Norway Leads The Charge To Phase Out Internal Combustion; China And The UK To Follow

Climate change promises to cause untold damage across the world if greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels for much longer. Despite the wealth of evidence indicating impending doom, governments have done what humans do best, and procrastinated on solving the issue.

However, legislatures around the world are beginning to snap into action. With transportation being a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions — 16% of the global total in 2016 — measures are being taken to reduce this figure. With electric cars now a viable reality, many governments are planning to ban the sale of internal combustion vehicles in the coming decades.

Similar But Different Measures

Norway has seen a huge uptake of cleaner vehicles, which make up over 50% of the market. Image credit: Carlos Bryant

Earlier this year, we looked at the city of Brussels, which aims to ban all fossil fuel transport from its city centre by 2035. However, such a heavy-handed measure isn’t necessarily practical worldwide, particularly for those stuck driving older vehicles in areas without strong public transport links. Instead, different states and countries are setting their own timelines on the phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles in an aim to move towards a cleaner transport mix.

One of the fastest-moving is Norway. With electric and hybrid cars making up over 50% of sales since 2017, they’re well placed to complete the transition away from internal combustion. EVs alone made up 41% of new car purchases in 2019. The country plans to reach zero sales of fossil fuel vehicles by 2025, though an outright ban is not yet solidified by law.

Aiming to move somewhat slower but at a far greater scale is China. Their goal is to sell only hybrids, hydrogen vehicles, and electric vehicles by 2035. Now the biggest car market in the world, selling 21.05 million vehicles in 2019, the policy promises to have a major effect on the automotive industry, both domestically and worldwide. With fossil-fuel only cars facing an outright ban on sales in 2035, carmakers have less incentive than ever to continue investing in internal combustion technology, given it will be shutout from such a large potential market base.

China has historical form where such policies are concerned; their bans on motorcycles and then later, electric bikes, were executed ruthlessly quickly in past years. However, the vast country does not stand alone in this push. As is common with automotive regulation, large blocs of countries tend to make similar moves at the same time. This eases pressure on automakers who would otherwise have to deal with wildly varying legislation across markets, and by working together, countries can overcome political resistance from automakers who otherwise might have the resources to stifle dissent in a single smaller nation.

After initially setting a target of 2040 for the phase out, the United Kingdom moved its target up to 2035 and is considering shifting it even sooner to 2030. California has also set 2035 as a goal for all new passenger vehicle sales to be zero-emission, which seems to go so far as to exclude even hybrids. In Canada, Quebec intends to start their ban in 2035 also, with British Columbia outlawing new sales by 2040. A smattering of other European nations are firming up their own plans, too.

Technology To Bridge The Gap

Hydrogen cars like Toyota’s Mirai will not face bans in China, unlike combustion engine vehicles. Image credit: Toyota

China’s policy, and many others, tend to hedge their bets, aiming to reduce transportation emissions over time without betting the farm on electric vehicles entirely. If battery supplies or range figures don’t get to where they need to be in 15 years time, Chinese drivers will still be able to fall back on hybrids or hydrogen cars. This is particularly reassuring for those who regularly drive long distances and worry about getting stranded in electric cars. Additionally, hydrogen cars and hybrids don’t need users to have a home charger to use their vehicle on a regular basis. They can instead be refuelled in much the same manner as a regular gasoline car. This is important for those who live in city apartments, or other areas where street parking is the only option.

Hybrid and hydrogen technologies promise to take the pain out of the switchover to electric vehicles. They can help ease the average driver through the switchover, and provide a useful option for those people who fit a particular edge case that electric vehicles still can’t quite fulfill.

Transition by New Acquisition

Municipalities that ban fossil fuel vehicles can expect improvements to local air quality, though staving off climate change requires these cars to be off the road for good. Image credit: EPA

The vast majority of these bans only affect new vehicle sales. Thus, there will be a lag in actually reducing emissions from transportation, as many drive older vehicles that are years or decades old. Estimates suggest it can take up to 18 years for 50% of vehicles on the road to comply with a new law. Thus, it’s unsurprising that most countries have set their targets so far in the future. It will take a long time for the entire second-hand market to switch over to cleaner cars unless outright bans on fossil fuel vehicles come into place. Of course, there’s also the export market to consider; many older vehicles make their way to developing countries. In Uganda, for example, the average vehicle age is over 16 years, with many cars stacking on another two decades of driving after that. Shipping older cars out will help clear local pollution and reach targets faster, but if emissions are to be reduced worldwide, fossil fuel cars eventually need to be taken off the road entirely.

Such measures won’t be enough on their own to stave off the pending climate emergency, but are an important part of reducing global emissions output. With transition timetables now up on the board, it’s up to automakers to take the necessary steps to make it happen. Whether this will be a quick and clean switchover, or a drawn out, painful process akin to switching off analog TV will be borne out in due time.

194 thoughts on “Norway Leads The Charge To Phase Out Internal Combustion; China And The UK To Follow

    1. True enough – while their tiny auto market is transitioning to zero-emissions they continue to export as much North Sea crude oil as possible. Curious what their plan is once the fossil fuel market collapses after all these nations outlaw internal combustion engines? It is oil revenues that prop up their economy.

