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Is electric really the answer


pete

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Thing is, I see it from a totally different perspective and all the doom-mongering about batteries is almost entirely based on fear, doubt and uncertainty as well as a large dose of ignorance. I'm still hearing in this thread about how batteries 'explode' and references to running out of materials for batteries, when the whole point of my last post was to explain the reality that batteries do NOT use anything up. I am fully aware that battery re-cycling needs to step up a gear, but it IS possible. Fossil fuel however can NOT be stuffed back into the ground - well not in any meaningful time scale.

What does :Electric is only ever a stop gap…" actually mean? What comes next? Nuclear fusion? Not in our lifetime, but even then, it's almost a certainly that an electric motor is what will actually move the car.

Meanwhile we see continued blather about Hydrogen that is so unsuitable as a fuel it's not funny and I've yet to see ANY actual advantages being proposed for its use. Talk about conveniently ignoring the negatives..

However, I also like to keep my mind open and provided a link to a very interesting video about synthetic fuel production in a very acceptable time-frame and cost. Surely the answer to all the gnashing of teeth on here. Nope. Did anyone actually bother to look at it? Since no-one has mentioned it, I suspect not. Why on earth not. Most on this forum are confirmed petrolheads constantly bemoaning the change to electric power, yet when the solution is presented, can't even be bothered to check it out.

Repeated complaints about the cost of converting to electric are of no consequence. It CAN be done and it will be done. 120 years ago there was concern about how anyone could get hold of this mysterious 'petrol' for their new fangled Internal Combustion Engined 'car'. Look how that turned out. So yes, since I am not personally in the business of upgrading the national grid, I can dismiss those issues because it IS possible and continually gritching about it does not change that.

I refrain from venting my scepticism about climate change on here as so many are obvious zealots with enormous disregard for anyone who doesn't 'believe'. Strange though isn't it that I'm the (only) one arguing for a cleaner and sustainable Planet Earth.

Isn't 'Climate Change zealot' petrolhead an oxymoron?

The other irony of course is that this forum is about Lotus, who are on course to become the first motor manufacturer to switch to all electric production. I look forward to it.

“You can’t have too many bikes"
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I see you've basically ignored all my points or written them off as doom mongering. OK, fairy nuff. But if you read it you'll see there is no doom mongering, scare mongering, or explosive headlines to shock and awe anyone.  I can't speak for others posts though.

However, I honestly do not have an axe to grind either way, other than, my very clearly stated preference to drive cars with an ICE engine because, whether rationale or not, I like the noise, and my concerns (which you state are of "no consequence") re the cost of the investments (whether financially, economically or environmentally) to deliver EV's and their required associated infrastructure cost effectively.

You keep saying you like to keep your mind open but actually, I struggle to see it. Other people have put forward alternatives and you scoff, or go into doom mongering. Re read your posts, you do you know! It seems that if it has piqued your interest, then its worthy. If it hasn't, then it's doomed. Yes, the new fuels certainly are interesting and could play a huge part. But they are still very much developmental and do really know the lasting damage that they may cause?  That was my point - we humans we launch headlong into the latest new thing without fully understanding the consequences. Did you miss that bit above? just because it is a new development, a new invention, doesn't mean it's the solution.

Again, you undermine your credibility when you write off the "cost of conversion" needed for the infrastructure to support EV's as being of no consequence.  Whether we like it or not. Whether we are a climate change zealot or not, no one can discount the cost of change as being of no consequence as ultimately, if that cost is too high the change will not happen. It will not happen either through politicians bottling it, or, through people researching better, more affordable options to achieve the same result.

I think that rather than insulting people, calling them zealots or doom mongerers you need to be clearer around how you set out your arguments. Above, you posted at length about how 100% of batteries were recyclable so it was all good, but in your latest response above, you steered away from addressing the counter points that i raised and backed up, I presume, only because it was too hard to try to overcome.  Instead, you went on a bit of deflection rant bringing all sorts of other stuff in.

Take your time. Set out clearly your manifesto for change. I promise you, people on here will read it. Will listen. But they will challenge. Maybe it is that last part that you really don't not like?

 

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

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@eUKenGB, I think we are reasonably aligned on our thinking in that I believe we need to take action and reduce our emissions, of all kinds not just CO2 and we need to reduce the amount of resources we take out of the Earth.

But agree with @Kimbers and @C8RKH that there are serious barriers to overcome that we have no real viable methods or solutions for at the moment so I don't see how we can responsibly commit on such a large scale.

The whole point of this exercise is to reduce the amount of energy and resource we use in total.  I feel like at the moment all we are doing is passing the energy usage and emission output further up the chain.  We might me using less locally (emissions out your exhaust) but overall we are using up more than before.  Or we are only looking at one small part of the picture and ignoring the bigger picture.

