back to article Tesla owners win legal fight after software update crippled older Model S batteries

Tesla has been ordered by a Norwegian court to pay more than 30 customers $16,000 each for slashing the battery life and charging abilities of older Tesla Model S vehicles with a software update. Owners of Tesla Model S vehicles purchased between 2013 and 2015 found that after they downloaded and installed the code in 2018, …

  1. nautica
    Holmes

    "Say it ain't so, Joe..."

    Certainly NOT Elon Musk! No way! Never! Not in a thousand years!

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: "Say it ain't so, Joe..."

      When you are arrogant enough, you don't need to show up to court.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: "Say it ain't so, Joe..."

        I just hope that their non-appearance is taken strongly into account if Tesla decides to appeal the decision.

        Any defendant who fails to turn up and defend themselves should automatically be barred from appealing the decision unless the circumstances are very, very exceptional.

        1. Fred Dibnah
          Happy

          Re: "Say it ain't so, Joe..."

          A reasonable excuse might be that they were unavoidably delayed, like, for example, their company EV ran out of juice on the way to the court.

        2. nautica
          Happy

          Re: "Say it ain't so, Joe..."

          ...and I simply hope this effort--to use a popular expression--goes viral, and world-wide.

          Elon Musk pulled this stunt on the entire population of people who bought his cars; not just that contingent who happen to live in Norway and Denmark. He should be held accountable for his actions towards, and disdain of, everyone.

        3. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: "Say it ain't so, Joe..."

          I might be wrong, but ISTR that appealing is not even possible in Norway if you haven't bothered appearing in court at all.

          1. nautica
            Thumb Up

            Re: "Say it ain't so, Joe..."

            Why does it seem, continually, as though these people--as well as most of the rest from this part of the world--are more logical than the rest of us?

    2. Cinderellaphant

      Rerun Rust? Row Ray. UUUh uh!!

      We would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling Norwegian kids

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carbon neutral

    My old ICE vehicle sure spews out the carbon when it idles in neutral.

    EVs are still a feel-good pipe dream for many.

    Too expensive, limited battery life, difficult repairs, meddling manufacturers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Carbon neutral

      Big splash over here about the *!NEW!* Ford F-150 all electric pickup truck. Extensive coverage about the trim, wheel-base, etc., etc. After several articles read I finally found one that mentioned mileage. I can get to two of the larger Texas cities from here, but the F-150 might barely get to Dallas from here, then no farther.

      All-EV is for commuters only, in Texas. I'm keeping my 22-year-old car thank you very much. It keeps going, and going, and going....

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Carbon neutral

        Is it powered by Duracell?

        1. ChrisC Silver badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          Dinocells...

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Carbon neutral

        "I finally found one that mentioned mileage"

        Did it mention mileage when towing, when off-road and when fully loaded?

        I thought not. Electric vehicles might have a place in this world, but one of those places is not a working pickup truck. Poser city truck perhaps ...

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          You want torque for your off road truck?

          You want torque for towing?

          Electric will give you all you could ever want.

          The fact that noone has yet made the vehicle you claim to want doesn't mean that the power source isn't appropriate.

          A pickup could easily have a very significant battery pack very easily, it's not as if space/weight are important (else you wouldn't be driving a pickup).

          Milage quotes are always unladen, that's how milage is quoted in any vehicle (probable exception for a real truck - an HGV)

          And what is that - fleet operators are lining up for the tesla semi? Why, because it's cheaper and simpler to operate...

          1. Avatar of They
            Thumb Up

            Re: Carbon neutral

            I would agree except you don't want your already 3+ ton pick up truck weighing more and all that cargo space being used for batteries just to move the thing along the road.

            I have a pick up and would love it to be electric or even hybrid but it just isn't available and still practical at the same time.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Carbon neutral

              Pickup trucks tend to already weigh an absolute ton... their engines are not exactly light weight, and there is a huge amount of room underneath the floor and in front of the driver.

              The fact that it isn't currently available doesn't mean it can't be made...

              There are promised advances in battery tech which are likely to make a significant difference, the ICE has had a century of refinement, and with hybrid assistance the best engines in the world are just about breaking 50% efficiency... We've not come all that far with batteries yet.

              EVs are the future, even if they come with a fuel cell, or a thorium reactor, on board to act as a constant trickle charge, so the (now pretty small) battery is continually topped up from the fuel cell, and the energy is deployed for climbing, accelerating, etc.

              1. vtcodger Silver badge

                Re: Carbon neutral

                ... and there is a huge amount of room underneath the floor and in front of the driver.

                OK for a commuter vehicle (Why would any sane individual purchase a truck for commuting?) and probably OK for urban repair/service vehicles. Not so OK for rural roads and off road. There's a reason for all that empty space under pickup trucks. I invite you to visit us here in Vermont for "mud season" Mud season -- which the tourist bureau does not want to talk about -- is a period in mid Spring when unpaved roads thaw from the top down. Until the thawing reaches the frost line, the newly released water representing four or five months of precipitation has no place to go. The resulting sea of mud isn't actually bottomless. But it can seem so. Same thing happens in the fields BTW.

                EVs are the future

                You left out the key word -- distant EVs certainly can replace many ICE vehicles. For example, the postal service likely will find them more cost effective than their current vehicles. OTOH, fire engines and most military combat vehicles are terrible candidates for electric propulsion. They need the capability of refueling quickly in difficult circumstances.

                There's also an economic problem. A Nissan Leaf might make a fine second or third car for suburban families. But it lists for over $30,000 new. A decade old Honda or Toyota would be an order of magnitude cheaper and won't require all that much maintenance and fuel if just used for short local trips.

                (Aside from which -- what provision is being made for the large percentage of car owners who have no way to charge an EV?)

                1. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  By under the truck I don't mean in the ground clearance...

                  There is plenty of space currently taken up by the gaps between deep section structural members. You don't get to use it because it would be an awkward load area.

                  Current EVs can replace the vast majority of current cars.

                  In fact it's even more true than it was when cars were 15 years old, and people complained they didn't run on oats, and you couldn't just swap one out at your local inn to keep going.

                  The economic problem isn't... the new EV isn't a replacement for a 20 year old Honda... in twenty years time it will be.

                  There isn't a particularly large proportion of car owners who don't have an electricity supply.

                  Cars spend the vast majority of their time parked somewhere... whether that enables charging at work or at the supermarket... I don't know anyone with a petrol pump at home, however will car drivers manage.

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "Cars spend the vast majority of their time parked somewhere... whether that enables charging at work or at the supermarket..."

                    That still seems to be some years away. The only places I've seen with more than a very few charging points are motorway service stations. And Tesla-only charge points seem to outnumber the generic ones.

                    Those are the charge points the large number of people with no off-street parking will be needing to use frequently. A small EV needs a number of hours charging every 100 or so miles. A small ICE car needs a 5 minute fill up every 400-500 miles. That's quite a significant difference that has not yet been addressed in the race for carbon neutrality and start of increasing taxes on ICE vehicles. Some money is being put out there to increase the number of charging points, but I'm not seeing the increase in constantly available electricity generation. Even Hinckly-C is now coming on line in 2026 rather than the planned 2025, thanks to COVID and other delays and assuming no further delays.

                    I'd really like to see a full switch to EVs ASAP, but the reality is that it's going to a take a LONG time and many of us will be highly inconvenienced in the process, as well having to pay more. I'm also in the group that can't switch to full EV yet anyway because of the distances I travel and the extreme cost of anything capable of those distances + fast charge facilities at, at least, the other end.

                    1. John Robson Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "That still seems to be some years away."

                      Oh no - this solution isn't already completely rolled out so it can't possibly be worked towards.

                      Yes, it's not all there yet, and the thing that annoys me is the assumption that a public charger has to be 50kW or more to be any use. I'd rather car parks were equipped to charge 7 cars at 7kW a piece than 1 at 50.

                      Service stations are the obvious exception to this rule, but "destination" chargers should be ubiquitous, and generally slow.

                      But then they should also all be contactless enabled...

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        "the thing that annoys me is the assumption that a public charger has to be 50kW or more to be any use. I'd rather car parks were equipped to charge 7 cars at 7kW a piece than 1 at 50."

                        Thge thing that annoys me is that prats like yourself assume that because one certain size fits your model, we should all march in lockstep with your needs, despite our needs being very, very different.

                        1. John Robson Silver badge

                          Re: Carbon neutral

                          50+kW chargers have a place, but the current assumption is that it's the only charger that makes sense - when that isn't the case.

                          The model for filling up an EV is fundamentally different from that of a ICE.

                          I am not saying that there should *only* be 7kW chargers (that would be as barmy as saying that there should only be 50+kW chargers), but that for many destinations 7kW is sufficient, and not wanting to move the car after 45 minutes can even be an advantage.

                          Currently there are very few places installing multiple low power chargers - and that number should increase.

                          They are substantially cheaper than the large units, and should therefore be much easier to have plenty of them installed.

                          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                            Re: Carbon neutral

                            Absolutely correct. The best model for charging at motorway services is a bucketload of 7kW points in the carpark (ie: MOST parks) and a few fast charge points in a traditional fueling bay arrangement (because of heating effects and fire risk associated with 50-300kW charging speeds)

                            For long-term (2hour+) carparks, etc even 2kW charge points are useful as long as EVERY bay is equipped with the facility

                          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                            Re: Carbon neutral

                            "Currently there are very few places installing multiple low power chargers - and that number should increase."

                            For a car park, a line of 7kW charge points is perfect. The same goes for a parking at a train station or convention hall, cinema, etc. If you are going in to watch a feature film, having to leave in 45 minutes to move the car so you don't get hit with idling fees isn't going to work. It would be great to arrive early, get a bulk charge for 20 minutes on the fast charger and then move the car to a level 2 spot and let it keep going while you enjoy the movie. It's even easier to see at a train station. I'd love to plug in and be able to leave the car for the day at 3kW. Low power chargers can mean plenty for everybody rather than just a couple of high power that will often not be available.

                      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        If you had read my reply, you'd have realised that I wasn't complaingin about it happeing. I'm complaining about people like you acting like it's already happened and that neither the technology nor the financial investment in infrastructure is happening.

                        You think 7 slow chargers in a car park is better than 1 fast charger. Well, yes that;s true. but a car park of 600-700 spaces with only 7 chargers isn't really going to cut it. Just a few short years ago, it wasn't unusual to be driving around a car park looking for a space, only to be disappointed by the the only free spaces being charging bays for electric cars only. Now, even with a low penetration of EVs still, it's not unusual to see all the charging bays occupied and EV drivers struggling to find somewhere to charge.

                        Yes, destination chargers should be ubiquitous, but they aren't. Almost no one is prepared to install more than a few to satisfy the box-ticking requirements. Of all the sites I visit, only council, hospital and university sites have charging points. None of the schools or private companies I've been to in the last year have any at all.

                        1. John Robson Silver badge

                          Re: Carbon neutral

                          I did read your reply - I didn't say that it had already happened, I said it was what was enabled.

                          You then decided that "A small EV needs a number of hours charging every 100 or so miles." 100 miles is probably 25kWh, or half an hour on a fast charger, or four on a slow charger... but the point is that you don't need to wait to empty the battery - with regular access to an easy to use slow charger there is basically no time required to charge the car - you plug in as you get to work, and unplug when you leave. Maybe we should have a standard downward facing port that can auto connect when we park, but I think that's probably excessive engineering.

                          That's why slow chargers need to be ubiquitous - plug in at the supermarket for 30 minutes, that's 14 miles, which will cover the journey to and from the supermarket and some more for the vast majority of people.

                          Charging either at home or work is the obvious solution for the vast majority, and places of work should be strongly encouraged to install numerous slow chargers, and solar panels to contribute to the load as well.

                          The public charging network is OK, but it's really not good enough that ecotricity have a monopoly on service stations, and don't have 24/7 phone support. It's not good enough that they aren't expanding the count of "pumps" or providing more that support the UK charging standard rather than the japanese standard. It's not good enough that some chargers end up out of action for weeks at a time. But there are improvements coming all the time. Ionity might well be expensive (nearly as expensive as petrol for the end of any journey that needs them), but they are putting in very high speed chargers (350kW is 1400 miles an hour) in sensible numbers, and are supporting them.

                          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                            Re: Carbon neutral

                            "Charging either at home or work is the obvious solution for the vast majority, and places of work should be strongly encouraged to install numerous slow chargers, and solar panels to contribute to the load as well."

                            That would be nice, but so many places of work, especially in city centres, are reducing parking spaces because they now get taxed on those spaces. It's seen by HMRC as taxable benefit in kind for employees and the Environment Agency sees charging for, or reducing work-based parking spaces as a way to get people out of cars.

                            As I stated originally, I'd love to see a full on switch to EVs ASAP, but it's not going to happen easily and without a great deal of pain because neither government nor industry want to pay for or invest properly in it.

                            No amount of hand waving about what should happen and what would be the best solution is going to change the fact that no one really want's to do it in a way that makes it easy for people to choose EVs.

                            The carrots of cheap/free chargers, subsidies on EV purchase costs and zero VED are either gone, reduced or about to evaporate. Only the sticks of ever increasing costs on ICE vehicles and fuel and charging to enter "clean air" zones are left.

                            Apparently, the average car journey in the UK is only 8.4 miles or less than 800 miles per person per year, depending which figures you looks at. EVs should be eminently do-able in the UK for most people using private cars. But we MUST have more charging points in car parks to account for all those people living further from work places or shopping centres.

                            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

                              Re: Carbon neutral

                              > Apparently, the average car journey in the UK is only 8.4 miles or less than 800 miles per person per year, depending which figures you looks at. EVs should be eminently do-able in the UK for most people using private cars. But we MUST have more charging points in car parks to account for all those people living further from work places or shopping centres.

