Home

47 comments

Avatar
CyclingInBeastMode [296 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Been saying this for a while, Corbyn is backing using tax payers money to help fund EVs for all with free loans, frankly it's a disgrace that Labour are backing this crap 'solution'!

Currently at the very least 40% of the UKs electricty is produced through burning fossil fuels, that would increase as EVs become more numerous as it would out-strip increases in renewables, which in themselves cause more pollutoon from being built and so many of them are unreliable. We could have tidal using the great rivers but various governments have poo-pood the idea - the last plan I heard about was around the time of the UK going for the 2012 Olympic games and the cost of a tidal barrier at the Severn was about the cost of hosting he Olympics. The government could have produced about 6% of the nations energy requirement at the time which would be an even larger % as overall energy use has gone down.

All that said storage is the massive problem, having millions of small batteries connected (within motors) is deemed to be the solution for that, ignoring the pollution and cost of getting all the infra rolled out at the cost of hundreds of billions, even just having charging ports everywhere is going to cost an absolutely ridiculous amount of money reduce the space available such that cycle lanes and footways will be narrowed or not be fitted in because there'll need to be charging ports along every single effing road in the country pretty much, especially in residential and built up areas.

EV promotion ignores so many problems from backing it, never mind the cost to human life from not getting people out of motors.

Something like this as an electric assist that could be used for longer journeys would pique my interest, however it'd need its own solar panels/heat absorbing materials to produce energy and have the capacity to carry luggage or even a normal bike, lose the fancy wheels and extra crap that adds weight.

It's the weight of EVs that kills the range and EVs are ridiculously heavy not just due to abtteries but because of all the added tech, safety aids and many other such bollocks. With the most effecient speed for EVs being circa 18mph, that would be another reason why we should have 20 mph zones standard across all built up areas.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4419 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

Thanks ktache - that's a good summary of the points.

@CyclingInBeastMode - I didn't know Labour were thinking of doing that. Seems like a poor idea to me unless they can ensure that the subsidies only go to people who would otherwise be driving ICE vehicles and would need the money. It seems to me that a lot of the EV promotion is aimed at people with a reasonable income and is almost a status symbol. As much as I would prefer each ICE vehicle to be replaced with an EV (if only for reduction in pollution), it perpetuates the road building/driving mindset and ignores the benefits of practical public transport and active travel.

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like all our politicians are just fiddling while Rome (the world) burns?

Avatar
massive4x4 [50 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes

Some sensible policy suggestions at the end but mostly car hate in tone with a certain amount of BS claims E.g.

"Electric cars are heaver and thus likely to generate more brake dust", which runs counter to the lived experiance of Tesla owners who are finding that the brakes last the lifetime of the car)

or

Charging infrastructure blah blah, Tesla have shown that around one fast charger for every 150-200 cars is perfectly fine for long distance travel and such a rate of build was easily sustainable from the revenue for those 150-200 cars. Likewise on street charging for the nation puts out some massive numbers but on a per house or per car level spread over 10 years are pretty trival expenses.

 

Articles of this tone won't convince drivers and passengers who are pretty much the largest demographic in the country and it won't convince politicians who mostly practice followership. A more sensible position would be to sell drivers on the positives of EV adoption with cavaets such as:

  • EV's will be cheaper and reduce greenhouse emissions but:
  • We'd like you share them rather than own them
  • We'd like to pair them with road pricing to drive sharing them, this will mean that you won't be sitting in traffic.
  • To get the traffic flowing better we'd also prefer it if you let the car drive itself
  • Since you don't own it or drive it it doesn't need to stay outside your house, why not walk to the end of your road to pick it up, this means that your children can play outside and all these suburban roads can be excellent cycle networks. 

 

With regards off board air pollution, the UK grid was more than 50% low carbon last year it was 20% low carbon 10 years ago. On and offshore wind is currently bidding at "subsidy free" levels (it does get a subsidy in that the grid must take its power which pushes up prices for other providers by lowering their capacity factors) which is why we aren't building out more CCGT plants.

 

We will build wind out until we start hitting curtailment (too much wind/solar at peak times), at this point the decision will be between building out more wind and accepting it costs more due to lower capacity factor or adding wind/solar and storage or adding nuclear beyond simply replacing our existing plants. This will be an economic (in the exception of nuclear) decision.

