back to article UK digital network Openreach takes 15 electric vans for a spin

BT's Openreach is trialling 15 electric vans – out of a fleet of 22,000 carbon-emitting vehicles. The company said the vehicles, which will be specially marked, will help deliver and maintain Openreach's fibre broadband network "and hopefully pave the way for more widespread electric vehicle deployments in the future." Last …

  1. Martin Summers Silver badge

    ""I was particularly interested in the battery life and how that would last. So far there have been no issues, with a full charge easily enabling me to easily do a full day of work."

    Well I don't have to fill my car up every single day with diesel. Come back to me when I don't need to charge every day and also when you've solved the issue of charging my electric vehicle outside a terraced house with on street parking.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Come back when you fill up with diesel when parked at home and you're sleeping in bed.

      Noone ever said that the infrastructure was there for everyone... why have a car if you have nowhere to keep it?

      Why do people feel entitled to litter the highway with stationary obstructions.???

      1. Chloe Cresswell

        So only people who can afford a house with off road parking should have one?

        1. Anonymous Coward
        2. John Robson Silver badge

          The issue is more that we continue to build houses without sufficient parking.

          There is a historical element as well, but there is no reason that parking has to be within 6 feet of your front door unless you hold a blue badge - it would be perfectly possible to have parking available within a couple of hundred yards of houses.

          But what else do you buy, that you have nowhere to store, so you just leave it out in a shared public space - obstructing all the other users of that space?

          1. Steve K Silver badge

            Hmm..

            shared public space - obstructing all the other users of that space?

            Not sure I understand. If it's a parking space then SOMEONE has to park in it - and whoever does will obstruct that space....

            1. Claverhouse Silver badge

              Re: Hmm..

              Vehicles expand to fill the land-space available ?

              We could, and inevitably will, cease to have personal transport entirely...

              1. Ragarath Silver badge

                Re: Hmm..

                I think you fail to understand the human element here.

                We like to be independent whilst also being social creatures. Of course there will be many that will not require individual vehicles but conversely many will jut because they can or want to.

                No one needs an impractical supercar but many are out there.

                1. strum Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm..

                  >We like to be independent whilst also being social creatures.

                  Just because we've become accustomed to something, doesn't mean we have a right to it.

            2. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Hmm..

              It's not a parking space - it's part of the highway - a network of roads designed for moving things, not stationary ones.

              Yes, some council has pandered to the car addicted and painted a parking space on a shared resource, doesn't mean it's not blocking the shared resource.

              It is perfectly possible to have no vehicle parked in a 'parking space', and if more were like that then we'd have much more room on our roads for actual road users.

              1. Chloe Cresswell

                Re: Hmm..

                Around here you just have to find a spot no one has parked in, there's no marked spaces or anything..

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hmm..

                No point in having roads if there is nowhere to park.

                1. strum Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm..

                  >No point in having roads if there is nowhere to park.

                  If there's nowhere to park, what's the point of most car journeys?

                  1. m0rt Silver badge

                    Re: Hmm..

                    ">No point in having roads if there is nowhere to park.

                    If there's nowhere to park, what's the point of most car journeys?"

                    ...looking for parking spaces, obviously.

                    Wonderful cycle of life.

                2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm..

                  You assume roads are "for cars"

                  For the use of yes, but not exclusively. "The King's Highway is not to be used as a Stableyard" etc etc.

                  The harsh reality is that thanks to decades of governments shitting on public transport, cities are overloaded with private transport (parking, driving, etc etc) and the only way to undo the damage is to encourage more people onto public transport - carrots work, sticks don't.

                  One of the more interesting aspects of the _hated_ Ringways motorways project was that private transport inside Ringway one was intended to be banned. It may have been car-centric but it was also quite pragmatic and such plans might serve as a useful starting point for future work - although perhaps without the miles of car parking under Regents Park (it's there if you know how to find it)

          2. rg287 Silver badge

            The issue is more that we continue to build houses without sufficient parking.

            There is a historical element as well, but there is no reason that parking has to be within 6 feet of your front door unless you hold a blue badge - it would be perfectly possible to have parking available within a couple of hundred yards of houses.

            To be fair, a huge number of houses - including supposedly problematic terraces - have at least one space provided in the form of a garage, either at the bottom of the garden accessible from the "backs" road or a row of lockups near the house. The fact that most people (myself included) choose to have their lockup full of rubbish and then park their car on the road is entirely down to them.

            At some point I suppose I will end up with a plugin hybrid or a full EV, and when I do, I will sort out my garage to support that. Until then, my next-but-three neighbour seems to manage quite well with a cable running down their front path and across the pavement (with an anti-trip rubber thing) to their car on the road. Another at the bottom of the road regularly has a Renault Zoe parked outside their lockup with a charging lead snaking out from under the garage door.

            I live on a long road of terraces (usually 4-5 per row) whose numbers runs into the high 380s. At least 75% have the potential for off-road parking, if not by turning the front garden into a driveway, then by actually using their garage!

            1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

              Porch

              You will probably put the charger in the exterior of the garage and put a porch..

            2. Chloe Cresswell

              Around here, if a terrace has a front garden, it's about 1-1.5 metres deep. And only the end terraces have access to their rears except for a <1m pathway. I'd love to put a car into my garden.. but I'd need a car no wider then 1.6 metres at one end, and 1 metre at the other. Anyone got an electric morgan 3 wheeler or something?

            3. phuzz Silver badge

              "To be fair, a huge number of houses - including supposedly problematic terraces - have at least one space provided in the form of a garage, either at the bottom of the garden accessible from the "backs" road or a row of lockups near the house."

              Round here those have all been converted into more houses (which I still couldn't afford on twice my salary).

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "but there is no reason that parking has to be within 6 feet of your front door"

            It does if the charger is running off your own leccy connection. I doubt very much you'd be happy to let someone call at your door asking to plug their car into your house overnight because they can't find a space to park outside their own house.

            So that takes us into the territory of needing public chargers for each overnight parking space.