                              The problem though, is it's not just car parks.

                              OP said

                              > Charging either at home or work is the obvious solution for the vast majority

                              But charging at home isn't an option for a *lot* of people. If your parking is on-street, rather than drive (or, better, garage), then the fact you've got 240v at home really doesn't matter - you can't connect the car into it.

                              Having on-street only parking isn't exactly uncommon (flats, some terraced houses, even some semis) either, so you'd need on-street charging points, or the amount of car-park chargers you need has to increase significantly because those car parks are going to become the new fuel stations.

                              As someone else said further up - it's not that it's not do-able, but any claim that it's nearly there (or that we're in anyway ready to try and push consumers off ICE over to EV) is just bluster.

                              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                                Re: Carbon neutral

                                Even where offstreet parking is readily available in the suburbs, the electrical infratsructure isn't up to it and as soon as substantial numbers of EVs are plugged into outlets in garages in suburban streets you're going to see a rapid increase in exploding footpaths and local substation burnouts

                                UK Local distribution cabling and street transformers are predicated on an average draw of 1-2kW per dwelling (depending on the age of the area) and having a bunch of overnight 7kW loads is untenable. I figure that when EVs hit about 10% of the vehicle fleet things will start breaking badly and the National Grid will be the entity screaming the loudest

                                1. John Robson Silver badge

                                  Re: Carbon neutral

                                  I figure that when EVs hit about 10% of the vehicle fleet things will start breaking badly and the National Grid will be the entity screaming the loudest

                                  And yet they don't have an issue at all - I know who I think is better placed to determine if it's a problem.

                              2. John Robson Silver badge

                                Re: Carbon neutral

                                > Charging either at home or work is the obvious solution for the vast majority

                                But charging at home isn't an option for a *lot* of people. If your parking is on-street, rather than drive (or, better, garage), then the fact you've got 240v at home really doesn't matter - you can't connect the car into it.

                                Having on-street only parking isn't exactly uncommon (flats, some terraced houses, even some semis) either, so you'd need on-street charging points, or the amount of car-park chargers you need has to increase significantly because those car parks are going to become the new fuel stations.

                                I did use the word *OR*

                                When I have lived in flats we have always had a small car park, no good for plugging an extension cable in, but no reason not to have charge points there.

                                When I lived in terraced housing I could usually park near a lamppost (i.e. electricity was never far away), although I obviously couldn't choose which one - or even which street.

                                I now have off street parking at home, which is a luxury - but not as stupendously rare as you seem to think it is. Indeed analysis suggests that's only 25% of households in the UK.

                                That was from a report that was trying to make that figure as big as possible, and they topped out at "a staggering 24.6%". But 23.9% of UK households don't have a car at all.

                                [London is the outlier here - where 45% of households don't have (or need) a car - but the rest of the country still gets 20% without.]

                                Average UK milage (based on aggregate MOT data) shows that each car travels on average less than 8k miles/year. That requires ~2MWh/year or an average of 230W, call it 750W for 8 hours a day.

                                "As someone else said further up - it's not that it's not do-able, but any claim that it's nearly there (or that we're in anyway ready to try and push consumers off ICE over to EV) is just bluster."

                                We're not there yet, but we're also not as far off as you make out...

                                75% of UK households have available parking, 25% don't need to change to an EV at all - those aren't strictly additive, but the overlap will be better than random (since low income households are likely to fall into the "no parking space" and "no car" camps). If the distribution is random then we've covered 82% of households. Given that it won't be, I guess we're somewhere between 85% and 90% before we even start looking at the workplace.

                            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                              Re: Carbon neutral

                              "Apparently, the average car journey in the UK is only 8.4 miles or less than 800 miles per person per year, depending which figures you looks at."

                              I wonder if this number takes into account trips that don't use a personal vehicle. I travel considerably more every year, but a fair bit of it is by train.

                              In the US, the average is around 32 miles per day, but the US is a big place and averages can be very misleading. At twice the average, somebody could get by with a first generation Leaf with a battery in good nick. The ability to charge up at work could double that. The downside is that it doesn't leave any margin.

                              An inexpensive EV as a M-F commuter car can be a good choice in a two car household.

                            3. MachDiamond Silver badge

                              Re: Carbon neutral

                              "That would be nice, but so many places of work, especially in city centres, are reducing parking spaces because they now get taxed on those spaces. It's seen by HMRC as taxable benefit in kind for employees"

                              Ahh, another great example of our governments' incompetence.

                              One that has hit me is one set of politicians saying how great having solar panels on the house is and another set at the city making it cost twice as much with permits, permissions and inspections.

                          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                            Re: Carbon neutral

                            "Charging either at home or work is the obvious solution for the vast majority, and places of work should be strongly encouraged to install numerous slow chargers, and solar panels to contribute to the load as well."

                            Another factor that isn't considered is city planning. More thought has to be put into the evolution of a city's layout to accommodate EVs. Many roads in older parts of towns were sized for horses and handsome cabs and little thought to parking. Obviously, people weren't going to "park" their horse on the road overnight. As blocks are redeveloped, easements may need to be widened. They'll be a huge hew and cry from developers when the buildable lot is trimmed back, but it's senseless to not adapt the city map to advance a few centuries into the current reality.

                            Density is also a big problem. With modern communications and transportation, it isn't necessary to pack lots of people into minimum space. This could mean more space to have off-street parking and the ability for EVs to be plugged in overnight.

                            1. David 132 Silver badge
                              Happy

                              Re: Carbon neutral

                              Many roads in older parts of towns were sized for horses and handsome cabs

                              Which was, frankly, discriminatory against the plug-ugly or even just homely cabs.

                              ITYM "hansom" cabs?

                      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        "But then they should also all be contactless enabled..."

                        I'd like to see more chargers with the ability to be paid for with cash. Not right at the charger, but at an associated retail business. I've had my debit card get cancelled on a trip out of town and there are plenty of stories of people having cards flagged for fraud when they try to pay for something out of town. I just helped a friend move long distance and he called Shell to let them know he'd be fueling two vehicles for the move so he wouldn't get flagged and they curtailed the card anyway. He had plenty of back up (made out like a bandit on the sale of his home) so it didn't leave us stranded, but could have.

                        The network/internet could be down as well. There could be an issue with the payment processor. Being able to pay with cash may be less convenient, but it always works. It's also good when others are chipping in for "fuel".

                        1. John Robson Silver badge

                          Re: Carbon neutral

                          Yes - cash where there is a retail store would be good - but the plethora of incompatible apps and special RFID cards is a mess that shouldn't be there.

                    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      " I'm not seeing the increase in constantly available electricity generation."

                      There's a concurrent bottleneck in electricity DISTRIBUTION looming. It's not _just_ EVs. The switch away from oil/gas heating to electric systems is pushing up grid loadings well past original design parameters

                    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "That still seems to be some years away. The only places I've seen with more than a very few charging points are motorway service stations. And Tesla-only charge points seem to outnumber the generic ones."

                      If you don't have an EV and aren't doing the research before getting one, you likely won't notice the chargers. In the US, they are everywhere and Tesla has been outdone for the past year or so. The only time you need fast chargers is for long trips. The rest of the time you only need a slow charger to plug into overnight. That may be an issue if you don't have off-street parking. There are some schemes to add charge points to streets where homes don't have private parking and the cable set includes the metering circuits to bill the user.

                      The 5 minute fill up is a myth. I've been tracking time on my long trips and a minimum stop is 20 minutes if I can pull right up. I can sometimes go up to 500 miles on one tank of gas but my bladder won't make it that far so I am stopping short and I fill up the petrol tank when I do. My criteria for range is how long I can go on one bladder. As I get older, that interval shortens. If you are traveling with more than just yourself, you will be stopping more as well. Bladder coordination becomes an issue. A stop with a meal, which is typical, is 45-60 minutes. I prefer to get out of the car, walk around and have a meal while I'm not driving. If the point of the trip is to get from A to B as quickly as possible, driving isn't often the best way to go. The Caledonian sleeper from Edinburgh to Euston is awesome. You get from A to B while you sleep.

                      The vast majority of people will be charging in the wee hours on off-peak tariffs. This is great for the power companies as they have loads of capacity in the middle of the night that they'd love to be making use of. The only big concern is bank holidays when DCFC's can be backed up with lots of people on the roads needing to top up.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        "The 5 minute fill up is a myth."

                        No. It is not.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    Our current (only) family car is getting old, but for all that 80% of its annual mileage is 30-60km round trips to the local city, the other 20% is long journeys - 6-800 km per day is not unusual, and covid-permiting, roughly once every couple of years we drive 2600km one way across Europe in 3 or 4 days, and then after quite a bit more driving around visiting friends, family and work colleagues, we're driving another 3 or 4 days back.

                    I really don't see an EV working for this use pattern. Having a second vehicle slowly going rusty for long journeys seems dumb. Plug-in hybrid would probably work, but that's a lot of extra complexity, wasted weight, etc, most of the time and despite everyone talking 20 years ago about 'rented detachable range extenders', I've never actually seen one, any more than a flying car.

                    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      The usual reply is to just hire a car for those few times you need to go on a long trip. What the people saying that don't take into account is that replacing your long range ICE car with a short range EV cost so much more than just buying a new ICE car in the first place. there's little, if any saving on an EV you can "bank" for the hire car. The days of "filling up" and EV for free are already long gone.

                      1. John Robson Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        Or maybe take a different approach to your holiday.

                        I remember putting the car on the train to go across europe, that was great fun.

                        1. jake Silver badge

                          Re: Carbon neutral

                          "Or maybe take a different approach to your holiday."

                          Or maybe not. I'm perfectly happy with my existing fleet, and there is not a single electric vehicle that can replace a one of them on a one-for-one basis.

                          And no, I do not have to compromise with YOUR vision of anything. You and your ilk are not in charge, no matter how much you wish you were.

                          1. John Robson Silver badge

                            Re: Carbon neutral

                            The tragedy of the commons in action.

                            You might be perfectly happy with your fleet - but I'd wager that a little thought would allow at least some of the fleet to be electrified.

                            How many vehicles does it take to be called a fleet?

                        2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

                          Re: Carbon neutral

                          But that's now a very different holiday.

                          You're viewing the holiday as the bit that happens at the far end, the person you're replying to quite obviously views the drive as an important part of the holiday. Having driven across Europe myself (and being one of those who actually enjoys driving), I'd side with him.

                          1. John Robson Silver badge

                            Re: Carbon neutral

                            No - I'm suggesting one possible alternative, and one that I enjoyed the last time I did it. I used to enjoy driving as well*, but that doesn't mean I couldn't also enjoy letting the train do all the work for a good portion of it.

                            Another option would be to plan that route and stop off at interesting places along the way... where's the fun in just sitting on a motorway for 24 hours straight anyway.

                            * Disability is a bitch - it's now much too hard work to be enjoyable.

                      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        "The days of "filling up" and EV for free are already long gone."

                        The cost per mile in fuel still favors an EV by a wide margin.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "6-800 km per day is not unusual, and covid-permiting, roughly once every couple of years we drive 2600km one way across Europe in 3 or 4 days"

                      The expensive Tesla models can get from the middle of Switzerland to the middle of England with 2 charges on the way. When you get to needing to stop for charging, it largely corresponds with the need for the driver to stop for a comfort break/rest, and can easily be managed. Obviously, the cost of the vehicle is likely to be a prohibiting factor.

                    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "I really don't see an EV working for this use pattern."

                      Use some imagination. 800km a day isn't a big deal in a modern EV. It's a couple of stops, but you are going to want to eat anyway. For a 2400km trip, hiring a nice car with lots of room might be a good option if you don't have the time to spend on a more leisurely pace. The cost of fuel saving of having an EV may more than cover the cost of the car hire on long trips.

                      AC Propulsion made some proof of concept Scion Vans with a detachable trailer.They worked a treat. The idea is out there, but nobody has picked it up yet. Perhaps with Ford and other makers coming out with full size electric pickups, we may start seeing them since big pickups are often used for towing. I can envision camping and commercial trailers equipped with generators that can be used as range extenders. A hybrid trailer will also be a good fit for car dealers to rent that might see less business in their service departments. Manufacturers will need to add a connector at the rear of the car and have a setting that allows its use while the car is moving. EVs won't switch into "gear" while plugged in so you don't tear out the charging cable.

                  3. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    Us farmers/ranchers often have pumps at home. I have five[0] ... farm-only gas and diesel, over-the-road gas and diesel, and 100LL. It's silly not to when you have the space/zoning. Buy in bulk when the prices are low. Basic economics, innit.

                    [0] The homemade ethanol I'm experimenting with in various engines is in 55 gallon drums, as is the used cooking oil that I've been useing in various pieces of equipment for over a decade.

                    Yes, cars spend a lot of time sitting around. Often near an electrical outlet. Unfortunately, California (for example) is an awfully large place ... when I need a refill, I'm often 500 miles from home, and I'd like to get there before dark. Sitting around for several hours watching my car charge is not an option ... especially not when there is no handy outlet. Especially when there IS a friendly petrol/gas station where I can fill up and be back on the road with an empty bladder and clean lights and windows in under ten minutes.

                    1. John Robson Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      Why would you sit around for several hours? Those long journey charges are where the rapid charges come in - generally 40-45 minutes for 80%+ fill (not usually much point in trying to rapid charge the last 20%). Enough time to grab a cup of coffee, relax after having been driving for the previous two to three hours and journey on refreshed.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        "Those long journey charges are where the rapid charges come in"

                        Do they have one of those anywhere near Quincy, California? Or Alturas? Or Douglas County, Nevada?

