Global EV and related climate alarmist colossal messes

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

EVs have been hyped by the climate alarmist renewable energy activist crowd as an effective approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions regarding transportation energy consumption, which for many nations is a large portion of their total energy use.

EVs are fundamentally energy handicapped due to the low energy density of batteries versus the high energy density available in fossil fueled vehicles which results in significantly reduced mileage capabilities for EVs compared to fossil fueled vehicles.

These EV mileage limitations versus fossil fueled vehicles become even more exaggerated when additional energy demands are needed to support vehicle air conditioning and heating loads, hill climbing requirements and operation in cold temperatures that decrease battery stored energy capabilities.

Additionally the higher cost of EVs compared to fossil fueled vehicles dictates government mandated cost incentives being applied that attempt to make EVs more financially attractive with these incentives paid for by taxpayers.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal addressed these complex and generic problems with EVs.


The article notes the improvement in EVs sales comes at a price and is subject to limitations:

“But that progress comes with two big caveats: First, it has relied on extensive public subsidies and, second, it has done little to reduce planet-warming emissions of carbon dioxide. If electric cars are ever to displace gasoline engines without government putting its thumb on the scale, they must not only keep innovating but outrun fossil fuels where productivity also keeps advancing.

The federal government offers a tax credit of up to $7,500 each for the first 200,000 electric or plug-in hybrid cars a manufacturer sells. Throw in state tax credits, subsidies for recharging infrastructure, relief from gasoline taxes, preferential lanes and parking spots and government fleet purchases, and taxpayers help pay for every electric car on the road.

What happens when the credits go away? When Hong Kong slashed a tax break worth roughly $55,000 for a Tesla in April, its sales ground to a halt. In Georgia, electric vehicle sales plummeted 80% the month after a $5,000 tax credit was repealed.

Many optimists think falling battery costs mean electric vehicles (EVs) will inevitably displace the internal combustion engine (ICE). Last week, Bloomberg predicted electric cars would become “price competitive” with ICE cars in eight years without subsidies.

But such scenarios hinge not just on the cost of batteries but on the price of oil and the efficiency of competing vehicles. Economists Thomas Covert, Michael Greenstone and Christopher Knittel, in an article for the Journal of Economic Perspectives, estimate that at the current battery cost of $270 per kwh, oil would have to cost more than $300 a barrel (in 2020 dollars) to make electric and gasoline equally attractive.

If battery costs fall to $100, as Tesla Founder Elon Musk has targeted, oil would have to average $90.”

The WSJ article presents the Covert, Greenstone and Knittel study graph demonstrating the superior cost performance of fossil fueled vehicles versus EVs based on battery cost and oil prices.

The study also demonstrates the very significant changes in battery costs and oil prices that would have to occur to change the clear advantage that fossil fueled vehicles enjoy.


The impact of lower EV subsidizes has a significant and dramatic negative outcome on sales resulting in greatly reduced purchase of EVs as documented in numerous articles.



In the case of China the EV purchase “speed bump” is quite significant and described as:

“According to UBS, sales growth of new-energy vehicles including pure electric cars and plug-in hybrid automobiles, are expected to slow to 20 per cent for the whole year in 2017, compared to the 63 per cent year-on-year increase recorded in 2016.”

“In China, policies always have a huge impact on the auto market,” said UBS analyst Hou Yankun. “As government subsidies drop, the market is losing a major driving force to spur the growth [of the electric-car segment].”

This cutting of EV subsidizes by Beijing with the resulting decrease in EV sales is yet another defeat for California Governor Brown who amazingly regards China as his partner in “leading” the fight against global climate change even though China is committed to building over 700 new coal plants in the next decade.

The financial viability of EV producers is also in question as noted in an article from business financial watch guard UBS.


Despite the many unanswered questions and thorny issues facing EVs the UK government has decided to throw caution and any pretense of rational thinking to the wind and mandate an end to the sale of all diesel and petrol cars by 2040.


Exactly how this UK government mandate is to be accomplished and how much it will cost is now the subject of many articles in the UK which are spelling out the enormous costs and complexity that such a mandate will create since the government announcement completely evaded and ignored these critical issues.


The Telegraph article lays out the massive increase in UK electric system loads of 30 GW per year this “mandate” will create and explores the power plant options available and required to meet this growth which it quantifies as costing about 200 billion BP.




The article also provides information clearly demonstrating how difficult and unprecedented this UK government mandate will be in trying to accomplish a more than 30 million vehicle transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to EVs.


Additionally the article shows the extremely limited options that are available for UK residents to select from regarding their “choice” of EVs.


In another article The Telegraph notes the huge infrastructure costs associated with eliminating petrol and diesel cars in favor of mandated use of EVs.



Regarding Tesla’s and the UK government “zero” emissions claim for EVs Bjorn Lomborg notes:

“Like other electric cars, it has “zero emissions” of air pollution and CO2. But this is only true of the car itself; the electricity powering it is often produced with coal, which means that the clean car is responsible for heavy air pollution. As green venture capitalist Vinod Khosla likes to point out, “electric cars are coal-powered cars”.

The people of the UK might be forgiven for their considerable skepticism of yet another clueless government mandate dictated by their arrogant and ignorant politicians given the debacle of the decade old UK government mandate requiring the sales of increased numbers of diesel vehicles to address climate change.



Government incentives provided to push the increased sale of diesels in the name of climate change have resulted in diesels becoming 36% of UK cars up from only 14% in 2001.

After providing government incentives encouraging the sales of diesels driven by claimed benefits for climate change the UK government will now impose new pollution taxes on diesel vehicles and ban diesels from traveling on roads during rush hour.

The proposed banning of petrol and diesel vehicles with mandated conversion to EVs along with new diesel vehicle pollution taxes and driving restrictions now proposed by the UK governments climate alarmist politicians clearly signals to the populace that these officials are truly a complete bunch of idiots.

As WUWT noted the emissions performance of diesels is terrible and does not significantly reduce CO2 but definitely increases other harmful pollutants which are negatively impacting cites all over the UK. and Europe.


Further the government mandated diesel emissions debacle is growing elsewhere in Europe with major announcements that all major car manufacturers in Germany have colluded in hiding flawed emissions performance of diesel cars whose sales they have been promoting in the name of helping climate change.


Through these absurd actions the UK and European governments have demonstrated that they are absolutely incompetent at defining and implementing policy regarding climate and energy issues and that the politicians in charge are distinguished by their ignorance, gullibility and climate alarmist stupidity.

These outcomes clearly support that efforts by governments in the UK and Europe to address the transportation energy sector energy and climate issues need to be immediately curtailed and new approaches devised to explore these areas that hopefully involve other than the demonstrated political incompetence present in these governments.

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July 31, 2017 12:05 pm

The perfect post, I just left a comment on today’s Weekly Climate page regarding Musk, the Rat. …

Reply to  goldminor
July 31, 2017 2:18 pm

EV development would have been fine if governments had not involved tax payer money.

Reply to  rogerthesurf
July 31, 2017 2:19 pm
July 31, 2017 12:23 pm

They could save a lot of tax credit expense if they would first test in northern Minnesota and the Mojave desert to see how the batteries perform in real conditions, not the contrived bench tests that aided VW all those years in diesel mpg cheating.

Bryan A
Reply to  Resourceguy
July 31, 2017 12:32 pm

Also prove the ability to travel (65MPH x 12Hrs) 780 miles in a 12 hour period with a GVW of 24,000lbs.
This is a Big Stickler for eliminating Diesel. I traveled from Santa Rosa, Ca to Seattle, Wa 734 miles (SAME DAY) in just under 12 Hours and 620 miles to Las Vegas (SAME DAY) in just under 11 hours. Give me an electric car that can do this and be recharged and ready for the next days travel. Oh, and I don’t want to have wait Hours for a Super Charger to come available or to find one only to discover that there are a bunch of non-charging cars blocking the charging station by parknig in the spaces (this does happen…alot)

Ian W
Reply to  Bryan A
August 6, 2017 8:56 am

Not to mention all those cars that are currently ‘on street parking’ or in multistory car parks. There are so many holes in these mandates in CA, France and UK that it is either necessary to accept the gross stupidity of the politicians or more likely that they wish to prevent ‘the general public’ from traveling.

Reply to  Resourceguy
July 31, 2017 1:16 pm

In the northern frost-belt states when the temperatures drop below -20F maintaining reasonable passenger compartment floor level temperatures become a challenge in conventional ICE cars. When temperatures close in on -30F floor level temperatures require wearing heavy boots. At -40F transmissions on all vehicles become sluggish. These are not hypothetical temperatures but typical of my commute in northern Vermont over the last 14 years. How far can an EV go in these kind of mid-winter temperatures before you are left on the side of the road freezing in the middle of nowhere?

Bryan A
Reply to  Keith
July 31, 2017 2:14 pm

People just aren’t going to know what driving in the Winter is anymore

Reply to  Resourceguy
July 31, 2017 1:29 pm

“If battery costs fall to $100, as Tesla Founder Elon Musk has targeted, oil would have to average $90.””
There is not way they can overcome the charging time without knowingly decreasing the battery life. Normal recharging takes time and the battery lifetime is clearly a limitation. Flash charging takes less time but eats into battery life, making the lifetime even shorter. Batteries are expensive and will be a major problem for the foreseeable future.
Ling distance EV travel is simply a waste of time unless you are retired and think that your time is worth nothing. Imagine having to stop every 3–5 hours for 3–4 hours to recharge. The idiot idea of battery change stations is unworkable, as it assumes all batteries are the same and in the same condition. That’s a non-starter. And, in winter, the battery needs to use some energy to heat itself and the passengers, and in summer, A/C is a burden. There is no place in the US where EV’s are good all the time.
For center city services, EV’s would work, as half the fleet can be charging while the rest are in the field. That’s where EV’s will shine. The economics of the maintenance are unknown to me, but they tried this with EV trucks in ~1904 in New York and it did not work.

Reply to  higley7
August 1, 2017 3:44 am

they tried something 113 years ago and it didnt work is hardly an argument is it? why bother?
Tesla fans totally disregard the impact of supercharging. Has not affect on magic Tesla batteries apparently. They also probably believe in free lunches.

Reply to  higley7
August 1, 2017 6:09 am

As I see it, the big problem will be to expand the electrical grid infrastructure to accommodate the increase in demand. Due to the size of the windmill footprint, much more compact generating methods must be brought on line. Such as nuclear. Using whatever technology is practical. I know of no area where the electrical grid could support a large number of EV’s.

Reply to  Resourceguy
July 31, 2017 4:03 pm

I have a friend in Madison (okay it’s not northern Minn) who lives some 20 miles from the University and has been using a Leaf since 2012 or 2013. He loves it. I think they charge off the grid, I didn’t see any solar panels on this old farm he lives on.

Reply to  ReallySkeptical
August 1, 2017 12:53 am

We all know some idiot who has been suckered into buying an EV believing they are ‘clean’ when they in fact come with a carbon footprint comparable to an ICE vehicle.
Mind you, when the taxpayer is subsidising EV’s, of course it makes them attractive to blind/ignorant/self serving socialist spongers.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  HotScot
August 1, 2017 12:59 am

I gather that in relation to EV subsidies in the USA. 90% have gone to the richest 10%. As with all renewable subsidies, it is a mechanism for shifting money from the poor to the rich. We can’t afford solar panels, but apparently, we **can** afford to subsidise our wealthy Socialist friends who can afford to buy them. I’m in the UK by the way
A truly epic scam.

Reply to  Jeremy Poynton
August 1, 2017 2:22 am

Jeremy Poynton
“I’m in the UK by the way”
So am I. We can both enjoy British Gas raising electricity prices by 12.5% (announced today) together.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  HotScot
August 1, 2017 2:54 am

Heard the head of Centrica on Today this morning – alarmingly frank. Said wholesale prices had gone done, but the cost of transmission has rocketed, hence their price increases. First in four years, he said. And with regards to “renewables” (deliberately in quotes) we haven’t seen anything yet with regard to transmission charges and the fortune what will have to be spent to deal with intermittency.
As I say to one and all. Good job we’re all loaded eh?

