Opinion : Is the sun setting on the age of the car?

The latest edition of Jaguar World Monthly magazine has an excellent article by the Editor, Paul Walton, about a road trip he made from Toronto in County Durham to Moscow in East Ayrshire via New York near Newcastle using a Jaguar I-Pace, which for the uninitiated is an all-electric vehicle. Officially Jaguar Land Rover claims the I-Pace has a range of 292 miles, but in reality maximum charge amounted to a range of 201 miles.

The writer encountered all sorts of issues, mainly relating to the poor infrastructure available in 2019 for electric vehicles. The charging points that were available sometimes failed to work due to software issues, while the faster 50kW DC chargers were sometimes unavailable, resulting in the slower 43kW AC chargers being used. Even with the faster 50kW DC chargers, Paul Walton had to allow at least 90 minutes to get the full 201 mile range. Plugging into a domestic electric supply was even slower than a 43kW AC charge. When using wipers and lights, the I-Pace used 1.5 miles of range for every mile travelled.

If this is the future of motoring, then things look bleak.

What to do… what to do?

Yes, I know that the range of electric vehicles is likely to improve and that charging should become quicker, but will they improve significantly by 2040 when the last petrol and diesel-engined cars leave the production line?

Electric cars will be fine for commuter journeys and shopping trips, and they can be charged up overnight from the domestic supply, but are they really viable for longer distances?

Every year I make the annual pilgrimage to the NEC Classic Car Show from my North Norfolk home, a distance of 168 miles, or 336 miles there and back. With an electric vehicle, I would have to stop for a charge up, but as I would be stopping for an evening meal anyway, the time delay would not be an inconvenience. However, this is the 2019 scenario, when there are few electric vehicles on the road. What happens when we get to the 2040s when most vehicles are electric, and all new cars will be?

Will there be queues for charging points? The 10-minute stop at the filling station might morph into the 30-plus minute wait at the charging point with stressed out motorists waiting impatiently for you to finish topping up your power banks so that they can take your place in order to resume their journey. Due to the longer wait to replenish a vehicle’s range, will more and more charging points proliferate? Will there be huge car parks adjacent to main roads full of charging points?

Are EVs going to be worth the hassle?

Will some people decide that it is not worth the hassle and adopt alternate means? It is possible that some people will retain in use petrol and diesel cars as long as the fuel is still available. I personally can’t see the internal combustion engine disappearing off our roads until the mid-2050s when the last examples wear out from neglect, unless of course the Government outlaws them before then.

Another point about the migration from the internal combustion engine to electric power that is overlooked is that the Government stands to lose billions in tax revenue from the sale of fossil fuels.

At the moment one can get a Government grant for going electric but, once electric use is widespread, these grants are bound to morph into taxes. The Government has to make up its revenue somehow and the notion that electric power is cheap can’t last forever. We will end up paying, somehow, some way, just as we have always done for road use.

Will it be the age of the train?

Then there is the railway system. Neglected for most of the past seven decades for being yesterday’s transport system, and brutally pruned of thousands of miles of track thanks to an all-party consensus that looked on the rail network as a drain on the nation’s resources and road as the future, the race is on to get Britain’s railways fit for the 2040s and a possible seismic shift in our travelling habits.

That’s because some of us may decide that the hassle of long-distance electric car travel is simply not worth it. An electric car journey to the appropriate railway station, the bulk of the journey by train, and another electric car journey from the station, be it a hire car or taxi, to our ultimate destination. One can see this as a sensible approach for retirees – in other words, get rid of the car altogether with all the hassle of taxes and maintenance and rely on taxis and trains.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see the benefit of going electric on environmental grounds, and a lot of this has been forced on central Government by legal action from the environmental lobby, but in rural areas the effects may be far reaching. What do other people think? Any feedback to this article will be most welcome since most of it is probably ill-informed speculation!

Ian Nicholls

Born in Bedfordshire but now residing in Norfolk, Ian Nicholls is an ardent BL enthusiast. Currently he owns a Jaguar and two classic Minis. A stalwart of the Norfolk Mini Owners Club for nearly a decade he is an enthusiast for all things Issigonis. A stickler for historical accuracy he has recently performed the marathon task of mining the online newspaper articles for all BMC>MG related stories. Ian is unable to help with technical queries – he pays other people to fix his cars!

