Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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The Reverse Robin Hood

The Reverse Robin Hood

Joe Public sent in the following:

“There are approx 26m taxpayers in the UK.

There are approx 31m cars on British roads.

There are approx 10k electric cars on British roads.

Each of those ‘leccy-cars received a £5k “subsidy”, paid for by all existing taxpayers / road-users, just to arrive on our roads in the first place.

These ‘leccy-cars are new & expensive, so by definition, they’re unlikely to be owned by society’s poor.

Now, our Government in its infinite ‘wisdom’ (?) has decided to throw another £37m to those ‘leccy-car owners in the form of highly-subsidised public & private charging points. Apparently, installing a charge-point in a home costs about £1,000-£1,500, so our masters want to give away a 75% subsidy. WTF!!! – B & Q sell a 45m extension cable for £40.

The public already knows electric cars have a woefully limited range. Top Gear tested & publicised the fact. Tesla sued and lost, then sued again, and lost again. But credit where it’s due – Tesla are nothing if not persistent. They’ve also enriched the legal community on the other side of the pond where the New York Times have recently publicised their cars’ inadequate range.”

I’m not sure where JP got his numbers, but from what I’ve read that “10k” seemed too big, so I checked on Wikipedia and found a rather more sobering figure of 4,415:

Electric Car Sales Figures

It’s well known that Wikipedia is far from a reliable source, but in view of the recent case of moderator William Connelly deliberately altering/deleting entries to favour the global warming agenda, I think this is likely to be accurate. A domestic extension cable will also be of limited use when re-charging electric cars, due to the enormous amounts of power required. It would suffice for the overnight charging of more modest examples, but for the “fast charge” stations which are being planned, it’s a whole different ball game. The 480-volt Supercharger stations mentioned in the NYT article (linked above) require a large, heavy cable and plug. The general public being let loose with this sort of voltage also fills me with dread – it’s lethal and can cause hideous arcing and burns if a cable were to be damaged.

This is also where the Green panacea of an enforced “Zero Carbon” transport future goes into the realms of fantasy.  Quite apart from the physical and chemical impossibility of fully recharging a battery in minutes (unlike refuelling a conventional car), if every service station was to be equipped with large banks of fast chargers, the grid as we know it would collapse. The suggestion of “quick change” battery packs is never going to happen, as it would require all vehicle manufacturers to standardise, and would further limit the design and range of sizes available.

Perhaps this is the answer?

quick change battery pack Reverse Robin Hood

So we come to overnight charging at owners homes. I hardly need point out that lots of car drivers don’t have off-street parking spaces, and the thought of hundreds of charging posts sprouting in every street is comical. Have our “leaders” not heard of vandalism, to say nothing of  “Elf & Safety” ? But even if this wasn’t a consideration, the problem of supplying the power still looms large. I’m sure most of you are aware of “Smart Metering” – which is being promoted as a way to “encourage” energy efficiency, and give customers “control” of their bills. Sorry, but that’s utter bollocks – it is a necessary part of the future electricity supply, and is the ONLY way that the huge increase of Renewable Energy planned will ever be able to integrated into the grid.

The more astute of you are aware of the BM Reports website, and other real time monitoring facilities – and will also know how rapidly and by how much the output of wind turbines varies. This is already giving grid managers headaches, as they attempt to control conventional power stations to keep the frequency within limits. The closure (next month) of several older plants is going to further reduce the spare capacity. These factors will require a means of limiting demand when there is simply not enough power available. They envisage a whole range of “Smart” domestic appliances which are able to communicate with the supply meter, and national control centres. It will result in energy guzzlers, such as washing machines and tumble dryers being shut down during peak periods, or if you have to use them, a considerable increase in the rate you are charged.

A “Smart Grid” will also be needed to integrate large numbers of electric vehicles into the equation, and manage the network to avoid sudden overloads. Fine until there is a typical winter high pressure zone, leading to negligible output for several days…. Then you will find your car isn’t fully charged the next morning! Proposals already exist for this magical fleet to act as distributed storage for the grid, enabling surplus energy to be collected, and then taken back when demand peaks. It’s envisaged that your typical driving habits will be recorded, and the amount of charge available each day matched to your likely usage.  Wonderful if you have a domestic emergency, and need to travel some distance… I am not making this up – I’ve read several government and industry documents which have examined the idea in detail. One I’m still working my way though is entitled “Electric Vehicles: charged with potential”  by the Royal Academy of Engineering. You can download it (PDF, 56 pages) here.

