back to article Not so easy to make a quick getaway when it takes 3 hours to juice up your motor, eh Brits?

The UK Treasury is making £70m available to fund an additional 3,000 rapid charging points for electric vehicles, doubling the UK total to 5,000. The money comes from a £400m fund to improve the UK's charging network. The pot will be managed by "private sector partners" with £200m in government cash being matched by private …

  1. Lee D Silver badge

    We're gonna drastically increase peak load, and then try to spend a pittance fixing all the problems caused by creating the necessity for new - and probably non-renewable - peak-load generation (which solar is useless for, and wind is very variable).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There's also the well-known problem of fast-charging rapidly reducing cell capacity over a very short period.

      The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

      1. Andre Carneiro

        Whilst it does reduce cell capacity, I'm not sure it does so "rapidly".

        Also, the idea is to rapid charge only occasionally when on longer journeys. Hopefully you should be able to AC charge over night most of the times.

        1. Stuart Castle

          This makes sense. I watched a Youtube video (from a normally reliable, informative and entertaining channel) where they discussed Electric Cars. When discussing the negative points of Electric cars (it was actually a pro electric car piece), he pointed out that you couldn't just nip to the garage for a quick top up, but he also pointed out that electric cars are not designed for that. They are designed to be left plugged in and charging when we are doing other stuff (like sleeping, sitting at home or working) and don't need the car. The only times you should need to quickly charge the car is if you are driving long distances, and in my experience, most people don't drive long distances regularly.

          1. Adelio

            Charging your car

            Assuming that you cannot charge at home because you are either in a flat or have no parking near your house etc.

            So i drive to work and I part in the work car park and leave my car there ALL day. I do not normally drive during the day because i do not need to and i would normally loose my parking spot.

            So do they expect that ALL the parking spots will have a charging point?

            If not and my company (Yeh right!) decide toi install say 2 charging points. How is that going to help most of the people if we all have electric cars?

            As much as i like the idea if electric cars it does require a fundamental change to how things are done.

            Normally i fill up once every 2 weeks and it takes 5 minutes. If I do a long journey and if i stop i normally stop for 10 minutes (for a pee break).

            As someone else noted. A petrol station with 10 pumps and say 5 miniutes to fill up makes 120 cars being handled per hour (Peak). If you had 10 charging points and if it takes an hour to charge that is only 10 cars an hour.

            The figures really do not stack up at the moment.

            So far I have not seen any concrete estimates of the changes required to the electricity supply infastructure to handle most cars being electric.

            Knowing how slow the electricity supply industry works I have little confidence that there will be sufficient generating capacity or that the grid could hadle the additional load!

            1. keith_w

              Re: Charging your car

              When I was young, I lived in Northern Ontario, where, surprisingly it gets very cold during the winter, especially overnight. Pretty much every car park had electrical cords dangling down that you could plug your car's block heater into. Is there some reason that that could not be continued for electrical vehicles. Recently I have had short term contracts at Ford office buildings. They all had charging points for electric vehicles. Admittedly, there were a limited number of them, however, there is no reason there could not be more.

              1. intrigid

                Re: Charging your car

                The energy needed to run a block heater is literally zero compared to charging an EV.

                1. gskr
                  Headmaster

                  Re: Charging your car

                  Literally?

                  I think you mean Virtually

            2. davealford

              Re: Charging your car

              I think you’ll find you take more than 5 minutes to fill your car. If home charging, it only takes 30 seconds to connect charger in the evening and it’s at 100% if you want in the morning. Most EVs will also pre-condition the car at a set time so the cabin is at 20degC, steering wheel and seats warm, and (if necessary) battery warm too.

              Driving long distance in EV doesn’t take much longer. I’ve done 600 mile round trips and found stopping every 90 minutes for a 20minute charge, rest break, coffee not much of a problem. I also find I arrive at destination less tired and less stress along the way.

              1. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge

                Re: Charging your car

                If home charging, it only takes 30 seconds to connect charger in the evening and it’s at 100% if you want in the morning.

                Home charging isn't an option for the majority of people. From a society-wide perspective, it's basically a footnote. So the length of time spent charging is still a major issue and always will be.

            3. Jaybus

              Re: Charging your car

              "Assuming that you cannot charge at home"

              Perhaps the problem is that £70m for 3,000 = £23k per charger. A bit expensive for most any type of home, wouldn't you say?

              1. davealford

                Re: Charging your car

                About £25K is the usual quoted price for a 'RAPID' charger NOT a home charger. Home chargers are between £400 and £600 and you can obtain a grant against that so basically, home charger costs you bugger all! I'd rather sped £3.50 to charge my car for every 150 miles than £75 every 600 … not sure about everyone else ….

            4. davealford

              Re: Charging your car

              You/other employees probably wouldn't need to charge everyday / all day. You connect if you need to when you arrive and move your car to another spot when charged. Majority of new EVs now come with an 'app' (doesn't everything?) that'll alert you when the battery is charged or, like myself, the vehicle tells you when it estimates the battery will be charged. It requires a bit of co-operation but, if businesses are providing charging points then they can enforce their own policy how chargers are used and ban those who abuse them. It really is pretty painless and can save you/the company on fuel … In the UK, you can still claim motor mileage at the same rates as an ICE for business use of private EVs so, you can claim back from employer up to 40p/mile for first 10000 miles and 25p/mile there after and it's not subject to tax !

          2. j2017

            Ahem, There is a huge army of 'sales and support' personnel who are on the road all the time and/or work on different and distant client sites.

            I know, I was that soldier !!

            J.

            1. davealford

              And there are lots of them using EVs ….

        2. NogginTheNog
          FAIL

          the idea is to rapid charge only occasionally when on longer journeys. Hopefully you should be able to AC charge over night most of the times.

          Oh if life were so predictable!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sadly, the way we're building houses at the moment (town houses, no front garden/driveway, no ability to park within a lead's length of the property) means that that's increasingly unlikely to be a possibility ...

      3. Spanners Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

        True but internal combustion engines become less efficient as they get older so pretty much the same effect,

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

          Not by a significant amount. The various pressure seals get a bit loose (piston rings, valve seals etc), but the loss is rarely noticed. More importantly, they can be overhauled easily and relatively cheaply, and multiple times. Not so with batteries.

          1. davealford

            Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

            EV batteries can also be overhauled. The batteries are made of many cells (90 in my 29kwh battery). When battery 'degrades' it’s usually down to one or two cells which can be removed and replaced. No need to replace entire battery. If too many cells degraded then the battery can still have value by using cells in power walls, standby power stores etc.

            Please do your research before making comments!

          2. davealford

            Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

            "they can be overhauled easily and relatively cheaply, and multiple times. Not so with batteries."

            EV batteries can be overhauled and probably a lot easier than ICE! EV batteries contain many cells grouped into modules - either complete modules or individual cells in module can be replaced.

        2. phuzz Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

          "internal combustion engines become less efficient as they get older"

          No. Only by comparison to a new car. If you keep an old car reasonably well maintained, it'll still get about the same fuel economy as when it was new.

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

            Both my planet killing diesels have gradually got higher and higher mpg as they passed 50 thousand miles.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

            If most of it has fallen off, you may also get better...

          3. Stork Silver badge

            Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

            My Accord with 200Mm on the clock has not changed measurably

        3. boltar Silver badge

          Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

          Not nearly to the same extent and they can be refurbished tp be almost as good as new without too much effort. You can't do that with a lithium battery.

          1. davealford

            Re: The fuel tank in my car doesn't shrink each time I refill it.

            Yes you can ....

    2. eldakka Silver badge

      peak-load generation (which solar is useless for, and wind is very variable)

      Sure, if your definition of solar and wind power is limited to directly feeding the grid only when generating, and unused power is just lost.

      Or you could, you know, have things like batteries - both grid-scale and local, pumped hydro (where the solar/wind is used to power the pumps), thermal solar (i.e. mirrors direct the suns rays to a big thermal mass that heats up and can take a day or more to cool down, providing electricity the entire cooling cycle), and so on.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        And who foots the bill for all this? Such build-out is almost infeasibly expensive i.e. 10s of billions, maybe 100s. Utility bills are already inflated thanks to subsidies. Adding more would drastically increase fuel poverty. Government clearly won't pony up or they would have started to already.

        1. Spanners Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Red: Who foots the bill?

          Perhaps we could have a look at the subsidies and HUGE tax breaks the oil companies get.

          Knock off a chunk of those and we could not only put out all the chargers we want and still have enough left over for the millions of pounds/week that Boris promised for the NHS.

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          If its infeasibly expensive then so is Nuclear. For the same money as a nuke you can install 60GW of solar - near twice the counties needs. It would generate more than the nuke would in their respective lifetimes, Once you have that kind of spare peak load going for effectively free then someone is going to work out how to store it one way or another so its available all the time.

          As for fast charging cars its always worth remembering the London Tram Company could change a battery in a couple of minutes in 1910 or something. No reason why cars cant be designed to quickly swap out batteries - apart from people who think that people actually think their car says anything about them.

          1. Vulture@C64

            And where would you store this energy generated during the day ? We need electricity at night, especially in the winter when it's not windy and it's dark. You can't build batteries to supply the country, that's certainly not technically possible and not financially viable. There have been several studies recently regarding storage and they concluded that it's not viable apart from in small formats such as single houses.

            We need a mix - base load from Nuclear and gas then off shore wind where it makes sense. Technology is not at the point yet where we can store massive amounts of power.

            1. Nick Kew Silver badge

              That's why we need tidal energy. The renewable that's also reliable and predictable - at least while we have the moon and sun!

              Together with a system for aggregating poser from different sources, so while one tidal generator is at low-generation phase, others at full blast take over. We could call it a National Grid. Oh, wait, we already have one, built back in the days when investing wasn't a dirty word.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                That's why we need tidal energy

                Hydro, like solar (as the complaints being levelled at those solar installers is proving) is a break even to loss maker over it's lifetime, there is no "Free" electric

                All power generation is subsidised, from Fossil to Wind

                when the car manufacturers get together and decide on ONE battery type / shape/ tech it'll work a bit better....same as Apple and Samsung agreeing a port type

                I wont wait for it!

