Why do so few people buy electric cars?

The government’s enthusiasm for electric cars is well known. The whole EU has embarked on a huge top down reform of the motor industry, seeking to transform it from a range of vehicles based on modern low emission diesels and petrol vehicles to one based on new electric cars. So far in most countries including the UK customers have not been impressed by the electric cars on offer, so their market share languishes around 3-4% of the total market, with under 1% of the total stock electric. Meanwhile threats of more bans and taxes to come have put many people off buying a new conventional car at all.

There seem to be several worries that people have about electric vehicles. The first is range. Present electric cars have varied ranges from say 70 miles to perhaps 200. A modern diesel or petrol car has a reliable range of more than 400 miles or up to four times as much as the electric substitute. People are particularly worried about range on an electric car given the issues over the time it takes to charge them and access to charging points.

A petrol or diesel car does not induce range anxiety because there are so many filling stations available. You pass them on most journeys. It takes less than five minutes to fill and pay and regain full range again. In contrast it may take hours to recharge a battery car, with fast partial charges taking maybe 30 minutes once you have access to a fast charge point. If you want to do a 400 mile journey in an electric car it will take considerably longer than in a petrol or diesel which can get there on a single tank of fuel, given the need to stop off more than once to recharge the battery.

People also worry about battery life. There are manufacturers that will guarantee a battery for 60,000 miles or even for 100,000 miles, but doubts linger about the possibility that a large and expensive battery will require replacing well before the engine and vehicle are in need of replacement or major overhaul. A battery deteriorates, making it more difficult to recharge and undermining its power delivery and therefore range of the vehicle before the owner gives in and buys a new one or before the manufacturer agrees the battery needs replacement.

Some worry about the green impact of these machines. How will the state require people to dispose of or recycle the metals used in the manufacture of the battery? How much energy is used in the manufacture of the vehicle and its battery?

Some think governments will turn to taxing the electric car once more are bought, as they will miss the large revenue streams that come from VED and fuel tax on conventional vehicles. People are naturally distrustful of governments offering low tax and subsidy just to get people started.

It is true the electric car will stop all exhaust particulate emissions, which is good news. Increasingly however particulates come from tyre wear and brake pad use, not from exhaust emission given the big work done to clean up the back of a diesel. Electric cars will still generate tyre and brake particles.

How long will it be before there are electric cars that a majority of the car buying public want to buy? What will they look like and how will their specification be different from today? How much will people be willing to pay for one, as some current models are dear?

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    You highlight all of the reasons it is too soon to buy an electric vehicle.

    They will not be ‘green’ because electricity needs to be generated somewhere. There must be a mileage tax of some sort to replace fuel tax and a good ‘old-fashioned’ power cut will create absolute mayhem.

    When the time is right everyone will want one – but Government efforts around the globe to kickstart electric vehicle purchases is premature.

    • Pominoz
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Sir John,

      My apologies. This is off topic but, I believe, important.

      This article on briefingsforbrexit.com dated 9th July is a must read as, if the underlying assertions apply, exit from the EU at Halloween can be achieved with no discernible change to present trading and no issues for the Irish border.

      The article is “Brexit, Tariffs, and GATT’s original intent: Why a forgotten MFN exemption merits a closer look” by Dr Thomas D Grant. I urge all to read it – particularly any Remainers who continue to predict disaster.

      • AlmostDead
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

        While interesting, its academic. The EU has already said that full MFN tariffs will be applied in the event of No Deal. Everything else is a distraction and wishful thinking. Better to understand this and prepare.

        • Pominoz
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          And the EU’s decision as to what they think is lawful takes supremacy?

          I would have thought that the well considered decisions of the WTO decades ago would at least warrant consideration. Perhaps, except, in the minds of those who believe that the EU is infallible and supreme.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          It is worth knowing that if the EU persist with that line then that will be their choice, not something imposed by the WTO. Just as the creation of a hard border on the island of Ireland would be the EU’s choice, not something imposed by the WTO:


          “WTO says its rules would not force EU or UK to erect hard Irish border”

        • Simeon
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          A smooth transition requires the agreement of both the UK and the EU. This would be straightforward if each shared the same objectives. But they don’t. The EU is a political project. Economic considerations are important, but they are subservient. As you say preparations for ‘turbulence’ or however one wants to characterise it are essential.

        • Mark
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          Then they will be in breach of the EEA Agreement.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          Does that cut both ways?

          If it does, and the UK responds in kind, expect a lot of continental manufacturers who export to the UK, to make very strong representations to the myopic leaders and policy makers of the EU.

          The place is already wobbling on the edge of a recession, maybe making their exports dearer and thereby less attractive to British customers will push them over the edge.

          I hope common sense will prevail and the EU will give us a good tariff-free deal, but they are the ones with the big trade surplus so their loss if they want to be the dog in the manger. We might even find our own manufacturers step into the breach and fill any vacuum. I’m sure we haven’t lost all our entrepreneurs.

        • Robert mcdonald
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          Understood, I also understand that the eu exports more to the UK than the other way. If the eu want to give us a net tariff income do be it .. we will be prepared.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink


        To save others the trouble of googling for the article, here is the link:


        Before I read it and think about the detailed arguments presented I will just remind myself that the essential purpose of GATT/WTO has always been to promote and facilitate international trade, not to unnecessarily discourage and obstruct international trade, and all of the members have signed up to that overall objective.

        So, yes, if the UK and the EU agreed to continue with the present tariff free trade, even if the agreement was tacit and even if there was no immediate prospect of it being formalised in a special trade deal, then sooner or later some other country around the world could object and seek to be afforded the same favourable treatment, an improvement on their present treatment, but that might well happen “later” rather “sooner”.

        I come back to the reality of the provisional application of trade treaties lasting years prior to their final ratification, and for example Croatia being treated as a member of the EEA for all practical purposes even when legally it is still not yet a member, as shown on the map here:


        “EU member state provisionally applying the EEA agreement (Croatia)”

        “The Agreement is applied provisionally with respect to Croatia — the remaining and most recent EU member state — pending ratification of its accession by all EEA parties.”

        According to this from the EU:


        the UK is one of 14 EEA countries – nearly half the total – which has not yet notified its ratification of the agreement signed over five years ago.

        • Pominoz
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink


          I have resisted the temptation to provide direct links just in case it resulted in the post not passing mediation.

          Appreciate your provision of the direct link and would welcome your considered views after you have read it and formed your opinion as to just how significant the conclusions of Dr Grant may be.

          • Pominoz
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

            Sorry. Moderation, not mediation. Almost bedtime here !

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

            Well, I think he is probably right that if the EU and the UK both wanted their trade to carry on as now, at least for a time, maybe for some years, then that would not necessarily be incompatible with WTO rules and it would be a matter of waiting to see if any other countries registered objections.

        • Pominoz
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink


          I was taking it that, if Dr Grant’s arguments hold water, that the EU would be in breach of, at least implied international trading law if they tried to impose detrimental trading conditions on the UK following Brexit.

          In view of the multi-situational rulings made in 1947, which covered every known break-up of trading blocs / empires etc. that those decisions were intended as a catch-all which, if the same considerations were being made today, would include the EU and anyone leaving it. NO doubt good lawyer-fodder if the EU now try to play hard-ball.

      • acorn
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Someone should tell him that GATT does not exist anymore, it was replaced by the WTO which adopted some of its texts. GATT was ad hoc; provisional and was never ratified in any of its members’ parliaments. The WTO and its agreements are permanent having been ratified and the agreements themselves describe how the WTO.

        It would be educational to have a read of “Jumping from league one to league three”: WTO insiders’ scathing assessments of a WTO Brexit
        Plus: the director general contradicts claims that “Gatt 24” would kick in to help. (Prospect magazine website.)

    • oldtimer
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      In its latest Annual Report, Jaguar Land Rover states that it’s battery electric power unit costs 3x the cost of its conventional internal combustion engine. It also says its latest diesel engines not only reduce NOX to negligible levels but produce less CO2 than its petrol engines. So much so, in fact, that the switch in consumer demand from diesel to petrol is threatening it’s ability to meet future fleet emission averages! This is a quite stupid situation, one that only blinkered politicians could create.

      Battery electric vehicles are not ready for prime time. Battery technology is not yet good enough. The charging network is inadequate. Politicians and the public have not yet confronted, or accepted the cost of the transition to their personal finances or prospective tax revenues.

    • Richard
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Whether electric vehicles produce more/less CO2 than diesel vehicles is very marginal, even assuming 10 year battery life: https://www.thegwpf.com/electric-vehicles-emit-more-co2-than-diesel-ones-german-study-shows/

      Stranded cars that have run out of fuel will become more frequent. But getting trapped overnight in a bad winter blizzard in an electric car with a fading battery will be the real ‘killer’.

  2. Ian Wilson
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Are they really good for the environment? I won’t buy one until the dreadful human and environmental issues with cobalt mining are resolved.

    • gyges
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget the lithium mining … causing environmental destruction in other countries is still destruction.

      • cornishstu
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        They are looking into lithium extraction in Cornwall, so it could be closer to home.

    • Mark
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      The shortage of cobalt will restrict manufacturing volumes anyway.

    • David Price
      Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Do you use a laptop or mobile phone?

  3. Dominic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    I have owned an electric car. They are without question a pointless waste of time and money.

    Their resale values are appalling (50% and less) after 2 years.

    The vehicle that I owned would take 60 minutes to charge up as opposed to two minutes with a petrol vehicle. The range was less than 250 miles per charge.

    They are an inconvenience. They are expensive.

    My advice is simple. Ignore the idiotic, coercive nonsense pumped out by politicians and civil servants on this issue and buy a second hand conventional vehicle. They are reliable, long range and excellent resale value

    Don’t allow the State to dictate your choices in life

    • Hope
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      The state encouraged us all to buy diesels and now ratted on what they told us to do at our further cost in taxation! The state always forgets to say the energy used to build, supply and scrap against it alleged green credentials. Same with wind farms they are a waste of money. Paris agreement puts jobs abroad where they use coal powered energy plants! It is not in any way saving the planet. Trump is right, they do not like him because he thinks balance sheet they think ideological crap without costs or practical implications.

      Hammond is out of control with taxes, Mayhab wants to waste it on a spending spree of virtue signalling crap!

    • NickC
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Dominic, You will know the politicians pushing (!) battery electric cars are serious when they authorise the building of one new Hinckley Nuclear power station (9 years to build) every year for the next 20 years. Until that time these politicians are just demonstrating what fools they are. As JR said: “we don’t believe you” – because the facts show they are technically ignorant.

  4. Mick
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Because the longest electrical extension lead is only 25 metres long 😁,plus the electric cars are too flaming expensive and can you not see the troubles in summer stuck in traffic in high temperatures with your air-con on running down your battery or in winter stuck in traffic overnight in freezing temperatures with your heater in full blast , it would take a shed load of AA men with jump packs to get you mobile again
    Off topic
    The Labour Party are history up north , campaign socialist the lot of them, the Brexit party will wipe them out come the next General Election

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      “The Labour Party are history up north , campaign socialist the lot of them, the Brexit party will wipe them out come the next General Election”

      I hope you are right! Also that Boris delivers elsewhere!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        “Range anxiety” for people on electric aircraft will be even more of an issue!

        Not that serious electric battery aircraft are remotely realistic with current or even quite distant technology. This as batteries are far too expensive, far too heavy, depreciate rapidly and can catch fire so dangerous too. Manufacture of synthetic aviation fuel is probably the way it will have to go – eventually.

        Not that this will stop politicians and the BBC going on about the expensive gimmick ones around!

        • stred
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          The French minister for energy has said that they must have carbon free
          aircraft within 12 years. The can only do that by using all the energy crops in France and more for generation then burying the CO2. That’s what the CCC is proposing for 2050. Electric airliners are impossible. She sounds as mad as May.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        I wonder what Boris has to say to the headline :”US demands Britain and France send more troops to Syria.”(to replace the troops Trump wants to withdraw).And will parliament have a say.

        Germany has already said No.

    • gyges
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Your point about using the battery to either heat or cool your car is extremely important. We can easily predict people dying in winter because of loosing power to heating when they’re stuck in traffic. A chap called Paul Virilio has something called the ‘museum of the accident’ … the example of someone dying of hypothermia twenty miles from their home due to their electric vehicle loosing power will soon be in Virilio’s museum.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. I suppose you need to put a paraffin or gas bottle heater in the boot just in case.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Mick – I think you missed a point – “a shed load of AA men with jump packs to get you mobile again” – – what would you jump start? – In a conventional vehicle there are two power sources, working together, the engine and the battery. The battery starts the engine, which then can recharge the battery. With an all-electric vehicle there is only one – and therein lies the problem.

      • Mick
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Bigneil, it was a figure of speech about a jump start you couldn’t jump start a flat battery that only drives a electrical motor , the flat battery would need a charge to regenerate it, and by the way I’ve been a Motor Vehicle Technician for nearly 50years so I know what makes a motor vehicle tick 😄

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink


    • J Bush
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Re: stuck in traffic in winter and recharge surge.

      At present, with an ever increasing population, the National Grid in the winter regularly reaches near total capacity. Is this why they want ‘smart meters’ installed in every home with the ability to cut off your supply, if the ‘powers that be’ decide you are using too much energy? So it follows that energy supply is a high risk factor. But they also want to add to this with a country full of electric cars into the equation!!

      They need to increase our energy creation capacity first. And it can’t be achieved with wind and solar power. Both of which require pollution creating manufacture and the turbines need diesel generators and electric to kick start them!

      But they also want zero emissions by 2050!! It’s truly gob smackingly frightening, that these are the people ‘in charge’.

    • sm
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Ah, I’ve just got it, I think you mean ‘champagne’ not ‘campaign’.

    • MB
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Re your 2nd point, I do hope so, but I still fear that tribe voting will prevail, and that they will still vote Labour, the party that then kicks them in the teeth.

