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Electric vehicle fleet would require council tax hike, warns city councillor

November 22, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t John Cooknell

From In Cumbria;



Replacing all city council vehicles with an electric fleet would require a massive hike in council tax, a leading Carlisle councillor has warned.

Deputy leader Gareth Ellis urged his fellow councillors to be “realistic” about their demands to tackle climate change and to consider the practicalities as well as the cost involved in an earlier roll-out of the eco-friendly vehicles.

The city council has already declared a climate emergency and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030, but some campaigners want to bring this forward to 2025.

The authority has explored the idea of moving to an electric fleet in the next five years, which would cost between £15m and £20m, money that the cash-strapped authority simply does not have.

Councillor Ellis claimed that the only way to bring the project forward would be through a 15 to 18 per cent hike in council tax – an increase so great that it would require a district-wide referendum, a move that he did not recommend.

And it has been estimated that borrowing the money needed to fund the project would cost the council about £1m to £1.1m per year in interest repayments.

A meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Panel also heard that technology was “not ready” to meet practical demands, with some bin wagons likely to run out of juice halfway through their round.

He said: “There’s not just the cost involved: there’s the practicalities of it.

“If you pour enough money into it, you might be able to make it work in the immediate urban area, but it wouldn’t work miles away from the city.

“We did a projection of what the cost might be if we did replace our fleet earlier and it was between £15m and £25m.

“There is absolutely no way that we have this money spare in our capital budget, considering that we have £647,000 for the current replacement for this year.

“We had had demands for the council to bring climate changes responses earlier [and] to become carbon neutral by 2025.

“If we were to do that – if we were to replace our vehicle fleet and get that earlier – it would be an extra cost of between £15 and £25m.”

A standard mechanical sweeper, for example, cost around £65,000 while an electric equivalent would cost between £180,000 to £250,000.

He added that those who wanted this electric fleet operational in the next five years must first propose a referendum to increase council tax.

Carlisle has about 48,000 households, so £25m would work out at £520 each, merely to save a handful of emissions.

Somehow I think I know what a referendum would say!

  1. Coeur de Lion permalink
    November 22, 2019 2:08 pm

    Perhaps someone should explain to them the impact on global temperatures in 2100AD. Or at least blow this gaff to the putative taxpayers. Go long on yellow jackets. I have three in my car already.

  2. Michael Adams permalink
    November 22, 2019 2:28 pm

    Reality kicks in. It’ll be the same when ratepayers and tax payers wake up to what going carbon neutral means to their pocket. Watch for the backlash.

  3. November 22, 2019 2:29 pm

    A least there’s one councilor with a bit of commonsense. Heaven help anybody living in a district with a council which has a majority of Green Party councilors.

  4. DevonCamel permalink
    November 22, 2019 2:33 pm

    Declaring a climate emergency is so popular it seems. Just wait for the bill. £££££££

  5. Ian Magness permalink
    November 22, 2019 2:45 pm

    I hear they are considering the new Tesla Cybertrucks. Great idea – they are so practical for industrial use:

  6. charles wardrop permalink
    November 22, 2019 2:48 pm

    Time for a (Council) taxpayers’ s strike.

  7. Mack permalink
    November 22, 2019 2:53 pm

    Em, Cumbria. Pretty hilly, Jack Frost on speed dial and lots of white stuff in winter that modern children apparently won’t recognise. Well, if they come up with the cash, I am really looking forward to seeing their new batch of electric gritters bringing the entire county to it’s knees as they run out of juice one by one on the main arterial routes in the balmy weather for which the area is renowned.

    • roger permalink
      November 22, 2019 5:04 pm

      That arterial route involves Shap summit, frequently every winter the site of a losing battle by the gritters and snowploughs against freezing rain, frosts and blizzards.
      Imagine the squeals from the essen pee were Scotland to be cut off from the EUSSR for protracted periods of time!!

  8. Phil O'Sophical permalink
    November 22, 2019 3:41 pm

    Could someone in Carlisle tell us exactly where in Carlisle and when this climate emergency took place and how many were killed?

  9. jack broughton permalink
    November 22, 2019 3:41 pm

    Wouldn’t the referendum on spending be an interesting one?
    I know what my friends in Cumbria would say, but maybe the rest are a lot wealthier than they pretend to be.

    Suspect if bb is watching, the minitrue will regard this as doublespeakungood and Councillor Ellis will be an unperson or in the joycamp soon.

  10. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    November 22, 2019 3:47 pm

    Pick a nice green color.
    Paint all the vehicles.
    Paint a big ‘E’ [ yellow ?] on each.
    Claim to have gone green.
    Save lots of money.
    Have a party.

    I’d like 20% of the savings. Thanks.

  11. Pancho Plail permalink
    November 22, 2019 3:49 pm

    They will make a gesture, though, by upgrading the chief executive’s car from a conventionally fuelled Jaguar to the electric version.

  12. Windy Mike permalink
    November 22, 2019 4:23 pm

    This is the sort of ground up problem that is immensely cheering. When the groundswell of commonsense reality gets going, perhaps the blinkers will come off and we can start to forget all this nonsense.

