• -
  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 20, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

    Let’s ban electric cars

    Neil Briscoe

    I’ve been thinking very, very hard about this, but at the end, there can be only one conclusion. We have to ban electric cars.

    No, honestly, we do. And I have a very valid reason for this, let’s face it, somewhat controversial assertion.

    Let’s start with what electric cars have been portrayed as, compared to what they actually are. Generally speaking, if you don’t regard electric cars as the second coming these days, you are regarded as some sort of heretic and are to be bound at the stake (re-useable hemp ropes, of course) and pelted with non-quarried stones until the hordes have sated their bloodlust. Or at least, someone from a major company will groan that you’re yet another electric car doubter, or worse yet, a climate change denier.

    The thing is that I am neither. Nothing bothers me more than anthropogenic climate change (see, I even used the Brian Cox word!) and its possible consequences. I live barely 30-metres from the Atlantic Ocean, so if that baby starts to rise, my house is one of the first to get a new indoor pool.

    And I actually like electric cars. A recent trip in one of Dublin’s Nissan Leaf taxis reminded me how smooth, pleasant and swift a car powered by batteries can be. They really are very cool things indeed, and their mechanical simplicity appeals to the frustrated engineer in me.

    But they’re all but useless. Here’s the criteria for owning and running an electric car as you’re sole daily driver at the moment. First off, you have to be able to absorb the €30k purchase price. Second, you have to own your own home and it needs a driveway so that the ESB can come and fit a charging post for you. Third, you will really, really need to live in a heavily urbanised environment (in town, in other words), drive fewer than 160km a day and never take the car on long trips. Like from Dublin to Galway, let’s say.

    Even if you tick all those boxes, there are other significant problems. Such as the lack of a national charging infrastructure. We were promised 1,500 charging points nationwide by now. We actually have 400, and none of the motorway-based fast-charge points. And then there is continuing uncertainty over the longevity of the batteries (the car companies say it’s not an issue, others say otherwise) and the potential second hand value of electric cars.

    But none of that is why I think they should be banned. My argument is based solely on numbers, and they are numbers of Euro and Dollar signs in front of them.

    You see, we could, and should, just leap right past electric cars and go straight to hydrogen fueled transport. Hydrogen is brilliant. It’s the most abundant element in the galaxy (no more peak oil worries) and when you burn it in a combustion engine or pass it chemically through a fuel cell, the only by-products are heat and water vapour. It’s brilliant, and it works. GM and Honda already have fleets of fuel cell cars on the road, and Mercedes, Toyota and others are promising to have such cars available for general purchase by 2015.

    Brilliant. Job done then. Let’s just go hydrogen.

    Ah, not that simple unfortunately. Hydrogen is plentiful but it’s also the tart of the chemical world, bonding readily with almost every other substance. So separating the hydrogen from its chemical partners can be messy, and causes emissions of its own. And then there’s the need to compress and chill it for storage. It’s no more difficult or dangerous to handle than natural gas or petrol, but it can be awkward.

    Then there’s the fact that, outside of a handful of stations in Japan, Germany and America (mostly California) you can’t get hydrogen fuel at your local Topaz. Not without a massive investment, around €3-billion to equip Germany with a national hydrogen refueling network.

    And then there’s the cars themselves. Hydrogen fuel cell technology isn’t new, but getting it to work reliably in a car, at the extremes of temperature and usage that cars demand, is tricky at best and is still costing a lot of money to develop. Mercedes and Toyota will have fuel cell cars on sale in 2015, no doubt, but they will be very limited run vehicles, priced like supercars in the hundreds of thousands, appealing to wealthy tech-heads, not to someone trading in an ’01 Punto.

    There is, however, a simple solution. Money. Lots and lots of money. There is money, clearly, being invested in hydrogen power for cars, but it’s clearly not enough at the moment. The EU has invested around €1.5-billion recently, while the US government trickles a billion here and a billion there into it. Meanwhile, Renault is spending €4-billion to develop a four-car electric car range. That’s just Renault, a relatively small Euro-centric car maker, and the most significant model that that €4-billion will go to is a Fluence saloon with batteries. And, at best estimates, in a decade’s time, electric cars will account for just 10% of the European car market. Leaving 90% to still be serviced by good old diesel and petrol.