 

The national grid has sensible plans for a net zero emissions grid by 2050 and they are perfectly aware of electric vehicles.

Avatar
Rick_Rude [505 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes

Car companies and governments are just dragging this idea out like they dragged the diesel idea out. They'll convince people to buy new cars then eventually you need a new gimmick to sell more cars so no doubt we'll then get told that mining stuff like lithium and cobalt is bad (bad, naughty consumers, how dare you!). Hold on, we've got just the technology to buy you're way out of environmental guilt.

The future doesn't look bright for private space. Shared cars and living in pods. Dystopia moves ever nearer.

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4419 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes
Rick_Rude wrote:

Car companies and governments are just dragging this idea out like they dragged the diesel idea out. They'll convince people to buy new cars then eventually you need a new gimmick to sell more cars so no doubt we'll then get told that mining stuff like lithium and cobalt is bad (bad, naughty consumers, how dare you!). Hold on, we've got just the technology to buy you're way out of environmental guilt.

The future doesn't look bright for private space. Shared cars and living in pods. Dystopia moves ever nearer.

I'll have you know that I'm a fan of dystopian fiction - I grew up reading loads of John Wyndham scifi and often wonder why more of his stuff hasn't been filmed (excepting Village of the Damned, Chocky, Day of the Triffids etc). I reckon it's about time for a Netflix/Amazon series of The Kraken Wakes.

Alternatively, we could just turn the world into a dystopian nightmare as quick as we can.

Avatar
vonhelmet [1574 posts] 3 weeks ago
8 likes

The most economical and ecological thing you can do car wise is run an old reliable car into the ground. The carbon footprint of manufacturing an old car is a sunk cost, so all you have to deal with is the marginal impact of repairs and miles. The impact of manufacturing new cars is vast. What's the impact of mining all that lithium compared to running an old Volvo (other reliable cars are available) to 200,000 miles?

It's almost like the car industry is more concerned with selling new cars without regard to their actual lifetime environmental impact.

Avatar
Rick_Rude [505 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Remember the last time the car industry really started crying and they had that £2000 of your old car thing. Remember it was because old cars are stinky and dirty (even though there's an MOT with emissions testing) and you shouldn't be driving them.

All it did was remove loads of good used stock and if I remember right, put the price of used cars up for a bit.

My car is getting up to 10 years old, still in good condition and I'll be driving it until the engine goes and if that happens I may stick a recon unit in it.

Avatar
brooksby [5291 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:
Rick_Rude wrote:

Car companies and governments are just dragging this idea out like they dragged the diesel idea out. They'll convince people to buy new cars then eventually you need a new gimmick to sell more cars so no doubt we'll then get told that mining stuff like lithium and cobalt is bad (bad, naughty consumers, how dare you!). Hold on, we've got just the technology to buy you're way out of environmental guilt.

The future doesn't look bright for private space. Shared cars and living in pods. Dystopia moves ever nearer.

I'll have you know that I'm a fan of dystopian fiction - I grew up reading loads of John Wyndham scifi and often wonder why more of his stuff hasn't been filmed (excepting Village of the Damned, Chocky, Day of the Triffids etc). I reckon it's about time for a Netflix/Amazon series of The Kraken Wakes.

Alternatively, we could just turn the world into a dystopian nightmare as quick as we can.

Maybe that's actually what's happening right now? (rising sea levels, hmm...?).

Avatar
peted76 [1637 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes
vonhelmet wrote:

The most economical and ecological thing you can do car wise is run an old reliable car into the ground. The carbon footprint of manufacturing an old car is a sunk cost, so all you have to deal with is the marginal impact of repairs and miles. The impact of manufacturing new cars is vast. What's the impact of mining all that lithium compared to running an old Volvo (other reliable cars are available) to 200,000 miles? It's almost like the car industry is more concerned with selling new cars without regard to their actual lifetime environmental impact.

THIS THIS THIS.

Not only does the world now think that they are saving the earth by doing their bit and buying an EV but us consumers are driven into a frenzy by being told you'll have to get on a waiting list as they can't produce the batteries fast enough. We're all being mugged off. 

 

 

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [2874 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

I think I'm mildly pro-EVs, but am not keen on these 'car scrappage' schemes in general (this proposed one is not the one I was already grumbling about).