Reply to  ReallySkeptical
August 1, 2017 3:46 am

Sounds like an ideal scenario for using an EV , short range no great traffic issues. He’s just made a fuel choice for daily use.

Bryan A
July 31, 2017 12:23 pm

It will happen…eventually (300 years or so) once recoverable fossil supplies are finally outcosting electricity supply costs

john harmsworth
Reply to  Bryan A
July 31, 2017 2:24 pm

You have no idea what will be happening in 300 years or so. As it appears today it would be much more sensible to crack water for hydrogen and use CO2 from the air or waste to reconstitute methanol to fuel vehicles in pretty much the same way we use gas or diesel today. Reinventing the whole process without having the infrastructure or even a decent rationale is beyond idiotic!

Reply to  Bryan A
August 1, 2017 8:16 am

In 300 years cars might be powered by fusion reactors. Who knows.
It’s a fools errand trying to predict technology much more than about 10 years into the future.

Joe Born
July 31, 2017 12:23 pm

When Hong Kong slashed a tax break worth roughly $55,000 for a Tesla in April, its sales ground to a halt. In Georgia, electric vehicle sales plummeted 80% the month after a $5,000 tax credit was repealed.

The initial drop may be misleading without reporting how much sales rose in anticipation of the lost subsidy. That is, some of the drop may have just been sales that were shifted to the month (or so) before the subsidy was dropped.

Reply to  Joe Born
July 31, 2017 12:39 pm

The big key is whether they pick up. These charts from Georgia give a good view.

Joe Born
Reply to  aplanningengineer
July 31, 2017 1:18 pm

Thanks a lot. Very helpful.

Reply to  Joe Born
July 31, 2017 1:36 pm

So what. It only proves the point that EV sales rely exclusively upon subsidies. Even in tiny Hong Kong where distance vs time travel would be highly favorable to EV vehicles as nowhere else in the world.
Also, clearly disproves your highly biased attempt to favor of EV’s regardless of the facts.

Reply to  getitright
July 31, 2017 2:06 pm

? ……you might want to read the article again. The author is arguing the case for not introducing dickhead policies when the current evidence for renewables are flawed and financially ruinous.
Seriously dude,

July 31, 2017 12:28 pm

Paraphrasing your local driver’s licensing bureau, heating and cooling your EV is a privilege not a right. The same is already said about your internal combustion engine. When does this become a standard voter education survey question of candidates and their platforms?

July 31, 2017 12:30 pm

Elon, Enron?

Bryan A
Reply to  Bitter&twisted
July 31, 2017 12:33 pm


Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Bryan A
July 31, 2017 3:51 pm


Tom Halla
July 31, 2017 12:35 pm

For some reason, what electric (battery) vehicles remind me of is Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Technical ignorance compounded with zealotry.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 31, 2017 12:53 pm

Great analogy.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 31, 2017 2:26 pm

It’s only a part of “The Great Leap Backward”!

M Courtney
July 31, 2017 12:35 pm

The UK policy is not well thought out. It is not workable.
But it has one redeeming feature; it’s due so far in the future no-one is going to actually implement it.
However, it is still politically foolish to have suggested it. Al Green policies divide people into one of three classes.
A) People who aren’t affected won’t care. No Benefit.
B) People who are affected will oppose it. They suffer and get angry. Politically Bad.
C) People who are Green say it doesn’t go far enough (because nothing will satisfy a zealot). Who Cares?

Reply to  M Courtney
July 31, 2017 1:29 pm

The UK govt may actually be playing a blinder, the ban in 2040 is only on CONVENTIONAL petrol/diesels CARS, not on ENGINES, i.e. hybrids will not be banned, and will be the only cars (plus full EVs) able to meet the ever stricter CO2 limits imposed by the EU. The govt is also spending a paltry sum (a few hundred million) on RESEARCH, tacit admission that the technology is currently inadequate.
Greenies are being shafted, just like they are via the Paris non-event.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  climanrecon
July 31, 2017 1:41 pm

By “government”, climanrecon means “taxpayer” of course.
Good job we’re loaded, eh, clman recon?

Reply to  climanrecon
July 31, 2017 2:30 pm

I wonder if I could convert my jeep to be a hybrid… whack a couple of batteries and an electric motor onto the driveshaft and I’d be in gravy.

Reply to  climanrecon
August 1, 2017 6:19 am

“The UK govt may actually be playing a blinder, the ban in 2040 is only on CONVENTIONAL petrol/diesels CARS, not on ENGINES, i.e. hybrids will not be banned, and will be the only cars (plus full EVs) able to meet the ever stricter CO2 limits imposed by the EU.”
Unsure if you heard or not but there was something called Brexit.

Reply to  M Courtney
August 1, 2017 1:04 am

M Courtney
The UK policy is designed to do one thing, and one thing only, ambush the green vote for the Conservative party when another farcical general election is called in a year or two.
The only thing that can be hoped for over the intervening period up to 2040 is a technological breakthrough, possible, but hardly a gamble worth taking only to be forced into a disastrous political climbdown if it doesn’t.

Reply to  HotScot
August 1, 2017 3:52 am

None of the current set of plonkers will be in power then so what do they care? They will all be raking in parliamentary pension and occupying company board seats.

Reply to  HotScot
August 1, 2017 4:37 am

And that’s the criminal injustice. But worse, is the socialist diktat coming from the conservative party that the population should conform to the governments will, rather than the other way around. An utter betrayal of conservative values and a descent into frightening socialism.
I will be joining the UK Libertarian Party. Anyone of a concerned nature might also want to consider doing so as well.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  HotScot
August 1, 2017 4:49 am

Agreed. Under Cameron the Tories became a sickly pale blue Social Democratic party, now May is swinging even further left. Witness the insane Tranny proposals coming to the house. Occupying the centre ground is fine – as long as you are not also vacating where you used to stand. I only voted this time round as we have an excellent constituency MP, and to ensure Corbyn did not get in.

Reply to  HotScot
August 1, 2017 8:19 am

I was about to say that if electric cars weren’t up to the challenge in 2040, the requirement would be scrapped.
But then I remembered that American refiners are currently having to pay fines for not including an additive that nobody has been able to manufacture yet.

Reply to  HotScot
August 1, 2017 3:03 pm

“But then I remembered that American refiners are currently having to pay fines for not including an additive that nobody has been able to manufacture yet.”
enlighten me please. I don’t think I have heard of this.

Steve Ta
Reply to  M Courtney
August 1, 2017 2:23 am

I like the idea of imposing Al Green policies, like everyone singing “Let’s Stay Together” in unison every morning – that surely won’t divide people.

CD in Wisconsin
July 31, 2017 12:39 pm

“……After providing government incentives encouraging the sales of diesels driven by claimed benefits for climate change the UK government will now impose new pollution taxes on diesel vehicles and ban diesels from traveling on roads during rush hour……”
Keep diesel engine cars off the roads at rush hour? How the hell do they plan on enforcing such a thing?
First they encourage a switch to diesel engine cars, and now they wage war on them…..
Nothing but an empty void between the ears of too many politicians in this world….

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
July 31, 2017 3:35 pm

“Nothing but an empty void between the ears of too many politicians in this world….”
Double-Quadruple Plus Good.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
August 1, 2017 4:42 am

I believe the UK has more CCTV camera’s per capita of any western country.
London is ringed with ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras to enforce its Congestion Charge initiative. They will simply add diesel vehicles operating between 7am and 10am, and 4pm to 7pm to their database of money generating fines.

Clay Sanborn
July 31, 2017 12:52 pm

Regarding falling EV costs: According to the article, as fossil fuel prices rise, EVs should become more fiscally attractive. However, as fossil fuel prices rise, would not that also cause the general costs of electricity to rise, thus not only dinging any attractiveness of EVs, but now also making household living more expensive . Current grids probably can’t handle the enormous demands of EV electricity – so more costs to the consumer there. Since it is a known fact that politicians can’t do business, should not they just support businesses and allow a natural free market progression from fossil fuel powered cars to another form of power? Politicians mucked up on the diesel mandate; stay the hell out of the free market’s business.

Reply to  Clay Sanborn
July 31, 2017 1:40 pm

Jenson’s paradox.
If or when EV sales become prevalent then the price of fossil fuels will decrease to due reduced demand and further increase the sales of ICE vehicles cutting into the EV market share.
Let the free market decide.

john harmsworth
Reply to  getitright
July 31, 2017 2:28 pm

Start by removing the subsidies for green power and vehicles. The whole shady edifice of EV will be out of business in a week!

Clay Sanborn
Reply to  getitright
July 31, 2017 4:41 pm

John H., You may be right that EVs will die off without subsidies. And the subsidies should stop, and the free market should be allowed to determine the fate of future vehicles, and how they are powered. The free market is by far the most efficient and socially responsible progression of technology. And I believe an electric car will be the ultimate automotive solution. An ICE has so many moving parts, necessity for exhaust handling, fuel controls, and waste heat. But because fuel is so much more energy dense, I (hope) that fuel cell technology will yet prove to be viable. Which fuel and fuel infrastructure are known hurdles, I admit. But don’t force the issue – let free market trends determine whether we go that route. In short – I’m in agreement! 🙂

Ian W
Reply to  getitright
August 6, 2017 10:12 am

Clay Sanborn July 31, 2017 at 4:41 pm

But because fuel is so much more energy dense, I (hope) that fuel cell technology will yet prove to be viable.

“Hope is not a strategy” (tm E.M.Smith)

Reply to  Clay Sanborn
August 1, 2017 3:57 am

Lets not be limited by the tawdry concept of current grids, the Unicorn Mk1 distributed solar/wind/battery local micro grid will effortlessly power unlimited EVs regardless of the weather. The Unicorn MK1 will be deployed to every residence and be able to wirelessly rapidly recharge multiple EV via the new WiTi (Wishful Thinking) connection so that charging points become redundant.
All this is unprecedented, coming soon, just around the corner and getting cheaper every day.

Reply to  yarpos
August 1, 2017 6:37 am

Bravo! I’ll take two thanks.

chris y
July 31, 2017 12:53 pm

Interesting details in the linked article on China’s subsidies that are being scaled back-
$9,700 subsidy at the moment of purchase.
Additional $13,200 subsidy in the form of a free vehicle permit to drive in Shanghai (for example). Beijing is similar, with differently priced plates allowing travel in concentric rings in the city.
The latter subsidy is probably a bigger purchase incentive than the former, especially if it also means that your license plate request moves to the top of the request queue.

July 31, 2017 1:02 pm

What a mess the Green Brigade and their dogma, and those too technically illiterate to even understand even the basics of the real situation, have got us into.
The diesels alone, provided following governmental preferences based on Green experts’ advice, pollute and the vast expenses of paying for catalytic converters designed expressly to clean up their emissions has been not only a massive waste of money but also environmentally totally ineffective.
Yet there has always been a cheap proven technological solution, available for at least 40 years, which can quickly remove all this vehicle exhaust pollution; it’s called a Liquified Natural Gas Engine which is fuelled by methane and which generates an exhaust containing only water vapour and CO2.
How naïve of me: our betters and their experts have continually told us that CO2 is a nasty pollutant that needs to be avoided and reduced regardless of the cost! We are now paying that cost, but can we now sue the governments and their experts under the UK’s Trade Descriptions Act or even a simple civil prosecution for fraud and selling defective products!
No doubt, yet again, the Green Brigade will not be paying up or even apologising for making major mistakes and feeding us fraudulent information and products!