51 Comments

  1. I somehow think that it is inevitable that electric cars will be shoved down our throats and that Big Brother Government will force us to pay massive taxes. I think it is all quite silly, because the far-left environmentalists and activists pushing for all this to happen, are true nitwits. They think they are “saving the planet” from “dirty, capitalist fossil fuel”…yet where does the electricity come from to charge the cars? In North America and other parts of the world it comes overwhelmingly from the burning of COAL! Yes, Europe places a little more emphasis on nuclear power, but when Big Brother outlaws all petrol-burning cars and the whole world has gone “electric”, how is all this quadrupling of demand for electricity going to be satisfied? More dams? The environmentalists who want to get rid of all fossil fuels will have kittens at such a prospect, because it “damages the environment”, affects the animals and the flow of the fish… OK: no more dams…so that means building nuclear reactors, eh? Not on your nelly! The far-left environmentalists will have a cow! To them even raising the spectre of more atomic powerplants is like flashing a crucifix in front of Dracula! Ruin the beaches with massive sea turbines everywhere? Our Marxist-Leninist friends would go berserk!… Despite all this, trying to combat this mad dash towards electric cars is probably a losing proposition, given all the rampant left-wing “political correctness” that even has many conservatives intimidated and cowering in the fetal position.
    All I know is that when the day comes that Big Brother tells me I can no longer drive my “fascist, eco-plundering” petrol-burning OTS E Type, I will say: “OVER MY DEAD BODY!!” To the barricades! Let the revolution begin!

    • I can’t decide whether your post is serious or not.”left-wing political correctness has many conservatives cowering in the foetal position”? Have you noticed who our esteemed Prime Minister is? And the POTUS? Far right politics is running rampant in many countries across the world currently.It’s almost as though voters have decided we’re all f***ed anyway so let it burn. And it is burning. I’ve been car-mad since childhood but no-one can deny the predicted extreme weather events are now a reality.Indeed they’re happening quicker than foretold. Hope your E- Type doesn’t wash away in a flood or burn up in a wildfire.

      • Don’t worry just another brainwashed stooge of the billionaire tax dodgers thinking they are going to benefit from being right wing.

        In they end the are just another dogsbody to be milked for all they are worth & thrown on the scrapheap of life when they are no longer useful.

      • Extreme weather events have always happened, then it was just ‘weather’ The way our media now reports them makes them more ‘personal’ ie naming storms it all adds up to make the masses more susceptible to suggestion and fear and it looks like you have succumbed, especially using their very terminology (‘far right’ lol) for Trump and Boris..

        Turn off mainstream media, it’s not good for your health.

        Poor old Laurence, I’m surprised you didn’t call him a racist as well 😉

    • Got nothing to do with politics flat earther. Your kind of tiresome frothing does nothing to move the argument forward. It just mires it in base human reactions and you lose credibility

    • REPLY FOR STANDHILL, NONMUS and O”BRIEN FROM LAURENCE: My original comments were tongue-in-cheek, in a Jeremy Clarkson sort of way, but coloured by my beliefs, for which I make no apologies. Until I read you gentlemen’s scornful animus and condescension, I used to think that everyone was entitled to his or her opinion in a democratic society.
      My main point in my original comments was that we don’t produce enough electricity to power all vehicles on the road, and that to do so would entail solutions which the very environmentalists who want to ban the internal combustion engine, would find intolerable…hence a massive contradiction which none of you three gentlemen sought to address. For example, in North America where I live, ALL the charging stations in existence dispense electricity THAT HS BEEN PRODUCED BY BURNING COAL! How does this “save the planet”?
      Another point that I forgot to make in my original posting, is that while I enjoyed Ian’s article, it didn’t mention some rather sinister government plans for us drivers in the future, as it was concerned mainly with reviewing the new electric Jaguar. Big Brother is planning, and in the United States has ALREADY PERFECTED AND TESTED, software that will record all of our mileage so that we can be taxed by the mile by remote control. Everywhere we go will be tracked and recorded, and our driving habits when it comes to braking, acceleration, etc. will all be recorded/profiled, also to be used against us when needed… These driverless electric vehicles will also be programmed to not exceed certain Big Brother-designated speeds, the police will be able to stop your vehicle at the push of a button…and so it goes… I think even George Orwell would find it all a little Orwellian.
      One last note for STANDHILL: I like Boris and Donald. I can already see you ready to explode. I am also proof that you are wrong when you say that “…no one can deny the predicted extreme weather events are now a reality”, because I and many others DO SAY that man-made climate change is a HOAX. I suppose you would like to put me in a “re-education camp”, as they do in communist dictatorships. Let’s hear the vitriol… and Happy Motoring to you too.

      • Ironic that you mention Orwell but are such a Putinista, even if you don’t know it (that’s the whole idea!)

        Basically, if you were any more owned you would be on a chain gang!

  2. What all the politicians refuse to accept is that with half the current world population there would be half the use of natural resources, half the pollution, half the demand for land, etc, etc. It has only been with the constant increase in world population and the constant demand for ever rising living standards – I am sitting on my bed typing this on an Apple MacBook that used all sorts of minerals to make, and not typing it on a manual typewriter before posting it to ARonline – that the present levels of environmental damage have been reached.

    Yet NO GOVERNMENT has a policy of population level restraint. China and India were damned for trying it. The problem is that the capitalist way of living demands ever increasing growth. It is the financial equivalent of the Big Bang Theory, when what is needed is a Steady State Theory for human beings.

