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reading about how ford has walked away from ev's and toyota saying that it's more about hybrids, i was just wondering what's the perception of ev's on the other side of the world. the Aust gov keep pushing but it's not working. the Aust gov have lost the plot with the renewables push for solar farms and wind farms that are proving to be a joke at best. i think the biggest issue with ev's is the way they have been pushed as a replacement for ice cars, they will never replace an ice car with today's technology. they were rejected a 100 years ago when they came up with the petrol engine cars and it will happen again if they are not careful. i do believe there is a place for ev's but that is not on the open roads, stay within a 100km's of home and do your own charging from home and that is how they should be advertised, city vehicles only.
not a range rover issue but if we were in the pub, it would be up for discussion.

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After rising for the last few years, the percentage of EVs sold in the UK has dropped from 16.6% to 16.5% from the latest figures released a few days ago. Reasons given are the high purchase price, the introduction of road tax on them coming shortly, the shortage of charging infrastructure and the cost of charging anywhere other than at home are what are putting off private buyers. I read a review of one that was taken on a family holiday around France recently (I think it was in Autocar and was a test of a BMW X5 EV) and the costs of charging at public charging points worked out at almost the same as I would pay doing a similar trip on LPG (and a P38 isn't exactly the most economical vehicle on the road) but one part that I wasn't aware of was the reduced range when cruising at motorway speeds. The reviewer said he had been getting a range of around 230 miles when cruising at 65mph but on his return wasted so much time looking for a working charger that he drove to the ferry at Calais at the legal limit of 80mph (130kph) and was down to 10% charge after only 140 miles. Now I would probably go further on a tank of fuel if I drove at 65mph but my consumption at 75-80 is still better than I get running around town and I get to where I'm going a lot quicker on a 500 mile journey.

As for Aus, my other half works for Cummins, the truck and ship engine makers, and they have sold a large number of diesel generator sets to Aus to power EV charge points away from the cities. So instead of a car generating pollution , it is simply moved to the means of charging. They have also developed a fully functioning Hydrogen engine for trucks, as have Mercedes, so the haulage industry seem to be ignoring EV technology. We also have an increasing number of trucks running on LPG and CNG.

I'm with you, an EV for someone that only drives in the city and charges at home, makes perfect sense. My sister has one but will be moving house soon to a more rural area and is looking at changing for a hybrid as the range on her current car simply won't be sufficient. Although, as she put it, her husband has a real car so if they need to go any distance, they use that.

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I have always wondered if electric cars were going to be a temporary way to reduce emissions until hydrogen can take over. Volvo are stepping away from polestar and BMW seem to be heading towards hydrogen now.
As Gilbert says, EV are an urban solution. They make a lot of sense in that application at low speed, lots of acceleration from stand still, 0 emissions at the point of use.
Overall, as more of our electricity generation switches away from fossil fuels, we'll be able to waste some capacity on bridging the efficiency gap between EV at 80% and hydrogen at 40% especially if someone works out how to leverage the huge investment on charging infrastructure by installing local H2 production. This would minimise the transport of H2 which is inefficient.

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NZ is a bit the same for that...

The government had a green car deal where you go a rebate if it was a hybrid or EV and that stopped in December last year. I think a bunch of rich people (including the PM's family) were buying like $80K Teslas and getting massive rebates on them. But we also don't have the charging infrastructure to do long distances.

The other push has been that plug in Hybrid and EV's haven't been subject to any road user charges - in NZ the road user charge for petrol vehicles is collected in the price of petrol. for diesel vehicles, they pay an additional Road User Charge (RUC) which is bought based on mileage - say in 10000km blocks. The main reason is we don't have 'Red' diesel like the UK does for agricultural and non-road applications - so the diesel price at the pump is cheaper as it doesn't include the road user charges like petrol does.

Plug in Hybrid and EV vehicles have been exempt from paying any RUC as an incentive to buy them, but this year from I think the 1st April, they will all have to pay a RUC of $76 per 1000km for an EV or $38/1000km for a plug in Hybrid. Funnily enough since that was announced late last year, and green car discount finished, in January there was the lowest sales of EV/Plug in Hybrid vehicles in years...

I also feel there is a place for them - but also in and around the city... but for long distance, there isn't a viable alternative yet. I'm interested to see what comes up in the Hydrogen sector.

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What I want to know is when are they going to start charging duty on EV owners for charging at home? Petrol, diesel and LPG sold at filling stations has Road Fuel Duty (RFD) and VAT at 20% on the price. If you live in a rural area and have an LPG bulk tank for heating and cooking and have a tank with a bottom take off for liquid so you can fill your car from it too, the tank supplier has to inform HMRC. You then have to log how much LPG you take out for your car and notify HMRC who then charge you the RFD and, as domestic fuel only has VAT at 5% applied to it, the extra 15% VAT. However, if you have an EV and charge it at home, you aren't paying RFD and are benefiting from the discounted, domestic, VAT rate. Surely they should also log how much they use to charge their car and be billed for the RFD and extra VAT?