            It's one aspect of an issue that goes to the heart of public vs private provision in transport. If a country's economy depends on people travelling to work then either it needs to make adequate provision for everyone to travel to their work on public transport or it has to accept that those for whom provision isn't made to use such means as works for them. Historically this has meant private vehicles. It will also need to mean carbon-fuelled private vehicles until such time as there's an adequate public charging facility for those who can't make private provision.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              >> "but there is no reason that parking has to be within 6 feet of your front door"

              >It does if the charger is running off your own leccy connection

              Only if you assume that you can only have one leccy connection... plenty of people have a lockup garage somewhere not next to their house where they have power...

              > Historically this has meant private vehicles.

              Historically it has meant walking, or, more recently cycling. It's only very very recently that the car has been an option - and it has completely screwed the country.

              1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

                Why would your charging point (in the street) need a personal wire to your premises ? Eletricity's all the same. You just need a way to put it on your own bill.

              2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                "Historically it has meant walking, or, more recently cycling. It's only very very recently that the car has been an option - and it has completely screwed the country."

                What has screwed the country is gathering all the work into areas separate from the housing. As more work gets concentrated in cities those cities are drawing commuters from over athousand square miles. This situation did not arise because of the car. It arose because since the war the entire aim of planners has been to separate work and housing. The motive might have been to get away from the situation of slum dwellings clustered round heavily polluting factories. But not enough thought was given as to how people would get between the two. With such large commuting ranges TPTB aren't prepared to invest sufficient in transport. They'll reluctantly spend on roads but leave th public to invest in vehicles, then complain when they're used. Now they're expecting them to invest in charging points whether it's feasible or not.

                It makes not a jot of difference that plenty of other people have lock-up garages if you don't and where I live the old industries were staffed by people who lived in houses built before the motor vehicle, let alone private drives and lock-up garages. Those industrial sites have been closed and reused as housing so we now have more people living here than ever and far, far less work. Those in the houses that replaced mills may have garages (as too many were built on flood plains they have to have garages to lift the living accommodation high enough to avoid flooding!) but the older housing is still there. Some of it is stacked housing so some houses only have a path outside their front door, not even a road on which to park a car. The bus service is a quarter or less of what it was in the '50s and journey times longer. The train service was never closer than 2 miles and anyway that went in the '60s. But never mind, carry on, keep blaming the victims. The planners have been doing that for decades so why should you be different?

                1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  "It arose because since the war the entire aim of planners has been to separate work and housing"

                  Actually, that's been going on since the late 19th century and was done on public health grounds - BUT it was done by extending public transport infrastructure out to the suburbs (ie, rail links)

                  It's only more recently that cars took over and mainly because urban planners failed to resist them in inner city areas.

                  1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                    Re: separate work and housing

                    Due to the loss of much manufacturing industry in the UK, arguably the public health question no longer arises. No doubt though there will be people complaining that someone on their housing estate who has an occupation that involves high-bandwidth broadband is hogging it.

                    Unfortunately companies like Openreach probably won't be able to take advantage of community self-sufficiency (x vans per community cell) as it is not the case that an Openreach engineer will live or be required to do maintenance work in a given cell.

                    Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language is one way to look at this kind of thing. With retail going down the plughole it looks like traditional town planning is going to be turned upside down.

            2. Claverhouse Silver badge

              Personally I have considered future generations wanting humans to produce stuff may bring in dormitories, as in some ways certain modern Chinese factories do, with workers all living, eating and sleeping on the premises.

              This would be beyond ideal for the Houses of Parliament. Instead of living allowances, London homes, or country homes, shove them all together in a large purpose-built block of flats, as a stakhanovite shock worker's brigade, along with their families and staff; all with the amount of floor-space each considered suitable for social housing tenants.

              Westminster Council has calculations for HMOs --- Houses of Multiple Occupancy: difficult to be precise with all the variables, but either sleeping alone in a bedroom, or for sharing with a significant other, comes to 1 person bedroom : not less than 6.5 m2, or 2 person bedroom : not less than 10.2 m2.

              So they can do any homework away from their office, MPs could work in lounges.

              Westminster says: Where there are more than 20 occupiers in the property a lounge area shall be provided for residents’ use. The area (or aggregate areas, if more than one is provided) shall be calculated on the basis of 1m 2 for each occupier; no lounge provided should be less than 10m 2 in area.

              Plus suitable kitchen and necessary bathrooms, etc. space.

              1. Paul Herber Silver badge

                "Personally I have considered future generations wanting humans to produce stuff may bring in dormitories, as in some ways certain modern Chinese factories do, with workers all living, eating and sleeping on the premises."

                Our MPs can set an example here, a nice underground sleeping block instead of them all having a London house rented to them or bought.

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                "Westminster Council has calculations for HMOs"

                And the scary part is that a lot of PRIVATE rental 1-2 bedroom accomodation or private sale stuff doesn't meet these requirements - as came out when developers couldn't sell their stuff, tried flogging it off to local government and it was discovered that none of it met minimum requirements for social housing (noise isolation, ventilation, natural light, floorspace)

                Not that it'd stopping this stuff still being flogged off as "affordable housing" - developers would sell rabbit hutches if they could get away with it(*) despite the public health effects of cheek-by-jowl living without adequate isolation.

                (*) They largely are. Sucessive governments have refused to enact legislation protecting this stuff and instead have been trying to tear down the rights of social housing occupants - no surprise when you realise that a large number of MPs are private landlords and stand to make out like bandits from such changes.

            3. Alan Brown Silver badge

              "So that takes us into the territory of needing public chargers for each overnight parking space."

              Private chargers or public chargers it takes us into the territory of questioning whether the electricity infrastructure can COPE with the load (it's not just the main feeders into conurbations which aren't engineered for this

              UK houses draw about 100W-300W as a long-term average. Having a streetful of them(*) pulling 2-6KW overnight turns the entire concept of "offpeak" on its head and there's the question of whether the feeder cables are even rated for that. We really don't want any more exploding footpaths, do we?

              (*)or street chargers

              And then there's the issue that some counties (eg: Surrey) refuse point blank to deal with the issue of public on-street infrastructure and have been giving the same "We'll think about it" answer for the last 12 years.

