back to article Electric vehicles won't help UK meet emissions targets: Time to get out and walk, warn MPs

Electric cars will not help the UK government meet its carbon emissions target, with MPs warning people will have to ditch their cars entirely. A report (PDF) by the Science and Technology Committee was highly critical about the lack of policies in place to deliver the net zero target by 2050, adding that the UK is not even on …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    Alternatively,

    Bring back horse transport.

    Every place of work should have stabling facilities, and there should be fodder and water provided at supermarkets, service stations, schools etc.

    All inner-city transport should be horse-drawn - delivery vans, buses and taxis, for instance.

    The waste products can be used to fertilise our crops, and worn out horses can be used for glue, furniture and food, and the carcasses are bio-degradable.

    1. simonlb
      Joke

      Re: Alternatively,

      Fret ye not, Sire, for this will be our glorious land but five years after thy hard Brexit date.

    2. DailyLlama
      FAIL

      Re: Alternatively,

      But no thought for those of us who are allergic to horses...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Alternatively,

        Well, so long as there are big signs round the city saying "May contain horses" I don't see your problem?

        1. VonDutch
          Trollface

          Re: Alternatively,

          Don't even have to do that, just stick a giant Pret logo over the country and you don't need to label allergens in anything!

          1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
            Go

            Re: Alternatively,

            Just paint all of Britain safety orange--problem solved!

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Alternatively,

              The DUP will vote for it...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Alternatively,

                Never

                1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                  Re: Alternatively,

                  Never

                  They'll change their minds if you bung them a couple of quid.

            2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

              Re: Alternatively,

              Just paint all of Britain safety orange--problem solved!

              Alas. The Americans did that with their president, and that hasn't helped either..

      2. Persona Bronze badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        Horses make lots of methane. Greenhouse gas.... bad.

        1. Mr Sceptical
          Flame

          Re: Alternatively,

          Viz-style:

          Got a personal transport animal with high carbon emissions and can't ride into the low-emission zone?

          Simply fit a large balloon over it's backside to capture the emissions and voila - you can now say it's a zero-emissions animal!* Laughter blocking earmuffs and blinders can optionally be fitted to avoid embarrassment.

          PS. Fatal injuries may be sustained whilst fitting balloons to unwilling transport animals

          PPS. Smoking whilst riding your converted zero-emission animal may result in an explosion - you've been warned.

          PS. Fatal injuries may be sustained whilst fitting balloons to unwilling transport animals

          PPS. Smoking whilst riding your converted zero-emission animal may result in an explosion - you've been warned.

          * [May also refer to non-plugin hybrid cars pretending to be 'electric']

          1. Commswonk Silver badge

            Re: Alternatively,

            PPS. Smoking whilst riding your converted zero-emission animal may result in an explosion - you've been warned.

            Thank you for reminding me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcNVcRK4F4g

            Not an exact parallel I agree, but close enough.

            And it brightens up a Friday afternoon...

        2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Alternatively,

          On the up side, a horse is a great for your electric monk (ideally one running on hydrogen fuel cells, naturally (the electric monk, that is, not the horse, of course))

          1. Anomalous Custard

            Re: Alternatively,

            And you can stable it in your bathroom.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Alternatively,

          I want to ride a war elephant. That should clear a path when I go down to the shops

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Alternatively,

            "I want to ride a war elephant. That should clear a path when I go down to the shops"

            That'll start a new trend and help increase elephant numbers all over the world. Nice one.

            The only downside will be all of the JCB's that will be needed to keep up with the, ummmmm, output issues.

    3. Swiss Anton

      Self Driving

      The self driving ability of horses should not be underestimated.

      1. Anomalous Cowturd
        Pint

        Re: Self Driving

        "The self driving ability of horses should not be underestimated."

        Indeed it shouldn't. My step-dad used to tell tales of his grandfather being brought home, drunk, by homing horse.

        1. My-Handle

          Re: Self Driving

          My other half used to work in a riding school. For the particularly frisky horses, it was common practice to keep them from getting too close to the gate as some of them would jump it and trot back to the stables for their dinner! I'd well believe that a horse could and would head home of it's own accord, and some of them even care enough to try and keep the rider on board as well :)

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: Self Driving

          When I was a young child (early 70es), the local beer depot used horse and cart for delivery. No problems with drunk driving, and the horse knew the route.

          1. Caver_Dave
            Pint

            Re: Self Driving

            My father used to be a cooper. He tells tales of the dray horses being drunk as well, and that's before the round started!

          2. Spanners Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Self Driving

            I went to school near Devizes around the era you describe. My son was at Wadworths there, recently and confirmed that they still do.

            It will be a long time before even the best EV can make little EV's!

            1. Swiss Anton
              Pint

              Re: Self Driving

              Beer Icon for mentioning Wadworths, one of my nearby breweries, and they make really nice ale.

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Self Driving

            "When I was a young child (early 70es), the local beer depot used horse and cart for delivery. No problems with drunk driving, and the horse knew the route."

            Vaux in Sunderland still had horse drawn drays for the local deliveries right up until they closed down the brewery in 1999.

        3. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Self Driving

          A woman I worked with swore blind she regularly woke up in the stable all nice and warm under the blanket with her boyfriend after the pony and trap had self driven the 3 miles from the pub.

      2. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
        WTF?

        Re: Self Driving

        My Grandfather was a roundsman for Lyons Tea Houses, delivering all over the eastern half of London. His horse, Pimple, knew the route as well as Granddad, and rarely, if ever, needed to be directed by use of the reins. The only trouble was that, at the last couple of drops, Granddad used to have to tether Pimple securely to a lamppost or similar structure, otherwise pimple would take off on his own and charge back to the depot for his nosebag. More that once, Granddad was faced with a long walk back after Pimple had disappeared into the distance. Later, he was issued with a motor van, which needed constant attention and would often break down in the most inconvenient of places (like halfway up Pentonville Hill in the rush hour).

      3. JohnG

        Re: Self Driving

        "The self driving ability of horses should not be underestimated."

        I remember reading a news item about a court case in the southern USA, in which two drunk guys in a pickup nearly collided with another drunk guy on a horse. The pickup ended up in a ditch and the drunken horse rider fell off - the horse stayed with the fallen rider. The judge explained the lack of penalty for the horse rider with something along the lines of "between the four of them, the horse was the only one with their wits about them and some common sense".

    4. Evil3eaver

      Re: Alternatively,

      Would be the worst thing though methane is known to be a much strong green house gas than carbon dioxide. And then there is:

      https://99percentinvisible.org/app/uploads/2017/10/poop.png

      Would not work.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Alternatively,

        What about Ponygirls?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Alternatively,

          Thank God it's Friday - you got away with that one.

          :)

        2. Spanners Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: Alternatively,

          Be very careful when googling them. Those pictures are definitely NSFW!

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        Would be the worst thing though methane is known to be a much strong green house gas than carbon dioxide.

        Greens may eventually discover that for themselves, then demand more billions to develop the Electric Horse. Which may get additional support from the defence industry because an EH could kick & bite with more lethality than a well trained war horse, and of course be easier to fit with frickin' lasers.

        Which is why engineers can get a tad frustrated by the Green Blob, ie all the shortcomings of wind were discovered long ago when wind power was replaced with steam.. Or the 'Age of Sail' gave way to the 'Age of Steam'. Which is still a mystery to Greens, ie St. Greta's transatlantic voyage on a high carbon 'zero carbon' yacht.. And the PR campaign around that stunt overlooked the outbound crew flying back, and a return crew flying out. So a much higher carbon footprint than if St. Greta had simply flown in the first place.

        And then there is:

        Poop is fine. Feed the horse apples to digestors to produce biofuels. Related issue may be where to get all the horse feed, especially if the Greens get their way with enforced vegetarianism.

      3. Sam not the Viking

        Re: Alternatively,

        On a fact-finding mission to the States with Sharon, the BOFH would never stay on W 59th St.

        The stink of horse-pee evokes memories of the frightened rabbit in the boss's office.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternatively,

      They emit too much greenhouse gas. As bad as cattle.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        Feed them seaweed, it'll sort 'em right out.

    6. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: Alternatively,

      Bring back horse transport.

      Won't work - there's not enough pasturage in the UK to feed the herd of horses that would be needed to replace fossil-fueled road transport.

      Same goes for the USA. Replacing their fleet of fossil-fueled road vehicles with horses hasn't been possible since 1956 because even then they didn't have sufficient grassland to feed all those horses - even if they turned all their cereal cropland over to growing horse fodder. There was an article in "Scientific American" about that back in the late 1960s.

    7. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Alternatively,

      Bring back horse transport.

      After we do that, let's get the fires put out in the South American jungle area. Seems that an awful lot of CO2 is being released from them.

    8. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Alternatively,

      ... but Snowflakes would never accept that approach until Owen Jones posted a rant about it.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        Somebody said “snowflake” woohoo it’s 2012 again and I’m 7 years younger, thanks !

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        Ever notice that anyone who uses the term "snowflake" when discussing anything other than actual snow, or making a comment similar to this one, has absolutely nothing worth listening to?

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Alternatively,

          I have noticed that. They seem to think that there's something unique about them which means that everyone should share their opinion, like they're some kind of special snowflake or something...

          1. Jove Bronze badge

            Re: Alternatively,

            ... and the Owen Jones herd of morons take the bate. :)

        2. BitEagle

          Re: Alternatively,

          Hoist on your own petard...

      3. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        As a proudly liberal snowflake, I'm perfectly able to get my hackles up without being directed by Owen or anyone else.

    9. Jove Bronze badge

      Re: Alternatively,

      ... and what of the extra C02? ... or will farting be banned by then?

      1. Jove Bronze badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        Ok, so their answer suggests that they next plan to ban farting - figures.

        1. Jove Bronze badge

          Re: Alternatively,

          ... and the Snowflake clicktard is still out there.

          1. Jove Bronze badge

            Re: Alternatively,

            ... and still they come.

    10. jake Silver badge

      Re: Alternatively,

      "Bring back horse transport."

      I took the buckboard into town this afternoon. One of the neighbors rode his horse over to harvest some veg from my garden yesterday, and the wife and I rode to his house for supper last Saturday. So don't laugh ... horses still have a place when it comes to transportation.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        Yes my sister had a pony who was partial to a bit of impromptu veg (garden) harvesting - my mother hated that animal

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        It could still ge carbon neutral as part of a horse mono-rail system.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternatively,

      >Bring back horse transport.

      Horses fart methane so same problem as cows, like it or not it's the weight of human numbers causing the issue. We have doubled our numbers in the last 50 years.

    12. Binraider666

      Re: Alternatively,

      Horses kick out quite a large proportion of methane. Nasty greenhouse gas in itself. (And Cattle are even worse!)

    13. Morat

      Re: Alternatively,

      There are ~847,000 horses in the UK already*. Perhaps we should put them to better use than standing around in fields waiting for a Pony Club weekend.

      *http://www.beta-uk.org/pages/industry-information/market-information.php

    14. hmv Bronze badge

      Re: Alternatively,

      Back when cars were new, they were seen as the clean solution to the horse droppings problem. Hint: Mountains of horseshit is an environmental hazard as can be seen anywhere politicians gather.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Alternatively,

        Having said that horse poo is a very good thing to put on the soil for growing veg. Having had the pleasure of a 20'*20' by 3' deep pile of rotted horse poo I can assure you a family of 5 cant eat the stuff that that will grow fro a couple of years.

        No-one can drink that much dandelion coffee even after several tons of rhubarb crumble.!

        1. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: Alternatively,

          My Grandad always put manure on his rhubarb.

          I prefer custard, but each to their own.....

    15. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Alternatively,

      Meanwhile, in Swansea..... https://youtu.be/uRo2WsH6TbE

  2. simonlb
    Mushroom

    Hydrogen? Seriously?

    While it may sound good as an alternative bear in mind that in a petrol fire you at least have some change of escaping from the car. However, in a hydrogen explosion you are well and truly toast. See icon.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

      A gaseous hydrogen explosion is not the same thing as a hydrogen fusion bomb.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

        Hindenburg?

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          "Hindenburg?"

          A hydrogen leak was ignited by lightning. I wonder what would happen if lightning struck a leaking petrol tank.

          1. dajames Silver badge

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            A hydrogen leak was ignited by lightning. I wonder what would happen if lightning struck a leaking petrol tank.

            In all fairness, though, there aren't many petrol tanks that present as big a target for the lightning as the Hindenburg ... especially not floating above the ground at the end of a nice steel earth tether.

            It's just not the same order of risk.

          2. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            But that was partly due to bad design. Had the cells had sufficient gap between and ventilation them then the hydrogen would have floated away rather than accumulating to the point it could do some damage. Now with modern detectors and cells not made from bull intestines it would be hard to make something dangerous without intending to.

            My granddad was an engineer on the R33 and it they discussed all sorts of improvements and modifications that I wish I'd written down to keep. Its criminal we dont have Hydrogen filled air transport 0 you could fly the Atlantic in a day and do some carbon saving in the process.

          3. Templogin
            Coat

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            It would never happen twice

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          Hindenburg?

          The hydrogen burned off upwards, the major problems were the burning dope-impregnated canvas, and the loss of lift. The actual hydrogen fire wasn't a major issue.

        3. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          "Hindenburg?"

          The Hinderburg caught fire, it didn't explode. The many victims were due to lack of escape routes, not because H2 is particularly explosive. Keep in mind that pure H2 cannot burn, it needs O2. H2 / O2 mix is explosive (like fuel / air mix in car engine) but a punctured H2 tank would, at worst, have a small fire out the side if the leak caught fire. The contents of the tank itself would not explode inside the tank.

          Same reason that, in spite of all the Hollywood special effects, a car's petrol tank will not explode, at worst it will ignite.

          I'm not saying it's not potentially dangerous - it is potentially more dangerous than petrol... but look at how much petrol we handle on a day-today basis with very little accidents. I think it's possible to make a safe H2 infrastructure.

          That's of course still not addressing any issues with production, engine efficiency etc that might affect the potential for large scale deployment

          1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            Hydrogen destroys ozone really fast - all those trillions of little "Puffts"/leaks when you fill a fuel tank add up to accelerate global death

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            "I'm not saying it's not potentially dangerous - it is potentially more dangerous than petrol... but look at how much petrol we handle on a day-today basis with very little accidents. I think it's possible to make a safe H2 infrastructure."

            Yes, we have a decent number of filling stations offering self-service LPG top-ups. We don't hear of LPG vehicles going up in flames very often at all (except in some of the former soviet-bloc countries but not only do they tend to be self-conversion that blow up, but they have a far higher number of dash cams per capita for other reasons so we get to see them blow up). On the other hand, storing hydrogen at pressure has it's own problems, eg leak proofing with something that won't be corroded by the hydrogen itself on much more vast scale than has ever been done before.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

      in a petrol fire you at least have some change of escaping from the car. However, in a hydrogen explosion you are well and truly toast.

      That's not necessarily the case, a petrol fire is quite slow, and tends to stay where the fuel is. A Hydrogen fire is much quicker, and will quickly dissipate upwards as the gas expands rapidly.

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

      The biggest problem withhydrogen is that it's not a raw material, it has to be made. That takes energy, and most hydrogen in use today is made from petrochemical stock such as methane, which really doesn't help solve the problem.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

        Making electricity from coal, petrol or gas isn't the solution either.

        There are many ways to produce hydrogen. Using something else than methane will be economically interesting when there will be more cars/lorries/trains using it.

        For instance, look at this article: Better Energy and Nilsson Energy develop world’s first self-sufficient hydrogen housing complex .

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          There no longer really seems to be the need for hydrogen any more for transport. Battery electric works in nearly all standard use cases and already has a national supply to every home (almost), road, street.

          There is such a long way to go with hydrogen including a whole network and delivery mechanism to set up. Could be used for aircraft or cross ocean ships but there are so many cons of hydrogen compared to pros that it wouldn't pass a feasibility study.

          Electricity is made from more and more renewables every day. Hydrogen will always have greater inefficiencies and losses than batteries, regardless how it is made.

          It is only Japan that is still trying to make it work due to their commitment to it.

          1. Alister Silver badge

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            Battery electric works in nearly all standard use cases and already has a national supply to every home (almost), road, street.

            Except that we don't have the charging infrastructure in place, nor the grid capacity to cope, if all vehicles were electric powered.

            There is such a long way to go with hydrogen including a whole network and delivery mechanism to set up.

            See above.

            Hydrogen will always have greater inefficiencies and losses than batteries, regardless how it is made.

            Electrical battery technology is one of the most polluting and least efficient ways of powering a vehicle, when you take into account both the manufacture and later disposal of the batteries, and the low working lifetime.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

              "Except that we don't have the charging infrastructure in place, nor the grid capacity to cope, if all vehicles were electric powered."

              See other posts, there are more charging stations that the public can access in the UK than fuel stations.

              Grid capacity would not be a problem either.

              "Electrical battery technology is one of the most polluting and least efficient ways of powering a vehicle, when you take into account both the manufacture and later disposal of the batteries, and the low working lifetime."

              Completely untrue and debunked many, many times over. The batteries of a new Tesla for instance are likely to do over 400,000 miles and all get re-purpose/recycled. Even the old poorly made Leaf v1 batteries are reused once they are no good.

              I have no idea where you get the idea they are most polluting and least efficient? That is just ridiculous.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                We also don't have enough rare earth materials for battery technology to become as widespread as would be required. Battery recycling from these vehicles has still to be properly considered and mandated by law etc.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                  They're not rare and we have more than enough.

                  See Tim Worstall's comments and posts. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/05/31/rare_metals_mineral_reserves_talk_preamble/

                  1. Roland6 Silver badge

                    Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                    But we now know that whilst in general Worstall's argument was valid, once you start looking at specific's ie. the specific elements used in batteries and in the motors, you begin to understand that Worsall didn't actually know what he was talking about.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                      Really? And you do but fail to point out where he was wrong?

                      It may be that you have very inside knowledge, but as far as I know, Tim was a rare-earth mineral trader and somewhat knowledgeable on the subject. Doesn't mean he is 100% correct, of course, but I would , at this stage, trust him more than a commentator who just states "[he] didn't actually know what he was talking about".

                      In fact evidence shows that over the past 50 years experts have continuously said we will run out of x mineral in the next y years. And in every occasion that has not materialised.

                      So anecdotal evidence points towards people saying 'we will soon run out' as being unproven.

                      1. JohnG

                        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                        The Americans are sitting on loads of minerals, including the lithium needed for batteries. It is just that they would prefer not to pollute their country in the way that others are doing, which means that it is not currently cost effective to extract using environmentally clean methods. That may change once supplies run out in countries that don't care about such details.

                        In the meantime, environmental laws and economics make battery recycling both required and worthwhile. Aside from professional recycling/re-manufacturing, there is a significant market in used EV battery cells for DIY home storage systems.

                        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                          "The Americans are sitting on loads of minerals, including the lithium needed for batteries"

                          The best Lithium supplies may be in South America. There is just the little problem of there being no infrastructure in the places where it's the most abundant.

                          Rare Earth mining in the US is stymied by Thorium being classed as a serious radioactive with strict disposal requirements and no market. If work were being done on Thorium based power reactors, it would go from a nuisance to a marketable material and solve the issue. That paves the way to all of the other Rare Earths that are in the same matrix for a reasonable price. That's the path that China is taking. They can't use the Thorium now, but the government is stockpiling it so the mines don't have to pay to dispose of it.

                        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                          "The Americans are sitting on loads of minerals, including the lithium needed for batteries. It is just that they would prefer not to pollute their country in the way that others are doing, which means that it is not currently cost effective to extract using environmentally clean methods. That may change once supplies run out in countries that don't care about such details."

                          Trump is currently rolling back environmental protections, so there's even less need for battery tech in the USA while they ramp up oil, gas and coal production. And when there is, maybe they won't care about the pollution from the processing.

                      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                        "So anecdotal evidence points towards people saying 'we will soon run out' as being unproven."

                        During WWII, the US was buying up every bit of Uranium it could get its hands on due to the scarcity. The scarcity was due to nobody looking for it as it had very little value. The US was also in a bit of a bind since they didn't want to advertise a strong desire for it for obvious reasons. After the war, the cat was out of the tamper shell and loads of Uranium was found all over the US and the scarcity was over.

                        The same sort of thing has gone on with Lithium. A couple of decades ago demand was being met through existing suppliers and the price was market optimized.

                        Li battery technology has been around for many years. When I was a Boy Scout, my scoutmaster told a story about the place he worked having to be evacuated due to a Li battery fire (defense contractor). They were very exotic at the time, twitchy and probably very expensive. In a military application, the price may have been of a much lower concern. As I had predicted when the DIY EV trend was going strong the more mainstream EV got, the more R&D money would be put into battery development. We are in the middle of that explosion right now with every manufacturer working hard to eliminate the really hard ingredients such as Cobalt. I expect it won't be long before Co is no longer in the mix in any quantity. Power density is going up and availability gets better every month. Everything else about an EV is old technology with an iPad glued to the dashboard or could be on a budget model.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                          Turns out... we may be about to find out where the oil comes from. It may not be dinosaurs. Research has found bacteria KM below the ground. All that biomass has to go somewhere. I would assume it goes into crude oil eventually.

                          Still a limited resource, such as water in lakes and trees in forests. But interesting to see where it may actually come from.

                      3. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                        It may be that you have very inside knowledge, but as far as I know, Tim was a rare-earth mineral trader and somewhat knowledgeable on the subject. Doesn't mean he is 100% correct, of course, but I would , at this stage, trust him more than a commentator who just states "[he] didn't actually know what he was talking about".

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        Except he is a rare earth minerals trader talking about rare earths.

                        We aren't talking rare earths consumed in a few tens of thousands of tonnes a year. We're talking about cobalt, nickel, copper, and probably other similar metals, where current production of some of these is measured in tens of millions of tonnes.

                        And this was just for the batteries.