                1. Evil Scot

                  Re: That's why we need tidal energy

                  Tesla, who were the Apple in this debate, are moving towards the USB-C of the EV market now. Much like apple.

            2. Tom 7 Silver badge

              In the early 90s you could generate H2 from water with and get 80% of the energy required to do that in a power cell. H2 is easy to store. And if ness could be compressed and used in fuel cells in cars.

              And I dare say you could use the O2 produced as well to increase the thermal efficiency of Combined Cycle systems to near 90% so saving massive amounts of gas too.

              And as for another form of storage - imagine heating your hot water and storage heaters on the almost free electricity generated when the sun is shining.

              1. juice Silver badge

                > H2 is easy to store

                Erm. No.

                To quote https://planetforlife.com/h2/h2swiss.html (as it has some nice and easily copy-pasta'd statements):

                Hydrogen is difficult to store because has very low volumetric energy density. It is the simplest and lightest element--it's lighter than helium. Hydrogen is 3.2 times less energy dense than natural gas and 2700 times less energy dense than gasoline.

                ...

                It is necessary to reach [800 bars] density if a vehicle is to carry enough hydrogen to be practical. A pressure of 800 bars works out to 6 tons, or 12,000 lbs, per square inch. It is very difficult to contain such pressures safely in a lightweight tank. Catastrophic tank failure releases as much energy as an equal weight of dynamite. . A truck or an automobile using a steel tank would be impractical as the tank would weigh nearly as much as the vehicle.

                ...

                Hydrogen's physical properties means hydrogen is harder to liquefy than any other gas except helium. There are significant and inevitable energy losses when hydrogen is liquefied [...] 30% in the best case.

                ...

                B&E estimates that a liquid hydrogen tank designed for automobile use will loose about 5% of its capacity every day, which is to say that all of it will be gone in 20 days.

                I'm sure there's counterpoints and arguments to the above, but fundamentally, you're dealing with a very small and very energetic molecule which prefers to exist as a low-density gas. Ain't nothing easy about storing that in useful quantities...

            3. Andy 97

              By producing liquefied air and then releasing this as a gas, which drives a turbine.

              The system can even work using existing petrochemical infrastructure and releases no "harmful" emissions. Highview has this working already.

              https://phys.org/news/2013-05-energy-companies-liquid-air-backup.html

              If you can't be bothered to read:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj2jTm0PtWw

              1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

                Interesting technology but 50-60% efficiency is not good in my opinion. Second life lithium batteries seem a far better proposition. Even if they are significantly less efficient than new (and I'm not aware that they are) there still going to be better than that.

                1. davealford

                  Re-purposed EV batteries are just as 'efficient' as a new battery - it's just they loose capacity, not efficiency. You still get out what you put in, it's just not as much as you'd like to put in in the first place ….

                2. Jaybus

                  It would take quite a few. Electricity use is around 846 million kWh per day. Most EVs have a 30 kWh or less battery. It would take 12 million or so new batteries, so perhaps 20 million repurposed batteries. How many EVs are there?

            4. davealford

              That's why they're investigating Vehicle-2-Grid where charged vehicles' batteries could be used to provide power back to the grid . If there were 1million vehicles connected and each could supply 1kw for 1hour during peaks in demand how much energy is that to add to supply and most vehicles wouldn't notice it. Obviously vehicle owners would want compensated for that 1kw for an hour and until they can at least sort out smart meters it probably isn't going to happen any time soon but, that's the idea …. (which is why new EV chargers that are funded by OLEV grants now have to be smart meters …. trouble is, they don't define 'smart' - does adding a time clock to a charger make it smart?)

          2. simonlb Silver badge

            The only realistic option is nuclear, just not using PWR's but using thorium cycle reactors instead as they are inherently safer (as in cannot have a meltdown) and do not need to have their fuel specially made, using existing nuclear waste with minimal processing. Current estimates indicate that the existing global stockpile of nuclear waste could power thorium cycle reactors for well over 20,000 years.

            As for your solar stuff, after 20-years your solar cells will be well knackered and producing absolutely sod all power so good luck getting those to outlast a nuclear reactor.

            I agree with your point on quick-change batteries though, as it is realistically the only logical option for electric vehicles if we want to get away from using fossil fuels. At the moment anyway.

          3. boltar Silver badge

            I wish people would stop thinking solar is a great solution - it isn't.

            1) It doesn't work at night so you also need expensive storage.

            2) It just about works for 8 hours a day in winter and hardly at all if its cloudy too.

            3) For kw per acre or land use its hideously inefficient.

            4) The cells themselves cost a fortune.

            If you want decent renewable energy then wind is ok-ish , but the only sure bet is tidal. But of course as soon as the latter is mentioned then along come some bird spotters claiming that damming the Stinkingmud Estiuary would scare away the lesser spotted snot gobbler and thats the end of that.

        3. simonlb Silver badge

          This is why your utility bills have risen so much over the past fifteen years or so - we've all been paying for the building of all the wind farms which have sprung up all over the place during that period. That and the subsidies paid out to the owners of each turbine to compensate them when there isn't any wind. Great eh?

      2. JetSetJim Silver badge

        > Or you could, you know, have things like batteries - both grid-scale and local, pumped hydro (where the solar/wind is used to power the pumps), thermal solar (i.e. mirrors direct the suns rays to a big thermal mass that heats up and can take a day or more to cool down, providing electricity the entire cooling cycle), and so on.

        There are limited sites available for such storage infrastructure - IIRC there's not many places in the UK that can do pumped storage at scale (perhaps build lots of water towers, but that sounds expensive) - Wales has a couple, probably, and maybe a few places could be built up North. Thermal solar? This *is* the UK, right? Not much use for 10 months of the year.

        Or you could buy a shit load of Tesla power walls...

        1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

          Thermal solar works great at my place in the north of scotland. Heats my hot water to 42 degrees + all last week and thats cloud covered and rain.

          pumped storage is ineffecient Ffestiniog Power Station has an average efficiency of 72–73% .

          battery storage is great 90%+ efficiency (but making the batteries is not) and dont need to take up much space, the biggest one (Hornsdale South Australia) only takes up about a hectare and can supply upto 129MWh at 100MW but usually only needs to surve up at about 30MW.

          1. beast666

            Lukewarm water.

            1. Steve K Silver badge

              Luke warm

              As they are in the north of Scotland, anything over 4C is considered toasty...….

            2. JetSetJim Silver badge

              IIRC you need 55C to kill off Legionnaires bacteria...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            129MWh sounds big, but it's not, when daily usage in SA is around 34 GWh, a large chunk of which comes across interconnects from Queensland and New South Wales. In that environment, the useful output of Hornsdale is measured in seconds to single-digit minutes. It's currently used as little more than a very inefficient smoothing capacitor.

            Most recent report on SA electricity for some of these figures:

            https://aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/SA_Advisory/2017/South-Australian-Electricity-Report-2017.pdf

          3. Roland6 Silver badge

            >pumped storage is ineffecient Ffestiniog Power Station has an average efficiency of 72–73% .

            But pumped storage wasn't intended to be efficient and won't be efficient because of the need to pump water from the bottom reservoir back to the top reservoir.

            >battery storage is great 90%+ efficiency

            I would treat this figure with caution as it is a reference to the ability to recover energy stored in the battery and not the energy needed to put that energy into the battery, nor the energy consumed in input/output voltage conversions.

      3. jmch Silver badge

        This:

        "Or you could, you know, have things like batteries - both grid-scale and local, pumped hydro (where the solar/wind is used to power the pumps), thermal solar (i.e. mirrors direct the suns rays to a big thermal mass that heats up and can take a day or more to cool down, providing electricity the entire cooling cycle), and so on."

        Combined with this (from article):

        "to research ways "to remove greenhouse gases from the sky on a large scale""

        ...is the holy grail: Use energy from solar, wind etc to combine CO2 from atmosphere and H20 to produce fuel. Hydrocarbon fuel is still by far the best fuel we have available in terms of energy density, eae of storage and handling, and existing infrastructure. It is still the only viable option for large-scale planes and helicopters, and can be used for baseload power, local generators etc etc.

        You're still going to get conversion losses, but it's essentially a large-scale chemical factory (something we're good at), and you're solving both the storage and transmission issues that often plague renewables

        1. Stork Silver badge

          We could think of a model which is Tall, Renewable and Energy Efficient.

        2. JetSetJim Silver badge

          It would be good to mandate over-production to inject it back into all the caves that have been drilled into over the last century or so

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, that's why there are now loads of requests to connect new, fast starting OCGT's and Diesels all over the place. Wind, Nuke and CCGT to take base loading duties, backed up by those fast starting OCGT and minor capability from storage systems to deal with fast response.

      The IET published an interesting white paper on the need for an independent system architect to have oversight of the development of the end-to-end supply chain for power. Funny, such a thing used to exist called the CEGB. BEIS and Ofgem by comparison, haven't a scooby how to manage that supply chain. Slapping endless sticking plasters on top of sticking plasters to try and incentivise behaviour.

      For all the inefficiencies of that former organisation, the concepts remain sound, and in fact, when you look at the plans of the late 1980's CEGB, the generation mix now being developed is almost exactly what they were planning to do back in 1988 before Maggie tore the whole thing apart. The early 90's dash for gas took place instead. Maggie basically delayed the current situation by about 20 years; and destroyed the organisational capability that could have delivered it as an intergrated solution, probably at far lower cost and without shareholders leeching off at every turn.

      Anonymous coward, for job security reasons.

    4. jmch Silver badge
      Boffin

      "We're gonna drastically increase peak load..."

      Not in the slightest

      - Current UK annual consumption is around 2300 TWh*.

      - Electric cars seem to manage around 19 kWh/100km. UK motorists average is about 12500km/yr (7900m)**. So 2375 kWh / year or 2.375 MWh/yr.

