back to article Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one

UK government efforts to offset carbon emissions via the adoption of electric cars were last week slammed by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. According to the panel's report into the matter, almost 20,000 conventional cars would need to be removed from the road every week for the next 31 years, if the UK …

  1. Locky Silver badge

    Of course, it matters not a jot that everyone has zero emitting vehicles until we can generate the power for them without burning dino juice.

    But that won't sell new cars, so shhhh

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's a good point however there are some positives.

      The pollution generated isn't directly at pedestrian height in built up areas.

      Most power generation in the UK is a lot, lot cleaner than the emissions from vehicle exhausts (hardly any coal fired power is used in the UK)

      Every new upgrade to renewables/battery storage that is added to the grid instantly upgrades all vehicles to cleaner energy as well.

      It is possible to use renewable energy companies and your home solar to create almost clean energy.

      Gas power generation isn't ideal but is better then petrol/diesel/oil/coal options and along with nuclear (no CO2 but other issues) is the main year round generator of power.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        It's a good point however there are some positives.

        The pollution generated isn't directly at pedestrian height in built up areas.

        Some of it is. This is a relative risk thing, ie the risk of engine exhaust products (carbon, NOx) vs other pollutants. So there's also dust created from tires, brakes and wearing the road surface. Which is arguably riskier for EVs because they're generally heavier than ICEs. There's some mitigation, ie regenerative braking might reduce brake dust.

        Then there are the lifecycle issues, ie pollution from the production chain through to disposal. ICEs are pretty recyclable, EVs, less so, especially the batteries.. And their production often isn't entirely 'green', ie extracting from salt flats around the world needs a lot of water, and can lead to pollution.

        Every new upgrade to renewables/battery storage that is added to the grid instantly upgrades all vehicles to cleaner energy as well.

        Nope. All that does is reduce your TCO and make your fuel costs higher, along with everyone else's energy. So figure on Hornsea 1 being 400MW @ £158.75/MWh. That's roughly £100 more than the current electricity market price. Then add 400MW of CCGT or diesel for when the wind's not blowing, and the price increases. Add in 400MWh of batteries for a 1hr backup, and the output of from those batteries would probably be double the input energy cost.

        So that becomes a problem given it greatly increases transport costs, and energy costs that go into producing stuff in the UK (including services), and the UK becomes uncompetitive. But virtuous I guess.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Nope. All that does is reduce your TCO and make your fuel costs higher, "

          What? Of course it doesn't. The removal of high carbon sources and replacement with low/zero carbon sources reduces the overall carbon footprint. In 2012 Coal was responsible for 40% of UK power generation, now it is less than 5% (nearly all at winter) and in 5 years time or earlier it will most likely be 0%. The replacement has been renewables and gas (and renewables are now 30% of UK power production). Therefore the change from 40% coal to 30% renewables has upgraded every electricity user (whether EV user or not) automatically in the background.

          Every ICE user has to swap out their vehicle to get a cleaner, less polluting vehicle.

          "There's some mitigation, ie regenerative braking might reduce brake dust."

          An EV with decent regen will not wear out brakes anything like a ICE will. Many owners comment that the brakes are easily able to last the lifetime of the car (not just disks but Pads as well).

          Tyres may have more or less wear depending on the vehicle. Although some are heavier than their ICE equivalents the single gear and smooth delivery has less tyre wear than an aggressively driven geared vehicle. However EVs are generally able to accelerate much faster and so they can wear quicker than a slower ICE.

          1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            > The removal of high carbon sources and replacement with low/zero carbon sources reduces the overall carbon footprint

            Ok, not that really makes a difference but why do you think that there is no issue with replacing a so called "high carbon" source with a high litium source?

            Why are we sitting back and ignoring the litium pollution threat?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              The high carbon source is continuous and ongoing every minute of the day.

              The lithium (mostly mined in Australia with minimal environmental impacts) needs about 12Kg for a 500Kg battery (300mile EV size) as a one off.

              The battery lasts about 400,000 miles.

              The batteries are all reused or recycled at the end of their life as a rule.

              So the Lithium compared to the high carbon source for the lifetime of the vehicle is negligible.

              1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

                Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                the sunk cost of CO2 used in manufacture of Li ion batteries exceed the emmisions of a modern diesel ICE over 9 years

                The majority of Lithium extraction is not from Australia, but from South America where the Lithium Triangle is believed to contain over 75% of existing known lithium reserves, between chile Bolivia and Argentina and is causing serious polution of rivers and fish stocks. There is also a considerable amount comming from china, where all of Australia's is processed

                The secret ingredient of Li ion batteries is the Cobalt in the Cathode, is only available in central affrica, mainly the not so Democratic Republic of Congo, which has many human rights issues involved in its mining, along with shipping costs.

                Your average ICE will easily last 10 yrs, a diesel probably twice that, a Li Battery 8 if your lucky, and then its basically shot, and the majority of the raw materials have been consumed.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                  "the sunk cost of CO2 used in manufacture of Li ion batteries exceed the emmisions of a modern diesel ICE over 9 years"

                  No, it doesn't unless you are looking at edge cases where they use Coal Powered energy to create all the batteries. However we'll discount the same country making the diesel engine and then all the production of the Diesel to run it.

                  "The majority of Lithium extraction is not from Australia, but from South America "

                  2018 figures:

                  Australia 51,000 Metric Tonnes

                  Chile 16,000 MT

                  Argentina 6,200 MT

                  Brazil 600 MT

                  So, about that Lithium claim?

                  "Cobalt in the Cathode, is only available in central affrica"

                  The main producer is DR Congo, correct. Not all is mined by hand and most buyers are trying to ensure it isn't. However, "only available..."

                  Yes, apart from Russia, Cuba, Australia, Philippines, Canada, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, China, Brazil, New Caledonia, South Africa and Morocco

                  Apart from those it is only available in Central Africa (oh and the countries that haven't decided to mine for it yet.

                  "a Li Battery 8 if your lucky, and then its basically shot, and the majority of the raw materials have been consumed."

                  A new Tesla Model 3 battery will last about 400,000 miles after which it can and will be used as power storage and/or recycled. In a couple of years it is expected to last 1 million miles. New generation EV batteries will be similar (basically life of the car).

                  The raw materials in an EV battery don't get 'consumed'. Generally they create a build up on either the anode or cathode (different processes) which reduces their effectiveness and so degrades their total capacity to hold a charge.

                  Not quite a good enough understanding of the subjects, I'm afraid but there's always room to learn.

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                    "A new Tesla Model 3 battery will last about 400,000"

                    When do you predict that price dropping to a level where the other 99.999% of us can afford one?

                    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                      "When do you predict that price dropping to a level where the other 99.999% of us can afford one?"

                      In another couple of years when there is a used market. People with money are going to swap out their old EV for a new one as soon as their current one is paid off. The technology is moving fast and a 5yo EV is going to ancient compared to a new one.

                      The cost today is hardly economic unless you do a lot of driving. The TCO on a EV is cheaper but you pre-load all of the excess cost up front and pay interest on that money to get into an EV in the first place. If you go for something like a Tesla with insane repair costs, insurance will eat away at those TCO operation savings too. It's like getting a McClaren for £5,000. Great price, but a new transmission is £30,000 and it's a when thing and not if the tranny goes out.

                    2. Ade Vickers

                      Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                      The new Corsa e goes on sale next year for around £25k. It will have an 8 year warranty, so if you work really hard at it, you could find out how many miles your battery pack is good for, completely without financial risk.

                      1. Roland6 Silver badge

                        Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                        The new Corsa e goes on sale next year for around £25k. It will have an 8 year warranty

                        On what exactly?

                        Given the warranties on current ICE vehicles an 8 year warranty is not that impressive. However, given the known problems with EV's, specifically around battery life, charge time and range, if the warranty included provision against these it might be worth something. Currently I wouldn't touch a 3+ year old EV as I know the batteries will need to be replaced - not a cheap proposition; unlike replacing the battery in an ICE...

                        Likewsie, I would like some form of come back when the EV is unable to complete the trip say High Wycombe to Blackpool in less than 5 hours (at time of writing Google says it is 3hr 44min.).

                  2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                    "A new Tesla Model 3 battery will last about 400,000 miles after which it can and will be used as power storage"

                    The battery may go that far. That's yet to be seen, but the car may not. You are talking about 20 something years with a US average miles/year driven. I expect UK drivers aren't going as far since it's more expensive for petrol and there is much better public transportation. Does anybody expect the LCD glued to the dash of the Model 3 is going to last 10-15 years of thermal cycling in a car and being sat in direct sun for hours at a time. Forget the cost of replacing the battery, that LCD plus the computer behind it is serious coin. You have to hope that there is a retrofittable replacement down the road and that you can get it without a 2-3 month wait since the car is difficult to use without it.

                    Batteries in EVs don't just die like the old lead acid ones, they fade away. People are going to want a new one when the 60kWh is down to 40kWh. That 40kWh is still a tremendous amount of power and it's expected that EV batteries will see 10 years of stationary backup usage after they come out of a car so there is good resale value. Batteries from wrecked EVs don't last long on the market and fetch good money. People want them for all sorts of projects. Some companies are fitting them inside cargo containers for backup systems already. I've seen a few places selling interface kits for certain brands of EV batteries.

                  3. Bbuckley

                    Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                    @Anonymous, can you please supply the sources of where you obtained that information? I am a statistician by trade so fundamentally suspicious and always on the look-out for the Ministry Of Truth which this sounds like ...

                2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                  "a Li Battery 8 if your lucky"

                  So everyone thought. The original crop of EVs are hitting that age and their batteries are turning out to be perfectly serviceable in most cases. Where they're not, the batteries have dropped 75% or so in cost to replace and the batteries are 100% recycleable (they fail due to electrode cracking, not chemical failure)

                  1. David Crowe

                    Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                    Not everyone is optimistic about EV battery recycling. For example, this article says it costs 3 times more to extract the Lithium than it's worth:

                    https://evrater.com/ev-battery-disposal

                    Do you have any sources for your optimism?

                3. Stork Silver badge

                  Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                  Where have you got those figures from? I have seen this article in the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2017/dec/25/how-green-are-electric-cars, and while it is obvious that electric is not The Solution, they do have the edge (see bottom of article, there are even references).

                  Now, I have been reading up on this as we are thinking of replacing our 14 year old Honda Accord with something smaller and have figured we can count the number of days/year an electric does not have enough range on one hand's fingers. And here in Portugal electricity is 50-60% from renewables.

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Lithium Ion Is not the answer

                    " we can count the number of days/year an electric does not have enough range on one hand's fingers."

                    There are loads of web sites now with EV trip planners and chargers are going in worldwide at a fast pace. It may be possible now to do all of your trips in an EV without too much effort and if not, it won't be long.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                400,000 miles

                I sincerely hope these ridiculous mileage claims aren’t being used to justify the environmental costs of producing these cars. Whilst I don’t doubt it is possible to clock up 400,000 miles on many of these power trains, in the same way that many diesel engines are easily capable of knocking out half a million miles (just ask any truck driver), as with diesels, I cannot believe the average is going to be anything close to this number. Let’s not forget that these batteries and motors are attached to a car, a car that will inevitably age to the point where it is either no longer economically justifiable to keep roadworthy or simply no market for them. The question is how many of these potential 400,000 miles will they have covered at this point? Given the current tendency of electric vehicles to be used as city runarounds, I’d be very surprised if the average (current generation) EV sees much more than 100.000 miles in its lifetime.

                1. davealford

                  Re: 400,000 miles

                  … and average diesel / petrol engines last how long? How much oil (synthetic or otherwise) (engine and gearbox/transmission) will they use throughout their life? Most vehicles aren't scrapped because of their engines 'fail' anyway - more like they fail their MOT and are uneconomic to repair .. engines will still run but there's no second use for them. EV batteries will be able to be repurposed (not recycled) if vehicle is otherwise un-economic to repair. And the difference between running an EV as a city run-about is different from an ICE how? I'd rather have an EV used around town for the school run / commute ...

                  1. AAJ

                    Re: 400,000 miles

                    "I'd rather have an EV used around town ..."

                    I wish people would stop using cars in the town/city. Cycle, bus, tube, scooter ... anything but get in a car

                    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: 400,000 miles

                      "I wish people would stop using cars in the town/city. Cycle, bus, tube, scooter ... anything but get in a car"

                      That's an option if you are young, the weather is ok and you aren't hauling any stuff. If you have a toddler and a baby, you'd have to hire a Sherpa to help you cart your supplies around with you. It may also be safer to have your kids in proper safety seat rather than trying to hang on to them on a bus.

                      If your work has a locker room where you can change and wash up, it might be easy to even bike some distance. If you are expected to wear a suit or formal business wear, arriving hot and sweaty isn't going to work very well if you can't change.

                    2. Roland6 Silver badge

                      Re: 400,000 miles

                      >I wish people would stop using cars in the town/city.

                      I suspect these sentiments are common among people who's day-to-day lifes involves short journeys (sub-5 miles) and don't involve going outside of "town" or an urban conurbation and typically can readily be undertaken using public transport.

              3. JokerZero

                "The battery lasts about 400,000 miles."

                From where did that nugget of miss information arise?

                I ask as the recorded instance of a real world Tesla covering > 400K miles in real world service in California, includes the not insignificant point that the battery pack was replaced in its entirety, twice.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "and renewables are now 30% of UK power production"

            No, they're 30% of nameplate capacity and require spinning conventional backups for when they're not available, which is nearly always when demand is highest. Renewables are a joke.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              > No, they're 30% of nameplate capacity

              To translate that to the more wilfully clueless, that means that in REAL PRACTICAL terms their annual power output is 30% (or less) of the "nameplate" capacity (ie: that 1MW wind turbine puts out an average of 300kW when averaged over a year - meaning you need 3 times as many as you thought - when you thought you needed 800 to match ONE gas-fired (or nuclear) power plant you really needed 2400 and in fact you needed 2400 in one location and 2400 in 2-3 other locations, plus battery backup systems to ensure stabilised power output, or you're pushing the costs of coping with wildly intermittent power sources onto the distributors.

              Once intermittent sources exceed 20% of the grid, things get hairy - that's what caused the South Australian power blackouts. You can assume that at that point, subsidies are going to be pulled and grid operators will _insist_ that renewables suppliers have battery stabilisation systems on _their_ side of the connection.

              > and require spinning conventional backups for when they're not available"

              And if you're not willing to pay for those spinning backups to be maintained AND pay their minimum startup costs, you get wide area blackouts - it's exactly that reason which was responsible for the SA blacklouts (the forecast drop in wind wasn't long enough to allow the generated electricity to pay for the backup plant startups, so the owners declined to fire them up and lose $5million or so. Lights went out until payments were guaranteed.)

              Renewables are hopelessly expensive when you put all the hidden costs together - the amount of subsidisation that National Grid is forced to provide via "must take" rules alone is higher than the direct subsidies. It's no wonder that windfarm operators are being paid £30k/month per turbine to NOT connect them to the grid (ie, what's being farmed is subsidies)

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Alan, if you take a wind turbine and attach it to the grid, you aren't doing it right. Unfortunately, "they" aren't doing it right. There is a study paper that showed how using a large turbine's power to manufacture ammonia at it's location, the ROI on the turbine shoots up. A fair portion of the world's electricity generation is used to make ammonia already. A hybrid approach can be used where power is routed to the grid as needed and ammonia made as a way to be sure that any excess power is used. There are times when their is too much wind power in the UK and the National Grid has to shut down turbines to keep in balance. Another bonus is that not as much grid power from non-renewable sources will be used for production.

                Another scenario is to create the mechanism where EVs can charge on super low tariffs when there is excess power. If you only drive 30 miles/day and have an EV with 200+ miles of range, you could go 4-5 days without plugging in. Chances are that sometime during that period, there will be excess generation and it can make sense for the electric companies to sell it to you cheap rather than shutting it down. The transmission infrastructure is all sitting there whether it's being used to its max or idling. By selling power to EVs when it's abundant, there will be less demand when it isn't. If you still need a charge during peak, you will just have to pay a premium. Financial incentives will be far more effective than trying to get people to think green all of the time.

            2. veti Silver badge

              Incorrect. Renewables (wind, solar, hydro and biomass) account for around 30% of the kWh consumed in the UK per year. Add in nuclear, and you can see that over 50% of UK electricity generation - by volume of power generated - is - well, it's not quite true to say "zero carbon" because there are costs associated with transport and installation and maintenance and what have you, but "very low carbon".

            3. davealford

              Have a look at GridCarbon or even https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-green-energy/energy-independence/uk-grid-live and weep …. (and today is a bad day) 43% Gas, 17% Nuclear, 15% wind, 10% solar, 6% biomass, 1% Hydro, 2% Coal, 5% imported and some <1% 'other'. So durning daytime, near 50% renewable ….

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            >> "There's some mitigation, ie regenerative braking might reduce brake dust."

            > An EV with decent regen will not wear out brakes anything like a ICE will.

            Brakes hardly contribute anything to road dust. Tyres are the primary offender and with the base model Nissan Leaf weighing in just shy of 2 tons (where a comparable petrol vehicle is about 1.2 and the extended range one a portly 2.1 tons), you're going to see more of it. (Reports so far is that they _do_ eat tyres faster)

            Demanding extra range means heavier vehicles == bigger motors to get acceptable acceleration == more tyre wear

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              You have to take into account that EV are supplied with harder rubber tyres for less rolling resistance. Those don't shed as much soft sticky tyres that boy racers put on their hot hatch.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Jellied_eel

          What is your point? Are you arguing that we should stop using EVs because they don't solve brake and tyre dust issues as well? Isn't addressing the immediate problem of local tail-pipe emissions enough?

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            What is your point? Are you arguing that we should stop using EVs because they don't solve brake and tyre dust issues as well?

            My point's simply a practical and economic one. EVs can be great. We've been using them for decades, ie the humble milk float. And if people want to buy a modern EV, more power to their wallet. Problem is, it's a solution that's going to affect everyone's wallet.

            Isn't addressing the immediate problem of local tail-pipe emissions enough?

            In a rational, science & engineering driven world.. First quantify the problem. Once you've done that, ie quantified exactly what harm is created by tail-pipe emissions, then look at mitigation. So emissions are the combustion products, but you can't exclude related pollutants, ie particulates. EVs don't solve the particulates problem.

            Then there's the practicality of transitioning to a zero carbon world. So withdraw all ICE vehicles, replace with EVs.. And also withdraw all gas heating & cooking. That requires a massive increase in electricity supply.

            So that's doable. We build Nx1GW reactors to provide baseload power, and supplement that with CCGT because gas is cheap.. But those are two sensible energy generation methods that the Greens hate. So instead we're meant to build thousands more windmills that cost 2-3x more than alternatives, and are fundamentally unreliable. UK electricity costs rocket to reduce tail-pipe emissions, that aren't necessarily a problem.

            And it'll lead to deaths and disruption. The UK isn't used to 'extreme' weather, so when it snows, there's usually hundreds of stranded motorists on roads somewhere around the UK. Which means they'll need to use energy to keep occupants warm & safe, or they'll need to be evacuated. Then the challenge of clearing roads of EVs with flat batteries. Not quite as simple as a few jerry cans of fuel and some jump starts.

            But for the UK, decarbonisation is economic suicide, and will make zero difference to global warming because the UK's emissions are already small by comparison to countries that haven't drunk the Green's kool aid.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "So instead we're meant to build thousands more windmills that cost 2-3x more than alternatives, and are fundamentally unreliable"

              Really, so the fact that the strike price is almost at a level where there wouldn't even need subsidy (most of the year it doesn't) would suggest the costs are pretty reasonable and way, way cheaper than nuclear.

              "And it'll lead to deaths and disruption. The UK isn't used to 'extreme' weather, so when it snows, there's usually hundreds of stranded motorists on roads somewhere around the UK. Which means they'll need to use energy to keep occupants warm & safe, or they'll need to be evacuated. Then the challenge of clearing roads of EVs with flat batteries. Not quite as simple as a few jerry cans of fuel and some jump starts."

              Wow, talk about edge cases. It is easier and safer to continue to heat an EV than a fuel car (less risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning). The extreme weather where cars need to be rescued is a pretty rare event.

              It's hardly an event that comes up on most people's radar as a reason no to buy an EV or for government policy.

              "But for the UK, decarbonisation is economic suicide, and will make zero difference to global warming because the UK's emissions are already small by comparison to countries that haven't drunk the Green's kool aid."

              Oh well, just give up then. No point in being a world leader, developing technologies for a multi-trillion pound market that can then be used in other countries. Unless we can fix it all, everywhere tomorrow then resign ourselves to a future of potential major hardship.

              1. Adair

                Yeah, reading some of the naysayers and petro-apologists in these arguments the reducto absurdem position is clearly that we should all simply stop breathing as this would truly solve the excess CO2 problem along with all the other risk factors associated with moving about.

                Some people would obviously wish we all still lived in caves, and then they would still be moaning: about the incidence of injuries caused by slipping on mammoth fat around the fire, the dangers of flying flint splinters when napping a newfangled spearhead (rather than simply beating a beast over the head with a large lump of wood in the tried and tested manner), etc. bloody etc.

                Progress, strangely, is almost always made falteringly and one step at a time; but given imagination, hard work and a generous spirit life can often be improved for everyone. Or, perhaps some of us would still prefer to shit in a bucket and toss the contents out the window (without bothering to warn unsuspecting passers by)!

              2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                RE: strike price is almost at a level where there wouldn't even need subsidy...

                ...(most of the year it doesn't)

                So why are we all still paying this unnecessary subsidy? At the same or higher rate than when the subsidy was first introduced?

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: RE: strike price is almost at a level where there wouldn't even need subsidy...

                  So why are we all still paying this unnecessary subsidy? At the same or higher rate than when the subsidy was first introduced?

