On yer bike, commuters! Electric car obsession impedes race to net zero

Posted: June 18, 2021 by oldbrew in Batteries, Emissions, ideology, net zero, Travel
Tags: ,
e-bike1

E-bikes

Electric bike, aka ‘active travel’, that is. That’s the proposed option for those who don’t want to walk, don’t have access to an electric car, or do but hit recharge problems, in the wondrous(?) net zero future. The real obsession is that with minor trace gases in the atmosphere, leading to all sorts of improbable and foolish policy ideas and decisions.
– – –
Globally, only one in 50 new cars were fully electric in 2020, and one in 14 in the UK, says TechXplore.

Sounds impressive, but even if all new cars sold were electric, it would still take 15-20 years to replace the world’s fossil fuel car fleet.

The emission savings from replacing all those internal combustion engines with zero-carbon alternatives will not feed in fast enough to make the necessary difference in the time we can spare: the next five years [Talkshop comment – says who?].

Tackling the climate and air pollution requires curbing all motorized transport, particularly private cars, as quickly as possible.

Focusing solely on electric vehicles is slowing down the race to zero emissions. This is partly because electric cars are not truly zero-carbon. Mining the raw materials for their batteries, manufacturing them and generating the electricity they need for fuel produces emissions.

Transport is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise because of its heavy fossil fuel use and reliance on carbon-intensive infrastructure—such as roads, airports and the vehicles themselves—and the way it embeds car-dependent lifestyles.

One way to reduce transport emissions relatively quickly, and potentially globally, is to swap cars for cycling, e-biking and walking—active travel, as it is called.

As many as 50% of car journeys are less than five km and could easily be replaced by active travel. Electric bikes increase this range to 10 km or more. They have become more popular over the past few years as prices have come down.

These bikes allow older people to cycle and help riders cycle in hilly areas. But they still provide physical activity.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, electric bikes have become popular for long-distance commutes of up to 30 km. They could be the answer to our commuting problems.

Full article here.

Comments
  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    I am sure these bikes will be popular in sunny Britain, except possibly the hilly parts. A possible solution there would be ski-lift type conveyors to the top of the hill, so cyclists would get a boost in their range.

    Not sure about trips across cities e.g. London or the airport (for flights to the next Climate Conference of course). Perhaps a vehicle (electric of course) with lots of external straps so cyclists could hang on and be towed somewhere.

  2. oldbrew says:

    curbing all motorized transport

    Except trucks, buses, fire engines, ambulances etc. etc.?

  3. […] On yer bike, commuters! Electric car obsession impedes race to net zero […]

  4. Gamecock says:

    10-4, oldbrew.

    ‘Transport is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise because of its heavy fossil fuel use and reliance on carbon-intensive infrastructure—such as roads, airports and the vehicles themselves—and the way it embeds car-dependent lifestyles.’

    Eating is a lifestyle.

    There are no farms in London. All food is transported in. Net Zero means Zero London.

    ‘As many as 50% of car journeys are less than five km and could easily be replaced by active travel.’

    If you don’t carry anything with you; if you don’t bring anything back. And the weather is okay. The arrogance is stunning.

  5. Mike Wattam says:

    All ICE road transport can be easily retro-fitted with hybrid propulsion using human power. All that is needed is a set of pedals in front of every seat, and connected by chain to the non-driving axle(s). This would be particularly useful in giving zero emissions in town. All passengers would however need to follow new legislation which makes wearing gas-proof underpants mandatory. These are under development by a friend of an as yet un-named government minister – the project is known as P.A.N.T.S.

  6. ivan says:

    We might laugh, and we should, at this stupidity but we must also remember that the ecoloons and climate obsessives that are proposing this are very sure in their own little minds that they are correct.

    The fact they can’t workout that it will never work especially if they are relying on unreliable power generation for the electricity to drive the electric transport. With another ‘climatefest’ very close at hand we can expect many more stupid ideas to surface that require government money to work (there isn’t one of these ideas that is ever self financing – borris bikes anyone).

  7. Gamecock says:

    Which reminds me, ivan, I haven’t seen any breakthrough articles lately. Maybe they are saving them up to dump during the CoP26 Festival.

    No super batteries have been invented in the last few months. Nor solar panels that will produce more energy at night than in the daytime. Nor a new catalyst that will produce hydrogen from seawater with no energy input.

  8. Hasbeen says:

    Ever watch 24 Hours in Emergency.

    A very large percentage of their injuries is from bike accidents. The last thing I need is a trip to hospital from a fall of a bike.

  9. Gamecock says:

    So riddle me this, Hasbeen: In this new brave world, if you have a bike accident, how do you get to the hospital?

  10. auralay says:

    I have a nice, comfortable if elderly, diesel Passat, which makes light work of towing my caravan. I doubt any toy battery car I can afford will be able to pull it to the nearest charging point, let alone across the country. As to biking, I haven’t had the jab, so, in this brave new world, I won’t be eligible for hospital treatment anyway. I’ll be left at the roadside, probably with one of those red “contaminated rubbish” stickers my binpersons are so fond of.
    Auralay. Gender no sex, please, I’m British. Racial affinity – Homo Sapiens (I think), Pronouns I, Me miNE!

  11. JB says:

    “slowing down the race”

    What race? Chicken Littles.

    They forget that the entire point of the auto was to cut travel time to a min in exchange for greater productivity and leisure. Let them ride for 30km every day and see how much leisure they feel like, or how much their productivity increases. Especially in ice storms and blistering heat.

    Anyone invented an HVAC for the bike yet? Sounds like an OSHA carriage.