    So I think it’s time we stopped messing about. Unless there is a dramatic discovery in terms of making batteries easier to charge and longer-lasting, electric cars are ultimately only going to be useful for short, intra-urban hops. For true mobility to be continued into the latter half of this century, hydrogen seems to be the only rational choice.

    Let’s ban electric cars then, and take the money that would have been spent on them and spend it instead on hydrogen. We know hydrogen works, it’s mature technology and doesn’t require any major new breakthroughs; it just needs to be honed, developed, productionised and made affordable. If we can concentrate our resources on doing that, then maybe we can truly change the future of motoring, for good, for all.

    Meanwhile, there is a final engineering aesthetic argument. The technology that drives electric cars is, essentially, the same technology that makes a food blender spin around and around. The technology that drives hydrogen fuel cell cars is the same technology that NASA used to power the Apollo spacecraft that flew to the moon and back. Which one would you rather have in your car?

    Ban all electric cars

    Down with this sort of thing etc...

    • klem says:

      “Third, you will really, really need to live in a heavily urbanised environment (in town, in other words), drive fewer than 160km a day and never take the car on long trips.”

      E-cars are a rich mans toy. They are expensiive to buy and they only go 160kms on a charge. But here’s a glitch, the batteries lose their ability to hold a charge so you can only travel shorter and shorter distances over time, thereby making the car more and more expensive to own. Eventually the batteries must be replaced, offsetting a large chunk of the money you saved over the previous few years. Heres another one, you need to heat the cabin in the winter, this drains the battery, reducing the travel distances even further. And I’m saying nothing about the consequences of being stuck in a winter blizzard when the batteries fail. This is why these are a rich mans toy and I do not want one cent of subsidy given for these cars so rich men can have this toy. E-car subsidy, over my dead body.

    • Joe says:

      Wow, that argument is so poorly articulated it could stun a herd of oxen.

      Your not asking for the banning of electric cars, but of battery powered electric cars. Since a hydrogen fuel cell powered car IS AN ELECTRIC CAR.

    • JP White says:

      So you think Hydrogen Fuel cell is the future eh?

      Please understand that the hydrogen fuel cell replaces the gas engine in a plug-in hybrid ELECTRIC vehicle.

      If one were to add a hydrogen fuel cell to a Nissan LEAF, you have a hydrogen fuel-cell car. Hydrogen fuel cell cars generate electric on board and use electric motors to rotate the wheels, they are by all counts electric vehicles. A LEAF or Focus EV are simply the same car without the gas engine or fuel cell.

      Another way to look at it is if you replaced the gas engine in the Chevy Volt witha fuel cell, you have a hydrogen fuel cell car.

      Will hydrogen fuel cells ultimately replace gas as a range extender for EV’s? All factors point in that direction. There will always be a place for a Battery only EV. Indeed as ranges extend with battery technology improvements, it is the gas or hydrogen hybrid vehicle that will be marginalized, not the other way around. Battery EV’s are the future, problem is the future hasn’t quite got here yet.

    • john says:

      wow honestly the worst article i have ever read!

    • SteveEV says:

      I like your sense of humor. Cheers.

    • Grady says:

      So Neil, you think we should ban electric cars…

      You are welcome to your opinion but do you have any idea how many times you have contradicted yourself in a single article?

      Let’s see: you say electric cars cost too much money, but you want us to throw countless billions at fuel cell vehicles that have already enjoyed lavish subsidies and are still far more expensive than BEVs. Most experts agree hydrogen is the fuel of the future…and always will be. If you do the math, the energy losses on getting hydrogen produced, transported, stored and utilized in a fuel cell make it permanently more expensive than electricity.

      You say you care about global warming and yet you suggest we continue burning fossil fuels in the hope that fuel cell cars will someday come to rescue us. It will be decades from now, if ever, that fuel cell cars and the infrastructure to support them will be available at an affordable cost. By then enough greenhouse gases will be in the atmosphere to push warming to dangerous levels. That might not make you a global warming denier, but it makes you a delayer which amounts to the same thing if we don’t want an “indoor pool” for coastal residents.