                        I haven't seen an estimate yet of the materials needed for power generation and distribution systems. I expect steel, aluminum, concrete, uranium and other materials will be needed in much increased quantity as well.

                        One might also be wise to remember that it typically takes 10 years to bring a mine into production.

                        And it will take a while to train all the new miners, as well.

                      4. Roland6 Silver badge

                        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                        Tim was a rare-earth mineral trader and somewhat knowledgeable on the subject.

                        Possibly.

                        In Tim's piece his unstated assumption was that rare earths were metals for which there was little or no demand and so either people weren't looking for them, or they ended up in the spoil heap of quarries extracting minerals in demand, hence why he assumed they were actually abundant..

                        However, with EV's (and other high tech products) we have had a growing demand over several years for specific minerals, this combined with the trends in government policy means that the need for these minerals will grow significantly. In light of this any self-respecting mineral extraction comapny will have been scouring the earth for these minerals and buying up extraction rights. Hence why we now have a really good understanding of the relevant reserves etc. Hence why the experts (probably including Tim's former colleagues) are saying expected demand, created by government policy will totally outstrip production.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                    They're not rare and we have more than enough.

                    See Tim Worstall's comments and posts.

                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    Apples and oranges. He is talking about running out of minerals, but battery vehicles would require staggeringly large increases in rate of production.

                    Already lithium production is using a significant portion of the total water supply of one of the South American countries, to the point that it is causing a problem for agriculture.

                    Building all those mines, moving workers and supplies, moving and smelting ores... are those activities going to be carbon neutral? Somehow I doubt it.

                    In fact, I expect a swift move to electric vehicles would result in a spike in carbon emissions.

                2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                  "We also don't have enough rare earth materials for battery technology to become as widespread as would be required."

                  Rare Earth elements aren't actually that rare. Recycling is mandatory with so many busy breeders. There isn't enough steel to replace petrol cars with EVs without recycling.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                    "Recycling is mandatory"

                    Except that with lithium, recycling has yet to recover lithium in a pure enough form to use in batteries - it is contaminated with additives used to achieve certain battery requirements.

                    Thus lithium, currently a bottleneck, is 'singe use and done' until a breakthrough in recycling occurs.

                    Also, recycled lithium is about 5 times the cost of new lithium... so that $10,000 battery pack may cost $30,000 if recycled lithium is used.

              2. Alister Silver badge

                Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                See other posts, there are more charging stations that the public can access in the UK than fuel stations.

                You keep saying that, it doesn't make it true.

                A petrol station on average will have 8 pumps on site, quite a few have more. So that's at least 8 vehicles that can be refueled at a time.

                An average EV charging site might have 2 chargers, or 4 if you're very lucky. Not all of the chargers available work with all EVs, some EV charging accounts only work with specific chargers.

                And despite what you say, there are not more EV charging sites than petrol stations in the UK, that's a lie.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                  The post specifically states stations/location not connectors.

                  If there are not more charging sites than petrol stations which part is not true? Are there more petrol stations than are publicly stated or less charging locations? Happy for you to add your research, but I'm just going off the stats available.

                  https://www.statista.com/statistics/312331/number-of-petrol-stations-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/

                  https://www.zap-map.com/statistics/#region

                  1. Alister Silver badge

                    Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                    If you look at the Stats you provide here:

                    https://www.zap-map.com/statistics/#region

                    They give a totally misleading impression.

                    Although it quotes 9425 locations, only 1657 of those are Rapid chargers which equate to the convenience of a petrol station, requiring 30 minutes or less to charge a vehicle. There are only 361 Tesla Superchargers which allow for your quoted 7min charge.

                    However, when you start to look at what that headline figure of 9425 locations really includes, there's a bit of a surprise. For instance, I live in the Peak District, and when you look at the map provided we find that although there are 5 charging locations within a 10 mile radius of where I live, not one of them is actually public - they are all tied to a hotel or guest house of some sort, and are marked as "restricted". There isn't actually a public charger nearer than Derby, 35 miles away.

                    But they count towards the misleading figure you are so fond of spouting.

                    1. Roland6 Silver badge

                      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                      only 1657 of those are Rapid chargers which equate to the convenience of a petrol station, requiring 30 minutes or less to charge a vehicle.

                      Don't know about you, but it takes less than 10 minutes at the pump to put 50 ltr's of petrol/diesel fuel in the tank and pay... Also, if you compare prices, the fuel is often cheaper than using the rapid charger.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                        "Also, if you compare prices, the fuel is often cheaper than using the rapid charger."

                        Really? How do you work that out?

                        "Don't know about you, but it takes less than 10 minutes at the pump to put 50 ltr's of petrol/diesel fuel in the tank and pay"

                        Filling with 50Litres is quicker than filling up an EV from say 10~90% for all EVs, sure.

                        However say you do 12,000 miles per year, mainly commuting. Say your car averages 45mpg. You'll need to fill up 24 times a year (if you always fill with 50 litres). So that is 4 hours at filling stations per year.

                        If you have a 250mile+ EV and charge it at home every night. Then you will only need to charge it at a public station about once to twice a year on average. Even then you will have been driving for 4~5 hours at that stage. So once or twice a year to stop for 30 minutes to charge a vehicle after 4~5 hours of driving isn't really a hassle is it, compared to having to refuel every fortnight at a fuel station?

                        Add to that you can just plug an EV in an walk away, shop, go to the loo, have a nap, watch a Ted Talk, have some food etc, whereas a fuel station you have to stand there waiting to fill up.

                        1. Mike 137 Bronze badge

                          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                          "and charge it at home every night"

                          More than half the cars in Britain are parked on public roads as the owners don't have a drive or garage. In many places there are sufficient cars that no specific parking place is ever guaranteed - coming home from work, I frequently have to park a couple of streets away from where I live. So who gets the public overnight charging point? Those rich or lucky enough to have their own drive and afford to put in a charging point won't be affected, but they're the minority, and by the way converting your front garden into a parking space has other detrimental effects on the environment. Quite apart from which, this and the article it links to (and indeed some of the comments) reveal another important side to the "electric good - fossil fuel bad" question.

                          The big problem about all these green policies is that each only looks at a small part of an extremely complex problem. Because of the way our society has evolved, for a large proportion of the population it's practically impossible to manage without a car - distance to adequate shops, the need to carry tools or goods, or commute where public transport doesn't run or is impractical. When they pedestrianised Oxford, a partially disabled colleague who used to drive for less than five minutes to work finished up having to change buses twice with a typical journey time of up to an hour.

                          Reducing car usage would therefore have to be accompanied by re-localisation of shops and services, huge reduction in the need to commute, and a wealth of other major changes, and all this must happen at once to be effective. And parties with vested interests (e.g. transport providers who rely on the "rush hour" for a major part of their revenue) will have to be accommodated somehow.

                          So unless we re-organise the entire way we run our societies, with all the implied conflicts of interest somehow ironed out, we won't ever fulfil the "legally binding targets for 2023 to 2032". Legally binding does not necessarily equal feasible. What we will more likely do is impose increasingly heavy restrictions on personal freedoms that bite hardest for the less well off. This is already happening - a friend suffered the ruin of his small business a couple of years back when his local council deemed his van too old to be parked in the borough without payment of a massive daily fee. Not because of its emissions (which were within legal limits), but just due to its age. At the same time, many of the local buses were belching black smoke without penalty.

                          To much far reaching policy is currently being driven by emotional appeal rather than by realities, and that approach has a better than 50/50 chance of resulting in costly failure.

                          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                            "unless we re-organise the entire way we run our societies"

                            But that's what the Green Blob want. Overarching complete centralised control of your lives.

                        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                          "Add to that you can just plug an EV in an walk away, shop, go to the loo, have a nap, watch a Ted Talk, have some food etc, whereas a fuel station you have to stand there waiting to fill up."

                          Apart from not having time to walk away from a petrol pump because the process is so quick, how many charging points are under utilised because you went off and did some shopping for an hour or three and came back to find the charging finished 30 mins ago but no one else could use it? Not to mention the 10 other electric cars desperately driving around trying to find an unused charging point because the 300 space car park has only two charging points, one of which you just blocked for nearly half the working day.

                        3. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                          ""Also, if you compare prices, the fuel is often cheaper than using the rapid charger.""

                          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          More to the point, the cheapest Tesla I can buy is about $50,000.

                          I can buy a new Accord, Altima, Sonata, or Maxima for about $25,000.

                          At 20,000 km (12k mi) a year, that's about 2,000 liters a year... or about $2500.

                          So even if charging were always free, after eight years, I'd still be more than $5,000 ahead with a fuel car.

                          Note that present value of a dollar now is more than PV of a dollar in 8 years, so it's actually a fair bit better than $5,000 to the good.... and a lot more if the battery pack didn't last past 8 years.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                      Right, so you are now conceding that the statements made about public charging stations being more than fuel stations is not a lie or untrue.

                      All you are now complaining about is that it gives a misleading picture...

                      Maybe, however in reality it doesn't. You have rapid chargers on major routes, you have slower destination chargers at destinations, you have a plug socket in most houses. These are what covers the use cases for EV drivers. Long trips generally have a destination so having a destination charger there is what you need. For most drivers this will be a couple of times a year.

                      It is not meant to be misleading, it is just a stat that is surprising for most people. If you are able to charge at home or work then look at Zap Map and have a look how many chargers you have available to you, either fully public or at possible destinations. You may be surprised how readily available they are.

                      The combination of all of these means that EV owners of new generation long range vehicles don't currently have any issue charging their vehicle (other than crappy companies with unreliable chargers)

                      This is all to support just 1% of the vehicles on the road! Therefore there is not a problem with the amount of charging points for most people, there is more than enough capacity at the moment. The point is that "you can't get an EV because there is nowhere to charge it", which this report perpetuates, just isn't true.

                      Your point about Derby - 35miles away. The range of a new generation EV is over 200 miles - many are over 300 miles. You would not need to contemplate charging after 35 miles. You charge at home you drive for 4 hours you stop for a break and charge you car.

                      If you do long mileage regularly on B roads or loads of very short journeys every day and you don't have access to a charger at work and no where to park your EV at home and no council support for lamp post charging and no way of running a cable along the pavement then you will be likely to have issues charging your EV at the moment. This combination doesn't apply to most people.

                      1. jmch Silver badge

                        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                        Guys, you're comparing apples and oranges. They are just not directly comparable. No-one has a drip-feed of petrol at home that can gradually fill their tank overnight. Stopping for 30 min+ on a long trip is actually highly recommended, so not a problem to stop for that long to charge an EV.

                        The number of EV charge points is indeed high, but it NEEDS to be quite higher... for example if I can fill a tank of diesel in 5 minutes and an EV takes 30 minutes, You need 6X the EV chargers for the same number of cars. So 8k petrol stations probably have around 60k pumps, that needs 360k fully public charging points to be equivalent *for the same number of cars*. But EVs are still around 1% of cars, so actually they are well served now with around 3.6k public points.

                        Bottom line is, there is quite a good network of EV charge points for the existing EVs, but if EVs are to increase, say 20-fold (which would still mean only 20% of the cars on the road), the charging *points* also need to increase around 20-fold and charging stations need to increase 5-to-10-fold

                        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                          "for example if I can fill a tank of diesel in 5 minutes and an EV takes 30 minutes, You need 6X the EV chargers for the same number of cars"

                          You have fallen into the trap of thinking that every EV will need to charge at a commercial charge point. Most will charge at home and many at a workplace.

                          Think about it as like having a 3mm low pressure petrol pipe to your home. You could fill up your car from your day's driving each night and have a full tank each morning. You would only need the 20mm high pressure nozzle at a forecourt when you are taking long trips. That would mean there would need to be considerably fewer petrol stations and most of them would be along motorways.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                            "for example if I can fill a tank of diesel in 5 minutes and an EV takes 30 minutes, You need 6X the EV chargers for the same number of cars"

                            You have fallen into the trap of thinking that every EV will need to charge at a commercial charge point. Most will charge at home and many at a workplace.

                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            You have fallen into two or three traps.

                            1. In large urban areas, many people live in apartment buildings. These have hundreds of cars, and usually, no charging stations. Home charging is not an option.

                            2. There are generally no charging facilities at work, or at shopping centers and malls. Work charging is not an option.

                            3. People living farther out often need significantly more range than EVs afford, particularly in cold weather.

                            4. Some people have use cases that involve driving more than 500 km (300 mi) a day. The number of charge/discharge cycles will kill the battery a lot sooner than for someone who drives 25 km a day... probably more than 20 times sooner, given the deeper discharges and probably higher peak charge levels.

                            5. Some people have occasion to drive to places more than 200 km from any type of refueling, often over not very great roads, and then have to drive around their destination. With a fuel powered vehicle you can put three or four 20 liter gas cans in the back, and have a range of 1200 km or more.

                      2. a pressbutton

                        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                        "This combination doesn't apply to most people."

                        Where I live it does apply to all but 2 houses in the entire road.

                        It applies to well over half the town I live in.

                        (note to self, stop feeding the ACs)

                2. Time Waster

                  Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                  Let’s not forget the time it takes to fill up. A petrol pump can fill a car every few minutes (and a good chunk of this time is waiting for the infernal pay-at-the-pump machine to do whatever it thinks needs doing between your inserting your card and it finally asking for a pin). Electric hookups are lucky to do one or two an hour.

                3. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                  "An average EV charging site might have 2 chargers, or 4 if you're very lucky. Not all of the chargers available work with all EVs, some EV charging accounts only work with specific chargers."

                  Most EVs use CSS for DC fast charging other than the Leaf (ChaDeMo) or many Tesla's with their proprietary plug. Charge stations will have both CSS and ChaDeMo or will be a Tesla station. Level 1 and 2 charge points work with all cars (Teslas with an adapter).

                  The way you pay hasn't been rationalized yet other than with Tesla for which you must have an account with Tesla and the car can't have been abandoned by them (salvage title/Rebuilt). Even if you don't have an account, most non-Tesla stations can be accessed by signing up right then and there or using a offered payment method. I'd really like to see chargers at petrol stations have the option of being paid for inside with cash. I've had my debit card cancelled before due to fraud at a time when I was out of town. It would really suck to find this out if I needed to charge up.

                  If you can't charge your EV at home/work, they may not be viable for you yet. If you do have off street parking at home the chances are that you are falling for the myth that you need to have charge stations everywhere to be "fuel secure". Even in winter a modern EV with 250-300 miles of range is going to go 180miles on charge. That's 3 hours of driving at 60mph. How often does that happen? Again, if you have charging at home, you can set the car to pre-condition the battery while plugged in and EVs will also optimize battery temperature for fast charging if you tell them you will be stopping at a fast charger so you will get the best possible charging rate on those long trips.

                  If you accept that every 13amp outlet close enough to the car to plug in is a charging point, yes, there are more charge points than petrol pumps in the UK. Look for photos online of people that have strung a cable out of a window to plug in an EV. Not all that safe, but will do in a pinch.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                "Completely untrue and debunked many, many times over. The batteries of a new Tesla for instance are likely to do over 400,000 miles and all get re-purpose/recycled. Even the old poorly made Leaf v1 batteries are reused once they are no good."

                Debunked by the same people who tell you renewables are the answer to all your power generating needs and said that Europe would be buried under glaciers in a new ice age by 2000 - although they did change that after the late 70s droughts to us being burned to a crisp or drowned by rising sea levels by 2000... 2005... 2010... 2020... 2030... 2050... Funny how, as their models get more accurate, the date gets further away...

                On a related note, the climate is always changing and even the most belligerent MMGW proponent has to admit that there have been major reversals between hot and cold eras throughout the Earth's history. We are somewhere in the hundred thousand year window for the 'next' flip so, sooner or later, the climate will undergo a major transition and the nouveau priesthood will be justified in their cries of "We told you we were doomed!" We will have a good view out of the mouths of our caves, if we haven't been wiped out by some once-easily cured disease because the neo-luddites have destroyed all technology because "CARBON!!!!!!"

                "I have no idea where you get the idea they are most polluting and least efficient? "

                Taken out of context like this, your statement is true but dangerously misleading. The manufacture of these batteries involves materials and processes that are, um, let's say not exactly environmentally friendly (high temperatures, volatile chemicals, rare earth elements that have to come from somewhere and get transported somewhere else for manufacture and use). To manufacture and recycle them uses many times more energy than they can supply in their lifetime and, sooner or later, someone is going to have a battery problem that makes the occasional e-cigarette blowing up in someone's pocket look like a damp squib - El Reg had a story in the last couple of weeks about several US cities canning their 'communal' rechargeable bike schemes because they have had a few batteries spontaneously combust. What happens when one car at a recharging station goes pop and starts a chain reaction? (You do know these batteries have the annoying tendency to explode if they get too hot, right? And what happens when you fast-charge?...)

              4. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                "Even the old poorly made Leaf v1 batteries are reused once they are no good."

                The thing is that the old batteries are "no good" in a car. They are still very useful for solar/wind back up storage. Even old NiMh Prius batteries are rebuildable and great for DIY home storage.

              5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

                "See other posts, there are more charging stations that the public can access in the UK than fuel stations."

                5 mins per pump versus multiple hours at a charging station. Needs massively more charging station to match throughput.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Alister

              You think Hydrogen refueling is going to be easier than electric car charging infrastructure.

              Not to mention everyone missing the point that electric vehicles with standard types of batteries are much easier to use/move than hydrogen.

              Please, I think everyone's lost it. Wheres the next stop to get off this clown house?

              Hydrogen can work for larger infrastructure, and is in use for trams/trains/buses/trucks. But cars and bikes? It does not scale that well, with exceptions of concepts/tests.

              1. Alister Silver badge

                Re: Alister

                You think Hydrogen refueling is going to be easier than electric car charging infrastructure.

                No, I never said that. I think Hydrogen used as a fuel has its own problems.

                I'm simply trying to refute some of the ridiculously overblown claims of some electric vehicle evangelists.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Alister

                  My bad. Missed that one. See the "fuel cell battery" kickstarters/indigogos that failed, due to the power density of a C cell sized "hydrogen" fuel cell compared to a lithium one.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            "Battery electric works in nearly all standard use cases and already has a national supply to every home (almost), road, street."

            Precisely. Anywhere with electricity is just an outlet away from being a charge point. Too many people are focused on DC fast chargers when most recharging needs can be met with Level 1 slow charging. If you can plug in at work/home and only travel an average (over a week) of 50 miles/day, you're golden. You can even go further and do a little topping up on a Level 2 charger if there is one where you do your weekly shop. Most people will take the savings and charge on an EV off-peak tariff which could mean leaving many wind turbines switched on instead of needing to take them off line due to too much power being generated.

            An entirely new infrastructure would be needed to use Hydrogen as a transportation "fuel". Even if there were Hydrogen stores underground and it could just be tapped off, the costs would still be more than natural gas. That Hydrogen isn't available as a free element just compounds the cost and complexity.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

              "Precisely. Anywhere with electricity is just an outlet away from being a charge point. Too many people are focused on DC fast chargers when most recharging needs can be met with Level 1 slow charging."

              Not so.

              Both generating and distribution systems are scaled for current consumption patterns. Large numbers of electric vehicles would overload those systems, requiring quite a lot of construction of power lines, transformer stations, and long distance high voltage lines.

              In the short run, some of the generating capacity could use backup gas turbines, and gas power plants are probably the fastest to build, but there's still millions of kilometers of power lines that need to be evaluated, and upgraded if necessary.

              The large transformers needed are not a short lead time item...

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            "There no longer really seems to be the need for hydrogen any more for transport. Battery electric works in nearly all standard use cases and already has a national supply to every home (almost), road, street."

            I was listening to a BBC report on this same topic yesterday. The "green" interviewee was gleefully telling us how the number of electric car charging stations in the UK was now higher than the number of filling stations.

            My first thought was "big deal", because the number means nothing unless an electric charging point can service as many cars per hour as a petrol pump can. You need vastly more charging points to even match the number of petrol pumps. Then there's the range. I fill up with diesel every 700 or so miles and it takes me 5 minutes. Charging points are still a long way from matching that. For those who don't have off-street parking, then charging infrastructure needs to be vastly better than two or three charging points per car park, at least one of which will be "hogged" for far longer than is needed to charge the car. eg at Newcastle Civic Centre, there is a big black BMW that seems to be almost permanently plugged into one of the three charging points. I'm guessing this is owned by a senior council exec who can't be arsed to come out and move it after an hour or three.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            "There no longer really seems to be the need for hydrogen any more for transport. Battery electric works in nearly all standard use cases and already has a national supply to every home (almost), road, street."

            Not anywhere close.

            The range is abysmal when the temperature drops below -10.

            As a result, any significant trip requires multiple recharges, whereas the typical petroleum powered vehicle can manage 800 to 1000 km. on a tank, and refuels in five minutes, not the approximate hour required to fully charge a battery.

            That means many many more vehicles will require charging on the road.

            How many? A lane of vehicles traveling 120 kph will see each vehicle going 120,000 m/h. In heavy (weekend, rush hour, holiday) traffic, if each vehicle occupies, with buffer, an average of 60m, that's 2,000 vehicles/h/lane.

            If service centres are 100 km apart, and a premium vehicle with a large battery can go 160 km between charges, then it must charge every 100 km. Shorter ranged vehicles will also have to charge that often, if their range is good enough to count on reaching the next recharging plaza.

            Speed of recharging depends, in part, on the percent of full charge. The last ~25% must be charged at a lower rate to prevent battery damage. Thus a premium vehicle might reach 70% in 30 minutes, while a smaller battery may take 60 minutes to charge.

            For an approximate number, let's take 45 minutes. Thus each vehicle must, on the average, charge for 45 minutes every 100 km (50 minutes of driving time). Charging cannot begin until there is a free charging station, so it is likely to take longer.

