back to article More power to UK, say 'leccy vehicle makers. Seriously, they need it

A lack of power remains a problem to electric car manufacturers in the UK – with one unnamed maker setting up shop in Austria over Blighty due to a dearth of capacity, MPs heard today. Speaking in front of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, David Wong, senior technology and innovation manager at the …

  1. Alan Sharkey

    Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

    I live in Rochdale. My son lives in Norfolk. It's over 200 miles to go and see him.

    OK - I can buy an electric car that will probably have the range to get there. But when I do, then what? He lives in a terraced house on a street with all the parking spaces filled up with residents cars (no off street parking). So, how do I get home again?

    This has not been properly thought out.

    Alan

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      "This has not been properly thought out."

      sadly, it's not about thinking things out, and porviding useful stuff. It's about big profit, asap.

      And looking like something future-y is being done, even if it isn't.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This has not been properly thought out.

      I agree it doesn't seem likely that an electric vehicle is for you. And not for me, either, as I rarely need a car, and when I do it is usually for similarly long distances (usually I just hire when I have to). Nevertheless, there are those who make many small(er) trips in cities for whom it might well be ideal. And perhaps some two-car households could convert to having one hydrocarbon, one electric.

      You shouldn't write off the whole electric car idea just because it is of little use to you (or me).

      1. Keith Oborn

        Re: This has not been properly thought out.

        As a 3 year EV owner, the one thing that p****s me off is that the public charge networks each require a dedicated RFID card or mobile app, and some of they requite pre-payment or annual subscription.

        Step up Instavolt, their units accept credit cards.

        But the point is valid: you don't refuel your petrol car at the destination, you do it at the nearest convenient public facility. As long as the car has enough range - 300 miles seems to be a sweet spot, and setting aside Tesla that is coming in planned models, you don't need to charge at home.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: This has not been properly thought out.

          How far does the average electric car drive after a five-minute stop to top-up?

          Because my old petrol car can do 500 miles, then after five minutes at a petrol station, it'll do another 500 miles.

          Electric cars may have the theoretical capacity to do such things, but they would have to be carefully planned (if nothing else, to ensure you DO remember to stop off at the electric points and/or find another quickly if you forget) and you're into reliance on everything working perfectly - the range of the car, the indication of the charge, the charger being available, the margins being right, and you knowing all this in advance.

          If I wanted to drive to Scotland, I could get in my car, fill up whenever I pass any station, as necessary, and not have to think about it or rely on fine-margins.

          If I wanted to do that in an electric car, I have to plan it perfectly and everything has to combine to work well. One diversion, traffic jam, refuelling station missed or out of order or closed, and you're stranded. And when stranded... you need to be towed. You can't just hitch a ride to the nearest station with a jerry can.

          EV's are no doubt fine for short trips only. Everything else you have to stop and think if it will make it and plan ahead and hope for the best. To be honest, that's not why I own a car in the first place. I own a car to stop me having to worry about if the trains are running, what time the bus arrives, will there be room on it in peak hours, and can it get me to where I need.

          As pointed out - maybe fine for going to a nearby workplace. But visiting relatives? You're into starting with a full charge straight away no matter what, charging en-route (and presumably on the way back), and the time cost associated with such. And if you live in a flat where the car can't park near your power supply? Yeah, game over in terms of owning one before you even start.

          I just did a map of electric charging points near the town I work in. There are maybe a dozen (as in TOTAL number of cables available, not just charging stations). All of different types, connectors and capacities, all with different companies. Most of them are in places that shut at certain times too, e.g. shopping centres and town halls. There are 100,000 people in my town, and it's inside the M25. There are as many charging POINTS as there are petrol stations. But petrol stations have a dozen pumps, and it takes 5 minutes for someone to use them. EV stations... not the same. And one of the EV points is actually just a 2KW ordinary mains plug connector...

          I'm all for the concept of EV, but they need much better batteries (they literally become a no-brainer at that point) and/or hundreds of charging points, not a dozen. To be honest, even if it came to that, I still want the battery capacity more than the reliance on constantly being able to find a charger.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: This has not been properly thought out.

            Because my old petrol car can do 500 miles, then after five minutes at a petrol station, it'll do another 500 miles.

            Unfortunately for me the point is moot, because my bladder can only do about 200 miles at a time :( My current dino car manages to 2 pee's to a tank of fuel. A self driving car with pee bottle accessory would be handy, however it is fueled.

            Where's the old giffer icon when you need it?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: This has not been properly thought out.

              Unfortunately for me the point is moot, because my bladder can only do about 200 miles at a time

              I guess the hydrocarbon models will still be needed for the likes of that woman who drove across America wearing a nappy.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: This has not been properly thought out.

        "You shouldn't write off the whole electric car idea just because it is of little use to you (or me)."

        Similarly you shouldn't specify electric cars for all because they can do all you happen to need.

      3. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: This has not been properly thought out.

        "You shouldn't write off the whole electric car idea just because it is of little use to you (or me)."

        While this is true, the problem is that we may not have a choice in the matter. The UK government has said that petrol and diesel cars will be banned by 2040 - not just new sales, but all of them - and recent reports have noted that this is quite a bit later than other countries have promised (India says 2030, for example) and may well be brought forwards. And this is supposedly considered a long term plan. That's 12 years from now. For comparison, Hinkley Point C was proposed in 2008, and might be finished in 2027 if we're lucky.

        That's what some of us are worried about. I'm all in favour of electric cars; they're both necessary and inevitable. But as plenty of other people have pointed out, our current infrastructure is simply not capable of supporting a wholesale switchover. And at the moment, far too many people are talking about forcing everyone to be all electric, all the time, within a timeframe that we're demonstrably incapable of actually upgrading said infrastructure. If it takes 20 years to build a single power station, how can it make any sense to suggest changes that will require many more than that in half the time? Or to suggest we can somehow get the power cables installed to cope with charging demand at every house when we can't get basic fibre cables to more than a small fraction of them?