      - There's estimated 38M vehicles in UK. If 10% were electric, it would add about 9 million MWh/yr, which is 9 TWh/yr (0.4% of current total)

      - If half the vehicles in the UK were electric, total load would increase by 2%. All the vehicles - 4%

      In other words, no "drastic" increase in the total. I find it hard to believe that somehow all the increase would happen at peak hours, if anything more charging would be done overnight, off-peak.

      NB - I just totted this up now with figures arrived at from quick searches. (a) I was expecting the total to be 50-100% more not 4% (b) If, as is not unlikely, I have made some glaring error of scale, please do enlighten!

      *it's remarkably difficult to find a good recent figure so this might be a bit out

      **it's likely that electric vehicles will be more used by people who travel less, but for this purposes average is fine

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Total annual consumption is no substitute for peak load figures.

        An extra 10-20% on peak load would only show up as maybe 1% averaged annually, but would mean you need 10-20% more generation on-hand almost all day long (unless it can fire up real quick, most peak-load generation is pretty much the long-slow-burn kind of thing that takes days to shutdown/startup again so it's cheaper to keep running).

        Additionally, contributing to peak load in, say, winter means that you have to increase capacity across the board and yet it'll sit idle in summer.

        https://gridwatch.co.uk/

        Note that the peak usage is almost all CCGT, and that it's consistent throughout the year, backed by coal still throughout the winter. Also note the consistent and stable grey bar for nuclear, which takes too long to "turn off and on again" so runs all the time.

        It's also almost twice the power than off-peak requirements, wind is the majority of the renewables, and that's far too variable to rely upon for increased peak demands. Solar is the antithesis of peak demands and despite everyone's comments - where's the batteries in those pictures? They basically don't exist. Solar accounts for slightly less than the France and Netherlands power exports to us. Why do we import? To ensure consistency of supply, good margins and cope with unexpected peaks.

        Throwing even 1% onto peak load basically increases all the associated infrastructure and source requirements by a minimum of 1%. Energy companies invest knowing that usage will grow over time, but the smart-meter debacle is a foretell of what they are realising - they can't guarantee supply for everyone into the future and need people to cut down and/or to cut them off. But if you increase those natural increases by another 1% on top (which may be more than the natural year-on-year increase itself), you drastically change the game.

        And electric cars may be the absolute worse case - huge, quick, on-demand, sharp peak power requirements, especially in public places, etc. If you plug your car in in work, or when you go shopping, or are parked in town, or on a motorway service station or wherever the new charging stations are, you expect it to be charged by the time you get back, which they won't know. So they'll have to fast-charge. At peak. On demand.

        Home use will happily be accounted for in off-peak hours (where they are perfect for it), but they are even talking about USING your home car battery at peak hours to stem the rise in peak power. That's a side-issue. Because any non-home charging station *won't* be used off-peak at all. Exactly the opposite.

        And that little tiny sliver of solar and the very temperamental wind is going to do bugger all to cope with that.

        1. davealford

          Charging in work, home, car parks (using destination chargers as they’re known) are generally only 7.2kw (same as electric water immersion heaters) and charge battery over several hours. Rapid chargers (50kw +) are for simply that while on longer journeys. It’s envisaged majority of charging will be done on destination type chargers at home and/or work. It will probably come around that all new construction (houses/business/shopping centres etc) will have to have charging facilities as part of planning.

      2. Julz Bronze badge

        A Different Take

        I looked at this recently from a production and consumption viewpoint and came up with a different take on things. This is just order of magnitude arithmetic using data from the official government statistics on electricity generation and oil usage. Rate information was gathered from gridwatch.

        This set of calculations assumes many things including that the new vehicles will have the same efficiency and the current stock and that we carry on using them in the same way.

        Over a year we generate ~300TWh of electrical energy. However this isn't delivered at a constant rate, it's very peaky. There are major daily and seasonal cycles. Minimum demand is about ~18GW and peak demand approaches ~45GW of power over a few hours. A rough daily figure is ~750GWh of electrical energy production in the UK.

        We use ~12,000,000 tonnes of oil for transport a quarter of which ~ 9,000,000 tonnes are for petrol and DERV. Lets assume this is all being used for cars, lorries and other vehicles. So thats ~9,000,000 / 90 => 100,000 tonnes per day. One tonne of oil gives ~11MWh of energy. So, in a day we currently use 100,000 * 11 => 110,000MWh => 110GWh of energy per day moving stuff around our roads.

        So, over a day we use ~1/7 (~14%) of our current daily electrical energy generation moving stuff around our roads using petrol and DERV.

        Lets say it takes 12hrs to charge up our vehicles. That means we require 110GWh of energy delivered over a 12hr period. For simplicity, lets keep the demand constant over that period. So, that would be and extra demand for ~110 / 12 => 9GW of energy in every hour to charge up the vehicles.

        However, as mentioned above, electricity demand is peaky. The good news is current demand peaks in daylight hours and if you believe the evangelists, we will all be plugging our vehicles in overnight. Daily peaky are ~30GW at midday and ~20GW at midnight (both higher in the winter but still ~10GW difference day and night). So the extra demand might be an extra ~50% of the current off peak demand or an extra ~30% of current peak demand.

        So, the extra demand could flatten out the nighttime peak but might overlap current demand. We will need more generation capacity and I think quite a lot of it, but how much I don't know. What I do know is that it will have to be reliable and always available which isn't a good fit for the current renewable sources.

    5. Evil_Tom

      Could we think of it a different way?

      Instead of charging the batteries in your car, why don't we have stations that have banks of batteries so you can swap out your batteries for new ones? They can sit charging at the station.

      There are some problems with this... you'd need a universal battery standard, and what happens when there are no "full" batteries? People tend to already "rent" the batteries from the manufacturers, so as long as you get a guaranteed quality and range it might work?

      Q: Shouldn't they be comparing number of charging stations to petrol pumps, and not stations?

  2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

    Taking it oh so very seriously, then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

      Removing greenhouse gasses is a joke.

      Like trying to hoover up the clouds because you dont want it to rain.

      Or forcing everybody, man woman and child to stand outside during the winters night to try and warm up the local atmosphere so there wont be any snow in the morning and the roads will be clear.

      In the future, when school kids are educated about our crazy silly ideas surrounding climate and how its not supposed to change, ever, they will be sitting there in class watching cartoons of us trying to push back the tide.

      Today kids learn about the romans. I'm sure many Romans thought that the destruction of Pompeii was somehow their fault, angering the gods. Kids laugh at such ch sillyness as much as I laugh at a sandcastle facing down the oncoming tide. I wonder if sandcastles were able to walk talk like us etc, would they fund a project to extract seawater out of the ocean to reduce the destruction of the tide? Completely ignoring the presence of the moon, the sandcastles believe that the tide destroys them so much due to their "pollution" (whatever that may be, use your imagination), so the solution is to suck out the water and store it in tanks buried for all time.

      Sandcastles that suggest that perhaps the moon is responsible for the tide and that the tide is a natural process that comes and goes and so is something they have to adapt to, like building themselves further up the beach, will be called tidal-deniers. These "tidal-deniers" become increasingly aware of the religious nature of "tidal change" and eventually stop fighting it due to the insane amounts of money (seashells) given to those who play along.

      The ironic thing is the tidal-deniers end up realising that its the accusers who are in fact the tidal-deniers, as they deny the existence of a tide. However, there is too much money and religion involved so they just hope that it all works out and chuckle to themselves when they imagine kid sandcastles of the future, built higher up the beach, learning about the stupidity and telling mummy and daddy sandcastle about how they learned about the crazy people trying to stop the tide in the stupid ages.

      1. TheProf

        Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

        I couldn't agree.

        More.

      2. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

        Yeah. Right.

        Physics tells us a very simple mechanism behind climate (well, temperature) variability and anthropogenic climate change. Looking just at global mean temperatures using a very simple energy balance model is pretty close. Add some heat buffers like oceans, model this with an AR(1) process (or three) and you get even closer (usually the influence of volcanic eruptions is overestimated though). What we currently observe is not like "tides", coming and going: while the temperatures rise the solar forcing is currently declining (summer insulation in the northern hemisphere has been decreasing for the last 5000 or 6000 years), and this is what drives ice ages and warm periods on longer time scales.

        Is carbon capture and storage the right thing? Maybe at the source? It is one option. Avoiding to produce CO_2 emissions sounds easier. Can we adapt to changes instead? We might have to do that anyway, but not all countries have the resources to do so - or the possibilities (e.g. island nations). Will it be as bad as projected? Are you willing to take that bet? The only problem is that it is not that risky for us, we'll probably be dead before the worst things happen, but it is our children, grandchildren, and their offspring that will have to pay the price. Still willing to take the bet that the projections are wrong?

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

          Physics tells us a very simple mechanism behind climate (well, temperature) variability and anthropogenic climate change. Looking just at global mean temperatures using a very simple energy balance model is pretty close.

          Nope, not at all. You're partly right, ie CO2 dogma is driven by the absorption/emission characteristics of CO2, which is easy to measure via spectroscopy. So that gives it's spectral characteristics and shows it's got 4 peaks, 3 of which overlap with H2O. The remaining 'atmospheric window' is very narrow.

          So CO2 alone is a very weak GHG, and the IPCC accepts this. So to bring about Thermageddon, CO2 is reacted with phlogiston, miasma and a pinch of SO2. So the 'forcings' and 'feedbacks' that turn a few photons spat out by excited CO2 molecules into a multi-trillion dollar industry.. Which obviously excites people from Al Gore to Dale Vince.. The latter of which will probably lobby for more cash to supply vegan electrons to Tesla owners.

          But there is science. So comp.sci folks plug their theories into climate models, crank the handle and produce various scenarios showing catastrophic warming.. Up to 11C in one noteworthy case. But part of science is also to test theory against observation, like this-

          https://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/slide11.png

          Showing climate models have a tendency to overstate warming. Which is understandable because modelling a planetary atmosphere is hugely complex.. especially if you're trying to project over a century or more. Naturally climate deniers hate those kinds of reanalysis because they've been conditioned to believe GCMs are right, and reality is wrong.

