Honest John’s Motoring Agony Column 18-8-2018 Part 2

Published 17 August 2018

Click back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 18-8-2018 Part 1

 

Power to the people

You think EVs will require lots of new nuclear power stations? That is not so. We already have (just about) the ability to generate enough electricity to recharge 16 million EVs without building more power stations. My Nissan Leaf does 4+ miles per kWh. So 16 million similar cars doing the average 40 miles per day will use 10kWh each, and the total energy required to recharge them all is 16 million x 10kWh = 160GWh per day. The power needed to recharge them all will be 160GWh / 6h = 26.7GW. There will be some energy losses, so make that 30GW of required power capacity. The present maximum power generation capacity is 55GW (www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk), and the present night-time maximum load is 25GW, daytime 35GW. Therefore we could already cope with half the UK car pool of 32 million being EVs and recharging mostly overnight and sometimes during the day. Some infrastructure improvements will clearly be necessary but they can be made incrementally. EVs are great to drive and cheap to run: electricity costs 4p/mile against petrol at 20p/mile. The more EVs, and the sooner, the better for everyone. Do not worry - we can cope.

CB, via email

Thank you for the detail, but what about everything else running on electricity during the winter while electric cars are taking more than half of the supply? As well as that, 50% of the UK’s electricity is still generated using fossil fuel that gives the average electric car running on it a CO2 emission of 120g/km (not tailpipe; at the power station itself). The latest petrol-engined cars are beating that, so there is still a future for them for travelling distances, as well as for petrol hybrids and plug-in petrol hybrids, while diesel will continue to be the most energy efficient solution for heavy goods vehicles for many years to come.

Audi TTRS 2016 Roadster F34 Llake 

TT time

When I was working I travelled from Cornwall to Northumberland and the west coast of Wales and also had four large teenagers when on leave, so I drove cars like the VW Passat or the Peugeot 405. Then, when I retired, I thought I would save money with a Volvo V40, but it is incredibly boring. Now, as we only need a two-seater, for more fun I am considering an Audi TT automatic roadster. I do not want an exceptionally low seat, so are there any other makes that I should also consider please? My husband has a Nissan X-Trail 4-wheel drive for when the weather is bad as we live down a country lane in the Cotswolds, so the new car can be mainly for summer fun.

GS, via email

The current model Audi TT roadster is very good and not blustery to drive with the top down: /road-tests/audi/audi-ttrs-roadster-2016-road-test/ (You can get much lower powered versions than this one: /road-tests/audi/audi-tt-roadster-2015-road-test/) The previous TT roadster was terrible: like an endurance test. Alternatives include the Mazda MX-5 and FIAT 124 Spider, but there's not much room inside. Maybe a used BMW Z4 or Mercedes CLK/SLK, both of which have electric folding hard tops.

 

That’ll be the dry

I currently own a manual Golf 1.4 TSI SE, which I am thinking of replacing with an automatic Golf 1.5 TSI EVO SE and was wondering if the DSG fitted to the new Golf is now reliable?

AC, via email

http://www.ecutesting.com said the DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG had been improved in 2016, but we are waiting to see evidence of this. None so far, but 2016 was only 2 years ago and the complaints still roll in over earlier DQ200 DSGs: /carbycar/volkswagen/golf-vii-2013/?section=good / Ford has now ditched this type of dry clutch DCT entirely in favour of torque converter automatics. Hyundai/KIA seem to manage to make a dry clutch 7-DCT that is trouble-free.

Kia Optima SW Side Red

Staycation-wagon

I presently have a 10-year old SAAB 9-3 estate and want to change to something of a similar size but with a petrol/electric hybrid drive but not a plug-in. What would you advise and are there any pitfalls?

RD, via email

Your choice boils down to a Toyota Auris hybrid Touring Sports: /carbycar/toyota/auris-touring-sports-2013/ Plug in hybrids extend the choice to a KIA Optima PHEV Sportswagom: /carbycar/kia/optima-sportswagon-2016/ Or a VW Passat GTE (PHEV) estate: /carbycar/volkswagen/passat-gte-2016/ As far as I know the Ford Mondeo hybrid only ever came as a Vignale saloon.

