-car-tax-conundrum

    “Road pricing may promise a fairer, sustainable way to make polluting drivers pay, ease congestion and fund better transport, but few politicians in power have ever wanted to take the flak that would come with introducing it.

    The Treasury has stressed the move from petrol and diesel to electric cars as part of Britain’s net zero strategy will require new sources of revenue to replace billions in lost fuel and vehicle excise duty. However, despite a year of speculation that the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, was warming to the idea, there has been no mention of road pricing as a possible solution in his budgets…

    …Roads, unlike most utilities, are essentially unmetered, with the way they are paid for failing to reflect when and where they are used.

    Instead the Treasury collects money from motorists via fuel duty and vehicle excise duty. Fuel duty is a blunt tool that charges motorists for how much they drive, and the efficiency of their vehicle. Raising it has become politically toxic – Conservative chancellors have frozen the 57.9p-a-litre levy for a decade – but the bigger longer-term problem is the move to electric cars. That puts fuel duty revenues, about £28bn a year pre-pandemic, on their own path to net zero.

    Vehicle excise duty, worth roughly £6bn a year, is also currently not paid by electric car owners, who are likewise exempt from London’s congestion or clean air charges. That is seen as an acceptable trade-off for the high purchase price of electric cars for early adopters, but car owners driving “for free” could soon feel politically tricky, and in the long term new funding, such as road pricing, feels inevitable….”.

    Yes indeed, all the claims made for how cheap EVs are compared to diesel and petrol cars will, sooner rather than later, run into the difficulty that the Government will need to find a new source to supply all that revenue that it currently receives from petrol and diesel car drivers. Once they’re collecting it from EV drivers instead, and the subsidies to help reduce their higher purchase costs have ceased, and they start having to pay eye-watering amounts to replace their defunct batteries after 8 years (see the recently-reported case of the EV Mercedes Benz driver) then it might dawn on EV users that they’ve actually opted for a much more expensive and much less user-friendly form of transport than those currently available (i.e. diesel and petrol cars).

    Like

  107. “Fuel and excise duty must be replaced with new tax, MPs say”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60251046

    “The UK needs to create a new motoring tax to plug the revenue gap as drivers switch to electric cars, MPs have said.

    The government should tax motorists based on miles travelled as the use of petrol and diesel vehicles decreases, the Transport Select Committee said.

    If no action is taken this year, the UK faces a £35bn “black hole” in its finances, they said.

    The Treasury said tax revenues would keep pace with changes prompted by electric vehicle take-up.

    Sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2030 and sales of electric cars are already soaring.

    Taken together, vehicle excise duty – better known as “car tax” – and fuel duty that motorists pay at the pump, raise around £35bn a year, but neither tax is levied on pure electric vehicles.

    The committee warned there is likely to be no revenue from existing tax sources by 2040.”

    Some of us have been pointing this out for years. Have our Parliamentary representatives really just woken up to this? Are they really so stupid?

    “If road pricing did come in, what exact technology would be used, who would provide it, and what reassurances could be offered over privacy, given the amount of data captured?

    How could it work alongside the local schemes already in place, such as city congestion charges?

    And when would be the right time? Too early and it might put people off buying electric cars.

    Too late and cheaper driving could lead to more congestion, and electric car drivers who’ve grown used to not being taxed may not react positively to the belated introduction of a charge.”

    Are EV drivers in the UK really so stupid as to think that buying an EV means they’ll never pay the normal taxes for using them that the rest of us currently pay?

    Like

  108. There are two issues here. One is that EV drivers would get an awful shock thinking that they have lower running costs for ever.
    RAC Foundation : “Drivers choosing to go electric deserve to know what is coming next – particularly if the promise of cheap per-mile running costs is set to be undermined by a future tax change. If the Treasury is thinking it can leave this issue for another day but still recoup their losses from electric vehicles they risk a furious backlash.”

    The more challenging issue is that road pricing will require the government to track every car’s movement, every day, all the time. And it would not be anonymous tracking as it would have to be tied to an individual’s road pricing account. I don’t see that ever becoming politically acceptable. Maybe in a few places like central London but right across the UK? Any party that ran on that platform would get pulverized in the polls. Who wants to be tracked by Big Brother?

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/feb/04/uk-road-pricing-transport-committee-mps-electric-shift

    Liked by 2 people

  109. It looks like desperation has found its ultimate expression:

    “Electric car owners will be called on to help Britain avoid an energy crunch as suppliers prepare tariffs allowing them to draw power from parked vehicles at times of low supply or high demand.

    Cars which are charging on driveways are to be plugged into a system responsible for balancing the National Grid for the first time, in an experiment aimed at easing the burden on the country’s creaking energy infrastructure.

    It will lay the groundwork for a national rollout of the technology if successful, paving the way for millions of electric cars to act as a giant battery so that power supply is stable at times of low wind speeds after the transition to green energy.

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/cars/news/national-grid-to-drain-electric-car-batteries-at-times-of-peak-demand/ar-AATHMCd?ocid=msedgntp

    Apologies if this is old news. I haven’t being following this thread particularly.

    Like

  110. John, it has certainly been on the radar for a while, if maybe not in this thread. I can see a number of possible reasons why it won’t work. Foremost among them is human nature, which, being what it is, probably means that returning commuters would not plug their vehicle in over tea time. Why would they? Wait till 9 and then plug it in. Said car owner would be thinking: a) if I plug it in now I may have less power than if I wait – and if it does charge, it will cost me more, and b) if the grid keeps sucking juice out of my battery, won’t the battery be wrecked all the sooner?

    If the grid thinks it can work from a technical standpoint, I’ll have to bow to that because I don’t understand how the grid works. I would have thought that there was no way the leccy could flow back past the local transformer. It might result in reduced apparent demand in the immediate vicinity. Calling electrical engineers for an explanation for dummies.

