In Defence of Plug-in Hybrids

17 Sep 2020

Guest post by Mike Jonas,

There is an article today from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)

Plug-in hybrids are a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’

that attacks plug-in hybrid vehicles because

Carbon dioxide emissions from plug-in hybrid cars are as much as two-and-a-half times higher than official tests suggest, according to new research.

The greens (Transport and Environment and Greenpeace) are now attacking plug-in hybrids, and calling for them to be banned, saying “false claims of lower emissions are a ploy by car manufacturers to go on producing SUVs and petrol and diesel engines.“.

I feel that it is worth noting the following:

1. False claims of lower emissions by plug-in hybrids cannot be a ploy by car manufacturers to go on producing SUVs and petrol and diesel engines, because they give plug-in hybrids better green credentials than SUVs and petrol and diesel engines, not worse.

2.Even the data that Transport and Environment and Greenpeace are using shows that plug-in hybrids emit less CO2 than petrol or diesel cars.

3. Those emissions can be reduced anyway – if that is really what is needed – simply by getting users to charge more at home instead of always using the petrol/diesel engine to charge the batteries.

4. The major problem that plug-in hybrids solve was never CO2 emissions. Their real value lies in cutting city pollution.

Petrol/diesel exhaust fumes have become a major problem in densely-populated cities, and plug-in hybrids are a promising way of reducing the problem. By using the battery when in a city, the city’s air is kept clean. By using the petrol/diesel when outside the city, the plug-in hybrid does not have the range limitation of a battery-only vehicle. Also, on a very cold day, when a battery is less effective, the petrol/diesel keeps the plug-in hybrid going.

There is an argument, of course, that charging at home uses grid electricity, a lot of which is coal-fired, and therefore the plug-in hybrid (or any electric vehicle) is not cutting CO2 emissions anyway. That argument may well be valid, but the big advantage of the electric vehicle is that it moves the exhaust fumes away from the city. Once you understand that CO2 emissions are of no importance at all compared to city pollution, the use of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in cities starts to make a lot of sense.

Footnote: This whole thing looks like the greens eating their own young. After all, it was the greens who pressed for things like plug-in hybrids in the first place. But what I think is really going on is that this particular variety of greenism – or maybe even all of greenism – is fundamentally opposed to anything that can work to make people’s lives more independent, more prosperous and more comfortable. If they get their way on banning plug-in hybrids, it won’t be long before they attack the next thing that works.

166 thoughts on “In Defence of Plug-in Hybrids

  1. “The plans, tabled by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), would allow distributors to contact consumers directly to ask for permission to temporarily turn off appliances with high usage, including heat pumps and electric vehicle chargers.
    There are fears that mass uptake of these green technologies will put pressure on the energy network.”
    Today voluntary, tomorrow compulsory.

    • We actually used to have a system like that here in Bergen, Norway.

      The local utility could trip the main heater in the building when required (because of high load or for whatever reason). We got a lower electricity rate for the so called second-priority power. However, this was apparently a pure grid balancing scheme, the central heating switched to oil automatically when they cut us off !(which happened once every second year or thereabout).

      After many years they installed a district heating system and the cheap power offer was taken away (hook up to the district heating or else…). Anyway, the heating tariff follows the electricity price but since the the electricity has been record cheep for a year the utility have now run into the somewhat peculiar problem that they cannot pay for the investment in the district heating because of low electricity price. They now plan to increase the grid fee for electricity to compensate. So the end of the story is, the electricity users pay for a (failed) investment in district heating while we who use it pay proportionally less since we use less electricity. You just have to love New Public Management!

      • Thirty years ago our 54246 electric utility needed additional load to properly idle the DG’s through the night. We were offered cheap electric heat and older houses still enjoy the subsidy.

        Smart-meters have just arrived.

  2. ‘False claims of lower emissions by plug-in hybrids cannot be a ploy by car manufacturers to go on producing SUVs and petrol and diesel engines’

    why not? You do know the EU now requires car makers to achieve a low level of CO2 emission across the entire range of cars they produce? So to keep selling SUVs, they have to up the proportion of EV and PHEVs they sell in total…?

    • We aren’t in the EU now, griff.

      Are you having trouble accepting that fact?

      Why aren’t you cheering Boris Johnson who aims to ban petrol and diesel cars in 2030; a good ten years ahead of the EU?

      I’ll leave you to do the mental gymnastics.

    • Take a step back, the CO2 numbers are calculated using an international standard, Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure. This allows a vehicle to vehicle comparison but doesn’t reflect real life, no wind resistance involved, power to weight and other variables ignored as well.

      For electric vehicles, which are tested to the same standard, I don’t think power generation source mix for the grid and losses are included.

      • The US Environmental Protection Agency still has the biggest gas mileage scheme going. Through government fiat it established that the chemical energy in a gallon of fuel is equated to Watts(no gibe meant Anthony) of electricity for electric cars- no losses, so waste, no reality. MPGe means absolutely nothing in comparison to MPG.
        Electric cars do not produce electricity. They use electricity generated by a mix of mainly fossil fuels with natural gas(38%), coal(23%).nuclear(20%), and 17% mixed so-called”green” sources- wind, hyrdroeclectric*~14%, and less than 4% from solar, biomass, and geothermal.

        Tell me how wonderfully GREEN that is. It is a scam. The damage done by using these wasteful schemes doesn’t even count when compared to the damage caused by producing and replacing windmills and solar power.

    • I really want to see you driving a curricle with a horse pulling it, griff. That’s the only way anyone can exponentially reduce carbon emissions (not counting the horse passing gas, of course).

      Have a nice weekend.

      • But wait Sara, Griff doesn’t plan on getting about utilizing 19th century horse power. He simply wants you and I and the rest of the unwashed to have to do so. More fossil fuel for him you see.

      • Bill, you’re far too kind. Griff has to learn the lessons of 17th/18th century living. I don’t think he can survive on anything that is not canned, boxed, or frozen, and will howl in fright at the idea of cooking over an open fire.

        Me? You? We’ll have the whole feral hog roasting slowly over the coals while Griff turns the spit, and bread bakes in the Dutch oven near the fire.

        I also cook, you know.

        • Sara,
          I would recommend throwing the hog in a deep hole filled 4-6” of coals. If you don’t have access to banana leaves you can always wrap it in soaked burlap before burying it for the day! Polynesian or Texas style, either way the pork comes out tender and falls off the bone!
          Unfortunately, I don’t think the Griff is capable of learning lessons. It is much more concerned with maintaining good standing in the High Church of Climastrology and does not dare speak heresies against the dogma it recites by rote. Poverty, both material and energy, is for the peons and serfs in it’s dark vision of the future!

    • Any green worth their snuff would never be caught dead driving a hybrid. They still use fossil fuels.

      1. False claims of lower emissions by plug-in hybrids cannot be a ploy by car manufacturers to go on producing SUVs and petrol and diesel engines, because they give plug-in hybrids better green credentials than SUVs and petrol and diesel engines, not worse.

