Have electric vehicles been "oversold"?

ashkeba

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The Stevenage 'cycle' paths [...] No idea, the paths are not public highways. I have never managed to track down the local legislation. In practice, nobody seems to mind.
It is surprising they are not highways. Cycle paths usually are. I think ones in Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford are.
 
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telstarbox

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I've always referred to that as the "Nissan Cashcow" given how many they sell.



There is a particular class of mountain bike, I think they're called sand bikes, desert bikes or something like that, that do have motorcycle-like tyres. I've certainly seen electric versions of these and they are perfectly legit. I wonder if these riders are modding them not to require pedalling?
Do you mean fatbikes?
 

telstarbox

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Some interesting points about workplace charging etc here (mostly to do with the Manchester area)

Demand for charge points could be lower than we imagine because we’re all operating with the wrong mind-set. Remember, we only need petrol stations because most of us do not keep a vast tank of explosive liquid at home, but we (almost) all have our own EV charging capacity. Remember, too, how long it took for car makers (and users) to grasp that internal combustion engines did not work like horses. We may discover that new technology produces new desires and new behaviours (glance down at your phone, if you need proof). Capital & Centric’s Tim Heatley thinks EV charging may become as free and ubiquitous as free wifi. If he’s right the maths is going to get interesting.

 

Bletchleyite

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It is surprising they are not highways. Cycle paths usually are. I think ones in Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford are.

I can't remember the status of the MK ones, but I do recall they got into an awkward position about 15 years ago when quite a number of them required work but they couldn't use highway funding to do it.

In practice they are completely unpoliced, so you can ride your unofficial e-scooter (or anything else of your choosing) with impunity.

The "Redway Code" asks people to treat them as a traffic-free country lane (i.e. walk on the right, ride on the left, don't block the full width) but that doesn't say anything to their status.

Do you mean fatbikes?

Yep, those. Couldn't think of the word.
 

ashkeba

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I can't remember the status of the MK ones, but I do recall they got into an awkward position about 15 years ago when quite a number of them required work but they couldn't use highway funding to do it.
That may have been due to strings attached to funding from central government back then. Blair was much less friendly to cycling than any of his successors.
 

edwin_m

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Some interesting points about workplace charging etc here (mostly to do with the Manchester area)



It may be the insomnia but having read this through I don't understand the logic at all. If it's difficult to get a return to justify the investment on EV charging points, how does it help to make them free to use? It's also yet another hidden subsidy to motorists, albeit of the less environmentally damaging variety.
 

Harpers Tate

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It may be the insomnia but having read this through I don't understand the logic at all. If it's difficult to get a return to justify the investment on EV charging points, how does it help to make them free to use? It's also yet another hidden subsidy to motorists, albeit of the less environmentally damaging variety.
I suppose I'd respond to that like this:

1: As can be seen from elsewhere in this thread, there are still many, many EV doubters. They come in all shapes and sizes varying from pure "petrolheads" for whom the racket from either a monster V8 or an over-stressed 1.2 litre (and all points in between) added to the satisfaction from neatly wrestling with gears and clutches and so on is a primary consideration, through to those who simply can't get into the different refuelling mindset and/or who see upfront cost as showstopping, rather than considering weekly/monthly cost in comparison. Oh, and the eco-doubters.

2: It seems to be the case that (whether for good reason or bad) we are headed towards low or (better) zero emission at the point of use as a means to improve local air quality (at the very least). Suffice to say, it appears to be seen as a good thing.

In order to achieve (2) more folk need to get over (1). The petrolheads will never shift. Many other doubters won't willingly shift without coercion, because they predict it will be unmanageable for them. As an EV "convert" of over three years now, I can say with absolute certainty that for my lifestyle/driving pattern the changed mindset does work; that range-anxiety and "refuelling" time are not an issue. I have made it so for myself. That was my determination when I changed. And many (but not all) others could do the same. It is only from actual experience of relying totally on an EV that I have come to this position; by being voluntarily "forced" into it. That drove experience, and from experience comes understanding.