    As well as AC/DC, there are also the resistive losses to consider.

    Then there is the potential for mischief.

    I wonder if they will make Faraday cages illegal?

    Liked by 2 people

  111. “Zero emissions: How will Wales move to electric buses?”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-60031144

    “A plan to move the whole of Wales’ bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2035 needs a nationwide funding plan, operators have said.

    Unlike England and Scotland, Wales does not yet have a government-run fund to help operators with the cost of green vehicles and infrastructure.

    Newport and Cardiff have made big steps in bringing electric buses into use, but they are the outliers at present.

    Work on a funding scheme is happening this year, the Welsh government said.

    Cardiff Bus unveiled 36 new electric buses in January, which means zero emission (ZE) vehicles now make up almost a quarter of its fleet, four years after the first eight-week trial of an electric bus in the city.”.

    As always, money money money. I thought net zero was supposed to be self-funding, create loads of green jobs and save us money?

    Like

  112. Mark, there are similar issues around our neck of the woods:

    https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/local-council/bid-for-millions-for-electric-buses-8682212

    First Buses and Norfolk County Council are keen to secure a share of the Department for Transport’s £50m Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) fund.

    The county council had lodged an expression of interest for a slice of the cash, which would cover almost half the £6.9m cost of replacing 15 of First’s single decker buses with electric single decker vehicles.

    Expensive buses. How much are the diesels?

    Liked by 1 person

  113. Mark,

    I believe a new unit of measurement is to be introduced by the green economists. It’s called the shitload. Unfortunately, it often applies to pounds sterling but never to gigawatts.

    Liked by 1 person

  114. “Car industry calls for electric charge watchdog”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60394567

    “The UK car industry has called for a watchdog to oversee electric car charging prices and the availability of charge points.

    The growth in electric vehicles sales is outstripping the rollout of charging points, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

    It said a regulator is needed to monitor the market.

    The government said it was providing £1.3bn to expand the charging network.

    Over the decade between 2011 and 2021 the number of charge points in the UK jumped from about 1,500 to more than 48,000, according to industry figures.

    But between 2019 and 2021 the number of electric cars on the road increased much faster.

    Moreover, the charge point rollout was uneven, going faster in the south of England than in the north, the industry body said.

    The SMMT called on the government to set up a new regulator called “Ofcharge” – the Office of Charging – to monitor the market.”

    Oh good, another QUANGO< another expensive and useless trough. If they do end up going down this road, let's hope the costs are fully accepted in all government statistics, and let's hope it does a better job than OFGEM (though in fairness, OFGEM has been given an impossible remit by government, being forced to try to achieve mutually contradictory objectives).

    Like

  115. Mark, a bit you didn’t quote:

    Last summer MPs also raised concerns about the cost of public charging, saying it was far more expensive than charging a car at home. Energy prices have soared since then.

    It’s a good job we pick the smartest folk to be our MPs. Did they seriously think a company could buy chargers, lease land, install chargers, employ staff to maintain chargers, pay for vans, spares, training & supply leccy to the public while making a profit, AND charge the same price that the public would pay charging from home? [I wonder if the maintenence folk drive electric vans?]

    “Energy prices have soared.” Yes, and the cost of leccy at the public charger will not be covered by any caps. So it would be interesting to know how much the cost of a kWh is now. I might look into it if I have a mo.

    Liked by 2 people

  116. “Photos: Fire-Ravaged Felicity Ace Adrift off the Azores”

    https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/photos-fire-ravaged-felicity-ace-adrift-off-the-azores

    In the meantime, speculation is mounting over the cause of the fire as well as the full scope of the loss. The trade publication Automotive News is now reporting that it obtained information that there are a total of 3,965 cars aboard of which the largest portion is believed to be Porsche, Audi, and VW, but that there could also be nearly 200 Bentleys and an unspecified number of Lamborghini. The trade magazine first reported that analysts are estimating the value of the loss of the cars, without the vessel, at more than $255 million.

    One of the points of speculation is centering on the possibility that the vessel was carrying electric vehicles among its load. The car carrier industry has been focusing on the dangers of the batteries used in electric cars with some questioning if they could be the source of the fire. Experts noted even if the batteries had not caused the fire, that they are highly explosive and likely contributed to the spread of the fire on the vessel.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. “Car carrier fires and the associated risks with Electric Vehicle transportation”

    https://www.ukpandi.com/news-and-resources/articles/2021/car-carrier-fires-and-the-associated-risks-with-electric-vehicle-transportation/

    “With the COP26 summit dominating recent news headlines and an increasing requirement globally to use alternative sustainable fuels and minimise carbon emissions, share prices for Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers like Tesla have doubled over the past three months, and car carrier charter rates, particularly regarding transporting EVs, are soaring.

    With this growth and demand has come an increased awareness operationally of the risks involved with transporting EVs on ro-ro and ro-pax vessels. Many ro-ro vessel operators are already carrying EVs and alternative fuel vehicles with a cautious approach. In October this year, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency issued a consultation document regarding the safe carriage of EVs and charging facilities on ro-pax ferries, so the safety concerns are clearly being considered on a wider level throughout the maritime industry….

    …The following are all potential risk scenarios that could arise when transporting EVs:

    Battery fire during on-board charging of the EV
    Battery fire due to increase in temperature from a fire in the surrounding area
    Battery fire after an accidental impact during cargo operation or vessel movement in bad weather
    Fire or explosion due to the escape of hydrogen from the fuel cell hydrogen pressure tank resulting from fire in the lower deck or surrounding area
    Battery runaway due to an internal short circuit resulting from an impact, or poor battery quality leading to fire when the battery internal safety mechanisms stop working
    In addition, a lithium-ion battery exposed to temperatures above 150 °C from a surrounding fire might start to discharge toxic gases with possible ignition. In case of a fire in the vicinity of a FCEV it is possible for the pressure to increase in the hydrogen tank from an external temperature increase. A significant amount of hydrogen could then escape forming flammable mixtures which could be ignited by non-explosion-proof equipment, such as lamps and fans….”.