There is something very annoying about the fact that if you need help, the best thing you can do is to be doing something that harms others. If you have a polluting car you can get a subsidy for scrapping it - but not if you are too poor to afford a car at all and your bike or shoes are worn out (given how smelly old trainers can get, maybe they should rethink that? Mine are probably a bit polluting now).

Bit like the way every narcissistic spree-killer or terrorist attracts acres of coverage discussing their grievances or mental health problems, while those who quietly self-harm or kill only themselves tend to be completely ignored.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4419 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes
vonhelmet wrote:

The most economical and ecological thing you can do car wise is run an old reliable car into the ground. The carbon footprint of manufacturing an old car is a sunk cost, so all you have to deal with is the marginal impact of repairs and miles. The impact of manufacturing new cars is vast. What's the impact of mining all that lithium compared to running an old Volvo (other reliable cars are available) to 200,000 miles?

It's almost like the car industry is more concerned with selling new cars without regard to their actual lifetime environmental impact.

Don't forget about the extra air pollution that older vehicles produce.

Avatar
brooksby [5291 posts] 3 weeks ago
5 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
vonhelmet wrote:

The most economical and ecological thing you can do car wise is run an old reliable car into the ground. The carbon footprint of manufacturing an old car is a sunk cost, so all you have to deal with is the marginal impact of repairs and miles. The impact of manufacturing new cars is vast. What's the impact of mining all that lithium compared to running an old Volvo (other reliable cars are available) to 200,000 miles? It's almost like the car industry is more concerned with selling new cars without regard to their actual lifetime environmental impact.

Don't forget about the extra air pollution that older vehicles produce.

Vonhelet's argument about 'ecological cost of manufacture' does hold water IMO.

My household's cars are vintage, and we couldn't possibly afford to replace them either with ICE or EV.

We just try to make sure we drive them as little as we have to, and make sure we feel suitably guilty about it when we do.

Avatar
Philh68 [149 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes

Electric cars, hardly a panacea. Once you view cars in terms of mass efficiency, you realise they’re not much progress. A typical vehicle carries a single occupant most of the time, weighs 20x that person and has an energy conversion average of 20 percent or less. Electric car can triple the energy conversion efficiency but changes nothing else. The effect of energy inefficiency plus the mass inefficiency means the car is only 1-3 percent efficient at moving your mass.

In the decade that they’ve been available, there has been virtually no efficiency improvement to EV. A Honda E consumes electricity at the same rate as an iMiev did 10 years ago. A small city car that uses 150 watt per km doesn’t impress me, that is 38x worse than my Tern GSD. Quadricycles like the Twizy fare better, but actually carries less than the cargo bike!

The demand for battery material threatens to cause another environmental disaster - there are companies preparing to robotically mine the deep seabed for cobalt, which will create huge clouds of sediment and threaten the survival of marine life. As if pillaging the land wasn’t enough.

I really think the EV comeback is too late. Cars have already broken our cities, and faced with rising urbanisation and pressure to improve liveability our cities are doing away with them. Changing the way we power them makes little difference to that.

Avatar
Rich_cb [1088 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

I don't think EVs are perfect. They don't address the problems caused by a car-centric society but they do solve some of the negative effects of car ownership.

They have lower lifetime CO2 per km (in the UK) than an equivalent ICE vehicle so they are better in terms of climate change. As renewable energy increases and EV vehicle manufacturing matures the difference will increase further.

They have far lower local emissions. No noxious gases and reduced particulate pollution. (As regenerative braking improves particulate pollution will also improve.)

I'm not familiar with Labour's proposed loan scheme but at present EVs are not subsidised. The grant you receive towards the cost of purchase is covered by the VAT you pay on the purchase so effectively you are just paying a lower rate of VAT.

Given the reduced harm I've described above a lower rate of VAT seems entirely fair.

We won't change the car-centric nature of UK society overnight so we may as well accept the small improvements that EVs offer while we continue to push for the modal shift to active transport.

Avatar
vonhelmet [1574 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
vonhelmet wrote:

The most economical and ecological thing you can do car wise is run an old reliable car into the ground. The carbon footprint of manufacturing an old car is a sunk cost, so all you have to deal with is the marginal impact of repairs and miles. The impact of manufacturing new cars is vast. What's the impact of mining all that lithium compared to running an old Volvo (other reliable cars are available) to 200,000 miles?

It's almost like the car industry is more concerned with selling new cars without regard to their actual lifetime environmental impact.

Don't forget about the extra air pollution that older vehicles produce.

