Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Electric car home charging point [image credit: evcompare.ie]


Looks like yet another visit to cloud cuckoo land for climate alarmists fretting about trace gases in the atmosphere. They’re creating a massive problem with insistence on an EV-only future and now cast around frantically for solutions, as the clock ticks to chaos. Let’s try a food analogy: juggling oranges doesn’t give you more oranges.
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Transportation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, accounting for about a third of all emissions, says TechXplore.

We could quickly lower those emissions by electrifying vehicles, but there’s just one hitch: we don’t currently generate enough power.

“If all transportation goes electric, we are effectively doubling demand,” said Matthias Preindl, an EV expert at Columbia Engineering. “And the grid isn’t built to withstand that.”

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Ballistic battery time again. Insurers and fire fighters must be nervous as mass battery-powered travel is supposed to be the future in many countries.
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There have been near daily reports of electric scooters catching fire across India amid record-breaking temperatures, says The Telegraph.

At least four Indians have died since March after their electric scooters caught fire, with record-breaking temperatures caused by climate change now feared to be behind the deadly blazes.

A father and daughter died in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in March, while two men died in two separate incidents in April in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

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Image credit: sustainable-bus.com

H/T JohnM
One bus…30 fire fighters. Best wear running shoes and travel light if boarding such a vehicle. This has happened before.
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Dozens of electric buses will be taken off the streets of Paris temporarily “as a precaution” after two of the vehicles caught fire, public transport operator RATP said on Friday. The Local – France reporting.

Following a second blaze on Friday morning, in which no one was hurt, “RATP has taken the decision to suspend use of 149 electric buses” of manufacturer Bollore’s Bluebus 5SE model, the state-owned company said.

The number 71 bus that caught fire in southeast Paris early on Friday released thick clouds of black smoke and a strong smell of burning plastic, according to an AFP journalist on the scene.

“The bus driver immediately evacuated all the passengers. Nobody was hurt,” RATP said, while the city fire service said the blaze was put out by around 30 firefighters.

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Tesla Model 3 [image credit: Vauxford @ Wikipedia]


EVs can at least offer accidental entertainment, except to their victims of course. “There’s still plenty of idiots to go around”.
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A new Reddit clip shows a Tesla using the Smart Summon feature at a Cirrus event crash into a small private jet worth millions.

Autopilot didn’t work, says Futurism.

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The availability of new hybrids after 2030 is also thrown into question, as the government puts its foot on the climate obsession accelerator. Sales figures of full EVs will now be part of that policy decision. Basically freedom of choice will end in 2027, well before the government’s latest energy strategy has had much chance to take any effect. This looks over-ambitious in terms of electricity supply, to put it mildly.
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More than half of all new cars sold in the UK must be fully electric by 2028, under detailed government proposals unveiled on Thursday to pave the way for phasing out the sale of traditional petrol and diesel vehicles by the end of the decade, says DUK News.

Ministers want to bring in a China-style sales mandate from 2024, which would force carmakers to increase the proportion of electric cars as a percentage of their sales each year until 2035, when all models must be zero emission.

Under plans unveiled two years ago, the government would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 but allow some new hybrid models to be sold until 2035.

Specific year-by-year goals disclosed online on Thursday include a 22 per cent mandated all-electric share by manufacturer at the start of the scheme in 2024, rising every year to 52 per cent in 2028 and 80 per cent by 2030.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders industry body said the new rules “must encourage consumers to purchase not just compel manufacturers to produce.” It renewed its call for manufacturers to be released from the binding targets if not enough electric chargers were installed across the UK.

Last month the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that 59 per cent of new car sales would be electric by 2027, double the level it forecast in October.

Battery-electric cars accounted for 12 per cent of the new vehicles sold last year but some manufacturers, such as Toyota, currently rely on hybrid systems to lower emissions and have only this year begun selling full electric vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s largest carmaker, only sells one electric model and is not due to release its next electric car until 2024.

Full article here.