Those who are, like me, already convinced, will already have obtained or be planning their own EV. As to the rest - the only way to make more people go EV is to coerce them. Thus, there are incentives available to local authorities and (presumably) workplaces to make these provisions. Yes, it's a subsidy paid for by other taxes. But then, that is how governments manage people in all aspects of our lives. It won't last. Once we achieve a sufficient critical mass of EV owenership and use, these things surely will wane as the objective will have been achieved. And a good proportion of doubters will have found, through experience, that they can indeed manage an EV life for themselves, far better than they imagine they could.
 

telstarbox

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Yes I was a bit confused - maybe they meant that developers / landlords would take the hit on the capital cost if they think it makes their property more attractive or compliant in the long term?
 

DustyBin

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I suppose I'd respond to that like this:

1: As can be seen from elsewhere in this thread, there are still many, many EV doubters. They come in all shapes and sizes varying from pure "petrolheads" for whom the racket from either a monster V8 or an over-stressed 1.2 litre (and all points in between) added to the satisfaction from neatly wrestling with gears and clutches and so on is a primary consideration, through to those who simply can't get into the different refuelling mindset and/or who see upfront cost as showstopping, rather than considering weekly/monthly cost in comparison. Oh, and the eco-doubters.

2: It seems to be the case that (whether for good reason or bad) we are headed towards low or (better) zero emission at the point of use as a means to improve local air quality (at the very least). Suffice to say, it appears to be seen as a good thing.

In order to achieve (2) more folk need to get over (1). The petrolheads will never shift. Many other doubters won't willingly shift without coercion, because they predict it will be unmanageable for them. As an EV "convert" of over three years now, I can say with absolute certainty that for my lifestyle/driving pattern the changed mindset does work; that range-anxiety and "refuelling" time are not an issue. I have made it so for myself. That was my determination when I changed. And many (but not all) others could do the same. It is only from actual experience of relying totally on an EV that I have come to this position; by being voluntarily "forced" into it. That drove experience, and from experience comes understanding.

Those who are, like me, already convinced, will already have obtained or be planning their own EV. As to the rest - the only way to make more people go EV is to coerce them. Thus, there are incentives available to local authorities and (presumably) workplaces to make these provisions. Yes, it's a subsidy paid for by other taxes. But then, that is how governments manage people in all aspects of our lives. It won't last. Once we achieve a sufficient critical mass of EV owenership and use, these things surely will wane as the objective will have been achieved. And a good proportion of doubters will have found, through experience, that they can indeed manage an EV life for themselves, far better than they imagine they could.

Good post.

I’m in the petrolhead category, however I’m not averse to having an EV as my daily runabout/company car. What’s stopping me currently is my usage (regular long journeys), the lack of EV options and the cost. I’ll expand on each point.

In regard to usage, I realise that there are EVs with a range of 250 miles or more which will get me to my destination nine times out of ten, my main concern is recharging the thing once I get there. Refilling with petrol is quick and convenient and I don’t need to worry about availability.

I can’t get excited about the current crop of EVs. The Tesla 3 mentioned up thread is undoubtedly a nice car and would probably be my pick of the current bunch but I can’t say that I particularly like it. Had Ford not made the Mach-E such a monstrosity I could have been tempted by that; if they can put the running gear into something that doesn’t resemble a BMW X6 I’d certainly consider it (I hate SUVs and crossovers!). Cars such as the BMW i4 which goes on sale later this year are a definite step in the right direction and I’m sure others will follow.

Finally, the majority of my mileage is business use and I don’t pay for the petrol so a £50k EV doesn’t work out for me (unless the company provide it which they, or rather their ‘vehicle solutions provider’ won’t currently). Again, it’s early days in EV terms so I expect this will change in time as the price of performance EVs reduces.

As you can see, despite being a petrolhead I’m not bloody-minded over EVs, they just don’t quite meet my requirements (yet).
 

JamesT

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With the Tesla Model 3 being fairly high up the list in terms of models sold, I wonder if that's slightly artificial due to the comparative lack of EVs in the market.
If you're in the market for an ICE vehicle, there are many manufacturers to choose from, and each manufacturer has many models. Whereas if you're looking for an EV, especially of a certain level of quality there aren't too many options. Tesla doesn't have a huge number of models so one of theirs is likely to end up high up on the list, even though it's not a big player in the car market as a whole.
 

Bletchleyite

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Good post.