                  Idiots signed bad contracts. So instead of allowing the market to price, the Green Blob got indexation included in power contracts, so 'renewable' power becomes progressively more expensive. Hinkley had the same windfall deal in it's power contracts.

                  Problem for the UK is a lot of those contracts have been signed, and are for 10-20yrs+, so unless they can be vacated, we're screwed.

                  1. Stork Silver badge

                    Re: RE: strike price is almost at a level where there wouldn't even need subsidy...

                    Correct me if I am wrong; but I thought it was constructed as a non-carbon levy to subsidise the horrendously expensive nuclear power? And then the wind turbines cam in to cover the fact?

              3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                RE: Oh well, just give up then. No point in being a world leader...

                Devil's advocate for a sec...

                If mass decarbonisation of transport is economic suicide -- do you at least agree it will be disruptive without major infrastructure changes (infra rarely keeps pace with policy) -- then yes, there's no point being a world leader when your own nation's economy has collapsed. Not sure it's even possible to be a world leader in those circumstances (except perhaps at being the nation with the fastest collapsing economy).

              4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Really, so the fact that the strike price is almost at a level where there wouldn't even need subsidy (most of the year it doesn't) would suggest the costs are pretty reasonable and way, way cheaper than nuclear.

                Soo.. How do you work that out? I realise this is Green stuff, and that generally ignores evidence that goes against the consensus, but..

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

                Current strike price

                158.75£/MWh

                versus £92.50/MWh for Hinkley C, and that reduces a little if Sizewell C goes ahead. Ok, so some new 'renewables' contracts have a lower strike price, and Hinkley was a bit of an EDF bail-out project & overly generous.. Especially compared to the prices other countries are paying for new reactors.

                Then of course there's coal. So the UK had a bunch of old coal power stations. Greens decided these were 'dirty' because of photogenic* steam clouds coming from cooling towers. So ban coal! So there was a proposal to replace old Kingsnorth coal plant with new, modern, supercritical systems that were more efficient and reduced CO2 emissions by around 30% compared to the units being replaced.

                So Greens objected, called a judicial review & flew in a US expert (James Hansen) to save puppies from drowning due to climate change.. And they won, and the 'renewables' industry was pleased, and donated generously. But that's how the Green Blob works. Lobby to add additional costs onto traditional power generation and divert money to their sponsors. Except Germany. For various reasons, they decided to shut down their nuclear plant due to tsunami fears, and are now building coal because they're experiencing the cost/reliability problems that come with 'renewables'.

                Wow, talk about edge cases. It is easier and safer to continue to heat an EV than a fuel car (less risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning). The extreme weather where cars need to be rescued is a pretty rare event.

                Nope, which shows you don't understand how EV's work. Like the need to keep battery temperatures stable, so requiring energy to warm/cool them vs taking waste heat from an engine. It also shows you don't understand how ICEs work either because CO poisoning became a thing of the past ever since catalytic convertors. And speaking of past things, one David Viner once famously said 'snowfalls would be a thing of the past' and kids wouldn't know what snow looked like.

                Of course it's snowed a lot since then, and the Telegraph had to disappear Viner's original article. Greens have a bad habit of erasing inconvenient data.

                So ok, it may be a bit of an edge case. Far more likely is congestion/disruption caused by broken down EVs that can't be jump-started or jerry canned. But the snow example will lead to deaths, if it can't be managed effectively.

                Oh.. and has anyone announced the electric fire engine yet? Or will emergency vehicles get EV exemptions?

                No point in being a world leader, developing technologies for a multi-trillion pound market that can then be used in other countries.

                Few countries have gone full-retard the way we have. Which is perhaps suprising given our role in the Industrial Revolution, when steam replaced sail. This time, of course, it's different. We can build ginormous windmills! But they're still rather useless when winds are too low, or too high. If only those original millers had stuck it out, and not modernised. So we 'need' batteries, or CCGT plant, or <something> for those calm days, especially if they're the usual winter ones that kill people.

                But the only reason there's a 'multi-trillion pound' market is due to idiocracy and regulatory capture. We knew the vagueries of wind from using it centuries ago. But this is a faith-driven industry. If you want technical solutions, here's a modest proposal-

                Carbon's a handy fuel source. Carbon's 1/3rd of a CO2 molecule. So extract that carbon (CCS!), seperate it, and bake multi-million pound yachts from it. Or, for something more innovative. If you heat and compress that carbon, we can produce ultra-dense carbon pellets that could then be burned using clean oxygen. That would produce heat + CO2, which can then be recycled in a clean, Green alternative to those other nasty breeders. All possible using off-the shelf products today! Not sure if General Electric's patent for pellet production has expired though.

                *St Greta apparently believed she could see CO2 pouring out of power stations. Can't think why she may have formed that belief, but it's one her PR team is trying to disappear from her book and previous interviews. But such is the power of propaganda.

                1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  "Few countries have gone full-retard the way we have."

                  I can think of one - around the 1930s, very enthusiastic about back to the past, country cottages, nature, greenery and crystal quackery

                  It was Germany and the most enthusiastic adoptors of such fakery were the Nazis.

                  That was our saving grace - because in their zeal for such things, they drove out all the experts and scientists, essentially shooting their war effort in the foot - much like we're doing now to our economy.

                2. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
                  Devil

                  "Seeing" CO2

                  Even the BBC are at it. In a recent article on the News about vehicular pollution, film was shown taken with an Infra-red camera of the exhaust plume coming from the tailpipe of a London bus. The commentary was to the effect that this showed the CO and CO2 pollution that it was expelling. No it didn't, all the IR camera was showing was that the exhaust gasses were hotter than the surrounding atmosphere, and did not and could not show the composition of those gasses. I wrote to the BBC to complain and their reply was that they were using the IR images to indicate the volume of exhaust gasses, and by inference, the pollution. Nice wriggle out Beeb!

              5. Citizens untied

                "The extreme weather where cars need to be rescued is a pretty rare event."

                You should stop by the woods in Portland, Oregon on a snowy evening...

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  ...and for that matter, here in the UK, as you get further north, cars being stuck in snow is an annual even, not rare at all. It just depends on the years weather in general as to how far south those instances may occur. Just in the last year or so ended up sat on my backside at home for 3 days because there was no way to be sure of a safe round trip Edinburgh and back due repeated closures of the main trunk road. (The lesser road all go through the hill, so an even worse option!)

                  1. rcw88

                    Greatly exacerbated by low profile, wide tyres, on the wrong compound. If you want ultimate traction, an old mini on narrow tyres works best. Wide tyres work great in the dry, but you need a small contact patch and lots of weight over the driven wheels in snow conditions. Event 4wd rally cars use 4inch tyres in heavy snow, not 8 inch slicks. A friend of mine works in the motor industry reminds me that standard tyres only work well with road surface temperatures above 7 deg C. but when the average road surface temperature is below 7 degrees C - and in the Highlands of Scotland that's about 8 months out of 12, winter or cross climate tyres perform better.

                    Entertaining rants on here though - sifting the facts from the misinformation.. I understood emissions for manufacture greatly exceeded emissions from use - irrespective of fuel system - so it makes more sense to use existing vehicles for longer. WHY did I sell my 1981 mini? DOH.

                  2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    "ended up sat on my backside at home for 3 days because there was no way to be sure of a safe round trip "

                    I'd do that too. There is no sense charging into a major storm if you don't have a damn good reason to do so. At that point, I'd take a look at going by train either the whole way or a portion where there is forecast to be lots of snow.

              6. MachDiamond Silver badge

                "Then the challenge of clearing roads of EVs with flat batteries. Not quite as simple as a few jerry cans of fuel and some jump starts."

                "

                Unless somebody started their journey with a minimum charge, draining the battery and having to be towed from the motorway isn't going to be an issue. Most EVs have heated seats that don't take a tremendous amount of power. You also aren't sitting in the car with an idling petrol/diesel engine. If we take 60kWh as a modern average EV battery capacity and it's at 50% charge, then overestimate the seat heater power at 1kW (or 500W x two people in the car), that's still 30 hours before the battery is completely flat. Very slim chances of so much snow that it's 30 hours for crews to clear a lane to get vehicles off of the motorway and someplace where people can hole up in a hotel, restaurant, etc.

                It's far more likely that people will have far more of a charge in their battery anyway and the seat heaters aren't so power hungry.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              He asked you yes or no questions and you dodged them.

            3. finlaythethinker

              CO2 is not the problem

              All the hysteria and ridiculous waste of money attempting to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations seems rather pointless when one educates themselves as to the actual facts. Based on ice core analysis, atmospheric CO2 levels have been in the thousands of ppm in the past and yet life flourished. None of the predictions of Al Gore or the UN's IPCC have happened, yet politicians love the idea of imposing carbon tax on the populace, most of who never question what is really going on -- just another scheme to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich. The real science, not the pseudoscience based on fudged data and fear mongering, shows that past atmospheric CO2 increases lag behind worldly temperature increases, often by hundreds of years. The realities are that Earth's climate is always changing, mankind's activities have had an insignificant effect on climate compared to that of the Sun, and considering we all live in an Interglacial period we should be more concerned about freezing than overheating as Earth heads toward the next Ice Age.

              1. Ade Vickers

                Re: CO2 is not the problem

                “just another scheme to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich”

                You would think that, with these myriad schemes the “rich” have to fleece the “poor”, that all the poor would be dead from starvation and homelessness by now... the fact it just hasn’t happened suggests this is more a political dogma, than it is a fact.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I think the best solution would have been direct methanol fuel cells with carbon capture, but for some reason that technology seems to have not been pursued very strongly.

              I won't be changing my cars for another 10 years, my cars are not new anymore, but they will certainly last me 100k miles each, even with mad fuel prices my ICE cars are better for me and my family than replacing them with an EV.

              If I was looking for a new car, I would consider electric, but only if it fit my requirements for the car it replaced, and nothing I've seen meets my needs

              1. Ade Vickers

                “If I was looking for a new car, I would consider electric, but only if it fit my requirements for the car it replaced, and nothing I've seen meets my needs”

                On the upside, as you’re not looking to replace for ~10 years (unless petrol/diesel prices shoot up dramatically?), by then EVs will be better, cheaper, and there’ll be a ton more infrastructure to support them... Waiting is a sensible game, but equally we need the early adopters to iron out the glitches and drive the demand for infrastructure.

        3. werdsmith Silver badge

          The pollution generated isn't directly at pedestrian height in built up areas.

          Some of it is. This is a relative risk thing, ie the risk of engine exhaust products (carbon, NOx) vs other pollutants. So there's also dust created from tires, brakes and wearing the road surface.

          I think we've dealt with this one already. The High street traffic speed is fairly low. Most tyre wear is at high speed and cornering. EV brakes tend to be of the regen variety, which means braking without pad-disk contact. For the urban dense traffic environment, EVs and hybrids do less poisoning.

      2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        > Every new upgrade to renewables/battery storage that is added to the grid instantly upgrades all vehicles to cleaner energy as well.

        Er no.

        Sorry but the so called renewables are just the same issue: pollution and environmental destruction, only re-formed into a new shiny package that lets everyone go crazy about how shiny it is and ignore the problems it causes. In 30 to 40 years time I'm expecting we will all be screaming and protesting about how the dead old solar panels are being dumped in some poor country somehwere, poisoning their water and creating a crisis that will end up on the BBC in a documentary just like the plastic one they recently had.

        I also dont think that placing highly flammable, unstable, heat intolerant and poisonous lithium based battery tech all over the countryside is a good idea. I certaily wouldnt want to live near one in case it go up and the wind is blowing in my direction. I'd expect emergency gas masks to be carried by all adults and children aka WW2 in towns and villages near such facilities.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "I also dont think that placing highly flammable, unstable, heat intolerant and poisonous lithium based battery tech all over the countryside is a good idea"

          I don't think anyone would, but no one is proposing dumping the batteries all over the countryside are they?

          Like Lead acid cells they get recycled. In fact all EV batteries get recycled at the moment, generally re-purposed into backup power supplies. Once they are fully dead then they may need disassembling, but there can't be a claim of no minerals to cover the demand for batteries and another claim for those batteries being thrown away and not recycled. Both can't be true, most likely neither is.

          Also, "I'm not going to drive an EV because in the future there may be an issue with pollution if not managed so I'll just drive an ICE vehicle because the pollution is currently known and is causing serious harm" doesn't add up.

          1. tip pc Bronze badge

            "but there can't be a claim of no minerals to cover the demand for batteries"

            rare earth minerals are not necessarily rare, some are more abundant than copper, they are just often hard to find in large deposits like other minerals.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare-earth_element

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              "rare earth minerals are not necessarily rare, some are more abundant than copper, they are just often hard to find in large deposits like other minerals."

              Not even that - they tend to be bound up with an element called Thorium - mildly radioactive (15 billion year half life) and as such expensive to get rid of.

              Unless you decide to restart Alvin Weinberg's Molten Salt Nuclear reactor projects (which eliminate the single most problematic item from nuclear power - water) - and the it becomes a valuable nuclear fuel at less that 0.01% of the price of reactor-grade uranium (those reactors were ALSO invented by Alvin Weinberg - he made a better mousetrap in the 1960s because he didn't like the costs or weaponisabilty of uranium, or the danger of radioactive steam boilers/bombs and was promptly drummed out of the nuclear industry). Lookup LFTRs and the Oak Ridge Project

            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

              "they are just often hard to find in large deposits like other minerals.

              "

              The heavier ones are usually combined with Thorium which is mildly radioactive. The US classes Thorium as a radioactive hazardous waste while China is banking it for use when LFTR reactors or a similar technology is ready to use it. The waste disposal issue with Thorium is what makes Rare Earths less available in the market outside of Asia. The elements themselves are all over the place.

          2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            > I don't think anyone would, but no one is proposing dumping the batteries all over the countryside are they?

            Like Lead acid cells they get recycled.

            I'm not talking about when they are end of life. I'm talking about when they are activley being used.

            Dumping them around the countryside to be charged up by a wind or solar farm is a disaster waiting to happen. When they are end of life, assuming they survived till then, they will be recycled to a point.

            My post was about the active live batteries dotted around the landscape that wont be recycled becaue they can and will easily fail, taking the rest of the cells with them, spewing their innards into the sky. I never leave a li-ion battery charging that is unsupervised, certainly if its old. Lol I dont sit there watching it but I'm there to try and limit the damage should it go up. Some people I know use a metal baking tray to charge devices/batteries in especially if they are old or 3rd party ones.

            Just think about it for a second.

            1. The post office (other services avalable) require you to DECLARE your package contains li-ion batterues or not. Once declared a large warning sticker is placed in the package, if the post office even permits you to post it as some refuse to handle them. These pakages are then treated like potential explosives. Some of the other couriers will flatley refuse to even handle anything that contains a li-ion battery

            2. Planes dont let you carry them without following certain restrictons. In fact I know that anyone with a 2015 macbook will be asked several questions should they be found trying to take on on a plane.

            3. The samsung Galaxy Note 7

            They are not safe enough to have dotted around the countryside in some big metal box with loads of other batteries all exposed to the blaring heat of the record breaking summers that are hot enough to cause pandemoium on the rails. Maybe they will use A/C to cool them, till that fails. Maybe they will encase each cell in its own fire resistant case so that should one, just one go up it wont take all the others with it.

            This is what happens when one, just one cell fails surrounded by others:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdDi1haA71Q

            And this will be dwarfed by the number of cells used in a facility to be charged by wind or solar in a feild somewhere.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Do you think that you can you send a can of petrol through the post?

            2. AIBailey Silver badge
              FAIL

              Some of the other couriers will flatley refuse to even handle anything that contains a li-ion battery

              And yet, in the UK at least, thousands of mobile phones are handled by couriers every single day, each containing a li-ion battery.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              And in the heat of the Australian south the Tesla Battery seems to be doing remarkably well.

              However having lived near to an oil refinery briefly, I know which I would prefer to risk.

              1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
                Mushroom

                Living half a mile from Buncefield

                in 2005, I think I know which I prefer, too.

                And yet, I have not found it necessary to move.

            4. JLV Silver badge
              Facepalm

              So... are you saying aircrafts, post offices and sundry would be happy with you, if you were to waltz in with a 1L bottle of gasoline/petrol instead?

              Oddly enough, dense forms of energy storage need careful handling. Whodathought?

            5. Stork Silver badge

              The lithium batteries have been used in cars for some years now, does not seem to be a huge problem - the fact that it makes the news when it goes poof is a sure sign.

            6. davealford

              And petrol isn't dangerous?

        2. Peter2 Silver badge

          I'd expect emergency gas masks to be carried by all adults and children aka WW2 in towns and villages near such facilities.

          Wouldn't help. Any lithium battery fire creates hydroflouric acid (not to be confused with hydroclouric) acid which is absorbed on skin contact, at which point it breaks down and somehow has a nasty chain reaction that sinks into your skin down to the bone and starts killing the flesh and bone. Exposure to air with the stuff at a concentration of 50 parts per million for 5 minutes is apparently a lethal dose, and i'm not sure that anybody actually carries instruments capable of detecting the stuff.

          If you know when your affected then you can get treated, but pain only sets in something like 12-24 hours after contact at which point the pain is in response to the final stages. Apparently if you had an arm affected then they'd have to amputate it to avoid the effect spreading. If you breathed it in? The suggestion that I heard was make a will, and say your goodbyes to your loved ones.

          HF really freaks out chemists and people who know what it does. I know it freaks them out, and I know that the Material Safety Data Sheets all require full self contained breathing apparatus and full hazmat style bodysuits to prevent any contact with the stuff and is probably best avoided.

          1. JLV Silver badge

            There’s a quick read scientific article about this.

            https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-09784-z

            Not to be overly dismissive about your concerns, and I note that the paper especially cautions about risks in confined spaces (tunnels...), but we’ve now had EVs operating on roads for while. And this worry has been voiced before. Yet, I can’t recall any accident where the combustion results of the batteries had really bad outcomes. Could be it’s happened, but it can’t be happening that often if it’s low enough that it does not make the news much. People getting killed in their burning ICE car is not uncommon and gets mentioned. Yes, yes, I realize the vehicle percentages are not the same, but there is ample newsworthiness to any EV crash event, which would somewhat counteract lower EV use.

            Hopefully, the real risks posed by LiOn batteries are being proactively mitigated by proper engineering and even more so in the future. I also assume emergency responders will receive better training and equipment over time. People worrying about it is not a waste, but needs careful, number-driven, risk assessments. At the same time gasoline is not without risks:

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Alfaques_disaster

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-M%C3%A9gantic_rail_disaster

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Not to be overly dismissive about your concerns

              They aren't my concerns. They are the listed hazards on the Material Safety Data Sheet so they are the concerns of the designers and manufacturers. I assume that they are better at assessing the risks that I am, or you are.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "Any lithium battery fire creates hydroflouric acid"

            Um.... NO.

            However any car fire which burns the rubber seals around the windows does. Be careful what you touch. Losing your arm due to getting some on a finger is somewhat embarrassing.

          3. Terry 6 Silver badge

            My chemistry teacher, nearly half a century ago, talked about this stuff. (It was used in his PhD apparently). If you got splashed you had to inject a solid he said. Dunno what or how.

            But he made clear that it was very scary stuff.

          4. Steve K Silver badge

            HF and elemental fluorine are indeed nasty (look up Chlorine trifluoride and FOOF also for giggles, or read the recently reprinted “Ignition!” book on rocket fuels).

            However I must ask where the fluorine comes from in the Lithium battery fire that you are talking about to generate HF?

          5. Man inna barrel

            Hydroflouric acid from burning Lithium batteries? I would like to see your chemistry. Hydroflouric acid production is already a problem with ICE engine compartment fires. It is due to PTFE insulation on wires getting hot enough to denature. Fire services are aware of this, and take precautions to avoid exposure.

            Hydroflouric acid is indeed very nasty stuff. Unlike, say, sulphuric acid, it does usually not burn on contact. But over a few hours, it penetrates the skin, and the flouride ions then muck up calcium chemistry in the body, by making calcium into insoluble flouride.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Lithium Hexaflurophosphate + water apparently, but i'm not a chemist. Go and read the MSDS if your curious.

        3. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Please don't opine on the stability, safety and otherwise of LiFePo4 cells without doing a bit more research. You're simply misinformed.

          Here's a video from Sinopoly, one of China's larger manufacturers of LiFePo4 cells: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQs7L5LmEss. Note how the fully charged cell is shot, burned, baked and dead-shorted without exploding, which may surprise you of a "flammable, unstable, heat-intolerant" product.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            LiFePO are more robust/safer than regular Li-Ion ... but with reduced energy density

            LiFePO can be charged and discharged faster than regular Li-Ion / "Li-polymer" and have much greater inherent safety against fire etc ... but have something like 25% less energy density by weight or volume.

            You pick your technology and take the choice.

        4. Stork Silver badge

          Why should the solar panels be dumped? It is fair lumps of high quality silicon, could well be more economical to recycle rather than using raw materials? AFAIR silicon refining is quite energy intensive.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > nuclear (no CO2 but other issues)

        What issues?

        - A tiny amount of waste fuel that sits about till the reactors that run on such fuel are ready?

        - Meltdowns are impossible for new reactors so thats not on the list.

        - Material needed to run them is literally everywhere. Need some? Dig it up from practically anywhere, heck there are beaches full of radioactive sand all over the place.

        - They are bloody expensive to build, due to poor investment. This should come down once Seimens start building the modular designs.

        - They last 60 years out of the box and can be pushed to 100 years with an overhaul.

        They dont seem any worse than solar or windo to me:

        Wind:

        - Kills anything that files through the wind farm. Basically is a great way to cull anything that flies.

        - Uses a huge amount of oil, bet you had no idea about that?

