The Anonymous Widower

Soaring Demand For SUVs Exacerbates Climate Crisis

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in today’s copy of The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The increasing demand for sports utility vehicles is eliminating the emissions savings made by those who have switched to electric cars, the global energy watchdog has warned.

According to the International Energy Agency, SUVs now account for forty percent of new car sales worldwide.

In some ways, I regard having my stroke as being one of the best things that ever happened to me.

  • It was serious, but modern clot-busting drugs, left most of my brain intact.
  • My eyesight was damaged, so that I am unable to drive, but I do occasionally ride a bicycle away from roads.
  • Cars are now no part of my life and in the ten years, that I haven’t driven, I’ve only needed one on perhaps two or three times.
  • My bank account is healthier.
  • I can afford to take a black cab, as many times as I need.

You have to remember though, that my excess of survival genes; Devonian, Huguenot and Jewish, honed by living in Liverpool and Suffolk, always mean that I am up to the toughest challenge.

We all need to adjust our lifestyle to the modern world.

A Few Related Thoughts

In National Trust Looks At Car Ban In Lake District, I looked at the car problems of the Lake District.

SUVs and their owners are surely drawn to the wilder areas of the UK.

So perhaps, we should create SUV-free areas, except for residents who need one?

Extinction Rebellion want everybody to use electric cars. What would happen if kids refused to go in any car that wasn’t zero carbon?

If I put myself at say sixteen, with my father in his fifties in the present day, I would try to convince him to have an electric car. Knowing my father, he would have probably bought one on my pestering.

But can I convince my son to buy one?

No!

November 14, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Electric Cars Can Beat Petrol For Value After Less Than Two Years

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

The article is based on work by the consultant; PWC.

This is an example of what was found.

The electric Zoe cost from £21,920 compared with £19,795 for the petrol Clio. The £2,125 difference was made up in less than two years, three months for a motorist with an average annual mileage of 8,351 miles. A higher-mileage driver clocking up 13,355 miles a year could make it up in 18 months.

The day when electric cars will be good value is approaching.

November 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 5 Comments

£1 Goes Three Times Further When Driving Electric Cars

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Times.

The figures the article use come from a respected car review site called Parkers.

Miles per pound (mpp) figures quoted in The Times article include.

  • Kia e-Niro First Edition – 33.1 mpp
  • Renault Zoe – 33.1 mpp
  • Honda Civic Saloon 1.6 i-DTEC – 10.8 mpp
  • Ford Focus 1.5 EcoBlue – 10.8 mpp

You could argue that The Times is biased because of its clean air campaign, but it does say the examples are the most efficient.

They also say this about owning an electric car, with an mpp figure like the example.

With the average motorist driving about 7,150 miles per year, they would spend £216 over 12 months if the models were charged from home.

If I was still driving and living wwhere I did in deepest Suffolk, I suspect that I would be tempted to buy one!

But then The Times article also says that electric car sales are increasing rapidly.

 

October 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | | 2 Comments

Ovo’s Kaluza Partners With Powervault To Offer Smart Storage Service

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Business Green.

Read the article, as it shows the way domestic energy will be going in the next few years.

  • Every house or collection of houses will have a battery.
  • If there is a parking space there will be a charging point for an electric car.
  • Like my house, many will have solar panels.
  • An intelligent control system will tie it all togerther to minimise electricity bills.
  • I suspect in the next couple of years, I will fit an energy store and a car charging point in my garage.

I may not have a car, but if I sell the house, it would make it easier to sell.

This article on Podpoint is entitled Adding Value To Your Property With EV Charging.

It makes some interesting points.

October 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | 3 Comments

bluecity

I came across these two cars by Brentford station.

They are electric hire cars from a company called bluecity.

The concept should appeal to many living in London, and I might have been interested, if I still drove.

But I just have no interest these days, as life without a car is much more stress-free.

August 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Airport Plans World’s Biggest Car Parks For 50,000 Cars

The title of this post, is the same as that of an asricle in Wednesday’s copy of The Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The biggest car parks in the world will be built as part of a £14 billion expansion of Heathrow amid fresh claims that the scheme will be an “environmental disaster”.

