Electric cars

I have no problem with a government encouraging electric cars. I am keen on measures to clean up old bus and other vehicle exhausts to improve air quality and support money for bus retrofits.

It seems to me the best way to promote electric cars is for the industry to make them our vehicles of choice by improving their product choices. These cars need to offer longer range, faster charging and lower prices for more people to want to buy them.

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  1. Richard1
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Banning diesel and petrol by 2040 seems arbitrary, the govt have no idea whether universal electric vehicles will be viable by then. But it’s long enough away for none of the current cabinet to be held accountable – good solid gesture politics.

    Matt Ridley has a good piece on this:-


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Somebody on the TV said that hybrids will still be allowed, that is you can still have an internal combustion engine provided it is linked to an electric motor. I don’t know if that is true but it seems a more sensible compromise. One question not even asked let alone answered was how long it will take to recharge the battery if you find that you’re running out part way through a journey. Just minutes at a petrol station to refill your tank and then you can continue your journey, but how many hours will be needed to top up your battery sufficiently to get you to your destination? Or will it be a case of paying to swap your depleted battery for one which is fully charged, so that you can actually keep your appointment?

      • dec
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        My current diesel is linked to an electric motor. Its called an alternator, so its a hybrid!!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          No that is an alternator (electric generator) the electric motor is the starter motor or the window and wiper motors.

        • APL
          Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          dec: “Its called an alternator, so its a hybrid!!”

          Don’t forget the ‘starter motor’, that’s definately linked to the internal combustion engine.

          So my petrol car is a hybrid too.

          Politicians, not one clue between 650 of them!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 29, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            Indeed 650 of them and only about 50 have a clue about science, engineering, economics or even basic logic.

      • graham1946
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        I can’t see how hybrids will work long term. Once the demand for petrol drops and there’s no money in it, will the oil firms keep open loss making sites? Will they be able to survive on electric charges when most people will surely do it at night at home rather than hang around a service station during the day. Our local Lidl supermarket has a charging point for 3 cars using different types of connector but I have only seen it used once. What happens when more than one at a time want a charge? It’s all madness and is not going to happen.

      • Hope
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Today we see the news where people are standing and sitting on floors of trains when prices still go up. HS2 rumbles on at huge cost with no benefit. Instead of the news being about Kabours u turn / lies on student debts, Back stabbed Gove grabs the headline to contradict Liam Fox over chicken FFS.

        Your party might be wedded to wasting billions in overseas aid on despot causes while our public services cannot cope but the public anger will not stop as your govt continues its mass immigration policy. UKIP were against it. If a Farage comes back your party will be hammered at the next election with a Corbyn taking over. About time your govt acted in the interests of the majority and the majority of its core voters. Someone needs to get a grip with EU negotiations, strategy for country in key areas energy, public service and finance, and media ASAP.

        May was never going to cut the mustard with her appalling record, but Tory remainiacs ensured she got to be PM. Your party needs to dump her ASAP, change cabinet if the likes of Rudd and Hammond.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Hi Denis Cooper,
        What a sensible compromise indeed!
        Especially for you we can offer you from the Netherlands the MINI COOPER S E ALL4 (hybrid), catalogue price a mere €40,000. With a bit of ingenious negotiating (a British talent) I’m sure that you can knock down this price, and . . . no tariffs (I assume).

        • Richard1
          Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          €40k for a hybrid mini??!! We really need free trade with Japan!

      • Mark
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        That would be hard when the battery is built into the vehicle chassis in order to accommodate the necessary volume and to spread the weight across the wheels as in the Tesla designs.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for that info, Mark.

      • Martin
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        I agree that hybrids ought to be allowed too. For folk making rural long cross country journeys there are often no viable public transport options. Having a small petrol back up engine/generator makes a lot sense.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Indeed they make sense, but they are basically just petrol cars in essence other than for very short journeys.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          Dear Martin–You are so right about no (omit viable) public transport–There might once have been a time when people would either have stayed in their home village or made such journeys as were possible but not anymore–We are all equal now–The Caroline Lucases of this world continually whining for more money on public transport are no help whatsoever–Except in certain specific and rare circumstances (like the next village or town if one is lucky) getting from A to the B where one wants to be is out of the question by public transport, short of a long walk to the station and half a dozen changes and at best long waits, unless one counts expensive taxis and even then…..Buses, near us at least, are unreliable and useless.

      • oldtimer
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Mr Gove said that hybrids that are powered by i/c engines would be banned too!

        • ian wragg
          Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          What other type of charger is available for hybrids. Gove who I thought was clever turns out to be as thick as the rest of them.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Once again Michael Gove shows that he is incapable of making even a simple announcement without leaving confusion in his wake … it appears that the restriction of the ban to “conventional” petrol and diesel cars means that hybrids are not included.


          “The sales ban, which does not include hybrids … ”


          “ALL CARS sold in the UK from 2040 will be electrified, the government has announced, in a bid to remove “conventional” diesel and petrol vehicles from our roads.

          Reports yesterday stated that even hybrid vehicles, including those that plug in, would be banned under the plans, but the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs later told Autocar that hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles meeting emissions regulations will still be allowed under.”

        • stred
          Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          Ministers speak with forked tongue. Petrol engines produce almost as much NOx as E6 diesels. Adblue can be used in cities to reduce it to zero and filters already cut PMs to below background level. This might give us an extra few day life after 80 years living in Oxford Street. What a bunch of clowns run this country.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        I thought Renault had come up with a scheme where the battery pack is pluggable, you just drive over a changer type device and the battery automatically gets swapped out.

        Might also help if auto makers came up with a unified spec for pluggable battery packs.

      • David Price
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        I believe Tesla experimented with replacing battery packs in way stations but found it impractical. They opted for 300+ mile capacity instead.

        It makes sense to keep hybrid systems as there are use cases that clearly benefit from such an approach and go a good way to cutting down on pollution particularly if mated with regenerative braking.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      The are allowing hybrids which are really just petrol/diesel cars with an additional small battery and motor. They make some sense with regenerative brakiing and more efficient running.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 4:28 am | Permalink

      It won’t matter if the cars are not economically viable. Cars will no longer be for the masses and we are being forced into the Chinese way of a bicycle and a bowl of rice every day – we are even being told that policies are for our own good.

      • Mark
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        The Chinese now have the world’s largest vehicle market, and the second largest oil consumption at over 12 million barrels a day. No more can Katie Melua sing of nine million bicycles in Beijing. They will I am sure be quite happy to carry on spreading the affluence that that brings, while we retreat back towards the Stone Age.

  2. Iain Moore
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    There is 10 kilos of lithium in an electric car’s battery.

    37,000 tons of Lithium is produced every year , if all of it goes to produce electric cars it would mean we would only be able to produce 3,700,000 cars,

    The world car production is 90,000,000 cars.

    The total reserves of Lithium is 13,000,000 tons , enough for the production of 1.3 billion cars, or 15 years of electric car production.

    The planned increase production of Lithium isn’t even enough to cover the demand of the planned Tesla car production.

    Oh and much of the worlds supply of Lithium is to be found in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, China, Congo, Russia, Serbia.

    But never mind lets all be happy clappy environmentalists and lets all go electric.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Exactly Iain. The rare earth minerals needed for wind turbines is extracted from China where there are large areas of land that are toxic and many have died from having to live there. I really cannot see why the likes of WWWF and FOE cannot see this. All of this is a disaster in the making.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      It has all the hallmarks of the British Politicians’ disease of gesture politics and lack of thinking. Just like making our industry uncompetitive with high energy prices, the UK will be the only ones doing it, while the rest of the world carries and laughs.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Interesting article from Greentech Media (an offshoot of the respected energy consultants Wood Mackenzie) : “Geopolitics of Lithium Production” authored by Tam Hunt,30/6/15.Free to view on the web.