      You criticize “blender” technology in favor of “Apollo” technology. Last time I checked, blenders are found in almost every household, are affordable and nearly maintenance free. It has been decades since anyone has found the appetite to spend the kind of money it takes to send people in a hydrogen powered rocket to the moon.

      Battery electric vehicles have only been on sale for a year, and they are already showing falling costs, improving performance and are the perfect second car for nearly every family. Don’t want one? That’s fine with the rest of us patiently waiting to get one. In case you haven’t heard, most manufacturers have waiting lists a mile long.

      As for Klem, in case you haven’t heard: your gas guzzler is subsidized more than any electric ever will be. Billions of dollars go to oil companies in the form of tax breaks every year.

    • Neil says:

      It’s probably worth pointing out that my tongue was very firmly in my cheek whilst writing this piece…

    • Bob Fiske says:

      That comment #7, as well as the article as a whole, and all us poor readers do really deserve a little elaboration, then. Otherwise, it’s hard to know why you’ve copped out of such a contentious point.

      Sure, BEV’s bring with them a number of trade-offs that you point out.. but unfortunately, a great many people DO firmly believe these points of contention that you tossed around, so if you were in fact talking backwards and trying to show how ridiculous the opponents can be, I’m afraid it just came off as another one of them, and those who need a chance to give EV’s another look have instead been given another pass to ignore it all.

      Yes, there are limitations.. bummer. You all in the British Isles used to have a lot of Oil offshore, and that ship has now sailed, just like ours in the US did. I hope you’ve got people who are really noticing what resources you have left, and how to make them last. Precious few folks over here do, as you all know.

    • Grady says:

      No, we aren’t in danger of legislation banning EVs, but as Klem demonstrates there are plenty who want to prevent us from promoting them. As long as we hold off, saying they aren’t ready, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We need to start large volume production to get costs down and battery range up, then they will be ready as a mainstream option for most people.

      Maybe that’s what the oil companies and their supporters are afraid of ;)

    • Karl says:

      Yes Hydrogen works, Steam works, electric works, solar works, Wind works, Horses work
      (I am not sure your thought process does?) You need to do a lot more studying on the info you put forward, where are you making your Hydrogen from? Naturel Gas a fossil fuel and not clean foot print.
      A Hydrogen Fuel cell is only a power source; you will still need an electric motor to move your car forward.
      An Electric car will work for most peoples commute to work, shopping and home.
      Try again you missed reality, open your mind to all types of new fuel.

    • Karl says:

      Very sad thing is you used a photo of GM’s EV1 – That all the testers Loved and wanted to buy only to have GM crush them all anyway. Some Very sad days indeed.
      Stop the tongue in cheek and get onboard, try proactive support; we may still save the planet from the Human races Greed.

    • art herttua says:

      Hydrogen is not a fuel, but an energy carrier much like a battery. It take energy to get it, it can’t be mined. If you get it from water(clean) electricity is needed, say from a coal plant, nuke plant? Then you need to compress it to 10,000 PSI. Do you really want to drive around with 10,000 PSI of anything? Because it is much less dense, it would require 3 times as many trucks to deliver it to stations. It also is very hard to maintain a seal on it, so the leakage would be another grand untested experiment on our atmosphere. Would all that released water vapor create a cloud cover, that would negate some of the warming from all the electricity required to make it in the first place?

    • john boy says:

      If it’s the batteries that are the problem, why not (like with flogas cylinders) just *rent* the charged batteries, and have some quick means of swapping out depleted batteries for charged ones at a service station ?

    • Eric Blood Axe says:

      Hydrogen is quite dangerous. The explosive limits with air are wide. The molecule is very tiny and leaks can occur in systems where air would not leak. the temperatures generated, when burning,are high enough to melt copper, so a tiny leak in a copper tube if ignited, by static electricity, with increase the size of the hole. Where I worked , it was forbidden to have hydrogen in copper tubing or piping.

    • Bob says:

      Do some math. Here in the US it’s cheaper to purchase and operate a Nissan Leaf over a twelve year span than to purchase and operate a $20k 30MPG gasmobile. And we pay a lot less per gallon for fuel than you do.