            Two lanes in each direction would produce 4,000 cars going each way in an hour. A charging plaza serving one side of the highway would thus need approximately 3,000 high speed charge points. Charge points seem to range between 75 and 150+ kw. Let's call it 125 kw/point. The charging facility will need a little more than 125x3000 = 375,000 kw = 375 Mw to service traffic in one direction.

            Remembering that traffic is two ways, one needs approximately 1 charging plaza for every 50 km of road... at least 8 for a road between two cities 500 km apart. Each plaza needs about 3/8 the output of a large nuclear reactor... so that length of road will need 3 nuclear reactors to power charging.

            Note that 8 plazas assumes the traffic terminates in the two cities. Through traffic will have to recharge at the second city, requiring the equivalent of another charging facility if 50% of the traffic is not terminating or originating in one of the cities.

            Delivering approximately 3,000 MW along 500 km of road will require a fair bit of transmission infrastructure as well.

            The numbers of cars and their separation is hand-waved. The last time I was on a major intercity highway on a normal non-holiday Sunday we were doing 140, and the average separation was something less than 60 metres, in both directions. It would not be unlikely that the above numbers are 35% low for the numbers of cars, so you might actually need 4 reactors to drive recharging, or you may have to scale up your reactors.

            I have also not taken into account that fact that for 100 km or more in each direction near a big city, it is likely the roads will be 6 or 8 lanes, not 4. That would be difficult because charging needs will depend on the distance from point of origin or termination to the nominal starting point... not easy to estimate.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            "There no longer really seems to be the need for hydrogen any more for transport. Battery electric works in nearly all standard use cases and already has a national supply to every home (almost), road, street.'

            Unlike battery technology, hydrogen powered vehicles do not depend on scarce minerals being available in quantities of 100 times current world production.

            Furthermore, a kilogram of hydrogen contains as much or more energy than 100 kg. of batteries, and a hydrogen vehicle can be easily refueled anywhere, not just where there is a high capacity electric grid.

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          The real problem is that Hydrogen is a royal pain to handle - it does not stay where you put it. Gas bottles loose hydrogen though the steel, and then imagine sealing materials.

      2. TimMaher Bronze badge
        Coat

        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

        If we are going to make the Hydrogen from Methane then we are going to need the horses.

        Then we won’t need the Hydrogen.

        So then we won’t need the horses.

        Err...

        I’ll get my hacking jacket.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          Your hacking jacket wouldn't last 15 minutes around here. May I recommend a good, old fashioned Levi's jacket instead? They survive several seasons of puling calves out of muddy streams and lambs out of the brambles[0], impromptu fence repair, tractor work & etc. ...

          [0] Ever notice that sheep seem to be the natural prey of brambles?

    4. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

      If you have a tank of hydrogen which ruptures, you don't get an explosion. You need to mix the hydrogen with air. Actual tests have shown hydrogen fires rising more or less vertically.

      If a petrol tank ruptures and the fuel spreads out and ignites, you'd better hope someone can lay a foam carpet if you want to escape alive.

      There are reasons to doubt that hydrogen will ever work for cars, but this is not one of them.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

        Actual tests have shown hydrogen fires rising more or less vertically.

        Some years ago there was also a case where an H2 car developed a leak and ignited. Driver suffered mild flash burns & probably shock. I'd also done some research into building a 'green' boat using H2 & fuel cells given fires at sea from POL or methane/propane leaks can be very deadly. Idea being that H2 tends to vent rather than pool, and if it did ignite, tends to be short impulse & less risk of igniting other fuel sources. It got some interest, but not enough funding to make it happen. I did get to learn some naval architecture though, and found out why adding/removing mass from previously stable yachts wasn't a good idea.

        1. ArrZarr Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          The main problem with hydrogen fires is the transparency of the flame, being almost invisible in bright sunshine.

          I don't know enough about being in petrol fires/Li-Ion fires and Hydrogen fires to know which is the worst, but you wouldn't accidentally walk into a petrol flame, at least.

          1. Benson's Cycle

            Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

            You might accidentally put your hand in a small hydrogen flame being produced in the lab, assuming it was pure hydrogen.

            This doesn't typically apply in real-world situations for the following reasons:

            1. Anything in contact with the hydrogen flame burns off producing particles which make the flame visible.

            2. A hydrogen flame of any size causes large air disturbances and a heat haze which is very visible.

            3. You can feel the heat. Stand near the flame emerging at the end of a hydrogen conveyor furnace, you'll see what I mean.

            Practical small hydrogen flame producers often mix the hydrogen with a tiny amount of methanol which makes the hydrogen easier to ignite, and makes the flame more visible.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Hydrogen? It's the fuel of the future!

              This doesn't typically apply in real-world situations for the following reasons:

              We thought about this, and even did some of our own trials. Ok, more of an excuse to abuse some H2 (again*). But given the cunning plan was to de-risk sailing**, one solution was to use enhanced fire detection and IR detectors scanning for hot spots. Regular systems would/should detect other combustion products as well, but was a simple solution that used off the shelf kit, and could be used to identify other threats/risks as well, ie defective wiring or kit starting to overheat.

              Then there were other de-risking options. Like not having gas cooking in the galley. Which is a looming issue for the UK anyway given per Climate Charge Act and decarbonisation targets, domestic gas cooking & heating systems will have to be removed. Or replaced. So instead of burning methane at home, it's proposed we switch the gas supply network to hydrogen!

              Ignoring how that would be produced, costs etc, what could possibly go wrong!

              * So being a student, we bought a tank of H2 and O2, a box of condoms, and made some basic fuzes. Then bimbled off to Grantchester meadows to release them. Police arrived, quickly figured out we were students, and we were being safe(ish) given one of our ladies ran a chemsitry lab for the Uni.

              ** Ok, and also to end up with a decent sized yacht/technology demonstrator to play with..

        2. Benson's Cycle

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          Hydrogen tanks and fuel cells would be rather expensive, to say the least.

          There's a company makes propane outboards for boats and you can hang the tanks over the transom or put a vented compartment in the stern, which is pretty safe.

      2. AdamT

        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

        leaving aside what the contents are, I'd always assumed that being near a rupturing high pressure tank was going to be unpleasant. After all, Mythbusters persuaded one to go through a concrete wall ...

        1. Benson's Cycle

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          The method of rupture is important. Hydrogen tanks are composite, and so they don't split and fly apart. You can get that kind of tank now for propane on boats and it is not only much lighter but safer than metal ones.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          "After all, Mythbusters persuaded one to go through a concrete wall ..."

          That was very cool. You sorta forget they had to modify that tank to remove the internal safety shut off in case of the tank losing the valve.

          A ruptured composite tank could be preferable to only getting a small leak in the high pressure side of the plumbing.

      3. JohnG

        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

        "If you have a tank of hydrogen which ruptures, you don't get an explosion."

        https://www.electrive.com/2019/06/11/norway-explosion-at-fuel-cell-filling-station/

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

        "f you have a tank of hydrogen which ruptures, you don't get an explosion. You need to mix the hydrogen with air. Actual tests have shown hydrogen fires rising more or less vertically."

        If you get a big breach, that's correct. If you get a pinhole leak on a tank at 4000psi, any fire is like a laser beam and a UV one at that. If the H2 is filling up the interior of the car, at a certain point the mix will be very optimum for an explosion. Granted, automakers design the system to prevent that, but a missing bung or holes drilled by an aftermarket stereo/alarm fitter might alter things. It could even be a police car since they have to add loads of wiring and etc to the cars.

    5. iron Silver badge

      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

      Ever seen an e-vehicle go up? There's nothing left in a very short time and often firefighters can do nothing to put it out.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

      Given that it is almost impossible to stop hydrogen leaking out of containers, pipes, etc, it is worth noting that it is an atmospheric pollutant, a tad worse than CFCs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

        You're talking out of your backside now. Free hydrogen oxidises to water almost instantly.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

          He's not wrong about the containment problems however.

    7. EBG

      you miss the point

      ..look up how hydrogen (all apart from 4% of it) is produced. Not how it theoretically might be produced in some hypothetical future. How it is produced in 2019. Today. And will be produced in 2020, 2021, 2022, 22023.. In practical, economic, engineering terms ** it's a fossil fuel **

    8. Morat

      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

      Scaremongering?

      We already have gas powered vehicles (LPG) and vehicles carrying gas bottles on the roads (Camper vans, Caravans).

      It's very simple technology to have a blow off valve and all LPG fuel tanks are fitted with one. IF you end up in a hot enough fire (aka a petrol fire) which stresses the LPG tank, the LPG will be vented before the tank ruptures. This results in a jet of flame, but no explosion. Seeing as the petrol tank will already be on fire, you've either got out of the crash by this point or you haven't.

      As for the chances of a gas bottle/tank being ruptured in a crash, no chance. They're massively strong and, of course, they're pressurised. Try jumping on a plastic coke bottle half full of water. Then imagine it made of thick steel. The chances of any crash that ruptures a gas tank being survivable for the humans involved is zero. You can youtube the results of Yanks shooting at LPG bottles if you don't believe me.

      1. JohnG

        Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

        "We already have gas powered vehicles (LPG) and vehicles carrying gas bottles on the roads (Camper vans, Caravans)."

        Yes - and they aren't allowed in Eurotunnel, some ferries, some underground car parks, etc.

    9. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Hydrogen? Seriously?

      Break your petrol tank and the fuel runs under the car and warms your cockles. Hydrogen tends to rapidly go upwards once released from its container. It does burn well, but that goes upwards even more. You will get a flash burn from h2 burning but petrol will keep going.

  3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    legal target

    So if its a 'legally binding' requirement, what happens if it isn't achieved ?

    Who goes to jail ?

    1. CountCadaver

      Re: legal target

      No one, we just loose "face" and the suspicious amongst us would suggest that this is just the end game of "modal shift" doctrine (i.e. forcing anyone not of the "right sort" onto mass transit, and out of independent modes of transport) thats been shoved down our throats the last 25+ years and given the close proximity to many MPs and "mass transport" conglomerates.....some might say that it would be fortuitous financially and otherwise for these MPs if they could force us proles onto their associates vehicles and thus generate an inescapable captive market and ever growing profit margins (and of course fares will soar once this is achieved), with the side benefit that they then can barrel down the now empty roads, free of those irritating traffic jams and not have to be exposed to "normal people", the rest who push this tend to fall into the "something must be done" brigade and "we took the bus and walked when my grandad was young and it was good enough for them in the good old days when you could bread was delivered unwrapped and left on the doorstep" "we must get back to gentler days of sail etc before all this hideous mechanisation came about, people must get used to travel being an anachronism and adapt to living locally"

      Beginning to see why a growing number see parliament as an expensive waste of money full of windbags, demagogues and ideologues....

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: legal target

        Looking forward to all the MPs giving up their cars (and in some cases tax payer funded chauffeurs) and walking / cycling / taking public transport everywhere.

        Chances of it happening in my lifetime = zero.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: legal target

          tiggity,

          "Chances of it happening in my lifetime = zero."

          Chances of it happening in your childrens lifetime = zero !!!

          The proles will be encouraged to use the 'excellent' public transport system we have (Cough Cough).

          The MP's will be able to justify 'their' use as it 'saves time' / Security is easier to provide / etc etc.

          The report mentioned in this article is totally useless as it does not point to a practical solution and simply highlights what we already know.

          i.e. Successive govts have spouted lots of hot air but really done nothing of any use to get any closer to the targets they agreed to !!!

          It is totally impossible to provide an alternative transport system that the majority of the public could use.

          We cannot manage the current usage of the Trains & Busses to enable a reliable system that can be depended on. Shifting 25/30/50% of the current Car users to Public Transport would break it completely and that is still not enough acording to this report.

          In a nutshell the report confirms that historically not enough was done to address reaching the targets and now it is impossible to meet *any* of our targets legally agreed or otherwise.

          Electric cars are not the answer (Quelle Surprise) and the infrastucture that they need is not there, also Electric cars do not allow a range that is practical for people who travel away from their 'Base Office' most of the time as part of their job. Adding in charging time to journeys will effectively waste 2-3 hours a day and the current Battery Technology will not stand up to being 'Fast Charged' most of the time without halving the life of the Battery. More Batteries used impacts the whole 'Green Equation' that supposedly makes Electric cars the way to go !!!

          If 'We' were as ineffective and useless as our govts appear to be, we would be signing on at the local Jobcentre !!!

          How do we get this generation of useless Donkeys we call our MP's to do the job they are paid for ???

      2. EBG

        kudos

        .. for flagging the modal shift doctrine. An unchallangeable "given" among policy makers, all settled and locked in with minimal public debate.

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: legal target

      So if its a 'legally binding' requirement, what happens if it isn't achieved ?

      Sceptics and engineers can say 'we told you so'. The Green Blob starts judiicial and legal proceedings to protect their luxurious subsidies.

      But laws are created by Parliament. In this case, mostly Ed Milliband's Climate Change Act, writ for him by one Bryonny Worthington, formerly of Friends of the Earth, currently a Baroness ensconced in the Lords and running a few side businesses.

      So basically it's legally binding right up to the moment Parliament decides to repeal that Act, and May's SI that made it even more expensive to achieve. There's also some EU stuff that would need to be ignored, or goes away post-Halloween.

      Who goes to jail ?

      Ideally, anyone who uses the phrase 'legally binding', especially if they're politicians who know damn well they can un-bind it. As for jail, I'm thinking the large nacelles on top of windmills would make perfect cells for the scumbags that have profited from this nonsense. Which would include-

      Contributing evidence to the report, the National Grid said that just 54 charging stations, placed at appropriate points along the strategic road network, would mean 99 per cent of drivers in England and Wales would be within 50 miles of a charge point.

      Given there's around 32 million cars in the UK, that's only around 600,000 cars per charging station. But that assumes equal distribution, which wouldn't happen. So there'd be massive demand and congestion in & around those 54 stations. And of course the environmental impact of drivers having to take 100 mile detours just to fill up.

      But then the NG profits handsomely from 'renewables', so would of course be supportive.

      1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

        Re: legal target

        Actually National Grid does not profit any more from "renewables" than from conventional generation of the same size and location. The groups that get excessive profits are the "green" energy suppliers that have managed to get contracts that ensure they are paid far more for electricity than conventional generators get. Offshore wind generators get over £110 per MWh, combined cycle gas turbines cost about £50 per MWh if they are not crippled by carbon taxes. Around 30% of a UK electricity consumers bill is due to using overpriced renewables and the carbon tax imposed on conventional generation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: legal target

          The latest strike price for offshore is £57.50 per MWh.

          A large part of the electricty in the UK comes from Nuclear which has a current strike price for Hinkley of £92.50 per MWh.

          The reason that Offshore wind (and renewables in general) have come down in price so much is due to initial subsidies that allowed scalability and reduced the risk. This has been shown to be paying off with major solar projects and wind often needing no subsidy at all.

          The benefits, of course, are carbon free electricity generation, unlimited supply of the source energy and non-reliance on imports.

          The push towards expanding renewables was probably worth it, I'd say.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: legal target

            The reason that Offshore wind (and renewables in general) have come down in price so much is due to initial subsidies that allowed scalability and reduced the risk. This has been shown to be paying off with major solar projects and wind often needing no subsidy at all.

            Sadly, you are very wrong. Which I guess means the 'renewables' lobby have been successful in persuading people their product is affordable. Reality can be found here-

            https://www.lowcarboncontracts.uk/cfds/hornsea-phase-1

            Current strike price

            158.75£/MWh

            Initial Strike Price

            140.00£/MWh

            Which is around 3x the market price for electricity. Other offshore wind is even worse, ie Dudgeon gets £170/MWh. And it gets worse because those are long-term, indexed contracts guaranteeing the electricity produced will get ever more expensive. So Hornsea pockets around £400m a year in subsidies, and it's not even complete yet. And then-

            https://www.ref.org.uk/constraints/indextotals.php

            So £80m paid out to subsidiy farmers when there's no demand for their product.. Which also shows why the 'renewables' lobby is so keen for someone to throw billions at grid-scale storage & large stacks of batteries. Average constraint payment is £71, so more than market value but if it's delivered to a battery farm, then it can charge the £160-170/MWh rate.

            Then given the battery farmers would want their snouts in the trough, if your input costs are £170+, what would your sell price be? Given losses charging/discharging and keeping batteries at the optimum temperature, you'd probably be looking at £200/MWh+, without even considering capital & operating costs.

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: legal target

          Actually National Grid does not profit any more from "renewables" than from conventional generation of the same size and location.

          NG is a big beast, with it's tentacles in many pies. So from it's annual report-

          https://investors.nationalgrid.com/~/media/Files/N/National-Grid-IR-V2/reports/2017-18/annual-report-and-accounts.pdf

          National Grid Ventures has been created to focus, in part, on investments in renewables, including utility-scale solar, wind and battery storage.

          On top of it's 'traditional' business of rent-seeking off of UK (and US) electricity & gas supply networks. So as the number of generators & consumers increase, so do NG's direct and service charges. Then it has other sidelines, like owning a couple of metering companies, or interconnectors so it can profit from UK/EU supply/demand imbalances. Regulators eventually twigged to it's interconnector business being a rather large and obvious conflict of interest.

          It's a business that's clearly failing it's objective to provide economic, efficient and reliable transmission networks though. But £35 per household for transmission costs is a very nice earner.. UK is 44% of group profits.. But in a business sense, it's rather successful, ie £3.5bn in profits. Of course if that were a nationalised business, costs could be reduced, or those profits re-invested in infrastructure, like building N x 1GW nuclear units that by pretty much any measure would be more economic and efficient than 'renewables'.

        3. Spanners Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: legal target

          "overpriced renewables "

          Why is it I keep hearing that a lot of renewable energy now costs the same as that produced by good old fashioned CO2 producing systems. Sometimes now, renewable energy is cheaper - at least before the subsidies and tax breaks open to the oil companies.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: legal target

            There is no such thing as so-called "renewable energy". Entropy says no.

            It's this kind of fuzzy thinking that causes people with clues to question anything with a so-called "green" label.

            1. EBG

              really ?

              I'm as careful as anyone in accepting "green" energy information at face value - there's just too much lobbying and vested interests. But solar and wave/tide are as renewable as the sun's fusion and the moon's orbit are renewable. I.e. for practical purposes - yes they are.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: legal target

            "Sometimes now, renewable energy is cheaper "

            Not where I live. The cost of electricity has soared since we've been cursed with wind and solar power contracts,

            Renewable energy we can't use because it isn't needed costs us over $1,000,000,000 a year in selling it below cost to adjacent power grids.

            Nuclear and hydro are a lot less expensive, and you can get the power when you need it.

      2. JassMan Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: legal target

        Are National Grid on some kind of psycho active drugs? "Contributing evidence to the report, the National Grid said that just 54 charging stations, placed at appropriate points along the strategic road network, would mean 99 per cent of drivers in England and Wales would be within 50 miles of a charge point." Given that most of the older electric cars have a range of 100miles or less means that they can all drive to one of the 54 charging stations, wait in the 25mile long queue for several weeks, get home again, but then can't get back to the charge point for another charge.

        I know other charging networks are available but unless they are thinking of putting in a useful system so that everyone can superfast charge within 10 miles of home they might as well not have put fingers to keyboard.

        What the country (indeed all countries) is the ability to charge at ANY charge point just using a standard credit card without joining a "club" first. By all means give club members a 5% discount for using their own system but charging infrastructure is a public service and should be open to all.

        1. Giles C

          Re: legal target

          I agree I read the 50 mile comments and as an example a Renault Zoe has a real world range of 80-90 miles, so you would just drive to a charging station, drive home and then .........

          Mind you I looked at this recently.

          Zoe £5k

          Battery rental £60 month for 7500 miles/year

          Therefore £720 in rental a year.

          Petrol is £1.30 litre so that would be 533 litres or 122 gallons if a petrol car does more than 60 mpg then it is cheaper to run and there are quite a few that do that these days diesel the argument is better.

          Mind you my old petrol car just costs me the fuel each month and as it is 30 years old it does the job.

          1. Henry Hallan

            Re: legal target

            My Zoe gets about 290km (call it 180 miles) between charges if I don't drive like a granny. I bought the battery outright. But I probably paid more than you.

            3-phase AC charging is about 1% per minute so about 108mph equivalent. AC chargers are cheap as chips.

            The grid infrastructure to support them is a problem though.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: legal target

            "Battery rental £60 month for 7500 miles/year"

            AN average car does 12,000 miles per year. That's a pretty restrictive limit. What do they charge for the excess miles that many people will do? That make it even less economic other than for the school run.

        2. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: legal target

          I know other charging networks are available but unless they are thinking of putting in a useful system so that everyone can superfast charge within 10 miles of home they might as well not have put fingers to keyboard.

          Why would you need to superfast charge within 10miles of home?

          Why would you wilfully take the NG statement out of context?

          You buy an EV, which >70% of households can charge at home. This does not need to be "superfast" because superfast charging accelerates wear-and-tear on the battery. Most people's lives involve popping round to the shops or a 15-30 mile commute which is trivially covered by overnight charging from a 13A wall socket or - if you're keen - a 9kW charger. Average mileage is 7,900miles/year, which is 22miles/day. If you're a motorway warrior who does >200miles/day most days then by all means buy a hybrid which you can carry on topping up with dinosaur juice.

          The point of the 54-location calculation is that with well under 100 super-fast locations, you can trivially dispense with range anxiety for the minority of journeys that are >200miles because anyone going long distance will pass 3-4 locations where they can get a fast 20-30min charge. For >50% of households, a regular 13Amp wall charger will cover daily charging needs and they can stop at a fast charger on occasional long-distance jaunts.

          They're not proposing that those 54 locations are the only locations anyone would ever charge at and that we'd all queue up to charge there routinely as we do for a petrol stations. I have to question whether you are on psycho-active drugs to imagine such a thing. Or you're just a troll. For shame.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: legal target

            You buy an EV, which >70% of households can charge at home.

            Get real. Maybe 30% could charge one EV at home, perhaps only 10% could charge 2.

