Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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Accept EVs, accept anything – forever?

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

If you listen to the “woke” futurists, or even to the majority of auto companies pledging to stop manufacturing gasoline and diesel vehicles, it might be time to sell your auto stocks. Do you really think the U.S. is about to build 280 million electric vehicles to replace the 270 million internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that many states (and many countries, not to mention auto manufacturers) want to ban (from the highway not just from new sales) by 2030, 2040, or maybe 2049?

Forget if you will all the arguments about the massive amount of earth mining using slave labor those 270 million EVs will generate to acquire the cobalt, nickel, lithium, and other metals without which EVs cannot be built, much less operate. Forget the huge costs of expanding the electric grid to account for all of the electricity needed to move those vehicles…

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Street-rat

Any Teslas round here? [image credit: Edal Anton Lefterov @ Wikipedia]

A bit of light relief perhaps, unless you’re already one of the victims or could soon become one. Are electric cars more appealing than combustion-engined types to hungry rodents? Check those brake cables.
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Elon Musk may have a rat problem, says The New York Post.

Fans of the South African billionaire’s electric cars say rats, mice and rodents are chomping down on their Teslas.

And despite having dropped tens of thousands of dollars to buy the pricey vehicles, Tesla refuses to cover the damage.

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flyingferry

Image credit: Brittany Ferries

Battery weight is always a problem for electric-powered flight. No reason to think this type of machine would be any different, meaning the economics of the idea remain questionable.
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Ferry operator Brittany Ferries has announced that it will work with US-based start-up Regent Craft to develop sea-skimming “flying ferries” that could reduce sailing times between England and France to as little as 40 minutes, says E&T.

Brittany Ferries described the proposed battery-powered vehicle as combining “the convenience of passenger ferries with the comfort of hydrofoils, the aerodynamic efficiency of hovercraft and the speed of aircraft”.

It resembles a small aircraft which skims the surface of the sea. It uses the wing-in ground effect, which would involve riding on a cushion of air trapped between a wing and the water surface; this is similar to how a hovercraft supports itself as it moves.

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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.
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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.

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privjetEnough said.
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The decision to take a 250-mile flight instead of more sustainable forms of transport has drawn widespread criticism on social media platforms, reports Energy Live News.

COP26_2021Meet ‘air miles Alok’. The government claims face-to-face meetings are vital for the success of negotiations. Otherwise the planet gets it!
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The minister in charge of preparations for a UN climate summit has been criticised for travelling tens of thousands of miles by jet, says The Independent.

Alok Sharma had urged people to make “small changes in the way we go about our day-to-day lives” in order to cut their carbon emissions.

But an analysis by the Daily Telegraph newspaper found that Mr Sharma took 25 flights in three months, travelling up to 73,853 miles between January 31 and May 12.

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Hindenburg

The LZ-129 Hindenburg, the famous Zeppelin, at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in 1936 [image credit: CIVIS TURDETANI / U.S. Department of the Navy, Bureau of Aeronautics]

As hydrogen is in the news these days as a potential ‘alternative’ fuel, heavily promoted by climate obsessives and others, this look back in history is vaguely topical and offers a fresh technical analysis based on experiments.
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On the evening of May 6, 1937, the largest aircraft ever built by mankind, a towering example of technological prowess, slipped through the stormy skies of New Jersey and prepared to land, says TechXplore.

The airship Hindenburg was nearing the end of a three-day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from Frankfurt, Germany. It was a spectacle and a news event.

Onlookers and news crews gathered to watch the 800-foot-long behemoth touch down.

And then, in one horrifying half minute, it was all over. Flames erupted from the airship’s skin, fed by the flammable hydrogen gas that kept it aloft, and consumed the entire structure, ending 36 lives.

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corsa-e

Vauxhall Corsa-E [image credit: carmagazine.co.uk]

Car makers are getting nervous about the high cost of electric cars compared to fuel burners. Sales figures for EVs aren’t impressive, and uncompetitive prices are just one of several negative factors. Being pushed around by climate-obsessed governments is causing problems, to say the least.
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Driving could become the preserve of the rich as Britain and other countries around the world impose bans on diesel and petrol cars and embrace electrification, the boss of Vauxhall owner Stellantis has warned. The Telegraph/Yahoo Finance reporting.

