Wednesday, 12 February 2020

How is this going to Happen?

Stupidity from Shapps via the BBC

Last week, the government sparked industry concern after bringing the date forward from 2040 to 2035 in a bid to hit zero-carbon emission targets.

But Mr Shapps told BBC Radio 5 live it would happen by 2035, "or even 2032," adding there would be consultation.

Of course, the consultation will mean that every green sockpuppet paid for by the government will file returns because they know exactly where to go, so it'll be a consultation in favour.

But aside from that, how will it even happen?

For one thing, we don't have the cars. We've got the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla, a few really expensive cars, but very few are being bought. They're also only tackling smaller cars, and for people needing a bit of offroad or towing power, they aren't there. People just don't like the range. Or the cost.

But even if someone creates a Ford Mondeo size car with decent range at a good price in 3 years, are most people going to rush out to buy them, or are they going to wait and see what problems occur? Maybe that battery won't be good in 5 years. It's not like there's huge upsides. OK, cheaper to run, but petrol's a pretty small cost of owning a new car. Plus, for a while, it's going to still be difficult to fill the car.

So for many years after, the dominant demand will still be for petrol because of charging. Over time, as it's adopted more, it might change, but by 2032, I seriously doubt we'll have seen a changeover.

And we simply don't have the power network to charge every car, and the lead time for nuclear power is far beyond a decade.


Piotr Wasik said...

If a battery in a smartphone or a tablet seriously deteriorates within 3 years max, I don't see why it would be any different in a car. if the car manufacturers say otherwise, I am more inclined to believe they lie: initially underreporting battery capacity, let it deteriorate over years to catch up reality with reported capacity.

Piotr Wasik said...

also, 10 years ago or more, when internet was talking about peak oil, I believed we will see alcohol powered cars as a solution. technology is not very different from petrol powered cars, something like you guys discussed here few days ago, about synthetic fuels. alcohol - even if it spills - has little environmental impact, and you have no issues with battery longevity, energy stored in the tank does not disappear, whereas batteries discharge even if not driven. alcohol production would compete against food production unfortunately. so, I was very surprised to see a shift to battery operated, electric cars instead.

jim said...

I believe the govt and the car makers are acting out an elaborate play. On the one hand govt wants to look green but leaving the EU means we don't have to care much. Having an indigenous car industry is a useful earner but not such a big employer.

The car makers probably know that battery and charging technology is not advancing fast enough and that the leccy car market will probably plateau. Hence the fuss over cutting out 'hybrid' cars. As any fule kno, no-one plugs in a hybrid, all the energy comes from the fuel. Hybrids are a way of looking green but not really and get the car makers out of a hole but leave govt in a hole albeit a slightly camouflaged hole.

My money says petrol and diesel will still be with us in 2032 and Mr Shapps long forgotten.

ontheotherhand said...

In order to understand how/why a change to electric might take hold, I would like to understand why LPG Autogas dual fuel did not take off as a bridging technology. I have it on my big old family car and enjoy the 65p per litre. It has lower emissions and so could help to meet these silly targets.

LPG is a by-product of oil extraction and refining and the UK has an abundant supply. Currently the UK exports LPG and imports petrol.

So it has the range, is backwards compatible, is cheaper per mile. There is an up front conversion cost (but people will pay more for diesel engines to get lower running costs, so why not for LPG), and the tank has to go somewhere.

So it seems to me that being cheaper per mile and 'better' for the environment is not enough to get people to change. I suspect the diesel engine manufacturer lobby had something to do with that.

Staffordshire man said...

Let's face it, unless the government makes a threat like this then the motor industry will do sfa. My father started on Model Ts and the fundamental engine tech has not changed. We should give massive subsidies to new companies and not a penny to existing motor companies - they've had a hundred years of profits which they never invested.

I can't wait for all the garages to go bust too, another scam that has been inflicted upon us.

Bayard said...