            1. rg287 Silver badge

              Re: legal target

              Get real. Maybe 30% could charge one EV at home, perhaps only 10% could charge 2.

              Get a clue.

              More than 50% of the UK live in a detached (25%) or semi-detached house (32%). Detached and semi-detached houses invariably have a private drive/off-road parking and could charge one or two EVs (grid connection notwithstanding - but the parking space is there. moreover, two-car households tend to see one car there most of the time whilst the other is used by a commuter - if the connection is that poor, one can charge in the day, the other at night).

              26% live in terraces. These are a bit more gnarly - Of the 200+ terrace houses on my road, >70% have a drive at the front (converted front garden) or a garage/parking space down "the backs", where they could sensibly charge. The ones at the bottom of the road might struggle, but a trivial analysis would indicate that your "30%" figure is utter rollocks, just like 67% of all statistics.

              Likewise, of the 14% who live in flats... well my wife's old flat, and the new-build flat a friend has just moved into both came with dedicated parking spaces - charging facilities could be fitted. This will not be universal of course, but again, "flat" does not necessarily imply "no parking", though the installation of charging points would involve the cooperation of the landlord/residents association.

              London is different, but 85% of us don't live in London, and a non-trivial proportion of the 43% of Londoners who live in a flat/apartment don't own a car to begin with because they have sensible public transport, rendering the question moot.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: legal target

          "What the country (indeed all countries) is the ability to charge at ANY charge point just using a standard credit card without joining a "club" first. By all means give club members a 5% discount for using their own system but charging infrastructure is a public service and should be open to all."

          FaaS - Fuel as a Service. But only if you have the correct type of car. Everyone wants their share of the XaaS subscription market and will stop at nothing to be the next Apple or Google with a vendor lock-in.

          After all, the car analogy is an old favourite here on El Reg and my, how we all laughed at the idea of cars being like computers, only being allowed to use certain facilities and not just "any" filling station or road-type, or type of tyres etc. This is US influenced "free market" at work, not international co-operation on standards for all.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: legal target

      We pay fines, some of which will be passed on to polluters, fines we don't pay if we aren't part of the EU. Do you see where I'm going with that? Add that to the reason why some with links to business want us out.

  4. sodium-light

    Hydrogen

    I've had long positions on platinum for quite some time based on the hydrogen story but it just isn't happening. It's not catching on and someone isn't telling us something. I suspect it's the fact that H2 leaks through any container so unless you're using the car frequently you lose your tankful over time. Would be nice to know the met police experience with those trial cars, Toyota Mira or something?

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Hydrogen

      Metal hydrides potentially a better option than just H2 alone to avoid leakage and other issues - I know there was some research done on this but no idea how far it got.

    2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Hydrogen

      As a useful energy storage medium for mobile use, Hydrogen is about the worst you could come up with apart from unicorn farts. It's rubbish, really really REALLY rubbish as a mobile fuel.

      It's expensive (in energy) to get to a form that's vaguely usable - needing either compression to silly level, and/or cooling to silly cold temperatures to liquify it. Whatever you put it into will leak it out, so after a couple fo weeks parked up you'll be stuck with an empty tank !

      But the energy density is rubbish. Really really rubbish - as in you need a large and hevy high pressure vessel to hold a small amount of fuel/energy.

      And it's not really practical to have a dual-fuel vehicle, so if you go hydrogen then you can only use hydrogen filling stations which are much fewer in number than lecky charge points.

      And there is really zero compatibility with any of our existing fuel storage, distribution, and retail infrastructure.

      However, if you do have abundant hydrogen, then there is a process which will convert it (plus atmospheric CO2) into methanol. Now methanol is a fair bit safer than petrol and diesel. It's far less toxic, burns with less heat radiance. But above all - with trivial modifications new cars could be made multi-fuel capable of running on any mix of petrol, ethanol, and methanol, and methanol can be stored, distributed, and retailed using existing infrastructure. For many filling stations, it could be as simple as re-purposing one tank and the pumps it serves to methanol. So it would be fairly easy to create a widespread network of filling stations with it, and cars would not be stuck if there wasn't one convenient.

      The biggest problem with hydrogen is that until we have an excess of carbon free generation (which effectively means a lot more nuclear) then we cannot make it in a carbon neutral manner. So like lecky cars, there's an argument that a hydrogen powered car is coal/gas powered as it'll be the taps on a coal or gas power station that get opened a tad in order to produce the electricity used to make it. or in the case of some methods, it'll be coal that's steam reformed to make hydrogen.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Hydrogen

        Except most will tell you your average nuclear plant has a high carbon footprint in its construction due to the large amounts of concrete and steel involved (both hopelessly carbon positive--Portland cement is carbon-positive and you can't make steel without carbon).

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen

          Cement is carbon-positive in manufacture, but is carbon-negative in use - the very process of it curing is re-absorbing the carbon expelled from it. See various references to Biosphere 2 where the ecologists' CO2/O2 monitoring numbers made no sense as they weren't construction engineers and had no idea of the carbon properties of the concrete they'd built the thing with.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Hydrogen

            "Cement is carbon-positive in manufacture, but is carbon-negative in use - the very process of it curing is re-absorbing the carbon expelled from it."

            Nope. The process of making portland cement turns calcium carbonate into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide: in about a 2-to-1 ratio. Although the curing process reverses this, it never does it at a comparable rate (think the stuff deep inside which becomes nigh-gas-tight). About the only way to reduce this is to swap out calcium carbonate for wollastonite, which isn't nearly as abundant: certainly not enough to feed current cement demand (current research into dealing with this still requires specialized equipment--not practical for say underwater applications--remember one key advantage of concrete: it hardens even underwater). Not to mention the process of making portland cement requires using kilns (read: very hot ovens) that require fuel. Last I checked, there isn't really a carbon-neutral way to heat something, especially to high temperatures (you either direct combust fuel which pretty much always has carbon in it or use electricity which just moves the problem elsewhere).

            Then you have the steel, which as we know is an allow of iron and carbon. There's no way to avoid using carbon in making steel because of both its necessary composition and the fact you need forges to produce it which, again, require heat sources which are nigh-inevitably carbon-positive. And unlike cement, carbon that goes into steel stays in steel if you want them to maintain their structural integrity.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Hydrogen

        "The biggest problem with hydrogen is that until we have an excess of carbon free generation "

        Overnight excess wind power for electrolysis?

        (No idea here, just farting in the wind)

  5. Graham Cunningham

    50 miles???

    "99 per cent of drivers in England and Wales would be within 50 miles of a charge point."

    WTF? Who is going to drive 100 mile round trip detour to charge their car? And what happens if everyone within 100 mile circle want to use the charging point?

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: 50 miles???

      Exactly. It's as useful as saying that you could scatter a hundred jerrycans around the country, and 99% of drivers would be within 50 miles of a 20 litre refill.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 50 miles???

        MPs for you though, virtually ALL of them have never had a real job - most did one of the following routes - "activist" for some vocal pressure group, gender quota, political science degree, went to the right schools (and flunked out) and their career progression normally goes - activist, local cllr, candidate in marginal, safe seat parachute, where they then spend years spouting merde (See about 75% of the labour party and about the same of the conservatives and about 99.99999999% of the SNP (who are like the Borg, one hive mind, mindlessly repeating whatever they are told to say word for word verbatim no matter how rdiculous)

        Frankly parliament should be a 1 term limit, requirement for 15 years REAL world work experience, a ban on political science majors standing for parliament

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 50 miles???

          1) 99.99999999% of the entire population of Scotland, never mind just members of the SNP, would be about 5 ten-thousandths of a person.

          2) As far as I know there's not such thing as a "political science major" in this country (UK or Scotland).

          Apart from that your rant makes perfect sense. Except for the rest of the nonsense.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 50 miles???

            Eh?

            Scot here. Why are you equating the SNP with being Scottish? Not all Scots support the SNP, in fact they failed to get a majority at the last election. Many of us vote for them purely as there's no real alternative up here most elections, seriously it's like voting for the least crazy person some years.

            1. Cederic Bronze badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              How on earth would voting for 'least crazy' result in the SNP getting votes?

              Spoiling the ballot would give you a better outcome.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 50 miles???

                In many areas the only 2 plausible candidates are from the conservatives and the snp. Don't vote and you likely end up with a conservative - which given Brexit, welfare dismantling and other ideological state shrinking is anathema to many folk in Scotland, we generally don't mind paying a bit more for hospitals that are clean & staffed properly, we also generally don't mind funding public services or social security (under "there but for the grace of God go I" aka it could me next)

                However the SNP of late aren't much better - NHS waiting lists are soaring, mental health has a serious staffing crisis, Carseview psychiatric unit abuse scandal that the SNP and the local health board are trying their damndest to bury, DAWAP (stupidly named replacement for PIP) way behind schedule (now not going to be fully operational till 2024) and new social security secretary has changed course from creating something new and better and instead ordered a cut and paste from PIP (even down to the same flawed descriptors and pay rates, along with keeping the same assessments), councils massively underfunded (and yet despite this many continue with their halo vanity projects and bad decision making, peeing money against the wall while pleading penury to justify charging for core services). The dear leader also seems to dictate policy on a whim - see the tearing up of 3+ years of work on ADT abolition out of the blue and without any warning and all because she yelled "climate emergency" at conference, cue party personnel scrambling to outdo each other in the environmental stakes, ministers who had just weeks before been trumpeting how crucial ADT abolition was to the Scottish economy, suddenly acting like they had been wholly against it from the start and how we now had to go net carbon zero as soon as possible to save the planet. No better than North Korea or Trump's administration, wouldn't surprise me to see a group of aides following the first minister around with notepads soon scribbling down everything she says when visiting companies or state agencies, she could even call them "field guidance visits"

                If there was any plausible alternative to the SNP...they'd be gone, as it stands they've received a poll boost due to the fubar that is brexit with tory infighting, labour civil war and folk being very aware of the lib dems cosying up to the conservatives to shove through austerity not too long ago......

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              I'm no longer voting, did vote SNP as least worse option but no more over the personality cult that Sturgeon is running (with her husband as the power behind the throne), along with their authoritarian views on gender equality - "strippers harm other women by normalising misogyny" "pornography is commercial sexual exploitation and ingrained societal attitudes that support it must be altered" (all in black and white on the scottish government website...

              No thanks to the Tories, never forgave labour for the scandals of the mcconnell years, along with Jenny Marras grandstanding over dog attacks and running a media circus during her "hearings", the lib dems would drop their knickers for whoever, greens - defintetely not, don't want Greta as Scotland's patron saint, brexit party URGH.

              Need a slightly left of centre libretarian party - i.e. one in favour of welfare for the disabled/those out of work (and proactively giving support to get them back to work quickly rather than the DWP denying help for months on end), public health care - to avoid epidemics, freedom of speech, no interference in the private lives of adults, no more "sin taxes".

              1. NetBlackOps

                Re: 50 miles???

                Same, only on my side of The Pond.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 50 miles???

                Need a slightly left of centre libretarian party - i.e. one in favour of welfare for the disabled/those out of work

                In a region that already has a GDP deficit 7x that of the UK as a whole (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/aug/21/scotland-2018-deficit-higher-than-uk-as-a-whole-last-year)?

                Good luck with that!

            3. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              "Scot here. Why are you equating the SNP with being Scottish? Not all Scots support the SNP, in fact they failed to get a majority at the last election. Many of us vote for them purely as there's no real alternative up here most elections, seriously it's like voting for the least crazy person some years."

              You misread the post. His point was that 99.999...% of the SNP meant that 0.00..01% of the whole population of Scotland, never mind the SNP, was less than one person.

        2. nijam

          Re: 50 miles???

          > ... a ban on political science majors standing for parliament

          Yes, when I hear people say "a degree in PPE", I take that to mean ""three years wasted on ill-informed opinions".

        3. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: 50 miles???

          You know that local councillors get paid less than the minimum wage, and that neither activist nor candidate are paid jobs? For example https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/30/abuse-long-hours-and-pitiful-pay-younger-councillors-abandon-local-politics

          While we're at it, what are these real jobs people keep talking about, how do they qualify you to run local or government services better than actually having experience doing it, and where do I get one?

          I'm all for being cynical about senior cabinet MPs, it's a post you get by being very good at playing the political game, but we don't say that somebody has to work as a councillor for 15 years before they're allowed to be an engineer, do we?

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            we don't say that somebody has to work as a councillor for 15 years before they're allowed to be an engineer, do we?

            Might be more useful if we made them work 15 years as an engineer before they were allowed to be a councillor. Or an MP.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 50 miles???

      Most people will be able to charge their car at home. Anyone with a private drive or garage can do it today. Someone with parking on the street outside their house can probably do it and in the next decade almost everyone else will be able to do it.

      Therefore you have your own private fuel station at home with the car nicely topped up ready for driving the next morning.

      So, with car of 200 miles+ quite common now, you just need a charger away from home. This will only affect, on average, 2~3 journeys per year. Superchargers can already deliver an extra 100 miles in 7 minutes. So it is already possible to get a car that is topped up every night (potentially for free), that for a few occasions per year will require you to stop for a 20 minute break every 5 hours to top up the charge.

      Combine that with the fact that there are more publicly accessible charging points in the UK than petrol stations (albeit not all are superchargers) and pretty much the whole of the UK is covered already.

      1. Not also known as SC
        Unhappy

        Re: 50 miles???

        "So it is already possible to get a car that is topped up every night (potentially for free)".

        How free? If you charge at home then you pay for the electricity and with smart meters it isn't beyond the realms of technical possibility to determine how much electricity was used to charge a car and to tax it at fossil fuel equivalent rates in the future.

        If you use council provided charging point which don't charge then the electricity will be paid for via Council Tax like the rest of the council's electricity use.

        Promote electric cars but don't pretend that they will be cheaper to use then ICE vehicles. Maybe for now but when fossil fuel taxation drops the government will make up for it by taxing the electricity used or road pricing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 50 miles???

          "How free?"

          Free, free. As in Solar powered, battery storage. Sure there is a capital cost, but after that the energy is free.

          There is no possibility of charging via a smart meter unless they put a flat tax on a electric vehicles (increase road fund for instance). A reverse disincentive as it were.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 50 miles???

            I hate being a born pessimist, but even with the "free free", as per solar energy free, I'm ABSOLUTELY sure any future government would make sure that the level of monies flowing from road users (fuel tax, etc, etc.) is AT LEAST at current level, and if they decide they can get away with it, at higher level (because saving our planet is pricey, you see).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              Maybe, but by that time they would have to have taxed fuel vehicles out of existence completely. They could not create a parity in costs between fuel and electric.

              SO relatively the electric will always have a big and growing tax advantage over fuel.

              1. nijam

                Re: 50 miles???

                > They could not create a parity in costs between fuel and electric.

                Of course they can, it's called "road pricing" (other terms are available). Your satnav knows where you've been...

                1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
                  Big Brother

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  ANPR knows where you've been. Don't expect deployment to shrink. And don't expect any comback when they misread your plate and charge you for 14 journeys at the same time.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "Of course they can, it's called "road pricing" (other terms are available)."

                  The point isn't that it physically isn't possible. You could just tax EVs at 200% and remove all VAT on ICE cars.

                  The point is that any increases in taxation will also coincide with increase in taxation on fuel vehicles. So there will always be an incentive to use an electric vehicle. Taxes in the future may bring EV taxation up to the level that ICE cars are at now, however by then ICE vehicles taxation will be vastly more.

                  It would take a Trumpian government to decide that they want to disincentivise electric low carbon transport over and above fossil fuel transport. So the statement was that politically they could not create a parity between them, not that technically they couldn't.

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            unless they put a flat tax on a electric vehicles (increase road fund for instance).

            More than half the pump price of petrol and diesel is tax & duty. There is absolutely no way any government is going to give up that income, so you can be quite sure they'll find a way to recover it from drivers of electric cars.

          3. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: 50 miles???

            Try using solar power in the UK on a cloudy winters day!!!

            Solar power makes sense in places like Arizona - not very effective in the UK even in summer and useless in UK winters.

            The only practical way to have a lot of electric vehicles in the UK and reduce the carbon emissions is to build a lot of nuclear power stations to provide the energy for them. Given the number of NIMBYs in this country, the chance of this happening is near zero.

            I get the impression that the politicians want the UK to be like soviet russia - only the rich and powerful could drive (or be driven) in good cars.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              "Solar power makes sense in places like Arizona"

              Not for running cars, not really. Distances in the Western States (even some Eastern ones, like Texas) are a lot longer than most folks think they are. Electric vehicles quite simply don't have the range when 800 mile round trips in a day are common.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 50 miles???

                So 800 mile trips are common - happen often?. At an average speed of 50mph (note average not sticking to 50mph) that's 16hours travelling a day. I presume they are travelling to *do something*. So a journey like that with say 3 or 4 hours doing something. Doesn't leave a lot of time to sleep?

                Also it leaves a massive carbon footprint and uses a lot of fuel.

                However a car with a 300 mile battery, that refills at a public charging station for 30 mins (possible powered by solar) that are dotted all over the united states would still allow that journey on a regular basis with a couple of food/rest stops on the way.

                That is available today, so charging via solar at home and on the road is possible.

              2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                > 800 mile round trips in a day are common

                Even in america with a perfectly straight road I dont believe its that high!

                Thats 13 hours constant driving @ a limit of 60 (I think the max in the US is 55mph but maybe they go a bit hgher).

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  (I think the max in the US is 55mph but maybe they go a bit hghe

                  Depends on the state, but even in California where 80 is legal on some freeways you'll still see people doing 100. No fixed speed cameras...

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "Thats 13 hours constant driving @ a limit of 60 (I think the max in the US is 55mph but maybe they go a bit higher)."

                  Generally on US interstates, the question is not whether they drive above the limit, but rather how much above the limit.

                  A friend and I drove from Buffalo to San Francisco in about 3.5 days. With two of us driving, seldom slower than 85 mph, about 16 hours a day,..

            2. Jonathon Green

              Re: 50 miles???

              “Try using solar power in the UK on a cloudy winters day!!!”

              Person with standard ~4kW rooftop solar installation on the roof and Nissan Leaf parked on the drive here.

              Actually it seems to work surprisingly well, far better than I’d have expected. On the basis of my electricity bills over about an 8 year period, comparing before and after we got our first Leaf 4 years or so ago, and with a ~30 miles round trip daily commute it looks like a pretty substantial majority of the electricity for the car has been coming from the solar panels. Add a fairly modest battery installation to smooth the peaks and troughs and I think you probably could cover the lot...

              1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                I respect you've found a solution that works for you, though it seems that only works if you can afford the install, have sufficient space for the install, and appropriately oriented surfaces to maximise solar collection efficiency. Southerly geograpic location probably helps too.

                Trouble is the majority probably can't afford it, lack the necessary space / solar orientation, and I don't think we can all live in Cornwall (yeah, a bit hyperbolic I know but hopefully my point comes across). And not eveyone wants to drive a Leaf.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "And not everyone wants to drive a Leaf."

                  I don't think the car type is an issue, only how far your daily usage is. Even if you have a new generation premium car, if you're only driving 30 miles a day you only need to top it up with that much electricity.

                  In fact a car with a large battery can ride the troughs of limited solar a lot better. Weekends at home could have it charging all day and you could use that power throughout the week with limited top ups.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              Solar works with cloud, the efficiency is increasing all the time, battery storage is common, prices are coming down and there is always the backup of a grid supply if you need it.

              It doesn't work for everyone, but there are plenty of people who do use solar in the UK, lots of people use it for a lot of their car charging needs.

              The idea that solar doesn't work in the UK would seem to be broken by the fact that there seem to be private solar farms springing up all over the place. With government subsidy withdrawal, they must be making reasonable money somehow, even on cloudy winter days.

              1. Wellyboot Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                Yes, solar does work when it's cloudy, to an uncertain % of the 'sunny' output. My 4Kw roof puts out about 150w when the sky is near black overcast and during mid-winter the sun is above my southern horizon for about 5 hours a day. 'Here be hills'

            4. Spanners Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: 50 miles???

              Solar power makes sense in places like Arizona

              Pretending for a moment that your statement is at least partly true, let's use some other renewable energy sources then. The most suitable ones around here are wind, wave and tidal.

              The fun thing about wind power is when people come to a windy area area to teach us about the evils of wind power and find out that people are using them, like them and don't feel that they make the place look ugly!

              Will anything come of tidal power? There are enough tidal areas around the UK to power half of Europe but judicious use and cancellation of grants over the past 30+ years has prevented them from providing huge amounts of totally predictable energy. People at the seaside have known about tides for thousands of years. They know exactly when the water will flow and how fast.

              Instead of giving oil companies handy tax breaks, lets Spend money on energy storage instead. Elon Musk set up a battery in Australia. The great thing about having a (mostly) functioning National Grid is that they can be set up across our mostly empty country. Build them around Newcastle or even into the northern half of this island.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                "Will anything come of tidal power? There are enough tidal areas around the UK to power half of Europe but judicious use and cancellation of grants over the past 30+ years has prevented them from providing huge amounts of totally predictable energy."

                Almost every plan for tidal energy in a way that might be economic has been scuppered by environmental "concerns". Little consideration seems to given to what environmental benefits there may be for different species that may move in to replace those that may move out. It's always about the loss of existing species in a locality. And those inquiries and appeals always take years, by which time the investors of all gone off to do something else with their money. Like spending it on hookers and blackjack to help kill the memories of trying to do some good and being shot down in flames for it.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              "Try using solar power in the UK on a cloudy winters day!!!"

              Or during a three day snowstorm.

          4. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            "There is no possibility of charging via a smart meter unless they put a flat tax on a electric vehicles (increase road fund for instance). A reverse disincentive as it were."

            Ho ho ho. Just mandate a meter on the car charging point. You can bypass it if you want, same as your normal meter, but a quick trip to jail if you do.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              My neighbour has an i pace and it charges on a 240v standard, it can add about 100-110 miles of range overnight, which is about 50% capacity. Needs one of those high power chargers if he lets it run low.