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  macawber
July 31, 2017 3:59 pm

LNG engines produce CO2, H2O, NO, NO2, NO3 and N2O. This is because they operate under high pressure in the presence of O2 and N2. Increasing the pressure increases the number of NO2 and NO3 molecules produced. That is why the diesels had no problem to meet emissions at low throttle and a big problem at full throttle. The ‘cheat’ was to cleverly put an electronic stone under the gas pedal when being tested, to limit the engine power.
Unfortunately an ICE will produce NOx if there are flames above 700 C and ‘pressure’. The solution is to deal with the NOx produced, not to eliminate an entire class of fuel or engine.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
July 31, 2017 4:07 pm

Diesels meet NOX emission standards today with the injection of DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) which uses urea.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
August 1, 2017 1:19 am

But as a secondary reaction and with far, far less NOx gases per litre of fuel!

Joe Crawford
July 31, 2017 1:09 pm

I have to think that Elon Musk isn’t stupid. He must already know most of the information in this article and has probably been slowly pulling his fortune out of the EV business over time. He already has other business living on the government tit that should keep him busy and in the coin for a long time to come.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Joe Crawford
July 31, 2017 1:51 pm

Apparently, some of those who are having second thoughts about the Model 3 are having trouble getting their deposit back.

Tom O
July 31, 2017 1:11 pm

EVs will be just perfect when they finally design a nuclear reactor that is the size and weight of a typical battery pack. Until then, they will only be really useful for in city driving. If you need to go to another city, you will be at the mercy of public transportation and taxi service while there. Sounds like the kind of life every person on Earth would crave, doesn’t it? They will be wonderful way of compartmentalizing every nation into tiny blocks of land that a person is truly allowed to visit. What a picture. The US population all in cities with public transportation between them, and wilderness everywhere that isn’t farmed or used for intercity routes. I use the US only because of the size, it really wouldn’t be any better in the UK or EU.

July 31, 2017 1:20 pm

First of all, the author completely omits the fact that two of the largest EV charging networks: Polar and Ecotricity produce 100% renewable electricity. In simple terms it means that anyone charging their cars at these networks actually have zero CO2 emissions.
Secondly, the cost of kW from modern onshore windmills is lower than kW from planned Hinkley point. It is true that many more of those will have to be built, but we are nowhere near 2040 yet. Moreover, technological advancements in energy generation and batteries’ capacity will definitely push the costs per mile/kW down.
Finally, as a proud owner of Nissan Leaf I will never go back to ICE cars. They are dirty, loud and expensive….just like horses were smelly and slow back in 19 century…..Oh, and you don’t charge Leaf for 12-15 hours, unless you don’t have a charger of course. More like 6 hours at home and 30 minutes at fast 20kW charger on motorway. Easy.

Reply to  Rod L.
July 31, 2017 1:41 pm

So the copper in the cables were hammered by hand from natural outcroppings? 100% renewable is a lie.

Reply to  Rob Dawg
July 31, 2017 1:50 pm


Reply to  Rob Dawg
July 31, 2017 2:05 pm

And this guy pretends that Polar and Ecotricity aren’t hooked up to the grid. Ignorance of how the power grid works on full display here. 30 minutes to “fast” charge (at the expense of the energy density of the battery) a 100 mile range vehicle, what a dream.

Reply to  Rob Dawg
July 31, 2017 2:17 pm

Really? Oh dear, I thought it was a serious discussion. Of course renweable is a concept – not a scientific fact. However, compared to coal plant,

Reply to  Rob Dawg
August 1, 2017 1:22 am

Rod L.
Conventional power generation underpins the paltry energy available from renewables.
In other words, you are driving an EV, subsidised by the taxpayer which is, in fact, a coal guzzler.
But you are too ignorant/blind/selfish to acknowledge any facts that contradict you religious fervour.

Reply to  Rob Dawg
August 1, 2017 8:23 am

If the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shinning then they are pulling from conventional power sources. So your claim that they are powered 100% from renewable just shows that you are either criminally stupid, or willing to lie for a good cause.

Reply to  Rod L.
July 31, 2017 1:44 pm

Rod that’s flatly absurd. Less than 2% of grid power comes from “renewable” sources.
At the same time less than 5%. So 2% of the grid powers less than 5% of the cars. Not all EVs use renewable energy sources Rod, in fact most don’t.
The technology doesn’t scale. Electric vehicles draw power from fossil sources and the existing electric grid isn’t capable of sustaining growth in that market without massive infrastructure investment that none of these articles even mention. EVs aren’t “green”, they produce as much if not more pollution than ICE vehicles.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  Bartleby
July 31, 2017 4:05 pm

Making the battery for a Tesla emits more CO2 than the car supposedly ‘saves’. EV’s are not about reducing CO2 emissions, they are about having clean air in large cities for those who live there, subsidised by everyone. The poor, who can’t afford to access such a grandiose subsidy, are supposed to ‘benefit’ by breathing cleaner air, but most of them can’t afford to live in cities.
Facts are like fish: when you actually get your hands on them, they are surprisingly slippery.

Reply to  Bartleby
July 31, 2017 11:08 pm

Oh dear…have I touched the fossil club nest or something. Renewables Economy is there, EV are much cleaner than ICE in countries that produce electricity from at least 10% non-fossil fuels and climate change is caused by humans. If you dont believe in these statements – please don’t bother. We should all wait until fusion is developed perhaps and destroy Earth in the meantime

Reply to  Bartleby
July 31, 2017 11:11 pm

And your equation is wrong. Transport consumes 20% of all energy produced in UK. So even if 2% and 5% were correct, the correltion between them is not direct. This is something you it seems dont get.

Reply to  Bartleby
August 1, 2017 1:28 am

Rod L.
EV’s simply displace their emissions by restricting them to the power station set in some green and pleasant land elsewhere in a nation.
And whilst every green zealot claims to be using only ‘green’ energy, there are simply too many of you nutters for that to be even possible, far less true.

richard verney
Reply to  Bartleby
August 1, 2017 1:56 am

Oh dear…have I touched the fossil club nest or something. Renewables Economy is there, EV are much cleaner than ICE in countries that produce electricity from at least 10% non-fossil fuels and climate change is caused by humans.

Oh dear, where to begin with such a deluded statement There have been a number of studies and papers recently published that confirm that your statement is wrong. One needs a grid made up of about 40% non fossil fuels (not 10% as suggested by you) to be CO2 neutral in the operation of the car. This does not take account of the fact that EVs involve far more CO2 in their manufacturer (one study assessed that the extra CO2 involved in manufacture was the equivalent of around 8 years worth of CO2 emitted from the usage of fossil fuel powered IC vehicles.
In essence, it all depends upon how CO2 efficient a country’s grid is. There are only a very few countries which have low CO2 producing grids, notably Norway and Switzerland and some parts of Canada that rely upon hydro, and France that has a large percentage of nuclear.
You should read:
Electric Vehicles: Climate Saviors, or Not? by J Barkenbus (2017)

One of the most compelling reasons to support the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide is its potential to reduce greenhouse emissions. However, the widespread introduction of EVs is by itself not enough to lead to reduced carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Greater levels of clean, renewable energy need to be incorporated by electricity grids, and electricity providers need to incentivize public recharging of EVs when renewable energy production is at its peak. This article shows that this not currently the case in the U.S., with comparisons made to recharging in other countries, such as China, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway.
…At the international level, therefore, the evidence is mixed. In some cases, EVs reduce CO2 emissions, and in other cases, they actually result in more carbon emissions than would conventional vehicles

You should also read; Empirical carbon dioxide emissions of electric vehicles in a French-German commuter fleet test, by Ensslen et al (2017)
This paper found that EVs use in Germany, notwithstanding the amount of wind and solar in the German grid (Germany claims to have approximately only about 52% of its grid from fossil fuels), resulted in 10 times as much CO2 compared to France, with its high mix of nuclear. Materially, it found that EV use in Germany only reduced CO2 emissions by 8.7% compared to conventional internal combustion cars. However, Germany is presently closing down its nuclear plants and is presently building about 6 or 7 new coal powered generators. When this switch from nuclear to coal pans out that will materially alter the CO2 efficiency of the German grid and will mean that even in Germany, the use of EVs will not result in the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Thus for the majority of countries worldwide, all that is happening is a switch from CO2 emissions being emitted at the exhaust pipe of a conventional IC car, to CO2 emissions being switched to coal or gas or wood burning generators with no net saving of CO2 overall.
Further, irrespective of the position with regard to CO2, EVs create more harmful particulate pollution than conventional fossil fuel powered cars because on average EVs are about 24% heavier than there comparative fossil fuel powered equivalent. In view of this, EVs are not even a good solution to trying to reduce particulate pollution in cities. See the Edinburgh University study. See:

A positive relationship exists between vehicle weight and non-exhaust emissions.
Electric vehicles are 24% heavier than their conventional counterparts.
Electric vehicle PM emissions are comparable to those of conventional vehicles.
Non-exhaust sources account for 90% of PM10 and 85% of PM2.5 from traffic.
Future policy should focus on reducing vehicle weight.

Finally, there is no evidence that withstands serious scientific scrutiny confirming that humans are responsible for climate change on a global basis (ie., something other than localised land use change and UHI). There is no serious evidence that increasing CO2 from 20th century levels leads to any significant warming.

Reply to  Bartleby
August 3, 2017 1:35 pm

Verney (and even Rod if he’d care to join)
When my dog is suffering from CO2 pollution, when the fish in my saltwater aquarium are expiring from chronic acidosis, when my beach house in Capitola is threatened, I’ll become worried. And when that happens, I’ll be looking at all culprits. Those driving EVs manufactured using fossil fuels will be on the top of my list.
Virtue signalling for profit is a sin. All those Prius drivers out there waving their pink parts in the wind will be first on the list to hang by their own petards.

Reply to  Rod L.
July 31, 2017 1:44 pm

The technology will improve and it’s silly for anyone to try and predict the state of energy and transportation 30 years from now. It doesn’t matter where the charging stations get their electricity, it’s the whole pool of electricity that determines how much CO2 any device uses.

Reply to  Grant
July 31, 2017 2:07 pm

“it’s silly for anyone to try and predict the state of energy and transportation 30 years from now” In an article about the U.K. government mandates involving electricity and transportation, ironic.

Reply to  Grant
July 31, 2017 2:13 pm

Energy balance matter. Renewables in UK are on the rise and EV benefit greatly from this affordable clean technology

Reply to  Grant
August 1, 2017 8:25 am

Funny how affordable things get, when you use government to force other people to pay for them.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  Rod L.
July 31, 2017 1:49 pm

Jeez. Rod. You haven’t a clue have you?
If wind-generated electricity were to supply 25 percent of global demand by 2030 (forecast [pdf] to reach about 30 petawatt-hours), then even with a high average capacity factor of 35 percent, the aggregate installed wind power of about 2.5 terawatts would require roughly 450 million metric tons of steel. And that’s without counting the metal for towers, wires, and transformers for the new high-voltage transmission links that would be needed to connect it all to the grid.
A lot of energy goes into making steel. Sintered or pelletized iron ore is smelted in blast furnaces, charged with coke made from coal, and receives infusions of powdered coal and natural gas. Pig iron is decarbonized in basic oxygen furnaces. Then steel goes through continuous casting processes (which turn molten steel directly into the rough shape of the final product). Steel used in turbine construction embodies typically about 35 gigajoules per metric ton.
To make the steel required for wind turbines that might operate by 2030, you’d need fossil fuels equivalent to more than 600 million metric tons of coal.
So what’s the carbon foot print of a wind turbine with 45 tons of rebar & 481m3 of concrete?
Andy’s Rant
4 August 2014
Its carbon footprint is massive – try 241.85 tons of CO2.
Here’s the breakdown of the CO2 numbers.
To create a 1,000 Kg of pig iron, you start with 1,800 Kg of iron ore, 900 Kg of coking coal 450 Kg of limestone. The blast furnace consumes 4,500 Kg of air. The temperature at the core of the blast furnace reaches nearly 1,600 degrees C (about 3,000 degrees F).
The pig iron is then transferred to the basic oxygen furnace to make steel.
1,350 Kg of CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg pig iron produced.
A further 1,460 Kg CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg of Steel produced so all up 2,810 Kg CO2 is emitted.
45 tons of rebar (steel) are required so that equals 126.45 tons of CO2 are emitted.
To create a 1,000 Kg of Portland cement, calcium carbonate (60%), silicon (20%), aluminium (10%), iron (10%) and very small amounts of other ingredients are heated in a large kiln to over 1,500 degrees C to convert the raw materials into clinker. The clinker is then interground with other ingredients to produce the final cement product. When cement is mixed with water, sand and gravel forms the rock-like mass know as concrete.
An average of 927 Kg of CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg of Portland cement. On average, concrete has 10% cement, with the balance being gravel (41%), sand (25%), water (18%) and air (6%). One cubic metre of concrete weighs approx. 2,400 Kg so approx. 240 Kg of CO2 is emitted for every cubic metre.
481m3 of concrete are required so that equals 115.4 tons of CO2 are emitted.