      It makes the point that “Lithium is fully recyclable so it is not an exhaustible commodity like oil” and that two-thirds of then known reserves are located in Chile and Bolivia and then discusses the geopolitics and particularly the actions of Russia and China in securing supplies.

      • Mark
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        “fully recyclable” is probably something of an exaggeration. From some recent research:

        The team’s hydrometallurgical method can recover both cobalt and lithium in their laboratory-scale tests from standard 48.8 Wh lithium batteries. This involves first baking the battery in an oven at 700 Celsius to “calcinate” the cobalt, lithium and copper components to destroy organic compounds, such as plastics and foams. The calcined material carrying metal and metal compounds (salts and oxides) is then treated with strong acid, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, to leach out the metal ions. The team experimented with using hydrogen peroxide as a reducing agent to see whether that reagent would improve the leaching process. They were able to extract the lithium with almost 50 percent efficiency and the cobalt with almost 25 percent efficiency.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Indeed further battery research makes sense as do some hybrids, but government trying to change the laws of physics ain’t very likely to work. Nature will not be fooled by potty politician or priests. It has no worked with their very expensive job exporting greencrap “renewables” after all. Nor with their absurd climate alarmism prediction which have been so very wrong.

      Another largely nonsense idea (much pushed by the green loons), with current technology anyway is using car batteries to store the intermittent greencrap energy off the grid. This as the batteries can only do so many charges and discharges before they slowly die and power is lost in the process too. Who wants to age and devalue their £10,000 expensive car battery, just to store perhaps 50P of electricity overnight and save perhaps £10P. Anyways you never know if you need the car charged up the next day so most will want to keep it full just in case the do.

      Far better to generate with gas or coal as needed than to store. Other than perhaps with hydro pumping occasionally. If only we had some more numerate physicists in the commons. Instead of PPE and geography dopes or endless lawyers.

      • David Price
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        More recent research suggests that the battery performance and lifetime is actually increased by managed V2G usage than degraded;


        The batteries don’t cost 10k, the current replacement cost for a Leaf battery is more like 5k.

        The current recommendation is to not maintain a battery at full charge rather charge it to a maximum of 80% unless you will be taking a long trip.

        I do agree with your sentiment about having more practical people in government, but perhaps they should be engineers rather than those who rely solely on theory and conjecture.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Don’t ignore the predictions that the proposed lithium mines in Cornwall will meet the UK’s requirements

    • Vanessa
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Well said – never any thought of how. Bit like solar panels – they need a lot of silver to be manufactured. If we are to have much more renewable energy we have to plaster these things over an area of Spain to keep the lights on but there is not enough silver mined in the world to make that many. No research. Typical ignorant politicians.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Not only Lithium but “rare earth” seems to have been snapped up by the Chinese.

      Battery technology needs a radical improvement if it really is going to be the real replacement for petrol powered cars.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Dear Dice–The Rare Earths, with that Oh so silly name, are not particularly Rare and most certainly are not “Earths”

      • David Price
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Rare Earth elements are not rare, the Japanese discover humungous amounts offshore a few years ago and just need to figure out how to get at it.

        • Gareth
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. Some so-called Rare Earth Elements are actually more commonplace in the crust than tin.

    • David Price
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      The leaf 24kWh battery has 4Kg of Lithium, not 10Kg, and Tesla is currently more worried about access to Cobalt than Lithium.

  3. Duncan
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    What has happened to the Conservatives? Jesus wept

    Gesture politics. Pandering to vocal minorities across many areas such as gender, sexuality and race politics

    The Tories have morphed into New Labour mark II

    Just a pathetic shower and May, well what can one say about this PM.

    People desire decency, morality, nationality, sovereignty and common sense and we get this utter bilge

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      And these witless people scratch their heads at the singular popularity of Mr Putin with his traditionalist agenda!

    • Oggy
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Well said Sir, my thoughts entirely.

    • M.W.Browne
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      I think this all stems from when May railed against what she called “the nasty party”. Vote Conservative – get a lefty hand wringing touchy-feely mob, that is more akin to New Labour.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        Dear MWB–Agreed–She lost me when she spouted that opening baloney about what a wonderful force for good Government is

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. The BBC and the rest of the left portray her as right wing but she is well to the left of Bliar & Clegg and a rather dopey too. Plus full of PC drivel and greencrap.

      What sort of damn fool publishes a punishment election manifesto? Clearly never held a sales job for a week or two.

      • Ken Moore
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Not sure she is ‘dopey’…the dopey ones are those that supported her like the Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh.

        There she was, a landslide in hand and the chance to make a clean break from the EU. Faced with that it’s no surpise she went into a sulk and torpedoed her own campaign by snubbing tv appearances and becoming some kind of Stalinist family home snatcher.

        So now she has a weak government that cannot say or do anything remotely conservative. Brexit dead in the water. As a lefty pro big bossy government old England hater she has played her hand well.

    • Atlas
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink


      … it certainly does seem like the Conservatives have transgendered into New Labour Mark II…

      I not so sure what our host, John, thinks about all this. Perhaps he will kindly let us know? – provided he is not afraid of the Thought-Police, that is.

      • stred
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        I am considering declaring myself a woman and claiming back payments for unequal pension from 60. I gather we don’t need to have any nasty operations or grow headlamps. It’s just how we feel ourselves. Treezer, Maria and the other one that does equality will back us up. It might be necessary to borrow some of the wife’s dresses when the inspectors come round.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Dear Atlas–He failed to join UKIP when he should have done and now has no choice but to keep his head down–and I am one of his fans (that’s when he isn’t moderating me in to oblivion)

    • Vanessa
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Well said, I agree entirely. Tories are the New “labour”. They are all socialist lefties now. God help those of us with a modicum of common sense.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      @ Duncan

      Gesture politics. No, just gestures with no substance

      People desire decency, morality, nationality, sovereignty and common sense.

      Not to be found in this parliament in all but a very very few.

    • APL
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Duncan: “and May, well what can one say about this PM.”

      She can lose seats in an election that should have been a slam dunk win.

      That’s a rare talent.

  4. oldtimer
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    In his speech to environmentalists recently at the WWF HQ Mr Gove said he would be guided by the “science”. Yet he has taken it upon himself to state that there will be a ban on diesel and petrol engines, even in hybrid form. But what if the engineers and scientists succeed in eliminating CO2 and Nox emissions through the constant process of R and D that has characterised the industry? Why would he seek to ban them in such circumstances? Why did he not issue a challenge to the industry to achieve just such a result and live up to his stated intention to be guided by the “science”.

    From his statement he seems to be guided by prejudice – the same prejudice that prompted other politicians to provide subsidies to promote the use of diesel in cars in the first place. This was the direct cause, coupled with VW’s (and possibly others) fixing of the test results, of the Nox pollution problems that we currently face in urban areas.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      From 15 hours ago:


      “Hybrids Will Not Be Banned In 2040”

      “Hybrids will be exempt from the UK’s petrol and diesel sales ban, it has been confirmed. Both the plug-in type and the self-sufficient type will be excluded from the restrictions set out this week by the British government.

      The exception applies to both fuels, so Peugeot and Citroen will still be able to sell diesel-electric hybrids if they choose to, alongside the myriad petrol-electric hybrids sold by brands across the globe – not least of which is Toyota, with its hugely popular Prius; the car we love to hate.”

      I still don’t know whether this is absolutely certain; it still isn’t being mentioned in the mainstream media where the impression is that there will be a total ban.

      • oldtimer
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        I read that Mr Gove surprised both his ministerial colleagues and the industry who had not been forewarned about his statement. Perhaps it is already time for him to return to the back benches. It seems he lacks the essential quality of common sense on this issue.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I thought Gove was sensible but as always he has gone native.
      Trying to rewrite the laws of physics will not work. Neither will humongous banks of batteries keep the national grid powered.
      As you say they will all be retired to the tropics by the time Britain is freezing to death.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Dear Ian– He is jolly fine at stabbing people in the back

  5. alan jutson
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I hope the Government has thought out the logistics of banning the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars from 20140.

