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Chris Grayling Expects!

July 15, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Do politicians live on another planet?

The Mail reports on Chris Grayling’s latest piece of advice:



Diesel cars may still be the most sensible option for many families who drive long distances, the transport secretary Chris Grayling said yesterday.

Despite a pledge to see the end of petrol and diesel vehicles on UK roads by 2040, Mr Grayling said new diesels were not destined for the scrapheap just yet.

He said: ‘If you are doing long distances on the motorway, maybe the new generation of diesel engines are the right option for now.

‘My advice today is ask yourself what kind of motoring you are doing and find the right solution for it. If you live in a large town or if you are driving around in an urban area in a city in today’s world I would be encouraging people to buy an electric vehicle or a plug in hybrid.’

Mr Grayling also said it is ‘well worth’ people trading in their ‘old polluting vehicle’ for a new cleaner car if they can afford it.

Unveiling its ‘Road to Zero’ strategy to tackle air pollution, the Government said at least half and as many as 70 per cent of new cars should be ultra-low emission by 2030.


Of course, looking at your driving patterns is important in deciding between petrol and diesel, something most of us probably do already.

But does he not realise that hybrids cost a lot more than conventional cars? Does he think we’ve all got thousands of pounds sitting around to spend on a hybrid?





As for EVs, while they might be suitable for driving short distances round town, what does he suggest we do when we go off on that longer journey? Buy another car?

  1. Graeme No.3 permalink
    July 15, 2018 10:51 am

    Of course, looking at the facts is important in deciding between Chris Grayling and the alternative, something most of us probably do already.

    But does he not realise that his fantasies cost a lot more than conventional ones? Does he think we’ve all got thousands of pounds sitting around to spend on his fantasies?

    Mr Grayling also said it is ‘well worth’ people trading in their ‘old polluting politician’ for a new clearer thinking one if they can’t afford the old gullible.

    There, fixed the waffle.

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    July 15, 2018 11:06 am

    There is an upside to such talk. Encouraging those with extra cash to get a new car helps the less well-healed to afford a better used car.
    Just don’t do what the USA did and trash the ones being replaced — see Cash for Clunkers. That just destroys wealth.

    We could do with a hybrid — in about 7 years. We’ll be driving about 20 miles per week then.
    Getting old is not for sissies.

  3. Adrian permalink
    July 15, 2018 11:35 am

    Paul, can you explain how the so called hybrids can actually be more economical?

    Has physics changed, does it no longer take the same energy to move given mass a given distance? I expect not. So how come?

    After all in addition to an engine, a hybrid has to carry a heavy battery. Converting petrol to electricity then to motive energy cannot be more efficient than direct conversion to motive power. Hence a hybrid is heavier, requires more energy to move. So how?

    Absorption of braking energy?? Well this is a real bonus but it ain’t gonna be a lot unless you drive like a cretin and therefore could be gained in an ordinary vehicle by driving in an economic way, brakes should hardly be used if you are driving correctly and allowing the vehicle to slow on its own. So how?

    Well it isn’t is it, the mass of extra ‘bits’ is hardly likely to be compensated by a few tiny braking savings.

    So how do they become magic?? I suspect it’s simple, the ‘rules’ for calculating fuel consumption for these stupid vehicles. Like those for emissions they will be subverted.

    I am happy to be wrong (it happened once). Can someone tell me?

    I mean how really more efficient is the average Prius??

    • Colin permalink
      July 15, 2018 2:20 pm

      The discrepency between real world fuel consumption and the government figures becomes enormous with hybrids.

    • Roger Graves permalink
      July 15, 2018 3:53 pm

      The only way that I am aware of that a hybrid could be (not necessarily would be, but could be) more efficient than a simple internal combustion/mechanical transmission drive system is if the IC engine were used solely for battery charging. In such cases the drive would be full-time electric, powered by a large battery, and the IC engine would be used solely to drive a generator which feeds the battery. In this case the IC engine can be a constant speed/constant torque device operating in its most efficient regime, as opposed to the direct drive case in which the IC engine has to operate over a wide range of speeds and torques.

      However, I am unaware of any hybrid which operates in this mode. All hybrids that I am aware of use the IC engine, in whole or in part, for direct vehicle power, so I suspect that such vehicles are less efficient than direct mechanical drive vehicles.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        July 16, 2018 11:08 am

        This is exactly what I have always thought, IC engines have a “sweet spot” which can be really be taken advantage of with that design.
        So, why is nobody using it?
        IC Generators like Hondas run at fixed speeds, so why not an IC generator in car, the engine can also be very small to just drive the generator.

  4. TinyCO2 permalink
    July 15, 2018 12:47 pm

    People who expect to use their car for more than three years would be unwise to choose diesel because we can’t rely on the whims of MPs and councils. There are plenty of congestion charging or emissions tax plans in the pipeline (pun intended).