    Like

  118. “How green are electric cars? – video”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2022/feb/24/how-green-are-electric-cars-video

    “There’s no denying that electric vehicles are what most of us will be driving in the near-future. Countries around the world have pledged to phase out the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles over the next few decades, in an effort to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But with lingering questions over the mining of rare metals, battery manufacturing and electricity consumption, Josh Toussaint-Strauss investigates whether electric vehicles are as green as we’ve been led to believe”

    I confess I haven’t watched it.

    Like

  119. I didn’t expect to read this in the Guardian:

    “‘A really bad deal’: Michigan awards GM $1bn in incentives for new electric cars
    Automakers’ history of taking fat subsidies and overpromising job growth make some analysts skeptical of the deal”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/25/michigan-awards-1bn-tax-incentives-gm-ev-plants

    “…The package is “a really bad deal for Michigan taxpayers”, said Greg LeRoy, executive director of corporate subsidy watchdog Good Jobs First. Michigan isn’t alone: The deal is among a new wave of colossal corporate subsidy packages that lawmakers across the country are cooking up to lure EV manufacturing and more giveaways are in the works. And like other huge corporate sweeteners – notably the $4.8bn used to lure Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to Wisconsin – LeRoy warns these “trophy deal” announcements may help political campaigns, but are also reckless deals that threaten to blow holes in states’ budgets in the coming decades.

    As the combustion engine is phased out, tax revenue from its production and use will drop off, and states will need EV revenue to replace it. EV manufacturing requires fewer direct and indirect jobs and adding generous subsidy deals further limits its financial returns.

    Already, Michigan has handed out more subsidy deals, worth at least $50m, than any other state, and it has struggled with budget shortfalls stemming from billions it owes on combustion engine tax incentives that have yielded questionable job and revenue returns.

    “You would think after all that history Michigan would be gun shy to do something like this that could bite them,” LeRoy said….”.

    Like

  120. “Boris Johnson’s promise to build 4,000 zero-emission buses makes zero progress
    Only £320m of £4bn needed to build flagship vehicles for ‘green transport revolution’ has been committed by chancellor Rishi Sunak”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/feb/26/boris-johnson-promise-build-4000-zero-emission-buses-green-transport-revolution

    “One of Boris Johnson flagship “green” pledges – to provide 4,000 new zero-emission, British-built buses by the end of 2024 – has been cast into serious doubt by UK manufacturers who say they have yet to receive any orders for new vehicles….

    …Since then, only a fraction of the necessary funds has been allocated, with £320m being committed by chancellor Rishi Sunak in last autumn’s spending review, towards an estimated total of £4bn needed to put 4,000 green buses on the road.

    UK manufacturers say that unless the funds are committed and orders made soon, there will not be time to get the new vehicles into service in time to meet Johnson’s promise.

    Paul Davies, managing director of bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, which is Britain’s biggest bus builder and the world’s largest manufacturer of double-decker buses, said: “The problem is that we are running out of time to deliver on what was promised. If everything is left until the last minute, the danger is we have to look to overseas companies for quicker and cheaper options when the intention was that they would be British-made.”…”.

    Here’s an idea, don’t build them. There’s no need to look abroad yet again. £4Bn of taxpayer money to build 4,000 electric buses? Seriously? £1M each? And that’s just the extent of the subsidy, not necessarily what they’ll cost in total.

    Like

  121. “Plug in your car … but only Britain’s richer motorists can charge up cheaply
    Drivers with no off-street parking must use public charging points and miss £950 in savings, warns thinktank”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/27/plug-in-your-car-britain-richer-motorists-can-charge-up-cheaply

    “Almost 10 million households in England and Wales risk missing out on savings of £950 a year that come from owning an electric car, according to a study warning that richer households stand to benefit most.

    About a third of households have no access to off-street parking or a personal garage, so will miss out on lower costs from charging the cars using cheaper overnight electricity.

    Switching to those tariffs and away from fossil fuel-run cars could see weekly fuel costs fall from £21 to less than £3 for those who can access them. However, while 76% of the richest households have access to off-street parking, the same is true for only 56% of the poorest fifth of households. The findings emerge in a forthcoming study by the Resolution Foundation thinktank examining Britain’s plans for achieving net zero emissions and the impact on living standards. The switch to electric vehicles has the potential to cut fuel costs, but it reveals the barriers that remain in ensuring everyone can access them.”

    True, but simplistic. It ignores the fact that poor people can’t afford expensive electric vehicles in the first place. Secondly, it ignores the fact that if the number of private EVs on the roads increases, and petrol and diesel cars decrease, then EVs will no longer have cheap running costs, because the government will have to start hitting EV users with taxes to make up the shortfall from reducing numbers of milch cows in the form of petrol and diesel motorists.

    Liked by 2 people

  122. I like the way the Guardian uses the word “findings”. Sceptics said something similar before the ICE ban was announced: that 40% of households had no driveway and would therefore not be able to use domestic electricity to charge their vehicles and would therefore be greatly disadvantaged. Now this obvious fact is described as a “finding.” Like the finding that rain is wet.

    To my knowledge no journalists have pressed ministers on domestic charging in interviews. If they were to have resorted to saying “they can use public chargers” then the rejoinder is obvious.