                        1. John Robson Silver badge

                          Re: Carbon neutral

                          No idea, I don't keep track of chargers on a continent that is thousands of miles away.

                          There is no reason there shouldn't be chargers there - and they will get installed.

                        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                          Re: Carbon neutral

                          "Do they have one of those anywhere near Quincy, California? Or Alturas? Or Douglas County, Nevada?"

                          Two very good resources are "A better route planner" and Plugshare.com.

                          You don't likely need a fast charger near to where you live as you would be charging at home.

                          What's the cost/risk to having fuel storage on site? I'm sure you have to have a permit and at least annual inspections with aren't going to be free. You are also talking about fuel for farm use (dyed). You don't want to be caught with that in your car on the road. Granted, getting caught is pretty low and I've know some people that did it and had never had an issue.

                          1. jake Silver badge

                            Re: Carbon neutral

                            "What's the cost/risk to having fuel storage on site?"

                            Same as having it stored in your vehicle ... and actually, the storage tanks are made of heavier-duty materials than a typical vehicle's fuel tank.

                            "I'm sure you have to have a permit and at least annual inspections with aren't going to be free."

                            No permit (it's in the zoning), and no government inspection, My insurance company eyeballs my entire setup yearly, but they'd do that with or without the added fuel storage. There is no (added) cost or fee for this.

                            As I noted, two of the tanks are farm-use only, and two are over-the-road (the fifth holds 100LL for my A152). We never risk the fines for running farm-only on the road. Not worth it. Very, very occasionally I will run a little of the 100LL in an ancient bike or car that requires leaded fuel, but that's for special events, club rallys, track days and the like. Legally, it's a grey area just like running NOS brake linings and clutches with actual asbestos in them (which I don't do, but some of the Concourse guys do).

                    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "Sitting around for several hours watching my car charge is not an option"

                      Of all the places to own an EV, California is the easiest. There are high power fast chargers all over the place. You won't be sitting around for hours. Depending on the car, you will charge up for 20-40 minutes and get back on the road. It's a waste of time to charge to 100%.

                      Check out Erik Way's Youtube channel for a take on EV driving in CA : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJqgqWqKmdkIuBZa7JK5KSw/videos

                      Compare the trips from a few years ago to the more recent. Charging choices are exploding. Now, if you were in Wyoming........

                  4. Ian Johnston Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    I'm getting a lift with my next door neighbour later today. She has a car (obviously) and an electricity supply. However, since the electricity supply is in her 1st floor flat, and the car lives in whichever space she can find along 200m of residents' parking spaces, charging an EV would be a whisker difficult.

                    So she has a petrol car. No petrol pump, true, but since recharging with petrol takes about 3 minutes, that's not really an issue.

                  5. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "Cars spend the vast majority of their time parked somewhere... whether that enables charging at work or at the supermarket...'

                    Being parked at home or work for a long period of time also means that a slow charge rate isn't as big of a deal. I know a couple of people that asked for the ability to charge at work and the company had power points installed as there was a grant. It would be easy to get a yes if you bring the availability of the grant to the company's attention. It's great PR for the company. There is a law office down the road from me that offers their charge points to the public for free after hours. They aren't fast chargers, but if you need a few Wh's in a pinch..... The office writes off the cost of power as CODB and it isn't all that much to worry about.

                    1. jake Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "it isn't all that much to worry about."

                      If it's not all that much to worry about, presumably you are offering free charging services for all and sundry at your home, right?

                      1. John Robson Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        If it's not all that much to worry about, presumably you are offering free charging services for all and sundry at your home, right?

                        In terms of a personal budget it's more significant than in terms of a company budget, where the goodwill generated can result in the (fairly small) cost being written off as advertising / brand awareness.

                        Even a 7kW charger (the highest speed "slow" charger) only costs ~£1/hour (assuming a UK average of 15p/kWh), and is going to have some duty cycle (i.e. it won't be used 24/7/52)

                        For a law firm that's less than an email a day from a paralegal, let alone a solicitor.

                2. martinusher Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  The Russian version of 'mud season' - Rasputsitsa -- stopped the Wehrmacht in its tracks in 1941. Mud season isn't just confined to Russia and Vermont as well. Most of us who live in urban or suburban areas just don't realize how hostile nature can be (until we get stuck....).

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "The Russian version of 'mud season' - Rasputsitsa -- stopped the Wehrmacht in its tracks in 1941. Mud season isn't just confined to Russia and Vermont as well.'

                    In Alaska it's called "breakout'.

                3. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "A decade old Honda or Toyota would be an order of magnitude cheaper and won't require all that much maintenance and fuel if just used for short local trips."

                  Indeed. This place came with a slightly used 1988 Honda CRV, with 15K miles on the clock. Dreadful vehicle. But I decided it would be handy to keep licensed and insured as a thrasher-runabout, parts runner, emergency Vet/feedstore transportation, spare vehicle if the field hands need one, etc. Costs me all of $120/year to license, and I didn't even notice an increase when I added it to my insurance.

                  Today, the awful thing has well over 400K miles on it. Total maintenance has included tires as needed, a yearly plugs/filters/fluids change, belts and hoses twice, brakes & wheel bearings once, and I've changed the timing belt twice. Other than the tires (which all vehicles need), that's well under $100/year in maintenance. It still gets just under 30MPG on the freeway, and passes the bi-annual smog check with flying colo(u)rs. Only an idiot would even think of swapping such a tool for an electric car.

                  1. John Robson Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    Only an idiot wouldn't *think* about it...

                    Let's look at some numbers and then consider the decision:

                    400k miles at 30mpg is >13,000 gallons of fuel

                    Google suggests that US gasoline costs ~$3/gallon - that's ~$40k of fuel costs (assuming it's all efficient motorway miles of course)

                    US electricity (again looking at residential prices) is ~13¢/kWh.

                    400k miles at 4m/kWh is ~$13k of fuel costs, a $27,000 saving.

                    Maintenance is, as you point out going to be pretty marginal in comparison.

                    There is a strong likelihood that there were no reasonable choices in terms of EVs when you first had the vehicle. But there is a significant saving to be made in fuel costs alone which could easily justify a change to an EV when you look at replacing it.

                    If you put any value on sustainable behaviour (which we already know you don't) then that balance is pretty easy to swing to a genuine swap out, rather than just a lifetime replacement.

                    Given that much usage on just one vehicle and the amount of land you have (particularly in the southern US) you might do even better to put an amount of that $13k expected cost, or even more, into a serious solar array, then you'd basically never pay for fuel, and your electric bill would be reduced (potentially going negative) as well.

                    It's not cut and dried in either direction - you happen not to value the planet, other people do.

                4. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "the postal service likely will find them more cost effective than their current vehicles. OTOH, fire engines and most military combat vehicles are terrible candidates for electric propulsion."

                  Postal vans are the low hanging fruit. They have know routes and EVs do exceptionally well with start/stop driving. The added benefit of regen braking also means a big savings in brake service.

                  Fire engines could be electric. Many have a separate engine to use for pumping water and they aren't traveling hundreds of miles per day. There are Li battery chemistries that lend themselves to very rapid charging at the expense of volume energy density. Some military trucks are BHEV Hybrids. They get the benefit of a hybrid along with the ability to drive quiet when necessary.

                  A new EV is expensive as makers in the US and Europe/UK are building luxury models. The Chinese Ora R1 costs around US$10,000 with only a backup camera as a feature. The range is around 200 miles.

                  I believe that EVs aren't going to really take off until there is a good used market. I see off-lease Chevy Bolts down to $12,000 in good condition. Other 200 plus mile range EVs are too new to see many on the used market. Tesla's are stupid money and I'd rather have a new Toyota or Honda ICEV than a used Tesla for the prices being asked.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "Fire engines could be electric. Many have a separate engine to use for pumping water and they aren't traveling hundreds of miles per day."

                    When I was in the fire department (volunteer), we would often have engines idling for days during and after a large fire. There is absolutely zero place for an all electric fire engine IMO.

                    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "When I was in the fire department (volunteer), we would often have engines idling for days during and after a large fire.'

                      Why were they idling? Why not have the drive train electric and the pump run on liquid fuel? The fire department in my town is sent out on loads of calls, but not many are actually fires. I'm a bit miffed that they roll the engine on medical calls instead of just the paramedics.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        "Why were they idling?"

                        The pumps are run from a PTO. Most also have on-board electricity generation, air compressors and etc.

                        "Why not have the drive train electric and the pump run on liquid fuel?"

                        Too much mass that is better used for on-board water storage.

              2. katrinab Silver badge
                Paris Hilton

                Re: Carbon neutral

                Can I just point out that electric vehicles were around before the internal combustion engine was invented, and were pretty popular when the alternatives were horse and steam.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "Can I just point out that electric vehicles were around before the internal combustion engine was invented, and were pretty popular when the alternatives were horse and steam."

                  True. But the obvious benefits of the petrol/gas ICE system won out over the long haul. Those benefits have not gone away, nor have EV benefits improved very much, religious arguments notwithstanding.

              3. VanguardG

                Re: Carbon neutral

                Those "advances in battery tech" have been promised for decades and, as yet, we've had only creeping improvements. I hope these promised advances magically appear soon.

                As for the Tesla Semi, which doesn't exist yet, there are 2000 or so orders - but as Airbus discovered with the A-380, orders can go away if you don't fulfill them in a timely manner.

                1. John Robson Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  Yes, because we haven't gone from 50 Wh/kg to 250Wh/kg in the last couple of decades... Oh, wait - we *have* done that.

                  Battery tech has advanced a long way in the last twenty years, but there is still a long way for it to improve, and the current level of R&D is genuinely exciting. Not everything will work, that's why it's R&D, but some of it will, and will bring significant improvements to the market.

                2. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  2,000 orders. Wow. Sounds like a lot, eh?

                  The fleet of over-the-road Semis in the USA runs to around 2 million. Truckers in general are not exactly flocking to sign up for these things, for all kinds of reasons. Range being predominant. Projected Total Cost of Ownership being number two. Number three? Only 4 wheels. Not a lot of traction when hauling 80,000 lbs at 60MPH+ ... or driving from Reno to Sacramento in the rain. Number four? Skepticism about the weight of the battery pack eating into the payload. Etc.

                  The Tesla Semi is a showcase vehicle built by somebody who saw a Semi on the highway, once, but has no idea how they are used in RealLife. It won't sell, outside a few niches.

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "The Tesla Semi is a showcase vehicle built by somebody who saw a Semi on the highway, once'

                    Frito-Lay, their lead customer, may do ok with the Semi. Crisps are a lot more bulk than weight and the routes from factory to distribution points is well known. Long haul truckers wouldn't be well served and owner/operators aren't going to like having to turn down jobs due to weight and distance.

                    I don't agree with the people that think filling up a petrol tank only takes 5 minutes, but with an HGV, the difference between charging a battery and filling the tank(s) is massive and much more frequent. Independents aren't making money if the wheels aren't turning so they aren't going to be happy with long stops. Many companies also have penalties for late deliveries so having to wait for a charging bay could mean a big loss of income.

              4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Carbon neutral

                EVs are the future, even if they come with a fuel cell, or a thorium reactor, on board

                Or one of those fancy internal-combustion engines I keep hearing about.

                Diesel-electric works for locomotives. Why aren't the EV fans pushing for a hybrid pure-electric powertrain with ICE onboard generation? (Hybrid drivetrains are idiotic.) Solves the range and refueling problems, and if you want to charge it from the grid when it's parked for long periods, you're free to do so.

                The only passenger cars of this sort that I've seen are exotics. It would make more sense than an electric-battery design for a pickup, or for anyone who needs to drive long distances.

                1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  An ICE prime mover can be used at it's most efficient rpm range to turn the generator to power the motors and charge the batteries. Something that my be possible, but probably not suitable for mass-market vehicles is a small gas turbine as prime mover for electric propulsion. Ideally suited for constant rpm running, proven themselves for power generation in larger applications - But probably not suitable for most "motor car" applications - not due to the technology, but due to the end-users not affording them the due care and attention that they need.

                  Small gas turbines for power generation are ubiquitous - Aircraft Auxiliary Power Generators are small gas turbines powering a generator. They could be used in a truck... and burn diesel more efficiently as well.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "But probably not suitable for most "motor car" applications - not due to the technology, but due to the end-users not affording them the due care and attention that they need."

                    I rather suspect the noise factor would vastly outweigh piddly little details like lack of preventative maintenance.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "I rather suspect the noise factor would vastly outweigh piddly little details like lack of preventative maintenance."

                      The Chrysler Turbine Car wasn't exactly loud. Parts of it did, however, "get rather warm".

                      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        thanks to use of recuperators it wasn't that hot, or inefficient - unlike the rover turbine

                        They did make the powertrain package extremely bulky (the reuperators baffled most of the hoise too)

                  2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "Small gas turbines for power generation are ubiquitous"

                    In aircraft.

                    They're not terribly efficient (about half that of a diesel piston engine) but they're low maintenance and lightweight. In aircraft both of those are critical factors (It used to be that a 4 engine piston aircraft would spend 8-12 hours per engine in maintenance after a transcontinental flight and reliability was such that the Lockheed Super Constellation was affectionately known as "the most reliable 3 engine airliner plying the Pacific")

                    HGVs don't need 900+hp and they need far better efficiency than a turbine can provide. Turbine-electric was tried and discarded for railway locomotives as too inefficient despite giving 4500hp in a compact package

                2. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "The only passenger cars of this sort that I've seen are exotics."

                  Vauxhall Ampera, Chevy Volt... Hardly exotic.

                  You could, but really - do you need to add the complexity of an ICE to the mix?

                  There are two trains of thought (if you'll excuse the pun):

                  - Range extender.

