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EVs Remain Much More Expensive Than Petrol Cars

February 5, 2020

By Paul Homewood

 

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With EVs back in the news again, it is time to check out latest prices.

We keep being told that EVs will soon be cheaper than conventional cars, but is there any sign of this happening?

 

 

The basic Nissan Leaf currently has RRP of £26345, but this includes the government rebate of £3500, shortly to be abolished. Therefore the real price is £29845.

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https://www.nissan.co.uk/vehicles/new-vehicles/leaf.html 

 

 

The Leaf is comparable to the Ford Focus, which comes in at £20645 currently:

 

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https://www.ford.co.uk/cars/focus

 

 

This means that the Leaf will cost £9200 more than the Focus.

Fuel costs for the Focus, based on 10,000 miles a year and 45 mpg, would amount to about £1300 annually. Quite clearly even if the electricity for the Leaf was free, the extra cost of purchase could not be justified by lower running costs.

Worse still for the economics, about half of that £1300 goes to the government as fuel duty. When that revenue starts to decline rapidly, EV drivers won’t be exempt from making up the shortfall.

Some drivers will of course do more than 10,000 miles a year, but would also find the range problems of the Leaf more of an issue.

Given these these bald facts, it is not surprising that pure electric cars are still only making up 1.6% of new car sales. They are no more than a niche purchase, of little value to the vast majority of drivers.

There is no sign of that changing anytime soon.

53 Comments
  1. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 5, 2020 2:54 pm

    I’m sure there’s an element of profiteering as well as economics.

    If people are strongly encouraged (media pressure, tax, emission zones, congestion charging etc.) and the government bungs a discount in too, car makers will keep the prices high. If/how much they’ll drop when the subsidy/incentives/advantages have gone, who knows?

    There was a car ad on the radio the other day, large guaranteed trade in, can’t remember the make, but anyway, £5k or something off everything in the range except electric. Says it all.

    Isn’t it strange that digital radios were so much more expensive than transistor ones when they came out, whilst everyone thought you would have to change in a limited time-frame. I can’t see the reason for that, cheap electronics these days, it surely doesn’t make that much difference to manufacturing costs? The strange thing is how long the price difference has been sustained.

    • calnorth permalink
      February 6, 2020 10:07 am

      Thats right – far too costly…I think its something to do with Govt frequency spectrum licensing for DAB. Mr Brown comes to mind. Theres a big tax in it somewhere.. Can’t quite remember.

  2. Philip Foster permalink
    February 5, 2020 3:04 pm

    Some thoughts on the Boris EV target. I suspect he’s trying to get the greenies off his back (the ‘Green Crap’ as Cameron, correctly, referred to them as).

    The sheer impossibility of the target for electric vehicles will doubtless dawn last on our many scientifically illiterate politicians.
    As C P Snow wrote :
    “So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their Neolithic ancestors would have had.”

    There are no electric vehicles capable of off road activity (engines would just blow a fuse). Farmers and many country folk will be stranded.

    The fuel efficiency is dismal; two to three times worse than a petrol vehicle – two to three times worse than even that of a 1930s express train. Eg The Royal Scot (LMS) consumed 8kg of coal per ton per 200 miles. A Tesla, fully charged, does 200 miles on the flat (at best), and weighs about 2 tons (battery weighing nearly half that). To charge it requires 40kg of coal in an efficient power station; the train would have needed just 16kg of coal. A petrol car would need perhaps 20kg of petrol for 200 miles.

    Where is the money to pay for the massive infrastructure required? A single motorway service station will require ten times the parking space and at least 500 charge points. It takes 75 minutes to charge a electric vehicle, but just 4 minutes to fill up with petrol.

    • EVDude permalink
      February 9, 2020 8:58 am

      New Teslas with the latest batteries have a range in excess of 300 miles:

      Model S – 379 miles
      Model 3 – 348 miles
      Model X – 314 miles

      Most Tesla owners will charge at home on a 13A or 32A plug using 100% renewable energy supplier such as a Bulb, or Octopus. Home charging normally takes place at night, when electricity is cheaper and when grid demand is low, thus requiring relatively little new infrastructure.