            2. Caver_Dave
              Happy

              Re: 50 miles???

              I have my own 'fairly' fast charger, but the government paid a good chunk of the cost and in exchange fitted a separate metering/consumer unit so that they could monitor how much electricity I was using for the car. They didn't mind that I get no GSM signal at home and so they get no data. :-)

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                but the government other taxpaying motorists paid a good chunk of the cost

                FTFY

          5. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            > As in Solar powered, battery storage

            We live in a world that used to tax people for the number of windows / bedrooms and clocks they had in their homes.

            I wouldnt put it past the government to tax the number of solar panels on your roof once they need the money. And the great thing is they can see them from the street, or from a future drone that they may use to detect panels.

          6. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: There is no possibility of charging via a smart meter

            @AC you seem to be suffered a severe case of imagination deficiency.

            Home charger will have to be on its own circuit to handle the necessary electric current to charge in any reasonable time, so it's entirely feasible to have the 'smart' meter monitor that circuit independently and charge accordingly.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: There is no possibility of charging via a smart meter

              No it doesn't. An electric shower and oven can run off the standard circuit. A home charger is often 7Kw.

              So if you don't cook with electric and use mains showers then as long as you put a Type B RCD in you consumer unit then you can run it straight form there.

              If say 10% of people can do that then they can't mandate a tax for 90% and not the other 10%.

              They would also be setting a two tier electric supply, just based on the end use. You could also run battery storage to store mains and charge off that, as well as using solar/wind etc. It would also get more people using the more dangerous 13amp/16amp sockets to top up rather than the dedicated charger (and how could they legislate against this - would you not be able to charge at a family or friends house unless they had a car charger, or charge if you dedicated charger broke?)

              There's other ways to tax an electric vehicle that would be easier - purchase tax, road tax, toll charges or public chargers tax. All of which are more likely than a car charging tax. The electric charging tax thinking is just due to the mindset of fuel duty and replacing that like for like in a different system. Why would they do that, there is no need?

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: There is no possibility of charging via a smart meter

                "So if you don't cook with electric"

                You know the next step in the "green" plan is to reduce and then eliminate gas usage in private homes? Good luck pumping 7kW into your car of an evening when the kids want their meals and showers etc.

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: There is no possibility of charging via a smart meter

                "If say 10% of people can do that then they can't mandate a tax for 90% and not the other 10%."

                Like the feed-in tariff paid to a very small minority and funded by the green surcharge on everyone's gas and electricity bills? Nah, that would never work.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: There is no possibility of charging via a smart meter

                "A home charger is often 7Kw"

                That's 58 amps - about the total electric feed for many houses, and thus completely impractical.

                Pushing the breakers to the limit would give you 1800 watts on one outlet.

      2. tfewster Silver badge

        Re: 50 miles???

        I'm curious as to where you get your figures from. One in particular doesn't make sense - the "20 minute break every 5 hours". Assuming this is at a supercharger at a motorway service station, it's more likely to be 7 minutes every 1.5 hours. Which works out about the same, and that's still fine as long as every parking space has a charging point - otherwise you would need about about 20 times as many fuelling points (< 2 minutes to fill a car with enough conventional fuel to do 500 miles)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 50 miles???

          "20 minute break every 5 hours"

          a 320mile range car at *average* of 50 mph (not sticking to 50mph). A 250Kwh supercharger can do 1000mph charging.

          So if you use 75% of the battery then 20 minutes should be doable. You can already add 100miles in less than 10mins.

          So for a long journey (very few times per year) that requires it. you could get to Scotland from London with one charging stop and it will charge while you have some food.

          1. Richard Crossley
            Go

            Re: 50 miles???

            I used to happily drive from London to Glasgow without a stop, took about 6 hours, traffic willing.

          2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            So how many 250Kwh superchargers can we hook up to the grid before it melts?

            The grid can barely provide the electricity needed now, never mind with enough chargers for everyone to use without queing for hours.

            How about where the extra electricity for all these 250Kwh superchargers come from? Hopelessly impractical to do that with local solar, you'd need a 2sq.km field per charger just to replace power used in one hour (8Kwh/sq.m, and that's without access space for maintenance), plus massive batteries to hold that charge (solar panels alone could never reliably deliver the necesary juice without massive overbuild). And that's running at peak efficiency with maximum insolation, so most of the time not anywhere close to the power consumed. So probably double that.

            So it's back to a 3-phase grid hookup. Which the grid can only handle more of in relatively small numbers without a massive build-out of new infrastructure - generation, delivery, substations etc.

            The only way electric vehicles can achieve massive penetration and every owner can charge when and where they want (i.e. equivalent to a petrol station) is if the vast majority cannot have an electric vehicle. And since petrol/diesel will be banned if the current green politics continues, that means no personal transport for 99% of the populace.

            No thanks.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              "(i.e. equivalent to a petrol station) "

              And that is where the logic fails.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              "you'd need a 2sq.km field per charger just to replace power used in one hour"

              Most of the big solar installations I've seen do seem to be just that. Solar panels in fields. Even with dense coverage, you could still use the field to graze sheep. But I wonder if it's possible to share space with crops that are normally hand-picked? Leave larger gaps between the panel rows to allow machinery to plant or do what needs doing to crops happy to grow at least partially shaded by the panels. I'm sure farmers or solar panel installer type people could come up with ways to co-exist and more or less double the productivity of the land and still keep the panels safely wired together such that they don't get cut off by ploughing or hungry sheep.

          3. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            "A 250Kwh supercharger can do 1000mph charging."

            Whoops. It's not a linear relationship. When battery packs are really low, they don't charge at max speeds. When they start getting to 60-70% they ramp down severely. Most new EVs don't charge any faster than 100kW max and most are much lower. There are loads of 350kW chargers being installed in the US in anticipation of cars like the Porsche Taycan, but not really any that can use them yet. Those chargers are also pretty dear to use so are mostly being used if they are the last charger available and somebody is just figuring on a minimum session until a lower capacity one is open.

            It is handy to have excess capability in the charger since you can leave on the HVAC and still charge as maximum rates if you want to.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 50 miles???

        the fact that there are more publicly accessible charging points in the UK than petrol stations

        What complete horseshit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 50 miles???

          "What complete horses..."

          Check the figures, they're available.

          9425 charging charging stations with 14940 chargers and 25404 connectors in the UK

          8394 petrol stations in 2018.

          This is also compares something that very rarely needs public charging for most people vs a fuel cars which can only be publicly charged.

          1. juice Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            The problem with the above is that you're failing to take the number of pumps at each petrol station into account.

            E.g. if we assume 8 pumps per petrol station, then that gives us:

            9425 charging stations with 14940 chargers

            VS

            8394 petrol stations with 67152 pumps

            There's also the fact that throughput is significantly different. An ICE car at a Pay-at-Pump station can dump £20 of fuel into the tank (good for 100 - 200 miles, depending on the car and fuel) and be gone in less than five minutes.

            Meanwhile, it looks like a "Level 3" charger can give you roughly the same range... after thirty minutes.

            (https://pod-point.com/guides/driver/how-long-to-charge-an-electric-car)

            Admittedly, the owner of the eCar can choose to only partially top-up, in much the same way as the driver of the ICE car. And there's super chargers becoming available which could potentially charge some eCars in as little as 7 minutes.

            But in either scenario, the eCar is still going to have to be refueled more often than the equivalent ICE car, because it's range is always going to be lower.

            So as a rough rule of thumb, you're always going to need two or three times the number of electric chargers for eCars, as you do for the equivalent number of ICE cars...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              As stated already...

              Every person who has an ICE car will need to refuel every single time they run out of fuel. Most EV drivers will always have a full tank waiting for them in the morning and probably, at some point, when they leave work too. They will only need to use those chargers infrequently, a few times a year on average.

              Most people do not need to use a public charger.

              If you had your own petrol/diesel supply at home that never ran out so you had a full tank of fuel every morning (and was 1/4 cost for fuel) then how often would you visit a fuel station each year?

              Expand that in the future to .. If your workplace also had a fuel station and so did your family and so did most hotels you visited?

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                Most EV drivers will always have a full tank waiting for them in the morning

                The grid doesn't have the capacity to do that for a fleet of 32m cars, never mind commercial traffic as well. The distribution network (substations, street cabling) doesn't have the capacity to carry that much electricity to every home. Other posts have suggested solar power, which has obvious problems when it comes to overnight charging, and also requires 20 - 30m² of south-facing roof area to have enough to charge even a small car like a Nissan Leaf, you'd need twice that for a Tesla-sized vehicle. Even then, it only works for the people who have private garage or driveway where they can plug in.

                Battery-electric works as a niche solution, the numbers just don't add up when it comes to complete replacement of ICE fleets.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  As discussed elsewhere. On average the cars need charging 2 times a month (based on UK average mileage rates) and will be done late at night on cheap electricity, using no more than a shower or double oven, when there is currently little demand for electricity.

                  The grid will cope especially by the time there is a major conversion to EVs.

                  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    will be done late at night on cheap electricity ... is currently little demand for electricity.

                    Only because there aren't 32m cars trying to charge up! Once it stops being a niche market the overnight period will become peak, not cheap.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: 50 miles???

                      Hold on, your comment was about lack of availability to cope.

                      My statement was that there is plenty of capacity at night that is why the electricity is cheap in off peak.

                      I have no doubt prices will rise if there is more demand in off peak times, but the comment was about capacity.

                      Even with many more electric cars it is unlikely to surpass the electricity requirement required at peak times during the day for a long time.

                      Even at peak in the day it is far cheaper than fuel. With smart charging if you let the charger know that you want 80% full by 8am each day and let the power company provide power at the cheapest rate to achieve that while balancing the load that would be fine for nearly everyone. It's not like you'll be pulling up with a nearly empty battery very often, if ever.

                      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                        Re: 50 miles???

                        Even with many more electric cars it is unlikely to surpass the electricity requirement required at peak times during the day for a long time.

                        You are wrong. It will require all current grid capacity running flat out, 24 hours/day. To meet that need safely, with allowances for redundancy, maintenance periods, etc., it's been estimated that 10 new Sizewell Bs would be required. Don't guess about "unlikely", just do the maths.

                        Even at peak in the day it is far cheaper than fuel.

                        Only because road fuel is taxed at 60+%, and electric cars are subsidised.

                      2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                        Re: 50 miles???

                        There isn't capacity to charge 32m cars plus the huge commercial fleet - which will need way more energy at a much greater rate to charge overnight - at any time. Overnight is viable now, but try to charge the entire fleet and it just won't work.

                        Sure, most people won't need to charge overnight, but they still will "just in case". Shit happens, and you never know when you might need to make a long distance dash at short notice. Example - my son was on a school residential trip about 80 miles away. 11pm we get a call saying he's really sick, we have to go and collect him. That's doable today because even if the tank's empty it takes 5 minutes to fill. Waiting for an electric to charge overnight, it would have been about lunch time the next day before we could collect him. Yes its niche and happens infrequently, but it does happen and most people will have their own "what if" scenarios to worry about (sick/elderly relative, on call, emergency cover etc.).

                        Upshot is a lot of people keeping their charge topped up all the time, which long-term cripples their battery and short-term cripples the grid.

                        Full electric fleet replacement is simply not practical without massive infrastructure build-out, mostly nuclear for reliable base load. Which in the current NIMBY radiation-terrified thinking has pretty much no chance of happening.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: 50 miles???

                          So if your car had broken down or stolen, what would have happened? Say you were away from home on a weekend away?

                          In your scenario there's an emergency, where your battery was completely flat so you couldn't visit a public fast charger to top it up in a few minutes, and you didn't have a second car (or that was also completely flat) and there was no possibility of taking a taxi, or ringing a friend or relative, or ...

                          Seems just as likely that you'd be away for the weekend. I know I would be if my kids weren't at hoe.

                          1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

                            Re: 50 miles???

                            > visit a public fast charger to top it up in a few minutes

                            Visit? Currently that would be a day trip. Also, it wont charge your car fully in a "few minites"

                            > and you didn't have a second car

                            That is most likely the case considering the government want us to give up our cars, even the EV ones. Also, who the hell would have/could afford to have a second EV??

                            > and there was no possibility of taking a taxi

                            A taxi, on a 80 mile trip? Good luck finding a cab company that will do that and when you eventually find one good luck taking out the loan from the bank.

                            > or ringing a friend or relative

                            Ah but maybe your phone is dead (died after you got the call to collect the kid) and you stupidly disconnected the landline. Oh and then there is a national powercut because a wind farm was shutdown due to "too much wind of all things" and the lightening from the storm blew up some stuff that killed a gas powerstation (sounds familiar, I think this happened about a week ago), so now you cant charge your phone, or your car.

                            Yet, if you keep a full jerry can on petrol in the shed "just in case" suddenly you find you can drive...

                            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                              Joke

                              Re: 50 miles???

                              "Yet, if you keep a full jerry can on petrol in the shed "just in case" suddenly you find you can drive..."

                              You could always jog down to the local supermarket and buy a rucksack full of those 3 quid disposable emergency phone chargers. For the car, not the phone :-)

                        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                          Re: 50 miles???

                          "There isn't capacity to charge 32m cars plus the huge commercial fleet - which will need way more energy at a much greater rate to charge overnight - at any time. Overnight is viable now, but try to charge the entire fleet and it just won't work."

                          And not forgetting all those huge lorries that travel overnight and will need to charge up during the peak daytime. Just picture every courier depot in the country. Each one gets at least one HGV delivery every night, which then returns to the hubs with the outgoing cargo from that depot. And that's a just a small part of the overnight haulage industry. Many of of those will need a range of 200-300 miles or more or a fast charge en route.

                      3. mr_souter_Working

                        Re: 50 miles???

                        "My statement was that there is plenty of capacity at night that is why the electricity is cheap in off peak"

                        hmmm - yes, if you have a dual rate meter, you get a cheaper rate at night.

                        however, as I was told just last week by the electricity company, the current crop of "smart" meters, are not compatible with dual rate electricity tariffs.

                        have fun

                        and by the way, some of us regularly travel 300 miles plus (round trips of 400 miles are not uncommon for me, with an average annual mileage of over 20k miles. My daily commute is 60 miles), have no way to charge an EV at home (I live 3 floors up in a flat, and there are no charging points on my street) - charging would require me to go to the local train station, and wait an hour or two to charge, before coming home.

                        I would also like to remind you that a large % of the population live or work in cities - with vast numbers of cars parked on the roadside. if you drive to work, and park in a city, you will need a charging point at the parking spot, or you will need to rely on there being sufficient charge left to get home - assuming you can charge at home.

                        and finally, something that nobody seems to want to think about. crime. theft of electrical cable is relatively common. all of those cars that will be charging on streets, will have quite hefty chunks of cable attaching them to the chargers. I have never noticed any method of locking the cables in place (and a determined thief would simply cut the cable to steal it). your car is not going to charge very well overnight if the cable goes walkies. and how about the anti-social yobs that cause damage just for the fun - cars already get scratched and destroyed by them - imagine the fun they could have with a tube of superglue and all those charging points..............................

                        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                          Joke

                          Re: 50 miles???

                          "and finally, something that nobody seems to want to think about. crime. theft of electrical cable is relatively common."

                          Well, obviously the answer is to dig up all the streets and put wireless induction charging loops in the roadside parking areas, it works for mobile phones, especially iPhones. (lets not mention the extra power waste in induction charging, eh?)

                      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                        Re: 50 miles???

                        "Even with many more electric cars it is unlikely to surpass the electricity requirement required at peak times during the day for a long time."

                        As coal is wound down and gas is being villified in favour of solar and wind, I wonder just how much wind will be able to supply over night when the "peak" period is over, the sun has moved around the other side of the planet and the solar panels are producing almost nothing from the moon and starlight? Don't count on nuclear. Old ones are being decommissioned and the new ones have been dogged by protests and enquiries for years. I suppose we could import from Polands "brown coal" plants via the EU interconnects so long as the import tariffs are not too high, assuming the Germans aren't buying it all because they shut their entire nuclear fleet down.

                      5. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: 50 miles???

                        "My statement was that there is plenty of capacity at night that is why the electricity is cheap in off peak."

                        In fact, the highest peaks we've experience here are at night in the winter.

                        There are also daytime peaks, albeit smaller, during the day during summer.

                        And none of this takes into account the fact that an EV can be expected to use up to three times the power per km in the winter.

                    2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

                      Re: 50 miles???

                      > Once it stops being a niche market the overnight period will become peak, not cheap.

                      Actually, what is likely to happen is all the smart meters will be able to let the energy provder detect when you are carging the car (they will use data mining on the usage data supplied in 30 min segments to determine your pattern) and they will charge you differently during that time.

                      Some smart meters have been able to allow researchers to identify what TV programme you are watching, although I doube that will work in practive it shows that be monitoring your power draw they can determine when you wahtch TV, when you are out, when you run the washing machine etc. All of which are ripe for offering different pricing models.

                      The EV's will at some point also be talking to the meter and the larger network. The power companies are hoping to use EV's as a power reserver, having some discharge power back into the grid when they need a boost. Whether they refund that money or not is a good question, as you already paid for it.

                      Having the EV's talk to the network will also allow the companies to control which EV's charge, at what rate and when.

                      I can imagine the complaints now, when people wake up to find their EV's discharged due to a configuration issue in the power company that ended up having the EV's never charge and instead emptied them into the network. Combine that with a smart meter that is not metering correctly so charges you for the discharge of your EV (it thought you were charging it instead) and you will then not be able to get to work and wll spend a long while in a premium rate call queue to india on the weekend to try and convince the supplier that you are owed a refund and compensation.

                      Today we have people calling up their power company to try and convince them that they have not been using huge amounts of electricity over the past month and that the smart meter is faulty:

                      https://community.scottishpower.co.uk/t5/My-Energy/Smart-Meter-showing-incredibly-high-usage/td-p/1530

                    3. Roland6 Silver badge

                      Re: 50 miles???

                      will be done late at night on cheap electricity ... is currently little demand for electricity.

                      1. Real cheap off-peak electricity ended with the demise of coal power stations ie. generator capacity that has to be kept running 24x7. Yes, you can still buy Economy 7 plans if you have an Economy 7 meter, but for most households the additional daily cost (with Econ7 peak units are charged at a premium compared to non-Econ7 plans) isn't worth it.

                      2. The cheap cost of home charging is a temporary thing, the government is losing revenue, at some point the government will have to make up for the shortfall in income due to the decreasing revenues from duties/vat on fossil fuels. Naturally, I assume the smart meters currently being installed are up to the job, but wouldn't be surprised if they aren't...

                  2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    "will be done late at night on cheap electricity"

                    The Fully Charged Show had a segment some years ago at the National Grid control center and they talked about EV charging. The Grid showed they have plenty of capacity off-peak for a tremendous number of cars and it's getting to be more of a "bathtub" with more wind generation coming on line. They often have to turn off wind turbines at night due to too much power being put on the line since it isn't feasible to turn off and on thermal plants and nuclear is much happy at full power output all of the time.

                    Off-peak charging is great for the electric companies. They can discount the tariffs a lot and still bring in much more money since the utilization goes up for no more operating costs. Otherwise, all of those wires and transformers that are needed to supply peak power are just idling. There are even lower efficiencies in transmission lines since they are "tuned" for certain power bands and don't do as well when being run at lower power.

                2. scarper

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  > The grid doesn't have the capacity to do that for a fleet of 32m cars

                  Based on what calculation ? My commute is (was) about the average length for the UK, and an overnight charge could be done for under a kilowatt. If the power distribution network can cope with everyone's household appliance peak use (around suppertime), it certainly won't be broken by a kilowatt while you sleep.

                  The only cost item here is at the generating plants, which now face a higher baseload. I pay less to charge my car than I used to spend on petrol, so I don't see that as some sort of insuperable problem.

                  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    Based on what calculation

                    Take the annual consumption of petrol and diesel by cars, and calculate the amount of energy it represents (in Tonnes of Oil Equivalent, TOE). Be generous and halve it since electric motors are more efficient than ICE even allowing for transmission losses. To replace that by grid power you still get a figure that requires all generating capacity on the grid to run flat out 24/7/365, which isn't viable. Even that assumes that the load is averaged out over the week, which it isn't, it fluctuates a lot.

                    1. scarper

                      Re: 50 miles???

                      Ah, so you're conceding that the distribution network has the capacity. The cost item is, as I said, improving the generation facilities to support a baseload somewhat nearer the current peak.

                      Apparently you think that "viable" means that something can be done for free ? Of course the upgrades won't be free. But since the entire fossil fuel infrastructure will be (incrementally) obsoleted, it's basically us moving our social investment from one scheme to another. The current fossil-fuel scheme is far from free.

                      1. DavCrav Silver badge

                        Re: 50 miles???

                        "Ah, so you're conceding that the distribution network has the capacity. The cost item is, as I said, improving the generation facilities to support a baseload somewhat nearer the current peak."

                        He isn't conceding that. The National Grid says that the distribution network will likely need upgrading.

                        Quote: "Our transmission networks may need significant investment to ensure that they are fit for purpose".

                        here is the report, from last year.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: 50 miles???

                          Sure the grid will need upgrading at some point but that would be decades off.

                          Just look at Norway, they said the same disaster scenarios. However where more than half of all new cars are electric and 10% of cars are electric they are still a long way off requiring emergency measures on the electric grid. In fact many concerns are now being quashed as the load across the grid isn't as great as some thought.

                      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                        Re: 50 miles???

                        Ah, so you're conceding that the distribution network has the capacity.

                        Not at all. We can't even realistically generate the required energy, and so the question of whether it can be distributed to all the places that need it is somewhat moot.

                        Apparently you think that "viable" means that something can be done for free

                        No, it would require massive investment, of course. I question whether that investment is appropriate, there are alternative technologies such as biofuels, methanol, etc. which would integrate into the existing infrastructure with far less cost and disruption. Investent should be going to that research, not spent on an impractical dead-end niche market.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: 50 miles???