      1. You need oil to make a lot of stuff, including nearly everything from grease and tires for electric cars to plastics for electric cars, so the oil market will not collapse.

        As for all that “green” madness to keep the planet half dead (frozen/deserted) at any cost, I think we will meet with breathing taxes and other unimaginable stuff very soon. I already stockpiled with popcorn.

        1. Non-fuel use of oil is about 5% of all oil. You also seem to mistake the problem with climate change, it’s changing too fast which causing a mass extinction event. The result of mass extinctions will a collapse of the food chain. If we keep on the current path, everyone will be vegan out of necessity.

          Also, you talk about being keeping part of the planet “dead” but it’s literally going to create a band around the planet that is literally too hot to live in.

          1. Well, the Northern permafrost regions are huge compared to equatorial land. And perhaps telling, the climate experts and politicians keep moving to Southern Florida and buying waterfront homes. Go figure. Why are the lay enthusiasts the most vocal?

          2. > Non-fuel use of oil is about 5% of all oil.

            Gasoline and diesel for personal cars is only ~10% of oil use. You have to replace not only personal cars, but nearly all planes, ships, trains and trucks to somethign electric. And you will need a lot of oil to produce them. So, oil market will not collapse just because you prohibit personal ICE cars.

            > but it’s literally going to create a band around the planet that is literally too hot to live in.

            Ask paleontologists, what real greensouse with 1000-2000ppm CO2 look like. Just dig some papers on eocene, when the Earth was literally green, from pole to pole. Also, look at timescale of ice ages and greenhouse. Ice ages is not normal for Earth, they last much less than warm greenhouse periods. And exits from ice ages, like one we living now, was not normal too. In the memory of really green Earth we make temperature (+20C) and humidity (60%) exactly like on most Earth in Eocene-Oligocene when our species developed.

            Ecologists forget to tell you that mean temperature rise is not the only greenhouse climate effect. Greenhouse also reduces temperature gradients, between day and night, winter and summer, and equator and pole. +10C rise does not mean that it will be -0C to +50C with mean +25C instead of -10C to +40C with mean +15C it looks like it will be something like +15C to +35C with mean +25C, as it was in the past.

            So, I don’t think it is wise to stop the returning of Earth to its natural climate. Consequences of our arrogance could be much worse than natural process. And who we are to stop the nature from return to normal?

          3. @Stanson

            Humanity might not go extinct, but many hundreds of millions, possibly billions, of people might die due to a combination of climate effects, and the economic impact of those climate effects. For example, if the sea levels rise something like 1m, 300 million people will be displaced. During the eocene, sea levels were >100m higher than now. Yes, if you live in the middle of the USA, you’ll probably be alive (although supply chains will be very different). Huge numbers of people do not. If you like living in a forest and foraging for food, then why dont you go there instead of commenting idiocy on forums.

          4. @BNBN

            > During the eocene, sea levels were >100m higher than now.

            Sea levels where, and relative to what? You sould know that Earth surface is not a stable thing and looking millions years into the past you can’t get a real picture looking at sea level in some fixed point. What is really matters, is surface area above sea level. It is hard to find info about it, but it is possible. Like in paper – “Our reconstructions show that the land area of Antarctica situated above sea level was ~25% larger at the Eocene–Oligocene boundary than at the present-day.”. Try it, you will find a lot of interesting information.

            Everybody calculating “sea level if all ice melted” forget about many variables should be taken into account. You have higher mean temperature, so ice melts. Yes, but that’s not all. You get more evapouration, you get huge increase in plan mass due to higher temperature and higher CO2 levels, you getting rid of deserts, and so on. It is very complex thing, and I think nobody could even tell if the surface area above sea level will decrease or increase.

            I also find an mindblowing thing about garbage in scientific papers. During carboniferous period, when the plants appeared, there was no bacteria able to eat cellulose and lignin – the compunds of natural composite plastic named wood. That plant plastic garbage (wood) just lied all over the world for millions of years without degradation, and eventually drown into the ground and become coal. That’s right. modern coal is literally “non-degradeable plastic garbage” from the past. What if we invented plastics that can not degrade naturally because we have to bury it like carboniferous plants wood was buried to restore coal layers we dig out? Planet Earth just wants its coal layers back. :)

            Things are more complex, more strange and much more interesting than it seems from the point of mainstream views.

            > Yes, if you live in the middle of the USA, you’ll probably be alive (although supply chains will be very different). Huge numbers of people do not.

            Even if surface area above sea level will decrease, that process is not like in disaster movies. It is hundreds, or even thousands of years. Modern human civilisation could easily adapt to that slow change. Especially taking in mind that we will eventually get much more habitable land for everything – billions of people, new cities, farm lands and everyting else. If it could not, or don’t want to – I’m in doubt about a reason for this civilisation to exist.

          5. @BNBN

            > IEA says that passenger vehicles are 23% (not 10%) of oil, and trucks are 17%

            Where is “Military” sector in that pie?

            I took ~10% from EU data. Really looks reasonable, since both Americas have longer overall paths people use with personal transport, so it will put enough shift to larger percentage for personal cars worldwide.

            In any case, even 50% reduction in oil will not collapse the oil market.