      Tesla drivers will typically use motorway chargers only on long journeys after 2 to 3 hours of driving. Charging on a Super Charger takes around 30-45 minutes, enough time to stop for a coffee and a toilet break.

      There are a variety of off road EV’s available, such as a the Polaris EV Ranger which was recently tested by FarmingUK: https://www.farminguk.com/news/farminguk-tries-out-the-new-polaris-ev-ranger-utv_54078.html

      • Peter F Gill permalink
        February 9, 2020 10:51 am

        Hey Dude: How much are the battery ranges you quotes reduced if one has to drive with the heater on in freezing weather up and down snow covered roads at night?

      • In the Real World permalink
        February 9, 2020 11:04 am

        After that advertising B S by EV Dude a few facts .
        To get that claimed range , [Ha Ha ], would take 30 hours charging on a home 13A supply , which is not renewable generated .
        There is not the generation capacity or grid infrastructure in the UK for charging up more than 5% of the total road vehicles at any one time in the Winter , but perhaps nearly 10% through the summer months .

        So just more of the usual green loonie rubbish.

      • EVDude permalink
        February 11, 2020 8:26 pm

        @PeterFGill There are varying estimates of a 5-30% reduction in range in very cold weather. In my experience it’s around 25%. However given most days I commute less than 20 miles round trip, it has never been an issue.

        @InTheRealWorld You can charge on a standard 3 pin plug, I have done this on several occasions when on holiday somewhere that lacked a faster charger, and you are right this can take around 30 hours. However most of the time I just plug the car in to 32A wall charger on my drive when I get home from work – and this can charge the car from empty to full in around 9-10 hours. It’s actually less effort than going to a petrol station.

        If all commuters switched to EVs, then according to my rough calculations (see below) they could be charged with 14GW of power across the 7 off peak hours from 00:00 to 07:00. This is less than the difference between peak and off peak generation currently provided by the grid.

        Number of UK commuters: 15,300,000
        Average commute distance (return miles): 20
        Total miles driven: 306,000,000
        Energy efficiency (kWh / 100 miles): 33
        Daily energy requirement (GWh): 101
        Charge time (00:00 to 07:00 off peak hours): 7
        Continuous Power requirement (GW): 14

        So I would argue that there is spare capacity within the grid that could be utilised.

        Sources:

        https://www.racfoundation.org/motoring-faqs/mobility
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car_EPA_fuel_economy

      • February 11, 2020 9:34 pm

        Lucky you have offstreet parking then, unlike half the population that don’t
        And don’t forget that offpeak surplus has already been accounted for several times, via DSR, Battery storage, decarbonised heating, reducing back up capacity etc.

        You can’t keep going to the same well all of the time.

        You also assume that EVs will be charged up at an even rate all night. This is highly unlikely to happen . People will plug in as soon as they get home, and overload the grid at the same time.
        Even the FES recognise this, and have forecast peak demand increasing by 30GW
        https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/ev-power-scenarios/

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        February 11, 2020 10:21 pm

        The data show annual total mileage of 255 billion miles for cars in the UK in 2018. At 3 miles/kWh that requires 85TWh, or over 33GW on 7 hour shifts overnight. That needs to be from dispatchable power, and in addition to 25GW of other demand (before added heating).

        Because car charging demand would be simultaneous among households connected to a local transformer, cables (and the transformer) need to be made beefier to cope. The standing assumption for local grid design is that households will use 1-2kW for normal consumption. That is, if I run my 3kW kettle, it is unlikely that my neighbours are all doing so at the same time, and ditto for the fridge and the washing machine spin cycle: we may all be using lighting and entertainment devices but the demand from these is now quite low. Adding a 7kW EV charger requires a further 2.5kW allowance per household, and even a 3kW requires 1.5kW extra allowance in the cabling. That is design standard, and more likely to be revised upwards as EV penetration increases. So new cabling and transformers are definitely required, a fortiori if there is a switch from gas to electric heating. We would also need additional dispatchable generating capacity, given forthcoming retirements.