        I don't think anyone sensible writes off electric cars as a whole. They make sense for some people in some situations, and a gradual roll-out with ongoing improvements in support and infrastructure, as well as the underlying technology, sounds like a great idea. What many of us write off as stupid is the idea that we can suddenly change the entire country over to electric cars within the space of a few years simply by banning everything else. There are plenty of reasons why they're not appropriate for many people in many situations, and fixing that will take far more time and money than is currently being allowed.

    3. Steve Todd

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      It has been thought out, you just haven't been paying attention.

      They are fitting fast charging points at service stations, and supermarket car parks are getting charging points also. People who don't have driveways do tend to go shopping. People driving long distances tend to pass service stations. That's most of your objections demolished.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

        @ Steve Todd: They are fitting fast charging points at service stations, and supermarket car parks are getting charging points also. People who don't have driveways do tend to go shopping. People driving long distances tend to pass service stations. That's most of your objections demolished.

        I cannot speak for anyone else but when I (or Mrs Commswonk) go to a service station I am probably there for about 5 minutes. Time in a supermarket car park may well be a bit longer, but probably doesn't exceed 30 - 45 minutes. I don't think your "fast charging points" are going to achieve much in either time. Even a stop on a motorway probably doesn't exceed 45 minutes either.

        So how many people are going to be happy to go to one of your chosen locations to find they can't even get in because others are kicking their heels waiting for their cars to charge up?

        Those minor constraints aside, have you considered the fact that at the moment the electrical distribution infrastructure is incapable of carrying the likely load current, and will need to be (very expensively) replaced? Those infrastructure limitations will, untimately, go right back as far as the availability of raw power at the generating stations.

        I think that's most of your "solutions" demolished.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

          Actually Mr Commswonk, the UK has plenty of power, it's the ability to delivery it that is a little wonky.

          BUT as +60% of people will charge over night on their driveway, others can charge on the new public 'lamp post' chargers (when they are more available) and many others can charge at work. The few that charge on rapid chargers (the ones that take 30mins) at the supermarket or motorway service station will be very few.

          So I think that's *your* objection demolished!

          Plus, it's not like everyone will bin their dino fuel cars overnight, we have a decade to roll out enough chargers before this gets to be an issue.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

            Actually Mr Commswonk, the UK has plenty of power, it's the ability to delivery it that is a little wonky.

            Not the case. To replace the amount of energy consumed by road transport and supplied by diesel/petrol today would double the amount of energy the grid would need to supply. That would mean the whole generating infrastructure running flat out, 24/7 every day of the year. Not possible, even if the grid could actually get that power where it's needed. How many more Sizewells can we build, and how quickly?

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

            "Actually Mr Commswonk, the UK has plenty of power, it's the ability to delivery it that is a little wonky."

            That's pretty much what he wrote except for one qualification: "little".

            A row of lamp-posts charging cars are going to need a much heftier supply than one just lighting the road. That's the sort of infrastructure problem he referred to. Than, of course, unless you put the lamp-posts a lot closer together most drivers won't be able to park next to one to charge up. Cue nightly fights between drivers trying to get charged.

            A decade? Nowhere near long enough. You're talking about replacing multiple decades of investment in both the grid and vehicle refuelling.

          3. portyman

            Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

            Problem is if you have more than one car , you will not be able to charge more than one overnight, some have 2, 3 or 4 cars if they have grown kids living at home but working. Not exactly sure they can solve that problem.

        2. Steve Todd

          Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

          @Commswonk, the latest fast chargers are 120kW. A 1/2 hour stop for food and bladder relief should be able to add 180+ miles range, or about another 3 hours of motorway driving (by which time you'll probably be in need of another stop anyway).

          MOST charging will happen at a slower rate over night and shouldn't stress out the power network. No, the whole fleet isn't going to migrate overnight, and no, everybody with an EV isn't going to need a full recharge every day, so moderate your numbers. It's more practical than you think.

          1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

            the latest fast chargers are 120kW

            OK, and how many of them can you run off a typical site supply ? A 200A 3phase suply only gives 150kW - so that's only one charger leaving just 30kW for the rest of the site. So fine, at the moment you stand a half decent chance of getting to the ONE charger such a site could support - now count the number of cars typically in the car park of a motorway service station and you'll see that a single charger (or even 2 or 3, which would mean slower charging) would have a very long queue if EVs became more than a tiny fraction of cars on the roads.

            So the answer to that is usually "just upgrade the supply" - made by people with no idea of the technicalities involved in that. At the very minimum, it means putting in larger supply cable(s) - which quite likely means a lot of digging. But then the local substation may not have the capacity - so that's a transformer upgrade. And the (typically in the UK) 11kV feed to the substation probably doesn't have the capacity - so that's more (typically digging) cable upgrades.

            So charge at home/work - problem solved for most. Err what ? Until I moved last year, I was lucky if I got to park on teh same street, let alone actually outside the house - so no charging there. At work it's pot luck in the car park - so no luck there. That's the reality for the vast majority of drivers - can't charge at home or work.

            Charging at the supermarket has all the same problems as discussed above - fine if there are hardly any EVs around, not fine once there are enough that you have to queue for the charger.

            And that's before we discuss where the lecky comes from. In this country, when you plug in an EV the additional load on the grid is taken up by a fossil fuelled station. That is only going to get worse as nuclear station (what's left of them) shut down. And unless the wind is blowing at just the right speed, and the sun is out, then we wouldn't have enough generation capacity anyway if enough EVs are added.

            So yes, EVs do work for some people, while the numbers are low. They work for people who have the luxury of their own off street parking they can get lecky to and who are on a substation with enough capacity (not too many neighbours with EVs). Or they'll work for people who have a public charging point nearby - and not too many EVs so they are in use when you want to use them. Or they'll work for the commute if your employer spends sh*tloads of money on multiple charging points (again, as long as there aren't more EVs than charging points).

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

            " the latest fast chargers are 120kW. A 1/2 hour stop for food and bladder relief should be able to add 180+ miles range, or about another 3 hours of motorway driving (by which time you'll probably be in need of another stop anyway)."