                  A reasonably sized battery pack paired with a dinky little engine and generator combo (e.g. Vauxhall Ampera)

                  - Battery augmented ICE

                  A little battery to help get the most out of a little engine (think F1, but on far fewer steroids) (e.g. Outlander PHEV)

                  Both get many of the disadvantages of both drivetrains - with stagnant fuel being a real issue for at least one couple I know with an RE vehicle.

                  If you want an interesting hybrid drive train then the Volt had a *series* hybrid, and that was an interesting drivetrain in terms of design and efficiency. Technology Connections did a rather good YT video about it.

                  I could use a range extension (or public chargers) maybe half a dozen times a year... That's it.

                  It would be interesting to have a rear bumper mounted generator that you just ran on the motorway - one way rentals would keep them available for general use much of the time.

                  Or since you like trains... maybe a catenary over certain sections of the motorway, obviously not at junctions (but you don't need it to be constant).

                  Given the potential densities of solid state batteries it might be something that's incredibly rare in not all that long.

                  How much power do we need anyway?

                  Just pre-covid a study showed that in the UK: "the average commute time in the UK is now 62 minutes a day, with 15% of workers commuting for 102 minutes or more. 23 miles is the average round trip, while 14% of commuters travel over 42 miles a day."

                  So that's 86% of people needing less than 12kWh/day (that's assuming a pretty poor 3.5 m/kwh) - most of those needing much less (the overall average is 6.5kWh/day). Assuming an eight hour working day and/or eight hours of sleep at home that's sub 1kW per parking space at a workplace *or* at home...

                  50kW+ chargers aren't needed everywhere, they're really useful for the occasional long journey, but the vast majority of even "public" charging should be done at places like the office, or the supermarket, or....

                  At <1kW needed during the day, and a typical car parking space being over 10 square metres... that would only need a 10% efficient panel - so with current panels being ~20% efficient that takes care of quite a bit of the demand (I've deliberately ignored seasons and weather, hopefully a factor of two will help significantly).

                  It's not the only source of energy they'll ever need, but it's certainly one they could use - and the advantage of doing it at work is that that's usually when the sun is out. The weekend is when it rains in my experience.

                  1. ChrisC Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "Vauxhall Ampera, Chevy Volt... Hardly exotic."

                    But also hardly a shining example (at least as far as Europe goes) of this type of EV drivetrain, given how little time they spent being sold over here, and how few have ended up on the roads. So if the previous commenter is Europe-based, then it's no surprise they're unaware of its existence.

                    And perhaps, given how few actually were sold over here, it's not *entirely* unreasonable to describe them as exotic - in terms of how rare they are at least, as opposed to how super/hypercar-ish they aren't...

                    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "But also hardly a shining example (at least as far as Europe goes) of this type of EV drivetrain, given how little time they spent being sold over here,"

                      The Prius had a slow start and now you can't drop a rock from an overpass without hitting several.

                      The styling of the Volt wasn't well received. It would work a treat for me so if business picks up this summer, I might hunt one down. The price for a used one in good condition is very inexpensive. Since I do field service work, business picking up means a lot more driving. Changing out cars while I'm sat at home doesn't save me anything. I would rather have a Bolt, but they're twice the money right now. I would really rather have a Kona or Niro EV, but nobody is giving those up used for a good price. Maybe there will be some off-lease ones before too long.

                  2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    Or since you like trains... maybe a catenary over certain sections of the motorway, obviously not at junctions (but you don't need it to be constant).

                    Nice idea and you aren't the first to think of it, see:

                    Catenary trucks still stand chance in race to decarbonise road freight - researcher

                    Highways wired with catenary lines like a railway: is this the future?

                    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                      Re: Nice idea and you aren't the first to think of it

                      It does look good... for vehicles of lorry height. It would be interesting to see whether car designers take up the challenge to exploit that power source.

                3. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  Oh. You said the D word. Greenaholics hate diesel ... ESPECIALLY when it makes sense.

                  Look to long-haul transportation, where economy makes for profits.

                  Trains: Diesel

                  Trucks: Diesel

                  Aircraft: Jet fuel (basically, diesel)

                  Shipping: Bunker fuel (basically, diesel)

                  Do the math(s) & follow the money. Diesel powered vehicles are the absolute cheapest form of long distance transportation known to man, from a TCO point of view.

                  1. John Robson Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    Fuel is cheap when you aren't being taxed based on the damage it does.

                    Low grade fuel (diesel) is even cheaper than a high grade fuel (petrol), doesn't burn as cleanly, but it's still very dense and since it's low grade, it's cheap.

                    1. jake Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "Fuel is cheap when you aren't being taxed based on the damage it does."

                      So is talk, alas.

                      1. John Robson Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        Huh?

                        You're the one who seems to think that burning stupid amounts of petrol constantly is a good idea.

                  2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    Jet fuel is kerosene and bunker fuel is thick gooey crud that's just a bit too thin to use as asphalt.

                4. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "Diesel-electric works for locomotives. Why aren't the EV fans pushing for a hybrid pure-electric powertrain with ICE onboard generation? (Hybrid drivetrains are idiotic.) Solves the range and refueling problems, and if you want to charge it from the grid when it's parked for long periods, you're free to do so.'

                  Providing power from overhead lines to currently diesel-electric locos would mean a big reduction in pollution. Power plants don't have an issue with big heavy pollution control devices. A loco that has a battery tender, a pantograph and a back up diesel could be a good solution. The motive power could be chosen for a variety of situations to give the best power/performance.

                  Adding an ICE to a BEV means lugging around the weight of the engine and losing space to it and its fuel tank that could be filled up with batteries. For a full size pickup, either a towable motor pack or having a generator installed on the towed trailer could make a lot of sense. My dad didn't have to drive too far to pick up hay from the feed store, but needed power to haul the horse trailer.

              5. jake Silver badge

                Re: Carbon neutral

                "Pickup trucks tend to already weigh an absolute ton... "

                It's not the weight of the truck. It's the payload. Enough battery and electric motor to replace my existing dually tow vehicle's powertrain will seriously eat into the GVWR ... and drastically diminish the range. Both are non-negotiable.

                1. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  So how many times a week *do* you fill up the fuel tank?

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "So how many times a week *do* you fill up the fuel tank?"

                    Depends on the tank, and what I'm doing. Some of the over-the-road vehicles can get three or four tanks in a day fairly regularly. Most of those vehicle have long-range tanks fitted.

                    1. John Robson Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      three or four long range tanks in a day?

                      I will assume that a long range tank takes more gas than a standard tank - so we're looking at 600+ miles per tank.

                      That's 1800-2400 miles in a day - or an average speed of 75 to 100 mph even at the low end of that range.

                      I don't believe it.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Carbon neutral

                        You are over estimating the MPG of a loaded tow vehicle. The Wife and I, four teenage girls, a four horse slant, four horses, and enough kit (including horse chow) for all ten of us over a long weekend makes for quite a bit of mass. The rig eats fuel.

                        Call it 6 to 6.5 MPG. The long range tank holds 30 gallons (stock is 20). That's 180 to 195 miles, or three hours between fillups in this configuration. Distance between Sonoma, CA and San Diego, CA is about 550 miles. Typically, I'll drive that one myself, it only takes nine hours or so. If we are going further, the Wife and I will spell each other at every other fuel stop or thereabouts.

                        Distances here out West are further than you probably realize.

                        Sonoma to Provo, Utah is about 750 miles. We do it in roughly 12 hours.

                        Sonoma to Tucson, Arizona is about 900 miles in roughly 14 hours.

                        1. John Robson Silver badge

                          Re: Carbon neutral

                          By the time you are towing four horses (who have legs of their own) that's no longer a truck - it's an HGV.

                          So that's one (particularly ridiculous) trip that a current ev wouldn't serve. I can't imagine that there are many people who want to tow four horses all day rather than riding them.

                          I've driven round the west coast a reasonable amount - had a flying tour of the south west four states over ~6 weeks several years ago to coincide with a friends wedding.

                          But long distances aren't what the *vast* majority of journeys entail.

                          An average journey in the US is under ten miles, on average your vehicles do less than 14k/year. There will be places (like the midwest) where the average is higher, because there is a vast amount of empty space, but on the basis that some will do much more than the average, but you can't do all that much less - the typical (private) vehicle will do substantially less than that.

                          You are sufficiently rich that you have a large family, and a significant string of horses, and you want to ride them in a different state for some unspecified reason... You are therefore very much not a typical vehicle user, even in your neck of the woods.

                2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "It's not the weight of the truck. It's the payload. Enough battery and electric motor to replace my existing dually tow vehicle's powertrain will seriously eat into the GVWR ... and drastically diminish the range. Both are non-negotiable.'

                  ... And this is what you drive to the corner shop for a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread?

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    Don't be daft. Milk and bread don't come from stores! Milk comes from the cow, and bread comes out of the oven.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Carbon neutral

            "You want torque for towing?"

            Not with an EV. We need a tow vehicle for a trailer not too heavy (1.5 tons). My current, polluting, diesel MPV shifts 2.5 tons like it's not even attached to the car.

            The only electric that has a proper braked towing weight figure has been Tesla. Others either don't rate it or can't. One EV maker (Polestar) came back with a low 1 ton towing weight but then couldn't state what the mileage range reduction was for the towing.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Carbon neutral

              Certified towing weight and actual towing capacity are completely different things.

              Milage reduction will depend in large part on what the hell you are towing. Is it aerodynamic, does that complement the vehicle aero, or does it actively break up the aero design.

              What's the mass being towed, how many hills (since trailers of any significant mass have overrun brakes you can't regen from them, so it makes more difference than it would normally)

              So -exactly how long is this piece of string?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Carbon neutral

                As I said, most EV makers don't give a braked towing weight figure or say N/A. You can look that up easily. Until that's addressed, who wants to take an EV and try and tow with it - considering it may invalidate your insurance?

                They'd be better, as you said due to torque and the low centre of gravity from the batteries would mean it would be really hard to tip the car.

                1. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  I'll reiterate my previous comment (though it's clear we agree):

                  "The fact that it isn't currently available doesn't mean it can't be made..."

                  It really irritates me the the vehicle I have has an ICE equivalent, which is rated for towing, but the EV isn't. Even just towing a teeny domestic trailer the couple of miles to the dump is useful - but can't be done legally.

                  The whole back end of the car is basically identical (since all the power stuff is at the front of both versions), so whilst there isn't an exhaust pipe coming through I'd be marginally surprised if the tunnel for it wasn't there.

                  Yes, it would affect the range of the vehicle, as it does for an ICE vehicle, but so what - that's what the battery gauge is for.

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "It really irritates me the the vehicle I have has an ICE equivalent, which is rated for towing, but the EV isn't. Even just towing a teeny domestic trailer the couple of miles to the dump is useful - but can't be done legally.'

                    Bugger'em. Fit a hitch to your EV and attach the trailer. My ICE car isn't "rated" for towing, but I was able to buy a towing bracket for it and it hauls the little trailer I borrow from my friend just fine when I need to move something too big to put in the boot and I don't want to put on the roof.

                    1. John Robson Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      Motability lease - can't do that.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  Many ICE cars also omit towing specs, big deal. Comparing a Nissan leaf to a Dodge Turbo Diesel doesn't mean EVs can't tow. What are the towing specs on the electric F150?

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "What are the towing specs on the electric F150?"

                    From the teasers, at least one rail car.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "most EV makers don't give a braked towing weight figure or say N/A ... who wants to take an EV and try and tow with it - considering it may invalidate your insurance?"

                  I suspect they don't see the market is worth the cost, as each model requires type approval and testing. This isn't just confined to EVs - for example, the Skoda Fabia 1.9TDI has a rated towing weight, but the Skoda Fabia 1.9TDI VRS (uprated engine output) doesn't, and can't legally be used to tow anything (in a "can be stopped and fined" kind of way).

            2. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: Carbon neutral

              I'm still waiting for the first manufacturer to figure out the option of having a battery pack in the trailer to offset the extra drag could be a viable thing. Sure, makes the trailer heavier (a negative as that will also affect load capacity of the trailer) but if you then make the brakes electrically operated by the car brains so that the car can re-gen on downhills without the overrun brake kicking in and get at least some boost from the added capacity I can see it working out as a big positive.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: Carbon neutral

                It's already been done by enthusiasts... A flat bed trailer with a second hand car battery does add significantly to range - and of course you can put things on the trailer as well, even another battery if you really need it.

                It's an interesting option, and if you could add a 'skirt' to couple a trailer to the car in aero terms then the range increase could be substantial. Obviously you end up having to go slightly slower, because the speed limit for towing vehicles is lower, but that gives you a further range boost as well.

                You don't need the car to do the overrun braking - the first stage of the overrun system should be on board regen on the trailer, with mechanical brakes kicking in slightly further down the travel of the overrun system.

                Just running the batteries in parallel seems like a good idea, but you really want to be able to preferentially use the trailer battery. So use the car for the first 20% (to give decent regen capacity), then pull from the trailer (which can do it's own regen), then you still have car range when you get somewhere and can unhitch the trailer.

            3. Wenlocke

              Re: Carbon neutral

              Rivian are touting about 5 tons ballpark towing capacity for their upcoming R1S. Like most things EV, we're not quite there yet, but getting closer all the time.

          3. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge
            Joke

            Re: Colin Wilson 2 - Apple have got this right!

            But when you are speaking of unladen Sparrow, you mean an European one or the American one from Ohio?

          4. jake Silver badge

            Re: Carbon neutral

            "Electric will give you all you could ever want."

            For s short period of time. Very short.

            "it's not as if space/weight are important"

            I suppose Ford went with an all aluminum body for it's health?

            "Milage quotes are always unladen"

            Intelligent people ask questions before making major purposes.

