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It’s The Poor Who Will Pay

November 24, 2020

By Paul Homewood



A couple of thoughts!



We have talked about air source heat pumps, and we all understand that the colder the weather, the less efficient and more costly they become to operate.

What this means, of course, is that the further north you live, the more you will be penalised financially.


Now combine this thought with electric cars.

Last year our local shopping centre installed half a dozen electric car chargers. (Incidentally, they also had to build a new substation to feed them – I’ve no idea what rating it has, but physically the building that houses it is the same size as the original substation which feeds the whole centre).

I had a closer look yesterday, and the charge is 35p/KWh, which compared to a domestic rate of about 14p. Obviously the mark up is perfectly fair, as whoever runs it needs to recover their capital costs and overheads.

According to Nissan, the Leaf’s 62 KWh battery gives a range of up to 239 miles. At 35p/KWh, this equates to 9.1p/mile. At the domestic rate, this comes down to 3.6p/mile.

If you do 10,000 miles a year, public charging will cost you £550 extra a year. And that is what you might end up having to do if you are not lucky enough to have off street parking.

A comparable diesel car, the Ford Focus, gets up to 55 mpg, which at current prices would cost 9.8p/mile. But more importantly, when you exclude fuel duty of 57.95p/litre, this cost drops to 5p/mile.

So not only would the poor sucker without a driveway be much worse off than the rich guy with the big house down the road, he would even be much worse off than he was before, when he driving his diesel.

And if he happens to live up north in Newcastle, he had better take out a bank loan!

  1. JimW permalink
    November 24, 2020 12:01 pm

    Paul, I think the plan is that they all die.

    • Tim C permalink
      November 25, 2020 6:49 am

      soylent green

  2. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 24, 2020 12:06 pm

    Sucker people in then hike the price when people have no way back. It’s the old story.

    All the discounts/freebies – ‘road tax’, congestion/ULEZ, electricity rates will vanish.

    Apparently the TESLA website is out of date and it is already more expensive to ‘fuel’ a model 3 from one of their fast charger stations, than the ICE equivalent.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 25, 2020 8:49 am

      Exactly. If anybody believes London will drop the air pollution charge once there’s no pollution they are naive.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        November 25, 2020 10:00 am

        The recent lockdown proved that London pollution does not come from private cars. As does Oxford St., heavily polluted, no cars allowed.
        Any modern petrol car cleans city air by burning off pollutants.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        November 25, 2020 11:18 am

        Yes Chaswarnertoo, I looked at Marylebone Road, a ‘poster child’ of the anti-car brigade, one of the most traffic air polluted in the country.

        The defra air pollution data did not strongly correspond to the lockdown or private car use, but it did appear to rise as public transport/taxis came out of hibernation.

        On investigation it showed the sensors are kerbside a bus/taxi lane near a ‘taxi station’ in a ‘canyon’ street scene. Essentially it is measuring bus/taxi tail pipe pollution in an area of exceptional taxi concentration where it is sheltered from dispersal.

        A typical example of an exceptional situation and data being misused to generally justify blaming/punishing private car users.

    • yonason permalink
      November 26, 2020 9:00 pm

      “Sucker people in then hike the price when people have no way back. It’s the old story.” – MrGrimNasty

      Ye Olde “Bait And Switch”

  3. Peter F Gill permalink
    November 24, 2020 12:20 pm

    Living in the cold north of England or worse still the colder Scotland, relying on those mile ranges for electric cars would be positively dangerous. Also ask yourself when the Chancellor can no longer rely of the tax/duty on petrol and diesel how will he make up the difference?

    • Mack permalink
      November 24, 2020 2:41 pm

      Indeed Peter, and whenever we get a little drop of the white stuff, even just a couple of inches, our roads soon grind to a halt. It’s not going to be much fun stuck in or behind a range limited toy car as the temps plummet during one of our seasonal gridlocks. And I don’t think battery operated snow ploughs will be of much use either!

    • Tym fern permalink
      November 24, 2020 4:41 pm

      Charge per mile with a clever black box in the car which will tell them where you go and when (and how fast!)

      • Peter F Gill permalink
        November 24, 2020 4:54 pm

        Yes Tym, that IS one of the ideas. Think how popular it will be. But it will help knowing where to pick up any dead bodies due to hypothermia or other unfortunate causes. Also don’t worry people about the resale prices for electric cars that really need a replacement battery pack as electric car owners may already have some existing mental health problems. .