          And as reality asserts itself, it explains the increased political/lobbying pressure to committ to spending trillions NOW! before the CO2 sensitivity argument gets really hard to ignore. Like the possibility of a cold spell due to large ocean cycles (AMO/PDO) going out of phase.

          And-

          What we currently observe is not like "tides", coming and going: while the temperatures rise the solar forcing is currently declining (summer insulation in the northern hemisphere has been decreasing for the last 5000 or 6000 years),

          Nope. The IPCC is clear and devotes all of about 1 page to insisting that solar variability is insignificant, and insolation (not insulation) is essentially a constant. That simplifies the pitch that it's all about CO2, especially if you ignore spectral shifts. Or any extended solar minima would allow those theories to be tested, especially if there's another LIA (Little Ice Age). Which of course would be bad, because that would increase energy demand, and cold means more people die.

          1. OssianScotland Silver badge
            Coat

            Vegan Electrons

            I had hoped that was just humour, but a quick referral to my search engine of choice suggests that vegan electricity is really a "thing".

            Obviously my hamster-wheel connected to a generator fails....

          2. boltar Silver badge

            Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

            " So that gives it's spectral characteristics and shows it's got 4 peaks, 3 of which overlap with H2O. The remaining 'atmospheric window' is very narrow."

            It only needs to be narrow to keep enough extra heat in the atmosphere to cause climate issues.

            Perhaps time for you to have some remedial basic physics lessons.

            "A little learning is a dangerous thing;

            Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring "

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

              It only needs to be narrow to keep enough extra heat in the atmosphere to cause climate issues.

              Perhaps time for you to have some remedial basic physics lessons.

              Not me guv, but then a lot of climate modellers aren't physicists, so GIGO. But that's been the problem.

              So CO2 sensitivity might be 2-3W/m^2 and has generally been revised downwards over time. Simple reason being that at higher sensitivity, there should have been a greater effect.. Which hasn't been observed.

              But the physics is simple. Photon hits a CO2 molecule, excites it briefly and gets spat out again in a random direction. That's also measurable, ie what OCCO-2 and other carbon observatories look for. Missing part seems to be surface measurements, so satellites can look at radiation at TOA, but at surface, proxies are relied on (thermometers, trees etc). But the whole argument is about any potential energy 'imbalance', and that's what has been driving the trillions wasted by the Green Blob.

              Then there are other assumptions, so sensitivity per doubling of CO2. So that's assumed to be logarithmic, but also assumes atmospheric CO2 could be doubled. But if CO2 sensitivity is low, then the dire predictions from the cAGW won't happen, and can't happen.

              So then it's just politics. So look at the cost of mitigation vs adaptation vs cost of inaction. If there are benefits from higher CO2 (like crop yields) then it makes little sense to waste trillions doing something that will have no measurable effect on the 'climate'.. Which is what the UK's been doing, so our efforts to committ economic suicide by decarbonising the UK. Which will kill people, but have a tiny effect on the global climate.

              1. boltar Silver badge

                Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

                So the planet warming broadly in line with rising CO2 levels is all just coincidence then? Out of all the millions of years humanity has been around it just so happens the climage starts to warm significantly at the exact same time humanity releases a few hundred billiion tons of extra CO2 into the atmosphere?

                You must have to undergo some serious mental contortions to believe that load of denialist cr*p.

                And while you apparently think an extra 2W/m^2 isn't significant, I can assure you taken over the whole of earths surface it very much is since water vapour acts as an amplifier and the climate only needs to be warmed enough to reach a tipping point where it flips to a different stable state.

              2. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

                >But if CO2 sensitivity is low, then the dire predictions from the cAGW won't happen, and can't happen.

                Until someone looks and discovers Sulphur hexafluoride SF6...

                What is important, is to ensure funds continue to be available to climate research, so that it attracts contributions from a wide range of scientists so that assumptions can be evaluated and tested.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

          "Is carbon capture and storage the right thing?"

          Of course it is! Don't you realise that our governments around the world are in this for the long haul? When the next ice age is approaching, we'll have all this spare carbon to pump back into the atmosphere to stave of the cold. Who ever heard of governments only thinking in the shirt term?

        3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

          Physics tells us a very simple mechanism behind climate (well, temperature) variability and anthropogenic climate change

          If the mechanism is so simple, why has every model thusfar utterly failed make an accurate prediction?

          Because it's not simple at all. There are myriad effects, feedbacks and forcings, both positive and negative, many of which are poorly understood.

          1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

            Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

            Well said, Jimmy. There is the organic carbon cycle, CO2 -> plants -> animals -> CO2; and there is an inorganic cycle, silicate rocks -> carbonate rocks -> silicate rocks. The inorganic cycle is vastly greater than the organic cycle, driven by geophysical processes.

            Our burning of coal and oil is merely a part of the organic cycle, and has a negligible effect on the overall carbon situation. Sea level has risen some 300 feet (ca 90 metres) in the last 200 centuries, but industrial carbon burning has been only in the last two centuries. Most of the sea level rise came before the industrial burning.

            That proves your point, Jimmy, that things are not well understood.

            1. phuzz Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

              "Most of the sea level rise came before the industrial burning."

              Nope. Sea level has been roughly stable for the last 2000-2500 years, most of the rise has been in the last 100-150 years. src. src 2.

              But hey, if you disagree, there's plenty of property right by the coast that you can buy cheap, care to actually put your money where your mouth is? After all, if you know so much better than everyone else you're going to make a killing right?

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

                But hey, if you disagree, there's plenty of property right by the coast that you can buy cheap, care to actually put your money where your mouth is? After all, if you know so much better than everyone else you're going to make a killing right?

                Some chap by the name of B.Obama just did that, buying a $15m beachfront property on Martha's Vineyard. Which is obviously prone to sea level rises, and also storms & storm surges. So I guess he's not too concered (at least in private) about climate change.

              2. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

                Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

                @Phuzz

                Your first reference deals with the last 2,000 years. I was talking about the last 20,000 years, when our ancestors could walk from Biarritz to Brittany, Cornwall, Pembroke, and Ireland with only a few river crossings. It was 7,000 years ago (5,000BC) that the sea broke through between Calais and Dover.

                I stand by my claim that most of the 300 feet rise in sea level was long before the industrial era.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

                  I stand by my claim that most of the 300 feet rise in sea level was long before the industrial era.

                  And to be expected following an ice age. But that's all part of the fun, ie is the sea level rising, or is the land moving due to istostatic rebound following the loss of a few kms of ice sitting on it. That's been fun with assumptions made about treeline changes in parts of Scandanavia, ie assuming the shift is due to climate change rather than the land shifting.

      3. phuzz Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

        Isn't it funny how all the trolls have switched from "there's no such thing as global warming" to "it's too hard to do anything about so lets not bother"?

        Still the same long screeds full of emotive straw man arguments, and presumably still the same people (or people programming the bots) though.

        At least someone is still standing up for those plucky underdog oil companies eh?

      4. RancidRodent

        Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

        Bang on the money! I've been calling warmists "climate deniers" for about 20 years!

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

      Taking it oh so very seriously, then.

      Well in that context obviously not, but that clearly isn't the point of the operation.

      The point is more likely a weak effort to nudge more people into EVs, provide the illusion there's enough charging capacity. There isn't, of course, and comparing numbers of fast chargers to numbers of fuels stations in an attempt to make it sound impressive is frankly disingenuous and ridiculous.

      A robust comparison would be vehicle throughput per hour, fuels stations vs. fast chargers. Which will never happen because it exposes the woeful inadequacy of charging infrastructure (a few minutes to fill the tank, usually at least 4 pumps per station (often 10 or more)versus single fast chargers occupied for at least an hour). The maths is not in EV's favour.

      1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        @Jimmy Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

        You're right, although someone should be factoring in the number of people who can charge at home or at work, as they won't be using public chargers so much. If anyone has stats for the number of people who drive long distances (which for a typical EV is over 100 miles), that would determine roughly how many rapid chargers are needed.

        But yes, woeful is the right word to describe the current so-called charging "network".

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

        "A robust comparison would be vehicle throughput per hour, fuels stations vs. fast chargers."

        Interesting point. LPG vehicles all have a mandated standard fuel filling point and can fill up at any filling station which sells LPG. There are multiple standards for EV charging and not all charging points can charge all EVs. Both relativity new fuelling options in terms of widespread use. I wonder why that is? Tesla in particular, like Apple, seem to be able to flout any existing connection standards, even when they are mandated.

        1. davealford

          Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

          Which is why Europe is going CCS .... even Tesla. I’ve yet to come across a charger that wasn’t compatible with new vehicles. CCS for rapid DC charging and Type2 for home/destination AC charging at 7.2Kw or 22KW if car can take 3phase AC.

          1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

            Re: 30m quid on removing greenhouse gases?

            Try Tibshelf services on the M1. There are Ecotricity chargers but no CCS. Several other MSAs are the same.

  3. AIBailey Silver badge
    FAIL

    additional 3,000 rapid charging points ...doubling the UK total to 5,000

    I've always been fascinated by the El Reg approach to mathematics.

    1. TheFinn

      Me too! But they've enough credibility to make one doubt oneself

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They started off with 2500 - 500 so when you add 3000 it's 5000. The 500 missing are a bit like government promised broadband speeds, MP's say it exists but it doesn't a bit like rocking horse shit or hens teeth.

    3. Steve K Silver badge

      Maybe Base 10 is not used

      Maybe Base 10 is not used for Reg Units/maths?

      1. Oengus Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Maybe Base 10 is not used

        Sorry, I can't think of a numbering system (assuming that the digits retain their relative value) where 5000 is double 3000. Double 3 * n^x can't be 5 * n^x (where n is an integer greater than 5).

