From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - _ORB_

Report suggests buyers of polluting vehicles should subsidise electric cars

www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/09/petrol-an...s

Glad I won't be buying another car!

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - madf

It was written with no thought of the consequences.. People would vote with their feet...

"Other recommendations from the report include forcing all petrol stations to install electric car charge points,"

And if they don't work as they are out in teh country with inadequate cabling?

Petrol stations make little money- forced spending = largescale closure.

Written by people who have no knowledge of the real world.

Edited by madf on 10/09/2020 at 10:20

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

The tax and subsidy regime already ensures that EVs are effectively subsidised by ICEs - car tax rates, fuel duties and VAT vs lower rates for electricity, subsidies on initial cost etc.

The only question is how much, not whether the subsidy exists.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - daveyjp

If you fancy a longer read.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/

attachment_data/file/914111/driving-and-accelerating-the-adoption-of-electric-vehicles-in-the-uk.pdf

From a very quick scan of the Exec Summary I have picked up on one observation I totally agree with. Respondees see 200 miles as a minimum acceptable range, but once this increases to 300 miles EVs become more desirable.

Edited by Avant on 10/09/2020 at 14:15

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

<< Responders see 200 miles as a minimum acceptable range, but once this increases to 300 miles EVs become more desirable. >>

Which would mean (about) 50% bigger and heavier batteries, with all that implies for cost, availability of scarce metals, etc. - unless there is a marked advance in technology.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Falkirk Bairn

Is that 300 miles, all 4/5 seats occupied, driving at night, in the middle of winter, heater/demist on, lights on................?

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - barney100

Precisely, apparently the ambient temperature lowers the battery range as well. Are you going to tell SWMBO in the middle of winter to turn the heater fan off because you are getting range anxiety? if so then you are braver than me.

I'll be happily out of motoring before EVs are mandatory.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy
Report suggests buyers of polluting vehicles should subsidise electric cars

www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/09/petrol-an...s

Glad I won't be buying another car!

Yet another method of transferring wealth from the poor (and to be honest, most of us) - who can't afford EVs - to the rich (who make up the vast majority of EV owners).

Class. In yesterday's Telegraph there was an article written by someone who is a senior person at an EV firm who said they are nowhere near as 'green' as they are portrayed by the media and governments.

And no-one from the powers-that-be have STILL addressed the VERY significant issues over both paying for, siting and the logsitics around charging facilities, especially for the large percentage of the population who live in flats, homes without a driveway or works in places with less than one car parking space per staff member who has to drive a car to work (which is to say 99% of us).

I dispair sometime at how inept people who supposedly either 'lead or represent' us in politics or who are in positions of authority and influence from the advisor, civil service and big business side.

They have no clue whatsoever, or are just in it to boost their own positions and/or wealth/power.

Edited by Engineer Andy on 10/09/2020 at 12:08

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - daveyjp
Report suggests buyers of polluting vehicles should subsidise electric cars

www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/09/petrol-an...s

Glad I won't be buying another car!

Yet another method of transferring wealth from the poor (and to be honest, most of us) - who can't afford EVs - to the rich (who make up the vast majority of EV owners).

Class. In yesterday's Telegraph there was an article written by someone who is a senior person at an EV firm who said they are nowhere near as 'green' as they are portrayed by the media and governments.

And no-one from the powers-that-be have STILL addressed the VERY significant issues over both paying for, siting and the logsitics around charging facilities, especially for the large percentage of the population who live in flats, homes without a driveway or works in places with less than one car parking space per staff member who has to drive a car to work (which is to say 99% of us).

I dispair sometime at how inept people who supposedly either 'lead or represent' us in politics or who are in positions of authority and influence from the advisor, civil service and big business side.

They have no clue whatsoever, or are just in it to boost their own positions and/or wealth/power.

You need to look beyond the now, this can be done by looking into the past.

10 years ago you could buy a Nissan Leaf with 90 miles range and a charging system which would take hours to charge the car.

Over the next 10 years the current Tesla offer of 300 mile range and 500 miles in an hour charging will become the norm and will probably have been surpassed. Once you get that charging really isn't an issue.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - bolt

Over the next 10 years the current Tesla offer of 300 mile range and 500 miles in an hour charging will become the norm and will probably have been surpassed.

At the rate of tech as it is with batteries at the moment, I doubt that will be possible in 20 years, the ideas put forward and the problems they need to overcome are not as easy as is made out

till then, petrol and diesel will become more efficient with fuel consumption lower than the new cars give, also being less polluting than they are now if not zero which I gather is the aim

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

In the last 10 years the cost per Kwh for batteries has fallen by 85%, and the energy density has improved by approx 300%.

EVs have gone from being an expensive minority purchase to a competitive choice for many. It is unlikely that ICE will match future EV improvements - it is a very mature technology where any progress is going to be hard won and marginal.

Transition to (say) 80%+ EV will take 10-20 years as existing vehicles are replaced by EV - the life of existing vehicles is 12-15 years. Not all replacements will be EV.

Improvements to infrastructure do not need a "big bang" change - it will need a sensible plan to add 3-6% to existing generation capacity each year for the next 15-20 years. In principle entirely feasible - although you could reasonably question the ability of both the government and energy companies to deliver even realistic expectations!

Filling stations will become scarcer, emissions will increasingly limit city and urban travel, falling demand will limit development and increase ICE production costs, EV costs will fall as volume increase and technology improvements. A tipping point may be as little as 4 years away.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy

No one has yet said how everyone else will afford these expensive vehicles, or be able to afford or fit the chargers at home if they live in a flat or a house that doesn't have a driveway, or an office that has only enough car parking spaces for 10-20% of employees.

The improvement in charging and batteries won't be sustained, never mind because the reources used to make them are very scarce and in heavy demand, plus new tech always has a 'boom' period as regards improvements, then it levels off.

I'm not saying this will all happen or don't wish it to, but I storngly believe the powers-that-be have got it wrong BIG TIME in accelerating the growth of EV tech, because it's only going to benefit the very wealthiest at the expense of everyone else.

