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"Are Electric Cars the future of Low Carbon Transport?"

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  • Started 14 years ago by chdot
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  1. chdot
    Admin

    Arguments for and against In the latest ACT TravelWise newsletter.

    Basically it's the ongoing arguments between 'technology will fix everything' and 'what sort of society do we want?'

    "Electric cars offer a new and exciting potential to radically cut greenhouse gas emissions from road transport and address security of oil supply concerns."

    Alternative view

    "Let's focus on this. Evidence shows that 4 in 10 local journeys are already made by foot, bike and public transport. With the right investment, the potential is 9 in 10."

    Posted 14 years ago #
  2. Kim
    Member

    Given that we are having serious problems generating less than 20% of our electricity from sustainable sources for our current needs. Where is all the extra electricity for electric cars and bikes going to come from?

    This is the elephant in the room which no one is talking about.

    Posted 14 years ago #
  3. chdot
    Admin

    @Kim

    There's a herd of elephants in the 'what do we want the future to be like' playroom.

    Seems that "Climate Change" is real - at least in Cumbria (calling it a 1,000 year event isn't really helpful), Antarctica and low-lying parts of Asia.

    Assuming it's being accelerated by human activity (past and present) it's far from clear if there is sufficient will to take the measures needed to lessen the predicted problems.

    Assuming the Deniers/sunspot activists are correct, doing nothing IS an option.

    Except -

    Even if the changing climate is normal/natural/inevitable/not happening, there are real resources issues. Sitting comfortably in comfortable Edinburgh it's easy to assume some sort of 'business as usual', 'the important thing is to get back to economic growth' attitudes and expect that affordable food will be still delivered to the supermarket up the road and the lights and internet servers will still work.

    Oil/gas will run out one day, nuclear may fill the gap, coal might get cleaned up, but water is going to be an issue (OK not round here!), and soil fertility - especially when oil based artificial fertilisers become more expensive.

    And is there really enough Lithium to make batteries for all the existing cars and the ones that increasing numbers of affluent people will 'demand'?

    But do we (whoever that we is) really want more of the same (or even the same), where 'most people' go short distance, often by themselves, in cars - making life difficult for people without cars - too young/old to drive, too poor or perverse to own a car?

    Posted 14 years ago #
  4. chdot
    Admin

    "

    Speaking before Paris summit, expert says Europe must take urgent steps such as ending fossil fuel subsidies and encouraging electric cars

    "

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/08/sterns-warning-on-climate-change-battle

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. deckard112
    Member

    UK Gov are going the other way and ending preferential Benefit in Kind rates for zero or low emission vehicles. I'm due to replace my company car and am looking at hybrid options. BIK rates will play a part in my decision and whilst encouraging this year, are due to rise from 5% to 13% in three years. Hardly encouraging.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. Baldcyclist
    Member

    "Speaking before Paris summit, expert says Europe must take urgent steps such as ending fossil fuel subsidies and encouraging electric cars "

    "UK Gov are going the other way and ending preferential Benefit"

    Not just cars, solar panels are about to lose about 87% of their attractiveness in January when FITs changes by same amount.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    "

    National cycling charity CTC says letting electric cars use bus lanes will increase the likelihood of serious road traffic incidents involving cyclists.

    "

    http://road.cc/content/news/176580-letting-electric-cars-use-bus-lanes-dangerous-cyclists-says-ctc

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. LaidBack
    Member

    Walked by the new Tesla showroom in Mulberry Walk. Had one browser in looking at a £50,000 Jaguar like machine.
    Not many electric vehicles yet. Are they being plated in some way for cameras? Open to abuse otherwise I would think.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. acsimpson
    Member

    I would support electric cars in anyway which prioritises them over other private cars, eg free/priority parking, but I'm not a supporter of letting them use bus lanes. It risks creating a elitism where people can buy their way into the lanes. I'm sure single occupancy electric cars are still less efficient than busses.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Electric cars offer a new and exciting potential to radically cut greenhouse gas emissions from road transport and address security of oil supply concerns

    Or... "electric cars offer a new and exciting potential to radically shift the carbon emissions elsewhere in the supply chain and to the point of generation rather than consumption".

    Always worth remembered a gridlocked city full of electric cars is still a city going nowhere that has invested massively in new infrastructure to basically keep an evolution of the status quo. I remember this every time some idiot in a Prius cuts me up or pulls out without looking.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. wingpig
    Member

    "...a gridlocked city full of electric cars..."