      • EVDude permalink
        February 15, 2020 10:29 am

        @PaulHomewood They’re currently trialing lamp post charging in central London for those who don’t have off-street parking. https://www.driving.co.uk/news/lamp-post-powered-electric-car-charging-points-arrive-london/

        EVs themselves offer huge opportunities for demand side response and battery storage for the grid, charging when it’s cheap and releasing some charge during peak periods to earn an income for their owners. This will further increase their economic utility and competitiveness against petrol cars.

        A recent survey of UK Tesla owners showed that around 2/3rds use a smart or economy 7 tariff and charge their vehicle mostly at night (and therefore paid closer to 5p per kWh compared to 15p per kWh).

        @ItDoesntAddUp The grid will certainly need some upgrades to cope with both heating and EV demand, but the advantage is that most homes already have an 80 or 100A supply, so unlike the FTTP broadband roll-out this will be mainly on the central infrastructure rather than requiring new cable to every home.

        Graeme Cooper, EV project director at National Grid says that peak electricity demand in the UK was 62GW in 2002, and thinks that even if we all switched to EVs overnight that would only result in an increase in (peak?) demand of 10%. https://www.nationalgrid.com/5-myths-about-electric-vehicles-busted

      • February 15, 2020 12:23 pm

        LOL!!

        One charger per lamp post is not much good. Can you imagine the fights over the the lamp post in your street.

        We live in a small cul de sac with about 30 houses. I have just been out and counted, and we have 5 lamp posts

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        February 15, 2020 1:03 pm

        Dude. You don’t understand power supply. The fact that we can have 100 amp fuses does not imply we can charge EVs and run heating with the existing cables. It relies on the fact that we do not use large amounts of power simultaneously, an assumption that falls flat with multi vehicle charging and electric heating.

        Nor it seems do you understand V2G. Will you stop and plug in to boost the grid during your commute home? Who will pay for the extra cycles of battery life used by V2G that will see you battery needing replacement much sooner? Run down batteries to supply the grid, and you will add to recharging demand by an equivalent amount. The total storage is in any case unable to maintain supply for more than hours, and is no solution to periods of days of low wind.

      • EVDude permalink
        February 15, 2020 1:28 pm

        That should work out just about right as, with a 300 mile range battery, you’ll only need to charge one night a week, and if you need more, you can always install a few extra street side chargers.

        Many office and shopping centre car parks have charging points, as do motorway service stations for longer trips. It only takes 30-40 minutes to fully charge a battery on a Tesla Supercharger, which is just enough time to have a comfort break and a coffee.

      • February 15, 2020 2:51 pm

        Unfortunately life does not work out quite as simply as that!

        And I certainly would not wait till the last minute to re-charge, I’d be out at that lamp post every nite when I got home to top up. (Except no doubt the neighbours would have beaten me to it)

        And of course 300m range is absurd, unless you want to spend a fortune on a Tesla.

        Most EVs I suspect would not give you much more than 100 mile range, after accounting for real world driving, and the fact you would not dream of driving it when it was down to its last bit of juice, any more than you would drive a petrol car till the gauge said you had 10 miles left.

        Of course, maybe you are right -in which case we will see millions of EVs being sold next year!

  3. Gamecock permalink
    February 5, 2020 3:10 pm

    Paul, you completely leave out the greatest financial problem with the LEAF: depreciation is CATASTROPHIC. 71% in two years.

    Not only does the electric* cost way more, it quickly becomes worth way less!

    *Tesla is an exception. Their depreciation is comparable to non electric cars.

    • Philip Foster permalink
      February 5, 2020 4:31 pm

      My local Toyota garage guy tells me people come and beg to have their Leaf part exchanged for a real car. Also Toyota has no plans to build all electric cars. Their newer hybrids are self charging and do save fuel costs (though they cost more of course, so you need to offset lifetime mileage against that). However another huge snag to EVs and hybrids is what happens in an accident. The Police CANNOT touch the vehicle, ditto ambulance until they have first sent for specialist equipment – by which time an injured person could well die waiting.

      • Kelvin Vaughan permalink
        February 5, 2020 4:50 pm

        The Toyota Mirai is coming soon. Don’t know where you will get the hydrogen from though.

        https://www.toyota.co.uk/new-cars/new-mirai/why-hydrogen

      • HotScot permalink
        February 5, 2020 6:00 pm

        Interesting that Toyota have no plans to build EV’s.