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Maybe Base 10 is not used

          It's El Reg and you think that in their numbering system all the digits exist?

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Maybe Base 10 is not used

          "Double 3 * n^x can't be 5 * n^x (where n is an integer greater than 5)."

          It most certainly IS possible and the proof is actually quite simple. Sadly there is not enough room in the margin to explain it.

          1. Wiltshire
            Joke

            Re: Maybe Base 10 is not used

            Fermat - is that you? How's the Theorem coming along?

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe Base 10 is not used

        29 Knuts in one Sickle, and 17 Sickles make up a Galleon.

    4. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      How many Olympic-sized swimming pools full of double-decker buses does that equate to?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whiplash at the petrol station?

    Why does the chaotic implementation of all this feel so much like "fluorescent bulbs"? The wrong approach, simply because we must "do something now", and later replaced by a better technology. But so much money wasted in haste, again.

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Whiplash at the petrol station?

      And so much mercury released into the environment.

    2. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Whiplash at the petrol station?

      Doing nothing now and waiting for the "better technology" to come along?

      What if that better technology never comes along at the right time? Sure, in 20 years we might have a better technology, but now it has to do twice as much work because we kept on the way we are. But that better technology can't handle twice as much work, it could have handled what the state was 20 years prior, but not what it is now (the now of 20 years in the future).

      So, let's wait until the next better technology comes along that can clean up what we have at this point that this new technology can't now. 20 years after that, same problem. So we wait, again...

      Doing what we can now to reduce the impact on the future, to reduce what we have to clean up when we do get better technologies seems like a good idea to me.

      Not to mention we will have to live in the world between now and when some hoped-for saviour future technology arrives, and I'd rather live in the best environment we can arrange to make now, than live in an even worse one while waiting for this saviour technology.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Whiplash at the petrol station?

        To me, one partial solution exists. It's proper public transport, like in Switzerland

  5. Steve K Silver badge

    The UK already has more charging points than petrol stations

    Not a useful statistic without knowing how many plugs (and what type) there are at charging points (and whether home installations are counted here) and pumps at the petrol stations though.

    At least a step in the right direction (without getting in to generation capacity)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      As you said, the relevant figure for petrol stations is number of pumps. Then, in order to make a sensible comparison, divide the count of chargers and pumps by the time needed to load up a unit distance's worth of juice. I doubt that charging capacity will be more than a tiny fraction of refueling capacity.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        A petrol pump can push out 50 litres per minute, which is equivalent to a 30MW charger.

        1. eldakka Silver badge

          Seriously? It always feels like 10 minutes to me when filling my car.

          And no, I don't have a 500litre fuel tank ;)

          1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            70L takes about 3-5 minutes for me. Seems to depend a bit on the station.

            But whether it takes 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes... quibbling over minutia. It's still between 6 and 30 times faster than a fast charger, to get vastly more range (300-1000 miles depending on ICE car and fuel vs. an hour for maybe 100 EV miles).

            Multiply by the number of pumps per station vs a single fast charger and should be obvious to anyone there needs to be hundreds of thousands of fast chargers to even compare equally to fuel stations.

            Comparing counts of fuel stations to fast chargers is deliberately skewing the figures. It's highly disingenuous and doesn't help anyone make an informed decision.

            Fairer comparison methods could be energy delivered per hour, or vehicle throughput per hour, for fuel stations vs chargers. Will never happen though as they expose how massively underprovisioned charging points are.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              "Comparing counts of fuel stations to fast chargers is deliberately skewing the figures. It's highly disingenuous and doesn't help anyone make an informed decision."

              Not to mention that filling stations have been closing down for years, especially smaller and/or rural ones because the margins on petrol/diesel has been tiny for years. As charging points have been increasing, the so-called equality point has been falling and as many have pointed out, the figures seem to be being deliberately misconstrued and obfuscated. There few, if any, charging stations that can compare to a 24 pump motorway services. Current ones are more like the two pump rural filling stations (with the similar rural pace of life when it comes to "filling up" with 'leccy.)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > Not to mention that filling stations have been closing down for years, especially smaller and/or rural ones because the margins on petrol/diesel has been tiny for years

                Nope, not for that reason. The reason why we (in the UK at least) have hundreds of car washes / used car sales lots where there once used to be a filling station is because of a change in EU rules regarding the underground tanks holding the fuel. Many older stations didn't comply and it was cheaper to shut them down than expensively dig up and replace the tanks.

            2. davealford

              Except of course it only takes 30 seconds to connect your home/work/carpark charger. Majority of time you aren't going to need rapid charging as you’ll charge on slow chargers while the car sits doing nothing - which it spend 22hours of they day doing (for the majority that is).

              Please, get away from imagining everyone rapid charges all the time - simply not so.

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        There's also the fun issue of supplying say, 100KW DC feeds so 100KWh batteries can be charged in <1hr. Which will mean finding discrete places to park large diesel or gas turbines near the charge points, and making sure marketing doesn't apply the 'green' company logos to those.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          "Which will mean finding discrete places to park large diesel or gas turbines near the charge points"

          Or suitable batteries (or supercaps)

          A bunch of the larger services sites have fitted battery farms - primarily to avoid peak-draw charges.

        2. davealford

          You never heard of the national grid? Electricity is pretty simply to distribute across the country and no need to transport relatively tiny amounts of energy (fuel) to every filling point across the country. Win/win - less HGVs transporting fuel around.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            NG isn't the problem, the transmission network was built to take hugely demanding steel and aluminium smelters that (largely) don't exist anymore - hence has significant spare capacity on many routes. The exceptions to that are the critical boundary circuits which are already being reinforced to serve new interconnections, wind, and Hinkley Point if by some miracle the project is not canned by our incompetent government. There is good reason why NG are looking at putting in huge arrays of charging stations at motorway services, direct connected to the 275 and 400kV networks.

            Your distro network however, that's a much nastier problem. Capacity on 33kV and below networks down to the 240 to your street is not nearly capable enough of delivering massed charging points, and especially not fast chargers en masse at similar times of day. Cramming more infrastructure into our already narrow and overcrowded streets will require absolutely bucketloads of roadworks and disruption to service that shortfall.

            Too many problems, too many people. It's a land of confusion. Thanos and Zorin may, one hesitates to say, may have been right.

            Anonymous again, for job security reasons.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      The UK already has more charging points than petrol stations

      With ZERO on-street ones in Surrey.

      The county has been refusing point blank to install any for the last 11 years - hiding behind the same "we're thinking about it" answer the entire time.

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: The UK already has more charging points than petrol stations

        With ZERO on-street ones in Surrey.

        What political party are your NIMBYs from?

        More importantly how old are they? As a nearly oldie myself, I note that a lot of people who can, like me, remember the 1960's and 70's have decided that their personal aesthetics outweigh the future of our children, grandchildren etc.

        1. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: The UK already has more charging points than petrol stations

          Mine is shit-bag Raab. He is an utter wankspanner and regards his constituents as an inconvenience.

    3. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
      Headmaster

      The current stats for "public" chargers are available at Zap Map

      Home installs & petrol pump counts are not available anywhere AFAIK.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        The number of petrol stations is available, at least. Currently just over 8,000, which is fewer than Zap-Map's reported 9000+ charging locations

      2. Alister Silver badge

        The Zap Map figure is a lie, it includes hundreds of charging points which are not actually available to the public, and of those that are, only 1686 locations are rapid chargers.

        1. davealford

          And doesn’t show private/business/home charging points so you could easily double total that I suspect.

      3. davealford

        It would be good if someone could find out how many home chargers have been funded through government OLEV scheme …. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/veh02-licensed-cars shows (as of 2018) 55000 BEVs and 115000 PHEVS and another 9000 REX BEVs so, about 180,000 EVs that are capable of using chargers (there are 30 million Diesel/Petrol vehicles by the way - 400000 'self charging' Hybrids). So, lets say only 10% of those EVs have home chargers … there's another 18,000 chargers !

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The UK already has more charging points than petrol stations"

    What an utterly ridiculous comparison, given that a charging point can service one, sometimes two cars per hour while a petrol station can service sometimes a dozen cars (especially the larger motorway ones) every few minutes.

    It also doesn't address the fact that there are at least three different charging point types, and not all cars can use all charging points.

    1. Annihilator

      It would have made at least slightly more sense to compare the number of petrol pumps instead of stations. Given even the smallest station has 4 pumps (serving all types of fuel), the maths suddenly look a bit silly.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Especially as one pump is equivalent to 10 or so chargers.

        What this actually shows is that the amount of infrastructure needed for EVs is much greater than that needed for conventional stations. It may even be this fact that is causing some manufacturers to persist with hydrogen.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "there are at least three different charging point types, and not all cars can use all charging points."

      Every petrol pump I drive up to has three different nozzles.

    3. Alister Silver badge

      "The UK already has more charging points than petrol stations"

      No, it doesn't.

      The figure of 9500 or so charging points which is often quoted, comes from the Zap Maps website, but they include in that figure many which are not publicly available, and therefore shouldn't be counted against petrol stations.

      And of that 9500 locations headline figure, only about 1660 are rapid charger types.

      1. davealford

        Re: "The UK already has more charging points than petrol stations"

        And so you can fill up with petrol at home? I think you can double the number of charging points if you include home/private chargers...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "The UK already has more charging points than petrol stations"

          >And so you can fill up with petrol at home?

          Well if you are a farmer with a tank of 'red'... just don't get caught!

        2. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: "The UK already has more charging points than petrol stations"

          Home charging points aren't publicly accessible though so you can't treat them quite the same.

  7. Alan Sharkey
    Thumb Down

    A waste of time and money

    Anyone travellinga reasonable distance (and I mean over 100 miles each way) will not want to wait 3-4 hours while their battery charges up. Personally, I commute down to Cambridge from Rochdale at least once a week - that's 180+ miles each way - to see my elderly parents who don't have a car and therefore have no interest in putting a power point in for any leccy car I may want (or not). My diesel BMW X3 does very nicely, thank you very much - and, as it's reasonably new, doesn't have those horrible emissions that the world tells me all diesel cars have.