I’m in the petrolhead category, however I’m not averse to having an EV as my daily runabout/company car. What’s stopping me currently is my usage (regular long journeys), the lack of EV options and the cost. I’ll expand on each point.

In regard to usage, I realise that there are EVs with a range of 250 miles or more which will get me to my destination nine times out of ten, my main concern is recharging the thing once I get there. Refilling with petrol is quick and convenient and I don’t need to worry about availability.

With a 250 mile range, if you are not taking enough breaks to top up the charge at a fast charger at the motorway services, then you are not taking enough breaks to be driving safely. Forcing people who do London to Manchester (say) with no break at all to take one is a positive outcome of this limitation of EVs. One should not drive more than about 2 hours without a decent break, which is easily enough to get a top-up charge.

I can’t get excited about the current crop of EVs. The Tesla 3 mentioned up thread is undoubtedly a nice car and would probably be my pick of the current bunch but I can’t say that I particularly like it. Had Ford not made the Mach-E such a monstrosity I could have been tempted by that; if they can put the running gear into something that doesn’t resemble a BMW X6 I’d certainly consider it (I hate SUVs and crossovers!). Cars such as the BMW i4 which goes on sale later this year are a definite step in the right direction and I’m sure others will follow.

I'd agree with that, but the end game will be all cars as EVs, so the "usual models" will get EV-ed in time.
 
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Domh245

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The Tesla 3 mentioned up thread is undoubtedly a nice car

Teslas are great tablets that you can sit inside and drive!

Cars such as the BMW i4 which goes on sale later this year are a definite step in the right direction

Steps in the right direction, in every area bar styling!

PHEVs are a great intermediate step at the moment for going EV whilst retaining the range and refilling benefits of an ICE - we'll probably be keeping our outlander PHEV as a useful long distance/heavy-hauler car, but likely replacing our current second car with a small BEV for doing local runabout drives. Obviously having 2 cars won't work for everyone, nor will everyone be open to the current crop of PHEVs, which seem to be almost exclusively SUVs!
 

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With a 250 mile range, if you are not taking enough breaks to top up the charge at a fast charger at the motorway services, then you are not taking enough breaks to be driving safely. Forcing people who do London to Manchester (say) with no break at all is a positive outcome of this limitation of EVs. One should not drive more than about 2 hours without a decent break, which is easily enough to get a top-up charge.

I don't disagree with what you're saying here but what if I pull into a motorway services and the fast chargers are occupied? Based on my observations this is a realistic possibility. If I leave myself a hour to recharge to be on the safe side that means setting off an hour earlier which means an hours less sleep, which for me I honestly believe would be more dangerous than driving for three hours at a time, particularly if I'm making a return trip later in the day. Again, I don't disagree with your point, but the theory and reality don't quite align.

I'd agree with that, but the end game will be all cars as EVs, so the "usual models" will get EV-ed in time.

Hopefully. I'd be more than happy with an electric Focus RS with a sub 4 second 0-60 time, decent range and sub £50k price tag (please Ford)....
 

Bletchleyite

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I don't disagree with what you're saying here but what if I pull into a motorway services and the fast chargers are occupied? Based on my observations this is a realistic possibility.

My observation is that there are always loads spare. Or at worst you might need to proceed to the next services having lost about 2 minutes going off and back on again.

If I leave myself a hour to recharge to be on the safe side that means setting off an hour earlier which means an hours less sleep, which for me I honestly believe would be more dangerous than driving for three hours at a time, particularly if I'm making a return trip later in the day. Again, I don't disagree with your point, but the theory and reality don't quite align.

If it is not possible to have enough sleep (er, go to bed earlier?) and take appropriate breaks then your journey is not viable as a day trip by car. Again, it is good that people will be forced to avoid doing this, and more importantly businesses forced to stop pressuring their staff to do it to save on hotel costs.

It's sort of what happened with phones - companies were pressuring staff to answer calls and do conferences on the move, then stricter laws and concerns have effectively forced them to stop that.
 

DustyBin

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My observation is that there are always loads spare. Or at worst you might need to proceed to the next services having lost about 2 minutes going off and back on again.

It obviously depends on the number available, I've seen queues on more than one occasion....

If it is not possible to have enough sleep (er, go to bed earlier?) and take appropriate breaks then your journey is not viable as a day trip by car. Again, it is good that people will be forced to avoid doing this, and more importantly businesses forced to stop pressuring their staff to do it to save on hotel costs.