At the moment, EVs account for about 1% of ALL car (let alone vans and trucks) on the road. It's easy to get charging when you only have a few tens of thousands of vehicles and loads of subsidies. We can't just go from near zero to 50% without significant negative consequences for those at the bottom of society and those many in the middle who don't have the finances or ability to just 'get' all this as if they were buying groceries.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - bathtub tom
Over the next 10 years the current Tesla offer of 300 mile range and 500 miles in an hour charging will become the norm and will probably have been surpassed. Once you get that charging really isn't an issue.

And the porcine aerial display team will all be flying electric aircraft.

ps. I've been proved wrong before.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Ethan Edwards

Guardian promoting reverse socialism. Poor owners of old thirsty ice cars to subsidise rich owners of whizzy BEV cars. Interesting concept. Like taxing the homeless to fund the rich in their mansions.. Very progressive Im sure.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

<< 500 miles in an hour charging will become the norm and will probably have been surpassed. Once you get that charging really isn't an issue. >>

Sorry, I don't buy that. Injecting charge into a battery at that rate will call for massive costly cabling in lots of places, unless someone comes up with a high-density microwave method or something very clever. Plus the need for an associated source of heavy current.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - bolt

<< 500 miles in an hour charging will become the norm and will probably have been surpassed. Once you get that charging really isn't an issue. >>

Sorry, I don't buy that. Injecting charge into a battery at that rate will call for massive costly cabling in lots of places, unless someone comes up with a high-density microwave method or something very clever. Plus the need for an associated source of heavy current.

A step up transformer could do that with a low Voltage supply, as used for jump starters on cars, it can use the remaining power of the battery to give enough current to jumpstart the engine using step up transformer/s and a capacitor so it doesn't need a battery

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - mss1tw

A step up transformer could do that with a low Voltage supply, as used for jump starters on cars, it can use the remaining power of the battery to give enough current to jumpstart the engine using step up transformer/s and a capacitor so it doesn't need a battery

Voltage and current are different things and I don't see how step-up transformers help with the problem of current capacity of the national grid. We already use them to send HVAC long-distances, increasing that voltage will mean dealing with physics issues like skin effect and possibly current pylon insulator disc stacks, and substations/switchgear would need to be re-built or altered to accommodate the increased potential.

The grid was red-lining during the Beast from the East, and a lot of "Green" electrical supply only homes and "Green" cars have been sold since then...

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - madf

A step up transformer could do that with a low Voltage supply, as used for jump starters on cars, it can use the remaining power of the battery to give enough current to jumpstart the engine using step up transformer/s and a capacitor so it doesn't need a battery

Voltage and current are different things and I don't see how step-up transformers help with the problem of current capacity of the national grid. We already use them to send HVAC long-distances, increasing that voltage will mean dealing with physics issues like skin effect and possibly current pylon insulator disc stacks, and substations/switchgear would need to be re-built or altered to accommodate the increased potential.

The grid was red-lining during the Beast from the East, and a lot of "Green" electrical supply only homes and "Green" cars have been sold since then...

And solar power has been minimal in winter on cloudy days .. And this "summer" as well.

. Lots of large scale battery systems needed to save power for cold still winter nights when there is no solar or wind power. Then connect several million EVs to the Grid all charging at night .

So peak demand at night will coincide with minimum Green Energy being produced... A recipe for blackouts...

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - mss1tw

And solar power has been minimal in winter on cloudy days .. And this "summer" as well.

. Lots of large scale battery systems needed to save power for cold still winter nights when there is no solar or wind power. Then connect several million EVs to the Grid all charging at night .

So peak demand at night will coincide with minimum Green Energy being produced... A recipe for blackouts...

Slightly off topic but the big boys (Not car firms, energy firms) .are starting to take note of hydrogen

I believe it's been approved to be blended into the gas supply in the same way ethanol is to petrol. (Waste of arable land, and results in yet more monocropping, if you ask me but it keeps some bureaucrat happy)

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

Assuming that EVs will disadvantage poorer parts of the community is almost certainly wrong.

Short-term - next 5-10 years - ICE cars will continue to be available new and will likely come down in price as designs, tooling etc are fully depreciated. Most with serious cash constraints will buy s/h anyway and ICE cars are likely to be available for the next 20 years +.

Over that period it is probable EVs will come down in price with technical improvements and volume increases.

There are 38m cars registered in the UK. Assuming very simplistically that those under three years old were bought new (approx 7m), then 31m are cars bought s/h. Thus the price of new cars is somewhat academic for 80% of us, and almost completely irrelevant for those who never buy a new car.

The key barrier to the transition is that upfront costs of EV may remain relatively higher, but benefit from lower running costs. This challenges a mind set which looks ony at initial cost, not whole life costs.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - bolt

The key barrier to the transition is that upfront costs of EV may remain relatively higher, but benefit from lower running costs. This challenges a mind set which looks ony at initial cost, not whole life costs.

Whole life costs could be a lot higher than made out if Electricity charges go up as they become more affordable, less fuel sales due to EV takeup, government will use it as an excuse to increase RFL and Electric prices

so I doubt they will be cheaper to run after a few years of use imo

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - KJP 123

"There are 38m cars registered in the UK. Assuming very simplistically that those under three years old were bought new (approx 7m), then 31m are cars bought s/h. Thus the price of new cars is somewhat academic for 80% of us, and almost completely irrelevant for those who never buy a new car."

Eh? Apart from pre-registered and ex-demonstrators all cars were once bought new. And the price of a second-hand car is influenced by its new price or current cost of its equivalent.

I think that the major problem is not producing the electricity but distributing it; possibly not so much nationally but at a local level. I read about a block of 48 flats in Melbourne: not only is the whole area at the limit of its substations’ capacity but the block infrastructure will not support more than 2 or 3 chargers.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

I think that the major problem is not producing the electricity but distributing it; possibly not so much nationally but at a local level. I read about a block of 48 flats in Melbourne: not only is the whole area at the limit of its substations’ capacity but the block infrastructure will not support more than 2 or 3 chargers.