            That assumes than pulling into a service station car park you'll be able to park at one of these chargers. If we went all-EV that means that most if not all parking places in the car park would have one.

            Now tell us how you're going to get the required number of megawatts into a motorway service station car park.

            1. Lee D Silver badge

              Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

              " the latest fast chargers are 120kW. A 1/2 hour stop for food and bladder relief should be able to add 180+ miles range, or about another 3 hours of motorway driving (by which time you'll probably be in need of another stop anyway)."

              Question:

              How many 120KW chargers can a motorway service station support instantaneously?

              That is precisely the number of cars that can charge at one time. In your example, double that number of cars per hour can charge up.

              How much does it cost to keep that number of chargers running 24 hours a day?

              Let's say 10p per KWh to make the maths nice. That's £12 per hour per charger. Let's just say that's a significant portion of motorway service revenue, per vehicle. I don't imagine people spend more than £24 on non-fuel items when they go to a motorway services, on average. Of course, you can charge them for the use of the charger... probably £24 an hour would be about normal rates for a standard 50% markup.

              A service station might service... let's say 100 vehicles an hour (there's about a 40 minute dwell time at your average motorway services... so at any one time the number of people visible in one is going to be about "that many vehicles per hour" - 100 seems reasonable, but I can't trace statistics for this - a vehicle or so a minute actually seems quite generously low).

              That's 12MW of charging power per motorway services. Wiki has a list of 100+ motorway services. That's 1.2GW. About the equivalent of 4.6m solar panels (~300W on average, according to energy.gov). That's JUST the motorway service stations. Nothing else.

              And even with 120KW, you have to wait around for an hour before you can continue. And then do the same 3 hours later. You wouldn't even get from London to Cornwall without TWO STOPS OF ONE HOUR EACH of just sitting around doing nothing. If you go to Land's End from London, possibly three.

              That's assuming every service station has 100 "fast-chargers" chargers, that all work, there are no queues for them, and you're happy to pay ~£60 for the privilege of "fast-charging" and sitting around doing nothing just to get to Cornwall.

              Or you could just get in a petrol car. Put in £60 of petrol. Get to Cornwall. Done.

              The economics isn't there until: Electricity DRASTICALLY drops in price (which isn't likely when subsidies for things like solar expire). Batteries triple in capacity. The National Grid gets hundreds of billions of pounds to upgrade capacity down to hundreds of individual service stations and smaller charging points.

              I don't know if you notice, but it's hard to do all those things at the same time - each one makes one of the others more expensive (yep... bigger batteries? Oh, now you have to charge for three hours or require a 360KW charger...)

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Coat

        People who don't have driveways do tend to go shopping.

        So, just kill a few hours shopping?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

        > People who don't have driveways do tend to go shopping.

        Unless they live within walking distance of the shops. Also, those shops would need a lot of fast-charge points.

        > People driving long distances tend to pass service stations.

        My relatives came over from the continent recently. They have a Tesla, and were surprised at the lack of infrastructure in the UK. Why? Total number of charging points in the county they were staying in, according to their app? 1. Wasn't near the motorway, either.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

        "They are fitting fast charging points at service stations, and supermarket car parks are getting charging points also."

        1. How fast is fast in relation to fuelling and equivalent mileage into a petrol-powered car?

        2. How many charging points are there in a supermarket car park in relation to the number of cars that might need charging there if the country went all-EV?

        3. How would you provide sufficient power to such places if the country went all-EV and the majority of vehicle owners depended on them?

    4. Hairy Spod

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      I'm assuming you usually fill up at your sons house with a Jerry Can of some sort?

      Seriously just charge your car at a service station (or two, OK maybe three) on the way. There is no denying that for that journey its going to be a faff but its not generally that hard and console yourself that for the 98% of the rest of the time you wont be visiting any petrol stations and will charge at home. Also feel smug that in the cold weather that your car will have defrosted and preheated itself.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

        "Seriously just charge your car at a service station (or two, OK maybe three) on the way. "

        Time spent at a service station filling with the burny stuff is about 5 minutes.

        The reason for having service stations in isolation is... the burny stuff tends to be burny if not looked after, so you don't want the flames spreading to other things if it does.

        A service station model with its limited number of pumps is 100% the WRONG paradigm for charging electric vehicles. You need to be able to park, plugin and go do whatever you need to do at your leisure, coming back some time later to unplug and drive off - at your leisure.

        Having to unplug after a set period and move to another parking place means whoever designed the setup had the entire point of the exercise go whooshing over their head. EVs don't usually catch fire when charging - unless you're charging them at stupidly high rates, which damages the batteries anyway.

        The model for a motorway services would be a chargepoint at _every_ parking bay. In a shopping centre it would be the same thing. Ditto in hotels for travellers.

        The bigger problem at the moment isn't lack of charge points, it's lack of infrastructure capacity to feed them in most urban areas. Royal Mail were perfectly correct that having that many EVs attempting to charge overnight in London would overload the local substation and/or distribution cabling - if you want to build a data centre inside Zone 2 (similar power requirements) you need to apply for the power capacity and wait up to a decade for it to become available.

        In the longer term, the problem is lack of power stations to feed EVs. There's about 20MW difference between daytime "peak" and night time "offpeak" draw at the moment but with a large EV fleet plugging in, the overnight draw could trivially easily end up higher than the daytime one. At that point you're going to need more generating capacity AND more national distribution capacity. None of this comes cheap and you can't do it with windmills or solar or undersea interconnectors (apart from the approx 2GW per cable limit on undersea links, the european grid is facing exactly the same growth in demand and lack of capacity. You could bore a couple more chunnels just for power but that's fairly expensive...)

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

          You could bore a couple more chunnels just for power but that's fairly expensive...)

          Every European country seems to have the same solution for power shortages: buy the extra power needed from their neighbours.

          There's a certain impractical circularity about that...

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

        "There is no denying that for that journey its going to be a faff but its not generally that hard and console yourself that for the 98% of the rest of the time you wont be visiting any petrol stations and will charge at home."