        3. macjules Silver badge

          Umm, that does seem to be the stated criteria for EVs in London. The local authorities really hate you running a power cable outside to the car.

          Before there were such niceties as EV charging points. I applied for planning permission to be able to run a cable up from the under-pavement through what used to be the coal hole in the street but was denied. Only way to charge the Tesla then (late 2014) was to park it in the Park Lane underground car park for 24 hours.

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Trollface

        Someone probably will after tripping over your charging cable

    2. teknopaul Silver badge

      apples for apples

      You dont have a petrol station in your garage.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: apples for apples

        You dont have a petrol station in your garage.

        Don't need to leave my car all night in a petrol station just to fill up.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: apples for apples

          No, but these people never need to visit a petrol station... at all... They spend an extra 10 seconds each day putting a power cable into/out of their vehicle.

          As our nationwide energy production is moved away from carbon based fuels then all these cars get a 'free' upgrade in emissions control.

          The obsession people have with the duration and frequency of charge bears no actual relationship to the reality of driving for the vast majority of people. I do more than a couple of hundred miles a day probably four times a year, and even that I could manage on one stop at a charger while I get a bite to eat (since 200 miles is at least 3 hours driving in this country, that's a pretty good time to stop for a drink/bite).

          1. rg287 Silver badge

            Re: apples for apples

            I do more than a couple of hundred miles a day probably four times a year, and even that I could manage on one stop at a charger while I get a bite to eat (since 200 miles is at least 3 hours driving in this country, that's a pretty good time to stop for a drink/bite).

            Well quite. I need the loo and a stretch after 3 hours. And how many people going >200miles are actually going 400miles? In all probability you don't even need a full 30-40min charge to go the last 50-70miles of your trip. Just 10-20mins to cover the remainder of your onward journey (assuming destination charging is available). It fits the usual rest stop timings very well - unless you're a motorway warrior doing 600miles a day, in which case nobody cares because you're a fraction of one percent of the minority and EVs aren't designed for you.^1 Get a hybrid, fill it with petrol, no worries.

            1. Same argument for people whinging that Tesla's semi truck only goes 300miles "What do these amateurs know? If it doesn't have a crew cab and do 1000miles it's useless". Ignoring the fact that most containers delivered to (say) the Port of New York do not leave New York State or even NYC. They're trucked to the nearest Walmart/Amazon distribution centre for onward journeys or loaded straight onto a train at the railhead. Lots of short <30mile trips in urban (stop-start) traffic. An EV tractor unit with 300miles range will work quite comfortably bouncing between local distribution units, supermarkets, etc, each of which can be fitted with a charger at the loading dock to be plugged in whilst unloading takes place. If you're a transcontinental trucker then sure, keep your crew-cab petrol tractor. The EV isn't for you. Doesn't mean it's useless though.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: apples for apples

              "you're a fraction of one percent of the minority and EVs aren't designed for you. Get a hybrid, fill it with petrol, no worries."

              If the intention is to get rid of all petrol vehicles then a better solution is needed. What's more, once a tipping point is reached the petrol distribution networks will start to get run down and at that point there really would need to be a system in place to make EVs an effective full replacement for all ICE applications.

              And by the way that long mileage driver is probably quite a lot of drivers at least once or twice a year.

              1. strum Silver badge

                Re: apples for apples

                >to make EVs an effective full replacement for all ICE applications.

                Or reduce the number of applications where any vehicle is really necessary.

                Some people need to face facts; if ICE cars are no longer acceptable, they'll have to find other ways to work/live. That may include living somewhere closer to public transport - not somewhere only reachable by car.

              2. eionmac

                Re: apples for apples

                (assuming destination charging is available).

                Umm! Rural Wales? Rural Scotland? Kernaw? Even petrol is not always available. However Calor Gas tanks at houses can be made to do wonders.

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: apples for apples

              " Same argument for people whinging that Tesla's semi truck only goes 300miles "

              Drayage and haulage are 2 different animals - Tesla's Semi is being marketed as a haulage animal.

              Drayage EVs already exist, but a proper Tesla drayage EV would be a game-changer.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: apples for apples

            "I do more than a couple of hundred miles a day probably four times a year, and even that I could manage on one stop at a charger while I get a bite to eat"

            That has a couple of requirements.

            One is that where you stop has sufficient chargers that you can be sure of getting to park adjacent to one (and having to queue as might happen for petrol pumps isn't going to work; a queue for a facility that takes a half an hour or whatever to use isn't going to clear as fast as a queue for petrol). A limitation to the number of chargers that can be installed is the total available power at the site. For a motorway service area this is going to be considerable. Throttling the charge rate to match supply and demand isn't going to cut it, coming back to your car and finding you've only got another 20 miles of charge wouldn't leave you feeling very happy.

            The other is that when you get to your destination you'll be able to rely on there being a charging point there for whatever you're going to do next day.

            1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

              Re: apples for apples

              Absolutely agree.

              For most use cases, a nice little EV that you charge on the drive at night is fine - most people don't do more than the 80-100 miles range of your average little EV.

              Problem comes for those days when you need to go further afield. Stopping every 80-100 miles (not every 2 hours) is a pain - and you may need to vary your route to make sure there are rapid chargers every 80 miles, possibly extending the journey. Recently spoke to some people from Oxford who'd travelled by (Zoe/Leaf) to Aberystwyth and had to go via the M4, as there is just one rapid charger in mid-Wales (just north of Aberystwyth) - apart from that it's a desert for 50+ miles in every direction!

              So, not a solution for every day and every situation (4th floor dwellers in tower blocks spring to mind)

              But...surely it's better to say, own an EV for 90% of your journeys and then rent a longer-range vehicle for the few trips a year that need one, rather than just winge and stick to petrol/diesel for everything.

              Another factor is the impact of getting a new EV. I have read that about 50% of the carbon emitted by a vehicle during its lifetime comes during the manufacturing process. So it makes no sense to scrap an ICE that's only a few years old, and replace with an EV that has pumped out a lot of carbon during manufacture (and then is powered by gas-fired electricity). Perhaps better to keep the ICE going for another 20 years but only doing 2000 miles/year, with the other 10,000 in an EV or on public transport. Surely reducing carbon by 80% is better than zero?