    • Dave Ward
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      ” It would take a shed load of AA men with jump packs to get you mobile again”

      The Irish AA have some new technology on their vans which can give a quick “boost” sufficient to get stranded EV motorist to the nearest charging station – allegedly…


      It appears to be a battery pack & inverter which is recharged from the van between service calls. It can provide “Up to 12km range in under 15 minutes”, which is hardly the equivalent of the good old jerry can!


  5. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    A switch to electric will also require more power stations to be built with consequent increases in emissions from them.

    Battery technology is currently not fit for purpose for a worldwide switch to mass market electric vehicles given the finite amount of Lithium available to be mined and it’s increasing cost. Maybe Andy‘s little 16-year-old schoolgirl has some ideas to solve this issue – she’s the expert ?

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    My neighbour has an electric car and when he goes on holiday he carries a small Honda generator. Says it all really.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      A small generator that will be very inefficient and rather dirty. Perhaps dangerous too with the fuel or leaks in crashes.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Ian, maybe your neighbour might be better off just fitting wheels and steering to the generator.

    • NickC
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg said: “he carries a small … generator” to revive his electric car. Brilliant! A self made hybrid to confound the political groupies of the Green crap.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Just like the early days of the motor car when drivers needed a petrol can because there were so few garages. All will be resolved in no time now as then.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Margaret Howard

        In fact during the early days of motoring the AA patrol provided petrol services the AA also opened the first road side petrol filling stations

        This is of course nothing like having to carry a diesel generator in case your electric car runs out of juice. Whilst I agree that many more charge points will appear in the next few years , as has been mentioned by numerous people its not the availability of an electric socket, its the time taken to charge that is the crucial factor

    • Big John
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Prehaps someone will come up with a trailler with a generator mounted on it,
      so you can recharge the car on the move 😉.

      • margaret howard
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        Solar panels on the roof?

        • NickC
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, But only for the day time! And even only 10kW (Prius is 70kW) needs a car roof of about 60m^2. Good luck with that.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          You need many kilowatts of electricity and a car roof made of solar panels does not generate enough power.

      • Dave Ward
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        “Perhaps someone will come up with a trailer with a generator mounted on it”
        They already have

  7. rose
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    There is another worry: the EU has directed there must be artificial noise put into these vehicles. Rather than suggesting the 3% of people affected by blindness be fitted with wrist bands which vibrate on the approach of a vehicle, they want us all driven mad. If the Japanese were to be in charge of making this artificial noise, it might not be too bad, because they know and care about pitching electronic noise low, and musically, not to jangle the nerves. But our young men seem impervious to horrible electronic noise, and the louder it is the better. The Japanese, for example, don’t inflict ear splitting sirens on the public, so loud and nerve racking you can’t tell the direction they are coming from, preferring instead to use polite loud hailers as the police go by: “Excuse me, but please may we pass?”

    One might think the EU had learned its lesson from mass interference across the Continent when it ordained we were all to go over to diesel, despite at that time the emissions being very obviously poisonous and unpleasant. But no such luck. The worry about the batteries is a real one, on several counts, and they haven’t shown any sign of resolving it.

    Which is all a pity, as I used to think how nice it would be to have electric vehicles instead. We could at least have quieter tarmac on our roads.

    • Bob
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Years ago our milkman used an electric vehicle. It was called a Milk Float.
      It was well suited to the task of stop start multi drop delivery.

      He delivered the milk in glass bottles and the empty bottles were returned, cleaned and reused.

      Then supermarkets, petrol stations and newsagents started selling milk in disposable plastic bottles. This is progress apparently.

      All electric vehicles may have a place in the overall mix, but they’re unsuitable for much outside of town driving or moving goods around in a warehouse. The govt as usual are overly eager to demonstrate their virtue setting policies under advice from children who have been indoctrinated by AGW activists posing as teachers. The kids have little real knowledge of the issues apart from being driven to and from school or occasional jet travel for holiday or to address world leaders at Davos.

      • rose
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        I am told it almost completely electric in the City now – buses, lorries, vans, cars…I haven’t been to check but it must be nice if it is true.

    • Sam Duncan
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Truth is, they’re not really all that quiet anyway. On urban streets, where cars are most likely to come into contact with pedestrians, internal combustion engines are so unstressed, and modern sound deadening is so good, that for the most part they’re barely audible either. Most of what you hear from a car in those circumstances is tyre noise and gearbox/differential whine. Both of which are produced in identical measure by electric vehicles (true, they don’t all have a traditional gearbox, but there are gears and bearings, and they whine).

      Crossing the street the other day, I stopped just short enough to avoid a Renault Zöe. I heard it coming with no difficulty at all. Now, cyclists

  8. Mark B
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    An excellent article today that covers most of the main points. But for me the most telling line was this :

    The whole EU has embarked on a huge top down reform of the motor industry . . .

    I have mentioned this before. I believe that it is the moto industry itself that is pushing this and lobbying the EU to force member countries to push electric transport.

    Electric cars like the Renault Twizzy are good for short journeys with single or double occupants. But we need a mix. We are also talking about personal transport and not road haulage. I suspect that this is because the road haulage companies can successfully lobby the EU. After all, they do as much pollution and road damage as cars plus, fewer cars on the road means bigger profits for them.

    • Fishknife
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Interesting research being done at Warwick university on the shortcomings of inductive charging leading to shortened battery life.

      • David Price
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        The issue is heat and unlike mobile phones a number of EV battery systems have active cooling. Not all though and it became an issue for Nissan aka RapidGate.

  9. Nigl
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I buy mid mileage second hand cars and run them until they become not worthy because of the cost of replacement parts.

    However my sport takes me at weekends to all ends of England and I regularly drive to France and occasionally further, Germany, Italy, Prague, krakow. (Note to Remainers, I voted to leave but do not hate Europe!) The range and charging time of electric cars would make these a nightmare.

    As an aside I am also very cynical about the green claims. Where is all the electricity coming from?

    Maybe one of your boffin contributors could comment on fuel cells and the use of hydrogen. I remember Jeremy Clarkson saying he thought they would be the ultimate solution.

    • Andy
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      After a no deal Brexit, remember you will need extra paperwork to drive in Europe.

      You will need a green card from your insurance company.

      You will need an international drivers licence.

      You will be waiting longer at Dover.

      I hope you don’t want to bring things like wine back.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Andy…..thanks for your concern. It can all be sorted in minutes, and for a few pounds sterling. Next?

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        It will save the environment.

        I’ve just got back from rock climbing and paragliding near Morzine but felt guilt (I am a true environmentalist) at having gone abroad for purely recreational reasons.

        The first time in five years. I usually only fly to visit a relative in Cyprus. We should not be doing cheap travel. I find no pleasure in venturing to other places only to find lots of other British people ‘adventuring.’

        You want to save the environment ? Unlike electric cars Brexit will actually be good for this.

        • Richard1
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          Your recreation is another person’s business so relax. Your travel to morzine was just as defensible eg as Emma Thompson’s flight to the extinction protest or to any gathering of business and political doomsayers at a climate hysteria conference.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Green card from an insurance company is a telephone call

        Intl driving license no problem either

        Is the EU planning a wine embargo now?

        Probably when they think about it the eu will decide these kind of sanctions are a silly waste of time and effort and will allow things to continue as now

      • libertarian
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink


        Oh dear more deluded nonsense

        Why does your police state EU require things that other countries dont?

        The USA doesn’t require me to have an international drivers licence

        Why would you go via Dover, stupidity

        No you dont need a green card , you can have a green card as has ALWAYS
        been the case whilst we were members of the EU

        No problem with bring wine back

        You also seem blissfully unaware that there are other countries in Europe and the rest of the world, so even if you did need such things they would be valid EVERYWHERE not just in the UnitedEuropean State

        I dont think you’ve ever travelled abroad, you certainly are totally clueless about the routes and technology that is in place

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Andy, another stupid post from you. I will be quite happy to indulge in English wines or wines from around the world. Yes, there is another world out there apart from Europe. You are all so blinkered I’m surprised you can reach for the shower gel in the mornings.

      • cynic
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        interesting reasons for wanting to stay in the E U.

      • sm
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Andy, what you describe is such an appalling tale of tragedy! It’s quite obviously going to be the end of civilisation as we know it.

        Or perhaps not.

      • Bill
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        If indeed they are, why is this a problem? It happens to all non-EU Members now and they have no concerns. If they do they just don’t go to the EU Member nations anymore – will won’t either. Are these the reasons you voted to Remain?

        Can you please inform us Brexiteers why you prefer to be ruled by the unelected and unaccountable cabal of foreigners based over there in Brussels rather than be governed by your own elected representatives in Parliament, Westminster who you can remove when their term is up?
        You forget the main reason we voted to Leave the EU. It was to take back full control of our country? Nothing is more important than Independence. Go ask the much bigger Rest of the World.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink


          “why you prefer to be ruled by the unelected and unaccountable cabal of foreigners based over there in Brussels rathe than…

          …our own unelected cabal of establishment clones who are at the moment deciding who the next prime minister for 99.7% of the nation is going to be?

          And that for a country rather than a trading bloc where all 27 members have their own democratically elected government and not the ‘first past the post’ shambles we call democracy.

          • NickC
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, False. Our own government is elected or removed by the UK electorate. Unlike the EU government.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            Who did you vote for in the recent EU leaders election Margaret?

          • libertarian
            Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

            Margaret Howard , Andy , Newmania and friends

            I would like to hear your individual responses to this blog from recently elected Green MEP Magid Magid . He was a Remain supporter and stood on a platform of remain

            “Next to nobody in Brussels has any clue what the European Union truly stands for — beyond a flag and an anthem — and more crucially, where it is heading. And that includes the EU leaders and senior officials soullessly waddling through the corridors of power. When I arrived in the EU capital, I expected to find it brimming with activity and potential answers to these questions. Instead, I felt duped: Making a tangible impact on constituents’ lives is apparently not what being an MEP is all about.”
            “In Brussels in particular, we need more transparency in the way we make decisions. Our institutions are plagued with convoluted customs, hidden handshakes and backdoor bargaining. I’ve seen it first hand already. How can we reject the accusations leveled against the European elite that we are out of touch, when the top dogs in our Parliament and Commission are chosen through obscure quid-pro-quo arrangements agreed over Champagne and truffles in Brussels’ finest hotel lobbies?”

            Hmm if only we’d known about this before the referendum…. oh wait a minute 17.4 million of the more enlightened did !

      • NickC
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Andy, You don’t need an international drivers licence in the USA, so it is perfectly possible to have the same arrangement with Germany, France, etc. The insurance angle is just common sense. The other two you’ve just made up.

      • Mark
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Duty-free? Why not?

      • Nigl
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Green card not necessarily. In any event so what? I have needed them in the past and they are a minor administrative problem, equally international driving license. Have driven all over Europe including iron curtain countries, never needed one.

        As for Dover, actually I use the train but no evidence that there will be delays.

        I guess you are making this up due to a lack of experience.

        Scraping the barrel Andy, we are still waiting for your pro EU benefit critique.

        • formula57
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          A significant administrative hurdle even while within the Evil Empire is obtaining and paying for display permits showing a vehicle is deemed insufficiently polluting to be allowed to traverse the increasing number of low-emission type zones. Heavy fines are suffered by those who overlook this.

      • L Jones
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Gosh! How terribly inconvenient, Andy! How will you cope?
        Fortunately, there are a lot of people around who actually EXPECTED not so long ago to buy a green card, obtain an international drivers (sic) licence, wait a while at a port, expected to buy wine at their own local supermarket, etc – so you can ask THEM how they coped in the old days.

        (By the way – have you noticed yet that Brexit isn’t only about your convenience and your bank balance? And that ”freedom of movement” isn’t anything to do with going to Europe on holiday?)

        • Andy
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          I am simply pointing out that getting a green card and international drivers licence will be things you will need after a no deal Brexit.

          This involves more pointless bureaucracy and more unnecessary expense to you. Now, this expense is indeed only a handful of pounds. The bureaucracy involves phone calls and waits in Post Offices and a passport photo machines.

          The Brexiteers promised you less bureaucracy- and in this very simple area they are delivering more of it. They told you you would be richer and yet you have to buy things you did not have to buy before.

          Now you can bring as much wine in as you like. After Brexit you might be able to bring half a dozen bottles before you face duties.

          I don’t doubt that the Brexiteers who sold you this done have financial interests in insurance firms, international driving licence making companies and other such businesses.

          • NickC
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            Andy, All our industry has to comply with EU rules and standards whilst we are in the EU. When we’re out, c88% (by UK GDP) do not need EU bureaucracy at all. That’s a lot less bureaucracy.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            There is no reason that in the future you will need an international diving licence Andy.
            There are talks going on about agreeing an arrangement just like USA and UK and Europe currently have.
            Regarding insurance you currently need to carry your insurance details if you drive in Europe.
            So even if a green card is needed, which is unlikely, very little will have altered.
            And there is no reason why an independent UK cannot carry on with current wine allowances or even increase them.
            You are desperately trying to find problems where there are none.

      • Robert mcdonald
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Better wine and cheese made in the UK.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Well that isn’t correct Andy.
        I have already had an e mail from my car insurer saying that my cover in Europe will not alter and that a green card will not be needed.
        They say if one is demanded then they will provide one for free which I can print off their website.
        I need to carry a copy of my insurance when driving in Europe currently so the difference is marginal.
        International drivers licences can be easliy obtained for a few pounds but there are talks going on to agree both UK drivers in Europe and European drivers in the UK will not require one.
        Dover have said they are not expecting delays and are making preparations for after October 31st this year.
        I travel via Portsmouth and most delays are due to French industrial disputes.
        Wine, it will be up to the UK as a free independent nation to decide on how much we are allowed to bring back into the UK.
        For all you know the allowance might go up after 31st October.