    The key to the selling of electric cars is battery power (miles per charge) and battery Life (which degrades its capacity every time you charge)

    At the moment it takes about 5 mins to fill car with fuel to travel approximately 400-500 miles or more. Travelling a greater distance is not an problem, you just stop for 5 mins.

    Some electric cars take 8 hours to reach a full charge, and even a so called quick top up can take at least 30 mins.
    Given the maximum distance that can be travelled in poor conditions where wipers, heating and lights are used without any charge is about 80-100 miles journeys are going to take significantly longer even if you can find a charging point.

    How many additional power stations are going to be needed to fuel all of these cars, because given the Governments woeful planning so far you will need to start building them now.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Oops 2040 not 20140

      A car charger for every home ?

      How about a block of flats, car parks at work, car parks at motorway service stations, shopping centres, the list goes on and on. etc, etc.

      Lots of roads and pavements to be dug up and reinstated, when we cannot even fill and repair pot holes !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      And batteries can and do deteriorate with age …

      • stred
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        £10k for a new Leaf battery after 8 years.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          So what do you do about your Tesla after 8 years, if as stated above “the battery is built into the vehicle chassis in order to accommodate the necessary volume and to spread the weight across the wheels”?

          • stred
            Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

            Take it to pieces presumably. The batteries must cost a lot more than a Leaf. After paying £5k when you buy a Leaf they want another £5k after 8 years, if you are lucky- 10k over the average life, or maybe 20kfor a Tesla. Lets hope Musky has fixed the wheels and fires problems by then.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink


          That’s the price now. If we all have no choice but to buy these things then they have no incentive to bring the price down and indeed it could go up. The think that stops a lot of people who just need a car for the towns is the cost but if it is mandatory then that won’t be allowed to be an issue.

        • David Price
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          £5k for a new leaf battery.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and rather quickly too. The battery can easily cost more than the value of the fuel it stores during its lifetime. Furthermore they slowly go flat when not in use. Rather like a petrol tank with a slow leak.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      “How many additional power stations are going to be needed ” – -don’t worry – – Hinckley point C might be finished by 2040.

      • ian wragg
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        It may never be finished as they haven’t got the technology to work yet.

    • Mark
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      We would need about 30GW of reliable generating capacity (that is, not wind or solar that cannot be relied on to generate power when it is needed, and which would require simply gargantuan amounts of storage to cover seasonal variations in output), whereas 30 million car batteries of say 100kWh (as in the most expensive Tesla) would store at most a couple of days’ worth of power consumption. We would also need to reinforce the high voltage grid in order to be able to distribute the power, and the lower voltage distribution system in order to be able to connect up the numerous charging points required – at home, work, supermarket etc. A rough estimate is £50-£100bn on grid and distribution, and perhaps 2 million fast charging points at £20,000 a time for another £40bn.

    • forthurst
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Power stations? You mean windmills, surely? Also, remember our houses will cease to use gas for heating and cooking at the same time, as gas produces toxic CO2.

      Our government like others have given up on saving Western civilisation because that is too difficult as it requires controlling borders and being called ‘racists’ by the enemy within; they would far rather be called traitors, imbeciles or worthless popinjays than that. Unfortunately, they have decided that it is easier to savetheplanet which is firstly far too complex for people who when confronted with a possible degree choice opted for easypeasy girly English literature rather than difficult manly subjects like engineering and second, it’s yet another scam to destroy western civilisation, in any case.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Like other responses you are quoting history. The standard quick charge is now down to twenty minutes and can be expected to fall further. Just about timt for acoffee at a motorway service station.

      • ian wragg
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        How many people will be pulling into said service station to recharge whilst having a coffee. Just imagine the capacity required if they had space to charge 200 cars which is probably conservative.
        80KW in 20 mins is 240 kwh x 200 is 48 megawatt.
        Who is going to pay these humungous amounts to provide cables/transformers and inverters.

      • alan jutson
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink


        Fine if you want a coffee (health warning) but how many miles per charge and how many cars can be charged at the same time in a normal garage.
        What do all the others do whilst the 20 cars are charging, drink two coffees. and go to the toilet.

        The secret is battery technology, many are working on it, but no one yet has come up with a solution.

      • Mark
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        The faster the charge the beefier the cables needed to supply it, and the more care with safety in the connections is required: to fill a 100kWh battery in 30 mins requires a 200kW supply, which is potentially quite dangerous, and uses much higher voltages than normal domestic power. Fast charging stations are expensive (and the ability to charge really fast also requires expensive in car electronics to handle the high rate of energy input and the higher voltages), and therefore only the very rich would have one at home. Fast charging also compromises battery life – another hidden cost. I think Tesla now quote 170 miles of range in 30 minutes at one of their Supercharger stations. The car has a high top speed to allow you to catch up on some of the time lost – but you’ll run the battery down in a shorter distance.

        I can pump in 60 litres in less than two minutes for a 600 mile fill-up – I have had 700 miles from a single tank of fuel on several occasions.

        • stred
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Isn’t it possible that with ten extra nukes ( 11 if you include HP3 as a museum of incompetence), we will be cooking up artificial petrol and diesel, which by then will be filtered at the tail pipe in order to have all the stuff greens think is going to kill them taken away?

  6. The PrangWizard
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Government continues to follow the global authoritarian green agenda. And interesting, and disturbing, that Gove announces this a week or so ago after the French said the same thing.

    What happened to the idea of freedom of the individual and free enterprise? It died under the Conservatives. No need to fear Corbyn, the way ahead is being made for him and his political philosophy.

    How many tractors are we ordered to make this year Mrs May? Or should I say import since I don’t think we make them here any more.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      We won’t need tractors. We’ll have millions more arrivals to “work the fields” – -but – there won’t be any fields – they’ll be full of houses to accommodate the previously mentioned millions

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      @ The Prang Wizard

      No need to fear Corbyn, the way ahead is being made for him and his political philosophy.

      Made for him? it is already completed with both the barriers up.

      This lot have learnt three fifths of naff all. History will show all the wrong people in the right places.

  7. alan jutson
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Just how seriously can we take this new government initiative ?
    Are diesel lorries, buses, coaches and trains going to be banned as well.
    The reason I ask is because these are the great polluters, and you have just delayed electrification of some main line routes to fit, WAIT FOR IT, diesel engines into brand new electric trains. !!

    Now we hear that Local Authorities will be given the power to punish car, and diesel owners in particular, by banning them from certain roads, routes and Towns, or fining them for use
    Indeed one Local Authority in West London already charges car owners more for a PARKING PERMIT because the charge is based on its emissions.
    Yet another scam to just fleece the motorist.

    Most emergency/standby generators are DIESEL powered.

    Work towards cleaner air by all means, but for goodness sake be sensible about it.

    • sm
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Sadly, common sense seems to be far rarer nowadays than lithium.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Dear sm–If of any interest Lithium is the lightest metal

    • Oggy
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      You bet me to it Alan. I too noticed that no mention has been made of banning petrol and Diesel lorries and buses. What about those ? This news came just a day after Chris Grayling did a virtual u-turn on rail electrification in the north (whilst approving Crossrail 2.)
      What about the third Heathrow runway is that cancelled too because of air pollution ?
      Tory policy is all over the place without any consistency whatsoever.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Dear Oggy–There aren’t the glimmerings of the beginning of a chance for Heathrow–The Courts, who rule everything these days (I was brung up to think that Parliament was the highest Court), will cite simple inconsistency

      • stred
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        How about trolley buses and trolley lorries? Trolley buses are still used in Lausanne. I was nearly run over by one last Christmas.

    • Hope
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      All ships are diesels with a few exceptions of neucleat aircraft carriers. Planes will use what exactly? To entrust this fiasco on local authorities is beyond a joke! They are in a left wing chaotic mess as it is. What diggers will be used for the mass immigration housing project?