James Francisco
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton
July 31, 2017 5:55 pm

Jeremy. Do you have any numbers on the fossil fuel required by machines that dig up and move all the ingredients to make the steel, concrete and copper for the wind turbines. I would bet it will be really tough to make a battery powered earth mover.

Reply to  Jeremy Poynton
July 31, 2017 11:03 pm

Dear Jeremy, all these numbers are nonsensical. Energy requires consteuction and of course that emits CO2. Once. After than, many many years the windmill generates clean energy and saves 95-97% more CO2 than fossil fuel station per kW. If you havent got a clue about energy then please don’t waste your time arguing with me

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton
August 1, 2017 12:46 am

Nonsensical you say and then put nothing down that refutes them. Impressive. So what is happening is that we get clean air and other countries suffer. You are aware that there is no way to recycle turbine blades I am sure? You are aware that concrete – what do they need per base? 250,000 tons is it? leeches and pollutes the earth around it. You are aware of the appalling pollution at source where the heavy metals are mined for the blades? Still, who cares about Chinese miners. They’ve got lots of them, sure, they can spare them.
God spare us form fanatics.

Reply to  Jeremy Poynton
August 1, 2017 4:01 am

quarter of a million tons of concrete? I think you may have an order of magnitude issue there

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  yarpos
August 1, 2017 4:43 am

Apologies, extra zero got in there. 25 to 30,000 enough to cause serious local pollution. And the turbine will do well to last 25 years. Of course, we’ll ignore – as noted above – appalling pollution at source, mining the heavy metals, and the fact that you cannot recycle the turbine blades.
After all, for Greeenies, the ends justifies the means. I just wish they were so committed they all lived right beside huge wind farms.

Reply to  Rod L.
July 31, 2017 1:57 pm

Rod L. There were some states in Germany during the war that did not have gas ovens to deal with the Jewish problem and as such didn’t contribute to emissions either. Do we treat them differently because of this ? The reality is that overall any countries energy grid produces CO2, you can never escape this reality, even if you wish to live in a bubble of belief and imagine your life is somehow set apart form the other 7 bllion people on the planet, courtesy of your narrow self serving beliefs…

Reply to  christopherpetersmith
July 31, 2017 2:11 pm

A small change is better than no change. Apart from CO2, electric cars are clean for local air quality and quiet. Future is here and you are stuck in the past. Enjoy

john harmsworth
Reply to  christopherpetersmith
July 31, 2017 3:58 pm

The future is here?! 1984 is the past!

Reply to  christopherpetersmith
August 1, 2017 8:27 am

I’ve always been amazed how dreamers always proclaim themselves to be the future and anyone who doesn’t follow them is stuck in the past.
No need to actually come up with workable solutions, just declare that you are the future and wait for other people’s money to start rolling in.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Rod L.
July 31, 2017 1:59 pm

ICE cars … are dirty, loud and expensive….just like horses were smelly and slow back in 19 century

I haven’t heard this green talking point yet. They keep getting more and more ridiculous.

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 31, 2017 2:09 pm

Enjoy your past my friend

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 31, 2017 2:21 pm

With regards to ICE cars being loud, I wish I had the reference, but there is some concern that EVs are too quiet. Pedestrian/EV accidents could increase (anecdotal) since people cannot hear them coming. There is some work to put ICE noise emitters on EVs to alleviate this…

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 31, 2017 2:34 pm

My sister in law has a hybrid Toyota and she had already a few last minute escapes from people who didn’t hear her car coming. Even a cat which did walk in the middle of the road where she needed to use the horn because even that sharp hearing animal didn’t hear the car…
I have read somewhere that Audi (?) would induce a sound up to 40 km/h speed, as above that speed there is enough noise from the tyres…

john harmsworth
Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 31, 2017 3:59 pm

The noise from EV’s is the loud cursing of the owners. and taxpayers.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
July 31, 2017 5:13 pm

Enjoy your past my friend

I think I’ll enjoy my present driving around in my quiet, environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient subcompact that costs 50% less than a Leaf, has 3x-4x the range on a fill-up that takes 5 mins., which is probably 200x less time than it takes to charge a Leaf. Heck I couldn’t even charge a Leaf at my house because you’re not supposed to charge them on 120VAC, and definitely not supposed to use an extension cord.

Reply to  Rod L.
July 31, 2017 2:23 pm

Rod L.
1. Only if Polar and Ecocitry are working in Norway or Iceland they can deliver 100% renewable power. If they deliver in the US or any other country they may deliver – in average – 100% renewable power, but in reality they deliver one moment 300% renewable power and the next moment 0% renewable power. They simply use the power grid and other power vendors as buffer. They have not the slightest obligation to regulate the grid to balance supply and demand and have full priority on the net.
As the other companies need to have fast gas turbines to compensate for the fast shutdown of wind, the net CO2 release is worse than for “conventional” power stations, which extra CO2 release (and installation/maintenance costs) should be attributed to the wind producers…
Moreover, conventional installations need about 10% reserve for in case that there is a shutdown of a huge unit at peak use, while sun and wind need 100% conventional reserve for in case there is no wind and sun.
2. 10,000 new windmills in the UK? forget it. First you need a minimum distance between them as if there is one standing in the slipstream of another, that one doesn’t produce much. Second, where do you have enough land where there are no nearby neighbours or no nature conservation areas or royal palaces and royal land (which Prince Charles for heaven’s -and his own- sake forbids to build even one of them…). Or on the hills of Scotland, ruining the landscape (and rare birds) and their income from tourists, which like to see the mountains, not these ugly birdchoppers…
And more expensive than Hinkley point? When that nuclear station ever starts up, it will deliver 24/24 365/365 nameplate power for over 90% of the time over a period of 40-60 years with a minimum of operation, maintenance and “fuel” costs. Try to do that with wind and sun and the nessesary backup…
But I do agree about driving: we have a few public transport buses here driving electric (hydrogen as byproduct of chlorine electrolysis – fuel cells) and that is a lot more comfortable for noise and continuous transmission. If there will get a real reduction of size (and weight) of the batteries for a much better kWh storage at a much lower price, then the whole world will switch in very short time, but until then…

Reply to  FerdiEgb
July 31, 2017 2:30 pm

At least some objective discussion here. Gulp of fresh air. I may not agree on your assessment of the grid. The simple fact is that increase in renweables decreases carbon footprint of the whole grid. Step by step. Otherwise, thank you for your arguments, sir

Reply to  FerdiEgb
July 31, 2017 2:58 pm

Rod L.,
Depends what your original mix is.
For Germany, the “Energiewende” has not made any difference in CO2 emissions, as they reduced their nuclear output (with zero CO2 emissions) and replaced that with lots of wind and solar (nameplate capacity large enough for total winter use in Germany) but also increased their (brown)coal output.
France plans to reduce their nuclear plants (now 70% of power production) and that shurely will increase their CO2 output as they then need more gas fired power plants as backup for wind and sun. They have 10% hydro now, but that is insufficient as buffer.
For countries like Poland, the Baltic states, the Czech Republic,… which still use lots of cool, that may give a reduction, but I think that replacing their coal with high yield gas stations (STEG) would give more CO2 reduction at a much lower price that installing lots of wind and solar.

Reply to  Rod L.
July 31, 2017 2:24 pm

Too fracking funny…

Our Model:
We operate a unique model. We use our customers’ energy bills to fund the building of new sources of Green Energy. We like to refer to this as turning ‘Bills into Mills’ – energy bills into windmills. We’re a not-for-dividend company – our profits go back into our mission.
With no shareholders to answer to we’re free to dedicate ourselves to the task of building new sources of Green Energy. And that’s what we do, on average spending more per customer each year on new sources of Green Energy than any other energy company in Britain – bar none. And we share the benefits of our work through our ecobonds – giving people the chance to share the financial benefits of the Green Energy revolution.
Ecotricity is a green scam. When you charge up your PEV at one of their charging stations, you’re just getting electricity from the grid… From whatever mix of sources is delivering to the grid. They then “invest” their profits into windmills and other greenschist.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 2:31 pm

Renewables in the grid reduce carbon emissions of the whole grid. Step by step. It is a fact. All else is irrelevant

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 2:47 pm

Nuclear and natural gas reduce carbon emissions of the “whole grid” much faster and cheaper than “renewbles”…
However, reducing carbon emissions is irrelevant. Cost and reliability are all that matters.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 3:04 pm

Look at the bar chart. The high capacity costs for nuclear power are on the left side in orange.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 3:17 pm

Tthey got zero capacity for all that money spent in South Carolina.
Your chart doesn’t include provisions for things like cleaning up a mess such as Fukishima.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 3:24 pm

The chart doesn’t include the costs of earthquakes, tsunamis or asteroid impacts either.
The chart shows the actual (real) costs and actual (mythical) benefits of emissions reductions. The actual costs of building nuclear power plants are very high. The actual emissions reductions are also the highest of any power source.
Nuclear power plants cost almost twice as much as gas-fired power plants…comment image
If cost is a factor, solar is the biggest loser, wind breaks even and gas kicks @$$.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 3:25 pm

They got ZERO capacity for all the money spent on that plant in South Carolina. The chart also does not show provisions for disasters such as Fukishima.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 3:30 pm

One nuclear power plant not getting built doesn’t alter the cost of building nuclear power plants.
The costs of massive earthquakes and tsunamis is no more relevant to the cost of nuclear power plants than the costs of asteroid impacts, gamma ray bursts, or invaders from Mars.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 3:31 pm

Can you provide an example of an asteroid impact taking out a power plant?

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 3:34 pm

Can you not grasp the fact that potential damages from massive earthquakes and tsunamis is no more relevant to the cost of a power plant than asteroid impacts, gamma ray bursts or invaders from outer space?

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 3:32 pm
Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 3:33 pm

The failure of one plant is significant……they aren’t profitable even with all the nuclear subsides.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 3:40 pm

Apart from natural gas-fired power plants, no new construction power plant is profitable without subsidies. The discounted NPV is negative for all of them except natural gas, which is barely positive.
Nuclear subsidies are insignificant compared to wind, solar and other greenschist.comment imagecomment imagecomment imagecomment image

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 3:41 pm

Can you not grasp the fact that insurance covers potential damages to nuclear power plants? Can you not grasp that no private sector insurance company is willing to take the risk of insuring nuclear power? Can you not grasp that without publicly subsidized insurance for nuclear power that they would not operate the plants? Can you not grasp that if a Fukishima type incident occurred in the USA, that the taxpayers would be on the hook for the cleanup?