A global rush to go electric could make cars too expensive for the middle classes, said Carlos Tavares, chief executive of the world’s fifth-biggest car maker – and it may even fail to significantly reduce carbon emissions because the vehicles are so much heavier than petrol ones.

The comments are the most outspoken public criticism of electrification by any car boss and will likely cause consternation in Downing Street, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said new fossil fuel cars will be banned from 2030.

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Model_3

Tesla Model 3 [image credit: Vauxford @ Wikipedia]

Climate or environment? The confusion, or conflation, of the two is obvious, often deliberate, and not by any means confined to Tesla’s boss. If the company is waiting until ‘mining shifts to using more sustainable energy’, it could have a long wait.
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Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin due to climate change concerns, its CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet.

Bitcoin fell by more than 10% after the tweet, while Tesla shares also dipped, reports BBC News.

Tesla’s announcement in March that it would accept the cryptocurrency was met with an outcry from some environmentalists and investors.

The electric carmaker had in February revealed it had bought $1.5bn (£1bn) of the world’s biggest digital currency.

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EV_charge

EV charging station [image credit: Nissan UK]

A prediction from Bloomberg. Only 5-6 years to wait to see if it comes true. If EVs and plug-in hybrids are going to be much cheaper by then, there’s even less incentive to buy one now. A looming shortage of battery materials could put a spanner in the works.
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Electric cars will be cheaper to build than fossil fuel vehicles across Europe within six years and could represent 100 percent of new sales by 2035, according to a study published Monday, says TechXplore.

Carmakers are shifting en masse to electric and hybrid models in order to bring average fleet emissions under a European Union limit of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, or face heavy penalties.

The study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that electric sedans and sport-utility vehicles will be as cheap to make as combustion vehicles from 2026.

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Heathrow-T2

London’s Heathrow airport

‘Denial within government over the ‘unpleasant truth’ of the need to curb demand’, summarises the Telegraph. Soundbites and targets are one thing, reality another – as usual where climate obsessives calling for ‘reduced demand’ are concerned.
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‘Jet Zero’ technology will not be ready in time to meet the Government’s climate targets, a leading aerospace engineer has admitted.

Emissions from international aviation were included in national targets for the first time this week as the Government pledged to reduce greenhouse gases by 78 per cent from 1990 levels by 2035.

Its strategy relies on the development of new technology, which it is supporting through its Jet Zero council, which has the ambitious target of creating the first zero-emissions commercial flight.

But Guy Gratton, who sits on one of the Jet Zero sub committees and leads cutting-edge research into low carbon aviation at Cranfield University told the Telegraph that “the unpleasant truth” was that this would not be enough and air travel would have to be limited to meet emissions targets.

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e-range

Not the latest model

That sinking feeling when your EV wheels stop turning…
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PARIS: Electrically-powered Formula E racing fell flat on Saturday (Apr 24) when 12 of 24 cars taking part in the Valencia Grand Prix ran out of energy and failed to finish, reports Channel News Asia.

On a wet track where collisions were frequent, the safety car was called upon five times.

However, the regulations provide that the level of energy available to the single-seaters is recalculated downwards during such pauses in racing.

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EVs are looking more and more like the non-solution to the non-problem.

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

With half of the EV’s in the entire country being located in California, the recent 2021 California study may be a downer for the EV excitement as it shows that EV’s are driven half as much as internal combustion engine vehicles. The study illustrates that EV’s are generally second vehicles and not the primary workhorse vehicle for those few elites that can afford them.

To date, zero and low emission vehicles are generally from the hybrid and electric car owners which are a scholarly bunch; over 70 percent of EV owners have a four-year college or post-graduate degree. This likely explains why the average household income of EV purchasers is upwards of $200,000.

If you are not in that higher educated echelon and the high-income range of society, and a homeowner or resident of a NEW apartment that has charging access there may…

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battery_ev

Typical electric car set-up

Making cars is one thing, selling them another. A production slowdown is only a problem if demand exceeds supply, and to date demand for EVs has been weak in most countries. More expensive batteries forcing prices up obviously won’t help shift them. Maybe the mining firms have doubts about sales volumes and don’t want to over-produce, which could lead to price cutting.
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The global market share of electric vehicles is set to rise so quickly that battery manufacturers will not be able to meet production requirements, a Rystad Energy analysis shows.

The reason is that the mining capacity of lithium – a key ingredient in EV-purposed batteries – will fall short of demand unless investments in new mines accelerate, says OilPrice.com.

