Yesterday’s report on Bexley Council's tentative plans to install electric car chargers in streets went on to extoll the virtues
of electric vehicles and some of the downsides. The cars are too expensive and
whilst there are tens of thousands of chargers across the country there are still too many ‘deserts’.
News of the blog was passed around on Twitter and attracted the usual ill-informed criticism. I answered each Tweet and them muted them as I have no wish to be distracted by such people, especially ignoramuses with Twitter handles like @rs_hole.
The complaint was that the cars are not green because they rely on coal burning power stations and failed batteries are themselves big polluters.
Speaking personally I didn’t give a thought to my electric vehicle being green, I bought it because I like high tech things and because they are so easy to drive and inject some much needed fun into motoring. With 400 Newton metres of torque available from the start giving a 0-30 m.p.h. time of around two seconds one can be very quickly in the right position on the road or if you have a mind to, almost always be first away from the traffic lights.
For comparison that’s the same power and torque output as a supercharged Honda Civic Type R which can only produce it when the engine is screaming for mercy. The electric equivalent will deliver everything quietly from a standstill. No possibility of stalling the engine; no contest. Maybe some burned rubber!
But back to answering the criticism. The batteries have not been failing right left and centre otherwise batteries would not be given longer warranties than the car they are built into. Up to ten years, eight in my own case.
When they do degrade they can be reused for less critical applications. Batteries are now sold to store solar energy for use overnight. They are commonly rated at two or three kilowatt hours. A car battery will be 30, 40 or 60 kilowatt hours. Sometimes more. The technology is available to enable cars to power your household requirements directly. A car battery could keep most houses going for days.
Far from electric vehicles breaking the national grid some in the industry see them as its salvation by evening out the demands. The technologies are moving on fast and will be widely adopted in the reasonably near future.
In any case power generation is not nearly as dirty as it was. On days like today, windy and bright, more than half of it comes from renewables and if you add in nuclear it is much cleaner than the Luddites would have you believe.
If you Google ‘real time energy generation’ you will find several websites which display both the UK’s energy requirements and how it is being met.
One is crudely embedded below. It doesn’t display as well as it should at all screen sizes but it updates itself occasionally. If it doesn’t work for you, choose the Google option instead.
Back to Bexley’s roads tomorrow.