That is one limitation. The other is satisfying the expectation of travellers to recharge quickly at the roadside. Filling with fuel is quick; filling with electricity cannot be anything like as fast because of the power lost as heat in the cabling. Unless massive (=expensive) cabling is installed - or perhaps superconducting, if further imagination is permitted.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - diddy1234
People have asked about the power infrastructure in the UK and if it can cope if everyone changed to electric.
I am more concerned about the substations and how they will handle every house drawing 60 to 100 amps for several hours at a time.
From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

The average all electric house spends ~ £1500 pa on power - at 15p/Kwh this is 10,000 Kwh. This hypothetical house uses ~ 30 Kwh per day - at 240v the average current draw is therefore ~ 5 amps per hour.

Domestic premises are usually fitted with 60-100 amp supply fuses as (a) power supply needs to cover periods of maximum use - eg: oven+cooker+washing machine+kettle etc at the same time, and (b) to protect the power supply cabling.

To charge an EV to cover say 10k pa would require a supply of 3-4000 Kwh - less than half what a house already uses.

Some properties will have fast chargers, others may rely on a 13amp domestic socket, and charging may be spread during the day or night. What is clear is with a realistic range of 200 miles, most EV owners would charge their cars only once or twice per week.

I agree that in some areas there will be stresses place on the distribution network - cabling and substations. Effective planning can easily identify those bits of the network under greatest stress and upgrade accordingly.

It is a 20 year project, not an immediate catastrophic issue. Suggesting so is simply unnceccesary scare mongering.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

The average all electric house spends ~ £1500 pa on power - at 15p/Kwh this is 10,000 Kwh. This hypothetical house uses ~ 30 Kwh per day - at 240v the average current draw is therefore ~ 5 amps per hour.

Nit-pick - what do you mean, 'amps per hour' ? I get your calculation, 5 amps averaged over the whole day, perhaps varying between close to zero and 15-20 amps at peak times, or about a couple of kettles-worth.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - alan1302

It is a 20 year project, not an immediate catastrophic issue. Suggesting so is simply unnceccesary scare mongering.

The only problem is that it will probably take 20 years for the government to work out what to do! LOL

From a technical point of view there is no reason that all cars can't be electric - the technology already exists and looking at the range of cars coming out the manufactuerers are already going down that path.

As well as cars going electric, heating and cooking supplies will need to convert to electric as well from natutal gas.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy

It is a 20 year project, not an immediate catastrophic issue. Suggesting so is simply unnceccesary scare mongering.

The only problem is that it will probably take 20 years for the government to work out what to do! LOL

From a technical point of view there is no reason that all cars can't be electric - the technology already exists and looking at the range of cars coming out the manufactuerers are already going down that path.

As well as cars going electric, heating and cooking supplies will need to convert to electric as well from natutal gas.

Changing everything over to electric in 20-30 years is madness (see my other comments as to why). 50-100, maybe.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - RT

The average all electric house spends ~ £1500 pa on power - at 15p/Kwh this is 10,000 Kwh. This hypothetical house uses ~ 30 Kwh per day - at 240v the average current draw is therefore ~ 5 amps per hour.

Domestic premises are usually fitted with 60-100 amp supply fuses as (a) power supply needs to cover periods of maximum use - eg: oven+cooker+washing machine+kettle etc at the same time, and (b) to protect the power supply cabling.

To charge an EV to cover say 10k pa would require a supply of 3-4000 Kwh - less than half what a house already uses.

Some properties will have fast chargers, others may rely on a 13amp domestic socket, and charging may be spread during the day or night. What is clear is with a realistic range of 200 miles, most EV owners would charge their cars only once or twice per week.

I agree that in some areas there will be stresses place on the distribution network - cabling and substations. Effective planning can easily identify those bits of the network under greatest stress and upgrade accordingly.

It is a 20 year project, not an immediate catastrophic issue. Suggesting so is simply unnceccesary scare mongering.

Working on averages gives misleading results - it's peak loads that cause the issues

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Ethan Edwards

Well if it's a 20year project then don't bother. Because in 20 years the whole technology will end up being obsolete. It would be like us today building betamax vcr factories. Maybe we will be able to buy a "Mr Fusion" of our own and make cabling and generator infrastructure a thing you see in a museum. Who knows?

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - RJ414i

Working on averages gives misleading results - it's peak loads that cause the issues

It could be interesting between 5 and 7 pm when the cooker, kettle and the 9 Kw shower is being used and then someone comes home and plugs the car in.

The 60 amp main fuse will be under pressure as well as the local grid.

Just don't mention night store heating!

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy

And who's going to pay several Grand for the replacement EV battery pack when they become useless after 7-15 years? Especially when other mechanicals, such as the brakes, suspension, etec etc STILL have to be replaced periodically?

ICE car's engines normally slowly wear out, and thus normally don't need a complete replacement all at the same time and at huge expense.

Battery tech is scarce, charging tech even more so and cannot be installed for many who live in a flat or terraced house.

Who's going to pay for every street light and car park to have an EV charging point?

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - RT

And who's going to pay several Grand for the replacement EV battery pack when they become useless after 7-15 years? Especially when other mechanicals, such as the brakes, suspension, etec etc STILL have to be replaced periodically?

ICE car's engines normally slowly wear out, and thus normally don't need a complete replacement all at the same time and at huge expense.

Battery tech is scarce, charging tech even more so and cannot be installed for many who live in a flat or terraced house.

Who's going to pay for every street light and car park to have an EV charging point?

Do you know what the long term failure rate of batteries is?

I don't but very few have needed replacement during their normal 8-year warranty and most car manufacturers don't obstruct the fitting of replacement cells rather than the whole battery, Peugeot being the exception.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

Battery packs typically degrade over time and do not suffer complete failure - really just like ICE engines and drivetrains where after 7-15 years/100-200k miles major failures even with reasonable servicing become probable.