        - When that oil ignites can cause significant fire damage ro arable land and crops.

        - Poses a risk to populated areas should it shed its blades.

        Solar:

        - Exposes human beings to extremily dangerous materials during manufature.

        - Only lasts 30 years, no ability to be recycled unless you pay loads of money. This is important as the choice between recycle and dumping is not a moral one, its a financial one. Just look at the state of domestic recycling, and thats cheaper than recycling solar!

        - When dumped, leaks poisons into the environment. Panels that will not be recycled due to expense will need to be stored in a facility, sealed from the environment.

        - Terribly inefficient

        - Requires rare materials to be dug up from the earth. Quarrying continues, but this time its used in a political fashion with countries going to war (almost) over supply. The employees involved in mining the material are not thought about and may even involve child labour. Kids build the phones, I bet they dig and make the panels too.

        Both wind and solar combined have killed more people than nuclear ever did.

        1. EBG

          .. not really

          The amount of high level waste is not "tiny" in any financial sense. The current plans are for long term deep geological disposal, which are major engineering, expensive projects, relying on very complex safety cases for waste containment over timescales of 1000s years.

          Reactors aren't just going to "come along" which " run on such fuel". The fast breeder reactor programmes were abandoned as unworkable. There is some scope for "nuclear incineration" of waste in PWRs, but not to the extent that they will eliminate all waste. Bear in mind that nuclear is a mature technology and is physics limited, with that physics being well understood. There is no equivalent of "Moore's Law" that's going to give automatic advances.

          Meltdowns are not impossible with current new reactors ( i.e. those in production ). The industry has played games with the definition of passive safety / inherent safety. The EPR for example will still need positive action in the case of loss of coolant to prevent meltdown. Even if that action is automated and not reliant on off-site power, it could still fail.

          SMR cost saving are all hypothetical at the moment.

          1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: .. not really

            Ah well that's because the current fleet was built not to run its own waste.

            And "new reactors" obviously means new designs specifically crafted to passive walk-away safe in the unlikely event of a problem. It doesn't mean the current fleet, nor those being added to the current fleet (which are still 'old' designs).

            All new solutions are hypothetical until they're actually built. By your reasoning we'd never build anything new, because it hasn't been built yet.

          2. JLV Silver badge

            Re: .. not really

            What you say is true, but not the whole story either. Nuclear technology is only really mature in the few types of, early generation, reactors that have been put in use. They were derived somewhat from military submarine reactors and considerations about suitability for military enrichment was also a factor in their choice. Safety was very important, but only after choosing reactor types that were not necessarily the safest alternatives at the time or now. The current crop is generally fail-unsafe: take away their power and active throttling mechanisms and overheating happens, rather than a gradual shutdown.

            There just hasn’t been much serious deployment of more modern designs that aim to mitigate those known issues.

            As far as waste goes, if you put bury it in a geologically stable area without much water and far away from people, who really cares if it’s active for a long time? (There’s also that odd rule that materials can emit lots or radiation or do it for a long time, but it’s hard to do both - sufficiently active stuff decays more quickly).

            On a side note, I wonder if anyone has proposed to centralize world waste storage to truly remote locations, like perhaps some sub-Antarctic island. Still with proper containment and care, but just away from anyone’s backyard. Combine drone and autonomous tech and people might not need to be too closely involved.

            Not worth it, IMHO, until we prove that nuclear energy has sufficient benefits and has sufficiently mitigated reactor risks. But, if it comes to global CO2 or a limited mess somewhere...?

            I imagine there are a whole bunch of valid objections - aside from territoriality/nationality considerations and Green outrage. Perhaps shipping difficulties? The local wildlife too, but that really needs to be weighted against the projected species extinctions due to heat and ocean acidification under business as usual.

            1. EBG

              Re: .. not really

              I'm sorry, but your undersanding is limitted and selective, to the point that you're just plain wrong. Civil PWR are derived from SSN propulsion units in the sense that they're PWRs, but the design details are very different. "Suitability for nulcear enrichment" is a bit confused. Only the very first weapons were enriched U, almost immediately, i.e. in the Nagaski bomb onwards, they were Pu. It's the gas graphite reactors that were dual purpose "Pu factories".

              There are "other issues" with the reactor types that as truely passively safe. E.g. as well as fast breeders being abandonded, so were the pebble bed designs. We're not on gen1 nuclear NPPs, were on gen 2+, having run into a wall with 2 different gen 3 options. Decades of high level research have passed, it's not the case that these designs have not been well explored. That they're not in place is not due to some tin foil hat political conspirancy, it's due to the engineering realities.

              Re. your post on waste below. Simply saying there is a divide between highly active and long lived is extremely misleading. Activity is not the only hazard. You have highly radiotoxic long lived contamination to consider as well as radiation. The high atomic mass fission products, which require deep disposal are not the same as Co60 etc that are the neutron activation products and will decay in-situ in a de-fueled NPP, on the 130 year timeframe.

              1. JLV Silver badge

                Re: .. not really

                "You have highly radiotoxic long lived contamination to consider as well as radiation."

                Correct me if I am wrong, I had to look it up, but radiotoxic implies direct contact with, inhalation or ingestion, does it not? I.e. basically a poison. I was aware of the effect, if not necessarily the term.

                How does that apply to stuff that's buried and vitrified/sealed in concrete in remote areas? Especially places where, for the first 100-200 years care needs to be taken to avoid radiation? You'd expect that containment procedures sufficiently advanced to cover radiation hazard would preclude people getting into direct contact. We're not talking DU shell dust from A-10 gun runs poisoning locals in past battlefields here.

                The claim that we've done all we could with reactor tech strikes me as a bit disingenuous as well. I will happily grant you that current reactor tech and deployment is severely flawed. But the fact remains that very little actual new designs have been built in the last 10-20 years in the West. The system in Finland comes to mind, and while it supports your point, it's also one of the very few data points.

                Bit like if we had frozen jet engine usage at the turbojet level and had never gone on to turbofans, except for theoretical schematics. I would be skeptical with a "we've fixed it" claim coming out - the industry has had many of those - but dismissing it as a hopeless dead end seems quite risky at this point in time.

                And a lot of the costs are not purely technical in nature, but have to do with financing during protracted legal challenges and the lack of standardization.

                We don't know how climate change will progress, but all indications is that it trending at least slightly worse than had been expected only 10 years ago. While renewables are certainly following an encouraging trend, I have yet to see totally convincing proposals about how we'll move to 100% renewables and handle both short term fluctuations (for example, no sun at night) and, more importantly, long term seasonal variations (California Dept of Energy says they get only 20% as much wind+solar in the winter as at summer peaks).

                What we want to do is to have as many plan Bs as possible to cover contingencies for the next 100 years. Fission is one possibility, fusion (hah!) is another. So are large scale solar farms nearer the equator in desert areas. Being dogmatically opposed to nuclear energy vs being healthily skeptical of it, is not something I will be voting for any time soon.

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: .. not really

              "There just hasn’t been much serious deployment of more modern designs that aim to mitigate those known issues."

              That's an understatement - One Richard Milhous Nixon not only killed the only project which was pretty much proven actively resistant to weaponisation and immune to every kind of accident we've seen in civil nuclear power systems, he had it classified beyond top secret. The world only rediscovered Oak Ridge in the late 1990s.

              It's ironic that China's set to be the world's dominant player in molten salt nuclear systems as a result of this(*), because they were diligent enough to acquire as much of the original research as they could when it was released AND because they're willing to put in the large scale investments to make it work whilst all other governments are simply letting small commercial outfits flail around hopelessly with no money.

              (*) And _THE_ economic superpower of the 21st-22nd century as a result. When they sell these systems to most of the rest of the world do you think they'll care that America or western Europe won't buy them until everyone else has one?

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: .. not really

            "The amount of high level waste is not "tiny" in any financial sense. "

            The total amount of high level waste produced from a 800MW nuclear plant over its 60 year lifespan is about enough to fill an olympic-size pool - which oddly enough is also the best place to store it until it cools off sufficiently to handle it safely (about 300 years when the caesium decays away, not 20,000)

            Alternatively if you have a working molten salt nuclear reactor you can dissolve the waste directly into the fuel stream (rod and all) into the fuel stream and achieve 98% burnup - vs the 2% burnup in a conventional reactor. At that point you no longer have hazardous nuclear waste, you have valuable nuclear fuel. MSRs can also dispose of depleted uranium and plutonium the same way, but after you get them up and running on uranium fuel (kickstarter fuel) the ongoing fuel is Thorium - at about $200/kg vs the $40k/kg of enriched uranium - and incidentally thorium happens to be the primary contaminant making rare earth mine tailings difficult and expensive to get rid of most countries, so finding a market for it solves another problem.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So you asked about 'Other Issues' and then stated some other issues (waste and cost). You've answer your own question!

          It will be great when workable fast breeder reactors, for a low price and safe design come on board. With little waste and great economies.

          However, if we are talking about Nuclear today in the UK, then Nuclear is pretty much the most expensive option available, has massive decommissioning costs and timescales with little in the way of a proper disposal plan and has very few companies who are even willing to make them.

          I'm not in any way anti-nuclear. The promises of reliable, constant, cheap, CO2 free energy is great. The realities are just not quite there yet and the sooner they come about the better.

          I just fear that this might never happen. After 60 years there should be multiple companies all bidding to build them without subsidy and bringing electricity prices down to the low levels.

          1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            Unfortunately the greens* have done a good job of making nuclear a lot more expensive, and produce a lot more "waste", than it needs to be.

            For example, decommissioning of the old Magnox reactors was actually considered, and a plan was in place. Plan iswas simple - turn it off and keep cooling it for a while, remove the fuel and remove all the ancillary stuff leaving you with the primary containment about the size of a house. Post some guards in case someone wants to graffiti it or something, and leave it to cool down for (say) 100 years. As anyone who actually understands "things nucular", something is either long lived OR it's highly active - it cannot be highly active and long lived. After 100 years the radioactivity level is low enough, so I've been told by someone who knows about this stuff, that you can cut a hole in the side, walk in, and carry out the carbon blocks making up the moderator.

            But no, the greens* insist that we can't do the sensible thing, we have to do it the most expensive way possible - meaning to dismantle a "hot" reactor and find something to do with all the highly active stuff while it cools down.

            Similarly, a lot of the "waste" that we are being forced to get rid of at great expense could (as you point out) be considered fuel in the right type of reactor - vastly reducing the quantity of waste to be dealt with. But again, for political reasons this isn't happening - not for valid technical or economic reasons, but the green* PR machine can't allow plutonium to exist even if it's then fuel for a reactor.

            AIUI there is enough wastefuel already in storage in the UK for us to be 100% nuclear for at least a century if we had the right reactor fleet.

            * Certain factions. No matter what you want to do, you will find someone in the "green" movement who is against it for some "green" reason.

            1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

              Quote:

              Similarly, a lot of the "waste" that we are being forced to get rid of at great expense could (as you point out) be considered fuel in the right type of reactor - vastly reducing the quantity of waste to be dealt with. But again, for political reasons this isn't happening - not for valid technical or economic reasons, but the green* PR machine can't allow plutonium to exist even if it's then fuel for a reactor.

              ----

              And never forget the huge amount of 'low level' waste that goes into the drigg dump at sellafield, polluting the landscape with the hard hats worn by visiting celebs/politicos etc etc etc

              Hell there are areas of Exmoor and Bodmin moor that are more radioactive that that dump... so they can go in too..

              But back to the subject of EVs ..... all we're changing with EVs is where the pollution is emitted, ie at the power station exhaust and where ever the batteries are made.. after all it takes the same energy to accelerate a 1000lb car to 30 mph not matter if its powered by electric , burning fossils or pink fairies

              If it doesn't , then theres something very wrong with the universe......

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                And never forget the huge amount of 'low level' waste that goes into the drigg dump at sellafield, polluting the landscape with the hard hats worn by visiting celebs/politicos etc etc etc

                And never forget that a lot of that low level waste is medical, either from isotopes used by hospitals, or that have passed through patients. Which is fun for Sellafield, eg-

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sellafield#Norwegian_objections

                ..radioactive materials leaked into the sea at Sellafield along the entire coast of Norway and water samples have shown up to tenfold increases in such materials as technetium-99

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technetium-99m

                ..Technetium-99m is a metastable nuclear isomer of technetium-99 (itself an isotope of technetium), symbolized as 99mTc, that is used in tens of millions of medical diagnostic procedures annually, making it the most commonly used medical radioisotope

                Soo.. I wonder if Sellafield is really the source? Nuclear alchemy is fun like that, and also one of those things 'renewables' can't do, ie cheaply/reliably produce medical or industrial isotopes used in diagnostics or treatments.. Yet another of the ways Greens want to kill people, intentionally or otherwise.

                But they've spent a long time arguing against nuclear, even though they're now demanding 3-4x more electricity than the UK currently produces to decarbonise our economy. Simplest solution would of course be building more reactors.. And a sensible enrichment/breeding/refuelling programme to create fuel, isotopes, and of course burn waste.

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                "Hell there are areas of Exmoor and Bodmin moor that are more radioactive that that dump... so they can go in too.."

                Most coal station exhaust stacks are far more radioactive than that dump.....

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "It will be great when workable fast breeder reactors, for a low price and safe design come on board. With little waste and great economies."

            Fast breeders - heh heh. With molten sodium coolant, heh heh. "It won't catch fire this time guys, honest. We learned from Shippingport, really!"

            Richard Nixon was sold that when he killed the Oak Ridge project in favour of his boys in Southern California. Guess what happened.

            Japan was convinced they'd solved it when they setup Monju. 20 tons of burning sodium in the basement makes for a bad day. They're still cleaning that one up (and that wasn't even in the nuclear loop!)

            The Russians tried molten lead coolant loops - the fumes ate the brains of a number of their researchers.

            I'm quite sure that at some point in the future Alvin Weinberg will be canonised for his successful effort to produce a properly safe and usefully hot nuclear reactor - and his production of one that ran for 9000 hours between 1966 and 1969 - with NO measurable corrosion despite the claims made by FUD teams since then.

            Weinberg used Uranium for the Nautilus reactor because that's what was available, not because it was the best fuel for the job. He used a steam boiler design because that's what worked for the job and was entirely containable and had an effectively infinite heatsink just outside the hull, and steam turbines were well understood by navies - not because it was the perfect technology for the job. He was _extremely_ unhappy that his 60-80MW 6bar design was scaled up to 3000MW and 100bar - the stresses on the engineering go up with the cube of the power and these are massive steam bombs ready to explode. He was firmly convinced even before making the Nautilus and Shippingport reactors that Thorium was the best long term answer - likening it to diesel and enriched uranium to TNT in terms of fuel types.

            1. Jim84

              I think it is about time The Register interviewed Kirk Sorenson about molten salt reactors.

        3. The Last Elephant

          WTF?

          " When that oil ignites can cause significant fire damage ro arable land and crops.

          - Poses a risk to populated areas should it shed its blades."

          That's a very thin straw you're clutching at there...

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            >> - Poses a risk to populated areas should it shed its blades."

            > That's a very thin straw you're clutching at there...

            Oh really? There are multiple recorded incidents across Europe of shed blades going more than a mile downwind. That 2 mile clearance zone is there for a reason.

            1. Stork Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              And the oil fire? That is new to me.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "until we can generate the power for them without burning dino juice"

      It's worse than that.

      Even if we keep the dino-burners (which we won't), we won't have ENOUGH generation capacity to feed an EV fleet and keep up with existing electricity requirements, no matter how much "renewable" generation capacity is deployed (simply because it can't extract enough from what's available - unlimited supply doesn't mean unlimited availability)

      removing gas connections after 2025 is going to add as much electrical demand again.

      The _only_ way to meet demand is nuclear and those tend to take 30 years to build. By the time this gets realised the rolling power cuts will have already begun (and those whizzo smart meters with their ability to charge uber-peak time rates will be earning their keep for the power companies - yes they DO have remote cutoff relays in them to knock the plebs offline, see Big Clive's teardown of one obtained under dubious circumstances)

    3. jmch Silver badge

      " it matters not a jot that everyone has zero emitting vehicles until we can generate the power for them without burning dino juice."

      1)

      -ICE in car efficiency approx 20-25%

      -Combined cycle plant efficiency 40-45%.

      Even accounting for 5% transmission losses and 10-15% charging losses, electric cars come out ahead in CO2 emissions even if every single watt they use comes from dino juice

      2) Tailpipe emissions aren't only CO2, there's all sorts of nasties that I would rather not have to breathe.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        "there's all sorts of nasties that I would rather not have to breathe."

        We are living at a time of unparalleled air quality (wood and coal smoke made for horrible air, and the waste from horses etc made things much worse), and mortality and morbidity levels that could only be dreamed about only a hundred years ago, yet people are still bleating about the emissions from cars!

        1. Col_Panek

          So why aren't you still driving diesels?

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            I am - both my cars are diesel.

  2. Keith Oborn

    A bit out of date?

    A parliamentary report form last year - so probably using information from some while before.

    I'm on my second EV (Nissan Leaf) and it is already price-competitive with an equivalent IC car if you look at overall cost of ownership. Same goes for other models. The only difference is range, and from personal experience that is a red herring for almost all usage patterns.

    The E-Golf is a bad example: an expensive lashed-up conversion of an existing model. Look at future VW models for a better comparison.

    There is a good secondhand market already: look at Auto Trader. OK, the absolute number of cars is low, but then that reflects the number sold in past years.

    Charging points are a problem. The main issue is the stupid multiple payment systems, although at least HM Gov are working on that, all new ones must take bank cards from next year. Given that the largest "network" is now owned by BP, I suspect that this issue will get fixed for existing units quite soon.

    A lot of public charge points are in odd locations. Ecotricity did a good job on this, putting them at motorway service stations. BP will no doubt know some good places!

    BUT: EV owners only rarely need to use a public charge point. Most charging is at home.

    Perhaps El Reg might like to write, copy or link to an article that shows the real situation - warts and all, for there are warts, but they are small and shrinking.

    1. Swiss Anton

      Re: A bit out of date?

      "is already price-competitive with an equivalent IC car if you look at overall cost of ownership"

      They aren't taxed like non-electric vehicles, once tax revenues from the sale hydrocarbon fuels start to significantly drop, I sure that some new tax will be created to compensate.

      I will conceded that servicing costs of pure electric vehicles "should" always be cheaper than non-electric cars, but again, the dealers will not want to lose out on the profits to be made from servicing vehicles.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: A bit out of date?

        What is there left to service though?

        Off the top of my head, wiper blades, cabin air cleaners maybe once a year and dampers every 100,000km. Almost everything else unrelated to internal combustion engines is a lifetime item these days.

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: A bit out of date?

          Brakes, wheel bearings etc, and all the usual body electrical items will all still require servicing or replacement.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A bit out of date?

            Wheel bearings should last the life of any car. Brakes don't need changing on an EV for most drivers.

            Electrical items don't need servicing on any vehicle, they might need replacing if they develop a fault but shouldn't be the norm.

          2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Re: A bit out of date?

            Brake pads do last longer on an EV because they prefer regenerative braking, but I don't know what the lifetime is. Wheel bearings are not a service item on most modern cars and in many cases can't be replaced without tossing out the entire hub assembly.

            Out of interest which electrical items are you referring to? I'm talking about scheduled servicing, not unscheduled replacement of unexpected parts failures.

            (I also didn't mention tyres because who gets their tyres replaced at a stealership? - shouldn't have mentioned wiper blades for the same reason)

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A bit out of date?

          Tyres, wheel alignment, washer fluid - there's not a lot.

        3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: A bit out of date?

          There's a lot of service items beyond the engine, spark plugs, oil and air filter.

          Suspension, transmission (unless we're talking in-hub motors), other filters, aircon, brakes (less so due to regenerative braking), bearings, bushes, wipers, lights (less so as LEDs become widespread)... to name a few. Batteries, battery coolant.

          Suspension, bushes and bearings are under more strain due to the increased weight, and manufacturers love to make these things as cheap as possible so I expect the same MTBFs will still apply.

          Tyres wear faster due to extra weight.

          Still a lot of things left to service on an EV.

          1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Re: A bit out of date?

            It's certainly fair to say that there are still a lot of things that can go wrong on an EV, but a lot of them aren't scheduled service items.

            Battery coolant is an interesting one. I had assumed the very different operating environment meant this was a lifetime item or close to it. It looks like it's a 5 year/100,000 km replacement on a Tesla.

            Suspension should only be under more strain if they're not properly specified. They're not taking suspension from a 1750 kg vehicle and throwing it straight on a 2500 kg vehicle. At least I hope not.

      2. batfink Bronze badge

        Re: A bit out of date?

        The latest statistics I can easily find (https://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn09.pdf) (2016) showed fuel tax in the UK bringing in £27.6Bn, or 3.9% of government income.

        Somehow I doubt that the UK government's commitment to electrifying the transport sector will also come with a commitment not to somehow collect an equivalent amount of cash.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A bit out of date?

        Cost of replacing an ICE engine, vs a battery pack or EV motor? Hmmm... Hmmmm.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: A bit out of date?

          Depends on the motor. Typical ICE can easily run to £5k-£10k or more, which seems roughly equivalent to EV battery prices I've heard quoted.

        2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: A bit out of date?

          How often does anyone replace an ICE engine or, for that matter, a battery pack?

          1. Swiss Anton

            Re: A bit out of date?

            "How often does anyone replace an ICE engine or, for that matter, a battery pack?"

            Its a bit early to say how often someone will need to replace the battery pack on a car, as the number of seven year old electric cars is very small. On the other hand, I've had to replace the batteries on a phone more than once. I've also had to replace a lead acid battery on a petrol car.

        3. Daniel 18

          Re: A bit out of date?