 

Gearshocks

Two weeks’ ago, my 6-year-old 999cc Focus Titanium X (only 17,700 miles), developed a low frequency knock. There had been no warning and nothing to suggest what had happened. I rang my Ford dealer on Saturday, but they could do nothing until Monday and, as they are 15 miles away, I had the car uplifted and taken in. I was told that there was a fault in the transmission but that it would be more cost-effective to fit a new Transaxle Assembly. They attributed the fault to road damage and later showed me the old part, with a small hole, through which, they thought, metal had entered the transmission also causing a loss of oil. Being somewhat over a barrel, I agreed for the work to be done. It cost a total of £2,337.13. At no time had I been aware of any impact from the road, although potholes are everywhere and, furthermore, there was no oil on my driveway. I spoke to my Insurers, Aviva, to see if this event was claimable and they sent an engineer both to the dealer, to inspect the removed part and then to my home address to look at the car. He dismissed the suggestion of road damage and thought it likely that the there was an inherent fault.  Therefore. I have not made a claim. (Incidentally, if they had reimbursed me, my Premium would have gone up 60% and my No Claim bonus reduced from 12 to 3 years.) I have informed the dealer of the Insurer’s opinion and that I think Ford might be approached for a contribution. What should I do please?

RK, via email

Pursue it further with Ford via the dealer. You paid upfront to have the repair carried out in “good faith”. Your insurer rejected a claim for damage and stated there must have been a fault with the transmission. I'd better add that even though the Focus has a far from clean record, and plenty of clutch and DMF failures, we have not heard of this issue before: /carbycar/ford/focus-2011/?section=good /

Vauxhall Astra Twintop Top Down Side 

Double top

At present I am driving a 2007/57 Vauxhall Astra Design Twintop automatic 1,800cc. Hopefully I will soon be in receipt of my veterans Motability allowance and will be able to have a new car. I would like one similar to my present car: a twintop or canvas, automatic, petrol with cruise control and parking sensors (which I need due to my disability). I understand that Vauxhall no longer produces a Twintop. Could you advise me please?

CB, via email

No four-seater hard top convertibles any longer apart from the BMW 4-Series, which is hardly a Motability car. So it will mean a more vulnerable soft top. The Astra Twintop was replaced by the Vauxhall Cascada convertible that is still listed with a 1.6 turbo petrol engine and 6-speed torque converter auto: /carbycar/vauxhall/cascada-2013/ I refuse to recommend anything VAG under 2.0 litres with VAG's disastrous DQ200 7-speed dry clutch DSG transmission, so that puts Audi A3s and VW Golfs out of the picture. You could go for a DS3 1.2 Puretech 130 EAT6 with an electric canvas roof. A FIAT 500C Dualogic is not recommended because the Dualogic automated manual is awful. No more Peugeot 308CCs or Renault Megane CCs.

 

Datablank 

I’m looking for a definitive honest website that, when a car’s VIN is fed in, will identify exactly which emission standard my car is. This would enable buyers to find out about a prospective purchase, rather than have to email the maker and await a reply. I checked my V5C and my copy does not list this, though understand later issues do so for other owners.

FMS, via email 

I take your point entirely, but I don't know how this could be compiled. Perhaps it might be a suggestion for the DVSA on a fee-based access system so DVSA could make some money from it. But if they don't already have the data I don't know how they could compile it. We are talking about 35,000,000 pieces of vehicle data here.

Renault Espace 2002-2012 R34 

No free lunch

After multiple years enjoying Renault’s Espace, without any problems, no doubt I would have again continued if this model had been available in the UK. Each change of vehicle had enjoyed a ‘free first service’ per normal routine. Now I have changed to a new Jaguar F-Pace at a local dealership, without any discount, I was also advised I shall have to pay for a first service. In the ‘Renault days’ I always changed engine oil every 3,000 miles and filter every alternate change without ever having any problems and keeping a log of all service details. When I ordered the Jaguar first service, at less than 4,000 miles, I emphasised my ‘free’ expectations to the service personnel and again to a second assistant when the invoice was raised – while the service itself waste three hours of my time. On further checking I understand a courtesy car is available thus saving three hours of my time waiting while the service was carried out. All the information I should have been aware was not at my disposal, resulting in me being completely displeased. Offering to wash my car is interesting but never was it explained who has to pay for these extravagances.       