Battery tech is evolving - in the last 20 years several different technologies have been plausible - NiCad, lead acid, zinc air, sodium nickel chloride etc - although lithium is currently the element of choice. You need a very deep understanding (which I don't have) of the subject to rule out EVs on the basis of battery tech.

Charging may be on street, but initially more likely in supermarkets, service stations, work, hotels, car parks etc. Providing charging points will be essential to attract customers.

Charging on street or in apartment blocks will likely come later in the transition. At some point the availability or lack of charging will influence property prices. So expect new up market apartment blocks to have recharging points as standard, retrofits in higher end apartments, charging points installed as part of major power upgrades on street.

It does not need every lamp post to be upgraded immediately.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Zippy123

Batter pack longevity....

I posed this question to a good friend of mine who was a senior electronic engineer for an aerospace / defence company and still works in electronics in a senior capacity. He has a home made battery store at home taking power from his solar panels and storing them for evening use and from off peak power as well for use during peak times.

He moans about battery degradation in phones as we all do.

He understands cars perform better because of very sophisticated battery management and some if not all manufacturers using larger capacity batteries than advertised.

This results in a battery never being fully charged or fully depleted, improving the life of the battery. Also active cooling of the battery helps longevity.

Cars will switch banks used so all of them get used over time. For example the car may use bank 1 at the start of one journey then bank 2 for the next and so forth, averaging out usage across all batteries.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Robert J.
www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/05/KellyDecar...f

The interesting part of this article is
The power pack for a Tesla weighs half a tonne and occupies much of the floor pan of the car: for the same 600-km range in a petrol car, you would need 48 litres of petrol, weighing just 36 kg. And the size of the battery means that they require huge quantities of materials in their manufacture. If we replace all of the UK vehicle fleet with EVs, and assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation batteries, we would need the following materials:

207,900 tonnes of cobalt – just under twice the annual global production;
264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate – three quarters of the world’s production;
at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium – nearly the entire world production of neodymium;
2,362,500 tonnes of copper – more than half the world’s production in 2018.
And this is just for the UK.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T
The interesting part of this article is The power pack for a Tesla weighs half a tonne and occupies much of the floor pan of the car:

Well done, Robert J - this aspect has been obvious to me for some time, but most of the optimists expect science will always find an answer. Like many new human activities and inventions, all may be fine while a minority indulge. When everyone wants one, things may become difficult or impossible.

And then there was Concorde. And airships (tho some nutters are suggesting those again).

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - madf
www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/05/KellyDecar...f The interesting part of this article is The power pack for a Tesla weighs half a tonne and occupies much of the floor pan of the car: for the same 600-km range in a petrol car, you would need 48 litres of petrol, weighing just 36 kg. And the size of the battery means that they require huge quantities of materials in their manufacture. If we replace all of the UK vehicle fleet with EVs, and assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation batteries, we would need the following materials: 207,900 tonnes of cobalt – just under twice the annual global production; 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate – three quarters of the world’s production; at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium – nearly the entire world production of neodymium; 2,362,500 tonnes of copper – more than half the world’s production in 2018. And this is just for the UK.

There is something seriously wrong with those stats..

2,362,500 tonnes of copper.. I assume a year as it is compered to world annual outputs...

In 2019 we bought approx 365k commercial vehicles and 2.3Million new cars: approx 2.7 million vehicles - average weight of copper per vehicle - if all EVs.. 0.875tonnes

Not credible.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy

Do you know what the long term failure rate of batteries is?

I don't but very few have needed replacement during their normal 8-year warranty and most car manufacturers don't obstruct the fitting of replacement cells rather than the whole battery, Peugeot being the exception.

It's not just the failure rate, but the widely known fact that as batteries age, they lose output, and thus (in the case of cars) range. ICE engines don't in the same manner, as previously explained.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

There seems to be an inability to accept that technology and material constraints will move on from the current status quo

History demonstrates that rapid progress is possible - even in electricity generation over the last 20 years:

  • coal has fallen from ~ 30% to 2%
  • nuclear has fallen from 24% to 12%
  • wind and solar has increased from <1% to ~25%

It is relatively easy to close generation facilities, but note most of the wind and solar increase has happened in just 10 years.

The proposition that "it won't happen because we can't do it now" is complete nonsence!.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - mss1tw

The proposition that "it won't happen because we can't do it now" is complete nonsence!.

I find "It will happen, and it will benefit everyone because the government are on the case" just as nonsensical

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

The proposition that "it won't happen because we can't do it now" is complete nonsence!.

I don't think anyone is saying that, just suggesting that expanding new ideas to a global scale may be difficult. There are limits to everything, which should be factored in.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy

There seems to be an inability to accept that technology and material constraints will move on from the current status quo

History demonstrates that rapid progress is possible - even in electricity generation over the last 20 years:

  • coal has fallen from ~ 30% to 2%
  • nuclear has fallen from 24% to 12%
  • wind and solar has increased from <1% to ~25%

It is relatively easy to close generation facilities, but note most of the wind and solar increase has happened in just 10 years.

The proposition that "it won't happen because we can't do it now" is complete nonsence!.

So what happens when it's dark or when the wind doesn't blow? Where's that electricity coming from in winter when output is at it's lwoest and egenral electricity demand at its highest?

I'm no luddite - the clue is in my handle or pessimist - I'm just a realist given my profession and, in reality, how slow things develop in the grand scheme of things.

This is not as easy as you and others believe it to be. And note that, as I've said time and again, there are far more factors at play than just the techincal side. I suggest that you re-read the many other threads on EVs and chanrging we've covered over the last couple of years.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - alan1302

So what happens when it's dark or when the wind doesn't blow? Where's that electricity coming from in winter when output is at it's lwoest and egenral electricity demand at its highest?

I'm no luddite - the clue is in my handle or pessimist - I'm just a realist given my profession and, in reality, how slow things develop in the grand scheme of things.