      The Tory govt is not fit for purpose and is gifting Labour the next election. People will be so fed up with May and co they will not care a Corbyn and McDonnels disasterous credetionls. They will want to see the back of the Tories as they did with Major and his sleazy govt.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Indeed May is just another disaster like Major. Thatcher won four elections one with Major as her man before they sussed him. Yet May decided to become another dire lefty, PC, greencrap, dope instead.

    • Jon Davies
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi Alan
      I think there are a lot of details that need to be worked through before this is a serious proposal. However, as someone who takes a keen interest in sustainable development I support the decision on not electrifying all train lines. Why? Because there is a huge cost to sticking gantries up along the whole route. Lots of expensive steel plus skilled people to install it. Jacking up old bridges to allow wires etc which then disrupts the road traffic. It takes forever and costs loads.

      Hybrid trains (which is what they are) use electricity when they can and diesel when they can’t. The benefit over pure diesel is that they have batteries which can be used to store energy recovered from braking; most energy use from trains is from acceleration and deceleration of the massive weight of a train. So even in diesel mode they are more fuel efficient. Yes today the additional power to re-charge the batteries comes from diesel but in the future it can come from hydrogen fuel cells. Much of the electric drivetrain is the same whether its hydrogen or diesel powered. Search Coradia iLint for more info on first fuel cell passenger train from Alstom. Yes there are challenges to overcome (such as zero carbon hydrogen production from electrolysis) but phase 1 with diesel hybrid trains is a cheaper, faster to implement solution than full electrification. This technology is going to evolve so make small steps rather than buying a white elephant (which is what I am afraid we are doing with the current HS2 approach).

      • stred
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Third rail supply could be used in tunnels and under bridges.

      • alan jutson
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink


        I take your point but these new trains were not designed as Hybrid, they were designed as pure electric trains with all that goes with them, they then decided to put diesel engines in them because of the failure to electrify the planned routes because of some of the excellent examples you outline.

        Thus we have overspent, because we under estimated the original true cost.

      • Mark
        Posted July 29, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        You can’t beat physics: production of hydrogen by electrolysis is a very energy inefficient process. It costs about 50kWh to separate a kilogramme of hydrogen, and a further 15kWh to compress it sufficiently to go into a vehicle tank. You will get back about 33 kWh when it is used as fuel, and less in useful work. You do better if you use steam reforming of natural gas, but you waste energy in the conversion that could be used by simply burning the gas – and in any case, some CO2 is produced in the reforming process.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      At some point the population will snap.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      @ alan jutson

      but for goodness sake be sensible about it.

      Sensibility is very noticeable in its absence within the houses of Westminster.

  8. robert lewy
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Electricity generation in UK is still produced 22 per cent from coal.
    Coal is more damaging to the environment than oil.

    A rapid expansion in the uptake of electric cars will therefore put pressure on attempts to reduce overall emissions as coal produced electricity may increase its share.

    An arbitrary target date for eliminating new petrol/diesel vehicles from our roads is the wrong way to deal with the issue. The market should be used to encourage electric vehicle uptake and electricity generation to adjust towards the planned outcome.

    As regards the short-term, the government’s position is indefensible.As so many die prematurely as a result of noxious emissions, urgent action in the most extreme cases must be taken. This should include restricting access by the most polluting vehicles ( HGV) and where necessary outright vehicle bans or CPO of buildings.

    Also, with the pressure on local government budgets funding should be provided by central

    • stred
      Posted July 29, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Actually, very little coal is used these days. The capacity is kept by subsidising coal stations to stay going in order to stop blackouts in the winter when it is freezing and wind and solar useless. Sometimes, as now there is plenty of wind and solar and the higher share the Greens trumpet happens. They think it happens all the time.
      We also are producing plenty of nuclear at the moment and are importing more from France- 38% total. Of course now that Macron is closing their nukes and ours are beginning to conk out, this will not continue for long. All this renewable is costing far more than gas and will be arriving on bills soon, along with smart meters and smart grid costs. Gas is down to a smaller % now but mostly is around 50%to cover for wind turbines, which have to be renewed every 20 years and are growing like mushrooms in the sea with strike price 3x gas.

      The current state can be seen on sites, which reveals the true likely cost to consumers and how coal has declined.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The problem with electric cars are that the fuel tank (which is the battery) costs a fortune, it does not last very long, has a very limited range (especially when lights and heating and wipers are needed) and takes an age to recharge too.

    The plactic fuel tank on a conventional vehicle cost perhaps just 1/500th of the cost of a battery, it lasts a long time, hold fuel for perhaps 8 times the distance and can be refilled in seconds. Battery manufacture is also very energy intensive and environmentally dirty. The cost of the battery can exceed the cost of the lifetime of fuel for the life of the battery.

    Hybrids that use electric in the city, regenerative braking but have the range too are the best current option for most people. Electric vehicles are currently only really city vehices and many people in cities live in flats or have no parking to charge their vehicles.

    Whey they work in the real world people will buy them. Sensible R&D is good, rolling them out with silly subsidies and tax breaks prematurely is generally a bad idea. As we see with the white elephant wind farms and PV.

    If you want cleaner air in cities deal with the buses, taxis, truck and vehicles on the road in cities and sitting in jams every day of the week first.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Of course when they do work and more people are using them more the government will tax them very highly, as they will lose the circa 70% tax they take currently on petrol and diesel sales.

      I shall stick with my ancient volvo V70 and old golf convertable for now. Doing this is the greenest, cheapest and most sensible option for my family.

    • stred
      Posted July 29, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      ‘Doctors against Diesel’ claim on their website that diesel cars produce 40% of NO2 in city roads. On the other hand the charts shown by the other anti-diesel folk like Kings College and ‘Up in the Air’ show diesel cars produce NO2 at 5% for central London and PM10 at 8% of which 40% is from exhaust. The other 60% is from brakes and tyres, according to the same documents, and most of this will still be produced by electric and hybrid cars, along with some NOx. Along with background PMs and NOx from gas, woodburners and other sources, after taxis are scrapped and most vans, the difference will hardly be noticeable. The best way to clean up Oxford Street is to make the traffic light s work better to stop bus queues and use gas or hybrid buses and newer taxis with Adblue reducing NOx to near zero. I have sent the websites previously.

  10. Battery Boy!
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I have no objection to Mr Gove and all SNP MPs being given a spanking new electric car to use as a pilot scheme on condition they use it exclusively as a method of transport other than walking…for the next five years.
    This would ensure we do not hear so much balmy talk of electric cars in the House and that the SNP MPs would not be in attendance in the House which would relieve the government of its alliance on the DUP.
    However, on humanitarian grounds, we should have each SNP car with one of those natty devices for locating the cars. We would not actually wish for thr SNP MPs to be stranded in the wilds of Scotland digging away in the snow looking for a power point to make their cars go. They could die.
    Otherwise this “debate” is unworthy of sensible discussion. It is just a new-Tory silly idea in entirety.

  11. David Murfin
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Scientific and technological developments will deal with all these objections – just as the Joint European Taurus would generate all our electricity by fusion within 25 years, as foreseen in the 1950s.
    Perhaps it would have done with sufficient resources committed to R&D.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      R&D is sensible, the roll out of duff or very premature technology, using tax payer subsidies, is very misguided and economically damaging indeed.

    • Mark
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      I like the Freudian slip – you obviously think that the Torus is a load of bull!

  12. Torchy
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Amber Rudd is going to make an official investigation into he economic consequences of immigration as she has recently discovered we have some.