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It's an interesting discussion, sure enough. Just to add another dimension to the discussion - a company in the States which builds hydrogen powered trucks is call Nikola.

Nikola was supposed to team up with GM, which they did for a while, and now I think Nikola are working with another truck manufacturer, and one would think that the future is looking bright. Based on the reviews in the US financial papers I fancied a punt on the Nikola shares, they looked good at $10, and being in league with GM they should have a pretty solid background. But what happened after two years - the shares tanked, to about 0.50 cents a share. I just hung on until last year, when they got another decent share review and the price went back up, but not quite to the original $10. I didn't lose too much, fortunately. Now I am putting those losses into my P38, with as much chance of getting my investment back as if I had stayed with Nikola !!!

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be careful when it comes to hydrogen, look up what is happening in California and the sales of hydrogen powered cars , once again they are tanking badly, sorry another failure from the powers to be. it's outragedly expensive to run hydrogen after the free fuel ends. buyer beware.

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Anyone who has seriously looked at hydrogen, knows it doesnt work for passenger cars. Its just FUD that seems to be spread by the fossil industry to muddy the waters around EV's. Our hydrogen predominantly comes from cracking natural gas, so great for the fossil fuel industry and isnt really "green" at all. It can be made in other ways, but those cost too much and are even more inefficient.

Maybe they will become a reality? But the cost differences will remain huge. After all, taking electricity and putting it into a battery then driving the wheels will always be cheaper than taking that electricity, turning it into hydrogen, pumping it into a tank, running it thru a fuel cell, charging a battery and then driving the wheels.

A hydrogen car is an EV with more steps, and those steps will ALWAYS cost more, both in manufacturing the car in the first place, and ongoing costs in fuelling.

It may see some use in heavy vehicles, long haul HGV's and the like, but its likely it will remain fairly niche, with the majority of trucks using batteries, simply due to cost.

I dont live in a city, and have put around ~50k on my EV over the last 3 years. Significantly above the average UK mileage, and really its not an issue at all. The problems are mostly imaginary, come from inexperience, or blown out of proportion for a juicy media story. Ofcourse, home charging is a must currently, public charging is too expensive.

There are a few folks on here who seem to regularly do massive mileages, but seem to also forget how unusual what they are doing is? A typical car does less than 10k a year in the UK. Very few people are regularly driving more than 200miles a day. You cant take that niche and say "EV's dont work". They work fine for the vast majority of drivers. Even on a long trip, my car (it has the smaller of the two battery options) has around 180miles range on the motorway. Thats enough for a good 2-3hours of driving, at which point i want to stop, stretch my legs and take a piss anyway. While i do that, the car fills itself back up and its ready to go again for the next leg. Unsurprisingly enough, even driving an ICE car with 300+ miles of range, i'd still stop at the same locations. If i was driving my P38, i'd be scrabbling around every 200miles looking for an LPG station, which are rapidly vanishing!!

Most of the downturn in sales of EV's is because everyones skint, and they are still a little more expensive than fossil cars, and theres constant bad press putting folks off. But theres a lot less in it than some seem to think (seen the price of a petrol golf these days?), and the fuel savings very quickly dwarf the initial purchase cost.

For some figures, 1000miles driven in an EV, charged at home at 7.5p, at 3mi/kwh (fairly inefficent) that costs £25.
1000miles driven in a petrol car at 40mpg (i've never achieved this, but lets make it look better for the ICE) costs £170

Personally i do around double that, so i'm saving around £300 a month in fuel costs alone. That was more than the monthly payment on the first EV i had... I went from driving a 10 year old motor, to driving a new car for "free". If i had already been leasing a new car, then i would have saved loads going EV.

The main problems currently are folks that cannot charge at home due to a lack of driveway etc, and folks regularly doing longer journeys, there are still some areas with patchy coverage of charging, though its expanded massively over the last couple years and will continue to do so. unfortunately for now, that rapid expansion and little competition means high costs.

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Aragorn wrote:

Maybe they will become a reality? But the cost differences will remain huge. After all, taking electricity and putting it into a battery then driving the wheels will always be cheaper than taking that electricity, turning it into hydrogen, pumping it into a tank, running it thru a fuel cell, charging a battery and then driving the wheels. A hydrogen car is an EV with more steps, and those steps will ALWAYS cost more, both in manufacturing the car in the first place, and ongoing costs in fuelling.