This report is sceptical of the current governments commitment to the ridiculous 2008 Climate Change Act, introduced by our old friends in the Liebor party:

The challenges to 2020, and onwards to 2050, are of an extraordinary scale and complexity, way outside ‘business as usual’

Another interesting bit is the following:

5.4 Can EVs reduce transport CO2 emissions?
A car comparison website lists the CO2 emissions for all of the UK’s major new cars. The average CO2 emissions rating is 173g/km (grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven), the lowest being 89g/km and the highest 500g/km. The 2020 target for average emissions is 130g/km. It is expected that this figure will be reduced progressively and some experts are talking about a long-term target of around 80g/km for 4-seat internal combustion engine vehicles.

Results from electric vehicle trials show that EVs equivalent to a small petrol or diesel four-seat car use around 0.2kWh/km in normal city traffic. CO2 emissions from power stations vary from year to year and also over the daily cycle as the carbon intensity of generation changes: in 2009 it was 544g/kWh. Thus the emissions related to an EV are about 100g/km. Trials on a small fleet of four two-seat Smart Move vehicles have shown average CO2 emissions of 81.4g/km using
electricity of the same carbon intensity.

On this basis, it is difficult to see how EVs fed from the present UK electricity generation mix are significantly better in terms of carbon emissions than petrol or diesel vehicles. To have a major effect commensurate with the 2050 target, the introduction of EVs would need to be accompanied by almost total ‘decarbonisation’ of the electricity supply.

Bearing in mind this was written in 2010 it is worth noting that several cars emitting less than 100g/km are already on the market, and continuing research will reduce this still further. BUT… we are talking about conventional cars with ranges of 300-600+ miles, able to maintain high speeds with either heating or air-conditioning running, AND capable of being fully refuelled in a few minutes! Now contrast that with the Tesla Model S which is the subject of the latest spat between the manufacturers and a journalist who took 5 hours to make a one hour journey, which was completed on the back of a tow truck!

The future doesn’t look very bright for purely electric cars right now…

Toyota scales back electric car plans

By the way, I see others have commented on the rather worrying “privacy” issues related to that spat between Tesla and the NYT:  Will cars eventually need a “Do Not Track” option?

 Microdave.

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23 comments

  1. Another superbly researched piece, MD. You dig out the facts which confirm what a lot of us feel intuitively.

    What really pisses me off is these people who have latched on to the name of ‘Tesla’. Nikola Tesla was a genius whose full potential was stifled by the usual interested parties and ne’er-do-wells. The world would be a very different place indeed if he had been encouraged to develop more of his amazing ideas on energy production and transmission. But then wtf do I know? ‘Absolutely fuck all, Caratacus’ came the resounding reply .. back you go to the sheltered accommodation ;-)

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  2. Very good Dave. This is a scam on an industrial scale, as much about control as anything, coupled with a religious-like zealotry.

    The question to ask about the subsidies is who benefits and where does the money go? There is a certain hypocrisy to green promotion. Tim Yeo was outed today in The Mail over his green interests and thus his unsuitability for his Ministerial role. Of course, being a politician, being neutral and actually representing the interests of the majority is not their raison d’etre.

    As for car battery charging, people would adapt their habits accordingly and the market would come up with products that meet a demand at a price people can afford (market-driven solutions: obviously an alien concept to the NuTory Marxist-lite party). LibLabCon – the One Party State.

    Smart meters too are a stupid idea, far too costly with dubious benefits – more control; more bogus environmentalism. Lies, dodgy ‘science,’ corruption, the few filling their boots.

    That’s not to say there should be technological advances and better use of resources, however, you do wonder where this will end.

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  3. That’s an interesting table you’ve found from Wikipedia MDave.

    Renault is bitterly disappointed at selling only 67 of their “Fluence” electric-powered vehicles, so they’ve embarked upon a massive R & D programme for a wind powered vehicle.

    To keep costs down and use as many off-the-shelf components from existing production lines as possible, they’ve decided to use the same alphabet characters, and name the new vehicle as before but simply add the letters “a” + “t” + “l”

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    • I think you’re onto something there, Joe. A wind powered car that runs off the driver’s farts. Probably run a damn sight better than these crappy lecky jobs do, especially if the driver has a diet rich in pulses such as er, baked beans.

