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So how on earth are we going to power nine million electric cars

Consumption

Earlier this year, car buyers were encouraged to take advantage of the Government’s new environmentally friendly decision to exempt from road tax all electric cars with zero carbon emissions that cost less than £40,000.

Intrigued to see the choices that might be available, I visited a Mitsubishi dealer. The hottest model on the forecourt in this category was the latest hybrid Sports Utility Vehicle.

A salesman told me that if I was interested in buying it and wanted to avoid the slow process of recharging the car overnight using my domestic electricity supply, he could install a more powerful charger on my driveway for free.

I had never realised that owning an electric car involved such a daily palaver. So, put off by the idea of having to plug in the car every night and the potential for overloading our house’s electric circuits, I did not proceed any further.

The futuristic idea of odourless, quiet and perhaps driverless cars travelling down motorways and pootling around our cities may appear to be a green utopia. But Government policies seem to be woefully thought-out and I fear the true economic (and environmental) costs of this new Nirvana will be enormous

The futuristic idea of odourless, quiet and perhaps driverless cars travelling down motorways and pootling around our cities may appear to be a green utopia. But Government policies seem to be woefully thought-out and I fear the true economic (and environmental) costs of this new Nirvana will be enormous

Instead, I went back down the traditional fossil fuel route. I did so reluctantly, considering that petrol, and particularly diesel, engines clearly produce polluting and lethally noxious fumes.

Like many others over the past decades, I feel I have been a victim of irresponsibly confusing messages from government ministers and the motor industry.

It has been a long saga. First, everyone was urged to buy a car fuelled by unleaded petrol, which doesn’t emit as many harmful substances nor damage a car’s exhaust and spark plugs.

Then we were assured by Tony Blair’s Labour government that diesel was cleaner than petrol and we were given financial incentives to buy diesel vehicles.

Some years later we were told that toxic particles from diesel vehicles can work their way through the lungs and into the bloodstream, raising the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

On top of this, we were told lies by car manufacturers — such as Volkswagen — as they deceived us by cheating in emissions tests to pretend their products were less polluting than they actually were.

And so, as the Government announces its latest oh-so-clever green policy — levies on diesel vehicles in heavily-polluted areas and banning all petrol and diesel vehicles from Britain’s roads from 2040 — it is not surprising that we motorists are deeply distrustful of any environmental initiative involving politicians.

True, the futuristic idea of odourless, quiet and perhaps driverless cars travelling down motorways and pootling around our cities may appear to be a green utopia. But Government policies seem to be woefully thought-out and I fear the true economic (and environmental) costs of this new Nirvana will be enormous.

Video playing bottom right…

Although the Government must be praised for its support of BMW after the car-maker decided to build a new generation of battery-powered Minis in Cowley, the lack of investment in the UK in battery technology is shamefully irresponsible. Indeed — surprise, surprise — the power units for the Minis will be imported from Germany

Although the Government must be praised for its support of BMW after the car-maker decided to build a new generation of battery-powered Minis in Cowley, the lack of investment in the UK in battery technology is shamefully irresponsible. Indeed — surprise, surprise — the power units for the Minis will be imported from Germany

For the 2040 ban will mean changing from a society where currently less than 5 per cent of the cars registered (about 90,000) have a form of electric power to 100 per cent (nine million cars) in just 22 years.

Such an ambition must be hubris. The ineluctable truth is that a big increase in the number of electric vehicles on our roads will place a massive demand on our already over-stretched electricity supply.

The National Grid has said it could see peak electricity demand jump by more than the capacity of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station by 2030. (It is hoped the plant will provide 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity.)

The drain on supply from millions of car batteries being charged would reverse the trend in recent years of falling electricity demand, driven by energy efficiency measures.

This is pie-in-the sky politics with little thought given to where the extra electricity will come from. Unless, of course, ministers want to plaster more of the countryside with wind turbines — which a government adviser once admitted that, even if ten per cent of Britain was covered with them, would generate only one sixth of the nation’s energy needs.