The main problem with hybrid cars is that their marketing has been all wrong. If you look back at the history of cars, all the innovations and improvements to the driving experience have always come out on the most expensive cars first, then trickled down to more everyday models. You only have to drive an "everyday" car from the 70s to have that point rammed home. So, if "green crap" hadn't been involved, hybrid cars would have appeared, probably as series hybrids, as top-of-the-range sports cars being sold for the superior performance and fuel economy achievable with a electric motors and regenerative braking. By now, more economy models would be coming on to the market, with manufacturers cashing in on the cache of electric traction: "Why drive a GTi when you can have the performance of a GTiE?" or some such sales speak.
Instead hybrids were aimed at the ecologically pious, and offered with a subsidy and nothing shouts "nobody really wants these" quite so loud as a subsidy. Not that it made the cars any cheaper either, nearly all the subsidy just went on the price. People have had decades of experience in selling cars, and centuries of experience selling horses before that, but none of that is any good when something is introduced for political reasons, not because there is actually a real demand for it.

Bayard said...

"cache" should have been "cachet".

Barman said...

@ Stafordshire man

To suggest that the automotive technology hasn't moved on sine the Model T is clearly ridiculous.

mombers said...

An interesting view on the economics of electric cars is that they have a lifespan of 4 times longer than an ICE car (250,000 v 1,000,000 miles). This is due to the far smaller number of moving parts and lack of contained fire. Replacing the battery is small beer compared to replacing the entire car after 250,000m and replacing significant parts several times during the lifespan of the vehicle.
This is coming from someone who hasn't driven for 15 years though so YMMV

Derek said...

PW: "If a battery in a smartphone or a tablet seriously deteriorates within 3 years max, I don't see why it would be any different in a car."

Main reason that lifespans are so short is the amount of abuse the batteries get. For best lifespan a Lithium-ion battery shouldn't be allowed to discharge below 20% or charge above 80% but of course most people ignore that or have no way of knowing, so the batteries in their cell phones/tablets/laptops deteriorate much faster than they should.

Now the same may happen in most electric vehicles for all I know, but Tesla at least takes this seriously and has software which only lets the battery charge to 100% if or discharge to 0% if you over-ride it. Under normal cicrcumstances it will charge to the 80% mark and then stop. If you need to charge beyond that for a long trip, it will do so but only at a slow rate so as to minimise damage.

Result? Tesla batteries seem to last a loooong time compared to smart-phone batteries. See This Quora question for more details.

But whether this is true for other makes I know not.

Lola said...

The thing is, this is Draconian ban. I despise politicians that 'ban' things. And this ban is based on dodgy science. Essentially when you discuss CO2 etc with a grennie you are involved in a game of Top Trumps. There are equally compelling arguments on both sides. The layman is left floundering by either camp.

As I see it its all about energy density. There is a lot in a gallon of petrol and diesel. Not nearly so much in a battery - size for size. In addition refuelling a battery is very time consuming.

I buy Shell fuel and as a Shell Go + person they offset my carbon production. (Don't ask me how).

Also you can now make petrol / diesel from CO2 from the atmosphere plus hydrogen produced by electrolysis from electricity from (say) windfarms.

Personally I'd be happy with a plug in hybrid. Electric to commute (5 miles each way a day) and an ICE for long runs.

Something else I'd like to see is much, much lighter cars. Generally the lighter the car the better the fuel consumption.

Bayard said...

"Something else I'd like to see is much, much lighter cars."

"You are in this cage for your own protection" Remember that?

Lola said...

Bayard. No. But I get your point.
But on a factual level a lighter vehicle with a stiff and strong structure is perfectly feasible - look at F1 cars. Which, intriguingly are probably the most fuel efficient cars on the planet...

Staffordshire man said...


To suggest that the automotive technology hasn't moved on sine the Model T is clearly ridiculous.

But I didn't say that did I? I said " fundamental engine tech has not changed"
now, as far as I'm aware it is still basically a four stroke engine with some mods.

It's been a cosy relationship between oil and motors for decades.

Dinero said...

" fundamental engine tech has not changed"

Contrary to that statement and its context , new car mpg has doubled since the 1970s.

Mark Wadsworth said...

See my post of just now. Ballpark, we'd have to reduce miles driven by half.

Staffordshire man said...


The fact that consumption has changed does not counter my statement, consumption involves many factors besides the engine, which I repeat, uses a four stroke system which has hardly changed.

If you have a standard ICE I would be surprised if mileage has doubled since the '70s

FYI a model T could do up to 21mpg - a that's an american gallon

Lola said...