    When I was in the army, everyone was issued with the same number of items of personal kit, such as clothing, boots, etc. In a barrack room, each of us had the same space, the same bedding. In the cookhouse, the food was standardised. The work day was standardised. We all had the same number of days’ leave a year. Some would use their wages to buy extra kit – even a complete battledress to keep as ‘best’ – because they had their eyes on promotion. I bought a Morphy Richards electric iron to press my BD; others had their own irons too. The simple alternative was to put one’s BD under the mattress to press it. But the standard issue of everything was quite adequate. Married personnel had a standard list of items issued to them for each married quarter; they could, of course, buy anything extra if they wanted to, and could afford it.

    During and after WWII, there was rationing of all manner of things – including petrol. All this created a fairly steady state in use of resources. But any attempt to do that today would be shouted down.

    The communist system produced the Trabant for the proles, when what was needed was another Volkswagen beetle. Today’s craze for giant SUVs needs hitting on the head, along with the constant pressure by advertisers to BUY, BUY, BUY. Anyone remember Tom Lehrer’s accurate description of late 20th century Christmases? “Go out, and buy! Buy! Buy!”

    Whatever happened to “Small is best”? Small in family size, in everything.

  3. The whole problem has only one solution: drastically reducing travel ! 70 years ago, one rarely went more than 50 miles away from home. We’ve created needs for which the planet cannot provide the ressources. With growing demography and increase in wealth of countries in development, the problem will only be growing worse and electric travel will not provide an adequate answer (unless we discover how to produce electric power at large scale without destroying the planet…).
    (may I add that this applies to so many other aspects of modern living : eating habits, comfort equipments, etc.)
    It’s only when the situation will be catastrophic, if not to say apocalyptic, that drastic measures will impose themselves upon (except upon the elite, of course…).
    Bleak future, but what I believe will be…

    PS : excuse my English…

  4. This is from the RAC website.
    “The popularity of electric vehicles could lead to nationwide road tolls for all drivers totalling £700 a year, according to financial experts.
    A new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that a nationwide system of road tolls could be introduced to fill the hole in government finances left by a drop-in fuel duty.
    Fuel tax is a significant source of income for the government, with the Treasury expected to bring in around £28.8 billion this financial year alone.
    But with electric vehicles not subject to this duty, the government will have to find new ways to increase funds, and that could lead to the introduction of such country-wide tolls.
    Motorists currently pay 57.95p of tax per litre of petrol or diesel, with the rate now unchanged for nine years, despite recent rumours the government was considering changing it.
    With the average UK motorist traveling about 7,800 miles every year, this equates to an annual fuel duty bill of around £1,000 per household.
    To fill the finance gap, the Bloomberg report recommended the introduction of a mileage-based charge system, billing drivers 7.5p for every mile by 2030.
    This would increase to 9.1p by 2040, when a total ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK will be brought in.
    Based on the average annual mileage, this would mean drivers facing a bill of around £700 for road toll payments in 2040.
    According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), over 4,500 new electric vehicles were registered in the UK in February 2019 alone.
    This represents a 34% year-on-year increase and the 22nd consecutive month where registrations of zero-emission cars have risen.
    Although electric cars are often more expensive up-front, they are significantly cheaper to run than fuel-powered vehicles, with the average cost of charging your car at home around £4.50
    As well as spending less on powering their vehicles, electric cars are also currently exempt from road tax meaning yet another saving for eco-friendly motorists.”

    Imagine a world where the car parks at popular venues like the NEC are one big charging point so that visitors can get back home.
    Imagine a world where friends and relatives come to visit and the first thing they do is plug THEIR car into YOUR mains electricity supply, so that they can get back!

  5. Ian, I find your comment like most that push back against the electric cars, very much glass half full.

    First the story about the IPace, which whilst brilliant in many ways is compared with the latest Electric Vehicles, short legged and very much what it is, an exercise to test the market before we see the real thing in the form of the new XJ EV. The story is about someone taking a short legged electron burner with slow charging capability on a road trip that was engineered to be as far away as possible from the available charging infrastructure. On the other extreme you could chosen Oslo to London in a Tesla P100 or a Model 3 which is a route which is right at the core of the European Charging infrastructure as Fully Charged did nearly 5 years ago https://insideevs.com/news/325834/oslo-to-london-for-5-in-tesla-model-s-fully-charged-video/ all for 5 Euro in fuel costs. Choosing these extreme examples do not add to the debate as neither represent the reality of current electric car ownership for most owners.

    As the VW ID3 shows real world 200 to 300 mile range EV are going to available with the same pricing structure as Golf Diesels and for those that need it 300 – 350 Kwh rapid chargers are going to be available at service stations. But the reality is that for most, they will not use these rapid chargers but take advantage of slower and cheaper destination chargers or cheapest of all, charge up overnight in the garage or drive. The idea of going to the fuel station will disappear, instead you will charge up at the gym, restaurant, supermarket and your works car park etc.