The National Grid has said it could see peak electricity demand jump by more than the capacity of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station (computer-generated image, above) by 2030. (It is hoped the plant will provide 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity)

The National Grid has said it could see peak electricity demand jump by more than the capacity of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station (computer-generated image, above) by 2030. (It is hoped the plant will provide 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity)

Even without electric cars, there are fears of future blackouts during winter cold spells.

What’s more, Britain is increasingly dependent on foreign suppliers for electricity — with pipelines coming from the Continent and with giants such as France’s EDF running our nuclear power stations.

This means that not only do we risk losing supply during bad weather, but we are also dependent on good relations with foreign governments.

As for the Government’s energy strategy, the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant has been described by the National Audit Office (NAO) as ‘risky and expensive’ and having ‘uncertain’ economic benefits.

Also, it threatens to be a bad deal for consumers. EDF and China General Nuclear, which are building the plant, will be paid a guaranteed £92.50 per megawatt hour, rising with inflation for 35 years. The NAO says this amounts to a £30 billion subsidy — or between £10 and £15 on an average household’s annual bill.

Although the Government must be praised for its support of BMW after the car-maker decided to build a new generation of battery-powered Minis in Cowley, the lack of investment in the UK in battery technology is shamefully irresponsible. Indeed — surprise, surprise — the power units for the Minis will be imported from Germany.

Overseas, big money and clever brains are being put behind research in this field — such as U.S. entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of Tesla electric cars, building a £3.9 billion factory for lithium batteries.

And there is another paradox about the Government’s obsession with electric vehicles. For this is a time in history when the availability of carbon fuels has never been so great.

Gone is all apocalyptic talk of ‘peak oil’, of the oil producers’ cartel OPEC pushing up the price of a barrel of crude oil and of reserves drying up.

The truth is that the fracking boom means America is almost oil and gas self-sufficient and no longer dependent on the Middle East. Techniques which allow safer deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic also have vastly increased sources of supply.

So confident is the U.S. of having an energy surplus that it has signed long-term contracts with Centrica, owner of British Gas, to provide the UK with large quantities of liquified natural gas.

The high level of U.S. production, together with renewed output from Iran and Iraq, countries absent from global markets for many years, means that crude oil prices have more than halved in price from $100-a-barrel in recent years.

How perverse, therefore, with technology making diesel and petrol engines cleaner than ever, for British motorists to be forced to swap a fairly cheap source of energy for one which is going to be hugely costly.

No one in government has even told us the cost of spending millions of unnecessary money on the National Grid in order to supply electricity to all those new plug-points.

Moreover, there has not been any discussion of the safety impact of building electricity pillars in homes. Already, there are fears that circuit-breakers would pop under strain, thus cutting off supplies.

All these important issues are ones that Government ministers seem to be ignoring.

How ironic, too, at a time when new petrol and even diesel cars are so much less polluting as a result of catalytic converters and purifying technologies, that Environment Secretary Michael Gove talks about bans and tolls on the most polluted roads.

The right time would be when Britain has a plan for new electricity generating capacity.

Yes, protection of the environment from pollution is important for our health and for future generations. But in the end it is the free market and consumer choice which ought to decide — not politicians who have consistently shown themselves to be both incompetent and wrong when it comes to looking after our transport and energy needs.

daily mail



77 Comments on "So how on earth are we going to power nine million electric cars"

  1. onlooker on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 7:14 am 

    Heck everyone has aspirations and illusions that they will be in the right place to weather pardon the pun, the worse of it. Well, it just seems rather naive in that the chaos and threats that are coming from the collapse of industrial civilization and climate change and the general scarcity of resources for many, makes survival in this coming future uncertain at best for everyone. You know that they say “All the plans of mice and men goes astray”. Plan yes, but don’t get the idea and fantasy that you will be just fine. Even the elites will not be able to guarantee their own safety and besides in the farther off future, who the heck is going to want to even live on this denuded inhospitable planet. So the elites should be careful what they wish for.