It's sort of what happened with phones - companies were pressuring staff to answer calls and do conferences on the move, then stricter laws and concerns have effectively forced them to stop that.

With respect, and do tell me if I'm wrong, you sound like somebody who hasn't worked in this kind of environment. It's easy to say "go to bed earlier" but people have non-work commitments and things to do which mean they can't go to bed at 9pm (I wouldn't get to sleep anyway!). Whilst not ideal I can drive quite easily for three hours without feeling remotely fatigued and have done so for many years so I'm struggling to accept that such journeys "aren't viable". There are bigger dangers on the road, believe me!

For many people driving is also 'phone time' (hands free of course) which again isn't ideal as you're distracted but there's no other option. I'd rather not take calls in the car believe me!
 

Bletchleyite

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With respect, and do tell me if I'm wrong, you sound like somebody who hasn't worked in this kind of environment. It's easy to say "go to bed earlier" but people have non-work commitments and things to do which mean they can't go to bed at 9pm (I wouldn't get to sleep anyway!). Whilst not ideal I can drive quite easily for three hours without feeling remotely fatigued and have done so for many years so I'm struggling to accept that such journeys "aren't viable". There are bigger dangers on the road, believe me!

For many people driving is also 'phone time' (hands free of course) which again isn't ideal as you're distracted but there's no other option. I'd rather not take calls in the car believe me!

Your business clearly needs to be legislated into changing its practices. None of that is acceptable practice.

Also, if you're doing 250 miles in 3 hours you are averaging 83.3mph. That isn't acceptable either and no business should be built up around people speeding.
 

ExRes

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With a 250 mile range, if you are not taking enough breaks to top up the charge at a fast charger at the motorway services, then you are not taking enough breaks to be driving safely. Forcing people who do London to Manchester (say) with no break at all to take one is a positive outcome of this limitation of EVs. One should not drive more than about 2 hours without a decent break, which is easily enough to get a top-up charge.

Personally I think that is the nanny state at its worst, I'm in my 60s and I drive between four and five hours regularly and have never been in a scrape let alone an accident due to being 'unsafe', I understand that the 'Drivers Hours Law' determined by the EU and DoT recommends that you can drive four and a half hours before taking a break, at the end of the day, of course, if the driver feels tired then they should take a break for the safety of everyone

I don't disagree with what you're saying here but what if I pull into a motorway services and the fast chargers are occupied? Based on my observations this is a realistic possibility.

It would be most interesting if those pushing electric cars would suggest how they intend to fund sufficient chargers to cope with the number of vehicles using motorways and motorway service centres, a random figure I've just found for daily use of the M25 is 196000, and that was in 2003, what percentage would wish to use a charger I wonder?
 
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paul1609

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I don't disagree with what you're saying here but what if I pull into a motorway services and the fast chargers are occupied? Based on my observations this is a realistic possibility. If I leave myself a hour to recharge to be on the safe side that means setting off an hour earlier which means an hours less sleep, which for me I honestly believe would be more dangerous than driving for three hours at a time, particularly if I'm making a return trip later in the day. Again, I don't disagree with your point, but the theory and reality don't quite align.
Personally I think its what you're used to, I don't find it stressful to drive 3 to 4 hours but then prefer to take a longer break.
However, how practical long journeys actually are with EVs I don't know (as opposed to charging adventures!). My experience of driving pool/hire Leafs is that in winter at motorway speeds you'll actually get around 100 miles range. The rapid charge 80% will generally get you another 75 miles. The charge after that will take 3 hours minimum. The 175 miles from my house gets me to somewhere between Grantham and Newark on the A1. Given a choice for my family trip from Kent to my brothers house near Whitehaven about 400 miles Id currently choose an IC powered vehicle every time. I don't deny that the journeys are possible with EVs but there is a big time/ reliability issue.

Interestingly, the 4th most popular model of new car sold in March (the last month for which numbers have been released) was the Tesla 3, outselling every model of Audi, BMW, VW, etc.
They will mostly be pre-registrations by dealers and fleet registrations to get the new 21 plate rather than an actual representation of market share. In the case of the Tesla possibly waiting list buyers delaying to get the 21 plate as well.
 