        My initial reaction to all this is that will car makers even bother to make EV’s in volume?

        Why should they?

        There are lots of markets out there for conventional cars. To produce volumes of EV’s will mean at least another factory for each manufacturer, and in global terms, volumes will be tiny.

        We might all end up with the choice of a Nissan Leaf, Tesla or nothing. And for most of us that would be nothing as together I doubt they could produce sufficient numbers to satisfy demand.

        And of course, the phase out of conventional vehicles needs to start around now, or in a few short years, so there isn’t an overwhelming rush for new EV’s come final EV hour.

        And of course, many people will hang onto older cars for longer so they get the most out of what is an already expensive purchase, which will suppress car sales in the run up generally.

        The government will, of course, hand out shedloads of Taxpayers money as incentives, doubtless not planned for.

        This is going to be, forgive the term, the biggest political car crash imaginable.

        I now sincerely doubt Boris will see a second election win if he carries on with this idiotic policy. When the news was announced Twitter lit up, and there was virtually no one supporting this.

      • February 5, 2020 6:45 pm

        Hydrogen Toyota Mirai costs over £65,000 new. Leasing is the only way to go where EVs are concerned.

  4. Stonyground permalink
    February 5, 2020 3:14 pm

    Perhaps the idea is that the plebs just stop travelling. Then the elites will be able to have the roads to themselves and their electric Zils.

    • The Man at the Back permalink
      February 5, 2020 7:52 pm

      Yes another of those ideas that come from the left, but lack consistent thought.

      We are to be global citizens, embracing the peoples of the world, but we won’t be allowed to travel anywhere.

    • calnorth permalink
      February 6, 2020 10:33 am

      In SE London now i can barely get off my drive between 06:00 and 19:00. Its a struggle and am at high risk of being hit from both directions (ICE busses/trucks/vans). Cars parked and rammed in everywhere. Councils installing concrete posts to stop parking on verges/paving. Can barely drive in a straight-ish line anywhere without some man made obstacle or other causing jams/stops.
      Power infrastructure upgrade will be a permanent excavation activity..if at all possible for the narrow and rammed residential areas. Could try overheads??

      It’ll have to be busses for all at some point fairly soon as London shows no sign of lowering population. Of course the so called “elite” will continue as they do now and belching hypocrisy.

  5. Ian Magness permalink
    February 5, 2020 3:41 pm

    I was truly privileged last night to attend a GWPF speech and discussion by Prof Gautam Kalghatgi – a leading academic mechanical engineer of world renown. I urge anyone interested to watch the You Tube video of it when available.
    Inter alia, Prof Kalghatgi made it abundantly clear that the whole economics and even whole-life cycle CO2 emissions of EVs make them stupid on a Drax wood-burning process scale. Grid parameters – supply and infrastructure cost – render this whole issue even more untenable. Indeed, this will persist until and unless there is a quantum leap forward in battery technology that is simply nowhere on the horizon. He believes that the way forward in any sensible timeframe (even in terms of CO2 emissions) is a combination of developing hybrid engines further and increasing the efficiency of existing ICE technology. Synthetic fuels and catalytic additives to present types of fuel also got a mention as future possibilities. He feels strongly that ICE technology development is especially possible and the associated lowering of CO2 emissions would, on a full life-cycle basis, dwarf anything achievable by EVs.
    As you can imagine, on a day when Boris decided to trash the sale of hybrids and hydrocarbon-burning ICE cars by 2035, this speech was a vivid reminder of just how far removed our lords and masters have become from both scientific and economic reality and how unprepared they are to listen to anyone with real world knowledge like Prof Kalghatgi.

  6. Tony Budd permalink
    February 5, 2020 3:44 pm

    But what is the battery lifetime? And how much does a replacement battery cost? Presumably the lifetime depends on the type of re-charging (fast or slow) and how often it’s done. The 10-year-old petrol car I sold in 2018 still had the same fuel tank, no matter how many times I’d filled it up.