        It probably becomes harder than you think if he has to queue for an hour or so at each service station waiting for his quarter of an hour or however long it takes for the "quick" charge.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      Electric cars have nasty charging issues. Autonomous electric cars are a solution.

      In your use case you drive to your sons house and get out without having to worry that there is nowhere to park what with all of the parking filled with residents cars. Your car then drives itself to a local charging center and meets you outside your sons house close to fully charged when you want to go home.

    6. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      How about a plug-in Hybrid? Assuming that your local trips aren't all that long, you operate it as an EV most of the time. For longer trips, you switch to gasoline. Toyota has been selling them for for five or six years. I believe Ford has also. They are significantly more expensive than Toyota's non-plug in hybrids, but look to be comparable in price to lower end EVs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

        +1 for plug-in hybrids

        I picked up an 11 month old plug-in hybrid saloon with 6,000 miles on the clock for £19k. 2 litre petrol engine, 31 miles to a charge (OK, so more like 23 if I hammer it down the motorway at 85-90mph). The few times I've taken it on 150+ mile journeys, it's still done about 60mpg which isn't bad for a 2 litre petrol - the key is not to use all the charge on the motorway but to save it for any stop-start traffic jams and stop-start at the end of your journey.

        Costs me about £12 a month to charge it overnight, £0 a month in tax, and about £40 a month in petrol; compared to the same miles in my old diesel which cost me about £200 a month in diesel, and £20 a month in tax. Basically (taking into account the savings), repaying the bank loan costs me about £120 a month, which isn't bad at all.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

          "Costs me about £12 a month to charge it overnight, £0 a month in tax, and about £40 a month in petrol"

          The £0 a month in tax won't last. The numbers on the road right now are small enough for HMG to afford this as a political gesture. As the numbers mount they'll need the income. They'll also need more income to replace fuel duty. Perhaps a flat rate tax equivalent to existing VED and a mileage charge to replace fuel duty.

          Like all the other things that make EVs practical now the taxation advantage doesn't scale.

    7. MR J

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      How often do you go see your son in Norfolk?

      There are a few rapid chargers on the way there, a few there, and since you cant park at his house then you might as well pick a lot that has charging facilities.

      I hear this argument all the time.. "But It will not get me where I want to go", and then you ask the question about where they want to go and how often with the reply from them "Far away, once or twice a year, but haven't been in three years".

      I think it's been thought out quite well. If you (like most car drivers) reside near where you work then it's worth it, If you are too far out then it is not worth it. Why should the 90% of potential electric car owners need to pay triple the price just so you can go see your son a couple of times a year?

      I have known plenty of people who had cars with dual fuel tanks in them, 500+ miles of range (larger vehicles) and they could still manage to run out of fuel. If it's not good for you don't buy it. The biggest problem I found with our electric car was that some plonker in a large luxury sedan would use the charging bays to park in thus making it difficult to charge. Perhaps we should start giving fixed penalties for those drivers and use the funds to fix this poorly thought out thing you imagine?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

        The biggest problem I found with our electric car was that some plonker in a large luxury sedan would use the charging bays to park in

        Let's look at the opposite situation. Maybe you have charging bays where you can stop for 30-60 minutes for a quick top-up when shopping or grabbing lunch, but what about when you go on holiday and take a plane or a train? Your car sits in an airport or station car park for two weeks. It'll be fully charged after the first 8 hours or so, do you then become that plonker blocking the space for days? Or will car parks have to employ attendants to move cars around?

        1. kwhitefoot

          Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

          For long term parking you only need a 13A socket. Every bay could have one at very little cost.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

            For long term parking you only need a 13A socket. Every bay could have one at very little cost.

            Heathrow has 50,000 parking spaces, and plans to add 40,000 more. 50,000 13A sockets would require 150MW to fully supply them all. And that's just one airport.

            1. Joachim

              Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

              "Heathrow has 50,000 parking spaces, and plans to add 40,000 more. 50,000 13A sockets would require 150MW to fully supply them all. And that's just one airport."

              You're assuming every car in long-term parking will be charging for the full time they are parked. And that every driver will decide to charge at the airport.

              Most likely they would set the price of charging at the airport higher than the price of the average person's electricity at home. So those who need to will pay the premium to charge at the airport and those who don't will just wait until they get home. Of course how much it costs them to install and maintain the necessary electrical feed will factor into the price they levy for charging. I don't know for sure but I suspect this will only be a small margin over the cost of what parking costs already.

              Also, as they have a pretty good idea how long each car is going to be parked, with a little more technology applied to the problem they could easily switch ports on and off to smooth their usage (or even take advantage of variable wholesale rates) while still ensuring each vehicle gets as much charge as its owner wants/needs.

              1. FlossyThePig

                Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

                Long term parking can be an ideal location for 2-way charging. The cars can sell power back to the grid as well. The Nissan Leaf in Japan already has this feature so it may even be built into models in other markets.

                If the carpark knows roughly when you are going to get your car it should be able to balance supply for all.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

              Actually, i was at Heathrow two days ago, and I noticed that they were digging up some of the short-stay car parks to install more EV chargers. There are a few at every terminal, and they're adding more...

              So they're certainly keen on the idea....

    8. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      "This has not been properly thought out."

      The UK is the world capital of half-arsed poorly implemented "solutions".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

        The UK is the world capital of half-arsed poorly implemented "solutions".

        You don't travel much, do you?

    9. Mips

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      It is not about vehicle range it is the infrastructure capacity that is lacking.

      To fix it will cost more than £250bn, yes, £250BEEELION.

      Who is going to pay. Hey you, are you listening?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

        To fix it will cost more than £250bn, yes, £250BEEELION.

        Well, since leaving the EU will allegedly save us £350 million a week, we could pay for that in just over 13 years.... </sarcasm>

    10. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      Alan: since you can't park at your son's house anyway (street parking reserved for residents), what you need is a flying car, which you can land on the roof. What you do then is up to you, but we have recently heard about an electric flying taxi which may suit you. It may still not quite have the range, but perhaps you can land it on the roof of a train going tin the direction you require. You'll have to take off again whenever there's a train tunnel and land after it.