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      • Already been done Wiggy ;-)

        If I may quote from one of the verses of “The Good Ship Venus”

        “The first mate’s name was Carter,
        By Christ he was a farter,
        When the wind didn’t blow
        And the ship wouldn’t go,
        They asked Carter the Farter to start ‘er”

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        • Remind me how the chorus goes again.

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          • Ahem, pause for breath …

            Friggin’ in the riggin’, tossin’ in the crossin’,
            Wankin’ in the plankin’, there’s fuck all else to do.
            (Or – and as an alternative to “wankin’ in the plankin’”):
            Cummin’ in the plummin’, there’s fuck all else to do.

            I do like to help wherever I can ;-)

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  4. MD, isn’t there any technology out there that could enable reasonably unmodified conventional car engines to run off a suitably chemically-engineered derivative of coal? I don’t know what the weight/energy ratio of coal is compared to diesel or petrol, but it should be close enough to make the concept feasible in theory at any rate? Surely research ought to be done on this since we’ve got billions of tons of the fucking stuff right under our feet in this country and we could then tell those smelly arab goat-humpers to go fuck themselves.

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    • No need for that EW, the technology is already in place to run any engine on water alone. Problem is, if you don’t sell your idea to those arab goat humpers so they can bury it forever, they send the boys around to murder you.

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      • Brilliant video Ripper. Especially the part about the water engine inventor.

        Just get’s the old piss boiling though when you think of the people that are screwing us daily.

        Not allowed to do this. Not allowed to do that. Do what you’re told. Keeping being screwed for taxes on everything.

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      • Hi Ripper

        Being an obstinate sort of bugger I started looking around for more regarding Stan Meyer and came across this:-

        http://www.aardvark.co.nz/stanley_meyer.shtml

        It claims Meyers was a scam artist.

        Now I’m totally confused.

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    • IIRC the first “Diesel” engine was fuelled by finely powdered coal, blasted into the cylinder with compressed air. But that was a slow running single cylinder stationary engine, so I don’t think there’s much point trying to modify and old Peugot car engine – stick to using old cooking oil!

      But as far as using our coal goes, there is no need to dig the stuff up – underground coal gasification technology has been around for some time, and can extract the hydrocarbon energy without the attendant side effects, and unwanted pollution. There is also coal to oil, which was used during the last war: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_liquefaction

      Undoubtedly there are political reasons why neither of these have been developed further, and you can bet the Greens would try their very best to stop it – they can’t bear the thought of plentiful, cheap energy…

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  5. Nice one Dave. Interesting thoughtful piece.

    I’ve just bought myself a nice new petrol guzzling Subaru. Bollocks to Global Warming and Electric cars. I usually take my lead from Prince Charles when it comes to economising and saving the planet but a Bentley or Aston was to pricey.

    The most polluting cars must be electric. The manufacturing process and the recycling. It’s just another system for controlling the peasants and getting them to pay for it.

    A question Dave. Isn’t compressed air a better system?

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    • “A question Dave. Isn’t compressed air a better system?”

      For limited range, yes. Peugeot are working on a small car with a compressed air/hybrid system. It is much lighter than batteries, and doesn’t suffer from gradual reduction of capacity. It still has losses – when you compress air heat is generated (think bicycle pumps), and if you release the pressure the temperature will drop. Any moisture in the system will easily freeze, so a desiccant module is needed. HGV’s often get stranded on a winters morning after overnight stops, if the water hasn’t been drained from their brake systems frequently, and has frozen in the pipes and valves.

      I doubt that a sufficient amount of air could be stored to give a decent range, however for stop/start city work it is, I think, a better way than batteries. A simple, light, hybrid system to recover energy otherwise wasted during braking will give decent improvements in fuel consumption. BUT trying to power a car solely on electricity is a bloody stupid idea – the energy density from any current or even experimental battery is far too low. Apart from short range commuting it’s an absurd waste of money, and since we are now faced with a looming shortage of electricity, the very last thing needed is to put more strain on the grid.

      Why can’t the fuckwits in WWF, Greenpeace etc see that the best way to conserve energy is to accept that one solution DOES NOT fit all. Use hydrocarbons for transport, and keep electricity for powering fixed equipment.

