back to article UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledges £12bn green economy package

The UK government has launched a £12bn green spending strategy which includes measures to boost flagging nuclear investment and the development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel. A commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, 10 years earlier than planned, is also among the pledges in the …

  1. Dwarf Silver badge

    Not a chance !

    We know that the power grid has been reported several times as not having a lot of headroom as a number of older less efficient power stations were turned off.

    Moving the power generation from within the car / van / lorry to a power station means that they will need more power generation and huge amounts of it. This will take a very long time to plan and build, so I guess this is where the nuclear option comes in. It makes sense as its going to be a lot of base load. I thought those stations take 10-15 years to get approved and start build due to the safety and planning involved ?

    Then there will need to be a way to get it from the stations to the consumers, so presumably some upgrades to the national grid to get the significantly higher amounts of power around, that will take time.

    Then there is the little tiny problem of getting it from the substations to the cars on peoples drives and on street corners. I'm not just talking about one or two little charging nodes like we have today, but large numbers of them, which means complete streets will need connections and the connections will need to be uniform so that anyone can plug in any car, so that means standardisation across the industry - impacting existing electric cars.

    How will this work with the crazy small plots that houses are crammed into - where will the kit go, how will it be safely maintained. Same issue for flats and car parks where the spaces are already too small.

    How will it handle people with more than one car - many have 2 cars, some more (i.e. with the kids are growing up but still at home)

    Then they have to get the distances up so that people can get from A to B in one go without having to take long charging breaks. This means full cars where people are moving things around, not just one person doing a daily commute - all the workloads need considering.

    A whole set of new cars will need to exist that can use the new charging stations, so changes to what each manufacturer does today.

    I fail to see how anyone with any basic understanding of the work involved could realistically say that this will be done in 9 years. Started within a decade, yes, but completed for everyone - not a chance.

    Now add in the idea that all heating moves to electric and gas is not used any more - do the whole same thing again re power and stations

    Rinse and repeat for motorbikes, scooters, lawn mowers, 2 stroke garden tools etc since without a set of cars consuming petrol and diesel, the chance of getting fuel for all the other engine types will decrease too.

    So, what we are realistically being asked to accept as an idea is a complete move from the main power source for everything outside of the house to something that has struggled to take off over several decades and that this will magically happen at the same time as the aftermath from Brexit and at a point where the country is increasingly screwed due to COVID and many businesses are struggling or have already failed.

    I wonder how those businesses will cope with replacing their entire fleet of vehicles - vans, HGV's etc with the supposed new models in the same time frame.

    Its almost like we are trying to get to a point where its impossible to live with a reasonable lifestyle.

    We also need to think about if we have a single charging network with one standard to make it flexible, what happens when we need to change it in 5 years time to some newer, faster charging method to fix say the issue of how long a vehicle takes to charge.

    The yard stick is that we can re-charge our vehicles in about 3 minutes, so its going to be hard to tempt people away from that level of flexibility.

    1. wallyhall

      Re: Not a chance !

      Nailed it.

      I’ve been saying this for a couple of years ... the gov’s focus would be far better put making legislation that all new commercial roofs are solar if possible, and every new parking space in the country (whether residential, workplace, or public) needs infrastructure for power delivery.

      Then, and only then, they can start considering the legislation of plug-in electric cars.

      As someone who lives half way out in the sticks with regularish powercuts and a 60 mile round-trip commute to the office (praise COVID!), even I can see the problems. (And I’m fortunate to have a driveway to my house.)

      For those with a 50 mile commute each way and no driveway at home... forget it.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Not a chance !

        All new builds should include solar collectors for hot water and possibly heating as well as PV

        Incentives would be worthwhile to make it more acceptable.

        Re the smoke in tge article: are there mirrors behind it?

        1. wallyhall

          Re: Not a chance !

          And while you make me think about it - parking spaces. Anyone else fed up of all the new builds with 1 small parking space for mum, dad, and the two kids?

          Parking space per bedroom, with power delivery infrastructure in place for all new builds.

          If they’d legislated that back in 2017... I’d not be feeling so ranty right now...

          1. getHandle

            Re: Not a chance !

            Apparently some councils legislate the other way - eg a maxium of 0.75 parking spaces/bedroom on average in flats - to try and discourage car ownership...

        2. Dwarf Silver badge

          Re: Not a chance !

          Absolutely - Solar is a good option, but only works when its sunny. We live in England, which is well known for not being sunny. Right now, dark grey sky, rain and currently zero power coming from my 80W panel that's just trying to keep one 80AH lead acid battery topped up against a load that takes about 500mA - a Pi, an Arduino and some other fairly low power stuff.

          I have to take the battery to my garage and swap it each week to a different one. In the summer, it works fine, but for 6 months of the year, its absolutely no good and thats even when I keep brushing off the leaves from the panel. Don't forget the things that can screw up solar even when there is sun - welded on leaves, green algae, etc. No solution is perfect or maintenance free.

          Any replacement / set of replacement solutions need to work in all months of the year and in all environmental conditions (wind, rain, sun, snow, etc)

          1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

            Re: Not a chance !

            Solar is a good option,

            Have you considered the overall trade off with solar panels? Until they a) improve the efficiency and b) reduce the environmental impact of manufacture I don't think they're a very good idea

            1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: Not a chance !

              Solar is catastrophic for the environment. It is the _least_ sustainable energy source by far.

              1. Lifecycle:

              Max 10yr lifespan. Every 10yrs, the panels' contents get dumped. Not recyclable. And almost as physically poisonous as category 1 nuclear waste. (People think the big problem with nuclear waste is the radiation. Nope. Radiation is easy. Poison is hard.)

              But bear in mind one house's solar unit's volume of waste, barely enough to boil a kettle at noon in Brisbane Australia (I've watched the meters on full-size houses with max.retail size panels covering half the roof) would if nuclear have supplied thousands of houses 24hrs/day.

              Very _very_ bad for the environment compared to any other current technology.

              2. Earth's Total Capacity: (figs approx. 5yo)

              At 8% of planet's electricity demands, solar power completely exhausts 100% of all known reserves of Coltan.