      I assume presently your wife drives you over and immediately returns home until called for.

    11. Electricity_Guy

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      Well, you could charge up on the way at motorway services and then seek out a local charging station near your son. Not everyone lives next to a petrol station and we seem to get around that problem.

    12. doowles

      Re: Its not just manufacturing that needs a solution

      You would just "fill up" for 45mins at a service station on the motorway. Charging is a non issue these days.

  2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    R&D

    As the article notes, 50% of the cost of an EV is the battery. If you're looking to reduce costs, that's where to look.

    There are probably tens of thousands of battery research projects underway around the world, who regularly report 'breakthroughs' - none of which make it to market.

    Could the solution be for the government to throw money at the problem? £500million is a lot. Give dozens of £5million+ grants to researchers and for pre-production work. Choose a few off-the-wall ones while they're at it. Most would be wasted but if even one hits the nail on the head, it's money all the way to the bank (and foreign licence fees)

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: R&D

      @ Pen-y-gors

      "Could the solution be for the government to throw money at the problem? £500million is a lot. Give dozens of £5million+ grants to researchers and for pre-production work. Choose a few off-the-wall ones while they're at it. Most would be wasted but if even one hits the nail on the head, it's money all the way to the bank (and foreign licence fees)"

      Why is the solution to charge everyone which as you say will be mostly wasted? Surely the solution is to let people choose to invest in whatever solutions they want to try even if its a more efficient fossil fuel engine. That way the only money wasted is by those choosing to try, people get a working solution compared to some failed half arsed gov approved garbage, and since the money to the bank would be private profit anyway they keep their gains.

    2. Keith Oborn

      Re: R&D

      I find that 50% figure very suspect. 7 years ago the 20Kwh battery in the original Leaf cost $20k. At present the 30Kwh one in the recently retired model costs $6k. Look at the US $ cost of the cars.

      1. Evil_Goblin

        Re: R&D

        Unless you've got access to a costed BoM from Nissan, you're talking about price, not cost.

        Personally I wouldn't be surprised at all if half the BoM cost is battery.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    I can take a fairly good guess about who that manufacturer is, and I can tell you that the reason they've stated isn't totally true. They have another factory in Slovakia, big enough to hold two (or three) of their UK plants there. One particular plant in the UK will be closed shortly, and another plant is safe until at least 2021. All because of money, cost of manufacture of the workforce and - I'm sorry - Brexit. As well as capacity of their UK factories as they're hemmed in where they all are.

    Agency workers will be the first to go, but the workers of this company who were already shafted with the demise of Rover in the mid 2000's will be shafted again.

  4. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Coat

    Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

    - They take a long time to recharge...

    - You need a power outlet to recharge them...

    (Or like Tesla's plan... you could exchange the whole pack at a gas-station)

    - There's a HUGE amount of infrastructure / extra cabling needed for all those charging points...

    - Making those batteries isn't exactly environmentally friendly...

    The best way is still some form of liquid that can be easily transported, power the car and can be purchased at every gas-station... (And no... I'm NOT talking about Hydrogen...)

    Some form of battery technology with an easily exchangeble liquid electrolyte maybe ?

    Pump the old (used) liquid out, pump the new (energy-containing) liquid in and you're good to go !

    The used liquid can then be transported to a facility where it can be regenerated and re-used...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

      or how about teleportation?

      If we could just easily solve that there would be no issues at all.

      "Some form of battery technology with an easily exchangeble liquid electrolyte maybe ?"

      BTW a not to dissimilar thing already exists, it's called petrol.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

        "BTW a not to dissimilar thing already exists, it's called petrol."

        Petrol (or diesel) is an ideal transport fuel, apart from the CO2 emissions.

        One option with sufficient (and sufficiently cheap) nuclear energy (Molten Salt, because water tech isn't hot enough) would be to use the heat to drive a Haber process and then tack on atmospheric carbon to make the final product easier to handle.

    2. Keith Oborn

      Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

      Flow batteries exist, but don't seem to be suitable for small mobile applications. And the current chemistry involved some pretty nasty liquids.

    3. Fonant
      Happy

      Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

      Have a watch of The Fully Charged Show on YouTube. It's fascinating.

      Cars spend 90% of their time parked, time that is more than long enough to keep them topped up with charge. Think of a petrol car that automatically refills its tank every time you park it, and that's roughly how it feels.

      Batteries are currently the best electrical energy storage system we have. Until someone invents a better ones, EVs will keep using batteries!

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

        Think of a petrol car that automatically refills its tank every time you park it,

        Which would require every single parking place to have a fuel pump. Silly idea, and it won't work for electric charging either.

        Batteries are currently the best electrical energy storage system we have. Until someone invents a better ones, EVs will keep using batteries!

        Which is why EVs aren't the solution.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

        "Cars spend 90% of their time parked, time that is more than long enough to keep them topped up with charge."

        1: That assumes a charge point at every park

        2: It also assumes sufficient generation, grid and local distribution capacity to cope

        Both points are not in evidence.

        Longer term, increasingly autonomous vehicles are going to lead to a massive reduction in vehicle ownership anyway, which means that parked percentages will decrease and public transport usage will increase, This isn't a problem for (light)rail or other systems with fixed power supplies but there wiill still be a lot of demand for mobile non-grid connected transport and that's going to need charging - and as the power requirements are based on movement, it doesn't matter if vehicle numbers decrease when vehicles movements stay much the same.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

          "Longer term, increasingly autonomous vehicles are going to lead to a massive reduction in vehicle ownership anyway"

          The chief characteristics of autonomous vehicles for hire on demand (which is what I think you have in mind) have been achieved for years in taxis. They supply a limited market, great for getting to the airport, not great for getting everyone to work in the morning and back at night. Great for walking or tube/bus replacement within cities, not great for going on long trips.