      The only problem with this statement is that it is in itself fairly false.
      In that:
      So long as hybrids that utilize fossil fuels as an alternative fuel are produced, fossil fuels will also be refined as their alternate fuel source. AND as long as fossil fuels are refined as the alternate fuel, other vehicles using that fuel can also be produced.

      Unless, of course, there aren’t really that many people who believe it’s a problem.

      Griff, if you want fossil fuels to vanish from the available energy source mix, all you and the 95% of the populace that agrees with you need to do is stop using fossil fuels as an energy source…period.
      And stop using any and all of the more than 6000 products dependant on Oil, Coal and Petrochemicals.

      Oh and by the by, Solar Panels require the mining of Coal to produce the Silicon they need

      • Mining of silicon is not the worst result of large scale solar deployment.

        Massive transfer of currency to the largest manufacturer of panels is the worst consequence. (China if you have to ask).

    • The US Environmental Protection Agency still has the biggest gas mileage scheme going. Through government fiat it established that the chemical energy in a gallon of fuel is equated to Watts(no gibe meant Anthony) of electricity for electric cars- no losses, so waste, no reality. MPGe means absolutely nothing in comparison to MPG in the US.
      Electric cars do not produce electricity. They use electricity generated by a mix of mainly fossil fuels with natural gas(38%), coal(23%).nuclear(20%), and 17% mixed so-called”green” sources- wind, hyrdroeclectric*~14%, and less than 4% from solar, biomass, and geothermal.

      Tell me how wonderfully GREEN that is. It is a scam. The damage done by using these wasteful schemes doesn’t even count when compared to the damage caused by producing and replacing windmills and solar power.

  3. well, these are the same people who claim to want to drastically reduce CO2 but who oppose nuclear power.

    You are spot on. It has nothing to do, at all, with improving the human condition. It is the psychotic pursuit of creating some sort of “unspoiled paradise” for a “deserving few”.

    • I don’t care at all about the CO2 aspects of a well designed PHEV. Depending how you drive it, may never need the ICE engine a lot, but if you need to drive 1000 Km, you can do so as well, as long as you have gas. It does seem to be the best alternative for the best of ICE tech and EV. The 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime has a smallish 2.5L gas engine and a smallish 18.1 kW/h battery with a combined 302 Hp that goes like snot with a range of 42 miles on battery alone. It is the ideal Plug In Hybrid that has finally arrived and demand is so hot, you can’t buy one. Takes 6-7 hours to charge up on a 110V 15 Amp plug. I have a $1000 deposit on one, and supposedly will get delivery this Christmas. The Rav4 Prime Tech package even has a 1500 watt inverter, so will be great for off grid. You know it is a winner when Big Green is out to destroy it now.

        • Nor should it be subsidized. Unfortunately, the subsidies distort the true economics. It is so bad that in Canada, Quebec offers a provincial subsidy to about 3-4 times other provinces offer for EV’s and PHEV’s. On top of a national subsidy. And then they hose Alberta for the Transfer payments to pay for it all. (while they block the Energy East pipeline) And then their cheap hydroelectric rates that doesn’t get calculated into Equalization payments, which is another story on how natural resources are calculated. And Quebec is going to get nearly 80% of these Rav4 Prime PHEV’s for 2021 in all of Canada, because they have a law that says to be a dealer in Quebec, you have to offer such and such EV and PHEV models and sell this many, which distorts the true market. I would be willing to pay fair market value (with no subsidies) for one as long as everyone else did too. The auto companies inflate the price a bit on EV’s, because they know the consumer is getting a kick back to buy one.

  4. 2 other points: the study showed that the ICE engines were switching on even in low emissions zones – things like cruise control or heaters cause them to come on.

    Also, there is very little coal power in the UK grid -just 2% of electricity in 2019 and 2 months this year with no coal contribution at all.

    • Yet more reasons for banning hybrid vehicles griff.
      Yes I agree griff, so while we’re both here, lets campaign for the reinstatement of diesel or gasoline powered ICE to be the only option because mandating what people can and can’t drive it is a sure sign of freedom eh, griff.
      And we’re both for more freedoms aren’t we griff?
      What to free-up next? Coal, gas and oil?

    • Apart from the Dutch interconnector with the coal-fired power station at the other end. Won’t hear about that on the BBC or read it in the Guardian.

    • the study showed that the ICE engines were switching on even in low emissions zones – things like cruise control or heaters cause them to come on.

      Yeah, So? It’s more energy efficient to turn on the ICE to generate heat. Surely energy efficiency is a good thing.

  5. Greenies are so clueless. About everything. Hybrids were invented to reduce fuel consumption, not emissions – carbon emissions were not even on the radar when hybrids first appeared. And they certainly have reduced fuel consumption and thereby emissions. And they are affordable by the masses, which EVs at this stage are not.
    And EVs produce their share of emissions and always will until the grid becomes carbon free. It would be enlightening to compare the emission reductions of hybrids versus that small amount provided by wind turbines, which reportedly do not reduce carbon emissions during their lifespan to equal those produced in building and erecting these monsters.

    • “And they are affordable by the masses, which EVs at this stage are not.”

      Hybrids are affordable (kind of). Plug-in hybrids, which are what the article is about, are almost as expensive as pure electrics.

  6. Government figures prove that air pollution in cities , [ in the UK ] , has reduced by 75% in the last 50 years .
    During the lockdown when traffic was down by about 80% , the level of air pollution in cities did not change . A German transport minister did a online TV news interview saying that , ” This proved that transport was not a major cause of air pollution , & they were no longer considering a ban on diesel vehicles ” .
    This report did not go down well with the Greens , and was made to disappear within 1 day .

    So the whole Green thing about vehicles is just more of their lies .

    • I remember a report from back in the 80’s that the Los Angeles air quality board was going after bakeries because of emissions from the baking process. They wanted them to start installing catalytic converters on their ovens.

    • Here is a link to the history of air emissions standards in the US. This EPA data shows that NOx has been reduced 98% from 1975 levels. I don’t have the 1970 data which was the year they introduced early emissions reductions standards, mostly for VOC reduction (gasoline vapors).

      I don’t buy the statement that air pollution is getting worse in cities. If so, only by marginal amounts. In 2002 I attended a conference (DEER 2002) where a presenter showed the history of ozone emissions and standards. In LA in 1970, there were 180 days of ozone non-attainment. Catalysts were introduced in 1975 and Fuel Injection in the 1980’s. By 2002, ozone non-attainment was down to 11 day/year. During that time, population doubled and vehicle miles traveled quadrupled while the ozone standard was cut in half. So the simple early devices for emissions controls did their job.
      Nowadays, vehicles are cleaner than the air itself. There was an article by Gary Yowell, formerly of the California Energy Commission, which stated that during the fires, driving diesel trucks removed PM from the atmosphere as the diesel PM traps are that effective. Now this isn’t a solution, but trucks are not the problem either. And since cars and trucks meet the same standards in most cases, there really isn’t much “pollution” from vehicles anymore
      So relating asthma to emissions is a false narrative as the long term correlation is negative.