              Personally I'm looking at the possibilities of an electric moped or motorcycle. £2-3K, range of maybe 150miles and top speed 45mph for the NUI NGT. Will be perfectly fine for probably 75% of my mileage, and the old Skoda should then be okay for the other 1500 miles a year when I need to carry loads or it's hosing down.

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: apples for apples

                surely it's better to say, own an EV for 90% of your journeys and then rent a longer-range vehicle for the few trips a year that need one, rather than just winge and stick to petrol/diesel for everything.

                But at the point where 90% of journeys can be made by EVs, who's going to make other vehicles? What incentive is there to maintain a fuel distribution network for them? A big problem is that they will not be required by anyone for much of the time, but every bank holiday weekend demand will be huge. Where will they be kept during quiet periods, and how can any rental business work financially if most of their expensive assets are laid up 90% of the time?

                There's also the haulage issue. There's no sign of electrtical replacements for long-distance haulage, trains can help in some cases but that meets massive union opposition. We'll still need a diesel fuel network for those vehicles.

                Alcohol or bio-diesel is a far easier change to implement and manage, and there are technologies in preliminary development that can create alcohol from water & atmospheric CO2, plus energy. That's an excellent way to use intermittent renewables like wind and solar, which can be used any time they are available to make liquid fuel that is easy to store. The result can work for private transport, haulage, air, and sea.

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: apples for apples

                "Recently spoke to some people from Oxford who'd travelled by (Zoe/Leaf) to Aberystwyth and had to go via the M4, as there is just one rapid charger in mid-Wales (just north of Aberystwyth) - apart from that it's a desert for 50+ miles in every direction!"

                I suspect the best solution _for the moment_ is a "range extender" - being something like a 4kW generator in a roofbox.

                A lot of EV enthusiasts used to come up with something like this (or attached to the rear of the vehicle) but it's something that's not there in mass market vehicles.

            2. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: apples for apples

              "One is that where you stop has sufficient chargers that you can be sure of getting to park adjacent to on"

              If only there was some sort of ability to know where these things were before you set out, or even whilst in the car.

              And to get updates on how many were in use/available.

              Oh - wait, we already have all of that information available.

              Motorway service stations already have pretty hefty electrical connections, and upgrading those will be in their business interest (more leccy spaces - more people buying overpriced coffee and passing the adverts)

              None of the electric vehicle drivers I know have ever had an issue plugging in to charge on a long journey... and one of those owners makes frequent journeys to family who are at about 140% of the stated range of their vehicle, another is a motorway warrior, racking up serious miles every year.

              Throttling supply would cut it, but only in terms of very short bursts of restricted power... again all of these vehicles have enough smarts that you can check the charge before you chug the dregs of the coffee.

              I've also been to a number of petrol stations that have been unexpectedly shut for various reasons (delayed delivery, delivery in progress, and some that have just been closed... How will this petrol malarkey ever catch on if a petrol station might be closed? the mere thought of it.... /sarcasm

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: apples for apples

                Motorway service stations already have pretty hefty electrical connections

                Nowhere near comparable to what they'll need for 8-10 supercharger++ connections, running 12 hours a day. Do the maths.

                and upgrading those will be in their business interest

                Upgrading the sevice stations is only part of the problem. If you calculate the amount of energy used by UK road transport today, even if you then halve it because electric cars are more efficient, and add it to the current national grid draw, you get a figure that requires every power station in the country to be running flat out, 24/7/365. That isn't possible. It's been suggested that if we move totally to EV transport we'd need 10 more Sizewell Bs.

                None of the electric vehicle drivers I know have ever had an issue plugging in to charge on a long journey...

                Of course not, it's a tiny niche market today. 220,000 cars and 24,000 charge points. There are 38 million ICE cars registered in the UK, supplied by 8500 petrol stations. That indicates the scale of the problem. If all 38 million cars were EVs, you'd need 4 million charging points for the same supply/demand ratio.

                1. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: apples for apples

                  "Upgrading the sevice stations is only part of the problem. If you calculate the amount of energy used by UK road transport today, even if you then halve it because electric cars are more efficient, and add it to the current national grid draw, you get a figure that requires every power station in the country to be running flat out, 24/7/365. That isn't possible. It's been suggested that if we move totally to EV transport we'd need 10 more Sizewell Bs."

                  Yes - we'd need to increase generation capacity - that's what we should be doing.

                  I'd actually suggest that substation sized nuke plants should be a significant part of our energy generation capacity.

                  There are other things that come with this as well, like cars being potentially excellent grid balancing technology (since most vehicles spend most of their time in one of two car parks).

                  It's not as if it's all completely unknown tech, but we need to be building more nuclear power plants already... Not BWRs, but modern designs (although even BWRs are safer than pretty much any other form of generation we have tried).

                  There has been, for a while, the option of small scale nuclear plants (substation sized) which could distribute the load generation nicely.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: apples for apples

                    "There are other things that come with this as well, like cars being potentially excellent grid balancing technology"

                    That's fine until you find that you only have half the range you expected and need in your car because it's just been used balancing the grid.

                2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: apples for apples

                  >> Motorway service stations already have pretty hefty electrical connections

                  > Nowhere near comparable to what they'll need for 8-10 supercharger++ connections, running 12 hours a day. Do the maths.

                  In order to cope with bursts and supercharging they'll need battery banks anyway. Do the math on that.

                  The bigger problem of _overall_ electricity generation capacity is something that the "Green" mob are quite pointedly ignoring (it's a hell of a lot worse than just the extra capacity needed for EVs - remember that new gas heating connections won't be allowed past 2025 and that will turn into "no gas connections" eventually.)

                3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

                  Re: apples for apples

                  @Phil

                  If you calculate the amount of energy used by UK road transport today, even if you then halve it because electric cars are more efficient, and add it to the current national grid draw, you get a figure that requires every power station in the country to be running flat out, 24/7/365.

                  True, but not as bad as it seems. I can't remember the exact figures, but apparently the process of refining oil into petrol requires a considerable amount of electricity - about 1/3??? of the amount of energy in the fuel, and so that would be released back into the grid.