    As for the idea of when we have more electric cars, we will not have access to rapid chargers, is quite absurd. People will be able to make good money selling electricity to car owners, so you will see for example the motorway service station loose its petrol station as demand declines and the car park fill up with charge points (as will Multi Storey, Restaurants, Supermarkets car parks). These chargers will offer you speed v cost choice, where you will pay more for the rapid chargers, but if you don’t need it, ie you have time, you can charge at a slower rate charger, which will be cheaper as they are more easily accommodated by the grid.

    • I’m really not sure why you think that the I-Pace is not based on the latest technology . In any event , the real problem is that the theoretical ranges of cars just does not equate with the actual range available in real use, and this is something which has not changed in the last 20ish years . One of my sons had an early Tesla ( the one based on the Elise ) : its theoretical range was 192 miles, but in practice it was impossible to get more than about 125 miles out of it . Also, charging regimes are critical with electric cars: you can fast charge the first half of batteries’ capacity , but a fast charge on the remainder is problematical and may shorten life radically. Thermal runaway is another very serious problem as too many Tesla users have found. Electric cars are not the panacea that is put forward, and in any event the energy has to come from somewhere if usage is to continue

      • The reason is, because it is not the latest technology, the IPace lags behind the curve in its battery power density, charging as you will see when the XJ comes along and also if you look at the Porsche Taycan with its 800v battery tech. Jaguar and their Battery provider LG Chem, given Jaguar reputation for unreliability and both companies lack of experience with the technology, they decided to play safe. However the IPace has been a good learning vehicle and the new XJ will be bang on the money.

        The original Tesla Roadster was launched 12 years and used lap top batteries rather than purposely engineered battery cells, so its not representative of anything other than what a Lotus Elise will do when powered by lap top batteries. Usable 300km to 500km plus ranges are now the norm.

        As for charging regime you show again complete lack of knowledge with how the current temperature managed EV batteries perform when charged, able to charge a full rate between 20% and 80%.with out impacting on their lifecycle. Which is we note for the Tesla S is 500,000 km+ before the battery pack will drop below 80% of its design capacity. Show me an ICE car that retains 80% of its performance after 500,000KM?

        As for thermal runaway, well yes a few Tesla have caught fire, however when you look at the facts and not just the Daily Mail, electric vehicles are found to be statistically no more likely to burst into flames than ICE cars. And they might be statistically safer; it’s difficult to tell now, as their sample sizes are dwarfed by ICE cars, with in the US alone, over 170,000 catching fire each year.

      • i was reading a 1973 road test from an old edition of Motorsport online, and a test of a 1973 Jaguar XJ12 gave the car a range of 200 miles if the car was driven at motorway speeds as the car was using petrol at about 10 mpg. Simiilarly electric Jags produced now have a silmilar range now, so this is hardly progress, when a petrol or diesel Jag will quite easily do over 400 miles on one tank, without the hassle of finding a charging point and possibly waiting in a queue to recharge.

    • I believe so, but that does not solve the one and only issue : how will the electricity be produced without polluting and exhausting our planet…?

  6. What’s not said – but clearly shown anyway- is that sole private transports are being blamed. Pollution will stay as it is in the next years, there will be no oil ban, no coal ban, no uranium ban. We’ll just keep on feeling guilty for driving our “A series” engineered car in the countryside…. Sure we know the truth about motors pollution? BTW I appreciated very much Suziki COE speech last May: he basically said there is no way to compell car manifacturers to only produce electric cars: as it would require (in Europe) 18 new nuclear plants to be installed. And this is not possible. This is the reason why Suzuki will not spend a penny in 100% OWN electric projects… is he right?

    • “Suziki COE speech last May”

      It was said I believe in May 2017, and by the CEO of Maruti Susuki India Kenichi Ayukawa, at the time Suzuki were linked in with Toyota EV plans, which were hostile to battery electric vehicles (BEV) at time favoring ICE / Hybrid as an intermediate step to Hydrogen vehicles. However since the both Susuki and Toyota have announced plans to launch a range of BEVs in 2020.

  7. I think moving over to electric cars is a disaster. As one post pointed out where is the extra electric going to come from? Secondly, where is the resources required to build high performing batteries going to come from and how much pollution will that cause to the earth in doing so. And how about the plane journeys that will continue to happen even though most are not needed? And what about industry polluting the earth just to make toot people buy in cheap shops for their mantlepiece which is changed 6 months later?

    I might sound like I am picking holes, but unless everyone pulls together and plays to the same song sheet it wont make a difference. The UK reducing it’s carbon emissions is just a small pin prick when compared to the rest of the world. The issue is our economies are built on capitalist ways and that we need business to lead the way producing stuff we don’t need and convincing us to goto places we don’t need to go to generate money for the elite. I am not professing that we should jump on the communist boat.

    And then there is the brigad who tell us we should not eat meat as cattle production is warming the earth. If we stop eating meat, what will happen to these cows? will they be allowed to live to old age and create enough methane for us to combust ourselves with? Or do we kill them all and have to burn the carcases off great pollution and kicking the other vegan brigade off?