ADB, via email

No, no free first services any more. What is even more scandalous is buyers who take up service plans don’t get any oil changes for 2 years. If you ask for one on an Audi it's £200 - £250. Ask for one on a BMW, it's £300 +. That's for an oil change that costs me £50 for 'fully' synthetic, properly drained, new sump plug washer and a fresh filter. The car gets it at least every 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) and the guy who runs the lube shop puts his old reminder stickers on the window of his office. So after an oil change at 520,000 kilometres a customer was advised to have the next by 528,000 kilometres. Lots of stickers with similar kilometres. I can only conclude that Audi and BMW don't want their cars to last so they can sell the customer another one every 6 years.

Alfa Giulietta F34 In Shade

Alfaholic

I bought an Alfa Giulietta 1.6TD TCT at 1 year old with 3,000 miles for £12,750. I have now got to know it very well. It is really a good machine and I find it difficult to respect the speed limits. The TCT is a delight and I can understand why Alfa are promoting the auto box. Indeed, why anyone would go for a manual box is beyond me. One thing I did notice recently is that in Sport mode the steering becomes heavier. What is the logic behind that?

JHG, via email

The heavier steering is supposed to feel more 'sporty'. It's entirely fake. Not real steering 'feel'. But don’t let that stop you enjoying the car. Giulietta TCT tested here: /road-tests/alfa-romeo/alfa-romeo-giulietta-tct-2012-road-test/

 

People power

There’s absolutely no need for nuclear power stations to be built.  Electric cars need to be sold with a solar installation for the owner’s home or commitment to contribute to a mass industrial installation locally. The 4 kW panel set I have will offer be up to 24,000 miles per year and, since most of us drive considerably less than that, the house bills for electricity will be reduced by around £750 a year. A battery pack is now available for the solar panels, so you can charge your car overnight after a sunny day. On top of this a couple of the new solar tile wrapped panels on the car and solar generation glass for windows and most cars will charge themselves while we are at work. My journey in a fossil fuel car uses petrol at between 33mpg and 77mpg depending on the historical choice of car: everything from Focus Ecoboost to Mustang and F-Type. I’m a petrol head.  Meanwhile, in an electric car, with regeneration, I actually only use 17 miles of energy to cover the 25 miles home. So think about that for a moment. My house can have free electricity and I only actually need about 6 or 7 kW a day even without a panel on the car roof, so the other 25 kW a day goes to the grid, my hot water supply or storage heating. We engineers need to help idiot politicians understand how to easily make massive strides in saving the planet almost overnight. By comparison it takes 6 years to build a power station and eternity to suffer the consequences of radiation pollution. Having tried all the electric and hybrid cars available over significant mileages in the last ten years or so, I found the best compromise Nissan Leaf, any Tesla or Vauxhall’s Ampera. The Vauxhall has sprightly performance off the line for a normal car, amazingly low running costs and is refined regardless of kind of journey you attempt. The Nissan and Tesla are both brilliant business tools and commuting vehicles, but my annual trips to Scotland are a step too far in an electric car to justify multiple charging sessions from the South East. But how often do most people travel such distances? Most of us go to work, visit family and go shopping, plus the odd airport trip. None of this presents a challenge for a modern electric car. Other hybrids mostly use wasteful CVT transmissions, which are fine in a gentle controlled environment, but in a world of roundabouts and traffic light zones making up most of my 25 miles of commuting and the many thousands of miles I drive on holiday, are a total nightmare. CVT boxes combine with electric torque very badly and I found you got a jerky pull away and massively delayed response to throttle commands as well as poor fuel economy compared with modern petrol and diesel turbos. The Toyota is frustratingly out of date despite its looks, and the Hyundai and KIA are plain painful. Neither are cheap to run. The BMW ‘i’ and ‘e’ ranges sound great, but mostly make you feel sick and will save you nothing in the long run as the brand continues to struggle with engine reliability and basic quality issues, plus a spate of recent fires. Similarly Mercedes, VW and Audi have nothing sensible to offer the enthusiastic motorist. Electric motors offer 100% torque instantly and infinite braking effective with regeneration. So ABS and EBD and ESP are obsolete as we know them. Simplifying the complexity of manufacturing and servicing. Increasing reliability. The sooner engine plants are converted to manufacturing wheel hub electric motors, the sooner we will have zero emission travel.

