Friday, February 24, 2023

Buyers Going Cold On Electric Cars As Costs Rocket


Several articles questioning the feasibility of the UK governments policy to ban the sale of new Internal Combustion Engined (ICE) cars after 2030, as part of their 'net zero' drive, have appeared in the pages of Britain's most popular news websites recently. The authors have gone to great lengths to the problems and issues with EVs, problems that writers in alt_media have highlighted for years, some providing excellent technical analysis, some displaying  wide knowledge of mining and processing the minerals essential to battery manufacture and others like myself focusing on the nonsensical economics behind the case for electrification of personal transport. Unlike these amateur (in the truest sense,) efforts the mainstream journalists rarely follow through with any analysis or conclusions, are they hoping to prepare the way for a change in Government policy?

A good example of this dawning sense of reality, wrtiten by Howard Mustoe appeared in The Telegraph today:

Motorists are rapidly losing interest in electric cars as the cost of power surges and petrol and diesel prices continue to fall, the AA has suggested.

The proportion of car buyers considering purchasing an electric model this year has slumped to less than a fifth compared with one in four a year ago, its research found.

It came as the boss of Stellantis, which owns Vauxhall, warned that the middle classes cannot afford the cost of electric cars without the support of state subsidies.

Carlos Tavares, chief executive of Stellantis, said: “The most significant problem of electrification is the affordability for the middle classes.

“That's what we are now fighting against – how fast can we reduce the costs to bring the EV [electric vehicle] to the level of affordability that people can pay for without subsidies.”

The up-front cost of plug-in vehicles has become unaffordable for many as rampant inflation makes models even more expensive. For example, a Volkswagen Golf costs from around £25,000, while a similarly-sized all-electric VW ID.3 starts at about £36,400. Prices for Nissan's battery-powered Leaf start at £29,000, while its combustion engine model Juke starts at £20,700.

At the same time, falling prices at the pump means many drivers are holding onto petrol and diesel cars for longer.

As it is; next year there is a Government quota for 22% of car sales to be EVs which will increase up to 2030 when the sale of conventional ICE cars will be banned. At which point comparisons of EV and ICE cars will become irrelevant as there will be no ICE cars available. The logical conclusion is that unless there is a rapid and significant change in technology, pricing and electric supply in the UK and if current Government car policy remains unchanged; the UK will see a massive decline in private car ownership and usage. It is difficult not to conclude that this is the unspoken and unstated objective of the net-zero powers that be.

If this happens it will be a monumental social change, much of the UK has grown up as the ‘Top Gear’ generation with cars at the cornerstone of life. Much of Holiday, Leisure tourism and social life centres around the car. Without a car life in many rural areas becomes quite difficult. There is little sign that this or a possible future Labour Gov will change this EV car policy, in which case it will lead to an incredible seismic shift for the worse in the lives of most ordinary people. but the whole of the Green Lunacy fad often seems to be an attack on the less well much for all that political pontificating about equality and inclusiveness.

  After years of unchallened hype about EVs being the future of road transport and how it is necessary to shift from ICEs to battery driven cars it seems the public and the media have at last realised how an EV can easily morph into a wonky proposition and why, after electric cars first hit the road 30 years before the first petrol car was driven, electrics have never been able to compete.

The battery guarantee is three years for the most affordable models, or eight years in case a Tesla (providing it does not incinerate the car's occupants sooner). And yes, "we" know the price for the battery replacement is half of the whole car price but for used electrics the price of a new battery pack is often greater than the value of the car,.

  Owners need a driveway and a garage with a charging point and WiFi - or a lot of spare time.

And when - during the winter - the temperature drops below - 10 °C, the driving range of the car halves. The range also halves if the temperature is 0 °C outside, and "we" drive with the cabin heater on.If the driver is prepared to risk hypothermia the range only drops 25%.

If the temperature outside is - 10 °C and "we" drive with the cabin heater on, the range is only 25%, and "we" better stay at home?

"We" also need to make sure to live within few kilometres from some fast chargers, and the routes to all our destinations do include one or more fast chargers.

There are too many shadows lurking from behind an EVs. It would be nice to drive a car that don't spew noxious fumes, but what if the battery fail after three years? That's from £ 15 to 20K. What if "we" find all the few chargers on the motorway either busy or out of service? What if we are caught in a winter blizzard? What if run out of power on the motorway - can't "we" have the equivalent of a Jerry can? The number of "what ifs" is still uncomfortably high for "us" to buy an EV and be happy and relaxed.

And now the cost of running them is rising and governments are looking for ways to plug the hole in revenue that will be left by the loss of taxes on fuel etc. those costs are only going to rise even more.

But don't get me wronmg here, I am not anti - EV per se: I think they have a great futures as buses and taxis, for urban delivery vehicles and as city runabout for those who can afford a very expensive second car.




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