Do you mean older as in older designs or older as in more worn ie less efficient? Either way, let's do some back of an envelope maths. Googling suggests a Volvo 240 (very old) has co2 emissions of about 180g/km. Let's assume we'd got a knackered one and it does, I dunno, 300. Googling suggests an electric car causes 9 tonnes of co2 emissions in its production. You could drive the 240 for another 30,000 miles before the electric car had even been built. I can't be arsed doing the maths to work out when the electric car breaks even but I bet it's moon miles and it may in fact be impossible if you have to replace the batteries at astronomical cost before you get there.

If you mean other nasty emissions besides co2 then that's a trickier one, yes.

Avatar
Rich_cb [1088 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
vonhelmet wrote:

Do you mean older as in older designs or older as in more worn ie less efficient? Either way, let's do some back of an envelope maths. Googling suggests a Volvo 240 (very old) has co2 emissions of about 180g/km. Let's assume we'd got a knackered one and it does, I dunno, 300. Googling suggests an electric car causes 9 tonnes of co2 emissions in its production. You could drive the 240 for another 30,000 miles before the electric car had even been built. I can't be arsed doing the maths to work out when the electric car breaks even but I bet it's moon miles and it may in fact be impossible if you have to replace the batteries at astronomical cost before you get there.

If you mean other nasty emissions besides co2 then that's a trickier one, yes.

The lifetime CO2/km of the latest Renault Zoe is 60g. That means that you'd break even at 46,000 miles assuming your old Volvo was working well (180g/km).

If it was running at 300g/km it would be 23,500 miles.

The average car in the UK does about 7100 miles per year so you're looking at about 6.5 years and 3.25 years respectively.

I know the cars aren't exactly equivalent but I only has the Zoe's figures to hand.

Given that UK electricity production is getting less carbon intensive every year you can expect that time frame to get shorter and shorter. If you lived in France or Norway it would already be.

There's also the small matter of noxious gases and particulates which are far more damaging to your local community than CO2 and which your old Volvo probably emits by the bucket load.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4419 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes
vonhelmet wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
vonhelmet wrote:

The most economical and ecological thing you can do car wise is run an old reliable car into the ground. The carbon footprint of manufacturing an old car is a sunk cost, so all you have to deal with is the marginal impact of repairs and miles. The impact of manufacturing new cars is vast. What's the impact of mining all that lithium compared to running an old Volvo (other reliable cars are available) to 200,000 miles? It's almost like the car industry is more concerned with selling new cars without regard to their actual lifetime environmental impact.

Don't forget about the extra air pollution that older vehicles produce.

Do you mean older as in older designs or older as in more worn ie less efficient? Either way, let's do some back of an envelope maths. Googling suggests a Volvo 240 (very old) has co2 emissions of about 180g/km. Let's assume we'd got a knackered one and it does, I dunno, 300. Googling suggests an electric car causes 9 tonnes of co2 emissions in its production. You could drive the 240 for another 30,000 miles before the electric car had even been built. I can't be arsed doing the maths to work out when the electric car breaks even but I bet it's moon miles and it may in fact be impossible if you have to replace the batteries at astronomical cost before you get there. If you mean other nasty emissions besides co2 then that's a trickier one, yes.

I meant older designs and specifically the nasty emissions other than CO2 though I do agree with you about the reasons to keep an old car running. From a selfish point of view, I'd prefer the old cars to be off the road to improve air quality which I think is the more immediate problem. It seems that we're only starting to understand the effects of air pollution - have a look at https://patrickcollison.com/pollution for a summary of some cognitive affects of air pollution.

My view is that EVs are a necessary evil but of course a lot of us cyclists realise that the best answer involves a healthy dose of active travel.

Avatar
vonhelmet [1574 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Well, yeah, that's the real solution to all of this - people getting out of their damn cars.

Avatar
hobbeldehoy [60 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Articles promoting electric cars only tend to look at on the road emissions and pollution. The impact from manufacturing an electric car is rarely discussed, such as lithium mining and other rare earth minerals. There is also the matter of recycling used batteries. Then there is the matter of electricity generation. Will it be from nuclear or coal fired power stations? Either way massive investment in electricity generation would be necessary. I would like to see a more balanced presentation of data when it comes to electric car promotion.

Avatar
kt26 [23 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Some interesting points raised here. I tend to agree that EVs are no silver bullet to the car problem, But they are atleast a step in the right direction.