  12. Kip Hansen says:

    Gee. . . . “As many as 50% of car journeys are less than five km and could easily be replaced by active travel. ” For those us of in the U.S., 5 kilometers is 3 miles. (Well, for you in the UK too, but you don’t say that). 3 miles is a long walk — too long to walk with two bags of heavy groceries — impossible with four bags — certainly too long to make your toddler and the 5 year old walk so Mom can pick up a quart of milk.

    3 miles is too far to walk in a snowstorm, when the temperatures are well below freezing, in the pouring rain, or when it is 95°F (35°C ) out there.

    3 miles is also too far to go by bicycle — electric or no — in inclement weather, too cold, too hot, too wet, too snowy. And where do you put Mom’s two car seats required for the kids?

    One of the great problems for the poor in America is transport — to the store for groceries, to work, to visit grandma in the hospital. All are 3 to 5 miles away. Trips to buy food for a family of four or 5 involves a lot of heavy bags of food — or one is back to the “daily food shopping” which is much more expensive.

    One of these electric bike promoters — or any of the “no more cars” promoters needs to try to do their weekly grocery shopping on foot or by bike, taking along two or three unruly (or at least excited and excitable) under ten-year-olds.

    Oh, and not in an urban area, like downtown London or New York, but in the suburbs or in a semi-rural area.

    Where I live, suburban/semi-rural America, there are buses, two or three times a day. The jobs are all in the nearby city 15 miles distant. To go to work by bus, with the schedules as they are, requires an extra three hours travel time. Try that as a single Mom with three school aged kids and no car.

  13. Gamecock says:

    I used to have a T-shirt that said, “Vermont ain’t flat.”

    When my mother went to school in West Virginia, she walked 3 miles uphill . . . (wait for it) . . . both ways.

    I’ll get my coat.

  14. Gamecock says:

    “They forget that the entire point of the auto was to cut travel time to a min in exchange for greater productivity and leisure.”

    AND cut down on the horse poop on the streets of New York City. The automobile was a pollution reducer!

  15. oldbrew says:

    Britain’s many potholes are annoying for car drivers, but dangerous for bike riders. Safety, or lack of it, is the biggest disincentive to bike use for many people.

  16. Graeme No.3 says:

    @oldbrew:
    So bike riders should be encouraged to claim potholes are discrimatory? Even racist if they aren’t black.
    And if the City Council doesn’t respond immediately they could be called (among other things) Potholes?

  17. If we’re lucky, the impending electric car fiasco will cause a mere global recession. If we’re not, it will be a global depression leading to war.

  18. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Electric ( coal fired ) cars do NOT reduce pollution. Our ‘leaders’ are insane.

  19. Coeur de Lion says:

    But what about long journeys? The inference is that we will need two cars. Oh wait – nearly all EV buyers are rich, have a ICE car, a charging point and two garages already!

  20. Phoenix44 says:

    They also ignore that many people never buy a new car and it is unclear what second-hand EVs will look like if their batteries are shot.

    But the idea that people with two children aged say 6 and 4 can do all their necessary journeys by bike is absurd.

  21. Phillip Bratby says:

    There’s nothing better than cycling up and down pot-hole riddled lanes in icy conditions with a week’s shopping on your back!

  22. oldbrew says:

    At least electric bike batteries will make far less waste when disposed of than EV ones. Not to mention defunct solar panels and wind turbines.

    But the GWPF has mentioned solar panel waste…

    The dark side of solar power & the looming waste crisis
    Date: 19/06/21 Atalay Atasu, Serasu Duran, and Luk N. Van Wassenhove, Harvard Business Review

    The solar industry’s current circular capacity is woefully unprepared for the deluge of waste that is likely to come. The economics of solar could darken quickly if the industry sinks under the weight of its own trash.

    https://www.thegwpf.com/the-dark-side-of-solar-power-the-looming-waste-crisis/

  23. Gamecock says:

    ‘The solar industry’s current circular capacity is woefully unprepared for the deluge of waste that is likely to come.’

    Not really. The U.S. has hundreds of thousands of square miles of empty desert. Solar power waste is mostly solid waste. We can stack all you could ever make in a little corner of Nevada, and no one ever need to know. (You would have to build roads to get there.)

  24. oldbrew says:

    Doomsters’ sickest wheeze?

  25. Gamecock says:

    Been wondering where all the breakthrough reports have been (June 18, 2021 at 3:29 pm).

    The British-American Ekranoplan ends the drought.

  26. oldbrew says:

    Don’t want to pedal? Electric mopeds/scooters are far cheaper, and quicker to charge, than EVs…

    Best electric mopeds 2021
    – ‘We run down the best electric mopeds you can buy, from some mainstream and some not-so-well-known names’

    27 May 2021
    https://www.drivingelectric.com/best-cars/1503/best-electric-mopeds

  27. tom0mason says:

    And for us in our twilight years with poor balance there are electric tricycles. At only £2,300 each they will save the planet?
    See https://www.alpineelectricbikes.co.uk/

  28. oldbrew says:

    Saving the planet from delusional climate obsessives is the real issue.

  29. oldbrew says:

  30. oldbrew says:

    De facto electricity rationing beckons thanks to government imposition of net zero policies.

  31. Russ Wood says:

    Except for my first 5 years of working(as an apprentice) I have never held a job that was less than 20 kilometers from where I was able to live. (I was an aircraft design engineer – and those businesses tend to be at airfields, while rental flats tend to be in cities). I DID cycle to work while an apprentice – but would HATE to have to do the same these years! These days, in South Africa, my car journeys are either about 5 km with a boot-ful of shopping, or 500 km on holiday. No bike for me!

  32. tallbloke says:

  33. Douglas Dragonfly says:

    How long will liquid fuel be available to joe public ? There’ll be a black market for diesel. Petrol which is already being sold with lower octane levels will be discontinued.
    Unless there is a shortage of lithum.
    Or electricity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s