        2. As Gravis says the massively rapid climb in global temps on average is not at all natural, its on the verge of or has already wiped out quite a few plant and animal species as they can’t adapt or migrate fast enough.

          But its more than just that, the stupidly large increase is leading to more frequent and more destructive weather, which isn’t good for anything either.

          A gradual more natural paced change in the environment isn’t the end of the world, as a hotter world (within reason) is not a dead world. But the ecological disasters we are largely or entirely responsible for could well make the world 100% dead, not one micro-organism let alive even. And are certainly going to result in huge death tolls if unchecked, as it becomes impossible to farm, with the crops never settings because all the useful insects have died off, no fish either as many edible fish will be rapidly fished to extinction, assuming they are not already dead from the changes in ocean chemistry due to the increase in temperature, or plastics and all the numerous other pollutants we humans love pouring into their home…

      2. Norway doesn’t really need to sell oil to the rest of the world at all, they are fortunate in other ways too, can probably get all the international money exchanges they need just selling the spare electricity they generate to the rest of Europe…

        And as Stanson points out oil isn’t going anywhere even after we stop burning it so frequently – almost all plastics are oil derived for one, paints and epoxies, rubber. The list is nearly endless, so those places that still have raw reserves will keep exporting and using it for a long time to come as its much easier than performing chemical magic with plant based oils.

        1. We don’t produce that much “excess” electricity. And funny thing, the price of electricity here literally quadrupled for a while today as the new transmission line to the 4th Reich came online, with an estimated daily mean price increase of around 50% as of today. EU and Merkels green utopian failure has more or less destroyed the power market in Europe for consumers. Norway was blessed with cheap, clean and STABLE hydropower for its people and industries until our politicians sold out. And now Germany is ruining some of the last wilderness areas in Europe with giant moronic wind turbines. /Rant

    2. Oil and gas are the main wealth sources of Norway, but they also spend it wisely. Wise as they are, they certainly know that oil and gas won’t last forever (predicted peak around 2030) and are getting ready…

    3. And using that revenue to accelerate (their own) transition to the post-oil economy – the EV-part of that mentioned here. Also investing significantly in renewable energy and carbon capture techniques. Not to mention just investing heavily – essentially, a national endowment.

  1. With 98% of electricity generated from renewable sources, Norway is ranked 9th globally in percentage terms.
    So yes, if you get ‘free’ electricity, it makes far more sense to use electric cars.

    Why the UK would want to go full out on electricity is a bit of a mystery to me from an economic point of view.
    Sure, better air quality. But I hardly think that is typically the main argument.

    1. Its a cheaper way of meeting the carbon targets than many others, and we have already an impressive wind power network that is growing continually, and more and more solar – not going to be at Norways % of ‘free’ prepaid electric any time soon but the grid is trending in that direction.

      Its also reasonably practical – you ban ICE in Australia/USA/Canda and nothing can get between many of the cities as the distances are just too vast.. In the UK a current generation electric car can go on one charge to almost any other point in the UK on just that charge, so almost all journeys can be done fully electric with current technology as long as you plug in at the other end.

      Clearly some problems with it, too many folks without a place to charge their car. It adds a huge demand for electricity that will need to be met. But its a reasonable direction to go, has large public approval (which some of the other viable techs just don’t have), and doesn’t actually cost anything to implement – you ban the sale of new ICE and that costs nothing, then if all is going well 10-20 years down the line everyone has bought a new vehicle, which they were going to do anyway as the old ones wear out (or just maybe have gone to cycling/public transport as while its all changing over is a great time to improve and price correctly the most efficient means of transporting people and goods, neither of which are likely to cost the taxpayer much if anything -will all the private companies involved investing to make more profits in the future)…

        1. Some jobs will remain exactly the same, some will be somewhat different, some will be significantly different, and many not-even-thought-of jobs will be ceated.

          Sure if you are a dinosaur and don’t have the will to change/reskill there is a *possibility* you will loose your job and not get another. But you would only have yourself to blame.

          There will be no “mass job loss” like you claim.

          1. I didn’t claim so.

            But every time you disrupt the economy by arbitrary laws, it tends to create shocks that ripple around in the form of sudden job losses because they can’t instantly re-train themselves, move around, and find different employment.

            And the word “ripple” is apt, because the flood of more experienced workers in the labor market puts young people out of their entry level jobs, which creates a secondary wave of youth unemployment and delayed graduations, etc. etc.

            It will settle out eventually, but for anyone concerned it’s going to suck for a long time.

          2. Mostly in reply to ‘Dude’, below, and all over the place (and reg. some other posters):

            Dude doesn’t like change. So no sense in trying to argue with him. He elsewhere claimed it’s not worth changing to Metric, since it’s only ‘fashionable’.

            It’s also interesting to hear the similar arguments for not changing to Metric and for not phasing out ICE. ” … disrupt … sudden job losses … can’t instantly re-train themselves … it’s going to suck for a long time.”

            Change happens. Jobs will be lost. Jobs will change. Jobs will be gained. And what’s with the ‘sudden’? The real harm is in sticking ones head in the sand, and and letting the need for change build up. I’d rather deal with the prick of a needle now, rather that wait for a boil to spew pus all over the place at the worst time.