A point that is yet to be mentioned here is that humanities addiction to the car will atleast drive a surge in battery technology - which is going to be necessary to move the grids to more renewable sources. In fact major advances are already happening - the man credited with inventing the Lithium Ion battery, may have just create (along with his assistant) the first solid state battery which is sodium based - so not a rare earth material, this battery:

- Doesn't suffer from the combustibility problem most convential batteries do

- Have a much better energy density - can be lighter and store more energy

- Much shorter charging times.

These advances will be critical in solving a raft of human made problems, and EVs will drive investment in such areas as the juggernaut car makers look for ways to maintain relevance. It's not ideal - anything rarely is - but such developements stand to be to the benefit of us all.

Avatar
PRSboy [596 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Its worth considering that today's EVs will be looked at in 10 yrs in the same way we look at 10 yr old phones.

People like having cars, for many there is no practical alternative.

I read two articles today - one said that VW estimate cost parity for EV vs ICE car production by 2025.  Another said that BMW are launching the i4, which has a 350+ mile range and a 5 minute, 70 mile charge.  This is interesting because it shows the speed at which the big manufacturers are getting their act together having been caught napping (though BMW in their defence were on it quite quickly with the i3)

The take-up of EVs will be exponential, provided the infrastructure can keep up.

Battery technology will trickle down.  I have certainly seen more e-bikes around... a 70yr old friend of ours now uses one for trips to her local town (over in very hilly West Wales) rather than taking the car.

As you say, to the benefit of us all.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4419 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes
Avatar
fukawitribe [2948 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
kt26 wrote:

A point that is yet to be mentioned here is that humanities addiction to the car will atleast drive a surge in battery technology - which is going to be necessary to move the grids to more renewable sources. In fact major advances are already happening - the man credited with inventing the Lithium Ion battery, may have just create (along with his assistant) the first solid state battery which is sodium based - so not a rare earth material, this battery:

- Doesn't suffer from the combustibility problem most convential batteries do

- Have a much better energy density - can be lighter and store more energy

- Much shorter charging times.

Hell yeah, and looks like they should have

* cheaper and easier manufacturing

* far greater active lifespan (lower cell degradation/charge cycle)

* much wider operating temperature range

 

He also absolutely has the best name going *

* ..and also part of the group that created the first 'modern' RAM modules. Still working, late nineties, boy's a legend.

Avatar
CyclingInBeastMode [296 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
vonhelmet wrote:

Do you mean older as in older designs or older as in more worn ie less efficient? Either way, let's do some back of an envelope maths. Googling suggests a Volvo 240 (very old) has co2 emissions of about 180g/km. Let's assume we'd got a knackered one and it does, I dunno, 300. Googling suggests an electric car causes 9 tonnes of co2 emissions in its production. You could drive the 240 for another 30,000 miles before the electric car had even been built. I can't be arsed doing the maths to work out when the electric car breaks even but I bet it's moon miles and it may in fact be impossible if you have to replace the batteries at astronomical cost before you get there. If you mean other nasty emissions besides co2 then that's a trickier one, yes.

The lifetime CO2/km of the latest Renault Zoe is 60g. That means that you'd break even at 46,000 miles assuming your old Volvo was working well (180g/km). If it was running at 300g/km it would be 23,500 miles. The average car in the UK does about 7100 miles per year so you're looking at about 6.5 years and 3.25 years respectively. I know the cars aren't exactly equivalent but I only has the Zoe's figures to hand. Given that UK electricity production is getting less carbon intensive every year you can expect that time frame to get shorter and shorter. If you lived in France or Norway it would already be. There's also the small matter of noxious gases and particulates which are far more damaging to your local community than CO2 and which your old Volvo probably emits by the bucket load.

In real world use with bio fuel/vege oil (standard operation all year round) my 18 year old large estate diesel runs cleaner than some EUROVI based on the real world testing of both the EURO standards in independant testing, particularly E4, some of the E6 vehicles were absolutely shocking.

The factory spec for mine CO2 wise was 151g/km, when the garage last MOT'd it (126,000) the opacity test level was ridiculously low and that was on first run, so low that they tested it again (they're a top independant winning garage of the year in the UK a couple of times so no cowboys) I no longer use it but was down to less than 3,000 per year. If I were to do similar (with regards bio fuel/vege oil) to my folks Skoda Fabia 3 cycl 99g/km, I reckon it would be even cleaner, I used it for a 100mile outing this summer when vsiting and managed to get 80mpg with a 10-15% of that getting across the city and through a small town at the other end. I expect them to use it (2014 model) until they can no longer drive, so probably another 15 years or so.