          "Cost of replacing an ICE engine, vs a battery pack or EV motor? Hmmm... Hmmmm."

          In fifty years of driving IC vehicles, mostly second hand, typically 40,000 km/year, and keeping them an average of about 8 years, I have *never* had to replace an engine.

          I could relegate my current car to longer trips only, and buy a Tesla S, but that would cost me about $40,000 more than I paid for my current vehicle, before looking into the insurance implications. I am sure my insurance would climb substantially, perhaps enough to pay for half my gasoline from that factor alone.

          And $40,000 buys a lot of maintenance and fuel, particularly if you invest it. One might find that at the end of the reasonable ownership period for the Tesla you would still be $30,000 ahead of the game, enough to buy a reasonable IC vehicle new, and still have more than $10,000 left over.

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: A bit out of date?

        "dealers will not want to lose out on the profits to be made from servicing vehicles."

        They'll hate it, but they better face up to it and find new ways to bring in revenue. EV's are gaining in popularity and dealers that don't face their in for a shift in business will go out of business.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A bit out of date?

      I see the Petrolheads are out in force today.

      It seems that any post supporting EV's is downvoted almost into oblivion.

      Us smug gits in our Leaf's that ONLY use renewable Electricity from companies like Ecotricity, Octopus and our own Solar Panels will have the last laughs.

      I've just bought my second Leaf and love the quietness. I don't miss putting petrol into my daily transport.

      What is happening in the EV market is just like what happened 110 years ago with ICE vehicles. At first only the rich could afford them. Then Ford came along with the Model 'T' and suddenly almost everyone could afford a car.

      With the Peugeot 208EV and Vauhall Corsa coming along soon and the VW ID range next year, price parity won't be far away. Then we'll see the numbers reall take off.

      Oh, and even on long trips, my running costs are 4-6p/mile. Can you get that out of your dino-guzzler?

      As for the tyre and brake dust excuse... The tyres on most EV's last longer than on ICE's and because of the regenerative braking (using the electric motor as a generator) I need to hardly use the brakes. In fact, on the Leaf, I drive around town using one pedal (the throttle). Those facts mean that the amount of pollution coming from an EV in normal use is miniscule when compared to ICE cars.

      Go ahead and downvote this. Every downvote is IMHO someone just sticking their head in the sand.

      1. Evil Scot

        Re: A bit out of date?

        If you really want to be smug.

        Do you freeze your balls off de-icing the car.

        Do you spend the first half of the journey waiting for the car to warm up?

        Do you spend the second half of the journey waiting for the driver to warm up?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A bit out of date?

          Or you can just use an app to tell the car to warm up (or cool down) before you get in it. Some Evs have this and they don't need to sit there pushing out pollution to do it.

          Just jump into a nice warm car each morning (fully deiced).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A bit out of date?

            Waste of energy. Increases demand, creates pollution.

            Wear a coat and use a scaper. Amazingly they dont run on electricity.

            1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: A bit out of date?

              Nice plan - I'll remember that next time it drops to -32C in Canada.

              1. OVah2eze
                Thumb Up

                Re: A bit out of date?

                Commuted with a Leaf for 7 years in Canada. Leaf *always* starts, no matter how cold. Low centre of gravity and winter tyres and it drives securely in snow/ice. You are wearing boots, mitts and a coat at -25 already, yes? You'll be fine. Only issue is clearing the fog, so I have a 200W 12V dash fan. Japan didn't believe heat was needed, so software prevents it from being operational below a 18.5C set-point sadly. When it is -25C, enough heat to clear the windows is -20C oops.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A bit out of date?

          > Do you freeze your balls off de-icing the car.

          You should, anything else is a waste of energy.

          > Do you spend the first half of the journey waiting for the car to warm up?

          You shouldnt warm up your car if its electric, its a waste of energy. Use the warm steering wheel instead. As for a car with an engine, heat is merely a byproduct, put it to good use!

          > Do you spend the second half of the journey waiting for the driver to warm up?

          If you are in a warm car why are you still cold? Go to a doctor

      2. Pete4000uk

        Re: A bit out of date?

        Um, please tell us how buying from Ecotricity get you ONLY renewable electrons coming down the wires?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A bit out of date?

          > Um, please tell us how buying from Ecotricity get you ONLY renewable electrons coming down the wires?

          Dear God, it's not hard...electrons from a renewable generating source mean fewer electrons needed from a non-renewable source. You don't actually have to use them yourself.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A bit out of date?

            > Dear God, it's not hard...electrons from a renewable generating source mean fewer electrons needed from a non-renewable source. You don't actually have to use them yourself.

            What do you do on a still hot night? No sun, no wind.

            How do you sleep knowing you are using dirty electrons when you charge your car?

            1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: A bit out of date?

              Maxwell's Demon. He's figured it out and put it to work as an electron bouncer.

            2. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: A bit out of date?

              Why are are we talking about buying electrons? How far does an electron drift around the electricity network in an AC system anyway? It can't even make up its mind which direction to go.

              By EMF, we are paying a utility company to generate for us.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A bit out of date?

              > What do you do on a still hot night? No sun, no wind.

              Turn the lights off and have sex.

          2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            Re: A bit out of date?

            Dear God, it's not hard

            It seems to be for those who've fallen for the greenwash.

            In this country we do NOT, except on rare (and short) occasions, have excess zero carbon and zero fossil fuel based generation. As we get more EVs, this will get worse, not better - particularly overnight when it is suggested a lot of EVs will be charged to use the cheaper lecky.

            So given that with the current screwed up system, all renewables must be bought regardless of price (and penalties paid if it can't be taken), there will be at any time all the renewables (and most o the time, nuclear) fully used. Along comes Mr Smug and plugs in his Smugmobile to charge - where does that extra (i.e. the incremental amount needed to charge that EV) come from ?

            Clue, it CANNOT come from renewables, they are already running at 100%. Somewhere, the taps will open on a fossil fuelled power station to make up the extra demand. This is a fundamental concept that many people just cannot seem to grasp. It makes no difference what your lecky supplier calls your tariff - it's all the same lecky, comes from the same mix, and is in no way "adding to" the amount of "green" lecky available or being used.

            Please don't take this as me being anti lecky vehicles because I'm not. Quite frankly, I'd consider one or two right now if it weren't for the fact that they would be as affordable for us as buying a house is affordable for many people - i.e. not at all. It's a shame because the majority of our use would suit a lecky vehicle nicely - and we have the luxury of being able to park all our fleet in the drive and could plug them in. I've even thought about the practicalities of a conversion, but still not remotely without our financial abilities. As an aside, our youngest car is 13 years old and we only have that because I inherited it from my late father, the oldest is 31 years old.

            But at the moment EVs are at least in part a false statement by the owner - the "see, I'm green" image which as above is false. There is no such thing as green lecky regardless of what lies the suppliers tell you. That isn't going to change until we have "quite a lot" more nuclear capacity.

            Go ahead, downvote me - it seems that using logic and facts is frowned upon by certain groups.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A bit out of date?

              > Clue, it CANNOT come from renewables, they are already running at 100%.

              Sure, now, at this moment in time. But at this moment in time the Mr Smugs have not yet materialised so there is time to build more renewable generating capacity.

              And no this doesn't mean covering the entire country in turbines: installed turbines are typically capable of generating 2.5-3MW. GE recently unveiled a 12.5MW turbine.

              1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

                Re: A bit out of date?

                Yeah, and how man of those huge turbines are going to get built ? And when ?

                It's going to be a loooong time before we reach "zero carbon" generation mix except at a few sweet points. In winter when demand is highest and solar is very much reduced, it's going to be even longer.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A bit out of date?

        > I see the Petrolheads are out in force today.

        Okay, what about physics pedants? :-)

        > The tyres on most EV's last longer than on ICE's and because of the regenerative braking (using the electric motor as a generator) I need to hardly use the brakes

        The bit the slows a car and wears the tyres is the friction between the tyre and the road. Ignoring exceptional circumstances such as skidding, when the wheels rotate more slowly then the car slows down. It's irrelevant whether that reduction in wheel rotational speed was caused by regenerative braking, conventional engine-braking or by a disk brake.

        If anything, the tyres on an EV will last less long than on an ICE vehicle because of (a) additional vehicle weight and (b) more powerful acceleration, tempting the driver's right foot.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A bit out of date?

        > Can you get that out of your dino-guzzler?

        Funny how you say that considering your battery car is running on gas mostly.

        Oh, because you pay a tiny eclectric company to install a few wind farms and panels you think they magically deliver that energy to you? How do they do that? Can the electrons be directed to you like the post is?

        Here, take a look at this. This site will tell you where your power is coming from, at any time of day. Just because you pay ecotricity does not mean you are using renewable energy. You are using whatever is generated, so when there is no sun or wind (like on a cold still night) your car is charging on gas and a small amount of poorly funded nuclear.

        https://gridwatch.co.uk/

        If you watch that you will see that the majority of the electricity you use at any time of day and certainly at night comes from good ol dino gas.

        So stop pretending to walk about with a smugness in your step thinking you are some kid of rebel for using exclusivley renewable energy. You can only do that if you never plug into the grid and use your own panels. You use the same stuff we all do.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A bit out of date?

          I can be smug knowing that the Electricity used to power my car comes from Sun and Wind. Most of it is generated by my Solar Panels and when I'm not using it, it is charging the 21kWh battery that I have. I can disconnet my home from the grid in winter for more than two days if I have a full battery.

          At this time of year, I can charge my car overnight using the power in the battery, go out all day knowing that the sun (even on a cloudy day I get 4kWh ery and today it will be more than 20kWh) is charging my home battery ready for me to charge again when I get home. I don't need to charge every day given my use case.

          IT is all down to a change in mindset that I had withing a few weeks of getting my Leaf. Once you do that usig an EV isn't a problem at all.

          Oh, and if the lies of Ecotricity were not supplying 100% renewable power 24/7/52 then the ASA etc would have stopped them advertising this fact.

          Get your blinkers off and embrace the future or ar you still working for a buggy whip maker?

          1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: A bit out of date?

            A really effective personal transport solution shouldn't require a change in mindset. It should just work, as well as if not better than the thing it replaces. Reduced convenience is hardly a compelling argument.

            As to your local generation, that's great and it works for you but many people can't afford it, lack suitable space/roof-orientation to build it if they can afford it, lack a dedicated parking space even if they otherwise have the means, lattitude is barely adequate... etc. etc.

            ASA...? Come on, they're toothless. Please. You can't be that naive. Besides, regardless of what Ecotricity et. al. provide, you aren't justs shuttling their electons into your Leaf.

      5. Avatar of They
        Facepalm

        Re: A bit out of date?

        Smug? When you can get your over priced over weight Leaf from Leeds to Cardiff in the UK and back in one go without waiting for 30 mins every 150 miles. In one of the very few refuelling stations that currently exist. Then you might have a point.

        But your precious Leaf can't do that. Neither can it carry four people and luggage, or pull a trailer, or horse box, or carry plumbing supplies, or help the builder, or electrician, it can't clean the streets, empty the bins, carry paying passengers, drive in all road conditions, can' help farmers, or the emergency services carry sick people etc etc. And bear in mind the VW ID range are concepts, so until proven, they are just pretty marketing rubbish.

        So 'head in the sand' or practicality. Which is far more important to every day use than your belief you are somehow better for paying over the odds.

        To replace what people use diesel and petrol for, you will need every shell garage to have a charging point and every Asda car parking spot has one. (not just two sat in a corner) With every charge being under a minute or two.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A bit out of date?

          Well if I wanted to go from Leeds to Cardiff in my Model 3 it would require a 7 minute stop at a supercharger to complete the journey costing £1.94.

          I would use one of the 1661 rapid chargers available (probably just one of the hundreds of Tesla Superchargers across the country).

          I could carry four people and luggage quite easily and pull a trailer and carry plumbing supplies, but I don't need to pull a horsebox, help a builder or electrician, clean the streets, empty the bins, carry paying passengers, help a farmer or the help the emergency services carry sick people.

          Luckily the emergency services already use their own electric vehicles, so do taxis, so do street cleaners and there are electric vehicles that can tow over a few tons.

          "To replace what people use diesel and petrol for, you will need every shell garage to have a charging point and every Asda car parking spot has one. (not just two sat in a corner) With every charge being under a minute or two."

          No you won't, where do you get that from? Does every Asda have a fuel pump in every car parking spot now? Most EVs will have their 'tanks' refilled every night at home. They will rarely need to even use a public charging station.

      6. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: Go ahead and downvote this.

        Ok I will. Not because you have an EV, you can afford that option and it works for your circumstances, but because you believe you're charging it with ONLY use renewable Electricity from companies like Ecotricity, Octopus. No. You get the same grid mix as the rest of us (minus your solar panels -- also financially beyond reach for many).

        PS

        Ecotricity Vegan Energy...? WTF!?! Do other providers fuel their generators with a steady stream of live animals? This has to be up there with the most ridiculous, stupid, bandwagon jumping virtue signalling nonsense there has ever been.

        https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-green-energy/vegan-energy-supply

      7. MrXavia
        Unhappy

        Re: A bit out of date?

        EV's are a great idea but they are also not as convenient or efficient as people think...

        It would cost me in my larger (and way more comfortable) than a Nissan Leaf gas guzzler about 11-12p/Mile, and please consider that over half that cost to me is tax you will eventually need to pay when more cars are EV's

        I would like an EV, but I worked out it would take me around 300k miles to recoup the costs of switching cars not including running costs and that is only if I switch to a cheap EV like the leaf (assuming costs remained the same), and considering I have only done 30k miles in 6 years that is 60 years of driving!

        Sure I will probably go EV when I change my car, but until they reach price parity in terms of luxury versions I will not change ,not because I don't worry about the environment, but because I can't afford to change.

      8. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: A bit out of date?

        I see the Petrolheads are out in force today.

        It seems that any post supporting EV's is downvoted almost into oblivion.

        I'm a petrolhead and I love EVs, not as much as I love V8s, but I do love them. I will have one at some point. They've basically ecotard proofed one of my favourite hobbies. And, ludicrous as this will sound given that we now have something like 250 years worth of oil on line thanks to tech and prices, if the oil was to run low, EVs mean we have somewhere to go for rapid transport.

        Oh, and even on long trips, my running costs are 4-6p/mile. Can you get that out of your dino-guzzler?

        You do realise that with the premium price of the EV, you're basically pre-purchasing about 10 years worth of fuel, right? Unfortunately, they don't run on smugness alone.

        The tyres on most EV's last longer than on ICE's and because of the regenerative braking (using the electric motor as a generator) I need to hardly use the brakes.

        You seem to be overlooking the amount of tyre wear due to cornering. Its not all about acceleration and breaking, though in terms of torque being available immediately in an EV, tyre wear could quite conceivably rise with like for like driving.

        Those facts mean that the amount of pollution coming from an EV in normal use is miniscule when compared to ICE cars.

        No it doesn't. The pollution used to create the batteries for an EV far far outstrip any CO2 emitted from an ICE in its working life. You're in the hole before you leave the showroom, and that's assuming you run it on pollution free electricity, which no matter what your supplier may tell you, isn't CO2 free. All you do buy insisting on it, is defray your pollution onto the rest of us because there's not enough "green" energy to go around.

        Have an EV, love your EV, by all means. Just lose the smugness, because that's borne mostly of ignorance than facts. And I speak as an EV loving petrolhead.

    3. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: A bit out of date?

      The Nissan Leaf has a RRP starting at £31,440 - a Hyuandai i10 has a RRP starting at £9,091 - a difference of over £20,000 !! This difference will pay for a lot of petrol or diesel fuel. (At current prices and the mpg of an i10 it would be sufficient for about 140,000 miles!!)

      The capital cost of a Nissan Leaf at over £30k is beyond the means of most car drivers in the UK even with hire purchase. Add to that the difficulty in charging for anyone living in a flat and the time taken to do a full charge (with a standard 13 amp socket it takes about 10 hours for a full charge of a Leaf vs 5 minutes to fill up an i10 at a petrol station). (Even with a high power charger (30 Amp 7kW) it takes over 4 hours for a full charge (and this sort of charger normally requires house wiring changes.))

      In calm winter nights there is very little power available from renewables - the increased demand from a large fleet of EVs would require the building of several more conventional power stations (nuclear, coal or gas) and would probably require reinforcement of the National Grid in several locations.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A bit out of date?

        But a Jaguar XJ starts from £62,000 compared to a Nissan Leaf at £30k.

        A Dacia Sandero is under £7k compared to a Hyundai i10 at £9.091 think of the savings.

        A bike is £100 compared with an i10 at £9,091 with the only fuel being a bit of Shredded Wheat.

        It's fun comparing prices of completely different vehicles isn't it? (Doesn't mean much but, hey).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They were not.

          Completely different? Did they use a Jag or a Dacia as an example?

          Did they use the fuel costs and mileage as an example?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They were not.

            No, they compared a Nissan Leaf to a Hyundai i10 to make a statement about cost difference.

            That's as valid as making a cost comparison between any two other vehicles.

            If you have two identical spec cars from the same manufacturer, same trim but one is an EV and one is a Petrol and the EV promoter states that it is much more cost effective. It makes sense to compare cost of the vehicle and total running costs to point out if the ICE is cheaper over 140,000 miles. Otherwise it is meaningless.

    4. macjules Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: A bit out of date?

      1) HMRC right now is like the music CD industry around 2008 or so: they can see that the revenue from petrol/diesel is going to die, but refuse to acknowledge it might happen.

      2) Given that their reports tend to be at least 2 years out of date you should expect another 2 - 3 years before seeing any real improvement in public charging points.

      3) Apropos 2 above there should be a caveat as HMRC is undoubtedly trying to work out a way of generating the lost fossil fuel/ICE income. Possibly high EV car taxes earnestly labelled as "environmental taxes"?

      1. Kernel Silver badge

        Re: A bit out of date?

        "3) Apropos 2 above there should be a caveat as HMRC is undoubtedly trying to work out a way of generating the lost fossil fuel/ICE income. Possibly high EV car taxes earnestly labelled as "environmental taxes"?"

        In New Zealand this issue is addressed with something called "Road User Charges" (RUC), which are payable by any vehicle which uses a fuel not taxed at source ie., one of petrol, CNG or LPG.

        At the moment EVs are exempt in a bid to increase uptake, but IIRC this exemption ends in 2023. The amount paid in RUC varies by vehicle weight, number of axles, tyre and suspension type, but a typical EV would currently be paying $78NZ per 1000km.

    5. Aoyagi Aichou

      Re: A bit out of date?

      "I'm on my second EV (Nissan Leaf) and it is already price-competitive with an equivalent IC car if you look at overall cost of ownership."

      This is absolutely false. Not only is the Leaf (which is a car that I genuinely like, by the way) significantly more higher an equivalent ICE car, but the costs of maintenance of EVs are generally rather generously underestimated.

      "The only difference is range, and from personal experience that is a red herring for almost all usage patterns."

      I don't know how many people do long trips often, but I don't think there's so few of them to wave them off like that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A bit out of date?

        The stats are out there.

        For a 200 mile+ EV the average person would need to use a public charger 2~3 time a year if they can charge at home.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: A bit out of date?

          If...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A bit out of date?

          For a 200 mile+ EV the average person would need to use a public charger 2~3 time a year if they can charge at home

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

          Where I live - the metropolitan area, not the country - hundreds of thousands of people will make trips exceeding 200 miles most late spring to early fall weekends, and a somewhat smaller number will do so many winter weekends.

          I guess you don't drive much.

          Not everyone is a stay-at-home.

          For that matter, one way to the city of one of several girlfriends over the years would be more than twice that 200 miles, and I really wouldn't want to make the trip any longer than it had to be for a long weekend visit. Eleven hours of driving is quite long enough.

          Of course, one of my girlfriends was made of tougher stuff than I am - she could do a 23 hour trip, only stopping when the car needed refueling.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A bit out of date?

        "the costs of maintenance of EVs are generally rather generously underestimated."

        They don't need to be underestimated the costs are out there. You don't need to service an EV in the traditional sense of an ICE. Tyres and wheels are the same in that regards, Wipers and washers the same, Air filters are similar.

        It's a worry for dealers for sure. It's a conflict of interest for them to push an EV for the short term commission knowing that service costs will be a lot lower. However the sales and service departments are separate and have their own targets!

        1. macjules Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: A bit out of date?

          Sorry to disagree with you on this. The wear on EV tyres is significantly higher than for ICE vehicles, due to the torque. I estimated that it was at least 25% higher as I usually had to change tyres at least once every 2 years, and I owned a Tesla Model S from 2014 to 2018.

          As for the dichotomy of sales v service I would not worry too much about it. BMW i3 EV (for example) has a pretty abysmal service record where Fast Charging causes certain features to be reset, Low-cost charging does not work at all etc. - all blamed by BMW upon "users not knowing how to use our App"

          I might consider another EV sometime in the future when car manufacturers stop the incessant BS and make cars with a range that honestly matches an ICE car with a full tank or a genuine "10 minute 95% recharge". Until then I am happy polluting Southern England with my Alfa Stelvio and its warning after 400 miles when it is about to run out of distilled ancient tree juice.

      3. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: A bit out of date?

        I bought my first EV about 3 months ago - a 2017 Leaf with 30KWh battery pack, from a Nissan dealer. Gives us an easy 100 mile range with a mix of motorway/urban driving, which is enough for 99% of our trips. I haven't had to do any maintenance yet, but when you look under the hood there's an awful lot less to maintain so I can't imagine it's going to be more expensive than an ICE car.

        Price was £13,500. Given we were spending £2k/year on diesel in our old car I'd expect it to easily pay for itself within ten years, maintenance included.

      4. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: A bit out of date?

