E-cars are a dangerous myth, says top boffin
Bleeding science funding for useless toys?
Politicians' obsession with electric cars is a waste of time - and costing British science and research dear. So says Richard Pike, head of the Royal Chemistry Society, in a hard-hitting contribution to Research Fortnight (pdf).
Pike says the £250m tax boondoggle designed to induce us to buy electric cars would save less than 0.01 per cent of UK carbon emissions - yet represents a third of the nation's annual budget of the science and engineering funding council.
"The myths of the electric car centre on its energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and low operating costs," writes Pike. "Unfortunately, none of these are true."
Bureaucratic claims that electric cars are three to four times more efficient (measured in kWh/km) are exaggerated, he explains, because they don't take into account inefficiencies in distribution. Only 36 per cent of energy available in the fuel in a power station is delivered as electricity - so the green "efficiency" advantage disappears.
But even if all the available energy was delivered, without loss, the carbon emission saving would be negligible. And it's only "cheaper" because petrol is so heavily taxed. Once we all run dinky electric cars, the government will lose so much revenue, it will want to tax electricity, too.
Read more about the dodgy maths of the Great Electric Car Racket, here. ®
Unfortunately Pike's analysis is flawed
But hey ho, nothing like someone sounding off about something they don't really understand, eh Andrew?
Pike misleadingly uses the extra-urban drive cycle fuel consumption to compare against EVs when the first wave of EVs are going to be commuter vehicles. They completely outshine combustion engine vehicles in the urban and combined cycles. The CO2 emissions from EVs already beats all but the very best internal combustion engine vehicles and it will only get better as the grid decarbonises.
And get this - the entire energy consumption for a whole year's worth of driving an electric car can be generated by a UK-based domestic scale PV system (~2,250kWh). You'd need to eat quite a lot of chips to be able to run your car off home made fuel.
The fact is that the necessary cuts in transport emissions will be impossible without the electrification of road transport. Sticking to combustion engine vehicles could produce maybe a 30% to 40% reduction *at the very most* and that was if the manufacturers pulled out all the stops and everyone downsized as much as possible.
By the way, why are you allowed to use the Register as a propaganda platform for your rants against action on climate change? Where's the opportunity to respond to these often poorly researched diatribes? e.g.
It's really quite pathetic and it discredits the whole website.
Several posts comment that we'll run out of resources to build batteries. This thinking assumes that the components are limited and non-reusable like petroleum. The batteries use metals like lithium, nickel, iron, manganese and carbon.
1. All of these elements are available in large amounts. The so called problems with future lithium supply shortages are based on supplies of lithium salts that can, literally, be scrapped off the ground. Known readily accessible reserves are 30 million tons or so. However, it's a common enough element found in many minerals which could be exploited once these resources are used up. Technically, there is 230 billion tons of the stuff disolved in seawater; although, technically, it would be difficult to extract.
2. The batteries can be recycled. So, at the end of the batteries life, the metals can be put back into the resource pool.
This sort of commentary sounds alot like those clowns they dig up from obscurity who tell us global warming isn't happening!!!! Who pays this bloke to come up with this crap? To say that Evs are no better than the status quo is like saying we should never have moved on from steam locomotives. This self appointed expert needs to quote a couple of facts in his augment 1) ALL petrol ICE powered cars are 15% energy efficient at the wheels! That's right up there with incandescent light bulbs for converting expensive energy into useless waste heat. 2) Evs REGENERATE and with aggressive regen it is possible to DOUBLE the range of an EV by recovering up to 50% of the energy it uses... there is no ICE equivalent... friction brakes are about as sophisticated as dragging your feet on the ground by comparison.