        • Disbelieve all you want, but in regards to certain pollutants, it’s true. The cars exhaust systems are designed to filter out certain pollutants (IE not emit them) that already exist in city air from other sources – the result being that the exhaust coming out of the car has less of those pollutants than can be found in the city air (IE “cleaner than the air”)

    • “During the lockdown when traffic was down by about 80% , the level of air pollution in cities did not change”

      Maybe there was some city or some region in the UK in which what you describe actually happened. Colder weather and lack of rain can provoke that due to the heating of buildings, which also generates its share of pollution. But I can tell you that it was not the norm. In Spain pollution dropped quite noticeably in most cities. It is also true that our lockdwn was way heavier than UK’s.

  7. “greenism – is fundamentally opposed to anything that can work to make people’s lives more independent, more prosperous and more comfortable.”

    Unhappy people try to promote unhappiness. It makes them feel better.

  8. Amazing how CO2 fixation/taxation/obsession/hating/etc. results in ignoring real issues.
    In big badly ventilated cities, there often is issues with air pollution and some people are even wearing masks to protect themselves. They are not wearing the masks due to CO2, as the masks tend to increase their CO2 levels, they wear them due to particulate matter that often stinks and damage health in the long run.

    Yes I know people in some countries are wearing masks due to C-19, which is another matter all together.

    • Good example of Progressives’ success in conflating and confusing definitions in language.
      Once they got a “legal” (but not scientific) judgement that CO2 is “pollution” they were able support a wide range of misinformation in everything from their propaganda to the mis-education of elementary school children.

      As an example I would wager that most people in the US under the age of 25 would not understand the distinction you made in your first paragraph.

  9. The Greens and Climate Alarmists are fundamentally opposed to anything that actually works, whether it reduces CO2 emissions or not. Their aim is really to exercise absolute control over people’s lives, make them subservient to authority and make their lives less independent, less prosperous and much less comfortable

        • As Sir Winston Churchill once remarked “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those others that have been tried.” The corollary to that would be “marxism is the best form of government, except for all those others that have been tried.”

          There’s a reason the list of failed Marxist states is long and the list of successful Marxist states non-existent. They won’t “get it right” next time anymore than it was gotten right all those previous times, because there is no getting it right, it’s a flawed premise from first principles.

  10. Greens who are really Reds who are really a Cancer to modern civilization. The only good Communist is a dead Communist.

    • The only good socialist is a dead socialist, as communism and fascism are merely different shades of the same sickly green.

      Read and understand Karl Popper’s *The Open Society and Its Enemies* that put the lie to the dialectic in 1945. Men have free will to avoid the synthetic argument.

  11. The last thing you need on a scorching hot day is an all electric car. The A/C drains the battery and in a bushfire
    the power fails and you cannot charge it.
    This was the problem for those trapped in the South Coast of NSW during the last fires.
    At least with petrol you can carry fuel or fill the tank before entering the danger zone.
    Hybrids at least solve some of this problem. The big problem comes when the battery needs to be replaced and the value drops.

  12. Plug-in electric vehicles for use in polluted city centers, with the electricity (see Mike Wenlock above) produced by nuclear power would be a logical advance. However, no greenie can agree to nuclear power, no matter how modern, well-located, and safe-guarded the reactor is, so this is a non-starter. Electric vehicles don’t work in many places (try crossing the Andes Mountains in South America, for instance) so one-car families are going conventional petrol-power. Long haul truckers? Go ask one, maybe from a safe distance.

  13. My issue with plug in hybrids is weight. The batteries add 800 lbs to a regular hybrid. If you mostly commute urban – suburban within the small battery range, great. But if you regularly commute beyond battery range or travel long distances you carry a lot of parasitic weight and waste fuel.

    • On a motorway journey at steady speed hybrids make you less fuel efficient due to weight increasing the rolling friction. Recovery of energy during braking only works….when you are braking, so has little or no impact on motorway journeys.

      I drive quiet rural roads to work. I can emulate energy recovery systems by simply mimising braking. This means knowing the road well and judging when to lift off power so as to arrive at a junction or bend with only minimal or no braking required. The challenge is then to break my mpg record to work or back.

      • Depends on the road. On the Jersey Turnpike, which is flat and usually has no slow downs, that is true. But on I84 in CT and NY, with all those hills and slow downs, and on the NY state parkways with hills and slowdown, the hybrid stuff really saves gas.
        Battery powered vehicles with regenerative braking make perfect sense for urban environments.

    • The batteries add 800 lbs to a regular hybrid.

      No way. Plug-in hybrids tend to carry batteries of around 8-10kWh capacity. By current standards, such a battery will weight around 80kg which is around 180lbs, not 800lbs. The plug-in hybrid of course also carries several other electrical components, especially the engine is not very light… but even putting all of that together it is not going to come anywhere close to 800lbs.

    • It’s called buying the vehicle that best suits your needs. As you point out, for mostly urban/suburban commuting, a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, or in some cases even an All electric vehicle can work great, possibly even better than an ICE depending on one’s commute. Long distance travel or heavy hauling or extreme temperature environments (far northern climes, for example), not so much.

      With my suburban commute, a plug-in Hybrid would actually be a good choice. My commute is short enough to be within the battery range (so would be running on electric the majority of the time), but long enough that if I forgot to charge it up before heading out the ICE would be there to make sure I got to my destination without running out of power. Winters are cold enough that the ICE would ensure cabin warmth but not so cold as to make the batteries entirely useless. When it comes time to replace my current ICE (its 12 years old and still has plenty of life left in it), a plug-in hybrid is certainly an option I’ll consider.

      The batteries add 800 lbs to a regular hybrid

      No, they do not. Plug-in hybrid batteries typical weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 to 250 pounds, depending on make and model (models with longer ranges have heavier batteries, obviously). You might be thinking of the lower-end for EV batteries.

  14. This whole thing looks like the greens eating their own young. After all, it was the greens who pressed for things like plug-in hybrids in the first place.
    In my opinion, most leftists are defined by what they are against rather than what they are in favor of. They latched onto lithium storage not because it is practicable and economic, which it isn’t, but simply because they were against petrol and diesel. Now that they are finally having to acknowledge that lithium has too many problems and limitations, they are casting around for something – anything – else to run with and, going by the shifting narrative, it seems that it will be hydrogen. And when that is shown to be impracticable, they’ll move onto something else. Why the obsessive hatred of fossil fuels? I believe it has its origins in the 70s when the Soviets were funding leftist agitators in the West to campaign against America’s interests. At that time, US industrial corporations pretty much dominated the world, none more so than the energy industries. They came in for special attention, firstly, to disrupt America’s supply of natural resources and, secondly, because they were easy targets in the foreign markets in which they operated. All the gray-bearded leftists have carried this animosity through with them to the present day, infecting new generations with it as time went by.