            "And what is that - fleet operators are lining up for the tesla semi?"

            Hardly "lining up", with fewer than 1% of existing trucks looking to get replaced with pre-ordered Tesla vehicles ... and I seriously doubt that 1% will be removed from the roads, rather they will be repurposed or sold-on and continue delivering goods.

          5. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Carbon neutral

            "And what is that - fleet operators are lining up for the tesla semi? Why, because it's cheaper and simpler to operate..."

            Looking at the latest rendering, the Tesla Semi will be very expensive to repair. No front bumper and the construction of the front fascia looks like the windscreen could be taken out with a front end collision. Given Tesla's record on replacement part lead times, a fleet manager might rather want to go with another brand.

            Charging is another issue. With a passenger car, anywhere there is an outlet, there is charging infrastructure. The Semi is estimated to have a 1MWh battery pack. Charging one truck at a commercial location is not an issue, but a distribution warehouse with many may need the electric company to provision a whole S-ton of power which will come with a big invoice or may not be possible until new high tension lines can be run. Passenger cars tend to sit the vast majority of the time as well, but trucks tend to be used most of the time.

        2. Velv
          Coat

          Re: Carbon neutral

          Colossal Urban Nuisance Transportation

        3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          Electric vehicles might have a place in this world, but one of those places is not a working pickup truck.

          Depends on the type of work. A lot of trades people use their work trucks to carry supplies and equipment on short trips around town. An electric truck can run power-tool chargers for the whole crew, an air compressor, etc. all day. That can be a significant advantage vs. bringing a dino-powered generator to job sites where mains power is not available, and saves the emissions from running the generator for 8 hours.

        4. a_builder

          Re: Carbon neutral

          I used my Tesla X LongRange to tow a 2,000kg digger (electric too as it happens the other day).

          Performance is surprisingly unaffected.

          Battery range is about half.

          I used to have a Discovery4 and the range was less affected by towing.

          I think this is more aerodynamics and four extra tyres than anything else.

        5. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          "I thought not. Electric vehicles might have a place in this world, but one of those places is not a working pickup truck. Poser city truck perhaps ..."

          If you are a working tradesman that isn't driving hundreds of miles a day, an ET could be a great choice. ICE pickups loaded with tools and materials get shite mileage. At least with and electric, you could plug in each night and avoid needing to visit a petrol station for anything more than a coffee and a roll.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Carbon neutral

            I'd rather hit a petrol/gas station twice per day for 10 minutes than have to charge a battery four times per day for an hour each to get the same range. That kind of thing really eats into the working day, and time is money, you know.

            No, my clients aren't interested in paying my electricity bill.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Carbon neutral

            EV pickups loaded with tools and materials get reduced battery life, and when you are on the clock range anxiety is not a place you want to be. Note that modern pickups don't just get you there, they also are your welder, your generator, your air compressor, your hydraulic power pack, your water pump, etc. They often sit at idle for extended periods of time, doing useful work.

      3. Fursty Ferret

        Re: Carbon neutral

        >>My old ICE vehicle sure spews out the carbon when it idles in neutral.

        Why the fuck are you letting your car idle in neutral?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          "Why the fuck are you letting your car idle in neutral?"

          You'll probably learn this bit of esoteric knowledge the first time you take a driving lesson.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Carbon neutral

            I turn my truck off when at the traffic lights , the big junction anyway.

            It takes fooookin ages to cycle round to green again , and having that big diesel engine hammering away , vibrating at low rpms makes it feel like its going to shake bits off the vehicle :)

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Carbon neutral

              Personally, I like to keep the AC compressor running at lights. Keeps the interior cool in the summer, and the windows de-fogged in the Winter.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Carbon neutral

                I don't know about in the states but over here my last few cars have all had stop/start systems so they very rarely idle unless the day is very, very hot or very, very cold.

                In fact my latest car will even turn off the engine when coasting.

                1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "

                  In fact my latest car will even turn off the engine when coasting

                  "

                  Really? Presumably it does not have power steering or power brakes that rely on the engine running. My car will re-start the engine if it is auto-stopped and I allow it to run downhill even very slowly while leaving it in neutral (often happens in very slow moving traffic). If it did not, then the loss of power braking and steering could possibly contribute to an accident that might see the manufacturer getting sued.

                  1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    The engine doesn't come to a halt, it's still connected to the wheels via the gearbox so keeps turning due to the vehicle's momentum, keeping the alternator etc. all running. The engine management system just cuts the fuel injectors, meaning the engine consumes no fuel.

                    In the UK at least, this has been standard on any fuel injected car since at least the '90s

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      I think you're talking about the idle bypass valve... but in any case that's not the same as fully cutting the engine. You can see that on a MHEV Ford Fiesta in the UK, to give one example.

                      To a previous poster: The electric power steering and brakes continue to work while coasting with a car deigned to cut the engine. In most cases that's due to the electric engine having just enough power to keep everything working. For with it's MHEV, VW/Audi/Skoda/SEAT also have what they call 48 volt mild hybrids which do that.

                    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      In the UK at least, this has been standard on any fuel injected car since at least the '90s

                      True dat , I have 1990 Supra and the Air/fuel mix gauge i fitted because of the horrendous mpg it gets , shows no fuel being used when coasting in gear

                    3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      Huh? We are talking about the case where the car is coasting downhill in neutral with the engine switched off. No part of the engine is turning in that situation.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    Or, it's a mild hybrid that has electric pumps for power steering, power brakes, etc. and the ICE engine only runs when required.

                    Heck, you don't need to be coasting, driving at constant speed (even highway speeds) on flat ground only needs tends of HP, not hundreds of ponies.

              2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                Re: Carbon neutral

                In my car (which has an auto-engine stop feature), I have found that having the engine turned off for the duration I am typically stopped at lights or a junction is nowhere near long enough for the heater to cool appreciably or mist to build up on the windows. At a longer stop (e.g. railway barriers) if either were to become an issue, I could simply press the clutch to cause the engine to re-start.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  You do know that starting an engine is where the bulk of the wear occurs, right?

                  1. midgepad

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    No, I don't know that.

                  2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "You do know that starting an engine is where the bulk of the wear occurs, right?"

                    People have always said that , I'm beginning doubt it .

                    A cold engine maybe.

                    A warm one stopped for 20 seconds at the traffic lights , effect on wear: less than negligble

                  3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "

                    You do know that starting an engine is where the bulk of the wear occurs, right?

                    "

                    Only if the engine has been stopped long enough for significant oil to drain away from the lubricated surfaces. Starting after a short shut-down does not cause extra wear, and so the wear that is caused while running for (say) 5 minutes is more than the wear caused during the subsequent re-start.

                    Unless you are talking about a turbine (jet) engine, in which case every start incurs a significant mechanical penalty due to the heat cycle, no matter how brief the shut down.

            2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: Carbon neutral

              My petrol car, like many made in the past few years, automatically cuts the engine as soon as it is stationary in neutral with the clutch not depressed. Pressing the clutch or if the car starts rolling (e.g. down hill) causes the engine to start instantly, and I've not found any significant downside to that feature when driving normally, though it can be disabled with a button-push if necessary (e.g. to keep the heater or aircon working while stationary for a prolonged time). The feature only becomes operational after the engine is up to temperature and the ambient temperature is not too cold, and the engine will also automatically re-start if you are stopped so long that the engine cools below a certain temperature.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Carbon neutral

                "I've not found any significant downside to that feature"

                Most of the wear and tear on an engine occurs when it is (re)started.

                1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  Not true for a re-start after a short period of being shut down.

                2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  not quiet. most of the wear and tear on an engine occurs in the furst few seconds after a COLD start. Restarting when hot is essentially free and cold startup wear can be substantially reduced with an auxiliarry electric oil pump running momentarily before cranking the engine to preload journal bearing surfaces (but most drivers won't tolerate having to wait 5 seconds extra)

          2. midgepad

            Re: Carbon neutral

            Mine switches off the engine when stationary, and starts it when I touch the clutch.

            Wotks very well.

            If driver-ed didn't include the clutch ... theres an automatic version as well.

          3. Andrew Scaife

            Re: Carbon neutral

            FYI most modern ICE cars switch off the engine when stationary in neutral, then start up again when the driver taps the accelerator or whatever. Bigger capacity (or whatever, I am not a petrol head) battery allows fast restart. I doubt it's a huge saving on CO2 etcetera...but it's sold as such.

      4. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Carbon neutral

        Your 22 year old car won't get very far id you never fill it up either.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It keeps going, and going, and going....

        Until all life is eliminated.

        Clever.

      6. toejam++

        Re: Carbon neutral

        The 370 km range of the standard F-150 Lightning and 480 km range of the extended version should be sufficient for many contractors driving around town. And the ER trim can make the drive from Dallas to Houston in one charge. If you do want to stop, there is a 350 kW CCS charger in Huntsville just off I-45 where you can add 100 km in about the time it takes for you to take a piss.

        If that doesn't work for you, then this truck isn't meant for you. Take a look at the hybrid version which manages 10.2 km/L (24 mpg) combined, an improvement of 20% over the regular 3.5L EcoBoost V6.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Carbon neutral

      difficult repairs

      The overwhelming majority of the ongoing maintenance cost and effort for an ICE car is directly related to the ICE itself. Take that out and you've removed most of the vehicle's complexity.

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        Re: Carbon neutral

        Utter nonsense. The kind of lack of knowledge about cars that's required to fanboy Tesla?

        1. bpfh

          Re: Carbon neutral

          What? Do you know how many parts go into an ICE? So Tesla have a brain box, battery, a set of motors made of bearings, magnets and miles of windings.

          An ICE has these (well, one electric motor for a starter and alternator) plus all the bits to make an Otto cycle run, precision castings, pistons, cylinders, pumps, joints, seals, bearings and all the depollution bits and high pressure fuel injection, turbochargers, gearboxes and all sorts of pieces of metal spinning at high speeds and in synch.

          Builiding an EV is quite simple. “Anyone” can do it - but making one a commercial success, with batteries that don’t run out of electrons after 50 miles or weigh 4 tons and pollute the hell out of parts of China or South America, that’s the hard part!

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

            Re: Carbon neutral

            You clearly know nothing about maintaining cars. Engines don't go wrong, as long as they get basic servicing. On older cars you might have to change a water pump or something, once in a blue moon. Electric cars still need similar servicing to the batteries, motors, etc, after a moderately long life.

            Meanwhile, the normal service items are almost entirely connected to running gear, braking, steering, suspension, etc. You know, the stuff you still have on an electric car.

            Electric cars simply do not save on maintenance, and suggesting as much is the preserve of people who don't know anything about cars.

            So, Tesla fanboys it is.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Carbon neutral

              Quote: "Electric cars simply do not save on maintenance, and suggesting as much is the preserve of people who don't know anything about cars."

              Current figures, from places like motoringresearch.com and other sites show that EVs cost around 20-35% less to service than an equivalent ICE car. Generally the smaller the car, the bigger the saving.

              Electric cars demonstrably do save on maintenance compared to an ICE car, and suggesting otherwise, is the preserve of people who don't know anything about cars. FTFY.

              1. Fred Dibnah

                Re: Carbon neutral

                The EV I leased recently cost twice as much to service than my (larger) car. And it let me down completely & had to be taken away on a flatbed, something which hadn't happened to me before in 40 years of driving.

                And don't get me started on the charging network.

                Or how EVs will solve all our traffic problems.

                1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "The EV I leased recently cost twice as much to service than my (larger) car. And it let me down completely & had to be taken away on a flatbed,"

                  Shouldn't have gotten the Tesla.

                  1. Fred Dibnah

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    For all you know it could have been a Tesla.

              2. edris90

                Re: Carbon neutral

                Ice cars can be serviced by the owner reducing service costs to merely parts and tools.

                I

                1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                  Re: Carbon neutral

                  "Ice cars can be serviced by the owner reducing service costs to merely parts and tools."

                  well , thats a policy decision for the "right to repair" folk to battle out.

                  nothing to do with wether the vehicle is electric or not.

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Carbon neutral

                    "well , thats a policy decision for the "right to repair" folk to battle out."

                    In the US, that battle has been fought and there is a right to repair automobiles. Tesla is something of an outlier and may be in for another spanking.

                    The "right to repair" drive right now if for things such as phone, computers and appliances.

                    1. jake Silver badge

                      Re: Carbon neutral

                      "there is a right to repair automobiles."

                      Actually, the EPA is working towards removing that right again. To the point of trying to make it illegal for the owner of a vehicle to make any non-factory changes to a car sold for road use.

                      "The "right to repair" drive right now if for things such as phone, computers and appliances."

                      And little things like farm equipment.

            2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Carbon neutral

              Dave

              "You clearly know nothing about maintaining cars"

              I know an awful lot about maintainnig cars ,

              I have more time underneath a car than anyone here im willng to bet.

              And i agree with that other guy

              The work is in the engine, as is the maintenionace

      2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: The overwhelming majority of the ongoing maintenance cost and effort is ... the ICE itself

        Au contraire, starfish hair... maintaining the ICE is but one aspect. Brakes, suspension, steering, tyres, heating, cooling, AC, bodywork, trim, interior, safety features, electronics... EV have all of these which still need to be maintained.

        The motor still connects to a powertrain, just it's electric instead of dino-juice. It still needs to be maintained, though it's arguable simplier than an ICE. But, there is still the transmission system: driveshafts, differentials, axles, ball joints, control arms, linkages, possibly a gearbox. Plus, an EV has a bunch of complex power electronics not found in pure ICE cars. Or you may have multiple electric motors, per axle or per wheel, which eliminates some transmission complexity but adds others.