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edwin_m

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PHEVs are a great intermediate step at the moment for going EV whilst retaining the range and refilling benefits of an ICE - we'll probably be keeping our outlander PHEV as a useful long distance/heavy-hauler car, but likely replacing our current second car with a small BEV for doing local runabout drives. Obviously having 2 cars won't work for everyone, nor will everyone be open to the current crop of PHEVs, which seem to be almost exclusively SUVs!
I'm sure you maximise the use of yours on electric power but I also suspect many people bought them for the financial incentive that applied (not sure if it still does) and the power lead is untainted by actual use. Which leaves them as overweight IC vehicles, perhaps with a small ecological benefit and fuel saving from hybridisation.
 

telstarbox

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Personally I think that is the nanny state at its worst, I'm in my 60s and I drive between four and five hours regularly and have never been in a scrape let alone an accident due to being 'unsafe', I understand that the 'Drivers Hours Law' determined by the EU and DoT recommends that you can drive four and a half hours before taking a break, at the end of the day, of course, if the driver feels tired then they should take a break for the safety of everyone



It would be most interesting if those pushing electric cars would suggest how they intend to fund sufficient chargers to cope with the number of vehicles using motorways and motorway service centres, a random figure I've just found for daily use of the M25 is 196000, and that was in 2003, what percentage would wish to use a charger I wonder?
A lot of that is people doing short hops of one or two junctions (arguably the M25 has too many access points). Increasingly your origin (home) or destination (business park, country pub, hotel, shopping centre) will have chargers - they are popping up everywhere.

You don't need to refuel your car on every journey surely? You go once or twice a week to the petrol station.
 

Domh245

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I'm sure you maximise the use of yours on electric power but I also suspect many people bought them for the financial incentive that applied (not sure if it still does) and the power lead is untainted by actual use. Which leaves them as overweight IC vehicles, perhaps with a small ecological benefit and fuel saving from hybridisation.

Agreed that most PHEVs (at least, those bought for fleet or purely financial incentives) aren't used properly, but for the "EV minded, but range anxious" they're ideal. Unfortunately people will always be the problem in the technological solution, if we can figure out how to get people to do the right thing (or otherwise what's needed) we'd have solved all the world's problems by now!
 

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Agreed that most PHEVs (at least, those bought for fleet or purely financial incentives) aren't used properly, but for the "EV minded, but range anxious" they're ideal. Unfortunately people will always be the problem in the technological solution, if we can figure out how to get people to do the right thing (or otherwise what's needed) we'd have solved all the world's problems by now!
I know of one employer that requires all company cars to be at least a hybrid. This includes the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid. Electric range is quoted at 25-30 miles. Real world accounts suggest around half that. The result is a box-ticking excercise.
 

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I know of one employer that requires all company cars to be at least a hybrid. This includes the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid. Electric range is quoted at 25-30 miles. Real world accounts suggest around half that. The result is a box-ticking excercise.

Yes and no. A low range PHEV is still useful as electric mode can be used in a city. Particulates etc are a much more pressing issue than carbon is.
 

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A lot of that is people doing short hops of one or two junctions (arguably the M25 has too many access points). Increasingly your origin (home) or destination (business park, country pub, hotel, shopping centre) will have chargers - they are popping up everywhere.

You don't need to refuel your car on every journey surely? You go once or twice a week to the petrol station.

I'm sure you'll forgive me as I'm not being argumentative, but your reply is so like the majority I've seen, nobody is prepared to actually say what's going to happen, what facilities will be provided, by whom and at whose expense, the whole electric vehicle subject is all so "it'll be alright on the night"

My current car will allow me a round trip of around 550 miles, I can do my Devon/Sussex/Devon trips without a fuelling stop, what electric car is going to do that? where we are currently living has a lot of Edwardian/Victorian housing with no roads, just pathways, I have to park 5 or so minutes walk away from the house, where do I charge an electric car? there are virtually no public car parking spaces in town and those that do exist are both expensive and in small areas which would be even more limited should chargers be put in, the whole situation angers me that those so much in favour of electric cars are not prepared to put forward sensible and practical answers to people genuine concerns

I should just repeat that these are my personal feelings and not a disagreement with you personally
 

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Yes and no. A low range PHEV is still useful as electric mode can be used in a city. Particulates etc are a much more pressing issue than carbon is.
And, depending on the circumstances, a short-range PHEV can be run on electric most of the time. For example, my dad, who is due in week or two to take delivery of a new Skoda Superb hybrid (for which the range is maybe 30-40 miles, I'm not entirely sure), which will run on electric only for weeks at a time: he has an 8-mile drive each way from home to work, and shops etc are a similar distance away; when he needs to go on a short-notice long distance trip (ie: "we've got a problem, come and fix it" "OK, I'll be there in four hours") the engine will come in rather handy...
 