    • “And when that is shown to be impracticable, they’ll move onto something else. ”

      Abandoning a preferred solution merely because it doesn’t work? That will be a first for them.

  15. I love the way they so predictably reject a viable technology that would move the world towards their desired state. If they cant have their own way 100% they stamp their feet and whine like petulant children. Nuclear power, plug in hybrids, retaining gas generators to avoid blackouts. They live in a fantasy world.

  16. The whole point is to get us out of our personal cars and on to bicycles and public transportation.

    Experience with coronavirus teaches us that density (touted by greenies) is dangerous to public health. We’re probably better off living in small cities and using cars to get around. As for the environment, my landscaped (ie. not just grass) back yard has biodiversity that probably exceeds the nearby forest. Fuel consumption isn’t the only issue that should guide how we live.

    One of our friends has a delivery business and saves a bundle by driving a Prius. It gets much better mileage than an even smaller non-hybrid Smart car.

    Given the above, you’d think hybrid delivery vans would be an obvious money saver. Maybe not. Anyway, the big delivery companies are voting with their bucks. Only one of the companies operating in my area has hybrid vans.

    • Private companies have to be concerned about the total cost of ownership, not just the operating costs. The higher purchase price of hybrids is a big problem. Beyond that are concerns about the life expectancy of the battery and it’s replacement cost.

      • “The higher purchase price of hybrids is a big problem. ” Not for private companies. They lease capital equipment instead of buying, so they can immediately deduct the expenditure as an “expense.”

        • Suppose that I spent $10k and it resulted in me paying $5k less tax. That sort of means I got whatever for half price, but I didn’t get it for free.

          • Suppose that I leased the equipment and it resulted in me paying $5k less tax due to the deduction from revenue for the cost of the lease. That sort of means I got to use whatever for a deduction from revenue.

        • The lease cost is based on both the purchase price and the expected value of the returned vehicle. So you still have to worry about purchase price. Expensing something as a deduction reduces your net profits and since no company is taxed at 100% they still have to care about purchase price.

          • The leasing company has to worry about the purchase price, and the cost of money. You are ignorant of how to run a business there Mr. MarkW. You cannot “expense” the purchase price of a vehicle, so not only does the bottom line suffer from the capital outlay, you get no tax advantage from doing so. Which is why businesses lease rather than buy.

          • If you think that the lease price isn’t determined by the purchase price, then you are the one who doesn’t know how business works.

            As to your claim that you get no tax benefits from purchases, you are the one spouting BS. Have you never heard of depreciation?

          • Mr. MarkW, the capital outlay you make to purchase the vehicle is cash that would serve better purposes in your business. In any business it is always advantageous to use other people’s money namely the lease provider. Apparently you don’t know how to run a business.

          • Do you always change the subject when you find yourself behind?
            You made the claim that when companies lease things, the cost of the thing being leased stops being relevant. You have yet to defend that claim.
            All you have managed to do is change the claim twice and then make the absurd statement that anyone who doesn’t agree with you knows nothing about how businesses are run.
            Further more, how is a lease different from using a loan to make the purchase?

      • PS Mr. MarkW, the life expectancy of the battery and it’s replacement cost become the problem of the leasing company, not the end user.

        • If you don’t think that the leasing company doesn’t price this “problem” into the cost of the lease, then you know nothing about how business operates.

        • You cannot “expense” the purchase price of a vehicle

          Never heard of depreciation? and you have the nerve to claim others don’t understand how businesses are run!

          the life expectancy of the battery and it’s replacement cost become the problem of the leasing company, not the end user.

          And you don’t think the leasing company bases the lease price on “their problems”? They need to make a profit too. They’re not going to lease at a loss, they wouldn’t stay in business very long if they did. If it costs them more, you can bet the lease price will be more in order to make up for those increased costs. Ultimately it is the end user that pays more the same as happens when any other factor increases costs (increased labor costs, taxes, etc) it get passed on to the end user. If you don’t understand that, then you are in no position to be making claims about other peoples supposed lack of knowledge regarding how businesses are run considering your demonstrated lack of knowledge in that regard.

  17. CO2, CO2, CO2…
    It seems that half of the people are dedicated to making the other half as miserable as they are.

  18. The power company I work for would love, love, love to sell vast amounts of energy to a giant fleet of battery powered cars. We’d love to have great big batteries supplying the grid when a power plant trips offline. But battery technology simply isn’t up to the job.

    The word breakthrough is certainly overworked. But that’s what is needed in terms of battery physics — a breakthrough.

    • Most people don’t understand that tiny technical detail. Unlike incremental improvements, breakthroughs don’t respond to normal management processes. A lot of the time, trying for a breakthrough pretty much guarantees that it won’t happen.

      We’ve been working hard on storage technology for a long time. All the low hanging fruit has been picked. I wouldn’t bet on a breakthrough any time soon.

      • CB,

        I don’t think a chemistry-based cell is going to be the answer. What reversible reactions using combinations of metals have yet to be tried? Some people are pushing fuel cell tech, but the breakthrough is not there either. Super capacitors have similar limits tied to fundamental physics.

        Truth is, the energy density and versatility of gasoline, diesel, and even propane are just so much better than the very best battery ever made that they are just in different leagues entirely.

        As a power plant engineer, I’m hoping some mega-genius will come up with an answer. It would be everlasting job security for me. I just don’t see it happening — or even something close.

        • Agreed, the energy density is the key here.
          One kg of petrol contains the same amount of real energy as 53 kg of lithium ion battery.

  19. What I have never seen is a calculation which compares a pure Electric version v ICE version v plug in hybrid v self charging hybrid. To include the CO2 consumed in each variants manufacture, calculated over a 15 year life, with perhaps a battery change

    My feeling is that carting an ICE and a battery in the hybrid variants will have a detrimental effect on CO2 emissions, but without data a rational decision is tricky.

    • Just compare the hybrid versus non-hybrid version of anything from Toyota or Honda. Forget CO2. A “cost to own” comparison for identically equipped cars is enlightening. I did this several years ago for Honda Civics hybrid versus the conventional internal combustion version. The hybrid would be junk long before you could break even, unless the government decided to carbon-tax motor fuel out the wazoo. With a low mileage car around town, the hybrid never breaks even. Toyota fools us by creating the Prius, that ugly duckling car that is not available as a pure gas-powered vehicle, so no direct comparison is possible. Buyers never realize that the premium paid for the car may never be recouped by fuel savings. I know, someone out there is a Prius owner and will beg to differ. How about a Chevy Tahoe hybrid (20 mpg city / 23 mpg highway) versus non-hybrid (15 mpg city/ 22 mpg highway)? Of course, this is all a moving target as technologies change, models change, and driving needs vary, making it difficult to make sweeping generalizations.

