back to article Forget the climate: Steep prices the biggest reason EV sales aren't higher

US car shoppers are more interested in electric vehicles than ever before, but the majority agree that there's one major thing holding them back: the sticker price.  In its 2023 Global Automotive Consumer Study, Deloitte found that US consumers' intent to purchase an electrified vehicle was up nine percent year over year, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

    The ICE will be with us for decades to come.

    Happy to drive an EV but the price points need to come waaaay down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

      The fine article failed to mention 'hybrid', though that may be because of the source material being quoted.

      On any massive infrastructure subject, anyy time someone says "five years" they're guaranteed wrong. And 'decades' is most likely wrong also. Peg the timeframe as 'generational' and you'll be closer to the truth.

      The reason I bring up 'hybrid' is that it is the transitional architecture, and the only possible next step for my geographical location. Thus not mentioning hybrid in the mix is a real fault for the article.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        I don't see hybrid as a transitional architecture for the consumer (most plug-in hybrids have limited range, so are either hauling the ICE around short distances, or running longer distances largely on the ICE and hauling surplus battery).

        I do see it as a transitional architecture for the manufacturer though. But not one I care to support. Went full EV myself three months ago and despite a few bouts of rotten weather (which naysayers wrongly say EVs can't handle) I would not go back.

        1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          Hybrid: the worst of both worlds. From my conversations with Prius owners, their real-world average MPG seems to be notably less than I get in a small petrol-only hatchback, but they sure cost a helluva lot more.

          1. blackcat Silver badge

            Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

            The prius is complex!! And the battery pack suffers from a number of silly issues including corrosion of the terminals. If the hybrid pack goes offline the car is dead.

            I own an original Honda Insight. Pre-dates the prius and Honda didn't go as crazy with the electronics. If the hybrid pack has issues the car still runs as a pure ICE. The battery packs in those suffered major issues as there was no balancing and the cell supervisor only checked every 12 cells.

            1. MyffyW Silver badge

              Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

              @blackcat As a long-time Honda fan I loved the CR-Z, just wish they'd made it so it could be wholly propelled by electric. Have seen some interesting DIY attempts to retro-fit it as such

              1. blackcat Silver badge

                Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

                The Honda IMA system is very simple compared to the other hybrids out there which is why you have no elec only option. On the insight it only adds about 100mm to the length of the engine and also helps to smooth out the fact it is a 3cyl.

                Some of the current 'mild' and '48v' hybrid systems are utter trash. Basically a large motor/alternator driving the engine via a belt as a total bodge-on.

              2. GreyWolf

                Re: Interesting EV conversions

                Is that "interesting" in the British usage? Usually translated "completely crazy".

            2. Pirate Dave Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

              "If the hybrid pack goes offline the car is dead."

              The car is also dead if the normal 12V battery goes dead. Yeah, that got my son a few years ago when he was away at college. His Prius wouldn't start or run. He had it towed to the local Toyota dealer, who banged on it for a day, charged him $500 for the diagnostics, and said he needed a new battery pack that was three or four grand. I called the dealer and had them tow it back to the dorm. I drove down, looked around, then went to Advance Auto and got a new $120 "regular" battery for the engine itself, installed it, and the car was fine as could be, and still is.

              We took it to the dealer originally because we thought only they could properly diagnose an issue with their hybrid, since it's "new" and "complicated". But it turned out that all they were diagnosing was how much of my wallet they thought they could remove. I will never again trust a Toyota dealership for anything.

              1. blackcat Silver badge

                Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

                Dealers are f-ing useless at diagnosis of problems. They are not interested in keeping older cars alive.

                The Honda community has pretty much reverse engineered most of the cars so there is a LOT of support outside of the dealership network. Don't know about the Toyota community as I don't have one :)

                A LOT of Insights have been binned due to the hybrid pack crapping out and the owners being quoted 8-10k for a new one from Honda. Mine is on its 3rd pack but this time it has a Li-ion pack rather than NiCd. The control protocol is all over serial, 9600 8n1.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

                "The car is also dead if the normal 12V battery goes dead."

                That's pure BS.

                Cables and some loan power from neighbour and off it goes as long as you don't stop it. Does not match 'dead' in any meaningful sense: It's just hard to start.

                1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

                  Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

                  The only bullshit here is coming from you, buddy.

                  It's been a few years since I went thru this, but ISTR the 12v battery is buried in the trunk. I don't know if there are remote clip-on points for a jump-off in the engine compartment or not, didn't try to look. We'd had the car 3 years and it was used when we got it, so it was not abnormal for the battery to need replacing.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

                    Some Prius 12V "auxilliary" batteries are in the trunk (boot), some under the hood (bonnet), depends on the model/year.

                    For a battery under the hood (bonnet), jump as usual.

                    For those with the battery in the trunk (boot), there is a positive tab specifically for jumpstarting inside the fuse/relay panel under the hood (bonnet). It has a red cover on it marked with a + ... connect your positive (red) jumper cable to this point, the other (black) to any unpainted surface under the hood (bonnet). Pretty much everything else about jumping the car is the same as it always was.

                    If the above doesn't work, you can also connect directly to the battery in the trunk (boot). Jump as usual.

                    As always, read your operators manual, as variations can exist from year to year, model to model and trim level to trim level.

                    Source: Client with a dead car in the barnyard and a minute or so with DDG.

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          Current EVs won't work for my use case (not even close; I'll have done two 630-mile trips this week, and I am really not inclined to add charging times to those, even if there were any charging stations along my route). But I agree they make more sense for most people than hybrids do. I think hybrids are a terrible idea, aside from the handful of hybrids with pure-electric drivetrains and ICE electricity generation (which lets the ICE run at optimal parameters, and gets rid of the weight of the conventional transmission).

          1. Col_Panek

            Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

            I am interested in the new Mazda MX-30 with a 100 mile range battery (which covers 100% of my usual daily driving) and a Wankel range extender. That might solve the problems o the rotary engine, running at an optimum RPM.

            I said I was interested, not that I'm necessarily going to put a deposit down.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

            "pure-electric drivetrains and ICE electricity generation (which lets the ICE run at optimal parameters, and gets rid of the weight of the conventional transmission)."

            ... and hauls the weight of the electric motor *and* batteries for it. Gearbox is lighter than electric motor, you know?

            Also the efficiency is really, really horrible: Proper patch job.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

              ... and hauls the weight of the electric motor *and* batteries for it. Gearbox is lighter than electric motor, you know?

              If you have primary power generation provided by a generator then you don't need a battery capable of running on it's own for 300 miles. 30 would suffice quite happily, which would let you use the battery for peak loads (acceleration) and simply have the generator provide cruising load + a bit.

    2. cipnt

      The ICE will be with us for...

      To be precise, 12 years in the EU, 7 years in the UK

      1. David M

        Re: The ICE will be with us for...

        They'll continue to be on the roads for many years after that, as people hang on to their ICE vehicles, and then sell them into the second-hand market.

        1. Lon24

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          You are right - 20 years for a lightly used vehicle would be realistic taking us up to 2050.

          Except that as sales of petrol/diesel will begin to fall rapidy by the end of this decade - petrol stations will start closing or switching to rapid chargers (and most people don't need those for day to day charging - mainly for long distance refuelling which will reduce too with longer range batteries). Hence, at some point filling up with petrol may become more challenging and 'range anxiety' may pass from EV drivers to ICE drivers.

          I would also expect many of our current and projected ULEZ areas will evolve into no-emmission zones. A tipping point may occur in the 2030s hence driving an ICE vehicle after 2040 might become problematic for many and more the preserve of the classic (ICE) car fraternity.

          1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            > Except that as sales of petrol/diesel will begin to fall rapidy by the end of this decade

            How will that happen? All those second/third and fourth hand ICE cars happily being maintained and driven around will create a huge demand for petrol.

            The government will have to ban petrol or mandate quotas on how much petrol can be served a day before anything other the the price per liter forces people to migrate to EV. In fact they will need to migrate to second or third hand EV, and if those prices dont meed their needs, car use itself will drop off.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: The ICE will be with us for...

              "How will that happen? All those second/third and fourth hand ICE cars happily being maintained and driven around will create a huge demand for petrol."

              Maybe just poor wording on your part, but I don't see how a dwindling proportion of ICE cars on the road can "create a huge demand for petrol.". By definition, the demand is going to go inexorably down.

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            We might see some shrinking of the auto-fuel infrastructure, but I bet there won't be much in the rural US, for one. There are far too many ICE vehicles, being driven long distances, with population densities too low to make switching stations to chargers feasible.

            Significant existing investments make technology sticky. Sure, gadgets come and go quickly – goodbye Palm Pilot, goodbye Blackberry, we hardly knew ye. But even the switch from incandescent lamps, for example, is still creeping along, four decades after Phillips came out with the first popular consumer CFL and 13 years after they started selling consumer LED lamps in the US. I just bought some standard incandescents a couple of weeks ago, at Walmart, for a fixture that's attached to an old dimmer switch and consequently is a little unreliable when LEDs are used. (I'll replace that switch eventually, but it's at my daughter's house and I didn't want to be doing electrical work in the dining room during the holidays.)

            We in the software industry should know just how long legacy technology can stick around.

            I plan to continue driving an ICE until I can't drive. They may have to be used ones at some point, but that's fine, because all the newer models are shit anyway. (They all seem to have touchscreens, which is enough to put them on my Do Not Want list.)

            1. Col_Panek

              Re: The ICE will be with us for...

              As a point of comparison, there are seven million horses in the USA, twice the number of EVs. Some are transportation for the Amish, some are pets, some are racers. Probably ICE cars will be the same.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            "Except that as sales of petrol/diesel will begin to fall rapidy by the end of this decade "

            Really? People just give up cars?

            EVs will never be cheaper than the battery pack and that alone excludes >60% of car owners. Typical car, actually in use, costs couple of grands and that doesn't buy even used EV battery. Even less an EV car with said battery.

        2. cipnt

          Obviously

          Thanks for pointing out the obvious...

        3. GreyWolf

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          "sell them into the second-hand market"

          What second-hand market? As soon as EVs become available at sensible prices and sensible volumes (hint: the Chinese, this year 2023; see also MG4 at half the price of a Tesla), loads of ICE cars will hit the second-hand market, the bottom will fall out. And will affect all the way up to "nearly new" - no-one will buy a new ICE car when the depreciation is much steeper than today's.

          End game: "classic" ICE cars will survive. Boring mass-market cars will get crushed.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            If the bottom falls out of the 2nd hand car market in the sort of time scale you predict, I'd expect many more people driving old clunkers to upgrade to a much nicer and now very much cheaper ICE car (which will actually have the effect of softening any price drop anyway). There's a LOT of people out thee who can't afford new or nearly new cars and will keep them running, even if the running costs and refuelling costs are climbing. It's exactly the same financial situation that causes people to continue with inefficient white goods or household heating systems. They can sort of afford the increasing running costs, but not the capital cost of purchasing something more efficient that should save money in the long run.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            You seem to be ignoring the EV charging horizon because charging infrastructure will take longer to build than concomitant vehicle sales.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            "As soon as EVs become available at sensible prices and sensible volumes"

            Which will not happen unless someone invents dirt cheap battery and/or free electricity. It still costs 2* of ordinary car to make and there's no way to go around that.

            Don't hold your breath while waiting.

      2. Snow Hill Island

        Re: The ICE will be with us for...

        Just to clarify, new ICE vehicles will be with us for 12 in the UK too, in hybrid form, but a "pure" ICE will only be available new for 7 years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          " "pure" ICE will only be available new for 7 years."

          Which is political BS already and they know it. Majority of *new car buyers* can't afford EV, so it's a political suicide to ban all the others.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The ICE will be with us for...

        12 or 7 years?

        That’s a hell of a lot of ICE cars to be replaced.

        Is there even enough time, regardless of the cost?

        Check back here in 7 years and tell me how many ICE cars are still circulating.

        It may be a shock.

        1. Boothy

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          It's only related to new sales, nothing changes for existing cars, so existing ICE cars will still be around for many years to come in the 2nd hand market.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            You're assuming that in 5 years, the government isn't going to balk and say "Yeah, about that ban on new ICE vehicles that's supposed to start year after next. Well, let's put that off an additional 5 years to give the manufacturers more time to improve production of EVs and components."

      4. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: The ICE will be with us for...

        To be precise, 12 years in the EU, 7 years in the UK

        Until you can't buy a new car with a petrol/diesel engine. After that, existing vehicles will be on the road for a very, very long time. The average age of a car on the road in the UK at the moment is already something like 12 years old and it's only going to go up.

        At the moment if you have an old car and you get a potential repair bill of >£1000 then most people simply ditch it and buy another less old second hand car that costs less than that. Removing the source of new vehicles going to adversely affect the supply of older car and the price will go up, meaning that cars will likely be repaired until the point of outright economic impossibility.

        I read an article in a newspaper on news years day that my father in law pointed out to me. The driver of a battery EV with a nominal 160 mile range had set off for a 120 mile trip to visit their parents at Christmas. Except that apparently you only get that 160mph range if doing about 40mph, so the actual range is about 100 miles on the motorway. Before you put the heater on, which they felt obliged to do since it was only a couple of degrees outside, which further reduced the range and before you use lights etc.

        This required them to do a pitstop for a charge enroute, which had a multi hour que. Their EV stopped charging midway through when somebody else connected to the other side of the charger. They then had to get to the parents, and find another charger at that end because they didn't have enough range to make it back to the pitstop, let alone back home. Their trip there took them 4 hours, and the trip back took them 7 hours as some of the chargers at their pitstop had collapsed under the load. The article read with an air of less than complete enthusiasm for their EV, and included the views of another EV driver who having been on the road for something like 14 hours to do a few hundred miles was in tears of rage and determined to send their EV back the next day and buy a hybrid with what the writer described as manic glee.

        In an ICE car 120 miles is two hours. I could have done the journey there and back on less than half a tank of fuel in the time it took them to get there.

        However, i'd quite like an EV. I'd just like it to be done in a sane manner; which is that a hybrid with an electric motor and a petrol or LPG generator is a transitional step towards EV's and then a battery powered EV can exist after charging infrastructure exists and preferably after there is a third rail system down major motorways and A roads so a battery EV only needs to do short(ish) trips on the battery.

        However, starting with battery powered EV's and deploying them where we don't have the charging equipment deployed and we don't have enough capacity on the national grid to charge them if we did deploy them at scale is not a prospect that anybody with any intelligence is likely to buy into. I'm certainly not going to.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          "I read an article in a newspaper on news years day that my father in law pointed out to me."

          Counter-example: I know someone who's driven from western Switzerland to south-central England in an EV, on two charges, with the trip taking less than a day. Four times. Not had a problem yet.

          1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
            IT Angle

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            I'm planning a road-trip from Faro in southern Portugal to the northern tip of Norway this year in an EV. Just for the hell of it.

            GJC

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: The ICE will be with us for...

              I presume an extended ferry journey will form part of this road-trip...

              BTW wouldn't be surprised if the total ferry time and cost isn't too dissimilar to the cost and time of actually driving, but with less wear-and-tear on the driver and passengers...

              1. Irony Deficient

                I presume an extended ferry journey will form part of this road-trip…

                With the construction of the Drogden Tunnel and the Øresund Bridge two decades ago, it’s possible to drive a car from Portugal to Norway via Denmark and Sweden without requiring an extended ferry journey. (There is a €57 toll for one-time crossings of the tunnel/bridge combination in a car up to 6 m [19′ 8″] in length, though.)

              2. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
                Boffin

                Re: The ICE will be with us for...

                Well, given that we live on a island here in the UK, yes, there will be ferries involved to reach Europe, and get back. It's still a 7,500 mile road trip, even taking a ferry to northern Spain.

                GJC

                1. Roland6 Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: The ICE will be with us for...

                  So that is from the UK via Faro to Vardo return (by car)...

                  Faro to Vardo is circa 5,600km

                  Don't know why you are not considering the ferry - what's not to enjoy: crossing the Bay of Biscay in a storm, the North Sea and Norwegian Sea in winter...

                  Hope you've got a book deal signed up...

                  For everyone's entertainment, what left-field luxury item will you be taking given someone has already written a travelogue about taking their sofa on a road trip...

                  1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
                    Pint

                    Re: The ICE will be with us for...