    Well it overpopulates London to scary proportions creating so much petrol and diesel fumes that the most uneconomic solution comes as a vision to someone otherwise very sensible though a tad knifey.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      All Government reviews are determined by the answer the Government wants , now what answer does the Government of May , Rudd and Hammond want, and that of the CBI?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      There are the more or less hackneyed complaints that this is too late, why wasn’t it done just after the referendum, or maybe even before the referendum, blah blah, but last October when Amber Rudd proposed that all companies should have to declare how many EU citizens they employed the reaction was almost as if she was planning to round them up and send them to death camps:


      “Amber Rudd faces backlash from businesses over foreign workers”

      “Senior figures in business world criticise proposal to force companies to disclose how many foreign workers they employ”

      “Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said: “Conservative party leaders have sunk to a new low this week as they fan the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities and try to blame foreigners for their own failures … “

  13. NickC
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Matt Ridley gives the example of us all getting Nissan Leafs so claiming only a 16% hike in generating capacity. But the transport sector consumes as much energy as our entire electricity generation capacity now (by calculation). Yet we are teetering on the edge with obnoxious temporary “solutions” like STOR, because we haven’t enough as it is.

    The reality is different. For a start the vehicles won’t all be Leafs. Then there are inherent inefficiences in the electric route he does not seem to have accounted for. True, electric cars are about 3 times more efficient than ice cars, which would cut my estimate to a 33% increase of generating capacity (still double Ridley’s).

    But set against that, since its unlikely we could build more than 2 more Hinckley Point Cs by the 2040 deadline, the rest would have to be made up by natural (“fossil”) fuels, since wind is unreliable. There are considerable efficiency losses in even CCGT generation, then efficiency losses in distribution and charging. Battery capacity deteriorates by c10% a year which itself is a loss, translating into more frequent charging.

    Since most of these losses cannot be improved by better battery technology, I stand by my estimate that in reality, we are looking at approximately doubling our generation capacity by say 2050 (allowing for a taper reduction in the use of ice cars), as well as replacing most of our current capacity. Such a build program is not feasible.

  14. roger carradice
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I despair at this impractical nonsense coming from a party that describes itself as conservative. This 2040 proposal is the sort of drivel one expects from the Greens. It will involve building ten extra atomic power stations or their equivalent, upgrading the grid and probably putting three phase into every house. Probably half a trillion pounds or more. There is no way this can happen

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Any promises for the future by politician can be safely ignored. We still do not even have the £1M IHT threshold promised about 8 year back by Osborne. Many of them will not even be alive in 2040.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Prepare for Corbyn.

  16. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Ha,ha. I hear this morning that the Scottish government is being urged to go one step further and bring all this nonsense in 10 years earlier than the rest of the UK. I have won my bet from last night – thanks Nicola.

  17. Jason Wells
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    The world is changing very fast, only twenty years ago most of us were just getting used to the mobile phone and the internet. Who knows what another twenty years will bring besides electric powered cars, maybe even cars powered by hydrogen + oxygen leaving only clean water as a residue. It could be that we also start to see cars that can defy gravity?

    • graham1946
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      If we could fill up with water, there would be no money in it for the big corporations. As this is the Conservatives number one raison d’etre (they get most of their money from them), it won’t be allowed to see the light of day even if it could be made safe enough to work. Same worldwide. Any patents will be bought up and binned.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I’m afraid that Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis went badly wrong in a Sky News interview this morning.

    When asked whether the new immigration study announced by Amber Rudd:


    will be completed too late for the results to be fed into the EU negotiations, his correct answer should have been:

    “Why do you think the results of our study should be fed into the EU negotiations? Once we have left the EU we will have regained complete unilateral control of our immigration policy, and so at no point will we be negotiating with the EU to decide what it should be – not before we have left, nor after we have left.”

  19. Ken Moore
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    A very superficial assessment. Presumably Dr Redwood is also in favour of motherhood and apple pie.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Dear Ken–There is no such thing as motherhood these days and apple pie gives you cholesterol

  20. Bert Young
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    There are many practical limitations if we are required to switch to electric powered cars ; one responder has already indicated that lithium is not a perpetually available resource . Whether manufacturers can come up with a satisfactory solution in the next few years is doubtful .

    Last week I was stuck behind a most beautiful steam roller on its way back home from a local rally ; it was a timely reminder that even if an alternative power is produced , it had better be able to propel our means of transport at a practical and reasonable speed . Three hours later the steam roller had only reached a distance of 11 miles from where I first saw it .

  21. Dominic Johnson
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    My city car cost me £7000 and gets between 50 and 65mpg
    The cheapest electric car costs somewhere near £20,000
    I can buy, fuel, and maintain my car for a decade for less than a city electric.


    • Anonymous
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      And that disparity in price translates into greenhouse gas emissions – ie the amount of extra work you have to do to pay for it.

      This country is going INSANE.

  22. AdamC
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Electric cars aside, this morning Brandon Lewis UK immigration minister announced that freedom of movement of workers between the EU and UK will end in march 2019 when britain leaves the bolc. This is something that is already well understood so it’s hard to understand why it needs repeating again at this time. In any case by other reports i am reading that Eu foreigners are already departing these shores in their droves so i don’t think it’s going to be a problem in the future for immigration.

    Then we have Amber Rudd this morning also making statements to reassure business and eu nationals that there will be no cliff edge when we leave the bloc..it seems to me to be a contradiction in itself..if we leave the Eu in March 2019 without an agreement in place then that will be the cliff edge. Is it any wonder that the public are so mixed up about all of this when government minister s are sending out such diverse messages.

    Yesterday we heard michael gove contradict liam fox over the chlorinated chicken issue- more nonsense- the europeans must be lapping it up.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      I don’t understand the issue with chlorinated chicken when we can have halal meat and chicken imported from Thailand quite happily.

  23. M.W.Browne
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Has anyone read the wonderful books by Patrick O’Brian about Captain Aubrey and Doctor Maturin ? I ask this because they often had to travel from London to Portsmouth or Plymouth on a stage coach, staying overnight at inns. That’s what will await you when you drive an electric car any distance, and have to wait 8 hours for the battery to charge up.
    Good luck with that.

    At least Captain Aubrey could sometimes change the team of horses if they really wanted to press on, but there won’t be anywhere for a battery change.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Again off-topic, I saw David Davis telling the EU that UK courts are trustworthy and they will see that resident EU nationals are OK and are not badly treated after we leave the EU, and the ECJ will definitely not be permitted any role at all in the UK about that. Quite correct, it is just a pity that Theresa May took bad advice and so allowed the EU to call into question our intention to treat these people fairly.

    And it came into my mind that the EU itself chose to make some of its eurozone bailout arrangements subject to English law, and therefore within the jurisdiction of the English courts. Eg in 2012, for the removal of new Greek bonds from Greek law:


    “… whilst the overall volume of sovereign debt has been significantly reduced, the price of that reduction was the acceptance of English law as the governing law of the bonds, and a corresponding submission to the jurisdiction of the English courts.”

    • Richard1
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      The significance of this is had Greece left the euro (as it should have done) bonds issued under Greek law could have been unilaterally converted to new drachma. Bonds issued under English law – absent the consent of bondholders- would have continued to require payment of interest and capital in euros.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Correct. But the EU could have chosen to have the bonds under German law, or French law, or Polish law, etc etc, but in fact chose English law.

  25. stred
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    It was reported that DEFRA and Gove would be taking advice from the environmental activists in the future. God help us. This morning the BBC’s voice of truth Charlie interviewed three representatives in front of some electric cars. He asked the Greenpeace or FoE woman how the extra electricity would be provided. She said it would be no problem as we already had solar producing 30% of it! For a brief period in mid summer solar peaked on a windy day and this dunce thinks we can put a bit more panels and windmills in and double generation. The other 2 experts must have been told not to quote any embarrassing figure or perhaps they were clueless too.

    This must stem from the Greens realizing that the Warmists are losing the argument and the fact that when the CO2 content of the car+ battery and the
    CO2 at the back-up power station is taken into account electric cars produce as much as an efficient diesel. The only way to get their way is to attack on health grounds. Truth does not matter and if a lie is repeated constantly it will be accepted.