  4. Sobaken permalink
    November 24, 2020 12:47 pm

    “62 KWh battery gives a range of up to 239 miles”
    That would be 16 KWh/100km which is very optimistic, 18 is a more realistic estimate. And in winter it could be as high as 22-25 because you need heating (including for keeping the battery warm and functional), so that range would be as low as 150 miles on a cold day.
    Here’s an interesting video with real life testing of a similar electric car in freezing weather:

  5. saparonia permalink
    November 24, 2020 1:01 pm

    As we go into this solar minimum we must relearn the methods used in the past for survival, we don’t need any self imposed tyrranical overseers taking us into war and rebellion, we just need to be more of a people.

  6. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 24, 2020 1:02 pm

    Don’t forget that diesel incurs 20% VAT, while electricity is only charged at 5%. So I calculate as follows (110×5/6-58)/0.22/55 is 2.78 p/mile before taxes, or 2.92p/mile with 5% VAT added back for comparability. I get my diesel for 108.9ppl at the moment thanks to competition between ASDA, Sainsbury and Tesco, though I know most others will be paying rather more.

    • November 24, 2020 1:51 pm

      I wondered how much VAT these public chargers charge? If they are classed as a service, it might be the full 20%. Any idea anybody?

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        November 24, 2020 4:12 pm

        I did find this tax accountancy guidance:

        HMRC has recently updated its advisory fuel rates, setting a rate for fully electric cars at 4 pence per mile. This rate is to be used where VAT is recoverable on the fuel element of a mileage allowance paid to an employee.

        The difficulty comes in calculating the correct amount of VAT to extract, as this will be dependent on the location at which the car is charged. If charged at business premises, a VAT fraction of 1/6 (20%) would be used for commercial use. However, if the car is charged at home, then a fraction of 1/21 (5%) for domestic use would be used. Additional complications arise if the car is charged at multiple locations e.g. a mix of business and home, or even at a third party such as a petrol station with electric charging points.

        Further to this, there may be duplication of reclaiming VAT if the business is charging the car at work, and recovering VAT on business premises electricity bills.

        There is currently no guidance from HMRC on this issue, so for now this is a bit of a grey area. HMRC have at least clarified that hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for this purpose.

        Still, I think the calculation has to allow for the VAT on duty. So 2.78p/mile + 20% VAT is 3.34p/mile.

        I found an interesting account of driving an i-Pace from Twickenham to Frankfurt and back – 1,024 miles taking almost 33 hours including charging times, and 425kWh, or about 2.4miles/kWh.

        How mileage deteriorates as batteries age is not yet much talked about. But I think that the Leaf is unlikely to match its claimed range except in the most favourable conditions.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        November 25, 2020 8:51 am

        I don’t believe they can do that. If the care buying the electricity the VAT is passed through be ause the reclaimed amounts must match (I.e. VAT is only paid once). If they supply it themselves then the VAT is 5%.

      • Pat permalink
        November 25, 2020 2:13 pm

        If one third are priced out of private transport altogether, the other two thirds will take a significant hit.
        Not to mention that everything is delivered by petrol/diesel powered vehicles, whether to home, shop or factory.
        This agenda is being driven by people who seek to enhance their status by expressing fashionable views, and who imagine that they at least won’t suffer from it. Hopefully they will wake up to the costs before everyone freezes.

  7. November 24, 2020 1:14 pm

    Is there something wrong with petrol cars? We’ve been driving them for more than a hundred years and we’re still here. Alive and well and booming.

  8. Dave Ward permalink
    November 24, 2020 1:28 pm

    My sister bought an MG ZS EV a year ago. I’ve made her fully aware what my feelings are, but have to remain on good terms for now. She recently used a public charger costing 35p/kWh and I pointed out this was at least double the normal domestic price. I think I’m (finally) getting her to understand that you can’t charge a battery from empty to full in the same way as you can fill a petrol/diesel/gas tank, and it makes no sense to leave it connected to an expensive source once the charge level has reached 90% or so. She’s got a 7kW wall box, so I’ve said ONLY use expensive rapid chargers to get enough power to complete the journey and do the rest at normal rate (or in her case from a “Free” outlet…)

    • John Palmer permalink
      November 24, 2020 8:42 pm

      Yes… but when (if) they try to force we IC driving, fossil-fuel dinosaurs off the road, they’ll (Boris will) have a £40billion fuel duty deficit to replace. So guess where leccy prices will go?
      Personally., I’ll stick with IC cars and await the popular push-back against this lunacy to sway a Government desperate for re-election.
      Real people, doing real (not ‘working-at-home’) jobs won’t go for this nonsense as they start seeing the huge cost of ‘transition’. The Gilet-Jaunes are just amateurs compared with what they have in store when the ‘great unwashed’ – as our so-called Leaders call us see when there’s no maintenance of the power grid, no deliveries from Amazon etc., no-one to sort out any infrastructure issues etc.,
      no food supplies to cities, etc.,…
      We’ll see….
      Just sayin’

  9. Alan permalink
    November 24, 2020 1:42 pm

    Guy driving in winter with no cab heating or it set at 62 deg F. He is a better man than I. 62 F is still bloody cold to my mind. I made a decision Years ago that coconut palms were smart, they only grow in the warm. I look for them when deciding where to live.