                    I'm taking the wife, that's all the luxury any man could require.

                    <looks around nervously, sidles off to hide>

                    GJC

          2. GreyWolf

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            Didn't go through France then. French charging stations are notorious for being out of action.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            "in an EV,"

            ... and how much over £80k that car cost? Money buys range and a trailer with a diesel generator to power said EV, not a problem at all.

            1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: The ICE will be with us for...

              It was £40k, five years and 80,000 miles ago.

              GJC

        2. Terje

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          From my point of view we will still have a lot of ICE powered vehicles for a long time, what will change is what fuel they use. In many areas an electric car is simply not an option for many people, due to distances and environment (temperature) if an EV manufacturer tells you it will give you 300km range but you have an outside temperature of -15C and crap weather you will be very very lucky if you get half of that on the other side heat will lower your range since AC requires a lot of energy as well.

        3. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          As someone who's a daily EV driver, I have to agree with Peter2

          I sometimes drive from Titusville to Orlando on my Energica.

          Some days it's all peachy keen. The chargers work and you're the only one there.

          Some days it's a complete sh*tshow. Walmart has EV delivery vans, so now they're using public chargers, with a "f*ck everyone else" attitude from the drivers and no common courtesy.

          I'll check the next charger on the app, and it'll be Running Perfectly and I'll roll up and it's completely dead. No life on the display. Nothing. 'll check it on the app, and it'll be still be Running Perfectly and I'll check PlugShare (open crowd-sourced app) and it'll be "sorry, this'un's deaders!" FROM THE CHARGING NETWORK STILL SAYING ON THEIR OWN APP THAT IT'S FINE.

          However, my great grandmother said the early gas stations were the exact same sh*tshow so I guess it'll improve.

          1. GreyWolf

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            Thanks for the word from great granma. Nothing better than testimony from someone who was there.

          2. John 104

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            @Gene Cash

            Difference with your grans is that stores of petrol cans didn't just stop working randomly. They were there or they weren't.

        4. Stork Silver badge

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          Isn’t the 12 years the expected lifespan of a car, as opposed to median age of cars registered?

          1. Stork Silver badge

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            Don’t understand the downvote, it’s a genuine question.

            1. Wellyboot Silver badge

              Re: The ICE will be with us for...

              Yes, 12 years is the median age, 30+ million cars in the UK with about 2 million registrations a year until recent events slashed that number.

              My ten year old shopping trolley* could easily see the decade out and my long distance car (owned 10 years) probably has another 100k in it. Previous to these I put 430K miles on a pair of sensible diesels from the late '90s.

              * I bought it early in Jan 2020 for less than it's currently worth :)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            "Isn’t the 12 years the expected lifespan of a car, as opposed to median age of cars registered?"

            .... 12 years is very short, either way.

            Here in North average is 18 years, excluding museum registered (>30y old). I'd say median is only a bit less than 18: Quick glance to parking lot and ~2 less than 10-year-olds and several ~20 year olds ... and this is premium area, no poor people in these buildings.

        5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          "a hybrid with an electric motor and a petrol or LPG generator"

          Apparently, that sort of hybrid used to exist, but are no longer made. It does strike me as the most efficent way of building a hybrid, ie much less complex drive train and the ICE engine can be smaller and run at it's most efficient speed to maintain charge. There must be some good technical reason that you can't buy one like that. I think they were called "range extenders" and what to my uneducated mind at the time is what I thought a "hybrid" car actually was. Little did I know then that a "hybrid" as we know them is basically two cars in one in terms of power generation with the downside of whichever power source is driving the car has to also pull the deadweight of the other power source, hence the battery range of hybrids being almost pointlessly low.

          1. Justthefacts Silver badge

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            That’s inefficient because of efficiency loss of about 15% each side of charging/discharging the battery - it’s better to direct drive the wheels from the ICE if you can. The weight is worse, but even a pure self-charging engine needs to be sized about 60-80hp for continuous charging over speed/distance (partly because of those losses), which is larger than you might think.

            Although caveat - as with all engineering, “it depends”, I’m sure one can find some corner of design space where the self-charging works out better all things considered, maybe it’s just not a corner that’s well-visited.

          2. Col_Panek

            Re: The ICE will be with us for...

            Mazda is rumoring one with a Wankel range extender. Might just work.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: The ICE will be with us for...

              >range extender

              Is this the new marketing term for what we currently call a 'hybrid'?

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The ICE will be with us for...

          "At the moment if you have an old car and you get a potential repair bill of >£1000 then most people simply ditch it and buy another less old second hand car that costs less than that."

          Yes. But option to go to *any* new car does not exist: Just *way* too expensive. Has never existed and EVs only make it *much* worse with £30k price tag instead of 10.

      5. Persona

        Re: The ICE will be with us for...

        12 years is a long time. Plans can and do change as do the Prime Ministers who announces such plans.

        The statistic that matters is not how many purchase an electric car, but how many go on to replace the electric car they bought with another electric car and also how many people choose to buy a second hand electric car.

    3. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

      Personally I *was* all in on the idea of switching to an EV, and was quite looking forward to it. They seemed quite nippy, and cheap to run.

      However, after looking into it with the price of electricity, the initial price of the vehicle and the resale value they no longer look like such a great option. That's not to mention the terrible environmental impact of the manufacture and replacement of the batteries.

      I'll be buying a super reliable petrol car around 2029 and plan to keep it forever (or just not have a car, and use ZipCar / Hiyacar for the odd occasion when I actually need one??). I'm thinking Toyota (without doing any research), but definitely something solid that will last 20 years if looked after. And by 2050 I'll just be able to hail a self driving taxi whenever I need to, right? ;-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        just get a new MX-5.

        great car, fun, nice to drive.

        that my plan

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          Personally, I'm sure I'd quite enjoy an MX-5 (Miata here in the States) for local errands and such. I like small cars (though I've always had hatchbacks, for the versatility). But I suspect it would not be ideal when I have to drive the 2500 miles to New England to visit friends and family, as I did last September. For me, it essentially has the same limitations as an EV: OK for local stuff, but not for the long trips. (Still, if I someday see a used one at a decent price...)

          At the moment I have a Volvo XC70 which is a pretty good compromise: excellent seats and cargo room for those long trips, decent passenger space, AWD for snow (I do a lot of driving in the snow) and mild off-road (I have to do a fair bit of that), decent towing capacity (ditto). Mileage is not great, but not too bad on the highway, and actually pretty good locally where I'm mostly driving 35-45 mph. It would be terrible for commuting, but I work from home.

          If I were still commuting I'd probably pick up an old Honda Civic or similar for that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        "However, after looking into it with the price of electricity, the initial price of the vehicle and the resale value they no longer look like such a great option. That's not to mention the terrible environmental impact of the manufacture and replacement of the batteries."

        Not sure what you're talking about. 2nd hand prices of EVs are through the roof, even for older vehicles like the BMW i3, and vastly more so than for even sought-after gas vehicles.

        As for batteries, they are completely recyclable and have been so for a while, it just took longer to make recycling cheaper than mining resources.

        "I'll be buying a super reliable petrol car around 2029 and plan to keep it forever"

        And in what world is that better than buying an EV - *any* EV?

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          >As for batteries, they are completely recyclable and have been so for a while...

          Looking at what seems to be the only company with a large-scale battery "recycling" facility in Norway, it would appear in this context "recycling" means grinding up the used battery and use it as high-grade lithium ore. So whilst "recycling", a lot of energy is consumed...

          >And in what world is that better than buying an EV - *any* EV?

          Depends on your take on "better"...

          If you live in an area with poor electricity supply infrastructure and unreliable supply then I suggest it is better.

          However, we can expect the emission rules for ICE to get increasingly stringent, so that 2029 ICE will probably have super low emissions but only do a couple of miles to the litre because of all the exhaust filters... Also given the quality of current generation ICE vehicles and all the electronics in the dashboard, I suspect the cost of maintaining a modern ICE vehicle over 12 years will be significant.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          "Not sure what you're talking about. 2nd hand prices of EVs are through the roof, even for older vehicles like the BMW i3, and vastly more so than for even sought-after gas vehicles."

          I wonder why that is? It's not yet a mature market and I'd be very wary of a second hand EV without some very careful checking of the battery capacity and how it's been used. I suspect the demand for second hand EVs is more based on peoples wants and expected running costs, low emission zones, the high cost of new, some pressure to switch to EV etc, but few will be considering the different things to check when buying second hand EV compared to ICE. Then again, plenty of people already get stung buying second hand ICE because they don't understand how a car works and what to look for, relying on the seller to be honest (LOL)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          "As for batteries, they are completely recyclable and have been so for a while, "

          In a same way as plastic is: you grind it into small powder and use it as a landfill.

          .. .well, a bit better than that, but batteries are not recyclable at all: The lithium in them is, but that's *totally* different thing.

          Compare to steel: Steel you throw into melter, *as it is*, and that's the whole process.

      3. GreyWolf

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        "terrible environmental impact of the manufacture and replacement of the batteries"

        EV batteries are 95% recyclable (the other 5% is plastic), and are already being recycled widely. In the future, old batteries will be a better source for the minerals than mining, thus cheaper than mining.

        1. John 104

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          Pass that crack pipe over here, man...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          "old batteries will be a better source for the minerals than mining, thus cheaper than mining."

          Specifially: Mining for lithium. Still *way more expensive* than mining iron.

    4. Randy Hudson

      Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

      Expensive? How are 86% of Norwegians able to purchase an EV?

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        Because subsidies.

        1. blackcat Silver badge

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          Subsidies don't really help as it is just giving you your own money back minus a major cut for handling it. The only people who profit are the car makers as they don't need to reduce the prices.

          1. Chet Mannly

            Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

            Well 100% taxes on your competition (ICEs) certainly make the price equation completely different

      2. Caspian Prince

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        That'll be the huge amount of money they made from selling oil and gas.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        86% of *new car buyers*. Not 86% of Norwegians, not even near. About 16% of them can afford a new car in the first place: Taxes on cars are *huge* in Norway.

        Would you choose a new Tesla instead of new low end Toyota? Same purchase price because of subsidies in the first and heavy taxes on the second.

        Also, Norwegians, in general, are high income, high cost people.

    5. cyberdemon Silver badge
      Unhappy

      > Happy to drive an EV but the price points need to come waaaay down.

      Not much chance of that, for a few reasons.

      1. Not until we nationalise, or at least drastically rationalise the electricity markets... Currently, the way the electricity market works in the UK is utterly broken by free-market-capitalism gone-mad. There are about 15 different "markets" in the system, all designed as sticking-plasters to try to solve particular issues, because economists can only solve problems by inventing a new market, it seems.

      2. Not until the price of electricity is decoupled from the price of gas... In the main "day ahead" and "half hour" markets, there is an auction system whereby electricity generators bid for a price per MWh, and they are asked by National Grid to spin up and start generating in the order of the price they bid, but everyone receives the same price as the most expensive generator that was needed per day / per half-hour. That's why the price of electricity is so inextricably linked to the price of gas. But the wind-farm operators don't want to change it, because they are making a bloody killing this way.

      3. Not until we build more transmission capacity. Currently the 400kV transmission system is bottlenecked in a few places, such as the Scottish border. This means that even if there is a surplus of Wind power, we still have to switch on expensive CCGTs, OCGTs or Interconnector links to keep the lights on in London and the South East. That means expensive bills for us and trebles all round for the generators.

      4. Not until we build more distribution capacity. The various substations and low-voltage cables that bring electricity to homes and businesses are the most inefficient part of the system, due to their low voltage (and associated I^2R losses), and are currently stretched to breaking point. The cable under your street typically carries 240V 400A, or 415V (3 phase 240V) 800A if you're lucky. An EV charger needs to charge at the very least at 10A (2kW, so 24h to reach 50kWh charge), but 40A if you want a 6 hour "fast-ish" charge. If everyone on the street had an EV, that 400A cable would be starting to overheat very quickly, especially if people are running heat pumps, showers, fan heaters, electric cookers etc. as well. One way to solve this would be to have US-style 11kV-230V transformers on every other telegraph pole, but that would probably be considered unsightly by the good townsfolk of Royal Tunbridge Wells, and so they will simply get into their spare petrol Porsche SUVs instead when the lights go off.

      Oh yeah, and it also turns out that Lithium and Cobalt for Batteries, Copper for motors and busbars, and Neodymium for magnets, are all finite resources, so the price per EV doesn't have the same economy of scale as the economists thought it would. If anything, the more EVs there are, the more expensive they will get. Oops.

      1. blackcat Silver badge

        Re: > Happy to drive an EV but the price points need to come waaaay down.

        "Currently, the way the electricity market works in the UK is utterly broken by free-market-capitalism gone-mad."

        I believe the market pricing model is the same or very similar for most of Europe. It is nothing to do with free market capitalism but stupid govt regulation and protectionism.

        1. cyberdemon Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: > Happy to drive an EV but the price points need to come waaaay down.

          > I believe the market pricing model is the same or very similar for most of Europe. It is nothing to do with free market capitalism but stupid govt regulation and protectionism.

          Er, because there is no free-market capitalism in Europe?

          What we needed was new nuclear. But in a post-privatisation age we found that it simply wasn't feasible. I agree that the over-regulation and FUD around nuclear didn't help either though. Plus I have my suspicions about vested interests in oil and gas deliberately spreading FUD about nuclear..

          1. blackcat Silver badge

            Re: > Happy to drive an EV but the price points need to come waaaay down.

            The lack of nuclear has a lot to do with the green lobby and their incessant screeching mixed in with a good deal of nimbyism. There are well documented links between some green groups and Russian gas.

            In a free market you could sell your electricity for as much or as little as you wanted. The market pricing forces the prices of the renewables (of which a lot are owned or controlled by oil and gas companies) to follow that of gas. So you make gas electricity as expensive as you can and oh no, now terrible, now the renewable electricity is expensive too and I'll just have to suffer the profit. There is a vague hint of good intentions in there such that you will get SOME ROI but the last couple of years it has turned into a money printer.

            The strike price for hinkley point C is now quite reasonable.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: > Happy to drive an EV but the price points need to come waaaay down.

          "free market capitalism but stupid govt regulation and protectionism."

          No, it's literally free market capitalism with zero regulation: Energy company cartel ("exchange" as they call it) can ask *anything they want*. Literally. Absolutely no limits whatsoever. That's the absolute opposite of government regulation.

          And that's the problem, you see?

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: > Happy to drive an EV but the price points need to come waaaay down.

        >3. Not until we build more transmission capacity.

        4. Not until we build more distribution capacity.

        My understanding is we are pretty much at the limit of the electricity supplies into west London (ie. Heathrow and surrounding area) and upgrading will be significant and involving the prolonged closure of arterial roads whilst they are dug up, alternatively it will be pylons, potentially all the way into central London...

    6. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

      "The ICE will be with us for decades to come."

      But will become increasingly uneconomic to use (at least here in the UK). More and more towns are implementing "low emission zones" that require a fee to be paid for entry for any vehicle other than electric or more and more stringently defined ICE. Entering the London zone for a year of working days currently costs £3000, and just keeping an "eligible" vehicle on the road within the zone costs over £4500. And quite apart from the cost, one increasingly has to do reconnaissance before travelling to establish whether such zones exist and where they start.

      Although the concept of low emission zones is reasonable in principle, it has been reported independently that pollution levels have not reduced since the implementation of the London zone - it's primarily a cash grab, and a very lucrative one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        "More and more towns are implementing "low emission zones" that require a fee to be paid for entry for any vehicle other than electric or more and more stringently defined ICE. "

        Tax the poor. That's the idea. All of it. Zero connection to emissions as coal plants burn coal with zero fees.

    7. Danny 14

      Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

      It doesnt suit everyone.

      there are 4 chargers in our village at the village hall. Around 100 cottages in the village. Every night there are 2 DPD vans vans plugged into the chargers all night so thats 2 free for "public use". Most people cant park outside their houses as the village is mostly single track road. We are lucky as we have a small drive so can park one car outside the house.

      Almost all the cottages in the village have multi phases coming in to each one, 70A on each - usually TWO phases active, some of the longer cottages have a real mishmash. Single meter, one MPAN. We have two phases active, one is used for the AGA and storage heaters the other for domestic. So we could charge one car at a time on high draw, I wouldnt like to charge two if the AGA and shower are on. No mains gas and almost none of the cottages have room for surface oil tanks, christ knows how much an underground tank would cost. We have mains sewerage at least.

      The nearest shopping town is Keswick, which is 20 miles away along B and A roads, a smaller town with petrol station is 10 miles away, work for both of us is around 35 miles away so a 70 mile commute. No charging at work for either of us.

      EV would be a nightmare to run for us. It would be a very strict nightly charge as we couldnt guarantee a 140 miles over 2 day commute in winter conditions. As far as ICE goes, one of us has a fiat panda 4x4 (awesome in the bad weather) which does about 55mpg, the skoda fabia estate does about 50. I fill up once a week in both when we do our shopping.

      Today we drove to edinburgh, it was 150 miles and took 2.45 hours either way, no stops. This would have been fairly crappy in an EV as that would possibly be two full charges so maybe 2.45+1.5 each way? And thats arriving home "empty". My fabia still has 300 miles left in the tank.

      1. Jan 0 Silver badge

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        > there are 4 chargers in our village at the village hall. Around 100 cottages in the village. Every night there are 2 DPD vans vans plugged into the chargers all night so thats 2 free for "public use".

        You'd think that >100 adults could arrange for four cars to be on the chargers before the DPD vans arrive. DPD could arrange it's own charging facility. Perhaps they'll wait until Amazon monopolises the other 2 charging points?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

          Considering the remoteness of the village, it'd be interesting to know exactly WHY two DPD vans are on charge there. Maybe both drivers live in the village or at least fairly nearby. I can 't imagine the drivers "commute" to the chargers, but on the other hand, I've heard of stupider "solutions" to edicts from "on high" that are not practical in all situations, especially where green-washing is concerned.

      2. Chris Roberts

        Re: Too expensive, too heavy, too range limited

        You are lucky, I checked for chargers in my parent's town of just under 34,000 people and there are just two 50kW chargers. It is a seaside holiday town so the population doubles or more during summer.

  2. jake Silver badge

    The sticker price ...

    ... the lack of parts and repair services, range anxiety, buggy software, no recycle path, the sheer uglyness of all (most?) offerings ... need I go on?

    That and the market is pretty much saturated. Those that want one, have one ... and most of those don't want another. (Based on my observances here in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake Counties, California.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The sticker price ...

      "Those that want one, have one ... and most of those don't want another"

      I know 4 people with an EV. None of them have an issue with range anxiety (the UK is smaller than the US), and *none* would go back to an ICE.

      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
        IT Angle

        Re: The sticker price ...

        I've had an EV for five years, and my wife has had one for two and a half years. Neither of us ever want to go back to ICE.

        GJC

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The sticker price ...

          well, we know there are masochist's around, no need to annouce it.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The sticker price ...

          Yes, there are many situations where EVs are the obvious solution. Primarily guided by either only ever doing relatively short journeys or being in a positions to be able to afford higher end vehicles with longer range. I'm in the unfortunate position of having to drive long distances every day but not being able to afford an EV with the required range to make those journeys without a charging break, no guarantee of a charger at the destination and/or the regular use of "fast charge" on the motorway which currently can be nearly as expensive as petrol and wears out the battery life faster.

          I did have a hybrid on hire for a week a while ago. On long journeys, it seems better than a straight petrol, using fuel at an efficient 60mph on the motorways and using the batteries (only a 10 or so mile range!) for the bits where the ICE engine is least efficient, eg low speeds, towns, starting up, stop/start traffic etc. It average about 62mpg over the week, which is very good for petrol. On the other hand, I get that easily in my diesel car every day so diesel is probably better than hybrid/petrol.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The sticker price ...

            "Yes, there are many situations where EVs are the obvious solution."

            And as usual, the *first* is : "Have a lot of loose money to spend".

            If you don't have >£30k or more to throw away, no EV for you. Simple as that.

            " Primarily guided by" .. money. All the other arguments are meaningless, if you don't have a ton of money it's *all* theoretical BS.

      2. ChrisC Silver badge

        Re: The sticker price ...

        I think you're missing the point of the opening line in Jake's post - there they're listing the reasons why EVs may be considered the less desirable option when someone in general is considering what car to buy next. In contrast, your anecdote is based on the experiences of people who've clearly already decided that EVs DO make sense for them. so it should come as no surprise at all to hear that they don't agree with those reasons...

        Personally I do like the idea of EVs and other alternatively fuelled vehicles, and given the way our beloved overlord in London is behaving, if he manages to secure another term as mayor then it's likely he'll start ratcheting down even harder on ICE vehicle usage to the point where (as someone else mentioned earlier) EVs and other zero emissions vehicles become the only viable option for those of us who have to drive within the area, so I reckon it's only a matter of time before my hand is forced anyway.

        Except that, right now, my next car won't be an EV, because...

        a) the only affordable ones on the second hand market aren't even remotely comparable to the size/build quality/performance/features I can get for the same money by opting for something with an ICE up front. Given the length of my daily commute, and the lack of charge points at work, I *need* a vehicle that's guaranteed to give me at least 50 miles range in all conditions, which instantly rules out a sizeable chunk of the affordable cars even if I was prepared to forgo all the other things I look for in a car. And that's on the presumption that the OH will always own a car which can handle longer distance journeys with 2 adults and 2 teenagers, otherwise I'd be looking for something capable of at least 160 miles in such conditions, at which point I'm priced out of the EV market entirely right now.

        b) even if I could stretch to the purchase price of an EV that's comparable to those ICE cars by offsetting the upfront costs against the longer term savings on running costs, the insurance costs on such higher spec EVs are then sometimes ludicrous in comparison to the cost of insuring the equivalent ICE car, which further restricts the options to those vehicles which insurers are actually willing to insure at reasonable prices.

        c) there still isn't enough choice from those mainstream manufacturers who I'd happily consider for ICE vehicles, and as much as I admire some of the engineering that goes into cars from companies wholly focussed on EVs, their relative inexperience when it comes to designing the complete package (cabin layouts, exterior styling etc - i.e. all the stuff that isn't EV specific) often leaves me less than impressed with their cars overall. If I'm going to spend what to me is a not insignificant chunk of cash on a car, I really don't want to be left going "WTF was I thinking???" every time I look at it or drive it.

        Give it another few generations of EVs trickling down through the used car market, and of more models becoming available from manufacturers who understand how to build cars as opposed to EV drivetrains wrapped in something that looks/behaves a bit like a car, and we might be at a point where I can make the switch from ICE to EV. But right now, for me and the thousands of other drivers like me, making the switch now would at the very least require us to accept a fairly significant downgrade in our travel experiences/abilities, or stretching ourselves financially further than would be comfortable/sensible/viable.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The sticker price ...

          Things are definitely improving. I've been looking at new ones as my employer has just started a salary sacrifice scheme for EVs and that's lead me to reviews of the MG 4. It's still a higher up front cost than an ICE but the gap is diminishing.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: The sticker price ...

            So has our company. The lease offers (not purchase, lease only), go up in price until they reach a ceiling at 25,000 miles per year. I do double that and the lease company didn't even bother to reply when I queried how much the monthly cost would be for 50,000 miles per year!! To add insult to injury, their website lets you search for EVs by range and gives prices. But the prices shown are for the lowest rated car that happens to have a more expensive model matching the searched for range so you only find the real price after a few extra clicks or starting the "purchase" process. I could buy a new ICE car for the lease prices of EV and I'd still have a car to sell/trade-in after three years.

            The stupid thing is, the company wants to "go green" but are doing nothing for those of us with probably the biggest impact on the environment.

        2. John 104

          Re: The sticker price ...

          @ChrisC

          But right now, for me and the thousands of other drivers like me,

          I think you meant to say the Millions of other drivers like me. There are MILLIONS of ICE cars on the road, just in North America alone. Somehow the EV market is just going to suddenly appeal to all of the owners of those cars? And the electrical grid is going to magically be able to support those numbers? It's a bad joke and everyone knows it.

          1. ChrisC Silver badge

            Re: The sticker price ...

            Well, I didn't want to presume to speak for the whole world, so my post may have been a touch UK-centric ;-)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The sticker price ...

        "I know 4 people with an EV. None of them have an issue with range anxiety (the UK is smaller than the US), and *none* would go back to an ICE"

        FTFY

        "I know 4 people with an EV. None of them have an issue with range anxiety (the UK is smaller than the US) , and *none* would go back to an ICE, they don't tell me about how bad it is, as they spent so much on it, they don't want to admit being a fuckwit!"

        people who spend large amounts of money on shitty stuff, tend to fanboy it, rather than admit they were fools.

      4. unimaginative
        Devil

        Re: The sticker price ...

        Where do they live? What sort of journeys do they do? Do any have a second car for long journeys?

        I know someone who regularly drives from the Midlands to Aberdeenshire - 500 miles. Very different range requirements from driving around the south east.

        Manchester to London is over 200 miles. London to Edinburgh over 400. Most EVs will do that under good conditions. A lot (most?) will struggle if the roads are congested and its cold. I used to do Cheshire to London as a day trip. Over 400 miles in one day, so you had better be able to charge at the other end.

        The UK is smaller than the US, but its long and thin and not a small country.

        People who have bought an EV probably did so because they do not need to drive it long distances.

        There are other problems. Batteries are expensive, and have a limited life. That will mean a lot of cars disposed of after a short life because the cost of replacing the batter is no longer worth it. That could be more environmentally damaging that using petrol - building cars takes a lot of energy and a lot of resources. Of course car manufacturers are doing their best to shorten the life of new ICE cars too (software dependent, network connected, so when you stop getting updates you need a new car).

        I think electric is the future, but not battery electric. Where is the generating and transmission capacity? What effect will higher prices have on demand? What happens if we have issues with supply (e.g. an extended period of low wind)?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The sticker price ...

          "That will mean a lot of cars disposed of after a short life because the cost of replacing the batter is no longer worth it. "

          Yup, definitely. Which means a lifetime of an EV is 10 to 12 years and then it's scrapped. No-one will buy a new battery to 10-year-old EV.

          Ordinary cars last easily 20 to 25 years and that's double. At that point lifetime emissions are getting significant and EVs lose on that, badly: Making an EV creates emissions 2* compared to ordinary car and ordinary car lasts 2* as long as an EV. Emissions from exhaust are more or less meaningless at this point as electricity doesn't just "appear", it's made with coal.

          .... and they sell EVs as "environmental friendly" cars. Most of that is pure greenwashing BS.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The sticker price ...

        4 man support team here, 3 ev's

        One of them has picked unwisely and is seriously considering a spare diesel for long distance. He completely underestimated the range required.

        Other two are great, looking forward to mine!

      6. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: The sticker price ...

        I know 4 people with an EV. None of them have an issue with range anxiety (the UK is smaller than the US), and *none* would go back to an ICE.

        Your N=4 study is compelling.

        (Sure, jake's comment didn't have any actual numbers and was completely anecdotal. But this isn't much of a riposte.)

    2. Plest Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The sticker price ...

      Ditto. I'll drive one but I simply can't afford a Tesla "Smug-O-Mobile" when they start at £65k!

      I'm terribly sorry for being fricking poor!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The sticker price ...

        they don't start at £64k, sub £50 for a std range and you're basically getting an equivalent car to a BMW3 series with decent spec which would be around the same price

        1. ChrisC Silver badge

          Re: The sticker price ...

          £48490 for a base spec Model 3, vs £39640 for a base spec 3 Series after including the parking camera upgrade which seems to be the only significant difference (*) in the base spec between the two cars aside from acceleration, and no amount of throwing options at the BMW will make it equivalent there.

          So 9k cheaper for what, realistically, IS the equivalent car, but which also manages to look rather nicer both inside and out, even with the rather overly modern for my tastes interior styling BMW have now adopted. I dunno about you, but that doesn't make them around the same price in my eyes.

          * the Tesla website REALLY doesn't go out of its way to actually give prospective buyers much in the way of "this is what you're getting for your money" information, so I'll readily accept I might be missing other stuff you get "for free" with the Model 3 over the 3 Series, though I doubt I've managed to overlook an extra nine grands-worth...

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: The sticker price ...

            "I doubt I've managed to overlook an extra nine grands-worth..."

            Ah, you forgot to factor in the huuuuge value of the "promise" of adding Full Self Driving to your newly minted Tesla, some day in the very distance future :-)

            1. ChrisC Silver badge

              Re: The sticker price ...

              Not so fast there, if you want your shiny new Muskmobile to have the ability to become sentient, you need to spaff an extra 6.8k to add all the bits the car needs to provide Full Self-Driving Capability* right now...

              * Terms and conditions apply, actual behaviour may not match expectations, vehicle must remain under control of a human driver at all times, not really self driving at all, it's all just marketing crap, if you pay for this then you've more money than sense.

          2. John 104

            Re: The sticker price ...

            And the BMW is a nicer car period. Build quality on Tesla's is notoriously poor as well as after purchase support.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The sticker price ...

            base spec M3 std range is £43k. LR is £50k To get the same spec BMW 3 you'd have to add the technology pack and a load of others taking it to around £45k If you want performance (and performance costs) you would require a M3 which would then be just on par with a M3 LR tesla but still wouldn't be 4 wheel drive like the tesla but would be costing you over £60k. we've had a few BMW's Audis and merc over the years, and you get FECK all standard. With telsas everything apart from some paint colours and autopilot is std there are no options to add

      2. David Nash

        Re: The sticker price ...

        My model 3 cost £40K a little over a year ago.

        Not sure how much they are now, given inflation and all but I would be surprised if that were not a significant exaggeration.

        Sure, not everyone can afford £40K but there are cheaper brands and as the tech matures and becomes more common I expect the prices will come down further.

        My view is that the infrastructure is the biggest barrier to higher adoption. Cities and especially places where most people live in apartments with for example underground parking, (I just came back from Spain where this is normal in most places) will have a huge problem making charging accessible.

        1. John 104

          Re: The sticker price ...

          Problem with cheaper EVs is that you get stiffed on range. It's still one of the biggest BS factors of EVs. When you buy an ICE you get options for engines, but no matter which one you choose, you get to fill the same sized tank and get nearly identical range. Cheap EVs have crap range unless you 'upgrade' to a bigger battery. But with the upgrade comes the extra cost. Since never have you had to deal with that kind of manipulative cash grab greed with an ICE car.

    3. Randy Hudson

      Re: The sticker price ...

      > Those that want one, have one

      That certainly explains why Tesla's Model 3s are starting to pile up. I mean, across the entire US, they're sitting on 19 unsold Model 3s.

    4. Stork Silver badge

      Re: The sticker price ...

      Is that mostly Teslas you’re thinking of? Nissan Leaf looks much like other Nissans and are serviced the same places

  3. Apprentice of Tokenism
    Facepalm

    The “affordables” cost >=30k £ and one gets an EV with less than 200km range and a tablet as main display.

    Well, I guess it all comes down to answering this simple question: What could only be wrong with that?

    1. cipnt

      MG4 = £26k @ 220 miles range

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        when you allow for the drop in range due to cold weather, fully loading the vehicle, sticking a bike rack on, and wear and tear on the battery, 200 miles could equate to only 100 miles or so when the vehicle is 10 years old. I consider that to be a laughably low range, but that prices me out of the EV market, because I need a 350 to 400 mile range tin a new vehicle to guarantee I can go out for a day's mountain biking in winter when the vehicle is 10+ years old, and I really want the heating on for the journey home...

        Admittedly, this prices me out of the EV market for now, but maybe I'll pick up a cheap second hand Tesla in a year or two.... There will be a lot of choice of really good new EVs available to order then.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The way Tesla sales are going you'll be able to pick up a cheap *new* one soon.

        2. cipnt

          Some second hand EVs are actually appreciating in value (accounting for inflation)

          This is unsustainable, I think, and can't last for much longer.

          But the old rule of thumb that a second hand car halves in price every two-three years is definitely not applicable anymore. Be it EVs or ICE

        3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          > because I need a 350 to 400 mile range tin a new vehicle to guarantee I can go out for a day's mountain biking in winter

          Why the hell?

          1. 105kayem
            Coat

            He’s the Emergency Trombone Repair Man on his vacation.

          2. Ghostman

            Like many here in the USA, my vacations rarely take up less than 2,000 miles of travel. A trip to the closest beach is 500 miles, trip to the mountains about the same. I've made many trips to the beach over the years leaving at 6AM and getting back home before midnight. How can I do that with a EV? I generally make the trip and have gas left when i get home, driving a V-8 truck.

            A trip through the Smokies needs a vehicle that can pull you uphill for about 80 miles after you get to Turnerville, Ga., and not make you pull over for an hour or so to charge up enough to get to the next charger. And there is hardly anywhere in the Smokies to put chargers except the Ranger stations and Clingmans dome.

            I take trips from mid Ga. to Washington, DC, Florida Keys, all over Texas, New Orleans. On some trips I'll go through as many as 7 different states, and that covers more territory than England.

            So the guy goes mountain biking in the winter? If he likes doing that, why not?

          3. ChrisC Silver badge

            Re-read what they actually wrote before declaring incredulity at what you *think* they were saying...

            They're saying that, in order to guarantee enough range for their needs when the battery has been given 10 years of use and abuse, AND when the weather conditions mean that the battery performance will be reduced further still and also that the car will be using more power than usual for stuff like heating and lighting, AND when it's also using more power to move itself along the road due to the extra drag from the bike rack, the car would most likely need to have a guaranteed range of 350-400 miles with a factory-fresh battery under more normal driving conditions.

          4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "Why the hell?"

            Downvoted for deliberately quoting out of context to make a facetious point.

        4. Roland6 Silver badge

          >when you allow for the drop in range due to cold weather, fully loading the vehicle, sticking a bike rack on, and wear and tear on the battery, 200 miles could equate to only 100 miles or so when the vehicle is 10 years old.

          Which, for me, is a reason to walk away.

          My 2008 diesel (*) with 180,000 still gives me +44mpg and similar performance (speed and acceleration) and the last time I filled the tank up, it still took 50 litres...

          Yes, I buy a car and run it until it becomes scrap.

          (*) According to independent on-the-road real-world testing it produces lower emissions than more recent Euro 5 and 6 engines and many petrol engines...

        5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          "I can go out for a day's mountain biking in winter when the vehicle is 10+ years old, and I really want the heating on for the journey home..."

          And? It's downhill all the way back from the mountains, so the regen braking will power the heaters all the way home. What's your problem?

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Pfft. What sort of coward uses the brakes when driving back down the mountain? Coast and steer, man. Coast and steer.

            (I do enjoy filling the tank when after driving over one of the mountain passes I routinely take. After 15 miles or so of downhill, the estimated range will sometimes go over a thousand miles. Yeah, Volvo, I like your optimism.)

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      My affordable MG5 cost <£30k (and it's not a base model), has a published range spec from it's 51kWh battery of 217miles (349km). During last summer I was achieving, on the basis of distance gone from 100% state of charge to a nearly empty battery, plus estimated bit of range left, was 249 miles (400km). It's no Tesla but gets away from the lights comfortably rapidly plus it's a proper estate and not a hatchback.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would love my next vehicle to be EV (or at least hybrid). But... I live in northern Sweden, so the actual range has to make sense when temps are -30 C and the next village is 100 km away. Also infrastructure outside the urban centres is a concern. And I strongly prefer 4wd due to snow & ice (not a massive Status Upgrade Vehicle, just something to replace a 20 year old Subaru Forester). But they all cost quite a bit to purchase, our deer[1] beloved new gov. decided to cancel the "EV rebate" pretty much overnight. So sticker price is steep, and total cost of ownership is questionable even if I want one, not the least because of the environment.

    [1] "Deer" because their response to any serious questions is like a deer in the headlights: freeze in shock and then run away in panic. We have a minister that brags about working on a Friday before a holiday when there is a crisis going on...

    1. seven of five

      Not even a new Forester could replace a 20 year old one. Sadly.

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Battery EVs don't like the cold, that's for sure.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Part of that is down to having to use so much of the battery power to heat the cab. With an ICE (if you'll pardon the pun), that's just efficient use of waste heat.

        1. Chet Mannly

          A small part - most of that is the chemistry of batteries - they drop heaps of performance in cold conditions.

  5. Little Mouse

    "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

    Numbers please.

    For those of us who don't have access to free electricity, are EVs actually cheaper to run, mile for mile?

    1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

      Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

      As someone who had a plug in hybrid for many years and now has a Nissan Leaf, I can say that the answer is complex.

      If you use your car like we do: charging up at home and mostly commuting under the range of the vehicle each day, then yes, it is much cheaper to run. And there are less moving parts and so the servicing costs are lower.

      However, if you need to charge up on public chargers then it is a different case, with costs from our experience of more than ICE on journeys requiring charging en-route. Charging is getting more and more expensive, the charging network is too small (causing queues at the chargers) and the number of chargers not working is far too high (which is the range anxiety element for us).

      There are apps that tell you where chargers are, if they are in use and if they are working, which reduces most of the range anxiety, to a case of planning. The difficulties are not much different from the early days of petrol vehicles with lack of garages and not knowing if they had fuel.

      1. Roger Greenwood

        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

        Pretty good summary. I would also say that at the moment once you get an EV you also have a whole new hobby:- route planning. It's just a mess of charging systems at the moment in the UK, probably the same everywhere.

        1. Martin
          Unhappy

          Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

          It's just a mess of charging systems at the moment in the UK, probably the same everywhere.

          Indeed. I have thirteen different apps for charging my EV. THIRTEEN!!!

          And that's not thirteen apps I've downloaded just in case - that thirteen apps each of which I've actually used at least once when charging on the road.

          It also doesn't include the app associated with my home charger.

          And I only charge on the road on holiday - I don't do a huge amount of travelling otherwise.

          It is actually quite ridiculous.

          1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            And most, if not all, require you to pre-load some money onto them, which if unused is just earning the company interest and not available for me to use. For at least one supplier, we pre-loaded and then the charger did not work, and we've not come across another one of that type to use up the money.

            Only 7 apps so far for us, but then our holidays are in our VW Transporter Camper, and I've not done a journey in the electric requiring more than 2 charges.

          2. ChrisC Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            Ouch. I thought it was getting stupid enough just needing to have 3-4 parking apps installed to cover the various options there, I can't even begin to fathom the lack of joined up thinking within the EV charging industry that would result in needing that many apps to cover the options here.

            It's anecdotes like this which further help explain the reluctance of so many to make the switch right now - as someone else noted, the life of an EV driver today isn't that dissimilar to the life of an ICE driver back in the early days of motoring in terms of early adopter issues. The big difference is that, back then if you wanted a car then you had no choice but to accept those issues, whereas today there is a choice...

          3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            And for those who dont have smartphones...

          4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            "It is actually quite ridiculous."

            Considering the charger has to have a data connection to work and bill via the app, it's seriously time for government to mandate at least chip'n'pn payment options on all charging networks as a minimum. This mish-mash of every network using it's own propriety app with the occasional "partner" app, is just ridiculous. It's doesn't even need an XKCD "new standard". Just a mandate for and enforcement of an existing one.

            1. Wellyboot Silver badge

              Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

              Don't go introducing common sense, there's money to be made selling the tracking data from all these apps!

      2. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

        That's a really good real user summary. I decided to do some rough numbers and revisit a calculation I did a few years ago.

        Assume an EV does 4 miles per kWh, equal to about 6.5km per kWh.

        ICE car does 50mpg, equal to about 17.7 km per litre

        Electricity price cap in UK is currently 34p per kWh.

        Cost of petrol is £1.50per litre.

        All that works out at a cost per km of 5.3p for electric and 8.5p for petrol. 3.2p difference per km.

        A few years ago, I worked out that with my mileage, an EV would save me about £1000 a year on fuel costs. Since then, the cost of electricity has gone up more than petrol and now that £1000 saving has roughly halved. I still can't justify even that £1000/year saving against the one off cost of an EV, even an old second hand one. So for me, I agree with the sub heading of the article.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

          Electricity price cap in UK is currently 34p per kWh.

          Cost of petrol is £1.50per litre.

          All that works out at a cost per km of 5.3p for electric and 8.5p for petrol. 3.2p difference per km.

          This assumes that you charge your EV using peak rate electricity and not overnight using cheap rate electricity. If you have an EV, you're likely to have arranged a tariff that gets you access to cheaper rate electricity for charging, for instance "Intelligent Octopus" tariff from Octopus Energy gives you 10p per kWh overnight, which gives a cost per km of 1.5p.

          Of course, such tariffs also give you a higher daytime rate (44p per kWh), same as other split rate tariffs like Economy 7.

          As someone in the UK who is "fortunate" enough to be in the £100k tax trap (everything between £100k and £125k is taxed at 63%), the one thing that pushes me towards an EV is the idea of leasing one through salary sacrifice. Depending on what model you lease, it could cost around £7k a year for a lease, but if its coming from my pre-tax income, thats only ~£2.6k from my post-tax income - lets say £250 a month for a brand new EV - with servicing, maintenance, tyres, some free electricity, breakdown cover, and insurance all included.

          1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            "This assumes that you charge your EV using peak rate electricity and not overnight using cheap rate electricity."

            I can't charge at home due to no where to park it. So I'd be charging at _65p_ a unit.

            1. Tom66

              Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

              Does need to be sorted. I was in London recently and the lamp post chargers seem to work quite well and have seen a few residents using them, but will need at least 10% of parking spaces to have a charger to be really useful once EVs go from being driven by "curious techies" to "mainstream".

              The price for electric from these posts is also quite reasonable for a public charger - I paid 24p/kWh (it's 44p/kWh between 4-7pm, though you can delay your car charging to outside of that period to avoid that, all of the spaces were 24hrs parking limit.)

              1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

                Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                That depends on the area: Around me the street lamps are up against the houses, not the road, so you are still trailing cables over the pavement.

            2. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

              Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

              Turns out I'm out of date - it's now 79p/kWh, not 65...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            well that sounds shit, your only saving 10p on charging per KWh.

            but every KWH you use otherwise is 10p more expensive.

            I'd be wary about doing that, without calculating every little KWh your likely to be spending more than if you charged at normal rate

          3. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            Sorry to be "that person" but your financial calculations merely illustrate the contention that EVs are really just rich people's toys.

            If you don't live in a suburban house with a drive, and aren't paid enough where this kind of deal is available, then you are down to just buying a very expensive vehicle that is expensive to fuel, and insufficiently reliable - in the sense that you may get stranded if the charging infrastructure isn't available.

            I think the unspoken (at least in public) idea is that really the whole thing only works if most people no longer own or use a car. There are many papers discussing the "end of personal motoring" being necessary for Net Zero.

            Most people seem not to be aware of this.

            1. keith_w

              Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

              In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and other places in Canada where the winters can get VERY cold, many people do not have driveways or garages to store their cars overnight, so they are parked on the road. The IC engines have block heaters to keep them warm. The people run an extension cord out from the house to plug the car in. There is no reason that cannot be done to charge a battery overnight.

              1. ChrisC Silver badge

                Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                Some EV drivers already do that here too, but they still have to be in the position of being able to park their car as near as damnit directly outside their house and on the same side of the road, which isn't a given.

                1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

                  Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                  Yeap. My car is anywhere from 2 metres to 80 metres from my house. Friend of mine in London wins though. One night he got home after a late shift, and couldn't park outside his house. Or the next road.. in the end he had to park at _brentwood_ and get a night bus home...

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

              3. Justthefacts Silver badge

                Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                Yes, there is a reason why that can’t be done. The engine block heaters take (relatively) minimal energy because petrol engines only need to be kept above eg -40C. There’s a world of difference between the power cord and safety requirements for a 1kW block heater compared to a 150kW charging cable.

                Another point: Li ion batteries you can’t *charge* below 0C, and can never drop below -20C without irreversible damage. At least if you forget to plug in the block heater, you just plug it in afterwards and leave it a few hours. Electric vehicle, it’s (the opposite of) toast in what you probably regard as T-shirt weather.

                1. ChrisC Silver badge

                  Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                  Note that we're only talking about stringing a standard mains cable across the pavement to the car for slow-charging, so the same safety requirements apply as for powering a block heater. There are other issues as noted earlier which may prevent it from being possible, but this isn't one of them.

                  1. Justthefacts Silver badge

                    Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                    Well, it depends, right? If you’re talking about one of those 13A charging cable jobbies, fine. But at 3kW, charging a 75kWh car takes 25 hours. There’s slow, and then there’s sloooowww.

                    A more reasonable slow-charge is 32A. You can’t just run that through DIY store mains cable, or to an arbitrary electricity socket you found, or it will overheat. You need to be very careful where that runs, tracing it all the way to the consumer unit with 32A cable. Otherwise, at some point the cable probably runs randomly through some 10A cable buried in loft insulation keeping it nice and “toasty”. Just hanging an electric car charger off the heater-block connection is asking for serious trouble.

                    1. ChrisC Silver badge

                      Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                      Well yes, but then if you're in the position of being able to recharge your car at home, then your 25 hour scenario would only really be applicable to someone who'd driven home and parked up having free-wheeled the last few yards due to the battery being totally drained, and who then needed the battery to be fully recharged before their next drive.

                      Whilst there will be some drivers who need to do this, I feel fairly confident in assuming that the majority would not need to do this except on rare occasions, and it's more than likely a fairly significant chunk of that majority would NEVER need to do it, because they're never doing such long drives, and so even the relatively small amount of charge they can put back into their car each evening/overnight at home is enough to cover what they took out of it that day.

                      1. Justthefacts Silver badge

                        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                        I sort of understand that. But the hole in your assumption is “except on rare occasions”. For half of the population “occasional unpredictable life crises, life-changing if you screw up” is pretty much the reason we own a car at all.

                        Otherwise, Uber would be the answer. If your need is a regular commute-vehicle, then paying £3k a year depreciation+maintenance just to keep something on the road is not remotely cost-competitive with *car-pooled* Uber, used as it was originally intended.

                        However, if you waited until the recent ambulance-strike to realise that when you need to pick your elderly parent off the floor 70 miles away, the excuse “my EV was charging for several hours” is not going to cut it. That’s what car ownership addresses, and EVs just don’t work for that unless you’ve got reliable guaranteed access to fast-charge.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            "peak rate electricity and not overnight using cheap rate electricity."

            Here in North ordinary people (in apartments) can't even have 'night electricity', i.e. cheaper night time tariff. If you have your own house with electric heating, then it's possible.

        2. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

          Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

          I live in a terrace, with no off road parking.

          My only choice to charge an EV is a rapid charger. "Electricity price cap in UK is currently 34p per kWh." The only rapid charger in my area (16 miles from my home) is 65p kWh. And that cost incresase is before you factor in I drive a diesel, so doing 50mpg would mean there's something seriously wrong with my car...

          1. SloppyJesse

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            "I live in a terrace, with no off road parking."

            You could do what several houses on the terraced street round the corner from me do and run an extension cable across the pavement.

            2 of them even put those little rubber strips over the cables now!

            1. blackcat Silver badge

              Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

              Interesting issues about safety, both from tripping and electrical. Running something over a public right of way is a complicated subject and you know full well some idiot will try and trip over it. And there is a total panic over potential earth faults with EVs while AC charging.

              1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

                Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                Around here? I could see bolt cutters coming out and the cable being taken for the copper...

                1. blackcat Silver badge

                  Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                  Or the lead redirected into another house to save on their electricity

                2. Korev Silver badge
                  Flame

                  Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                  > Around here? I could see bolt cutters coming out and the cable being taken for the copper...

                  Or if the cable is live then the copper will take the corpse away?

              2. Justthefacts Silver badge

                Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                While I’m far from an EV advocate, that’s not as much an issue as people claim. As a resident/user, this is a public highway so you are entitled to be on it, but not cause an obstruction. You can sort the obstruction issue (eg for those with mobility issues, cf DDA) by just buying one of those raised rubber cable protectors, and everyone should be good.

                Apparently, if the cable is plugged in to your car, someone could claim that you as the car owner were liable for any trips But that’s covered by your car Third Party insurance, and nothing you actually have to do anything about. Possibly in future owners of EV cars will have their premiums loaded if they don’t have driveways, but so far apparently no claims have been made, and insurance policies aren’t loaded.

                To be honest, is this really so different from areas where people park up half on the pavement because of the width of the road, cause local problems, and then there’s friction with neighbours? The general rule is “don’t be a shithead”, and you’ll get on fine. If your disabled neighbour says “would you mind not plugging in until after I go to bed at 9pm, it’s a real problem for me”, just find a way to make that happen. If you have time to sort your bins into fourteen categories and put out the orange one at 5am on the 7th of Wednesbury for the Council, you can do this for your neighbour.

                1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

                  Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                  My car is often on the other side of the road to my house. So I need a 30+ metre cable, and "raised rubber protector" that can handle being driven over repeatedly.

                  As to my sorting of the rubbish and putting it out: I have a single wheelie bin, and it was last emptied by the council in 2015.

                  And this is my 10th bin, the other 9 having been stolen, hence why I don't get to use rubbish collection - I can't afford the £65 replacement bin cost every time I put my bin out.

                  1. Justthefacts Silver badge

                    Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                    Then the real problem is not any trip hazard, nor *your* access to cabling. The issue is that you live somewhere where, once everybody else in the road does exactly as you have done, your road will be just a carpet of cables, one per dwelling. The wider problem is that *none* of this works when scaled.

                    Pressure groups now talk about wanting government subsidies to put charging points on every lamp-post; but there are a mere 6 million lampposts and 30 million vehicles. Where were they thinking the *other* 24 million vehicles would charge overnight? Just 2% of vehicles in the U.K. are now EVs, and already this requires surge pricing. Think about what this looks like when we reach 20% penetration.

                    But trip hazards really aren’t the problem.

            2. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

              Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

              You are assuming there my car is parked outside my house. I'm not running 20-40 metres of cable across the _road_ to my car.

        3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

          > All that works out at a cost per km of 5.3p for electric and 8.5p for petrol. 3.2p difference per km.

          And from April?

        4. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

          The issue with that, is that out of the petrol cost of £1.50 per litre, 90p is fuel duty+VAT. Once petrol consumption starts to reduce, government will need to get the same tax revenue from electricity. Back-of-the-envelope says the consumer price of electricity will go to about 75p/kWh (or £1.25/kWh from public charging points)

          In fact, it’s a tautology that long-term running cost for electric cars is very similar to petrol, because it’s mostly *not a running cost*. It’s a disguised mileage tax, with a progressive rate on wealth, since richer people drive luxury cars. Even making electric cars 10x more efficient than they are, would change very little, as tax per kWh must simply rise to match.

          I’ve got no problem with this: it’s much better than an explicit mileage tax which gets gamed in all sorts of ways. But I think phrasing it this way helps people to understand the underlying cost issues much better.

      3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

        There's also the small matter of the £30bn in fuel duty that the government collects annually on the sale of petrol and diesel, and the 20% VAT. Home electricity only has 5% VAT. Once those taxes get added back into the running costs of EVs, either as tax on fuel, road pricing, or some other creative mechanism, EVs become more expensive per mile than ICE vehicles in almost all circumstances.

        1. hoola Silver badge

          Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

          This is an interesting one:

          Let's assume that in the future (not too distant) the equivalent of Fuel Duty starts being applied to EVs. It has to happen at some point or the revenue is made up from somewhere else.

          At the moment it is very much the more fuel you use, the more you contribute and because it is take at point of dispensing it is very easy to administer and mostly unavoidable.

          Now apply that to EVs:

          How do you measure what is being used to charge the EV?

          The easy solution is that the chargers all have a special tariff that effectively adds the duty.

          How do you then stop people charging (very slowly) with a 13A plug?

          How do hoe chargers meter the usage, they have to feedback somehow to somewhere?

          That takes us to the most likely outcome and that is pay-per-mile road pricing.

          Either the car will have it embedded (so many have connectivity now pushing metrics it is a joke) or you will need an app.

          There may be some sort of transition for older vehicles but my feeling is this will be an app-driven GPS tracked solution based on mobile devices or the vehicle itself.

          The final step will then be that the default for insurance will be metrics based with links to both mileage driven, location & time.

          All pretty horrific but it is the way everything is going.

          There are huge numbers of younger drivers now who have no option but to use a metrics based insurance because it is half the price. AN awful lot of these use the same source as well for the analytics, Cambridge Mobile Telematics. What pisses me off the most (my daughter has this) is that when it marks you down incorrectly NOTHING is done to correct the incorrect information they have. This is mostly related to speed limits.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            Very good points, for which I have no answers.

            We know that people go to extraordinary lengths to avoid paying subscriptions for basic, cheap, things like encrypted TV channels, so I would expect that any technological 'solution' such as GPS-based road pricing with annual charges running into thousands will likely spawn a whole market for defeat devices, which are likely to cause problems to many users.

            1. Justthefacts Silver badge

              Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

              Yes, this is why I prefer the mileage tax *that we actually have* to be implemented disguised as a fuel tax, whichever fuel it is levied on.

              Also, because I think it is actually fair that the progressive rate element of our current mileage tax, sorry fuel duty, is fundamentally linked to our true wealth as indicated by the resource cost of our vehicles.

              Whereas as soon as you go to mileage tax with bands depending on vehicle type, you instantly get clobbered by the upper-middle-classes with connections who wheedle in the ears of government “yah yah but, so I’m special? Bikes are like, good for the environment? And carbon fibre ones even better because they lock up CO2? If I buy a carbon fibre bike, and mount it on a bike rack on my SUV, then I should get carbon credits on my mileage tax?”

              You can already see this by the fact that the ULEZ in London is now dominated by Porsche Taycans and other SUV hybrids.

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            That takes us to the most likely outcome and that is pay-per-mile road pricing.

            This has been planned and in progress for years already. It's alledgedly a 'fair' way to pay for travel, and allows for variable tariffs. So to 'ease congestion', you'll be charged more per mile depending on the time of day. This is both good and bad news given the drive to WFH has resulted in less need to move from your desk at home to a desk in the office. Downside is the less miles travelled, the less revenue raised and the UK's already looking at a £30bn+ per year black hole from it's push towards modern milk floats.

            It also ignores that there's already per-mile road pricing given fuel duty. The more miles you do, the more you'll need to fill up your car with a lot of tax and a little bit of diesel/petrol.

            Either the car will have it embedded (so many have connectivity now pushing metrics it is a joke) or you will need an app.

            You already have one or more of those, ie all new cars in the EU (and thus UK) must have 'black boxes' fitted so you can be located if you're in an accident. So the telematics to support road charging is already in new vehicles. It'll also support other behavioural modification like this-

            https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2023/01/05/cut-motorway-speed-limit-to-64mph-to-drive-net-zero-goals-no-10-told/

            The Government should consider cutting motorway speed limits to 64mph to reduce transport emissions and dependence on oil imports, MPs have said...

            ...The IEA’s plan also included the introduction of car-free Sundays in cities, working from home three days a week and alternating car access to roads depending on licence plate numbers...

            ...Writing for The Telegraph, below, Philip Dunne, a Tory MP and the chairman of the environmental audit committee, said: “Decisions need to be made now that will secure our energy supplies, resilient enough so that we are never again so vulnerable to the whims of brutal and autocratic regimes.”

            Via the Torygraph. Dunne presumably doesn't consider the oddly specific 64mph, banning the Sunday shop, and numberplate lotteries to be neither brutal, nor autocratic. No more freedom of movement. because reasons. Many, if not most new vehicles either require, or strongly encourage you to pair your car to your phone. That way you can be tracked and compliance monitored at all times.

            Plus as of last week, all home EV chargers must be 'smart', include telematics and the ability to regulate & restrict charging rates. This 'solves' one of the VED and fuel duty challenges given the charging meter could be given a seperate tariff. Except for people who bypass that by running another 30A extension to their garage. Having your coooker next to the freezer is just more efficient and convenient. But thanks to telematics, TPTB will know exactly where your vehicle is, where it's being charged, and with a bit of correlation, send a fine for tax evasion.

            There may be some sort of transition for older vehicles but my feeling is this will be an app-driven GPS tracked solution based on mobile devices or the vehicle itself.

            Yup. Now most of the pieces are in place, it's just finding out more ways to fleece the public. The incoming elephant is replacing VED and fuel duties, but those can simply be added to the price per kWh paid for EV charging. With a price-per-mile surcharge. And the idea of 'Individual Carbon Allowances' is already being pushed heavily. Some EV support costs are already added to our electricity bills, but given those are getting sky high already, loading more costs onto general electricity tariffs will be increasingly unpopular and inflationary. But some sucker will have to pay for Dunne's virtue signalling, and it sure as hell isn't going to be him.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

              "The Government should consider cutting motorway speed limits to 64mph to reduce transport emissions and dependence on oil imports, MPs have said..."

              That's a weird number to focus on. My first though was that it might be round number in km/h, but no, 64 mph is 103kph, still not a round number. I wonder why they picked it rather than 60 0r 65?

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

                That's a weird number to focus on. My first though was that it might be round number in km/h, but no, 64 mph is 103kph, still not a round number. I wonder why they picked it rather than 60 0r 65?

                After contracting out the systems development to C*apita, they discovered they'd been sold an 8-bit system.

                But yes, it's strange. I'm wondering if this is an EU-related thing, so standardising on a 100kph limit, then allowing some margin for error that could be nationally transposed into 60mph or 100kph. Or it's for revenue recognition and creeping compulsion. By picking an inconvenient number, it mighht encourage people to set their cruise controls to 60 or 100 anyway. It'll also encourage automation, given most drivers won't be able to hold their speed at 63mph and the system will send them a £100 fine and demand to attend an £800 speeding awareness course if they drive at 65mph.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            "How do you measure what is being used to charge the EV?"

            You don't. Why would that be necessary? Same tax-% for *all* electricity used.

            Tracking people movement like that is huge invasion of privacy and thoroughly illegal in most countries, AFAIK in UK too.

        2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

          > or some other creative mechanism

          I have a feeling it will be a general tax on electricity regardless of if you are charging and EV or not.

          It will probably only apply if you are > than a few KWh a day, thus requiring a smart meter, as the they can assume you are charging an EV

          1. Justthefacts Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            Unfortunately not. Because governments are *also* planning to deprecate gas boilers, in favour of heat pumps. Once that happens, electric cars aren’t going to be your largest electricity bill.

            No, I know none of this makes sense. But people preferred to signal “something must be done”, rather than bother to do the actual engineering sums, and here we are. This isn’t governments fault, they just listened to their voters.

      4. Stork Silver badge

        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

        Does that account for depreciation? I did some simulation and found that for comparable ICE/EVs, the purchase price was some 12k higher , which I translated to €1000/year. Oh, and I could invest the 12k at 3%.

        My conclusion was that I don’t drive enough for an EV to make economic sense.

      5. hoola Silver badge

        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

        There is also the current status that in the UK the VED is non-existent (until now).

        I know that VED is only a small part of the running costs but for some people it appears to play a disproportionate influence on the running costs.

        Then we have all the tax benefits for company vehicles where EVs have been pushed for no other reason than it reduced tax.

        The big one for me, is as you state, an awful lot people are effectively getting free charging, either because it is a company vehicle and they an charge at work whilst it is not being used or it is out and about so if they do have to charge at services, the cost is irrelevant. Of course this is exactly what those people would get with fuel as well however this takes us full circle, tax and incentives (plus companies greenwashing) are the main drivers.

      6. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

        > early days of petrol vehicles with lack of garages and not knowing if they had fuel.

        Sorry but I cant see going back to the 1920/30's as a positive, nor an excuse.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

          they'll be wanting us to use fucking horse's next.

          at least the by product can be used in the garden

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

            Horses? Nah, that'll never work in Low Emissions Zones.

            Now, sedan chairs, that'll help reduce the unemployment rates as well. You'd get the Rees-Mogg vote, for sure.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

        " And there are less moving parts and so the servicing costs are lower."

        Higher. Much higher. You need qualified electrician for almost anything and car mechanics are dirt cheap compared to car electricians.

        Less moving parts is irrelevant when said moving parts don't need much servicing. Oil change is the smallest cost in routine service.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

      "For those of us who don't have access to free electricity, are EVs actually cheaper to run, mile for mile?"

      A colleague has a first-generation Nissan Leaf. They charge it at home and live 50% further from the office than me. Three years ago, I spent as much in *one month* fuelling my diesel car (56mpg) for the commute as they spent in the *entire year*. Granted, electricity costs have gone up since then, but so has diesel ...

      1. ChrisC Silver badge

        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

        Sorry, but I'm going to have to assume there's a rather significant point missing from this anecdote, because otherwise the figures just don't stack up.

        "3 years ago" puts us into late 2019/very early 2020 territory, so all the costs are based around the historical data from then, and I'm being a bit pessimistic for the ICE costs and a bit optimistic for the EV costs, to account for any regional variations in diesel/electricity pricing which particularly favoured your colleague over you.

        So, with that, I'm assuming 137p/litre for diesel, and 5p/kWh for offpeak electricity. You've noted your car got 56mpg, and a gen.1 Leaf would manage around 4.54 miles/kWh in ideal conditions.

        Thus, your per-mile costs were 11.1p, vs your colleagues costs of 1.1p, so 10x lower.

        Which, whilst being a rather agreeable saving/mile, is still almost half as good as it would have to be (18x) for your monthly costs to equal their 12-monthly costs for 1.5x the distance...

        Granted, without knowing exactly what each of you were paying for diesel and leccy, and even taking the aforementioned pessimistic/optimistic assumptions into account, there's still some scope to massage the figures a bit more in their favour. Just not that much more.

        So either the figure they told you wasn't a based on a like-for-like comparison of your commuting needs (e.g. if they spent fewer days than you in the office), or they were getting their electricity particularly cheaply (e.g. if they were in the fortunate position of having at-home solar with sufficient capacity to cover at least half the needs of their car, which is definitely not a given for the average EV owner), or they were simply pulling your leg. I really can't see any other way to make the figures work.

    3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

      > For those of us who don't have access to free electricity, are EVs actually cheaper to run, mile for mile?

      Not any more

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "a strong desire to reduce refueling costs"

        Here in North the cost of electricity has risen from 7 (euro)cents to 42 cents per kWh, 6 fold price in *one year*. For now.

        Gas has risen too, but ~30cents per liter, near 2e/liter now.

        EV drivers aren't happy at all, cost calculations went all totally wrong.

  6. cosymart
    FAIL

    Sensible EV

    I'm interested in an EV as our next car but I don't want one based on the heaviest top of the range SUV with the fuel tank switched for a battery.

  7. Potemkine! Silver badge

    EV? No way, too many downsides.

    Add to this the paradox to push people to buy EVs when electric grids are already under a heavy stress.

    I'm waiting for hydrogen cars. Some already exist, but a refueling stations network doesn't yet. I guess governments prefer to help their car makers to sell their already available EVs rather than thinking one step ahead. In the meantime, I'll keep my car, that will avoid to produce CO2 to build a new one.

    1. Grunchy Silver badge

      Hydrogen makes big BOOM. The hydrogen infrastructure is a domestic terrorist dream! All you need is a leaky H2 reservoir and an enclosing structure such as a parking garage at World Trade Center and some form of ignition source, like some random guy flicking on a light switch or a static discharge or whatever, doesn’t even matter what. The important thing is to expand the hydrogen economy rapidly right away and let creative individuals show everybuddy what use they can put it to!

      1. cipnt

        A hydrogen tank does not explode in the event of a car crash, for example. It probably would in the event of a terrorist attack, as you suggested. But so would petrol tanks in that case.

        Toyota engineers (big proponents of hydrogen fuel cell cars) did plenty of tests and they admitted that they were surprised by the results: in a high velocity crash where the tank would be punctured the pressurised hydrogen is released in the atmosphere with incredible speed and it immediately raises up before it can ignite.

        1. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Reduced to practice

          Arguments about what could be done, or what’s impossible, are easily abused by both sides. In this case, Toyota have actually made a road-legal, commercially produced hydrogen car. it’s the Toyota Mirai. So we don’t need to worry about whether hydrogen can be safe: it can, it’s passed both standard, and upgraded, regulatory approvals for impact. Or the power/weight: that’s a car which achieves 300+ mile range, 1900kg, 182hp. It works.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Mirai

          But. The fuel cell is already 85%+ efficient. The tanks weigh “only” about 150kg. So, this it. There are no miracles in its future, minor evolution only. The fact that “it just works” shows that what’s under the hood, inside the car, just isn’t the problem and never was. Part of this is simply: out of the 1900kg of a modern car, only less than 200kg is the weight of the ICE engine plus gearbox plus; for an electric car, the propulsion system rises to 500kg. But most of the car is the other stuff people want, from seats to windows to entertainment systems. The approach so far is “I want all the creature comforts I’m used to….now just make it use less energy”. Cars used to weigh 650kg all up: even the weight of a 500kg battery in a 2500kg car is not where your problem lies.

          If you absolutely insisted, we could throw $50bn at developing bubblegum-powered cars with a bubblegum-processing fuel cell. The physics would work: bubblegum is organic, it has an energy density. It might be 100kg heavier or lighter, depending on the detailed chemistry, but it could be done. Honestly, the end-to-end system effects are minimal.

      2. Helcat

        "Hydrogen makes big BOOM."

        Nope: Hydrogen is very flammable, true, but it's not as dangerous as petrol, or lithium Ion. If the tank is ruptured, the gas will quickly escape and disperse, where as petrol pools under the car, providing fuel for a fire, and lithium Ion is trapped in the car, so will burn merrily if the battery is breached. Hydrogen fueled cars have to pass strict safety tests, including breaching the tank, before they're allowed to be sold to the public: That they are available at all goes to show they have passed those safety tests.

        For reference: The Hindenberg was more a diesel fire than hydrogen, with what turned out to be a flammable coating on the hydrogen cells. The Hydrogen bomb wasn't Hydrogen: It was Deuterium and tritium, which are hydrogen isotopes, sure, but they're not in the hydrogen fuel, and you'd still need uranium and plutonium to get the boom.

      3. Peter2 Silver badge

        Hydrogen makes big BOOM. The hydrogen infrastructure is a domestic terrorist dream!

        Then it's a good job we haven't had a gas infrastructure deployed for around two centuries which delivers Methane; ie CH4 to practically every building in the country. (which my dimly remembered high school science suggests is 1 carbon atom bound to 4 hydrogen atoms)

        1. blackcat Silver badge

          Methane is much harder to ignite than hydrogen. The minimum ignition energy is higher for methane and the air/fuel ratio at which it will ignite at and burn fast is quite narrow. Hydrogen will ignite over a very wide air/fuel range of something like 10-90%.

          1. Stork Silver badge

            It also diffuses faster

        2. cipnt

          While technically H2 and CH4 are very different and pose different challenges, I agree with the sentiment of your comment: we've proven as a society that we can work with extremely dangerous gases even in a domestic setting without any special training.

          Plus we've been using hydrogen in industrial settings for the production of ammonia/fertilizer for over a hundred years.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Prior to the "Dash For Gas" most UK supplied gas was "town gas" created by processing coal and was a mix of Hydrogen, Methane and Carbon Monoxide. Gas boilers and domestic cookers (and other gas using appliances) had to be adjusted or replaced when we switched to "pure" methane from the North Sea. Proposals to switch to hydrogen, or using it as an additive to the current methane supply is not some new tech idea we need to study and learn about. It's history, something we are supposed to learn from. Like having local storage tanks for gas to cover times of high demand rather than supplying it "Just In Time" to save on tying up capital in storage.

      4. Stork Silver badge

        In most cases hydrogen is less of a problem than LPG as it is lighter than air and diffuses upwards

      5. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

        Hydrogen Storage

        Some years back I read about a hydrogen storage technique in which the cylinder was filled with a metallic foam. The hydrogen bonded to the foam, and they were able to store hydrogen in the tank at about 40 PSI, yet the amount stored would have had to have been stored at 100 PSI+ in an "ordinary" tank.

        But yes, I'm leery of the hydrogen-explosion potential. An enclosed parking structure, a bunch of cars whose hydrogen lines were cut through, and the fullness of time, or a timed flame source placed way up high ... We need to test these things first.

        1. Stork Silver badge

          Re: Hydrogen Storage

          Ask in Germany or Netherlands where they have used LPG cars for quite some years, also in underground garages AFAIK. And bear in mind that LPG is heavier than air and collects at the lowest point

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Hydrogen sounds like a nice idea, but as usual, when dreams hit reality the truth gets ugly.

      And, in case you wish to dismiss just one voice raising concerns, here's another.

      One thing is for sure, if hydrogen is indeed the chosen future, once again we're going to need nuclear to make it happen.

      1. Chz

        Futurists' dreams of a hydrogen energy ecosystem were always founded on the basis of cheap, plentiful power from fusion. So long as we have to burn hydrocarbons to produce the electricity needed to create the hydrogen, it makes absolutely zero sense. It's a tremendously inefficient way to deliver power to a motor, and will never be a desirable outcome until we have a large excess of green energy.

        1. Helcat

          We do have excess green energy in the UK, hence Japan is investing in green hydrogen plants here.

          Currently, Scotland pays some wind farms to stop production of power when the conditions are good because of the excess - the grid can't handle the excess and we don't have the storage. Wales is still commissioning more wind farms plus tidal, and solar: They're heading into excess, too, hence the interest in using that excess for hydrogen production.

          So it's not so futuristic a dream: It's close to current reality.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            so you'd have a hydrogen plant that randomly works for random amount of times when wind is blowing. at stupidly inefficient conversion costs.

            when we already need extra capacity to fill stupidly expensive battery packs to fill in for no windy day's.

            fuckwit dreams always fucked by reality

            good luck with that futuristic bollocks

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              "so you'd have a hydrogen plant that randomly works for random amount of times when wind is blowing. at stupidly inefficient conversion costs."

              I don't actually disagree with you, but is it stupidly inefficient if the alternative is to waste or not produce the electricity in the first place?

              "when we already need extra capacity to fill stupidly expensive battery packs to fill in for no windy day's."

              Isn't that what the "stupidly inefficient" hydrogen conversion is for? A storage "battery"? And, of course, if there's enough wind power generation installed to cover peaks, there'll be lots of excess to more times.

              There are probably people who know more that might want to chip in, but I'd not dismiss it as an option out of hand. Windmills may not be the best long term solution, but that's where we are right now, so using the "waste" for something productive should be considered if and when there enough excess often enough to make it economical. (breaking the strike price generating cartel away from natural gas prices where natural gas is not part of the process might mean it never becomes economical though)

        2. Ragarath

          Not fusion

          He did not say fusion, he said nuclear.

          We need nuclear either way and at the moment the only viable nuclear is fission.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          yep why use electric to produce hydrogen to transport to a fuel station to fuel a fuel cell in a car to make electric to run a motor to power a car. Just use electric to charge a battery!

          1. SloppyJesse

            You do understand that when you charge a battery you convert the electrical energy into chemical energy, right?

            The energy conversions in both cases is

            electrical->chemical->electrical->kinetic

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Agreed. It's all mainly the economies of losses. Do you lose more converting to hydrogen and shipping it or more in the long distance power lines. But there's also storage (and further conversion processes) to take into account.

          2. nobody who matters

            "...........why use electric to produce hydrogen to transport to a fuel station to fuel a fuel cell in a car to make electric to run a motor to power a car............)

            Not fuel cells ;)

            It will be hydrogen powered ICE.

            That will undoubtedly be the way forward for heavy plant and long distance HGVs where electric/battery power simply will not be viable for continuous operation for 8 to 12 hour shifts.

            JCB are already well on the way to having commercially available hydrogen combustion engines for their larger machines, and Manitou are following hard on their heels. Plenty of other large equipment manufacturers are heading the same way too.

            In time, it is highly likely to filter through to smaller machines and cars as well.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "It will be hydrogen powered ICE."

              BMW did one in late 1980s and noticed that yes, techically possible, but doesn't make any sense, probably never. Unless someone invents a way to store 50 kilos of H2 into 100l volume, at room temperature and ~normal air pressure. Currently (and in foreseeable future) no such way exists.

              Storing and transporting hydrogen is a nightmare: It won't stay put and losing 1-2% of it *per week* is not only unbearable, it would be a major pollution source globally very, very fast.

              1. nobody who matters

                30 years ago and now are a world apart. The arguments being used by the Luddites against hydrogen are outdated and misplaced.

                JCB and Manitou are already doing it. JCB are using hydrogen storage which takes up no more space on the machine than a diesel tank would; not only that, but at a higher energy density than diesel too. They already have these machines at work.

                Keep up at the back.

    3. codejunky Silver badge

      @Potemkine!

      "Add to this the paradox to push people to buy EVs when electric grids are already under a heavy stress."

      That is government joined up thinking and green madness.

      "I guess governments prefer to help their car makers to sell their already available EVs rather than thinking one step ahead."

      It is similar to lightbulb technology. Ban stuff that works for something not particularly good, create loopholes for where the working technology was needed and the duff technology gets superseded by LED light bulbs that work better.

      Government suck at picking winners and suck at delivering what people need/want.

    4. Henry Hallan

      FUD

      Like most EV owners, I charge at night when the grid is not loaded. Here in Ireland the night load is about half the day load leaving capacity spare for about 500,000 chargers. (This is a small island.) The "overloaded grid FUD is, well, FUD.

      Hydrogen is the way Big Oil is trying to escape the inevitable collapse of the forecourt model of vehicle fuelling. It might make sense for commercial and aviation transport but for household EV use the solution is cheap AC home charging for every household - even where street parking is the only option.

      Public charging at places like motorway service stations will still be needed, but only occasionally - I haven't used public charging in years

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: FUD

        Like most EV owners, I charge at night when the grid is not loaded

        Which is only true because hardly anyone does it. Once everyone is charging overnight, that becomes the new peak period.

        1. Henry Hallan

          Re: FUD

          On this island, which is still quite small, we are a long, long way from half a million EVs charging every night.

          Go to your own grid data, work out the difference between peak and night load, and divide by the normal size of an AC charger (in Ireland 7kW.)

          If you get a number less than, say, 20% of the total number of cars in your country, let me know

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: FUD

            According to UK gov figures, total transport energy consumption in the UK in 2021 was 36.8 mtoe (million tons of oil equivalent), it was over 40 mtoe before the pandemic, so we can expect it to rise. About 12 mtoe were for haulage & buses, leaving around 25-28 mtoe for cars.

            28mtoe is 325 TWh. We know that ICE vehicles are inefficient, only using 30% of the energy in the fuel. Let's be generous and assume that electric cars get the full 100%, so if we replace all ICE cars with EVs they will consume ~100 TWh of energy per year. That's a 30% increase in total electricity demand over the year (it's normally around 320TWh), and more than was generated by wind in the whole of 2021.

            98TWh/year is 270GWh/night on average, so for an 8-hour charge that's an additional 33GW required, roughly the same as the normal peak demand. It would require ~4.5m 7.2kW chargers...

            Of course taking averages like this is unrealistic, it will be very variable, but it still shows the scale of the problem, and that's just cars. Then add HGVs, and heat pumps...

            Go to your own grid data, work out the difference between peak and night load, and divide by the normal size of an AC charger (in Ireland 7kW.)

            If you get a number less than, say, 20% of the total number of cars in your country, let me know

            UK peak is around 50GW (winter) and 37GW (summer). It's hard to get minimum figures, but around 28GW in winter seems to be the common figure so, 50GW-28GW is 22GW, divided by 7.2kW average home charger, that's 3m chargers. The UK has 33m cars which gives 10%, well below your 20%.

      2. demon driver

        Re: FUD

        Where I live in continental/western Europe, a small road at the edge of a town in a quite well-developed region with some 30 small houses built in the nineteen-fifties, there already are electricity breakdowns occurring without a significant number of the inhabitants driving electric cars...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FUD

        so you now have to run powerstations at full bore 24/7 (I know your going to say wind/solar, both not guaranteed at night, especially solar (altough ireland did fuck up subsidies so badly that people were making money from shining lights on solar panels)).

        thats extra fuel/maintanance/breakdowns.

        not FUD, just reality breaking your fantasy dreamland.

        it's ok while only a few fuckwit's are doing what you do, once it scales up, your fucked

        1. Henry Hallan

          Re: FUD

          I'm going to say nuclear, which really does work 24/7

          And 500,000 on an island as small as this is not "a few."

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: FUD

            And 500,000 on an island as small as this is not "a few."

            Aren't all the new data centres sucking up all your spare capacity?

      4. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: FUD

        > is trying to escape the inevitable collapse of the forecourt model of vehicle fuelling

        This statement from EV fans and climate alarmists alays made me laugh. The idea that "big oil" is so stuck in the mud to be put at risk by a few people running off batteries is ridiculous.

        OPEC, maybe, but not "big Oil".

        Who provides the oil for the EV? Big Oil.

        Who provides the oil to make the EV? Big Oil

        Who provides the oil for the wind turbines? Big Oil

        Who provides the oil for all the plastics to make the EV? Big OIl.

        The whole idea that so called Big Oil has some kind of conspiracy in place to fight against the greens is barmy. Petrol is a by product and if they cant sell it it will be simply burned off or used by Big Oil themselves. Heck they even make all the synthetic oil as well!! All that conspiracy bull, I think it was only in the minds of so many because it was fun to think you were kicking someone where it hurts, only turns out you barely flicked them with a finger because guess what? You use so much essential big oil products, depend of so much of it its crazy to think you can escape them!

        Also, they are BIG. They have plans and roadmaps for decades and guess what, they are not idiots. They are not suddenly going to brick their pants because Telsa came along... No, they will just sit back, relax, wait for Tesla and other little fish play about then swoop in and buy the lot of them up.

        Who will be the producers of the EV's of the future? Big oil. Its bloody obvious.

        1. Henry Hallan

          Re: FUD

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_encumbrance_of_large_automotive_NiMH_batteries#Chevron_and_Cobasys

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FUD

        "is about half the day load leaving capacity spare for about 500,000 chargers. "

        .... and how many cars there are, exactly? 4 millions? Did you even try to do the math all the way?

        Majority of those chargers will be needed during the day too: you need to get home from work also.

  8. Grunchy Silver badge

    I only want a turbine

    Yes, a bat mobile - a real jet. You connect the output shaft to a dc generator & let ‘er rip. The generator powers a battery and the battery powers the wheels. The jet only needs to put out about 20hp or so, that’s all it takes to cruise at highway speed. Acceleration is powered by the battery, and the battery is replenished by the jet. You could even run it off ethanol or whatever if you wanted to be carbon-neutral.

    Anyway, that’s the way to do it I reckon.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Re: I only want a turbine

      There have been many efforts to power a car with a turbine, but only as a genset? I'm not sure.

      Bonus: A well-built turbine can run on just about any fuel.

      A USA M1 Abrams tank has a two-spool turbine with separate output turbine (with planetary reduction gearset), lab-rated at 1500 HP (actual installed performance degraded, natch). It can run on diesel/kerosene/various jet fuels (JP-8 especially) or automotive gas/petrol and supposedly ethanol. Of course, at its size the big issue is raw consumption -- it's hyuge (and the tank has the fuel tanks to prove it)!

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: I only want a turbine

        >There have been many efforts to power a car with a turbine, but only as a genset?

        Would make sense to use the turbine as a genset, however, from memory the key problem - other than airflow and the high temperature exhaust, encountered with turbines is the whine and they do take a little time to get up to speed...

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: I only want a turbine

        There have been many efforts to power a car with a turbine, but only as a genset? I'm not sure.

        Jaguar tried with a hybrid concept, but the production model went back to standard piston engine, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar_C-X75. I think noise is a problem.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I only want a turbine

        "it's hyuge (and the tank has the fuel tanks to prove it)!"

        Yeah, but finding a parking spot suddenly becomes much easier :-)

        1. J. Cook Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: I only want a turbine

          And absolutely no one will cut you off or try to brake check you. :EVIL grin: Even if the main gun has been demilled, leave the barrel in place for looks. :D

          I've always postulated that the best way to do a hybrid is to take an ICE or modified turbine APU (petrol / diesel / LPG / methane / Chanel #5 / etc) engine that's been tuned for efficiency at a speed that provides the most electrical output power from whatever alternator / generator that is attached to it, and use that to either power a hub-motor based vehicle or a full electric that also has some battery capacity for for inner city driving / short hops / noise controlled areas / etc. When the thing's not being driving, have an interconnect available for it to power the house it's garaged in from natural gas or propane or as a standby generator and to top up the battery pack from shore power overnight.

          Dunno how practical it would be, but it's an idea at least.

          Interestingly enough, the Chrysler corporation developed the M1, and also had a number of prototype turbine powered cars throughout the 60's. (that's where the "Chanel #5" enters into the fuel type, btw.)

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    affordably priced R1T starts at $73k,

    Ah. Some new and unusual use of the word 'affordable' then. It seems an extreme price for a machine to keep the rain off while carrying the shopping home.

  10. Dronius

    https://www.motoringresearch.com/features/cost-car-year-born/

    Motor, October 1948, the Ford Anglia was the cheapest four-wheel car in Britain at £310 (£10,703 in today’s money using their conversion)

    1951 Austin A30 would have set you back £507 (£17,504 in today’s money)

    Average house price in 1950 was £1,940 (£66,980 in today’s money: cue howling at the moon here)

    So early 1950’s when motoring really began to take off in Britain, a house was 5.54 cheaper in today’s terms than October 2022’s figure of £371,158.

    There was also a lot of house scarcity then too, but less domestic property speculation, stricter financing terms and less foreign money investing in property.

    Can we relate the two periods? Possibly, but these things are never straightforward, so comparing it to a house price won’t help much. Financing, regulation of ownership, taxation etc. are very different nowadays plus the numbers in these historical comparison formulae never seem to relate to the actuality on the ground.

    If we do stack the car price numbers up against each other;

    Pitching the Ford Fiesta as a current petrol equivalent of the Anglia; the 2022 OTR price is £20770 (up 19% on 2019) as against £10,703 just about ½ the equivalent price for a similar market niche.

    Possibly a sign of the complexity involved in designing, producing and financing modern cars, or something else?

    https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/car-market-1/2022-03/2022-new-car-prices-rise-by-up-to-26-per-cent/

    The electric cars are less complex to produce and maintain than their petrol equivalents.

    The software & interface level is complex for both ICE and E cars but similar to implement in a build once developed.

    So now if you go one step beyond the historical ICE cars into modern electric equivalents what’s happening to enable something like a Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe to sell for just under £30,000?

    Front loading of all the development costs? differences in financing? construction material scarcity? absorption of grants into profits? demand pressure from supplying a new market from very low base levels?

    I’ve been scratching my head over this one for a few years & beginning to think it’s some kind of parallel of what we have witnessed in the mobile phone market with ever more gizmodified units being used to leverage premium pricing.

    1. Grunchy Silver badge

      By your logic, 2 hours of pushing broom would eternally be sufficient to buy a 8’ x 12’ 4-bit (1 nybble) room. Regardless of whatever era, including the Age of Roomba!

      1. jake Silver badge

        The King of the Road don' need no stinkin' Roomba.

      2. keith_w
        Thumb Up

        Upvote for the "King of the Road" quote in the comments for this article.

    2. naive

      >> The electric cars are less complex to produce and maintain than their petrol equivalents.

      Sums up what is in fact a grand misunderstanding of the technology behind EVs and its global impact.

      Since EV's share so many traits with vacuum cleaners, like the shape, electrical power cord and humming noises, it is easy to get lured into thinking they are simpler than traditional gas powered engines. When looking through the flashy commercials with smiling photo models, it is not hard to find out that they are more complex to produce than a car with V8 small block engine, which are reliably produced for nearly a century on a mass scale.

      EV's require complex trade chains with batteries from China, which uses its colonial powers in Africa to extract Lithium, Cobalt and a dozen rare-earth metals in huge environmentally destructive and polluting mines.

      EV's don't meet EU recycling standards by any measure, which is a real issue since their batteries are trash after 8 years.

      The amount of globally available rare earths and other precious metals is not enough to replace even a tiny percentage of the current gas powered engines in use with electrical ones.

      Except for the commercials, nothing simple when it comes to EV's.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        it is easy to get lured into thinking they are simpler than traditional gas powered engines

        "Since EV's share so many traits with vacuum cleaners, like the shape, electrical power cord and humming noises, it is easy to get lured into thinking they are simpler than traditional gas powered engines. When looking through the flashy commercials with smiling photo models, it is not hard to find out that they are more complex to produce than a car with V8 small block engine, which are reliably produced for nearly a century on a mass scale."

        Maybe you should spend less time looking at flashy commercials and photo models and more at the actual facts. Because EV's really *are* a lot less complex than a comparable ICE vehicle. An electric motor is a lot less complex than even a puny 4 cylinder diesel from the '70s, EV's don't need a complex multi-step transmission to keep engine RPM inside a narrow band where it actually provides performance and torque, they don't need timing belts, ignition coils, oil sumps, spark plugs and a lot of other stuff (which also makes EV maintenance a lot simpler and cheaper).

        On the software side, the injection control system of a modern direct injecting engine is highly complex (even more so than the charging control system in an EV) and relies on a load of sensors to get the timing right.

        For example, Ford itself has said that the EV version of the F-150 is a lot less complex than the ICE variant, and that can be seen if you visit their production facilities.

        You also might wanna educate yourself how long electric motors have been "reliably produced on a mass scale" - which is in similar regions as for ICEs (electric motors have been build on an industrial scale for more than a century, and for much wider applications than ICEs).

        1. naive

          Re: it is easy to get lured into thinking they are simpler than traditional gas powered engines

          All side effects of a certain technology should be viewed at.

          China and some US mining companies are busy changing large parts of Africa and Southern Chile into gigantic holes for the metals those "simple" electric engines need.

          The result of this is a 2.5 ton EV, full with rare and precious metals that can not be recycled when the battery, 50% of the total costs, dies after 8 years.

          The electric power train looks simpler than a non-turbo small block V8 coupled with a standard GM or ZF 5/6/7/8 speed automatic transmission, resulting in a 1700kg luxury car.

          The latter can be recycled for more than 95%, uses very little toxic and rare metals. Neither do we need to destroy and exploit Africa to produce it or become dependent on China domination global battery production.

          It is impossible to find any value in 2.5 Ton EV's with ranges in the 200 miles ballpark, that cost a fortune and become trash within 10 years.

        2. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: it is easy to get lured into thinking they are simpler than traditional gas powered engines

          You’d think that, yes. Then….EVs would be more *reliable* than ICEs, right? Not the flashy stuff, everyone knows Tesla’s are shit build quality. I literally mean: focusing on the rate of engine+transmission faults only, for 3yr old and (where applicable) 8yr old cars. Do an apples-to-apples comparison, Nissan Leaf to Nissan Micra, or Toyota Prius to Toyota Auris petrol, the EV *should* kick the ICE’s arse, reliability-wise. There’s barely any moving parts!

          And yet, they don’t. They really don’t. Based on Which or What Car reliability statistics, EVs are uniformly and significantly less reliable powerplants than their equivalent petrol family members. It’s a real disappointment. Presumably, it’s temporary until the first few generations fix their design faults. But if you ignore that, it will be an expensive mistake.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: it is easy to get lured into thinking they are simpler than traditional gas powered engines

          "Maybe you should spend less time looking at flashy commercials and photo models and more at the actual facts."

          Maybe you should. Have you *any* idea of amount of electronics in any EV? No? Fuel injection is a childrens toy compared to *one* of the computers in (for example) Tesla. And Tesla has 24 computers.

          Engine is *very* simple compared to that jumble of hardware.

          Comparing EV motors to industrial motors tells me you've no idea what you are talking about: 100kw industrial motor weights more than a Tesla. And would't fit in it. *That's why* they last.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: it is easy to get lured into thinking they are simpler than traditional gas powered engines

          "You also might wanna educate yourself how long electric motors have been "reliably produced on a mass scale" "

          Maybe you should. Less than 20 years in electric cars and in mass scale less than 10 years. They *aren't* industrial motors.Very far from it.

          But the motor is irrelevant piece: The battery, the expensive part, dies *much earlier* than any ordinary engine, the respective expensive part.

    3. Stork Silver badge

      I was under the impression that the batteries were one of the priciest bits of an EV. Compare prices of Hyundai Ioniq which is available both as EV, phev and hybrid.

      The two first cost about the same, the latter is significantly cheaper and has the smaller battery.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The electric cars are less complex to produce and maintain than their petrol equivalents."

      That's patentable BS: They cost 1.5 to 2 times *more* to make and even more expensive to maintain, as every other part sans engine is the same and for ~everything you need a licenced electrician, not just a car mechanic.

      Also EVs are full of computers which means debugging them is a nightmare. You'll see.

  11. BigAndos

    My main complaint with EV's at the moment is that the second hand market in the UK is nuts. I have never bought a new car, I prefer to buy "nearly new" or just out of warranty to save money. We simply can't afford to pay out for lease payments on a brand new car and I earn a decentish salary. Because the supply of new cars is constrained ("supply chain", profiteering etc) it can often be more expensive to buy second hand than new because there are too many impatient people who want their shiny new toy NOW NOW NOW. Until the second hand market calms down EVs will remain out of reach of the vast majority in the UK.

    The other issue is the lack of public charging infrastructure. There is ONE charging point within a 7 mile radius of my town and it is only a slow charger meaning it will take hours to get to 80% charge from near empty. This still needs a lot more focus, we need to be pushing for frequently visited locations (town car parks, supermarkets, motorway services etc) to have an *appropriate number* of rapid chargers which get maintained regularly - i.e. not just one slow charger that breaks down all the time.

    1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

      I previously had a 9 month old plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for 4 years. I part-exchanged it for significantly more than I bought it for!

      If I am struggling to find a charger, my order or preference is large out-of-town supermarkets, out-of-town McDonalds or out-of-town Costa. Some supermarkets are more geared up than others, but most McDonalds and Costa (at least the newer ones) seem to have some limited charging and many seem to operate outside of the store opening times.

      1. Plest Silver badge

        Constantly hearing the phrase "out of town charging" and the huge investment in an EV, putting me off. I simply can't afford the initial cost of an EV and certainly don't have time to waste taking it 15 miles out my journey just to wait in a queue to charge it and then 30 mins to get enough "juice" so i can get home.

        I want an EV, I truly would love one but I see nothing but barriers to entry, cost, charging, range, cost, time to charge, availability. Put it on hold for another 5 years I guess.

  12. Insert sadsack pun here

    Consumers' price expectations aren't unrealistic...

    "Three quarters of US consumers want to spend less than $50k on their next vehicle..."

    That's entirely realistic and not really a barrier for EV (or hybrid) sales: the average price of a new car in the US is already $48,000. (As an side - does anyone else think this is a HUGE amount of money? I consider myself very lucky to have a good job, but the idea of spending almost fifty grand on a new car is bewildering).

    https://www.coxautoinc.com/market-insights/kbb-atp-september-2022/#:~:text=The%20average%20price%20paid%20for,Book%2C%20a%20Cox%20Automotive%20company.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Consumers' price expectations aren't unrealistic...

      The average price of a new car is significantly different from the average price paid for a car by the purchaser.

      It's the trickle down economy in action :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Consumers' price expectations aren't unrealistic...

      "average price of a new car in the US is already $48,000."

      Which is meaningless number when bunch of people buy cars costing millions. What you want is *median* and I can bet it's *a lot* lower than that: In $30k range.

      For *new* cars. Median price for any car sold is probably in single thousands. Only rich people buy new cars.

      1. nobody who matters

        Re: Consumers' price expectations aren't unrealistic...

        Do you understand thd meaning of 'median'?

        I ask because the median value is the halfway point between the lowest value and the highest. I would expect that value for cars to be a great deal higher than the 'mean' average calculated from the total cost of all the cars sold divided by the actual number of cars.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do my bit for the environment by driving an old car with a big engine. The amount of tax I have pay on that is disproportionately high compared to the amount of pollution my vehicle actually produces. Therefore I am effectively subsidizing four or five other people to have cheap low emission cars.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A 1000km each way trip (common here)

    Currently takes me about 12 hours. 1 stop, splash and dash.

    In an EV, given there’s f’all infrastructure, it’s currently impossible.

    Even if there was infrastructure, the added charging time would be enormous.

    Also, long haul trucking, were engines are run for a million plus kilometres, uneconomical.

    1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

      Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

      The UK government say that you should take a break every 2 hours.

      Let's expand that to 3 hours for the sake of comparison and your strong bladder. That would lead to 2 breaks on your journey. That for many people that would equate to meal breaks, where you eat while the car recharges. Mine charges in the 30 minutes I eat and therefore there is no added time.

      Those 3 x 333Km legs are well within the range of many modern EV's.

      Therefore, your only real problem is the lack of infrastructure.

      1. blackcat Silver badge

        Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

        "Therefore, your only real problem is the lack of infrastructure."

        Currently it appears there is little plan to resolve this.

        For example the telsa chargers on the southbound M3 services at Fleet are still covered up at least 4 years after they were installed.

        The push for intermittent 'green' electricity generation is also going to be problematic for the cheap overnight rates. Simple physics at work.

        1. cipnt

          Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

          National Grid reps have repeatedly said in various interviews that they can handle the transition to a national EV fleet and renewable energy generation. They probably know what they're talking about...

          1. blackcat Silver badge

            Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

            The national grid doesn't operate the local power distribution. The bottleneck is in the local wiring.

            The IET did a study a few months back (can't find it right now) that indicated we needed many many billions investing in the UK energy grid to meet the needs of EVs and the intermittent renewables. Even the national grid is busy investing billions in upgrades so it would appear that right now they can't cope.

            1. Justthefacts Silver badge

              Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

              Actually the situation is much worse than that. The kicker is in the phrase “we can handle”, as it avoids that much of this is a responsibility for the *householder* not the power distributor.The power distributor is responsible for distributing the maximum rated supply to each domestic. For most domestics, that’s 18kW. Their concern is “if all those domestics drew, assuming they were charging EVs, what infrastructure upgrades would we need”. Which is a lot of upgrade.

              But the hidden assumption is that each domestic supply corresponds to one household, and that’s just not true in the U.K. I don’t just mean the obvious block of flats issue. I mean that if you live in a semi-detached you almost certainly share an 18kW domestic with your neighbour. And if you live in a terrace of eight dwellings, that’s quite possibly shared 18kW too. In fact, even detached often share with neighbours. And while you might *think* your responsibility starts at your meter, on this issue and this issue only it actually doesn’t. If you want your semi “upgraded” from a shared 18kW, to 18kW each that you thought you already had…..you will be unpleasantly surprised that all the cost, including legal costs for “Party Wall” issues, will come down on your shoulders.

              You’re fine if you are the first EV adopter with your neighbour. When your neighbour gets one, it’s *safe* and causes no loading issues for the distributor, but your charging-rate may well halve.

              Neither National Grid, nor local power distributor, have any responsibility or intention of covering any of those works.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

            Having looked at their figures, they are in fucking fantasy land.

            They made so many stupid totally fucked up presumptions I thought it was a harry potter novel as you'd have to believe in fucking magic to believe their figures.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

            "that they can handle "

            Of course they say. What they don't say, is that who pays the bill for that. It's tens or hundreds of billions of investment, that money does not come from heaven.

          4. nobody who matters

            Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

            Marketing droids, perhaps? Their job is to smooth the way - if they were honest about the state of the cabling it would likely cause a general panic.

            Reality is that most of the Grid infrastructure is the same as it was when originally installed in the 1950's, with some more recent replacement of the cables. A lot of it is in a poor state and simply not capable of carrying the kind of volume that is likely to be needed. It will take a while for the current schemes of improvement to be completed.

            A few years ago a pylon got demolished and put the whole area around Grantham/Bourne off power for something like five hours. That is how long it took to re-route sufficient power via other parts of the network - the problem they had was the limitations of the infrastructure not being able to carry the necessary extra load. With a fully EV future, that infrastructure will need to be able to carry that kind of loading all the time.

      2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

        Those 3 x 333Km legs are well within the range of many modern EV's

        True, but not all year round.

        Look at how many EVs were getting stranded on the roads during the recent cold snap because the range dropped significantly.

        1. Jaybus

          Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

          Yes, well most were not EVs. Few vehicles can operate in well over 1m of snow and better than 30 m/s winds and temps below -20C. The govt had to ban all travel, ev or not.

          1. nobody who matters

            Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

            I think Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese was referring to the situation in the UK before Christmas when we had sub-zero temperatures for a couple of weeks, but not that much snow ;)

            EV drivers were indeed finding their range severely reduced, and long queues developed at some charging points. Simple fact, batteries (of any type) do not perform as well in the cold, and add to that the need for lights on dul days with poor visibility, and the need for cabin heating to stop the driver shivering, and you may only travel half as far as you would normally expect.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

        " Mine charges in the 30 minutes I eat and therefore there is no added time."

        To 40% of the capacity? Even Tesla supercharger won't give you full capacity in 30 minutes so I call BS.

    2. cipnt

      Re: A 1000km each way trip (common here)

      Sure, an EV is probably not right for you yet.

      But it is right for most people in Europe if they weren't so darn expensive

  15. Korev Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    I live in a flat in Switzerland, there are a few car parking spaces on my street with zero charging points. I can't think of any streets with these points elsewhere in the City; why would anyone buy a car they can't charge easily?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy fix: e-fuels

    I have never been comfortable with just treating ICE as a throwaway aspect of future transport - those vehicles already took a lot of pollution to build, and discarding them while still fully serviceable is not exactly eco friendly either. Given that there's a lot of plausible ability to reclaim CO2, generate H2 and brew this into e-fuels which are thus carbon neutral I think the role of ICEs is not yet at an end, also if you take into account that THAT infrastructure is already established (and would also need to be abandoned).

    In addition, H2 generation in itself is getting better too as well as the multiplying manners in which it can be stored and, given its energy density, is also far more interesting for industrial use. Batteries have shown to be useless to keep industrial gear going for long enough in an economical manner - JCB has demonstrated that already (and is providing H2 powered gear now).

    The problem is power generation, and we're now close enough with LFTRs and other new generation nuclear plants to address that too in a manner that is FAR less risky, more cost effective and less long term polluting that I think all this pressure about going 100% EV feels having a second agenda. Yes, solar and wind contribute massively too, but I don't think we'll get there on that alone.

    IMHO itt is still FAR too early to make definite choices. We need to change, yes, but I don't think there will be just one solution. A bit like IT really, we all know what happens when you get monopolies..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy fix: e-fuels

      Synthetic fuel could be the way to go.

      We are getting more Ethanol in our Petrol now and how the Petrol-Heads complain about it - just the same as they complain about just about everything else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easy fix: e-fuels

        well charging the same per litre when the energy content is lower is one type of fuckery with ethanol.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Easy fix: e-fuels

          That's not the worst of it - that ethanol is not really "green". Plant based, yes, but from an ecological perspective it's merely converting a problem into another one (while some make a serious profit along the way, of course).

        2. keith_w

          Re: Easy fix: e-fuels

          Not to mention the environmental cost of raising corn (maize) and converting it into ethanol.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easy fix: e-fuels

        "We are getting more Ethanol in our Petrol now and how the Petrol-Heads complain about it "

        Yes, because it literally breaks cars. But not your car (or you don't even have one) so f**k everyone else, right?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy fix: e-fuels

      I was similarly convinced by this logic, until I thought about air pollution. Burning hydrocarbons just isn't a long term option.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy fix: e-fuels

      " given its energy density,"

      H2 energy density is literally *pathetic*: 4.5MJ/liter. Compare that to ordinary gasoline: 34MJ/liter.

      H2 has high energy density *only* if you use MJ/kg, but that's proper BS to start with: You'll need 12.2 cubic *meters* to store *one* kilo.

      That's why *everyone* who uses a lot of hydrogen, uses big pipes to move it: Volumes needed are *enormous*:

      1. nobody who matters

        Re: Easy fix: e-fuels

        That was certainly the case in the past, but these things change ;)

        Do keep up at the back.

  17. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    I'd never have guessed

    Wow

    Also newly discovered: People who lose their keys cant unlock their doors.

  18. NewModelArmy

    China Has The Right Idea

    A BBC article a few years ago details a Chinese electric vehicle costing £3,200 :

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56178802

    We need such a disruptive approach here in the UK.

    The cost of an equivalent EV for the same model, is in general 2x the price of an internal combustion engine model. £30k for a car that is just a runabout is a lot of money.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: China Has The Right Idea

      I think the Chinese will be the most major cause for Tesla shares to brick further.

      They had first mover market advantage, but not only is the traditional competition rapidly catching up (with especially the Japanese still also keeping hydrogen powered vehicles in play) but even the company that Tesla is buying its batteries from, BYD, is itself coming out with models that combine a styling that Westerners can dig with a far lower price point and which (IMHO) are much more pleasant to be in.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: China Has The Right Idea

      Yeah, there doesn't really seem to be the no frill equivalent of the Mini, Fiat 126 or VM Beetle these days. And I mean the original incarnations, not the tarted up modern version full of bells and whistle. On the other hand, would those older no frills cars, or a modern equivalent, get past current regulations on safety standards without becoming the "bells and whistles" costly cars we are complaining about?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: China Has The Right Idea

        "On the other hand, would those older no frills cars, or a modern equivalent, get past current regulations on safety standards without becoming the "bells and whistles" costly cars we are complaining about?"

        Have you any idea how much car manufacturers have had to bribe people for those regulations to exist? A lot. Literally millions.

        Green safety nazis of course have been involved too, especially in Germany they have a strong presence. They hate cars as much actual Nazis hated Jews. Just because they can: Almost everything else is BS. Just like the actual Nazis.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: China Has The Right Idea

      "A BBC article a few years ago details a Chinese electric vehicle costing £3,200 :"

      Production cost in China at the end of the assembly line. With same method Nikes cost $5 per pair. (That's a real number BTW, leaked data.)

      Last time I saw Nikes they cost £200 per pair at the shop. BBC is either *really* stupid or they outright lie on this.

  19. demon driver

    No used cars

    What the article doesn't even mention is that depending on where we look we will see that more than half, up to two thirds of car buyers don't buy new ones regardless of drive system, because of prices. And it will take years for a significant used electric car market to form.

    1. nobody who matters

      Re: No used cars

      ...and of course, by the time second hand EVs come within financial reach of the bottom third, will they still be worth buying?

      ...or even functional?

  20. Binraider Silver badge

    The sticker price is of course inflated by many EV's being covered in (un-necessary) electronics and processors whose primary role is to make the car "less reliable" and therefore require servicing.

    An electric car consisting of the absolute bare minimum i.e. wheels, chassis, steering, power, battery and mandatory electronics would be significantly cheaper sticker price than an over-complicated Tesla.

    I'd be much more inclined to get such a car, were a major manufacturer to produce one.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Agreed for me, as long as it also includes climate control and a (US) AM/FM radio. I'd also be willing to pay extra for connect-to-the-phone USB [1] features, but only what Apple/Android already support and nothing more -- no self-driving features other than basic cruise control, no special apps, no LIDAR/sonar/etc., no fancy lighting.

      1. No, NOT Bluetooth! Cable only for responsiveness and so I can recharge the phone from the massive rolling battery under my seat.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sadly, most of the un-necessary electronics are pretty cheap to make compared to the battery pack. I believe electric cars are sold with all the fancy bells and whistles because they only add on about 5% or so to the vehicle cost, and at the price that the EVs have to be sold at to make a profit, the average customer expects an infotainment system, air con etc, and a very nice looking level of trim.

      When it's feasible to sell a family EV with >350 miles range for ~£15,000-£20,000, we might start to start to see basic models without the "extras". It's not likely to happen until battery manufacturing capacity has been scaled by at least one order of magnitude.

    3. Jonathon Green

      “The sticker price is of course inflated by many EV's being covered in (un-necessary) electronics and processors whose primary role is to make the car "less reliable" and therefore require servicing.”

      Have you actually bought a new(ish) car recently?

      Unless you’re looking at specialist stuff or very near the bottom of the range(s) it’s actually quite hard to find something which doesn’t carry a similar level of electronic trickery (cruise control, immobiliser, ABS, stability & traction control, autonomous emergency braking, etc, etc) in the form of driver “aids”[1] and comfort features (electronically controlled climate control, remote locking, entertainment etc) to what’s in my Leaf, and the stuff required to get an ICE emissions compliant probably adds at least as much to that as you’ll find in an EV drive train…

      As it goes in the [counts on fingers] 8 years since I bought my first Nissan Leaf I’ve never been to the dealer for anything other than regular “”count the wheels and make sure nothing’s fallen off” level annual servicing and one recall for a mechanical component which was nothing to do with either the drive train or the electronics, and the same is true of my wife’s (now my youngest son’s) Micra which carries a broadly similar level of electronic bells and whistles…

      [1] Which, to be quite honest I’m not entirely sold on either…

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        it’s actually quite hard to find something which doesn’t carry a similar level of electronic trickery (cruise control, immobiliser, ABS, stability & traction control, autonomous emergency braking, etc, etc) in the form of driver “aids”[1]

        Driver "aids" are mandatory now because the car gets more points in EU safety tests (Euro NCAP) if the aids are provided and on by default. More rules implemented by dickhead politicians who travel by plane, or have a chauffeur to drive their cars.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "because the car gets more points in EU safety tests (Euro NCAP"

          Yes. Meaningless test anyway as you get points for something to *exist*: It doesn't need to *do* anything. Most 'lane assists' are 'drive into ditch' assists when it snows even a bit: Ridiculously dangerous stuff you can't even disable.

          Horrible, horrible stuff.

          Even ABS, assumedly basic stuff, is absolutely meaningless as "safety equipment": It does not reduce accidents at all. Zero, nada.

          Based on ~60k accidents yearly, so not a huge sample,but still significant sample.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "An electric car consisting of the absolute bare minimum i.e. wheels, chassis, steering, power, battery and mandatory electronics would be significantly cheaper sticker price than an over-complicated Tesla."

      With similar sized battery no. Electronics in Tesla is dirt cheap, cheapest generic computer parts you can buy. Whole car is dirt cheap and it shows.

      Battery is the expensive part and there's no way around that.

      Also I find it funny that someone still believes lower manufacturing cost would mean cheaper sticker price: That hasn't been happening since 1960s: Sticker price is what "market will bear". No more, no less. Especially no less.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just sticker price

    It's not just the sticker price - or the scumbag "market adjustment" fees charged by the stealerships. My main gripe is availability. Ordering a baseline F-150 Lightning Pro today comes with an estimated delivery somewhere between late December to Q1 2024. Same for pretty much everything else EV out there. All while waiting times for new gas vehicles are less than half of that.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Not just sticker price

      An interesting statement. 12+ months wait time for a new EV and *only* 6 months wait time for an ICE equivalent. Back in the day, you went to the dealer and bought it off the lot unless you had very specific options you needed, and even then, it was a month or two at most before delivery.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The thing that puts me off moving to a purely electric vehicle is range combined with time to recharge, rather than the cost.

    I do a certain amount of pootling around the neighbourhood (10-20 mile trips) but the majority of my other journeys are far longer. Thinking of what could be a typical use case for me would be a round trip which is comfortably within the range of a full tank of petrol in my ICE car, but even one-way would be beyond the range of a fully-charged EV.

    And here's the thing...something I value more highly than money is time. With my ICE car I can easily do that long round trip plus do whatever I need to do at the other end within a day. Even if I don't start with a full tank, a few minutes to call in at a filling station en route and fill up is no real hardship.

    Contrast that with a similar scenario with an EV, where the journey times would be longer as I'd need to factor in at least the time taken to recharge the car, plus potentially queues or extra time taken to find an available charger on days where there are a lot of EVs on the road. I do see a slight drop in fuel economy with my petrol engine when it's cold, but not enough to make a noticeable difference in range...but not at all like the impact that cold weather has on EV range. Making that trip all the way down to London in February? Better factor in an extra hour or two for charging stops.

    Could I still complete my use case within a day? Possibly, possibly not...I might even need to factor in an overnight stay.

    Plus there's the old argument that even though an EV may not be putting out the pollution of an ICE car, there's no guarantee that the electricity used to charge an EV hasn't come from a power station that's burning fossil fuel anyway.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      A friend has recently switched to a hybrid.

      They selected a model that enabled them to do their regular across-town commute on the battery, switching to ICE for the less frequent longer journeys. time will tell whether this was a good choice or not.

      A concern with hybrids (unlike combine harvesters) has to be that the mileometer only records distance travelled not the amount of time the ICE has been run. So mileage is no longer an indicator of engine condition.

      1. blackcat Silver badge

        The ECU will have an engine hours count.

        1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

          Hopefully also counts number of ignition cycles. Starting and stopping an ICE are major wear-causing events.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Starting and stopping an ICE are major wear-causing events."

            Especially here in North when it's -25C. Brrrr.

      2. Stork Silver badge

        In my experience, it is usually something else than engine failure that kills a car, sometimes a collection of small things.

        Present fleet:

        Accord 2005, approximately 250000km, engine and transmission fine. Seat worn, suspension creaks, power steering making noises, central locking decentralised.

        Mazda B2500 1996, much the same apart from last two points.

        Clio 2002, 148000km, seat worn, engine uses a bit of coolant and threatens to drip oil.

        Previous cars driven to 180k, 210k and 340k, all sold on without engine trouble

        1. nobody who matters

          This exactly -

          The vast majority of cars that go to the scrapyard go there as a result of a crash that has left them uneconomical to repair.

          Many more go there because they are old and the bodywork is rotten (in the UK because of the ridiculous quantities of salt that is plastered on the roads in winter because people can't learn to slow down and drive carefully on icy roads) and would cost too much to repair to pass the next annual safety inspection.

          And more reach end of life despite still being in perfectly good working order simply because they are old and nobody really wants them (must have new shiny-shiny).

          Very few end up in scrap yards purely because of mechanical failure of the engine/drivetrain.

  23. davebarnes

    ignored price

    We solved the price shock problem by only looking a BEV prices.

    We were replacing our 2007 Audi A3 so we had no idea about current car prices and features.

    For us, VW ID.4 Pro S AWD seemed to priced normally.

  24. miken101
    Flame

    Not much different from the early days of petrol vehicles with lack of garages

    A lot of people quote the above phrase, however IMO there is a great deal of differnce. In those early days of petrol, and even now, it is possiblle to carry spare liquid fuel, not so easy to be hauling around spare electrons.

  25. Joe Gurman

    Prices of Teslas in the US

    There's one repeat ONE and only one model/options offering from Tesla below US$50K, the Model 3 "standard" (that is, loss leader) range. If you want the extended range version, that's US$56K. Every other new Tesla vehicle is over U$50K.

    That's meaningful not only for new-to-EV buyer buy-in, but for simple economics. The US last year enacted legislation, effective four days ago, that allows even manufacturers who had "graduated" out of federal tax credits to purchasers because of accumulated volume of sales. But th new tax credit is limited to vehicle with sticker prices of US$50K or less. Chevrolet Bolt/Bolt EUV, anyone?

  26. IGotOut Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sooo...

    How about for people like me. I have NOWHERE, and I mean nowhere to charge one.

    I park anywhere from 20m to 200m from where I live, in a village (approx 3000 people) that tends to have a minimum of 5 power cuts a year, I've even had 10 in a day!

    There are zero charge points.

    At work on an industrial estate that has hundreds of cars, 25% are just parked on the roads, there are ZERO charging points, and I know for a fact, the estate is pretty much maxed out when it comes to power.

    The supermarkets (think 3 places the size of your typical Aldi) have a total of 6 points.

    Pretty much most of the town,has no parking by the houses and it's a first come first served parking situation.

    We have no trains (unless you count steam trains) and hardly any buses

    If you think cycling is a option, feel free to try the route, even the most hardened cyclist end up in a pathetic heap

    So tell me, where are the thousands of cars going to charge.

    So what will I do? Simple, I'll give up buying super economical 1l petrol and go buy a 7.5 tonne diesel truck instead.

  27. Jaybus

    Shocking!

    That could even be the reason why more car enthusiasts don't won Lamborghinis! Who knew money would be a factor?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Three quarters of US consumers want to spend less than $50k on their next vehicle, "

    Same three quarters are going to actually spend less than $5k (cash) on their next vehicle, but of course professional liars won't ever say that.

  29. codejunky Silver badge

    oops

    It seems York council is trying to quietly hide their failure... erm... upgrade. £8,000,000 spent on electric bin vans that cant be charged because they havnt installed the infrastructure to do so. Thats 25 vehicles bought to replace the diesel ones that are being stored (at a cost) because they are no use yet.

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

Other stories you might like