  2. Makati1 on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 7:35 am 

    Davy, again, you try to put words into my mouth that I never said. Why? Because what I say is true, and what you want me to say is not true but what you want to hear.

    As for the landslides being a “few trees”, you are talking out of your ass as usual. Landslides here are “LANDslides” Sometimes thousands of tons that take out the road for hundreds of feet, on the side of the mountain. Not easily repaired.

    Climate change is ranked by whom? An American lackey think tank? Most likely. The same propaganda as usual. I don’t see any noticeable changes here in my 9 years. I sure see them in the u$. Drought? Nope. Deluges? Nope. Extremely hot days? Nope. Forest fires? Nope. Floods? Nope. Unusual weather swings? Nope. Nothing out of the usual. As for 50 or 100 years from now, who knows or cares? I doubt humans will be here to debate it.

    Your record is wearing out. Getting scratchy and about to be thrown on the waste dump with the other trash. Numbers do not mean safe or unsafe. The location, culture and situation is everything. You have none of those in the chaos that is America. ST.Louis gangs, ZERO culture other than greed, and a bad situation with nowhere to go to escape. And you will never get to Italy if you wait until it is obvious that you need to go. Although going to Europe seems to be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. lol

    BTW: Metro Manila does not have near 20 million as you always claim. It has about 12 million. (Metropolitan Manila area, which is comprised of 17 cities and municipalities and has an overall population of 12.8 million people.) Smaller than NYC with a population of 19.8 million. (The US Bureau estimates that the population of New York was 19,746,227 on July 1, 2014) Exaggeration is typical of Americans living in the Gestapo Police State called America.

    http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/philippines-population/
    http://population2016.com/population-of-new-york-in-2016.html
    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/715915/ineng-death-toll-rises-to-20

  3. Davy on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 8:22 am 

    makati, when 20MIL people get on the move 100mi will not save you. You think you will have an imaginary wall to keep them out. You think the journey is too far the desperate mobs. Somehow the journey is not too far for you. You think you will know when to bug out and others won’t. You will be drinking beer by the pool and be blindsided by your laziness and boom caught in a trap of your own making. You are so delusional. You are delusional that you will be ahead of the mob. You are delusional that all these people are not strong enough to travel 100 mi.

    makati theses climate change reports are international. They are not necessarily American think tanks some maybe but most are not. These are standard and they all support these conclusions. If you are so sure this is some kind of conspiracy against the Philippines reference the reports that show the Philippines is not at risk. What a lunatic.

    You are wrong makati on the population of your region. Yes metro Manila is 12MIL but there are many more urban areas interconnected much like the North Eastern US around New York. You are living a lie and bragging about it. I know I am getting through your lies when you get so emotional and start your name calling.

  4. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 8:36 am 

    Let’s say that we power 9 million electric cars, by setting 9 million sofa’s on fire.

    But actually is NOT enough to power the cars. It wouldn’t power them for more than one hour of driving.
    To power all the 9 million electric cars, for some meaningful period of time, we’d have to set 10 Billion sofa’s on fire. And we don’t have that many sofa’s.
    Perhaps the electric car is a false solution because we don’t have that much energy available.

  5. Makati1 on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 8:58 am 

    There you go again, Davy. Can’t you get it thru your head that your professed “20 million” is irrelevant in my situation? You have no argument except tired old bullshit as always. Every time you start a sentence with “you think” you are putting words in my mouth that are not there.

    I am saying that I am not living in the US gulag like you are. My options are far more varied than yours. My situation is far better than yours. Disastrous climate change is NOT going to happen BEFORE the U$ collapse’. It will happen long after. It is the collapse that I plan for, not something that is not likely to happen until long after I am gone. Collapse is what is going to put you into a 3rd world situation, or worse. I am already there, by choice.