This is not as easy as you and others believe it to be. And note that, as I've said time and again, there are far more factors at play than just the techincal side. I suggest that you re-read the many other threads on EVs and chanrging we've covered over the last couple of years.

When it' dark and the wind does not blow? Nuclear? In short term there will be gas power stations still. And storage technologies are ever evolving which can store the solar and wind power so it can be used when required.

Your username is Engineer Andy - how does that mean you are not a luddite? Quite possible for someone to be luddite and an engineer - it means you don't like new things or different ways of doing things - does not prevent you from being an engineer.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - RT

So what happens when it's dark or when the wind doesn't blow? Where's that electricity coming from in winter when output is at it's lwoest and egenral electricity demand at its highest?

I'm no luddite - the clue is in my handle or pessimist - I'm just a realist given my profession and, in reality, how slow things develop in the grand scheme of things.

This is not as easy as you and others believe it to be. And note that, as I've said time and again, there are far more factors at play than just the techincal side. I suggest that you re-read the many other threads on EVs and chanrging we've covered over the last couple of years.

When it' dark and the wind does not blow? Nuclear? In short term there will be gas power stations still. And storage technologies are ever evolving which can store the solar and wind power so it can be used when required.

The variable nature of solar and wind power means that the grid needs some generation capacity which can be switched in/out quickly - only pumped storage hydro-electric and gas-fired can do that - nuclear needs to be relatively constant

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

<< The variable nature of solar and wind power means that the grid needs some generation capacity which can be switched in/out quickly - only pumped storage hydro-electric and gas-fired can do that - nuclear needs to be relatively constant >>

Well, yes. Wind can certainly be switched in and out quickly, but I guess you assume that it will always be used when available. The modest windfarm (almost) visible from my front doorstep was idle the other morning (9:30am) when there was certainly enough breeze to drive the turbines.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - RT

<< The variable nature of solar and wind power means that the grid needs some generation capacity which can be switched in/out quickly - only pumped storage hydro-electric and gas-fired can do that - nuclear needs to be relatively constant >>

Well, yes. Wind can certainly be switched in and out quickly, but I guess you assume that it will always be used when available. The modest windfarm (almost) visible from my front doorstep was idle the other morning (9:30am) when there was certainly enough breeze to drive the turbines.

Wind power can't be switched in when it's calm!

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

<< Wind power can't be switched in when it's calm! >>

But it's surprising how little wind is needed to get the blades moving.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy

<< Wind power can't be switched in when it's calm! >>

But it's surprising how little wind is needed to get the blades moving.

It's also surprising how little wind is needed for them to be shut down because it's 'too windy' for them. They are also quite maintenance heavy and the machinery obviously very difficult to reach.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - madf

I watch National Grid

It is unlikely anyone can comment intelligently on power issues without watching it...

In cold winter nights with frost and clear skies, solar and wind power tend to be under 5% of total consumption. In summer they can be over 50%... And guess when power consumption peaks?

Power storage is a VERY VERY VERY expensive solution... and not economically or technically feasible yet.

Nuclear power? A laugh.. Old stations closing and new ones a decade away - small change in overall capacity...

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

I agree with your comments re National Grid - based on their data over the last year energy sources are nuclear 19%, gas 37%, wind 20%, solar 4%, biomass 7%, coal/hydro/interconnect (13%).

Daytime demand, again averagely tends to be approx 40-50% greater than nighttime usage, although this may change if EV become more popular.

Broad strategy may be for a baseload demand to be met by sources which have fairly fixed output - eg: nuclear (costs and lead times could be an issue)

The balance to maximum demand needs to be flexible - some capacity needs to be almost instantaneous (hydro and storage), some with run up times of a few minutes to a few hours.

The way this is deployed relies upon forecasting skill - the weather for solar and wind generation, and demand variability due to weather, time of day, day of week, events etc.

The question - to what extent is it worth building additional wind and solar capacity as this needs to be matched by other capacity (gas mainly) to meet dark and windless days.

Even this simple question is impacted by (for instance) the flexibility and capacity of the interconnect, and the ability of some users to load shed at times of maximum demand.

This is not just about the total cost of generation to meet demand, but also long term energy security (fossil fuels may be both limited and imported), and green issues (climate change impacts)

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - focussed

If you refer to www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ it shows the dire state the UK generation game is in. And it's not even winter yet!

Compare with www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/france/

The nukes here take the strain!

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - edlithgow

There are proposals to convert a lot of Norwegian hydro to pump storage for Europe. The sums are said to look good.

But if that wasn't on National Grid, I suppose it can't be intelligent?

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - madf

I watch National Grid

It is unlikely anyone can comment intelligently on power issues without watching it...

In cold winter nights with frost and clear skies, solar and wind power tend to be under 5% of total consumption. In summer they can be over 50%... And guess when power consumption peaks?

Power storage is a VERY VERY VERY expensive solution... and not economically or technically feasible yet.

Nuclear power? A laugh.. Old stations closing and new ones a decade away - small change in overall capacity...

OOPS Nuclear power a solution?

""

Hitachi to abandon £20bn UK nuclear project

Spiralling costs of building a new atomic power station in Wales prompts Japanese giant to pull out of the project"

www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/09/15/hitachi-pu.../

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - focussed

"OOPS Nuclear power a solution?"

Nuclear power is the only solution for zero CO2 reliable base load generation.

All that is necessary is to finance the cost of building them.

75% of the cost of the electricity from a nuclear power station is the cost of servicing the loan needed to build it.

When it's up and running the fuel cost is peanuts.

One tiny uranium oxide fuel pellet a thimble-sized ceramic cylinder (approximately 3/8-inch in diameter and 5/8-inch in length) has the energy equivalent of 16 tons of coal.

So the reason the UK is lagging behind is the availability of the money to finance the building of the nukes.

And of course the lack of engineers in that skill set.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - madf

"OOPS Nuclear power a solution?"

Nuclear power is the only solution for zero CO2 reliable base load generation.

All that is necessary is to finance the cost of building them.

75% of the cost of the electricity from a nuclear power station is the cost of servicing the loan needed to build it.