 

Eg. take recycling of batteries of an example.  It is theoretically possible but no one has a viable commercial operation in action at the moment.  Lets just assume there is a solution ready to go what is the energy required to recycle them where is this energy going to come from?  Zero emission, sustainable sources?   hmm not for a long while yet.  My home energy supplier is 100% renewable sources and I have been using them for over 10 years but I know that electricity grid requires other non renewable sources to keep my lights on 24/7.  I know not every electron in my home has come from a "green source".

 

eg. take a look at the push to get rid of oil and gas boilers and use heat pumps etc for heating and providing subsidies to get people to switch.  A lot of these solutions are expensive to install and expensive to run.  Not everyone can afford to heat their homes at the moment hence the winter fuel allowance.  Pushing these new devices onto the wrong people is going to force them into further issues with being able to afford to stay warm and healthy over winter.   Its by far better to fund home insulation as this will still significantly reduce the emissions used to heat the home and will still be useful for when we do have a real solution to getting rid of oil and gas boilers.

 

By all means provide funding to research these methods and others but don't make the country start committing to them without knowing the system works from start to finish or at least have a reasonable idea on how to fix the holes.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, electro_boy said:

there are serious barriers to overcome that we have no real viable methods or solutions for at the moment so I don't see how we can responsibly commit on such a large scale.

The whole point of this exercise is to reduce the amount of energy and resource we use in total.  I feel like at the moment all we are doing is passing the energy usage and emission output further up the chain.  We might me using less locally (emissions out your exhaust) but overall we are using up more than before.  Or we are only looking at one small part of the picture and ignoring the bigger picture.

Spot on!  Hammer, nail, head.

ICE cars are not great as they use a limited resource to fuel them (by the way, saying it is a non renewable resource is not correct, it just takes a couple of million years or so of natural processes to produce more - assuming we have forests, fawna etc to break down).  HOWEVER, from an energy and materials point of view let's say they are only around 2/3 out of 10 with regards of new raw materials used as they already do use a lot of recycled materials in their supply chain and local supply chains are well optimised. Also the infrastructure to support them is already "sunk" and so extending those assets life will, year by year, reduce their environmental impact potentially.

EV cars are great when it comes to using electricity from renewable sources (and no, it is not currently all from renewable sources) to fuel them. However, their environmental impact with regards to manufacturing and new raw materials used is around 7 out of 10.  So they do have their down sides, and increasingly we are seeing car companies coming clean on this, the latest being Volvo who have created a whole report about how PHEV/EV's use more resources that ICE vehicles to manufacture. On top of that, you then also need to factor in the environmental and raw materials "cost" of the huge amount of equipment that is required to be installed to support EV charging etc.  It's not just about the cars!

Factor in to that that the average ICE engine for instance can run for 20 years. The current real life experience for PHEV's is the batteries are an issue after 5 years as the tech has moved on to the point where the old batteries, in many cases, are no longer available to the cars are uneconomic to repair. For example, I believe Porsche has no way of replacing a cell / battery set for a 5 year old Panamera PHEV as they no longer has stock or manufacture the batteries required.  Effectively, you could argue that cars could be written off within 5 years!  Eeeek, a disaster!

So without the shock and awe statements, we yet again get to the point where we know we need to do something, BUT, we don't know enough about the future ramifications / issues etc to know which is truly the right way to go. The innovators and early adopters need to be lauded for their inventiveness and bravery, BUT, that does not mean they have got it right. Neither have the politicians and the activists, well, their activists and will never be satisfied until we return to a medieval life style.

With regards to eFuels or synthetic fuels, an interesting excerpt I have added below.

 

The elephant in the room comes from how synthetic fuels are made. They are produced by combining CO2 with hydrogen, and this raw material is then used to manufacture the sub-type – gasoline/petrol or diesel. Not only does this process involve lots of stages, each of which adds cost and consumes energy, the key element here is hydrogen, which leads to a similar set of questions about energy efficiency as hydrogen fuel cells. In fact, the situation is even worse for synthetic fuel. According to Transport & Environment, hydrogen fuel cells are currently 2.3 times less energy efficient than batteries, with the deficit dropping to 2 times less efficient by 2050. Synthetic fuels are less efficient still, with the estimate being about 4 times worse than batteries and very little improvement by 2050. In other words, powering the current car fleet with synthetic fuels instead of batteries will require four times as much electricity generation, which seems completely impractical. If just 10% of the UK’s cars, vans and small trucks used e-fuels it would require three times as much renewable electricity as batteries. It is also therefore entirely impossible that synthetic fuel will be cheaper than using electricity to charge batteries.