  8. Okay, I said my article might be ill informed speculation!
    How about the scenario where people feed electric cable out of their windows, even upstairs ones, to their cars parked in the street because it would be cheaper and more convenient than going to a charging point?
    Remember not all of us have a garage and some of us live in flats. To some people the hassle of spending the time at a charging point might be too much bother.
    These points might sound silly, but we live in a world where people want something for nothing and if they can get away with it, they will.

  9. Since 2013 I’ve owned and driven an LPG converted Chevrolet Aveo 1.2, due to the small size of the spare wheel well, it has a very small LPG tank, about 27 litres usable volume, which equates to about 200 miles range, the same as the car featured, and similarly the support infrastructure is not particularly comprehensive. From where I live near Peterborough that’s enough to to get to Calais or Portsmouth, and it has travelled to Amsterdam with no problems. What has been required is a bit more planning than with my other car, a 900 mile+ range diesel.
    A 200 mile range is usable enough but you do have to plan a lot more (although with some petrol in the tank the consequences of running out are not as serious as for electric cars. But it has been a useful “simulation” of using a lower range vehicle.
    The company I worked for had an early Leaf and that had a range of about 70 miles-unusable really
    My suspicion is that the infrastructure will improve and peoples ability to plan will also improve.

  10. There’s insufficient power generation capacity in the UK to be able to recharge large numbers of electric cars unless some of the old coal-fired power plants are taken out of mothballed state

  11. I would say that so far the general consensus, with some exceptions, is that electric cars are at best a dubious proposition. This is mainly because no matter how many charging stations we get eventually, even if hypothetically there were to be one every two feet throughout the planet, it doesn’t change the fact that we humans would have to dramatically increase global electricity output…yet the means of doing so (see the first posting) would, from an environmental standpoint, be no better than continuing to use the internal combustion engine. Many seem to forget or not know, that since the U.S.A. legislated the implementation of anti-pollution standards for vehicles as of January 1,1968, tail pipe emissions have been cut down DRAMATICALLY in all countries that have adopted similar laws. I have heard reports on TV that a present-day V-8 Ford Mustang produces less than three per-cent of the pollution of a 1967 V-8 Mustang.

    I mentioned in my second posting the somewhat oppressive and Orwellian future that Big Brother government has in store for us when it comes to electric vehicles…monitoring and recording everything connected to where we go, at what time, how many miles we travelled, and so on Whilst I hate to be a prophet of doom, there is yet another very scary aspect to electric cars looming in our future, that no one has mentioned so far.

    Given electric cars’ total reliance on electricity, electronics and computers, what happens to individuals and corporations with their computers held for ransom nowadays, will most certainly occur with the electric vehicles of tomorrow. Think of the following scenario: you are travelling in your electric driverless car. Your life and that of your passengers is totally reliant on electronic sensors and the skills of the people who programmed the computers, and the competence of the government bureaucrats who legislated and approved it all… It is the year 2041. Your car is doing the driving at government-programmed speeds. On a TV screen you are watching the BBC announcing a six-hundred-and seventeenth delay in a Brexit, as the shilly-shallying over the Irish backstop continues…unabated… A voice suddenly takes over the speaker system and informs you that your vehicle has been hacked…and that you have seven minutes in which to electronically transfer two thousand quid to an account in Ivory Coast, or the vehicle will be made to go over a steep abyss coming up in seven minutes and twenty seconds. Even if your electric car were to have manual override, you would find that the hackers have disabled it and you have little choice other than to comply… This scenario isn’t far-fetched at all…

    It all makes me feel like Patrick McGoohan in that old TV series THE PRISONER. In it you used to see him at the beginning of each episode driving his Lotus Seven, which in the series he declared he had built himself with his own two hands. When you saw him at the beginning of each episode driving it through downtown London during the opening credits, it represented his INDIVIDUAL RUGGEDNESS combined with the thrill of the sense of FREEDOM driving an OTS sports car gives…with the wind in your hair on a nice day… Then poor McGoohan is sent to “The Village”, which is a soft tyrannical prison from which he can’t escape. However, he resists his oppressors every step of the way, declaring defiantly: “I am a MAN!… I am NOT A NUMBER!!”. This is followed always by the laughter of his Big Brother jailers. I am afraid that all this electric car business is going to indeed lead us to a sort of Kafkaesque existence… That’s why in my original tongue-in-cheek posting I made reference to rebelling when Big Brother government would eventually tell me that I no longer can drive my E Type. Ian mentioned that by 2050 or before, government would probably have outlawed internal combustion engine-cars off the road, as they would be deemed old. However, what about beautifully maintained classics such as DB-5s, E Types, Ferrari Daytonas?… I say to each his or her own. Those who want to drive electric cars can, and those of us who want to drive more traditional vehicles should have the freedom to do so. Are we free people or cabbages/sheep/numbers…to be ruled over by masters who they themselves always exempt themselves from what they want to impose on the unwashed masses?