      In Europe, the governments already tax the heck out of motor fuel. In essence, they have already been taxing carbon for decades; they just didn’t give it that “green patina.” Here in Texas, we are paying $1.67/gallon ($0.44/liter) right now, including state ($0.20/gal) and federal taxes ($0.184/gal). The majority of our motor fuels tax revenue is used for transportation projects, which should be the main purpose of a fuel tax (road construction and maintenance). We can only imagine where a carbon tax would be squandered.

  20. The COGS (constantly offended green socialists) are never satisfied, they need to be constantly offended and are determined to be so.
    Hybrid vehicles are the sensible option for flexibility and for reduction of city pollution i.e. Sox, Nox and particulate.
    What this latest BBC push demonstrates, is the lack of desire to allow personal transport to exist within the woke mindset.
    That is becoming increasingly clear.

  21. The greens (Transport and Environment and Greenpeace) are now attacking plug-in hybrids, and calling for them to be banned, saying “false claims of lower emissions are a ploy by car manufacturers to go on producing SUVs and petrol and diesel engines.“. – article

    Personally, I’d be perfectly happy going back to the horse and buggy days. Less heavy traffic, no screeching brakes and rollovers, using a woodburning stove instead of gas or electric powered, reading by the light of an oil-burning table lamp, keeping the living room warm with a parlor stove. I’ve been buying up those 18th and 19th century reproduction cookbooks just in case someone decides we shouldn’t have electricity any more.

    I can handle it. Those phony-baloney greenbeaners can’t. They need to be careful what they wish for. might get it and they really, really won’t like it.

    When I look at the morning sky, it’s still awash in soot particles from the western fires, but that’s all doing Mother Nature a favor. We’ll do fine. It’s the greenbeaners and ecohippies that will find themselves at sea.

    You all have a nice weekend.

  22. “Petrol/diesel exhaust fumes have become a major problem in densely-populated cities, and plug-in hybrids are a promising way of reducing the problem.”

    Err, “The significant reduction in vehicle journeys during the COVID-19 lockdown did not reduce the level of toxic fine particles in Scotland’s air, according to experts at the University of Stirling.”

  23. Hybrids also don’t require the massive number of EV charging stations to be placed in cities.
    The costs (currently hidden in utility bills?) of adding charging stations in cities is likely to be very high.
    Every component of a complex network style system that serves most cities will need to be upgraded–much of which is underground– the most expensive part of any system to modify. Additionally, opening streets, to increase demand (MW), current (thermal), and fault protection capabilities of conductors, transformers, switching, and controls/communications causes dramatic traffic and business disruption.
    The costs should be added to the “green” suppliers, and included in any cost/benefit analyses. Fairly sure that is not done now.
    By the way, the author is right. The original concept of hybrids was mileage increase. Plug-in hybrids offer the benefit of reducing “old” pollutants, not CO2.

  24. I still struggle with the concept of two energy sources and two engines being a good thing. I’m not convinced fully electric is a great idea either.
    An average European ICE weighs about 500kg with 60 litres of fuel a 24kWh battery and engine weigh about 350kg.
    That’s equivalent to carrying 5 to 8 people before leaving home.

    • Earlier this year, in Cornwall, at an in-town display of Toyota self-charging hybrids, I idly asked the salesman “what is the point of running the engine to charge the battery “. “Oh no, the engine doesn’t charge the battery, that’s done by the wheels going round”.
      Wonder what the training video is like.

  25. The fact the BBC refers to CO2 as “pollution” tells you all you need to know about the unscientific bias at the BBC when it comes to the environment.
    Does anyone actually take any notice of what the BBC says or does these days?

  26. The obvious question is this: Do the BBC know that every time one of them opens his/her/its mouth to speak, they’re emitting CO2, and contributing to air pollution (as they define it) themselves????

    Have a nice weekend.

    • If BBC employees never went to school, they aught to read for example this:

      How Much CO2 Does a Human Exhale? – Reference

      An average human exhales around 2.3 pounds of CO2 in a day. That rate increases by up to a factor of eight during heavy physical exertion and falls somewhat during periods of relaxation, such as during sleep.

      Human bodies cannot exhale carbon without first taking it up from food. Humans are, therefore, part of a closed carbon-capture loop. In this loop, atmospheric CO2 is taken up by plants, which are then eaten directly by humans or indirectly by herbivores that are later eaten by humans. Exhalation simply returns some carbon that had been temporarily sequestered in plants to the atmosphere.

      It sums up to 3×10^12 gram or 3Gtons per year for just one of millions of species on the land surface alone.

      And still it is a cool sunny day here where I sit.

    • I have an update on the western fire emissions: for the first time in over a week, the sky is a clear blue (there are some cumulo-cirrus clouds, too) and I will be able to see Jupiter and Saturn, and possibly Mars, tonight, after sunset.

  27. What’s wrong with SUV’s?

    Funny how none of these arguments over big heavy cars reach back to the 1950’s when cars were land cruising gas guzzlers that could fumigate a city. And isn’t 1950 the cut off for when man took over the Earth’s climate?

  28. “a ploy by car manufacturers to go on producing SUVs and petrol and diesel engines.” No “ploy” is needed, customers want petrol and diesel powered vvehicles so that is what they will continue to make. Oh, and sell.

  29. Since it makes no difference to the climate, if you like electric cars go ahead and buy one, I’ll buy what I like.

  30. The problem is that the current plan is to ban hybrids as well leaving only battery cars. All the tv adverts for cars now are pushing hybrids – probably because they are less insane than battery cars but not by much. Carry an engine that could drive the vehicle but doesn’t and also have a heavy battery to wear your tyres and brakes more.

  31. I certainly don’t care to defend pure plug-in electric vehicles. IF they make economic sense, and if people want to buy them, then have at it. But I am 100% opposed to stacking the deck to give them favored treatment in how people would otherwise freely arrive at a decision to buy one. It is absolutely abhorrent to me to think that taxpayer dollars from a person of limited means goes to subsidize a wealthier family’s purchase of an expensive EV, for any reason. That should and must never happen. Any government equations on how much is being “saved’ because EVs emit less while being driven, must also factor in the base load electricity requirements needed to charge these things both at home and on the highways, in numbers thousands of times greater than at present, and also the cost of the extra emissions required to manufacture and maintain their batteries over their life times, as compared to the already accepted ICE automobiles and transport trucks. Finally, CO2 as plant food is a tremendous Good for the environment, for all animals who eat food. That really should be fairly factored into any equation that claims we must suspend or reduce CO2 emissions. I believe that if that were happening now, we should be adding fossil fuel based CO2 emissions as a net positive in our equations, and the entire debate about EVs would collapse to the question of, is it cool, is it fun, like owning a muscle car or a specialty car.

  32. Meh, unnecessary complexity. As an engineer, KISS. Either have an ICE vehicle, or an EV. Any “savings” associated w/hybrids is minimal.

  33. I drive a hybrid van, Pacifica. Love it. Great mileage. I got 38 mpg on one trip of several hundred miles, but usually about 33 -36 mpg (Depends on how fast you drive and whether there are hills or slow downs, etc.) Around town, on the battery alone, about 70 mpg electric.