    I take the point about affordability of EVs, but presumably by 2030 there will be plenty of clunkers with knackered batteries rusting away on forecourts.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. Boris Johnson’s promise to build 4,000 zero-emission buses makes zero progress
    Only £320m of £4bn needed to build flagship vehicles for ‘green transport revolution’ has been committed by chancellor Rishi Sunak

    That division is too obvious, even for typical Guardian readers, surely? A few at least must be wondering how a leccy bus can retail at a cool mill. (Or at least, that requires a million in subsidy per vehicle, which as you note, may still cost the end user an arm and a leg.)

    And bearing in mind the heavy use buses get, how long before these wonder buses will need replacing?

    Liked by 1 person

  124. Is this as good as it gets?

    “New Nottinghamshire solar point can charge 100 electric cars a day”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-60562635

    “A new solar-powered hub could charge up to 100 electric vehicles a day, according to the authority behind it.

    The hub is opening in the car park of Gamston Community Centre in Nottinghamshire.

    Rushcliffe Borough Council said the facility formed part of its carbon management plan and would, in time, largely be powered by natural light.

    It said electric and hybrid users would be able to charge their vehicles up to 80% in 30 minutes.”

    I see those weasel words again – “could” and “up to”. 80% charge, to be able to go not very far, after 30 minutes, hardly compares with the 3 or 4 minutes it takes me at a petrol station to fill up with enough diesel to enable me to drive 700 miles or more. And what does “and would, in time, largely be powered by natural light” mean? How is it powered now? How largely is “largely”? And how long will it take to get there? And by the way (missing from the article) what has it all cost?

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  125. There’s a constant thread running through Cliscep: EVs bad, ICEs good. There are positive reasons for owning an EV and for many, the CO2 emissions are likely the last thing they think about. As I have confessed, we own a Tesla and it’s the best car we’ve ever had. The handling and features are excellent. The maintenance costs are very low and where electricity is relatively cheap like in British Columbia, the running costs are also low. Not contributing to local air pollution is an important issue in urban areas.

    Like

  126. potentilla, there can indeed be positive reasons for owning an EV. It’s horses for courses. Yours works for you, but one wouldn’t work for me, as my wife and I live in a small market town, with the result that we walk into town for pretty much everything we do, and we mostly make long journeys, visiting and supporting family. An EV probably wouldn’t see us get to my mother’s house and back on a single charge. It might not even get us TO our family in Staffordshire, never mind there and back, certainly not in winter with lights, heater and windscreen wipers on.

    The hostility you see here is because of the suggestion by “greens” that they are .”zero” or “low” “carbon” – they’re not. Nor are they environmentally friendly, in view of the mining and associated problems for the raw materials they need, though I take your point about air quality in towns. And because in the UK, we’re all (rich and poor alike) subsidising their purchase (mostly by rich people, since even with subsidies poor people can’t afford them) through our general taxes, and through their exemption from taxes that other car owners pay in large amounts. Finally, our misguided government won’t allow us to buy any new petrol or diesel cars from 2030 – just 7 years away – thus denying us freedom of choice, foisting on us what for many people is a less useful alternative, and at a time when the infrastructure won’t be ready for that. All for a “net zero” agenda that – as recent events demonstrate in spades – makes absolutely no geopolitical sense at all.

    In the UK electricity isn’t cheap – the price is going through the roof right now, and we’re already in danger of brownouts and even blackouts, because of a creaking National Grid and feeble generation due to over-reliance on renewables. Add the extra demand for EVs, and it could all fall over.

    So it’s not hostility to EVs and their owners, as such; rather it’s hostility to the way things are being manipulated regarding EVs in the UK, the lies we’re told about them, and the stupidity of Government policy with regard to them. I hope that helps to reassure you.

    Like

  127. potentilla/Mark

    I too am very happy for folk to buy EVs. I just don’t think its rational to ban the sale of ICEVs. I’m not sure what the stat is – maybe 40% – of UK households with no off-street parking, who would therefore rely on public chargers, supplying leccy at much higher costs than domestic rates. That doesn’t sound like a progressive move to me. EV owners don’t pay fuel tax, VAT on the fuel tax, or “road tax”, and have a subsidy both for the car and the home charger kit. These policies all favour those of us with a bit more dosh, and disfavour those who are “just about managing.”

    Let them compete with ICEVs on a level playing field, and then all we’ll have to complain about is the child labour & the risk that they might go up like Roman candles. I’m sure they’re great in the leafy suburbs but not everyone lives that way. For the government to be so indifferent to that is somewhat perplexing.

    The stats from the Volvo study referred to by Orlowski at Spiked seems to bash even the carbon dioxide savings. I do take the point about the tail pipe emissions in cities. But from my anecdotal observations, most cars have pretty clean exhausts. A small proportion, usually of overworked diesels, produces the lion’s share – I have absolutely no objection to getting them off the road. In theory the MOT now has an emissions test, but I don’t know how well this is enforced.

    Like

  128. Today’s You and Yours on R4 putting my touch typing to the test (I failed). From about 5 to 1 if anyone who wants to listen is still reading this thread. I transcribe the middle bit of presenter Nicola Beckford’s interview with a used car salesman and a woman from Autotrader:

    BECKFORD: Let’s turn to you now Erin Baker [Editorial Director of Autotrader]. Autotrader published a report, “The road to 2030” and by 2030 you won’t be able to buy a new petrol car anyway. How might the current fuel crisis change your predictions?

    BAKER: Well, we’ve seen a drop off on Autotrader from a high of 26% of all cars being looked at being electric in September last year to just 16% of those views being on electric cars in February. So you would think that with prices high at the pumps that people would be turning to electric and they should be – this is a time to get more people converted if we are going to get everyone transitioning by 2030 to electric cars. But we’re seeing that interest in electric cars really slow down, and that really is to do with two things: the continued high sticker price of electric cars, they are still on average 37% more expensive than their petrol or diesel counterparts, and secondly the government slowly but steadily reducing incentives to buy them. And when you couple all that with the increase in energy prices which means that that one thing that offsets the high sticker price, which is the ability for people to charge their cars on cheap electric tariffs, when that is disappearing with the rise in electricity costs, we’re really seeing that slowdown now in electric takeup.