BMW i3 electric car plus battery pack [image credit: carmagazine.co.uk]


Unlucky. It’s not just lithium either. Nickel prices are going crazy as supply problems loom. The notion of EVs competing on price with fuel burners any time soon is receding fast, if not dead in the water.
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Soaring lithium prices are threatening energy transition efforts as EV battery makers will be forced to hike the prices for their products by as much as 25 percent, Morgan Stanley has warned.

Over the past 12 months, the bank said, as quoted by Bloomberg, the price of lithium carbonate, which is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries, has jumped five times.

This may force EV manufacturers to hike prices by up to 15 percent, hurting demand, reports OilPrice.com.

The news comes at a bad time for EVs. Rising retail fuel prices in some parts of the world, such as the United States, are driving higher EV demand, but carmakers are already finding it hard to satisfy it amid persistent supply chain problems and the rising prices of most raw materials.

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Beep beep! Trouble ahead for mineral-hungry EV producers, especially in countries that don’t want mining on their soil.

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

Billboard size speed limit signs and flashing police radar scanning dashboard warnings be damned!

U.S. and European electric vehicle (EV) companies are racing to cash in on markets driven by dependence upon government subsidies which, in turn, rely on scarce and costly materials needed for batteries controlled by foreign adversaries.

Mining required for those EV batteries will soon dominate the world production of many critical minerals, and already accounts for about 40% and 25%, respectively, of all global lithium and cobalt.

Take nickel, for example, of which Russia produces about 7% of the global supply and 20% of the world’s class 1 (98% pure quality) used both for advanced electric vehicle batteries and stainless steel production.

In March, after prices soared 66% to more than $100,000 a metric ton, the London Metal Exchange suspended nickel trading after a three-month contract price more than doubled.

Prompted…

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Once again the courts are cast in the role of arbiter of climate obsessions as so-called ‘campaigners’ try to suppress modern developments, intended to meet rising demand, by the usual claim that any minor increase on the 0.04% carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a problem rather than a benefit.
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Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN) has lodged an appeal against the Planning Inspectorate’s recent decision to approve the expansion, after raising more than £20,000 to cover legal fees, reports New Civil Engineer.

BAAN believes the expansion will be damaging for local people and the environment, and lead to a rise in road traffic, increased noise and air pollution and an “inevitable rise in carbon emissions”.

BAAN representative Stephen Clarke said: “This decision is so damaging for the local people and the climate that it simply cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged.”

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Antarctic sea ice [image credit: BBC]


There’s a pattern here. How often do these gung-ho sea trips to polar regions by climate botherers — sorry, researchers — run into sea ice trouble, usually sooner rather than later?
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When Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, became trapped in Antarctic sea ice in 1915, the crew had no choice but to drift helplessly for nine months before their ship finally sank, says The Telegraph (via MSN News).

The expedition to find the Endurance’s wreck came close to the same fate late on Sunday.

But where Shackleton’s men could rely only on patience, the Agulhas II has 16,000 horsepower of propulsion, movable ballast, and a container full of aviation fuel.

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BMW i3 electric car plus battery pack [image credit: carmagazine.co.uk]


If they’re already struggling to get enough lithium when EVs have only a small market presence, where are the supplies for the massive planned EV expansion supposed to come from, and at what cost in already expensive machines? Mining operations don’t spring up overnight, and time is short if supply is to meet the expected demand from the manufacturers.
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As the price of lithium has skyrocketed over 400% in the past year, the demand for lithium-ion batteries appears more intense than ever, says AG Metal Miner @ OilPrice.com.

Lithium has earned the ‘white petroleum’ label due to its dramatic need for supplies from the rise of battery giga-factories, electric vehicles, powerwalls and energy storage businesses.

Battery makers including Tesla, Panasonic and LG Chem, have to budget for the rising cost of lithium. Batteries that go into electric cars require lithium. More battery makers will need to expand production to keep up with demand from electric cars.