              So hang on to your smartphone, your laptop, etc because they're the last ones you'll ever be able to afford. Ditto cars, elevators, washing machines, etc -- anything using "high" tech will have to step back to the 70s.

              But even assuming we magically double the world's Coltan:

              At 12%, we completely exhaust the world's known reserves of 2 other minerals.

              Solar is the least sustainable of any current technology, to a truly risible degree.

      2. hoola Silver badge

        Re: Not a chance !

        The lunacy on solar farms just beggers belief. There are millions of sqm of distribution parks being built, all on greenfield sites with nary a solar panel in sight anywhere. Then at the same time we approve a 900acre solar farm, all on greenfield.

        The huge warehouses don't want the panels because of the added construction costs.

        The farmers do want the panels due to the incentives and the fact that you cannot make any money in farming. And then you have the real icing on the top, once that greenfield site has a solar farm on it the value of the land rockets at decommissioning time as it is now brownfield. Not quite as bonkers as the Rugby aerial site that was classed as "brownfield" even though it was 99.9% fields with sheep but getting there.

        The companies building these huge distribution centres as warehouses are now called get the permission by making the sites so big they are classed as "Strategic National Asset". This effectively ends up with them all being built with little oversight.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Not a chance !

          "The farmers do want the panels due to the incentives and the fact that you cannot make any money in farming."

          Although I've not seen it in practice, I can't see any reason not to graze sheep in a field full of solar panels.

          1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            Re: Not a chance !

            The grass dies. Grass needs sun.

            Sheep need grass.

            You essentially have a binary choice : solar farm, or {plant farm or plant-eating animal farm}.

          2. David Hicklin

            Re: Not a chance !

            Although I've not seen it in practice, I can't see any reason not to graze sheep in a field full of solar panels.

            The farmers sheep have been rotated through the solar farms that I ride my horse around recently, so it does happen.

            Solar Farms also benefit farmers who have marginal land and can generate a regular income...and graze the sheep.

            1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: Not a chance !

              Viable only in a very rich soil country. Like England, much of Europe, much of Africa, etc. Certainly not in 99.9% of Australia.

              Our cattle stations budget 12+ hectares per steer/cow/etc. England budgets the other way round: 10+ animals per hectare. For cattle. Teeny little sheep in wet country you can run at higher densities: 20 sheep is fine for a normal UK hectare. But cattle are better than sheep (or plants) for dry country (reality being yet again the opposite of the faux-greenie meme), so if Aussies try running sheep in marginal country, they keep a sharp on the sky, watching for buzzards.

              Bear in mind that Australia has serious sun but Europe by comparison just has pleasant warmth occasionally. Have you ever got 2nd degree burns from your sunscreen washing off? I have. Quite distressing as a youngster, watching your skin bubble. And such large bubbles.

              And yet, even Aussie solar farms can't survive without big subsidy. Even brand new ones with up-to-the-minute (subsidised) technology.

              So what do you think's going on in England?

    2. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Not a chance !

      Another thing that comes to mind is population density.

      Building out this infrastructure in sparsely populated areas (and there are a lot of them in the UK) is going to be far more expensive than it would be for a city. Interestingly, more and more people are moving away from cities but cities and rural areas alike have many challenges that seem to have escaped the politicians.

      Where the city was laid out properly in a planned manner (Welwyn Garden City comes to mind) it may be possible to build out the base infrastructure (but that still leaves the detail of tiny parking areas as you note).

      For older cities this will be a nightmare. I know many of those places quite well; Edinburgh would be really interesting, as would the older parts of London and as for Newcastle, let's not even go there.

      Where I live (in the middle of a farm) the population density is really low, but being rural the need would be high for charging points at almost every dwelling and the cost of hooking that up to the (supposedly fully upgraded - yeah right) grid would be exorbitant.

      When I say sparsely populated, it means that unlike in a fairly densely populated area, trying to use my postcode to find the house simply gives you a roughly 1 square mile zone of probability rather than to find the house number you need with all of them visible which can be interesting when we get new delivery drivers. Depending on which map service is used, my location comes up as either about 1/4 mile to the west or 1/2 mile to the east of the actual location.

      I do not have gas to the house, but I do have an oil fired Rayburn (a type of Aga - it was here when I moved in as every installation of that type is bespoke); the fuel it uses is kerosene 28, and the primary users of kerosene are jet aircraft (which is good for me right now as total demand is way down and my oil is much cheaper). That also heats my hot water tank (there is an electrical heating element within it, but that is only turned on when we turn off the Rayburn and that has been for a grand total of 4 days over the last 2 years).

      Trying to phase out that fuel would raise quite a ruckus (a lot of places in the southwest have this sort of arrangement as do many other places around the country).

      The electric meter housing is not suitable for a smart meter (thankfully!). Would there be an incentive (discounts) on electricity to charge these vehicles? How would, or even could, that be implemented? (separate meters perhaps but I can see that being easy to subvert). If there are no incentives then will power theft suddenly go through the roof? Possibly.

      So there are even more issues than you list (that is not a criticism in any way) and no easy answers.

      I am taking all these announcements with a pretty large grain of salt right now as I cannot see how all this could be achieved in 20 years, let alone 9.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not a chance !

        I can see a need to either exempt/support remote communities. But that's not an argument to do nothing. That would just be a variant of the 'because innovation X (fill in electric car/mobile phone/random widget) doesn't meet my personal requirement Y (to drive a 1000 miles a day/run Doom at 60ofps on a 56 inch plasma screen/not have random widgets in my life) they are impossible, pointless and no-one anywhere will ever want one.

      2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: Not a chance !

        Discounts? You're kidding, right? Cars will be charged from separate contacts, charged at a higher rate. You will be no more allowed to charge from a 13a socket as you are now allowed to run on red diesel.

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Not a chance !

      I fail to see how anyone with any basic understanding of the work involved could realistically say that this will be done in 9 years. Started within a decade, yes, but completed for everyone - not a chance.

      It doesn't have to be done in 9 years. 2030 is when ICE vehicles will be no longer sold, not no longer driven. Over maybe the next 15-20 years(*) the number of ICE vehicles will diminish to near zero which means you only need charging support for 100% electric vehicles by 2045-50. That's 24+ years to get everything in place.