Taking that car changes the comparison hugely.

In any case, I honestly don't trust the figures given for EVs, there seems to be no accounting for the non recycling of the cobalt and lithium, no account for the additional and very massive infra that needs putting in place and the pollution that comes from that, it takes no account of the increase in burning fossil fuels because we simply won't have enough capacity nor enough renewables to supply the demand.

Also, as you've said, the Zoe is a tiny car (which most people won't buy) but ridiculously heavy at 1.5metric tonnes, this is were the problem arises for range and potential extra pollution burning fossil fuel). That weight is not just the batteries but all the gizmos and 'safety'/driving aids etc all add up to a LOT of weight. MKII Ford Escort 1.3L 5 door was 878kg, bigger space internally yet nearly half the weight and with lots of heavy gauge steel/steel wheels/iron bloc.

In our throwaway society these 'plastic' cars won't be around anywhere near as long as the ICE life span they are replacing.

Now if they were to knock out a Sinclair stylie vehicle similar to the one I pictured above Or the Iris E Trike, made it in the UK, made it free from all the weighty crud as the ETrike is (hence 55kg incl battery) that would change the balance of a viable/covered transport mode for up to 20-25 miles each way then that would smash the argument out of sight. 

Yet we're not doing that at all and Labour aren't a party that support that clear and obvious option either, not even close, it's continuing down the path of building MASSive vehicles that will still kill and maim with virtual impunity in the hands of morons and the actual real life cycle emissions are doubtful even when using one of the better EVs in lab conditions.

Avatar
Griff500 [449 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

I'm surprised that no mention has been made here of the environmental damage being done by Lithium and Cobalt mining. This ranges from contamination of land and watercourses in Tibet due to Chinese Lithium mining, to lowering of water tables in areas of Chile due to the vast amounts of water used in Lithium extraction, and the horrific illnesses among children employed in Cobalt mines in the DRC.  It is ironic that a couple of hundred years after we stopped sending children down coal mines in the UK, we are supporting the use of children to mine horrifically toxic Cobalt, through our hunger for rechargeable devices. (Yes, I know Elon Musk has signed up to source his Cobalt from ethical sources, but I doubt that message has filtered down through the layers of importers, exporters and metal merchants, to the guy who drives a pickup truck round villages in the DRC collecting sacks of the stuff to ship off to China.)

I've always thought hydrogen was the answer, as it is considerably cleaner than any current battery technology. If we want clean, we are backing the wrong horse. While there are now a few hydrogen vehicles on sale (most notably the new Hyundai), I doubt there will be the appetite to roll out hydrogen infractructure in addition to chargers.

But hey, we are building a new runway at Heathrow, we are very likely to cancel HS2, and we subsidise air travel to the extent that short haul flights are a third the price of going by train. Does anybody seriously think any political party gives a damn about the climate?    

Avatar
fukawitribe [2948 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
Griff500 wrote:

I've always thought hydrogen was the answer, as it is considerably cleaner than any current battery technology. If we want clean, we are backing the wrong horse. While there are now a few hydrogen vehicles on sale (most notably the new Hyundai), I doubt there will be the appetite to roll out hydrogen infractructure in addition to chargers.

Alas hydrogen is a pretty dire thing to use for a fuel - current production techniques don't help (vast majority of it is still produced using steam reformation) but even so you're bleeding efficiency at every stage. Currently, electricity consumption per mile seems to be reckoned to be several times worse for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles over straight EV, and that's without considering greenhouse-gas emissions. It's a lovely idea, but it just doesn't add up at the moment (maybe never).

Avatar
Rich_cb [1088 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
CyclingInBeastMode wrote:

In real world use with bio fuel/vege oil (standard operation all year round) my 18 year old large estate diesel runs cleaner than some EUROVI based on the real world testing of both the EURO standards in independant testing, particularly E4, some of the E6 vehicles were absolutely shocking.

