Re: So, not just a question of...
Well here is the answer and we are all going to need a bit more than 50p.
Whilst there is the option to go hybrid, if these are plug is it will only provide a marginal reduction to the increased electrical demand. And hybrid vehicles are not fuel efficient as has been proven they use about as much petrol as the equivalent straight direct drive. At this moment sales of petrol cars are increasing and diesel is declining with the possibility that manufacturers will be fined for increasing CO2 emission.
The Post Office are saying they have a problem and fortunately this news has entered into the political arena because this is where the problem originates. They say ignorance is bliss and there is none more blissful than a politician, The decision to go electric is ill founded. Here are the consequences.
The power supply to most dwellings is based on average consumption, whilst you might be able to call on 14kW in your house on average the supply might only be able to provide as little as 750W and as much as 3kW depending where you are and when the property was built, commonly it is 2kW. Vehicle demands are about 3kW for a range of 100 miles and 7kW for 200 miles. This means that your house will now be taking as much as 9kW from the supply, more than 4 times what it was designed to provide. It is ok if a small number of electric vehicles are connected, the system has some flexibility, but if penetration is more than 10% problems will arise as the system will be overloaded and voltage drop will exceed statutory limits. Beyond this point, to make electric vehicles work the network will have to be replaced. To provide power to all electric vehicles using the existing approach would require 4 times the number of substations and all distribution mains will need to be replaced. The resulting disruption would be huge.
The cost would also be huge.
KPMG have reported on recent research into how we can deal with the reducing availability of gas. They estimate the cost of replacing the electrical network at between £150bn to £250bn. Yes, 250 BEEEELION POUNDS! As it happens this is the figure I came up with AND we have to add in the cost of three nuclear power stations at about £35bn each.
Conservationist will say we can use photovoltaic and wind sources, but we need more power not just energy and these will not cut it. Anyone who does not understand the difference between power and energy should not comment. Sadly this group includes most journalist, politicians and ecowarriors. Yes we have to go nuclear; convention power generation will be inadequate after all we are running out of gas.
It is amazing that the government has committed so much expenditure with a short statement and with no opposition. The cost will be more than Falklands, Afghanistan, Iraq, HS1 & 2, Crossrail and all the windfarms put together, How can this be allowed to happen?
You might think that the bright sparks in the executive have an answer, but clearly there is not one single technical mind present. They think it is all about batteries and drivelines. It is not.
If we don't do anything I can see that we might have civil disruption, "charger point rage" incidents, generators in the back of the garage, or the Clarkson view: a generator on the back seat. At the very least planning law should include that all new developments have the capacity to charge vehicles.
There is a solution; we have not looked at alternatives. We need to invest in exhaust scrubbers; this should prolong the life of diesel. We need to invest in fuel cells. OK hydrogen is difficult to produce and store, but we could also use ammonia.
It is a difficult question but there is no doubt that the policy came as a knee jerk reaction. It is not adequate, not fit for purpose and like the poll tax will cause no end of problems.
Time to start protesting.