Feeds

Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

Kryten from Red Dwarf weighs into 'leccycar race row

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Are garages, supermarkets etc really going to let you park on their expensive tarmac for most of the day just to sell a few pence-worth of 'leccy?

Even the Roadster, probably the ultimate that can be achieved by e-cars, took much, much longer to get to Edinburgh than a fossil-fuelled one would have done (about 12 hours longer). Most people getting up hours before dawn would expect to have finished that journey by the afternoon: Peilow didn't get there until the early hours of the next day. Hopefully he took a nap during one or both of his lengthy charging stops for the sake of safety, as strictly speaking he shouldn't still have been driving.

Roadster charging. Credit: Tesla

If you use this sort of socket, this is mainly what your Roadster will be doing.

Then we come to the awkward fact that an awful lot of people don't have private driveways or garages, and thus won't be able to charge up EVs at home. It will be distinctly tiresome for them to have to park up for several hours minimum at a service area or supermarket car park every few days, and they probably won't be allowed to do so in many cases. Even in the present day the Beeb's Milligan encountered one public charge point whose software limited users to two hours to "stop people blocking access for everyone else": fortunately, as he needed a 10-hour charge to make it to the next one, site management altered the settings specially for him.

Garage owners, already under severe financial pressure due to the very high level of tax on motor fuel, are accustomed to being able to turn over a customer who will be spending tens of pounds every few minutes at each pump: they are simply not going to allow e-car drivers to sit on their scarce forecourt space for hours on end in order to sell a few pennies-worth of 'leccy. The same will be true, though not quite so starkly, in the case of supermarkets and service areas, both of whom work their car parks intensively.

The infrastructure required to make mass e-car use work is not, then, on the same scale as that required for internal-combustion ones: it is hugely bigger. To make it really work, pretty much every designated public or on-street parking space in the land will need to be furnished with a high-power outlet (and, more expensively, payment and metering equipment). The main cost of charging up your e-car when away from home will not be the electricity - as Llewellyn and his chums correctly say, this costs pennies (though it won't if much of it is to be generated by renewables, but let's not even get into that today). No, the main cost of charging an e-car other than at home will be the fee for the parking space and (often enough) the bedroom or waiting-room for the driver while the charging happens.

Then we come to the great unmentioned spectre of e-cars - battery wear. The reason you can't buy a Mini-E is not a sinister motor-industry conspiracy: it is the fact that "frankly, at this stage, we're not really sure about the long-term endurance of the batteries of the Mini-E", as its makers say.

Things aren't much different with the Roadster, in fact. Tesla has said that its cars are expected to lose as much as 40 per cent of their battery capacity (and thus, range between charges) during their lives: as "range anxiety" is already the defining problem of electric cars, this is potentially a very serious cloud on the horizon for them. And the Roadster is top-end, so lesser e-cars - the sort that ordinary people will actually be able to have - will probably suffer worse.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.