    And another thing - why do electric cars cost so much? They are a much simpler device with far less moving parts. That, surely, will deter most normal people from buying one.

    OK - Rant over. I'll get my pills and wait for the man in the white coat

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A waste of time and money

      I'm going to assume the downvotes are because you drive a BMW, because this is a very sensible post otherwise.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A waste of time and money

      >>Personally, I commute down to Cambridge from Rochdale

      Anyone taking a car to Cambridge by choice needs their head examined.

      >>My diesel BMW X3

      and

      >>I'll get my pills and wait for the man in the white coat

      I rest my case!!!

    3. Annihilator

      Re: A waste of time and money

      I’m not sure why you think modern diesel is suddenly nice and clean, when the last time we were told it was nice and clean it turned out to be a colossal lie...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A waste of time and money

        well, now we're being told electric is nice and clean, when at some point in the future people will finally have this lightbulb moment to finally get to them that this nice and clean energy is produced in a not-so-nice and not-so-green powerstation fueled by... Yes, this is not hard to figure out, and yet, "Electric is GREEN! GREEN! GREEN!"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A waste of time and money

          ELECTRIC GREEN IS MADE OF PEOPLE!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A waste of time and money

          its cleaner, and its easier to clean up a power station than millions of cars or you can generate the electrickery by renewables

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A waste of time and money

            >or you can generate the electrickery by renewables

            Burning whale oil is renewable, right? Right.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: A waste of time and money

              >Burning whale oil is renewable, right? Right.

              Yes, but totally unsustainable.

              Todays whale population is a tiny fraction of what it was before the advent of commercial whaling.

    4. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: A waste of time and money

      180 miles is well within the capacity of many electric vehicles... Of course if you drive like the stereotypical BMW driver then you'll get less...

      Then you simply plug into the mains - you don't need specialist kit.

      Or, you know, for that one journey a week you stop off for a coffee at some point and use a quick charger for half an hour.

      The vast majority of people use >100mi/day vanishingly few times a year.

      And a standard 13A plug is quite capable of supplying that - either whilst parked at work during the day, or at home overnight (i.e. no time wasted to go and dispense dinosaurs)

      1. Flywheel Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: A waste of time and money

        Then you simply plug into the mains

        Hopefully @AlanSharkey's parents don't have a coin/topup key electricity meter!

        1. davealford

          Re: A waste of time and money

          I can fill my EV at home for 28x12p (night rate) or 28x21p (day rate) .... and that’ll give me 160miles in under 4 hours. Surely a BMW owner could afford to give his parents a fiver for charging his car?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A waste of time and money

          ... and are in close access to the parking ....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A waste of time and money

        180 miles is well within the capacity of many electric vehicles...

        Indeed, my neighbour regularly does the 250 miles between here and London in his Tesla.

        Rather him than me (I'd take the train if travelling to London), but I guess he sees it as home and down here as second-home.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: A waste of time and money

          "Indeed, my neighbour regularly does the 250 miles between here and London in his Tesla."

          How much does a Tesla, about the only all-electric with that range, cost?

          Almost every all-electric on the market is a short range runabout and cost 50-100% more than petrol/diesel equivalent. Based on the vast numbers of vehicles on the motorways I see every day, all day, I'd say there is a significant number of us who absolutely require the range of a Tesla but at about 1/3rd the purchase price, and no, adding a 1/2 hour onto every 2 hours worth of driving is not always an option. A 6 hour round trip is now 7.5 hours? No thanks.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A waste of time and money

        TfL have just announced 6 new electric-only double-deckers

        I guess they are going to need something more than a 13A plug

        (I don't see them working well given that the hybrid Boris-busses seem to have their diesels almost constantly running to charge the batts)

        1. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: A waste of time and money

          something more than a 13A plug

          ..a long extension lead?

    5. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: A waste of time and money

      Horses for courses.

      Not many people, statistically speaking, do 360 mile round trips in a single day (or even overnight trip) regularly. If you are one of the few who do, then retain the long-range quick-fill car.

      I've always thought, at this present time, that the ideal use case for electric cars is 2-car families, where you typically have 1 large vehicle for the entire family (5-7 seat SUV or similar), and a 2nd smaller car for the daily work commute. So whoever is doing 'family duties', dropping the kids off at school on the way to work, or doing shopping, or when taking a trip, would all be use-situations for the 'family' car. The other car, used by whoever isn't doing the family duties and just travelling to and from work, or that stays behind at home when the family take their trip in the larger car, is the perfect use-case for a short range (~100-150 miles between charges) electric car.

      Or even someone who lives in the city and 95%+ of their trips are just the daily to/from work commute. If they are travelling further - holiday - then they are probably flying/training/busing/car-pooling anyway for that trip.

      As technology improves, as electric ranges improve, or charging improves, then in the future the electric car may be able to take over from the long-range petroleum powered vehicle.

      As I said, horses for courses. If most of your travel is short range commutes, go electric (if you have suitable charging options available, and the price is worth it). If you regularly drive long ranges, keep with petroleum cars - for now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A waste of time and money

        that's us. The wife has a merc c class company car and I have a smart. Trouble is my commute plus maybe running around after my daughter is about 60 miles a day and new smarts are now electric only and with a range of 90miles, downhill with the wind behind it in the middle of the day in the summer. I suspect in the real world in the winter with lights on, heater, etc I'll get no where near 90 miles and that means its not use to me.

    6. Benson's Cycle

      Re: A waste of time and money

      Electric cars are not simpler than ICE cars. This is a mistake because most people don't realise how complex are batteries and the power electronics.

      Batteries have thousands of parts that must be assembled correctly and the bigger ones need liquid cooling which implies heat exchangers and fans as well as control gear. The power electronics needed to drive large synchronous motors, plus charging circuitry and regeneration, isn't cheap. Electric motors are not as simple as all that - IC engines have a relatively small number of different parts, assembled in multiples. So do electric motors. The fact they happen to be stator and armature plates, coils and insulators, doesn't magically make them simpler. And they too need liquid cooling.

      Then factor in the small production volumes and the R&D amortisation and that explains the cost.

      In the UK the entry price for a Tesla and an E-class Merc is about the same. The E class isn't made in the huge volumes that give small hatchbacks such low prices.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: A waste of time and money

        ...and of the time of writing three people know square root of F.A. about manufacturing.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: why do electric cars cost so much?

      they'll tell you it's a [huge] cost of innovation (which they want to recover with a healthy extra on top, they won't tell you ;)

      I suppose similar to pharmaceutical company. Trouble is, you never know when the original [huge] cost has been recovered and all that's left is the current [huge] profit. Top secret (and why not, it's business :(

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A waste of time and money

      "And another thing - why do electric cars cost so much? They are a much simpler device with far less moving parts. "

      As an engineer, I've been pondering this for a while, and came to the conclusion that a cheap EV (like a Renault Zoe ~ £21,000) is more expensive than (say) a Renault Clio (~£13,000) because of two factors:-

      1. Raw materials cost is higher; the quantity of copper and more expensive minerals going into a Zoe is quite a lot more than that going into a Clio.

      2. Number of cars produced of a given model is a lot lower for the EV than for the ICE, so design, testing and tooling costs are divided between a smaller number of vehicles.

      I suspect the second factor is more siginificant than the first. Either way, I could afford a Clio for the small number of miles I drive each year, but the difference in fuel cost isn't enough for me to justify buying a Zoe and paying to have a charger installed at my house. (Having done the cost comparison, I actually drive a second hand camper van (not a VW) that cost me less than a new Clio... I dread to think what VW will charge for their first electric camper when they build it.)

      1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

        Re: A waste of time and money

        they are retrofitting the old air cooled ones with battery pack and motors and the new ID.BUZZ has already been announce (the new all electric version)

  8. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Happy

    Porche

    Just had the 911 challenge people here today. Their next fund-raising tour (in a couple of years) will be in an electric Porsche, starting in Iceland.

    I think it's going to be called the Shipping Forecast tour.

    These people are serious money raisers, if you have a boat then get involved.

    https://www.rnli-911challenge.co.uk/

  9. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

    Another stupid number

    I heard (on Radio 4 so it must be true) that not only are there more charging points in the UK than service stations, but on average nobody is more than 55 miles from one.

    Surely the more relevant statistics would be the number of electric vehicles there are for each charging point. However, that may be a rather embarrassing number to publish especially when you consider the difference in the time it takes to recharge a fully depleted battery compared with filling an empty fuel tank.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: Another stupid number

      "but on average nobody is more than 55 miles from one"

      Interesting. If you are on a trip and need to recharge you will have to stop at every charge point once you exceed your "base" range as the 1 hour fast charge will give you around 100 miles but the second charge point is, on average, 110 miles away (assuming it is on your route).

      This will add an interesting complication to navigation systems...

      1. Joe Montana

        Re: Another stupid number

        And considering even a fast charge might take an hour, how long do you have to wait if the charging points are busy?

        With traditional fuels, each customer only takes a couple of minutes to fill up their car, and in many cases more of this time is spent browsing the shop and paying than actually pumping gas.

        1. Adelio

          Re: Another stupid number

          Since I always"pay at the pump" (Morrisons) it takes even less time for me.

      2. davealford

        Re: Another stupid number

        Simply untrue. The chargers used 'en-route' will be 'rapid' chargers >50kw. Depending on vehicle and state of charge when commencing charge rapid charger will deliver 100 miles is 15 minutes. 'Fast' chargers (<22KW) would deliver 100miles in between 30 and 90 minutes depending on the on-board charger and battery (majority of EVs onboard chargers only run at 7.2Kw as they’re single phase - some can use 22KW ie. some Renault Zoe's and some Teslas). Fast chargers are termed 'destination' chargers as their purpose is to charge vehicles at their 'destination'.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Another stupid number

      "on average nobody is more than 55 miles from one."

      Oh great, so I need to drive 55 miles out of my way to go and charge up.