Staffs man

MPG doubling. My old 1995 LWB Defender 2.5 TDi did 25 - 28 MPG. Original Landrover series 1 did about 14 MPG. Defender approx 2 tonnes. Series 1 about half that.

Ford Pop 1950's about 30 to 35 MPG. Focus diesel 50 plus MPG. and the 1 litre ecoboost about the same.

My mates 1950 something Lotus Elite also does about 35 + - but it's relatively light and streamlined.

And so on.

The 4 stroke cycle is basically unchanged but the way it is handled has improved hugely - variable valve timing, piezo electric fuel multi point fuel injection, construction materials, things like Mazda skyactive which combines spark ignition and compression ignition in one engine. The car I race has a 1300 pre crossflow Ford engine max about 130 HP. A modern 1000 motorbike engine easily 150 HP

and so on.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Din, SM, L, yes, mpg has approx doubled since the 1970s, I would have thought that to be accepted fact.

mombers said...

Does anyone have a solution for the problem of air pollution in urban and suburban areas that does not involve electric cars? Even a dirty coal station far away from lungs is a better solution than the illegal levels of particulates, NO2, etc. literally right under our noses.

Also could the figures for mileage be converted to litres per 100km (or gallons per 100 miles if you must) as comparing mpg figures isn't easy...

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, come on man!

Divide 283 by one and you get the other.

28.3 mpg = 10 l/km

8 l/km = 35.4 mpg

mombers said...

@MW it's the ratio that is the problem, not the units. See It's a lot harder to compare mpg than g/100m or l/100km.

Which is better: Replacing an 18-mpg car with a 28-mpg one, or going from a 34-mpg car to one that returns 50 mpg?

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, fair point, but easy answer.

Both should go to 50 mpg car.

Lola said...

Monbers. Yes. DPF and Adblue make diesel very clean.
And there are lab production of carbon neutral petrol/ diesel.
Basically, get old diesel / petrol replaced by new ASAP.

Bayard said...

Mombers, I can just about remember from those far-off days when I was studying engineering that diesel engines ran far more efficiently when they were running 1) at a constant speed and 2) at a slow speed, diesel being a slow-burning fuel. Now, I would have thought, although I can't remember whether it is the case*, that a slow running constant speed diesel would therefore produce less particulates. Now, of course, that sort of engine wouldn't be any good in a vehicle, unless it was part of a series hybrid powertrain, which brings us back to hybrid vehicles again.

*If anyone knows an engineer who can confirm or deny this, I'd love to know.

Dinero said...

>Bayard. " Series hybrids "

That is pretty much what hybrids are doing.

"The battery is big enough that the electric motor can power the car for up to 1.25 miles."

Staffordshire man said...

US government stats for passenger cars; 1980 24.3 2017 39.4 - both mpg (us)
Hardly breathtaking is it

As I said motor companies do nothing unless they're kicked up the jacksie, this newly threatened ban is due to their own negligence.

Mark Wadsworth said...

SM, 1970s, average 25 mpg (from memory).

Current figures = 408 billion miles and 37 billion litres = 11 miles/litre = 50 mpg.

So fuel economy has doubled.

Staffordshire man said...

Mark, my figures were not from memory but from the US gov website.

Anyway, improvement is weak compared to other industries and, if you recall, my original remark was concerning basic technology not mpg.

I don't know if it's true that GM bought an electric car company and then closed it down but it is certainly true that public transport infrastructure was bought and then ripped up (california and detroit).

Oil companies + motor companies = shit for the rest of us

Mark Wadsworth said...

SM, the USA is another country and they will do whatever they want to do.

I was discussing what they intend to do here in the UK, where, thanks to culture, high fuel taxes and various regulations, fuel economy has improved quite markedly.

Staffordshire man said...

My original point was to do with the UK, the upcoming ban is due to the lack of action from the this industry, it's a shame, I like cars but don't blame the government

Have you tried buying camera film recently, that's what is going to happen to petrol within 25 years.

Bayard said...

We shouldn't be having to ban ICE vehicles: it's an admission of failure. Centralised control and economic decisions being made for political reasons was what brought down Communism in Eastern Europe. However, politicians from both the Left and the Right love forcing people to do things for their own good.