      • Well Uncle Joe (Churchill’s nickname for Stalin), unlike you, who obviously admires the world’s second biggest mass-murderer of all time enough to name himself after him, I am taking pills alright: freedom pills…or Churchill pills, if you like However, I am not going to argue with you about anything, because as a wise person I once knew used to say: “He who argues with a brick is a donkey”.

  12. To mitigate the real effects of climate changes (extreme weather) the answer is probably just less travel. Far less flights and modernised public transport for commuting and everyday trips.
    Electric power will be great for delivery vans, post buses. I remember when there were butcher’s vans, mobile groceries etc. Think of where the name ‘Carter’ came from. When I went to university BR delivered my trunk door-to-door.

    • Agreed. There does seem to be a MASSIVE inconsistency where the fossil fuelled road vehicles are being targeted when aviation is still continually growing.

      We also will need to buy less “stuff” too as everything we buy generates CO2 along the way, from its manufacture, its shipping to the UK (if from overseas), delivery to warehouses, and then delivery to either shops or the home

  13. I’m surprised that no one has yet mentioned that yesterday James Dyson shelved the electric car project that he was planning to build in Singapore, citing that the project was ‘commercially un-viable’

    “Engineers had developed a “fantastic electric car” but that it would not hit the roads because it was not “commercially viable”.

    As pointed out on ITN News last night. electric cars need copper and other minerals for the batteries and motors which have to be mined and shipped around the world at great cost (and pollution) using …. diesel motive power and also that NO manufacturer is making any money from electric car production, none of then were interested in buying Dyson’s research and designs.

    Electric cars for the masses are never going to happen short term, 2040 looks very iffy too. We will never have the infrastructure within that time. At the very least manufacturers need to get together and standardise batteries that can be changed in minutes, so one can stop at a garage and change batteries for a recharge fee and complete a long journey.

    My Audi PD hits it’s 17th birthday this year, done 211k miles and still returns 55+ mpg. A long lasting and economic, car what could be greener? I don’t want a computer on wheels..

    • Most cars now will return over 40 mpg in everyday driving, and cars that average over 50 mpg are commonplace . Remember, go back to the seventies and 30 mpg was considered the norm and cars were far more polluting as leaded petrol was still widely used and the catalytic convertor hadn’t been invented. Also America was still churning out huge V8s that could be found in everything from family cars to limousines.

  14. I think that the electric car is a stop gap measure. The point about the 10 minutes queue at the petrol station turning into the 30-minute wait for recharging is only partially valid. As by far the most return trips mean the recharging can be done at either home or destination. Not many of us can fill up with fuel at home!
    One of the strange things is that unlike most traffic issues, it’s rural people who have the benefits. We can charge at home. I could put up at bank of solar panels which recharge the car and sell the excess power to my local provider (I live in Denmark) but all those street parked cars in the cities can not just have cable running across their pavements.
    I think that the answer ought to be some combination of trains for long journeys and car sharing for last mile sections. I could live with that. But for the long-distance trips. Typically, in my case Denmark to Cornwall, which is about 1000 miles, I think a good touring car is still the sweet point for convenience/flexibility/climate, when compared to flying/trains + hired car
    I do use http://www.gomore.dk which is a car sharing service when I drive typically over about 50 miles in connection with work. I have apparently saved 2.5 tons of Co2 by having fare paying passengers in the car.

  15. I notice that the mainstream media has totally ignored the centenary of Alcock and Brown’s no-stop Atlantic flight in a year of significant anniversaries. My suspicion is that all air travel is now viewed as virtually a criminal act to the environment by the intelligentsia. Back in 1969 the 50th anniversary was marked by the construction of a replica Vickers Vimy.

  16. Please read the small print, internal combustion engined cars will continue to be sold after 2040 if they are are hybrids ( ie have traction batteries), Straight IC engined cars( nonj – hybrid), come to an end in 2040

  17. i wish all these middle class meddlers with their obsessions about climate change, fringe issues like Palestine and politically correct nonsense like gender neutral language would go away. Problem is we had a government that pandered to them for years and an opposition that is largely run by the middle class metropolitan left, so these people have more power than you think. I really don’t give a fig if my next door neighbour decides to use an enviironnmentally unfriendly SUV, how Hamas are coping in the West Bank, or if I should say chair or chairperson. Also don’t get me started on the left’s latest obsession, diversity, where anything that is too white or too male should be banned.

    • So what do you care about? I think by “middle class meddlers” you mean educated people with something about them who have the capacity to look beyond the end of their noses and realise the world doesn’t begin and end on their front door step.

