Joined Up Government #65574
October 26, 2008 3 Comments
Over at EUReferendum, there has been extensive coverage of the inevitable power shortages that the UK is going to start experiencing in the next 5 years. Not hysteria about one-off shortages of power, such as happened in May 2008 (see also here and here), but full-on ‘half our generating capacity is going offline before 2015’.
So it should come as little, or indeed no, shock to read that the government is feverishly hatching a plot to get us into electric cars.
Charging points for electric cars are to be installed in thousands of car parks and on streets as part of a government plan to convert drivers from petrol and diesel to electricity.
Under the scheme, motorists will be able to plug in and recharge their batteries while shopping or at work. In the longer term, those who are unable to wait will be able to exchange their empty battery and drive on with minimal delay.
Ministers plan to kick-start mass production of electric cars with a £100 million package that will include incentives for manufacturers and tax breaks for drivers.
They intend to borrow ideas pioneered in Israel, where half a million recharging points are being installed in a scheme known as Project Better Place.
An aside, but, if it’s true that there is something in Israel called Project Better Place, I can think of better things the project might consider to make it a ‘Better Place’. Probably the same sort of enviro-pillocks who liken every dying polar bear to a holocaust.
But anyway, there’s good news!
Renault and Nissan are developing an electric car with a range of more than 100 miles and plan to mass-produce them from 2011.
Really???? We’ll be able to go more than 100 miles from 2011?? Thank you ever so much. I don’t use my car every day, but on the days that I do, 90% of my travel involves round trips of 150 miles or more.
And if the car takes as long to charge as my mobile phone does, I’ll be having a wee snooze between getting home from work and going to the bloody supermarket.
But all of this is beside the central point. Which is this:
WHERE’S THE ELECTRICITY GOING TO COME FROM YOU COMPLETE AND UTTER NUMBSKULLS??
In the meantime, it should come as even less surprise that there’s a plan afoot to put electric hackney cabs in London.
Some lentil crunchers have been doing the maths over in America, and the news is good there too.
The researchers looked at what would happen if all these vehicles were plugged in at 5 P.M. (at 6 kW of power on average, with a 25 percent market penetration by 2020) and found that up to 160 new power plants would have to be built.
So, 25% market penetration in a 300m population (USA) vs 25% market penetration in a 60m population (UK). That would mean we’d need 32 new power stations in the UK. And that’s before we take account of rising consumption in households and the above mentioned impending electricity crisis.
Another aside, but if the car is drawing 6kW to charge, that means you’ll have to have a whole new 30amp feed installed in your domestic electricity system. Possibly a whole new consumer unit, and a whole bunch of H&S wank because you’ll be trailing a cable – delivering 30amps of current at 220v AC – outside and plugging it into a wet car. You’ll probably be required to have all your shoes converted to rubber soles or suchlike – and don’t think that’ll be the last step on the road to abolition of leather footwear!
Oh dear. More petrol, Vicar?