      Quick to charge and long lasting? The Toshiba SCiB lithium-ion batteries that Honda is using in their Fit will take a 95% charge in 18 minutes and are rated at 4,000 cycles. With a 100 mile range, that’s a 400,000+ mile battery. The batteries should last for two car lifetimes.

      The future? Batteries will get better and cheaper. EVs should cost less than equivalent ICEVs in a few years. Fuel prices will only go up.

      Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles? Hydrogen is an inefficient way to store energy. (It’s simply a chemical battery.) You loose power cracking water, you loose energy transporting and distributing. Better to use the energy directly in a very efficient EVs. (And there’s all that hydrogen infrastructure that we don’t have. We do have the electric grid. You just need to install an outlet.)

      We’re only a couple of years into modern electric vehicles. Tesla proved that EVs are not glorified golf carts. Nissan has shown that an EV can be a great drive. Give the industry a chance to produce ~200 mile range EVs for a good price – we’ll be there in a very few years. Two hundred miles with 95%, <20 minute rapid charging and we'll have no use for liquid fuel cars. We can drive all day long, 500+ miles, with only a couple of short stops.

    • Wouter Holbrecht says:

      Dear Neil,

      I appreciate your proposal, H2 will take us further than the 300 km (yes, it’s 300, not 160) and indeed, it will need serious investments to be as ‘around’ as diesel and alike.

      However, H2 is just an energy carrier, not an energy source. So that means that you will loose at least some percents of effeciency while converting electricity in hydrogen anb back to electricity and locomotion in the car. Skipping the H2 step thus stands for some percents higher efficiencies.

      Anyway, it will not be OR electrical OR hydrogen. I think it will be both and some stuff will still run on good old diesel in the future. I think consumers will need to look a little closer to the most suited technology for their travel distances. Maybe a family will own one diesel for holidays to take them far and some electrical cars to take them to work. Who knows? Banning them now seems a bit exaggerated.


    • Ron Fischer says:

      Dude. We tried to support hydrogen fuel cells in California. All it go us was crushed EVs and delivery dates that advanced 10 years forward every few years. Any of this stuff could work, but better to support variety and let consumers decide. Personally, I think smaller and lighter, then micro hybrid (start/stop), then full hybrid, etc. will incrementally roll out. Battery EVs are great. I leased both the GM EV-1 and then the Ford Th!nk City here in sunny SoCal, but both were taken away and destroyed (well, maybe the Th!nk survived, no telling for certain). I almost bought a Leaf last month myself. But with the economy the way it is my next car may be a bicycle and a bus ticket.

    • Steve says:

      Comment #13 (john boy) – I believe Renault are indeed proposing a system just like this whereby you essentially lease the batteries and they drop out easily in a Renault garage so new ones can be slotted in at the appropriate time, which means at least Renault is taking the biggest problem with BEVs seriously, unlike Nissan. A system like this would make a BEV even more attractive to an Urban dweller or as a second car for the short journeys of life.

    • Emmet Murphy says:

      I cant understand, when the batteries are driving one set of wheels. Why the other set of wheels cant generate the power to keep the charge up, or power the other components in the car i.e. Heating,lights,radio?

    • Slugsie says:

      As to your last comment, which would I prefer? An electric motor that just spins, that has been around for over a hundred years, that is fully understood simple and reliable. OR. A huge take of highly explosive chemicals, that has lots of complex parts, and blows up 6% of the times it’s been used (remember Apollo 1???)?

      The answer is obvious, as is the stupidity of your argument.

      Sure, electric cars have a range and ‘refuelling’ problem right now. But then again when mobile phones first came out they had terrible battery life (most couldn’t even do a single day on standby – actually make a call and you might get less than half a day), and cell coverage was abysmal even in urban areas. Look at them now however.

    • BenHemmens says:

      More important than any of this is to develop:
      a) spatial planning that makes as many car trips unnecessary as possible
      b) a culture of using alternative modes of transport when cars are not necessary (e.g. reviving cycling, promoting qood-quality robust/maintenance-free city bikes).