When it's up and running the fuel cost is peanuts.

One tiny uranium oxide fuel pellet a thimble-sized ceramic cylinder (approximately 3/8-inch in diameter and 5/8-inch in length) has the energy equivalent of 16 tons of coal.

So the reason the UK is lagging behind is the availability of the money to finance the building of the nukes.

And of course the lack of engineers in that skill set.

You do not mention decommissioning costs.

So I will

"It is estimated that the total cost of decommissioning the UK's Magnox power plants will be in the region of £12.6 billion, with the length of time for the completion of decommissioning potentially as much as 100 years"

tinyurl.com/yyslwhpc

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - edlithgow

One issue that doesn't seem to have been discussed re electric cars is

Will they be able to get away with making them unreliable enough?

The hoops that IC engines now have to jump through to meet emission and fuel economy targets probably go a long way to providing both a cause and an excuse for the necessary planned obsolescence levels, but (apart from the battery) there is no obvious reason why an electric car couldn't last forever.

Since, commercially, they can't be allowed to last forever, a concentrated but covert effort may be required to make sure they don't.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy

Electric motors etc don't last forever. EVs still have lots of moving parts that will wear out.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

EVs as you say do wear out. Motors will eventually fail although as they have far fewer moving parts, they are much less likely to fail than an ICE drivetrain. Other components - steering suspension, brakes wear at the same or even a slightly faster rate due to the additional weight.

But I think this is a problem that conventional manufacturers have been grappling with for a couple of decades.

Since terminal corrosion in cars under 10 years old has largely been eliminated, modern vehicles can often run fine (albeit with increasing routine replacements) for 20+ years.

So manufacturers have (a) sought to reduce fuel consumption and (b) added functionality or gizmos (depending on your point of view) to keep punters buying new cars.

Selling new cars creates a,the secondhand market downstream - and with most vehicles by the time they reach a 5th owner after 15 years their value has fallen to a level where a major repair or replacement simply makes little economic sense.

The same is likely to be true with EVs unless the game changes radically with new legislation or driverless!

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

So manufacturers have (a) sought to reduce fuel consumption and (b) added functionality or gizmos (depending on your point of view) to keep punters buying new cars.

The problem is that production lines can churn out cars too fast, so they can keep up with the global demand makers have created by widespread advertising. So before many years have passed, everyone that wants that particular model has got one, the market for it dries up and the cycle has to repeat.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - edlithgow

So before many years have passed, everyone that wants that particular model has got one, the market for it dries up and the cycle has to repeat.

No it doesn't, especially for an electric vehicle, .

If I was a manufacturer I might be concerned that the punters would realise this.

Not very concerned, but a bit.

Maybe enough to plan countermeasures.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - edlithgow

Selling new cars creates a,the secondhand market downstream - and with most vehicles by the time they reach a 5th owner after 15 years their value has fallen to a level where a major repair or replacement simply makes little economic sense.

I always felt that commonly held view (uneconomic when cost of repair >value) to be arbitrary, and certainly it makes little economic sense if that is the trigger point for new vehicle purchase.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - gordonbennet

I always felt that commonly held view (uneconomic when cost of repair >value) to be arbitrary, and certainly it makes little economic sense if that is the trigger point for new vehicle purchase.

Indeed, there are many out there who don't want or even like what manufacturers politicians or various pressure groups think we should be driving in our country this year, our vehicles don't have an economic value as such because we have little intention of selling, and we look after our vehicles as well as we can so they last for as long as possible.

As such, every now and again a repair or refurbishment might cost more than a certain percentage of the vehicle's paper value (which would trigger scrapping for others), but to some of us the vehicle's value isn't based on what it could be sold for, if the rest of the vehicle is in good condition why scrap a car because it needs a rather pricey repair if said repair/overhaul is more than likely to see many more years of use.

Arguably this is a more ecological policy overall than the present throwaway white goods method of car ownership.

And to get back to the OP and the article linked to for a second, how unusual for socialists to want others to subsidise choices they have made.

Edited by gordonbennet on 16/09/2020 at 08:46

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

<< if the rest of the vehicle is in good condition why scrap a car because it needs a rather pricey repair if said repair/overhaul is more than likely to see many more years of use >>

The cynics among us might wonder about the reasons for manufacturers setting high prices on essential replacement parts, or cutting off the supply too soon after a model becomes obsolete ...

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

As cars age they typically need more repairs and replacements - no surprise there!

What one does not know is whether the significant repair one is faced with now will be the last for a few years, or the first of several over the next 12 months.

The decision to keep and repair, or sell, is thus one which is about emotion, personal circumstance, and expectations. It may be heavily influenced by money, but is not a simple sum - eg: if cost of repair < replacement cost = fix.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Alby Back
A guy I know has a large mini cab company. More than 40 cars on the road with employed drivers. He has a very much "fix and keep" mentality. He has run many cars into several hundreds of thousands of miles each over the years. Ok, he employs a full time mechanic to keep them maintained, so he's not paying retail labour rates, but he tells me that having looked at it all ways, it's in his view, almost always more economical to repair cars when required than to replace them.

I suppose his view is skewed by the fact that none of his cars are very old in years, but many of them are or end up on very high miles.

Different calculation I guess for the "ordinary" motorist who might need their car daily and couldn't conveniently just use another one without incurring significant costs.

His philosophy is to buy ex fleet vehicles which are averagely 3 years old but deliberately chooses ones that have already exceeded 100,000 miles provided they have full service histories, and no accident damage.

That way, he says, he pays very little for them, gets another 200,000 - 300,000 out of them and then just scraps them.

Interesting though, for me anyway, that he feels quite comfortable running cars to mileages that many private individuals would regard as excessive and uneconomical.
From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - madf
. Interesting though, for me anyway, that he feels quite comfortable running cars to mileages that many private individuals would regard as excessive and uneconomical.

Maintenance is teh key.