                  But even so, it would be a massive infrastructure change, and there are almost certainly better alternatives, using renewable leccy to create hydrogen, alcohol or whatever.

              2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: apples for apples

                "And to get updates on how many were in use/available.

                Oh - wait, we already have all of that information available."

                And oh bugger, all the ones within the range you've got left are already in use and there's a two hour queue. What now? Call the RAC and ask if they can bring a can of electrons?

                It's not enough that there are some points you can locate. It's not enough that you can tell which are in use. You need to be able to rely on getting to a vacant charging point. A transport system needs to be reliable

            3. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: apples for apples

              "One is that where you stop has sufficient chargers that you can be sure of getting to park adjacent to one"

              In other words - what you ACTUALLY need is a carpark full of charge points - not just a few in the corner and definitely NOT a separate area when you queue up.

              Park up, plug in, go and do your "driving break" stuff for 45-75 minutes. Come back, unplug, drive off.

        2. teknopaul Silver badge

          Re: apples for apples

          A petrol station where you can leave you car all night is called a car park.

          Do you sit watching your mobile phone charge before you go out? Or do you plug it in when you get home?

          Would it be better to have to go to the "phone energy quick charge" station for 20 mins each week to charge up your phone? Or have a 5v charger at home and at work?

    3. teknopaul Silver badge

      When carparks have charging facilities the idea of queueing for petrol seems like a waste of time.

    4. batfink Bronze badge

      Our office in (well near) Amsterdam has free charging points in the car park. That demonstrates that a bit of alternative thinking can make the sources of your whining go away.

      For example: the £11Bn++ going into the Smart Meter rollout in the UK would go a long way towards wiring up a shitload of streets with public charging points - for a lot more practical result.

      1. IGotOut

        "Our office in (well near) Amsterdam has free charging points in the car park."

        Is that 100% of the spaces? If so well done.

        On the industrial estate where I am, already with huge power requirements (apparently at 70%) capacity , how much do you think it will cost to put in power for around 500 cars, charging at peak time?

        If we are serious, then the grid needs a huge upgrade.

        Before I get a million downvotes from the city dwellers, there are NO train stations within 10 miles and oddly the number of buses at 4am are err.... 0. Add to the fact we pull in people from about a 20 mile radius, personal transport is currently and for a log time, the only way.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          The fact that you have put your jobs so far away from people, and that your group of companies doesn't want to provide meaningful transport doesn't mean a car is *needed*.

          It means you have made decisions based on the assumption that everyone will have a car, because it's a human right and even killing someone with a car is just something that happens, so we'll let you carry on driving a lethal weapon.

          1. eionmac

            when you change jobs, and you have a home and children at a local school, you do not move home to the new job, you might get sacked in 3 months! PS The wife has a job 20 miles in the opposite direction.

    5. Timbo

      As an ex-LPG fuel car driver, I found it very difficult finding LPG-equipped petrol stations where I could tank up. The car had a range of about 200 miles (on LPG - it was dual-fuel, and could drive another 150 miles of diesel) and I could drive that in a day going from home to various customers and back again.

      So, I had to modify my journeys in order to stop at a suitable place to fill up, depending on my journey the following day (ie to fill up the night before if no stations are on my way to the following days customer(s) - and vice versa.

      One solution not mentioned as far as "on street" charging - we have plenty of street lights on our streets...powered by leccy - so why not convert them to have sockets at their bases and some internal electronics to monitor the charge supplied to each vehicle - an RFID tag in each car could then ensure the lamp-post charges your account correctly....and the infrastructure could be similar to "smart meters" for gas/leccy.

      Fast charging should be the way forwards and then everyone can just top up at various points in the day, rather than everyone having to charge up at the same time, overnight.

      And why not trickle charge a car 9during the day) via a solar panel on the roof?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And why not trickle charge a car 9during the day) via a solar panel on the roof?

        Because it would be like keeping a teaspoonful of petrol in the glovebox in case you ran short. Insignificant.

        (a roof-sized solar panel will manage 200W in full sun. A Tesla charger supplies 120,000W)

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        we have plenty of street lights on our streets...powered by leccy - so why not convert them to have sockets at their bases and some internal electronics to monitor the charge supplied to each vehicle

        Sodium street lights draw around 400W, LED ones closer to 40W. Even a basic home EV charger is in the 3kW - 7kW range. There's no way the street light power feed could cope with charging a streetful of EVs overnight. This is the big problem, when people hear "charge up" they think of tiny gadgets that they use for their phone. Most people have no idea of the amount of energy stored in a car's fuel tank (until it goes bang) and no idea of just how much power is required to charge an EV fleet. Do the maths first.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tesla's entry-level Model 3 vehicle is £28,500

    The article says "Tesla's entry-level Model 3 vehicle is £28,500"

    Says who? Tesla say it costs £36,490

    1. FlossyThePig

      Re: Tesla's entry-level Model 3 vehicle is £28,500

      ...Tesla say it costs £36,490...

      Very clever pricing as it has had the £3500 pliug in car grant subtracted from the price that HMRC uses in their calculations. The base price is £39,990, which is £10 less than the the point where road tax goes from £0 to £320/year.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Tesla's entry-level Model 3 vehicle is £28,500

        vehicle excise duty - not road tax

        1. IGotOut

          Re: Tesla's entry-level Model 3 vehicle is £28,500

          "vehicle excise duty - not road tax"

          I always find this pedantry a bit, pointless as even the Government call it a tax.

          Tax your vehicle

          Tax your car, motorcycle or other vehicle using a reference number from....

          You must tax your vehicle even if you do not have to pay anything

          Source:

          https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Tesla's entry-level Model 3 vehicle is £28,500

            You'll note they call it *vehicle* tax... not road tax.

            Churchill was right - the pedantry isn't about the excise duty/tax bit of the phrase... The tax has nothing to do with roads funding.

            The roads were not built for cars, and car drivers do not pay for them. That's the point that is made by correcting the continued misnaming of the regressive revenue stream that is VED/car-tax.