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We’re told that the majority of people in the UK are very concerned about global warming and climate change. But only 3% are so concerned that they are willing to pay even a trifling sum to offset their air miles. The Sunday Times carried a story about this and told us:

The airline offers all customers who are about to buy a ticket the chance to “fully offset your CO2 emissions for this flight” by paying a fee. The 730km journey from Dublin to Paris can be offset for €1.20, while a 486km journey from Dublin to London, one of the world’s busiest air routes, can be offset for 78c. Ryanair said: “The 3 per cent of customers that chose to go greener in 2019 has yet to substantially increase, with the impact of the pandemic on air travel potentially playing a part. To date, these customers have contributed €3.5 million to support environmental projects.”

NOT Zero: Less than 3% of Ryanair flyers willing to pay carbon offset
The Sunday Times, 6 February 2022

All of which begs two questions:

Firstly, why have polling organisations not asked consumers how much they’re will to pay to alleviate global warming before? Is it because the answers would reveal how unconcerned the large majority actually are?

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Is more of this what the future has in store, as governments enforce their plans to eradicate fuel-burning private cars from public roads in pursuit of nebulous ‘net zero’ goals? As well as wi-fi issues, if there’s a power cut affecting your home for example, an EV in need of a battery charge is rendered useless for the duration.
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How EVs and chargers say no when the internet freezes — reporting by Energy Live News.

So everyone hails the future of interconnected devices and I am all for that. Or so I thought!

But this week I have been unable to charge my EV, why?

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Tesla plant [image credit: Steve Jurvetson @ Wikipedia]


Sometimes you’ve just had enough…
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Automobile giant Tesla leads the EV sector with innovations and new technology, says NDTV.

But that was not enough to stop a disgruntled customer from blowing up his Tesla car using 30 kg of dynamite.

Jaala, an idyllic and ice-covered village in south Finland’s Kymenlaakso region with just a few thousand people, witnessed a bizarre incident as the owner of a 2013 Tesla Model S set his car up for an explosion.

The crew of a YouTube channel – Pommijatkat – shot the entire episode that premiered on Sunday with the help of a few volunteers.

Full report here.

Teslas in Norway [image credit: Norsk Elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association)]


Usual problems: high cost, range anxiety, lack of charging points, battery life, maybe resale value. Not much incentive for less well-off private buyers, even with subsidies. Corporate fleets seeking tax breaks more to the fore.
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The view from Brussels policymakers is clear: the electric vehicle revolution is firmly underway. But a EURACTIV investigation reveals serious barriers to electric vehicle acceptance across eastern and southern Europe.
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Listen to EU policymakers and you will come away convinced that the electric vehicle revolution is firmly underway, says EURACTIV.

“I think the move towards electric vehicles is moving much faster than anybody would have anticipated,” EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said earlier this year, expressing a widely held view in Brussels.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen similarly assured Europeans that “change is already happening” in her 2021 state of the union address, pointing to Germany’s registration of more electric vehicles than diesel cars in the first half of 2021.

Not only are sales of electric vehicles surging, but Tesla, perhaps the world’s best known electric vehicle manufacturer, is now the most valuable car company on Earth.

The shift to e-mobility, it seems, is happening at pace, inexorably changing the driving landscape.

But a EURACTIV investigation into electric vehicle uptake across the continent challenges this narrative, revealing serious barriers to EV acceptance across eastern and southern Europe.

A poorly developed second-hand market for electric vehicles, confusion over subscriptions for charging services, and concerns over the degradation of batteries continue to hamper electric vehicle adoption, compounding frequently mentioned issues such as high upfront costs and a lack of charging infrastructure.

What emerges from EURACTIV’s reporting is a picture of an electric vehicle revolution that is bypassing less well-off Europeans.

Continued here.

Whitelee wind farm, Scotland [image credit: Bjmullan / Wikipedia]

Here’s the UK government’s latest shot at ‘net zero’ climate virtue signalling. Subsidised wind farms will help produce subsidised hydrogen to fuel subsidised hydrogen vehicles such as buses and bin lorries. This is obviously even more costly than just using the wind-sourced electricity itself to run vehicles, but gets round the battery weight problem for larger vehicles like buses and goods vehicles. But to scale up, the number of wind turbines needed is going to have to be far higher than now, to provide fuel as well as nationwide electricity. Is that even feasible, let alone affordable?
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A hydrogen storage plant will be built at the UK’s largest onshore windfarm near Glasgow, after the UK government approved a £9.4m grant, reports E&T News.