      • Rather more than some stupid idealists who think constantly disrupting people trying to go to work will save the planet? Also jumping on top of an electric train, one of the greenest forms of transport, and trying to stop it was the ultimate in stupidiity. Do they really think everyone should go around on bicycles and use horse drawn transport and retreat backwards 200 years? Also I am educated to degree level in case you ask and get sick of being told on forums because I’m educated, I should be left wing and progressive, when the majority of us from the eighties aren’t and the working class the left profess to care about so much have abandoned them.
        I really do think this country has made massive strides over green issues in the last 40 years and will continue to do so. Apart from huge gains in fuel economy of cars and the end of leaded petrol and diesel in big decline now, other forms of pollution I remember such as coal fires, factory pollution and careless dumping of waste have largely gone. Also there’s a big crusade ti reduce the use of plastic and recycling is big business, I currently recycle over half my rubbish now. On another note, I don’t see the ;point of driving a huge car and currently drive a 1 lite Skoda that is one of the greenest cars you can buy. So like millions of others, I’m doing my bit and don’t feel the need to bring London to a halt or occupy buildings.

      • That stuck up patronising response is typical of today’s ‘educated’ types, next you’ll be telling those that voted to leave the EU that they didn’t know what they were voting for..

        Regardless being ‘educated’ is a joke now. Our places of learning are nothing more than centers of lefty dogma and indoctrination.

        • Mini Van, it seems being middle class and left wing makes some people feel superior to the rest of us. They seem to think that playing at being a socialist somehow makes them better than their Tory voting neighbours and morally superior. In reality a lot of them are patronising, sneering snobs who can barely contain their hatred for the masses they profess to care about. Emily Thornberry’s tweet about a council house with an England flag sums a lot of them up, and don’t forget the Dear Leader Corbyn went to a public school and is probably worth a couple of million now. At least people like Red Robbo were genuine.

          • Still better than an idiotic gammon who is just a flunky to the billionaire tax dodgers but too stupid to know it.

          • @ A nonomus..

            Au contraire, I think you’ll find that ‘idiotic’ students and other indoctrinated youngsters who are far more likely to be ‘flunkies’ to said billionaires without even realising who is pulling their strings. Extinction Rebellion anyone? Now I wonder who funds them…

          • Mini Van, which right wing outlet did you find out from, or is it your current brief at your Moscow troll farm?

            Is it any surprise almost all the populist big players went to the top schools & universities & can be connected to the people who are set to benefit from disaster capitalism, which is certainly not you unless you’ve already off-shored your untaxed billions.

    • Because as a white, middle class male (no doubt), and probably a baby boomer who’s done rather well out of your time on earth, you are perfectly positioned to comment on people who are different to you. *Face palm*

  18. Everyone seems to get excited by aviation usage , but in fact is it not a very big contributor to energy usage. At a very rough estimate, commercial aviation worldwide uses perhaps 165 million tonnes of fuel annually. Cars in the UK alone probably use about 13.5 million tonnes, and I have no idea how much is used by commercial operators , but if we take it at 1/3 of private consumption, (i.e.18 million tonnes together ) then in the UK alone our vehicles use more than 10% of worldwide aviation usage . Given that we represent only about 0.8% of the world’s population, the relative importance of vehicle usage becomes apparent

  19. Flying only makes sense if you’re travelling over 300 miles, as the time spent waiting for planes and getting to and from the airport negates its advantages. Nearly all journeys people make in this country will be by road and rail. Also the spread of high speed electric rail in continental Europe has seriously reduced the use of domestic flights in countries like France. As I’ve said, we’re a lot greener than we were in the seventies and eighties and by the middle of this decade, we’ll be even greener as fossil fuels give way to other energy forms.
    However, there is the ultimate in politically incorrect, fuel guzzling vehicles near me. Someone has taken on a 1972 Lincoln Continental that needs some work done to the body and wire wheels to bring it up to show standard again. Now a car that uses petrol like a Rolls Royce, pollutes big time and has a monster V8 should be the ultimate no no, but everyone that sees it admires it and fancies a drive.

  20. The age of the car is already over. Young people just don’t talk about cars in the same way. When I was at school you were defined by what your parents drove and dreamed of getting a nice car when you were older. A BMW, a Scooby for loves of Japanese cars or maybe a supercar.

    Now cars are a white good, a necessity but one young people don’t care about nearly as much. I suspect if driverless vehicles were developed or competing Uber services were commonplace enough, they would happily give up their cars.

    To be frank I wouldn’t mind it being the age of the train, if they weren’t our trains. Being able to relax, read, watch a movie, eat a nice meal or even sleep. Then travelling locally on a world class metro system, all at an affordable price. What is not to love? Certainly better than stress on our motorways and s**ty service stations. Hire a car for a blast on some country roads, if it takes your fancy.

    Alas, with the incompetent clowns running this joke of a country, we will get third world cattle class train, at eye watering prices and worthless slow bus services at each end. No thanks.

  21. I wouldn’t mind seeing the number of cars on the roads fall to the levels of 40 years ago. I’m old enough to remember when driving on a motorway was pleasurable due to the lack of traffic, when it was easy and often free to park, and driving around cities was easier. Also there were no scameras, petty minded civil enforcement officers( the new word for traffic wardens) who fine you for next to nothing, and endless roadworks.