 

It seems that yet again, there is no one single bullet and I return back to some of my earlier arguments that what we need is a balanced approach, over time, to use the best solution available for each scenario, eg:

1. Whether we like it or not we need to move away from "cars" as personal transport. Most cars have 4 or 5 seats, many 6 and 7, and yet 90% of the time they have one, max 2 occupants.  Not very efficient is it?  So, we need to invest in the infrastructure in our towns and cities to make sure that we have safe, clean, affordable and convenient mass transportation systems - preferably buses/trams/trains powered by electricity either through batteries, or power lines, or hydrogen fuel cells to generate the electricity to drive the motors.  Whilst we maintain the view that everyone needs their own personal car, we will not (through production volumes etc) address the issue that we are "rasping" the planet of its raw materials.  We can't expect people who make profits from personal transportation (cars) to dictate the policy around transportation within our towns and cities.
 

2. We need to exploit better the rail network to move, especially overnight, large volumes of goods via electrified trains, Ideally, an investment in new rolling stock and vehicles so we can roll on and roll off filled local delivery vehicles that will be ideally battery powered, and will be recharged using kinetic energy from the rolling stock as they are being transported. At the end destination they then travel to local depots / warehouses to drop off the goods. There is no reason why these vehicles could not be "autonomous" in the future
 

Etc.........

 

So again, I'm not a zealot or a doon mongerer, but I am a realist.

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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On 30/11/2021 at 11:13, C8RKH said:

e need to exploit better the rail network to move, especially overnight, large volumes of goods via electrified trains, Ideally, an investment in new rolling stock and vehicles so we can roll on and roll off filled local delivery vehicles that will be ideally battery powered, and will be recharged using kinetic energy from the rolling stock as they are being transported. At the end destination they then travel to local depots / warehouses to drop off the goods. There is no reason why these vehicles could not be "autonomous" in the future

I would think there's a quite a lot of kintetic energy to harvest from all those train wheels too, given how long it takes to stop a train that sounds like a really efficient usage of energy to me!

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A UK R&D company developed special heavy duty batteries a good 15 years ago. I visited them a couple of times and my contact there had an Elite Climax. GE saw the advantages, bought out the company and employed it for regenerative brake charging in their American railway locomotives as hybrid technology. I don’t know whether it really caught on though.

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If electricity is not the answer than how about shared car ownership, who wnt to share their lotus to one and all...

UK must move away from car ownership, says Transport Minister

https://www.am-online.com/news/market-insight/2021/12/10/uk-must-move-away-from-car-ownership-says-transport-minister

 

Like most gov ministers they are London/city centric so think everyone should use public transport, walk or use bikes (and not obey traffic regs.)

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Oh dear. That's taking blue sky thinking a little too far. Yes, can be possible if you live in a city but other than that, it's wildly impractical. 

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Sheffield used to have a regulated bus service before Margaret Thatcher, it was great! 🙂 She forced the de-regulation, fares went up, routes were changed, people moved from the bus service to private cars, the roads became congested, journey times increased. ☹️

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People complaining about something that was done over 30 years ago.  Christ, maybe we should all go back in time as life was so much better all around.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Why, what renewable / low carbon energy fueled them?  Sheffield, 30 years ago, oh, horse and carts, gotcha ;)

?No, sorry not relevant at all. The real issue is the in the last 30 years they did nothing about it.  That's the real issue - no change ideas in 30 years....

Edited by Bravo73

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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LOL - stick you head in the sand, but to blame someone who was in power over 30 years ago for a crap local public transport system now is just bonkers. The blame Thatcher it was all her fault ship sailed over two decades ago. Move on.  Your ire as I pointed out needs to be on what your local politicians - council and Westminster - have done in, or probably more accurately not done, the past 20 years to create an effective urban transport strategy, policy and operation.

If you want a worthwhile debate then start it off properly and not with a stupid throwaway comment. 

Edited by Bravo73

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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They had a transport system that worked 35 years ago @ramjet as seen through the usual rose tinted spectacles. His local region may have sat on their hands for the past 35 years and do nothing to improve it, but I can assure you many local regions such as Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and others did and have installed a mixture of local authority owned trams, bus services etc.

My point is it is rather crass just to blame the current situation on one person 35 years later!  In the UK, people of a certain generation seem to think it is OK to just constantly blame one Prime Minister for any and all shit they have to deal with.  The fact is the UK is a very different place now to what it was 35 years ago. Car ownership, wealth, jobs, commuting for work etc have all changed so you are not even comparing apples with apples. So my reaction was to what I sae as just "lazy journalism" or Jingoistic journalism to coin phrases from elsewhere.

Christ, at this rate we'll be blaming the Germans for losing the game of football in Christmas 1914!!!

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Seriously though does anyone actually think public transportation outside of london is actually cost effective and nice to use?
 

cos pretty much every time I’ve had to use poverty transport inc - I’ve found it unreliable, filthy and expensive.

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Only here once

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8 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

Seriously though does anyone actually think public transportation outside of london is actually cost effective and nice to use?
 

cos pretty much every time I’ve had to use poverty transport inc - I’ve found it unreliable, filthy and expensive.

I work four miles from home. I’d need to get two separate busses and it’d take over an hour to get to work.

 

I like just outside a town of 40,000. It’s a joke.

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