WS, via email

Many thanks for your interesting email and for the corrections you have made to my assumptions. But, like all zealots, you miss a few things. You are talking about yourself and I guess you live in your own nice house and can make the modifications necessary to it to install solar panels and a power point for your car. Most people do not live like this. They rent and or live in apartments or live in cities where there is either insufficient or no off street parking with power points and the amount of roofspace capable of taking solar panels can in no way match the need for power if everyone had an electric car. So the very place where electric cars make the most sense is the worst place for supplying them with 'personal' solar power. You also make significant errors about the use of cars. True, most people’s average journeys are within the range of an electric car. Mine certainly aren't. I have to make regular 300 mile journeys to visit an aged relative and last week alone, two 80 mile and two 150 mile journeys to and from car launches. On the latter of these, two guys were in Leafs and were worried about having to stop on their return journeys to recharge their cars. Time is money, so even if they could charge the cars sufficiently in half an hour, that's half an hour gone from their working days and if they had to wait while someone else charged their Leaf in front of them, that's another half hour, so a whole hour lost. A solicitor would charge £240 in VAT for that. You obviously weren't out on the roads yesterday because you were writing your diatribe, but at least 10,000,000 people were, many of them making long distance journeys north to south, south to north, east to west, west to east. If half of them needed to stop and recharge their electric cars for half an hour, based on 10 hours, that would require 250,000 charging points where, unlike petrol forecourts, where a fill takes 5 minutes, these people would be stuck for at least half an hour or as much as 3 - 4 hours if they had to wait in a queue. You mention the Ampera. That is actually a hybrid, like the BMW i3 with range assist. I've driven all of these cars, and the hydrogen fuelled Honda Clarity, Hyundai Borrego and Toyota Mirai. These might eventually make sense. You mention solar panels on cars. The range provided by the solar panel on the roof of a Plug-in Prius is 412 mile a year in London, 719 miles in Rome. You lump the KIA Niro and Hyundai Ioniq along with the Toyotas as having CVTs. They don't. They have DCTs that give direct drive on hills. And both Toyota and Honda are in the process of developing next generation petrol hybrids to arrive next year. Hybrids far exceed pure electric cars on the World market and offer the best solution for most people. Not for people living in suburbs who never need to travel very far. But for most people.

Click back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 18-8-2018 Part 1

Comments

   on 18 August 2018

In response to FMS's emissions database query, I wonder how the various European governments are able to allocate the correct emissins vignette to every car owner who applies? They must each have some kind of database, which shows it is do-able.

RAV4 Owner    on 18 August 2018

The person defending electric cars hasn't thought about the problem in macro terms.

The electricity required to replace all the energy consumed by diesel and petrol engines in Cars, Taxis and Light Vans in the UK is 125 TWH*. The UK's Total Electricity Demand in 2016 was 357 TWH (357,000,000,000 KWH). Going all-electric adds at least 35% to the nation's electricity output and this is the immutable obstacle preventing the elimination of fossil fuel vehicles by centrally-generated power.
Source: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/electricity-chapt...s

The efficiencies achievable by various power station types used in the UK are: Coal - 42%, Gas Turbine - 38%, Nuclear - 38%
www.brighthubengineering.com/power-plants/72369-co.../

Every KWH of electricity produced takes the equivalent of up to 2.5KWH of energy in the raw state (coal, gas, oil, etc). When this is factored in the overall efficiency of the electric car falls to roughly the same as that of a diesel vehicle (36% vs 35%).

*Calculation requires these sources.

2015 Total Petrol Used by UK Cars, Taxis and Light Vans 11.9 M tonnes
2015 Total Diesel Used by UK Cars, Taxis and Light Vans 16.2 M tonnes
Source: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/env01-...n

Calorific value of petrol (weighted average) = 46.2 GJ / tonne. Calorific value of diesel = 45.3 GJ / tonne
Source: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/dukes-calorific-v...s

Typical diesel car is 35% efficient, typical petrol car is 27% efficient.
Source: www.whatcar.com/advice/buying/do-i-choose-petrol-o.../

Electric Cars can be up to 90% efficient overall charge-discharge cycle
Source: www.catalyticengineering.com/top-ten-facts-about-t.../

They need to go back to the drawing board: maybe hydrogen cells or miniature nuclear reactors but not this. It can not work.

carl_a    on 18 August 2018

You have some valid points but your energy mix data is out of date. Coal is now a tiny part of the UK energy mix. You can even check out the latest data here gridwatch.co.uk

You're also comparing whole energy usage of an EV to just what a ICE car consumes after its been filled. To get the fuel to the petrol station uses a huge amount of energy.