      • steve
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink


        Most of us don’t want to go to Europe anyway, so that kind of torpedoes your BS.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink


        Used to need and have all of the above before we Joined the EU and indeed in the early years of membership as well, never was a problem before, why should it be now, if it is ever required.

      • dixie
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        @Andy do you drive or even hold UK motor insurance?

        I just looked at my UK motor insurance certificate which states;

        “This Certificate of Motor Insurance takes the place of an International Motor Card (Green Card) and is evidence that the insurance extends to include the compulsory motor insurance requirements of:
        a) any other member country of the European Union;
        b) Andorra, Iceland, Norway, Croatia, Serbia and Switzerland.”

        It helpfully provides translations in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

        I did not request the green card facility have never driven on the continent, it is simply included as standard.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Well lots of solutions for the long term fuel cells, artificial manufacture hydro carbon fuels, better batteries (they need to be cheaper, last longer, charge faster, be lighter, hold more energy, use less energy in production ….) Hydrogen has rather expensive storage issues and wastes about 50% of the energy producing electricity than another 50% using the electricity turning the water into hydrogen.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        I hear people (usually not scientists) endlessly talking of when we get Moore’s law for batteries (or for wind turbines and solar) as we had in semiconductors.

        There is almost certainly going to be no Moore’s Law for batteries. Significant improvement in battery capacity are likely to be rather slow and gradual.

      • stred
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        The Climate Change Committee, which May and just about every MP chooses to take advice from, is proposing that the UK produces masses of hydrogen for use by HGVs, trains, shipping, industry, and backup generation. They are proposing to use steam reforming of natural gas CH4 to H2 and CO2 with some made by electrolysis. We will still need to import a lot of gas or use shale. Shell and Toyota are into hydrogen cars but most experts think that a ridiculous amount of energy is lost in the process and that batteries will be used for cars. Maybe we will be allowed to take wood and a stove in case the battery runs out in winter. Trolley buses may come back. Maybe we could have trolley cars. The main reason that the government wants electric cars is because they need somewhere to store all the wind generated electricity and the outputs match.They expect car owners to give it back to the gridif there is not enough wind. Believe it or not, they are proposing to build 15,000 extra high offshore turbines and lots of solar in order to provide 59% of power. Re. CCC Technical Report

        • David Price
          Posted July 12, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

          National Grid’s projections for 2030 – 2050 in FES 2018 supports your point about reliance on EVs supporting V2G as an energy store. The 2050 model also has an increase in wind generation, 4x onshore and 5x offshore.

    • David Price
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      The overall efficiency of hydrogen FC systems is lower than a BEV approach and although it gives very quick “recharge” the hydrogen is a problem – a hydrogen recharge station exploded a couple of weeks ago in Norway.

      Hydrogen needs special measures to store and transport it. One approach I’ve seen is to use Formic Acid which is liquid at room temperature so easy to store, transport and recharge. The power system then generates hydrogen internally for it’s fuel cell.

  10. Pete S
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Not an area I have investigated. But heard a small report about prices verses the distance a vehicle could travel per charge. The price of vehicles at the moment usually have some form of subsidy, so a bit distorted. But small cars £25k ish 100miles, large cars £45-60k 250miles.

    I will not be interested at those prices and range,

  11. Simeon
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I’m sure Boris Johnson has the answer to all these questions, and will let you know just as soon as it is advantageous (to him) to do so. We know we can trust him because he’s a very clever man, smart enough to know not to give answers people don’t want to hear. We are in good hands. Keep the faith!

    • sm
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Actually, Simeon, I’m waiting for a response to all these questions (and the entirely reasonable points raised by Lifelogic and Shirley below) from those enthusiastic Greenies Sir Mark Rylance, Ms Thunberg and Ms Emma Thompson.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        Doubtless they will be happy to give us the benefit of their great knowledge & understanding of science and engineering. Emma will need to fly First Class of course – so as to circa doubling her C02 output. You doubtless pick up a lot of engineering and science while reading English at Newnham College.

      • Simeon
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        I think you misunderstood the point I was making. The questions are certainly worthwhile and demand answers – answers the climate alarmists are unlikely to satisfactorily provide. My point is that Johnson has expressed great sympathy for these alarmists, and as such, his answers are likely to be poor. But, because virtually nothing he says has any substance, everyone can pretend he’ll give the answers they want to hear. This is the basis on which he has built his rainbow coalition, from Baker to Hancock. How sustainable this coalition is will become abundantly clear just as soon as answers are demanded of Johnson.

    • NickC
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Simeon, Your concept of Boris avoiding controversy or offence by not [giving] answers people don’t want to hear“, is truly hilarious. The whole point of Boris is that he is for ever embroiled in controversy and always giving answers (some) people don’t like.

      • Simeon
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Boris Johnson has created faux controversy amongst a particular demographic, that generally excludes Conservative Party members, by commenting on various matters that have little to do with serious policy issues. When he has pronounced on the serious issue of a clean and proper Brexit he has expressed aspirations in a determined fashion, but without credibly explaining how this will happen.

        I believe that a clean and proper Brexit should be delivered, as I’m sure do you. The difference seems to be that you have faith in Johnson delivering it whilst I don’t. Given what Johnson has said on Brexit (I could hardly say ‘given the plan Johnson has outlined’ because he doesn’t appear to have one), I would suggest your leap of faith is truly impressive. In contrast, my scepticism is very ordinary.

        • NickC
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          Simeon, I think Boris is much the best of a rather sorry bunch. Given our experience of the appalling Theresa May, I will wait and see whether he delivers.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    You cover this issue very well indeed, especially for a history graduate.

    The circa £15,000 car battery is the equivalent of a £100 plastic fuel tank. It stores perhaps just 20% of the fuel of a diesel one, takes many hours to fill, leaks charge even when just standing and wastes some when charging. With further losses in the transmission from the power station.

    This very expensive battery also deteriorates each year so giving it a short useful life of perhaps just 4 years. Very large amount of energy are used in mining the materials & manufacturing the batteries in the first place. The depreciation (just on the battery) can be in the region of £4K PA. Which might well be rather more than the fuel you use in your old conventional car even when 80% of this is tax!

    Then we have the problem of charging stations as most people in cities tend to live in flats or have no parking. Plus we have the problem of generating all this extra electricity if everyone switched to electric we would need massive new generating capacity. Plus the battery lose some charge even while standing still (so they have a small leak).

    Of course government will have to tax them as soon as they are more common as they are losing out on all the tax from fuel.

    Sensible people will keep running their old car until the technology actually works efficiently. Unless they are forced to switch!

    Most fools on the BBC and in government and the electric car industry call them ‘zero emission’ which is clearly a blatant lie. They can actually cause far more C02 than keeping running your old car. Where is the advertising standards authority here?

    • rose
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Historians are good at assimilating a lot of information and making sense of it. You will find the two subjects employers most want are history and physics. You can fill in on the merits of physics.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        History (or indeed Classics) certainly seems to be far better than PPE or Lawyers I tend to find. Given the huge advances in technology it is very important to understand the impacts of these advances and the likely future advances and be numerate about what works and what does not.

        We must suffer under about 10 times the number of Lawyers & Bureaucrats we should really need if the laws and legal systems were remotely sensible. They are largely parasitic on productive workers and living standards.

        I read Maths, then Physics and later some Electronics & Engineering.

    • Barbara Castle
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget that gas heating will no longer be permitted in new houses from 2025, creating yet more increased demand for electricity. You might be forgiven for thinking that our foreign state-owned power companies have identified a rather good business opportunity.

      • Pete S
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Has not May given a nuclear contract guaranteeing eyewatering rates for the generated electricity. Plus one other thing that is forgotten, the electric cables in our streets were not designed to deliver these levels of power.

        For instance, a typical house boiler is 24kW. This is the MAX power 100A company fuse that supply most houses. Plus the mains cable in the street was never designed to supply every house at maximum usage.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        Another idiotic announcement from government. Gas boiler heaters are far more efficient than burning gas (to generate electricity) and then heating the house electrically. This as 50% of the energy is is wasted as hear at the power station – rather than getting nearly all of it into the house. We seem to be governed by fools, crooks, vested interests, pressure groups, lobbyist and unscientific idiots!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          You can of course make electric heating more efficient using heat pumps, air or ground source. But these are expensive to fit and maintain, tend to heat slowly so often need to be left on and have other issues. They need larger and more expensive rather tepid radiators too.

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Yes, Barbara, I can’t wait to see the extortionate rates for electricity once they have the monopoly. It’s a joke. How will the poor be able to heat and cook in their homes? Also, I can’t wait to see what happens when we get a storm and various places in the UK are without electricity. This sometimes happens for days. No recharging the car, no cooking, no lights and no heating. What a wonderful life we live in!! How will people get to work, school, appointments etc. It just hasn’t been thought through but then what do we expect from politicians? They look good virtue signalling so that’s the most important thing.

      • NickC
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Barbara Castle, Gas fired power station thermal efficiency: about 60%. Modern condensing gas boiler thermal efficiency: over 80%. And the political dupes of the CAGW hoaxers think it makes sense to go for electric home heating?

        • Stred
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          The Climate Change Committee report goes for heat pumps and 75000 or 15000 extra tall offshore turbines to power them, except in the middle of winter, when gas with carbon capture will do the job.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            They are totally misguided. Get some decent and honest engineers and physicists to explain reality and energy economics to these silly dopes.

          • stred
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

            In fact, looking at the CCC proposals, there would be a big shortage of backup in a prolonged lull in the middle of winter and the UK would be out of action, with no water, sewage, heating, and only hydrogen lorries running.

          • NickC
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            Stred, As of now, CCS does not actually work; it’s fantasy. It is possible it might work at some unknown date in the future. Maybe. If “carbon” (they mean CO2) was a problem.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Talking about fools on the BBC, I just listened to John Major imparting his uninterrupted drivel to the nation (Today Programme) threatening legal action against prorogation of parliament. Thus undermining the chance of a sensible deal and the new PM.

      Also talking complete drivel about Sir Kim Darroch. Why has this silly man not resigned yet? His judgement is clearly faulty and he simply cannot do his job anyway given Trump’s (correct) view of him.

      Had it been Farage (talking his usual sense) he would have been endlessly interrupted and yet failed dope Major is just asked what words of wisdom would you you like to impart to the great unwashed today Sir? Why do the BBC think people want to listen to this appalling failed PM who buried the Conservative Party and got almost everything wrong and did not even say sorry?

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Have they factored in police time taken up with road rage incidents over charging points ?

    • Frank Barker
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Well said; I would add something the government and manufactures won’t talk about, Lithium batteries can suffer from “Thermal runaway” Under heavy load the battery becomes hot, as the battery gets hotter the internal resistance decreases allowing it to take more current which heats it further, decreasing the internal resistance still further until the battery explodes.
      The car battery comprises a number of these cells. Should one cell explode it likely to cause adjacent cells to enter thermal runaway.
      Remember Richard Hammond crashed an electric car. Yes the car exploded into a fire ball. The fire continued for seven days due to recurring thermal runaway.

    • forthurst
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Typically disparaging comment from someone who, having a hard science background can unfortunately be associated in some cases with Autism spectrum disorder.

      JR has an exceptional inductive capacity which in my experience is mostly what is required to understand problems and then solve them.

    • NickC
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic, You are right about this. The test of the politicians’ sincerity is if they authorise the building of one new Hinckley Nuclear power plant (or equivalents) every year for the next 20 years. Until that happens we won’t be replacing all the current car fleet with battery electric cars.

      Just as Prince Charles’ view that we had less than 100 months to save the planet (he said it in 2009) has turned out to be the bunk we CAGW sceptics thought it was all along, so the current doom warnings will prove to be hysteria.

      All these artificial deadlines will be broken. What we’ll probably get is a mixture of hybrids, fuel-cell, and conventional ICE, powered cars. And in the quest to reduce CO2 emissions, we’ll get more pollution, courtesy of the greens. As shown by the diesel fiasco.

      In the end the only way to severely reduce man-made emissions of CO2 is to (have fewer children?ed) -which is what the more extreme green fascists want to do.

    • Dave Ward
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      “Where is the advertising standards authority here?”

      The ASA are a waste of time. I (and others) have filed complaints about the “Zero Emissions” claim, and they basically said it was O.K. because people would understand this meant “At the point of use”…

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Not even true at the point of use.

        They even allowed an advert that said something like one red bus is greener than 50 cars. This when average occupancy of a large bus is often well into single figures plus they stop every few hundred yards blocking the roads take indirect routes and need a driver. Car are often far preferable even in CO2 terms.

    • David Price
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      You just make stuff up – For a Nissan 40kWh it is more like circa £6K with an 8 year warranty for a capacity of 80%+. That was a year ago so maybe less now.

      Where does your petrol, diesel and oil come from? Is it a sustainable supply at a cost everyone can afford? .. how long will that be the case.

      • NickC
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        David Price, “Everyone”? Petrol etc, is affordable not least because about 80% is tax yet we still buy it in quantities which people like you don’t want. And don’t worry about supplies of the naturally occurring coal, oil and gas – there’s plenty for the next century, and we’re still discovering more. So much in fact that greens insist we must “leave it in the ground”.

        • David Price
          Posted July 12, 2019 at 4:22 am | Permalink

          “People like me”? One of the reasons I have an EV is because I can fuel it myself independent of a government messing around with diesel, fuel taxes and the like.

          I’m well aware there is a difference between reserves and resources and finding new sources. but where are the? Where does our fuel come from? – gas from Russia and oil from M.E, if we piss them off don’t you think there might be a problem. One day there is plenty of fuel and everyone can go about their business and the next day it stops.

          Whilst I am concerned about real pollution I am not a CO2 apologist. My concerns are quite pragmatic and while many just seem to whine about the situation and make stuff up some of us try to take personal responsibility for our situation.

          • stred
            Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

            If we are going to rely on 15000 turbines connected by undersea cables, we had better not piss anybody off .