    • Ian Magness permalink
      February 5, 2020 4:03 pm

      Tony,
      You may be interested to know of a recent case where the (near 6ft long) battery of one of Volvo’s flagship XC90 SUVs crapped out around a year after purchase. The replacement cost? A cool 21 grand £!
      Now, to be fair, such batteries do not normally fail so quickly and, in most cases, the manufacturer can replace individual cells, rather than the whole beast, as in this case. Nevertheless, you can see that such occurrences could have a profound effect on the car market as depreciation rates must surely be hugely increased on EVs. Further, much of the new car market depends upon lease-type financing to enable punter to buy. The pricing of these contracts is heavily impacted by the expected residual value after the typical 3 or 4 year lease term. Now, if the RVs are reduced to zero due to expensive battery failure risk, lease rates will rocket to such a level as the financing market will collapse in size which, in turn, will destroy much of the new car market. True, there may be avenues to insure battery failure risk separately but costs must increase overall so it doesn’t bode well for the car market.

    • In the Real World permalink
      February 5, 2020 4:32 pm

      Tony , Li batteries have a lifetime of , [ can vary quite a bit ,] but normally about 500 charge cycles . And are about half the total cost of the car .
      Which is why the cars depreciate by such huge amounts , & usually makes them far more expensive to run when you add that in to the overall costing .
      But the FES idea is to have EVs as a battery back up to the grid .
      https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/fes-19-more-generation-flexibility-and-storage-to-drive-decarbonisation.
      The car manufacturers are very much against this idea as it would shorten battery life & probably mean that the cars need a new battery before their guarantee is up .

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        February 5, 2020 11:36 pm

        It is also not very practical. 10 million vehicles with 100kWh batteries can store a maximum of 1TWh, which sounds like a big number (about 1 day of current winter demand for electricity). But who will stop driving in rush hour to hook up to the grid to discharge? Or not even go to work, because their car is needed all day to power the grid? Having run down a load of car batteries to support the grid, the demand to charge up will be much higher than normal. Batteries will in any case be only part charged on average to begin with. There would have to be some pretty large incentive payments to begin to make the scheme work to compensate for loss of amenity and loss of battery life. Basically, batteries are quite unsuited to anything beyond very temporary storage: they are not the solution to grid intermittency from renewables. Even using them as very short term stores to provide synthetic grid inertia is expensive.

        National Grid has just awarded contracts for synchronous compensators (essentially generators powered up as motors to spin at grid frequency) to provide inertia for some £328m over 6 years for 12.5GVAs – about 5% of the inertia required to keep the grid stable.

        https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/national-grid-eso-claims-world-first-approach-to-inertia-awarding-328m-in-contracts

  7. Derek Reynolds permalink
    February 5, 2020 5:01 pm

    A House of Commons technical and science committee last year pointed the government towards bringing forward the date from 2050 to 2035, but the same committee also noted that the production of said EV’s produces far more emissions. (Probably also in what might be produced during the vehicles lifetime through battery replacement and power generation to repeatedly charge same).

    Also that long term widespread personal transport is not compatible with significant decarbonisation. So, expensive personal transport, bicycle, walk, or overcrowded public transport.

    Worse: Autoexpress last year pointed out to the Climate Change Committee that if the 31.5m cars are replaced by EV’s by 2050, it would require – twice the Worlds annual supply of cobalt; all the World’s annual production of the Rare Earth neodymium; 75% of lithium and 50% of the World’s copper – and that’s just for the UK.

    Running such vehicles would require a 20% increase in the current UK electricity generation – powered by what?

    Roads, congestion free. Except for those rich enough to afford the EV and to pay for access to the roads. The rest, get yourselves within Zimmer frame distance of hospitals; shops; and within walking/cycling distance to schools etc. Which is where I was at during my childhood in North London, even the Cottage Hospital was one stop on the tube.

    All because the governments and the luvvies have lapped from the Great Thunderboxes Thunderbox. UNTIL – the stupidity of thinking mankind can change climate through CO2 emissions, is comprehensively accepted as a mistake. The science shows it so, but the global controllers are not about to let go of their poster child just yet – if at all. They are even funding the education of primary school children through books and lectures specifically weighted against motor vehicles and our very existence, creating a guilt complex from an early age. You’d better believe it.