        Up until fairly recently, I used to drive all over the country for my hobby. This could mean anything up to 300 miles in a day with another event the next day. The car needed to be ready to go at a moments notice whilst on the event. An electric car would have been useless. I used to work 50 miles from home on shifts, regularly getting home after 10pm,and setting off at 6am the next morning. My car at the time had a range of just over 150 miles (SIII Land Rover), so I needed to fill up every second day - easy and took <5 minutes. An EV would have been useless. To visit friends and relatives in the UK is a 350 mile trip one way - currently doable in 5.5 hours if I'm on my own. An EV would be useless. I need to tow fairly often, or to take large amounts of heavy stuff in the car - an EV would be useless. I need a people carrier for various reasons - an EV would be useless. I have considered a *hybrid*, but pure electric would require too much change in the way I do things, and I see no reason to.

    6. Jack 12

      Re: A bit out of date?

      I would quite like to consider an EV, but at the moment "most charging is done at home" is problematic for me, given that I live in a first floor flat, with communal parking that doesn't include a charging point in each parking space.

      I can't imagine I'm even the least advantaged in this, indeed I've personally had worse situations than I currently have. It's fine if you have a garage or driveway at your property where you can install your own charging point, but many people, particularly in urban areas, rely on on-street parking, with no guarantee that the parking space will be particularly adjacent to their property.

      I then work in a workplace that has (far) fewer allocated parking spots than people who need to drive (woeful public transport here), and most of the time am again reliant on on-street parking, so I wouldn't even be able to rely on charging whilst at work.

      That's the public charge point issue I need to be addressed before it becomes remotely practical, not just "can we build a bunch co-located with petrol stations/service stations" for when I'm doing longer distances and need to charge.

    7. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: A bit out of date?

      Err.

      EV owners only rarely need to use a public charge point. Most charging is at home

      The leafy suburb market with front drives will, I suspect, not be adequate to support a market fully.

      The inner-city living driver, the older style terrace (even in the suburbs, and if it's London especially) living driver, the flat dweller None of us have access to a front drive charging point.

      And public charge points need to be cheap enough to not cause resentment. And I'm saying now, I'll be bloody resentful if I find in the future that I'm paying more to charge and run my car from a public charge point near my North London terraced house than the rich folks do.in the driveways of their million pound+ semis and detached houses.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A bit out of date?

      "The only difference is range, and from personal experience that is a red herring for almost all OF MY usage patterns."

      FIFY.

      I just checked, and it looks like the average low temperature in the a couple of English towns, and the average monthly lows never get below 0 degrees - not even freezing.

      You live in a small, warm country with a dense population and cities whose layout developed before the automobile became significant.

      If you live in a much larger, colder, more dispersed country with cities largely built after WW2, the use cases are substantially different.

      For that matter, that your use cases are satisfied by EVs means very little about how well they may work for other people.

      Your country has a population density one to two orders of magnitude greater than some other countries, and it is the 78th largest country. That combined with the pre-automotive structure of city layouts means that your geographic micro-structure tends to put things close together. For most of the people on the planet, countries are larger and things are farther apart. EVs are in no way a general solution for transportation.

      Someone will be tempted to suggest trains as an alternative to EVs. Given Britain's early adoption of steam locomotives, and the resulting urban geography and social expectations, you are much more heavily invested in rail transport... and you have the population densities to make it relatively affordable, due to high use and short distances. Large parts of the world use cell phones because they can't afford to build a phone network, let alone railways, so that isn't a general solution either.

      Hydrogen is a bit inconvenient, for several reasons.

      That means the best solution is probably IC or EC vehicles, using a liquid fuel. There are a large number of options, particularly for EC vehicles which, among other benefits, do not have an issue with nitrogen chemicals.

      If you are somewhat resourceful, there are a number of ways of deriving the carbon in such fuels from atmospheric carbon dioxide, thus making them net zero carbon in operation. Furthermore, existing infrastructure can be used to transport and distribute those fuels.

      The future isn't likely to be all EVs or even mostly EVs. It will be carbon captured fuels.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: A bit out of date?

        “Given Britain's early adoption of steam locomotives, and the resulting urban geography and social expectations, you are much more heavily invested in rail transport.”

        It has something to do with us having invented it. And the later Georgian/Victorian urban geography was actually more designed around the canal infrastructure than the much later rail systems, which tended to follow the existing canal routes.

        Now, if you want to talk about the original urban infrastructure of England: it tends to follow the system of “how quickly can the crap in the street flow down to the nearest river”.

    9. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: A bit out of date?

      Can I ask why you are on your second EV?

      (E.g got 2 now, replaced via insurance, needed bigger one etc.?)

    10. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: A bit out of date?

      > I'm on my second EV (Nissan Leaf)

      May I ask why? Just the usual end of lease/company car turnover or some issue?

      Secondly, is there any 'battery life remaining' type info would tell you how good the batteries were at the end of 3 years?

    11. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: A bit out of date?

      > Most charging is at home.

      That's for the fortunate few who live in individual homes. Unfortunately the biggest part of the population lives in cities, in apartment buildings, and park their cars in the streets.

      So, where (and when?) would those people be able to charge an EV? Unless all urban sidewalks grow a forest of safe (and working!) charging stations, those people simply can't have an EV, even if it's the only mobility option left. Obviously that forest of charging stations will never happen, simply because it would cost way too much to build and operate. You'll get some charging facilities in some hip/well-off neighborhoods, and the rest of the world will have to find a solution ("Not our problem").

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A number of studies have shown that an electric vehicle is cheaper to own for an average user than a fuel equivalent. even with the higher purchase price.

    https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/volkswagen/golf/105985/electric-vehicles-cheaper-to-own-than-petrol-or-diesel-cars

    The MQ ZS EV is available for £21,500 (pre-order) so they are already coming down in price for longer range vehicles (163 miles WLTP).

    However EV vehicles are often offered in only one spec, which tends to be the higher spec. So a VW e-Golf isn't directly comparable to a lowest spec Golf as they don't offer the range of options for spec and trim.

    1. batfink Bronze badge

      That report only compares the cost over 4 years.

      So, battery replacement is not covered then. I understand this would be £5-6,000 in the UK for a Nissan Leaf? That blows a huge hole in the TCO calculation.

      That's also going to have a dampening effect on the second-hand market. Who will buy a second-hand EV knowing you will have to spend large amounts of money post-purchase?

      BTW there are a lot of Tesla S's being used at Schiphol airport as taxis. On one trip I had the economics conversation with the driver, and apparently despite the initial expense, they are cheaper over time (free fast charging at Schiphol so zero fuel cost). They do however all sell them at four years old, before they need to replace the battery pack.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Battery life

        There are plenty of Leaf's and Tesla's out there with 200,000+ on the clock and still using their original batteries.

        Most batteries when no longer suitable for use in a Car are used for other purposes such as home storage.

        Jaguar warranty their batteries for 100,000 miles. They have already setup a recycling system for their batteries so you don't have to worry about that.

      2. Steve Todd

        The CURRENT generation of battery packs are good for 10+ years, and have value outside of automotive power beyond that (Tesla owners have been tracking this kind of thing, and IIRC, Tesla themselves offer an 8 year warranty on the battery pack). Newer battery chemistries are promising significant improvements beyond that.

        Four years is pure FUD, and I have no idea where you got the number from.

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Actually battery pack life has more to do with recharging cycles than time. Much like engine life has to do miles driven than time. The issue raised even if the time line is incorrect is that batteries are expensive to replace and in many models need to be replaced on average earlier than an engine would wear out. One of the problems is the battery packs are model specific unlike an engine which is often used on many models.

          1. Steve Todd

            Typically the kind of smaller, more efficient engine popular over here in Europe needs a major rebuild or replacement between 120,000 and 200,000, and almost certainly have important bits replaced before that point. Bigger, slower running engines popular in the US tend to last a bit longer, but at the cost of efficiency.

            You're already paying the same or more in replacement parts with the IC engine, you're just not recognising the fact.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A Tesla Model 3 battery is expected to last at least 400,000 miles with improvements that in 1~2 years could see 1 million miles realistic.

        So a battery replacement after 400,000miles+ at $5~$7,000 is reasonable if the rest of the car wasn't uneconomical by then.

        Is it an issue for most people? No, not seen many second hand cars that have racked up 400,000miles.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          The LiFePo4 chemistry used in the vast majority if EVs would be expected to last for 2000 cycles - by last I mean deplete to 80% capacity. These are the figures from the large battery manufacturers (Sinopoly, CALB), they are backed up by independent testing from the likes of http://evtv.me or https://marinehowto.com/lifepo4-batteries-on-boats, and it's even on wikipedia should you care to look.

          If I came along here and said your average internal combustion engine only lasted 6 months before it had to be replaced, you'd laugh me out of town. But somehow when it comes to LiFePo4 cells people literally just make up numbers and seem to get away with it, when even a cursory google would be enough. I don't get it.

          1. Steve Todd

            You can’t even read your own source article. It states that a 100% cycle (completely full to completely empty) will give you a life of between 2000 and 7000 charges before it drops to 80% of original capacity. Smaller cycles of 10% usage will give more than 10000 charges.

            How often do you fill up a car and then run it to completely empty?

            Beyond that Electric car manufacturers deliberately don’t charge their cells to maximum and drain them to empty.in order to extend their operational life. 10+ years is completely achievable and there are plenty of examples of batteries going way past 100,000 miles use.

            1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

              Read it, understood it and have designed and build LiFePo4 battery management circuitry, thanks.

              The post I was replying to said they don't last. I was pointing out they do, testably, for at least 2000 cycles. So I'm not sure why you think pointing out they last for longer than that under some conditions is somehow refuting me? Perhaps you were targetting the muppet I was replying to instead?

              (edit: the error I mine, I had intended to reply to the grandfather post. Ah well).

  5. pan2008

    An electric car doesn't remove carbon emmissions, it just remove pollutants from cities, which is not bad of course. The energy and possible pollutants are now produced somewhere else in the country where the energy will be produced and then stored/ transported down the grid.

    I have read scientific articles which in fact prove the total carbon/ pollutants footprint for a high powered electric car are actually much higher than a similar petrol powered car. Think about energy efficiency, loses on the grid network and it makes sense why. Also if you add up the cost of batteries going flat while the car sits idle in the driveway cost for electrics goes even higher.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I have read scientific articles which in fact prove the total carbon/ pollutants footprint for a high powered electric car are actually much higher than a similar petrol powered car."

      I have read a scientific report that Vaccines cause autism. That has also been debunked but keeps being used as evidence. The doctor who write the vaccine report had a vested interest. The authors of the report that EVs were more polluting also had a vested interest.

      You know, anyone with a bit of thought process knows that EVs are way, way cleaner than even modern ICE cars. The only way this couldn't be the case is if all fuel was refined using clean renewables but the rest of the grid that you charge from was using traditional coal and/or Heavy Fuel Oil. Doesn't happen anywhere.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The report was talking about the complete package as an electric car, not just the day to day running of it. So mining for the metals/minerals required for the battery's, transportation, etc.

        It didn't start comparing the emissions of cars etc from when they were driven off the forecourt.

        1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
          Headmaster

          That same study completely ignored the prospecting for, extraction, refining and transport of petrol & diesel.

      2. pan2008

        Perhaps you would care to give us some facts/ articles with scientific figures of how much energy is needed to power a tesla and a similar petrol car. There are more scientific articles if you search on the net.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-16/the-dirt-on-clean-electric-cars

        https://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2015/july/greenest-vehicles-by-region.html

        As I said i am not disputing that an electric car produces less pollutants but if you are using fossils to power up your country then an electric car has a higher footprint. This is because to produce 1KW is more efficient to be produced at source (the engine) than in a power station 200miles away which is then transported down the grid ( with further loss of energy).

        An electric car is as clean as its energy source. Otherwise is more polluting for same output, this is just physics.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Why 'at source'?

          A fossil fuel car has to have the fuel extracted, refined, transported and then it has to be burnt before it can converted into energy.

          The energy conversion in an ICE is also a lot more inefficient than electric. There's more waste heat, more noise, more wasted energy lost in braking, more moving parts to power.

          Add up all the energy used in extracting oil, transporting it to shore and refining it.

          Compare that with the CO2 required to generate electricity in the UK.

          Now compare the energy required to transport the fuel to a fuel station compared with losses in electricity transmission.

          Now take the efficiency of energy conversion in a petrol engine compared to an EV.

          Now add in the loss due to braking in a petrol engine.

          Now think about the direction of electricity generation towards more low CO2 sources and how every year the change is happening.

          1. pan2008

            So your electric car power by fossil fuels doesn’t have any cost of extraction of coal, gas, petrol, nuclear, sun panels whatever?!. It’s pretty much the same cost for fuels. A comparison of efficiency levels here for various engine types. Car engine is around 30% efficient comparable to other types.

            https://www.brighthubengineering.com/power-plants/72369-compare-the-efficiency-of-different-power-plants/

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-16/the-dirt-on-clean-electric-cars"

          Oh right, so the report you found compared building an bettery and running it in countries that are heavily reliant on coal powered fuels stations.

          Yes correct, a country where most electricity is produced from coal (and ignores gasoline refining also using coal power) it will take a while (10 years they state) to get even.

          But if you actually consider the fuel generation, not just the engine/battery production then the picture is completely different.

          See how many of the arguments on here are exactly the same as https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/10/electric-car-myth-buster-efficiency/

          All based on articles that were spread from investors and people in the Oil industry.

          See that everyone is expecting there to be a move towards EVs over the next decade and that the Oil industry is worth about $75 Trillion per year and you have to question why this disinformation is so readily available.

  6. werdsmith Silver badge

    The sub-headline "Why the EV Market is Stalling" is a little bit false as EV sales are increasing against a fall in general car sales. People are hesitating with new car purchases, as we are in this transition and nobody wants to invest in something that might well be obsolete in 3-5 years. Smarter to wait to see which way the market goes.

    Also, looking at the new and future cars being announced, the pipeline is dominated by electric.

    The benefit of electric is more about local air quality, not having noxious gas pumped directly into the same environment as lots of people - like High Streets. This actually does matter as we are now aware of the direct damage this does to people.

    But its not a quick answer to carbon.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      There was also a change in tax treatment earlier this year. That gave a boost to sales last year as people bought before the change.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > But its not a quick answer to carbon.

      Carbon is life. More carbon please, our plants have been nearly suffocating for thousands of years!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The sub-headline "Why the EV Market is Stalling" is a little bit false as EV sales are increasing against a fall in general car sales. "

      Most places the government stops taxing most of us to pay for some affluent person's virtue signalling ego booster, EV sales drop to near zero.

  7. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Average new car emissions in the UK actually rose for the first time

    Perhaps that's because the emissions figures provided by the manufacturers are more, er, reliable than hitherto?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A single volcanic eruption somewhere in the world blows any vehicle carbon reduction plan out the the water.

    The future is EV jonny cabs, car ownership will fall and everyone will hire an EV taxi t get from A to B. Unless you're driving many hours a day, personal ownership looks silly.

    1. jzl

      Except that volcanoes don't actually produce as much carbon as mankind. Not even close.

      1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        > Except that volcanoes don't actually produce as much carbon as mankind. Not even close.

        What school did you go to? Its the other way around.

        The amount of c02 produced by man pales in comparison to a single eruption. Check your science book again buddy.

        1. misterinformed

          > The amount of c02 produced by man pales in comparison to a single eruption.

          Not true.

          https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earthtalks-volcanoes-or-humans/

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          The potential for global climate change caused by a volcanic eruption is far greater than the current effect of human activity.

    2. mr_souter_Working

      Personal Ownership

      "car ownership will fall and everyone will hire an EV taxi t get from A to B" - if you live in a city, and only want to travel within that city, then maybe.

      if you happen to live in a rural area, or feel like going for a drive somewhere, or fancy visiting relatives, or go on holiday, or work odd hours, or, or......

      The idea that people will no longer want/need to own their own vehicle (of whatever type) is wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Personal Ownership

        > if you happen to live in a rural area, or feel like going for a drive somewhere, or fancy visiting relatives, or go on holiday, or work odd hours

        Well, the general idea is to NOT do any of that.

        Want to save the planet? You have to give up the perks of destroying it. By 2050 the car will be a thing of the past, whether you like it or not.

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Re: Personal Ownership

          Of course. By then we will use personal teleporters, despite the known problems with the iOS iPort and its ability to teleports users into the nearest lake.

          Mine’s the one with the Tomorrows World sticker.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Personal Ownership

          Well, the general idea is to NOT do any of that.

          --

          A deliberate policy of energy poverty is self destructive, and will only lead to the domination of the world by nations not interested in self-harm.

          Which is also why lowering carbon emissions as a strategy is futile.

          When four or five billion people are determined to raise themselves out of poverty, and start living a better life, they will generate more carbon emissions than we are seeing now.

          Find a different solution.

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: Personal Ownership

            >Find a different solution.

            That requires finding a different physics. Good luck with that.

        3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Personal Ownership

          "Want to save the planet?"

          If the planet needed saving, then yes, but it doesn't.

          1. MrXavia
            Thumb Up

            Re: Personal Ownership

            "If the planet needed saving, then yes, but it doesn't."

            It's us humans that want the planet to stay the same, not nature!

    3. fizz

      Remember that the sum of all yearly volcanic activity is quite less than 1 billion tons of CO2 per year, while the sum of human activities is over 29 billion tons of CO2 per year, and that considering all the world volcan and not only a single one, volcanic activity have been quite constant on not geological timescale, and so all that CO2 is already balanced in the natural CO2 cycle.

      The danger of human CO2 is not simply its size, that's dwarfed by the total sum of the natural emissions, but that's is unbalanced by the natural carbon-sinking activities.

      Said that, I agree that the age of the private car going on is likely going to end, and good riddance in my opinion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Remember that the sum of all yearly volcanic activity is quite less than 1 billion tons of CO2 per year, while the sum of human activities is over 29 billion tons of CO2 per year,

        The brainwashing has got to the point where these guys are starting to mix up the figures of volcanoes and humans.

        Someone somewhere is rubbing their hands thinking of the new taxes they can justify.

        Lots of money in duping people.

      2. MrXavia

        If I didn't own a car I'd be stuck in the house, could never go on holiday, couldn't work...

        Car ownership isn't an option for anyone not living in a city.

    4. BigSLitleP Silver badge

      There's always someone that comes out with this nonsense. It's usually an American. They usually are white, middle-class, male and middle aged. Good enough education to work as a middle manager, not good enough to progress higher. No science background, probably an engineer.

      I guess i shouldn't generalise but it's hard not to......

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        There's always someone that comes out with this nonsense. It's usually an American. They usually are white, middle-class, male and middle aged. Good enough education to work as a middle manager, not good enough to progress higher. No science background, probably an engineer.

        Other than 'engineer', sounds a lot like one Michael Mann, inventor of the (in)famous 'Hockey Stick'. And in the news* again for possibly losing a defamation lawsuit on account of refusing to show his working. How very scientific.

        But such is politics. CO2 is the single biggest threat to personkind, therefore we need to give trillions to the Green Blob to save us from the phantom molecule. Act now, give generously and damn the consequences.. Unless of course CO2 isn't much of a threat, and has some potential benefits.. like the 'greening of the Earth'. Then that money is wasted.

        *Well, not the MSM. Which is odd because if Mann 'won' (as he claims), then surely this would be an important victory for science..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Wow, surprising amount of upvotes for a climate change denier post. I thought El Reg had a slightly more informed readership than that.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > Wow, surprising amount of upvotes for a climate change denier post. I thought El Reg had a slightly more informed readership than that.

            Climate change deniers are those who deny that there is a climate that changes.

            They are the ones who think that climate is totally static and if anything changes then its their own fault.

            Even when the science stares them in the face and shows that the climate has changed over and over on this planet they simply think "well I'm alive now, so all that historical stuff ends, because I'm alive. Its not real now".

            These people are so in denial that the people who accept that the planets climate is dynamic and ever changing end up being called "climate deniers" rofl.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Maybe they are denying or failing to appreciate that the problem is not climate change, but the rate of climate change.

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Wow, surprising amount of upvotes for a climate change denier post. I thought El Reg had a slightly more informed readership than that.

            The downvotes tend to come from the misinformed. The infamous Hockey Stick is a good example. It was heavily used to promote the idea that our current climate is somehow unprecedented. Outwardly, seems plausible. Had scientists involved in the creation, publication and distribution, along with world famous, Nobel Prize winning inventor of the Internet and AlGorithms.

            But there were a few.. problems. So the way science is supposed to work is you come up with a theory, experiments to test that theory, collect data, interpret it, and publish the lot. Which didn't exactly happen with the Hockey Stick. And 8 or so years after suing a 'denier' for criticising the Great Mann, he's still refused to show his working, even when ordered to by the Canadian court.

            That isn't how science is supposed to work, but sadly is exactly how a lot of climate 'science' has been working.

          3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            I'm no climate change denier - if I was, I'd have to deny that there were ever ice ages. Climates change, end of story. The historical record of the last millennium show this clearly. People didn't try to change the change, though. First of all, it is pointless - that change is going to happen regardless - and secondly, even if it could be changed, what arbitrary climate would we choose? Would you be happy if our ancestors had stopped the climate change that rolled the glaciers back?

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              I'm no climate change denier - if I was, I'd have to deny that there were ever ice ages. Climates change, end of story. The historical record of the last millennium show this clearly.

              Not always, but then there have been a lot of very dubious attempts to 'correct' the historical record. So Hockey Sticks past & present.

              The real science is it's a wicked problem to try to isolate 'climate' signals from extremely noisy datasets. The junk science comes from the way some of those datasets are manipulated to manufacture consensus, eg ex-post screening common in a lot of climate reconstructions, especially ones that try to erase the past.