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Tesla's entry-level Model 3 vehicle is £28,500

      No - that is a simple USD to GBP translation of the US price for the base model. It is NOT the UK price.

  3. twellys
    Joke

    UK digital network Openreach engineers take 15 electric vans for a spin on their rounds

    So how are the milkfloats holding up then?!

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: UK digital network Openreach engineers take 15 electric vans for a spin on their rounds

      Read the article...

      "I was particularly interested in the battery life and how that would last. So far there have been no issues,"

      Also, they are vans, not milk floats.

    2. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: UK digital network Openreach engineers take 15 electric vans for a spin on their rounds

      I think my local dairy has 4 left, out of a fleet of 30+ in the past. They have been upgraded to LED lighting, and other lower powered features, but are out numbered by the diesel floats in the yard...

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: UK digital network Openreach engineers take 15 electric vans for a spin on their rounds

        Our local deliveries use electric floats , no diesel

  4. tiggity Silver badge

    Pedantry

    "carbon-emitting vehicles"

    The electric ones will still give off some carbon - C rich particulates from tyre wear, C rich particulates from braking (assuming carbon fibre disk usage in braking system) - just a lot less C with no C laden exhaust fumes.

    1. AIBailey Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Pedantry

      Carbon fibre brake disks? On a van?

      Considering the temperatures that need to be generated for carbon brakes to effectively work, I very much doubt it, they're the preserve of very high performance vehicles.

      Presumably they'll use either standard steel disks, or some kind of regenerative braking system?

      1. rg287 Silver badge

        Re: Pedantry

        Presumably they'll use either standard steel disks, or some kind of regenerative braking system?

        Both, but the pads and discs tend to last longer than a conventional vehicle because you don't use them as hard - regen does most of the hard work instead of burning the energy as heat.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Pedantry

        > some kind of regenerative braking system?

        Not on a milk float. Regenerative braking is ineffective below a few miles per hour.

  5. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

    I'm increasingly bored of the "this-new-technology-doesn't-work-for-me-in-exactly-the-way-i-want-it-to-therefore-it's-rubbish-and-no-one-should-have-it" attitude. And I don't just mean cars, although that is the specific example in this case. No new technology arrived fully complete and suitable for every situation. I was under the impression that human being were the most adaptive species on the planet, and people cannot imagine anything other than the only way of charging a car being standing next to it for five minutes. When the idea of a car to replace your horse was first put forward, I bet people were aghast at the thought of having to make a specific journey to fill the car up with petrol, rather than tying the horse at a post next to a trough or in a stable at night where it would "charge" itself.

    Just because the idea might require a slight change in behaviour or routine does not make it an inherently bad idea. I don't work somewhere with charging points in the car park, nor do I have one at home, but they are talking about putting them at some point in the work car park, and at that point, if I buy an electric car, I won't ever have to waste time going to the petrol station with it. Doesn't have enough range to get from London to Manchester on a single charge? Not really a problem when you can stop at the services for the rest stops we should all be having on long journeys and leave the car to charge while you're doing that.

    None of this requires genius levels of creativity, but if you don't want an electric car, that's fine, you don't have to have one. Honestly, I'm looking forward to not having to make a 10 minute detour whenever the little light on the dashboard comes on. Plus, this is before we get in to maintenance and servicing. If you like your trips to the petrol station, more power to you, but I'm ready to embrace the new way of working.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      And if you really need to do something which requires absurd range/longevity away from civilisation then you can always hire a liquid propelled vehicle.

      Your point about servicing is also good. Other than a tyre change every so often... the vast majority of braking should be regenerative, so brake wear will be massively reduced, and is monitor-able in the vehicle.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "And if you really need to do something which requires absurd range/longevity away from civilisation then you can always hire a liquid propelled vehicle."

        How do you do that when manufacturers are being compelled to only build EVs? Or the demand for liquid fuel has run down to the point where the distribution system has become uneconomical?

        1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

          How do you do that when manufacturers are being compelled to only build EVs? Or the demand for liquid fuel has run down to the point where the distribution system has become uneconomical?

          That would mean that you are working on the basis that despite EV range increasing from approximately 100 miles in 2009 to the Tesla S capable of well over 300 miles in 2019, there will be no further advancement in range, battery technology or charging speed between now and 2032 when the rules come in for not selling petrol powered vehicles. Despite the fact that over the next 13 years there will be that regulatory pressure to improve EV's in all aspects. Do you really believe that after the progress made in the last ten years, none at all will be made in the next ten?

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            In order to increase charge stored and decrease charging time you need a considerable increase of charging rate, to the point where it becomes quite dangerous for untrained users. Everyone assumes that EV problems can be solved by new technology. Once you actually do the maths for the supply network and charging equipment it becomes much less obvious.

            A solution that uses renewable liquid fuels which fit into the existing infrastructure would be much less disruptive, and there are some interesting technologies under development.

          2. Commswonk Silver badge

            Despite the fact that over the next 13 years there will be that regulatory pressure to improve EV's in all aspects.

            Given that "regulatory pressure" will have politicians behind it it is likely to include repealing the laws of physics.

            Do you really believe that after the progress made in the last ten years, none at all will be made in the next ten?

            Clearly I hope nobody would believe that, but I would equally hope that nobody will assume that "progress" (however measured) over the last ten years will be followed by "progress" (using the same measuring technique) at the same rate over the next ten.

            Bit like past performance is not a guarantee of future performance...

          3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            there will be no further advancement in range, battery technology or charging speed

            Well, yes and no. Obviously there will be technological improvements, but the laws of physics will remain unchanged.

            At present a 'rapid' (50kW) charger can 'fill' a basic 100-mile range EV in about 30-40 mins. The same charger takes 2 hours+ to fill a Tesla! There are a few scattered Tesla super-chargers (120kW) around - think - 120 kW @ 400V = a lot of kettles!

            Of course, we could develop a charger that can charge a Tesla in 10 mins. But it would need to pull about 1500 amps on 400V 3-phase. That's a bloody big wire. The rapid chargers are each the equivalent of adding about 20 houses to the local grid - the hypothetical 10-min Tesla charger would be the equivalent of adding an estate of 250 houses to the substation for each one. That means serious grid upgrades.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "if you really need to do something which requires absurd range/longevity away from civilisation then you can always hire a liquid propelled vehicle."