      I wonder how those businesses will cope with replacing their entire fleet of vehicles - vans, HGV's etc with the supposed new models in the same time frame.

      Same thing applies. Fleets will be replaced over a period of years(**), not instantaneously at 2030-01-01T00:00:00.

      (*) From the SMMT: "The average age of a car at scrappage in 2015 reached 13.9 years, which is on a par with the 2014 performance."

      (**) Average EU heavy commercial vehicle age is 12.3 years.

      1. Dwarf Silver badge

        Re: Not a chance !

        @Arthur the cat - Good info, thanks.

        Still the same problem about the supporting infrastructure and making sure that those new cars / vans / busses / lorries that people do buy in those years are chargeable in all the places they want to go. Its the circular loop of not being able to sell them until the infrastructure is there vs not having the cash to implement until they are sold.

        Without the infrastructure, we will probably get more blockages on roads where the cars have gone flat and turned into bricks, but unlike a petrol / diesel, unless someone comes up with a very long set of jumper leads or a boost pack, how will those vehicles be cleared ?. Will this be the new menace - congestion caused by dead cars

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Not a chance !

          The AA have booster packs on their vans already.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Not a chance !

            Is there any special knowledge needed before attempting to tow away an electric vehicle? Or does it need a low loader?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Not a chance !

        Given that there are large tracts of dense housing, urban and, in my case rural, where there is no off-street parking in the form of drives and on-street parking is bumper to bumper it's not a question time but of feasibility. The only solution would be to knock down the houses, rebuild at lower density and find somewhere else to build houses for those displaced. Unless there's a subsidy to do this existing houses in these areas will be blighted.

        I lie. It's not the only solution. The other solution is to reorganise society so we are no longer dependent on the car. In another post I described housing near here. When they were built there was no problem with car parking - cars didn't exist but there workplaces within walking distance. However for decades planning policy has been to separate workplaces and housing. As we're in between several conurbations most of the residents in the houses I described will be employed in cities over 20 miles away for which there is no effective public transport service.

        We have a problem which has been created over several decades by public policy. It is a complex problem of which carbon dioxide production by cars is no more than a symptom. No amount of hand-waving at the symptom is going to make it go away in 15 to 20 years or ever. It will need hard thinking and, like all problem solving, that depends on recognising what the actual problem is in the first place.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Not a chance !

          The other solution is to drive your car to a filling station and fill it up with whatever your fuel of choice is, which can include electric by whatever means of doing it that will be developed by 2030.

        2. LybsterRoy Bronze badge
          Happy

          Re: Not a chance !

          I've just thought of a solution to the rows of terraced houses - build multi-level parking zones for the street. To overcome the problem of having to wait for everyone to move out of your way so you can drive off I recommend a lift based system. I think 4 tiers should do the job.

        3. hoola Silver badge

          Re: Not a chance !

          The main thing that is not helping this is that years ago, even though Honda (or it may have been Toyota) had viable fuel cells in a car, the only focus has been on batteries. However you look at it there are just as many issues with battery as hydrogen. They are just different and are probably more expensive and disruptive to solve. Anything that requires a pipe or cable to deliver the energy is always going to be hugely expensive and disruptive.

          Yes there are issues in creating hydrogen but if your aim is to use renewables then it may be inefficient but critically, is it any less efficient than refining oil and burning it in an ICE?

          The end to end lifecycle of the power is what matters. That is unfortunately being missed as the pro-battery/green electric lobby continue to blunder headlong into a total clusterfuck.

          Currently electricity is 5 x the price of gas per KWhr so as a replacement for gas boilers in existing housing stock it is simply unaffordable. The people pushing this honk on about insulating houses however there are huge numbers that simply cannot have the insulation installed due to the construction. The shite timber framed stuff slung up in the boom of the 80s is the absolute worst. The only way you can do anything about wall insulation is to stick it on the outside and render or rip all the interior out and put extra insulation inside the plywood (cardboard) shell.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Not a chance !

        "Same thing applies. Fleets will be replaced over a period of years(**), not instantaneously at 2030-01-01T00:00:00."

        Our fleet is being replaced currently, only in very low double digits. All electric is no use, not enough range and we ain't getting Teslas. Hybrid, you ask? Well, our company does like to emphasise their green credentials on all the marketing, but no, the replacement vehicle are still Diesels.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Not a chance !

      "cars on peoples drives and on street corners"

      Cars on drives and street corners are the easy bit. Not far from here are several hundred metres of road with houses opening directly onto the footpath. There are cars parked there more or less bunper to bumper outside the owners' houses. For a good deal of that there are houses and therefore cars lining both sides of the road. And that doesn't even take into account the Pennine phenomenon of the stacked house - the house that opens onto the pavement may have another house underneath it accessed by a flight of steps at the end of the row, or, on the other side of the road, another house above it. How anybody expects all those to be replaced with electric cars all being charged I don't know.

    5. Jason Bloomberg
      Facepalm

      Re: Not a chance !

      I fail to see how anyone with any basic understanding of the work involved could realistically say that this will be done in 9 years.

      I was assuming that's why they have a parallel plan to get people cycling and walking.

      Mind you I might be be misunderestimating them. All their other delusional fantasies have tuned out just fine. Haven't they?

      1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Not a chance !

        I was assuming that's why they have a parallel plan to get people cycling and walking.

        I assume that was a bit of sarcasm :)

        On the fairly rare occasions I actually go into the company offices, neither of those are really options for me. If you have ever driven on the A38 in south east Cornwall you would understand why to say nothing of navigating the Tamar over to Plymouth - I would have to use the Torpoint Ferry and the road to Torpoint is 'interesting'.

        I am pretty sure that an electric vehicle would get far less mileage on that road than on the (benign) test track too.

        1. Fred Dibnah

          Re: Not a chance !

          No-one is suggesting that everyone has to cycle or walk everywhere.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Not a chance !

            You've not met Bristol City Council...

          2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

            Re: Not a chance !