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 4:12 pm

Nuclear power plant operators are required to carry private insurance. The Price-Anderson Act established a pool to cover up to $13 billion per reactor incident above the private insurance coverage. The Price-Anderson pool is funded by the nuclear power industry.
If a reactor incident in the U.S. caused damages above and beyond the Price-Anderson $13 billion cap and the Federal government had to cover the excess damages, a subsidy would then exist.
Thus far, only about $151 million has been paid out under the Price-Anderson Act, including Three Mile Island.
If a massive earthquake, tsunami, asteroid impact, ultra-plinian volcanic eruption, gamma ray burst, Godzilla or space alien invasion caused a Fukushima-style disaster in the US, there would be an actual insurance subsidy required.

john harmsworth
Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 4:23 pm

All else is irrelevant? At what cost does it become relevant? When people are choosing between heat and food? We are there! When the standard of living for even the poorest people is reduced? We are there! When ALL industry and associated jobs are gone to China and its coal power? We are getting there! And all in aid of a non-existent problem and without a particle of benefit. Beyond ludicrous and now just disgusting! The globe hasn’t warmed in 18 years! The hypothesis and models are busted crap pseudo science perpetuated by fraudster activists and “Green” power shysters!

Reply to  john harmsworth
July 31, 2017 4:28 pm

It’s like a greenschist version of the Borg… The only difference is that the Borg could assimilate victims when neither the Sun was shining, nor the wind blowing at just the right velocity.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 4:25 pm

Mark S
Fukushima-type accidents can’t happen in Ontario because 1) they are not allowed to build such obsolete reactors, 2) they are not an earthquake zone, 3) they are not operated by an incompetent agency, 4) technologies used do not require the presence of power to remain safe in the event of a catastrophe.
There are hundreds of nuclear reactors in operation around the world at the moment and thousands more will be built. If the USA wants to freeze in the dark so be it. The rest of the world will read about it on their tablets.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 4:39 pm

David, you don’t understand insurance. You say, ” and the Federal government had to cover the excess damages, a subsidy would then exist.” That is not true. The fact that the Federal government backstops the liability limits is ITSELF AN ONGOING SUBSIDY. Damages over and above the current $13 billion are “covered” by taxpayers. A simple test of this would be as follows….. If Price Anderson were repealed tomorrow, would nuclear power plants continue operation? NOPE. It was the enactment of Price Anderson, with the promise of unlimited liability insurance that enabled the nuclear power industry. You seriously think $13 billion would cover a catastrophe at Indian Point with a southerly blowing wind?

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 4:47 pm

Crispin: “….accidents can’t happen in Ontario…” Your attitude reminds me of the crew member of the White Star ship that told Mrs. Sylvia Caldwell, “God himself could not sink this ship!”

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 4:52 pm

“There are hundreds of nuclear reactors in operation around the world at the moment and thousands more will be built” … So with hundreds running we’ve had two major disasters at Chernobyl and Fukishima. With thousands will we have seven, twelve or sixteen major disasters?

Tom Halla
Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 5:12 pm

MSJ, i have been following anti-nuke propaganda for over 40 years, and the dread results have not occurred. Despite three accidents, one plane crash has caused more actual casualties.
But some people want to be scared, and werewolves and zombies get tiresome after awhile. If you want to scare yourself, get into virology, and the history of epidemic disease in general.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 5:53 pm

Moving the goal posts (aka changing the subject) doesn’t help you out Middleton.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 5:57 pm

You haven’t made anything resembling a logical argument… So there were no goalposts to move.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 5:57 pm

If China has such a bad record with coal, can you imagine how bad they’re going to be with nuclear?

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 6:03 pm

I do math. I don’t imagine.
The ChiCom’s are capable learners. The only nuclear power plant disaster of significant magnitude, related to the design and operation of a nuclear power plant was Chernobyl.
The Red Chinese have generally been smart enough to learn from Soviet mistakes.
That said, Red China’s relative valuation of life is wholly irrelevant to the cost of power plants in the US and other civilized nations.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 6:01 pm

I’ve been discussing the costs of nuclear power, and their subsidies. I really don’t care how many coal mining deaths there are in China. You keep throwing stuff against the wall seeing what will stick. Get back to me when you can keep to the subject matter at hand, and stop digressing.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 6:07 pm

No. You have not been discussing the costs of nuclear power, and their subsidies. You have been repeating the same straw man over and over again.
I discussed the actual costs and actual subsidies and provided actual documentaton of the costs and subsidies.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 6:08 pm

“The only nuclear power plant disaster of significant magnitude, related to the design and operation of a nuclear power plant was Chernobyl.”


Fukishima YOU!!!!!

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 6:18 pm

Fukushima was the result of one of the most powerful eartquakes ever recorded and a massive tsunami which flooded the backup power diesel generators.
It was not the result of nuclear technology or the operation of the power plant.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 6:12 pm

Your graphic with “subsidies” has the caveat “DIRECT.”

I gave you the prime INDIRECT one.
I started this whole thread of discussion mentioning the fact that the South Carolina plant’s construction was HALTED because it determined to be unprofitable. That’s got to be the biggest black hole for $$$ for nuclear power that can be imagined.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 6:15 pm

Direct subsidies are the only actual subsidies.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 6:14 pm

Mark S Johnson on July 31, 2017 at 4:39 pm
David, you don’t understand insurance. You say, ” and the Federal government had to cover the excess damages, a subsidy would then exist.” That is not true. The fact that the Federal government backstops the liability limits is ITSELF AN ONGOING SUBSIDY. Damages over and above the current $13 billion are “covered” by taxpayers. A simple test of this would be as follows….. If Price Anderson were repealed tomorrow, would nuclear power plants continue operation? NOPE. It was the enactment of Price Anderson, with the promise of unlimited liability insurance that enabled the nuclear power industry. You seriously think $13 billion would cover a catastrophe at Indian Point with a southerly blowing wind?

Abject nonsense.
A subsidy is a direct expediture, either through an actual cash payment, tax expenditure or some other actual fiscal event.
A hypothetical future subsidy is not a subsidy.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 6:23 pm

Backstopping the liability for nuclear power plants is called “insurance.”
Price Anderson provides this insurance.
This is an indirect subsidy.
To see what happens in the real world, look at who is paying for the costs of the Fukishima disaster. The same thing will happen here when a nuclear disaster happens.

PS….leasing federal land at $1.00 acre for oil drilling technically is not a subsidy in your world.


Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 6:26 pm

Price-Anderson doesn’t “provide” anything. It requires nuclear power plant operators to maintain a certain level of insurance and it requires the nuclear power industry to backstop that insurance.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 6:41 pm

In my world, words have definitions. A subsidy is a direct fiscal support.
If no oil company is willing to bid more than $1/acre for a particular lease, that’s all it’s worth. In reality, leases with higher potential will draw higher competitive bids, occasionally topping $5,000/acre.
However, the Fed’s make far more from royalties… 1/6 to 1/8 of the gross revenue from the oil & gas production. Then they tax net earnings at 35%. And then collect $0.18/gal in sales taxes.
A 1 million bbl discovery in the Gulf of Mexico at $50/bbl delivers $6-8 miilion in royalties, 35% of the profits over the full cycle from production to retail sales and about $4 million in gasoline taxes.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 6:34 pm

You have no clue do you Middleton. Price Anderson caps the industry’s liability. When damages exceed these limits, the taxpayer’s pick up the rest. I suggest you review how “backstopping” applies to Price Anderson.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 6:53 pm

It ‘caps” liability per incident at almost 100 times the sum total that has been paid out under Price-Anderson since 1957.
Even then, it’s not really a “cap.” If a nuclear power plant operator was found to be negligent, they could still be held liable for civil and/or criminal damages.
Price-Anderson and similar programs are not subsidies…

These programs are not addressed in this report because of the difficulty in determining the sufficiency of the funds to meet potential liabilities and the fact that there is no direct federal budgetary impact in FY 2013.

Until such time that Price-Anderson causes a “direct federal budgetary impact,” it is not a subsidy.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 7:01 pm

“Price-Anderson and similar programs are not subsidies.”

In 2008 the Congressional Budget Office estimated the value of the subsidy at only $600,000 per reactor per year.

Go argue with the CBO.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 7:10 pm

When, pray tell, has the Congressional Budget Office ever estimated the cost of a program correctly?

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 7:49 pm

In 2013, the Department of Energy said it wasn’t.
Even if Price-Anderson was valued at $600,000 per reactor year, it would have no significant effect on nuclear power subsidies.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 7:54 pm

$2.3 million per reactor year would have only moved the subsidy from $0.23/mmbtu to $0.25/mmbtu. $600k per reactor year is barely a rounding error.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 7:08 pm

An analysis by economists Heyes and Heyes (1998) places the value of the government insurance subsidy at $2.3 million per reactor-year, or $237 million annually.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 7:37 pm

Irrespective of their analysis, it is not a subsidy because it has no budgetary impact.
But, let’s look at $237 million per year vs power plant output.
Actual 2013 nuclear power subsidies were $1.66 billion:comment image
$1.66 B + $0.237 B ~ $1.9 B
Let’s round it up to $2 billion.
US Nuclear power plants generated over 8,000 trillion btu in 2013…comment image
8,000 trillion btu = 8,000,000 billion btu = 8,000,000,000 million btu
That works out to $0.25 per million btu. So, even if you added in a mythical Price-Anderson subsidy of $237 million/yr, it would only elevate the total subsidy from $0.23/mmbtu to $0.25/mmbtu… a fraction of the wind and solar subsidies per unit of energy.comment image

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 7:15 pm

Oh, and that $13 billion in the current fund would have been gone long ago had a Fukishima type event happen at one of the plants here in the USA. Estimates vary, but Fukishima could end up costing about $100 billion by the time it’s cleaned up. In circumstances like that the taxpayers of would have to fork over the extra $87 billion.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 7:45 pm

Strawman, lather, rinse, repeat, strawman.
If a massive earthquake, tsunami, asteroid impact, Godzilla, space invaders, an ultra-plinian eruption, a flood basalt event or some other massive natural disaster occurred, a Fukushima-type event could trigger the need for a subsidy.
Until then, Price-Anderson is not a subsidy. A hypothetical future subsidy is not a subsidy because it has no budgetary impact.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 7:34 pm

Middleton says: “It was not the result of nuclear technology or the operation of the power plant. ”

WRONG, it was the result of POOR NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY DESIGN. The plant shut down as designed due to the earthquake. The placement of the backup diesel generators was the design problem. Had they been located on higher ground (as insurance against a tsunami) there would not have been any problem.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 7:41 pm

The placement of the diesel-powered backup generators was not a *nuclear* technology or design flaw. Diesel engines are not part of the nuclear power technology or design.
The Fukushima could have been avoided; but the flaws weren’t realted to the reactors or nuclear power issues.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 7:54 pm

You have now demonstrated complete cluelessness. Tell me Mr. Nuclear Scientist, what happens to a reactor after the control rods are inserted?….. The chain reaction stops correct? Yes it does. Does the reactor stop producing heat? Nope, residual decay continues……. Is this heat significant? Yup…you’d better have pumps running for cooling or……guess what happens? Fukishima happens, that’s what!!!!
Those diesel engines are a critical nuclear safety system. Because in an earthquake situation (like what happened) power from outside the plant was interrupted….and the cooling water pumps stopped.

Here’s a clue for you to help you conquer your cluelessness: All nuclear power plants have a backup emergency power supplies…’s part of the plant design!!!!!

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 8:01 pm

The placement of the diesel engines still isn’t a nuclear power design flaw. Nor is an insufficiently high seawall a nuclear design flaw.
The failure to protect a nuclear power plant from a low probability natural disaster is not a failure of nuclear technology. Fukushima should have been better-protected from tsunamis. However, unlike Chernobyl, that’s not a reactor design or operations failure.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 8:02 pm

Given the choice between the CBO’s definition of a “subsidy” and Middleton’s definition, I’ll go with the CBO, because they know more about money, government, laws and regulation than Davie does.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 8:10 pm

And the CB0 rates it as an insignificant subsidy…comment image

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 8:23 pm

The LCOE for nuclear power is about $0 10/kWh. CBO says the value of Price-Anderson is about 1% of the LCOE… $0.001/kWh…comment image

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 8:07 pm

” The placement of the diesel engines still isn’t a nuclear power design flaw.”