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  6. Paul Pantone – American Inventor.
    This chap created engines that ran on water. Needless to say, the poor fellow was tortured and locked up
    in a loony-bin for a very long time. Obviously his ‘Green’ credentials were to good for that time. ;-)

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    • >ran on water

      Yeah, right. Harnessing the power of homeopathy, no doubt.

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  7. Water is just hydrogen and oxygen – hence the chemical formula H2O. It can’t be burned as such, but if it is split into the constituent parts then these will burn VERY nicely. HOWEVER to separate them requires lots of energy – normally electrolysis so you can’t get something for nothing. Once again the Greens think “pollution free” hydrogen powered cars will be the answer, completely forgetting that you have to manufacture it in the first place. They envisage all the surplus electricity (sic) from windfarms being used to split water into hydrogen, storing it, then using this to power transport or generators in times of low wind. But the overall losses are huge, and it will never be a practical answer…

    The older ones amongst us will remember that large piston aero engines used water or water/methanol injection to get extra power for short periods. It does not mean it was burnt, just that it helped cool the incoming fuel/air mixture and prevent detonation. This enabled higher boost pressures from the superchargers. I do wonder if some of the “engine runs on water” ideas are getting confused with this?

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    • Nevertheless, Dave, I can’t help thinking that it’s all too convenient for the globalist-environmentalist brigade. I’d bet my life that someone somewhere at sometime has come up with an elegant and cheap solution to the energy crisis and has had a bullet in the head for his trouble. These filthy cunts that run the world don’t want the peasants to have the benefits of cheap, abundantly available fuels. They are spiteful, vindictive, mean-spirited scumbags that would deny us such benefits simply because they’re evil and keeping the masses subjugated makes these deviant, twisted fuck-heads feel good. Taking just one example: when the coal mines were shut down back in the 80s, a delegation of decent, hard-working miners who had never been a part of the Marxist cabal under the likes of Gormley/Scargill/Mcgachie met with Thatcher’s cabinet ministers and begged to be allowed to work the pits on a non-commercial, subsistence basis purely because they were proud men who didn’t want to have to rot on the dole. Thatcher and her cronies refused their request and insisted the mines be kept closed. The consequent ruination of those mining communities due to the twin curses of unemployment and hard drugs could easily have been avoided by allowing these fine men to support themselves, but as ever, the strong shat on the meek and destroyed countless families and communities just because they could and enjoyed doing so. Labour or the Lib/Dems would have been no different. We have to recognise that the biggest and most dangerous enemy this country has is not some rag-head in a desert fox hole with his AK-47; it’s the perfidious, self-serving vermin infesting Westminster and the town halls the length and breadth of this fucked-up country.

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      • As usual Wiggy, you have put into words exactly what every honest, hard working member of this fucked up Country knows to be fact.
        Coal fired Power Stations are the only way forward. The Greens are obviously demented left wing commies, with shit for brains who can see no further than the end of civilisation, if they get their way. I cannot work out their game plan? Their aim must be to destroy this Country even further than these “perfidious, self serving vermin infesting Westminster” spineless morons have managed to ruin so far.
        The concept of electric cars to save something that does not exist, (Global Warming) is madness, as is Wind Turbines and other crazy and unnecessarily extremely expensive ways of producing the most important energy source this planet requires to function. Biomass electrical power has a far higher “CO” emission ratio to atmosphere than coal. Are these “Greens” so brainwashed they cannot see reality?
        And, South Africa have been producing their own petrol from coal for at least 40 years since the trade sanctions were imposed on that Country during the Apartheid era.
        This is not new.
        We could so easily half the price of electricity, and petrol production (excluding Tax and Duty) if this “green” nonsense was kicked into touch. Why are people soooo gullible to believe this propaganda and nonsensical energy policy the last two Governments have been advocating??

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  8. Privatise the BBC

    I’d love one of these:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Nucleon

    Not to drive but to piss of the mentalists…

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  9. Thanks, Dave. Excellent piece.

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  10. I’ve discovered why Renault have shifted only 67 Fluences.

    Adverse influences (geddit??) on potential punters’ purchasing rationale must [beside the purchase cost of c£22.5k pre-PiCG (Plug-in Car Grant)] be the additional Mandatory Battery Hire of £76.00/month based upon a miserly (36 months, 6,000 miles / year)

    http://www.renault.co.uk/cars/model/fluence-ze/pricesandspecs.aspx

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  11. Flubber. It’s the only answer…

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