    • In the Real World permalink
      February 5, 2020 8:03 pm

      Derek , a slight miscalculation in your figures .
      30 odd million EVs would take over 200 GWh if they were plugged in together , out of a total generation capacity of only 50+ GWh .
      Your 20% increase would only allow about 1 or 2 Million to charge at the same time , for between 5 & 10 hours each .

  8. February 5, 2020 5:41 pm

    costly to run as well- https://realclimatescience.com/2020/02/the-green-new-deal/

  9. A C Osborn permalink
    February 5, 2020 6:34 pm

    Paul, for a really simple comparison is to look at the Volkswagen/Seat/Skoda city cars.
    The Petrol/Diesel versions are around £10,000 to £12,000 the EV version £18,000 after subsidy.
    £6000 worth of fuel to actually break even if Electricity was free.
    Another sign of things to come is the rise in Charger Network electricity prices.
    https://realclimatescience.com/2020/02/the-green-new-deal/

  10. Peter F Gill permalink
    February 5, 2020 7:19 pm

    Anyone who attended Prof. G. Kalghatgi’s talk to GWPF at the House of Lords last evening would say the situation is rather more negative than just the difference in vehicle. costs. Gautam will be sending me a copy of his slides tomorrow. I shall ask him if I can ask him if I can leave a copy with Paul H for posting if this is possible. I commented to GK that his expose of the fairy stories the government and others have been telling the public probably resembles Grimms fairy tales rather those of Hans Andersen and the name is more descriptive. .

  11. PhilRW permalink
    February 5, 2020 7:39 pm

    Remember how we were told to buy diesels because their CO2 emissions were lower than petrol? With the current rate of improving/less harmful diesel emissions (AdBlue, DPF etc) it wouldn’t surprise me if long before 2035 we were again told to buy diesels as they will be better for the environment than EVs! And all that infrastructure (leccy supply, charging points etc., etc.) is not needed!
    Truck/bus/coach/fire engine etc manufacturers are all going to be improving their diesel engines (can you see a 40 ton electric truck in near future?) and same improvement will be found in passenger cars.
    I remember those terrible old diesels from my youth, modern ones are fantastic and reliable – my last 5 over last 30 years have all done over 100k without engine being touched (apart from a couple of glowplugs replaced on an old BX). First BX did 170k, sold to a mate who took it to over 200k and he sold it to a farmer who ran it for a few more years. Current diesel 12 years old and 136k and off to France in it shortly – bit greener than changing car every 2 or 3 years??? Certainly a lot cheaper and greener than a £30k new basic, small EV and certainly cheaper than an equivalent EV – £70k??

  12. February 5, 2020 8:27 pm

    Who would want to have an EV charging (or just parked) in their garage, when it is known that there is a possibility of spontaneous combustion?

  13. Coeur de Lion permalink
    February 5, 2020 10:06 pm

    I shall be nipping over to France to buy the latest right hand drive Citroen Picasso diesel if I can get past the long queue. Will the government forbid ICE car imports? That will go down well. As a driver in France I already have three gilets jaunes in the vehicle.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      February 5, 2020 11:16 pm

      As I said before they will have to ban the sale of diesel and petrol and/or make other prohibitions.

      There’s currently a thriving ‘industry’ importing rusting ancient hulks of American and S.African ‘classic cars’ to feed the UK market. I’ve never understood why this is allowed – they are filthy loud cars.

  14. Stonyground permalink
    February 6, 2020 8:01 am

    I heard on the radio news this morning that there was a plan for a single UK town to become a guinea pig for 100% electric buses. Since I almost never use public transport I consider this to be excellent news. It is pretty much guaranteed to be a huge screw up and could be a nail in the coffin of the electric wet dream.

  15. Graeme No.3 permalink
    February 6, 2020 11:14 am

    Stonyground:
    My view is to bring back the old trolley busses (without the restricting) overhead wires. A light weight bus with just enough power storage to go 5? miles before getting to overhead stop with a fixed power rail above. The bus could recharge while passengers alight and board. A lighter weight would mean that the height could be lower for easier boarding. It would not be bound to a completely fixed route (so could bypass holdups etc.)
    This will be be completely and totally rejected.