Electric cars will be the most popular within the next 10 years. Hybrids will be worthwhile for some but the added complexity and weight will mean that this option will an expensive one.

WillZander    on 18 August 2018

Or install the Android app "GridCarbon" which provides an up to date analysis of consumption and breakdown. As of now 15:37 0n the 18th Wind at 26%, Nuclear at 25% Gas at 24% Solar 10% Coal is at 0.1%

Edited by WillZander on 18/08/2018 at 15:27

Chris James    on 18 August 2018

You have some valid points but your energy mix data is out of date. Coal is now a tiny part of the UK energy mix. You can even check out the latest data here gridwatch.co.uk

You're also comparing whole energy usage of an EV to just what a ICE car consumes after its been filled. To get the fuel to the petrol station uses a huge amount of energy.

Electric cars will be the most popular within the next 10 years. Hybrids will be worthwhile for some but the added complexity and weight will mean that this option will an expensive one.

The biggest problem is not just the generation but largely with the distribution of this Electricity both nationally and locally, if you think about how many fuel pumps there are in an average petrol station and replace each pump with a fast charger, you will be looking at the demand of 12 x 50kw or 12x 100kw fast chargers and that is 600kw - 1200kw of demand per petrol station which is roughly the same capacity of a medium sized manufacturing facility or a reasonably sized housing estate, multiply that for every petrol station in the Town and the requirement for several new substations and some serious upgrading of overhead lines feeding the Town immediately becomes obvious. This equates to £ billions of infrastructure investment, and if you really think that this isn't going to be added to either our standing charges or cost of Electricity (or both) then you are deluded - we still have the £11 billion cost of the smart meter roll out to foot the bill for yet!. Of course any increase in Electricity costs in relation to massive infrastructure and street capacity upgrades also means the domestic cost of lighting & heating homes also increases, whether you have an EV or not.

There is also the thought that the reason that the Government have such an hard on for installing smart meters, is because they soon want to levy the full 20% VAT on the car charging aspect of your energy use, or a higher per kw/h cost for the Electricity consumed by the car charging point, both of which will eventually enable them to claw back the pro-rata slice of the £27 Billion revenue it will be losing as the years pass by in tax and duty losses from the drop in conventional forecourt fuel sales. They can't do this with conventional metering. Lets not forget that the Government are not Saints or your Mum and so they are really not looking after your best interests, so beware of being told that something is being done for your betterment, whether its selling you an EV or installing a Smart Meter!.

Of course there is the more practical aspect of EV's like where to plug the things in, millions of houses don't have driveways and street park bumper to bumper. so inevitably there will be extension leads draped over garden hedges and down garden paths and crossing the pavements to their street parked cars, how long before somebody walking past or pushing a pram trips and puts an 'injury' claim in against the householder and the ambulance chasers begin to cash in on the 'risk'?. You watch our house insurance premiums triple when they begin covering the outlay of such claims!.

Any thoughts that there will be a charging point on every lamp post on every street or on every bin on A road layby's is simply laughable, around here the Highways can't even keep our streetlights maintained and the Council struggle to reliably empty our bins every two weeks, let alone fit, maintain and annually safety test thousands of street charging points, the cost of which is also likely to eventually be added to the charging cost!.

All in all, the current costs of charging EV's are to lure people in to giving up their existing cars and buying them, just the same as they did with diesels and once there are a few million EV's in daily use, just like with the diesel example, you watch the costs escalate as everybody in the charging point and energy companies want an ever bigger piece of the action as will the Government through taxing them.

Add all of these potential variable costs to any monthly battery lease charge (which somebody will still be paying even when the car is several years old and worth very little) and it won't be many years before the EV owners are all fondly reminiscing about how much cheaper those petrol and diesel cars were to run.....

Edited by Chris James on 18/08/2018 at 22:29

carl_a    on 20 August 2018

All in all, the current costs of charging EV's are to lure people in to giving up their existing cars and buying them, just the same as they did with diesels and once there are a few million EV's in daily use, just like with the diesel example, you watch the costs escalate as everybody in the charging point and energy companies want an ever bigger piece of the action as will the Government through taxing them.

Add all of these potential variable costs to any monthly battery lease charge (which somebody will still be paying even when the car is several years old and worth very little) and it won't be many years before the EV owners are all fondly reminiscing about how much cheaper those petrol and diesel cars were to run.....