  10. cajwbroomhill permalink
    November 24, 2020 1:44 pm

    Like the Green Party, electric cars have nothing useful to offer and are replete with damgers.
    The same is true of the SNP and could now almost truly be said of the present Tory Government.

  11. November 24, 2020 2:02 pm

    Whoever oppresses the poor insults his Maker. Proverbs 14:31

  12. Alan permalink
    November 24, 2020 3:08 pm

    People have not thought through all the implications of what AOC is proposing with her GND. The drop in the amount of food that is produced when farmers are forced to grow it organically and with no tractors or other mechanical implements is huge.
    (1) To do the work you will have to increase the number of people working on farms by 50 to 100 times what it is now. That process was called the Killing Fields that last time it was tried.
    (2) If the USA goes back to pre-industrial farming you go back to pre-industrial levels of food production ~50% to 80% of present levels. That will feed the people in the USA but ZERO food exports.
    (3) Much more land would have to be brought into production ~ 3X of what is used now. The marginal land would not be as productive and still would require just as much work as any other acreage
    (4) World population was ~3.5 billion before industrial farming 7.3 billion now. Who chooses the 3.8 billion to starve?
    (5) Reducing the power production by 95% in the USA will put the country into a depression with 10’s millions out of work. The GDP will be a fraction of what it is today.
    (6) The new taxes to pay for this GND would require a 70% tax rate for anyone making more than minimum wage.
    (7) Land that is presently used to produce non-food crops would have to be stopped to make up for the lower food production of organic farming, synthetic fibers only from now on. If the oil is no longer going into gas tanks it might as well go to making cloths. But to make the artificial fibers requires a high-energy process so hides and furs will be the norm.
    (8) Much more land would have to be brought into production ~ 3X of what is used now. The marginal land would not be as productive and still would require just as much work as any other acreage.
    (9) With no insecticides people will be needed to watch the crops and pick off the bugs that are on the plants, a 24/7 job from sprout to harvest. Since there will be no herbicides either they can pull weeds at the same time. People will be running out to the farms to do these jobs.
    (10) With no cows or horses will be the dominant animal on the farm until AOC finds out that they produce methane too. I look forward to seeing AOC harnessed to a plow.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 25, 2020 8:55 am

      The only good thing about it us that the people keen on this insanity will find out pretty quickly that they are in luxury jobs and nobody can afford to pay for them anymore.

  13. MikeHig permalink
    November 24, 2020 3:10 pm

    Good analysis but I don’t think there are many EVs doing that sort of mileage. The ones that do are almost certainly company cars or run through the business for the self-employed.
    That changes the economics completely. If the business buys the car it can be written off against profits in the first year. If it is provided as a company car the savings are around k£5 – 7 in tax for the employee.
    There are other, non-fuel savings: no road tax below k£40 OTR; no congestion charges; no low-emissions charges; free parking – and often charging – in many town car parks; lower maintenance. Also there are lots of opportunities to charge for free at retailers, offices, gyms, hotels, etc..
    The government is hosing EV purchasers with our money. If I was still working I would buy one like a shot purely for the massive financial benefit and put up with occasional inconvenience since I could charge at home.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      November 24, 2020 6:41 pm

      I note that TfL are planning to introduce congestion charging for EVs quite soon:

      From 25 October 2021, the cleaner vehicle discount will change so that only battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are eligible. Then from 25 December 2025, the cleaner vehicle discount will be discontinued. From this date, all vehicle owners, unless in receipt of another discount or exemption, will need to pay to enter the Congestion Charge zone during charging hours.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        November 25, 2020 8:57 am

        Makes sense if you are actually congestion charging. But of course congestion charging is rationing road capacity by ability to pay – clear the roads of the poor so the wealthy can get around more quickly.

  14. BLACK PEARL permalink
    November 24, 2020 4:59 pm

    Maybe horses will make a come back.
    Any patch of grass you can stake it, near your work place and you can refuel for free !
    Will even leave a deposit at the toll booth.
    Oh and the ultimate off roader, useful for by passing the lines of traffic on the grass verges.
    Win Win 🙂

  15. David permalink
    November 24, 2020 5:20 pm

    Surely smart motorways and electric cars are a recipe for many a disaster. With a mile and a half before a refuge point and no hard shoulder, a leccy car with a flat battery doesn’t have to happen very often to add up to a lot of serious accidents.