          It's difficult to see why taking the human driver out will change this substantially. Indeed, the reported experience of driving down the cost of the human by Uber is that it increases the walking/tube/bus replacement and adds to congestion.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

        "Cars spend 90% of their time parked, time that is more than long enough to keep them topped up with charge."

        Only if there's somewhere to plug it in. How many of the places where cars are parked have a charging point available? How do you propose to set up the infrastructure to provide the extras you'd need? No, it's not just a matter of dig a hole and stick in a little post for every few metres of pavement. Have you thought how hefty a 3-phase cable you have to provide down each side of each street where those posts go? And the extra sub-station capacity to supply those cables? And the extra infrastructure to get power to such sub-stations in a city? And the extra generating capacity to drive all that?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

      They take a long time to recharge? Yes, but 99% if the time I'm asleep, so I don't care! I don't need to stand next to the car in the cold/rain like you do at a petrol station! LoL

      The removable electrolyte battery idea has already been tried. It failed. Too much faff. Google it.

      "Better Place" IIRC.

    5. Filippo

      Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

      You don't get to call a solution "stupid", unless you have a better one on hand, which you don't.

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Batteries are a stupid solution for EV's anyway...

      "- Making those batteries isn't exactly environmentally friendly..."

      Because.......?

      They're pretty much 100% recycleable. That counts for a lot.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Quinn, national officer at Unite the Union, said the £500m set aside ....."goes nowhere in catching up with the £6bn Obama put into America"

    Did they get lost on the way to the office of counting pencils and accidentally got in front of the press. For <deities sake) don't point out how much more they also spend on healthcare, education and the military.

  6. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Scale

    ...the £500m set aside in the last budget by the UK government "goes nowhere in catching up with the £6bn Obama put into America...

    So America has put 12 times as much into electric vehicle infrastructure compared to the UK. Trying to compare UK/USA investment figures is not easy (Apples Vs Oranges). A couple of statistics:

    * America has five times the population of the UK. (326m Vs 65m)

    * America has 36 times the area of the UK (9.1m km2 Vs 248k km2)

    * America has 8 times the number of cars compared to the UK (266m Vs 31m)

    * America's GDP is 7 times larger than the UK's ($19.3 trillion Vs $2.5 trillion)

    Overall, I don't think the £500m that's been committed in the UK is totally out of line with what America are up to.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not enough power to manufacture?

    Rubbish. The case in point is undoubtedly the Jaguar iPace and ePace, built by Magna Steyr, and that's because there's no point modifying existing UK production lines when the expected production volumes for the iPace are uncertain and possibly modest, and the vehicle is a bit of a hand-assembled first effort in EVs, so better suited to a contract assembler like Steyr (who also assemble the Mini Clubman, the Merc G Class, and some BMW 5 series).

    If the problem were "power shortages", JLR could have used the significant spare capacity at either Halewood or Castle Bromwich, both of which have been on short time lately.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not enough power to manufacture?

      Lately? They've been on short time since Red Robbo was still at primary school..

  8. Jemma Silver badge

    In less than two weeks..

    I'll be buying a "new" car.

    It's an executive car, not exactly quick but almost exactly the same size as my Hyundai Accent 2005 hatch (a small family car apparently). A saloon. With a bigger boot, better interior space in the same size body, front wheel drive - 32-35mpg. 1.8 litre transverse engine. Oh and unlike many modern cars it doesn't have electric windows but it DOES have a temperature and oil pressure gauge.. And if it had a 5 speed box it would perform *better* than my Accent. Oh and it doesn't have the massive blind spots the Accent has.. an interesting idea called windows, you might have heard of them (not the Jagdpanther vision blocks fitted to current cars).

    Designed by a bloke born in the Ottoman empire.

    Anyone guessed it yet?

    A 1971 Wolseley 18/85 II

    A car that was designed basically in 1965 and is almost exactly the same dimensions and performance (if you stuck in an extra gear) as a car designed in 2000 - it's even got the same final drive ratio. But it has a bigger boot, more passenger room (bar headroom), better suspension and ride (to be fair that's not exactly a technical challenge) and doesn't spend 6 months in a garage because even the MANUFACTURER can't fix it.

    That's embarrassing.

    We have gone backwards in almost every respect in 40 years of "progress".

    And then they come up with electric cars....

    And as for range.. Remember if I pull in to get petrol in the Landcrab and I'm on fumes; I'm filled up and gone in about 7 minutes. When you can equal refuelling an electric to refuelling a 40 year old car, and *all* of its cleanly generated you can come and see me.

    So I'll be seeing you in about 40 years then..

    I wonder incidentally what would happen if someone cattle prodded a Tesla ala Demolition Man or BOFH. I suspect it'd make sugar in the tank look positively affectionate.

    Will have to be my new years resolution

    "I promise I won't toast a Tesla.."

    But it's sooo tempting.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: In less than two weeks..

      Enjoy the “new” car, but if you think it has:

      1) the same performance

      And

      2) the same reliability

      as a modern car then you are dreaming.

      It was designed to run on 4* leaded fuel, and the original model was rated at 0-60 in 18 seconds. The newer MK II on unleaded won’t be much quicker then that. You’ll also be lucky to get 32MPG (current, faster, more powerful 1800cc models can reach into the 60’s), and then only on long trips. It’s not in any way aerodynamic in shape, it has an old-fashioned choke and non of the modern ECU systems designed to keep the engine running lean and efficient.

      You’ll also find that the service interval is much shorter, the number of parts per service and time needed is higher, that things break more often and that replacements are harder to source.

      Classic cars are not motoring nirvana or we’d all be doing it. You may enjoy the car and the extra work you need to put in to keep it running, but it is by no means everybody’s cup of tea.

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: In less than two weeks..

        As I stated. It would have the same performance as a 1300 hyundai accent *if* it had a 5 speed box.

        Its *actual* fuel consumption is actually better than the Accents Kia relative (last tank was 32mpg).

        Most people who look after their cars *still* do a 1 year/6000 oil change *despite* what the manual says and a car we had based on 12000 mile changes was in such good nick mechanically when Vauxhall got it back their engineers phoned us to ask why.