      Ireland has enormous potential for improvement in both of these points. Before you put any electric or hydrogen cars on the road, you should be paying people to tear down houses in the suburbs (it’ll never be cheaper), increasing the density of towns and villages and investing in electric trains and trams.

      Even if Ireland converted to 100% alternatively powered road vehicles tomorrow: without reducing the number of km people have to drive to fulfill normal everyday functions, the country’s transport systems will remain an ecological disaster area.

    • kellyg123 says:

      @ bob “The future? Batteries will get better and cheaper”

      Worldwide reserves of lithium are estimated as 13 billion tonnes – that’s enough for 2 billion cars. which sounds a lot. but by the time those cars get built most of the lithium will have already been used up in smart phones, laptops and every other gadget in the world that uses batteries.

      Lithium is very hard to mine. Bolivia has already started mining one of it’s largest natural reserves – to produce litium for the chinese.

      by the time battery\electric cars are good enough and cheap enough for everyone to actually want one – batteries will start getting more and more expensive…

      Then we’ll be back looking at hydrogen again because it’s endless and doesn’t cause massive environmental damage to ‘mine’ it. so lets just skip the next 20 years and fast forward into the hydrogen debate now.

    • Pieter Vanendert says:

      You’re already out of date, batteries exist that can comfortably do 300 miles. Soon, the norm will be 30 Kw batteries. They are recycleable so there is a trade-in price. An electric car can be heated before you even step into it.
      Oh there are so many errors (with or without humour) I can’t be bothered to continue….

    • dkok says:

      Took my 12 year old volkswagen Polo for NCT today. The test report says emissions practically zero. 100,000 miles on the clock. Still drives brilliantly. You can buy it for €1,500. No depreciation, low tax, a week of city driving for €25 in petrol. Tires last 2 years and cost €35 each. Why would you be so wasteful of money and the earth’s finite resources to buy a hybrid car. Processing lithium is a filthy business. 50% of the energy used by a car is used in its manufacture. Eco dreamers need to get some sense. My Polo saves me thousands every year compared to a new or hybrid car. I’m with Clarkson on this.

    • Paddy says:

      Electric cars are economic nonsense and totally impractical except as a city run-about for a multi-car household, and in any case why but one at all? A Nissan leaf costs as much as a BMW520d, it sells for less due to the tax payer’s subsidy to the wealthy who can afford the choice to buy one. If CO2 is your reason for buying electric, consider that many small diesel and petrol cars that offer similar or lower real world CO2 emissions are now on the market, and within a few years we will see cars such as the BMW 3 series offering hybrid diesels emitting lower than 50 grams CO2 per KM or less than ½ what the Leaf promises but with space, handling, comfort, 230km top speed and 8 sec 0 – 100km.
      The biggest issues effecting electric vehicles are range; the Leaf is good for 120km in summer and not more than 100km (60 miles) in winter when the climate control is heating the interior and demisting the windows, and lights, heated rear window, wipers further shrink the range. What use is such a car to you or me? In comparison many of today’s diesels will do 1500 to 2000km on a tank, even a large car such as the new Audi A6 3.0 with a auto box will return incredible economy.
      E-car resale value is poor; proof of this is a 36 month, 30k km per year lease costs £560 per month in England while a similar lease on Golf 1.6TDI costs £230, the £330 per month difference is enough to buy over 250 litres of fuel, sufficient for about 6,000km each month. Upon checking at my local Nissan dealer I discovered that Nissan in Ireland have no confidence in the resale value of the Leaf as they refuse to offer leases.
      As to the e-cars already sold; just about every one I have seen has an ESB sticker on the doors, we the tax payer and electricity consumes of Ireland are paying for these cars as no sensible person would buy one with his own hard earned money. Now we start to see the true cost of Eamon Ryan’s green dreams, next the true cost of Ireland’s renewable energy policy should be exposed.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      I tell ya some blender in this baybeee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkCO-TjoQu0

      And plus those brave honourable self-reliant Icelandics (no, that’s ICeland, not IReland) have further added to their country’s glory (after putting a few of Her bent pols in jail and telling various IMFs and ECBs and so forth to PFO) by rolling out hydrogen powered vehicles (fuel cells) since starting a programme to obtain hydrogen from H2O by stripping the H using electrolysis (as used by the old Hoffman’s Generator we had in Intercert science and US and Russian nuclear subs) powered by electricity generated by geo-thermal heat.
      Wonder could the ICelandics come over here and help us find a practical automotive use for all the officially generated hot air we have?