    BECKFORD: That’s interesting because in February, sales figures show that electric vehicles actually grabbed 25% of the market, double of what they did annually last year. Was that a blip then or a trend?

    BAKER: Uh, we think that’s a blip, that’s what the data seems to be suggesting that with the rush of petrol prices, with petrol prices going up, people did then start looking at electric cars in seriousness. Also you have to remember that the (super?) chip shortage which is affecting stock of new cars, which is what is putting used car prices so high, people are still waiting for the electric cars that they ordered months and months ago to come through the system. The overall trend seems to be starting to be a slowdown in electric takeup and at the moment there’s still a bubble of electric car takeup because wealthy people are still coming through the system, more affluent buyers are still able to afford that higher sticker price, but when we exhaust that bubble of more affluent buyers, we are worried that the mass adoption simply won’t happen.

    BECKFORD: Interesting.

    The other speaker was clueless, nonsensically claiming his area was suffering badly with the “onset of climate change”, then went on to talk about how many power cuts they have (implying that they are caused by climate change?) and how that made EVs less suitable.

    Like

  129. Tip for transcription.I set up the tablet for voice typing
    and then I listen to the clip on the lap top on headphones
    Then I simultaneously speak the clip words into the tablet

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  130. Jit, thanks for that. I was annoyed to find that I switched the radio on just as that piece was finishing.

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  131. Oh what a coincidence the same Erin Baker is on Woman’s Hour today doing #PRasnew for Electric Cars
    20% of women are to be SHAMED by @bbcWomansHour management for not conforming to their “shop yourself green” rules

    #BiasedBBC is completely in the pocket of #GreenBlob PR people
    10am Woman’s Hour : Electric Car #PRasNews

    “We know that women are more environmentally conscious when shopping for the household
    – but there’s one area where that doesn’t seem to be the case – cars.
    There are now over 600,000 plug-in electric vehicles in the UK, but *a new study has found that 20% of women haven’t even considered buying an electric car.*
    We speak to Erin Baker, Editorial Director at AutoTrader about why women are less likely to opt for electric vehicles.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00159pw

    … Maybe those 20% could be made to wear GREEN stars on their elbows.

    Liked by 1 person

  132. I think Woman’s Hour is the wokest, most ideologically-driven, programme on the BBC, and that’s saying something.

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  133. “Manchin ‘very reluctant’ on electric cars in ominous sign for Biden’s climate fight”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/15/manchin-reluctant-electric-cars-biden-climate-crisis-fight

    “Faced with rising gasoline prices, many Americans are now looking to switch to an electric car. But the shift away from fossil fuel vehicles has been criticized by Senator Joe Manchin, who has said he is “very reluctant” to see the proliferation of battery-powered cars….

    …But Manchin, the centrist Democrat who holds a key swing vote in the US Senate, has poured scorn on the idea of phasing out gasoline and diesel cars.

    “I’m very reluctant to go down the path of electric vehicles,” Manchin said at the energy conference CERAWeek, held in Houston. “I’m old enough to remember standing in line in 1974 trying to buy gas – I remember those days. I don’t want to have to be standing in line waiting for a battery for my vehicle, because we’re now dependent on a foreign supply chain, mostly China.”…

    …The West Virginia senator’s criticism is ominous for the White House’s hopes of passing major climate legislation this year. The climate elements of the Build Back Better Act, which Manchin’s opposition has so far stalled, included half a trillion dollars in clean energy tax credits as well as major rebates for electric car purchases to drive up their adoption….”.

    Like

  134. “UK government vows 10-fold increase in electric car chargers by 2030
    New target comes after criticism of infrastructure rollout for failing to match surging vehicle sales”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/mar/24/uk-government-vows-10-fold-increase-in-electric-car-chargers-by-2030

    “The UK government has set a new target to increase the number of electric car chargers more than ten times to 300,000 by 2030 after heavy criticism that the rollout of public infrastructure is too slow to match rapid growth in sales.

    The Department for Transport (DfT) said it would invest an extra £450m to do so, alongside hefty sums of private capital. …

    …There were 420,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of February, according to the comparison website Next Green Car. There were, however, only 29,600 public charge points in the UK on 1 March, according to data company Zap-Map.

    The £450m local electric vehicle infrastructure fund would focus on charger hubs and on-street chargers, the DfT said….”.

    More taxpayer money being thrown at the net zero agenda.

    ALso, it depends on who you believe, but it seems that there could be anywhere between 35 and 40 million cars in the UK. So I’m not convinced by claims of surging EV sales, when pure EVs still represent well under 2% of the total cars in use in the UK.

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  135. Mark, seeing an EV is still fairly rare around here. I still see 20-year-old petrols at higher frequency.

    And the figures you quote imply that there are only 15 EVs for each public charger: how many do they need? If they cover the country with them, they will sit there idle 95% of the time.

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  136. We stayed at a fairly posh hotel on our way back from holiday, as a treat. It had priority parking places for EVs, with free chargers available there I didn’t see anybody parked there or using them all the time we were there, though the other places were full of huge SUVs and ICU cars. Given that I would take advantage of free charging facilities if I was driving an EV, I think it’s fair to assume that none of the guests arrived in an EV.

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  137. “Electric cars: Five big questions answered”
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60838192

    Five questions: does the Beeb get any of the answers right?

    1. Why are electric cars so expensive?
    EVs are expensive to make but the price of batteries is coming down. (Is it?)
    The dishonesty begins:

    Melanie Shufflebotham is the co-founder of Zap Map, which maps the UK’s charging points. She says if an EV is charged at home “the average price people are paying is roughly 5p per mile”. This compares she says, to a cost of between 15-25 pence per mile for petrol or diesel cars.