      I think not....

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: Another stupid number

        On the face of it, yes but those with home charging facilities can top up at home (again not getting in to generation capacity and home charging rates!) which would mitigate this.

        I do agree though that it's an odd statistic to be trumpeting.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: Another stupid number

          It's about the only one they think sounds good to the unwashed masses. All the real numbers make charging availability sound utter shite. Which it is.

    3. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Another stupid number

      I'm intrigued by the concept of averaging over one person? Seriously, I find it hard to believe that the 55 mile figure represents any sort of average or representative figure. Absolute maximum maybe, or say 99%, but not remotely typical.

      1. davealford

        Re: Another stupid number

        Totally depend on where you live and population density.… obviously. Have a look at the map here - https://www.plugshare.com/ …. 55miles is an 'AVERAGE' FFS

  10. Roland6 Silver badge

    The pot will be managed by "private sector partners" with £200m in government cash being matched by private investors

    What can possibly go wrong?

    Bet there are going to be quite a few highly paid pen pushers from all this and the on-the-edge-of bankruptcy Conservative party will find an 'unexpected' source of funds - sufficient to run an expensive election campaign or two.

    Also once again the government is not using their funding to retain a stake in the network. Given this is effectively high risk VC funding the government should be taking at least a 50% share in any revenues and business growth arising out of their match funded investment. Once again Tories using taxpayers mnies to scr*w taxpayers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      on-the-edge-of bankruptcy Conservative party

      Huge new influx of money for the Boris effect.

      And not just laundered Russian and Middle-Eastern money. The hedge funds that profit from Britain's woes love a rollercoaster, and a few hundred thousand to show their gratitude has already gone Boris's way.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Once again Tories using taxpayers mnies to scr*w taxpayers."

      When was the last time a Labour government "bought in" with an investment instead of just giving away free money on the form of grants? But don't let your politics get in the way of a good swipe, eh?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Without a coherant national energy strategy

    This is all just pointless pandering.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Without a coherant national energy strategy

      aka political posturing

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Complete bo**cks without the generating capacity to support them.

    And with 20-25% of the UK's capacity coming from nukes that are at least 40 years old they will struggle to maintain existing capacity.

    But no the "free market" dictates only gas power stations can be built on a timescale and a size that lets "British" (IE operating in the UK but actually mostly foreign owned) generators make an economic profit

    Except it's HMG that sets the rules that market operates by.

    Those rules could be changed, but y'know that's complicated. It needs people who know WTF they are talking about. Something that seems in pretty short supply within the relevant Ministry.

  13. Tim Greenwood

    Get with the program guys.

    Just over 100 years ago there weren't any filling stations in the UK (or much anywhere else either). When you went on journeys you filled up by grazing fields as you passed.(well, at Inns with fodder etc ). However, these new fangled internal combustion engined vehicles started to appear and although most people initially went on short round trips before refilling at home. Eventually filling stations started to pop up to allow people to fill up elsewhere.

    Fast forward a little and we are at a similar point with EV's becoming viable for must current uses. Disclosure - I have had a PHEV for a couple of years now and have been surprised at the little use that has been made of the petrol engine. Even though I only have a 30 mile range on pure electric it's pretty easy to find somewhere to plug in before a return journey so most local trips are easily done on electric. At the weekend I have a 170 mile trip each way so will be back on the petrol. However at about the halfway point I know there is a motorway service station with a fast charger (for free) so will be stopping for comfort break (coffee and doughnuts !) and will plug in for 20-30 minutes. This will add a free extra 25 miles driving or so on electric. Whats not to like ? The previous vehicle was costing almost £500 a year just on VED and now I pay nothing. As the battery technology improves and the range gets bigger I can well see the replacement vehicle being battery only, particularly as I have3 a fast charger at home which goes nicely with the solar panels meaning I can fill up for free at home (at least when it's sunny).

    1. Steve K Silver badge
      Coat

      (coffee and doughnuts !)

      Skip the doughnut an you might get an extra free 27 miles …;-)

    2. Blane Bramble

      "This will add a free extra 25 miles driving or so on electric"

      It won't be free for long, currently it's subsidised by fuel duty. Once a significant proportion of vehicles are electric the government will need to reclaim that money elsewhere. You will be paying for charging, and probably also a tax per mile travelled.

      1. davealford

        I think you’ll find a lot of free public charging is paid for by energy saved by councils retro fitting LED street lights .... in Scotland anyway ... where majority of public chargers are still free!

    3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      I can well see the replacement vehicle being battery only, particularly as I have3 a fast charger at home which goes nicely with the solar panels meaning I can fill up for free at home (at least when it's sunny).

      It's good you have a solution that works for you. There's a huge number of car owners that won't work for, for multiple reasons (to name a few: cost, rented proprety, lack of off-road parking, incompatible roof orientation, no roof at all...).

    4. mamsey

      So many comfort breaks.

      In 20 years time we'll have an even larger obese population caused by all these comfort breaks.

      1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        Re: So many comfort breaks.

        Personally I only use service stations for the toilets. I'm not going to waste any money I 'save' using an EV by spaffing it at the likes of Costa and Starbucks.

        1. davealford

          Re: So many comfort breaks.

          I think I’ve spent more money on tea and coffee while charging than I’ve spent on electricity for EV.

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      >Just over 100 years ago there weren't any filling stations in the UK (or much anywhere else either).

      Surprising, is it not, how all those filling stations and their supply networks were built without government largesse...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    top up a car in less than an hour

    this is still "somewhat" behind the current refill time, I wonder how it's going to be solved if and when people are forced to move to electric and 8 cars occupy a court for half an hour? Currently, 30 min... this works at about.... 8 electric v 50 petrol cars to "re-fill" in the same time slot. Even with progress in terms of charging, it doesn't look like that 30 min is going to shrink to anything reasonable soon.

    1. davealford

      Re: top up a car in less than an hour

      New rapid chargers are going to be >100kw so capable cars will charge near twice as fast ... so long as vehicle manufactures can design for multiple rapid charging (see 'rapid-gate' issue for Nissan Leafs)

  15. Henry Hallan
    FAIL

    The problem is the poor onboard chargers on most EVs. Only Renault and Tesla allow 3-phase charging. Empty to full takes me less than 2 hours on a 3-phase AC charger and for most of the charge it ticks along at about 1% per minute. After 200 miles of driving a decent break at a street charger is enough.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Empty to full takes me 5 minutes, and the car will go up to 900 miles on that.

      However you cut it, the refill time and range for ICE vs EV just don't compare favourably in any way.

      1. davealford

        ....except majority of charging is/will be done at night at home so it only takes 30seconds to plug-in when you get home and unplug when you leave in the morning 99% of the time. Majority of people drive 30 miles a day. Yes, on long trips I need to stop every 90 miles for 20minutes but I’m at the age where it’s not just to charge I need to stop for.

        I can’t actually home charge easily so rely currently on public chargers. Where ever possible I’ll charge on destination chargers, if I need to, I use rapid chargers while on route....and I do 1500miles a month and never had an issue - I simply plan around it.

  16. Flywheel Silver badge

    Induction

    Bearing in mind that many cars spend an inordinate amount of time sitting in traffic jams, a forward-thinking government would think about putting inductive charging coils in both roads and vehicles. Stationary on the M25? No problem - you're on top of a charging coil. At traffic lights - the same. Slow moving traffic - ditto. It works in theory. So many opportunities. If only we had a forward-thinking government ...

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Induction

      It doesn't work in theory. Nor does it work in practice. It's been tested, and unless your receiver coil is aligned within a few cm of the sender coil, laterally and height, the transfer efficiency is pathetically low.

      Slow moving traffic just won't work. Stationary traffic might, if you can stop exactly on the sweet spot. Since all vehicles are not the same length, if everyone tries to stop over a coil traffic will spread out and reduce road capacity even lower than it already is.

      Physics is a bitch sometimes.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Induction vs reasoning

        Slow moving traffic just won't work. Stationary traffic might, if you can stop exactly on the sweet spot. Since all vehicles are not the same length, if everyone tries to stop over a coil traffic will spread out and reduce road capacity even lower than it already is.

        If only there were examples from history that we can learn from, as we did when we rediscovered wind power. So-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Joseph_Van_Depoele

        Near the end of 1887, thirteen North American cities had electric railways in operation; nine of these systems were designed by Van Depoele, and used overhead lines to transmit electric current from an electrical generator to the electric locomotives on the rails.

        Some are still in use, a lot were displaced when the infernal combustion engine became dominant. Most common use is probably on private 'roads', aka railways. Overhead would probably be cheaper to install and maintain than trying to dig up roads and bury induction systems, although there could be some fringe benefits from doing that, ie induction systems also acting as road heaters to de-ice them.

      2. Flywheel Silver badge

        Re: Induction

        Tut! Well, I can still sell the idea to Government and get a large subsidy - they'll buy anything...

  17. Nosher

    For the millionth time...

    Can Reg writers *please* stop writing the word "leccy" with an apostrophe? It's simply a slang word, like "arse". It is *not* a contraction like 'ello

    1. Norman Nescio

      Re: For the millionth time...

      Can Reg writers *please* stop writing the word "leccy" with an apostrophe? It's simply a slang word, like "arse". It is *not* a contraction like 'ello

      Or maybe they should write it as 'lec'c'y, as the apostrophe indicates the position of one or several missing letters in a contraction, such as the ones missing from the word ElecTRIcITy. But that'd be silly, as you've pointed out. 'appen, there aren't many times when initial letters are missing. There are precedents, such as fo'c's'le, for words with more than one apostrophe.

      I quite like El Reg's style, and I suspect they do some things on purpose to throw a bone for aspiring pedants like me to chew on. After all, it's never better than to be technically right.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: For the millionth time...

        "I quite like El Reg's style, and I suspect they do some things on purpose to throw a bone for aspiring pedants like me to chew on."