  13. Ian Cook permalink
    November 22, 2019 4:29 pm

    Climate Change/Global Warming has been due to the ending of the mini Ice Age and the obvious rise in temperature that entails. This may be too sophisticated for UEA academics. It appears to have now halted. So there is nothing to cure (not that the proposed cure – destroy your economy seemed to be related to the environment). Whilst we could do with applying ourselves to drastically cutting back all the junk and pollution we produce, by finding technological solutions, fighting fairies at the bottom of the garden (climate change) is irrelevant.

  14. November 22, 2019 4:47 pm

  15. November 22, 2019 4:51 pm

    Biodiesel was all the rage for councils at one time.
    Of course proper trucks would have needed a big source
    ..I guess the local chippy waste oil would only power one for a couple of days.

    • dickgoodwin permalink
      November 22, 2019 10:53 pm

      Until it ruined a few engines.

  16. November 22, 2019 4:56 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  17. John189 permalink
    November 22, 2019 5:14 pm

    Earlier in this thread there is an excellent comment from Ian Cook which sums up succinctly my own view on this subject. I simply do not understand the rationale as to why anyone would want to try and control the uncontrollable, or indeed to think that the UK can achieve this goal alone.

    • The Man at the Back permalink
      November 22, 2019 7:26 pm

      The people driving the stupidity know it isn’t doable, but will make a fortune – they also just want political control. Some of the foot soldiers do believe it all.

  18. Harry Passfield permalink
    November 22, 2019 5:16 pm

    Yet, this is exactly what is needed: Some part of the country to declare for a CE (climate emergency – I’d dearly love to see Scotland do this when they get their independence) and become a role-model (cough) for the country/world. They could be a real-time, real-life laboratory experiment and show everyone just how pathetic these CC virtue gestures are – and how costly. Somehow, those who claim there is an emergency need to have the blinkers taken off.

  19. ianprsy permalink
    November 22, 2019 5:29 pm

    I’ve been trying to get my council to acknowledge that their plans for dealing with their own “climate emergency” will be expensive and require a mandate. This’ll come in handy!

  20. Michael Adams permalink
    November 22, 2019 5:48 pm

    I take it that Gareth Ellis, our hero, will soon be deselected and cast into oblivion.

    • Mack permalink
      November 22, 2019 6:46 pm

      Hilarious. Electric bin lorries coming in at £143k a piece MORE expensive than their diesel equivalents, with a bigger carbon footprint, and they don’t work very well on hills because their batteries get drained too quickly. Sounds like a perfect option for Cumbria then!

  21. john cooknell permalink
    November 22, 2019 6:26 pm

    I think Carlilse have about 650 vehicles , there are 37 million registered vehicles in UK.

    Leave you all to do the numbers on how much the projected cost of changing them all would be!

    Anybody got a Unicorn handy?

  22. November 22, 2019 7:20 pm

    The local council has nothing on the state of California. It has some of the highest fuel taxes in the US (but admittedly this wouldn’t hold a candle to European fuel taxes), the highest poverty rate in the nation and a budget surplus to the tune of $7 billion. Their governor signed an executive order 2 weeks ago mandating the state only purchase electric vehicles. Give the roughly $10K premium for battery powered cars, he just spent $500,000,000 with the stroke of a pen.

    • dave permalink
      November 23, 2019 5:42 pm

      “…California…a budget surplus…of $7 billion…”

      A DEFICIT.

  23. November 22, 2019 9:35 pm

    Come on guys, you can do this. We need a couple of municipalities to walk it towards the bitter end in order to make everyone see what it does to the community. People need to feel this in their wallets. People need to feel it like a red hot marking iron on their butts that being an idiot does not go without major and painful consequences. Right now, many seem to believe that there is a little man in the mountain that will swing his magic wand and everything will be nice. It won’t. many of us know, but the rest needs to see it with their own eyes. Some communities must crash and burn in order to save the rest so yes, please go bonkers. We need your sacrifice to save the rest of the country.

    • Michael adams permalink
      November 22, 2019 10:24 pm

      A problem we have is that people think that their lives will be more or less the same but with a different way of do things like electric cars for petrol ones. No biggy and no change to my life. They have got to be told the truth that the changes will be very expensive and lead to fundamental changes in their lives, few if any flights, very little meat in the diet and much less cheap clothing. Oh, and forget having regular upgrades to those phones.

      Its no good denying climate emergency, nobody listens, but confronting people with the reality of the future if these alarmists win the day will concentrate minds wonderfully.

  24. Gerry, England permalink
    November 23, 2019 8:51 am

    The plans for the first battery vehicle – or fuel cell – only street in London appear to have taken a hit and the scheme has rolled back to now being ultra low emission vehicles. Currently though the problem is getting agreement from the next door borough given that even with ULEV access it will dump most of the traffic on their streets. Mind you, they have their own virtue signalling scheme to dump their traffic the other way.

  25. cajwbroomhill permalink
    November 23, 2019 10:35 am

    Climate Emergency, lacking a definition, is therefore, imaginary, like AGW.

  26. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 23, 2019 11:05 am

    My local council is one of the nuts to have declared a climate emergency. I immediately feared for the licence this gives them to spend humongous sums on vanity projects doubtless to the benefit of themselves and their chums.

    It would do enormous good for a council to be forced to hold a referendum and to lose it through green extravagance.

  27. BLACK PEARL permalink
    November 23, 2019 7:23 pm

    As I’ve said before, not many “NORMAL” thinking people get into politics and we can all see the results of this.
    Perhaps an IQ / common sense/ been in work for years/ test needs to be carried out before they can stand ..

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