The factory spec for mine CO2 wise was 151g/km, when the garage last MOT'd it (126,000) the opacity test level was ridiculously low and that was on first run, so low that they tested it again (they're a top independant winning garage of the year in the UK a couple of times so no cowboys) I no longer use it but was down to less than 3,000 per year. If I were to do similar (with regards bio fuel/vege oil) to my folks Skoda Fabia 3 cycl 99g/km, I reckon it would be even cleaner, I used it for a 100mile outing this summer when vsiting and managed to get 80mpg with a 10-15% of that getting across the city and through a small town at the other end. I expect them to use it (2014 model) until they can no longer drive, so probably another 15 years or so.

Taking that car changes the comparison hugely.

In any case, I honestly don't trust the figures given for EVs, there seems to be no accounting for the non recycling of the cobalt and lithium, no account for the additional and very massive infra that needs putting in place and the pollution that comes from that, it takes no account of the increase in burning fossil fuels because we simply won't have enough capacity nor enough renewables to supply the demand.

Also, as you've said, the Zoe is a tiny car (which most people won't buy) but ridiculously heavy at 1.5metric tonnes, this is were the problem arises for range and potential extra pollution burning fossil fuel). That weight is not just the batteries but all the gizmos and 'safety'/driving aids etc all add up to a LOT of weight. MKII Ford Escort 1.3L 5 door was 878kg, bigger space internally yet nearly half the weight and with lots of heavy gauge steel/steel wheels/iron bloc.

In our throwaway society these 'plastic' cars won't be around anywhere near as long as the ICE life span they are replacing.

Now if they were to knock out a Sinclair stylie vehicle similar to the one I pictured above Or the Iris E Trike, made it in the UK, made it free from all the weighty crud as the ETrike is (hence 55kg incl battery) that would change the balance of a viable/covered transport mode for up to 20-25 miles each way then that would smash the argument out of sight. 

Yet we're not doing that at all and Labour aren't a party that support that clear and obvious option either, not even close, it's continuing down the path of building MASSive vehicles that will still kill and maim with virtual impunity in the hands of morons and the actual real life cycle emissions are doubtful even when using one of the better EVs in lab conditions.

If your parents Skoda fabia emits 99g/km then its lifetime emisions per km (including manufacture, maintainance etc) will be higher still. It would probably end up not far off double the lifetime emissions of the Zoe.

If there's a market for the type of vehicle you describe I'm sure one will be produced but if I'm honest I don't think there is.

I don't think the growth in EVs will lead to more fossil fuels being used in electricity generation as the charging can easily be scheduled for off peak times when electricity is often in surplus and when CO2 emisions per KWh are the lowest.

Batteries and electric motors are being improved all the time and electricity generation is getting less CO2 intensive every year. That together with improved efficiency in EV manufacture will tip the argument decisively in favour of EVs in the next few years.

Avatar
CyclingInBeastMode [296 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
Rich_cb wrote:
CyclingInBeastMode wrote:

In real world use with bio fuel/vege oil (standard operation all year round) my 18 year old large estate diesel runs cleaner than some EUROVI based on the real world testing of both the EURO standards in independant testing, particularly E4, some of the E6 vehicles were absolutely shocking.

The factory spec for mine CO2 wise was 151g/km, when the garage last MOT'd it (126,000) the opacity test level was ridiculously low and that was on first run, so low that they tested it again (they're a top independant winning garage of the year in the UK a couple of times so no cowboys) I no longer use it but was down to less than 3,000 per year. If I were to do similar (with regards bio fuel/vege oil) to my folks Skoda Fabia 3 cycl 99g/km, I reckon it would be even cleaner, I used it for a 100mile outing this summer when vsiting and managed to get 80mpg with a 10-15% of that getting across the city and through a small town at the other end. I expect them to use it (2014 model) until they can no longer drive, so probably another 15 years or so.

Taking that car changes the comparison hugely.

In any case, I honestly don't trust the figures given for EVs, there seems to be no accounting for the non recycling of the cobalt and lithium, no account for the additional and very massive infra that needs putting in place and the pollution that comes from that, it takes no account of the increase in burning fossil fuels because we simply won't have enough capacity nor enough renewables to supply the demand.

Also, as you've said, the Zoe is a tiny car (which most people won't buy) but ridiculously heavy at 1.5metric tonnes, this is were the problem arises for range and potential extra pollution burning fossil fuel). That weight is not just the batteries but all the gizmos and 'safety'/driving aids etc all add up to a LOT of weight. MKII Ford Escort 1.3L 5 door was 878kg, bigger space internally yet nearly half the weight and with lots of heavy gauge steel/steel wheels/iron bloc.