You are kidding. The placement of the engines resulted in a core meltdown.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 8:12 pm

That and an inadequate seawall… and one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded and a massive tsunami.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 8:15 pm

“The failure to protect a nuclear power plant from a low probability natural disaster is not a failure of nuclear technology.”
The failure to pump cooling water into a SCRAMED reactor is a failure of nuclear technology.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 8:19 pm

And it was an expensive accident that had very few casualties. A great deal fewer than the number of Brits or Germans who die because they cannot afford “renewable energy” costs.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 8:20 pm

The failure to pump cooling water wasn’t a failure of nuclear technology. It was a civil engineering and geotechnical failure.
This failure could have and should have been avoided.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 8:21 pm

The CBO calls it a “subsidy” you say it is not a “subsidy”

Only one of you can be right, and you are not.

PS…An “insignificant” subsidy is still a subsidy, further proof that your claim is bogus.

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 8:26 pm

The DOE doesn’t count it as a subsidy either and CBO only roughly estimates its value because it is insignificant and has no actual budgetary impact.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 8:25 pm


“The failure to pump cooling water wasn’t a failure of nuclear technology.”
Please stop embarrassing yourself.

The SCRAMED core melted down because of a failure to keep it cool.

Give it up Middleton

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 8:27 pm

Give what up? I love batting practice.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 8:32 pm

You call constantly swinging and missing “practice?”

Reply to  Mark S Johnson
July 31, 2017 8:39 pm

Now… That made me laugh. Tomorrow, when I’m on an actual PC (as opposed to my phone) I will walk through each and every one of tour comments and demonstrate that I hit every one of them out of the park. I might even roll it up into a full-fledged post.
Btw… Thank you for the CBO and academic “valuations” of Price-Anderson. They are the poster children for “lack of perspective”!

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 8:51 pm

I can’t wait to see how you explain the failure to cool a SCRAMED reactor as not being a technology failure……and better yet, I want to see your evaluation of $0.00 compared to the CBO et. al.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  David Middleton
August 1, 2017 12:50 am

Vince Crusty’s rent seeking powers are only exceeded by Elon Musk’s. I gather there are a number of people who are SO stupid they happily pay Vince 50% more for their electricity than they need to.
Never give a suck an even break, eh?
Rod – any estimates on how much us taxpayers will get shafted for to fix the grid so renewables don’t crash it (viz. Germany & South Australia).

Reply to  David Middleton
August 1, 2017 1:25 am

Mark S Johnson,
I have followed the whole discussion between David and you. Here some additional thoughts:
– The plant was designed to survive an earthquacke of magnitude 7, which was the maximum expected over hundreds of years. It survived a once-in-1000 years earthquake of magnitude 9 (which is 100 times more severe – it is a logarithmic scale) with a minimum of damage. The diesel cooling was working perfect until the tsunami hit the plant. Excellent design.
– The tsunami wall was 6 m high, which was more than the maximum expected over hundreds of years. The once in 1000 years tsunami was 10 meters high. That flooded the diesel cooling. Design was good for what was expected, not the unexpected.
– The tsunami hit the full coast taking 19,000 lives and many billions of damage. Poor urbanisation that didn’t expect such a huge tsunami? Shall we forbid any urbanisation below 10 m above MSL everywhere because of a natural disaster once every 1,000 years? Then 2/3 of The Netherlands (lowest point MSL-12 m) must be moved somehwere else…
The Japanese have calculated the costs for a new nuclear plant, including the costs of the Fukushima cleanup:
a draft report for Enecan estimated nuclear generation costs for 2010 to be ¥8.9 per kWh (11.4 US cents). This included capital costs (¥2.5), operation and maintenance costs (¥3.1), and fuel cycle costs (¥1.4). In addition, the estimate included ¥0.2 for additional post-Fukushima safety measures, ¥1.1 in policy expenses and ¥0.5 for dealing with future nuclear risks. The ¥0.5 for future nuclear risks is a minimum: the cost would increase by ¥0.1 for each additional ¥1 trillion ($13 billion) of damage.
The base costs for the Fukushima cleanup was estimated at ¥5 trillion ($65 billion)
You see, even the Fukushima disaster is peanuts in the kWh price of nuclear energy…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 1, 2017 2:54 am

Thanks Ferd!
Let’s put that hypothetical $65 billion subsidy into perspective. In 2013, nuclear power received $1.66 billion in Federal subsidies. That works out to $0.002/kWh.comment image
If the US nuclear power industry was subsidized to foot the $65 billion tab for Fukushima in 2013, the subsidy per kWh would be 40 times $0.002/kWh… $0.08/kWh. Solar subsidies in 2013 amounted to $0.23/kWh.
Since Fukushima was a 1,000-yr geophysical hazard, the undiscounted annual value would be $650,000… effectively zero-point-zero.

Joe Born
Reply to  David Middleton
August 1, 2017 2:43 am

Ferdinand Engelbeen:

You see, even the Fukushima disaster is peanuts in the kWh price of nuclear energy.

The disparity between the ¥0.5/kWh reserve and the ¥5 trillion cleanup cost made me question the conservatism of the reserve’s on which you based that conclusion.
I shouldn’t have. If world nuclear generation is 2.5 trillion kWh/year, that reserve rate applied to all production would be enough to cover one ¥5 trillion cleanup every four years.

Reply to  David Middleton
August 1, 2017 4:29 am

Mark S Johnson
With respect, David Middleton has presented a barrage of facts to support his contentions, at every meaningful point in this discussion. You, on the other hand, have produced nothing.
Your posts are circular, argumentative and clearly gleaned from hysterical mass media press articles designed to sell papers on the ‘catastrophe principle’.
If you go to a gunfinght, for God’s sake, bring a gun.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  David Middleton
August 1, 2017 5:00 am

This comment format is too difficult to work with adequately, so I’ll just mention from memory a few things that I gleaned while reading and will say no more.
The Fukushima cleanup costs are now estimated at $188 billion. That is more than double the estimate from 3-4 years ago. The technology doesn’t even exist yet to remove the coriums, so this number is, by no means, fixed.
The Japanese admit that the disaster was human caused.
The tsunami did not take out the cooling pumps. The earthquake did. The reactors were already melting down when the tsunami hit.

Reply to  David Middleton
August 1, 2017 8:12 am

I suspect a great bit of their revenues are spent on their salaries and bonuses, leaving little profit to reinvest. Who needs dividends when you get bonuses?

Reply to  David Middleton
August 1, 2017 8:34 am

How many people did the accident at Bhopal kill?
I suppose you would want to ban chemicals because of that.

Reply to  David Middleton
August 1, 2017 8:36 am

ICISIL, 99% of those costs were caused by politicians over reacting.
The biggest cost was the evacuation, and that was never needed.

July 31, 2017 1:25 pm

Let’s look at the real total costs and disruption that will be incurred, given Government policies now encouraging us to use not diesel instead of petrol engines but electric vehicles in place of both diesel and petrol engined vehicles. Do we have to tolerate yet another obviously failing solution being provided?
Electric vehicles are known to require massive amounts of very expensive additional power generation capacity, and at a time when we in the UK are struggling to fill even the existing Energy Gap. Massive costs and disruption will also be incurred in providing the massive numbers of charging points in homes; requiring re-wiring and power capacity and connecting networks enhancements and enlargements. What can be done, however, for the very many householders with no garage and who park in the street? How, also, do we accommodate households with more than one vehicle? What do we do for those in remoter areas or for fuelling up in towns? External charging points will also require very significant additional vehicle queuing capacity, i.e. more area per “fuelling point”, due to the very extended charging time compared to filling vehicles with fuel at a petrol/diesel pump filling station.
Tax revenues will also fall and necessary tax from elsewhere will fall even on those without vehicles and/or the less well off.

July 31, 2017 1:54 pm

The more spectacular the EV fails, the sooner the general public will snap out of it.
OTH, Been driving an AWD small SUV hybrid since July 2007, the Ford hybrid Escape. The full hybrid upcharge (functionally identical to Prius) paid for itself the day we took possession, since the $3500 tax credit subsidy that year was greater than Ford’s Escape hybrid premium over the functionally equivalent V6 AWD. Then has paid for itself yet again times 2 in fuel cost savings. Not just 50% greater MPG ~10mpg. The Otto cycle V6 uses premium. The smaller Atkinson cycle I4 in the hybrid uses regular. $1/ gallon difference in these parts. We have 75k miles on the car, zero hybrid problems and the Sanyo NiMH battery is still going strong. So fuel savings now running ~$7500 on a zero investment base. When the government hands out free money via Ford, take it.

Reply to  ristvan
July 31, 2017 1:58 pm

What about electricity cost? Or does the gas engine charge the battery?

July 31, 2017 1:56 pm

Even the infographic showing how difficult it is to meet the 2040 100% EV goal is wrong and again shows how little they know about the grid.
How many solar panels would it actually take to power the EV fleet in 2040? Essentially infinity without storing every single bit of that energy. Solar panels only produce energy during the day, 99% of EVs charge at night.
For every single EV battery, another battery of similar energy density would need to be created just to store that energy so that it could charge the other batteries at night. So you would need at least 20 GW of energy storage just for EVs.
The same applies, in general, for wind. The wind doesn’t blow much at night most of the time. Furthermore, if they were to start building the wind farms now to power these cars in 2040, they’d already be decommissioning and rebuilding these wind farms by time 2040 even arrives. Their 200 billion pound estimate needs to include the cost of energy storage and shorter lifetime of renewable energy sources.

Tractor Gent
July 31, 2017 2:01 pm

The announcement here in the UK was made by a politician who has a bit of a reputation as a maveric. Also, true to form, the single Green MP we have said it ain’t enough and it’s too late! Actually she didn’t use those exact words as she is a posh lady with the most irritating and patronising half-smile as she delivers her bon-mots. This is just political point-scoring and virtue-signalling by all. It’s unlikely to survive the practicalities of such a course of action as so admirably pointed out above.

Reply to  Tractor Gent
July 31, 2017 7:35 pm

Perhaps Michael Gove’s announcement was deliberately made just to wind us all up?
Like many here, as soon as our recently appointed Environment Secretary said “we will ban all sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 to reduce NO2 emissions”, I went off to do my research. I couldn’t have been alone. And I found some real gems of irony . . . .
Here’s just one . . . .
Huge petrol driven ‘gang’ mowers belching out smelly plumes of smoke to mow all the UK’s football stadiums, football grounds, tennis courts, rugby pitches, cricket grounds, school playing grounds and recreation parks is perfectly normal. Or, to reduce NO2 emission, should they all be using little electric rotary ‘flymo’ hover-mowers (with long extension cables) to mow Wembley Stadium?
Just a thought . . . .

brian stratford
July 31, 2017 2:05 pm

How many times must it be repeated? CO2 is beneficial to the plant life it is not the culprit for so called global warming which does not exist anyway.

July 31, 2017 2:07 pm

Wow, I was under the impression that the UK government had bigger fish to fry at the moment trying to work out all the details of Brexit.

Reply to  jgriggs3
July 31, 2017 2:22 pm

It is suppose to be a diversion from the utter shambles prevailing in the Whitehall, the current Whitehouse show is no competition for this latest British carry-on Brexit movie.

July 31, 2017 2:13 pm

from Dr. Judith Curry’s (of Climate etc. blog) old school
Greenland tsunami in June reached 300 feet high

July 31, 2017 2:14 pm

Never mind, the union push at TESLA might just sink them before they really get going.

Gary Pearse
July 31, 2017 2:19 pm

Electric cars ultimately will be what we go to whether or not government has anything to do with it. I would say there is unlikely to be much choice before 2100. Batteries have been improving and will continue to do so. Possibly we will have a service station mode where battery packs are switched for ready-charged packs for a fee.
They just won’t be run on windmills and solar panels, although there might be a niche for them in remote parts of the country where a small installation makes sense. Ultimately, energy will be supplied by the atom. Get over it already. Greenies are even coming around on this and dinosaur nuclear activists are dying off from angst, tofu and goji berry complications.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 31, 2017 2:26 pm

Not until they perfect the Mr. Fusion drivecomment image

Reply to  David Middleton
August 1, 2017 8:40 am

Heck with fusion. Go straight to anti-matter.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 1, 2017 8:39 am

Battery pack swapping will never happen, the problem is that you have to prove the quality of both the battery pack you are dropping off as well as the one you are receiving. Neither will be brand new.