    Great, but what does it cost per mile if I use one of the public chargers? Answer came there none. I call that selectively presenting the preferred data.

    2. Are there enough public chargers for all the EV drivers who will need them?
    No, there is not enough, but as the number of EVs increases, so will the number of chargers. (I think we established yesterday that there are plenty, numerically at least, if perhaps not distributed very well).

    3.What about ‘range anxiety’ – how far can a fully-charged EV travel?

    Peter Rolton, Executive Chairman at Britishvolt, which is building an EV battery factory in Northumberland, says the technology to increase range is improving.

    “A hatchback [car] currently has around 200-250 miles range.” By the end of the decade, he says better batteries will push that distance by many miles.

    Now, I read that at first to say that an ICE hatchback only had 200-250 miles of range. He means an EV. But in the real world, those are fantasy numbers.

    4.What if I am not able to charge at home?
    Aha, now we get to the nub of things. It’s class war brae.

    The majority of households in the UK, some 18 million (65%), either have, or could offer, off-street parking for at least one vehicle. according to data from the RAC. [Sic.]

    At least under this question they admit that using public chargers will cost more than using domestic leccy.

    5.Will we all own cars in the future?
    Here we are treated to a fantasy future of car shares etc – which have worked so well so far – “fractional ownership” as the zap map woman seems to be calling it.

    The key point being – not acknowledged here – that people want the freedom of owning their own car. If they want an EV, they are not likely to want to charge it away from home unless they have to. Levelling up this ban on ICE certainly ain’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  138. I Know I should play the ball not the Woman – but is “Shufflebotham” really her name ?

    seems it is, and to add to your comment above, she say’s –
    “Another area expected to grow is what’s known as ‘fractional ownership’, or car sharing clubs. Melanie Shufflebotham says car sharing could grow in popularity, until driverless cars eventually become a reality.

    “Imagine, just as you’d call up an Uber now, you will have an app to call up an autonomous car to take you where you want to go. In the nearer term I think car sharing is a really important solution.””

    when I started work at Ferranti Defence Systems – Edinburgh in 1973, first thing everybody did was find out who could give a lift into work (car sharing for the new)

    Like

  139. “Will Ford’s new truck finally make Americans buy electric?”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61184539

    “…Electric vehicles remain a small fraction of the global car market, accounting for 9% of sales last year.

    And in the US – the world’s biggest carbon emitter after China, where gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and trucks dominate the road – it was even smaller, at 4.5%.

    Analysts say offering electric versions of popular vehicles will be key to convincing the American public to buy electric.

    But whether Ford will be able to convert the large numbers of F-150 loyalists across the country to the “Lightning” remains an open question….

    …For his part, Mr O’Polka says he wouldn’t be able to customise the electric truck to his liking and is turned off by its roughly 300-mile range.

    “In my truck right now, I can get 500 to 600 miles out of a tank and I can fill my tank in about five to eight minutes and be back on the road,” he says. “An electric truck, you can only get so far and then you’ll have to stand and wait [to charge it].”…”.

    Like

  140. “Help to buy EVs in ‘landmark’ New Zealand net zero climate plan”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/16/help-to-buy-evs-in-landmark-new-zealand-net-zero-climate-plan

    “New Zealand will help some people to buy electric vehicles, end its reliance on fossil fuels, lower agricultural emissions, and reduce waste going to landfill, the government has promised in the most significant announcement on climate change action in the country’s history…

    …One of the most significant initiatives is the clean car upgrade programme, which will support lower and middle income families to transition to low-emission alternatives through a “scrap and replace” trial. That will allow eligible families to trade in their vehicles and receive support to buy electric or hybrid vehicles, which will in turn be cheaper to run…”.

    Can anyone explain to me how building new cars to replace existing perfectly functional cars which are then scrapped, is “green”?

    Like

  141. “Brace for a shock: cost-of-living crisis drives up price of electric car charging
    Recharging at home is 43% more expensive than a year ago – but EVs are still much cheaper to run than petrol and diesel cars”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/16/brace-for-a-shock-cost-of-living-crisis-drives-up-price-of-electric-car-charging

    “While petrol price rises may have made the headlines, the energy crisis has also been hitting owners of electric cars in the pocket. The cost of charging at home has risen by 43% for some drivers, while the already higher cost of on-the-road recharges has gone up 25%.

    As energy prices are forced up due to rising costs for suppliers, specialist charging deals for drivers have become more scarce. And now there are suggestions that people may put off the purchase of an electric car as the cost-of-living crisis takes hold….

    …The rising price of EV tariffs means drivers now face paying 43% more than a year ago. This amounts to a rise of about £75 a year for an average vehicle such as a Nissan Leaf or a Renault Zoe, says Ben Nelmes of transport research company New AutoMotive.

    In 2021, the cost of recharging an EV that covered 7,400 miles a year – the average mileage – and was recharged mostly at night was £174. This was based on an overnight rate of 4p/kWh and a day rate of 18p/kWh. By last month, this same charging practice cost £249 a year, based on the best prices then available – 5p/kWh at night and 28p/kWh during the day….

    …Rising costs have also become apparent at public chargers. Instavolt, which operates a charging network across Britain, has increased its prices twice so far this year, first from 45p/kWh to 50p/kWh and then to 57p/kWh. Ubitricity, one of London’s largest charging networks, increased prices from 24p/kWh to 32p/kWh last month.

    Data company Zap Map, which maps public charge points, found that, on average, charging costs increased from 24p/kWh in December to 30p/kWh in February for slow and fast chargers, and from 35p/kWh to 44p/kWh for rapid and ultra-rapid chargers.

    “The price of charging your EV on the public network, or at home, has risen substantially over the past few months with the general increase in electricity prices,” says Melanie Shufflebotham from Zap Map.