                          "...alternative technologies such as biofuels, methanol, etc. which would integrate into the existing infrastructure with far less cost and disruption."

                          Get real. So you think that electricity generation is not feasible but the work required to create sufficient biofuels and methanol in a carbon free way without massive cost and disruption (let alone the social and environmental effects) is perfectly feasible?

                          Then even with all that the simple engine change you have a higher running cost, generally needs mixing with fossil fuels and can cause corrosion and increased wear.

                          Doesn't stop it being used, just the fact that the answer to having more electricity used with a BEV is as simple as just use Methanol/Biofuel it's much easier is very short sighted. There would likely be major hurdles to making that a reality especially as a carbon free or neutral source. You'd also be tied to having to use fuel stations (and more often).

                    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: 50 miles???

                      "Take the annual consumption of petrol and diesel by cars, and calculate the amount of energy it represents"

                      You also have to take into account the amount of electricity to refine crude oil into transportation fuel. A study at Argonne National Laboratory shows it at 7.46kWh/US gallon. That's around 26 miles in many EVs just for energy input to refine one gallon of petrol.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    "> The grid doesn't have the capacity to do that for a fleet of 32m cars

                    Based on what calculation ? My commute is (was) about the average length for the UK, and an overnight charge could be done for under a kilowatt. If the power distribution network can cope with everyone's household appliance peak use (around suppertime), it certainly won't be broken by a kilowatt while you sleep"

                    =====================================================

                    Let's see...

                    1 kw x 32,000,000 = 32,000 MW

                    Or about 30 to 40 nuclear reactors at maximum.

                    I'd start building them now.

                3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "solar power, which has obvious problems when it comes to overnight charging"

                  What are you, a flat-earther ?

                  The sun doesn't go out at night. It just gets a lump of planet in the way.

                  Given orbital solar panels or a transplanet grid, solar power is available 24/7. Sure, it's an investment problem but it's not a fundamental impossibility.

                  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    Given orbital solar panels or a transplanet grid

                    Why not throw nuclear fusion in there as well? Almost anything's possible with enough money, but basing decisions for a 10-year transport plan on the idea that someone's bound to develop the required technology in time is just plain daft.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: 50 miles???

                      "Why not throw nuclear fusion in there as well?"

                      He did, that's what he is talking about. A giant, free, non-polluting nuclear fusion reactor providing power at source with no cost (capital or running) or maintenance, ever.

                  2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    Sorry but I've got to downvote for this. Sure it's factually accurate but the technologies you mention do not exist, neither does the political will, funding of suitable geopolitics to deploy such infrastructure. So while it's not technically impossible, it is practically impossible given regional/global instabilities if nothing else.

                    Why not demand world peace while you're at it. Regional and global stability is something of a pre-requisite for a global grid.

                    As Phil says, it's a really bad idea to base long term transport policy on what might be technologically possible some time soon but doesn't actually exist.

                    A bit like banning all ICE cars without ensuring the infrastructure for their non-ICE replacements does/will also exist. Unless the long tem plan is the plebs won't be allows personal transport. Which, sadly, seems more and more plausible by the day :(

                  3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    > Given orbital solar panels or a transplanet grid

                    We are talking reality here, not sci-fi.

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                "Most EV drivers will always have a full tank waiting for them in the morning and probably, at some point, when they leave work too. They will only need to use those chargers infrequently, a few times a year on average."

                Even if you can charge overnight at home (about half of car owners can't do that), many won't be able to get a full charge overnight. A full charge can take longer than that unless they have the space and resources for a higher capacity charging point. You are also assuming that every EV car owner will be able to access a charging point while at work. That's will require a VAST increase in charging points in public and private/works car parks. Currently, even if everyone plays nice and goes to move their car from a charging point as soon as they can (leaving work to do so), there only ever about 0.5% at best charging bays per car park.

                Lots of people seem to be throwing around figures like 20-30 miles per day. Last time I looked at average daily commute figures, it was more like 50-75 miles per day round trip and rising.

        2. VonDutch

          Re: 50 miles???

          Allegedly: "9,300 EV charging locations compared to 8,400 fuel stations"

          Buuuuuut...

          Each fuel station is likely to have many more actual petrol pumps and the refill time with petrol/diesel is significantly less so throughput is vastly better.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 50 miles???

            Buuuuuut...

            Every person who has an ICE car will need to refuel every single time they run out of fuel. Most EV drivers will always have a full tank waiting for them in the morning and probably, at some point, when they leave work too. They will only need to use those charger infrequently, a few times a year on average.

            1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              > Most EV drivers will always have a full tank waiting for them in the morning

              Only if they have off road parking. That's true at the moment since people without off-road parking don't buy pure electric vehicles.

              Once rates increase as the Government forces the phase out of ICEs, a solution will need to be found.

              1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                This will answer your question

                https://www.patreon.com/posts/urban-electric-29304938

                1. DavCrav Silver badge

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "This will answer your question"

                  Will it? Unless my question was "Can you show me some useless website with no information on it, that I seem to have to pay to find out what it even is?", I don't think it answers any question.

              2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                How do you think the electricity gets into the home ?

                It comes in from a cable in the street. Adding a socket at pavement edge isn't a huge problem.

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  Adding a socket at pavement edge isn't a huge problem.

                  You can solve the parking problems easily as well. Everyone's got a doormat, just move it and park your car there instead. See the practical problem?

                  Adding a socket is easy. If you just want to light a bulb. Adding enough sockets, cabling and power to provide 3kW - 7kW for every car parked along the street? That requires a bit more than hand-waving and unicorn farts.

                2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "Adding a socket at pavement edge isn't a huge problem."

                  Other than it being illegal, trespassing on the public highway, an electrical safety hazard, a pedestrian safety hazard, yeah, go ahead.

                3. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "It comes in from a cable in the street. Adding a socket at pavement edge isn't a huge problem."

                  There is a company that has developed fittings to use power from common lampposts by changing out an access door. The lamp is upgraded to LED so there is enough savings to charge an EV parked on the street. The cable is locked into the outlet and the billing mechanism it tied to the box on the cable. You just plug in and the charge is put on your account/debited from a deposit account (something like that). The idea is to make tons of on street parking spaces EV charging points. Even if you only get 30 miles of range added each night, chances are that you aren't going that far if you are living in a city with only on street parking anyway. EVs are very good in city centers where you sit still as much as move. If you can't get a charger spot every night or drive a bit more, you can likely top up at a Level 2 charger during your weekly shop and you may also find that the local Shell or BP station have added a DCFC.

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    "There is a company that has developed fittings to use power from common lampposts by changing out an access door."

                    Lamp posts need to be replaced every so often. They have a physical life span limit. Our borough considered converting the street lamps to LED but found the conversion cost was about 75% the cost of replacing the 40-50 year old posts with new ones with a 50-60 year life span. In addition, they needed fewer lamp posts for the same illumination levels so they are now spaced further apart, On narrower streets, they only put the new lamp posts down one side of the street, none on the other side.. Replacing older lamp posts with fewer new ones with an even longer lifespan was cheaper even if the older ones still had 10-20 years life in them. But now not very useful as charging points on streets with no off street paring since now there's only one post per 12-14 cars instead of the slightly more useful one per 8-10 cars. Great in 15-20 years when ICE car sales are banned.

                4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "Adding a socket at pavement edge isn't a huge problem."

                  Maybe not for a single house. But scale that up to every house in the street. And then watch the fights over who gets to park where. I've seen it mooted that every street light could be a charging point. Well, with better.more efficient street lights, they are further apart now than they used to be. And even with the old style ones, there still wasn't one for every parked car. Not to mention that some councils now turn off some street lights from midnight to 5am in some areas to save money. Sucks to be you if that's also your charging point.

                5. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "It comes in from a cable in the street. Adding a socket at pavement edge isn't a huge problem."

                  In most places it is very illegal, for several reasons, and as well as a penalty, you will have to pay to remove it, either by an appropriate electrician or an electric company crew, whichever they decide.

                  Either way, it won't be cheap.

                6. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "It comes in from a cable in the street. Adding a socket at pavement edge isn't a huge problem."

                  And what makes you think that you will be able to park there?

                  Street parking seldom, if ever, has reserves spaces... and in most places, is mostly full most of the time.

              3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                Off-road parking

                This.

                I expect most people don't have off-road parking. Or maybe for one car but not all in a multi-car family.

                And what about flats?

                So... once again the rich will be fine, the plebs get screwed. Well, I suppose it cuts congestion. Except it doesn't because public transport will have to massively increase and the roads then be clogged with busses and taxis. The overall problem doesn't go away, just some of the parameters change.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              "Every person who has an ICE car will need to refuel every single time they run out of fuel."

              I don't run out of fuel. Ever.

              Normally, when I get close to half a tank, I stop at one of the dozen or so gas stations I pass in my normal commute or shopping trip, and spend 5 minutes filling up.

              I don't drive anywhere just for fuel.

              At the point I refuel, I'm down to about 400 km range - enough for most unexpected events, and it would only take five minutes to double that... and half a tank is a bit more than the range of a lot of EVs when fully charged.

          2. Chris Miller

            Re: 50 miles???

            Most 'charging locations' have one or two chargers which need to be occupied for 30-60 minutes to achieve a charge. In reality, most of them are in car parks and are occupied by one car per day.

            My village petrol station has 12 pumps and services ~1,000 vehicles a day. There are several supermarkets within 10 miles that do an order of magnitude more business.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              And... most people won't need to use a public charger, every fuel car driver needs to use public fuelling stations.

              Charging time depends on vehicle and charger, but noone with one of the newer generation of EVs will be spending an hour waiting to charge their car.

            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              "Most 'charging locations' have one or two chargers which need to be occupied for 30-60 minutes to achieve a charge. In reality, most of them are in car parks and are occupied by one car per day."

              Those places would be better off with more Level 1 charge points than just a couple of higher power ones. My local train station does the same thing, idiots. It's a commuter station and they'd be better off with a whole line of Level 1 plug sockets than the 4 Level 2 and 2 DCFC points they have which charge for being idle after 10 minutes of the completion of charge. They could have half the lot covered with charge points for the same amount of energy allocation. The only cars I see parked in the EV charge locations are ICE vehicles since the security wankers aren't bothered and the filth from the station across the street never wander over.

          3. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            And petrol pumps don't get blocked by dickheads parking where they shouldn't, either.

            Most of those 9300 chargers are slow chargers which are OK for overnight and/or destination charging but useless for en-route charging on long journeys. There are currently 2049 rapid chargers, but even then not all the chargers have all types of connector. For example there are only 1780 rapids with CCS connectors, and a lot of the Electric Highway ones at motorway services are u/s.

            I've had a EV for three years and the car is great, but in that time the charging network has improved very little.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              So there are 1780 rapid chargers with the right connector and this report says we only need 54. There's about 250 extra locations opening every month (all types) so it's obviously improving.

              It does depend on your car. If you have a Tesla for instance, I doubt you'd ever have a problem with charging in most of Europe.

              1. DavCrav Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                "So there are 1780 rapid chargers with the right connector and this report says we only need 54."

                Use your brain. 54 EV stations in the whole of the UK? So just under a million cars per station? They said 54 stations are needed for everyone to be within 50 miles of one. Well fantastic, that is also true for supermarkets and post offices. Why do we need more than 54 phones by that argument?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  *The Report said...* That is the point the report is bunkum.

                  And no-one said - rip out the existing 1780 stations and replace them with 54 new ones and don't build any more? So why would there be 1 million cars per station?

                  Also it seems to be the mindset that electric cars would be queuing up to use a public charging station everyday? Why would they, many electric car drivers will not even need a public charger each year.

                  So on average if a car needs to use a public charger once a year - not unreasonable based on current ICE vehicle stats and every car was electric. Then 30,000,000 cars needing a public charger once a year is an average of 82,191 cars per day. That would be an average of 46 cars per rapid charging station a day using today's count of rapid charging stations and *every* car needing to use one once a year.

                  So, there will be peaks - summer holidays, bank holidays, certain chargers etc

                  Sure, but also we are decades away from contemplating 100% EV coverage and popular charging locations will have many more chargers by then, the number of public rapid charging stations will increase, the speed of chargers will increase, the average battery size will increase, the number of workplaces, car parks, hotels etc with chargers will increase, the quality and reliability of those chargers will increase, the ability to pay without a different app and account for each system will increase and charging sockets will be way more standard (or probably fully standardised at least with an adaptor) by then.

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    "Sure, but also we are decades away from contemplating 100% EV coverage"

                    That's technically correct, but misleading (assuming Govt. plans stay on track as currently stated). The current plan is to ban ICE car sales in the next 15 years. That means ICE car sales will start tailing off then drop off a cliff in probably 10-12 years. As ICE cars disappear, finding a filling station still in business is going to get harder so fewer people will even want an ICE car. Resale value will be down the toilet for any ICE car bought after about 2030, and certainly by the cut off date. That gives national grid next to no time to improve the grid (they said they need to do this) and very little time to vastly increase the availability of charging points. Two or three per car park is not going to cut it.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 50 miles???

          Sorry but you are the one speaking Horseshit.

          over 70% of the UK housing stock be used to charge an Electric Car. I'm removing those who live in terraces, HMO's, flats or apartment blocks.

          Everywhere you can find a 13A mains plug, you can charge your car. Slowly but it will charge.

          Not everyone needs a fast charge every day.

          I charge my car at home and I have 75% of a battery full every day ready to go. If I'm going on a long trip then I charge to 100%. All at home. I've already been from Sussex to Skye and back this summer. Very easy and getting easier every day.

          Now how many petrol pumps are there again?

          Oh, and all the electricity I charge my car with at home is from renewable sources. mostly the Solar panels I have on the roof of my home.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 50 miles???

            over 70% of the UK housing stock be used to charge an Electric Car. I'm removing those who live in terraces, HMO's, flats or apartment blocks.

            So you have only one car, a house with a south-facing roof that can support 20+ m2 of solar panels, and a private parking space where you can charge it? I'm sorry, but I don't believe that represents even close to 70% of the housing stock, and you certainly won't find enough such homes to charge 32m cars doing an average mileage.

            1. mrdalliard

              Re: 50 miles???

              Yup. I live in a flat. (Rented, so no chance I'm going to be able to put panels on the roof and my landlord certainly isn't going to suck up the expense).

              The closest my car can be parked is 100 yards down the road.

              1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
                Unhappy

                Re: 50 miles???

                Not a problem in the brave new electric car world.

                You simply won't be able to have a car. Problem solved.

            2. jmch Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              "So you have only one car, a house with a south-facing roof that can support 20+ m2 of solar panels, and a private parking space where you can charge it?"

              Since the car can be grid-charged, I would remove the second criterion, but the other 2 are valid. As mentioned by another poster, that takes out terraced houses, older flats/apartments and most HMOs (more modern apartment complexes typically have reserved parking spots outside or in underground garages that could be equipped with charge points )

              According to this:

              https://www.mortgagefinancegazette.com/market-news/housing/type-housing-people-live-11-08-2017/

              ...most (57%) UK homes are semi-detached or detached (32+25), 26% terraces and 14% flats (which leaves around 3% for mansions, bungalows etc). So around 60% of UK homes have (or have the potential to have) a private car parking space and/or garage. Clearly this is much more prevalent in suburbs and villages than larger town / city centres, but that's still a giant proportion of the population (keeping in mind that many people living in big cities don't have and/or need a car anyway)

              1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                "So around 60% of UK homes have (or have the potential to have) a private car parking space and/or garage."

                I have lived in several places around the UK, and am familiar with many others. In every place I have lived, there have been semis and detached houses with no potential for for private car parking. My last house but two was one of them, for example. Where I currently live, there are a lot of very nice houses built on very steep hills leading to a river - no chance of private parking, or people would have done it. For others, it would be a choice of a garden or somewhere to put a car. This probably affects your figures significantly. Also, whilst the bare figures for terraces in the country as whole seem small, there are significant numbers of available housing stock in some towns and cities that are terraces, and these are the most affordable housing. Once again, you seem to be suggesting that poor people shouldn't have cars, which undermines any argument you have.

                1. jmch Silver badge

                  Re: 50 miles???

                  "Once again, you seem to be suggesting that poor people shouldn't have cars"

                  Erm... What??

                  I'm an advocate for electric cars, not for banning all others. Of course anyone who can't charge an electric car at home shouldn't be banned from getting an ICE one. I was merely pointing out that a large percentage (I said about 60, if by your observations its half of that, its still a large percentage) of people in UK have the current potential to get an electric car.

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: 50 miles???

                    "I'm an advocate for electric cars, not for banning all others."

                    You may not ban ICE cars, but the government almost certainly will given its overly ambitious, legally-binding emissions targets. Call it unintended consequences. What'll happen in ten years or so when ICE cars are no longer for sale yet people need a car of some sort to do their job (too far from public transport or whatever)? Do you tell them, "Too bad, Game Over, better luck next life"? Because multiple statements combined seem to paint this grim picture.

          2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: Oh, and all the electricity I charge my car with at home...

            ...is from renewable sources. mostly the Solar panels I have on the roof of my home.

            Your relatively niche case does not and cannot be extended to everyone with a car.

            Not everyone lives in Sussex (I assume that's where you live given the Sussex to Skye and back statment).

            Not everyone has an external roof (i.e. flats, HMO).

            Not everyone with an external roof can put solar panels there (rented, poor roof orientation/angle, roof too small).

            Not everyone with a viableexternal roof can afford the install.

            Everywhere you can find a 13A mains plug, you can charge your car. Slowly but it will charge.

            Health and Safety and ambulance chasers will have a field day with all the extension leads trailing across pavements. Are you sure you've thought this through?

          3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            "over 70% of the UK housing stock be used to charge an Electric Car. I'm removing those who live in terraces, HMO's, flats or apartment blocks."

            So, you've started by removing 70% of the housing stock by removing those who live in terraces, HMO's, flats or apartment blocks, and then assert that 70% of the remainder can can used to charge an electric car. So, that's 20% of the total housing stock.

      4. fandom

        Re: 50 miles???

        "20 minute break every 5 hours"

        You shouldn't drive for 5 hours straight.

        1. CountCadaver

          Re: 50 miles???

          I've known people who can

          However I can't, my rear end goes numb after about 80 minutes to 2.5 hours (depending on car seat - saab seats are epitome of comfort for long journeys imho), then there is the issue of bladder range, which as you age gets less and less.....

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            then there is the issue of bladder range, which as you age gets less and less.....,

            I always seem to find the slight but constant pressure of a seat belt for long periods exacerbates...

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: 50 miles???

            then there is the issue of bladder range

            Fit one of these, think of it as a range extender, in both senses...

          3. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            "then there is the issue of bladder range"

            I used to have a deluxe capacity bladder when I was younger and made much longer road trips. My current range is about 3-3.5 hours. I also need a walk about after sitting in a car for that long or I'm very sore the next day. That's going to put me around 200 miles at a reasonable clip. Well within the range of most newer EVs that aren't more of a "city" car. Since I don't need to hold the plug while the car charges, I'll bugger off and use the loo, walk around and maybe have a meal. More than enough time to cram enough electrons into the pack.

            Since I am more of a planner than somebody that just "wings it", I'd have stops listed out for charging and I might even have looked around for attractions near the charging point for food or entertainment. I take road trips in a much more relaxed manner. I'm not mad to get from point A to B in the least amount of time. For a really long trip I might actually submit the indignities of flying if I were really motivated to go.

      5. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: 50 miles???

        > So, with car of 200 miles+ quite common now

        I wouldnt say that electric cars are common!

        Most people thinking of getting one will go for the first generation Nissan Leaf as on the secondhand market thats starting to look like having a sensible price.

        But EV's are far from common. Every time one is in town charging on the normally unused/abused/faulty charging points people turn their heads like they are seeing it for the first time. This year so far I have seen maybe 3 EV's driving and 1 charging. However I see hybrids everywhere, plug in hybrids almost but not quite as rare as EV's.

        It will be a long time before more EV's are seen. Downsides are auto transmission and price. In a country (UK) where the vast majority of cars are manual transmission, being forced to an auto one is a big step. Only people rolling in money or wiling to risk financial agreements would get a brand new car anyway, most going for the 2nd or 3rd hand one from the local showroom/garage or independant sale. Those cars are very likely to be 5 or 6 years old at the youngest with many still in decent condition at 10 years.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: 50 miles???

          They have become common and normal in some countries like Norway.

          If you look at all the new models being announced, most are EV, the transition is happening.

          And remember, zero emission vehicles are not about CO2 so much as they are about local air quality, in high sided urban streets, where diesel is at its most dangerous. I drive a hybrid which goes electric in slow creeping traffic. In these traffic queues the surrounding air quality is appalling, and I still have to breathe it but at least I’m not contributing to it.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            I don't contribute to it, either. But then I refuse to partake of that particular dance. Life's far too short to waste in a stop-and-go commute.

            And before some wag says it, no you do not "have to". You have decided to. It is your choice.

          2. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            "I drive a hybrid which goes electric in slow creeping traffic. In these traffic queues the surrounding air quality is appalling, and I still have to breathe it but at least I’m not contributing to it."

            Sorry, yes you are. Brake and tyre dust make up (IIRC) around 40% of the particulate emissions of a petrol engine car. I have been trying to confirm this number, but I'm struggling to pin down a figure with a quick Google.

            Edit: according to DEFRA, brake and tyre dust will probably contribute around 10% of total UK PM2.5 emissions by 2030, presumably as emissions from other sources reduce.

            You want a quick fix for local air quality? Ban log burning in houses in built-up areas, and require brake pads to be in an enclosure.

            1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

              Re: require brake pads to be in an enclosure

              For a second there I was thinking 'how the hell would that work?', but I'll concede it is feasible.