John V. Wright
July 31, 2017 2:26 pm

I live in the UK and it is a source of constant amazement as to how stunningly useless our politicians are when it comes to environmental matters. Yes, sheeplike they mindlessly follow the man made global warming nonsense. Of course they do.
But it’s far worse. 1. In Northern Ireland recently the Government offered to pay people £120 for every £100 of ‘green’ electricity they used – and then stood back in amazement when farmers began heating empty barns and billing them for billions of £s. They are like children.
2. Because they bought into the EU idiocy of wanting to control CO2 emissions, the U.K. Government then offered amazing deals on plug-in electric hybrids (PHEVs). They gave £5,000 to people who would buy one. They allowed companies to set the TOTAL cost of the vehicle in the first year against taxable profits (c. £35,000). They reduced the benefit-in-kind tax hit on employees from 25% to 5%. And they did not charge any road tax. They also fit charging points for free on company premises. I called my company secretary while I was on the relevant website. “We cannot afford not to buy one of these cars”, I told her. We had one within the week. We were the 11th company to buy a PHEV in our area. I spoke to the dealership four weeks later and asked how sales were going. They had just sold their 400th PHEV. At £35k each. “The Government support for PHEVs is a game changer for our industry “, he said.
3. Two days after the UK Government announced that all fossil fuelled vehicles would be phased out for EVs a bunch of us were having a barbecue in my brother’s garden. “Where will the generating capacity come from to power them?” Was the first question. “Can’t see electric tractors working out” was another comment. “Or heavy goods vehicles”. We are just ordinary joes – we could see the unfeasibility of it in a second.
So I ask again – why are politicians so mind-bogglingly USELESS!!!???

Reply to  John V. Wright
July 31, 2017 2:28 pm

“So I ask again – why are politicians so mind-bogglingly USELESS!!!???”
Did you really even have to ask the first time? Much less ask again?
They’re politicians. They’re useless. Otherwise they would be working in useful professions.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 31, 2017 4:08 pm

The politicians are idiots. But I repeat myself.

S. Andersson
July 31, 2017 2:34 pm

Please consider the electric currents required to charge a large battery quickly. The bigger the battery and the faster you want to charge, the bigger the currents. This is pure physics, not even Elon Musk can invent that away. At 230 V, you would need maybe about 50 A. Who has that sort of capacity at home, on top of everything else that requires electricity? A workplace with hundreds of vehicle in the parking lot would require thousands of A. How is that going to work? I suppose everything is possible but it’s going to cost a lot of money.

Reply to  S. Andersson
July 31, 2017 11:52 pm

Firget the ‘home’, most cars are parked on streets!

Reply to  S. Andersson
August 1, 2017 8:22 am

Troo dat. I have a 280 Amp alternator fitted to a 70 hp diesel to charge a 740 Ah battery bank for domestic use. I can do it also from a 2 kW petrol generator but again it’s pulling around 70 Amps for some hours and maxing out the generator. A model S Tesla has battery capacity of 3,680 Ah I understand. Anyone thinking we are going to replace all ICE with EV and charge them all overnight from a wind and solar powered grid is too stupid for any words of mine to properly convey.

July 31, 2017 2:39 pm

Will a UK government official or one or their sympathizers please point me to the incentives provided to move the nation from horse-powered transportation to gasoline powered transportation. And from wind-powered ships to coal powered ships.

Ivor Ward
July 31, 2017 2:54 pm

Jgriggs3: We call it: “Look, a squirrel!” in the UK. It has distracted the MSN for a few days….The Government is happy. Much like the Mooch has given the NYT and CNN something to do while Trump gets on and runs the Country.
The current aim of our government is that we should all wear burkhas whilst living as transgender EV drivers and share our homes with “refugees” (Unless we are rich and famous; in which case we are exempt….We can have private islands, Hummer collections and palaces on Lake Garda) The rules only apply to the middle class tax payers. Non-taxpayers are also exempt and get paid to demonstrate violently against us.

Glenn E Stehle
Reply to  Ivor Ward
July 31, 2017 3:47 pm

July 31, 2017 3:29 pm

Considering where they should be at by now, EVs are lagging.
However, Fastest Pikes Peak Run Ever – Sébastien Loeb in 875HP Peugeot 208 T16
Repotedly, he didn’t even practice. Spank time.

john harmsworth
Reply to  michael hart
July 31, 2017 4:34 pm

If he lived at the bottom and worked at the top, or vice versa, and liked to sleep in, that would be useful. Otherwise, not so much!

The Reverend Badger
July 31, 2017 3:52 pm

I live in the UK, in a small dispersed hamlet of 22 domestic dwellings and one agricultural business. When we moved here 17y ago the nominal 230V mains dropped to 180V when we put ONE electric shower on. All 22 houses were fed off a single 25kVA transformer, primary single phase 11kV. It took us nearly 3 years to get upgraded, they had to bring 3 phase 11kV in from several poles away, install a new transformer (100kVA) and new thicker overhead conductors. Probably cost them well over £100K, for 22 houses!
How much of an additional upgrade do we need for full EV. Well I think most houses round here have at least 2 cars, and one has 6. Lets be generous and say 2 on average, thats 44 EVs to be kept topped up. Assume just half are going to be in use daily for work commutes so we are going to have 22 plugged in EVERY night. Some of the other half are going to need topping up too, so lets take an extra 5 for that. So the typical weekday night time charging of 27 EVs at a modest rate of 10kW is 270kW extra.
Of course that’s just the “typical”. We need to account for more intensive use, maybe that will be around Xmas when we are all off visiting relatives 100+ miles away or they are visiting us in their EVs which need topping up from our supply. shall we add an extra 505 then to allow for “maximum demand”. Thats 405kW extra, on top of our existing 100kW, so it looks like we are going to need a MUCH bigger transformer. 500kVA for just 22 houses. And the overhead lines will need uprating too. Will £250K be enough?

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
July 31, 2017 8:10 pm

Reverend, spot on.
I expect those of us in the UK living in small village hamlets will be told to use our heating oil to fuel oil burning generators to power zero emission electric cars. Crisis averted.

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
July 31, 2017 11:50 pm

And 90+% of UK cars are parked on streets. The infrastructure alone required to charge these is mind-boggling.

S. Andersson
Reply to  The Reverend Badger
August 1, 2017 6:02 am

As is often the case, all these new developments only work as long as very few people actually use them. I have been in contact with my local electricity provider here in Sweden and asked them how they prepared for the EV tsunami. The answer was that most vehicles do not need a full battery charge every day, they just need a topping up (which I guess is correct to a certain degree). In other words, they are happy to promote the new planet-saving technology but at the same time they hope people won’t use it.
My bet is that the EV will never become a product for the wider market. I reckon it will be used in certain applications and maybe for city dwellers who only drive short distances. I look forward to seeing how it develops! Right now, it seems to be the perfect product for the “rich and righteous”. I wonder when Prince Charles will order his first Tesla?

July 31, 2017 4:05 pm

Might I remind everyone that batteries are NOT a source of energy. They merely store energy that has been generated elsewhere.At a cost.

Reply to  texasjimbrock
August 1, 2017 8:43 am

Charging and discharging batteries is not 100% efficient either.

July 31, 2017 4:10 pm

I hate acronyms…
Just once at the start of the article you could mention that EVs = Electric Vehicles::
EV Extended Validation
EV Electro Voice
EV Electron Volt
EV Enterprise Value
EV Exposure Value (photography)
EV Earned Value
EV Expected Value
EV Escape Velocity
EV Evansville (Indiana)
EV Evanston (Illinois)
EV En Vogue (female singing group)
EV Embedded Value
EV Escape Velocity (computer game)
EV Electoral Votes
EV Event Horizon (movie)
EV En Ville (French: In Town)
EV Eingetragener Verein (German: Registered Association)
EV Ebola virus
EV Extreme Value
EV Exhaust Valve
EV Effort Values (gaming)
EV Erdöl-Vereinigung
EV Eesti Vabariik (Estonian Republic)
EV Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis
EV External Verification
EV Experimental Version

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
July 31, 2017 4:11 pm

Great article though otherwise…JPP

john harmsworth
Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
July 31, 2017 4:41 pm

Expensive Vanity

July 31, 2017 4:30 pm

Ron L said: “…Renewables in the grid reduce carbon emissions of the whole grid. Step by step. It is a fact. All else is irrelevant….” Except electricity consumption is increasing faster than what energy renewables provide. There is no CO2 reduction….. common logic tells you that. Do the math. Think about it.

Reply to  markl
August 1, 2017 8:44 am

Beyond that, since you need spinning reserve ready to go on a moments notice, even the renewables that are up and running don’t actually reduce fossil fuel usage.

July 31, 2017 5:41 pm

One get get an idea of price comparison if they look at what it costs to lease EV vs gas car.

Dr. Strangelove
July 31, 2017 7:17 pm

Wall Street Journal: Electric cars are the future?
Thomas Edison: No. Electric cars are the past. I built this electric car in 1895. It couldn’t compete with the Ford Model Tcomment image

July 31, 2017 7:40 pm

“…Thomas Edison: No. Electric cars are the past….” No, they just aren’t the panacea that they are made out to be. They have a niche in low mileage high density applications and nothing more….. today and the near future.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  markl
July 31, 2017 8:05 pm
Dr. Strangelove
July 31, 2017 8:29 pm

“the Journal of Economic Perspectives, estimate that at the current battery cost of $270 per kwh, oil would have to cost more than $300 a barrel (in 2020 dollars) to make electric and gasoline equally attractive.”
That’s the Tesla Powerpack. It’s 1.3 m x 0.82 m x 2.2 m = 2.34 cubic meters LOL
You must be driving this EV

July 31, 2017 11:47 pm

I still can’t see how all these cars will be charged. I don’t mean the power available, I mean the infrastructure.
Look around any UK town or city. Almost every car is parked on the road. Do we have millions of power outlets and cables strewn over our pavements (sidewalks in USian)? Can nobody see any potential for damage, either accidental or deliberate?
All sorts of other minor circumstances could make charging fail too, leaving whole groups of people unable to drive the next day. Is anyone going to investigate the potential issues, or will the just see how it stuffs up and apply bandaids as issues arrise? No, don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical.

Ancient Mariner
August 1, 2017 12:39 am

If only someone could invent a gasoline fuel cell.

