Reply to post: EV & Driverless

London mayor: Self-driving cars? Not without jacked-up taxes, you don't!

hoola Bronze badge

EV & Driverless

There appears to be two confused threads here. Is a driverless vehicle automatically an electric vehicle? The real issue is the greater adoption of electric vehicles simply moves the pollution from the point of use to point of generation. There is insufficient generation capacity as it is to support large scale electric vehicle adoption and unfortunately, the quickest and cheapest way to add capacity is to build a gas powered plant. Worse is that there is never going to be renewable generation capacity to provide the energy required for large-scale EV use. There has to be shift from the current view that electric vehicles are in any way green. They are not, and in many ways have a carbon/natural resource footprint over the designed lifespan that is far worse than conventional vehicles. This is all about certain, currently niche pseudo tech companies, lobbying governments to get their piece of the pie at the tax-payers expense. What electric vehicles are very good at is moving pollution to places where people are unaware/don't care/NIMBY.

I am all for electric vehicles but the range and charging limitations simply do not make them viable as an only vehicle. In order to sort both out there has to be a step change in battery technology to support greater capacity and faster charge times or the battery has to be a leased item that is swapped. Fast charge and higher energy densities come with many problems that are currently being buried because it is inconvenient. The sorts of currents required to fast charge are surrounded by miles of red tape safety regulations. If you reduce the current you have to increase the voltage which then has equal limitations. Petrol and especially diesel do not spontaneously combust and if a pump host is damaged it is very obvious and the margin for error in putting the nozzle into the tank is huge. Also, and this is hugely important, someone is ALWAYS in attendance during the filling process.

Compare that with a cable, it is much more difficult to detect damage that causes heating/fire and the plug/socket interface has to clean, fully connected and low resistance every time. If it is not then it is a huge fire hazard and the process is designed to be left unattended.

High power DC supplies can do immense amounts of damage as the internal resistance of the batteries is so low that current is almost unlimited. Even a 12v car battery can melt/weld a piece of steel.

POST COMMENT House rules

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

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020