            Amazing how problems such as poverty, healthcare, food, education, pollution, … don’t cure themselves by just staying the course. Imagine what would happen if a pandemic hit?

            Kudos to any country that can plan and follow thru long term. I bet most of them also have solid unemployment and re-training programs in place. They know change is inevitable, and deal with it as thinking, 21st century societies, not a clan of cavemen.
            They’re DOING SOMETHING positive. NO, it’s not a solution for everyone/every country. But what are you and your country doing to try to improve all our well-being? Just basing decisions on their likely short term influence on the stock market and the unemployment rate, ain’t going to do it.

            Regarding Capitalism, Socialism, Communism: Acting in a SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE way, need not be excluded from any form of government.

          3. >Dude doesn’t like change.

            I said don’t fix what ain’t broken. Change for the sake of change is idiotic.

            And even if it’s slightly broken, it’s better to have things change gradually and out of the choice of the people rather than dictates from above, because of the previous point: arbitrary sudden changes cause socioeconomic shocks that hurt people. In politics just as in medicine, one should prefer the Hippocratic oath: first do no harm.

          4. >Change happens. Jobs will be lost.

            Indeed, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn the entire society around on a dime to speed it up before it would. The economy shifts to what is economical and sensible quite by itself, because it is economical and sensible, when it becomes economical and sensible. People can move on gradually through retirement, re-training, re-locating etc. because the entire industry doesn’t disappear overnight.

            With the ban on ICVs, people still demand the cars and the industry runs up until they’re not allowed anymore, and it’s very difficult to plan a smooth exit strategy, if not impossible.

            The other thing is, when you make demands which are not sensible in the moment, the people will get around your point somehow. They cheat. What that means is, not only are you hurting people with your haste to push things along this way or that way, flip-flopping any which way every time the administration changes, your demands will ultimately not be met.

            In other words, if petrol cars are banned before the market is ready for it, the people will either a) vote to overturn your decision and cancel the order, b) cheat somehow, like installing aftermarket generators or finding some loophole in the order to keep their cars. What you’re trying to do is simply a nuisance to the people who have no other option, because they need to keep on living their lives.

          5. >Or to put it a slightly different way, Dude doesn’t like change.

            False generalization.

            If you don’t like potatoes with mustard on top, does that mean you don’t like potatoes?

          6. Since the actual bans would take effect after at least 1-2 more election cycles, and it doesn’t look likely that EVs can cash their promise in time, the last governments that rise to power will do so on a decidedly anti-environmental platform BECAUSE the previous governments were trying to force it too hard.

            The opposition will win because it’s the only way the people can stop the idiocy, even though that will have terrible consequences in most other senses.

            If your political clown car has a wheel that only turns in 90 degrees increments to the left, you’ll need a hard counter-steer to the right to stay on track.

          7. Regarding “Dude”>” …I said don’t fix what ain’t broken. Change for the sake of change is idiotic. And even if it’s slightly broken, it’s better to have things change gradually… ”

            NO. Slow change is not intrinsically less damaging. Problems/damage pile up. Opportunities are lost.

            It’s also often not possible. Remember the old advice, “Upgrade once, then replace” regarding computer hardware? Many of us want/need a reliable working system, that can handle the next challenge you throw at it without frustration. Sure, you can do a lot with a Pentium system and Win98. But, at some point, you are holding yourself back. You will get another system.

            I think your issue, is that you believe things suck because we change things. The truth is, EVERYTHING CHANGES CONTINUALLY, and that can suck. Our response to the changes is what matters.

            If nothing else, realizing this is the good that should have come out of Covid:

            Ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away.
            Quickly addressing issues does mitigate problems.
            Your unwillingness to sacrifice, will affect/hurt/kill someone else.
            Someone else’s unwillingness to sacrifice will affect/hurt/kill you.

            In this age, 5-10 year plans are not “… sudden change…” Individuals and governments that have the foresight and ability to adapt to changes will be the truly successful ones.

            Note that countries that are able to move forward, are ones with more than two political parties fully represented … It cuts down on the stupid partisanship. Two-Party system only works when elected officials have the intelligence, gonads, and integrity, to go against their own party.

          8. re: Dude > “If you don’t like potatoes with mustard on top, does that mean you don’t like potatoes?”

            The problem is when you refuse to try other veggies, even should they find out potatoes cause harm, or they go rotten. Who cares about the topping then. It’s time to give something else a chance … But we can’t make you, don’t worry …

          9. >It’s also often not possible. Remember the old advice, “Upgrade once, then replace” regarding computer hardware?

            You just don’t get it. A society is not a computer, or a machine of any sort where you can just arbitrarily replace parts with different ones.You can’t just “install a new society”. A society is an organism, almost like a living entity, and poking around with the fundamental aspects of its economy is like performing open heart surgery on yourself. There’s only so much you can do, because the surgeon has to stay alive to perform the surgery.

            Change in society is inevitable, but it happens most easily by evolution, not by revolution, because the society has to continuously exist and function in order to pull off any changes in itself. That’s the problem with the progressive mindset, next to the problems of thinking that you even have the justification to force such changes in the first place under the excuse of “improving” things. Read for example, Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies.