        So, no. EV's haven't removed complexity. Just some aspects are different. The vast majority is unchanged.

        1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: The overwhelming majority of the ongoing maintenance cost and effort is ... the ICE itself

          Brakes, suspension, steering, tyres, heating, cooling, AC, bodywork, trim, interior, safety features, electronics

          driveshafts, differentials, axles, ball joints, control arms, linkages, possibly a gearbox

          So how many of these parts are permanently (and ultimately terminally) damaged if you fail to replace consumables on a regular basis?

          The fact remains ICE cars require servicing every 5,000-15,000 km because of the engine and supporting systems. Most other parts go for far longer than that, some without ever being touched for the life of the vehicle.

          1. BobbyTables

            Re: The overwhelming majority of the ongoing maintenance cost and effort is ... the ICE itself

            Neglecting to change brake fluid causes problems due to the fact it is hygroscopic. The water it absorbs will end up corroding the pistons in the calipers, master cylinder and ABS module. Horrible to sort out when it happens, which I've seen many times because brake fluid always gets forgotten. That's going to affect electric cars just as much as any other car from the last 60+ years.

            Most EVs also still have coolant in some form. That's something that will want to be changed every now and then, even if the manufacturer says otherwise. Anything else where there is lubricant, and it's bound to be there.

            What really kills cars in the UK isn't mechanical failure, it's rust. My 34 year old, formerly abandoned Citroen still runs very well, but it's got some pretty sizable holes in it that are currently being repaired.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: The overwhelming majority of the ongoing maintenance cost and effort is ... the ICE itself

              "Most EVs also still have coolant in some form. That's something that will want to be changed every now and then, even if the manufacturer says otherwise."

              The coolant lasts much long in an EV as it doesn't get contaminated from blow-by gases. It's also not cycled through as an extreme temperature.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: The overwhelming majority of the ongoing maintenance cost and effort is ... the ICE itself

            "Brakes, suspension, steering, tyres, heating, cooling, AC, bodywork, trim, interior, safety features, electronics, driveshafts, differentials, axles, ball joints, control arms, linkages, possibly a gearbox."

            "So how many of these parts are permanently (and ultimately terminally) damaged if you fail to replace consumables on a regular basis?"

            All of them except the purely cosmetic bodywork, trim and interior. The safety features and electronics are too generic to comment, but things like anti-lock brakes depend on the fluid working properly, and the electronics might require the battery being topped up in order to see the proper voltage (you might be surprised how finicky modern cars are about exact voltages and proper grounding).

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: The overwhelming majority of the ongoing maintenance cost and effort is ... the ICE itself

          Sorry - but other than regular brake changes (which are less frequent on an EV because most of thee braking is by regen) the vast majority of the issues I've had on my vehicles over the last twenty years have been engine/gearbox related.

          I did have one suspension spring fail, but that was the exception rather than the rule. Gasket leaks, turbo issues, timing belts, fuel contamination, gearbox failure, clutch failure.

          None of those apply to an EV.

          Things like suspension linkages are all fairly robust...

          "The drivetrain in an ICE vehicle contains 2,000+ moving parts typically, whereas the drivetrain in an EV contains around 20." (first google link on the question - Forbes)

          That's an awful lot of additional components

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The overwhelming majority of the ongoing maintenance cost and effort is ... the ICE itself

            In our case the main unplanned expenses have been suspension components, power steering, and electrics. And one clutch replacement at 130000 miles. That's across our 3 current cars, the youngest of which is 13 years old. In the case of electrics the main part of the cost has been in the time taken to diagnose the faults, rather than the cost of parts.

            One of the cars has looming rust problems, but on the whole the problems that we've had are not drivetrain related.

        3. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: The overwhelming majority of the ongoing maintenance cost and effort is ... the ICE itself

          "But, there is still the transmission system: driveshafts, differentials, axles, ball joints, control arms, linkages, possibly a gearbox."

          EVs have a gear reducer (fixed ratio) and only a couple high performance models have a shiftable "transmission". Most do not have any sort of gearing that needs maintenance at all.

          As far as electronic black boxes go, modern ICEV's are just as bad as their EV counterparts.

    3. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Carbon neutral

      Add to this the damage made by lithium extraction, the difficulty to recycle the batteries, the impact on the electricity grids, the inefficiency to have to transport hundreds of kg of battery, the power loss by Joule effect to transport so much electricity, and the 'no gain' when electricity is made from coal (25% of it in Germany) or burning other fossil resources.

      It's just another commercial trick to make people buy new things, to consume more and more. It's a false good idea.

      My vision for the future would be Hydrogen-powered cars with hydrogen produced locally, maybe directly in the home from solar, wind or harvested energies. No loss, no battery, better autonomy, quick refill... The proof of concept already exist.

      1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        Re: Carbon neutral

        There are still a lot of challenges in making hydrogen power practical for everyday, non-commercial use. The efficiencies of producing it aren't great, but if they're done with excess green energy then that shouldn't be a problem. It still has to be transported and in order to do so, and to use it, it needs to be compressed which is expensive in ££ and energy terms. Hydrogen also produces significant amounts of NOx when burnt in air in an ICE, so exhaust gas management is still a problem. At normal pressure and temperature hydrogen has a much higher energy density per litre than petrol or diesel, but when compressed to a car-sized tank this reduces significantly to almost a tenth of that of diesel. Fuell cell EVs would avoid the NOx problem but would still suffer from the drop in energy density due to the compression.

        Assuming you could get it, the insurance for keeping your car in your garage might be very expensive unless you've made significant mods to cope with hydrogen leakage from your car. Hydrogen cars would almost certainly be banned from underground car parks and most enclosed parking.

        Some of the above are tech challenges that might be overcome and some are laws of physics that might be more of a challenge. Aberdeen has been running a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell EV buses for a while, so there's hope, but I suspect that we're in a VHS vs Betamax situation at the moment.

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          "

          Assuming you could get it, the insurance for keeping your car in your garage might be very expensive unless you've made significant mods to cope with hydrogen leakage from your car.

          "

          That's not too logical. Fuel spillage from a petrol car results in explosive vapour at ground level, where it can pool and build up even if the car is outdoors on a windless day. The same is true of a car powered by bottled gas (butane, propane etc).

          Escaping hydrogen OTOH will rise very fast, where it will usually be able to escape & disperse PDQ even if the leak happened inside a garage. If there is no hydrogen escape route in your garage so hydrogen could possibly get trapped under the ceiling, the modification to provide one should be pretty trivial (a few vents in the roof).

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: Carbon neutral

            Yes hydrogen rises quickly and is USUALLY quite harmless be because of that fast dispersal. But indoors in the average garage it could easily pool in the spaces between roof beams for instance if there isn't much ventilation/air flow. The big problem is that petrol fumes require quite a lot of energy to ignite compared to hydrogen gas. Even small leaks can sustain a flame and relatively low levels of hydrogen can explode with massive amounts of force from absolutely tiny amounts of ignition energy (to the point it just about auto-ignites at some concentrations). At low concentrations and without confinement petrol fumes have a tendency to deflagrate instead of detonate. H2, well, is a bit more enthusiastic shall we say at any concentration. It's not advisable to set either off, but you have to really have a proper leak to get dangerous amounts of petrol fumes.

            I really don't see H2 working for everyday vehicles for joe-schmoe, it's just waiting for one to go kablammo in the middle of a residential area because someone thought they could fix it themselves.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Carbon neutral

        "My vision for the future would be Hydrogen-powered cars with hydrogen produced locally, maybe directly in the home from solar, wind or harvested energies. No loss, no battery, better autonomy, quick refill... The proof of concept already exist.'

        Hydrogen has extreme losses and there isn't a good way around it. The energy required to disassociate Hydrogen from the molecules it's found in is not negotiable. It is what it is. It is far better to use electricity from wind and solar directly than to convert it to store as hydrogen. It would be far better to use Ammonia as a storage medium since it's production is already a big portion of power used and it is the precursor for many of the chemicals used in modern life.

    4. John Robson Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Carbon neutral

      FUD much?

      "Too expensive, limited battery life, difficult repairs, meddling manufacturers."

      Too expensive - only way I could afford a new car was because it was an EV, not dino juice powered. Teslas are fairly expensive, but that's like saying that ICE cars are too expensive because I can't afford a Jaguar... (Car being on a motability lease means that operational cost savings are very significant in terms of how much you can spend on the car itself, never bought a new car before).

      Limited battery life - How much battery life do you need on a regular basis?

      Relatively few people need seriously long range, my current vehicle has a WLTP of 160, realistically that's 140. I only charge once a week normally, and it makes our semi regular "long" journey a whopping 40 minutes longer over a six hour journey. It's rather nice having a break and stretching one's legs after a couple of hours of driving. But even my longest, completely insane, commute would have been covered - and it would have taken all of 10 extra seconds a day (to plug in as I got home, unplug as I left for work).

      Difficult repairs - Less so than an ICE vehicle. Let's face it both are basically computers on wheels nowadays, and the EV does have a significant advantage, a much lower part count.

      Meddling manufacturers - Manufacturer of my vehicle hasn't touched it since I took delivery. And I'll probably ask for the latest update when it goes in for a service. Tesla have over the air updates, which are generally well received because they are improvements to the vehicle systems.

      In this case it seems a safety update has lowered the performance of the battery system, which is really not good - but that's as much a failure of communication as anything else.

      As for carbon neutral - I'm nowhere near. I'm closer than I was with an ICE car, but unlike Norway our grid is not 96% hydro powered (which is pretty darned close to carbon neutral).

      1. elip

        Re: Carbon neutral

        Amen.

        I have a feeling most folks commenting have not tried to buy a new car in the last few years. I drive a 2016 Honda Fit, because it was literally the only new car I could afford. Since then, inflation on new car prices has skyrocketed. The maintenance on an average EV is definitely lower in cost and frequency, and the performance cannot even be compared to an average ICE car.

        With all that said, yes, absolutely, animal transport is by far the 'greenest' option...I think we should go back to that.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          "With all that said, yes, absolutely, animal transport is by far the 'greenest' option...I think we should go back to that."

          In the modern world, that's not likely too true. Feed, vet services, farrier, etc can mean that the humble horse isn't a great option unless you have lots of land that they can feed themselves. My dad raised horses when I was young and it wasn't cheap. If they were truly green, they'd be nearly free. Could you imagine the clean up costs in terms of energy if 20% of the population of London used horses?

      2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

        Re: Carbon neutral

        If some of the modern EVs are compared to an ICE using PCP vs Motability then they don't come out too badly. However, no matter which way you slice it the cars are still in the region of 25-28K. That's very expensive compared to a second hand car/wanting to own the car yourself.

        I looked at second hand EVs a few years ago when buying a car, and they were still considerably more expensive, even after accounting for reduced energy costs.

        140 miles isn't enough. I don't want to spend forty minutes recharging my car when driving sixty miles away, that's a large chunk of the time to drive one way.

        It looks like the charging situation is improving, but I still really resent the idea of waiting that long. I could only just get to my parents and back with room for potential diversions (and no, sticking a large extension cable into the car is a pain). I couldn't go for a nice walk in the Lakes and return late home late at night without a charging diversion when I might already be tired and hungry.

        A quick search shows there's now the Kia e-Niro 2 with 282 miles range for 30,345 quid. That's actually a range that could convince me to switch. Of course the total PCP cost is more than the cost of my second hand ICE car, and the final payment is again more than the cost of my second hand ICE car.

        I'll have a look at the market again in another three years when the first e-Niro 2s have come out of PCP and are on the second hand market, and see if the price is in any way realistic.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          "That's very expensive compared to a second hand car/wanting to own the car yourself."

          Well that's no surprise, you can't expect a new car to be cheaper than a second hand one (although mine actually is almost exactly the same cost when I account for depreciation / replacement costs over the last fifteen years of second hand car ownership - that's the benefit of motability rather than anything else though).

          "140 miles isn't enough. I don't want to spend forty minutes recharging my car when driving sixty miles away, that's a large chunk of the time to drive one way."

          Erm ?

          driving 60 miles away that's a round trip of 120 miles which is easily under 140, so you wouldn't need to spend any time charging, because that happened overnight.

          If you're tired and hungry then a charge stop is exactly what you need - grab a cup of coffee, and resume your journey with a fresh head rather than driving tired.

          It's a different style of journey, but having had one... I'm not going back to internal combustion.

          1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

            Re: Carbon neutral

            New car sales are dropping and people are buying second hand. EV needs to compete with this in addition to the new market. Second hand EV at the moment in the same benchmark as moderately priced second hand car provides a range of under 90 miles when I looked at the 2nd hand EV Kias after finding the Niro 2.

            A round trip needs to have spare mileage to account for diversions, putting on your heating and having several people/luggage in the car, and to take the opportunity to 'just pop down the road to the shops' - this is stunningly obvious and I didn't feel i had to spell it out.

            I'm sure EV will get there eventually, but not when it means having to change your lifestyle to accommodate something that's more expensive and less convenient. The whole reason most people bought cars in the first place was to make their life more flexible and convenient, not less.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Carbon neutral

              "New car sales are dropping and people are buying second hand"

              Yep - but the path of cars from new to scrap doesn't change significantly - those ICE cars will still be driven into the ground. The EV market has a second hand stream which is only just picking up, and you seem surprised that it contains older EVs?

              "A round trip needs to have spare mileage to account for diversions, putting on your heating and having several people/luggage in the car, and to take the opportunity to 'just pop down the road to the shops' - this is stunningly obvious and I didn't feel i had to spell it out."

              Yes - and 20 miles is plenty for a diversion, heating actually makes very little difference to range, particularly on such a short run. The reason I said 140 was realistic was that it included the family and stuff in the car.