    • Liam O'Mahony says:

      Why not CONVERT many of our existing (old) cars instead of scrapping them? It cannot be rocket science to stick a few batteries in instead of an engine. In this way we can have lots of slow cars (cutting down on accidents) available to young drivers (cut out boy-racers) and even to drivers banned from driving ordinary (fast) cars, thereby reducing rural isolation. It would also cut down on expensive imports that suit only Germany, France and Japan etc. and create huge employment in car conversion, battery making etc. It would also use up night-generated electricity currently going to waste and by the same token reduce imports of oil. It’s a win, win, win, win, win option!

    • Neil says:

      First off, can I say thank you for all the comments, even the ones that think I’m a pillock. You may be more right than you realise…

      OK, clearly I don’t really want to ban electric cars. In fact I actually quite like them, I was merely saying that to generate debate. I may have over-done it a touch… Still, it’s fun.

      I’ve tried many electric cars now and have enjoyed driving all of them, but the fact remains that I could not, today, have driven from my home in Galway to the office in Dublin. That is as much a fault of the lack of infrastructure as it is any failing of any individual vehicle design, but the two are more closely interlinked in electric cars than in any other type of car.

      Given the state of technology (automotive and other) as it exists today, it is my honest feeling and opinion that hydrogen offers more potential benefits and, as it’s a nettle we will likely have to grasp eventually, why not just throw some serious effort into it now and get it right? I am not blind to or ignorant of hydrogen’s shortcomings as a vehicle fuel or energy store, but even with the issues of generation, transportation, pressurisation and others, it still offers a bigger bang per kg than batteries. The issues that need to be overcome seem to me, at the moment, to be generally smaller and easier than those that need to be overcome to make electric cars widely useable and acceptable.

      Now, if the efforts being undertaken by the likes of IBM, Toshiba and (it is rumoured) Toyota to create batteries that can give a car a reliable 500km touring range from a single charge then you’ll see me doing the fastest about-turn since Strictly Come Dancing got started. At that point, electric begins to make much more sense, and I’d be just as happy that day to have a Nissan Leaf on my driveway as I would a Honda FCX Clarity or GM HydroGen IV.

      Or I could just get myself an Opel Ampera when that goes on sale next year, and be just as happy.

      Right, hope that’s cleared that all up. Now, on with my plan to ban 2WD versions of 4x4s…

    • mike says:

      I see that the Dutch and Austrians are keen on natural gas(mainly methane) as a transport fuel and that Flanders is
      following with Mercedes and Opel producing dual fuel (petrol/methane) cars

    • Frank says:

      “but the fact remains that I could not, today, have driven from my home in Galway to the office in Dublin.”

      This is not true. The trip is approx. 200km and there is a fast charger en route in Athlone.

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      So it’s goodbye to such time honoured seanfhocail as ”Now yer suckin’ diesel” and ”firin’ on all cylinders” as we electra-glide our way into a shamrock-spangled jetsons future then. Or is it? All those poxy windmills interfering with my appreciation of the view of Mountain Lodge in Cavan don’t generate as much juice as the filthy peat and coal burning terawatt plants of the ESB spill in a day. So where else is the juice for these nice clean eco-buses coming from? Shall we buy it from them next door; from their politically incorrect Windscale/Sellafield? Of shall we do as those ”green” Germans do who buy their nuclear generated power from France while pushing their windmills on the rest of us? We don’t have geo-thermal, like the Icelandics. We don’t have anywhere near normal load capacity in pure hydro. We don’t have nuclear because all the Sandalistas get their knowledge of nuclear power from the likes of Doctors No and Strangelove.
      So it’ll be peat and coal generated juice then. Sure that’s just moving the pollution from your jammer’s exhaust to your local tera-watt volcano’s exhaust. Hmmm.