    Hopefully they don't use too much power when sitting still - whilst they don't have to idle, there's still heating and lighting; there must be at least a small risk of vehicles stuck in a jam running out of charge. Are garages in areas of heavy electric vehicle usage equipped to pop out with a big battery or portable generator to recharge depleted cars sufficiently to get them as far as the nearest charging-point, when the roads clear?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Surely there's just as much (if not more?) likelihood of an idling infernal combobulation car stuck in a traffic jam running out of fuel than an electric car of charge? I don't think it's going to be a function of vehicle range. Unless of course the driver is sitting in the jam with the aircon up full and the variety of internal entertainment devices all keeping them distracted amused.

    Would also assume/hope that an electric car has much better battery capacity measuring and driver information display / early warning than exists currently for petrol/diesels.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  13. cb
    Member

    Most ICE cars have a fuel warning light that comes on when you are down to your last 6 or 7 litres of fuel (leaving you with almost as much range as a typical fully charged electric car).

    Posted 8 years ago #
  14. PS
    Member

    Would also assume/hope that an electric car has much better battery capacity measuring and driver information display / early warning than exists currently for petrol/diesels

    I hope they're better than my iPhone - it went from 20% charge to flat battery in the space of 30 seconds in the cold weather over Christmas...

    Posted 8 years ago #
  15. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    I met Alice Hall from East Lothian Car Club at a SEEL meeting last year. She had to travel to Aberdeen to pick up an electric car for the car club. It needed charged twice on the way back. When she got to Haddington, Council vehicles were parked in the charging point. If that had happened earlier in the day she'd have been stranded.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  16. wingpig
    Member

    "Surely there's just as much (if not more?) likelihood of an idling infernal combobulation car stuck in a traffic jam running out of fuel than an electric car of charge?"

    I was meaning more that if a hydrocarbon-explosion-engine car runs out of its preferred fuelstuff there would usually be a fuel-dispensing facility somewhere within walking distance (even in a city) which would also sell one of those plastic things to carry it in; similar facilities would also be useful if your travel-module was powered by charcoal briquettes or poor-quality chopped wood. Failing that, local garages probably quite like popping out with a tub of petrol to rescue stranded fuel-less people, but might not yet all have spare batteries or portable chargers for Teslae, Prii or Leaves (delete if any of these are hybrid fuel-powered portable generator things rather than purely battery-operated devices).

    Posted 8 years ago #
  17. kaputnik
    Moderator

    My uncle has a huge white Lexus SUV hybrid thing, which can run in pure battery mode (range ~30 miles I think). I'm sure such vehicles would be more useful if they weren't lugging around 2.3 tonnes of SUV. He saves his couple of hundred pounds a year in "road tax" [sic] though, although the starting price for such a money-saver is £49k...

    Posted 8 years ago #
  18. Roibeard
    Member

    Most ICE cars have a fuel warning light

    In Car Entertainment?

    ;-)

    Robert

    Posted 8 years ago #
  19. LaidBack
    Member

    By co-incidence this review by Darkerside just appeared. Spot Uberuce of this forum.
    "Urban Arrow have got their marketing spot on when they refer to the operator as a “driver” – this feels like all the best bits of private driving but with much lower running costs. I reckon almost every multi-car family could replace one of their vehicles with an Urban Arrow, and a good percentage could go completely car-free. There’s also a sensible set of additional extras (like the baby seat mount) that can be added in without advanced spannering – the holes are already pre-drilled in the base waiting for you to screw in the bolts. In this way will the utility cycling revolution be won."

    Weezee already has been using hers for two years and we now have another family user in city (plus the 'for hire' one owned by EdFoC)

    They are looked at as a car substitute. I know these won't appeal to all cyclists but if they take some 'second car' off the road then a good trend.

    http://www.darkerside.org/2016/01/urban-arrow-family-short-review/

    Posted 8 years ago #
  20. Who was the Urban Arrow parked at Cameron Toll shopping centre today at about 4pm?

    Strange how politicians and media are so focussed on electric cars and hardly notice that there is already a revolution under way with e-bikes, without much fuss, subsidies or other state support, and a few millions on the road in Europe already.

    In Germany they are everywhere (often you don't notice until somebody who doesn't look like it is surprisingly fast uphills...). I visited Füssen (where the Alps start at the Austrian border, Neuschwanstein Castle etc) two years ago and although most streets were about as steep as the Mound, people were whizzing up and down on bikes. At the railway station you could hire electric bikes, they seemed to do good business with tourists (it's a popular day trip destination for pensioners from Munich, the train takes about two hours and runs hourly).

    I can't really see electric cars taking off soon. For most buyers they are, in practice, just cars with many additional disadvantages but no real advantages, they don't make economic sense except in special cases (Norway is a very special case - small population, loads of money from selling oil, and huge amounts of water power that needs to be used).