            Oh but they are. Not out loud, maybe, but ultimately the only solution will be no personal transport for us, the proles. London already has Public transport, the rest of us can just walk.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not a chance !

          Again - argument from personal inconvenience. You chose to live the wrong side of the Tamar from your work. I could get a job in the UIA and argue it was unfair that electric planes won't cross the Atlantic. Solution? Move your house or move your job.

          Plus you just said 'rare'. So drive electric. On rare occasions take the train or hire a hydrogen powered car.

          1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

            Re: Not a chance !

            Absolutely. There is a train service from Saltash into Plymouth. I live in Cornwall. It's very hilly, I'm over 70 and cycle everywhere, I don't have a car. It can be done, but people kind of want to save the planet as long as it's not too inconvenient and they don't have to change their lifestyle in any way.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not a chance !

              Trouble is all the train stations in plymouth are in the south of the city, serving the dockyard mainly so no good when most of the business is based in the North of the city

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not a chance !

          I have the pleasure of a commute from se Cornwall to Plymouth everyday and have to endure the shit show that is the Torpoint ferry everyday so totally agree with you. Are you looking forward to the toll increase!?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a chance !

      valid concerns. But to be contrary

      1: Its not replace everything by Jan 1st 2030. Its no more petrol/diesel from 2030. Vehicle sales annually (ignoring Covid ) re about 3 million, there are 30 odd million cars on the road so it will be at least 2040 before the transition is ended. Plus you assume that it will all be electric - some might be synthetic fuels, hydrogen ammonia, fuel cells etc. Same for businesses. Its not replace everything by 2030, it's from 2030.

      The issue of small houses having too many cars is sort of valid, but really why do we need those cars? So we can commute 50 miles to a box in an industrial park and commute back? Maybe we should reform where we work and live and not build dormitory towns? Work from home? Bicycle. Move work to where people live and vice versa. Reduce barriers to housing mobility?

      Fast charging argument is only true if you constrain yourself to what we do today. Slow charging (again assuming no hybrids/fuel cells/hydrogen etc) is a pain if you are driving up and down motorways all day in your rep-mobile. But journeys of over 50 miles are a vanishingly small percentage of actual car use.Maybe we will have to get used to using trains a bit more?

      and lawn mowers? Well lord snotty can reinvest in cart horses to pull his mower - he rest of us can manage fine with an electric one.

    7. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Not a chance !

      Agree with most of what you say, but keep in mind that from 2030 only new vehicles will be electric. I anticipate a demand surge for ICE cars in 2028-2030 together with a booming second hand and maintenance market. There's going to be another 15-20 years after 2030 when ICE cars are still a majority or large minority.

      All the issues that you mention need fixing over 10-30 years, not all on a fixed 10-year deadline. Having said that, UK gov doesn't inspire confidence in getting that all done even in 50 years

      1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: Not a chance !

        If my car stops working in 2031, I will need the problems related to my household solved then, not in 2040.

        1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

          Re: Not a chance !

          Buy a second hand car?

    8. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

      Re: Not a chance !

      Whilst I agree with much said I'd like to ask one question. Why are you assuming a single point switchover?

      Did you miss the fact that its new sales of ICE vehicles that will be banned. I expect to see petrol & diesel around for a good few years after this point.

    9. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Not a chance !

      "I guess this is where the nuclear option comes in. It makes sense as its going to be a lot of base load. I thought those stations take 10-15 years to get approved and start build due to the safety and planning involved ?"

      Don't we build nuclear power plants for installation in RN submarines? People have to live and work in fairly close proximity to them. Instead of custom building them for the life of a submarine, does this not mean we have the skills already to make small and putatively "portable" mini nukes to locate around cites which will be more easily re-fuelled/refurbished/disposed of at relatively short notice??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: mini nukes

        We do have that technology, indeed the sixteen small scale nukes currently proposed are designed by rolls who make submarine power plants.

        However I'm fairly sure submarine power plants have some differences to a land based one.

        Also of note was how our latest surface ships didn't get nuclear power.... I think probably the submarine has a need for such technology, the high cost of it is very much part of the function of a submarine and the power output is still relatively small vs the power needed for either an aircraft carrier or a town.

    10. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: Not a chance !

      Add in the necessary upgrade in the actual grid itself. Ie, "the wires", not just the various turbines etc feeding electricity into it.

      Industry pointed out few years ago that just switching to electric cars required a MINIMUM upgrade to the infrastructure of trebling its capacity.

      Bear in mind a major part of your huge increases in electricity bills is not just covering the increased cost of "renewables" (most of the actual direct cost is hidden in your taxes -- check out some wind/solar originators' financial models for some serious eyebrow-raising while learning about hidden subsidies) but paying for the grid extensions and local upgrades.

      These are huge in cost, but relatively slight by comparison.

  2. Warm Braw Silver badge

    World-beating?

    Word-bleating.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: World-beating?

      The 2030 target "shows a great commitment from the UK Government towards electrification – which is also one of the most ambitious in the world,"

      Now all we need is an advertising campaign awarded to one of the chumocrats costing in the region of £350 million per week

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: World-beating?

      World-following.

      The neighbours Netherlands, Germany, Ireland are all aiming at 2030 already. France is still 2040 but will probably fall in line. Norway are already on their way there and have set a target of 2025.

  3. Howard Sway

    Johnson is ready to reset the agenda, and green is the way to go

    Not sure that announcing yet another splurge on the national credit card is sufficient to move the agenda away from the enormous fuck up of his first year in office. Or that his second year will not be even worse.

  4. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    "blasting microwave radiation at a watery chemical soup"

    We've all had office lunches like that.

  5. tiggity Silver badge

    What would be useful ..

    I'm lucky enough to live in a house with half of the roof south facing.

    Also fortunate in having a garden.

    Would love solar panels & heat pump in garden .. but I cannot afford it *as large outlay and takes a long time for returns to work through, not viable when you live hand to mouth)

    If government provided that for free (& similar for other people in same position) then would help with CO2 emissions a lot & reduce the strain on the grid

    Lets address car use, I live in the sticks (hence luxury of a garden).