    • Mack permalink
      November 24, 2020 5:39 pm

      Yes David, and when a big boy battery in an EV ignites following a major crash it really does burn. It’s a fireman’s worst nightmare. Not only are such fires difficult to extinguish, even once doused the battery has a tendency to re-ignite. One can only imagine the protracted road closures that will ensue following multiple tonka toy crashes on the nation’s roads as cautious emergency crews stand well back until any risks are negated. Rush hour on a Friday night on the M25, for example, with or without useable hard shoulders, following multiple EV accidents, will be carnage.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        November 25, 2020 10:05 am

        That’s the plan. Keep clapping, plebs!

      • cajwbroomhill permalink
        November 25, 2020 10:48 pm

        Like many other things on the planet e.g., wind turbines, tattoos, at least on women, the Green Party’s preaching and the SNP and, perhaps, Boris, have little or nothing good or useful to offer, unless you are making money from them.
        Not all are actually as fatal as EVs, with nothing better and most things worse than vehicles with IC engines, though some like the drive.
        Only folly or malign sadism explains their foisting on us, perhaps from 2030, but hopefully they will be vetoed by public opinion beforehand.

  16. tonyclimie permalink
    November 24, 2020 5:30 pm

    Further predictions on cost fallout. I used to manage exploration and acquisition for uranium for the UK Central Electricity Generating Board when UK was totally self-sufficient in nuclear and thermal. Then along came Strong, Gore, Mann, Hansen etc and it all turned to custard on the back of fake science and green ideology.

    Sent from my iPhone


  17. R Field permalink
    November 24, 2020 6:37 pm

    I came to the same conclusion ~2yrs ago – ALL the running cost difference between EVs and ICEs is actually just due to tax. Electricity is taxed at 5%, whereas diesel is taxed at 300% (diesel costs 40p per litre + 58p duty then 20% Vat added on top => 78p of 118p diesel pump price is tax).

    If you do 10,000 miles per year, your 45mpg diesel will use 222gallons = 1000 litres = £1180/yr in fuel.

    A comparable small EV will give a real-world return 4.0 miles/kwh (4.5 in summer down to 3.5 in winter)…but the bit the manufacturers omit is you need to add ~10% charging overhead (it takes ~45kwh on your electricity meter to put a 40kwh charge onto your EV battery)
    So the same 10,000 miles in an EV would use 2750kwh @ 13p/kwh = £360/yr electricity cost.

    So you do genuinely save ~£800/yr in fuel and ~£300 in VED – £1100/yr – running an EV vs an ICE – but the saving is 100% tax.

    (If you taxed electricity the same as diesel, electricity would cost 37p/kwh => EV fuel cost would be £1000/yr).

    So the taxpayer is paying for the £1000+/yr running cost savings of EVs, subsidising new EVs £3500 upfront and paying for homechargers to be installed….

    What can you do about it?

    (1) Moan about the Govt’s obvious stupidity in subsidising EVs

    (2) Buy one

    • Devoncamel permalink
      November 24, 2020 7:24 pm

      I might go Ev next contract, it depends on the deal and not green virtue signalling. Ironically Eectricity would be even cheaper without the absurd ROCs and CFDs added to appease unreliable turbines and solar.
      Harmonise the tax/duty on fuel and electricity, abolish subsidies and let the consumer decide. Freedom of choice? It’ll never catch on.

  18. Coeur de Lion permalink
    November 24, 2020 8:45 pm

    European consortium IONITI charges 0.69 euros per kWh. Wow. Btw my Adblu fitted Citroen Picasso diesel pays £20 p.a. Road Tax. – so EV Is worth about four beers. Beat that you petrolheads.

  19. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 24, 2020 9:47 pm

    Despite the Arctic generally being crazy warm at the moment:-

    Verkhoyansk, of the Siberian heatwave ‘record’ fame last summer, below -40C Monday.

    Summit Greenland, similar, forecast -50C next week.

    Oddly Ice extent has surged and caught up with recent years (not that it matters).

    It’s all relative, this Arctic warmth!

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      November 25, 2020 10:07 am

      Open water radiates far more heat to space, leading to a harder freeze.

  20. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 25, 2020 11:24 am

    WHATCAR? had a go at assessing EV range and performance in miles/kWh, reported here

    The 62kWh version of the Nissan Leaf is assessed at 217 miles. Some of the commuter cars would leave you with extreme range anxiety commuting from the M25 to central London.

    The test conditions are relatively mild. 10-15 Centigrade, dry weather, starting from a full battery and not operating close to depletion. At least they include headlights and keeping the car warm to 21 C.

  21. Pancho Plail permalink
    November 25, 2020 9:00 pm

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned it here yet, but in order to get reasonable mileage out of an EV you need to drive at a maximum of about 50mph, so those long motorway journeys are going to become interminable.

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