        Like every article since the first one in the last week or so to mention of the number charging points exceeding the number of filling stations. El Reg writers are well aware of that issue but of mentioned it without explanation or qualification in every relevant article since then. They know damned well it's clickbait and triggers the commentards every time :-)

  18. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Unpopular comment

    If the government wanted to wean people off petrol, they should put a yearly massively above inflation raise on the price of petrol*. Pretty soon, anyone who drives just short distances would have an EV, anyone who occasionally drives long distances would have a PHEV, anyone who regularly drives long distances would re-evaluate why they do this and long distance haulage companies would go bust to be replaced by electric trains.

    Calm down Jimmy2Cows, this will never happen, it would destroy our international productivity.

    * Although you could easily argue that the price of fossil fuels is set incorrectly, as it mainly only incorporates the cost of extraction, processing and delivery, and none of the cleanup costs.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Unpopular comment

      John Major's government did just that. It fell victim to politics a few years later.

      Perhaps things might have been different if he'd put it into a wider context?

  19. Wiltshire
    WTF?

    Please can the El Reg commentariat suggest a suitable Register Unit for the number of Charging Units per mile of main road / Average number of road users?

    Also, units for the odds of

    (a) finding a Charging Unit on the journey you are making

    (b) that Charging Unit being available

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      In honour of your rather convoluted formulation[1], I propose calling it the Wiltshire.

      [1] Probably symptomatic of a good reason for the lack of a simple term for it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      (c) that Charging Unit working and compatible with your particular vehicle

      London has a perfectly good unit already... the 'zero'

    3. davealford

      in answer to a and b -

      https://www.plugshare.com/ and numerous phone apps and EVs now come with charging stations shown on their SatNav plus it'll show charging rates etc.

  20. Wenlocke

    Other Fun Stuff (TM)

    There are other factors in the "lectric car shenanigans" area that cause problems.

    "Charge overnight at home" is one of those fun ones that works very well, if you are lucky enough to live in a home, where because you have a drive, or because your street is big enough, you can park your leaf or whatever directly outside. In a lot of older towns (especially with a lot of terracing or other dense housing) it is frequently impossible to park your car directly outside your house or close to, so that becomes "how long is my extension cable" or "can I persuade the neighbour it ends up near to run a feed if they haven't already used it?" Urban parking density for housing is an issue as it is, let alone if all of a sudden, everyone needs to get outside their house to charge up their main vehicle.

    The still vanishingly small second-hand market for electric vehicles (due to their newness, and other factors) means that the people who will spend a few hundred to a couple of thousand on a car because it's what they can afford simply can't get an electric vehicle at any point in maybe the next 20 years or so. Cutting off their options before new options are ready is going to price people out of driving at all.

    I do recall at one point they were looking at fuel-station-swappable battery packs (calor gas cylinder model). You come in, the old pack is taken out of your car, a fresh fully charged one is slotted in, and away you go. The old one is charged again, and someone else gets it later on. Never sure what happened to that concept, unless it fell foul of battery tech problems.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Other Fun Stuff (TM)

      "Cutting off their options before new options are ready is going to price people out of driving at all."

      Shhhhhh. You're not supposed to talk about the real reasons for banning ICE cars in the next decade or two. The rickshaw factories aren't ready yet,

  21. N2 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    And the electricity for this...

    Is comming from where exactly?

    Icon = overload

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the electricity for this...

      And the electricity for this...Is comming from where exactly?

      ___

      Remember during the war there are those pictures of cars driving around with gas bags on the the roof ? I'm going to try strapping a cow to the roof and putting a tube up it's arse connected to the inlet manifold and see how that works. It's no less crazy than this ill thought out dash for leccy.

      1. 4whatitsworth
        Go

        Re: And the electricity for this...

        Ah the old cows arse = methane hypothesis.

        Whilst it is true that a cows arse does produce methane, it is only a tiny percentage compared to the amount that comes out in the form of belches.

        Therefore your pipe would be considerably better positioned at the opposite end of said bovine.

  22. rtfazeberdee

    A load of ignorance about charging etc in the article and comments

    Lots of the posters need to do some research instead of guessing what charging times are ( e.g. 4-8 hours is overnight slow charging via the home electricity), the National grid has said that EVs do not pose a problem as most EVs will charge at night and help the grid when its quiet. All LED streetlights can be converted to also be a charging post. Rapid charging will only get better and faster as time moves, remember its taken 100+ years for fossil cars to get to this point of being sort of economical/reliable compared to their first 50 years. Just a few points for you to be getting on with - try Youtube channels like FullyChargedShow for more information.

    1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Re: A load of ignorance about charging etc in the article and comments

      The difference between the dawn of motor cars and today is that the number of ICE cars slowly increased as the price dropped, and the refuelling network grew alongside it to meet demand. If the government wants to encourage a rapid conversion to EVs it has to enable/encourage/force the charging infrastructure to be built at an equally rapid rate.

      You're right about reliability, though. My EV is the first car that's completely failed to start in about 40 years of driving.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: A load of ignorance about charging etc in the article and comments

      "All LED streetlights can be converted to also be a charging post."

      One lamp post for, at best, every 10 cars. On a terraced street with no off-road parking. Being better, cheaper and more efficiant means when councils replace street lamps with LEDs, they tend to space them further apart than the current ones.

    3. Colin Bain

      Re: A load of ignorance about charging etc in the article and comments

      .. and just where is this capacity coming from just to charge the vehicles? Research works both ways

  23. Jonathan Knight

    Double 3,000 is 5,000?

    "The UK Treasury is making £70m available to fund an additional 3,000 rapid charging points for electric vehicles, doubling the UK total to 5,000."

    Surely if you put 3,000 more charging points in place and that doubles capacity then we'd have 6,000 charging points.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are batteries...

    ...expected to live with the same car for their entire lifetime?

    Wouldn't it be easier and quicker to pull into a charging station and switch to a freshly charged set of batteries and drive off that charge up the batteries you already have?

    This system has worked well for Calor gas for many years. Pay a deposit for the cylinder and a small fee to swap when you need more gas.

    Why can't batteries follow the same concept? You drive in, swap batteries and the charging station charges the cells for someone else that arrives later.

    Not only does this reduce charge time etc, it also ensures that dodgy/old batteries are taken out of circulation more quickly and can be responsibly dealt with (recycling/reconditioning) in a more regulated manner in bulk.

    All we need to do is standardise the battery tech.

    1. davealford

      Re: Why are batteries...

      Manufactures have different ideas - different shaped batteries, different battery technology/composition, different capacities, different management systems, cooling etc. Not quite as simple as changing AA batteries!

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Why are batteries...

        >Not quite as simple as changing AA batteries!

        Even these aren't always simple. Many of the rechargeable "AA" batteries were slightly larger than the non-rechargeable ones, which could cause problems.

        The EV battery issue is solvable, through the application of International Standards. There is really no reason to not have International Standards for EV batteries and charging. Yes, the Americans and the laissez-faire free marketeers wil complain - just as they did over GSM and 3GPP, but as the Internet and containerisation for example, have shown, even defacto standards grow the market.

        Also given currently we have effectively two types of fuel: Petrol and Diesel, the octane grades of which are defined and they are delivered to vehicles through Standardised nozzles.

        I suggest that it is pointless and wasteful to have multiple standards for batteries and charging - Tesla drivers must be a bit daft, if they can't see the stupidity of having to always seek out the "Telsa" charging bay, instead of doing as per every ICE vehicle owner and stop at a convenient service station that stocks 'unleaded'.

        Funny isn't it that Hollywood has got there already, I don't remember a single science fiction film where a crew weren't able to take the batteries/fuel cells out of one space craft and drop them straight into their totally different space craft...

        1. davealford

          Re: Why are batteries...

          But Teslas can use standardised chargers - Type2 AC and Chademo for DC (with hideously expensive Chademo adapter). The Tesla network just incorporates higher wattage charger - hence, Tesla Superchargers. There are a number of Teslas around here but no Superchargers (West coast of scotland) - in fact the only Superchargers I’ve seen in Scotland are on the A9!

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "This system has worked well for Calor gas for many years."

      No doubt, Mr AC.

      But gas tanks don't have a memory of how fast (or slow) they were charged or discharged.

      Batteries do.

      So have you picked up one that's only ever been overnight charged and discharged gently? Or was some "boy racer" sales type who simply must get to their next meeting ASAP and only ever uses a fast charger? You don't know, although "smart battery" tech could flag if a battery pack is on its last legs and need to junked.

  25. beast666

    A Creme Egg

    Disables a charge point quite effectively.

  26. davealford

    Not sure where they got their timings from but 50kw charger will give me 160 miles of charge in 30 minutes. 4 hours charge on home 7.2kw charger takes 4 hours from 0% for 160 miles on my EV. The newer 120kw public chargers would be proportionally less (for vehicles that can charge at that rate).

  27. Technomad

    I got a 200 mile charge in 20 minutes yesterday - basically enough time to clear the bladder and refill with coffee. At the point at which recharging timing beats biological necessity (wherein I count coffee), EVs are of age.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In many areas the Lamp posts are inside the footpath rather than at the kerbside, so we add the trip hazard of all those charging cables snaking around the path, whose insurance will pick up the bill for trip injuries?

    Replace street lamps with leds? Our council has problems just getting to do basic opverhault and maint..., thats without upgrade/retrofit work!

    EVs *might* one day be the answer, but right now (like self driving cars) they raise as many problems as they solve

    Too many people assume that most peole live in nice houses with driveways and commute 5 miles to the office where they park in a well laid out car park, the real world for most peoople is a very different place filled with onstreet parking that can be a fair distance from your front door.

    1. Colin Bain

      Not to mention the folks who have their minds compromised by nature, drugs, or alcohol, wandering along unplugging and vandalising the equipment

  29. Colin Bain
    Facepalm

    Numbers of apples and oranges

    "More chargers than petrol stations"

    So is that measuring chargers in singles? Most petrol stations have at least 4 petrol pumps. As with most things renewable, misinformation rules

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