Parking for almost 53,000 vehicles will be built as part of a 30-year masterplan, even though the airport insists that expansion can be achieved without any extra cars on the road.

This sounds to be contradictory, as why would you need to build extra car parking, if there were no more extra cars on the road?

Perhaps there is a clue later in the article, where this is is a paragraph.

Heathrow said that the overall number of parking spaces would “not change materially from today”, insisting that spaces were simply being consolidated on bigger sites. It pointed out that car parks would allow for 100 per cent electric vehicle usage in the future. In total, the number of parking spaces, including those for staff and spaces at nearby offices, will grow from 64,000 today to 67,000.

Admittedly, it only says allow, but Heathrow are future-proofing themselves for the day when everyone is driving electric cars.

Heathrow and others are also planning to do the following.

  • Charge a congestion charge of up to £15 a day will be imposed by 2026 to dissuade passengers from travelling to the airport by car.
  • A “green loop” — a 12-mile pedestrian and cycle network — will also circle the airport.
  • Finish Crossrail.
  • Improve Heathrow Express.
  • There will be a rail link to Reading.
  • There will be a second rail link to Waterloo via Clapham Junction.
  • There will be a rail link to Basingstoke, Guildford and Woking, possibly by extending Heathrow Express.

Will these measures nudge travellers in one of two positive directions?

  • Using public transport to get to the Airport.
  • Cycling or working to the airport.
  • Using an electric car to get to and from the Airport.

I am a Control Engineer, who spent a working life of nearly fifty years analysing data and doing mathematical calculations, hopefully to improve little bits of the world.

So What Would I Do?

It is absolutely essential that it is known, where all the vehicles to the airport are travelling to and from.

No-one is going to get out of their car, if there is no creditable alternative

The ultimate aim must be that, all transport within a certain distance of the Airport must be zero carbon.

  • All vehicles used by travellers and workers to get to and from the Airport.
  • All vehicles bringing supplies to the Airport.
  • All airside vehicles.

What will happen to those that lived in the zone?

This Google Map shows Hanwell Village to the South-West of the Airport.

Will all those residents pay the congestion charge?

But suppose Heathrow could get ninety percent of all cars travelling to  the Airport and using the car parks, to be electric vehicles.

This would be 45,000 vehicles, each with a battery of between 30-60 kWh. Let’s call it, 30 kWh.

This would mean that the total of energy storage on a typical day at the Airport would be 1.35 GWh.

Compare that to the 9.1 GWh capacity of Electric Mountain.

Electric Mountain would be bigger, but intelligent control of the batteries of these electric cars could create a massive electricity storage resource at the Airport.

  • Cars would be connected to a two-way charger, when the driver went about their business at the Airport, after telling the car when they would return.
  • On return to the car, it would have enough charge for the next journey.
  • The driver would also have an app on their phone, so they could alter their return times.
  • Whilst the driver was away, the grid would borrow electricity as required.

All the technology exists and National Grid are looking at ways to use electric car batteries for energy storage.

The grid might even pay for the use of your battery.

I suspect that all car parks for electric cars will work using something like this model.

Note the following calculation.

In December 2018, there were 31.5 million cars and four million light goods vehicles in the UK.

In a few years time, suppose half of these vehicles are electric with a 20 KWh battery.

That works out at an astronomical 355 GWh or nearly forty Electric Mountains.

  • Electric Mountain cost £425 million in 1984.
  • Applying a web inflation calculator means it would cost around £1350 million today.
  • So forty Electric Mountains would cost £54 billion.

That is a lot of money and we have no place to put them.

But we have this massive storage capability in the millions of electric vehicles, that will be on the roads in a few years.

Conclusion

All future large car parks must be built to be large storage batteries, when drivers plug in their electric cars.

If you were to be paid for the use of your car’s battery, would that ease the exense of owning an electric car?

 

 

 

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 4 Comments