          • libertarian
            Posted July 12, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            David Price

            Reserves of UK offshore shale gas exceed 1,000 trillion cubic feet, which compares to the current gas consumption in the UK of 3.5 tcf each year.

            The UK has enough oil reserves to sustain production for the next 20 years and beyond, according to a new industry report.
            The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has estimated overall remaining recoverable reserves and resources of up to 20 billion barrels.

            There is some interesting research being undertaken into how come the Gulf of Mexico oil fields which were empty some years ago have now refilled too

            From Science Times

            COULD it be that many of the world’s oil fields are refilling themselves at nearly the same rate they are being drained by an energy-hungry world?

            A geochemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts says she believes that hitherto undetected gas and oil reservoirs lying at very great depths within the earth’s crust could stave off the inevitable oil depletion much longer than many experts have estimated.

            The scientist, Dr. Jean K. Whelan, whose research is part of a $2 million Department of Energy exploration program in the Gulf of Mexico south of New Orleans, has found evidence of differences in the composition of oil over periods of time as it flows from greater to shallower depths. By gauging degradative chemical changes in the oil resulting from action by oil-eating bacteria, she infers that oil is moving in quite rapid spurts from great depths to reservoirs closer to the surface.

            Skeptics of Dr. Whelan’s hypothesis acknowledge that oil is almost certainly flowing into certain reservoirs from somewhere, but say her explanation remains to be proved, as does the exact extent of the phenomenon.

            Peek oil was predicted for 1972 yet here in 2019 we have more recoverable oil and gas than has ever been extracted in history . Maybe it is renewable?

          • David Price
            Posted July 14, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian, interesting points which raise a lot of questions – geological, technical and political.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Sensible engineers and businesses do R&D and when something actually works reliably, cost effectively and has market demand they bring it to market.

    Government on the other hand now seem to want to tax people and use subsidies to bring premature technology to the market before it is remotely ready for the people’s needs.

    I am all in favour or R&D but not rolling out early of duff technology with misguided cross subsidies for taxes.

    Also no one has given me any valid reason for why some taxis (which are far less efficient than cars per useful mile) are given special lanes. Often they have to make four journeys rather than two – plus they need the professional driver. So what is the justification exactly?

  14. Dominic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    When the political class rolled out a 16 year old pubescent child to front their climate emergency propaganda campaign it finally confirmed in my own, some would say, empty mind that these manipulators would try any stunt to warp our perceptions

    And then to watch the …………….. McDonnell making reference to his Climate Emergency proposals was too much.

    The political class must think the public are idiotic. Message to politicians. We can see your silly games a mile away. Please don’t treat us like fools or else we’ll take revenge at the ballot box

    This is why I like John Redwood. He’s humble enough to accept that the public have a role to play and they must be listened to rather than patronised

  15. Shirley
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    The only way that electric cars can be practical is to have a battery exchange at the equivalent of a filling station. This, of course, assumes each car has an identical battery, and that exchanges would be of similar value. This would be ripe for fraud, ie. exchange a dud battery for a good one.

    Batteries are expensive, contain dubious materials, and are a very inefficient use of power. How many additional power stations would we need if all vehicles were electric powered? Has anyone done the calculations?

    • StephenJ
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Interesting point Shirley.

      I foresee many new employment opportunities for fork lift truck drivers!

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      I heard or read somewhere that the production of an electric car battery, has the same carbon footprint as ten years of use of a diesel car. Personally, I think, when you take on board all that Sir John has said in this blog, electric cars are a con!

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Lets try again.

        A solution from Renault – do a Google search for “Renault Quickdrop”

        In addition to standard charge and quick charge option, Renault also highlighted the exclusive “Quickdrop” system for battery switching at an exchange station such as that being developed by Better Place.

        This doesn’t get around the problem of battery technology being “not there yet”…or sourcing of the raw materials currently needed from third world countries.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink


      I don’t think electric car batteries are like the ones in traditional cars. From what I gather, they take up a large proportion of the base of the car. So, though your idea sounds good, in practise, would not be practical.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Yes they have, I think it was circa 50% more than current generating capacity. Plus huge and expensive increases to the transmission infrastuctures plus masses of more parking and charge points all over the place.

    • steve
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink


      You write an excellent post, however –

      “The only way that electric cars can be practical is to have a battery exchange at the equivalent of a filling station.”

      That still doesn’t make them practical. Particularly as there will almost certainly be a vendors cartel, the price of charging / cell exchange will rapidly become an absolute rip off.

      The only way I see electric cars being of any practicality is if they’re gas turbine hybrids. The advantage there would be no range limitation on cell charge, and gas turbines can be run on bio fuel or hydrogen.

      Of course that would mean giving us something that works, now we can’t be having that, can we.

  16. agricola
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    You sum it up well. Political imperative before practicality.

    Given encouragement, scientists and engineers could solve the emission problems of both diesel and petrol. Braking mechanisms could be enclosed to limit particulate. Tyre composition could be looked at to make it less harmful as it wears.

    As to electric vehicles, you cover their shortcomings adequately. Price, depreciation, battery range, battery life, chargjng time, the real cost to the environment of producing cheap electricity, and the strategic vulnerability of only one power source. It will be many years before the military opt for electric transport.

    When the down sides above are resolved, how about the following. Standardisation of battery size and design within a range of say three sizes. Standardisation of battery accessability to facilitate automated battery changing stations that give you a fully charged battery in the same time it takes to fill a tank.

    Has any real effort been put into the manufacture of cheap hydrogen which when burnt only produces water, or so I believe from school days.

    The politicians way of legislating to solve a problem that cannot as yet be fully solved with their solution, is no way to go. Revert to science and engineering.

  17. People are Strange
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I liked viewing Boris last night on TV. Like Trump I just love listening to him. Don’t care about listening to anyone else. They are not useful.
    ” What do you most like about the other candidate?” they asked him
    “His ability to change his mind”
    A good one!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Or claim to have changed his mind.

      Why on earth is the silly Jeremy Hunt defending Sir Kim Darroch the man is clearly lacking in judgement and his position is totally untenable. Had he any judgement he would already have resigned.

    • Simeon
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Comparisons to Trump are of very limited value. Trump has demonstrated that he is willing not only to articulate ‘controversial’ policies, but also implement them. Johnson equivocates and evades, whilst Trump speaks simply and directly. He is very obviously not part of the political establishment, whereas Johnson very obviously is (more than half of Conservative MPs voted for him!). Trump infiltrated and took over an, in many ways, moribund Republican Party. Johnson is seeking to bring the same old Conservative party back from the dead – though he believes there is still life in this particular headless chicken. And Trump has much better hair.

  18. nowhere.
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Those electric cars will go a long way in China, Latin America, Africa, Russia, the Middle East . But still will not have got to the next recharging station nor got to the next town

    • Fred H
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Sales to sunny countries should have a solar panel built into the roof, instead of sliding glass like we used to have. Permanent recharging, although slow..ish.

  19. Ian!
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    The electric car, or in reality a battery powered cars is in most senses a stop gap until a hydrogen cell infrastructure is put in place.

    The downside of battery power as we know it now, is the life span of the battery itself and the cost of then replacing that battery. This life span impacts on second hand values, is anyone really going to buy a second hand car when to replace the battery is going to cost more than you paid for the car.

    In essence it does mean battery powered cars also have half the life of their fossil fuel counterparts.

    Once you factor in the facilities of the manufacturing plants, a large chunk of the German car production is fueled by coal fired power. Is the life span of a fossil fuel the car really less toxic?

    When we use the phrase ‘green’ surely it is more honest to talk of total life span of a product including manufacture, delivery, use and disposal. Otherwise we are just creating fiction and deluding ourselves.

    As with elsewhere hydrogen fuel cell buses are used on the streets of London. Honda used the hydrogen powered cars as curtesy cars for the London Olympics. The only output with these is water.

    If Gordon Brown hadn’t sold of our nuclear power capability on the grounds, he couldn’t see the point of it, and he needed money – we would now have more CO2 neutral power in the UK. i.e. also, a more effective guarantee of energy production.

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Why do so few people buy electric cars?

    The people have more sense than money. Unlike governments who have more (of the people’s) money than sense.

    The petrol/diesel cars they are already driving are rather superior and more practical that the new electric ones being pushed at them. Plus the new electric ones cost perhaps ten times more than what they will get for the old one and they depreciate (especially the batteries) rather rapidly. Far better to sit on the fence until the technology actually works and is cost effective – the public have sensibly concluded. The wisdom of crowds perhaps or the very common stupidity of group think politicians, governments and bureaucrats.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Please tell that to Acorn !!!

      He thinks civil servants in ivory towers know best.

      • acorn
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        Of course they know what is best for us. The UK has spent a fortune educating them to do exactly that for the socio-economic benefit of all of us. Including, in Huxley’s Brave New World terms; the Delta and Epsilon social classes, that you will be intimately familiar with.

        • NickC
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          Acorn, Life is more complicated than even the best degree, costing a fortune.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 12, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink


          Ha ha ha ha …great satire mate. As if an academic education made you fit to do anything practical or useful… nice one

    • steve
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink


      “Why do so few people buy electric cars?”

      …….cos they’re sh*t.

  21. Andy
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Pretty much every new car will be electric within a decade – and that is because manufacturers will no longer make petrol cars. So consumers will not have a choice anyway.

    The biggest issue putting people off is price. Electric cars tend to be more expensive – and most people do mot want to pay more than they have to. An important lesson for your Brexit by the way – because consumers (voters) will be extremely angry when they suddenly discover many things are costing them more.

    Then there is the entirely predictable failure of the Tory government to invest in the infrastructure. Yes, we need a charging network. And no, we don’t have a very good one in swathes of the country, but this is because government has failed to make it happen.

    The U.K. should look to Norway for inspiration. Nearly half of cars sold in Norway in the last year were electric – up from a quarter the year before. Norway gives tax incentives to buy electric – and drivers get extra benefits. We could do the same here too. Imagine – free parking for electric cars, no tolls, no road tax, allowances to drive in bus lanes. Stuff like that would make a huge difference.

    • Bob
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      @Andy Norway’s population is about half that of London.
      Africa could be more of a challenge for EVs.
      Wouldn’t fancy getting stuck out in the wilderness with a flat battery.
      With a Diesel, one could carry a couple of Jerry Cans.

    • Bob
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      @Andy Norway’s population is about half the size of London’s.
      Africa could be more of a challenge for EVs.
      Wouldn’t fancy getting stuck out in the wilderness with a flat battery.
      With a Diesel, one could carry a couple of Jerry Cans.

    • Stred
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Norway has CO2 free hydro and there is a point in using them. We don’t.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:07 am | Permalink

      Few people have drives. Where are they to do their overnight charging ?

      • David Price
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Why must they only charge at night – where do they park their cars during the day?

    • Dave Ward
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      “Yes, we need a charging network. And no, we don’t have a very good one in swathes of the country, but this is because government has failed to make it happen

      Government didn’t establish the network of filling stations we all use today. That was done by private investment responding to demand. If EV’s are the future the charging stations should be installed the same way…

  22. Ian!
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    One-way electric cars do work happens in Indianapolis in the US. For many years now most downtown streets have electric car ranks in the way London has its bike racks (Boris now ..)

    A simply phone app is all it takes to make those quick short trips. The nice touch is to pick up a car in a residential street head off to the airport and virtually leave it at the entrance for the next person to take is back to town. Very convenient, very effective and very well used.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      I wonder what they do about accident body damage or misuse and how they pinpoint the renter responsible?

  23. Alan Jutson
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Electric cars are not yet fit for purpose for me to purchase one, for all of the reasons you give.

    Too expensive to purchase in the first place, with very rapid devaluation.

    Battery technology (storage/charging/longevity/availability) not yet fit for such a purpose.

  24. Newmania
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Things change quickly,100 year old business have disappeared on line in a decade .The idea of exploding fossil fuels sounds increasingly old tech but I am not convinced electric cars have cracked it yet.
    The problem is the size of the batteries. The solution to cables across the pavement , range and the rest is an interchangeable battery of standard size you switch en route or at home ( International problem / international solution …..)
    At the current power weight ration this is not workable and until it is I fear electric cars will be a fashion statement. That said the pressure on petrol to get leaner is good and diesel is finished.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      “That said the pressure on petrol to get leaner is good and diesel is finished.”

      Yay. Just at the time that mass immigration policies have forced us all to live farther from our work places and our parents to retire in dunroamin’ bungalows in remote seaside towns.

    • steve
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink


      “The idea of exploding fossil fuels”


  25. Alan Jutson
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I wonder how many politicians own electric car as their sole method of personal transport, and do not own or rely upon another conventional vehicle or chauffeur ?

    Not many I would guess !

    • Newmania
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      As we will now be going back to the awful old fashioned British Car industry for British people ( TR7…ugh) they will all have to go back to buying a “British Car”.
      The fact that your MP will have a rusting heap of Soviet Union style junk on the drive is one of the few bright spots in the whole disaster.

      • L Jones
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Come on, Newmania. Cheer up. All together now….

        ”When you walk through a storm, keep your head…… ” etc

        You’ll soon feel better.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Err..Rolls Bentley Aston Martin Jaguar Range Rover Land Rover McLaren Toyota Nissan Morgan Mini
        To nane just a few..

  26. Andy
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Jeremy Hunt is clearly ghastly.

    But did anyone else notice the incompetent and morally bankrupt guffawing blonde oaf actually bothering to answer a question last night?

    No, me neither.

    HS2 – no answer. Heathrow – no answer. Sir Kim Darroch – no answer. Brexit – no answer. Morality – no answer. Gay marriage in Northern Ireland (well done MPs!) – no answer.

    Why will Boris not answer? Is he unable – or is he so scared that Conservatives will not like his answers that he daren’t say. I reckon Brexiteers are going to be extremely disappointed. How long until you are all describing BoJo as a traitorous Remoaner? I reckon October.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Hey. None of us want Boris but you denied us Thatcherism as the Americans were denied Reaganism and so this is what happens.