    • Stonyground permalink
      July 15, 2018 4:55 pm

      How do you know that petrol cars are not going to be next to be over taxed on trumped up charges? Twenty years on it could well be electric cars that are being taxed off the road when it dawns on the idiot politicians how bad for the environment the batteries are. They can have the keys to my diesel Korando when they prise them from my cold dead fingers.

      • TinyCO2 permalink
        July 15, 2018 5:50 pm

        They have a double wammy in for diesels because of local pollution. They won’t stop you driving it, they’ll just bump up the taxes till you won’t want to. They think they’ll do the same with petrol but we might hope the CO2 hysteria has died or the public have kicked out the green parasites before that happens.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        July 16, 2018 11:11 am

        It is not the “bad for environment” aspect that will bring the big taxes, it is the loss of Tax Revenue on Fossil Fuels.
        The Government would loss a massive amount in taxes because there is very little on Electricity.

  5. July 15, 2018 5:23 pm

    In Calgary, Canada, we noticed the Smart car surge about 10 years ago. Was it a sign of the new conscientious belief system of the nation? No. The so-small-it’s-stupid movement was just pretentious virtue-signaling – and a visible demonstration of wealth.
    Small cars here do exist – for the 2 or 3 car family. Or because cheap cars for the less wealthy are small (and foreign). What people want are heavy SUVs – safe and good for a family with a lot of stuff – and pickup trucks (check national stats). Useful? Well, by not the pristine condition they are in. And Calgary is no longer the oil/gas dominated town (thanks to Greens and Trudeau), so forget the “culture” excuse.
    People want safe, impressive vehicles because they are safe and impressive. Also comfortable and safe on highway travel. And carry lots of stuff. Small, ecoconscious cars are for urban ecos who don’t leave their suburban environments. And the rich, who have 3: an SUV for the family, a sportscar for fun, and a hybrid for runing around and extolling its low energy. Forgetting the other 2 vehicles – the baseload transport (like coal fir electricity)!

    • Stonyground permalink
      July 15, 2018 7:11 pm

      My virtue signalling eco car is a bicycle. In the last five years I have clocked up over ten thousand miles, mostly commuting. It takes skill and nerves of steel to mix it with rush hour traffic and most of the cycle paths are of poor quality. Improving facilities for cyclists would be a fairly obvious policy for any government that wanted to appear to be green. Unfortunately there would be resistance from non cyclists who seem to believe that cyclists are totally exempt from paying taxes.

      • HotScot permalink
        July 15, 2018 11:57 pm


        “Unfortunately there would be resistance from non cyclists who seem to believe that cyclists are totally exempt from paying taxes.”

        And they’re not? No tax, insurance or MOT for cycles as far as I’m aware, not even a compulsion for mirrors cars are festooned with. Some VAT on purchase, but that’s about it. Meanwhile, taxpayers have to foot the bill for Lower Thames Street in London, amongst others, a congestion choke point because half the highway is given up to a cycle lane which is barely occupied.

        It takes nerves of steel to negotiate traffic because most cyclist are oblivious to that fact that there is a section in the highway code devoted to them. The defiant, ‘hit me if you dare, lest I sue you because I know I’ll win because I’m a cyclist’ is endemic amongst commuting cyclist’s

        Then there’s the pavement cyclist’s who don’t give a damn that they shouldn’t be on them, and the Zebra crossing warriors who entirely fail to comprehend that crossings are meant for pedestrians, not cyclist’s. They are arrogant and stupid enough to believe the law will protect them because they are an a bike, when it is a PEDESTRIAN crossing, not a cycle crossing. Get off the damn bike and push it across! But that would be just to inconvenient for them.

        The world does not owe cyclists a favour! If you wan’t to ride a bike in modern traffic, good for you, but don’t make car drivers out as villains when you guys don’t have a clue what’s going on around you.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 15, 2018 7:24 pm

    There’s no point trying to back-pedal and restore confidence in diesel cars now. The fake pollution claims have done the damage, provided the excuses. The political field has been set. With individual cities banning or charging extra for ‘polluting’ vehicles, it all gets too complicated worrying about the age of your car etc. Normal people can’t buy multiple vehicles for different types of journey. The choice is essentially electric or petrol, electric effectively only suitable for people who use their car for local commuting/shopping. But ironically, as new/second hand diesels will get cheap quick, especially compared to electric cars, I suspect that there will actually be a surge in their popularity regardless, and this will undermine the take up of electric cars for 15 years longer than would otherwise have been the case. By which time the Emperor will probably be displaying his crown jewels to all but the most blinkered eco-loons anyway.

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