Putting it that way, it is ridiculously inefficient, but Hydrogen is a flammable gas so you can skip the middle steps and simply run an ICE on it. My partner works for Cummins, who supply engines to a large number of truck companies, and they have developed an ICE engine for trucks that runs on Hydrogen. Mercedes trucks have done the same so there is an application for Hydrogen but not via the fuel cell route. Incidentally, The Netherlands and Germany both have H2 filling stations and are opening more regularly.

I dont live in a city, and have put around ~50k on my EV over the last 3 years. Significantly above the average UK mileage, and really its not an issue at all. The problems are mostly imaginary, come from inexperience, or blown out of proportion for a juicy media story. Of course, home charging is a must currently, public charging is too expensive.

Until you start being charged the RFD and additional VAT ......

There are a few folks on here who seem to regularly do massive mileages, but seem to also forget how unusual what they are doing is? A typical car does less than 10k a year in the UK. Very few people are regularly driving more than 200miles a day. You cant take that niche and say "EV's dont work". They work fine for the vast majority of drivers. Even on a long trip, my car (it has the smaller of the two battery options) has around 180miles range on the motorway. Thats enough for a good 2-3hours of driving, at which point i want to stop, stretch my legs and take a piss anyway. While i do that, the car fills itself back up and its ready to go again for the next leg. Unsurprisingly enough, even driving an ICE car with 300+ miles of range, i'd still stop at the same locations. If i was driving my P38, i'd be scrabbling around every 200miles looking for an LPG station, which are rapidly vanishing!!

Agreed, and at an average of 30-35,000 miles a year, that is me. But when you have to stop to fill up, you aren't getting the benefit of the cheaper costs. I've seen a couple of places now that are advertising the price and it seems to be around the 65p a kWh. I know in France they all seem to be 0.79 Euro per Kwh (or were a few weeks ago) so roughly the same.

I get sent a regular email from Parkers and usually ignore the £xx per month costs on cars (I've just bought another P38 for the same price as two or three months payments on something new) but one thing I've noticed is these deals all come with an annual mileage limit. It used to be 8,000 per annum but it seems that now it is down to 5,000 per year. For anyone doing that sort of mileage, an EV would probably suffice.

the fuel savings very quickly dwarf the initial purchase cost.

For some figures, 1000miles driven in an EV, charged at home at 7.5p, at 3mi/kwh (fairly inefficent) that costs £25.
1000miles driven in a petrol car at 40mpg (i've never achieved this, but lets make it look better for the ICE) costs £170

But that same EV being charged at a public charge point will cost almost 10x that making the EV cost per 1,000 miles the same, if not more expensive, than the ICE car

The main problems currently are folks that cannot charge at home due to a lack of driveway etc, and folks regularly doing longer journeys, there are still some areas with patchy coverage of charging, though its expanded massively over the last couple years and will continue to do so. unfortunately for now, that rapid expansion and little competition means high costs.

One of the last projects I was involved in before retirement was a vehicle replacement project. The lack of home charging option for a number of staff that would be using these vehicles meant that an EV was a non-starter. Even those with a driveway used that for their own car, the company vehicle would sit outside on the road. The requirement was for a small van (to replace a fleet of Renault Kangoos) and the EV version of the Kangoo was only good for around 200 miles on a full charge but that was only when empty. As these would have storage and additional electrical items installed and would permanently be loaded with equipment, even the Renault rep said that we would be lucky to get 130 miles range from them. Considering I used to do 150-200 miles a day and that was common for most staff, it just wouldn't work.

A test I read recently was on the EV version of the BMW X5 on a European trip and one thing that stood out for me was that it only returned the stated mileage when cruised at 65mph, when cruised at 80mph, it was down to less than 2/3rds the range. Is this representative? For me, life is too short to drive along the French Autoroutes and German Autobahns at 65 mph, so I will sit at a steady 80mph. Cruising at that speed I get around 210 miles to a full tank of LPG but it only rises to 230 at a lower speed (or when in the UK...). I agree LPG is getting harder to find in the UK but at least I've got petrol to fall back on if I need to so I don't suffer the range anxiety, real or imaginary, that puts a lot of people off an EV.

My sister bought a first generation Nissan Leaf as she was only driving 20-30 miles at a time so it was adequate. When she changed job involving a longer commute, but not by much, she had to change car as the Leaf wasn't capable of getting her to work and back on a single charge. Now she's moving to a more rural area and is talking about getting a hybrid instead of an EV.

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Burning hydrogen is even worse for efficency than using it in a fuel cell. You've wasted all that energy getting the hydrogen in the first place, then throw most of the resulting energy out of the tailpipe. It feels very much like a lot of these big companies doing hydrogen work are just setup to absorb government grants.

RFD is going to be the same as any other car, flat rate of £180 i think as of next year. So its sorta neither here nor there. Charging VAT on domestic electricity is fraught with issues, doesnt really seem workable to me. Seperating out the car and household uses is not easy, especially when you can just plug your car into a 13A socket and charge it from that if you want. Albeit at a much slower rate ofcourse. I suspect some sort of mileage/road based scheme might end up being implemented? Either direct tolling or some sort of annual charge.