    You seems that you want my situation to be so bad that your hell will not be hot and mine will. Well, I think I will have the last laugh. I know the situation in the U$ and here and here is a much better place to ride out the coming collapse. I owe no one. I pay no taxes except VAT on what I buy. I own, in my name, no real estate that I have to worry about and report to the IRS. No bank accounts here. That is all taken care of by other methods. I plan ahead and am quite secure, thank you. You should be so lucky. LOL

  6. Davy on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 9:47 am 

    I am trying to get you to accept the truth makati. I have and I am living it. You bragging you are are safe and blessed. I try to offer personal solutions. You offer disdain and hate. I know my local has issues and this is why I am a doomer and prepper. You have no real plans. You talk about a fantasy farm you are never at. You live in a fantasy world of unreality and spend your days telling others how screwed they are. You gleefully talk about how great things are for you. You then get so emotional when I pop your imaginary bubble. What a fruit cake.

  7. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 12:07 pm 

    C C C Can’t we all get along?

  8. RD on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 2:26 pm 

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-gets-the-35000-tesla-model-3-price-tag-he-wanted-but-extras-cost-more-2017-07-29

    so the tesla 3 with a 300 mile range and autonomous pkg is $50K+…I guess the $35k model hype was just that or directed at the poors

  9. Mark on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 3:15 pm 

    Very good question, where is all this extra electric power going to come from? and the extra grid needed?
    Magic I suppose …

  10. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 6:06 pm 

    We can burn one billion sofa’s. and 500 Million old
    La-Z-Biy recliners. Plus all the old tires.

    Build the incinerators in South Korea. Smoke will
    blow into North Korea.

  11. bobinget on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 6:53 pm 

    Measure US crude exports in Months Not Years.

    Visualizing US shale oil & gas production
    by Enno Peters

    In July 2016 and February 2017 I published posts (which you can find here and here) in which I showed how much oil existing horizontal wells were going to produce in the future, if we would assume that their decline behavior would be similar to those of earlier wells, combined with a certain terminal decline rate and economic limit.

    Following these simple rules, I will repeat the same exercise in this post; now wells are included that started before 2017, and their future oil production is estimated. There have not been any differences in the approach, or the coverage, and therefore, if you are interested in a more detailed discussion on how to interpret these results, please have a look at the links given above as well.

    This presentation only contains the oil production from horizontal wells, from the main oil producing states that I cover (CO, MT, ND, NM, TX, WY). Oil production from vertical wells is excluded, and no any estimate is made how much wells that started since 2017 may contribute in the future. Neither is gas production considered.

    Still, with the results posted here, we should be able to get a general sense of how much these existing horizontal wells will produce in the future, what the differences are between the basins/operators, how ultimate recoveries have changed over time, and how much is recovered in each of the years that these wells are online.

    Let’s go over these views one by one. *(snip)

    (*go to link)
    https://shaleprofile.com/

    If you can’t, here’s a bottomline:
    Shale OIL under $50. Loses Money.

    IOW’s unless, in the Unlikely Event most of America’s oil companies are nationalized, to lose money in the national interest, it’s ludicrous to think $50 oil is sustainable.

    IMO, events in Washington, Beijing, Caracas, Moscow and KSA almost assure $50 oil will soon be history.

  12. bobinget on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 7:06 pm 

    I drive an electric car (almost) ENTIRELY sustained by solar.

    True, charge time is overnight, not three hours on a 220 V grid tied charger.

    To properly service millions of EV’s coming in the next 30 years, we need to use EVERY approach, every technology. This will take manpower, materials, natural resources.

    In turn, much new technology can be applied to water, AGW management, our bigger challenge.

  13. Makati1 on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 7:31 pm 

    Davy, “I am trying to get you to accept the truth makati. ”

    No, you are trying to get me to believe YOUR TRUTH, not reality. Sorry. I can think and observe the world from my viewpoint and I have made my decision. I think it is the correct one. I watch the U$ in its slow disintegration and am glad I no longer live there.