    An example is the claims by Doctors against Diesel. Their website claims ‘Diesel cars produce over 40% of the NO2 coming from roads in cities’. Referring to a document using Kings College and TfL called Up In The Air, the figure for central London is 48% total road transport of which 5% diesel cars= 2.4%. The health effects of particulates and NO2 are also given and NO2 produces irritation and function impairment wheras PM10 cause cancer, asthma and other diseases. But now we have filters for particulates and these are reducing, so go for NO2. By the way NO2 is reducing too, but don’t lets dampen down the filthy air and 40000 deaths story.

    • stred
      Posted July 30, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Correction. The 40% reduction applies to particulates. The figure for NO2 is 5%- an eighth of the DAD figure.

  26. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Key question is how many new power stations will we need to build to support a full switch to electric cars by 2040 ? Given the lead times involved we need to start the process of building them now (I assume we aren’t of course).

    As noted above Lithium availability is a big issue, as several other countries have announced a similar deadline the price will skyrocket – the lithium trade is in its infancy and unfortunately I’ve been unable to find a suitable producer to invest in !

    • hefner
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      There is an ETF for lithium available from any (half serious) platform.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted July 29, 2017 at 12:17 am | Permalink

      Sociedad Quimica Y Minera De Chile is one of the biggest Lithium producers up over 2% today,

      Reply This site does not recommend investments

  27. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    1. Where will the raw material come from to provide the new batteries for 35 million EVs? Never mind the other batteries the gov is talking about?

    2. How will the gov recover the current fuel tax/VAT revenue – estimated at £35 billion?

    3. The additional infrastructure to enable charging on the go or at home will be massive and very expensive.

    4. 10 new nuclear plants or 30k turbines will be required to meet increased electricity demand.

    5. Any thought given to the energy required to manufacture 35 million new EVs – and the cost of scrapping 35 million vehicles?

    6. What happens when thousands of cars get stuck in a pileup where you are literally travelling at a snails pace and your battery goes flat???

    As usual the government hasn’t thought this through. I doubt if anyone will want to serve as an MP in the future given the mess this government and the other parties have left behind!

    All this because some 81 roads in the UK fail to meet EU emissions standards – why not just address these local emission issues. This is a sledge hammer to crap a peanut!

    • Ken Moore
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      A ‘sledgehammer to miss a nut’ more like. Something this government are expert at.

  28. William Long
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    The problem with the Government encouraging something is that it so often seems to be done on the basis of erroneous information, like the encouragement of diesel, or to have been insufficiently thought through.
    Have we any reason to believe that electric cars are any different.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      None at all.

  29. Ronald Rat
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Giving grants to Local Authorities to get rid of road bumps it got grants for to build is another good Tory idea and will stop cars using too much fuel. Also it will cost the motorists less in repair bills for car damage caused by the bumps which Local Authorities have refused to pay with the consistency of a rabid rat.
    Ice on the bumps causing sideways skids and damage to cars is another set of compensation one day Local Authorities will be compelled to pay.

  30. Dave Ward
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    “Most emergency/standby generators are DIESEL powered”

    This includes all the STOR generators which are being installed to try and keep the grid from falling over, thanks to the ridiculous obsession with unreliable, uncontrollable, renewable energy.

  31. stred
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    To cheer taxi drivers up, the figure for diesel cars on page 27- 5%, also shows taxis at 7%. NO2 is even less, as only 40% is from exhaust and 60% is from brakes and tyres, which will continue after all present cabs are banned in 2 years time. Now the greencrap brigade are calling for all cars to be banned now too. And this is all for a very short guesstimate of a reduction of lifespan for someone 80 years old who has lived next to a busy road all their life.

    The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

  32. a-tracy
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Volvo seems to be ahead of the curve on this. It’s a shot across the bows of vehicle makers because it is they that have to buy into this. I read the London Black cab company was making electric vehicles a while back.

    A UK driver cannot drive for more than 5.5 hours under domestic driving hours rules in a none tachograph vehicle it is less for hgvs. There will have to be lots of recharge points that preferably should be able to generate their own electricity not totally reliant on the grid ie solar perhaps.

    Batteries go flat if they are idle too long with alarms on it will certainly be a challenge to do this.

    Guido Fawkes pointed out the hypocrisy on this announcement from Sadiq Khan and Greenpeace etc. praising the French when they announced this measure but ridiculing our government. Seems to me that even out of the EU big decisions will be taken at that much higher level and we will just follow along with it. Our government now have 20 years notice we need to sort out our own power stations and energy needs from new technologies, let’s get on with it, we should be speaking to forward thinking World nations like the Chinese and Japanese who want to develop this technology at a reasonable cost and ask them to produce commercial vans, buses etc. that we can afford to buy in the UK.

  33. ian
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I am fully on board with gov idea of everything to be electric and all other technology to be disregarded, it might be coming in at a high price of a extra 50 billion a year over 20 years, but the people of this country can afford it as they live in riches country in the world.

    I think 2040 is to far out to do away with all oil and gas products and should be brought down to 2030 and the yearly spend increased now, and of cos all lost taxes and jobs replaced new taxes but i am not sure about new jobs, but should thought that gov has it all work out as well as self driving cars, which cannot come on the roads till all humans are removed for simple fact that, computer cannot communicate with humans on the roads, and would unsafe for insurance reasons.

    • Mark
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I suggest you buy one of Amazon’s new talking and listening devices before claiming that computers cannot communicate with humans. I’m quite sure that an automated car would be capable of honking its horn at a pedestrian it spots, and flashing a road rage message at a motorcycle that cuts in front (while reporting the number plate to the police).

  34. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    At last someone involved with this government is interested enough in EV’s to ask the correct questions. To summarise:-

    1) As more people choose to buy an urban-type EV, the unit cost will fall dramatically. All the major manufacturers have announced EV models, choice is on the way

    2) Charging a vehicle at home at night – currently about £3 per charge, or 2p a mile. If domestic solar panels are available, charging costs on a sunny summer day are effectively zero. Many supermarkets allow free charging whilst shopping; rapid charging points are found at motorway service stations and typically cost £6.50 for a 30 min charge.

    3) Vehicle range is dependent on many factors, load on the vehicle, speed, traffic conditions etc. But as a ball-park figure for the latest BMW i3 or the new Tesla is ~250 miles. Fully charging a 30kW Nissan LEAF will cost about £3.00 and give you about 150 miles of range, ok for the urban environment where there are plenty of charging points.

    Many of us who work in central London long for clean air and the next car that I personally buy will be an electric one.

    • ian wragg
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Teslas 250 miles is drastically reduced in winter with heating and light or in summer with air con running.
      Can you imagine being stuck on the M25 in winter and having no heating or in summer with no \a/c.

      • Mark
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        I read the heating/cooling penalty is about 8%. When you can manage 70mph on the M25 expect 25% less range than at 55mph. There is no fuel penalty for heating in my car, and air conditioning costs perhaps 2-3%. Thanks to the gear box I see very little variation in fuel consumption, unless in stop-start traffic. Even at 130kph on an autoroute, the fuel consumption penalty is very small.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Charging on a sunny day from PV is far from free. You have the vast depreciation of the expensive solar cells plus the interest on the debt to buy them (or the lost opportunity cost of not spending the money rather more sensibly).

    • Bob
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      @Sakara Gold

      “Charging a vehicle at home at night – currently about £3 per charge, or 2p a mile.”

      do you honestly believe the govt would give up tens of billions of fuel duty?

      To quote John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious!”

    • Ken Moore
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      I was in central London in the early 1980’s the air was very much dirtier than it is today yet less children had asthma. Anxiety whipped up by the media is the problem.

  35. agricola
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    So where is the electricity coming from, we have barely enough to satisfy current needs. What about security of supply when literally everything is geared to electricity, how vulnerable do you wish to get.