Yeah, public charging costs are a problem, but its not really because EV's are a failure, its sorta the opposite. Companies are investing millions into the infrastructure to get these charging points installed and want to recoup that. I would hope longer term that as the market fills out, we'll see more competitive pricing. But indeed, public charging will never be as cheap as home.

On a typical "long journey" for me, the car starts off filled with cheap household electricity. If i drive say 400miles, then lets round off and say half comes from home at 7.5p and the other half comes from a public unit at 65p. For that journey, the average is ~36p/kwh or say 12p a mile. About the same as a fairly efficient ICE doing around 55mpg. I suspect these charging companies know that, and have very deliberately priced it so that its "similar to an ICE car".

The vast majority of my mileage is done at the cheap rate however. One trip at 36p, or even 70p, isnt really a problem.

I dont know if you'd lose 1/3rd of your range doing 80 rather than 65 sounds fairly extreme, i drive most places at 70-75, like you I cant be arsed with crawling along at 65 dodging trucks. i get on average about 3mi/kwh. Summer when its warm it can be 3.2-3.5ish, worst winter days it might be as low as 2.5ish. The spread is perhaps wider than an ICE might be, because you get free heating in an ICE. ICE engines tend to get more efficient as you increase their output, which is why they're horrible around town, but also perhaps why they're less sensitive to changes in speed, as while driving faster uses more energy, the ICE becomes a little more efficient helping offset it.

Before the Skoda, we had a LEAF which i used for commuting, it had maybe 70-80miles of range, and that was such that most weekend family trips we ended up using the range rover. But with the Skoda having the ~200miles, the range rover never gets used any more. We acutally bought an older LEAF to use as a town runabout for the wife as the audi was getting ruined being used all year round.

The thing that really pisses me off is the constant negative press that is essentially just lies. I imagine its being pedalled by the fossil industry to further their agenda. Papers like the daily mail will spin every article about cars to be Anti EV in some way or another, and much of what they're claiming is wrong, outdated, or due to wilful ignorance.

There are some valid concerns, edge cases etc ofcourse but it needs balance, and that balance isnt there. As an EV driver, we regularly see the same old points regurgitated over and over. I've had colleagues try to tell me my own car doesnt work for a variety of reasons, despite the fact i'm driving it every day and they've never even sat in one. it gets tiring after a while.

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Aragorn wrote:

Burning hydrogen is even worse for efficency than using it in a fuel cell. You've wasted all that energy getting the hydrogen in the first place, then throw most of the resulting energy out of the tailpipe. It feels very much like a lot of these big companies doing hydrogen work are just setup to absorb government grants.

It is mainly the HGV industry that are using a number of different fuels. As well as those running conventional diesel engines on biofuel, there's some running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG, the same as we use) as well as the experimental H2 powered vehicles. There seems to be far more diversification in the HGV world than in passenger vehicles, but all using an ICE on different fuels.

RFD is going to be the same as any other car, flat rate of £180 i think as of next year. So its sorta neither here nor there. Charging VAT on domestic electricity is fraught with issues, doesnt really seem workable to me. Seperating out the car and household uses is not easy, especially when you can just plug your car into a 13A socket and charge it from that if you want.

By RFD I was referring to Road Fuel Duty, the tax that is applied to fuel used for road purposes and not Vehicle Excise Duty, aka road tax. The RFD is currently 52.95 pence per litre for petrol and diesel and 28.88 pence per kilogram (so roughly 32 p per litre) on LPG. So the fuel cost of petrol, diesel and LPG is the cost price, plus the RFD, plus the retailers profit and 20% VAT added on top. It is this duty that an LPG bulk tank owner has to pay to HMRC for any fuel used for a vehicle and is the tax that I feel an EV owner should really be charged for on any domestic electricity used to charge their car.

I'm not knocking anyone that chooses to buy and use an EV, each to their own and if it suits you then fine, I just feel the playing field needs to be levelled.

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thats interesting to hear from people that actually have EVs as i dont know anyone that owns one or a hybrid for that matter, only what i have read . the RFD that you speak of is what is going to happen with all EVs as someone has to pay for the roads and maintenance. the states in Aust started charging per km until someone pointed out that the states can't charge that sort of tax so it got scraped, now it's a federal issue so the states miss out on the tax , it will go to the federal gov and most likely cost more and be attached to CPI, so even dearer, dumb move in my opinion.as stated before if i only had to drive 100km from my house i would consider an EV or more likely a hybrid. i may not drive for a week but when i do it;s to tow something or drive hundreds of km's so not my cup of tea at the moment.