              Would have to enclose the entire disk/pad/caliper assembly which would be a nightmare scenario for brake cooling, which is why I see near-zero chance of it happening, but it is technically possible.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              "Brake and tyre dust make up (IIRC) around 40% of the particulate emissions of a petrol engine car."

              Brakes rarely get used in an EV with high ReGen, say a Tesla Model 3. The brakes will last many times more than they ever would on a ICE car. Tyres, probably wear slightly more than average due to desire to accelerate a bit quicker than usual. This doesn't seem to have been taken into account with EVs,

              Also noise pollution is greatly reduced.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: 50 miles???

                "Also noise pollution is greatly reduced."

                Mmmm...yes. Shard use space, pedestrians and cars...almost silent cars. Bad enough with the sort of people who don't pay attention. Now imagine blind pedestrians in those scenarios. "Ringtones" for cars could be the next big thing. Got shitty little CityCar? Buy a Porche Carrera engine sound for it and pretend you're Ayrton Senna!

            3. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              Sorry, yes you are. Brake and tyre dust make up (IIRC) around 40% of the particulate emissions of a petrol engine car. I have been trying to confirm this number, but I'm struggling to pin down a figure with a quick Google.

              Not in the slow creeping traffic I emphasised. Not with regen brakes that don't even touch the disk. And tyre wear is much lower at these speed in straight line. Nice try though, you don't need to bother with the google figure, it's irrelevant. Good of you to start your comment with the apology.

            4. jmch Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              "You want a quick fix for local air quality? Ban log burning in houses in built-up areas, and require brake pads to be in an enclosure."

              Since EVs (and hybrids?) can regenerate battery while braking, with the braking force coming from the electric motor acting as a dynamo, they will use brake pads less. I'm not sure by how much, but for gentle braking it should be quite a large %age

          3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            > They have become common and normal in some countries like Norway

            We are talking about an article that is UK specific.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 50 miles???

          "Most people thinking of getting one will go for the first generation Nissan Leaf as on the secondhand market thats starting to look like having a sensible price."

          I would not recommend that unless you understand about the battery issues with some of the early 1st gen Leaf's. Some have no practical battery use left due to a fault with the design.

          "Downsides are auto transmission and price. In a country (UK) where the vast majority of cars are manual transmission, being forced to an auto one is a big step"

          Most don't have auto transmission, they are single geared. There is no other gear to switch into. I can't see that being a big step at all, if you've driven a really decent auto box like a DSG for a while then you'll probably prefer not to go back to manual. Try a test drive in a Tesla and you'll never consider a manual box a useful addition. This is coming from someone who had many fast manual sports cars.

          1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            > Most don't have auto transmission, they are single geared

            Thats the same thing, no clutch and an auto transmission stick.

            > prefer not to go back to manual. Try a test drive in a Tesla and you'll never consider a manual box a useful addition. This is coming from someone who had many fast manual sports cars.

            Well, sorry but I have know many people who are completley dying to have clutch control on their auto systems. I like my cluctch control. A small ramp in a car park thats covered by snow is no issue for me yet several on my workmates are pratically drawing up plans of attack because their auto transmissions would just use too much power or just slip. It was quite annoying when they wouldnt let me go first, probably because they knew I'd just exit the car park like it was nothing.

            Drive a tesla? I havnt ever seen one and I really dont think they will let me test drive one, unsupervised considering how expensive they are. If someone is looking over my shoulder asking questions, watching the manual user try to figure out how to stop himself graspong for a gear stick that does not exist I'd rather ride a bike.

            As for sports cars? I drive around tonw and the countryside. A manual sports car is very different from a manual everyday car. You would have fared better compating with an auto land rover. Oh wait, they dont exist, I hope.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 50 miles???

              "You would have fared better compating with an auto land rover. Oh wait, they dont exist, I hope"

              Just checked a car search web site.

              Land Rover:

              automatic - 986

              manual - 15

              don't know - 20

              That makes the automatic to manual ratio a bit higher than I'd guessed.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 50 miles???

          "I wouldnt say that electric cars are common!"

          As in availability of new EVs with 200+ miles of range. If you want to buy one most of the newer generation have sufficient range for over 99% of journeys without needing to stop to charge (based on UK average trip distances).

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: 50 miles???

          "This year so far I have seen maybe 3 EV's driving and 1 charging. However I see hybrids everywhere, plug in hybrids almost but not quite as rare as EV's."

          I drive about 35-40k miles per year, and I'm definitely seeing an increase in pure electric, from almost none to a few more than none. Hybrids are more prevalent. But then I'm on the motorway most of the time, so pure electrics, other than Teslas, tend not to be there other than junction hopping. And to be fair, I'm not that interested in what type of car is in my field of view. I'm more more concerned with what it and it's driver is doing or about to do. Electrics tend to stand out for me when I'm at a junction or in a queue of some sort and may notice the car in front doesn't have an exhaust pipe.

      6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: 50 miles???

        WTF can park on the street *outside* *their* *own* *house*?????

      7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 50 miles???

        "Most people will be able to charge their car at home. Anyone with a private drive or garage can do it today."

        Those two statement are contradictory since fewer people have a garage or driveway that you seem to think.

        I'm not sure what future you are seeing where people who charge their car at home will be able to do it "potentially for free". Are you expecting fusion power, "so cheap it's not worth metering it" sometime in the next few years?. How do you think the government is going to replace the income from fuel duty + 20% VAT they get on millions of litres of petrol/diesel per day?

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 50 miles???

        'So, with car of 200 miles+ quite common now, you just need a charger away from home. This will only affect, on average, 2~3 journeys per year.'

        Clearly you don't spend summer weekends at the cottage and winter weekends skiing.

        Enough people do to create several hours of traffic congestion on outbound routes on Friday, and inbound routes on Saturday, but after the first 200 km geographic dispersion starts to thin it out.

    3. JetSetJim Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: 50 miles???

      And this is for 54 charging stations only (which will seem to cost £14m each, too, to get to the £800m figure). For comparison, as of 2018 there were 8,394 petrol stations in the UK (down from a peak of 40k in the mid 60's, apparently!).

      I suspect there are more than 54 charging stations in the UK already, though. Zap Map thinks it knows about 9,425 locations, with 25,401 connectors with public access in the UK, increasing at a rate of 500 devices / 800 connectors per month

    4. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: 50 miles???

      "WTF? Who is going to drive 100 mile round trip detour to charge their car? And what happens if everyone within 100 mile circle want to use the charging point?"

      WTF? Why on earth would you try and set up such a ludicrous straw man (though what's more concerning is the number of upvotes you have).

      The point of 99% of drivers being within 50miles of a charge point is that just a relatively small number of public charging locations can cover most people if they need a charge point to get home - where they will have a home charger (and yes, that includes a large number of people living on terraces).

      It addresses range anxiety for the relatively small proportion of journeys which are greater than 20miles.

      Nobody is going to be sat at home thinking "only got 55miles left in the battery, better drive 50miles to top up".

      What a bizarre thing to suggest.

      1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: 50 miles???

        > The point of 99% of drivers being within 50miles of a charge point

        Only 20 more miles to the beach then!

        Also, what about those who are (more likely) to have a dead car when 6 miles from their home, say in the village down the road a bit, yet the nearest fast charge point is about 50 miles away.

        How do you charge your car then? Just to get home?

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: 50 miles???

          'How do you charge your car then? Just to get home?'

          Same way as you do when you run out of petrol. You call the AA.

          (other motorist clubs exist)

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: 50 miles???

            When (if) I run out of petrol, I walk to the petrol station, fill a jerry can, and walk back. What? Doesn't everybody have essential breakdown equipment in their car?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: 50 miles???

              "What? Doesn't everybody have essential breakdown equipment in their car?"

              These days? No. Very few even seem to be able to change wheel if they get a flat (or the car doesn't even have a spare, just a can of foam sealant. Most people these days seem to rely on the AA or similar for every type of break down.

              Just today I say a car broken down on a main road, "parked" mostly out of a left turn junction (from his point of view). He was on the grass on the phone. He didn't even have the presence of mind to push the car a few yards back onto the side road. Theoretically, it might have been a fault which immobilised the car, in which case I apologise for calling him a twat under my breath as a drove past on the wrong side of the road avoiding him.

  6. Totally not a Cylon

    The ones calling for it first.

    Let's see these MPs, Uni Profs & associated greens give up their cars, buses and all the other 'polluting machines' first.

    And all the products delivered by ICE powered vehicles.

    1. Tim Greenwood

      Re: The ones calling for it first.

      Whilst I am not particularly calling for it, I do support rapid movement towards it. To that end I now commute more regularly by bicycle and my other larger personal vehicleruns on electric which I charge from my own solar panels (backed up by the national grid).

      OK it's a drop in the ocean, but I just need the rest of you to do the same to turn a few drops into a trickle and so on.

      1. CountCadaver

        Re: The ones calling for it first.

        Thats the typical flawed and wishful "comfortably well off green activist" thinking - many a mickle maks a muckle and ignores the REAL world, where most people's pay is less in real terms than it was 30 years ago and that many households have a total income of less than £25K per annum, that utilities are soaring in cost to fund "smart meters" now forecast to save nothing and in fact to be a growing cost and thus the roll out has stagnated. (Likely to be discovered in 30 to 50 years that the whole thing involved brown envelopes between ministers and smart meter manufacturers along with copious levels of incompetence.) Latest ad campaign has dropped any mention of savings in favour of branding the electricity grid "outdated" from a shadowy group calling itself "the campaign for a smarter britain" more like the "campaign for a british surveillance state"

        Where people can barely afford to get to work in the first place and drive as mass transit doesn't run when they start and finish work, costs a fortune or simply doesn't serve the place they work, that they need a vehicle to look after relatives, get them to hospital /medical appointments,

        Our emissions are less than TWO percent of global emissions and falling year on year.

        If you want to make a difference - don't have kids or keep it to two maximum, lobby the MAJOR polluters - Russia, China, USA, India to cut their emissions (they won't)

        Force people out of cars and you'll rapidly find the next government would end up being led by nigel farage on a committment to "restore common sense" "push back against green fanatics" - which is chilling to me, but equally chilling is the growing clamour in green circles for authoritarianism, that suspending democracy in favour of a climate saving dictatorship is being openly discussed in positive terms by some green activist groups.

        Next parliament may end up with a sizeable Brexit Party membership given current polling in the North of England and Midlands..........

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The ones calling for it first.

          > branding the electricity grid "outdated" from a shadowy group calling itself "the campaign for a smarter britain"

          I guess I'm not the only one expecting the final report on the recent Grid shennanigans to have a throwaway line on "compulsory smart meters for the domestic sector" then?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The ones calling for it first.

          most people's pay is less in real terms than it was 30 years ago

          That's not correct. Average pay (allowing for inflation) has dropped about 3% over the last couple of years, but it's still considerably higher in real terms than it was 30 years ago.

          1. CountCadaver

            Re: The ones calling for it first.

            Distorted by the city and directorships, I know plenty of guys in skilled trades whose pay rises have been below inflation for years, some having been laid off and then hired elsewhere are earning the same amount in £ per hour as they were in 1999.... (£10-£12 per hour) so a big pay cut...if the supermarkets pay much more then they will outstrip the pay rates of some manufacturing companies.....

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: The ones calling for it first.

              "Distorted by the city and directorships"

              No. Average here is median.

            2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

              Re: The ones calling for it first.

              > I know plenty of guys in skilled trades whose pay rises have been below inflation for years

              I left university around 2006 and got a job as a Software Tester.

              I got 1 pay rise during the six years I was there. That was when my probational period ended.

              When I was forced to leave that job I was out of work for 8 months and got a job in IT again, but only after taking a pay cut. The money paid all the bills and got some food. The rest went onto the petrol used to drive there and back leaving £50 at best at the end of each month.

              1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                Re: The ones calling for it first.

                No, you didn't get a job in IT again. You either got a job in IT, abandoning Software Development; or you got a job in Software Development again.

        3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: The ones calling for it first.

          > utilities are soaring in cost to fund "smart meters" now forecast to save nothing and in fact to be a growing cost and thus the roll out has stagnated.

          And those of us smart enough to avoid them are being punished by having all the deals and fixed rates etc removed from selection, thus taking more money out of the household.

          > (Likely to be discovered in 30 to 50 years that the whole thing involved brown envelopes between ministers and smart meter manufacturers along with copious levels of incompetence.)

          I think thats going to be a lot more than just smart meters. Que the panorama investigations and weeks of breakfast radio talking about the swindle(s) over and over till they get distracted by the UK suffering from a weak storm that only touches the northern tip of scotland, yet we named the storm.

          > Latest ad campaign has dropped any mention of savings in favour of branding the electricity grid "outdated"

          Reminds me of that CGI silver robot trying to convince us that FM was being switched off and we all had to, ahem, downgrade to a low bitrate, 1980's codec using, mono, expensive and battery eating radio service called DAB. Better than FM quality my asre.

          > If you want to make a difference - don't have kids or keep it to two maximum

          Actually the scientists say this has no real effect at all, Harry, Kate, pay attention.

          > that suspending democracy in favour of a climate saving dictatorship is being openly discussed in positive terms by some green activist groups.

          Thats the first step for some of them to start floaing the idea of human culling...

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: The ones calling for it first.

            "Thats the first step for some of them to start floaing the idea of human culling..."

            At least we'll get a guaranteed weekly ration of Soylent \Green.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The ones calling for it first.

          "the next government would end up being led by nigel farage on a committment to "restore common sense" "push back against green fanatics" - which is chilling to me,"

          Have you seen Trumps stance on climate change and his roiling back of what little environmental protections are in place in the USA?

    2. Homeboy

      Re: The ones calling for it first.

      There's zero chance of any of that personal sacrifice (aka a good example) happening.

      These people are the very ones that take a taxi a few hundred yards to get to Parliament....and then stick it on expenses.

  7. genghis_uk

    Power Demand

    I have yet to see a convincing plan for powering the rechargers when something like 75% of the adult population plugs in within an hour or two of each other. The 5pm-7pm load is already high with dinners being cooked, kettles boiling etc. Now add in a few million cars at the same time...

    Renewables cannot keep up with this kind of demand spike so what is the plan? Continue to import French power (mostly nuclear)? The only alternative that can react quickly to demand is gas fired power - not exactly the green, carbon free utopia that we were aiming for.

    Alternatively, do we look at staggering the working day so you do not get the 7-9am and 5-7pm rush hours? There may be many other reasons to look at that anyway. Or do the chargers talk to the grid and back off until the spike has dropped?

    It is all very good for the government to make sweeping statements banning ICE cars but I do not hear a lot about how that is going to work in practice.

    1. CountCadaver

      Re: Power Demand

      Gas unlike Biomass emits virtually zero Particulate Matter........

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Power Demand

      They wouldn't need to? With the modern generation of long range EVs they would only need to plug in, on average, twice a month.

      Combine this with many EV users running timed charging (either from the EV or from the charger with an App) so they get better night rates (which vary by supplier) and the load will already be staggered. The reason the night rate is low is due to how little usage there is at night so electricity is cheap.

      Therefore twice a month in low usage electricity using the power of an electric shower or electric oven they will be charging.

      The rise in EVs has also led to a rise in owners installing solar and battery storage as well so no load on the grid.

      Not such a bad scenario now?

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Power Demand

        It totally may do. No guarantee though. Currently, those who can afford an electric vehicle? Can afford the luxuries (drive and home charger).

        Those working 50+ miles away from home everyday, or delivery driving, will have to hope work can charge/swap out a works vehicle for them.

        Besides, batteries also drain while sitting "twice a month", so somehow your math is wrong.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power Demand

          "Besides, batteries also drain while sitting "twice a month", so somehow your math is wrong."

          No the twice a month was to change the myth that every day every vehicle will be plugging in and topping up from 0 to full which is why we get statements like "we'l need 10 extra Hinkley Points".

          Some people will top up every night, some will top up once a week.

          So a car that is infrequently used will be drawing a minimal amount continuously. A car that is heavily used might be drawing a large amount for a long time every night.

          What you won't get is every car drawing a full battery load every night. As long as there is a way to stagger charging (which already happens due to off peak tariffs) and is already foreseen (hence all new home chargers to get a grant have to allow scheduled charging) then you can limit the load on the grid to an acceptable level with much smaller investment than often quoted.

          The grid is quite resilient (even after recent events) Imaging the load on Christmas day, with new gadgets, ovens, lights, microwaves, TVs etc all at the same time across the country.

      2. genghis_uk

        Re: Power Demand

        Happy to be corrected...

        Now you have made me think:

        There are around 31M petrol/diesel cars on the road (June 2019)

        Looking at EV mileage there is a big spread so let's say 200miles/charge (mid sized car)

        Stats say the average daily commute is about 21 miles - call it 20 for simplicity (10.5m each way from 2014)

        So -

        200miles would last 10 days on an average commute - so far this agrees with twice a month charging

        31M cars charging twice a month means that every day 2M cars are on charge.

        That is the equivalent of every household in the West Midlands (1.995M in 2017) turning on an extra oven - not quite as bad as I originally thought but not insignificant.

        Of course not everyone will run the car flat before plugging in and you need a reasonable sized car to get a 200 mile battery (most hatchbacks are nearer 150), plus a lot of people will do more than 20 miles a day so you will inevitably have more than 2M on charge you could easily approach 2.5M (W Midlands or Scotland household equivalents)

        I had wondered about charging overnight but you still have the problem with renewables not generating all of the time and a fairly large additional draw.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Power Demand

          Street charging is not going to happen inside 100 years, it entails rebuilding almost the entire urban road network with new cables, I doubt any other country is even considering it as potentially viable.

          The 30 year timescale involved for going carbon neutral is quite aggressive so we need to have a plan-B in operation as well as the 'electric everything' approach. The infrastructure to extract, refine & distribute oil based fuels exists on a global scale - it is only the extraction that is adding carbon (previously buried) to the atmosphere.

          The logical thing would be find a way to extract carbon from the atmosphere and reprocess it back into fuel (zero increase). Extracting CO2 from air & Hydrogen from water is technically easy, producing synthetic hydrocarbons from base a little trickier but can be done. It may well eventually require a gigawatt level nuclear plant to provide the power for a full sized production plant equivilent to a current oil refinery but it's an option that should be seriously considered.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Power Demand

            "Street charging is not going to happen inside 100 years, it entails rebuilding almost the entire urban road network with new cables, I doubt any other country is even considering it as potentially viable."

            A lot of street lighting was engineered with much larger loads allocated for the lamps than what LED lighting draws. This means that there is a bunch of potential excess capacity in street lighting infrastructure that can be used for street side charging. There are already systems in place. In addition, there are possibilities of breaking a long string of street lighting and branching in a new feed.

            You do realize that your oil refinery uses a tremendous load of power to refine crude?

            1. Wellyboot Silver badge

              Re: Power Demand

              The old sodium lamp draw was a fraction of the power levels needed to charge an EV overnight and the current lighting cable is nowhere near up to the task of charging cars along a mile of road, how many cars park between two light poles?

              Simply to put the charge points in place will require digging every one or two car lengths and cutting into existing cables (many are pushing 100yr old) just like old parking meters used to be installed. It will be far easier (read quicker & cheaper but still many tens of billions) to build a properly designed system from scratch for the thousands of roads involved and the socket chosen will dictate the next century of vehicle charging design.

              >>>You do realize that your oil refinery uses a tremendous load of power to refine crude?<<<

              Yes, refining from crude or produce from base Carbon & Hydrogen requires a comparable power level, adding the power needed for extracting the C & H as well is why I mentioned a dedicated power plant. Some countries will need to put this on the coast for water and a desalination plant will also needed (more power, but still at the levels of current build nuclear).

              This can all be achieved with well understood current technology, currently the UK has half a dozen or so refineries, building one carbon extraction plant of a similar size will make a big % difference to overall UK emission levels .

              UK Govt. could have a quiet word with the UK refinery owners and get them to jointly fund the first plant (first of anything is always higher cost) and they can get to shout about helping to save the planet instead of being uncaring evil oil barons destroying it.

              The point I'm making is that digging carbon out of the ground to burn is the problem not the burning of carbon itself. Pollution as a result of how the carbon is burnt is another issue that is being tackled by engine legislation & the slow incremental banning of ICE from cities.

              If we are to go carbon neutral by 2050 then only methods that don't break the world economy must be considered because all countries including the dirt poor ones have to be on the same schedule. Europe/America/China going electric will be of little help if the other five billion people on the planet keep digging up oil to burn in ICE.

      3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        You keep pitching this...

        With the modern generation of long range EVs they would only need to plug in, on average, twice a month.

        What are your sources? What's your basis for this assertion?

        You seem to assume no battery drain while the car is parked, but that's not a valid assumption (anti-theft, remote locking etc.).

        And 'average' still means quite a lot with significantly higher mileage/use demands. Doesn't matter if excess demand on the grid happens occassionally or frequently, the result when it happens is still the same (rolling blackouts anyone?).

        The rise in EVs has also led to a rise in owners installing solar and battery storage as well so no load on the grid.

        Again, citation needed. And assuming "no load on the grid" is fallacy. Any non-optimal day for solar, and let's face it... UK... there will be many sub-optimal days, there will be inevitable grid draw. Sometimes less, sometimes more, but across the board unlikely to be zero (failed batteries, failed panels, faulty wiring, failed inverters).

        If you're among the few who can afford and have a viable roof or open space for solar with battery backup, that's good for you. Most people don't have those opportunities. Many barely afford to house themselves and get to work. The additional cost is simply beyond them. What happens to those people? They'll use the grid. I expect that's a lot of people. Off-grid solar is niche, for those who can afford it, and so it always will be niche.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You keep pitching this...

          It's not an necessity for "everyone to have solar" or "everyone to do x".

          So the average is based upon the current mileage in the UK 8000 miles per year (and decreasing)

          The trend of new EVs is rising battery capacity - with many 250 miles+ which by the time there is mass adoption is likely to be 300+.

          So a 300 mile EV would hold 8000 mile capacity in 26 charges (once every two months). However a smaller battery would require more charges but use less power.