    Driving around the rocky, hilly coast of Maine last month, I got 60% of my mileage from the hybrid stuff with about 26 -28 mpg overall. (Not sure how that is possible, but you drive up and down hills all the time and that is what the hybrid is best at.)

    Not good in cold weather. Forget about the battery being inefficient in the cold. Not a big factor in the midatlantic. The heater for the passenger cabin is an energy hog, consuming 3x as much energy as the AC. The AC, btw, makes virtually no difference in mileage, using only one 1Kw.

    It saves gasoline, there is not doubt. Does it save money? That depends on how you use it and the costs of gasoline and electricity. The $10,000 in federal and state rebates help out.

    The ICE is insane in urban area. You burn gasoline to make heat, use the heat to drive the car, then to stop you convert your inertia to heat while wearing out your brakes, and spew out fumes into the urban air. Repeat at every stop light and stop sign, all day long. That is madness when an alternative technology is available.

    • “The ICE is insane in urban area.” Use horses, maybe? Stop spewing out fumes, by all means – there are technologies available and widely used.

    • joel says:
      The ICE is insane in urban area.

      ICE has been & still is practically all there is in urban areas. So “insane” is a bit over-the-top, don’t ya think?

      Maybe hybrids are “more efficient”? A bit (but then they have more costly initial & maintenance costs) — so let subsidy-free economics decide. Cities used to have widespread electric-trolleys serving urban areas, but the public decided they didn’t want that. That’s free-marketing.

    • In most urban areas, the exhaust from an ICE vehicle is cleaner than the air that goes in carburetor.

      Your electric car also produces heat as a by-product of driving and breaking. What is insane is worrying about the tiny amount of heat being generated by cars.

    • I resent the taxes I pay being used to subsidise purchase of EV’s and hybreds bought by virtue signalling greenies. On top of that, they boast of how cheap their ‘fuel’ is because there is no road tax on domestic power used to charge their vehicles.

    • Joel,

      While the Pacifica, technically, is a hybrid, its 30 mile range on battery power is laughable. Of course, the 30 mile range assumes no headlights, heating, or a/c are used. Unless you drive almost exclusively within a <10-12mile radius of your home, I question the actual benefit of owning this vehicle. I routinely achieve similar mileage results as reported by you while driving a 305 HP ICE powered Dodge Challenger.

      The list price for the hybrid version is about $8k greater than the ICE Pacifica, would you have paid an extra $8k for the paltry 30 mile range on batteries if it was not for the $10k in tax credits that go along with the vehicle purchase?

      • Unless you drive almost exclusively within a <10-12mile radius of your home

        In Urban and some suburban environments, many commuters *do* live within that range. My first job was a 10 mile radius from home, my current one is a bit further at a 14 mile radius. So such a vehicle would mostly cover my commute on electric power alone.

        As I said in another post, it’s all about picking the vehicle that best suits your needs. For many urban/suburban commuters it’s a good fit, for those others, particularly those who routinely drive long distances, not so much. The problem isn’t that such options exist. It’s that such options are being subsidized by our taxes and that some wish to make them the only option. Let the market decide, not the politicians.

  34. “3. Those emissions can be reduced anyway – if that is really what is needed – simply by getting users to charge more at home instead of always using the petrol/diesel engine to charge the batteries.”

    That’s only true if you electricity comes from a non-fossil fuel source.

      • Correct, the fossil fuel coal is almost out.
        But Griff how many percent does the other fossil fuel gas contribute?

        • According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Stategy, fossil fuels, coal (7.9 mtoe, million tonnes of oil equivalent), oil (68.5 mtoe) and gas (875.6 TWh, or 75.3 mtoe) supplied 151.7 mtoe, or 79.6 percent of the primary energy used in the U.K. in 2019, while wind and solar accounted for 3.47 percent of the total primary energy use.

        • Or during the day when they are parked at work, or at the commuter rail station, or while you visit the supermarket, or at home from the battery in your garage (which will no longer fit any modern make of car in the UK!) charged by your home solar panels.

          • Who put in all the charging stations where you work? Who put in all the charging stations at the rail station? What do you do when they are all full and you have to get on the train, walk home at night?

            Hmmmm, I want to see th solar panel installation on a brownstone in Boston that can charge an EV overnight!

          • If you are going to wish for trillions of dollars in spending to put in all of those charging stations, why don’t you go ahead and wish for the unicorns needed to provide the electricity.

          • As California has recently demonstrated, wind and solar can’t provide the power needed to run their economy as it is. And now you want to increase the demand by a factor of 10 in order to also charge all the EVs.

          • Or during the day when they are parked at work

            There’s no charging stations at my workplace, or the majority of workplaces around here for that matter, so not an option.

            or at the commuter rail station

            If commuter rail was a viable option, I wouldn’t need to worry about charging the car, beside which the only commuter rail station in the area doesn’t have charging stations (and are only now installing solar panels because the government is subsidizing them do to so).

            while you visit the supermarket

            Only one supermarket in my area has a charging station (that being the local Super Walmart). I’m not going shopping at Walmart every time I need to charge my car, And I don’t think Walmart would be too happy to see my constantly using their charging station and not shopping.

            or at home from the battery in your garage

            Not every one has a garage. I don’t. And for certain people who live in apartments don’t. (apartment dwellers make up about 20% of the US population)

            charged by your home solar panels

            don’t have home solar panels. only about 1% of the people in my neighborhood have solar panels at home (which were also government subsidized).

            So where is the money going to come from to build and install at these non-existent charging stations and solar panels (and garages for the apartment dwellers)? How much is it going to cost? (and how much pollution and CO2 and fossil fuels will be expended building and installing it?) and how long is it going to take to get them built and installed? Hmmm.

      • Boasting about shutting down coal is like boasting about shooting yourself in the foot. Only 4% of UK energy last year came from wind/solar/hydro.

        • But 37% of UK electricity.

          I wasn’t aware that coal made a contribution to UK energy needs beyond electricity very much? Unless there are more heritage steam railways that I realised?

          • Griff, wind/solar/hydro contributed 21% of the UK’s electricity in 2019. It looks as if you are adding in “renewable” energy such as Drax power station burning American forests.

          • I wasn’t aware that coal made a contribution to UK energy needs beyond electricity very much?

            Never heard of coal for heating? As Bill points out, still used in the UK.

            How about for industry? (the UK still has some industry, doesn’t it? or have the greens succeeded in killing UK industry?) The cement industry, paper and aluminium industry, chemical and pharma industry amongst others all use coal. The steel industry uses coal coke to smelt iron ore into iron to make steel. The high temperatures created by burning coal coke give steel the strength and flexibility needed for bridges, buildings, and automobiles.

            What about Gasification and Liquefaction? used in the production of such products as aspirins, solvents, soap, dyes, plastics and fibres which include nylon and rayon.