If you pay a garage £££s

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Alby Back
I'm sure you're rght. That, and "hot" engines he reckons. As a driver finishes his shift, the cars are given a quick wipe over, inside and out, a run round the inside with a vacuum cleaner, a squirt of air freshener, refuelled, fluids and tyres checked, and will be back out on the road within an hour with a fresh driver.

Edited by Alby Back on 16/09/2020 at 12:58

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy
Selling new cars creates a,the secondhand market downstream - and with most vehicles by the time they reach a 5th owner after 15 years their value has fallen to a level where a major repair or replacement simply makes little economic sense.

The same is likely to be true with EVs unless the game changes radically with new legislation or driverless!

Not so much, as it is rare for an ICE car to need a complete new enegine when old - certain numbers of parts, maybe, but as with many a mechanical device, they wear out at varying rates and most can be reasonably anticipated via clues in noises, vibrations, etc etc.

With electrical parts, not as much, and, more importantly, few electrical parts can be disassemled and rebuilt with one or two sub-components changed out. Most modern electric and electornic components are sealed for life and cannot be repaired, thus at some point in the life of the EV car, someone is going to either be stiffed with a very large bill or have their investment in buying it wiped out in an instant - or this 'risk' is taken into account and used values drop sharply as the car gets near the time when the (say) motor gives out.

It's the reason why there isn't a big second hand market for household electrical goods like fridges, freezers, ovens and washing machines - most of the time, they are just too expensive to repair because the components plus labour cost of fitting them is extortionately expensive and the remaining parts in older devices are also on borrowed time.

I got a quote back in 2017 (I think) for changing out the PCB, internal fuse and heating element on my 15 year old electric oven by a local repair shop (sight unseen, but the likely cause of the failure after I described what had happened) - including actually inspecting it and the repair, the cost was, if I recall, over £200.

I thought that if another part failed (e.g. the fan), I could be spending around as much as buying a new one. It was an easy choice to make by buying a new one.

The problem with EVs is that certain very expensive parts (motors of that power will be) will fail with little to no warning and will require chaning, not fixing, for the most part. They will eventually come down in price, but again, as in other posts, I think the time for EVs for mass market appeal is being brought forward way too soon, 25+ years, possibly more.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Andrew-T

<< It's the reason why there isn't a big second hand market for household electrical goods like fridges, freezers, ovens and washing machines >>

I don't think so. I'm sure most owners don't think of replacing their domestic white goods unless they fail completely; and the reason for that is they have no emotional attachment to them in the way many have to their cars. Plus the fact that cars are a visible status symbol, nothing like a fridge or an oven.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - madf

<< It's the reason why there isn't a big second hand market for household electrical goods like fridges, freezers, ovens and washing machines >>

I don't think so. I'm sure most owners don't think of replacing their domestic white goods unless they fail completely; and the reason for that is they have no emotional attachment to them in the way many have to their cars. Plus the fact that cars are a visible status symbol, nothing like a fridge or an oven.

Lots of white goods on Facebook Marketplace...(You can sell anything there)

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

Most white goods sit comfortably in the <£500 category. A couple of hours labour/call out charges + a spare part may cost £80-150. Often not far short of 50% of straightforward replacement.

For many (possibly most) a new replacement for a failed item more than (say) 5 years old is sensible unless very easily fixed - eg: oven heating element or DiY.

New and fairly new cars sit very comfortably in the >£5000++.

An unexpected £500 bill is annoying, a £5000+ bill can be a big problem for many/most.

As the popularity of EVs increases many of the techniques used currently to keep older ICE running will evolve - secondhand parts, non-OEM modules, repair kits, back street diagnostic and repair etc.

The non-drivetrain elements of both EV and ICE will fail and be repaired in a similar way. Individual failures will typically be £100-500 to rectify - battery, shock absorbers, steering and suspension bushes, wiper motor, brake pads/discs etc etc.

The costs of failure/repair of a single item will usually be below scrap level - the issue with both EV and ICE is whether you may be faced with more in a short period.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Engineer Andy

<< It's the reason why there isn't a big second hand market for household electrical goods like fridges, freezers, ovens and washing machines >>

I don't think so. I'm sure most owners don't think of replacing their domestic white goods unless they fail completely; and the reason for that is they have no emotional attachment to them in the way many have to their cars. Plus the fact that cars are a visible status symbol, nothing like a fridge or an oven.

Lots of white goods on Facebook Marketplace...(You can sell anything there)

Not broken ones that need fixing. In my estimation, 75-90% of the time, people get rid of such goods because they've broken and aren't economic to repair or can risk spending 2/3rds to 3/4 of their value for a product that is within (or already beyond) its expected end of life.

A few people will be offloading their old unit when moving to a new home where it either doesn't fit the space or there's already an inbuilt unit in place. Either way, they mostly go for peanuts, except for a few brand new units that are unwanted by well-off people who don't like them for some reason.

When I moved into my flat, the couple selling it to me sweetened the deal by throwing in their existing fridge, freezer and some of the curtains, as they were moving to a house on the same development with a fully integrated kitchen and the curtains didn't fit.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - bolt

The problem with EVs is that certain very expensive parts (motors of that power will be) will fail with little to no warning and will require chaning, not fixing, for the most part. They will eventually come down in price, but again, as in other posts, I think the time for EVs for mass market appeal is being brought forward way too soon, 25+ years, possibly more.

IMO you have more chance of the electronics failing with one component than a Motor packing up, unless the bearings go wrong which will be about the only parts that can go wrong if the motor is well made

I also think Hybrids are going to rule for several years until they come up with better storage capacity batteries, which seems harder than was expected

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - alan1302

I also think Hybrids are going to rule for several years until they come up with better storage capacity batteries, which seems harder than was expected

A few of the battery makes are coming up with ones that are ok for 400/500 miles - seems they are where they need to be capacity wise with those.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - bolt

I also think Hybrids are going to rule for several years until they come up with better storage capacity batteries, which seems harder than was expected

A few of the battery makes are coming up with ones that are ok for 400/500 miles - seems they are where they need to be capacity wise with those.