      The Tory party dies or you put up a Blonde stand-up comic.

      Remain or Brino will deliver communist Labour with it. Does anyone ever factor that economic impact ?

    • Fred H
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Andy…..you miss the point of what is going on. The Tories are electing a new leader. The previous was a disaster and failed at every level. The electorate needs to find a leader to ensure we leave the EU on 31st October, or earlier. Anything else is likely to ensure a resounding defeat in the next GE, which could be very soon. Boris will not be drawn on how he will do it, maybe by prorogue? Hunt is ‘good’ at undermining intent but has a wishy washy set of views, blows with the wind. He says he can negotiate, we only saw destructive division, culminating in dictatorship at the NHS. A risk having him in the cabinet.

    • ukretired123
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Andy thanks to hear of your latest anxieties and concerns for the country’s future.
      It must have been excruciating painful for you to experience especially if you did not know it was a media rigged event for the cameras and ratings.
      Thank you for your usual constructive criticism and giving us an insight into your crystal ball sees.

    • NickC
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Andy, How long? That depends on his actions. Because we judge people on their actions. That may be a novel concept to you. However, I would have thought that it was extremely silly – even in your universe – to still view Boris as a sound Leave politician if he actually gave us Remain. But then Remains believe 6 impossible things before breakfast anyway, so maybe in your – and Theresa May’s – universe, describing Remain as Leave is normal. Oh, wait . . . . . .

      • acorn
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        That is the most incoherent comment I have read all day! ” … extremely silly – even in your universe – to still view Boris as a sound Leave politician …” WTF!!!???

        • NickC
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          Acorn, That’s because you’re not educated. Now where did I hear that before? Hint: it’s a conditional sentence.

        • dixie
          Posted July 12, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

          What does”WTF” mean?

          I am really shocked that Hans the school prefect has not berated you for such uncouth language as he has others for more milder statements.

          Perhaps you are not as cultured as you pretend.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 12, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          This from acorn who tried to convince me South Koreans are French and that the French never sold military ports to foreign countries shortly before selling it to the Italians

          So far NO ONE has made a worse or more incoherent post than acorn

    • graham1946
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Er… Electric cars? That’s today’s topic.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink


      Welcome back. I presume that your mother is now satisfied with the state of your bedroom after you were told to clean it yesterday.

      We all missed your unique wisdom and insight from your teenage perspective.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Andy has already told us he is not talking to his mother-and doesn’t care that she might no longer be able to get her medicines “because of Brexit” because she voted for Brexit!

    • L Jones
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      And if you’re wrong, Andy? Can we expect you to appear here on 1 November, contrite, but whimpering inconsolably?

      • Andy
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Hell no. I am enjoying the implosion of the Tory party. You are leading the country to civil war and I am will be fighting on the good side.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:13 am | Permalink

          Hope you’ve been doing your press ups and chin ups then. Fighting’s for big boys.

        • NickC
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          Andy, So you’ve changed sides then??

    • steve
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink


      “HS2 – no answer. Heathrow – no answer. Sir Kim Darroch – no answer. Brexit – no answer. Morality – no answer. Gay marriage in Northern Ireland (well done MPs!) – no answer”

      He did answer every one of those.

  27. formula57
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    “How long will it be before there are electric cars that a majority of the car buying public want to buy?” – well after 2040, so suggests BP in its 2019 Energy Outlook as it says by then only 15 per cent. of motor cars will be electric-powered.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      The continuing geopolitical interest in fossil-fuel bearing regions confirms that.The scramble for the Arctic.The regime change attempts in Venezuela and Iran who just happen to have huge reserves,etc!

  28. Ian!
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Particulates amuses me. My diesel Audi unless it gets a good run its particulate filter clogs up. So, on this long run where are the particulates going?

    With electric cars, they start form a base of being very, very heavy. This weight impacts on tyre wear and requires heavier duty breaking. Both emitting more dust and particulates than a standard car, so in turn add significantly to poor air quality.

    Which-ever way you shake it battery power cars are about feeding political egos, being seen to do something, feed industrial and environment lobby groups. Absolutely nothing about solving a BIG problem.

    The World is lacking proper Political leadership and direction. We live in a society of me-to social media sound bites that have nothing to do with anything.

    • Pete Smith
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      The particles of soot are being caught, and then burned off, by putting extra diesel into the exhaust to raise the temperature of the filter.

    • John Archer
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      My diesel Audi unless it gets a good run its particulate filter clogs up. So, on this long run where are the particulates going?

      Put this into any internet search engine that isn’t Goolag: “How does a DPF work?” Then light the touch paper, stand back and see what happens.

      It’s amazin’!” — Brian Cox

      They get incinerated.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        And as matter can’t be created or destroyed in this universe – what is the end result of incinerating?

        CO2, Nox? Unlikely to be H2O or just Oxygen…

        • steve
          Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          Know – Dice

          Siomple; it comes out as BS.

      • Ian McDougall
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Thank you I was already there for the most part it was more a retorical question.

        The fine dust produced by the burn is more harmful to lungs, then you get the platinum, rhodium, palladium from the filter also being put in the atmosphere.

        CO2 is also greater via the filter at times.

        All we seem to be doing is moving one problem from area to another.

        Not forgetting, as things stand ban one thing in the UK, people just loose jobs and it still gets produced in China or somewhere else.

    • DaveK
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Passive regeneration occurs when the car is running at speed on long motorway journeys which allows the exhaust temperature to increase to a higher level and cleanly burn off the excess soot in the filter.

      Active regeneration means extra fuel is injected automatically, as part of the vehicle’s ECU, when a filter reaches a predetermined limit (normally about 45%) to raise the temperature of the exhaust and burn off the stored soot.

    • steve
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Ian !

      “Which-ever way you shake it battery power cars are about feeding political egos, being seen to do something, feed industrial and environment lobby groups.”

      It’s a fashion statement car of the Lefty Liberal climate alarmist idiot who has too much money, and doesn’t care toss what trouble he causes the rest of us, and is mug enough to buy another one when the batteries have clapped out. Car manufacturers love people like him.

      ‘Oh look at us we’ve got one of those electric thingies, we’re trendy ! ‘ (No mate, you’re a bunch of mugs)

      The way to stop this crap is simply not to buy them.

  29. cynic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    The E U forcing us to make and buy electric cars. Yet another reason to leave this ridiculous, bureaucratic, organization.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink


      The EU forcing us to make and buy electric cars? Really? How are they doing that?

      • steve
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink


        They’re able to do it because they have their traitors in our establishment.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink


          “They are able to do it…”

          But HOW do these ‘traitors’ do it?

          • NickC
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, Perhaps because they ban the sale of ICE cars? Do wake up.

  30. steadyeddie
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Electric vehicle sales are growing rapidly in some countries. EG 50% of new car sales in Norway last year and 1 million + sold in China.
    No one is forced to buy an electric car and it just gives consumers more choice, something I thought Conservatives and other free marketeers were in favour of.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Don’t force us out of petrol cars when you are closing down power stations and the practical alternatives are unavailable.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Steady, yes, fine if you can afford one. Not much choice if you can’t. As usual the wealthy take advantage of the subsidies and the free charging points around various towns while the poor make do and worry about how they are going to comply with this garbage.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      “No one is forced to buy an electric car”

      Just give them time!

    • Dave Ward
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      “EG 50% of new car sales in Norway last year”

      Have you looked at the reasons why?

      The Norwegian EV incentives:

      No purchase/import taxes (1990-)
      Exemption from 25% VAT on purchase (2001-)
      No annual road tax (1996-)
      No charges on toll roads or ferries (1997- 2017).
      Maximum 50% of the total amount on ferry fares for electric vehicles (2018-)
      Maximum 50% of the total amount on toll roads (2019)
      Free municipal parking (1999- 2017)
      Parking fee for EVs was introduced locally with an upper limit of a maximum 50% of the full price (2018-)
      Access to bus lanes (2005-).
      New rules allow local authorities to limit the access to only include EVs that carry one or more passengers (2016)
      50 % reduced company car tax (2000-2018).
      Company car tax reduction reduced to 40% (2018-)
      Exemption from 25% VAT on leasing (2015)
      Fiscal compensation for the scrapping of fossil vans when converting to a zero-emission van (2018)
      Allowing holders of driver licence class B to drive electric vans class C1 (light lorries) up to 2450 kg (2019)

      Source: https://elbil.no/english/norwegian-ev-policy/

    • NickC
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Steadyeddie, “No one is forced to buy …”?? Well what do you call the arbitrary cut off date of 2040 other than “forced”? Battery electric cars are not a “free market” precisely because they’re being artificially imposed for political reasons. If they were sensible (like LED lights) they wouldn’t need that favouritism from politicians. The imposition is also dishonest – the cost is high and the environmental benefit is dubious to say the least, but mentioning that is verboten by the green establishment.

    • John Archer
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      More choice, eh?

      How about my choice of not to have the taxes I pay subsidise those buying gretinism’s electric cars? Where’s the free market there?

      Besides, Norway is rich not least because it is a large energy producer and exporter, and almost all of its electricity is generated hydroelectrically. So it can well afford to indulge its fashionably progressive poseurs and their loony green aspirations.

      As for China? It has an awful lot extremely rich and vastly more extremely impoverished citizens, and a calamitously large property bubble for an avowedly kommunist country. All in all it’s hardly surprising in such a twisted, totalitarian system (with an ominously ageing demographic!) that something on the order of 0.1% of its citizenry can afford splash out on a fashionable status gadget, especially one very largely ultimately powered by coal, as electricity generation is there.

      Sustainability is the watchword there, of course. Definitely a model system to be quoted.

      Onward and upward!

    • kzb
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Apparently, in Norway, 25% VAT will be slapped on EVs from next year. So they are buying before the deadline, hence the huge increase in EV sales there.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      steady…..considering China pop @ around 1.4bn, electric car sales of 1m is not so big. The numbers of wealthy people who can buy a car just for show, not for realistic use is way above how Western societies value material items.

      • David Price
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:23 am | Permalink

        China is not an homogeneous market so you need to look at the buyers rather than overall population. There were 22.4 million passenger car sales in 2018, 3.6m of those from General Motors. So 1m sales would be 4.5% of the overall market and 28% of GM’s sales.

        Pollution and resourcing will be factors in their decisions. If we had to deal with the pollution caused by all our consumption we would probably be more circumspect in some areas.

        • David Price
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:27 am | Permalink

          missed the ref; CNN, 9-Jan-2019, “Car sales drop in China for the first time in 20 years”

  31. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Changing my Civic this autumn. Going for a sports model. At 74 may be my last new vehicle purchase so I intend to enjoy

  32. Alex
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Electric cars suffer from all the problems you mention and more but how exactly do they stop particulate emissions? The electricity has to be generated by fossil fuel power stations (because in reality wind farms are just a way to transfer money to cronies not generate power) then transmitted along long power lines. All you’re doing is moving the emissions not stopping them. The whole premise is a fraud. The ridiculous call to lower CO2 (which gives life to everything) by driving expensive, polluting, inefficient battery cars is simply another way to milk the climate change fraud and make it more difficult for people to travel around.
    Build cars that last a million miles if you want to be eco friendly but of course that would decimate manufacturers profits so less payoffs to politicians.

  33. Jonathan Browne
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Electric motors in cars is possibly the future, but not battery powered. Hydrogen power through the use of fuel cells will provide both the range and refuelling times required for modern travel. The government should invest in providing hydrogen at fuel stations. Solar powered hydrogen fuel pumps can create their own hydrogen from water, and, of course, a by-product of nuclear power is also hydrogen production.
    The other effect of providing hydrogen refuelling at fuel stations is that almost all modern petrol fuelled internal combustion engined vehicles can be converted to run on hydrogen thus removing some 50% of the current car pollution problem

  34. Kevin
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The military and the emergency services will presumably be exempt from
    ongoing plans for the electrification of vehicles? Also, will the UK be able to
    meet the energy demands in line with current policy on the forms of supply that
    must, and must not, be used? Quite an achievement for a Parliament that has
    yet to calm its nerves on the subject of delivering Brexit.

    • steve
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink


      “The military and the emergency services will presumably be exempt from
      ongoing plans for the electrification of vehicles?”

      Oh yeah they’re exempt, as are HGV’s. Battery power is only for us, and those stupid enough to buy battery cars will bugger everything up for the rest of us.

  35. Caterpillar
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The top down direction on product not infrastructure is unfortunate. The route to electric cars (for the folk) was initially a continuous change from hybrid to plug in hybrid to electric. The original hybrid gave local low speed advantage which was then accentuated by plug in, whilst the hydrocarbon gave higher speed/longer distance efficiency. This was a route to continuous change and if Govt/EU has wanted to interfere would have put in a regulatory roadmap to decreasing tank size and a parallel map to infrastructure rollout. By knee jerking to full electric the institutional elites have forced the technology adoption down a discontinuous route, the chasm (Geoffrey Moore) between enthusiast and pragmatist is notoriously hard. One disruptive route for local/in-city electric would be not via traditional cars but via boards, bikes, scooters and smaller vehicles, with city zoning for these only. I would suggest stepping back to a hybrid vehicle compatible adoption route, but if discontinuity is the done deal then resources will need to be poured into infrastructure and risk removed from consumer. The medium term risk is removed from consumers by a lease/car as service model, apart from infrastructure the daily risk and inconvenience is much harder to manage.

  36. Anonymous
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The idea, of course, is not to deliver us personal transport at all. Electric will never be affordable or practical.

    They want us going to bicycles, rice and beans as in many other communist nation… because Acorn’s civil servants know what’s best for us.

  37. Tim the Coder
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    People are not buying electric cars because they don’t meet their needs and no one trusts the Governemnt not to massively tax them once the subsidies have tricked them in.

    What on earth is the point of an electric car?
    Not saving the planet (if you believe that scam anyway). The power still comes from a power station, just because you cannot see the exhaust doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    It’s a subsidised form of a second car, for rich families that already have at least one real car, which works in the winter, with full demist. And can be refueled/recharged without an overnight stay.