    If there was free and frequent public transport (electric for CO2 saving) & a good public transport network I would not need my car

    However instead there is very expensive, infrequent public transport & a dismal network, so I and many others are forced to have CO2 emitting cars, so *proper* public transport would be a huge green success.

    I live in an area with rivers a plenty but none of them have any run of river generating plants (compare with Scotland where they are doing a great job of adding small power generators on rivers, getting green power and its relatively reliable) - obviously river flow varies, but unless ludicrous drought scenarios causing river dry up, always know what worst case minimum power generation will be, and also good flows in Winter where (in UK) lots of leccy demand as cold & dark a lot. So small river hydro deploys would be a good green move, especially in low population area as depending on the river flow and drop could supply anything from a few hundred to a few thousand homes with leccy

    1. Fred Dibnah

      Re: What would be useful ..

      There are lots of small scale generation projects in England and Wales. Shareenergy has a range of projects which you can invest in, tax-free.

      https://www.sharenergy.coop/

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "What's more, the government is promising a homegrown industry to make batteries."

    In fact they said some time ago that the UK would become a world leader. I suppose that's why Honda decided to move out of the UK to concentrate on producing EVs.

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      @Dr Syntax

      But clearly not fully home grown battery industry, since the government barred the sale of acid to people as some idiots thought it was a good idea to throw it at other people.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        not fully home grown battery industry, since the government barred the sale of acid

        You are aware that Li-ion batteries have an entirely different chemistry to Lead acid ones?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Whoooshhhh......

  7. Dave Pickles

    How many Nukes will we need?

    A very quick calculation of the extra electrical power needed.

    Income from Fuel Duty was £28.4B in 2018-9 (source OBR). Road fuel is taxed at 57.5p/l so neglecting heating oil and red diesel that gives a total annual usage of 50e9 litres.

    Averaging the energy density of petrol and diesel at 35MJ/l, assuming an IC engine efficiency of 30% and an electric engine efficiency of 80% (including distribution and charge/discharge losses) gives a total annual energy requirement of 6.5e17J, or 21GW. That's around six Sizewell-B - sized stations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How many Nukes will we need?

      Its hard to know how much extra energy we do need for car electrification.

      On one hand we have statements that we already have enough because car charging is most likely to occur at low demand hours.

      On the other, we have people saying we just need all that extra offshore wind and we will be fine.

      Then we have yet more saying we need 16 x 440MW mini nuke plants.

      There is of course just simple other increases in electrical consumption to factor in - organic growth, extra houses etc. Then there is how all new houses shortly aren't allowed to use fossil fuelled heating at all (gas, coal or oil) - which means electrical heating somehow (heat pumps or simple electric heaters).

      Combining both transport and domestic heating, we shortly need three times the electrical power available today.

      THREE TIMES

      And all of our current nuclear plants are EOL by 2030.

      Probably should have started this sooner. Much sooner.

      Still at least the smart meters can finally be used for what they were deployed for - rolling blackouts to ration electricity to domestic buildings. Your electricity today is from 1400-1600hrs, use it wisely.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: How many Nukes will we need?

        "On one hand we have statements that we already have enough because car charging is most likely to occur at low demand hours."

        Much of that "low demand hours" energy is nuclear because other power sources can be reduced or turned off during low demand periods while nuclear can't. There's variable wind power at night too. Without going into the problems of getting planning permission for more nuclear, currently all our nuclear is at or near end of life and only one new one is currently in construction.

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: How many Nukes will we need?

      The National Grid disagrees with you.

      TL;DR: "Enough capacity exists"

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: How many Nukes will we need?

        That article is almost 'Calm down dear, everything will be fine, trust us'.

        Enough capacity exists 'now' for 'now & the very near future', but we are supposed to be carbon neutral by 2050 and cars aren't the problem. 30M+ electric vehicles by 2050 will indeed need about 150% of current capacity to keep running but as charging will average out to almost a constant load, building that is easy, it's only another 2Gw+ per year on average and we can predict the vehicle replacement pattern.

        Home heating & cooking by gas is the really big number, 30M+ homes with average 30Kw heating & 25Kw cookers (electric equivilent) all on together at peak times is a stupendous number, the heating load can to a certain extent be spread by using various storage heater designs but that just pushes up the base load.

        A few tens of thousand big offshore turbines will cope on a good windy day but we'll need the capacity to produce another 300-400Gw of power on that cold day with low windspeed across the country, to do that, several hundred SMRs will be needed as well as perhaps a dozen big Nuke plants in the 10Gw range. (Hinkey-C being built now is 3.2Gw)

        Overall it's quite a big average build requirement over the next 30 years followed by the everlasting rolling replacement.

        A really clever solution is also going to be needed for pushing the power to our doors because the existing home mains cable coming in from the street with its 80-100A breaker will be way too small for the expected load at 230v.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How many Nukes will we need?

          Yes you are correct the mains supply cabling to domestic properties is going to become a bit of a problem quite quickly.

          I did have a solution though. I am calling it "wireless power transmission". You place a tall "transmitter" in a central location to your street and each house has a vertical metal receiver "aerial", lower than the transmitter. Using a giant step up transformer at the transmitter, we boost the potential of the source to a point at which transmission occurs. By my calculations I need to boost it to 800V per cm multiplied by the maxium distance of the furthest receiver....

          You can have that technology for free, because I wish to gift it to the world.

      2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: How many Nukes will we need?

        Right now, every winter, they issue an alert as the safety margin is breached. The lights are only on because of imported power, coal, and OCGT generation. This is because there is no wind. More windmills just means a bigger emergency every winter.

  8. IGotOut Silver badge

    Wrong Information

    "end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030"

    FFS can journos actually bloody read the press releases properly.

    Hybrids are still allowed after 2030.

    2035 is the cut off date.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-takes-historic-step-towards-net-zero-with-end-of-sale-of-new-petrol-and-diesel-cars-by-2030

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Wrong Information

      Some hybrids, meaning plug in hybrids, not mild ones.

  9. Jonathon Green
    Trollface

    I’m a huge fan of electric vehicles, I’ve owned and driven them for years and can’t imagine ever owning another IC powered vehicle as anything other than a weekend plaything ever again.