Is that with taking into account cold days where you need heated screens and interior heater plus lights for miles, as, afaik they quote 500 miles without any other use of power?

Lights could be an exception as they will use led lights

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

Department of Transport survey 2019 - the average number of car journeys made by a person over 100 miles is approx 7 pa.

This is a simple average - it may be that 80% of people almost never take a journey of 100 miles - the 20% who do may take 35.

There are clearly some for whom range anxiety will remain a major issue - but for most it is increasingly an incidental consideration. The average mileage of 200 miles per week means that most would need to charge their vehicle only once (sometimes twice) a week.

35% of households have more than one car - these could easily have EV + ICE

For the limited number of people who either genuinely need, or have convinced themselves that ICE is the only option, you will still be able to buy a new one for the next 15 years, and a s/h one for probably 10 years thereafter.

No need to worry either way - the market will decide. But be aware that regulation and legislation is likely to make EV more attractive relative to ICE until EV have a substantial share of the market.

-

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - alan1302

I also think Hybrids are going to rule for several years until they come up with better storage capacity batteries, which seems harder than was expected

A few of the battery makes are coming up with ones that are ok for 400/500 miles - seems they are where they need to be capacity wise with those.

Is that with taking into account cold days where you need heated screens and interior heater plus lights for miles, as, afaik they quote 500 miles without any other use of power?

Lights could be an exception as they will use led lights

No that will be the max they can do - but for most people that will be more than enough. And if you are doing 400 miles in a day you will need to stop for a rest (and a charge up car and human) anyway.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - bolt

I also think Hybrids are going to rule for several years until they come up with better storage capacity batteries, which seems harder than was expected

A few of the battery makes are coming up with ones that are ok for 400/500 miles - seems they are where they need to be capacity wise with those.

Is that with taking into account cold days where you need heated screens and interior heater plus lights for miles, as, afaik they quote 500 miles without any other use of power?

Lights could be an exception as they will use led lights

No that will be the max they can do - but for most people that will be more than enough. And if you are doing 400 miles in a day you will need to stop for a rest (and a charge up car and human) anyway.

Most that do short journeys maybe, but a lot like a friend of mine travels from Cardiff to Central London and back in a day due to times of work, but he wont buy an EV because he has seen recovery vehicles move EVs from M4 due to flat batteries.

If the chargers are anything like I have been told about (Tesla for one) it could be an overnight stay, as not all are rapid chargers, especially if they dont talk to the car....

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - alan1302

I also think Hybrids are going to rule for several years until they come up with better storage capacity batteries, which seems harder than was expected

A few of the battery makes are coming up with ones that are ok for 400/500 miles - seems they are where they need to be capacity wise with those.

Is that with taking into account cold days where you need heated screens and interior heater plus lights for miles, as, afaik they quote 500 miles without any other use of power?

Lights could be an exception as they will use led lights

No that will be the max they can do - but for most people that will be more than enough. And if you are doing 400 miles in a day you will need to stop for a rest (and a charge up car and human) anyway.

Most that do short journeys maybe, but a lot like a friend of mine travels from Cardiff to Central London and back in a day due to times of work, but he wont buy an EV because he has seen recovery vehicles move EVs from M4 due to flat batteries.

If the chargers are anything like I have been told about (Tesla for one) it could be an overnight stay, as not all are rapid chargers, especially if they dont talk to the car....

That's a 300 mile round trip - and could be charged half way easily enough.

How did he know they were flat batteries being recovered?

Cars run of petrol/diesel on the motorway as well and need to be recovered - so he must not have one of those either?

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - Terry W

That someone you know drives more than 300-400 miles in a day is not the exception hat proves the rule.

We often (about monthly) do a trip to London and Hertfordshire from Somerset in a day trip - usually about 350-400 miles depending who we visit.

We have a second car - were it being replaced an EV may be a sensible option. As it is a 10 year old i10 with a value of ~£1500? and covers few miles there is little point in so doing.

From the Guardian - Penalising ice cars - edlithgow

I suppose I was assuming that an electric motor (a) was inherently reliable (b) was inherently simple and thus relatively cheap (c) was inherently easy to either repair or swap out for a (possibly remanufactured) replacement.

If any or all of these assumption are not valid, then, if the political will existed, they could be MADE valid.

We currently have a situation where legislation mandates small incremental improvements in IC engines at huge technical cost, and I believe (at least in Germany) the recyclability of materials and components is also regulated, yet AFAIK there is no control over MAINTAINABILITY, which could give much greater environmental benefits.

In fact governments are generally actively hostile to maintainability (Shameful Scrappage Scheme, anybody?). Ignoring the elephant in the room, the vested interest and lobbying power of vehicle manufacturers (Shameful Scrappage Scheme, anybody?), the environmental fig leaf for this is that maintaining old vehicles means the incremental improvements in new vehicles take longer to have a beneficial effect on the environment..

This fig leaf is MUCH MUCH smaller for electric vehicles. Even a politician (or an elephant) might be embarrassed to be seen wearing it.

A few vaguely-relevant examples.

My alternator is proving very difficult to dismantle and is probably not going to be repairable, yet other designs allow replacement of brushes, rectifier pack, etc without dismantling.

Shopping for a brake cylinder for my Renault 5, with the VIN number and full details of the car, the main dealer was unable to say which of a huge variety of manufactures and models was fitted as OEM.

Shopping for a brake cylinder for my Soviet era Lada, they only did one, and it was cheap.

I'm told this is due to the way free market consumer capitalism promotes freedom of choice and efficiency.

Re battery life, the bizniz model used here in Taiwan by Gogoro electric scooters is that you buy the vehicle but lease the use of the batteries, which you swap for charged ones at battery exchange centres. This means being stuck with an expensive dead battery isn't a concern. OTOH if the company goes bust you are stuck with an unusable asset, a risk for early adopters which I wouldn't have been prepared to take. They have been very successful though so I guess the danger point is passed.

Edited by edlithgow on 20/09/2020 at 04:47

 

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