              Then there's politics. So based on junk science, we've been committed to resurecting windmills and wasting billions on 'renewables' in general, along with plans like this one to force everyone to buy EVs. But there's been a huge PR campaign behind the Green Blob that's resulted in stuff like this-

              https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-49291464

              Those who have resorted to personal attacks on the activist appear to be "retreating into various forms of denial", Nigel Thomas, professor of childhood and youth at the University of Lancashire, says.

              Given the seriousness of scientists' climate warnings, some "may feel threatened by a teenager who has clearly understood and faced up to the trouble we are all in".

              Ah, denial again. But rather odd comments from that professor. Climate change is hugely complex and involves a vast range of science, from thermodynamics to botany. Can this expert seriously be saying a 16-yr old drop-out clearly understands all this, or has simply been brainwashed from 8-16 to be terrified she has no future.

              Prof Thomas may not believen in old-fashioned views like the education system is supposed to teach kids that age the basics, and develop critical thinking, and instead prefers the idea of brainwashing them into compliant drones.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > CO2 is the single biggest threat to personkind

          Its the life giving essential gas that we desparately need more of!

        3. strum Silver badge

          >Michael Mann, inventor of the (in)famous 'Hockey Stick'

          ...which is still in play, despite deniers attempts to rubbish it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "They usually are white, middle-class, male and middle aged"

        So, racist, classist, sexist, and ageist.

        And no cogent logical argument.

        Is there anything else you would like us to know?

        1. AK565

          Actually, as a white, middle class, middle aged American male who chose a pay raise over writing a PhD dissertation I'm very confident that as a group we both spout and accept/believe a jaw-droppingly large amount of pseudo-science.

    5. DJO Silver badge

      Every year there are about 50 to 70 volcanic eruptions, some big, some small.

      This is not a new thing, it has been happening longer than mankind has been stumbling around.

      Nature can and does cope with those minor injections of CO2, the dust is where volcanoes cause problems but all of these pale into insignificance against the billions of tonnes of CO2 mankind has vented through combustion of fossil fuels.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Nature can and does cope with those minor injections of CO2, the dust is where volcanoes cause problems but all of these pale into insignificance against the billions of tonnes of CO2 mankind has vented through combustion of fossil fuels.

        Except the amount of CO2 from geological processes is pretty much a WAG. Some of it relies on 'fingerprinting', ie looking at the isotope ratios of the carbon and assuming old carbon must have come from fossil fuels.. But then volcanic or natural methane seeps have the same fingerprint.

        But the amount humans produce pale into insignificance against the amount produced naturally by stuff like soil bacteria, or simple organic decay.. Which can also be climate related, and why in the historical record, CO2 tends to follow warming. But when the effect precedes the cause, it gets harder to argue CO2 is the major causative factor.

        But such is clmate science. Quantifying natural processes is challenging, so easier to ignore them and assume prior to 1950 or whenever, our climate was in perfect equilibrium.. Which means ignoring stuff like Ice Ages (especially little ones) and ongoing geological processes like isostatic rebound as we recover from those. Which is also why Global Warming is good news, ie NY won't be under a few kilometers of ice any time soon.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > A single volcanic eruption somewhere in the world blows any vehicle carbon reduction plan out the the water.

      SSSHHH! They think volcanoes dont exist... that they are stories told to scare them at bedtime.

      If they figure out they DO exist we will end up having them all go off and try to cap them off! They dont understand that we live in a dynamic changing world and it will do what it does regardless of us being here or not. They cant get their head around this, thinking like they have total control over everything, that the sun shines by their command and that if it doesnt then that is proof that someone somewhere needs punishing.

    7. Terry 6 Silver badge

      This we'll all use taxis argument is a myth. It's built on the assumption that cars just transport people. But our cars also contain the stuff we need when we're out and about. Which may be our work kit ( older daughter carries all her speech and language assessment packs in the boot, for example) and lunch box, our gym equipment ( I used to nip in on the way home from work) or stuff we might need (spare raincoat etc.in case the British weather changes - as it does).

      Not to mention all the stuff we take with us and keep in the boot for later. Like errands we need to do on the way home (I'll drop these shirts in to the cleaners...).

      And of course we need to keep a supply of supermarket bags in there.

  9. iron Silver badge

    Electric cars can't cut carbon emissions while your burning fossil fuels to power them and mining rare earth minerals to make the batteries can't be good either. Add in price, lack of range, lack of charging stations, time to charge, etc, etc and they are a technology that is just not viable in its current state.

    1. jzl

      We burn relatively little fossil fuel in the UK for the grid. About 50% generally - most of it natural gas, almost no coal.

      1. jigr1969

        We import lots of gas, which is transported across vast distances, along with the fact that we import a lot of power from other countries. Those tankers bringing compressed liquid gas, run on fossil fuel. So even when we use gas to power generation, fossil fuel is still consumed.

        1. jzl

          Yes, fossil fuel is indeed consumed. But less.

          The perfect is the enemy of the good.

          1. AMBxx Silver badge

            Um, I think you'll find that natural gas is still a fossil fuel!

            Before we get too smug, we outsourced all our energy intensive stuff to China too.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > We burn relatively little fossil fuel in the UK for the grid

        Go here: https://gridwatch.co.uk/

        Check the graphs for CCGT and correct your statement.

        1. Julz Bronze badge

          The 50% figure has been oft repeated so is now fact. Don't bother to do your own research. Don't bother to think critically. Just repeat the latest meme to all your 'friends' that agree with you and 'like' you. Such is the world we now live in.

    2. stiine Silver badge

      move mining to the mountains

      Caterpillar (or one of their competitors) has found that using an electric dump truck, of the gargantuan variety, can actually produce more electricy than it uses if you use it to carry ore down a mountain--it uses battery to climb and regenerates, on the way down, more than it used on the way up.

      1. Mike 140

        Re: move mining to the mountains

        Whoopee! A perpetual motion machine of the second kind. That company is going to take over the world.

        1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

          Re: move mining to the mountains

          Not "perpetual motion" - A separate digger is used to load the truck at the top of the hill, so new energy added every trip.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: move mining to the mountains

            It's not the loading that equates to the energy it's the geography of a volcano or tectonic plate activity that raised the rocks up in the air.

            It's the same as a waterwheel not being perpetual motion, it is the energy from the sun that drops rain higher up then the sea that the water flows down to.

            However a waterwheel was a remarkable clean energy device. A truck that needs no electricity to recharge is also a pretty impressive idea. It doesn't need to be 'magic'.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: move mining to the mountains

        Yes impressive, just looked it up

        https://www.businessinsider.com/edumper-121-ton-electric-dump-truck-2019-8?r=US&IR=T

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Electric cars can't cut carbon emissions while your burning fossil fuels to power them "

      Of course they can. Did you mean that you can't get to Zero carbon emissions while burning fossil fuel? That would make more sense. In which case completely true, as well as having electric vehicles lets push for more carbon-free power generation so all those EVs can benefit with every power station that doesn't rely on fossil fuels is turned off or is used less.

      "rare earth minerals"

      Not rare, see articles even on this site regularly state this. Many are a by-product of other processes.

      "Add in price, lack of range, lack of charging stations, time to charge, etc, etc and they are a technology that is just not viable in its current state."

      More publicly accessible *charging stations* in the UK than fuel stations. Used for the odd few trips each year that an EV user doesn't charge at home and have a fully topped car each day to use. BP have plans to add high speed to chargers to all their main fuel stations. shell have similar plans. Tesla charging network is available across the UK. Range can be over 300 miles for an EV which is 5 hourd driving. A 30 minute break can refill, after 5 hours driving you can surely take 30minutes to stop for food on the few times a year you wish to exceed the range of the car?

      "they are a technology that is just not viable in its current state."

      A few hundred thousand UK users would disagree. But, what do they know, they just use them (For daily commuting, for trips all across Europe and the US)?

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Rare earth minerals aren't rare as such, they're just in very low concentrations making them uneconomic to mine on their own. Hence, they're normally found in the waste of other processes (iron etc).

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "More publicly accessible *charging stations* in the UK than fuel stations. "

        Well, that's all right then. Global warming solved.

        Someone in a country holding .001 of the world's population *thinks* they will have enough power, and charging stations, and raw materials for batteries, and power lines, when the number of EVs is miniscule, and largely confined to those who happen to have sufficiently limited transportation needs that they don't run up against the limits of the technology.l

        Good thing our worries are over. It will be the easiest climate deal in history.

    4. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Price:- Falling. The MG ZE EV starts at £21,495 (for the first 2000 orders) for a 160-mile range SUV

      Range:- 160-250 miles range is becoming commonplace (see MG/Renault/Peugeot/Vauxhall/VW/Mini/Honda at Frankfurt motor show next month)

      Charging stations:- There are now over 1000 more EV charging locations than petrol stations in the UK

      Charge time:- As newer chargers & cars become available, charging time decreases.

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        'There are now over 1000 more EV charging locations than petrol stations in the UK'

        How many charging stands are there vs petrol pumps?

        1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

          There are about 15000 charging stands. Don't know how many petrol pumps.

      2. Not also known as SC

        "Charging stations:- There are now over 1000 more EV charging locations than petrol stations in the UK"

        What does this mean specifically? There is a local service station near where I live, I believe it has about twelve charging points. The petrol station has sixteen pumps. Would the EV charging location count as 'one' or 'twelve' and would the petrol station count as 'one' or 'sixteen' in the comparison quoted?

        (I would love an electric vehicle, especially a motorcycle but I'm just not convinced that the technology and infrastructure are mature enough at the moment.)

        1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

          "Would the EV charging location count as 'one' or 'twelve' and would the petrol station count as 'one' or 'sixteen' in the comparison quoted?"

          Both would count as one. Here are the current stats for EV charger locations & actual chargers.

          Electric motorcycles are here, but still pricey. Look at This site

          1. Not also known as SC

            Thanks Wonko,

            That's interesting. I'm not entirely convinced about the accuracy of the map because it shows ten charging locations in my vicinity. There are at least twenty petrol stations I can think of in the same area. Several of the chargers are also in private locations (local university campus) so probably shouldn't be counted. However there are far more than I expected so it does look promising.

            The Zero SRF 14.4 motorcycle looks nice, has a better range than my 700, but does cost three times as much. However I can see my self buying one of those in the future.

            1. Come to the Dark Side

              Zero has been around for a while, still pricey for what they are and the range/charge time is pretty poor. I'm holding out for https://lightningmotorcycle.com/strike/

              1. Not also known as SC

                That is one beautiful sports bike!

        2. AMBxx Silver badge

          I wouldn't have thought they're directly comparable. Filling station has (I'd guess) an average of 6 pumps. Only takes 10 minutes at the most to fill up. That's 36 cars per hour. How many cars can one charging station charge to capacity in an hour? 1? 1.5?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Less than 1% of cars are electric.

            Most EVs are currently charged at home and only need to fill up at a public station a few times a year.

            So the extra pumps are to serve 100x more capacity of vehicles and about 20 times more often. So there should be about 2000 more pumps than charging connections.

            An EV will typically spend 10~20 minutes at an 'on route' charging station (a couple of times a year).

            Those that are lucky enough to have a car close enough to their home to run a cable to it (about 75% of the population) will have a 'full tank' every morning. Similar for those with a charger at work. Fuel station not needed.

            1. batfink Bronze badge

              Where does your figure of 75% of the population being "close enough to run a cable to it" come from, and what exactly does this mean? I could run a 30 metre cable out my flat window to my car, on those occasions when I can find a place on the street within 30m (minus height difference) - theoretically.

              But not practically.

              Does that make me one of the 75%?

          2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            > Only takes 10 minutes at the most to fill up.

            I see this comment many times and wonder how large your tank is? I think its far less than that. My tank is a 40L and fills in under a min.

            Then again you also have the time it takes to queue and pay.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge
              Flame

              Dammit" WHY DO PEOPLE QUEUE UP TO PAY WHEN THEY CAN PAY AT THE PUMP?

              It's 2019 and I often still have to wait while a driver in front wanders over to the kiosk to pay, tehn wanders back again!!

              </rant>

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                "WHY DO PEOPLE QUEUE UP TO PAY WHEN THEY CAN PAY AT THE PUMP?"

                Does your bank place £75-£100 on hold when you pay at the pump? How long do they take to release the hold? What do their terms say the longest a hold may be left in place? On a long trip with 2-3 stops for petrol in a day, such as it very possible in the US, do you want to have all of that money on hold and then see your hotel charge declined on check in? One of the favorite places for people to put card skimmers is on pump readers.

                If you don't have cash with you on a long trip to pay for fuel along the way, you chance being stranded at the only petrol station for miles if their network is down. I always pay cash. No tracking, no hijacking of my plastic and it always works.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Then again you also have the time it takes to queue and pay."

              Most people here pay at the pump with a credit card - it takes about 30 seconds.

              I can put 65 l. in and pay in under five minutes.

              1. Hairy Spod

                except

                you drove to the petrol station pulled in and pulled out again in zero seconds too I suppose.

                I drive to my garage every night and plug in in around 30 seconds and wake to a full car again.

                1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                  Re: except

                  Oddly enough I can go to the garage on my way somewhere else, it's not a special journey.

                  Great, if you have a garage a lot of people don't or even off street parking, which makes at home charging problematic.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "I wouldn't have thought they're directly comparable"

            Not at all comparable.

            I can refuel my car from empty to full in about 5 minutes, with a range of 500 - 600 miles.

            EVs do not recharge linearly. Nor do they like being charged when the battery is too cold... some will simply lock out charging. You might be able to get a 60% charge in 20 - 30 minutes, but then it will slow down, taking about an hour for 100% charge.

            Personally, if someone claims they can recharge in 20 minutes, they should quote the range as being how far you can go on that charge, not an hour long charge.

      3. daldred

        Re: Really?

        > Charging stations:- There are now over 1000 more EV charging locations than petrol stations in the UK

        The pure number isn't actually helpful.

        It takes under ten minutes or so with my car standing at a petrol pump (including paying) to get 560 miles worth of fuel into my current car. From what I've seen when researching what to replace it with, it takes at least a couple of hours at most charging points to get 280-ish miles of power into an EV, So for the same mileage, I'd need a charging point available for four hours - 240 minutes again ten.

        So to provide the same actual capacity of pump time, you'd need 24 times as many charging outlets as petrol pumps.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Really?

          It usually take about 8 hours for a refill from a slow charger. Luckily for nearly every EV owner they don't need to completely refill and it happens overnight while they are asleep.

          So they get a fill up every day without the hassle of hanging around for 10 minutes on a smelly forecourt in the cold about 20 times a year and being relived of £70 in the process.

          On the couple of occasions a year they need to use a public charger after four or five hours of driving they can stop for a bite to eat and leave their car for 30 minutes to top up.

          Imagine the scenario if reversed and most people had an EV which recharged over night. Then someone came along with a fuel car - people would be complaining about the idea that their nearest fuel station is 10 miles away and they have to go there to fill up every couple of weeks and pay a significant sum to do it rather than just charge at home or work while sleeping or working. Then again I hate filling up with Diesel and wish my tank was bigger so I could do it a lot less often - others may enjoy it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Really?

            > Luckily for nearly every EV owner they don't need to completely refill and it happens overnight while they are asleep.

            Oh crap, the fuse blew / RCD tripped / power went out / smart meter toed into the car didnt tell the car to charge.

            I wonder how the AA will do a home start if you have a flat EV battery.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Really?

              An EV driver in a new generation vehicle will generally have plenty of charge in their vehicle even if it didn't charge overnight.

              So, in the rare, unfortunate event that there was no power, and they had no charge left and the power went out before it started to charge and you didn't notice at all and flip the RCD, and didn't notice the burgular alrm going off as the power was cut, then the AA would have to transport them to their destination or a supercharger to recharge (all part of their service).

              Could you imagine if you woke up and you ICE car wouldn't start or someone crashed into it, or ... any number of other scenarios?

              How would you manage, it'd be a disaster, or not. Same as for an EV.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Really?

                Some years back, we had a two day power outage.

                Most of the city was dark.

                I had half a tank - about 250 - 300 miles, but being cautious, I wandered over to one of the islands of light and filled up.

                When the power was on again, I had about 400 miles worth in my tank.

                I wonder how long the grid would have stayed up if 8 million people had tried to charge their nearly exhausted batteries at the same time (3 million cars?).

                And all you need to put a fueling station back in service is hooking up a generator to run the lights and pumps, no waiting for the grid.

      4. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Price: Has a looooooooong way to fall. A realy loooooooooong way.

        Range: Considering that most ordinary people must get their cars secondhand, range will be approx the 90 miles of the first generation leaf, which is just starting to enter the secondhand market at a premium price.

        Charging stations: I have seen this comment recently. It ignores the fact that charging stations charge far far less vehicles in the same time that a petrol station, with all of its multiple pumps, fills combustion cars. Its not equivalient yet.

        Charge time: Yes, but till you can charge your car to (as a guess) 50% charge within 5 mins of plug in I think you will:

        - Need more charge stations that there are petrol PUMPS to offset the slower "refill"

        - Pave over much more land than they typical petrol station. Basically a large car park to replace 1 small petrol station. You could do this with underfloor inductive charging for each space in a service station. Oh and ban combustion cars from that car park as the space is totally useless (iced) should a combustion car park on it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Once again, most EV owners will charge at home or work they won't need a public charger - only a couple of times a year. It's all getting out of the fuel station idea where you have to drive to fill up, not needed with electric, it's available everywhere.

          You can already charge at a rate of 1000miles range per hour. A large enough battery and you would realistically stop every 5 hours for 20~30 minutes.

          Not bad rest break for that amount of driving (this is a couple of times a year for most). You would also refill at your destination for most people, while you do what you need to do there.

          1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            most EV owners will charge at home or work

            translation: EVs aren't for most people. By the logic repeatedly given her and elsewhere, EVs won't be owned by people that: live in blocks of flats or don't have off-street parking.

            The reality is that the people who would most benefit from, and benefit their neighbours by having, an EV would not fit your profile. You park "somewhere vaguely near home" (in the same street if you're lucky), and you park "vaguely near work" or at least fight it out with everyone else for a parking space at work. For many, "work" is at various people's houses and running an extension lead out across the pavement for 10 minutes at a time isn't exactly convenient.

            So without being able to charge at home, and without being able to charge at work, you are left using public charging points. IfWhen EVs become more than pious statements by fairly well off people, then far more charging points will be needed. But the local distribution networks will not handle this load without very major (and very expensive) upgrades. The main time anyone would predictably be parking away from home would be when shopping - so easily parking for an hour or two. This needs to put in more than just a top up - it may need to be a full week's commute which (especially in winter) could be nearly a full charge. And do the sums, for a significant number of people to be able to park and charge for 2 hours, how many spaces and chargers is that ?

            Don't put me down as anti EV - I'm not, and if they weren't completely unaffordable for us, I'd have a couple of them sat on the drive (yes, we're blessed that way) as they'd be ideal for most of our journeys. But as an engineer I understand the physics behind it and can see through the green smokescreen. For a VERY large proportion of people, charging at home or work just isn't, and won't be, practical in the foreseeable future.

            There is, IMO, a lot to be said for plug-in hybrids as at least an intermediate step - but not for the pious greenwash so often associated with their marketing or some of their owners.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              70% of the UK currently have a garage or off-street parking. (80% for homeowners) Another 20% have 'adequate street parking'.

              So you'd expect 70% of people to be able to park off the street and arrange charging for their vehicle.

              Another 20% could have solutions provided for them e.g. lampost charging, charging provision on street, cable runs from house in pavement grooves etc. Some councils already offer some of these.

              Many workplaces have a desire to look at electric car charging but I don't know the percentage of employees that have a single place of work or a place where they leave their car while at work. I would expect it is more common than less.

              Then there is the option for people who commute short distances and have access to a high speed charger nearby to utilise that a couple of times a month when required.

              So there will definitely be cases where it isn't suitable and provision may be required. But even a 50% availability would be great to start with.

              Big cities like London will have more of a struggle, but they are also best placed to solve it and also residents have the least need for personal transport.

              I mean approximately 0% of people have a fuel station at home.

              1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                "70% of the UK currently have a garage or off-street parking. (80% for homeowners) Another 20% have 'adequate street parking'"

                No, they don't.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                70% of the UK currently have a garage or off-street parking. (80% for homeowners) Another 20% have 'adequate street parking'.

                Citation ? Bluntly, those figures are not believable simply from observation of the many places I've been to.

                Looking around places round here, there's a lot of terraced houses with no front garden = no off street parking. Where daughter no 2 lives, they are lucky if they can park close to their house, daughter no 1 has double yellow lines past the house.

                In our street, perhaps 1/3 of the houses have some off-street parking - but that needs to be qualified as some of them have more cars than they have parking for. So "X% of houses have off-street parking" is a meaningless statistic without some measure of how many of those actually have off-street parking for all vehicles that might end up as EV.

                And "adequate on street parking" also needs considerable qualification. If both street lamps in our street had charging points installed, it would still leave significant parts without charging.

                So firstly I call BS on your numbers, and I call even smellier BS on how they actually relate to the practicality of running one or more EVs.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Once again, most EV owners will charge at home or work they won't need a public charger"

            In other words, most EV owners will own a detached house with private parking, that cost somewhere in seven figures.

            And they'll probably have an ICE car or two to substitute for their eco-bauble when they want to go a significant distance.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Why detached? You'd just need a garage or off-street parking which are available for all different types of houses or a regular parking spot outside your house.

              Seven figures for a detached house and private parking??? Luckily the UK is greater than the small South East region.

              It may not suit *you* personally but the objections based on your personal experience don't apply to everyone, or even the majority.

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Wrong AC. That comment might have been exaggerated, but is essentially correct. It doesn't need to be a detached house, true. But pretty much does have to be a semi. You don't often get off street parking for a terrace, let alone a garage.