    Why isn’t there an engineering push to solve the downside of diesel and petrol engines. To me this is a move to allow politicians to appear righteous. Have they had a lengthy technical feasibility discussion with the motor industry. How do they propose to tax electricity specific to cars to make up for the loss in liquid fuel revenue and prevent a golden opportunity to circumvent such tax.

    One practical suggestion, do away with buses and revert to the trams of my school days. So far I am not impressed.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Dear Agricola–Agree about the Trams which for those too young to know ran on electricity from overhead wires.–Given that Trams take a constant route that was no manner of problem.

  36. CommanderJampot
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    This idea of forcing people to have electric cars by 2040 or else, seems rather barmy, a policy from the Green party manifesto.

    The government must secretly know that electric engines are still too weak to pull a heavy load, hence the lack of electric lorries on the market.

    It is almost like saying that by 2040, we may be advanced enough to have flying cars, thus we should prevent anyone from getting a normal car in 2040, but would these flying cars be ready for 2040, who knows?

    Let people and industry choose when it is the right time to go electric!

    • Ken Moore
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      We hope they secretly know but they really are as ignorant as they appear. They live gilded lives and never bother to engage with modern day practicalities or just the boring details.

  37. Mark B
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Battery technology has come a long way. But it is still not as good as the internal combustion engine. Electric vehicles have their place. And that place is in cities and large towns where charging points are numerous, distances covered are short and the need to keep pollution to a minimum a requirement.

    What we ask is for the political class in this country to use a bit of common sense and some joined up thinking. It is all very well making some long term announcement, one which you will not be made accountable for, that would place the country in severe difficulty. But have anyone considered how all these electric vehicles are going to be powered and what fuel(s) will be used to power them ? I ask this, because you are going to need an awful lot of power stations (non-fossil fuel) to be built between now and then !

    Alternatively, we could always extract sunbeams from cucumbers ! Now, following from the previous post, and our politicians love for all things green and stupid, were does one apply for such a grant from the government 😉

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      “we could always extract sunbeams from cucumbers”

      At last – a sensible suggestion!

  38. NickW
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Reposted from Order-order,

    Along with the ban on petrol and diesel cars in 2040, the politicians need to make plans for TRIPLING our current generating capacity, which is currently barely sufficient for demand, with the possibility of blackouts in the immediate future.

    How are they going to do that; and what will they use to generate the electricity.?

    I assumed the 2015 figure for 27 million cars, only half of them being recharged at one time on a 30 amp fast charge. Current demand(Gridwatch) is 37Gw.

    It isn’t going to happen, because it is simply impossible.

    Will the army switch to electric tanks and combat vehicles?
    Will farmers switch to electric tractors?
    Will the construction industry switch to electric bulldozers?

    This announcement simply confirms that we are governed by illiterate and innumerate imbeciles. (Present company excepted.)

    (Note that I have not made any allowance in my calculations for recharging the national fleet of commercial vehicles).

    • stred
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      We also need to allow for converting from gas and oil heating to electric heat pumps and storage heaters. That’s another 50% more windmills and nukes. It’s all in the plan that Mr Gove and M. Hulot are in charge of but don’t have a clue about.

  39. David Williams
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    How will the government cope with loss of tax revenue on petrol?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      By taxing electric cars of course and their charge points.

  40. formula57
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    If those chainsawing rain forests can be considerate enough to use unleaded fuel in their power saws, I feel constrained to drive an electric powered car to show solidarity (despite the environmental damage of electricity generation).

    I understand from a whole life perspective, electric vehicles are comparable to those with internal combustion engines in terms of environmental damage, so says a Norwegian report.

  41. English Pensioner
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    If we all have electric cars, how are we to cope with the demand for electricity?

    According to Autocar, the Mercedes B-type electric car requires a 16 Amp feed and takes 9 hours to charge from flat. 16 Amps is roughly 4 kW, not a lot for one car, but 250 of them will require a Megawatt. or 250,000 a Gigawatt. A report suggested that by 2040 it is expected that there will be 9 million electric cars on the road representing a charging load of 36 Gigawatts.

    Our present maximum generating capacity is between 45 Gigawatts and 55 Gigawatts when every bit of plant is fully functional. This afternoon the load is shown (available on-line – search National Grid Status) as being about 35 Gigawatts on a warm summer day, it is clear that electric cars will cause a huge shortfall between supply and demand, especially in winter when the system is already running very close to peak availability.

    That is before you start looking at the cable capacity in our streets which is close to its limit in many places, especially where there has been new-build and infilling.

    Personally, I favour the hybrid. I live in a hilly area and at least I won’t be wasting fuel when I brake, the energy goes into a battery instead. This also makes them very good for towns with all the stop-start driving. The engine switches off when stationery, but the car moves off immediately under battery power. I think they are the future, especially for journeys longer than about 100 miles which seems to be the limit for current battery driven cars.
    I would suggest they are far better than all-electric cars which apparently will need extra power stations and considerable re-cabling to cope.

    I’ve been blogging about this on my own site.

  42. Anonymous
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Tory party ticking just about every Lefty box it can.

    Prepare for Corbyn.

    The Tory party will never been in government again.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, green religion appeasement tick, elevating the rights of small minorities above everyone else tick (ones sex is now a voluntary concept in the topsy turvy world of the modern Conservatives) , overspending tick, soft on immigration tick, tearing up the green belt tick . Why are they even called the Conservative party anymore…

      I hate to say it but a sharp dose of Corbyn that will purge the Conservatives of the modernising self destructive wing is now highly desirable.

  43. Pragmatist
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    We can send food parcels with the o.7% of our GDP to Canada, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela, Iran, ( did I mention Iran? ), Libya. United Arab Emirates, Russia ( I know I’ve just mentioned Russia! ) to compensate for the UK and others under our influenece and allegiance who will go for electric vehicles en masse.

  44. Bob
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    The more I hear from this govt the more determined I become to support ukip.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Dear Bob–Amen to that

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Me too! Came back to the fold of Conservatives a while ago thinking with Mrs May in charge things might be better but I was so wrong.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          I had hope too, but I guess looking at her record at the Home Office, that was much too optimistic 🙁

  45. A different Simon
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Quote “…for the industry to make them our vehicles of choice by improving their product choices” .

    Yes John but it’s a lot cheaper to lobby a load of dimwit politicians to change the law than invest in the R&D to actually make something better .

    Crony capitalism again , not real capitalism .

  46. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Well, I am well and truly fed up with all this electric garbage. I am hoping to move soon. Do I install gas central heating, buy a gas cooker buy a gas fire and possibly buy a gas or oil Aga??? Gas is my preferred choice and it is for many people. I really don’t know as I don’t know how long it will be before someone knocks on my door and tells me to take it all out! What a farce.

  47. Kevin Lohse
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Has anybody worked out where all the Lithium, a very toxic health hazard in itself, will be coming from? and how all those cars parked on-street in our conurbations are going to be connected to charging points? Has anyone worked out how much electrical energy will have to be added to a grid which cannot take the extra load, because the time taken to build major power stations means that we’ll have to start NOW!

  48. Chris S
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    There is no likelyhood that car battery technology will make the leap that is required to allow electric cars to compete with IC power for anything other than local use or return trips of more than, say 100 miles without refuelling.

    Obviously charging overnight makes the most efficient use of time but then we have the situation of the millions of people living in flats with no garage or access to a charging point. How is the Government going to solve that problem ?

    Technology will improve but the advertised range achieved by electric cars currently on sale is about as accurate as the official fuel consumption figures you see in the brochure.

    In the real world, the range obtained in the winter when lights, heater, air con etc are needed is frequently no more than half of the advertised range.

    Then there are the ten Hinkley Point power stations needed to generate all the electricity.

    Will the IC engine be withdrawn from sale ? Yes, probably, but not by 2040.

    In any event, the future is fuel cell technology, not battery power : no range issues and zero emissions but someone has to pay for the refuelling infrastructure.