Monthly leases, only one EV has that, the rest are fully owned battery packs.

As for the cost of running an EV, it's not really any cheaper when you factor in deprciation because you're paying more in the first place for the vehicle. Road Tax may be free on an EV but you pay more for insurance.

Infrastructure will come, it won't be petrol pump replacements, it'll be a lots smarter and in places where the car is left for some time. As for home charging, most home chargers will be smart in the coming years, I have one installed at my house and the charge can be controlled by the grid.

I don't remember anyone luring me in to buying a diesel and the government didn't either. Anyone that had read up on these things years ago knew that diesel wasn't good for the environment bar Co2 output. Diesel depended on your situation, if you were a company car driver or someone doing mega miles it may have made sense. As someone that did 15k miles a year, a diesel was more expensive so I always purchased petrol. Lots of people should have got their calculators out

Mike Madin    on 18 August 2018

Ecosport Owner
And not a mention anywhere yet, in the above,
on the millions of $ it costs every day (and the carbon emmisions from the big diesels in the mining equipment) to mine the materials necessary to produce all the components for these electric/hybrids. This cost will be on going, as you don't just have to make them once.

The words Swings and Roundabouts springs to mind


carl_a    on 18 August 2018

Quite correct, what about the millions of $ it costs to extract the oil, pump, refine and transport it, on those hugh diesel ships all over the planet each day.

The costs will be ongoing, as you don't just have to supply fuel once and it can't be recycled like EV parts.

Chris James    on 18 August 2018

Quite correct, what about the millions of $ it costs to extract the oil, pump, refine and transport it, on those hugh diesel ships all over the planet each day.

The costs will be ongoing, as you don't just have to supply fuel once and it can't be recycled like EV parts.

And how do you think Lithium gets transported from Mines in Australia to the Battery Manufacturers?, and how to do think that the finished batteries get transported to all of the Car plants around the world, given that Lithium batteries are banned from Air Cargo on safety grounds?.

They are transported on the same cargo ships that transport oil, those 50 year old vessels powered by huge banks of marine diesel engines which still burn a raw, unrefined form of diesel containing sulphur and zero emissions controls fitted to their stacks, so your point is kind of moot really, given how much pollution these wonderful 'green' car battery packs have contributed to the environment before they have even been fitted to the EV

carl_a    on 20 August 2018

They are transported on the same cargo ships that transport oil, those 50 year old vessels powered by huge banks of marine diesel engines which still burn a raw, unrefined form of diesel containing sulphur and zero emissions controls fitted to their stacks, so your point is kind of moot really, given how much pollution these wonderful 'green' car battery packs have contributed to the environment before they have even been fitted to the EV

Yes but it only happens once!

Honestjohn    on 18 August 2018

Explained here with a link to the site that explains how the Crit Air stickers are allocated: www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/green-motoring/2018-08/o.../

BrendanP    on 18 August 2018

My diesel costs about 4.5 pence/mile for fuel, then I have to pay another 6 pence/mile to the government in taxes and VAT. EVs only appear to have low fuel costs because fossil fuel costs are grossly inflated by being taxed so heavily. Do folk really believe future governments aren't going to start taxing the use of an EV to recoup what they take in fuel duty? Why do you think they want to roll out smart meters? So when you plug your car in to charge it, they can interrogate it, read how many miles it has done since the last charge, and slap a mileage levy onto your electricity bill. The problem with EV charging isn't a lack of generating capacity, it's a lack of capacity in the local distribution system. The local sub-station and underground cabling isn't rated for everyone plugging in their cars to charge every night, in addition to what they already consume.

carl_a    on 20 August 2018

My diesel costs about 4.5 pence/mile for fuel, then I have to pay another 6 pence/mile to the government in taxes and VAT. EVs only appear to have low fuel costs because fossil fuel costs are grossly inflated by being taxed so heavily. Do folk really believe future governments aren't going to start taxing the use of an EV to recoup what they take in fuel duty? Why do you think they want to roll out smart meters? So when you plug your car in to charge it, they can interrogate it, read how many miles it has done since the last charge, and slap a mileage levy onto your electricity bill. The problem with EV charging isn't a lack of generating capacity, it's a lack of capacity in the local distribution system. The local sub-station and underground cabling isn't rated for everyone plugging in their cars to charge every night, in addition to what they already consume.