                And maybe not quite 7 figures. But certainly six figures for most of the country.

                Well beyond the reach of most earners.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  I see off street parking in terraced houses everywhere around here. They pave their font garden and park their car on it.

                  The stats show about 80% of homeowners have access to a garage or off-street parking.

                  Six figures I would be lieve but that is 10x less than the previous assertion. I mean first a quoted figure of £1million+ compared with a house price of over £99,000.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Range:- 160-250 miles range is becoming commonplace"

        So, 60 to 100 miles in the winter time, if you don't live somewhere notably cold.

        That might not make it between two service centers on the expressway, let alone to a destination.

        You could push them into the ditch when the battery depletes, but at twice the weight of an IC vehicle, it might take two tow trucks to get them out again.

  10. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Diesel

    "It estimated that 55 per cent of this was attributable to consumers buying less efficient models and 45 per cent to consumers switching from diesel to petrol cars."

    So diesel has less emissions than petrol after all ?

    That was the case when I bought my diesel car. Since then, particulate output has apparently risen (despite it having proprietary particulate reduction system), diesel fuel prices have risen (for no other reason than market size, I think) and petrol fuel economy has improved. Diesels are no longer seen as desirable. Unsurprisingly, demand has moved back towards petrol with no huge interest in electric due to range and charge concerns (valid or not) and cost.

    So why the push back to petrol, if it results in higher emission levels ?

    1. jzl

      Re: Diesel

      Emissions aren't a single thing. Diesel produces less carbon dioxide - the main climate change gas - but more pollution nasties.

      Diesel exhaust is nasty stuff in the short term, particularly if you're breathing it. Carbon dioxide is nasty stuff in the long term.

      Basically, burning oil products is a bad idea full stop.

      1. The First Dave Silver badge

        Re: Diesel

        "Basically, burning oil products is a bad idea full stop."

        Correction: burning mixed fossil fuel products is a bad idea. Burning carefully made synthetic fuels is much much better all round, but seems to be getting totally ignored. For those that don't understand, I am talking about burning bio-methanol and/or similar fuels.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Diesel

        > the main climate change gas

        Thats debatable considering the gas has always appeared AFTER the tempreature rises. But history is old and invalidated because, money.

        History never proved anything right?

        Lets say that something freaky happens and rain starts falling upwards. All those that remember it falling downwards will die off eventually and the history books will eventually be scrutinised and end up being debunked by persons who claim that downwards falling rain is a myth or special effect we used in movies back in the stupid ages.

        It never ends.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Diesel

        "Basically, burning oil products is a bad idea full stop"

        Agree totally. They should be saved for use as chemical feed-stocks and lubricants.

        We should be burning fuels extracted directly or indirectly from atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Diesel

      There were big concerns about the emissions (not CO2 necessarily) from diesel and then VW and others were found to be cheating tests which showed the emissions were much higher than thought, then the government (in the UK) decided that diesels were bad an rumours about scrappage, taxing them out of existence or much higher increases on diesel at the pump made them seem a very unwise purchase as resales could be hit massively.

      It all led to the decline of the diesel.

    3. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

      Re: Diesel

      In one word - Dieselgate

  11. jzl

    I actually own one

    I drive a Tesla Model S. It was expensive as hell when I bought it three years ago, but wow. Just wow. It's an absolute blast to drive.

    My previous favourite car was my Mazda RX-8, but the Model S took the crown from that easily. Not quite as much fun on a B road, but waaay more fun the rest of the time and having a full car every morning is a suprisingly good bonus.

    The Model 3 is better than my car (in my opinion) and cheaper too. It'll be my next car. Battery prices are dropping fast at the moment.

    1. Phage

      Re: I actually own one

      Hmmmm.

      Model s. From £80,700

      Mazda RX8 is now <£7,000

      I think the point about affordability stands

      1. Peter Ford

        Re: I actually own one

        Given that the RX-8 would be second-hand, then you should really compare second-hand prices for a Model S - but that's still £30000+ so the point stands,,,

      2. smudge Silver badge

        Re: I actually own one

        Model s. From £80,700

        Mazda RX8 is now <£7,000

        Not a fair comparison. That is presumably the price for a new Tesla, whereas any RX-8 you can buy nowadays will be years old, and will probably have expensive things going wrong with it. It was taken off the European market in 2010, and production ceased in 2011 or 2012.

        Plus, as I know because I had an RX-8 for 5 years, petrol consumption of just over 20mpg adds to the costs somewhat :(

        1. Hairy Spod

          Re: I actually own one

          .....and the oil and very regular servicing, don't forget the oil and servicing....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I actually own one

      Well done for sticking your head above the parapet. Admitting that you own an EV here is guaranteed to get downvotes.

      The comment about Petrolheads from earlier is spot on.

      There are some of us who have seen the light and made the move to Electric Vehicles (car and bicycle for me) already and are reaping the benefits.

      I've already been from Sussex to Skye and back this summer in my Model 3. With decent forethought (which you would if you wanted to find the cheapest petrol and not pay Motorway prices) you can plan your trip. I even stayed at two hotels where I was able to charge the car overnight. 400 miles for £10 on my bill. What's not to like with that.

      Everytime there is an article on EV's here, the anti-EV brigade come out in force but one day, they will see the light.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: I actually own one

        "I've already been from Sussex to Skye and back this summer in my Model 3... I even stayed at *two hotels* where I was able to charge the car overnight."

        For me, that adds to the cost of ownership - 400 miles would be done in a day, with (perhaps) a stop for food (my cars will easily do 400 miles on a tank). Adding two hotels into the equation would make it significantly more expensive and stressful than I want.

  12. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Pint

    Chicken and egg...

    "Last year there were an estimated 16,500 public points, a figure that needs to rise to 100,000 by 2020, according Emu Analytics"

    This has and always will be a chicken and egg situation. The infrastructure costs money - which can't be recouped unless people use it. The people looking into electric cars might not buy them as there's nowhere convenient to charge them nearby. Someone has to go first, or public subsidies have to be given out to break the stalemate.

    Chicken and eggs go good with beer >>>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chicken and egg...

      Not suitable for everyone but most EV owners have the most convenient place possible to charge them - at home. Once the councils get their act together on roadside charging options (some already are) then public charging for the odd few times a year it is needed will be more than enough.

      Once reliability gets sorted out along with being able to pay with debit card then there would be enough public chargers in the UK at the moment for the needs of EV drivers for the next few years. There is massive investment into public charging without their being a big tipping point for EVs. Every petrol station will also get in on the act once their fuel sales drop - BP and Shell already have started the process of adding supercharging.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: Chicken and egg...

        "Not suitable for everyone but most EV owners have the most convenient place possible to charge them - at home"

        This isn't a solution for a large percentage of people, not when many people don't have a garage, or suitable wattage outlets to charge their car. It's also not a solution for the people who work too far from their home to use an EV to work, or people who generally want to travel to other places than work, or holidays in the countryside, etc. Can't store spare electric in a jerry can or a balloon in the boot...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Chicken and egg...

          Suitable wattage? You can change the 'wattage' on your vehicle either manually or automatically.

          You can charge from a 13amp supply or add a subsidised home charger to give 7KWh or more.

          These can be outside your house, you don't need a garage. You can even get roadside charging from some councils, but this is still inits infancy.

          You can go 300miles+ in some EVs, a distance that many peole will never drive on a trip, even then the network of public chargers is extensive.

          Not many people carry a jerry can anymore, infact not many people carry a spare wheel. You have a breakdown service and they can take you to the nearest fuel station or garage to repair your wheel if you have a blowout. In reality a new generation EV is never likely to have issues with charging other than unreliable chargers from some companies (it's getting better)

          1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Chicken and egg...

            Seriously, i can disprove most of your claims just with a few seconds of Googling, or Wikipedia.

            The average range of most of these commercial EVs appears to be between 100-150 KMPH (or whatever that is in MPH). This will require charging most days for people who don't work locally.

            "You can go 300miles+ in some EVs"

            You can goo 200 MPH in some cars. If we're expecting everyone to buy Teslas then the day of the EV will never come.

            "You can charge from a 13amp supply or add a subsidised home charger to give 7KWh or more"

            You can probably charge from a power bank if you have a few days spare. Charging times on these cars from a specialist charging point looks like on average 4 or 5 hours. That's not realistic if you forgot to do it overnight.

            Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_electric_cars_currently_available

          2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: Chicken and egg...

            > but this is still inits infancy.

            So not a solution then.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Chicken and egg...

            "You can charge from a 13 amp supply"

            So, 1.5 kw...

            Which means you can charge a 100 kWh battery in only 2.7 days of continuous charging, or longer if you take it anywhere.

            So, in many situations the effective range is really what you can get out of, say, 12 hours of charging, before going somewhere, approximately .3 times the claimed range.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Chicken and egg...

              "Which means you can charge a 100 kWh battery in only 2.7 days of continuous charging, or longer if you take it anywhere."

              Why would you wait until the battery is completely flat before recharging? If you were to be someplace with only a 13A plug, why wouldn't you just charge enough to get you to a fast charger?

              A 13A plug on it's own circuit will let you charge at 2.5kW with a bit of margin. That's 25kWh if left plugged in for 10 hours (8 for sleep and a couple for other stuff). At 3.5 miles/kWh, that's 88 miles. These days, you should be within range of a fast charger with that much range. If you aren't, you travel to the next bigger charger (25 miles/hour of range when charging). A last resort would be to rent a bigger petrol/diesel car for a week to take your holiday and all of the family and stuff.

              If you don't have access to any charging at home/work, there may be chargers available on the high street or in grocery store car parks and you can charge there when you do your weekly shop. If you want to make it work, it's not that hard.

      2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: Chicken and egg...

        > Not suitable for everyone

        Yep, I think the vast majority of people live in a place like one of these:

        1. A flat (tower). Parking is provided on the public highway. Your space is dictated by whoever has parked there and how much space they have left you. You may have to walk to your car to grab that thing you left in the boot, that could take several mins. Charging a car at home in such a location would be very difficult.

        2. A house / flat on a victorian street. Like with the flat in the tower you most likely have no off road parking at all. The parking is on the public highway and a general free for all. If someone has a party you may not even be able to park in your street. Charging a car at home will again be very difficult. Even if you do manage to park outside your property you would have to throw an extension lead out the window and deal with the council who will likely come to complain about health and safety issues with a cable going across the public footpath.

        3. Flat (tower or otherwise) with allocated parking. Depending on the type of parking allocated to you (undergroud car park, parking bays) you may be able to wire up a charging facility. Landlord permitting, location permitting. You may not however always have access to you bay if someone decides to go ahead and park in it.

        4. A newer street. You have more space and probably can park outside your house most days but see point 2 as its still an issue.

        5. House with a drive/garage. Yep you can probably charge your car without much issue.

        Basically the only people who can really make use of home charging are those who have the ability to have the car on their own land somehow.

        If you dont have a drive or garage you will have to go to various lengths to implement a home charging facility. If you are parking on the public highway you will be likely charging at public points.

        Thing is, most people fall into categories 1,2 and 3. Newer streets (point 4) are built as part of new estates and having visited several I see a mix of on road parking, drives and assigned parking bays. None of which have any charging points already installed.

        So, how are the majority of the british public supposed to charge their EV's? Answer, public charging points will be more commonly used than home charging that will be reserved for the few that have the space to use for it.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Chicken and egg...

      There were similar arguments made in the UK about unleaded fuel a few years ago. I don't think you can buy leaded fuel at all now.

      1. Neal L

        Re: Chicken and egg...

        I still remember buying 4 star at the petrol station.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Chicken and egg...

        "There were similar arguments made in the UK about unleaded fuel a few years ago. I don't think you can buy leaded fuel at all now."

        "similar arguments"

        Really?

        And there I thought you could distribute and sell unleaded gasoline with the same type of infrastructure used for leaded gasoline.

        How silly of me.

    3. MWH

      Re: Chicken and egg...

      Perhaps this situation will be at least partly solved when retailers realize that a plentiful supply of charging points will work like airport departures does for the duty-free shop - create a captive market for their shops and restaurants.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Chicken and egg...

        "Sorry, i'm going to be about 6 hours late for work as i forgot to charge my car."

  13. a pressbutton

    Charging points

    There are 110 houses in my road. Some of those houses are flats - another 60 or so.

    6 houses and ~20 flats could charge EVs.

    the other 144 households have no chance.

    I think the real answer is electric busses - a proper bus network, not one every tuesday - more car rentals - and less car ownership.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Charging points

      Yet Transport for London has put in 10,000 public chargers in the last year. I've started seeing them appearing all over the bits of London that I visit. Most people don't need to charge fully every day. Studies have shown that once or twice a week would do for most people once the cars have 200 miles of range.

      But yes, we need electric busses. London is leading the way here with that but many councils are doing ZERO about their local environment. Some districts are actually blocking town councils from putting in Chargers in their car parks.

      Yet, Chargepoint Scotland is rolling out chargers all over the place. many are totally free to use.

      What we want is a government that is not totally consumed with one topic. aka BREXIT. IT needs to be sorted one way or the other. There are plenty of other issues that are just not getting addressed because of it. Whichever side of the argument you are on, I don't think you can disagree with that.

  14. batfink Bronze badge

    Insurance costs higher?

    That was an interesting throwaway line in the article. Does anyone here know why insurance costs for EV's might be higher?

    Usually insurance costs are based on "the type of dickhead likely to buy this kind of car". I can't see Nissan Leafs (Leaves?) being in the higher kinds of brackets. Tesla S's, the new electric hypercars, maybe. Or maybe the cost in each bracket is higher for EV's?

    I shouldn't think repair costs would be higher, with the possible exception of battery packs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Insurance costs higher?

      They aren't necessarily higher it varies. However there are less providers for some EVs due to how new they are so until they have a group rating they aren't added to most insurers. Insurers like to be able to calculate risk easily and with newer technologies they don't want to end up insuring a category of car which all have an insurable issue based on their technology. ICE has been well understood and predictable with loads of algorithms for risk created around them. An Ev needs some adjustments.

      Some EVs are also insanely fast...

      However You may find based on your profile and car type that the insurance isn't more and is lower than an equivalent vehicle. Some I know with a Tesla Performance have been pleasantly surprised at how low the insurance has been.

    2. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

      Re: Insurance costs higher?

      Perhaps insurance companies are wary of the chance of battery pack fires. Also insurance costs tend to go up with the list price of a car so a £30k car will have a higher insurance cost than a £9k one.

      One other thing to note about EVs - their range drops significantly if heating or air conditioning is used - the quoted ranges always assume no requirement for heating or cooling. (For a petrol or diesel car, heating has no effect on range as the heating comes from the waste heat from the motor.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Insurance costs higher?

        "One other thing to note about EVs - their range drops significantly if heating or air conditioning is used"

        In other words for seven to nine months of the year.

        And while you can put on extra clothing, that won't do anything for ice on the windshield, or condensation on the insides of the windows.

        Or, for that matter, unfreezing the doors and windows so you can open them.

    3. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Insurance costs higher?

      "Does anyone here know why insurance costs for EV's might be higher?"

      I guess if the batteries get damaged in a collision that could make a car fire more likely on an EV than on a ICE vehicle, meaning more might get written off or cost more to repair. As unlike what Hollywood would have you believe its very rare for a modern petrol car to set on fire/explode in a collision.

      As i cannot afford to buy a new EV there would need to be an affordable second hand market for decent quality EVs before I would consider one, like we have for petrol and diesels now. I paid £3000 for my current car and apart from a few hundred quid for MOT and service its not cost me anything in repairs in the last 2 years. Where as a £3000 used EV is probably going to get you about 10 miles of battery power per charge and be pretty much useless without spending thousands for new batteries.

      There is also the fact that I live on a road with terrace houses on either side with no driveways, so I wouldn't be able to charge a EV at home and haven't seen anywhere local to charge an EV.

      I know we can't rely on ICE vehicles as an option for the long term, but I still think battery powered EVs are taking a step backwards in both convenience and vehicle longevity as I don't think that current battery technologies are robust enough. Maybe someone will figure out a cheap, easy and safe way of storing the hydrogen for fuel cells and this could replace the ICE vehicles.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Insurance costs higher?

        " guess if the batteries get damaged in a collision that could make a car fire more likely on an EV than on a ICE vehicle"

        And yet this doesn't seem to be true. However until there are more EVs on the road the data set is a little too small. There does not seem to be evidence that EVs are more likely to catch fire in an accident than ICE at the moment, in fact EV vehicle fires are so rare almost every one seems to be reported (especially if its a Tesla) whereas almost no ICE vehicles are (unless a supercar).

    4. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Insurance costs higher?

      There seems to be much talk of EVs being heavier - that means more kinetic energy if you hit something, and hence potentially higher third party costs. A very significant part of the insurance cost is the third party element, and not just for property damage.

      Take this scenario. You are tootling along and gently bump into the back of the car in front. Your higher mass means a larger impact for any given collision speed - so potentially more third party damage to repair. But consider the potential payout when the (say) four occupants swear blind that they've had severe and persistent neck pains ever since - that's likely to dwarf the repair costs.

      But as said, in a large part it's going to be fear of the unknown. Until EVs are much more widely used, and statistics on claims are sufficiently detailed, then insurance will be based on guesswork - and that means adding some on to allow for the unknowns. BTW - some companies charge a lot more if you convert from petrol to LPG - while others don't. Some took the wee-wee by loading premiums for fitting winter tyres (but AIUI they've been told by their trade body to stop doing that).

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Insurance costs higher?

        Cost of repairs to Teslas at the moment are high enough to cause follow-through.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Insurance costs higher?

        Some took the wee-wee by loading premiums for fitting winter tyres (but AIUI they've been told by their trade body to stop doing that).

        --

        How odd.

        Here the governments often make snow tires compulsory,

        As for insurance, by regulation they must charge less if you fit winter tires for the designated period.

  15. Pete 2

    Futureproofing for the next big thing?

    If a person did buy an (extremely expensive) electric car now, how long would it be until it became obsolete due to the advent of AVs?

    If they were to become practical and available in 10-15 years, wouldn't it be better to hang on until then, rather than spend a lot more than a conventional ICE car costs now. Especially if that electric pride and joy had virtually no resale value when you wanted the benefits of an AV, just like everybody else.

    If I was designing an electric car now, I'd have an eye on the upgradeabilty of it. So that at some future date it could be retrofitted with all the sensors and smarts to make it driverless. And even better, with a battery that didn't need recharging before you got to the end of your street!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Futureproofing for the next big thing?

      But an ICE would have the same issue but worse, it would still be polluting every day. If you keep cars for 3-5 year AV is not going to be ubiquitous in that time. Even 10 years is not likely.

      You aren't going to be able to upgrade a new non-AV car with sensors later, it's just not going to be viable other than some quirky hobbyist projects (most new cars don't even update the software to make the infotainment systems work properly or fix minor bugs once it has left the factory). However with a car with all the sensors built in and the processing power built in which can be upgraded via software regularly as advances come on board, it should be possible.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Futureproofing for the next big thing?

        I'd be quite happy if I could retrofit my 25 year old petrol drinker - I've got quite fond of it - with a battery pack and a motor of similar performance, at a sane price. That is, low thousands, not thirty or forty grand.

        There is a reason lots of folks drive ten year old cars - and it tends to be that they either can't afford, or see no reason, to buy a new one. They're going to have to have a very strong reason to purchase a new electric vehicle, but inexpensive conversions make a lot of sense.

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: Futureproofing for the next big thing?

          Not only that, there are strong reasons to NOT buy a new vehicle - the "amount of expensive and not repairable bits" for one. For me, the list of possibilities would be vastly reduced once you've weeded out stupid (and IMO dangerous) touch screen interface, electric handbrakes, and a lot of stuff like that.

          I did once look into the cost of conversions, thinking about the 18 year old smoker and the 31 year old petrol guzzler - and it was a brief look before I determined that it's out of our price range.

          Would be a nice DIY project if I ever find time to get some other stuff finished :-(

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Futureproofing for the next big thing?

          A neighbour of mine is having his classic car retro-fitted with EV motor and batteries.

    2. a pressbutton

      Re: Futureproofing for the next big thing?

      how long would it be until it became obsolete due to the advent of AVs?

      I think about the same time commercial fusion becomes mainstream.

      ~10-20 years

      This has been the case since the 70s.

  16. Jim84

    Just produce methanol from seawater cheaper than petrol using molten salt advanced modular nuclear reactors, burn than methanol in petrol engines (modifing an ICE to handle methanol cost about 100 USD).

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Fi3BnwL94

    Or in highly polluted cities crack that methanol into hydrogen and CO2 onboard the vehicle and run the hydrogen through a PEM fuel cell. Carbon Monoxide produced from the hydrocarbon would poison the platinum catalyst in the fuel cell stack, but last year scientists in China figured out that adding iron oxide nanoparticles to the catalyst prevented this damage:

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/fuel-cells/chinese-catalyst-keeps-fuel-cells-clean

  17. DJO Silver badge

    Should have bought an Aston Martin

    OK they are a bit costly (well out of my price range - sob) but they will, for a price, whip out and store the petrol engine from any Aston Martin and replace it with electric running gear.

    If other manufacturers came up with electric units that could be dropped into where the engine was removed from it might move adoption on a bit

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Should have bought an Aston Martin

      The thing is it's a bit of a false economy. EVs work best when they are designed and built from production as an EV. This has been a problem with some manufacturers who are putting an EV version of a current ICE with poor results (VW eGolf, BMW i3 etc). They aren't very good.

      It's like those companies that built convertible versions of their normal cars and then had poor handling, creaks and chassis movement. A convertible like a Lotus Elise (when it wasn't breaking down) worked great as a soft-top.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Should have bought an Aston Martin

        The BMW i3 was designed from the ground up as an EV and was not an ICE conversion.