  49. David Price
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Acceptability of range, charge time and cost really depends on the target market for a vehicle and will vary widely. Not everyone needs more than 100 mile capacity but would like a cheaper vehicle while others would prefer 200+ range and are prepared to pay for the facility.

    Then again, many would prefer not to own a car at all but still enjoy personal transport as a service. This is successfully deployed in Berlin and Paris where users currently need to locate the nearest car, via smartphone. However, EVs are more suited to being autonomous vehicles than ICE cars and a level 4/5 autonomous vehicle could find you when you need it.

    Your first problem is not the acceptability of EVs, though I think it very shortsighted to ban the current alternatives, rather you need to deal with irate diesel drivers who you, the government, are vilifying despite encouraging us to use diesel in the first place.

    • Mark
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      I don’t think there is any advantage to EVs as autonomous vehicles. The problems of engine management by computer have been solved long ago. The challenges for high levels of autonomy concern the sensor systems and associated logic that ensure the vehicle is well driven and copes in rainstorms and blizzards and going through fords etc., and apply however the vehicle is fuelled. Not sure I would want to try driving a Tesla through a ford – the risk of the batteries shorting out must be significant.

    • stred
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      A rough calculation of drop in value of diesel cars. A lot of us have cars which we can’t sell now because of the anti-diesel campaign and ministers accepting uproved assertions. My neighbour says he will have to run his 7 year old BMW into the ground now instead of buying a Euro 6 version.

      10 million owners in the UK, average drop 5k =£50 billion. Plus taxis and vans, say £80 bn. It may be worth crowd funding a class action against pressure groups, universities employing ringleaders, BBC, government, Michael Gove etc. 10 million quid at a quid each would go a long way.
      0 million

  50. Shieldsman
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Lots of talk about a shortage of generating capacity to charge all the new electric cars that Gove demands. Not a word about the manifesto promise of affordable energy costs.
    Another little snippet: – Competitive and affordable energy costs
    A successful industrial strategy requires competitive and affordable energy costs. We want to make sure that the cost of energy in Britain is internationally competitive, both for businesses and households.
    We will therefore commission an independent review into the Cost of Energy, which will be asked to make recommendations as to how we can ensure UK energy costs are as low as possible, while ensuring a reliable supply and allowing us to meet our 2050 carbon reduction objective.
    Our ambition is that the UK should have the lowest energy costs in Europe, both for households and businesses.
    We want to see a diverse range of sources for Britain’s energy production. You had that you have closed it down.
    To meet the CCA 2050 green house gas reduction promised, you are going to have to phase out the use of natural gas for heating and cooking. So when are you going to tell the Public the starting date – 2030, 2040? Or, are you waiting for all the still to be commissioned smart meters to be turned into instantly variable tariff WHITE METERS?
    The average UK annual gas consumption per meter is 18,000 kWh, so that is an awful lot of extra generating capacity required.

  51. Pragmatist
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    London Mayors, Boris and the Khan have caked so many human beings into such a relatively small (s)pot that fumes, possibly methane would have overcome them if not diesel hit them first.
    We in the rest of the UK should not have to pay through nose in the massive infrastructure and engineering disruption getting charge points and doing away with our perfectly acceptable vehicles just becasue two mayors were and are incompetent managers of their populations and industrial development.

  52. Caterpillar
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    The announced policy seems somewhat knee jerk, not thought through and, a stick rather than a vision to deliver a dream. The govt should have already learned from the green/EU/Germany encouraged diesel debacle not to knee jerk. It is too late now to be both rational and visionary rather than stick waving, but I would prefer clear full supply chain and full life environmental audits issued for renewables vs other energy sources, electric vehicles vs hybrids vs combustion, equal strength paper bags vs thin lightweight plastic. If we are encouraging a vision then encourage CHEAP and clean energy … I would have preferred support for the energy solution first … maybe more investment on the RR mini-reactors.

  53. Colin Hart
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    2040 – the target date set by the French. And now it is ours. Coincidence or what?

  54. Martin King
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    One thing I don’t understand, apart from all the above mentioned problems, is why such a huge change was not mentioned in the Conservative manifesto. We are only a matter of weeks from the election, surely such an important change should have been discussed openly and voted on by the electorate before being announced as a definite policy?

  55. lojolondon
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    There is no such thing as ‘zero emission’ vehicle. All we can say is that some vehicles cause emissions to be produced far away from where they are used. Electric vehicles are very far from environmentally friendly, as Lithium is mined in Canada, shipped to Japan where it is refined and made into batteries, then shipped to the UK to be built into a car. Then the battery gets old and gets thrown into landfill or returned to the Far East.
    BTW, a litre of petrol produces around 9.7kWh, a litre of diesel delivers about 10.7kWh. Just for simplicity’s sake let’s pretend that they deliver about 10kWh on average per litre of fuel.
    The market for road fuels in the UK amounts to about 35.7 million tonnes per year, equivalent to just under 45 billion litres. So if we wanted to replace the energy currently utilised we would require 450 Billion kWh of electricity per annum, assuming demand remains constant.
    I wonder how this energy will be produced, distributed, stored, and delivered to where it is required? Beauty of a target so remote is that when it is the current leadership will be no-where to be found.

  56. Ken Moore
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    ‘ These cars need to offer longer range, faster charging and lower prices for more people to want to buy them’.

    Sorry that is just impossible so why is your government peddling this myth that some sort of technological breakthrough is just over the horizon. It’s the usual folly of observing how technology has moved quickly( from a very low base) and extrapolating this into the future based on nothing more than blind optimism.

    Unfortunately these matters are decided by the laws of physics. For example ‘the ideal’ internal combustion engine has a maximum efficiency of 60% although passenger car engines can never approach this.

    Similarly there are constraints on the energy density and charging rates of batteries so Dr Redwoods ideal electric car remains a pipe dream….even if more exotic materials could be used to improve battery performance there rarity and cost would prohibit large scale usage.

    The latest Euro 6 diesels using ad blue and particle filters are now very clean…pushing down limits on Nox and HC’s and controlling population growth are the way forward.

  57. anon
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    2040 ok, i think this is the future and dont see it as a problem. Maybe some exceptions, but in the interim clean up the polluted cities.

    The technology exists today, but is too expensive v volume produced ice. Electric motors will drive the car of the future. How the electricity is stored or generated for the vehicle is another.

    We have fuel cell technology to produce the power. We may even have passive charging from the roads itself or directly via overhead cables or similar.

    More power will be generated and stored locally, probably in the cars/vehicles themselves.
    e.g. A fuel cell car connected to the grid when not used can produce power to be sold to the grid. Fancy having an asset that works for you whilst you are not using it 90% of the time?

  58. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I think that Japanese type hybrids will be the way to go. It’s doubtful if we will easily acquire sufficient charging points for all electric to be viable.

    Meanwhile, Mrs Merkel says don’t write off diesel. In rural areas, she has a point. Is it feasible to have different policies in cities and the country.

    With petrol/electric hybrids, we could place an obligation on motorists to switch to electric power on entering an urban area.

  59. Chris S
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t Givernments level with us ? We get some vague announcement about the end of the car as we know it but no detail about any of the consequences. It was clearly just a soundbite to deflect criticism and hasn’t been thought through at all.

    There is only one way of generating all the extra power required for electric vehicles without making greenhouser gas emissions much, much worse. That has to be Nuclear.

    But we simply can’t afford the Hinkley Point solution, it’s far too expensive. For every Hinkley Point we could build between five and ten nuclear stations on the model used by the French. Of their 57 stations, almost all are built to one of just two designs. That massively reduced costs as they operated virtually a production line to manufacture them.

    OK, so they aren’t cutting edge but they will be cheap to build, we can accurately predict the output and running costs and I dare say an updated design based on the French experience would be more efficient.

    But not a word and no newspaper has even come up with an estimate of numbers, unlike some of our regular contributors here. I despair.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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