          10. Plus a few points from here:


            Point being: big top down upheavals and revolutions cause unintended consequences that tend to undermine the action, and you learn nothing of it because the one who is pulling off the revolution cannot explain why this happens. Small reversible changes enable the society to feel its way into the future without committing to any particular theory, because you are continuously testing what works and what doesn’t.

            Big changes like banning the very technology that enables cheap popular mass transportation is exactly the kind of commitment that is irreversible and non-testable because it has to be made by force, and by force it needs to suppress dissent and criticism, and by suppressing those you remove the feedback from the people and cannot know whether you did any better. You just assume so, because you have already decided that this was always going to be the right choice, and that is anti-rational and anti-democratic, against all the principles of an open liberal society.

          11. >In this age, 5-10 year plans are not “… sudden change…”

            Like in jumping out of a plane without a parachute, it’s not the height that kills you but the inevitable splat.

            No amount of planning to do something will change the fact that you have to have the provisions to actually do it, and as long as you don’t have it, you cannot plan to do it. You can only hope.

          12. to “Dude”: “Change in society is inevitable, but it happens most easily by evolution, not by revolution, …”

            Yes, that is beautiful and desirable. So what happens when change happens faster that you are willing / can change … You’re confusing Ease/Desire with Reality …

          13. Re: ” Dude: the inevitable splat.”

            Right. And I truly don’t mean to harp on you. Obviously something happened to you or a loved one, that has you focused on job stability. I do admire that. It seems like every topic, your position is “In 1970 we had … and all was well … ”
            It’s a different world … NOBODY has the same job for more than ten years. Problems are piling up. See all the cracks the Pandemic revealed? Miles of cars hoping for food. Crappy healthcare. Virtual learning, a joke (I’ve got two kids). My whole point is, slow change is NOT an option. My kids aren’t properly educated by their school because the system cant spend $10 to get proper mics and webcams and have their teacher use them correctly.

            YES, slow change is easier, but easy is no longer an option without losses.

        2. Some jobs might change or be lost eventually – which is true of absolutely every change(many of which are because better/more profitable/faster methods come along). But its not going to be overnight, or even inside of a few years – it will be so slow as there’s all the old ICE floating around needing all the same old things..

          And there is no cost difference anybody must pay, when you need a new car you buy one – if you can afford a new car, you have to get the EV, if you can’t afford it you get another old ICE powered one or perhaps the reconditioned EV on its replacement/refurbished battery or the budget model somebody partx’d for a nicer one.

          Should you not be able to afford any of these options, with every company tripping over themselves to provide new EV’s at all price points and parts to keep their old models running – They all still want your money, and are in competition with each other for it so are going to do whatever they can in the rules to make it so you do spend it on them, then you probably couldn’t afford a car even if nothing at all changed from today..

          1. >with every company tripping over themselves to provide new EV’s at all price points

            They’re going to have to trip faster, because an ICE vehicle can be made and SOLD at $5,000 new whereas EVs still struggle to sell profitably at $35k and above. Companies like Dacia used to sell simple cars for as little as €6,000 new until Renault bought the full ownership and pumped the prices up to stop them from competing.

            10-15 years is not a whole lot of time to make an 80% reduction in manufacturing costs to parity with ICE technology. Tick tock.

          2. It’s easy to forget that even in Europe there are still countries where the median salary is just €600-700 and an “average priced new car” by the western Europe and US standards is completely unattainable to anyone but the elite.

        3. Re: “dude”: “Small reversible changes enable the society to feel its way into the future without committing to any particular theory, because you are continuously testing what works and what doesn’t.”

          Seriously? You’re going to “feel” yourself into pandemics, war, hyper-shit?

          Not long before you’re wipe out.

        4. Re: Dude: “Like in jumping out of a plane without a parachute, it’s not the height that kills you but the inevitable splat.”

          So… when life pushes you out of the plane …

          Sometimes choices are made for you. Analyzing the situation at that point don’t matter much, unless you have a parachute. Looking ahead, and fast and correct actions ahead of time would have made the difference …

        5. Re: Dude :” … In other words, if petrol cars are banned before the market is ready for it, …”

          Right. but how does that justify holding back the advancement of EV. How many people seriously drive from NYC to LA? Sure, go ahead, burn some gas. Nobody cares.. It’s a small percentage. Justifying ones views, by highlighting the extremes is dumb … It’s the 100 of thousands that matter. How far do you drive to work …

      1. Foldi says:
        “you ban ICE in Australia/USA/Canda and nothing can get between many of the cities as the distances are just too vast”
        Eh? The US is criss-crossed with thousands of charging stations. I can’t think of a place that is too far for my EV to get to. Besides that, I can cross California (including the Sierra Mountain range) on 2/3rds of a charge.

        1. Its not just the ability to get there – I was sure that would be possible, though I didn’t know the US had manged to scatter shot enough chargers in the middle of nowhere locations to make that really possible, rather than a massive planning exercise – you don’t want to go out your way to find the chargers all the time, and you have to know which chargers you must stop at to make the next one if they are not common enough.

          I was mainly thinking about the getting there in a reasonable time and without serious expedition planning required.. How many hours/days extra do you want on the journey because the car has to charge up again (I’m thinking days as people only function well when awake so many hours, so odds seem good to me you will end up overnighting somewhere at least one extra time while the car charges).