    There are 460,000 EVs currently in the UK, according to the Volkswagen Financial Service report, and just 300,000 home charger points installed. Those who don’t have a home charger end up paying more, according to Keith Brown of Paythru, a payments technology company. “One of the big inequities of the emerging EV charging market is the price ‘premium’ electric vehicle drivers pay if they don’t or can’t have a home charge point,” he says. “Domestic supply is taxed at a VAT rate of 5% whereas public charge-point supply is taxed at a VAT rate of 20%.”…”.

    Is anyone surprised by any of this? And, by the way, if EVs paid tax on electricity at the rate that is charged on diesel and petrol, then I strongly suspect that any price advantage would disappear completely, with regard to running costs.

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  142. Mark, something similar from Notalot a few days back: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2022/05/12/rac-finally-realise-that-some-ev-owners-will-be-worse-off/

    To this averagely competent observer, it was always obvious that forcing EVs on everyone would be the exact opposite of “levelling up,” our government’s self-proclaimed overarching target. Key is that, as pointed out here and at Paul Homewood’s, poorer people tend not to have off-street parking. They therefore will be reliant on public chargers, which will have to charge more than domestic electricity to cover their costs and make a profit even if the VAT rate is eventually cut to parity.

    EVs are very good for certain roles. Offering them for sale is not objectionable. Some people will actively choose them as the best solution for their needs (though it might be suspected that in many cases this is a second car as a city runaround). What is not OK is to force everyone to have one. If the government really think that in 15 years inner-city terraced streets are going to be lined, not with petrol or diesel cars, but with clapped-out EVs, they are out of touch. Another example of farming unicorns. The target is impossible, but we’ll keep pretending that we’re on the way to achieving it.

    Liked by 1 person

  143. “Will swapping out electric car batteries catch on?”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61310513

    “Without even a touch of the steering wheel, the electric car reverses autonomously into the recharging station.

    I won’t be plugging it in though, instead, the battery will be swapped for a fresh one, at this facility in Norway belonging to Chinese electric carmaker, Nio.

    The technology is already widespread in China, but the new Power Swap Station, just south of Oslo, is Europe’s first.

    The company hopes that swapping-out the entire battery will appeal to customers worried about the range of electric cars, or who simply don’t like queuing to recharge.

    It was certainly straightforward to book a slot on Nio’s app, and once inside the station, all I have to do is park on the designated markings and wait in the car.

    I can hear bolts being undone as the battery is automatically removed from underneath the vehicle and replaced with a fully- charged one.

    In less than five minutes, I’m ready to go again.”

    Funnily enough, I’m also ready to go again in less than 5 minutes after pulling into a petrol station to fill up the tank of my diesel car, and filling it up with diesel sounds a lot easier than this ridiculous palaver.

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  144. “Big carmakers stuck in slow lane over switch to zero emissions, study shows
    Only Tesla and Mercedes are due to meet climate goals with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and General Motors lagging”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/18/big-carmakers-stuck-in-slow-lane-over-switch-to-zero-emissions-study-shows

    “The world’s largest carmakers are lagging behind on the switch to electric vehicles with only two on the trajectory required to hit the international target of limiting global heating to 1.5C, according to an analysis.

    Tesla and Mercedes-Benz are the only firms out of 12 big manufacturers who are on course to shift to zero-emissions vehicles at a rate in line with climate goals, according to the campaign group InfluenceMap.

    Carmakers around the world are racing to introduce new cars with zero exhaust emissions of carbon, and almost every big brand plans to move to battery electric technology. However, at the same time manufacturers are trying to keep selling their highly profitable diesel and petrol cars.

    The carmakers that plan the slowest adoption of zero-emissions technology are the three biggest Japanese producers – Toyota, Honda and Nissan – while other laggards included South Korea’s Hyundai and General Motors in the US. The analysis, based on forecasts to 2029 produced by the data company IHS Markit, included 12 of the world’s largest carmakers, although it did not include the largest Chinese manufacturers.”

    I find the claims hard to believe. Try to buy a new Nissan diesel car in the UK. I think you’ll find that you can’t.

    Like

  145. Meanwhile:

    “Fifers miss out on electric bin lorries as council accused of ‘doubling down’ on diesel”

    https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/business-environment/environment/3287093/fifers-miss-out-on-electric-bin-lorries-as-council-accused-of-doubling-down-on-diesel/

    “Fife residents will have to wait a bit longer before noisy, fossil fuel guzzling bin lorries are a thing of the past.

    The region’s local authority has purchased 13 diesel waste collection vehicles.

    A Fife Council waste operations boss said there is not enough charging infrastructure in the region to support electric vehicles (EVs).

    In response, Green MSP Mark Ruskell accused Fife Council of “doubling down on diesel” during the climate crisis…

    …Dundee City Council – regarded as one of Scotland’s leading authorities for promoting EVs – has six electric bin lorries.

    But there aren’t many across Scotland.

    Glasgow, the host city of COP26, only took delivery of its first fully electric bin lorry in October last year – in the weeks before the summit.

    And Fife isn’t ready to invest in them yet….

    …Sandy adds that current EV technology means an electric bin lorry would be unable to complete a full day in north east Fife without needing recharged.

    He says the council is “waiting on [sic] the technology improving”.

    There is also an issue with electricity supply, says Sandy.

    A new substation would need to be built at the council’s Bankhead depot before the council could charge up a fleet of bin lorries stationed there….”.

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  146. “How easy is it to drive across Wales in an electric car?”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61505025

    “It’s less than eight years before the sale of new petrol and diesel cars is banned in the UK – and sales of electric vehicles have been rising steeply.

    Yet surveys suggest that concern over the state of the UK’s charging infrastructure is now the number one reason stopping newer buyers from taking the plunge.