  22. We will either drive less for environmental reasons, or just get fed up with the endless queues on motorways. The trouble is, ever since the 1960’s, we have stopped building homes and workplaces near public transport, and built them instead on the cheapest land. I like to take a train to work, but there is no co-ordination between train and bus; so rather than doing an Olympic sprint to get from station platform to bus stop in three minutes – where six or seven minutes would be more reasonable – I get a £100 a week taxi habit. To see how it should be done, go to Stuttgart; where train stations routinely offer interchange with buses and trams.

    • Rail transport was seen as old fashioned and irrelevant 50 years ago, unless you were a commuter to the major cities, or used the Inter City network for business or for leisure trips. If not a car owner, then the bus was supposed to cover all your needs.Also anyone who had to use the Tyne Valley Line in the seventies on a Sunday would know what a tedious slog this journey was, trains every two hours on a Sunday that took nearly two hours to reach Carlisle from Newcastle and weekday trains being not much quicker. At least now they have trains every half hour and the faster ones can do it in 1h 20m.

  23. MESSAGE FOR MINI VAN: Thank you for your previous support. I would advise you not to try reasoning with “nonomus”, as he is so confused and mixed up about ideologies, that all he knows what to do is blurt out that anyone he doesn’t like is a Putin-puppet…and a billionaire tax dodger… He obviously blends Putin with democratic conservatism that champions freedom, self-sufficiency, and an economy not stifled by endless regulation and taxes. If “nonomus” knew anything, he would know that Putin is an erstwhile KGB boss in the Soviet Union, and currently a ruthless, authoritarian corrupt leader with little other ideology than being a dictator, and making himself and his oligarch cronies rich. Putin has as much connection with true conservatism, as Hitler did with upholding human rights.

    Not ALL conservatives in Great Britain are real conservatives. Some, such as May and other tory “remainders”, are conservatives in name only…because a TRUE conservative wants FREEDOM for his or her country and its ability to decide its own laws, keep its culture, have its own immigration policies, its own trade deals etc…and not be ruled over by unelected globalist mandarins in Brussels. Those euro-globalists are “Rolls Royce Communists”…who preach socialism, idiotic “political correctness” and open borders (or you are a racist), whilst living opulent lives in mansions protected by armed guards, sip the finest wines, travel in private jets, motor around in Rolls Royces…whilst we the masses are ordered to get around in sterile electric boxes, not fly at all or be an eco-Nazi, and be taxed and regulated out of our skulls.

  24. Well thanks everyone for Faraging what would have been an interesting debate! Maybe a better solution for you lot would be a virtual reality simulator of the 1950s that you could live in? Of course it would have to have the rose-tinted plug-in.

    Yes the age of the car is dead – I’m in my 30s and ditched my car 2 years ago. Saved so much money and time and feel a lot calmer! At first it was kind of a ‘sacrifice’ but I simply ensure I live near good public transport and adjust accordingly.

    Last week I had use of a car from a family member who was on holiday. Goodness me, how awful roads are here now in the south-west! I went from perfectly relaxed to shouting at terrible drivers, roadworks and full car parks again. Was quite a relief to hand it back.

    Perhaps if traffic was reduced by half and the cost too, it would make sense, but that’s not how the market works. I actually look forward to being able to look out my window and see houses, empty roads and grass and not hundreds of cars squeezed into every possible centimetre.

    Maybe one day I’ll get myself another classic to mess around in at weekends. But shopping/commuting by car again? No thanks.

  25. I live in the USA, outside of NY City, and I can’t see an ‘electric only’ future due to the distances here. It might be easier in the UK and Europe. Clearly some compromise will have to occur.

    First of all, long distance (100 + mile) lorry transportation will have to go with most trailers and shipping containers at ports transferred to trains and all electric lorries used for ‘last mile’ delivery. Some HGV’s as well as farm equipment will have to be diesel-electrics hybrids.

    Light commercials operated in urban and close by suburbs could easily convert to all-electric like ‘milk floats’ have been for generations as have base parking for access for recharging, time to do it as well as limited miles operated per day. You will still need hybrids

    As to cars, you will see many being pure EV’s, but many for those that have to drive a lot per day or have limited access to charging will need hybrids with ICE’s perhaps ‘plug in’ where still have an ICE but more for back up.

    We will also need to have affordable housing closer to jobs and shopping to reduce much day to day travel. Maybe kids will have to walk or use a bicycle to get around town.

  26. I wonder if diesel trains will become a thing of the past by 2050, as they have already in The Netherlands and Switzerland. I think due to big cost overruns and delays on recent projects, I can’t see electrification extending much further in Britain, but the move to bi mode trains, which will hopefully eliminate diesel trains running on electric lines, and hydrogen power coudl solve this issue. Also it would mean less pollution, an end to a reliance on diesel, and a cleaner environment in non diesel stations.

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