    E-bikes, on the other hand, fill a market niche between bicycles and cars that was empty (*). People for whom a bike is unsuitable (not fit enough, not enough carrying capacity, distances too long, or too many hills) but for whom a car is too big & bulky (cost, parking, traffic jams etc). I'm sure we'll see many in Edinburgh soon.

    (*) Well, perhaps motor scooters, but they stink and need a license.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  21. weezee
    Member

    That was our UA today Stephan. Mr Weezee was doing his twice-weekly food shop with the kids after school - it fits our needs perfectly.

    The odometer passed 5000 km a few weeks ago. We don't do big trips - all pretty local and not much more than 8km per day, but we do use it every day. I'm sure someone on here will have the statistics to hand on average length of urban car journeys. It would be interesting to compare.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

    "

    Decision on new nuclear power plant 'delayed'

    "

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35415187

    Posted 8 years ago #
  23. deckard112
    Member

    "For most buyers they are, in practice, just cars with many additional disadvantages but no real advantages, they don't make economic sense except in special cases"

    I've just ordered a hybrid through my employers scheme, Outlander PHEV and actually there is an economic advantage. Aside from the benefit in kind tax (which in fairness only 'company car drivers' will benefit from but there are a lot of us!) it makes perfect sense for me.

    When I'm not cycling a lot of my driving mileage is short distances which is where the electric motor will come into it's own, but on business trips I carry out long drives in short periods which is where the combined hybrid efforts work well. I will see marked reduction in my fuel consumption.

    Despite being a more expensive vehicle it's overall running costs are lower than my current Volvo diesel as well as being more eco friendly.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  24. Harts Cyclery
    Member

    Posted 8 years ago #
  25. deckard112
    Member

    I've spotted the difference....the third car in second row in the bottom pic is red, not white. Do I get a prize?

    (In fairness my comments related to the economic and environmental benefits, not reducing traffic volumes, a different argument. I already do that by riding into Edinburgh 3/4 times a week but some of us still need vehicles outside of that.)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  26. LaidBack
    Member

    @deckard112 - interesting!

    Yes.. the idealised world of everyone living close (within cycling distance) of a job that pays is not possible I know. Partly due to central city property prices of course and the dream of a semi with a car in driveway and a decent school for your children (should that be a factor). Plus partners need to work somewhere and not everyone has 'another half' that will use a bike.
    The immediate way ahead should be encouraging two car families towards owning one. In ideal world machines like the Helios tandem, Urban Arrow, Gazelle Cabby (at Harts Cyclery) or Winther Kangaroo electric trike (at Electric Bike Co) would attract support from state. This could be similar to the state subsidy used on electric cars.
    This would help encourage transport policy to see cycling as part of a multi-pronged approach to improving our cities and moving people and goods around.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  27. le_soigneur
    Member

    Hybrid cars might seem a saving, but taken over service life, their carbon footprint is worse than purely IC cars. Large batteries lasting 5 years and the extra motor/drivetrain/weight mean that government subsidies in the form of VED etc is the thing that artificially improves their economy to pure IC levels.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  28. le_soigneur
    Member

    Hybrid cars might seem a saving, but taken over service life, their carbon footprint is worse than purely IC cars. Large batteries lasting 5 years and the extra motor/drivetrain/weight mean that government subsidies in the form of VED etc is the thing that artificially improves their economy to pure IC levels. There's no such thing as a free lunch, the regenerative braking doesn't add much to the "bargain".

    Posted 8 years ago #
  29. neddie
    Member

    I really like the idea of owning an Urban Arrow. My main concern would be leaving 3-grand-plus worth of machinery outside (and nowhere inside to put it).

    Yes, I know people regularly leave 4-wheeled equipment outside of much greater value, but they are quite difficult to steal these days, without actually stealing the owner's keys first.

    On the UA, if you remove the control panel, does that stop the electrics working? How hard would it be to lift or walk away with?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  30. LaidBack
    Member

    @eddie_h
    At least two out of Edinburgh's three UAs live outside covered with a 'bike parka' accessory (aka long motorbike cover).

    Kim's EdFoC hire one also has a gold standard overnight lock for insurance purposes. He lives in tenement near CW pool.

    In daily use you have a frame lock which stops it rolling / moving off the large stand it parks on (strong enough to climb into btw). You also slide out the Bosch controller so electrics are dead. So pretty inert and unattractive for opportunists.
    I parked one in old town for hours like that several times. People look but are far more interested in Gold Brothers assorted Bentleys and Ferraris.
    Lifting - you'd need two people. It does not feel heavy in action of course but it's strong enough to carry over 100kg.
    Can be cycled manually of course which is one stage below 'eco'. (super-eco?)

    Can do a short (or longer) try out of the festival one. Contact Kim via http://www.edfoc.org.uk or pm me.

    Posted 8 years ago #

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