Under the current pipeline, capacity deficits could triple lithium prices towards the end of this decade.

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deepsea

Deep sea mining illustration [image credit: youtube]

Deep sea mining supporters argue along the lines that the ocean floor is such a big place that scraping a few bits of it won’t matter on a global scale. Is this a row between the haves and have-nots, as limited supplies on land of the required materials are fought over?

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A long-running dispute over plans to start mining the ocean floor has suddenly flared up, reports BBC News.

For years it was only environmental groups that objected to the idea of digging up metals from the deep sea.

But now BMW, Volvo, Google and Samsung are lending their weight to calls for a moratorium on the proposals.

The move has been criticised by companies behind the deep sea mining plans, who say the practice is more sustainable in the ocean than on land.

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battery_ev

Typical electric car set-up

Reducing both costs and mining waste sounds good, if it can be developed to industrial scale.
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A UK-based company has unveiled its what it believes to be the world’s most sustainable motor for electric vehicles, says ElectricHybridVehicleTechnology.

Its new motors are completely free of rare earth magnets, yet are said to be able to offer all of the performance and efficiency benefits and more of a conventional permanent magnet motor, without their considerable environmental drawbacks.

Unlike today’s standard EV motors, its HDSRM and SSRD motors do not feature rare earth magnets so do not require the harmful mining of materials such as neodymium and dysprosium.

According to independent research, every tonne of rare earth material mined produces up to 1.4 tonnes of radioactive waste, 200m3 of acid-containing sewage water, 60,000m3 waste gas containing hydrochloric acid and 27.6 tonnes of CO2.

Based on a global car production of 97 million vehicles, AEM’s technology could save the production of 133 million tonnes CO2 per year as well as 300,000 tonnes of radioactive waste.

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German Autobahn


EU politicians seem determined to hobble their car industry regardless of economic consequences, to save a few molecules of a harmless trace gas that’s essential to plant and tree growth.
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The European Commission’s proposed Euro 7 emission rules on cars, vans, trucks and buses would amount to “a ban through the back door” of internal combustion engines as of 2025, if implemented in their current form, industry has said, calling the proposal premature and “completely out of the question”. Euractiv reporting.

The ‘Euro 7‘ rules aim to ensure vehicles are clean over their entire lifetime, helping Europe to meet its European Green Deal emissions targets.

The exact details of the measure are still under discussion, but they are already creating jitters at VDMA, a German trade association representing mechanical engineering companies.

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We’re gonna need a bigger world!

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

The worldwide plans for EV domination of the vehicle population are like having the plans to build a large house without sufficient materials available to ever finish the house.

The pressure to go Green is increasing as countries are announcing plans to phase out petrol and diesel cars. Germany will stop the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, Scotland from 2032, and France and the UK from 2040.

Even California, the current leader in America with 50 percent of the EV’s in country being in that state, has jumped onto the EV train with Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who will be on the 2021 Recall ballot, issued an Executive Order in 2020 to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles in California by 2035.

A Tesla lithium EV battery weighs more than 1,000 pounds. While there are dozens of variations…

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Image credit: bus-bild.de


An attempt to put some of the blame on a tractor protest by farmers, holding up traffic, sounds a bit weak. A solution adopted by some e-bus builders is to use fuel-powered heating systems, described here as ‘an absolute oxymoron for the electric vehicle industry’.
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By 2030, Berlin wants all local public transport buses to be electric, says the Teller Report.

Passengers and drivers are already experiencing what this can mean in a cold winter.

Apparently one type of vehicle in particular causes problems.

According to information from The “Berliner Morgenpost” newspaper, a dozen of the electric buses operated by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) are currently out of action.

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Not the latest model


Reluctance to having to waste time looking for and/or using public charging stations might be a factor, plus the old favourite of range anxiety. An EV may also be the second car in a household, in the US at least.
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New data indicates that electric vehicles may not be an easy future substitute for the gasoline-powered fleet, as EVs are currently being used half as much as conventional cars, says TechXplore.

That is according to a paper published from the University of Chicago, University of California, Davis, and UC Berkeley.

As the Biden administration voices its commitment to moving the country toward electric vehicles, or EVs, and states like California work to ban the sale of new fully gas-powered cars in the next 15 years, the pledge for an EV-powered fleet leaves a question unanswered: Are consumers actually driving them?

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