    To see if those fears were justified, I attempted to drive up and down Wales in a standard electric car to see how easy it would be…

    …But, having discovered there were only four “rapid” public chargers between Cardiff and Nefyn for my journey, I had to change my journey in order to avoid stopping for a much longer period, and to avoid being stranded in rural mid Wales.

    If you talk to any EV driver, they will tell that planning is key for a long journey. That’s not planning where the best coffee can be found in rural mid-Wales, but figuring out where you’ll be able to stop to charge.

    Some drivers talk of “range anxiety” – a fear that the electric vehicle will not have enough charge to make it to the next working charge point.

    Finding a working charger is one thing – but finding one that will charge your vehicle quickly is another potential pitfall. Rapid and ultra-rapid chargers – capable of charging a standard EV to around 80% in around an hour or less – are the ones drivers seek out….

    …Despite my forward planning, I still reached Aberystwyth with just 15 miles left in the tank. In fact, I had to turn off the satnav, air con and the radio to make sure I had enough power to get there.

    Of the two public rapid chargers within a roughly 25-mile radius, one was already being used. So I headed to a supermarket on the outskirts of town.

    Much to the annoyance of Julie Williams and Matthew Jones, I got there before them.

    EV owners for the past year and a half, they’d driven from Birmingham to the west coast of Wales for a holiday. With no charger at their holiday cottage, they’d had to forgo a dip in their hot tub this lunchtime to find somewhere to charge.

    “You lose hours of your holiday travelling to make sure you have enough charge to get home,” Matthew said.

    “There’s not the services out there to feel confident to go on a journey like we’ve done from Birmingham to know we can go to any service station to charge,” Julie added. “You have to search and hope that they’re working.”

    Snapshot figures for March, seen exclusively by the BBC and supplied by Zap-Map, suggest that at any time around one in 10 rapid or ultra-rapid devices in the UK are out of service.

    Furthermore, a survey of more than 1,000 drivers by the Electric Vehicle Association England (EVA) suggested owners were broadly dissatisfied with their charging experience – rating it 2.16 out of five….

    …Aberystwyth had pretty typical coverage for a small town – a few rapid chargers and a handful of slower or “trickle” chargers dotted around.

    But at our overnight destination in Nefyn, on the Llyn Peninsula, there were fewer than 10 public chargers. They were all slow speed, many on holiday parks or at hotels.

    I had 30 miles left when I arrived. With no public charger at the hotel, I had to leave my car overnight in a public car park, five minutes away. Had this one not been working it would have meant leaving the car even further away.

    Luckily Alex, our cameraman, had his own vehicle so he could taxi me back and forth. Without him, it would have meant even more forward planning. [How green!]….

    …In its EV infrastructure strategy, the UK government set a target of installing 300,000 public chargers by 2030. It pledged £1.6bn to be used “in support of charging infrastructure”.

    But cost is a huge factor – devices aren’t cheap to install. An average rapid charger costs £20,000-£30,000, according to Dr Euan McTurk, a consultant battery electrochemist.

    “And then you’ve got to install them on top of that. A grid connection, if it’s required, might be £10,000- £15,000,” he says….”

    And much, much more in similar vein. Good to see the BBC pointing out lots of problems. Not so good to see that nowhere do they question the wisdom of the plan or the narrative.

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  147. “Electric cars spell trouble for Central Europe
    Green transition will deal heavy blow to region’s car industry if it doesn’t adapt in time.”

    https://www.politico.eu/article/central-europe-struggle-keep-up-electric-car-race/

    “In the Czech Republic, the prime minister has blasted the EU’s Green Deal as an “existential threat.”

    The country’s carmakers agree — but say that’s only because the government has failed to prepare for the transition.

    The bloc’s plan to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles by outlawing pollution-emitting internal combustion engines by 2035 — part of Brussels’ effort to go climate neutral by 2050 — has not gone down well in Central European countries whose economies are heavily reliant on the car industry.

    Carmakers, lured by cheap skilled labor and decent infrastructure, have invested billions in the region, spawning a huge network of suppliers and production sites. In the Czech Republic, the auto industry accounts for close to 10 percent of GDP and employs around 500,000 people. Slovakia is even more exposed, with the sector responsible for 14 percent of GDP.

    “When Volkswagen sneezes the whole country catches the flu,” said Lucia Mytna Kurekova, senior economist at the Slovak Governance Institute.

    The transition to electric vehicles could deal a heavy blow to the industry if it doesn’t adapt in time, as EVs contain fewer parts to manufacture and require less labor to the conventional cars, many now warn.”

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  148. “Electric car rapid charging costs soar, says RAC”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61592931

    “The cost of rapidly charging an electric car has risen sharply as energy costs soar, the RAC has said.

    However, electric car charging still remains cheaper than petrol and diesel, the motoring organisation said.

    Rises in electricity and gas prices, in part since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are behind the increased charging costs.

    But fuel prices have gone up more quickly as crude oil suppliers struggle to meet demand.

    The price of charging an electric car on a pay-as-you-go, non-subscription basis at a publicly accessible rapid charger has increased by 21% over the last nine months, the RAC said.

    Even charging at home has been getting more expensive as energy bills spiral upwards.

    The cost of the electricity used to power electric vehicles varies according to the household tariff the customer is on.

    But both rapid charging and home charging are still less expensive than petrol or diesel per mile.”

    That’s twice in the first few sentences that they felt it necessary to stress that EVs are still cheaper to charge than it is to fill a petrol or diesel car. Of course that’s the case – petrol and diesel are loaded with fuel duty. On a level playing field, petrol and diesel would be cheaper by a country mile.

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  149. PS, if they do ever phase out petrol and diesel car ownership, then EVs are very going to be very expensive indeed – the Government will have to replace all that lost tax on diesel and petrol somehow.

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