August 1, 2017 12:46 am

Only 6% of UK car journeys are over 50 miles…
56% are 25 miles or less.
no real range problem for much of the UK.
The Telegraph 61 GWpeak demand figure is way out of date: only twice in the last 2 winters has demand got as far as 53 GW and demand (leaving out any impact from EVs) is still falling, as it has for a decade, due to massive LED rollout and energy efficiency.
The UK evening winter peak is increasingly being handled by hydro, pumped storage and demand management and will be helped out by batteries…in other words the peak is being ‘smoothed off’ demand without extra power stations being needed on the grid
given that smart charging is likely to allow balanced overnight charging when demand is low midnight to 6 am, looks like worrying about cars and the winter evening peak is over hyped.
where will we charge all those cars? Given the pattern of UK life I suspect at work, at the supermarket, the commuter car park at rail stations or at the convenience store: Shell has many convenience stores located at petrol stations and is already talking about installing charge points

Reply to  Griff
August 1, 2017 2:03 am

A few problems for the grid:
Indeed many cars will be charged at the shops, offices and factories in daytime, as that is for most cars the best option, as most cars sleep on the streets, not at home, which has no garage. That thus is an extra power use at high load, mainly in towns and industrial areas.
Wind and solar are outside towns and mostly outside industrial areas, wind at any moment when you don’t need it and not when you need it. Even when at the right moment: lots of extra cables to bring the extra power at the right place. See Germany: 600 km high voltage lines from the North Sea wind parks to mid-Germany where the main industry is in the Ruhr country.
Solar: same probem. For solar on private roofs even worse: local distribution networks are made for a certain load for every houshold at peak time (usually 6-8 p.m.). If one in 4 housholds has solar on their roof, that is no problem. If solar density increases, there is more power generated during the day than the local network can have, as there is locally little needed and most use (including the cars) is in the work environment. That is what Germany is confronted with now and that will cost all households a lot of money.
Of course, every houshold can install Tesla batteries to fix the load/use cycle, but as solar here has already a negative ROI (no subsidies anymore and a new tax for network use!), adding a battery backup makes that even worse…
And forget storage by hydro: if you want 40% power from renewables in Europe, you need about 600 times the current pump capacity. In our country we have pump capacity for maximum 10% winter use during 5 hours. They are planning to double that, but then it stops as there are no more hills available to that use (or you have to kill valuable natural habitat)…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 1, 2017 2:19 am

#I’ve looked at the existing Norwegian charging patterns – plus UK life involves frequently parking at work, using supermarkets and parking at commuter rail stations. I think we will charge there.
The UK grid is already being upgraded in many places fir renewables – e.g the Western HVDC link
and it is better developed than the German one.
I’m not aware that Germany – or Queensland, another place with very high domestic solar – have the loacl grid problems you describe.
I think you are over hyping the problem.
The national grid ‘future scenarios’ have long since modelled grids with this sort of load.
You also miss out developments like power to gas, tipped as the storage solution for Germany in coming decades (store the gas in existing distribution network – supplement gas from excess renewable power with gas from sewage). UK has tidal lagoon potential and at least one large pumped storage proposal.

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 1, 2017 2:48 pm

Norway (and Iceland) are big exceptions in this world, as they have (near) 100% power supply out of hydro (and geo) energy. Norway can afford to heat houses with electricity, because they have enough hydropower, but including transport will be a huge challenge as they normally do break even or even may have a small shortage in very dry years (if I remember well 1976, which was a very dry and sunny year). On the other side Denmark and in the near future Germany (extra HVDC links between Germany and Norway) may help by selling their surplus wind energy when not needed at a very low price, so that they don’t have to use their own hydro and have more reserve…
At this moment the main additions in the network are the high voltage connections between windparks and industrial areas and interconnections between countries to distribute (wind and solar) over more users and back when there are shortages.
Local distribution still is secondary, but getting a huge problem in some dense solar areas.
Here an example from Australia:
Most systems nowadays limit their output when the network voltage gets too high, but that is a waste of power when overall use is high at daytime…
It seems to be difficult to find real life figures from Germany, but I suppose they have the same problems…
Power to gas (to power) is the next question… Besides the gigantic quantities needed to store all energy from e.g. daylight generation for nightly use, solar generation mid-winter is about 10% of summer generation. Seasonal storage besides hydro (even that would be gigantic) is simply impossible.
Further: hydrogen can be mixed into natural gas up to 1% (some say more…) Hydrogen is one of the worst energy carriers due to its very low energy density. There are experiments with transfering power to methanol and fuel cells base on methanol. That will have more chance to survive as much of the existing infrastructure can be used and energy density is a lot higher…

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 1, 2017 3:04 pm

“I think you are over hyping the problem.”
I think – no, sack that, I’m absolutely damn certain – that you don’t have the first idea what you’re wittering about.
Have you apologised yet?

August 1, 2017 2:54 am

Efficiently maximizing performance while minimizing materials use, at a cost customers will pay, is what a free and open market is all about. The use of inefficient methods such as subsidy, and providing products without the performance that customers expects is project doomed to failure. Green products are all about the latter not the former.

August 1, 2017 3:07 am

I see where Elon Musk just announced his being bipolar. Call that a marker to be used later in legal defense.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  Oatley
August 1, 2017 3:18 am

I guess you would go a bit mental after screwing $9 billion out of the American taxpayer. Way to go, as they say over there, eh?

Leo Smith
August 1, 2017 5:23 am

The truth is that EVs are balanced on the cusp of viability and a niche market exists. This is not true of renewable energy.
However a nuclear-electric society is probably where we will end up one way or the other, just not that fast.

August 1, 2017 8:29 am

For those of you who think EVs will result in having to reinforce the grid or constructing many more power plants, I have to disagree. You are looking at a status quo future.
Smart meters, which the UK has been installing for some time now, will allow variable, time-of-day pricing for electricity, so no change in the grid or power production is required. The good people of the UK will simply have to decide whether they want to heat their homes, charge the car, or wash their clothes during the three hours a day they can afford electricity, and the power company will decide what time those three hours are, so they can balance the load.
Good luck in the Brave New World.

Reply to  Jtom
August 1, 2017 8:46 am

Charging 100% of the cars used by individuals would require more power than the grid is currently designed to deliver. And that leaves nothing for keeping the lights on.

Reply to  MarkW
August 1, 2017 8:23 pm

Reread my comment. There won’t be anywhere near 100% of the cars on the road TODAY being replaced be EVs needing to be charged. The cost will be too much, i.e., power will be rationed by price. I’ve lived ling enough to see this for what it is, a move to force people out of their personal vehicles and onto mass transit. Private car ownership will be equivalent to owning your own plane today. Of course, the bureaucrats will simply bill the taxpayers for the cost of their vehicles.

August 1, 2017 9:21 am

This article is an obsolete, ficitious bunch of crap that manages to produce invalid but silly and
irrelevant arguments concerning gasoline’s supposed “energy density advantage” over battery
power. One cannot simply compare the weight of a gallon of gas to the weight of a battery that
contains the same amount of energy. If one wishes to produce a meaningless comparison such
as this, one must compare the energy systems of each vehicle – and weigh all of the parts required
for the energy to be delivered to the road. For a gas powered car, that includes a very heavy cast
iron engine, an exhaust system, a fuel tank to hold the gasoline and all the parts required to
pump it at high pressure to the engine, also the transmission, no lightweight itself . Also a cooling
system as well. Except sometimes for the cooling system, an electric car only requires a battery pack
and controller (very light weight) and an electric motor, which often weighs less than a third the
weight of a gas powered engine. That pretty much invalidates any claims about a gas powerd car’s
“energy density advantage.”
But even if an advantage did exist, well, so what? Where’s the advantage? In terms of around town,
non-travel driving, an electric owned by someone who has a garage or carport, or curbside
electrical outlet, or access to a condo or apartment recharging space, refueling an electric is easier
and requires less effort than refueling a gas powered vehicle.
These days the typical commuter probably would require a battery recharge once every 5 days.
If it takes 10 hours using household 220 volt power, who cares? It is recharged at night. And it
normally doesn’t have to be fully recharged either. So it would only be on a trip that driving
range and recharge times could possibly be an issue for today’s electric vehicles. But are
driving ranges and recharge times really an issue even during travel? The short answer is ” not likely.
An electric car owner will always begin each travel day with a fully charged battery, compliments
of the long time span between stopping one day and resuming the next day. Not that much time is
needed these days – the Tesla Supercharger stations can recharge to 80% in 30 minutes, to 100%
in about an hour. Those are times required for lunch and dinner breaks. At 100%, the first segment of
of a traveller’s day’s drive gets him around 230 to 340 miles down the road, depending on his car’s
battery size. That’s roughly 3 1/2 to 5 hours of driving – stop for lunch, get either an 80% or 100% recharge
(one half or one hour) and continue until stopping for the night and getting a full recharge.
So has that purported all-important “energy density” of gasoline actually made any difference, even
in the worst case – during a trip?
A big lie : “Car batteries cost $270 per kWhr.” Those prices are about two years old. General
Motors 5 months ago stated that they are paying $150 per kWhr for the batteries they are installing in
their Volt and all electric Bolt vehicles this year and Elon Musk made a remark at about the same time
that his company is spending $190 per kWhr, but that includes everything – the installation, controllers,etc.
Musk may have at one time claimed that battery prices need to reach $100 for EV costs to be equal
to equivalent gas powered vehicles, but that’s nonsensical, since an electric is superior in every way to a
gas powered vehicle. It also depends an awful lot on the price of the vehicle one is talking about. A cheap
gas powered car would be cheaper than an equivalent electric, but that’s not true when one gets to the $35K
price range and up. Ever wonder what happened to all those gas powered golf carts that dominated
courses 40 years ago? Well, they’re all electric these days. Try to find a gas powered vehicle that
is superior, either in terms of performance or looks, to the new Tesla Model 3. Even the slowest, base
model ($35,000, no govt incentives needed) can accelerate faster than probably 95% of the cars out there
(5.6 seconds zero to sixty). Go for the larger, more powerful battery pack and it’s probably faster than 99.5%
of the cars out there. I’d say that electric cars are actually superior in the $35,000 and up
price range. That encompasses a very large portion of the automotive market.
As for the amount of electricity required for an all electric fleet, one has to understand that the vast
amount of battery recharges are going to occur at night, either thru personal preference or thru incentives
from utilities that make it fiscally desirable to charge at night, when prices are lowest. With the long driving
ranges available in today’s best EV’s, there are hardly any times when a battery needs an immediate recharge during the day. This means that the enormous and unused overnight grid capacity can be devoted to recharging vehicles, which has the added advantage of driving down the cost of electricity, since the power
plants would be operating at a greater utilization, which has the direct effect of lowering per unit prices.
Estimates of unused capacity in THIS country show there to be plenty of unused nighttime capacity to
keep all motor vehicles charged. There is also the case of the Tesla Supercharger stations, some, perhaps
most, are largely solar powered and not a big consumer of grid power. And the changeover from gas powered to electric will take some time – plenty time enough to increase grid capacity.
Those who argue that electrics are not worth it because they don’t reduce emissions as some morons
claim by claiming “zero emissions” (California) miss the point. Electric cars are a superior technology
that has nothing whatever to do with emissions. Henry Ford realized this almost a century ago when he
attempted to build a practical electric car. It is just as true today – simply sit down and examine the relative
complexities and reliabilities of electric versus gas powered cars. Don’t be surprised if you start laughing
out loud at how many damn parts a gas powered vehicle requires and how much they cost. If cars did not
exist and were being designed today, who in the world would ever come up with as complicated and costly
and unreliable and hard to repair and maintain vehicle as a gas powered vehicle? Imagine, if you will,a gas
powered refridgerator. Yikes!!

Reply to  arthur4563
August 1, 2017 3:17 pm

Prolix, scientifically illiterate drivel, and so badly formatted it is practically unreadable.
“Imagine, if you will,a gas powered refridgerator. Yikes!!”
Yes, there are many millions of gas-powered refrigerators in the World – often found in caravans and motorhomes – based on the Electrolux system. No moving parts whatsoever, just a single flame little bigger than a pilot light, a very elegant and sophisticated system indeed.
So basically, you really haven’t the first idea what you’re wittering about.
And you can’t even spell refrigerator either.

August 1, 2017 9:40 am

I think the author would do better without the scathing and pessimistic ridicule of others. I like this article as it takes a contrarian stance on an important topic.
However, I dislike that the author failed to mention a few important things:
– How unpriced externalities can be counter acted by government subsidy
– How harmful and local car pollution is.
– How EVs allow for a sustainable energy system.
– How in almost every regard EVs can be seen as superior to ICE based vehicles. Range is a problem for some uses, but fuel cells could cover these use cases possibly.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  WILL
August 2, 2017 2:52 am

Will, by “government subsidy”, you mean of course “taxpayer subsidy” – whether they like it or not. E.G. Solar panels – those who can’t afford them get to subsidies those who can. **** that. Rob the poor to pay the rich. 90% of the “subsidies” (i.e. government larceny) for EVs in the USA have gone to wealthiest 10%. Again. **** that. Sales of EVs collapse without government larceny.