            Specialist products? Coal is also an essential ingredient in the production of specialist products such as activated carbons, carbon fibre and silicon metals.

            just to name a few of the non-electric uses of coal.

    • It could be accomplished by mandating that EV owners install solar panels to recharge Tesla Powerwall backup batteries that are in turn used to recharge EV batteries. Each EV would then require an additional $30-40,000 to power them without grid sourced fossil fuel polluted electricity

  35. “Petrol/diesel exhaust fumes have become a major problem in densely-populated cities,”

    That hasn’t been true in decades. The big problems are the millions of non-mobile sources.

  36. I am seeing much opinion here but little data. I own a Prius C hybrid and keep fuel consumption records, so here is some.

    The Prius C is identical to the Toyota Yaris except for the drive system, so a direct comparison can be made. The Yaris gets, according to an online database of people reporting several million miles of fuel consumption, an average of 46 mpg (real gallons, I’m in Canada); the Prius C gets 63.5 in the winter, and 65.3 in summer. The hybrid drive system results in a 40% better fuel economy, driving a mix of city/highway in southern British Columbia. That must come close to concluding that the hybrid is 40% more operationally efficient than the pure ICE equivalent.

    Note that it takes about 200,000 km or 120,000 miles of driving at present fuel cost before the extra purchase price of the hybrid is paid off by fuel cost savings however–but having the engine shut off each time it is not needed is worth the extra cost by itself, as is the realization that going down every hill is recovering some of the energy that it took to get up there (plus having air-density fuel-mixture compensation, variable valve timing and lift, continuously-variable-ratio planetary transmission, all-electric accessory drive with no belts…

    The plug-in hybrid is the same vehicle but with a bigger battery and the ability to charge it from grid; on short drives the ICE need not start. Its efficiency will therefor be a bit higher, and an equally technical friend who has one reports such results.

    To a technical person who’s first car was a ’63 Galaxy they are something that one has always dreamed about having. And just so I’m not called a snowflake, ‘my other car’ is a quad-cab, long-box, one-ton Cummins 6.7 diesel pickup. And not pulling one of the tractors around the darn things gets 27 mpg! (The Galaxy could get no more than 23).

    • You count the saving by being able to turn off the ICE, but ignore the cost of replacing the battery.

      Most internal combustion engines will last for several hundred thousand miles, and that’s running all the time.

    • PS: The vast majority of engine wear occurs during the first few seconds after the engine starts, while the oil pressure is building up. There is very little wear from continuous running. So constantly starting and stopping the ICE would actually increase wear, not decrease it.

      • Yeah. That could be fixed rather quickly w/a supplemental electric oil-pump that would operate for some seconds before the engine started up.

        In retrospect tho, engine failure is rarely the cause for cars sent to the junkyard, much more often it’s auxiliary equipment (including transmission) failure & plain old corrosion.

        • I would love to see the water pump be replaced with an electric one that could keep the water circulating for 5 to 10 minutes after the engine turns off in order to equalize the temperatures throughout the block while cooling.

          • Well Mark, you could be right on all those counts; all I can say is that so far you aren’t, at least not from my experience. My comment was limited to the operating efficiency which is quite clear, and it burns 40% less fuel than the same car doing the same job without the hybrid drive system.

            How long it lasts?–we’ll see, but Toyota has a pretty good reputation. While I agree that most wear occurs during the first minute or so after start-up, that is from a cold start; when warm with a good oil film I don’t believe that’s true. It still has only one cold start per trip like any other engine.

            So far–zero repairs, but that’s only in about 55,000 km. I keep cars until they’re done, so we’ll see on that count too. Generally, for a technically-minded person it is enjoyable to drive watching all that the technology is doing, and I’m someone with a class 1 through 6 license and experience on everything from a Western Star logging truck through to a Honda 50 motorcycle, engines in all of which I’ve rebuilt at least once. And I fly my own plane, which has also had one engine major.

            With that experience–I have respect for both the Prius and the Cummins pickup engines, they have steadily and markedly improved since I started driving in 1964. In contrast, the Continental O-200A is antique. I’m baffled at how an industry that had disc brakes (on just about everything flying, including the Fleet Canuck in which I learned to fly) and anti-lock brakes (on the B-47) in the 1940’s persists today with slightly-improved early 50’s Volkswagen engine technology.

            BTW, there are several water pumps on the Prius engine, all electric. One pumps thermos-bottle-stored hot (or warm depending on time) water through the head before a cold start. At times it does keep circulating after a hot shut-down too; it would appear that Toyota has some pretty intelligent engineers working for them.

            The battery life in Canada where they don’t get too hot seems to be excellent, my observation so far is that traction battery failure occurs in hot climates, and may be due to failure to maintain the battery cooling fan and filter, plus not repairing a/c when it fails; interior air is used to cool the battery. I see a tendency for failure in hot southern US climates, and with mileages suggesting a possible a/c failure.

            If you’re still around when I junk it I’ll let you know–but be warned that I turned in my last Cummins pickup at just over 600,000 km., and all other vehicles in the last 15 years that I repaired and drove to over 300,000 km were driven much farther by other younger family members to whom I passed them on.

            You could be absolutely right–but would you take a bet on it? (grin)

      • 100,000km = approx. 62,000 miles. Hmmm. don’t know about “most people” but many of the people I know have kept their vehicles past the 100k mile mark, nearly 30k more than your “most people”. The average length of time people keep their cars is 8.4 years (length of ownership varies by make and model). The average American drives 13,474 miles a year. so the miles that an average American puts on a car would be 113,181.6 miles or approx. 182,000 km – well over your 100,000 km claim. Now perhaps you’re talking about most people in Europe, or most people in Japan, or some other specific location (by citing km, I’m assuming you weren’t thinking specifically of the US) but as you didn’t specify, I can’t rightly say how “most people” in those locations compare to how we do things here in the US.

  37. Seriously… tho’ no one in the above comments mentioned it, the REAL reason for hybrids is 3-fold:

    [1] To provide a plausible ‘almost electric’ narrative to enthuse green-motivated buyers
    [2] To reduce operational costs around-town, at least in areas without über-high e-prices
    [3] To keep the ‘we are competitive, see?’ story-line going for car and van makers.

    Vehicle makers don’t give one fig’s worth of interest in making carts of ‘this’ or ‘that’ technology, for technology’s sake, or for the environment, for global warming or anything else. They make cars to SELL, and for no other reason. If marketing research turns up evidence that the buying public IS motivated by ‘hybrid’ or ‘plug-in electric’ or ‘gerbil powered’ cars, well … astute makers tend to adopt the ‘new tech’ rather quickly, to see if the marketing findings are fact or fiction. They take a modest investment-bet, and see how it goes.

    IF the public bellies up to the buyers’ bar, and buys the new whirligigs, well … the design departments are beefed up, and a broader selection is made next year. And so on. This is MARKETING 101, actually.