DustyBin

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Your business clearly needs to be legislated into changing its practices. None of that is acceptable practice.

Also, if you're doing 250 miles in 3 hours you are averaging 83.3mph. That isn't acceptable either and no business should be built up around people speeding.

Your views on this are rather authoritarian....

Incidentally, in regard to the arbitrary two hour 'rule' please remember this is something you've invented. As I said, driving for longer has caused me no issues whatsoever and even HGV drivers are allowed four and a half hours at a time. Feel free to stick to what you feel is safe for you and I'll do the same.

I don't recall saying anything about how far I can travel in three hours, I said I can drive for three hours at a time quite happily. I'm aware of the speed limit and obviously wouldn't break it as that would be illegal.

I'm sure you maximise the use of yours on electric power but I also suspect many people bought them for the financial incentive that applied (not sure if it still does) and the power lead is untainted by actual use. Which leaves them as overweight IC vehicles, perhaps with a small ecological benefit and fuel saving from hybridisation.

In my experience this is exactly what some people do, I nearly did it myself a year or so ago.
 

johncrossley

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I suspect age has something to do with acceptance of EVs and younger people are already well known to be not as interested in cars in general as today's middle age and older. I suspect "petrolheads" are generally older. @DustyBin, are you late 40s at least, given that you would have to be that age at least to know about the 3-2-1 game show?
 

Bletchleyite

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Your views on this are rather authoritarian....

When individuals are not reponsible enough to make sensible, safe choices for the benefit of other drivers on the road, more regulation is necessary.

This is why we have speed cameras, for example. Because people are not willing or able to rein in their speed for the benefit of others.

Incidentally, in regard to the arbitrary two hour 'rule' please remember this is something you've invented. As I said, driving for longer has caused me no issues whatsoever and even HGV drivers are allowed four and a half hours at a time. Feel free to stick to what you feel is safe for you and I'll do the same.


91
Driving when you are tired greatly increases your risk of collision. To minimise this risk
  • ...
  • plan your journey to take sufficient breaks. A minimum break of at least 15 minutes after every two hours of driving is recommended
  • ...

So no, I did not make it up.

In my experience this is exactly what some people do, I nearly did it myself a year or so ago.

With regard to PHEVs, I think they should be fitted with GPS which mandates the use of electricity within urban limits, particularly London. The engine could be permitted to start if the battery had run down so the user was not stranded, but perhaps to encourage them to plan better and charge it could come with restrictions, e.g. a very low acceleration on petrol/diesel and a speed limit.
 

Domh245

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With regard to PHEVs, I think they should be fitted with GPS which mandates the use of electricity within urban limits, particularly London. The engine could be permitted to start if the battery had run down so the user was not stranded, but perhaps to encourage them to plan better and charge it could come with restrictions, e.g. a very low acceleration on petrol/diesel and a speed limit.

They need to get much smarter to do that*, not just "bung a GPS on it". For example, when we're driving from the south coast back to home, we've recently (finally) figured out reference points to switch it into 'charge' mode so that it can make it home at (good as) 0 mile EV range left - however having been cruising at ~70mph for a fair the car's "kwh/mile" estimate is well off for the 40/30/20mph roads that make up the last part of the journey. As a result we'll often switch to EV only with it estimating about 4miles of range, 12 miles from home, and still make it home just before it runs out.

It would certainly be great to prioritise EV running when in urban areas though it sort of does this by default, at least half the time if used properly (ie charged at home) and you live in said urban area. Restricting them in the ways you suggest, at least whilst the majority of cars are still ICE, is rather daft though

*maybe they are, but our outlander is an older/cheaper/dumber system than a more modern one
 

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