          The point isn't specifically about you plug it in twice a month - more to counter this idea that everyone will plug in an charge their vehicle using full capacity every night and overload the grid.

          With scale comes averages and it would be possible to load balance the grid so that cars don't need charging every night at the same time. If you include cars that are just trickle charging, some charging at public stations or at work. then the grid load doesn't (isn't and wouldn't) be all at once.

          No load on the grid is while using solar and or battery storage. Not 'no load' ever. Again averages...

          My sources for more solar due to EVs is anecdotal but there are Car EV chargers that are designed to work with solar and battery installations and many EV owners have installed or are thinking of installing solar. The idea of 'free' fuel for most of the year makes it an attractive proposition even if there an initial outlay.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Power Demand

        "They wouldn't need to? With the modern generation of long range EVs they would only need to plug in, on average, twice a month."

        Eh, what? You were talking about 200+ mile range and 20 mile daily commutes earlier. Bearing in mind that 200+ miles is a manufactures best possible figure, real world will be lower, but the UK average commute is quite a bit more than 20 miles per day.

        I get that you are an EV evangelist, but please try looking at the real world instead of your own personal situation. Everyone is different and have different needs. No EV on the market, not even a Tesla is useful for me in my current job. Just over the last two weeks, I've done 3 days of 360+ miles, 3 days of 300+ miles, the shortest trip being 110 miles (all round trips). I don't fit your specs. Lots of us don't. And my boss is NOT going to splash out on a high end Tesla for me and he doesn't pay me enough to buy my own. When we had the hot weather last month, I was stuck in 32C heat for an hour on the motorway. I wonder how much the aircon sucks out the battery range?

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Power Demand

      "The 5pm-7pm load is already high with dinners being cooked, kettles boiling etc. Now add in a few million cars at the same time..."

      All of the EVs I've looked at have a clock setting to start charging later. The also have a "charge now" button if you need it. While you would plug the car in at 6pm when you get home, it won't start charging until later. Likely at a time chosen to match when your off-peak tariff kicks in. If you are really clever, you may set the time to an odd place so your car isn't starting its charge right on the tick with everybody else. If it turns out that you only need to replace 25 miles of range, you might also pick a later time so your charge finishes within the off-peak times but closer to the end of the period than the beginning. All of this is simple to sort out so you can change it any time you like. Many cars will even let you do it from an app on your phone so if you get called to come into work early, you can start your charge session sooner than normal.

      At some point it may be that tariffs are dynamic so if your car is plugged in it can monitor the network and add some charge when the price drops below a certain level. On a windy day, the grid might be looking to get rid of some power and it's better for them if they can sell it cheap rather than shutting turbines off.

  8. juice Silver badge

    The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

    Is access to charging points. I have to park on-road at night, so unless I want to try and run a cable out of my front window (as I've occasionally seen people do!), there isn't any way for me to charge an eCar. And even that depends on being able to park directly outside my house.

    Though saying that, the percentage of households with this issue is lower than I expected - according to an RAC report from 2012 (https://www.racfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/spaced_out-bates_leibling-jul12.pdf), only around 25% of car-owning households have to use on-road parking - though they do note that this rises to 60-70% in dense suburbian areas.

    And even if you do have off-road parking, if you want to be able to charge your car in a reasonable time frame, you'll need to get a charger installed, which looks to be around £750 (admittedly, minus a £500 OLEV grant from the government).

    Certainly, until/unless I move to a house with a garage, the odds of me buying an eCar are pretty low...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

      Some councils have an option for lampost charging.

      There should also be access to a scheme where the vehicle is allowed in an EV space (which could be outside your house).

      No need to hang a cable out of the window except when visiting a friend or family. Just install an outdoor secured socket. A 16amp/32amp would be fine. This would only be a few quid and a competent diyer could also fit it themselves (with proper earthing and RCD protection).

      As long as you can get to park near enough most of the time it would probably suffice.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

        Some councils have an option for lampost charging.

        A residential street has far more parked cars than lamposts, and they aren't cabled for 3.5kW continuous total draw. It will work with only a couple of cars charging per day, no more.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

        Then there is also the liability issue for injury caused by someone managing to trip over charging cables laid across a public footpath for which the owner of the car/householder would be wholly liable. Best check if your houshold insurance covers legal expenses!

      3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

        a competent diyer could also fit it themselves (with proper earthing and RCD protection).

        DIY electrical work is illegal without an electrical safety certification from a qualified electrician.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

          No it isn't. It's only illegal in certain areas such as a bathroom or kitchen when it requires a Part P qualified electrician.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

            And it's not "illegal", it's "contrary to regs". Any legality with electrical work is through contract law. You contract with somebody who implicitly claims they are competent. They do a crap job. You sue them for being incompetent.

      4. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

        There should also be access to a scheme where the vehicle is allowed in an EV space (which could be outside your house).

        These schemes are great in principle, until they're put into practice. Then they're usually a beaurocratic nightmare of proving your eligibility, residence status and so on, and completely fail for:

        1) multi-car households where there is only on-street space in front of the house for one of those cars.

        2) households with a driveway too small for their car or unsuitable for their medical/disability conditon (example - my partner is registered disabled, has a drive but it's dangerous for her to use due to the slope. Asked for a disabled spot outside the house (road is much flatter than the drive), was turned down because she has a driveway despite being unusable).

        3) Likely to be other issues.

        Plus no one's likely to happy for you to park your EV in their spot. Rightly or wrongly, people can be surprisingly precious about parking in front of their own house, what they consider to be their spot. On-street charging and EV spaces may solve some problems but they will create others.

      5. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

        "Some councils have an option for lampost charging"

        Sprews tea all over keyboard.

        You mean the things wired up with 50-year-old bell wire?

      6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

        "This would only be a few quid and a competent diyer could also fit it themselves"

        You could, but you still have to pay for it to be certified. You can't just do your own electrical modifications these days and expect it to be "legal". The electric version of the CORGI cartel is now in force.

        On the other hand, if it's effectively just an extension lead from the house that you bought and just fitted you might be ok.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

      Parking on public roads will be banned soon, so it won’t be a problem.

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

        There aren't enough laugh emojis to express how ridiculous that idea is.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

          Doesn't mean someone hasn't already thought of it, and isn't actively pushing it.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The problem with electric vehicles in the UK

          "There aren't enough laugh emojis to express how ridiculous that idea is."

          Resident parking permits are a thing. Usually rolled out for free initially so everyone approves becaue they have a much better chance of getting a space outsize or at least near their own house. Then a "small administration" fee appears. Then you have to pay for "visitor permits". Then the prices start rising as the council sees the potential for revenue and before you know it, your hit and miss free parking is costing you £200-£300 per year with no guaranteed parking spot.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hybrids?

    There's no point in adding incentives for hybrid vehicles. Hybrid vehicles give you the worst of both worlds - you have increased the parts that could go wrong in a vehicle by adding more to it. You have an electric car with the compromises of an ICE car and less room and forced into using a smaller battery with very slow charging. You lose the extra space, no maintenance and much simpler system of a pure electric. You also have a heavy ICE to carry around in your electric car, or a heavy battery and motor to carry around in your ICE. It is also a more expensive option.

    It is seen as a stop gap for range anxiety, however it ends up being just an ICE car that is used for gaining some economic incentives or to add some 'green' tick for your organisation. The vast majority I have seen spend nearly all their time full of petrol as they would never have the range to run just battery and the owner doesn't bother with a home charger. This would then be with the government paying a green subsidy for that they can't stop it being used 100% on petrol.

    If you want a half in half approach (and are in a two or more car family) get one of the newer generation of long range electric vehicles with fast charging and keep a second petrol vehicle. I guarantee on next car renewal the petrol version will be dropped completely.

    There just isn't a need to incentivise hybrids, just give much better incentives for pure electric.

    1. Qumefox

      Re: Hybrids?

      I'm not entirely sure what circles you hang out in, but I know i've run a grand total of 9 gallons through my plugin hybrid (Gen2 Volt) in my entire ownership of it, and that was just running a tank through it to verify there wasn't an issue with the ICE while it still had a warranty since I bought it used. The other people I know with plugin's also pretty much hate having to resort to the ICE, and even the ones commutes longer than EV range still charge at every opportunity, since every EV mile is around 1/3 the price of gas to drive the same distance. So unless the mentality is that much different on that side of the pond compared to here in the USA, i'm not buying it. After all, it's hard to believe you guys could be even less environmentally conscious than us gluttonous yanks.

      Over here, pure EV's other than Tesla's just aren't practical as only cars given the distances often needed to be traveled in this country. And Tesla's are in no way cars for the masses. Even model 3's are beyond the budget of most, and Tesla's and their supercharger network are the only remotely viable option for long distance EV travel. Everything else, you're going to have to charge at minimum an hour(likely waaaay more) every couple hundred miles. Want to take a Chevy Bolt across country? Better alot a week to do it. I doubt a Leaf would even make it. In western Kansas, towns are a lot farther apart than it's total range.

      So as much as you lament hybrids, the technology just isn't there quite yet for the masses to drive EV's, and I'd rather see more hybrids over more conventional ICE vehicles.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hybrids?

        "I'm not entirely sure what circles you hang out in, but I know i've run a grand total of 9 gallons through my plugin hybrid (Gen2 Volt) in my entire ownership of it, and that was just running a tank through it to verify there wasn't an issue with the ICE while it still had a warranty since I bought it used."

        "Over here, pure EV's other than Tesla's just aren't practical as only cars given the distances often needed to be traveled in this country."

        See those statements don't add up and proves the point. You have a hybrid which you never need and have never needed to fill with gas. But you are lugging around a combustion engine with all the negatives of that stated above (You have to put up with slow charging, a smaller battery, less room, more failures, servicing costs etc when you could have just got an EV that was designed from the start as an EV)

        The point is about subsidies. If you add subsidies for Hybrids that make them better value than an ICE then you risk that people buy them to use as an ICE vehicle as they don't have home charging. So at the moment I know of this happening in companies where there is or was a Hybrid incentive.

        There's a number of EVs due out as well as the Tesla that have rapid charging. Even with a Tesla Model for $35,000 that is a very competitive price in the US that if you take into account fuel savings, incentives, lack of servicing and maintenance and expected depreciation will probably have a lower lifetime cost than most mid range cars - However depreciation is the big factor but based on a Model S which has far less depreciation than most production cars.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Hybrids?

          "See those statements don't add up and proves the point. You have a hybrid which you never need and have never needed to fill with gas. But you are lugging around a combustion engine with all the negatives of that stated above (You have to put up with slow charging, a smaller battery, less room, more failures, servicing costs etc when you could have just got an EV that was designed from the start as an EV)"

          In the OPs case, you are right, he may as well have gone for a pure electric. But you seem to be sayingthat all hybrids are a waste because you are "lugging around a combustion engine", implying that it's a huge inert mass equivalent to a an ICE car engine. A properly designed and built hybrid is all electric but has a small, lightweight, ICE generator set which is not running under an inefficient and variable load, it's running under optimum conditions to top off the battery as and when needed and, in some cars, to provide extra electrical power under some conditions in addition to the battery. And since most modern hybrids are plug-ins, you can minimise the use of the generator while still having the confidence of a decently long range. But it's important that you look at modern hybrids designed and built for the job. Older ones like the early all electrics, were basically traditional ICE cars with the engine and transmission ripped out and replaced with the new gubbins.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hybrids?

            You could get a pure EV, with all the advantages and then for that one or two long trips a year put an electric generator in the boot to top up the batteries. (Or you could just use one of the thousands of charging stations around your country to charge it up?)

            Hybrids are carrying a generator all the time, there isn't a possibility to leave it at home for the odd occasion when you travel a very long distance. It takes up space and requires maintenance, makes the car heavier and requires fossil fuels. All for those couple of trips a year where an EV would need recharging and you would need to stop for 30 minutes.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Hybrids?

      No, the Toyota hybrid is more reliable due to its low stress drivetrain, and this is why there are so many old Prius being used for taxis. There is no space compromise on my hybrid, as the battery is low in the chassis.

      It’s my car so there is no tax benefit and anyway, even without plug in it would still harvest energy from brakes and downhill which normal cars waste. It was the same price to buy as the standard version, but has better residual value. My commute MPG is 65-75 mpg, though I have achieved 85.

      And in heavy traffic it switches to electric so I’m not adding to the bad local air quality.

      Plus it’s superb to drive, has amazing pull-away torque and. I can guarantee I would never willingly go back to old fashioned cars.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Hybrids?

        "My commute MPG is 65-75 mpg, though I have achieved 85."

        That sounds like an older one. I was never impressed with the early Prius because I was already getting 70+ mpg from a 1400cc diesel Kia Ceed for far less initial cost of the car.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Hybrids?

      "Hybrid vehicles give you the worst of both worlds"

      That hypothesis makes a lot of assumptions. I know a few people where a plug in hybrid works extremely well. They use electricity for their commute (charging at home and work) and the ICE on the weekends when they drive further. If I have the budget and see another Volt really cheap, I may get one. I'd rather have a BEV, but I see Volts going really cheap from time to time. While I'd be using the gas engine every day, I can charge at both ends and most of my trips would electric more than petrol.

  10. Steve Button

    Time to get out and walk?

    Or cycle? So many* last mile journeys (or last 5 miles) could be done by bike, if the infrastructure is in place to allow people to feel they can cycle safely.

    * Yes, not everyone is going to want to do this, but many will.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Time to get out and walk?

      Safely being the key word

      1. Morat

        Re: Time to get out and walk?

        The fewer cars on the road, the safer cycling will become - and it's actually very safe now despite the hysteria around hi-vis and helmets.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to get out and walk?

      The lack of decent segregated cycle lanes in cities and elsewhere is a real problem. That and Edinburgh's roads being more closely resembling the moon with the amount of potholes.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Time to get out and walk?

      You need a place to secure you bike too. I've had so many bikes nicked in my lifetime it would pay for new car.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to get out and walk?

      "So many* last mile journeys (or last 5 miles) could be done by bike, if the infrastructure is in place to allow people to feel they can cycle safely."

      I'm finding it hard to think of a practical infrastructure that will keep you safe from wet leaves in the fall, or ice and snow in the winter.

  11. Red Ted
    WTF?

    £800m to deliver 54 charging points?

    That's almost £15m each!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: £800m to deliver 54 charging points?

      And there is already 9425* chargers in the UK operated without goverment funding, covering the whole of the UK.

      *Compared to 8394 Fuel stations in the UK of which every car driver needs to use, whereas EV owners rarely need a public charger.

      1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

        Re: £800m to deliver 54 charging points?

        but a charging point is not equivalent to a fuel station.

        even the smallest stations have at least 2 pumps, some of the bigger ones have 15

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: £800m to deliver 54 charging points?

          "even the smallest stations have at least 2 pumps, some of the bigger ones have 15"

          Or 20.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: £800m to deliver 54 charging points?

      I expect they mean "station" and not charger. Many will be very cheap and others may need a dedicated power drop, site development, buildings, etc.

      Averages can be misleading. A new motorway services location will be very expensive to develop, but the new distribution lines may also allow for other development along the same corridor. That's hard to quantify and only the build costs can be put on the spreadsheet, not future opportunities the build may lead to.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: £800m to deliver 54 charging points?

      "That's almost £15m each!"

      I'd guess that they are looking at worst case scenarios, eg running in high capacity cables, dedicated to each station, probably building new pylon routes etc and maybe even including the cost of the inevitable enquiries, environmental impact assessments, the legal challenges from NIMBYs and the follow-up appeals etc.

  12. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I'd consider using public transport for commuting

    But only if the first bus to work didn't arrive AFTER the last bus home had already left!

  13. sal II

    What a joke

    "National Grid said that just 54 charging stations, placed at appropriate points along the strategic road network, would mean 99 per cent of drivers in England and Wales would be within 50 miles of a charge point.

    It estimated that this could be delivered at a cost of £800m but said "investment will be needed by industry and enabled by government"."

    So 100 miles round trip with couple of hours wait for the charge, when most EVs have about 200mil range... How moronic do you have to be to even put that proposal forward...

    And then to top it off, ask for £15mil per charging station

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: What a joke

      > ask for £15mil per charging station

      I have a good design for it, looks a bit like a barrel so that you can more easily drive through it, and the acronym "Place Of Recharging Kilowatts"

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        It's a government report

        It's meant to be bullshit. The only question is who the bullshit is intended to help.

  14. m-k

    this could be delivered at a cost of £800m

    wait, this is only about 2.5 weeks' time when we're out of the EU! I mean, fuck the NHS, they can wait a couple of weeks, eh?

    btw, how much did they spend on HS2 until now? 7bn?

  15. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    You are within 50 miles of an EV charging point--so what?

    A) You have an electric car that has an operational range of 150 or 200 miles. You are going to drive maybe half of that, just to "fill up" the car?

    B) Do you drive 25 or 50 miles now to fill up your car? No? What will be the auto maintenance, resource usage and societal impact of people driving 25 or 50 miles to top off their EV, when they used to drive a mile or two to the gas station?

    C) Your EV charging stations are quickly going to get overrun, as all those legally required EVs queue up to get recharged at the closest charging station

    D) And charging your EV takes a great deal more time than topping off your gasoline tank. Thus compounding the lines and traffic associated with these proposed EV charging stations.

    Hey, if you can use an EV and it makes sense for your situation, great. But from a societal level, the impact and requirements of these vehicles doesn't seem to have been thought through very well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You are within 50 miles of an EV charging point--so what?

      PEV owners normally prefer charge at home, because 15 seconds per trip and cheap refueling is better than a time-consuming diversion to a more expensive public charger. So the answer is that if you own a BEV and you live 25 miles from a rapid charger you would probably use it (1) on the infrequent days you make a trip in that direction that's longer than your range and you just need to top up to make it home (2) during a long outage that you can't ride out with your normal range, or where you don't have an alternative temporary charging arrangement available.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: alternative temporary charging arrangement available

        A well thought out transport plan, in a civillised society with proper infrastructure, should not need all these caveats.

        It should not require alternative temporary charging arrangements!

        All you're doing is drawing attention to the gaping inadequacies of the very scheme you're battling to promote.

        Unless said "arrangements" can be reduced to the size and weight of a full 1 gallon / 5 litre jerry can it's an unnecessary and expensive excess requirement, a sticking plaster to cover the inadequacies of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the grid in general.

  16. Foggy John

    How long do you have to wait for an EV to charge?

    I was thinking about getting an EV but what deterred me was how long it takes to charge. If you plug it in a charge point at say a petrol station, how long do you have to wait till it charges up. Are you just sat there for an hour or so?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How long do you have to wait for an EV to charge?

      It depends on the EV, but they can charge in a few minutes. FOr instance a Tesla can add 100 miles in 7 minutes. Generally most EV owners won't be sat at a public charger station as they charge at home but after 5 hours of driving then you might want to stop for some food for half an hour anyway?

      However it depends on the car, as I said, look for quick charging and a reasonable size battery with hoe charging and refueling will be easier than using fuel station over the course of a year.

      1. Foggy John

        Re: How long do you have to wait for an EV to charge?

        Ok thanks for that. I see. So i drive 1.5 hours to work, then back home 1.5 hours. Then just plug in when I get home ready for the next day. Interesting.

        Well it's on the cards for everyone in the UK from 2040 (maybe 2032!) anyway when the goverment bans the sale of new petrol and diesel cars so we'd better get used to it I guess!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they have a snazzy advertising campaign with the proclaimers they might just be onto something here.

  18. Jove Bronze badge

    Solution ...

    ... change the targets.

    Pat self on back, take the team to a country pub for a beer, have a stress-free day.

  19. LenG

    Decent range

    I was thinking of upgrading to an electric car but wanted a decent range. Then several companies (such as Hyundai/Kia) announced eVehicles with 250+ mile ranges. I made enquiries but there were a number of major issues, including the fact that they were all SUV class vehicles and I didn't want anything that big. But the real killer was being told that the "2019" models would not be available for at least 14 months even if I put down a deposit immediately.

    So I said sod it and ordered one of the new 1 series BMW's. Initially I was promised delivery pre-Brexit (good as it means I miss any new tariffs) but since then the date has come a month closer and may be even sooner.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Decent range

      The Hyundai and Kia EVs aren't very large. If you were looking at the iPace or eTron, you'd have to start to worry about size.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fun in this rural west coastal area, wind and driving rain in winter, a bus service that doesnt start till 7 am and ends before 7 pm - unless you live in one of the villages in which case... "what's a bus?" Trains are not much better slow and infrequent, all public transport in areas like this is (and has long been) expensive, uncomfortable and indirect. Cycling doesnt go well in a hilly area on clod wet winter days and dark winter nights especially if you are a manual worker, or have to carry tools/equipment. Just a great way to arrive at work, wet and already tired.

    Its easy for the metropolitan elite to pontificate about his stuff, maybe they should join the real world with real jobs on ordinary incomes and maybe step out of the brightly lit areas and try a taste of real life, oh and before you think that this is some rural beauty spot with a viaalge green, we have 2 lng plants a refinery a poer station and 2 ferry ports in that county. Hardly a cluster of cottages around a duck pond, and yet... really cut off without independant travel.

  21. Grumpy O'Toole

    They could start by cleaning up the biggest offenders:

    http://www.industrytap.com/worlds-15-biggest-ships-create-more-pollution-than-all-the-cars-in-the-world/8182

    ..But industry magnates making a killing running ships on bunker fuel is kept quiet while they fleece motorists.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      But the ships don’t roll down town High Streets blowing out toxins at about the right height for children’s faces.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        The thrust of the gov's EV push is to reduce carbon emissions to meet it's own masochistically imposed GHG targets. Eliminating street level pollution is a handy side effect.

        Seems like mandating all large ships be nuclear powered would do far more to reduce CO2 emmissions than the political suicide of banning all ICE vehicles. But that'll never happen because nuclear.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge