back to article Global EV sales continue to increase, but Plug-in Hybrid momentum is growing

Global passenger electric vehicle (EV) sales have continued to grow. However, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales have significantly increased year-on-year, leaving their battery-only counterparts trailing. According to figures from Counterpoint, PHEV sales significantly rose in the first quarter of 2024, with a 46 …

  1. Filippo Silver badge

    I don't know what's the situation in other countries, but here a major problem is how freakin' expensive charge points are, compared to charging at home. Per kilometer, they cost about as much as gasoline, sometimes more, which is insane. I see prices that are up to six or seven times what I pay for home power. There are prepaid plans that can mitigate that, but they still cost twice as much as home power, and they only work on subsets of charge points - which aren't exactly ubiquitous to begin with.

    For people who can't charge at home overnight (due to not having their own parking space), the economics just don't work, they'll never recoup the initial BEV cost. This is one place where some kind of government intervention is probably needed; I get that home power is subsidized, but I don't see any valid reason why charging points should cost six or seven times more. That's just predatory.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      DC charging is stupid expensive - though the actual chargers aren't cheap - public charging can be more than 10 times my home rate - but that's still generally cheaper than fuel - particularly when you consider how rarely it's needed, and the fact that the first "tank full" is at your "normal cost".

      Diesel currently 1.57, I used to get 37mpg that's 19p/mile

      That would be 76p/kWh, and only instavolt are over that as far as I'm aware.

      However I suspect prices will start to fall, since Tesla are openning more and more of their chargers to all vehicles - and they are typically 1/2-2/3rds the price of other providers. They also have peak/off peak charging - innovations which are rare elsewhere (Octopus are doing some "flash sales", but that's not a reliable feature).

      Public AC charging should be the norm, it should be everywhere, and it should be appropriately cheap. Cars are parked for the vast majority of their lives, and are inevitably within a few metres of a power supply. If you can top up when your at the shops, out for the evening, at work, it doesn't matter whether you have a dedicated parking spot. In fact for many a dedicated parking spot isn't needed.

      Imagine a block of flats, they don't have a dedicated space, but they do have a car park... That car park should be wired to every space, and then you just tag in, and the electricity gets billed to you directly.

      1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

        Motorfuels group is 79p/kWh,

        Diesel here is currently 148.9 a litre, at the 60mpg I get, I pay around £80 a week in diesel, and it would be an estimated £120-130 a week for electric *nods*

        1. Julian 8 Silver badge

          Depends on your driving.

          I have achieved your MPG when i travelled to my employers office, and the lower mileage when around town after I left them. Indeed, if going into London itself, even worse.

          For long motorway journeys, hard pressed to beat diesel, for in town, BEV are a great idea. in between, maybe a longer range BEV, I can see why people choose PHEV because it is a kind of mix of 2 worlds - though not sure if it is really better than either or just straight petrol.

          I get a car for what is best suited at the time for my needs, or as my current choice is, does the company offer a salary sacrifice scheme ?

          1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

            Oh, this is my around town, on the motorway the Q30 returns an average of 76.3mpg.

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          I just took the RAC average UK price.

          Yes, MFG are at 79, though they also offer a 5% discount with an Electroverse Card.

          And it's only the tail end of a long journey that needs DC charging - so for maybe a couple of percent of your driving the cost is comparable with fuel.

          For the remaining 90+% (probably 95+) then you're paying 10% of the cost.

          1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

            Really? I do 700 miles a week, almost all motorway driving, I can't charge at home, so I'm a little confused where you think I'll be paying 10% of the cost when that's the only charger I could use.

      2. Julian 8 Silver badge

        Depends on the flats

        Where I used to live, 42 flat, 5 spaces allocated for the block and then it was the road.

        It was bad enough when I lived there and whenever I go back, just trying to park is bad enough, let alone near any kind of charging (blocks build in 60's, limited car ownership. Even when I did get my car in the mid/late 80's, I could always park down the road with no issues what so ever. When I left that area in the late 90's, it was becoming a struggle to park then)

      3. Steve Button Silver badge

        "That car park should be wired to every space"

        That's easier said than done. You'd have to dig up the whole car park in a lot of cases to make that happen, and you'd have to put charging posts in the middle of spaces where they might not easily fit. That's a HUGE expense. If you own the block of flats what are the incentives for making this happen?

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          "If you own the block of flats what are the incentives for making this happen?"

          Frankly I'd legislate to force it to happen - because putting the conduit and a bunch of inspection pits once is the way to get it done.

          You don't need to dig up the entire car park, you need to cut a simple trench to feed post mounted chargers with a post every other space (that's each post dealing with four spaces in the centre of a car park)

          1. Steve Button Silver badge

            Sorry, correction. "You'd need to dig up almost the entire car park". These simple trenches of which you speak are not going to be cheap to dig, lay the cables in and then re-fill. Sure you could legislate to make it happen, but presumably that means the owners of the car park are going to be compensated somehow? Which basically means we're all paying for it to happen, right? Even if we don't have or want an EV currently.

            Oh, and of course you've got to get all that electricity to those local points somehow, which means replacing substations, etc. And generate enough of it.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Distribution is not an issue - we used to use enough electricity in the country to power our current usage *and* an entirely EV fleet. People forget just how much more efficient modern appliances are.

              I recently cleared out some old paperwork, and came across my leccy bill for the same house I'm in now from ~16 years ago (pre kids, pre EV) and the consumption is not all that different from today.

              Generation will take time to come online, but that's ok, because the fleet won't magically switch overnight, it will also take years.

              A trench and refill is a pretty easy installation, it's not as if we have to reinvent the wheel here - it's how virtually everything is laid everywhere. From your response you'd have thought I suggested quantum tunnelling based burial of the cables.

              1. Steve Button Silver badge

                > Distribution is not an issue

                Yes, it really is an issue. In The Netherlands they are struggling to provision enough power to houses because they have so many EVs. We'll have the same issues.

                > I recently cleared out some old paperwork, and came across my leccy bill for the same house I'm in now from ~16 years ago (pre kids, pre EV) and the consumption is not all that different from today.

                So, your consumption has stayed the same and therefore it must be the same across the whole country? Data centres and industrial use?

                > Generation will take time to come online, but that's ok, because the fleet won't magically switch overnight, it will also take years.

                It will take an infinite amount of time to come online if we don't build more power stations. Unless you think wind and solar can cope in 10 or so years with the whole country switching to EVs and heat pumps?

                > A trench and refill is a pretty easy installation, it's not as if we have to reinvent the wheel here - it's how virtually everything is laid everywhere. From your response you'd have thought I suggested quantum tunnelling based burial of the cables.

                I know it's "easy". I help run a local charity and we've had work done on the car park. It's still expensive though. If you know someone who'll dig up a car park and lay cables, etc for a couple of grand then please pass on their phone number and some TrustPilot reviews. Obviously I don't want the filled in asphalt to crack into pieces after the first couple of seasons of frost.

                1. John Robson Silver badge

                  No it's really not an issue.

                  My usage has stayed about the same, despite doubling the size of the family and electrifying transport.

                  Local distribution at residential properties aren't adversely affected by the data centre with a dedicated substation, but total electricity consumption has decreased, that total includes industrial and data centre usage as well as residential.

                  No it's not free, and yes, it will need paying for... the point is that it should be done once, and it should be done pretty quickly.

                  Lay a speed bump over a conduit if you can't dig, it only needs to get to the middle once.

                  1. Steve Button Silver badge

                    Yes, I'm sure if you wave your hand mysteriously then it'll happen just like that. Nothing to see here, move along.

                    The fact is once we ALL switch to electric cars and cooking and heating that's a metric fuck ton of extra electricity that's needed to replace all those fossil fuels. People that use their car regularly for longish journeys are going to need to charge quite often. And even if they aren't all charging all the time, you'll still need the capacity to allow many people to charge ... say just before a Bank Holiday.

                    This is not something that should be done quickly, unless you've got unlimited budgets. Many of us are already suffering from cost of living crisis. I don't believe it's a global emergency, and I don't believe we need to get to Net Zero by 2050 (and bugger the cost). I'm sure we can do it a bit more gradually than that, and make that transition with a bit more consideration (and a LOT more nuclear). And who knows, by that time other technologies might come along which render EVs obsolete.

                    1. John Robson Silver badge

                      I don't have the ability to wave my hand and make it happen - those who do are current in the pockets of the oil companies, who obviously have an interest in not letting it happen.

                      "And even if they aren't all charging all the time, you'll still need the capacity to allow many people to charge ... say just before a Bank Holiday."

                      You need to deal with daily milage, and the vast majority can top up long before a bank holiday trip - you just nudge up the amount you daily charge by a few units, and that .

                      Not every car will have their daily milage topped up every day, but across the fleet that's what's going to be needed. And with a modicum of smart charging you will see an uplift for the ~10 days before a bank holiday... I add a few units to my "demand" for the week or two before a long journey, so a marginal uplift, which is scheduled by my energy company to be when it's best for the grid.

                      I do wonder how long it will be before I can say "this is my daily, but I want this extra at some point over the week".

                      "A survey by RAC and Transport analysis company Inrix suggested 14 million Easter getaway trips are expected to be made." (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-68673728)

                      That's less than half of the UK car fleet if all of those journeys are car based, and assuming they are all long distance getaways - which they won't be (reducing the peak load).

                      The more challenging time is actually the night(s) after, though with those 14 million trips distributed across a couple of days the spike is further lowered.

                    2. David Hicklin Bronze badge

                      > once we ALL switch to electric cars and cooking and heating that's a metric fuck ton of extra electricity

                      As I have mentioned before, our town here in the UK has been suffering several years of never ending trenches being cut in the roads to install extra local power distribution cables as the growth of the town has already exceeded the capacity of the stuff laid in the last century.

                      Heck I remember my parents house built in the 1950's had less than 10 electric outlet sockets in the entire house before it got rewired - and most of the country's infrastructure that is still in use was designed to cope with that level of load.

                2. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

                  Also, we might have more efficient equipment these days, but we have a lot more of it.

                  They had to replace the feeder down my road a few years ago because it couldn't take the load of modern housing (area is ~1870's terraces, so electricity, water, sewage, gas, all are additions to the existing houses). When I moved in here, the fuse box had _4_ fuse positions in it.

                  Distribution is an issue as you say, as a lot of infrastructure here is old *nods*

      4. TheMeerkat

        Unless one has an off-street parking and can charge an EV (or a plug-in) at home, one should not really buy an EV.

        Charging at home is convenient, charging at public charging point is much more hassle than simply putting fuel into your car.

    2. Catkin Silver badge

      I don't see it getting any better as fossil fuel use declines. If anything, governments will be on the lookout for extra revenue. Also, compared to petrol stations, the number of customers per day per area of land is vastly lower so charging station owners in desirable locations will do even more to squeeze out a return on their investment.

      As for home electricity subsidies, no one needs a car to live. I don't mean this as some authoritarian environmentalist statement, I mean that I find it hard to put running private transport in the same category as heating, lighting and food preparation.

      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: no one needs a car to live

        I'm going to assume that you have always lived in a city or large-ish town, and are therefore ignorant rather than deliberately offensive.

        Out here in rural Wales, life without a car or other motorised vehicle is pretty much impossible. Our nearest shop of any sort is 5 miles away, as are all the other services required for modern life.

        Sure, I could sell our car and dedicate my life to existing with a bicycle. But I wouldn't have any time left over for basic stuff like earning a living.

        GJC

        1. Julian 8 Silver badge

          Re: no one needs a car to live

          And where I used to live in Kent, there was a bus that stopped at the hamlet. Left at 11:30 and back by 14:30. - Mon - sat

          no use if you needed to get to work or anything else. And I know they were looking to stop that and being just a couple of days a week.

          No Uber or such like there either

          1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Buses

            Oh goodness, yes. When we first moved here in 1997, there was a bus from the village into town, which ran on a similar sort of once-a-day schedule Mon-Sat - into town in the morning, back again in the afternoon, I forget the exact times. Worked OK for going shopping in town, bugger all use for anything else. It was reasonably well used, although probably not enough to make it profitable.

            After a few years, this got cut to a once-a-week service that went into town on Tuesday morning, and came back Thursday afternoon. I have tried, really tried, to understand the mindset of the sort of middle-manager fuckwit who thinks that this might be a useful service to provide, but I come up blank every time. Predictably, this service was used not at all, and so after a while that was cancelled, and now the nearest bus stop we have with any kind of service is three miles away.

            The bus stop remains forlornly in the village, with fresh flowers planted every spring by a dedicated band of locals, waiting sadly for a bus that will never come.

            GJC

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

              Re: Buses

              It never seemed to occur to planners in the UK that a bus service need not be privately run, and that it need not be required to run at 100% capacity, to be a useful carrot. Instead, 'stick' seems to be the only option considered by local (and national) government when it comes to reducing the cars on the road.

              Here, I have a bus service every half hour from about six to six; it slows down a bit later in the evening. But that goes to an every-ten-minutes tram, and that goes to Potsdam Hauptbahnhof. Other than school starting and finishing times, neither bus nor tram is ever full.

              I could live without a car, but my usage would make it something of a pain even with the public transport I have available. So I use the bus/tram/train when I can, but I use the car if I have to go a longer distance, or carry a load (e.g. supermarket time) I use the car.

              1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

                Re: Buses

                Indeed, here in the UK we do public transport *supremely* badly. Oh, well...

                GJC

                1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: Buses

                  Interesting message to get downvoted. More city-dwellers, no doubt.

                  GJC

              2. David Hicklin Bronze badge

                Re: Buses

                > It never seemed to occur to planners in the UK that a bus service need not be privately run,

                A lot depends on where you live and how much demand there is for the service.

                My town between Derby and Nottingham had a 24 hour bus service (once an hour overnight) and several per hour in the day, on the other hand a lot of people use it.

                A small village on the middle of the countryside will be usually be dependent of county council subsidies to run, and the government has been cutting these to the bone over the previous years

                But one thing about ICE v EV to remember is all that tax the government makes of fuel will need to come from somewhere in the future......

        2. Catkin Silver badge

          Re: no one needs a car to live

          I realise that it's enormously difficult to live a comfortable, convenient life in many places without a personal car but I would say it's orders less of an obstacle than, for example, living without mains electricity in the home. If we are discussing subsidising electricity for EVs on the basis of necessity then it seems to me that the enormous duty placed on petrol or diesel (accounting for the majority of the price) starts to become less justifiable too.

          I'm not one of those bicycle fetishising, inner city evangelists who tells you off for even thinking of owning one.

          1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

            Re: no one needs a car to live

            OK, but why do we need subsidies? Who's asking for those?

            I pay 7.5p/kWh to charge our cars, because we charge at night when electricity is naturally cheap.

            GJC

            1. Catkin Silver badge

              Re: no one needs a car to live

              The original post I replied to mentioned the price of charge point electricity in relation to subsidised home electricity. It was the reason I brought up relative necessities.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: no one needs a car to live

                Citation for the subsidised home electricity please. In the UK there is a notional limit to what can be charged for domestic elec but I do not believe there is a subsidy paid anywhere. Subsidies are paid to generators, mostly of the green variety, but that elec goes to everyone including industry.

                1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

                  Re: no one needs a car to live

                  >> Citation for the subsidised home electricity please

                  As I already mentioned , they are getting mixed up with lower overnight tariffs when demand is low and they want to keep the nuclear power stations loaded.

                  Of course when everyone is charging overnight it might not be so attractive - fuel duty tax gotta come from somewhere !

                  1. blackcat Silver badge

                    Re: no one needs a car to live

                    That isn't how overnight elec works any more. And it is certainly not a 'subsidy'.

                    Overnight in the UK there is very little danger of the nuclear stations having to be turned down. The minimum grid load is some 5x what they currently produce. Cheap rate overnight elec is a hangover from when all the UK electricity was produced by very large thermal power stations. It is now used as an encouragement to spread the load away from peak times.

                    But it isn't subsidised by anyone. It is still based on market rates.

                    In France they turn the nukes down during the day when it is sunny due to the solar input.

              2. David Hicklin Bronze badge

                Re: no one needs a car to live

                > subsidised home electricity

                But is it ? and if so by who?

                I think you are getting confused by cheaper overnight tariffs that occur naturally if you sign up for them (but often pay more for daytime use)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I'd rather live of solar panels at home

            Then be stuck 40min away from town without transit. Thankfully not my lived experience at the moment, but I have family that does have to face real transit challenges. And this isn't just about personal convenience. One of them works in the local HOSPITAL. In the winter, bicycles, roller skates and horse drawn buggies aren't viable, and if the staff can't get to town, people could die. The housing in town costs more than the hospital pays even for technicians and clinical workers, let alone the facilities staff, food service, etc.

            Then there are the ambulance drivers, who like the fire fighters are all volunteers. So if there is a wreck 5 miles outside town, the volunteers have to scramble from their day job, in their own transportation, and then go to the firehouse/dispatch and get the ambulance. These are not people who describe their lives in terms of comfort or convenience.

            People that try to push these policies from the top are doing so from a place of willful ignorance. PHEV's benefit both rural and urban users, the main obstacle is the sheer debacle that most countries have made in rolling out their charging infrastructure. With a short haul battery, PHEV's can realistically be charged overnight on a standard outlet, even on under voltage 100-125v power. More needs to be done to get at least low power charging into lots and car-parks that actually support the EV plugs the hybrid fleet use. Public charging also needs to work like regular fueling, or any other purchase.

            No separate app, account, voucher system. One price for everyone, clearly displayed, or perhaps "free" slow charging included in the price of paid parking lots. On a decent outlet my ride charges up in about 2 hours, and under most circumstances I run off battery for my day to day driving. If I want or need to drive to a part of the country where the charge infrastructure is bad, the little hatchback can go about 450-500 miles on a modest tank of dino fuel. Most of that would be cut if I wasn't forced to go into the office, which would be a better policy change to fight for than a forced march away from gas.

            The reason the EV transition is stalled is that the industry and government willfully screwed it up. With the charge system carved into incompatible fiefdoms, less useful or pervasive than gas stations, but based on the same model, it's a roll of the dice if you can even get the charger to start most of the time. You need a cell phone, credit card, multiple phone apps, and all too often, an active cell phone connection. People aren't rushing to buy EVs in area's where that is the reality. Big surprise.

            Trying to push or force this transition without facing reality won't work out well, and even well meaning people such as yourself are rushing in where angels fear to tread and making the problem worse by beating the drum based on incomplete information.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: I'd rather live of solar panels at home

              "In the winter, bicycles,... aren't viable"

              Yes they are - commuted year round for well over a decade - generally across rural roads between two towns.

              winter tyres, decent mudguards and correct gearing...

        3. xyz Silver badge

          Re: no one needs a car to live

          Same for me... In the sticks, so no charge points. House in village is in a culturally significant zone, so no charge points for me there either. My tractor, quad and trucks need fossil fuels and I'm not swapping them until some "green" city type grows up and realises it's not all about him/her and works something out.

          In a nutshell: No fuel for me in the countryside, means no food for you in the supermarket.

          Currently looking at home made flow batteries powered by nanofluids made by companies like influitenergy.com as a solution.

          1. John Robson Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: no one needs a car to live

            "In the sticks, so no charge points."

            So you're saying that you don't have electricity... because a charge point isn't some massive device, it can run off a standard domestic mains supply - assuming that you can run a kettle of course.

            You get faster charging if you can install a dedicated 32A circuit, and that doesn't need to impact the aesthetics of a "culturally significant" (are you listed or not?) area - it can for instance be inside a garage - and given the number of vehicles you claim to be housing I'm guessing you have already made more of a mess of your "special" area than an EV charger ever would.

        4. csimon

          Re: no one needs a car to live

          Eek. If you live in an area where there is decent public transport, everything you need is within walking distance, and you don't need to visit people or go outside your area, then maybe you don't need a car.

          But the reality is that a car is essential in many places around the UK.

          There is a public bus service from where I live to the nearest village (a few miles away), once a day, but it sort of then turns around and comes back. So not much use really.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: no one needs a car to live

            "But the reality is that a car is essential in many places around the UK."

            No - the reality is that many places in the UK have been planned and built assuming universal car ownership.

            The whole of the UK existed before motor cars - from the inner cities to the rural backwaters.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: no one needs a car to live

              Yes it *existed*, but it was a lot less productive and efficient back then. And poverty was much more widespread.

              1. Adair Silver badge

                Re: no one needs a car to live

                Correlation doesn't equal causation. Pre-car Britain was 'poorer' generally, that doesn't mean everyone lived in miserable squalor.

                Add in the fact that much poverty had little to do with 'lack of transport' and much to do with 'iniquitous structural inequalities in wealth distribution'. A miserable and shameful fact that continues today.

                Our particular 'Car Culture' certainly has it's benefits, but it has massive negative consequences as well, which, to a large extent, we try to ignore.

                We all have a tendency to think that the way we live now is the only way to live, and that it is the way we have always lived. Even although the evidence against this way of thinking stares us in the face.

                And the world burns faster ...

                1. blackcat Silver badge

                  Re: no one needs a car to live

                  Mass affordable transport was the thing that allowed the poor to go further than their legs or (to a lesser extent) bicycle could take them. Trains allowed people to work more than walking distance from home. It allowed the building of houses in less space constrained areas. It allowed people to go to places they've never been for a holiday. It allowed people to get away from the back to back housing that had dominated after the industrial revolution brought working people out of the fields and into the towns.

                  They might still be poor by all standards but they can move out of the hugely polluted and cramped cities and once a year go to Skeggy or Blackpool and have a holiday.

                  Attempts in the 50s and 60s in the UK and USA with very dense, often vertical, 'everything you need in a small area' type housing has always ended in a return to squalor and slums. The projects in the USA and the awful concrete monstrosities built very badly in the UK.

                  1. Adair Silver badge

                    Re: no one needs a car to live

                    So, really mostly what 'private transport' has done is allow existing problems to grow in scale. The 'poor' are still poor, and the really poor cannot afford to run a car. Meanwhile 'car culture' causes massive pollution, cuts people off from local amenities, because you 'need a car' to access them, and walking/cycling are miserable/dangerous experiences.

                    IOW, we live the selfish oppressed lives we have always lived, just faster, at larger scale, and with added downsides that we didn't have before.

                    I''m not denying that for many of us cars have benefits, but much of the so called 'benefits' are actually about needing to have a car in order to overcome the problems caused by having cars!

                    Human beings: lots of knowledge, not so much wisdom.

                    1. blackcat Silver badge

                      Re: no one needs a car to live

                      There will always be people classed as poor as there are people who are never going to make the climb up the wageslave ladder. What the last 50+ years has done was to make their lives a lot less miserable, and not just through govt handouts. And now after several rounds of govts royally f-ing the economy, 'trying' to help and generally being useless self-serving bastards we have eroded all that work.

                      1. Adair Silver badge

                        Re: no one needs a car to live

                        Fair comment, but it doesn't address the question of how much 'benefit' 'car culture', i.e. our particular choices about how 'private transport via cars' is deployed and understood, is actually a source of much of the problems we have with how our 'modern' society doesn't work well for many people.

                        It is unquestionable that our 'car culture' does a great deal of harm to many people's quality of life, but we prefer to ignore that reality for all sorts of reasons, many of them very selfish ones.

                        1. blackcat Silver badge

                          Re: no one needs a car to live

                          Ignoring the pollution aspect I don't think car culture has been any worse than the attempts at high density living. The issue being govts like to put all their eggs in one basket and are incapable of any sort of balanced approach. They took the opportunity to defund public transport as cars were less of a burden on the govt at the time.

                          The walkways in the sky, vertical living etc. destroyed the community spirit as no-one interacted just as much as driving miles to the supermarket has. Growing up I knew everyone in the road where I lived. The only time I've interacted with the people 2 doors up from where I've now lived for 16 years was when we had a huge power cut.

                          The US is different as car culture started earlier but then the US is also vastly larger. Even so in larger cities you could live without a car as there used to be lots of the same shop dotted around but now that is a thing of the past with cost cutting.

                2. David Hicklin Bronze badge

                  Re: no one needs a car to live

                  >> Correlation doesn't equal causation

                  And back then (yes I remember being in a pre-car family) we used to get mobile sellers coming round 2-3 times a week, soft drinks, meats, chippy van, even the "egg man" who sold eggs and potatoes etc. Oh and don't forget the EV milk cart!

                  They all died when we started driving to do the weekly shop, and in response they built out of town shopping centres to cater for it.

                  We still went away on holiday in the UK, Usually North Wales via the holiday maker special train that would trundle along at 40 mph and take most of they day to get there!

                  1. blackcat Silver badge

                    Re: no one needs a car to live

                    The milk man lasted long after the arrival of the supermarket. The dealbreaker for us was then the sod was billing us for pints he never delivered.

                    And trains became a problem when they a) got super f-ing expensive and b) you could not take any meaningful luggage and certainly couldn't take a bike long distance.

                    I've done many trips oop-norf and put my bike in the guards van.

                    Now its significantly cheaper to drive.

        5. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: no one needs a car to live

          Amazingly rural wales existed before the motor car.

          1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: Amazingly rural wales existed before the motor car.

            And? People could only go as far as they could walk or cycle, or their horse could carry them (if they had the luxury of a horse). What's your point?

          2. LybsterRoy Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: no one needs a car to live

            Shame that isn't it :)

      2. Filippo Silver badge

        >As for home electricity subsidies, no one needs a car to live.

        I strongly disagree with the folks who think that there's a global conspiracy to get everyone to not move around.

        That said, "no one needs a car to live" is a bit of an oversimplification. It's technically true, yes, but there are many, many places, including in the first world, where not having private transport means being effectively unable to get a job. And I don't see any way to change that, at least not any that's easier than making sure people can have a car.

        1. Catkin Silver badge

          I understand that people get defensive over that statement and I don't mean it in a dismissive sense, only as far as how much support the state should provide to ensure people have access.

          For the whole global conspiracy bit. I think that current policies are and will continue to progressively take the bottom earners off the road, more due to a 'let them eat cake' attitude, than an active stance.

          1. Filippo Silver badge

            Forgive me, but I'm having difficulties understanding what exactly you are presenting as a good thing, and what you are presenting as a bad thing.

            I suggested government intervention to ensure BEVs are accessible to everyone, and you seemed to be against it on the basis that private transport is not a primary necessity.

            From this post, however, it sounds like you are describing a scenario where the low-income population can't have private transport. This looks a lot like the scenario you appeared to endorse in your first post. However, here you seem to describe it negatively; at least, 'let them eat cake' usually comes with very negative connotations.

            I mean, arguably, "no one needs a car to live" sounds a lot like "let them eat cake"; most of the replies you've got seem to have that impression, at least.

            So, I don't get it - low-income earners unable to run BEVs due to being unable to charge at subsidized tariffs, is that a good or a bad for you? Or is it more nuanced? Bad-but-the-alternative-is-worse somehow? I'd be happy to read some clarification.

            1. Catkin Silver badge

              Thank you very much for taking the time to ask. I would say that there's no obvious answer that seems entirely fair to me.

              I would point out that, at the moment and in the past, there is already a divide between people who can afford to drive and those who can not (putting aside those who choose not to). Therefore, I would ask whether the status quo is fair and needs to be preserved.

              In its simplest form, I think it can be boiled down to: how do we balance the needs of the environment against the needs of those who have made choices based upon being able to afford to run a car, in a way that is fair to those who have made involuntary choices based upon not currently being able to afford a car?

              I think that shifts have already happened with the dual slow boils of increasing vehicle standards and the fuel escalator, it's just that EVs are going to lead to more acute choices and, rather than policies that make good sound bites, we really need to have a grownup discussion about what the priorities should be for future governments.

              1. csimon

                "In its simplest form, I think it can be boiled down to: how do we balance the needs of the environment against the needs of those who have made choices based upon being able to afford to run a car, in a way that is fair to those who have made involuntary choices based upon not currently being able to afford a car?"

                I think you've missed out the option of those who've made involuntary choices to have a car because it's essential. And I think you've got an agenda.

                1. Catkin Silver badge

                  I think you misunderstand. I'm not portraying having a car as a voluntary choice for even the majority of car owners, I'm stating that quite a few life choices (where to live, what job to work, ect.) are made, at least in part, based upon the individual being able to afford car ownership. By 'life choices' I don't mean some frivolous decisions that are easy to make one way or the other, I mean very large-scale, long-term decisions that would require significant sacrifices to alter.

                  I understand your concerns about me having an agenda but, for the points I have raised, I am more interested in getting people to think about what the wider consequences are for their proposals and their justifications. For instance, if the government has a duty to make driving EVs affordable, does this duty extend to those who cannot currently afford cars or are they outside the scope of consideration (even if they also make financial contributions through taxes)?

                  I am much more interested in why, given the current socioeconomic landscape, proposed government policies (including a non-interventionist one) are justifiable than I am in a 'yes' or 'no' answer.

                  edit: could please I ask you to specifically state what you think my agenda is, if you still believe I have one?

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  While CSIMON is driving in another direction

                  I think CSIMON did highlight some cracks in your framing of the issue Catkin.

                  At the core of what you said lies "How do we balance the need of the environment" against other needs. You intentionally or otherwise frame that in terms of people who can afford cars but probably shouldn't be driving them and those who can't afford a car at all. That's a terrible soda straw view of the issues that the EV transition is raising, leading to poor insights, which lead to poor policies and poor outcomes. That narrative helped the current ignore the facts and ignore the impacts political climate that caused the EV transition to stall.

                  Good policy will flow easily from a clear eyed view of the bigger picture. The scaled down outlook you present is just an alternative the narrow viewpoints that collectively got us here. The number of drivers, cars, and miles driven by those that would be most impacted by these changes are a drop in the bucket of total climate numbers. Tackle industry and freight transit before castigating suburban commuters or rural families. Make the infrastructure make sense before decrying normal people for not "sacrificing more" when the government seems to be bending over backwards to make even those that choose to sacrifice choices even harder for little gain.

                  Pushing the change faster than the underlying infrastructure is the sort of consequence of the thought experiments you suggest have had. Probably not what you intended. Yeah, some of the policies may not be totally equitable in all possible ways, and we may end up spending more on subsidies for people who don't strictly need them. Instead of chasing those nickels, we should spend time fixing the parts that flatly don't work, and the ones having the biggest impacts. On ensuring that people have access to transit where and when they need it, not in some "it will take 2.5 hours to complete a 10min drive sense", or one that only lets the comparatively wealthy afford move around outside the neighborhood they were born into.

                  People need unfettered and unashamed access to gas until they don't need to go to work unless it requires hands on labor. Until home and work charging can be safely assumed. That rates for charging are reasonable based on operating costs and electricity, not based on the price of gas or price gouging, or set by a power monopoly. If their work is essential and doesn't favor the realities of an EV. Beyond that targeting individuals before industry is to advocate by omission for tearing apart families and towns that through no fault of their own aren't in the most suitable location in favor for looking away from the parts of the problem that have the biggest impacts. Tackling the big and politically hard problems first and early pays the biggest benefits, and makes individual emissions during the EV transition a rounding error.

                  That's my position, and I'm not going to make people guess it and then pick at them for being wrong for not being mind readers. Lay off harping on peoples driving choices and who's unfairly subsidizing which drivers electric rate till the 98% of real climate impacts have been reduced by a nice big chunk. Your spending to much time chasing the small fish.

                  1. Catkin Silver badge

                    Re: While CSIMON is driving in another direction

                    I actually very loosely agree with you, I just believe you've misinterpreted what is admittedly a somewhat gadfly approach to the discussion as an outright attack. I think that, as you said, the bigger picture is important and what I was trying to point out is that, in my view, we do financially penalise people who currently own IC cars. In some cases, to the point that I believe some individuals are driven into making lifestyle choices stemming from not being able to afford to operate one. This isn't just direct interventions, actions like the scrappage scheme put money in the pockets of some existing drivers but also took vehicles off the market that would have otherwise made driving more financially accessible.

                    I recognise that the hostility I generated is sadly down to the current state of political discourse on the environment but I am pleased that some people were willing to consider the discussion in good faith.

              2. Filippo Silver badge

                Got it. Given that context, the position I offer is as follows.

                It would be just and desirable to engineer conditions where we don't have parts of society that are highly dependant on private transport.

                However, I believe that creating such conditions would be very difficult, for many reasons. Crucially, it would also take a very long time. I'm in favor of starting on this task, but the time scale is at odds with our desire to stop burning fossils relatively quickly.

                Because of this, I think that we should sort out our economic incentives so that everyone who currently relies on an ICE can switch to a BEV without taking a major hit on quality of life. I think that is still not easy or fast in an absolute sense, but way easier and faster than reworking our cities and transportation infrastructure so that they are not utterly dependant on private transport. I don't believe there's any painless solution, but I think that's the one with the least pain.

                1. Catkin Silver badge

                  That seems quite reasonable to me, thank you for taking the time to lay it out.

                2. David Hicklin Bronze badge

                  >> It would be just and desirable to engineer conditions where we don't have parts of society that are highly dependant on private transport.

                  I also suspect that it would not be a vote winner as it would need massive public money to get it going which would not be popular

        2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

          Looking at the state of the roads in the UK, and adding in the Welsh & Scottish 20mph limits, plus the LTNs and LEZs are you sure there isn't a conspiracy

          1. John Robson Silver badge
      3. Sherrie Ludwig

        As for home electricity subsidies, no one needs a car to live. I don't mean this as some authoritarian environmentalist statement, I mean that I find it hard to put running private transport in the same category as heating, lighting and food preparation.

        I wish I lived in your utopia. I live in rural USA. Running private transportation is the only thing that gets us to where we can get food, medical care, and other sort of necessary things. Public transportation is essentially nonexistent, a phone-to-book for disabled or elderly, and it may or may not be available when it is needed.

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Inconvenience

    The problem with on-street charging points is that there are no toilets nearby and there is no space to erect a tent so that you can have some privacy while waiting few hours for your car to charge so you can drive home.

    You can often see EV drivers sleeping in the nearby bushes or urinating behind the BT street cabinets. They also have some sort of mating calls "Is your car full? Is your car full?" to strangers in the vicinity of a car that is charging or just taking up a spot.

    Finally when you meet one, the first thing they tell you is how much range they have left. "Mate, I've been driving whole day and I still have 20 miles left! If I turn the air con off I might just get to the charging point near my street, hopefully it will be empty. See EVs ain't that bad! How is your diesel polluting banger? Get an EV mate. I already feel like I need to cough."

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Inconvenience

      Often?

      I've never seen an EV driver "sleeping in nearby bushes" - ever.

      I cannot envisage why that would ever be preferable to sleeping in the vehicle.

      Maybe you just feel that you can't cope with change?

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Inconvenience

        I cannot envisage why that would ever be preferable to sleeping in the vehicle.

        Because you won't be woken up by knocking at your window every 10 minutes or so "Excuse me good sir, have you finished charging your marvellous EV car?"

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Inconvenience

          Pretty bloody obvious - the charger has lights on.

          You might get woken once, by someone saying "cars finished mate, time to move on"

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Inconvenience

      That scene you claim you "often" see, I've never seen it, never heard anyone seeing it, nor anything remotely like it.

      Also, it doesn't even make sense. Even if an EV driver was somehow forced to wait for hours and hours in a spot for whatever reason, why would they sleep in a bush? Their car is right there.

      Urinating on electric material, that should be insulated, but that also might get lightly hit by a car every now and then, and is only checked for maintenance every now and then, also sounds exceptionally unwise.

      It's a really weird world you are constructing to prove a point. Surely if you want to bash EVs there are arguments that are at least internally consistant? I mean, I'm generally in favor of EVs, and even I can see actual real problems with them, without having to imagine people erecting tents.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Inconvenience

        Their car is right there.

        Yes, try to sleep in a car when every now and then someone knocks at the windows to see if you are done.

        also sounds exceptionally unwise.

        That's what people do all the time. I am yet to see a burnt body next to a BT street cabinet, but I am seeing plenty of urine stains all around it.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Inconvenience

          Still no idea what world you're constructing that has people sleeping in bushes.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PHEV FTW

    I run a PHEV.

    Free charging at work and supermarket. Running EV-mode in the week and petrol at the weekend. And thinking of public charging as paid parking with free fuel.

    That said it still won't fully cover the ~15K uplift, versus the previous petrol/DERV equivalent of the eame model, over 3-4 years.

    The AWD system is witchcraft. And amusing when you stamp on the loud pedal. Very enjoyable.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: PHEV FTW

      If your phev actually has the range to do most daily work then there is an argument that the smaller battery is good... but you also end up with the worst features of an ICE, and a whole pile of weight in the engine/gearbox that you only occasionally use, but which adds significantly to maintenance costs and fire risk.

      I still see more benefit in a standardised AlAir battery drop in module for "recharging" an otherwise small battery EV on long journeys - they have decent energy and power density, can be recycled infinitely. The recharge efficiency makes them a relatively inefficient fuel, but there's no reason to limit it to AlAir - just specify a physical form factor and electric standards.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: PHEV FTW

        "and a whole pile of weight in the engine/gearbox that you only occasionally use"

        Not if it replaces a DERV lump, PTU, drive shaft, rear drive unit, etc.

      2. cyberdemon Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: PHEV FTW

        I don't think we're going to see AlAir batteries break in to the EV market, ever. While they are light, the power is too low, they can't be recharged- they have to be remanufactured, pollution would be a big problem..

        For PHEVs i'd love to see a compact high speed gas turbine, the sort of thing you see for an aircraft's APU. Much more power dense than a traditional ICE due to the high speed. Electric transmission means no gearing needed.

        Very high speed motors have in the past been difficult to make, but they are looking very promising now.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: PHEV FTW

          They do need to be remanufactured - which gives them a round trip efficiency of ~30-35%, which is comparable with petrol.

          The advantage is that they can be dropped in for a motorway journey, and swapped out at a service station - their power density won't do all your driving but you can pull a constant power from them to supplement the (smaller) main traction battery.

          I'm not sure gas turbines are necessary, in the same way I don't really expect AlAir dropins to be a thing. Because you can already charge a car faster than you can charge a person - Put together a 50kWh battery that could charge at 5C, then that's going to be less than five minutes a stop, and more than two hours between stops - and does so with just 100kg of battery...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: PHEV FTW

            The win here is that both legs of a PHEV work with what is actually deployed in the world today at scale. A 20-50 mile battery can charge of any regular wall outlet, not just a limited number of high amperage DC charge points. Gas stations are still everywhere. Adding the EV part to a gas car is adding about the weight of an average passenger on small car chassis PHEVs.

            Tesla talked up swapable battery packs but never delivered. Other companies have built them (like the Zero motorcycles) but no place exists to swap them for charged packs. New and exotic battery packs will take even more years to scale. And before either the supply chain problems or getting them deployed at scale are worked out, we can and should have build out enough charge infrastructure to allow existing BEVs to work for almost the entire personal vehicle segment.

            So the clear smart play was always to push PHEVs in the short term that run on gas an regular batteries, instead of wasting resources on chasing solutions that will take a decade to scale even to the point of the existing public charging infrastructure. We don't need to wait for just one more wacky gadget promoted by just one or even a handful of companies. We need to make what we have already working quickly move at scale. There are plenty of good small PHEVs out there that are suitable for most applications. Scale those up instead of glamor projects like the electric mustang or a Cybertruck. If you are going to spend on R&D, bring back a light truck chassis PHEV like the 80's toyota mini-trucks and Hilux. Find a pickup that is under 3000lbs today.

            That's not a reason not to look at swappable batteries or new other tech. It's a reason not to WAIT for them, and to put less priority of giant luxury vehicles an more for practical transport.

            1. Doctor Evil

              Re: PHEV FTW

              PHEV owner here - well said, sir. The use cases you have outlined are, I think, pretty universal: wall charging for battery-only local use and enhanced fuel economy for occasional long distance high speed driving. This definitely describes my experience for the past year.

              I will eventually go full BEV - when my world contracts to the point that this is sufficient and/or the technology improves to the operating point that my PHEV nicely covers right now.

    2. TheMeerkat

      Re: PHEV FTW

      Free charge at supermarket? I think the Tesco’s next to me is expensive and only gives 7kW (same I have at home for my plug-in). Charging at work is not an option for most of us.

      So unless you one charge at home one will be better off to buy a car that does not require electric charging.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: PHEV FTW

        France. Where free supermarket charging is a thing, BIK is not being chased as yet and pay chargers bill by the hour, not by energy used. (This anomaly about not reselling electricity will probably change soon.)

        Most PHEVs only have 7.2kW onboard chargers anyway. Apart from useless 3.6kW rated ones. (Like the BMW 3-series e)

        I replaced the bundles 1.8kW charger with a 3.6kW one for home charging. That's the max for a plugged one. Above 3.6kW you need to get one wired in. Which costs.

        Most public chargers are 22kW rated in France.

  4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

    Plugins are being pushed by manufacturers as a way to meet emissions targets for their "fleets". They do some creative accounting to suggest that they're being used a lot, when the evidence suggests the cables have never been unpacked.

    Nissan has unveiled the <a hre="https://www.nissan.de/modelluebersicht/e-power-autos.html>first cars</a> which I think show the way forward: they still have an engine but it's use solely to drive a generator that powers electric motors. Not really revolutionary at the moment but, an engine that is there to charge a battery can be optimised for that task much better than one that is driving a vehicle. It means you can start doing away with all the messy parts of the ICE drivetrain like the gearbox, differential. No range problem because of the energy density of hydrocarbons and no new infrastructure required. Of course, what we need to see is them using synthetic hydrocarbons, but it's a good start. Pity they're currently only offering it for the "premium" SUV segement. Done correctly, the BoM for cars should become simpler and, therefore, cheaper and make sense for the lower end of the market, especially because these won't be needing lots of power.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

      Yep - the Ampera did this back in the day... it does eliminate alot of the mess, but you are still left with an engine that you don't need 360+ days a year.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

        No, in these the engine is in use all the time: the battery is small and is constantly charged by the generator. At some point you can switch over entirely to a turbine for greater efficiency. We do need to avoid a potentially massive increase in charging requirements which means lots more generation and distribution capacity, ie. yet another bone for the power industry.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

          "We do need to avoid a potentially massive increase in charging requirements which means lots more generation and distribution capacity, ie. yet another bone for the power industry."

          Nope - just not the case. We can easily power an entirely electrified car fleet on the power we no longer use due to more efficient electronics in the rest of our lives - we're 80TWh a year down on peak consumption.

          1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: 80TWh a year down on peak consumption

            And how much generating capacity have we lost over that time? You don't think the power companies just sit there wasting money maintaining unused generating capacity, just in case it might be needed at some point the distant future?

            No, they saw the downward consumption trends and cut their costs to the bone to maximise profit. Then suddenly the government decides no new cars can be pure ICE from 2035, with an aggressive taper and threats of massive fines to the manufacturers, which will either massively increase the amount of power we need to generate, or collapse most of the car industry (though based on EV purchasing trends, this is looking more likely - many people that wnat an EV already have one, or can't afford one anyway, while the rest don't want one (for myriad good reasons) and are either tapping the second hand market more, or keeping their existing car longer).