    If, like Toyota’s (or was it Nissan?) entry into the hydrogen-fueled market be as lackluster as pancakes on a Miami beach at 4 in the afternoon, well … they quietly kill off the tech, and fund other schemes. Gerbils included.

    The plug-rechargeable, semi-electric (I like that) is a fine idea, as long as it has … pep, cost-of-ownership efficiency, bells-and-whistles, and a solid safety-and-durability record. After that its all about colors, tires, and flashy upgrades.

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  38. “Their real value lies in cutting city pollution.” And the problem is they won’t come out and say that.

    Instead the bureaucrats and politicians, with the major assist from the Propaganda Ministry that laughingly refer to themselves as the News Media and the Non Science (lets refer to them as Nonsense) of the federally funded universities with their politically controlled peer review process, have created this Hobgoblin we have come to know as “Man Made Global Warm…ahhh we really meant Climate Change all along” for the very real purpose of justifying the forceful implementation of Central Authoritarian Control over the lives of those pesky p***ants they call citizens and look down upon as the great unwashed masses.

  39. IIRC, VW had a proven hybrid design ready in the mid-’80s. introduction of hybrids to the global market was delayed 10 years because of the insistence by radicals on the board of the South Coast AQMD (the air quality governing board for the Los Angeles Basin) on all-electric vehicles, using similar arguments. It made no sense to tool up for hybrid production without access to the California market. By the time that decision was reversed, Toyota had developed their hybrid system and VW had buried theirs.

    • So Griff, do you support the PHEV or want it crushed? I can’t figure out your real intent, cause you still thinking renewables and coal, and unicorns. The PHEV is a sensible solution for a colder climate, and for those of us who would suffer range anxiety. The majority of all car trips are less than 40-50 km a day, and a PHEV would be in pure battery mode for the entire trip. Yay or Nay?

      • I have my reservations about banning it along with the ICEs. I’d also support limited bio diesel (from waste cooking oil) in rural areas.

        Yes, I’d thought of getting one as next car, due to occasional 200 mile trips… Most UK trips are under 29 miles, if I recall correctly , though and longer ones are usually on the motorway network where chargers are being continuously rolled out.

        So: I am not against PHEVs… the report does seem to show they aren’t used effectively. Not mentioned is the tendency for UK fleets to buy them due to tax advantages: their corporate drivers then just use ICE option. Daft.

    • Excluding of course the Coal Power being pumped into the U.K. – EU inter-tie that feeds power into the U.K. as needed

  40. Hybrids are the perfect compromise, so naturally the Greens want to do away with them.

    A hybrid allows one to operate in the same way they have always operated. They go to the gas station and fill the gas tank. They don’t have to worry about finding a charging station, but the combination of a small gasoline engine and and electric motor reduces fuel consumption and CO2 production. Just what the Greens ought to want but apparently not.

    I see where Ford is getting ready to sell their new all-electric F150 pickup truck. I’m tempted to buy one since it can serve as a powersupply even being able to power your house during a power outage, although for how long, I don’t know.

    If Ford had a hybrid model of the pickup that could do the same thing (power my house during a power outage) I would go down and buy one tomorrow.

    The advantage of the hybrid over the all-electric model with regard to powering a house would be that you could drive the hydrid down to the gas station to fill it back up when it got low, whereas the all-electric would not have any place to replenish its charge during a power outage. If the power outage lasts too long, the all-electric will be out of juice.

    • What would be the economics of a F150 pick up truck. Initial cost, for how long would the battery last and battery replacement costs, etc.

  41. A letter authored by Natural History Museum Head of Earth Sciences Prof Richard Herrington and fellow experts has today been delivered to the Committee on Climate Change. The letter explains that to meet UK electric car targets for 2050 (with no hybrids) we would need to produce:
    – just under two times the current total annual world cobalt production,
    – nearly the entire world production of neodymium,
    – three quarters the world’s lithium production
    – at least half of the world’s copper production.

    Good luck with that, chaps!
    What could possibly go wrong???

    Our destination: peasantry tied to the land, no travel.
    This is true is it not, Griff?
    That’s where all this is headed?

    • I see an expansion of mining of resources required by batteries across the globe: as demand increases, so it becomes necessary and cost effective to recover resources in new places and technology develops.

      Which is exactly what has happened to oil over the last 50 years… we now pump oil in Siberia and from under the N Sea and fracc it when we didn’t to that extent in 1970.

      (I’m flattered you asked me: but really you could have googled it. Perhaps we need a ‘hey Griff’ option to replace your Alexa? My agent in Beijing will be happy to review proposals…)

      • “‘hey Griff’

        I bet we could have some fun with that. 🙂

        Hey, Griff, you seem to be in a better mood than in the past. Just saying. I don’t know why that would be since you are still losing the argument, but maybe you think you are winning. I suppose that’s possible.

  42. I always thought self-charging hybrids are the best way forward for reasons that should be so obvious even politicians can understand why. Apparently not.

  43. Carl Sagan sells Jeep Wranglers!

    Jeep® Wrangler 4xe. The first-ever electric Wrangler. To explore & cherish the only home we’ve ever known.

  44. ***”If you never charge the battery and drive very aggressively then they can have significantly higher emissions than the equivalent petrol or diesel model,” he continues.***

    Another moron who compares driving a hybrid aggressively to driving the equivalent ICE model conservatively.

    “Never charge the battery?” What is the reason people are spending a ton of extra money on a plug-in hybrid version and then not using the plug-in aspect? Seems nonsensical…not buying it.

  45. So what happens when you have unexpected long delays in route?
    Being from Canada – this happens in winters from time to time up here; major hwy’s closed or clogged for up to 6 hrs to a day. Or if you loose power for a very long time ( ice storm of 98) : if all your transportation is electricity based.. then you lose two essential services at the same time.

    • Or if you loose power for a very long time

      Indeed. That’s one of the reasons why I wouldn’t want a pure EV.

  46. Try fitting a couple of dogs into the back of one of these vehicles. Severely compromised on space in order to accommodate the battery and electrical systems. I’ll keep my diesel estate thank you.

  47. Suspicious of their own scheme, whats that word, paranoid of self.

    Why should they decide anyway, isn’t it the public’s decision what car or truck they want to buy.

  48. “Once you understand that CO2 emissions are of no importance at all compared to city pollution, the use of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in cities starts to make a lot of sense.”

    EXACTLY!!! And city centre noise….

  49. As was alluded to at the end of the piece, what greens are and always have attacked is personal freedom.
    That makes sense ( meaning I follow their leader logic) as abhorrent as I find it.
    It is high time the majority started ignoring all the little nibbles these people make to take one little freedom then another no to point out boldly that this is about people who want to take ALL your freedoms., not just your choice in cars.
    Is BLM helping impoverished people, or supporting a Marxist takeover. The answer is clearly the latter, so let’s keep pointing it out.
    You have a right to your opinion in my world. You do not have the right to deprive me of mine. You absolutely do not have a right to dictate how I must live.

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