      2. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: Should have bought an Aston Martin

        I’ve had 3 Lotus Elise’s and they were extremely reliable.

        Are you referring to the 1960s/70s/80s Lotus stable?

  18. OGShakes

    Charging points

    If I got an EV I could not charge it at home, I live in a house where the only parking is on the road so often not near my house. I could not charge it at work as there are not enough spaces in the car park for me to get one. When I got my last car I looked at EV and spent a day trying to figure out the logistics to solve these issues, but ended up just getting the most efficient IC I could and left it at that.

  19. JDX Gold badge

    Does EV adoption just encourage 2-car families?

    I am not aware any current EV has long-range capability. I know Clarkson loves to milk this on TV, and that for typical work-commuting it should be fine, but around this time of year lots and lots of people are driving multi-hundred mile journeys in heavily laden vehicles. And of course lots of people do drive long distances every day for work.

    So is the model that's suggested you have a little EV to get to work or the shops, AND a nice petrol estate?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does EV adoption just encourage 2-car families?

      Well depends what you mean by long range. Tesla do 300mile+. Most new generation EVs will be 200mile+. Even the cheaper ones are now 160mile+.

      More than enough for the normal commutes and with a big battery and decent systems you can recharge quickly enough that range isn't a major issue any more for most people.

      If you can't charge at home or at work and your council hasn't got any initiatives, then it becomes more of a problem - not impossible, but you'd have to spend a little while at a public charger each week.

      I thin most people who have an EV and an ICE often swap out the ICE for EV on the next refresh as they realise they don't need it. However it depends on your circumstances.

    2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Does EV adoption just encourage 2-car families?

      around this time of year lots and lots of people are driving multi-hundred mile journeys in heavily laden vehicles

      Godo point. I don't know what current models are like, but I recall the original Toyota Pious* basically had no boot left after the batteries were stuffed in. I can see that pure EV models don't need the fuel tank and engine, but do they have similar load spaces to "roughly equivalent" ICE vehicles ?

      * Spelt that way because it seems that seemed to be the attitude of many that bought them - PR statements.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: Does EV adoption just encourage 2-car families?

      I doubt if any family decides to buy a second car just so they can have an EV. That decision has much more to do with logistics of the family daily routine. So no, I don't buy the idea that EVs "encourage" two-car families. Say rather that it's easier for a two-car family to adopt an EV for one of their vehicles than for a single-car family to make the same commitment.

      I would like to see some actual numbers on the "lots and lots of people" you mention. Not that I deny it, but it would be nice to quantify those "lots".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does EV adoption just encourage 2-car families?

        "I would like to see some actual numbers on the "lots and lots of people" you mention. Not that I deny it, but it would be nice to quantify those "lots""

        Here?

        That would be somewhere between hundreds of thousands and millions, more likely the latter.

        Summer and holiday weekends generate maybe 8 hours of very heavy traffic both on the outbound trip and the return.

        This is with a fair number of roads, between 6 and 16 lanes each, going out of the city (that's both ways, but lots of people seem to start on the opposite side of the city... go figure, so traffic can be fairly busy in the counter-rush direction. That's 6 to 16 lanes both ways. The wider parts don't go far enough out for me to really count them, overall.

        1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: Does EV adoption just encourage 2-car families?

          What kind of a road has 16 lanes? Jesus

          1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            Re: Does EV adoption just encourage 2-car families?

            A rather wide motorway (freeway, expressway). It "only" needs eight lanes each way. Doing a search, it looks like they tend to be in the middle east & Asia. There have been reports of a fifty (yes FIFTY !) lane traffic jam in China - but to be fair, it's fifty lanes through a checkpoint of some sort, then merges down to "just" twenty lanes.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does EV adoption just encourage 2-car families?

      "So is the model that's suggested you have a little EV to get to work or the shops, AND a nice petrol estate"

      Or a regular car and a not so little EV. You want it to be useful , safe and secure.

      Smaller vehicles generally come of badly in collisions with larger vehicles.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cool but mostly hype

    1-The Production of the batteries and electricity creates a Bigger Carbon footprint than a gas guzzler during its entire life.

    2-Heavily Subsidized by the STATE plus a Tax Credit (7,500 in Canada) for the buyer.

    We need to look at other alternatives (Like India's compressed air vehicle, the AIRPod).

    Until then leave my GTO alone!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cool but mostly hype

      1) No it doesn't

      2) That's good, great to get a decent incentive.

      GTO is a bit slow, prefer a Tesla P100D Ludicrous.

  21. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

    Where is my charge point and range?

    I live on a (UK) terraced street with only 4 lamp posts for 20 odd houses each side

    Where/ how can I charge? (Hint: MY house is down a ginnell 150ft from road; I'm doubly screwed)

    Yesterday I drove 760km in 7hrs.(on a holiday in Europe).....can I do that in an electric car?

    Answers?

    Anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where is my charge point and range?

      Just wait for the Eco green sky-fairy-unicorn to come along.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get back to me when....

    An EV is affordable AND sounds as good as a V8.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: sounds as good as a V8?

      You could always put a 1.5kW sound system in the back... problem solved but heaven help your hearing.

      Most of us won't miss your noisy V8 exhausts on the street one little bit.

    2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Get back to me when....

      There's been talk of having EVs fitted with sound generators - mostly to avoid people jumping in front of them because they can't be arsed to use their eyes before crossing. Some debate as to the noise that should be used, but a V8 would be nice :-)

      There's someonea chav near me who has fitted one of those electronic gizmos that's supposed to sound like a turbo dump valve. it doesn't sound like a proper dump valve - it sounds like an electronic device some tit has fitted because he doesn't realise how silly it makes him sound. TBH, I don't care much for the real thing outside of the circuit/stage - such things (along with super loud exhausts) are a bit antisocial for normal road use.

      1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: Get back to me when....

        > There's been talk of having EVs fitted with sound generators

        This is already the case. The talk is about forcing them to be on at certain speeds. Which they should.

        > because they can't be arsed to use their eyes before crossing.

        Nice to SEE you have eyes. Do you want blind people to be taken off the streets? What about partially sighted people? Oh and how about people who can barely lift their head. In gact, as its so inconvenient for you your highness lets do this:

        1. Remove all blind people off the street. We can use AI to detect if the can react to a sign or symbol place at regular intevals on the street. If the AI sees no reaction then it can target and taser them. This would be basically like a physical version of a CAPTCHA, testing that a subject can see in order to permit access to the outside world. Blind people should be confined to being wheeled around by helpers, who will pass the test and not anoy you.

        2. Same goes for partially sighted people, wheel them about if they cant see certain things.

        3. Pull all kids off the street too. They tend to run into roads etc, esp when they are young. Why should they be taught to LISTEN for vehicles? Then again perhaps we can run the brats down for points?

        4. Anyone with working eyes but unable to move theor head, permanantly or just due to a neck brace, should be declared disabled and confined to a wheelchair operated by a sighted able person.

        I forsee and new type of job. The AI will probably end up tasering the kids so will be switched off. Plenty of people will love to walk the streets looking for undesireables, pulling them off the road, hunting and chasing them into corners. All hail the EV driver.

      2. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Get back to me when....

        > can't be arsed to use their eyes

        An older couple in a totally silent EV tried to run me over in the supermarket parking lot. I had just parked myself and was standing behind my car waiting for someone to get out, when a silent EV came sneaking up to me from behind, and gently swept me off my feet. The driver and his wife gave me a blank stare and drove away, didn't even stop. No damage done since it all happened at less than walking speed, but I definitely would had preferred to hear them come (if not apologize).

        So yes, silent EV cars are extremely dangerous, mostly because of the entitled morons driving them. I definitely don't want to worry about some "I brake for nobody" moron trying to sneak up on me again. (And in case you wonder, no way he could not have seen me standing there, I'm well-set in all 4 dimensions.)

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Get back to me when....

        "Some debate as to the noise that should be used, but a V8 would be nice :-)"

        The Tyrannosaurus scream from Jurassic Park.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: Get back to me when....

      Any EV, out of the box, already sounds infinitely better than a V8.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get back to me when....

      "AND sounds as good as a V8"

      Oh yeah, sure so we can go around town in a gear too low just so the engine roars as we go past.

      When this happens I noticed the pedestrians line the streets in admiration, many looking at the driver and wishing they could be the passenger in such a cool ride. Some in awe of such a powerful machine...

      Oh no , sorry they glance over and think "What a dick".

      1. batfink Bronze badge

        Re: Get back to me when....

        There was a fantastic anti-speeding (and anti-dickhead) advertising campaign in Australia a few years ago - basically the theme was "small dick, loud car".

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibAe8ArmvwY

  23. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    The elephant in the room

    Nearly 200 comments and so far no mention of the factor that will blow the CO2 emissions argument out of the water.

    Until we have an excess of low/zero carbon generation (which means a mix of renewables and nuclear, and we aren't going to have enough of either in the foreseeable future to have an excess of capacity) then EVs will add to the demand for fossil fuel generation - so they aren't zero emissions, even more so in winter when lecky from teh battery is used for heating rather than waste heat from an ICE.

    But, I can say that if I had an EV (which I can charge at home), then the "fuel" is very very cheap. I'd do a lot more miles than I do in the petrol & diesel cars we have now. If I want to go into town, then I think about the £5 or more it'll cost in fuel - and only go when it's necessary and/or I've collected up enough reasons to make it worthwhile. With a lecky car, the per-mile cost would be such that I'd "just go" and only be considering the cost in my own time.

    I wonder what that does to the "more efficient from the gas in the power station to the road vs petrol in the tank to the road argument ? Discuss !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The elephant in the room

      "...so far no mention of..."

      Lots of comments have mentioned it and others have countered it.

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: The elephant in the room

        Sorry, badly worded by me. Yes the issue of low/zero carbon lecky has been raised but not effectively countered other than "hand waving" and muttering about "lots more windmills".

        However, I recall no mention of "cheaper driving = more miles driven". More miles driven means more emissions, so if (just picking numbers from the air to make the illustration easy) an EV charged on our mix of lecky generation had half the CO2 emissions per mile of the IC vehicle it replaces, if it then does twice the miles it will have the same emissions. OK, that's not likely, but it will be a real effect.

  24. Ian Emery Silver badge

    The third way

    The Scandinavians are trialling something that was suggested several decades ago = induction charging strips fitted to motorways.

    So you drive your EV on internal battery to the motorway, then run on the leccy from the induction system - recharging your own battery along the way; then switch to internal power again when you leave.

    Fitted and charged as part of a road toll; this could be a gold mine for the operators, and what the world needs to reduce carbon and other pollution output.

    It would also remove range anxiety almost completely.

    I'd love an EV, 90% of my driving is less than 20 miles per day; but I cannot afford even a 2011 Leaf - even though the savings in fuel, tax etc; would completely offset the purchase price.

    So I am stuck with an old gas guzzler.

  25. Starace Silver badge
    Alert

    Price equivalency

    That's going to be a good trick - the bulk of the cost difference is in the battery and given those are already (mostly) a commodity item in mass production where exactly do they see the reductions coming from?

    You'd have to see all sorts of innovations appear and material prices collapse for anything significant to happen. And even then it still won't be cheap for a 30-100kWh battery.

    1. Daniel 18

      Re: Price equivalency

      "and material prices collapse"

      Of course, building hundreds of millions of EVs may push materials prices up a little.

  26. Cynicalmark
    Devil

    I Love the way everyone misses the elephant in the room

    We all would love to have green vehicles and wonderfully green batteries charged by renewable resources, but why do the world leaders place the onus on us the end user by badgering us to go green?

    They line their pockets on carbon credit trades between countries and mega corporations rather than making the dirty industries clean up their act. No doubt someone will come to the aid of these angelic filth mongers rather than admitting that carbon trade and credit transfers are wrong. Offsetting something that can be resolved is criminal.

    Why should we tolerate the distinct lack of action and arrogance of big players who continue to use and abuse the environment for profit.

    Last I looked an exec of a large German car group said electric cars were a waste of time and nothing wrong with what we have now. Fgs with aholes like that in charge and pathetic greenies doing nothing more than hitting them with a hard leaflet campaign followed by a small protest of tree huggers is it any wonder we are doomed.

    It is up to consumers to not buy the crap that doesn’t work to help our planet now - we tried it all so yeah I agree to the message but not the meaning - go green in product choices not in personal energy usage - hence the need to stop hiding how green or ungreen something is. Have a larger scale such as an a-z listing of total greenness. Lets have each producer from all in the manufacturing chain to tot up the figures to make a final score......clearly marked we would see how dirty an electric vehicle really is.

    I know it’s a rambling old fart thing but spleen vented grrrrrrr

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: I Love the way everyone misses the elephant in the room

      "We all would love to have green vehicles and wonderfully green batteries charged by renewable resources,"

      Citation needed.

  27. ukoperator

    Whatever we do on our tiny island with only 0.88% of the worlds population is not going to do squat for the environment absolutely nothing (but its good for government taxes). Until China, India the US etc are on board keep buying combustion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      China have a massive push towards renewables. They are installing more solar farms than anyone.

      However, as previously stated when the same comment was made. We can't encourage or help other countries to transition until we have done it ourselves. If we become world leaders in renewable, carbon free technology, it might cost a bit to sort out the mistakes but we can then export and sell that technology and knowledge. In a [cough] post brexit Britain we need to have an industry to lead in . Green energy is a pretty good one.

      Not only that local pollution from cars affects us locally. Car exhausts in Bejing may increase CO2 but the particulates mainly affect those in the surrounding areas.

      1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        > However, as previously stated when the same comment was made. We can't encourage or help other countries to transition until we have done it ourselves. If we become world leaders in renewable, carbon free technology

        France moved entirely to nuclear, have the cheapest energy, lowest emissions of anyone else and yet nobody has managed to follow them.

        1. Col_Panek

          Germany followed them: they also use French nuclear energy.

  28. Mike 137 Bronze badge

    The key point of the piece?

    There are a lot of interesting comments above, but mostly about the ultimate outcomes.

    However it's already apparent that Kat Hall's main point is valid. Many anti-ICE pollution initiatives to date are simply centred on charging money for the privilege of carrying on as normal (emissions zones for example). All that really does is restrict the freedoms of the poor, and in some cases it can cause real hardship. A guy I know had his small business fold because his local council imposed a massively unaffordable daily charge for keeping his diesel van on the road, just because of its age - not because of its emissions, which were within legal spec.

  29. Andy Towler
    Holmes

    No s**t Sherlock

    "Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one"

    In other news, the sun rises in the East once again.

  30. Martin an gof Silver badge

    The battery lasts about 400,000 miles.

    Like heck they do. Most manufacturers seem to offer a 7-ish year "lifespan" and expect 10 - 12,000 miles a year.

    For example, Nissan offers an 8-year, 100,000 mile (whichever occurs first) "Lithium-Ion Battery gradual capacity loss coverage" warranty on their higher capacity battery, but only 5-year, 60,000 miles on the lower capacity one:

    The Nissan LEAF & eNV200 lithium-ion battery state of health guarantee protects against battery capacity loss (less than 9 bars out of 12) as shown on the in vehicle capacity gauge for a period of 8 years / 100,000 miles* for 40 kWh vehicles and 8 years / 100,000 miles* for 30 kWh vehicles and 5 years / 60,000 miles* for 24kWh vehicles. For LEAF flex customers, the battery state of health guarantee applies for the duration of the battery lease.

    Their battery leasing programme has severe restrictions on mileage - probably based on the above, where 100,000 miles over 8 years comes to 12,500 miles a year. I did around 24,000 miles last year, though it's likely to be slightly lower from now on.

    I am very tempted by an electric vehicle for my 90 mile a day (mostly) motorway commute, but until recently none of the more affordable cars could guarantee a 90 mile range in the winter with the heating, lights and wipers on, particularly towards the end of the warranty period as the battery approaches 75% capacity

    M.

    1. JokerZero

      Agreed, the used car trade takes the view that a Nissan leaf with 80K miles on the clock will have an effective battery range of less than 40 miles and is therefore a technical write off.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Straight to pure electric is too big a leap

    A friend with a tesla has a regular journey that's too far for the battery so he routinely stops for lunch at a restaurant with tesla charging points. Not only does that add the cost of a meal and the time taken but it also means he needs to plan his journey to fit in with the restaurant opening hours.

    Pure electric may be OK for relatively local commute/shopping but battery anxiety is a problem, even if there were more charging points (and standard connectors) planning a lengthy stop to recharge is a problem. And remember the recharge may take an hour, compare with a few mins to refill petrol, forecourts would need to be far larger to accommodate the recharging vehicles.

    Best answer is hybrid for an interim period at least. I have Toyota Auris. The battery is tiny compared to an all-electric vehicle and hybrid has the extra weight of a conventional drive train. The battery alone would not take you very far but it's real use is to give a power boost when needed and in low speed stop-start traffic.

    I guess as things progress the conventional engines could get smaller and batteries bigger.

    My only gripe is lack of manual control. I have a regular route of about 40 miles. Outbound I get about 80mpg, return on the same route 60mpg, same amount of climb each way (light traffic, few traffic lights). I think I could get it to 80mpg both ways if I could override the system to tell it things like "I know there's a long descent coming up so maximise battery use before we get there" for example.

  32. Enders

    NanoFlowcell

    Given the current battery charge times, would this be a viable alternative?

    https://www.nanoflowcell.com

    https://www.eenewspower.com/news/flow-battery-pioneer-aims-volume-production-cars-and-fuel

    1. Hairy Spod

      Re: NanoFlowcell

      No, they've been touting that since the late 90's production is always 18 months away

  33. Local Laddie

    I'd happily buy one except....

    When I get a car - its always a new car out of the box, right now I want/need a new car BUT:

    The cost of electric cars is prohibitive (much higher than petrol or diesel)

    Lack of charging points (I live t'up north - its really grim when looking for a charging point)

    So I'm keeping my old banger for a bit longer than usual in the hope prices drop soon.

  34. Nikki Radir

    Well, I never...

    You can always learn something new from a 'Register' comments thread, can't you?

    Apparently nascent technologies don't work perfectly as soon as they're introduced! Gathering energy from widely dispersed, natural sources to produce a resilient electricity supply will require more complex system designs than just burning stuff! Electric cars now being produced after a whole decade of intensive R&D don't outperform ICEVs in every way! [Question: what's keeping them? Haven't they had long enough, already?]

    And that's not all... Some people with 'Green' sympathies aren't technically savvy enough to evaluate complex technological systems! Good investment, design and production choices matter for renewable technologies as well as those powered by combustion! Some unavoidable disadvantages remain even when you adopt a better technology! The adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy is not enough on its own to save human civilisation from ecosystem collapse! Zero carbon doesn't mean zero pollution! People choosing a green electricity tariff doesn't mean the electricity they use is physically generated by a wind turbine!

    Etcetera. But one thing I won't be schooled on, is the necessity to do our very best to turn this situation around. It's not optional.

    The article iself reflects my recent situation, as when I scrapped our diesel Toyota Avensis with 215K miles on the clock, three years ago, I would have loved to get an electric car. What I could actually afford was an 11-year old Corolla. I really enjoy it; what an expression of advanced production engineering; what reliability and capability. But it's not an EV. [I have to commute ~240 miles a week, if I'm not to quit my job, and using public transport would more than double my journey time.]

    I have seen (simply by scratching a little below the surface of the headlines) material that would indicate (waves wet finger in the wind, vaguely) that there are thousands of R&D projects out there in every part of academia, industry, commerce and so on, trying to bring the various new components of a better world into being (and yes, I use that phrase sincerely and deliberately). For those of you tempted to despair, or to dismiss the need for change, just try a little harder. While there may be shortcomings and idiocies for you to find your way around, the clear picture is that we have the technology we need to make progress, and that amongst the many possibilities now in development, we'll find what we need to complete the task. And it will continually get better and cheaper. Oh, and for the avoidance of doubt, change is not optional. Don't argue with me about that, there are many credible, authoritative sources out there for you to consult. That website you stumbled across, with the bar-stool philosopher of a retired American engineer, who cherry-picks the data to 'show' that CO2 is just plant food after all and nothing to worry about, is not a credible or authoritative source.

    I think that we currently have some absolutely great engineering departments, all over the world. If you're a car nut and you haven't seen the Porsche Taycan videos (repeated acceleration, Nordschleife lap, 24 hours at the Nardo circuit), then do it. Too quiet for you? I'm looking forward to being able to hear the sound system properly ... maybe in a VW ID; I'm now saving up for a new car. Target 2021. What I also want is a government that will legislate for constructive change tout suite. But for that I fear we need more democracy, not <censored>, and that's another story.

    But it is time for everyone who ‘gets it’ to shape up for the question “What did you do in the great struggle against climate heating, Granddad/Grandma?”. Of course, this is my opinion and you may disagree … but you’re wrong if you do.

  35. M.V. Lipvig
    Devil

    The main problems

    continue to be recharge time and power availability. Until an EV can drive into a recharger on sparks (ICE version of driving on fumes) then leave 10 minutes later with a 100 percent charge, they just aren't practical. Forgetting to plug in the night before means you're stranded for the day, forgetting to fill the gas tank the day before means you're 10 minutes late to wherever you were going.

    Then there's the whole power generation problem. That power has to come from SOMEWHERE, and I don't know of a single nation on the planet that has enough excess generation capacity, or transmission capacity for that matter, to just swap their entire fleet from ICEV to EV. Maybe one of the island nations with 10 cars and 5 miles of road can, but those nations are already just using golf carts. There still needs to be a lot of development in the infrastructure and the tech before this will be ready, and I speak as one who would switch in a minute if I could. I like to drag race, and the acceleration of an EV is very exciting to me. Waiting 8 hours for a "full tank of gas" on the other hand is not.

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