              Ideally we'd have heat pumps in all EVs, but even resistive heating doesn't actually put a serious dent in the battery (certainly not in the UK).

              "I'm sure EV will get there eventually, but not when it means having to change your lifestyle to accommodate something that's more expensive and less convenient. The whole reason most people bought cars in the first place was to make their life more flexible and convenient, not less."

              Erm - nope, they are less expensive in terms of TCO (I save ~£2000 a year on fuel costs alone), and did you really find it a challenge to change from a phone with a battery that lasted all week to one which you charge daily? The EV is no less flexible and convenient than an ICE - in fact I never have to go to a petrol station at all - so it's more convenient if anything.

    5. Neil 51

      Re: Carbon neutral

      Dear Sir,

      These new fangled horseless carriages can not replace the exact purpose my horse currently does, and they also do not even run on oats! I therefore declare that they are completely useless and all attempts to implement them is doomed to failure and should cease immediately.

      Yours, etc.

      1. gerdesj Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: Carbon neutral

        I tried to get my car to crap on my begonias to perk them up. No joy. Bloody useless this ICE thing.

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Carbon neutral

        Horses run on renewable bio-fuel, and are equipped with sophisticated sensors that constanly monitor the environment to allow its in-built inelligence to carry out collision avoidance, auto-braking, lane holding and it will reliably follow a familiar route with no driver input. Getting its highly inebriated owner safely home from the pub was a routine and commonplace occurance. It is also self-repairing and self-replicating.

        Deciding to use a far less reliable form of transport was sheer folly.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          Just ask New-Yorkers at the start of the previous century what they thought of the pile of manures that were covering their streets...

          ICE was the ecological friendly solution...

          1. elip

            Re: Carbon neutral

            New Yorker city slickers see shit. Us out in the country, see life.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Carbon neutral

              "New Yorker city slickers see shit. Us out in the country, see life.'

              In the country you don't have 100,000 people per square mile. The fertilizer doesn't get spread out as much in a city and tends to accumulate.

          2. Stork Silver badge

            Re: Carbon neutral

            And the pile of dead horses. This was actually an issue too

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Carbon neutral

          I take Clyde, the Percheron, and attached Buckboard to town fairly regularly.

          Contrary to popular belief, one can still purchase a new buggy whip. Also please note that Clyde is Solar Powered and his emissions are fertilizer.

        3. why you delete my account?

          Re: Carbon neutral

          > in-built inelligence to carry out collision avoidance, auto-braking, lane holding

          Not sure how many horses you've actually ridden but in my experience the "built-in intelligence" tends to auto-detect a small bird flying out of a hedge, or a cat hiding in a hedge, as "large bear that's gonna eat me unless I bolt across all the road lanes and through a few fences". The auto-braking is shite - frequently gets confused with the driver-eject, especially when it involves fences and launch mode. The auto-pilot also tends to go where it wants to rather than where you want to - though if you always want to go to "the particularly nice looking patch of grass over there" you might be fine.

          On balance though, I'd recommend you wait until the generation where they fit airbags, cos' they don't have them at the moment either...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Carbon neutral

            "I'd recommend you wait until the generation where they fit airbags, cos' they don't have them at the moment either..."

            Speaking as a guy who owns, breeds, trains and takes care of horses for other people, I'm here to tell you that a large percentage of horses come with airbags. That would be the idiots paying me. According to my Great Grandfather's diaries, this has been true longer than cars have been around.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Carbon neutral

              "I'm here to tell you that a large percentage of horses come with airbags. That would be the idiots paying me."

              "Air bags" not "Wind bags" . Bit of a difference.

    6. Tilda Rice

      Re: Carbon neutral

      Difficult repair? Battery notwithstanding, the rest of the vehicle is way less complex than an ICE vehicle.

      The level of haters on this thread whiffs of jealousy.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Carbon neutral

        ICE vehicles are not complex. All they are is an air pump, when you boil it down to basics.

        That's not jealousy. That's an attempt to explain science to the religious.

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Carbon neutral

        Engine not withstanding ICE vehicles are exactly as complex as BEV vehicles (perhaps less so as most ICE vehicles haven't gone as overboard with integrating every single smegging function into some sort of remote brain box). And IC engines aren't exactly complex. Lot's of parts yes, but not that complex.

  3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Software Engineers

    Software Engineers gone rogue again. Tesla may have hired ex Apple or VW ones

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Software Engineers

      Apple ones most likely. "Mr Musk, we have an idea to force owners of any Tesla over 2 years old to upgrade their car. It's a method we used at Apple lots of times."

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Software Engineers

        i've just ditched apple and returned to Android because all of a sudden my iphone was "too old" to order a beer in Wetherspoons.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Software Engineers

          I go to pubs that accept money.

          1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

            Re: Software Engineers

            UK pubs are currently table service only due to the pandemic. Wetherspoons has a long established app for ordering from your table (actually, you can order for any table in any Wetherspoons I understand).

            Of course, you are better spending money in a non chain pub and ordering via text message.

            It's also necessary to log in either log in via track and trace (a mobile phone app), or the pub may be able to do this for you, so that you can (supposedly) be traced in the case of a detected covid infection.

            The use of actual cash has nosedived during the pandemic. The only things I've used cash for are 1) retrieving a trolley at the supermarket and 2) a pay and display car park in the Lake District

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Software Engineers

              Good thing your nanny-state know exactly where you are, at every minute of the day, and what your habits are.

              1984 wasn't fiction, it is an instruction manual.

              1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

                Re: Software Engineers

                They don't. The NHS covid app is anonymous and uses bluetooth low energy to know when you've been within close proximity with someone subsequently diagnosed with covid.

                The log in and outs only show your presence at that location, they don't track outside that. If you don't want to use the app, you can provide your details directly to the venue owner.

                Yes, this is ultimately a small loss of privacy but in case you haven't noticed it's a pandemic, and it needs bringing under control.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Software Engineers

                  in case you haven't noticed it's a pandemic, and it needs bringing under control.

                  exactly , at the end of the day to control an infectious disease you either have to know where people are , are confine everyone to their homes.

                  People who want to run around , and for reasons of their own wnat to keep it a secret where they've been , just arnt helping .

                2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Software Engineers

                  "The NHS covid app is anonymous"

                  You believe this?

        2. Julian 8

          Re: Software Engineers

          Perhaps it wants you to install NeverSpoons instead

        3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: my iphone was "too old" to order a beer in Wetherspoons.

          You should have less problem ordering cider.

          1. macjules Silver badge

            Re: my iphone was "too old" to order a beer in Wetherspoons.

            Could order a Budweiser then: age restriction on that is about 3 months.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: my iphone was "too old" to order a beer in Wetherspoons.

              You feed three month olds 5%ABV beer in your country? Impressive ... I know grown men in some British pubs who have never even sampled a beer that strong!

        4. Headley_Grange Silver badge

          Re: Software Engineers

          Another reason might be that Wetherspoons are too tight to spend money on an app that works on two iOS variants. Given how they tried to treat their staff at the start of the pandemic then it wouldn't surprise me if they've taken this approach. They might have changed their minds about pissing on their staff after the public outcry, but I'll never forget what they tried to do and they won't ever get another penny out of me.

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    is clearly motivated by greed

    Isn't that the default definition of a listed company?

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: is clearly motivated by greed

      No. But what you said _is_ a far right conspiracy theory, go figure.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: is clearly motivated by greed

        This is getting old. It's a conspiracy theory to suggest that a big company might be greedy now? When it was clearly somewhat in jest? And the article quoted some other people describing the same company as greedy?

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: is clearly motivated by greed

          The Reg has a few writers who love these conspiracy theories. And it is a conspiracy theory, literally, because what it describes is an Adolph-lover's fantasy rather than anything with any basis in reality. Companies, by law and by definition, are not 'greedy'.

          You know who is 'greedy', in this conspiracy theory, don't you? And what we're supposed to do with them.

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: is clearly motivated by greed

            I don't know what you're smoking mate, but your reality certainly doesn't align with mine.

            In my reality "greedy corporations" is far more an (extreme) leftist talking point than a right wing one.

  5. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Guilty...

    ...as charged.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Similar to how Apple was outed for degrading their old phones with their "powerd" software module.

    It really shows the stupidity of so many failing or just-scraping-by companies that follow the outdated playbooks of "competitive product improvements" and "customer satisfaction" while the bleeding edge star performers blaze ahead with "deliberate and secret product degradation" and "customer abuse".

    1. simonlb
      Mushroom

      And this is why companies that do this without clearly explaining exactly why these changes are being made, how they will provide tangible benefits to the end user and making it optional should have punitive damages levelled against them.

      Justifiy it, but make it optional with no penalties for opting out.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        They probably did explain it with a 100+ EULA that buried the information so that no one bothered to read it.

        Its about time that these EULA were forced by law to be a maximum of 1 or 2 page document in plain language so you no exactly what you are agreeing to when you are installing an update

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or, the problem is that the bleeding edgers take risks with the battery charge rates & minimum/maximum charge levels that should not have been taken in the first place.

  8. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    How Many Hardware Engineers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

    None - just code round it.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: How Many Hardware Engineers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

      That's Facility's problem, not Engineering's.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How Many Hardware Engineers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

        But all the end user wants is to be able to see where they are going.... :)

      2. imanidiot Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: How Many Hardware Engineers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

        Facility's has submitted RFQs to 10 different contractors and expects the first replies in about 2 months. After an exhaustive tender process a work order will be made, which will be shot down by the bean counters because it's deemed too expensive.

        In the meantime you might try requisitioning a flashlight from stores. (Good luck with that though, the light's been out in that corner of the basement since before old Bill got demoted to the basement storeroom for doing the boss' secretary)

        --> For lack of a Brasil icon.

  9. arachnoid2 Bronze badge

    Re: How Many Hardware Engineers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

    Just sell the building and get a new one

  10. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Alert

    Green vehicles...

    Never seem to put out figures on manufacturing carbon emissions. I wonder why?

    (I also remember an anecdote stating that the land rover series II was one of the greenest cars ever since around 50% of them are still on the road, thus manufacturing emissions haven't gone anywhere and are still being used. Can't find a source so take is with a pinch of salt).

    Truly green cars will only happen when we can ensure the whole supply chain from ore to rust is managed in an environmental manner.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Green vehicles...

      I takes 9 barrels of Oil to manufacture a car .

      Much as id like to believe that Landrover philosophy , i doubt it stacks up.

      It is shocking however the age and condition of most cars sent to be scrapped these days, given that engines will do 200k miles easily , and bodywork no longer rots like it did in the 80s

    2. JohnG

      Re: Green vehicles...

      Here's a 2015 study from the Union of Concerned Scientists in the USA, analysing and comparing the "cradle to grave" "well to wheel" impact of battery electric, ICE and hydrogen vehicles.

      https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/cleaner-cars-cradle-grave

      The increased impact of manufacturing EVs over ICE vehicles is recovered within 6 - 16 months of typical driving. What many tend to overlook is that the extraction, processing, storage and distribution of petrol and diesel is incredibly energy intensive and contributes significantly to the environmental impact of ICE and hydrogen vehicles.

      The data here is from the USA and from some years ago - we have more renewable and less coal generated electricity.

      When they can no longer suport the deep charge and discharge cycles needed for vehicular use, Ev battery modules can (and are) re-purposed for use as static storage.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Green vehicles...

        The increased impact of manufacturing EVs over ICE vehicles is recovered within 6 - 16 months of typical driving. What many tend to overlook is that the extraction, processing, storage and distribution of petrol and diesel is incredibly energy intensive and contributes significantly to the environmental impact of ICE and hydrogen vehicles.

        Depends how you count it. Extraction and processing of petrochemicals could be considered energy efficient, especially given the number of products produced from them. So basic fuels to plastics and rubbers for EVs, to pesticides and fertiliser. Which is why calls to ban fossil fuels are a tad foolish, especially if falling sales of some products end up making it uneconomic to produce all the other petrochemicals. And you could argue the energy can be virtually free, ie refineries can produce their own energy.

        EV's also aren't immune to those impacts given despite greenwashing, there's no such thing* as 100% renewable energy to recharge them. In the UK, that's a scam based on things called 'REGO's, or Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin. So subsidy farmers can flog 100MWh of REGOs to electricity suppliers, but the electrons will mostly come from gas turbines.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge

          Re: Green vehicles...

          Oil production started before ICE were in general use, it will be able to continue after most of ICE have disappeared.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Green vehicles...

            Oil production started before ICE were in general use, it will be able to continue after most of ICE have disappeared.

            Yup. Once fuel oils have been banned by the neo-luddites, we could go back to using tar on the hulls of sailing ships. Except tar's probably considered an environmental hazard now. I know Wright's 'traditional' coal tar soap now isn't, and just has a distinctly synthetic smell. If it gives people a headache, 4-nitrophenol can be turned into something that can help.

            But I'm sure other phenols are available... assuming we're allowed to cut down pine forests. Before they die from pine borer & burn. Ah, California.

            But I digress. It's fascinating just how many things can be produced from a barrel of oil. And if neo-luddites get their way, no oil production, no products. Luckily Musk has applied for a licence to fracc at Boca Chica, although it's not clear if he actually owns the land.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Green vehicles...

          "And you could argue the energy can be virtually free, ie refineries can produce their own energy.'

          They can't "produce" their own energy. That's a bit misleading. They also find it less than economic to use crude oil they can sell to generate power rather than use cheaper grid power is to run the facility. In the US, I believe there is one refinery that does use a low value sludge to operate an on-site power plant. It may be grandfathered in due to pollution issues with burning a very low grade fuel.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Green vehicles...

        "Ev battery modules can (and are) re-purposed for use as static storage."