    In other words, buying an electric car is tax avoidance. Should make the Guardianistas scream.

    • steve
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Tim the Coder

      “What on earth is the point of an electric car?”

      1) Obscene profit for manufacturers.
      2) Spoil your fun.
      3) Stop you from going too far.
      4) Limit your freedoms.
      5) Rip you off if you want to go anywhere.
      6) Predetermine when your purchase becomes worthless, i.e. no one can repair a clapped out battery.
      7) Make you have a car that completely lacks heart and soul.
      8) Remotely immobilise your vehicle when you don’t comply, or haven’t paid your extortion fees. – fits in well with the concept of road privatisation.

      Plus many more reasons why these things represent a nasty glimpse into the pre planned orwellian future.

      If they were genuine about climate matters, they’d have gone for hydrogen, whether piston engine ‘as is’, or gas turbine – electric hybrid.

      All it takes is enough judas lambs buying the things, and we’re all stuffed.

  38. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    My contribution to the environment is to leave the car on the drive and cycle to work. I know for a fact that the queues of traffic going past our house every day have similarly short journeys to make. One person per car, and most aren’t tradesmen needing to carry their tools and materials.
    The problem to be dealt with isn’t electric technology but people’s laziness.

  39. David L
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I recently read a report from the Engineering Dept at Oxford University that switching off the engine at traffic lights may increase emissions as the Catalytic Converter becomes inefficient as it cools, and that the restarting of the engine causes pollutants to be released until it’s back up to temperature again. Drivers negotiating the centre of Twyford (Berks) may like to consider this as the Council have put up signs telling them to switch off while waiting for the lights to change.

    • steve
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      David L

      I know Twyford very well, used to go through those lights for 20 years, know exactly where you mean.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink


      The plethora of speed humps and chicanes also means that smooth running is also interrupted by continual braking, acceleration and changing gear, where higher revs are used in lower gears causing more pollution than steady speed cruising.
      Likewise tyre/brake wear (dust particles) and fuel consumption also increased, which is now also being recognised as adding to/causing pollution.

  40. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    History (and indeed Classics) certainly seems to be far better than PPE or Lawyers I tend to find. Given the huge advances in technology it is very important to understand the impacts of these advances and the likely future advances and be numerate about what works and what does not.

    We must suffer under about 10 times the number of Lawyers & Bureaucrats we should really need if the laws and legal systems were remotely sensible. They are largely parasitic on productive workers and living standards.

    I read Maths, then Physics and later some Electronics & Engineering.

  41. Kenneth
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I suspect the problems of range and re-charging time will take care of themselves once we have self-driving cars which we could summon on our telephones.

    I think the govt would be best advised to leapfrog straight to self-drive cars rather spending too much taxpayer money on subsidising the human-driven electric vehicle which may be redundant within a few years

  42. Gareth Warren
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I like the idea of electric cars, but your writeup reminds me of a Thomas Sowell quote about intellectuals spending the past 40 years replacing what works with what sounds good.

    With standardized replacable batteries you swap out at filling stations, or batteries that could be charged in v5 bminutes they would be useful for 40-50% of car owners, but still much less useful.

    Hydrogen sounds a better alternative, but the metals used in a fuel cell are so rare as to make them unable to replace conventional cars.

    There is one technology that makes sense, electricity transmitted by a Tesla tower. It sounds sci-fi, but his work was carried on and there is a company putting it into practice – http://vizivtechnologies.com. However it likely would need years of research to get it into a car form, but this would minimise the need for batteries and make electric cars superior in range than conventional.

    Here I would not ming government money – taxes, put into research. After we leave the EU I would be keen to see the UK join up with NASA too. Money spent on science is long term good, and better than simply providng well paid bureaucrats expensive food.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink


      Exchanging of batteries at a recharging point is simply a dream.

      We all know that batteries become less efficient with age and per charge, who then would purchase a new battery at many thousands of pounds, only for it to be exchanged for another old knackerd one at the first charging point.

      All charging points would eventually only have a stock of a load of inefficient duff batteries that will not get you very far.

      • Gareth Warren
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        The solution there is the car owner would not own the battery and likely just have a deposit to revent the battery being sold on outside the country.

        But the shear cost of materials in batteries makes my idea non-ideal.

  43. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    It is NOT true that the electric car will mean less Co2 is created……
    The components going into batteries, the production itself and other aspects of batteries already null out any good effects of electric cars… but the government is so convinced they have to change the world to electric by 2050, they ignore everything else, especially the facts.
    My council recently sent out a survey on this same subject, as clearly all councils will be forced to waste £millions while trying to solve an unsolvable alleged problem.
    May will not just be remembered for Brexit and surrender to the EU, but for all the inane UN treaties signed, as well as this effort to make motoring mobility an impossible dream … or should that be NIGHTMARE

  44. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Or claiming to have changed his mind in the Theresa May mode!

    Why on earth is the silly Jeremy Hunt defending Sir Kim Darroch the man is clearly lacking in judgement and his position is totally untenable. Had he any judgement he would already have resigned.

    • steve
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink


      Darroch has resigned.

      So there you have it……Hunt, defender of idiots. Just what we need.

  45. G
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Not much you can do about tyres until hovering cars are viable. Regenerative braking will provide most braking capacity.

    Batteries are the weak link. Totally backward. Poor energy density, poor power to weight ratio, poor charging time, poor lifetime and made of relatively scarce materials.

    No doubt gradual improvements will be made, but my view is that a paradigm shift is required. A mechanical battery, like I have envisioned. Much better power to weight ratio. Energy density and charging time comparable if not exceeding a heat engine. Made of relatively abundant materials. Easily recyclable and repairable. R and D quite straightforward. Could take less than a year with proper mobilisation; most components pretty much off the shelf already.

    Fund the project as a national investment. Retain full ownership of intellectual property as a national asset. Licence to British manufacturers. Use British steel. Export in British built clean ships. Conclusively solve the battery problem and unlock the massive unexploited global market.

    And hurry…

  46. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Perhaps it is one of those urban myths that the national grid can tell when it is half-time in a big football match as everyone in the country puts the kettle on.

    However, the demand on the power supply could be considerable as millions of people arrive home from work, say between 5pm and 7pm, and the first thing they do is to plug in and recharge the batteries on their electric cars ready for work the next day.

    I know practically nothing about power generation and consumption. How much power is used in recharging an electric car battery in comparison to say running a fridge/freezer and for the same length of time? Does a fast-charge consume more than a trickle-charge to get to a battery that is 80% partially charged?

    When we have got rid of fossil fuels as a method of power generation, will solar, wind and
    other alternatives provide enough power to recharge the nation’s car batteries?

    Are there any engineers out there?

    • David Price
      Posted July 12, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      @Alan, Where are those cars during the day and why couldn’t they be charged then?

      At home you can charge an EV off a standard wall socket at a max of 15A/3kW and range is around 4 km per kWh so a standard wall socket could give you 12km per hour charging from the grid and cost 40p.

      I have a wall charger but I limit the charge to 3.5kW as this is the max “free” power I get from my solar panels, though I can go up to 7kW if necessary.

      On average I use around 30kWh per month for the car which I keep at between 40 and 80% charge. In comparison our house uses upto 14kWh a day for TVs, fridge, computers, cooking, kettle, washing and utilities. About half that is for cooking and kettle.

      EV’s manage their own charging and essentially slow down the charge rate as the battery becomes more charged to optimise the amount of power used as charging faster than needed results in wasted heat.

      I wouldn’t try to go off-grid with solar yet but we have reduced our grid usage to about 25% in the summer and 75% in the winter the only special measures being timing usage of washing machines etc and using rechargeable devices My business involves 3D printing and I try to schedule bulk runs at the same time. The panels heat up our washing water as well so gas is only used for heating.

      The Leaf is one of the few cars that supports V2G whereby it can supply power back to the house via suitable charger-inverter. These are just becoming available but I will wait a while. When installed I could use the car as the house battery if needed for essential services – probably everything except a cooker though there are alternatives for that `anyway.

  47. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Another idiotic announcement from government. Gas boiler heaters are far more efficient than burning gas (to generate electricity) and then heating the house electrically. This as 50% of the energy is is wasted as hear at the power station – rather than getting nearly all of it into the house. We seem to be governed by fools, crooks, vested interests, pressure groups, lobbyist and unscientific idiots!

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink


      Go to the top of the class and get a gold star.

      So many politicians just seem like dunces by comparison, perhaps we should make them stand in a corner and really think things through before they make decisions which affect the rest of us.

  48. Dominic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I suspect one of the main reasons people will not buy these vehicles is that the political class demand we do so and are massaging our expectations to encourage us to do so. Changes in taxation treatment of conventional vehicles is a sure sign of government punishing our market choices

    Well, people in the real world outside of the closeted world of politics resent being massaged, manipulated and dictated to especially when we see politicians enjoying the high life in complete contradiction to their public statements

    We sense the rise of imposition and oppressive political demands upon free peoples and we resent it, deeply.

    To roll out a 16 year old with zero life experience and the intellectual capacity of a cabbage to lambaste mature adults about how we should live our lives is the apotheosis of all that is wrong with the west

    We resent your interventions and we reject them

  49. bigneil
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    What about all the people who haven’t got a drive at home to park on while charging overnight? what about all the people who have to park on the street? Are there going to be cables from every house across the pavement to the vehicles needing charging? What about all those who live in blocks of flats?
    What about the CREDS report saying even with all vehicles being all- electric, car use would STILL have to be curbed, because of the congestion ( amount of people)? Along with the recent BBC prog saying 700 thousand a year applied to come and stay – and presumably they’ll all need transport. next year even more, and yet more roads needed for the houses for the new arrivals – – and so-called experts get paid a fortune for planning this inevitable chaos?

  50. ukretired123
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    On a recent visit to Norway the recent “land of milk and honey, oil and gas” with 95% hydroelectric power production they have the balance right for EVa unlike most countries.
    I witnessed a large consignment of new Telsa cars landing from California USA each costing on average $100,000 for the well-off.
    I later came across a young well-suited man standing in the road besides a new Kia Niro EV charging up reading his Smartphone and asked him how long he had to wait until it was charged. “One hour!” he replied disappointingly as he was not being very productive.
    This explains the paradox and illusion of new toys for the boys.
    Meanwhile back here we will be pilloried for driving the most cleanest diesels in cars ever following government advice under Blair& Brown. Spreadsheet Phil and snowflake Theresa have topped that by war on all diesels promoting EVa before thinking this through.

  51. Dan R
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Conversations about vehicles and emissions tend to miss out lean burn. The quick fix catalytic converter set us back 20 years as the manufacturers had to transfer lean burn RnD into compensating the downsides of fitting CATs and meeting tighter regs. So here we are https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/mazda-claims-30-economy-boost-breakthrough-skyactiv-x-tech. Other car makers onboard also. Lean burn petrol could be a serious stop gap until electric has really been sorted in 30 years time.

  52. Ian terry
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    This is next massive accident waiting to happen is when we are forced down the “all electric pathway” God help us when the wind doesn’t blow, sun doesn’t shine and storms take out power supplies to thousands of properties, power companies start rationing supply through the controlling of smart meters, motorways are blocked for hours, no heating and cooking and the emergency services waiting to charge their batteries up. every home and business will require a diesel back up generators.

    The controlling of security is another area never even thought about. All our sub stations and grid supplies are in or adjacent to remote areas and a few well placed charges can totally disrupt the power supplies and bring swathes of the country to a grinding halt. Communications, internet connections lighting, heating industrial and commercial plant just taken out without fossel fuel back up. Too many eggs in one basket comes to mind

    • Dave Ward
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      “Bring swathes of the country to a grinding halt. Communications, internet connections lighting, heating industrial and commercial plant just taken out without fossil fuel back up”

      Download the PDF report from here – it makes sobering reading…


      One of the few things which kept running were the diesel powered buses, and only because they had a hand operated fuel pump at the depot!

  53. Tim the Coder
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Oh, and don’t expect some magical improvement in batteries. They are already around 2/3 as good as physics permits. Marginal gains at best.
    So, a whole new type of physics to make a useful battery, and a new source of power stations to charge them.
    And no one buys these unicorns? Why ever not?

    Any Governement that actually tries to ban hydrocarbon fuel cars will not last the week. And millions of people will become part-time self-employed tradesmen, requiring a ‘van’ for business purposes. Sort of 2 cabin ute style.

  54. glen cullen
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Some reports in the USA suggest that sales have plateau with only the rich, eco and famous buying them.

    In the UK you have to be rich, own a house with garage or off road parking….most people live in a terraced property or flats and therefore can’t recharge at home

    But my main concern is social engineering and that government is once again dictating how we should live.

    The BEIS select committee reports declare that air pollution and carbon emission are down…..so why are we giving the car manufactures tax incentives and making policy due to pressure from eco lobbyists

    If electric cars are so good people will buy them, let market forces apply

  55. a-tracy
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    If the government was serious about converting to electric they would start with their purchasing and leasing of cars, ordering large quantities like this would start to reduce the price for others, if the government is not prepared to do this then why be surprised when the general public are cautious and have lost money doing trials (unless you’re in London and can afford a Tesla because you hardly use it). Phillip Hammond also changed tax rules to ruin the market for Mitsubishi hybrid vehicles.

    One of the biggest single markets for cars in the UK must be mobility cars. (To lease a car from Motability, you must receive one of the following allowances: Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (HRMC DLA). Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (ERMC PIP). Mobility element of the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP). There are over 2000 vehicles on the Motability Scheme). There are three pricing options on the Motability Scheme, including cars that cost less than your mobility allowance. Motability Operations sells over 200,000 used cars a year and the company’s car purchases account for approximately ten percent of total new car sales in the UK. Since the Scheme started, over four million cars have been supplied. Motability costs £2bn a year.

