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27 May 2010 05:05:03

Barriers obstruct UK electric car usage

Barriers obstruct UK electric car usage
A number of barriers to the large scale use of electric cars in the UK have been identified in a report by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The report said that there were issues with the cost of the more environmentally friendly vehicles, as well as the infrastructure needed to sustain their use in large numbers.

One of the most significant problems identified was that of supplying the energy to charge the vehicles from low-carbon sources without "overwhelming local distribution centres".

Professor Roger Kemp of Lancaster University, chair of the academy's electric vehicles working group, said: "When most electricity in Britain is still generated by burning gas and coal, the difference between an electric car and a small, low-emission petrol or diesel car is negligible."

In addition to this the report said that there were likely to be issues developing a charging network large enough to deal with high electric car usage, suggesting that plug-in hybrid vehicles may be the answer as they will require a less comprehensive infrastructure.

The current availability of suitable high-energy batteries at an economically viable price was also said to be prohibitive.

Nissan recently announced the price of its Leaf electric car would be comparable with most hybrid and diesel vehicles, at around £28,350 including the battery.ADNFCR-1235-ID-19805158-ADNFCR

Discussion Thread  

28 May 2010

Am involved with possible schemes to put Solar PV above all open air car parks especially supermarkets, with a view to providing "charge up car while shopping" ??
One talk already on going with Tesco.

28 May 2010

For 500£ per space one might get enough charging power in an hour to add 5 miles to the car's driving range. True or false? No doubt the plug in lines would need some careful management to avoid entanglements and drivers going off whilst still connected?

28 May 2010

I feel sure that these people genuinely know what they are talking-about. It is simple to see that that if you spend enuf - energy - an illusion of just about anything can be created, so long as the cost is forgotten about. Currently the actual cost is all paid-for by the the environment because of the sources used to charge these (very pleasant) vehicles. Of course solar-panel covered carparks would be great - so long as the panels ended-up supplying the energy required to make another similar installation, as well as what they provide to customer's vehicles.
I have just imported 320? watts of solar pv from China. The very reasonable - and possibly self-sustaining - price of about 450 GB Pounds, was doubled by various import charges, and costs, which may mean that importing at this rate will be a dying industry. It consumes more energy than it provides. The fact is that such industries can go-ahead and continue - so long as people are willing to pay. Windfarms are another example of mass ? hypnosis / fooling ourselves. The industry itself will not be real untill it is supplied with energy entirely from its own product - plus Sunlight - and then has some to spare. This - if possible in principle - will require huge investment, but after that it will be a true benefit to us, without in itself placing a burden on the Environment. This really does need to be understood to prevent further damage posing as "clean and green"

30 May 2010

So it begs the question: why electric, especially when biofuels from sustainable sources such as algae have good potential, as well as emerging technology to capture and convert CO2 to hydrocarbons, which can then be used in the current vehicle fleet and use much of the exisitng fuel dustribution infrastructure, yet delivering possible higher net CO2 benefits, rather than diaplacing much of the problem back to the power station?

By all means electric will have its role but the expense of new vehicles, constraints on mileage, charging infrastructure and the uncertainty as to whether the source of supply is carbon rich, low or carbon neutral, sever doubts remain.

Discussion Thread  


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