        Firstly, that's just sweeping the problem under the rug. Those batteries are in the process of dying, and will need to be properly disposed of eventually ... but there is no actual recycle chain in place as of yet. And not much progress being made, either ... just stop-gap measures like "static storage".

        Secondly, only idiots purchase used Tesla batteries for static storage. The only way to go in that department is Lithium iron phosphate.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Green vehicles...

          "but there is no actual recycle chain in place as of yet. And not much progress being made, either ... just stop-gap measures like "static storage".

          There is!

          Helen Czerski has an episode on The Fully Charged Show (youtube) where she visits a recycling facility in Germany. Definitely worth a look.

          Current estimates put the average pack life in a car to 10 years before range drops below an acceptable level and at least another 10 years as stationary storage. The use case in either will make a big difference. The Tesla Model S came out in 2012 so it hasn't been long enough for there to be much of a market for battery recycling yet. The current Model 3 battery pack might be a holy terror to recycle as it's loaded with silicone goo.

  11. John Jennings Bronze badge

    ICE - still the way to go

    My old 1969 triumph is more green than any leccey car today.

    Repairable

    Not particular efficient, but in reality, the green cost was sunk just after I was born. Fuel is the least of the cost in the total life of the car. 35mpg inst that bad for cool factors

    Little plastic - mostly leather and wood trim and steel. Any of it can be replaced and much of it has (it is a triumph, afteral - so (at least 2 sets of sills, bottom doorskins, floor etc)

    The thing its missing for today is a way to absorb NOx and particulates

    It also needs more pampering than a modern machine - thats part of the TCO.

    Main difference is that none but me is going to f**k with it to reduce performance. Not VW, not Tesla (the company doesn't even exist any more). I can modify it as I choose - I fitted rear seatbelts and twin webber carbs 20 years ago- myself.

    If we want to make the world greener - make things repairable - AND require the owner to take responsibility to maintain. There wont be so many cars on the road as today.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: ICE - still the way to go

      Main difference is that none but me is going to f**k with it to reduce performance. Not VW, not Tesla (the company doesn't even exist any more).

      You've not heard about the change to E10 petrol then? By increasing the proportion of Ethanol, it will reduce the power output and mpg, worse still on a car of that age it may destroy some parts of the fuel system and carburettors.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: ICE - still the way to go

        E10 will just bring the next engine rebuild around a little sooner* and installing a set of Ethanol resistant seals will cure that issue. The '10' will also eventually be pushed towards '100'.

        * It's an old Brit motor, going 100k without at least needing the head off is a dream.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: ICE - still the way to go

          Running on (near) 100% Ethanol means you can turn up the boost and advance the timing a trifle. It is also easy to make at home, burns cleaner, and is more efficient than gas/petrol. It's also a renewable energy source. Not a lot to dislike about Ethanol as a motor vehicle fuel.

          1. Korev Silver badge

            Re: ICE - still the way to go

            Running on (near) 100% Ethanol means you can turn up the boost and advance the timing a trifle. It is also easy to make at home, burns cleaner, and is more efficient than gas/petrol. It's also a renewable energy source. Not a lot to dislike about Ethanol as a motor vehicle fuel.

            Apart from the raw materials competing with some of the poorest people on the planet for food. (if we can solve that problem then that I agree with you)

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: ICE - still the way to go

              "Apart from the raw materials competing with some of the poorest people on the planet for food."

              That's a whole nuther kettle o'worms ... and frankly one that's far more important then this kerfuffle over ICE vs EV.

            2. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: ICE - still the way to go

              The problem there isn't one of production (for the most part). It's one of logistics. Some parts of the world produce more than enough to feed all of it. But getting that food to the rest of the world is the problem. It's great if you have cheap beef in the middle of the US, but that isn't going to help feed anyone in central Afrika, simply because that beef either won't be cheap by the time it's transported there, or it won't be edible anymore.

          2. vtcodger Silver badge

            Re: ICE - still the way to go

            Not a lot to dislike about Ethanol as a motor vehicle fuel.

            True enough. But as I understand it, ethanol is (universally?) produced by fermenting sugars/starches. Fine. But fermentation produces a water-ethanol mixture (e.g. "beer") that won't burn. You need to separate the water and the ethanol to get a usable fuel. How to do that? Distillation. Where does the energy for distillation come from? In the US, we use cheap natural gas. Which is fine. But why not just use the natural gas to power cars and let the farmers find another crop -- carrots or hemp or opium poppies or some such?

            (Cars run fine on natural gas. Some fleet vehicles in the US use it. I'm told that there are millions of natural gas fueled vehicles on the road in, of all places, Iran and Pakistan).

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: ICE - still the way to go

              "Where does the energy for distillation come from?"

              The Sun.

          3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: ICE - still the way to go

            It is also easy to make at home

            Over in Blighty, you'd need a licence to distil the ethanol and pay excise duty for using it in a vehicle that uses the public roads

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: ICE - still the way to go

              Same here in the States. It's still cheaper to make your own. Initial installation and approval means jumping through hoops, and lots of t crossing and i dotting, but that's all a one-off. The quarterly paperwork is a bit of a pain the first couple times through, then it just becomes something you do, like any other tax forms.

        2. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: ICE - still the way to go

          "It's an old Brit motor, going 100k without at least needing the head off is a dream."

          That's part of the fun/charm, right?

          RIGHT???

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: ICE - still the way to go

            Newly lapped valves & polished ports!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ICE - still the way to go

          South Africa has been running a significant quantity of alcohol in fuel since the late Apartheid era.

          Ran a 1969 Porsche on it for years, no problems!

        4. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: ICE - still the way to go

          "The '10' will also eventually be pushed towards '100'."

          A lot more people will have to die so there are fields to plant for fuel crops. It will also mean lower ranges for tank volumes around today.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: ICE - still the way to go

      >The thing its missing for today is a way to absorb NOx and particulates

      Are you using a Jetex exhaust classic car converter?

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Fuel is the least of the cost in the total life of the car

      I'm not sure that I can agree with that statement.

      Back in the halcyon days of pre-pandemic, I used to fill my tank once a week. That's give or take €40. Multiply that by basically 50, and that's €2000 per year of fuel.

      The annual checkup costs me around €700.

      So no, fuel is by far the biggest cost in the life of my car.

      And actually, when I think of it, I'll be paying more for fuel than I paid for buying the car.

      1. legless82

        Re: Fuel is the least of the cost in the total life of the car

        And how much is depreciation costing you? For most people (and most people rarely keep a car longer than around 5 years), that's significantly more than the cost of the fuel.

        1. NXM

          Re: Fuel is the least of the cost in the total life of the car

          Our landrover has actually increased in value since they stopped making them and replaced them with yet another pretty boy urban pile of tripe. That you can't pull a trailer of sheep with.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: That you can't pull a trailer of sheep with.

            Surely you only need to put one sheep in the trailer?

          2. vtcodger Silver badge

            Re: Fuel is the least of the cost in the total life of the car

            Shouldn't you be using the sheep to pull the vehicle rather than the vehicle towing the sheep? Time to think sustainably man.

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Fuel is the least of the cost in the total life of the car

          "And how much is depreciation costing you? For most people (and most people rarely keep a car longer than around 5 years), that's significantly more than the cost of the fuel."

          Not judging by the average age of cars on the roads. Most people are buying cars that have already depreciated. A minority pay depreciation, and keep upgrading regularly enough to keep up the supply of depreciated cars.

          If you look around, it's not hard to find cheap cars that actually appreciate. I've had a car that paid for tax, insurance, servicing, and fuel for the entire time I had it. Can't get cheaper than that :)

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Fuel is the least of the cost in the total life of the car

        Absolutely - fuel is the dominant factor in vehicle life emissions. Yes, there is a sunk cost in manufacture, but fuel fairly quickly dominates.

      3. ChrisC Silver badge

        Re: Fuel is the least of the cost in the total life of the car

        Fuel costs can be an insignificant fraction of the annual cost of ownership for someone just doing a few miles every now and then, or can represent almost the entire annual cost for someone doing mega mileage, so without knowing what the OP's annual mileage figures are, they may well be correct as far as their perspective on being a car owner is concerned, just as you're correct to say fuel is a larger cost based on your perspective.

        Then again, aren't you forgetting the other costs of ownership in your comparison, such as insurance and ad-hoc expenses (new tyres and other comsumables, unscheduled repairs etc.), or is that all bundled into your EUR700 "annual checkup" figure? I hope for your sake it is, because if you're really suggesting that your car costs you that much each year just for its routine annual service, then kindly let us know what make/model it is so we all know to steer well clear the next time we're looking to buy...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the future is here

    It is not your car any more. Nor is your software, your home, or your scrolling habits. And what are you gonna do about it? Scroll on, click...

  13. DrXym Silver badge

    I can understand both sides

    Given the choice between slow charging and my car going up in flames, I think I'd prefer the slow charging. But only until a recall tested each car and fixed them if necessary. I expect Tesla saw that second thing as too expensive and just nerfed the cars hoping people might not notice or care if it was only a little slower.

    1. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

      Re: I can understand both sides

      Software fix aside I'd still be after compensation. If I was sold an ICE car and then the manufacturer reduced the size of the fuel tank (cutting the range) and reduced the diameter of the hose from the fuel cap to the tank (meaning it takes me longer to fill up) they have reduced the specifications of the car.

      The specs make up part of the sticker price so as I've now got less of a car I should receive a refund. This goes more so for Tesla / EV's which often quote the range because recharging takes longer. I should also be able to charge them for the extra time I'm going to spend charging the car, I can all but guarantee that over the rest of the life of the car my time (even if only a few mins per charge) will cost them more than £11k

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: I can understand both sides

      Battery life while under warranty will be a big concern for Tesla. If the battery degrades more than a stated amount during the warranty period, Tesla has to replace the pack. If I owned a Tesla and saw that the battery was going to be ready for the rendering tank just after the warranty expired, I'd be ..... angry. It would mean the resale value would be next to nothing. Tesla does need to take resale values into consideration or people aren't going to want their cars.

      I'm surprised that Tesla didn't come to their own defense on this. They could have agreed to put the software back on request in exchange for striking the battery capacity guarantee. It's not like Tesla accurately states the range of their vehicles in the first place.

  14. Whiznot

    Not content to kill their customers Tesla decides to rob them also.

    1. Fred Daggy

      What? Like Ford?

      https://www.spokesman.com/blogs/autos/2008/oct/17/pinto-memo-its-cheaper-let-them-burn/

      1. jake Silver badge

        Ah, yes.

        The infamous Mother Jones article. Also known as Ralph Nader's attempt to make up for his complete fabrication of the "unsafe at any speed" Corvair myth. Unfortunately, he found yet another non-problem car to vilify. In all reality, the Ford Pinto was as safe, or safer, than every other car in it's class ... if somewhat uglier.

        Perhaps the folks who like conspiracies would do well to investigate these two cases ... and ask themselves why they, just perhaps mind, should question the authority of a non-engineer making claims about the engineering aspects of vehicles ... especially when that person doesn't even care enough about the subject matter to ever bother acquiring a driver's license.

  15. ThePhantom

    This is no different than Apple tweaking their battery management on older phones. Batteries DO age and fast-charging them to 100% kills them even faster. Where others see a nefarious motive, I see Tesla trying to keep their customers' cars running. An yes, I own a Tesla.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      When Apple did it the problem was that customers were not told, it sounds like Tesla neglected to tell them as well. People might not be happy about having their battery degraded via a software update but they are less likely to sue if they at least know what is happening and why.

    2. jake Silver badge

      I wonder what would happen if ...

      ... these very same people justifying Apple and Tesla retroactively reducing the capabilities of their already purchased products discovered their milkman in the Larder pulling the top 200ml out of each pint "because milk fat is bad for you".

  16. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Why the change?

    Sounds like they reduced the maximum charge and lowered the charge rate after "multiple incidents of vehicles randomly bursting into flames from a fire that started in its [sic] batteries". Could they have been overcharging and/or at too high a rate before the change?

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Why the change?

      The spontaneous fire of the car in China that's widely reported is a suspicious case. Tesla put out a software update long before the car was able to be examined which leads me to believe that Tesla was pushing the limits somewhere and dialed them back a bit to keep the problem from happening again. At least for the same reason.

      The over-the-air updates are a two edged sword. I've learned not to play with swords and always disable auto-updates. With the Tesla, you don't get that choice, you either opt-in or get a very different car.

  17. tentimes

    Elon says no

    Elon Musk will not allow this and will refuse to pay up. Or do so but refuse to sell them new batteries when the time comes.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Elon says no

      "Elon Musk will not allow this and will refuse to pay up."

      That will be a hoot if they lose the ability to sell their cars there.

  18. js.lanshark
    Facepalm

    Silly people...

    you think you actually own the thing.

    1. spireite

      Re: Silly people...

      You say that, but the reduced capacities mean that people are paying more for recharging them as they get less VFM. If they are charging up the same leccy, but it translates into less distance.....

      Personally, they have a point if the above is true

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Silly people...

        "You say that, but the reduced capacities mean that people are paying more for recharging them as they get less VFM. If they are charging up the same leccy, but it translates into less distance....."

        What?

        The cars charge slower and may have less range (lower full charge limits), but will use less electricity to charge to full. They aren't lowering the efficiency.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The cult of EV

    The believers are most adamant that all should be “charged” by His electonical goodness!

    Praise to the Musk

    Praise to the Musk

    May his cray-cray rub off onto all of us!

    Hallelujah brother

  20. Cinderellaphant

    Skip EVs

    I think I am going to skip the whole EV thing and wait for either a fusion reactor or warp core

  21. alisonken1
    Joke

    Mr. Fusion To The Rescue!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptlhgFaB89Y

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021