          1. You sir are well behind the times.

            Tesla chargers are fast. I can drive 1000 miles in my Model S with about a 2 hr penalty over straight through ICE driving. Stopping for bathroom breaks and meals reduces the penalty further. Newer EVs have even longer range and the newest chargers coming out (Tesla and CCS) are even faster, up to 350 KWatts.

            Chargers are not “scatter shot”. In the early days that was true but Tesla’s system has chargers methodically spaced on the US interstate system such that they are about “75% charge” or less apart. The newer charging systems are clearly following Tesla’s lead. And Tesla is currently filling in more stations between the existing ones. It is not uncommon to skip a supercharger for the next one on a road trip.

          2. @phil barrett:

            Now the only thing they will have to do to provide everybody a good charging option is making the Tesla infrastructure available to other brands of cars (let them pay for it, but provide the option).

            Over here in the Netherlands, a lot of charging points are available, even while any high range EV is able to drive to the other side of the country on just one charge.

            In some countries, the EV charging network is OK, sometimes it is OK-ish, but there are still a lot of countries with a sub-par EV charging network in where there is a charger available everwhere, but half of them doesn’t actually work.

      1. Tell you what. Go live in rural parts of a country where your commute to work is >25miles. Now take a solar panel and strap it to the roof of your house. Connect that solar panel to your car and tell me if you get back home.

        Electric cars use hundreds of Wh/mile. Solar panels put out a few hundred per day. This is telling you that solar panels cannot replace the electricity in our world. This ignores the huge deployment of batteries (mine all the earth) needed to not waste that solar energy you collected while out at work. Or even better provide the power to the HVAC so you don’t freeze/overheat.

        Power density is the problem and solar is not the answer. It’s great to power some lights in my house. It is not driving me to work, the coal plant is.

        1. The fact that your daily routine involves traveling over 25 miles is the problem here. No matter what fuel source enables that kind of behavior, it’s massively inefficient. In the history of mankind very few people ever had to do that sort of thing. Maybe eliminating fossil fuels will force people to come up with alternatives?

          1. >In the history of mankind very few people ever had to do that sort of thing

            In the history of mankind, very few people COULD travel further than 20 miles from home because they didn’t have the means to. Basically as far as the horse would pull your cart in a day.

            You couldn’t maintain modern technology with that sort of labor and goods mobility, and you’d go back to old problems like inbreeding.

          2. “The fact that your daily routine involves traveling over 25 miles is the problem here”.

            Really? This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard in quite some time. Packing more and more people into big cities only results in pushing people further out due to density. Not to mention folks move away from the cities due to the fact that they are unaffordable to live in them.

          3. It amuses me that the answer to all the NIMBY-type comments is “get with the times, old fart” and the answer to all the comments about losing freedoms and opportunities is “if it was good enough for your grandparents, it’s good enough for you!”

    1. Even if you burn only coal in massive powerplants to run all the low/no pollution vehicles its actually possible to capture and clean the output from a big static building so can provide much much cleaner air. Its not even remotely practical to try that on all the ICE engines around (though we do of course, just without anywhere near the effectiveness)

      1. Rolling out EVs at a global scale have their own plethora of problems, and there is a lot more change needed in other sectors for this to work. If everybody got an EV tomorrow, passenger car driving emissions would be cut in half, so it is not hard to figure out that EVs are only a small part of the transition. So halving the emissions from 1/2 the transport sector, which is 1/3 of human produced CO2 would cut global emissions by 7.5%! In other words, the only thing we’ll achieve is turning the clock back 2 years with the annual 4.5% increase in world power demand. What is needed is a Corona style clamp down on activities and consumption, estimated to have saved the world from between 8-20% CO2 in 2020, and we have to do this continiously for the next 300 years, increasingly stricter, while we transform our energy use, because not even a 20% reduction is enough for more than the next 2 years according to the Paris agreement on the roadmap to 2050! So it is a major facepalm if people think that EVs are a significat contribution on their own, and the only change needed to live our lives as usual.

        1. Indeed, there has to be a change in demand as well. How much of that will require a change in lifestyle is however rather open for debate, as efficiency improvements and greener generation of power and goods could potentially allow very little change, though I’d hope for significant changes in some places myself.

          EV’s on their own are not the solution, but it is a step an individual can take that lowers their personal impact. Even more so if they also fit Solar/wind self generation capacity (depending on many factors its possible that they will from then on be motoring with zero fuel cost – or even getting paid to charge the car as part of the grid balancing requirements… Would not call that likely though as you need a pretty big area of solar/wind capture to power the EV – though if you do very few miles or have a massive barn roof of solar its possible.)

          1. The amount of driving I’ve done in my EV this year is minescule, around 3k km because of Corona. That would actually be workable with 400W of solar on the roof of the car,. Overall, as you say, it is the small tweaks to every link in the chains of society that needs done, for EVs to be as clean as they promise. However it will take longer than we have. I live in Denmark, 11 ft average above sea level, so without doubt, there will be none of it left in 300-500 years. This is however not my concern, but it is somewhat of a joke that the stone set date of doom hasn’t dawned on our politicians.