    That said:

    This is a Boris announcement, and with that in mind I’m not expecting to see hordes of happy people driving their EVs over the garden bridge to Boris Island airport any time soon...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      You live in a property where installation of a charging point is feasible, right? Millions of car users don't.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Not at the property, not necessary. Take it to a charge point and charge it up. Like you go to a filling station and fill up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Like you go to a filling station and fill up

          and to recharge an e-car takes...

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Like you go to a filling station and fill up

            Mine, about 20 minutes to get a charge usable for 3-4 days.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Like you go to a filling station and fill up

              and my wife's takes about 4 min and once a month (ok. mild usage).

              So, basically, to have ecars recharge at petrol stations would be the same if current number of petrol stations were to service about 5 times as many cars. No, wait! This is to assume that suddenly they only provide charging points for ecars, rather than a mix of plugins and pumps (for those of us, plebs, who won't be able to afford an ecar and need to drive 2nd hand, 3rd hand, etc.). OK, you say, some people DO live in houses, rather than flats, they can use their wall socket. Still, AT LEAST as many as 5 TIMES the number of cars at petrol stations as they handle now.

              There will be solutions, but not overnight. One is, on the surface, really simple: supermarket car parks with charging points. Yeah, great idea, and it will happen (unless shopping habits change, which I doubt, in regular circumstances). But it will be costly, and it will take time, and it will take money. Something tells me I know who's gonna pay for this, and it won't be the government (aka my tax money), but my money nevertheless.

  10. phuzz Silver badge
    Meh

    How exactly?

    People who live in cities (including me) are an obvious market for electric cars. Short journeys and stop start traffic (and congestion charging) play to an electric car's strengths.

    However, like most people who live in cities (at least European ones), I have to park my car on the street. And not 'on the street outside', but more 'on the street, somewhere near' my house. Even if I could regularly park right outside where I live, I'd have to somehow run a charging cable across the pavement to reach my car.

    So, the only solution for cities is to have some kind public charging infrastructure, but what would that look like? I've heard suggestions that charging points be added to street lights, which is fine on the face of it, but on my road there's about ten cars for every street light, and probably double that further up the road.

    So you'd need to add more charging stations, and to get past the aforementioned 'charging cables across the pavement' problem, they'd have to be by the kerb. However, not all cars are the same size, so depending on who'd parked where, you might have to stretch a cable quite a way to reach your car, and if you're unlucky, the charging post will block one of your doors.

    Honestly, I've no idea what the solution is. I guess it will have to involve a (gradual) shift in attitudes towards car ownership, with less people owning their own cars. I could live without mine, but I've owned a car for more than half my life now, and I don't want to have to deal with the loss of the feeling of freedom that it gives me.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: How exactly?

      "I don't want to have to deal with the loss of the feeling of freedom that it gives me."

      I don't think TPTB have ever been happy with us having the degree of freedom that the car brought. They probably had the same attitude to the bicycle.

      1. nijam Silver badge

        Re: How exactly?

        Indeed - remember the old quote (can't remember where from), the history of the motor car in one sentence?

        "The French invented it, the Germans developed it, the British tried to ban it."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How exactly?

        you might not be happy to lose that freedom, but you might be priced out of this freedom...

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: How exactly?

      I've heard suggestions that charging points be added to street lights, which is fine on the face of it, but on my road there's about ten cars for every street light, and probably double that further up the road.

      You can have two chargers per lamppost and you don't need a 1:1 chargers to cars ratio. The average car trip in a city(*) is less than 5 miles, battery ranges are 200-300 miles. Even with 4 trips a day you'd only need to charge your vehicle once a week. That's ignoring chargers in office car parks, retail parks, etc. Go for your Ikea meat balls, charge your car while eating them.

      So you'd need to add more charging stations, and to get past the aforementioned 'charging cables across the pavement' problem, they'd have to be by the kerb.

      There's a bloke literally round the corner from me who runs a lead from his house across the pavement to his car. He uses a cable protector over the pavement for safety. The unevenness due to tree roots and repeated utility company excavations is more of a problem.

      (*) Note: average in city. I'm not talking about Lands End to John O'Groats before anyone starts banging that drum.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: How exactly?

        "You can have two chargers per lamppost"

        Doesn't cut it when the ratio is much higher. Even if you only need to charge it every few nights you're going to need cooperative neighbours and a rota to get a chance when you need it.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: How exactly?

          And a distinct lack of little chavas with plug pulling intentions.

      2. Jason Bloomberg

        Re: How exactly?

        you don't need a 1:1 chargers to cars ratio.

        Possibly not but it seems to me that whenever anyone suggests we need far fewer chargers than cars they seem to forget that most people will be charging overnight, while at work or parked while shopping, and they'll leave their car plugged in for the duration preventing others from using it.

        Extending driving range will help but not entirely if people choose to keep topped up in case they go through a rough patch when they can't access a charger. Having charging bays with time limited occupancy may help but will be quite inconvenient.

        It seems to me they are rushing into this without knowing exactly what will be needed, without being able to answer fundamental questions on how it can be made to work. And, if it doesn't; there's no escape route.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How exactly?

          So you need a multi-point charging station which charges 1 or 2 cars at a time in the order they were plugged in - I assume it will be able to tell when a vehicle is fully charged. Of course you will still need rather long cables, unless it transmits power over microwave or similar (what could go wrong ?).

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: How exactly?

            Most electric vehicles negotiate with the charger and are quite capable of having the charging limited if necessary.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: How exactly?

          "parked while shopping, and they'll leave their car plugged in for the duration preventing others from using it."

          Charger rage, the most popular phrase of 2030, You go shopping and get back to the car and some twat is in your face threatening to punch your lights out because it finished charging 15 mins ago

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: How exactly?

        He uses a cable protector over the pavement for safety

        Until the point went someone trips/slips and injures themselves and he gets hauled up to court

      4. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: How exactly?

        I doubt that the existing cabling sufficient to power a light is going to be capable of carrying the current needed for EVs.