            So no, we don't have 80TWh of spare capacity just sitting there, waiting to be called upon. If we did, they wouldn't have needed to warm up Drax in in case the lights went out over the winter.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: 80TWh a year down on peak consumption

              No we don't have the generating capacity sitting idle, but we *do* have the distribution capacity - and time to build fresh generating capacity.

              Indeed said capacity is being constructed, and could be constructed and connected much faster with some political encouragement.

              1. blackcat Silver badge

                Re: 80TWh a year down on peak consumption

                I'm not sure we do as the national grid is saying they need billions to upgrade. Part of the issue could be that in the old days when things were inefficient the result was a higher constant load. We're now moving to a similar average but the load is nowhere near as constant.

                A 1kW bar heater running 100% for 100 hours is the same average as a 100kW charger running 1% over the same time. The grid loading isn't.

                1. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: 80TWh a year down on peak consumption

                  It's not the same, and the investments are needed to electrify heating as well as transport - that *is* a load that's higher than we used to have.

                  But with increased intelligence on the grid, the load will be flatter than it ever has been.

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

          Pretty sure the first few tens of miles were able to be battery only...

          https://www.vauxhall.co.uk/content/dam/vauxhall/Home/PDFs/historical-brochures/discounted-models/ampera/AMPERA_January_2012.pdf

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

            I'd wait for a teardown on the Nissan but I'm pretty certain the idea is that the battery does what it should and acts to smooth power from the generator. Minimal gearbox will allow the engine/generator to be tuned for greater efficiency: power output in kW for the driving profile. This is why it would be fantastic for small cars with short journeys at low speeds. Of course, you will want to add some flexibility via gearing so that the output can be increased as required but "puting your foot to the floor" will no longer force the engine to run inefficiently just for your testosterone rush, and you can do this without the need for lots of expensive batteries.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Ugg, it's been tried over and over

              BMW, so many others. The "range extender" drive doesn't save enough weight to offset the loss in on demand power and drivability. It's an idea that sounds clever but under delivers. And none of the parts to make them are available at scale currently.

              A 1L ecoboost and a modest electric engine only weigh slightly more than a gas turbine, battery, and slightly larger electric engine. Those few pounds are less than the dead weigh plastic trim between the base model and the upgrade editions. What we need is to focus on fixing the charge networks, reducing emissions from industry and freight traffic, and making the best use of off the shelf technology mean time. That and getting off our collective asses to make the electrical grid in urban centers ready for full electric transit private and public transit at scale. That could be done in less than five years. Gas turbines in cars wouldn't arrive at scale for 10 even if we bumped working on cheaper options with less impact.

              The parts we have now are clever enough, we need to focus on not doing stuff that's stupid, like driving whale sized vehicles to grab groceries or trying to build a hydrogen distribution network when we can't even get household grade charging outlets in the parking lots and garages where most of us live and work.

        3. Dagg Silver badge

          Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

          Plugins ARE NOT a fudge. When I go electric I want a plug in so I can charge it from my solar panels at zero cost. Most days I generate more than I can use and the feed in tariffs are very low.

          Being in Australia if you do what we do and leave the city for the country side then a hybrid is a must. Even in the city there are stuff all charging points.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

            And yet people manage trans australian journeys in EVs regularly.

      2. David Hicklin Bronze badge

        Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

        >> but you are still left with an engine that you don't need 360+ days a year

        But would it need to be as big as an engine that drives directly? It could run higher up the power curve when charging the battery, and the battery takes the peak loads when accelerating or going up a steep hill.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

      I agree about the Nissan series hybrid ("range extender") model, it gives the smooth EV driving experience and good petrol economy without the public charging hassle and cost.

      I disagree with you about PHEVs, though. I have one, and it covers my local driving needs on pure electric (charged at home, using it on petrol is cheaper than public charging points), and for long journeys it's an economical hybrid. It does have the disadvantage of all parallel hybrids, a complex transmission, with a DSG gearbox that is occasionally not as smooth as I'd like. The Nissan model eliminates all that. A PHEV with 40-50 miles battery range and a series architecture would be my ideal car.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

        Note, my point wasn't about the potential for plugin hybrid's: they can be indeed be great for what you describe. However, they were largely sold to businesses for sales people, etc. on the back of subsidies and it was known that they were rarely if ever charged. But the wheeze allowed Mercedes, et al. pretend their heavy fleets would emit less carbon.

      2. cdegroot

        Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

        My hybrid seems to be able to run both oaraklek and serial but I've only ever seen it in the former.

        I have both. The EV gives me constant range anxiety here in Canada but is great for the medium trips to famy etc. The PHEV with 60km battery range is used for the short and the long trips.

        We fuel up maybe once every other month. I think that that is a step forward from keeping two gas guzzlers alive, so I really don't understand all the hate by the treehuggers. If everybody could switch to a PHEV gasoline usage and thus co2 emissions would plummet.

        1. cyberdemon Silver badge
          Headmaster

          My hybrid seems to be able to run both oaraklek and serial but I've only ever seen it in the former.

          WTF is oaraklek?

          It seems to be one of those weird words that even Google doesn't know what it means, so it misdirects me to a mixture of sites with words that sound similar (Oracle) and sites that i've visited (theregister)

          I mean, I assume you meant parallel, but I have no idea how you typed oaraklek

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            oaraklek

            I presume (s)he fat fingered the p & l keys, since o and k are beside them on a qwerty keyboard. Just as I frequently get snd and fpr when I want and or for.

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

          Part of it is that a substantial proportion of PHEVs are never plugged in.

    3. snowpages

      Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

      Top Gear did this back in 2010

      https://www.topgear.com/videos/top-gear-tv/hammerhead-eagle-i-thrust-part-13-series-14-episode-2

      Enjoy.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

        Shouldn't that be Top Gear made the CyberTruck in 2010? (4:10)

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

        It's been known for years and is also the idea behind "electric" planes: use a turbine to provide power for electric motors.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Plugins are a fudge, changing the drivetrain is key

          "It's been known for years and is also the idea behind "electric" planes: use a turbine to provide power for electric motors."

          "The" idea?

          There are already battery electric planes... not larger commercial ones, but generators aren't the only game in town.

  5. Lomax
    Alert

    Please explain

    > "The cheaper upfront cost of PHEVs when compared to BEVs"

    How can this be? Surely a hybrid drivetrain is a much more complicated beast than a purely electric one? Honest question!

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