        Or even more creatively, you can take some other form of transport to the area where you want to be away from civilisation and then use suitable transportation for the area. You could call it a train or something.

      3. H in The Hague

        "Your point about servicing is also good. Other than a tyre change every so often... the vast majority of braking should be regenerative, so brake wear will be massively reduced, and is monitor-able in the vehicle."

        Good point. Earlier this year I interviewed around ten directors of automotive companies (mostly commercial vehicles, also some cars). They all expected the transiation to EVs to happen quite quickly and mentioned that this would significantly reduce the servicing to be carried out by dealers. About half of them now drive EVs, and one a plug-in hybrid.

        I still have a conventional car (don't use it much) but am looking forward to replacing it by an EV in a few years' time.

    2. teknopaul Silver badge

      Word. Same as the notion that the only vehicle is a car and the only place to park it is next to the curb.

      Loads if people buzzing about Barcelona on tiny little leccy vehicles these days. "Parking" them in their flats.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      When the idea of a car to replace your horse was first put forward, I bet people were aghast at the thought of having to make a specific journey to fill the car up with petrol, rather than tying the horse at a post next to a trough or in a stable at night where it would "charge" itself.

      Probably not. Horses were always high maintenance transport. The worry would have been having an adequate fuel distribution system. That's long since solved for petrol vehicles. It's nowhere near solved for electric vehicles and going round claiming it it's near enough solved isn't going to make it any better.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Probably not. Horses were always high maintenance transport.

        Old motor vehicles were also high maintenance, chronically so in fact. Horses were't exactly known for breaking down every five minutes. As recently as the 70's and 80's people still accepted that from most cars. Compared to electric vehicles, petrol and diesel vehicles are still high maintenance.

        The worry would have been having an adequate fuel distribution system. That's long since solved for petrol vehicles.

        I totally agree with you here, the problems of distribution are quite solvable, and the more demand, the more that solution will evolve. It doesn't matter if it's liquid or electricity, we already know how to get electricity to places, now we just have to do it. No it's not there yet, but that is a totally different thing from saying it never will be.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          My point is that if you push to replace ICE by EV (and I doubt the enthusiasts will settle for hybrid) there'll come a stage where the ICE infrastructure becomes uneconomic before there's sufficient infrastructure to support 100% EV. That could well become a transport crisis.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            > there'll come a stage where the ICE infrastructure becomes uneconomic before there's sufficient infrastructure to support 100% EV.

            That's already looming with the push for "renewables"

            Under ideal conditions, renewables (wind/solar/tides/whatever) can _just about_ replace (or slightly outproduce) carbon-emitting power generation, but it's intermittent and unreliable by comparison as well as being ~10 times more expensive.

            The increased electrical demands from EVs are only the tip of the iceberg. Gas heating of housing _IS_ going away in the UK within a decade.

            The UK's nuclear generation fleet is set to retire. The coal fleet basically has and the gas fleet only has a lifespan of 15-20 years left. It will take 25-30 years to bring anything new onstream (nuclear - carbonless) and in the meantime, the fact that smartmeters have cutoff relays in them is likely to be used increasingly more commonly for load shedding.

            1. H in The Hague

              "the fact that smartmeters have cutoff relays in them is likely to be used increasingly more commonly for load shedding."

              Are you sure about that? Source? I think a Commentard familiar with the issue mentioned a while ago that only the larger (> 100 A) smart meters have a contactor for load shedding.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                "Are you sure about that? Source? "

                Big Clive did a teardown of one on Youtube about a year ago:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G32NYQpvy8Q

                He starts pointing at the relay and discussing the way it may operate at 8:35

                It's there, the existence of the things has been confirmed independently and it's interesting how many people start on personal attacks when I bring this up.

            2. strum Silver badge

              >being ~10 times more expensive

              Bollocks.

            3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

              @Alan Brown

              Under ideal conditions, renewables (wind/solar/tides/whatever) can _just about_ replace (or slightly outproduce) carbon-emitting power generation, but it's intermittent and unreliable by comparison as well as being ~10 times more expensive.

              10 times more expensive? Only in pure cash terms, when there is no attempt to make the polluter pay. How much is it worth to keep a viable planet?

              Measuring relative cost/value must include the total costs to society, not just the immediate cash ones, otherwise we could say the most cost effective way to eat is to steal food from the supermarket, or eat at a restaurant and leave without paying your bill. Costs, nil!

      2. Commswonk Silver badge

        Horses were always high maintenance transport. The worry would have been having an adequate fuel distribution system.

        Supplying the fuel for horses wasn't a problem, but clearing up the exhaust certainly was. It was only the arrival of the horseless carriage that stopped large conurbations being buried under unmanageable quantities of rose fertiliser.

        See Superfreakonomics by Levitt & Dubner.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Supplying the fuel for horses wasn't a problem"

          It depends. If you lived in the country and had land, fine. I know some of my ancestors would have had horses and depended on them for their livelihood; one of them was killed falling from his horse coming back from market.

          If you lived in an urban area and had sufficient space in your range of outbuildings for not only a horse or two, a carriage and a hayloft a provender merchant would be able to supply you. For everyone else, no chance.

          One thing I've never quite understood, not being horsey myself, is this notion of putting horses to grass for the summer which seems to mean not using them.

      3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        And an interesting comparison - developing the distribution network in the early days of petrol cars was easy. The village blacksmith would take a delivery of 10/20/100 (as appropriate) 2-gal cans. These would be manually poured into the tank of a passing motorist via a funnel. (And the cautious motorist could keep a can or two in the boot). A few years later the garage might be taking in 50-gal drums. Eventually he would think about getting a larger tank and a direct pump.

        Basically slow evolution.

        Doesn't work the same with EV. We need a serious amount of expensive infrastructure from day one, and it's questionable whether we could even manage the infrastructure for 100% EVs on the present basis.