          1. Yes, because ICE vehicles aren’t manufactured. The difference is negligible. Especially so since batteries can be repurposed rather than needing to be recycled.

          2. Came to say the same thing – naysayers seem to conveniently forget that ICE vehicles don’t just appear with a few words to the replicator “ferarri, red, fast”.
            They are manufactured using materials dug out of the ground. Same place lithium comes from.

          3. >because ICE vehicles aren’t manufactured.

            They are, but manufacturing an equivalent EV is essentially the same cost PLUS the cost of the battery.

            It’s the “plus” part that we’re having problems with, because with present day prices you can literally make whole new cheap ICE car and sell it profitably with the cost of an entry-level EV battery; several if you’re talk about a long range battery.

            E.g. a Dacia Logan costs less than €5000 to manufacture. The same company is now introducing a cut-price electric model which is priced between €15-20,000. It’s that much more cost for a bare-bones electric car.

          4. “Under the skin, Dacia has equipped the Spring with a 43bhp electric motor with 125Nm of torque. It’s paired with a 26.8kWh battery”

            The original 2004 Logan was sold at €5,900 and that’s about the cheapest you can make a modern car. The minimum viable EV following the same idea costs at least €10,000 more than the cheapest ICV, from the very same company. That gives you a good indication about how much more energy and resources you have to spend to make an EV.

  2. I’ve always driven older cars. When I was young, like most young people that was all I could afford. Now I could buy a new car. But it would lose most of it’s value as soon as I start driving it. Financially buying a new car is a terrible decision. I prefer to save my money so that I can send my kid to college and then retire some day.

    So I know my cars are always lagging behind in environmental improvements. (and public transportation isn’t much of an option here). But does that really mean I’m polluting more than the guy down the street with the new hybrid?

    Consider the impact of actually manufacturing a new car.

    I grew up with family working in the auto industry and have heard a lot about how it works. A few assembly steps happen in one factory then everything is shipped 1000s of miles away for the next steps, then shipped back, repeat some ridiculous number of time before an actual car emerges ready to be shipped to who knows where to be sold. A car built in North America truly is built in North America as in pretty much all of North America with a piece here and a piece there. How much CO2 does that produce?

    And then there are the newer, battery dependant cars like electrics and hybrids. Think of the rare-earth strip mining and trans-oceanic shipping involved in making those batteries.

    And anything from overseas, either raw materials (such as those rare earth metals) or whole cars probably come by ship. And as soon as that ship hits international waters it’s going to be burning the cheapest, dirtiest diesel that can be found. Some of those ships leave trails that can be seen from space!

    So yes. It makes a lot of sense what is said here that we won’t see the effects of improvements for years if not decades. We can’t just remove all the old vehicles from the road and we probably shouldn’t even try.

    1. “Financially buying a new car is a terrible decision.”

      Then buy a used EV like I did. Best investment I’ve ever made.

      “Consider the impact of actually manufacturing a new car.”

      They are always manufacturing new cars, you fool.

      “Think of the rare-earth strip mining and trans-oceanic shipping involved in making those batteries.”

      Consider the fact that they are shipping cars and parts here anyway. Strip mining is bad for the local ecology, ICE engines are bad for the global ecology.

      “as soon as that ship hits international waters it’s going to be burning the cheapest, dirtiest diesel that can be found.”

      This is actually a big problem and they are addressing it by going nuclear. They aren’t doing it for the environment but because they don’t have to pay for fuel or spend time refueling.

      “So I know my cars are always lagging behind in environmental improvements. (and public transportation isn’t much of an option here). But does that really mean I’m polluting more than the guy down the street with the new hybrid?”

      Yes, it absolutely does mean you are polluting more than the guy down the street.

      “So yes. It makes a lot of sense what is said here that we won’t see the effects of improvements for years if not decades. We can’t just remove all the old vehicles from the road and we probably shouldn’t even try.”

      This is the most insane conclusion you could possibly arrive at. “We’re destroying Earths’ ecosystems so we shouldn’t try fixing the problems.” Completely mad!

      1. He’s not at all mad, to try and build a new EV/Hybrid for everyone and all the infrastructure needed to support that number in a hurry is an environmental cost of huge proportions (and probably impossible, even with the best will in the world).

        If you drive bugger all miles in a year running the ICE car, even if its a 1 gallon per mile old iron beast is way greener than building the new replacement. If you drive many miles there is a point at which that new car has paid back its costs and is lowering your cost per mile.

        SO if he is polluting more than the guy with the new EV/Hybrid is not a forgone conclusion. That guy with the new car might not drive enough before its rusted to death to pay back just the higher creation cost of his more complex supply chained car… Or he could be a travelling salesman and put so many miles on the car that despite its greener credential he is massively worse than the moderate miles put on an older car.

        SO we definitely should not be trying to get all old vehicles off the road now, as many of them should be run till they break down – its actually the greenest way to go for that user.

      2. >Then buy a used EV like I did. Best investment I’ve ever made.

        How old was it? How many years do you estimate it still has to go?

        For many people, “used car” means 10-20 years old because that’s all they can afford. For EV’s anything more than 10 means “Buy a new battery” which means you can’t buy it.