    Ordinary British motorists buy second hand the government would get another boost when mobility cars were resold as I think they are replaced every 60,000 miles or after two years use.

  56. Everhopeful
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Having overseen vast house price rises meaning that many young car buyers have to live in houses without drives ( terraces, bijou cottages etc) how does the govt expect them to recharge? Run the cable over the pavement?
    A neighbour with a very high end electric is often to be seen limping home ( 25mph?) having been caught short. Not very reassuring!
    In the late 1700s a steam car was developed. It ran on coal ( eek) and was supposed to be very bumpy! In the 1920s/30s ( I have read) the choice was there…electric or petrol/oil and oil was chosen because of vested interests.
    (Petrol is a huge tax revenue for govt…so they would have to start taxing electricity?)
    Yet again “they” are telling us to change tack. Just so “ they” can make more money.
    Well …NO…I’d get a donkey first!

  57. Patricia Mcavoy
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    An amusing blog article (Ohms Law & A Little Resistance) underlying your observations today on electric cars.


  58. Bill
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Project Electric Cars may end up like another 1937 Volkswagen development. A super concept that failed to impress the German people because the vehicles were in short supply, tight budgets, production problems and of course, because of the war.
    However post war it was re-established with much difficulty by no less than an English ex-Army Major, Ivan Hirst, who successfully promoted the design so well that the British Army gave him an order for 20,o00 units to be built in their old German factory and the rest, naturally, is history.
    I am hoping that this small piece of British history repeats with the Electric Car for we have a very own James Dyson who has committed £1 Billion to the development of an electric car based around his current expertise and knowledge in battery technology and electric motors. It will be a case of, “watch this space” because his success has relied upon absolute secrecy. No leaks!

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:41 pm | Permalink


      Well I hope that his planned electric cars work better than his rubbish vacuum cleaners.

  59. oldwulf
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Batteries are the problem. When technology has advanced so that, for example, a car can be run by a solar panel on the roof – then electric vehicles will be a little more interesting.

  60. Keith H
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Norway does have benefit of lots of hydro power generated electricity.
    And exports lots of hydrocarbons!
    I was in Norway recently, and was driven in an electric car.
    The owner told me she had a petrol car for when she needed to visit her cabin in the mountains, as the electric was not feasible for that!


  61. ferdinand
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Current sales have been bought by the Government. Those of us buying cars are in fact paying also for people’s car purchases. If the market dictated the sales of electric cars then they would have to compete with conventionally fuel cars. As the cost fuel rose the differential would drop and cause electric car sales to rise. But we are no where near running out of fossil fuel. You are so right that tyre and brake particles are the main contributors to pollution. I recently spoke with a representative of Honda who said that Honda are not yet convinced that the internal combustion cars has had its day. Electric cars are currently are a political decision.

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      “we are nowhere near running outy of fossil fuels”

      I would agree but if in thousands of years time we only extract a barrel a day then for all purposes we are as good as run out.

      That was the real message of peak oil, we still have 50% of oil when quantities extracted daily at cheap prices reduce. We can and did substitute more expensive oil (deep water and fracking) as cheap oil started to drop. But while oil used to be 10-20 dollars a barrel 20 years ago it s 60-80 today despite technology getting better.

      I’d confidently predict oil will be 100 dollars a barrel in 10 or so years, and still good value for money.

  62. Atlas
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I think you have summarized the issues well Sir J.

    If you had completed the circle by analyzing the issue of where all this electricity is to come from then it would have been perfect…

    In the past new technologies have been taken up by people when there was a tangible advantage in doing so. As others here have already pointed out, this electric car push by the EU will be a tangible disadvantage.

    By the way, I look forward to reading from the electric car proponents exactly how an electric car will fare in sparsely populated regions of the world where a couple of hundred miles may already separate petrol filling stations.

  63. margaret howard
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink


    I am sure similar articles were written about the advent of the motor car.

  64. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, the man who as a previous Prime Minister insisted that the Queen must accept the status of a citizen of the European Union, along with the rest of us, has had a belated surge of loyalty to her and so is determined to keep her out of the political hurly-burly, and therefore would be prepared to ask the courts – her courts – to protect her from the wickedness of a potential future Prime Minister:


    “Sir John Major ‘will seek a judicial review’ to prevent Parliament shutdown”

    I have some news for him: thanks to an earlier judicial review, also designed to obstruct the will of the people as expressed in the 2016 referendum, the Queen has already been dragged into it and compelled to put her name to this 2017 Act:


    “An Act to confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.

    Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows … ”

    But somehow those Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, forgot to make their consent to the Act conditional upon the inclusion of a safeguard clause that if it proved impossible to conclude a withdrawal agreement with the EU then it would be the duty of the Prime Minister to seek to revoke the notice.

    Only now have they started to say that we should only leave if the EU is kind enough to grant us a deal which Parliament finds acceptable, going back on the advice and consent that they provided two and a half years ago.

    Of course this is all pretty much in line with the anti-democratic plot proposed by the unelected legislator-for-life Baroness Wheatcroft shortly after the referendum:


    “Insistence on an act of parliament before article 50 is activated buys time.”

  65. David Price
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    If we stay with IC vehicles there is still the problem of where we will get our oil, pertrol, diesel and gas from – can we rely on our current suppliers when we need them and at what cost?

    I don’t agree with the government policy to force everyone over to EVs, they are not universally appropriate and I suspect we will move to a hybrid transport solution just as we have with power generation. We are a carbon civilization, we cannot avoid carbon for our food, fuels, plastics, pharmacuetics, chemicals etc so the notion of a “zero carbon” economy is not rational. We should instead be looking for ways to use CO2, not bury it.

    Alongside work on Carbon Capture for Storage there has also been work done on using CO2 as a feedstock (CCU), something we are very likely to need if we are to have sustainability and security of fuel and other key materials. This strikes me as a more promising focus than forcing everyone IC vehicles.

    • stred
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      The CCC (Gummer) is proposing to make masses of hydrogen from natural gas and bury the CO2. It is to power trucks, industry, trains, some heating, and backup generation. It needs heat input, which will come from burning gas, losing energy. The whole gas grid will have to be changed to suit a leaky gas. The bulk of the backup for when the 7500 or 15000 wind turbines are not working half the time will be from natural gas CH4 which will have to be imported or from shale. But the amount of backup proposed is still not enough to cope in peak energy times such as mid-winter. Nuclear is minimal. Gummer has some questions to answer.

      • David Price
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 4:49 am | Permalink

        Burying CO2 is stupid if you can use it as a feed stock, eg to generate fuels (eg Fischer-Tropsch process) and you have a close to conventional, “carbon neutral” transport fuel cycle for the CO2 purists. So why then convert everything to use H2 as fuel. More importantly you reduce your dependence on oil from holes in someone else’s ground where resources are getting progressively harder to access.

        I don’t believe H2 is suitable as a general energy carrier, it is tricky to transport (“leaky pipes”) and store – they still haven’t identified the cause of the explosion at the Norwegian H2 charging station that exploded last month. I can see it being used as fuel for power turbines but not in a raw state for transport.

        If they are forcing us away from gas then the only viable solution is nuclear and figure out how to deal with excess energy in the Summer – shame so much industry has been moved offshore.

        • stred
          Posted July 12, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

          Prof Mackay said we should build nuclear and run them all the time. He was against too much wind and solar. The summer excess can be used for heat storage in reservoirs for heat pumps during winter. We need flexible nuclear and other generation for daytime peaks.
          Gummer’s goons have only one extra nuke and over 50% wind which they think will be 58& of capacity. And all the backup and hydrogen will come from gas with CCS and steam reforming. That will keep the gas and wind companies happy.

          • stred
            Posted July 12, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink


  66. kzb
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I calculate it will take a wind farm the size of pre-1973 Yorkshire to power the cars. You can probably double this area to power all the commercial vehicles as well. Much of the north sea will be full of wind turbines.
    Every suburban street will need a charging point for every property and probably more besides.
    Where is the huge-scale preparation needed for all this happening? I would say put the Climate Extinction crew in charge of it, they can hardly be more incompetent than the current lot, and it would be a good lesson for them.

  67. Sue Doughty
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Nowhere to plug it in! I do not have a fast recharge outlet at my home, neither do households whose cars are in allocated parking spaces remote from any power supply. We all envisage extension leads across pavements and down roads to a car, again only domestic grade power. Buying an electric car without having first upgraded this infrastrucure is putting the cart before the horse.
    Nice idea but where do we plug them all in?

  68. BR
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I’m still running an old 2006 diesel because I don’t know what to buy next.

    I don’t want an electric for all the reasons given in the article and the alternatives may be taxed to death at some point by some virtue-signalling twit like May has proved to be.

    Also, battery technology is set to improve soon. There was talk a few years ago of an instant-charge battery being on the horizon, so why buy an electric when the chances are that the price will fall through the floor before you come to sell it for various reasons, changing technology being only one.

    In the end the ownership model is probably due to change to an uber-style model, where the confluence of 3 technologies means that with driverless car tech we simply use an app to order a ‘pod’ to arrive when we want it, telling it how many people, destination and luggage etc requirements and some large corporation does the rest. No need to personally own a car that sits parked for 99.9% of the time it’s owned.

    • David Price
      Posted July 12, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

      I agree the ownership model is likely to evolve. Personally, I don’t like all the hassle of owning a car and would much rather have a personal transport service for a regular monthly fee or pay-per-use.

      BMW are projecting exactly this and there are already such services in some European cities.

  69. Al
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I would have thought the simple answer was price. Most electric cars are bought new and the second hand market for them is limited and expensive. The cheapest second-hand electric car I could find was a small two-door at £7000.

    Meanwhile someone looking for a starter car can find a standard petrol car at under £1000 second-hand, or spend a bit more and get a good family car with decent mileage from a reliable dealer for well under £5000.

    • Ian McDougall
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      The idea of the subsidy is so those that can afford a new car get funded by those that can’t. Second hand values are when the bottom falls out so there is no trickle down

      • Al
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Even with the subsidy, new electric cars are no cheaper than the second-hand ones, and if people can get reliable transportation at lower prices they will.

        If the government wants full adoption, well, there’s a reason Ford priced his Model T at the level where workers could buy it.

  70. David Price
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    We are a mixed IC/EV household and based on running an EV for 9 months charged almost exclusively from solar panels my observations on some of your points are;

    Range – the Leaf 2 will do over 150 miles but this will vary with terrain and conditions just as petrol/diesel consumption will vary. Do you drive 400 miles, say 7+ hours, without a single stop? The furthest I would do is to St Austell (240 mls) or Ambleside (270 mls) and I would take at least one, probably two rest stops when the car could charge as well

    Hoever, In 9 months I haven’t had to go anywhere yet where the return journey needed an extra charge. It’s easy to identify boundary conditions that exceed range, but how many people would do long trips, regularly anyway?

    Access to charging points is a key issue particularly for people without a drive and on long journeys, but solutions are not insurmountable and the latter just need a bit of planning, the cellular network and web services make locating working and available chargers relatively easy.

    Battery life – Nissan warranty the Leaf battery for 8 years/100,000 miles and replacement is possible. Lithium batteries see a second life in less demanding stationery storage systems so project life before recycling is around 20 years – you’d change an IC car’s lead battery a recommended 6 or 7 times or in that period. The Faraday Institution has a work package to get near 100% recycling out of spent lithium cells.

    Green issues – The industry is working to remove dependence on Cobalt, the Leaf uses a combination of LNO and LMO cells where the latter do not use Cobalt.

    Braking – EVs use recuperative braking (if the battery is not 100% charged), the brake pads get used for low speed, final stopping so there are far less particulates than with non EV vehicles. I haven’t driven an EV long enough to determine tyre wear, in comparison I used to replace two tyres a year on an SUV.

    • NickC
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      David Price, I regularly visit my children, all more than 200 miles away. So battery electric cars like the Leaf (twice the price of an equivalent ICE car), particularly in winter, won’t do the job. What you are missing is that if battery cars made sense, you wouldn’t have to talk them up anyway.

      • David Price
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 5:03 am | Permalink

        I am not talking them up, I don’t think they are appropriate for all situations though the range is increasing. But they can be appropriate for many and too many people are spouting off exaggerations and inaccuracies based on zero knowledge and experience.

        I got an EV in part to see what the advantages and issues are myself instead of relying on the zealots from both sides.

  71. Turboterrier
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    BMW Mini electric just been reported to be coming onto the market with a price tag.of £24.4k after subsidies. Why the subsidies? Take away the
    subsidies and even less vehicles would have been sold. Who is really paying for these subsidies? Who is benifitting from them? One thing is for certain it will not be the British tax payer. Why o why does anything to do with renewable, climate change and saving the environment have to be subsidised? It either works and stands on it own merit or it doesn’t, if that is the case don’t manufacture or market it.

  72. Jaspers
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I’d quite like an electric car once they are affordable and practicable. But the big question for me is where does the energy come from to recharge the battery? From what I can see, the power grid will not be able to keep up with demand. According to DVLA, there are 31 million cars on UK roads, consuming, on average, around 200 gallons each per year – say half a gallon per day, per car, on average. One gallon of petrol contains 34kWh of energy, so each car consumes about 17kWh per day. Even on the most benign recharging scheme (trickle charging over 24 hours), this would place a load of 22GW on the power grid. This is a minimum load. Using a more-typical recharging scheme where a percentage of cars are recharging rapidly, the demand for power would be even greater. Can the grid cope? Not as things stand. Last year, the grid generated power at the rate of around 35GW, on average. Switching to electric cars would almost double that demand. Until quite recently, we could satisfy this demand, but we have started to tear our old power stations down. It’s now quite safe to assume that the powers that be would prefer that this extra demand be supplied by green generators (wind, solar), but these produce only around 25% of the power at the moment (ie, around 9GW, and that’s on a good day). In addition, we import around 4GW from the Continent, but they will need that power for their own electric cars, so not only will that source not be scalable, it may well not be available at all in the future. If we have to produce the power ourselves using green generators, we will be asked to accept that more wind turbines and solar panels be installed – at least three times as many as we have today. Sure, there are people saying this would be worth it, but I doubt most people would agree. Which leads me to consider what the Government would do should there be resistance to this plan. I fear they will play with the market by reducing the number of cars on the roads and/or reducing the mileage covered by each car. Do we want our cars to be affordable only by the rich? No. Do we want our mileage to be rationed? Certainly not. Personally, I think the way forwards is to use more nuclear power – electric cars are an ideal load for such generators (and also for heating, which I haven’t included in the foregoing). We will just have to wait and see.