    • Russ Wood permalink
      February 6, 2020 1:47 pm

      I don’t know what the storage system is, but in Wellington, New Zealand, They have (or had) trolleybuses. And I have seen a trolley running with its collector arms down, so they must have some off-line storage. That seems like one way to do it, and personally I loved the Liverpool trams and the Johannesburg trolley-buses!

      • Philip Mulholland permalink
        February 7, 2020 8:16 am

        Russ,
        Do you remember the overhead railway?

  16. February 6, 2020 12:02 pm

    May I ask a question about EVs and black boxes? Perhaps EV owners won’t worry about reducing insurance premiums if they’re so rich but if EVs become compulsory how will this work as I know at least one young driver with a black box in a petrol car whose battery frequently needs recharging. Will a black box in an EV reduce mileage?

    • In the Real World permalink
      February 6, 2020 2:15 pm

      Brenda . All modern cars with ECUs & immobilisers have a constant load on the battery .
      This can vary from a few days to weeks to flatten the battery , depending on battery condition , temperature & a few other factors .
      A ” Black Box ” is just another constant load & will drain the battery down a bit quicker .

      An EVs battery drains down over time when it is not in use or being charged , so any other factors will just sped this up .

      I did read of an American Tesla owner who left his car standing , [ not plugged in ], when he was away for about 3 or 4 weeks & it destroyed the battery on a not very old car .
      Costing him about £30,000 because warranty instructions say it must be plugged in if left for long periods .

  17. Mike Higton permalink
    February 6, 2020 3:54 pm

    There’s a key part of the economic picture which has not been taken into account: benefit-in-kind taxation for company car users. It is already very low for EVs – 2%, afaik – and will drop to zero in April.
    That has a massive impact. For example, someone paying 40% tax who drives a mid-range diesel Audi pays about k£4.5 in tax. If the company pays for all fuel, not just business, there is a further hit of k£2.9.
    So switching to an EV would save over k£7 per year.
    Roughly half of all cars sold each year are company purchases…..

  18. February 7, 2020 11:23 am

    Erm, my wife has dual nationality (Irish). Is there going to be legislation preventing the Irish half going to France to replace our Citroen Picasso diesel ‘for her own use’? Would she be forbidden to sell it (a) to me (b) to another expat (c) second hand car market? How enforced? International agreements? Nightmare.

  19. Sam Duncan permalink
    February 8, 2020 3:08 pm

    What the communists (and their useful idiots) who’ve hijacked the environmental movement can never understand is that prices are information and free markets are the “greenest” way of doing things. If a business can do more, and make more, by using fewer resources – whether that be money, people, energy, or stuff dug out of the ground – it will do so because it’s profitable. Profitablility and productivity are all about doing more with less. Indeed, the greenists pay this principle a backhanded compliment by accepting that the only way to force their madcap schemes on the rest of us is to tax the alternatives into oblivion, artificially increasing the cost. Or (we’re reaching the frustrated temper-tantrum phase now) banning them outright.

    We sceptics often mention the “hidden” costs of EVs, wind generation, etc.: the rare earth metals shipped over from China, the short lifespan of batteries, and whatnot. But in truth they’re not that hidden at all; they’re right there in the price, where you’d expect them to be.

  20. February 8, 2020 9:44 pm

    It is pretty revealing to see that as soon as government incentives stat to go down, sales of EV’s are in free fall. Also, the real market for EV’s starts to be saturated. Yes, its the toy car category for those that can afford two o more cars. Because even the most ardent EV maniacs want to make sure that they have a functioning vehicle at their disposal when it’s not show off time but rather work time. Or fun time without the show-off. Let’s not forget, current EV prices still contain the effects of China’s predatory moves on the battery market. This will come to a halt as other issues take precedence and even in China money becomes a scarce resource. So, expect prices to rise. I have not even mentioned the potential for taxation on EV’s as its the case for ICE cars now. Fun times – aint they?

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