        Because it was run in properly and serviced religiously at 6000. It also did better than the published mpg.

        As for mpg I would not be surprised if I could get 40mpg out of it with a couple of small mods. A sump heater and eco driving plus slightly higher tyre pressures.

        You're right the mark I was lethargic. But the II had a few more hp, better torque from a 9.1 head and different ratios (almost identical to the Accent) and if it were geared identical it *would* be faster or equal to 60, as it is the figure for a II is 15 seconds, an Accent 12.2. The B series has a better torque curve with both a lower rpm torque and hp max.

        I've had 3 classics and 2 modern cars and without fail the ones that let me down are the modern cars. The two Sceptres and the SD1 never missed a beat. They all have better visibility than modern cars, they're arguably more comfortable (I'll admit they're not as ergonomic) , and from personal experience I'll take a classic any time.

        More to the point, if something *does* go wrong I can get to it and fix it. Not like the Kia Rio IAT sensor that's an inch off the bulkhead, secured by Phillips screws, known to be a failure point and is impossible to remove.

        The Accent has been in the garage for 6 months and has been fixed (bodged) by swapping solid lifters for hydraulics, now the garage only has to sort out the intake manifold leak they've caused after the 15 attempts to get this modern car working. That's after I replaced most of the sensors and then the garage replaced them again because the readings were garbage and Hyundai so engineering lead in the UK came to try and sort it.. And couldn't.

        And as for 60mpg out of a 1.8 petrol they saw you coming. My parents brand new 1.6 diesel was supposed to do 70mpg. It barely manages 52mpg, worse than the previous identical model they had which did 56 on a 60mpg official rating.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In less than two weeks..

          > And as for 60mpg out of a 1.8 petrol they saw you coming. My parents brand new 1.6 diesel was supposed to do 70mpg.

          60mpg out of a 1.8 petrol I would be surprised by (unless it's a hybrid - a colleague's Lexus IS manages 50mpg), but your parents' diesel seems to be underperforming - my colleague's brand-new 2.0TDI A3 managed 74mpg on a long trip recently ...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: In less than two weeks..

            my colleague's brand-new 2.0TDI A3 managed 74mpg on a long trip recently

            Lazy bastard wasn't trying very hard, then. A combination of eco-mode, a featherweight right foot, planning ahead, and skilled truck surfing should get him 90 or more.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In less than two weeks..

      My dad had a Wolseley sometime in the 1970s.

      It broke down about twice a week. Pretty reliably.

      He switched to a Dutch-manufactured Volvo 340 (aka DAF), in which he could actually go places other than the garage. It didn't break down.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In less than two weeks..

      "We have gone backwards in almost every respect in 40 years of "progress"."

      You're hilarious. I love my 30 year old Volvo but I am adult enough to acknowledge that by modern standards it is a complete disaster area in terms of passenger safety, pedestrian safety, roadholding and emissions. And in those areas it still shits all over your Wolseley which is probably on a par with my 35 year old tractor.

      Old cars have some advantages but they rely very strongly on being rare on the road. If ever they become a common driving choice then governments will have no choice but to get rid of the grandfathering of safety/emissions regs and they will become illegal overnight.

  9. Jemma Silver badge

    PS

    It's tax exempt too.. And the insurance is half that for my current car.

    /smug mode: off

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PS

      Have you ever seen crash tests of 70's cars? The corrision in the spot welds means that they fall apart in an accident and give you no protection. You will be the crumple zone, which is a very permanent cure for smugness. The insurance premium is low because most owners arn't crazy enough to drive them anywhere.

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: PS

        Ever seen a modern car crash tested against a modern 4x4? Doesn't matter whether you have crumple zones there either - the engine will be sat on your broken tibias before you even have time to start coughing up blood. It's actually pretty terrifying to watch.

        The bloody things should be banned except where provably necessarily and they certainly shouldn't be driven by 25 year old girls, all of 5ft nothing who can't see over the dashboard to steer (think Philo Beddows mom in Any Which Way but Loose, but hold the yoda) who like nothing more than doing their lippy at 60mph on country lanes.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: PS

          "Ever seen a modern car crash tested against a modern 4x4? "

          Yup, and so have the insurers, which is why they've been loading the premiums up high on the 4x4s - on the basis they're more likely to cause deaths/injuries to 3rd parties that the insurers will have to pay out on.

          _Most_ of your insurance cost in the UK/EU/USA is injury cover for 3rd parties, as you'll realise if you compare prices for fully comprehensive vs 3rd party cover (full cover is usually only 5% more in the UK and non-driven cover (ie, parked and stored) is almost nothing)

          International NCAP and Insurance Institute crash testing has been forcing 4x4 designs to be changed dramatically over the last decade and regulators (particularly in europe) DO NOT WANT people driving trucks unless they actually need to be, so they're looking for ways to make them uneconomic to use as personal vehicles.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A pragmatic view?

    As a soon to be EV owner/user, my two penneth....

    EV’s take 30mins to recharge 80% from 10%, so parked at Sainsbury, that’s long enough to recharge to take the shopping home.

    I assume the 5 mins for fuel for 500 miles is rather tounge in cheek. I drive diesel ATM and take me at least 10 mins assuming no one in the queue for fuel has also done their weekly shop.

    Too many electric charging points are being installed in poor locations, shopping centres open 9 - 8 is useless. I want to plug in on arrival at my hotel......why are councils not providing road side charging? Lack of demand!

    Someone I know was asked by a class of 14 year old, what’s happens if the oil runs out?

    Sorry everyone, it’s not IF, it’s WHEN.

    Yes, I expect to only get 200 miles, but stop at the services, have a bog break, maccy D’s followed by another dump and the battery has another 160 miles in it.

    May be oversimplifying things as there are different charging rates and times, different companies offering charging points, different councils with differing policies and clueless people (troglodytes thinking oil is here to stay).

    Bottom line is that EV’s still have a way to evolve, but they are not the useless beasts they were 5 years ago. As adoption rates increase, hopefully central policy will change to adopt a more practical approach.