    • stred
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      22GW is about 7 Hinkley Cs. The government is proposing 7500 wind turbines offshore at 10Mw each working at 58% capacity. A second estimate more than doubles this, but needs 15000 turbines. That’s up from 40% today. estimates for previous offshore windfarms were less than forecast. These turbines only last 20 years and have problems with corrosion and blade wear.
      They propose only one nuclear station upgrade apart from Hinkley at Sizewell. All the projects on the west coast are cancelled. The government prefers gas and wind. Not surprising, as Gummer is in charge.

  73. Iain Gill
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    The national grid has nowhere near the capacity to cope if all car drivers wanted to charge their car every night. Not just a little bit short, but factors of thousands short.

    I wish politicians had a basic grasp of science.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      About 50% short

      • Iain Gill
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        Wrong every single substation,and wiring to streets would need upgrading. Helpfully national grid have written extensively about this in the public domain, you don’t have to take my word for it.

        • stred
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          And they are going to upgrade the gas mains to stop H2 leaking.

    • kzb
      Posted July 10, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Iain I don’t think this is correct. There is a lot of underused capacity at night. That is not to say there is no concern about capacity, as I said you need a wind farm the size of Yorkshire, but not by a factor of thousands.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted July 10, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        You are mixing up generating capacity and transmission capacity. The local substations and wiring could not cope if every house was charging an electric car, even if the generation capacity existed.

    • David Price
      Posted July 12, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

      But you wouldn’t have to charge the cars only at night. Many vehicles will be parked up during the day and could be charged then so the load can be distributed. If my car is parked up for 8 hours but I only need 3-4 hours of 3kW charging, I don’t care when in that 8 hours the charging happens – EVs have timers and time controls could be placed on chargers so charging can be scheduled to balance the load.

      The same applies overnight and is likely one reason for the pressure to introduce smart meters.

  74. Chris S
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Real World Facts :

    I had been looking for a car to replace my Audi A5 for at least six months.

    I tested all the decent electric models available including both Teslas and the brilliant Jaguar iPace against a new Audi A7 coupe, a Mercedes E Klasse and BMW 5 Series Touring.

    The real world range of the three electric models is nothing like that claimed for them : under 200 miles for the Jaguar and under 250 for the Teslas.That means on a run through france you must start finding a vacant charging station after at the very most 150-200 miles. Absolutely useless if you are on a 400 mile run or more.

    Then there is the price: The iPace is £75,000 and the Teslas £75-£100,000

    All the petrol or diesel cars of equivalent size had a RRP of £60-£75,000

    I eventually bought a diesel Audi A7 with 30 miles on the clock at a discount of 42.8%.
    I paid HALF the cost of an iPace and the Audi has a range of 595 miles and “recharging” takes 3-4 minutes. The bigger, heavier and more powerful A7 meets the very latest emission standards and is 25% more economical than the A5 it has replaced. I regularly see 44mpg.

    What would you buy ?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Not an Audi. I’ve had four and each one was worse than the one it replaced. German car companies are losing their reputation for quality

      • ChrisS
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Makes me wonder why you bought the third !

        Over eight years and 76,000 miles my A5 never went wrong or cost me anything other than routine servicing.

        The friend the bought it from me has now done 7,000 miles in it with no sign of trouble. The A7 is beautifully put together and the service manager at the dealer told me they caused very little trouble, despite being much more sophisticated ( ie complicated) with their 48v electrics and being fully computerised. Mine has done 5,000 miles so far, faultlessly.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          I’m genuinely glad you’ve had such a good experience, but if you look at the internet driver reports you’ll find my experience is very far from unusual. Look at California in particular. My last car was a special offer from a dealer who said that I had been incredibly unlucky and he swore the next car would be fine. It was the opposite, with four really serious faults with which it left the factory. I will not be buying an…………again

  75. Martyn G
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Whilst waiting for my diesel car to emerge from the workshop after its service, I wandered around the showroom and found the latest all-electric Jaguar. It costs £61k (less the gov green refund of £3.5k) and boasts a range of 290 miles under ideal conditions. I looked inside and noted that the battery was fully charged and available range was but 201 miles. And that’s in the showroom! OK, it would suit someone with a notional commute distance of 50-60 miles each way each day but the practical for a trip, say, from Oxford to Inverness in a single day in Winter with lights and heating going on….

    • ChrisS
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      I was loaned aJaguar iPace for 48 hours. The real range on the computer when I picked it up was 212 miles. I went from Ringwood to near Exeter in it and only just made it back. I managed 190 miles with 3% remaining. a brillant car to drive but, as you say, the range is hopeless for a safe return journey of no more than 75 miles.

  76. Dioclese
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Saying that electric cars produce less CO2 is an invalid argument. You simply move the pollution up the line to the power generating points.

    It’s as invalid as companies claiming they only use green energy. It’s just not true. They might do a bilateral deal with the generator, but the electric still gets fed into the national grid and divided up indiscriminately from the overall power generated.

    And don’t start me on offsetting emissions by trading them with less polluting countries. That has no effect whatsoever on the global total.

    It’s all a massive green con trick…

  77. David Maples
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Most of the push towards electric cars comes from individuals, organizations, and public bodies who mostly live and work in London. These people have no need of cars because they have the tube, a good bus service, and taxis. They don’t know how the rest of us live and get around. Electric cars are hopeless! The only remotely possible alternative to petrol and diesel, is hydrogen.

  78. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I have been told that the cost of replacing a top end battery is £25,000 (yes, twenty-five thousand pounds). Batteries have a warranty of between 5 and 7 years. That really needs upping to 10 years for buyers to take the risk.

    A friend of mine, a pensioner, recently bought an electric car and is very pleased with it. He lives in Ashtead, a London satellite town, and his journeys are rarely more than 50 miles. I suppose that he will be a typical electric car buyer in future.

    I still think that the market will be dominated by diesel/electric hybrids. These will use the electric mode in cities and towns and the diesel mode for long, inter-urban journeys. They can be rolled out gradually so charging points can be installed incrementally. There is no need for scrappage schemes; why waste taxpayers’ money.

  79. Lifelogic
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Indeed and some understanding of business, economics, logic, human nature, the real world might help too.

  80. hefner
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Two places I know pretty well, Reading 162,700 inhabitants within the council limits, 66 plug-points when all considered. A smallish village 30 km north of Montpellier, 4,800 inhabitants in the last census in 2015 (maybe 5,000 now), 6 plug-points.
    Draw your own conclusions.

  81. Bob
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    @Andy Norway’s population is about half the size of London’s.
    Africa could be more of a challenge for EVs.
    Wouldn’t fancy getting stuck out in the wilderness with a flat battery.
    With a Diesel, one could carry a couple of Jerry Cans.

  82. Yossarion
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    When I changed last year went for diesel again, had a Highbred on loan for two weeks a couple of years ago only got 46 to the gallon. I will look again in two years.

  83. Edwardm
    Posted July 10, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Petrol electric hybrids are probably a good way forward. Efficient around town. They can use electric braking (motor is switched so it becomes a dynamo) for efficiency as well as to reduce the wear on brake pads. Their batteries tend to last more than 10 years and are smaller and not so expensive as on a solely electric car.

  84. Martin R
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    With the greatest respect it is absolutely not true that electric propulsion means there are no particulate emissions. Edinburgh University research found that particulate output from the exhaust of modern cars is now low in comparison with particulates coming off tyres and brakes. That is because car exhausts are now extremely clean in absolute terms despite all the political hysteria. Non-exhaust sources of particulates now predominate and account for more than 90% of PM10 and 85% of PM2.5 emissions from conventional passenger cars. These emissions are proportional to vehicle mass. Electric vehicles are much heavier than i.c. engine cars, with battery weight from a quarter of a ton upwards. Hence electric cars are no better in this respect and heavier electric cars with even barely acceptable 200+ mile range could well be worse in fact because they so heavy. Linked below is the report “Non-exhaust PM emissions from electric vehicles” which is informative.


    • Edwardm
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      I agree we are suffering from political hysteria that ignores objective evidence.
      A further consideration with electric cars (as opposed to hybrids) is that the electricity has to be generated somewhere and then distributed. The amount of electricity required is huge and would require a large increase in our generation capacity, and also in a major upgrade to the national grid and local distribution networks to carry the increased load. This will need numerous new nuclear plants – if we rely on wind power then on wind-less days we will be immobilised. A bit like ships before days of steam power.

      • ChrisS
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        A report last year suggested we would need to build five additional Hinkley Point Nuclear stations just to power the conversion to electric cars.

        Even more would be needed to power vans and trucks.

        It ‘aint gonna happen !

    • David Price
      Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      EVs use recuperative braking which recharges their batteries, this happens when you take your foot off the accelerator pedal and you can usually select the degree of recuperation and so the braking effect.

      On my EV even if I use the brake pedal it uses recuperative braking before engaging the brake pads, except for emergency/harsh braking. I didn’t know EVs did this until I actually drove one….

      So with similar weight I suspect EVs and Hybrids generate less brake dust than ICs which don’t use recuperation.

  85. ukretired123
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Bosch “A breakthrough in the management of diesel emissions has been announced today, enabling diesel cars to undercut future limits for nitrogen oxide (NOx) by almost 90 per cent.”
    Dated April 2018
    Why are the EU not focused on this – because they have already decided what the agenda for car production in the EUSSR script and would find it difficult to be practical and change short term.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink


  86. libertarian
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Hey Andy, Newmania , Margaret Howard etc

    You will be jumping for joy to find out that your dire predictions about cars post Brexit turned out not to be so accurate

    CEO of Aston Martin who just yesterday said

    “I’d rather leave with No Deal than drag negotiations on… Every time we have to prepare to leave it ties up working capital and brains on something that may or may not happen…

    Just last month Aston Martin opened a brand new plant in South Wales which will eventually create over 3,000 jobs in local businesses and the supply chain. They’re also on the verge of securing a fresh £68 million in investment.

    Just about to do an interview for my radio show with the Company Director of Mini David George on the new Mini Electric announcement , The MINI plant in Oxford builds more than 1,000 MINIs a day – one every 67 seconds. Around 80% are exported to more than 100 countries around the world.

    You folks are going to have to find a new narrative to be negative about

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink


      Could you just remind us how man cars Aston Martin sell in the UK and their price range?

    • Edward2
      Posted July 12, 2019 at 2:10 am | Permalink

      Correct Libertarian and Jaguar Land Rover recently announced a multi billion investment in a new range of electric vehicles including a new range topping Jaguar XJ all being designed and built in the UK
      #despite Brexit.

  87. Paul McGreevy
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    This article by sir John is astonishingly I’ll informed and the related comments highlight a similar level of misinformation all around. Basically electric cars are already superior to combustion cars in terms of performance, reliability, safety, and cost. For all intents and purposes combustion cars are obsolete in comparison and are about to be replaced at an accelerating pace by electric. The legacy car manufacturers have woken up to this and are scrambling to work out how to catch up and compete with Tesla and each other and at the expense of their own combustion car sales. All the vehicle research and development is now focused on electric and that means the end for combustion soon, especially with the emissions clamp downs across the world. Most electric car owners will tell you they rarely visit a charge point and range and charging are not an issue because they charge at home overnight and have a full battery every morning. Only when they plan a long journey a few times a year do they need to plan a combined charge up with a meal break. Electric cars all have navigation systems to show where the charging points are along the way. There are lots of models now that have 200 miles plus and Tesla’s model S long range has a 370 mile capacity. 400 mile plus cars are expected in the next 12 to 18 months. Tesla is currently rolling out super chargers that can provide 250 miles of range in 15 minutes. All this technology is rapidly improving to the point where on street parker’s will soon be able to charge up very quickly too. The Tesla model 3 is the safest car on the road and is regarded as the safest car ever tested in America. It has recently been awarded 5 stars in every category in European testing and is capable of automatically avoiding collisions, pedestrians and side impacts using cameras and forward facing radar and ultrasonic side impact sensors. The vehicle has just won Auto Express car of the year and has won many other awards around the world. The battery in electric cars is usually under the floor which gives them a low centre of gravity, good handling, roll resistance and extremely strong structural resilience in a collision. The fact that there is no engine provides a large buffer space at the front in a collision. Statistically the chance of being seriously injured or killed in a Tesla compared to a combustion car is 6 times less when employing self driving on a freeway. In terms of cost electric cars have very few moving parts, they have no engine, gearbox, exhaust, oils or fluids so there is not much to go wrong or service requirements. Regenerative braking means that there is rarely a need to touch the brake pedal so negating the need to change the brake pads or worry about brake dust pollution which Sir John seems to be worried about. There are no fuel costs only electricity which is much cheaper especially at night. The purchase price of an electric car is higher than a similar combustion car but the Tesla model 3 for example is equivalent to a Honda Accord in cost after 5 years at an average 10,000 miles per year, then it gets cheaper because there’s no fuel to buy. The performance of electric cars is sports car performance on ordinary saloon car because there are no gears and 100% torque available at all times to the electric motors which are computer controlled to avoid any wheel spin. It is very important that our government and the public understand that the car industry is going to change completely in the next 5 to 10 years and the need to adapt quickly and avoid stubborn resistance or obstruction of progress is essential to point vehicle manufacturing and infrastructure support in the right direction.

  • 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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