Smart meters will never know home much charge goes into your car. The charger itself will be the smart part. Of course the government will start charging, they'll start road charging at some pointbut that isn't how it is now.

Capacity in the system, national grid have been interviewed many times on this, it'll be fine.

BrendanP    on 20 August 2018

The meter doesn't need to know how much charge is going into your EV, it just needs to find out the mileage so they can slap 6 or 7p/mile onto your bill. The local distribution system is the problem, not the national grid. If you have the time, go and find the transformer that supplies your house. It's probably tucked away in a corner in a fenced compound. With any luck you might be able to read the rating plate that tells you the size in kVA or MVA. Divide that by the number of homes it has to supply, then you'll know the average consumption each home can take without overloading the transformer. You may have an 80A fuse to your meter, but the transformer isn't sized to allow every consumer to draw 80A simultaneously.

MARK L.    on 24 August 2018

The sort of capacity and ability for most to switch to EV's is a very long way off according to my neighbour, who is an Infrastructure Manager for SSE.

Edited by MARK L. on 24/08/2018 at 15:32

Ian S Mccarthy    on 19 August 2018

Take a look at the IMF study on the total cost and subsidies of petrochemicals, including externalities

www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2015/09/28/04/53/sone...a

The argument that people don't have access to charging points is true but that is an rgument for partial substitution of evs and sharing evs for cities. NOT an argument for diesels

jchinuk    on 19 August 2018

For a lot of people, certainly in the UK, the biggest "problem" with recharging electric cars as their properties were either built without provision for cars(of any sort) or are flats.
Around here, East London, even estates built up to the 50s assumed most would not have a car, therefore the access is either 25+ yards from a road or completely pedistrian. Likewise more modern estates on gain planning permission by restricting parking spaces to less than one per household. Ironically one estate nearby has garages too small for a current Focus/Golf, so everyone tries to park on the road.
I think I'll buy shares in a company selling extension leads...

blackertracker    on 19 August 2018

Re: 'Datablank'.

The Vehicle Certification Agency supply emissions standard information at this UK government website: carfueldata.direct.gov.uk

Miniman777    on 20 August 2018

Emmisions checker - www.hpi.co.uk/content/diesel-news-the-future-of-di.../

Cant guarantee accuracy

Patrick Russell    on 21 August 2018

Emmisions checker - www.hpi.co.uk/content/diesel-news-the-future-of-di.../

Doesn't work. Registers my Euro 6 but 15 reg car as Euro 5.

carfueldata.direct.gov.uk/search-new-or-used-cars....x

Doesn't work either. Same basic assumptions on dates seem to be happening.

blackertracker    on 30 August 2018

Carfueldata works for my 2001 Golf, which is correctly identified as Euro 4 compliant. Unlike Transport for London, who blanket categorise cars by date of manufacture for the T-Charge and ULEZ charge.

madf    on 22 August 2018

I love it when people discuss EVs and talk about "charging at home"..Will not happen if you live in flats or houses with no secure access to the car.. So that's about half the population. And a charging station of the equivalent capacity as a petrol station on a motorway is going to need to be either multi-storey or take 5 times (or so) the current floor area to cater for the 30 minute charge times..

AND None - like none of the calculations of the UK's electricity capacity make ANY sense. The problem is winter when range decreases 10-20% and domestic consumption rises 10-20%.. Of course battery powered stations will help.. and cost £10Millions ++

Try again. In real world conditions and be frightened at the answers..

The real use for Smart Meters is for Variable Rate tariffs at peak times Fortunately mine does not work...and will not for a decade until the muppets who thought up the shambles have left and are replaced by someone with common sense.

Mark Wittler    on 24 August 2018

Actually charging solutions will likely develop fairly quickly. Street parking need not be an issue, wireless charging will improve or some similar alternative. With wireless you just park over a charging pad which could be buried under the road or rolled out when needed and connected to a post. Meantime even if 40% of cars dont have off street parking at home a large number WILL have at work. For the remainder rapid charging will improve to the point where it will happen quicker than your weekly shop - actually it already does. So the next step is speeds approaching filling an ICE car.

Edited by Mark Wittler on 24/08/2018 at 18:52

gordonbennet    on 24 August 2018

Whatever system is used to take the money from the motorist, be under no illusions that electric vehicles will stay cheap in pence per mile terms.

For those who have them currently, enjoy whatever benefits you believe you have because this situation isn't permanent.

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