        People don’t have petrol pumps on their driveways, so I don’t see how going to shared charged points will be a problem. Especially with the tech more developed in the future,

        Oxford Westgate car park has 50 spaces with chargers.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: How exactly?

          No chance of current street cable being up to the job with current voltages, the average street would need a few Mw fed into it and intelligent cars cooperating to spread the charging overnight.

          Faster car charging just makes the supply problem worse, a 100Kw charge taking an hour needs 1.2Mw for a 5 min charge - a filling station with 10 petrol pumps would become a 12Mw connection the grid when busy.

          Time to buy shares in transformer manufacturers

      5. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: How exactly?

        That bloke next to you creates a trip hazard for pedestrians and inconvenience for everyone with limited mobility.

        And I am sure the prick feels like he is very virtuous in the process.

    3. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: How exactly?

      > I've owned a car for more than half my life now, and I don't want to have to deal with the loss of the feeling of freedom that it gives me.

      Have you tried joining your local car club?

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: How exactly?

        I've thought about it. I might even save money, and it would almost certainly cover all my needs, but like I said, it's not a wholly rational thought.

        I like the feeling that I can go out of my house now, walk up the road to where it's parked, get in and go, as far, and for as long as I like, without needing to arrange it with anyone else. I fully admit that that's a petty reason to own a car, but it's the reason why I do.

  11. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    £12bn invested in Boris's fiends

    It's not a typo, Boris disabled auto-correct when he became a politician.

  12. Adair Silver badge

    The future is in our hands - inspirational or terrifying?

    Well, I guess we're all totally buggered, aren't we? Best pack up now and invest in a nice cave before all the nice ones get bought up by the 1%. After all, if we don't get serious about what we're doing to the planet living in caves again will be the least of our worries, but it never hurts to be early into a future market.

    OTOH, despite having to cope with political disaster zones of incompetence, arrogance and greed - so what's new, read your history and discover that it ever was thus - there is the faint possibility that with hard work, good will, a bit of luck and quite a lot of sacrifice and 'learning to do things differently' we may actually pull through in some semblance of heroic good order. No guarantees though - driving any kind of car may not be a long term prospect, but then other ways of life are possible. Even better ways than what we think of as 'normal'. Then again ... now where did I see that rather excellent cave the other day?

  13. IGotOut Silver badge

    OK.

    I park my car between 20m and 300m from my house.

    The lamp posts are only on street corners.

    My work is 13 miles (actually 35 at the moment to to covid relocation) over very hilly terrain, which I've seen even the fittest people struggle to achieve a little over walking spread.

    I work anti social hours.

    There is no train line.

    There are no buses.

    This is a common situation for a few thousand that work in the same village... and the next village, and the next village.

    Answers on a postcard.

    1. Fred Dibnah

      Re: OK.

      Village halls usually have car parks where chargers could be located. Who do I address my postcard to?

      BTW good for you for being prepared to walk 300m to your car. Plenty of people seem to think they have a god-given right to park right outside their home.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: OK.

        I'm ok with that.

        It's the ones who think they've a god-given right to park outside my home....

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: OK.

        "Who do I address my postcard to?"

        The Vicar

        Dibley

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OK.

      Dear village person.

      1) Convert farmer Giles field to a special village car park with chargers. Walk to field. Added benefit that your village centre can go vehicle free and be safer for your children.

      2) Buy a hydrogen powered car and fill up at Tesco's on the way home.

      3) Use a self-driving Uber that will use AI to know to be waiting to pick you up in time to whisk you to work.

      4) Move

      5) Form a cooperative with your neighbours and run a bus service (extra points for this as you can get a job as a bus driver and get paid for your anti-social hours commute).

      Yours sincerely

      the children of the future

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OK.

        Hydrogen leaks, and it is really bad for the ozone layer.

        1. Adair Silver badge

          Re: OK.

          Yeah, there's no hope. Everything that isn't the status quo is hopeless. Burn more hydrocarbons, buy more product. It's the only way.

        2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: OK.

          So "upgrade" the hydrogen to Tritium, it's bigger and doesn't leak as bad although it is a little active.

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: OK.

        Dear children of the future,

        1) Covering a field with tarmac, chargers & grid link- £1m+ and very un-green

        2) Nearest H2 filling station is 20 miles in the wrong direction & the village shop really doesn't have the room

        3) This is not a city, Uber wouldn't waste a bunch of cars here for 2 trips per day.

        4) No, I like it here, I have space

        5) 8 hour trip to get everyone in the street to their work which covers a 20 mile radius on country roads.

        I'm the Indian village person :)

        1. a_builder

          Re: OK.

          I’m no lover H2 tech, mainly because I can’t see any means of making it cleanly apart from electrolysis. It is hard to describe electrolysis as efficient.

          The other downside, because of the way fuel cells work, is that you still need a battery.

          However, it is perfectly possible to have H2 electrolysis stations that use off peak electricity to fill a tank with hydrogen.

          1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

            Re: OK.

            Something I haven't seen mentioned in the articles that recommend electrolysis - what happens to the O2?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: OK.

              We end up with an oversaturation and centipedes grow to 8' long.

          2. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: OK.

            I agree electrolysis is inefficient but that's a big improvement on 'environment damaging', peak will be the hours between 5pm & 8pm when everyone is cooking, there'll probably be little difference across the other 21 hour of the day.

            It seems almost certain we'll be seeing both H2 & faster charging electric vehicles in the next few years so it makes sense to build H2 electrolysis plant at filling stations which will anyway be needing quite a big electric feed for the fast charging. The pumps will change over time from U/L & diesel nozzles to E & H2.

            That's assuming that filling stations are still viable when many cars will be dribble charged overnight.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: OK.

              How long to hydrogen tanks last before they need replacing due to brittleness? I've heard mention in pretty much every discussion here regarding possible use of H2, but no one ever seems to mention the how much of an issue it is. Town gas used to be coal derived H2, but with other "pollutants" which may have mitigated the problem, but pipes are usually cited as being the problem due to leakage and embrittlement. Generating and storing on-site removes the issue of replacing underground pipe, but doesn't deal with the risk of an embrittled tank rupturing. It might they last years and if surface installed, cheap to replace. or maybe newer materials science has already increased the lifespan of H2 tanks.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OK.

