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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Electric Crap

Paul Withrington from Transport Watch writes ...
How can anybody think that the electric car is the solution to any problem? The belief that it will emit 40% less carbon than conventional vehicles is based on the Arup/Cenex report with the natty title "Investigation into the Scope for the Transport Sector to Switch to Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles", dated October 2008.

Unfortunately its conclusions depend on the wild claims of manufacturers, rather than upon sensible tests. Not surprisingly the gap between those claims and the anecdotal performance of the vehicles is so large as to beggar belief:

• An electric car provided to a journalist for tests was alleged to have a 70-mile range. The journalist decided to be safe and planned a 50-mile trip only to find the specially prepared car failed at 37 miles.

• A user of a G-Wiz found that the battery expired after two years and three months, instead of after the hoped-for five years.

• Jeremy Clarkson found that the Tesla ran out of power after 55 miles on his test track, rather than after the 220 miles claimed by the manufacturer.

• An electric Ford Transit-sized van provided to a manufacturer, who wants to remain anonymous, was alleged to have a range of 100 miles. The manufacturer found that on the level, and with no load, the vehicle managed 60 miles but that on hills in Wales it managed just six (yes, six!).

• Adverse weather conditions are said to reduce battery performance by 40% to 50%.

Furthermore, section six of the Arup/Cenex paper 'demonstrates' that the cost of running an electric vehicle will be less than that for an internal combustion-powered vehicle. However, the costs assigned to petrol and diesel include tax, so exaggerating the economy of the electric vehicle by a factor of at least three. Against that background we regard the paper, a paper upon which national policy hangs, as worthless.

What better illustration do we need of the poor quality of the advice given to Government and of the naivety of those who receive it?

H/T to the GOS

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