    One hears stories of NHS trusts installing charging point that are not for public use, and staff can’t use them as its a benefit in kind (even though you pay the power provider).

    We need a cohesive strategy for transport, but then I’ve waited for that since the mid 70’s

    Not fantastic but better than 5 years ago and in 5 years time when we have started to adopt induction charging loops it can only get better and we’ll be looking at higher mileage rates and maybe even the spread of more hydrogen points - yes I’ve looked at that as well.....

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: A pragmatic view?

      "Too many electric charging points are being installed in poor locations, shopping centres open 9 - 8 is useless. I want to plug in on arrival at my hotel......why are councils not providing road side charging? Lack of demand!"

      So everyone should run round and provide charging points suitable for your convenience at their expense? Or do I misread you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A pragmatic view?

        Grants have already been given and spent - unwisely in my opinion.

        https://www.leicester.gov.uk/news/news-story-details/?nId=14372

        In case you missed it, there will be no ICE from 2040. That means we HAVE to change the infrastructure.

        We cannot stay in denial.

    2. ukaudiophile

      Re: A pragmatic view?

      I'm a current EV owner (only had one for 5 months) and a massive petrol head, I always said I'd never buy an EV or hybrid. I drove 3, one was overpriced and uninspiring, another was plain awful, the final one was simply one of the finest handling and performing cars I've ever driven in 30 years of having a driving licence. Needless to say which one I went for!

      30 mins to get 70% charge in at Sainsbury's is rather optimistic unless your local Sainsbury's has a much better charge rate than the two near me which can only put in 3.5Kw/h (around 10 miles of range / hr) or unless you have a very small battery. The motorway fast chargers can do that, and are superb. Basically I can half 'fill' my car in less time than it takes for me to have a large coffee & a pastry.

      I hear a lot of complaints about not being able to charge at home, and I'm afraid that for many current apartment dwellers and terrace house owners with no off road parking at the back, this is an issue which I hope will be addressed in the future with charging at employers and at shopping centers. What we need to do is get planners to ensure that homes being built today have off road parking, there is precious little reason to give planning permission to a house builder who does not have off road parking for at least 1 if not 2 cars. All apartment developments should also have similar provision. If the Government is serious about trying to get people into EV's in the future, they have to start thinking about this now.

      As for range anxiety, it's not on my radar. I can comfortably drive 200 miles on a single charge. I've known high performance cars that can't do that on a tank of fuel. I can commute for almost a full week on a single charge, and most places I go to have accessible charging facilities.

      The infrastructure is still not perfect, but remember we're trying to make a fundamental change to a fuel station infrastructure that's built up over a century, and we've only been installing these charge points for a handful of years. We're doing pretty well. Ask yourself this, how many petrol stations were in the UK in 1911? That's ten years after the first Wolseley rolled out of the factory. EV's have only been widely available for 5 years in the UK, so we're doing pretty well. I agree that EV's aren't the answer for everyone, but they are an increasingly valid option and will only improve (at a far faster rate than petrol or diesel cars) over the next few years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A pragmatic view?

        What we need to do is get planners to ensure that homes being built today have off road parking, there is precious little reason to give planning permission to a house builder who does not have off road parking for at least 1 if not 2 cars.

        Policy direction is actually the opposite, in the misbegotten lefty hope of persuading the proles to use the bus. That's why on new build estates there's insufficient off road parking, and even the roads are too narrow and poorly laid out to support on-road parking. As any fool can see this policy just covers the pavements with cars, but that's beyond the observational skills of the beard-and sandal wearing clowns of DCLG.

        In terms of workplace charging, who's going to pay? For starters (again the fault of DCLG car haters) most are undercapacity for the buildings they serve, but more importantly there's no way on earth the existing distribution connection will support car charging for more than a handful of vehicles. A large office building connection assumes about 500W per employee, there's no way that those sorts of connections could charge any worthwhile proportion of a large car park, so you've got the huge cost of electricity distribution reinforcement, substation and possibly transmission upgrades, and the considerable local cost of putting a charger in for most or all cars.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: A pragmatic view?

          In terms of workplace charging, who's going to pay?

          Who do you think? Having a workplace parking space will be a taxable benefit in kind, and if it has "free" charging it will have higher value & attract more tax.

  11. Roland6 Silver badge

    Electric cars need a state subsidy says David Wong...

    Whilst David Wong does raise some important points, however, fundamentally once you cut through everything, what he is asking for is a state subsidy...

    There is nothing preventing the electric vehicle manufacturers getting together, agreeing a common set of standards and build out a charging infrastructure and include the cost of that capital investment in the cost of the vehicle. Additionally, I think we need to set up Ofroad who can then auction access to the UKs state owned highways. etc. etc.

    Remember you and I pay in our monthly bills for the infrastructure that delivers mobile phones/data, fixed line telecoms, gas network, water network, domestic electricity network...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Electric cars need a state subsidy says David Wong...

      I'm glad we've never subsidise the oil industry then...Oh wait

      http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/fossil-fuel-firms-billion-pound-uk-state-subsidies-oil-gas-firms-leak-climate-change-environment-a7690966.html

  12. jay_bea

    Trip Distance

    You do have to wonder, based on the comments here, what problem electric cars are a solution to (other than selling more cars).

    Based on 2014 road use figures (DoT Road Use Statistics Great Britain, 2016), only 6% of car journeys were for more than 25 miles, and 56% were for less than 6 miles. Other forms of transport (walking, bicycles, public transport) would be a much better solution to the emissions problem caused by fossil fuel powered vehicles, and would also address the congestion / parking problems. Where local car / van journeys are necessary, then electric makes sense, but replacing every petrol/diesel vehicle with an electric one makes little economic or practical sense.

    For longer journeys, I cannot see electric vehicles being practical for the vast majority of journeys for a long time.

  13. doowles

    The unnamed company was Jaguar and the car was the i-Pace.

  14. Flywheel Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Train

    Let's go by train and hire a local-use EV. Sorted. Thank you.

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