          Your point 4 is basically the critical one isn't it? You like where you live and you don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to carry on pushing the externalities of your choice down to future generations.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: OK.

        "Convert farmer Giles field to a special village car park with chargers. Walk to field. Added benefit that your village centre can go vehicle free and be safer for your children."

        You have a quaint idea of what a village is. Maybe your experience is limited to the pictures on chocolate boxs? Many, many villages have a main road running through them.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Overcoming the Difficulties

    The Guardian has an article singing the praises of the announcement and explains away some of the perceived problems. Two caught my eye.

    1) Cost of EV. It is admitted that EVs cost more than ICE vehicles but as most cars are bought on PCP (leased?) the actual monthly payments are about the same. They didn't mention the difference in deposit or final purchase value.

    2) Cost of 'filling' the vehicle. Instead of paying £75 in petrol costs to fill the tank you will use cheap electricity. As a significant proportion of the cost of the fuel is tax (58p / litre + 20% VAT according to one site) I can't imagine the government letting go that source of income so they will replace it with a new EV tax to make up for lost income. I doubt EVs will be any cheaper to run than ICE vehicles post enforced change over.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Overcoming the Difficulties

      1) Cost of EV. It is admitted that EVs cost more than ICE vehicles but as most cars are bought on PCP (leased?) the actual monthly payments are about the same. They didn't mention the difference in deposit or final purchase value.

      Batteries don't last forever. They are not going to be cheap to replace. I would suspect shift towards leasing rather than outright buying.

      1. Death_Ninja

        Re: Overcoming the Difficulties

        A lot of talk is about "mobility as a service" (MAAS).... which is probably where this is all going.

        One of the best discussions about EV's I've seen recently is this:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE57tChPQM&feature=youtu.be

  15. Snowy
    Facepalm

    Missing from the article.

    New cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel will not be sold in the UK from 2030, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

    But some hybrids would still be allowed, he confirmed.

    Which to me mean if you have a petrol or diesel engine charging a battery and this powering electric motors then this can still be sold.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing from the article.

      I believe its "some" hybrids not all of them. There is a difference between an actual hybrid capable of fully electrically powered movement and the 48V mild hybrids that have recently come along.

      And its only until 2035 for any hybrid.

      Its all a long way off yet, lots of time for flapping and indecision yet.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: Missing from the article.

        No, it's affecting us now. Mitsubishi have already thrown in the towel on European car sales, as they can't commit to 100% electric vehicles. So the amount of choice will be going down, and prices will increase, as usually happens when a very small number of companies get to carve up the market between them.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all hot air, and pointless anyway

    The rush to "save the planet" is a confidence trick of truly planetary proportions. The so called climate change "experts" have been forecasting the end of the world due to melting icecaps since the heatwave of 1976, and yet even their own figures show only a 3mm rise in average sea level since then - and most of that can be accounted for by the improvements in the measuring technology aboard the satellites monitoring it.

    Aside from localized flooding during bad weather (what the hell did you think would happen when you concrete over all the floodplain?), can anyone tell me of an area that has been flooded as a result of global warming? Anyone? Belgium, maybe? Florida or Louisiana? The Nile delta? All regions that were supposed to disappear under the rising tide of melted glaciers, but somehow - nearly 50 YEARS LATER - still as much above sea level as they were back then.

    The question should not be "how can anyone doubt Climate Change", it should be "how can so many people be fooled into believing the garbage being fed to them?".

  17. Ashto5

    Hybrid Failures

    Hybrids have been reported that they produce MORE toxins than petrol or diesel cars

    Better to just ban petrol and diesel personal vehicles

    Allow business to use the hybrid model

    Fill the roofs of the UK with solar and hills with wind turbines

    If it is still not enough energy TOUGH

  18. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Electric cars are not a solution per se for CO2 reduction if electricity is made from coal or gas.

    There's also the problem of the grid, that may not sustain such an increase in use. Making and recycling batteries cleanly aren't easy challenges too.

    The solution is Hydrogen. We know it works: Toyota, Honda, Hyundai have all commercial vehicles already available. Two weak points: industrializing the way to produce 'clean' hydrogen, and developing the filling stations everywhere. But it's definitively the best solution.

  19. Ken 16
    Terminator

    The nuclear stations power the giant lasers

    I assume it ties in with the GBP16.5B for the giant lasers and the killer robots.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the main issues is power infrastructure. You're sitting at home in the middle of a crisp cold feb evening, bleedy freezing out, its dark so no solar the whole of the UK is stuck under a chuffing big winter blocking high pressure and has been for a week so theres feck all wind. You've got your car on charge, 7kw the misses has hers on charge, 7kw and your air source heat pump 16kw going like the clappers to try and heat your hot water for a shower and heat the house, its tea time so the oven(s) are on 2*2kw and the hob 7kw and the dishwasher 1kw is on and the washing machine 1kw and tumble dryer 2.5kw are also going. Discuss as you'll have fun running that lot on a standard domestic uk 230v single phase supply!

  21. David Hicklin

    It will be a big planning headache for the car manufacturers and government taxation

    I can understand the fixation on charging points and grid capacity, but the demise of the petrol/diesel vehicles won't happen overnight - it will take some 10-15 years for the last 2nd/3rd hand ones to come off the roads.

    What nobody seems to be considering are the other 2 planning headaches this presents:

    1. Car manufacturers are probably going to see a massive surge in demand in ICE up to the switchover which will then fall off the cliff for a while afterwards, all the time trying to balance the mix of electric/ICE cars. Not all of them can send them down the same production line and it takes time to rejig a line for a new model.

    2. As fuel sales fall, so will the governments tax take (unless they just keep on raising it to push us away from ICE), electric tend to be free from VED (in the UK at least), so the government will need to raise that taxation somehow as by then I think they will still be paying off the covid debt.

    and then how the 2nd hand car market would work (has the battery been abused by the previous owner?) , god only knows.

    And vintage cars? would any surviving ICE's become this? and in 2045 would there be any petrol stations left to fill them up leading to an ICE range complex.

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