    • Mark says:

      While Hydrogen would be great, there is on massive gigantic problem you haven”t thought about, and that’s the energy needed to extract the hydrogen is huge and very inefficient. So currently that energy is best put into batteries.

      E.V’s have plenty of range for 90% of people and it means they don’t have to rely on greedy oil companies, where as hydrogen will be much more expensive than electricity and can be taxed just as easy as petrol or diesel.

      If Ireland goes down the Nuclear road then yes I can see hydrogen being viable for HGV use, certainly Thorium in L.F.T.R reactors is a fantastic way of generating electricity and all over the world scientists are looking at ways to make it happen, it has been done before, but that’s a long story but the benefits are huge especially the fact Norway has many thousands of years supply of it!

      Nothing stopping Ireland being almost 100% energy independent except our attitude to Nuclear and our useless Government, their attitude and always has been is let someone else find the solution!

    • klem says:

      “Since a hydrogen fuel cell powered car IS AN ELECTRIC CAR.”

      True, and what a car. In Vancouver Canada, they have an hydrogen powered bus. It costs $50 per km to run. Hydrogen power, wo what a great idea..

    • klem says:

      Glen said “As for Klem, in case you haven’t heard: your gas guzzler is subsidized more than any electric ever will be. Billions of dollars go to oil companies in the form of tax breaks every year.”

      Yea that’s true, and compared to the trillion dollar fossil fuels industry the subsidies are so realtivley smal they can be dropped and it would add about 2 cents to a liter of gas. Big subsidies.

    • klem says:

      “I see that the Dutch and Austrians are keen on natural gas(mainly methane) as a transport fuel ..”

      Sounds great, we tried that here in Canada about 25 years ago. All went well until a vehicle had a crash, the pressurized natural gas tanks exploded killing everone in a 100meter radius. That was the end of natural gas as a transport fuel.

    • Me says:

      I disagree with the push for a ban on EV even though I see the relevance in some issues as with all new technologies.

      If you check out Tesla as an example to current capabilities you can see that range issues can become much more accommodating with the ever advancing technology of battery storage/capability.

      As for home charging stations (a one time installation) is only needed for “quick charge” stations otherwise Tesla and others can be charged using a regular plug whilst one is asleep or simply at home during non use.

      As for the NASA vs. “Blender” technology, it becomes a matter of thought or opinion. It could be said that such battery technology has only advanced due highly to NASA and other research projects needing better capacities.
      As long as a vehicle is zero emissions and can be self powered via a purchased home energy system, then does it really matter if it was NASA or Woolies technology?

      Hydrogen power until it can be produced in a more cost effective way will only be trading one demon for another. We would still be headed to the pumps and still be in the hands of Large Energy Corporations such as BP,Shell,Chevron etc.

      I would rather have to live with having a power cord in my boot to be able to power my car via an ever cheaper solar power unit and not be paying ever increasing bills to a Greedy coal burning power company as is the case here in Australia.

      Asking for a ban on EV would not advance Hydrogen development for the average consumer but would only diminish the ability for one to be self sufficient.

      I here the views being expressed however calling for such an extreme ban is much like throwing the baby out with the water. EVs are the current best bet until home hydrogen units can be made efficiently and cost effective. I can only hope that views as yours are not spread any further than this post for the sake of all consumers and future generations.

    • peter barrins says:

      I don’t think EVs need to be banned – at least not for any of the reasons cited. Would a ban on all cars which produce more than 200g/km of CO2 not have more of an environmental impact?

      It would seem that EVs are not going to provide a permanent solution to the internal combustion engine because battery technology seems to be limited and expensive. Having said that, if it works for some people then why not allow them utliise such technology?

      The fact is that in Ireland and other such countries EVs are impractical for most users. It’s fine saying that the majority of journies are under 50kms or whatever, but what is one to do if they need to travel further afield, even if it’s only once a month? The range is limited, the recharge time too long and the recharge points infrequent – particularly outside of Dublin.

    • klem says:

      Actually there is nothing wrong with owning an electric car. I simply don’t want my taxes paying for them so wealthy folks can enjoy them. If a rich guy wants to pay for one, no problem. Just not with my money.

Search Motors