    As for my ‘fantasy farm’, you are full of bullshit. You have no idea what I have or where. The farm exists and I could live there today if I choose. You are just jealous of my freedom and independence. You are tied to the system there and a family. The chains are getting heavier and shorter. I feel sorry for your family, but not you.

    Pop my bubble? Hahahahahahaha. You never even come close to bothering me, You are a game I play to relax. I enjoy your brainwashed bullshit as proof of what is happening in America. The U$ “first and number one in everything good. The rest of the world is shit”, in the minds of brainwashed Americans. You are typical. Dream on in your “Show Me” state. You are soon going to be shown that I am correct and you are wrong. Enjoy!

  14. Davy on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 8:09 pm 

    What’s da matter makati? Does the truth hurt? Lol

  15. Makati1 on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 8:13 pm 

    When I hear some truth from you, dAvy, I may answer that. So far, all I hear from you is envy and hate. Typical brainwashed American.

  16. Davy on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 8:18 pm 

    I do admit I despise you makati. You represent the worst of what this world spit up from its more disgusting recesses.

  17. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 29th Jul 2017 11:53 pm 

    Davy and Makita are fighting again.

    Davy, you sit in the front of the station wagon.

    Makita, you sit in the back of the station wagon.

    Until we get to Grandma’s.

  18. Makati1 on Sun, 30th Jul 2017 12:02 am 

    GoSpeed, you can walk. Arrogance? Yep you have it is spades just like Davy. ^_^

  19. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 30th Jul 2017 1:13 am 

    i like to drive (o;

  20. Makati1 on Sun, 30th Jul 2017 1:56 am 

    Only until y
    you have to walk. Be patient. That day is coming fast. ^_^

  21. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 30th Jul 2017 2:23 am 

    I know. It is coming and we’ll be walking.

    Everybody is denying it.

    But they can’t keep pumping enough oil
    to satisfy all the newly-minted
    hyper-consumerists.
    And it will collapse the economy.

    Just don’t think I can do anything about it,
    just keep burning up gas til its gone.
    (O; I figure even with all the shale
    drilling, the wheels should start falling off
    maybe in 10 years or so.

  22. Makati1 on Sun, 30th Jul 2017 2:53 am 

    Go that is true. I walk most everywhere already. Keeping in shape for the day I may have to.

    I think your 10 years is about 3-4 times too far into the future but we shall see. I would guess less than 3.

  23. Davy on Sun, 30th Jul 2017 7:08 am 

    At least we can walk makati. You are approaching 80 and will soon need an old man cane. Speeder, you like funnies. Won’t that be a funny? A dumbass old man spouting off how tough he is as he hobbles around with a cane over to his fantasy farm out of a 20MIL sprawling Manila. The reality is hard labor will be ahead. When his social security stipend stops he thinks those young Filipinos are going to work for him on his fantasy farm as hit sits on a tree stump giving orders. LOL isn’t that funny Speeder.

  24. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 30th Jul 2017 8:29 am 

    If I was in a farm in the Philippines,
    then I would go into town and find me a
    nice little Filipino bunny. Bring her back to
    my Philippines windmill ranch, and repopulate
    the Earth after the Armageddon.

  25. boat on Sun, 30th Jul 2017 10:31 am 

    Just think if products were all delivered by some type of electric auto driven machine. No more stores, just warehouses. Hop into the hyper loop for a night in the mountains then a day of fishing on the coast.

  26. george on Mon, 31st Jul 2017 11:13 am 

    All I can say is ; ” Horseballs ! “

  27. a on Tue, 1st Aug 2017 11:53 pm 

    Electric cars are just a response to the falling ERoEI of fossil fuels. Gasoline becoming more like a battery and less like a source of energy all the time.

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