In our throwaway society these 'plastic' cars won't be around anywhere near as long as the ICE life span they are replacing.

Now if they were to knock out a Sinclair stylie vehicle similar to the one I pictured above Or the Iris E Trike, made it in the UK, made it free from all the weighty crud as the ETrike is (hence 55kg incl battery) that would change the balance of a viable/covered transport mode for up to 20-25 miles each way then that would smash the argument out of sight. 

Yet we're not doing that at all and Labour aren't a party that support that clear and obvious option either, not even close, it's continuing down the path of building MASSive vehicles that will still kill and maim with virtual impunity in the hands of morons and the actual real life cycle emissions are doubtful even when using one of the better EVs in lab conditions.

If your parents Skoda fabia emits 99g/km then its lifetime emisions per km (including manufacture, maintainance etc) will be higher still. It would probably end up not far off double the lifetime emissions of the Zoe. If there's a market for the type of vehicle you describe I'm sure one will be produced but if I'm honest I don't think there is. I don't think the growth in EVs will lead to more fossil fuels being used in electricity generation as the charging can easily be scheduled for off peak times when electricity is often in surplus and when CO2 emisions per KWh are the lowest. Batteries and electric motors are being improved all the time and electricity generation is getting less CO2 intensive every year. That together with improved efficiency in EV manufacture will tip the argument decisively in favour of EVs in the next few years.

My folks car will last at least 20 years, how many EVs will be gone through in that time, how many extra batteries and cobalt/lithium mined?

I'm not saying diesels are better, I'm saying the pollution numbers given for EVs is not as good as is being made out and using far fetched scenarios that exclude many factors to get to those numbers, the differential is not that big and as I have said all along there are better solutions that are being ignored pretty much completely despite their obviousness.

I will continue to not run a motorvehicle for the forseeable though at times it is bloody difficult and does shut down certain options you may want to enjoy/explore unless one borrows a car which I have done three times in a 26 month period, the alternates are not impossible but just very, very impractical and very expensive.

Avatar
Philh68 [149 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

I don't think the growth in EVs will lead to more fossil fuels being used in electricity generation as the charging can easily be scheduled for off peak times when electricity is often in surplus and when CO2 emisions per KWh are the lowest. Batteries and electric motors are being improved all the time and electricity generation is getting less CO2 intensive every year. That together with improved efficiency in EV manufacture will tip the argument decisively in favour of EVs in the next few years.

you have that backwards, I suspect because you don’t understand how grid generation works. There is not a surplus of generation in off peak. What happens is that the baseload, which is the minimum constant demand for electricity, is met almost entirely by thermal generation run at close to peak efficiency levels. It’s usually the cheapest form of power. Above that we add generation that is more easily varied to suit the grid demand, but are more expensive forms of generation. At the top are peaking generators, often piston engined generators running gas or diesel, that only get used in times of extreme demand.

off peak is cheap not because there’s an excess of generation but because the demand isn’t there to require the use of more expensive forms of generation. If you add EV charging at night, when renewable output is usually lower, you increase the use of on demand fossil fuel generation like gas turbines to meet the increased demand, raising CO2 level and the cost. The amount of increase depends on the kind of generation used, it’s less variable in the UK but in Germany the CO2 per kWh can more than double at night. The optimal time to charge an EV is during the day when renewables are strongest.

EV efficiency improvement is almost zero. When electric motors have long been above 90 percent efficient there is little improvement to make. Batteries have improved but the benefits are being squandered by trying to extend range, and by building larger more profitable vehicles which are less efficient due to mass and drag and excessive performance. A 2.5 tonne electric SUV isn’t advancing us anywhere, but that’s what Audi and Mercedes and Jaguar and Tesla would have us use.

Avatar
kt26 [23 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes
CyclingInBeastMode wrote:

Now if they were to knock out a Sinclair stylie vehicle similar to the one I pictured above Or the Iris E Trike, made it in the UK, made it free from all the weighty crud as the ETrike is (hence 55kg incl battery) that would change the balance of a viable/covered transport mode for up to 20-25 miles each way then that would smash the argument out of sight. 

Not made in the UK (Norway), but this is set to go into production next year:

https://www.podbike.com/en/

 

Pages