The Whitelee green hydrogen project will become the UK’s largest electrolyser, a system which converts water into hydrogen gas as a way to store energy.

Hydrogen is seen as a key replacement for fossil fuels in certain applications as the world moves towards decarbonisation.

It produces just heat and water as by-products when burned or used in fuel cells, making it a highly attractive alternative to fossil fuels in industry, power, shipping and transport.

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Only alarmists could be impressed by an alarmist echo chamber, and even that didn’t work on the street protesters. As CCD puts it: ‘what kind of conference is it that invites only people with one viewpoint?’
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King coal is dead, long live king coal! That might be a fitting epitaph for COP26, which mercifully ended last Friday, says Climate Change Dispatch.

It culminated with an agreement, which had not so much been watered down as to have virtually evaporated. Fossil fuels, it seems, are here for the foreseeable.

What went wrong? That’s a question the ‘deeply frustrated’ COP26 president Alok Sharma might well be asking himself.

He appeared to be close to tears at the denouement of the negotiations, pushed to emotional extremis by the last-minute wrangling over a single word: should we commit ourselves to phase out our use of coal, or phase- down our use of coal.

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Don’t mention their ’emissions’. As usual, the message will be: do as we say, not as we do.

PA Pundits - International

By Peter Murphy~

Everyone who matters from the Biden administration wants to be seen as ‘caring about the planet and doing something about climate change. They are now tripping all over themselves to head to the upcoming United Nations climate conference.

Nearly everyone else attending this conference will be looking for—actually, demanding—a handout from the U.S. and the other more economically advanced nations in the European Union (EU) and elsewhere.

President Joe Biden and at least 13 senior officials from his administration will be traveling to Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nation’s 26th Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCC/COP26”). Conference attendees will be gathering, interestingly, on Halloween, with formal sessions starting the following day.

Accompanying the president will be Special Climate Envoy, John Kerry; Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken; the EPA administrator, the USAID administrator, secretaries of Energy, Interior and Transportation…

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Mercedes e-Citaro electric bus [image credit: mercedes-benz.com]

Some travellers are now unwilling to board any of the local e-buses, according to at least one TV report. Looks like yet another lithium-ion event.
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A large fire event in Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen (SBB)’s depot, in Gaisberg, destroyed 25 buses on Thursday 30th September, says Sustainable Bus.

A few days ago, a first assessment by the police, reported on many German media, said that the fire could have been caused by an electric bus during charging procedure.

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Image credit: Rail Technology Magazine

The BBC headline says ‘dry ice’ [etc.], which is the solid form of carbon dioxide. When deployed ‘The dry ice then quickly turns back into gas’. Surely that won’t do for climate obsessives?
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The new method of removing leaves from tracks will be trialled across northern England in the coming weeks, reports BBC News.

The technique, developed by University of Sheffield engineers, involves blasting tracks with dry ice from a passenger train.

It will be trialled by operator Northern in the coming weeks.

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EVs: doing away with the engine, but not the combustion?

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

In the wake of a series of severe EV battery fires, one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world,General Motors has just issued safety recommendations for Bolt EV’s:

  • Not to park your Chevy Bolt within 50 feet of other vehiclesin case it catches fire.
  • Highlyrecommends that Bolt EV owners not to park within 50 feet of anything you care about.
  • Recommends parking on the top floor or on an open-air deck and park 50 feet or more away from another vehicle.
  • RequestsBolt EV owners to not leave their vehicle charging unattended, even if they are using a charging station in a parking deck.

General Motors previouslytold Bolt owners

  • to onlycharge the battery to 90 percent,
  • charge more frequently,
  • and avoid depleting the battery below about 70 miles of remaining range.
  • And that they should also park the vehicle outside.

The recent General Motorssafety…

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