        A better approach would have been standardised swapable battery packs. If they can do 150-200 miles each, you just pop into the local garage which has a stock of 10-20 charged packs, crane-type gadget does the swap and off you go. Empty packs then taken to local power station for re-charging!

        And as the demand increases, some packs can be slowly charged on site, or at night, and stocks can be increased.

        Of course, with EVs there will always be less demand for public chargers than for petrol stations - at least in terms of energy. If everyone switched to EV, probably 70-80%+ of their charging would happen at home, overnight, or in an office/supermarket car park. So we end up with a massive infrastructure that isn't heavily used - but is essential!

        1. Chloe Cresswell

          When I was young (in the 80s!) I got a weekly collectable magazine called Quest. And the swappable battery pack was listed in that as an idea.

          Obviously some of us (the writers, you, me...) seem to have all agreed on one idea.. but the designers haven't caught up with that one yet...

          (they didn't use a crane in their idea though - they thought it'd be done from underneath - drive over, stop, pack dropped down and the charged one lifted and secured, or as a module that could go in from the side, so you'd drive into a narrow bay, and a new pack would side into the car from one side, and the discharged one leave on the other...)

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            When you say the designers haven't caught on - Tesla have demonstrated a swappable pack - that can swap two vehicles packs in less time than it takes to fill a 'current fashion'* car with fuel.

            *I'll not say old fashioned, because early cars included electric varieties...

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              When you say the designers haven't caught on - Tesla have demonstrated a swappable pack - that can swap two vehicles packs in less time than it takes to fill a 'current fashion'* car with fuel.

              So you need a warehouse full of packs on charge ready for a swap. How many packs per day would it have to be able to process (i.e. how many cars does a regular petrol station fill each day)? What's the power feed required to supply that level of charge? What about the air-conditioning needed to remove the charging heat? What's the fire risk of that many Li-Ion cells all in one place (they're much harder to extinguish than a burning petrol or diesel tank)?

              Lots of bright ideas, but most of them are unworkable for anything except the current niche market.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                So battery swapping is hailed as a good option, and shot down as unworkable.

                If you really can't get power to a service station then a battery swap system could work well - you still need the same energy delivery, but it doesn't need to be as 'peaky' and it can be supplemented by a lorry load of batteries.

              2. strum Silver badge

                >most of them are unworkable for

                ...those who have dug their heels into the 20th century, and won't let go.

      4. eionmac

        Slight correction: "Horses were always VERY high maintenance transport and needed many coaching houses with changes of horses every 20 miles or so." Say electric recharge would be 1/10 density of coaching houses in UK.

  6. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    "Doesn't work the same with EV. We need a serious amount of expensive infrastructure from day one, and it's questionable whether we could even manage the infrastructure for 100% EVs on the present basis."

    But it will take years to lose the current stock of hydrocarbon vehicles, even with no new ones being built. Doubtless the end-of-life date will be put back a few times as reality bites. So, yes - a changeover will be quicker than the original growth of the current user base. But still slow, and, very likely, encompassing several changes of technology with refits or conversion bodges all round. Anyone still using those awful low-energy flourescent bulbs ?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Anyone still using those awful low-energy flourescent bulbs ?"

      No but they fitted the same holders as the incandescents (and those that haven't yet died are still in use) and the LEDs also fit into the same holders. And isn't it a pity some of the LEDs are equally awful as regards colour balance and that their PSUs don't have lifetimes to match the LEDs themselves?

    2. H in The Hague

      "Anyone still using those awful low-energy flourescent bulbs ?"

      Yes, because they're still going strong after 10 - 15 years. And they're not awful because I spent a few bob more at the time and got good ones: excellent colour rendition, start up immediately. Basically indistinguishable from incandescent lamps. Just like you can now get good and bad LED lamps.

    3. eionmac

      My family (cars used for 50 odd years) changes cars at about 23 ~ 27 years old. So current new one (ICE type) has a long time of use ahead of it!

  7. Zimmer
    Big Brother

    Fuel Duty - the invisible elephant in the room

    Yes, how does the government of the day replace the millions (possibly billions) of fuel duty and VAT it collects every day from our ICE vehicles when it's only getting 5% in VAT from the leccy ??

    Road Pricing, anyone??

    This will probably mean tracking every vehicle somehow (yes, there are probably plenty of technological options ) probably leading to a whole new wave of tax avoidance.... and loss of freedom of movement...

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Fuel Duty - the invisible elephant in the room

      or a tax on energy usage in general...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Fuel Duty - the invisible elephant in the room

        Maybe a tax on energy production. That would enable different production methods to be taxed differently depending on their perceived ecological impact.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Fuel Duty - the invisible elephant in the room

          Maybe - it would all get aggregated into the price at the meter.

          Of course then choosing a green energy supplier should mean *cheaper* energy...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuel Duty - the invisible elephant in the room

      ...and (slightly off topic) the Govt also announced plans to "end smoking in the UK by 2030"

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49079515

      So, yet more tax income "lost"...one wonders how the Govt is going to pay for anything, esp after BJ's pledges...

      1. The Pi Man

        Re: Fuel Duty - the invisible elephant in the room

        They’re not going to pay for anything. NHS sold off, social care scrapped, every other public service sold off to the lowest bidder. Taxes reduced and easier methods for shunting profit to low/no tax havens. Welcome to Utopia.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fuel Duty - the invisible elephant in the room

        one wonders how the Govt is going to pay for anything, esp after BJ's pledges...

        Smoking-related diseases are estimated to cost the NHS upwards of £2bn/year, and cost the country overall (lost productivity, cleaning, environmental costs etc) somewhere around £14bn/year. The tax on cigarettes brings in £12bn. It's always hard to place an exact cost on such things, but smoking could actually be a zero-sum game, so no overall cost to ending it.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Fuel Duty - the invisible elephant in the room

          Jim Hacker : It says here, smoking related diseases cost the National Health Service £165 million a year.

          Sir Humphrey Appleby : Yes but we've been in to that, it has been shown that if those extra 100,000 people had lived to a ripe old age, it would have cost us even more in pensions and social security than it did in medical treatment. So, financially speaking it's unquestionably better that they continue to die at their present rate.

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