        1. Mind, with an average age of 11.8 years, a considerable number of cars have to be much older than that, and that means if your EV doesn’t last more than 12 years in use then it can’t fill these roles. It means the people at large must buy more new cars, in other words pay more money and use up more energy and resources in the manufacture of these vehicles.

      3. Gravis > “They are always manufacturing new cars, you fool.”

        Is that how you think business works? They just keep pumping out as much product as they can and hope it sells? Businesses like that disappear. No, the more cars sell the more are produced. Manufacturers strive to just meet their demand. Nobody wants to waste money building a product just to waste more money storing it when it doesn’t sell.

        “This is actually a big problem and they are addressing it by going nuclear. ”

        I suppose you are going to tell me that this switchover has already happened to great enough a percentage of ships that it is no longer a valid concern? No? If not then we can revisit the discussion after that has occurred. It’s meaningless before.

        “Then buy a used EV like I did. Best investment I’ve ever made.”

        Umm.. If you didn’t have to replace the battery then you probably don’t know what is meant by the words “older car”. If you did buy a new battery then well.. you practically bought a new car. Are you one of those people who has to have a new tv a new cellphone and a new laptop EVERY year too?

        “Strip mining is bad for the local ecology”

        Until the tailings reach water. All rivers flow to the ocean eventually.

        “ICE engines are bad for the global ecology.”

        So are the vast majority of electric power plants. I’d love to tell my local provider to invest in more nuclear and burn less coal but for some reason their CEO doesn’t take orders from me. And yes, knowing my own electric bill would go up I would still like to see them do that.

        “This is the most insane conclusion you could possibly arrive at. “We’re destroying Earths’ ecosystems so we shouldn’t try fixing the problems.” Completely mad!”

        I could have been a bit more precise in explaining my conclusion. I didn’t mean we shouldn’t try to switch to producing new cars that use cleaner technologies. I only was agreeing with the author that there will be a huge lag time between changing what is coming out of the factory and seeing the result in the majority of the cars going down the road. If all the factories produced starting tomorrow was EVs there would still be a majority ICEs on the road for a considerable time to come.

        Also, it would be nice to see those other issues, the environmental cost of producing EVs and hybrids addressed first and then after that have a massive uptake in purchasing them among new car buyers. Not the other way around. But do so right away, not some indefinite time in the “maybe” future.

        Meanwhile, as someone driving a > 10 y/o car my current car is still extremely gas efficient compared to my previous vehicles which would be 20-30 years old today if they still existed. Lagging behind the state of the art doesn’t mean never progressing. X-years ago with a constant X is still a moving target.

    2. “A few assembly steps happen in one factory then everything is shipped 1000s of miles away for the next steps, then shipped back, repeat some ridiculous number of time before an actual car emerges ready to be shipped to who knows where to be sold. ”

      I currently work testing a few switches slated to be used in future automobiles.
      The amount of design iterations, manufacturing of components, assembly (in China, then shipped to us for), electrical and environmental testing, validation, and redesign that goes into our product is mind boggling. Our product(s) are probably much less than 1% of the final vehicle.
      So, add that (and all the other components) to the final vehicle…

  3. He about we start with something a little more reasonable? Like maybe all cars should meet US emissions and safety standards. Wouldn’t that go a long way to reducing emissions and deaths?

  4. I have a hard time believing we can scale up the mining, processing, battery production and battery pack production to the level required in that time frame to supply all countries switching over to (airquotes) “100%” renewable, nor the generating and transport capacity for the energy required by those vehicles. Legislators tend to forget the massive “existing investment” existing in the infrastructure for fossil fuel vehicles done over a hundred year timeframe and the burden electrical vehicles place on the electrical infrastructure. I’m not saying its entirely impossible (or undesirable) but I’ll have to see it to believe it. Especially long haul transport has no good alternatives available to good old diesel. Short range distribution has seen the first tentative steps (DAF and Volvo IIRC are already testing their prototypes on smaller scale projects)

    1. “I have a hard time believing we can scale up the mining, processing, battery production and battery pack production to the level required in that time frame to supply all countries switching over to”

      It really depends on the motivating factors. For example, if they suddenly put as CO2 tax to pay for the cost of remove CO2 from the atmosphere then ICE will become an economically nonviable option. A result of this is the value of batteries increases and therefore the economic drive (profits) to produce batteries is increased. Don’t forget that manufacturing processes are being refined and improved as well as the battery chemistry. There was a good argument to be made that we’d never see a 100MHz processor back in the 70s but alas, technology evolved because there was money in it.

      1. There’s several problems with the “They’ll just start making better batteries” arguments.

        One of the big issues is that the lithium battery designs we’re using today are already quite decent compared to what’s theoretically possible with that chemistry. What that means is that while capacity (range) improvements are being worked on, they’ll be relatively small incremental ones, and not the huge increases that people are hoping can make electric car range a non-issue.

        Another big one that’s rarely addressed is that the bigger and more powerful these batteries are, the more power you need to get them charged up on a daily basis, and that will need massive infrastructure upgrades.

        As it is now, you can generally get some electrical work done to put a hefty EV charger in your garage if you’re in a standalone house, but when everyone on your block wants one, it’s a pretty safe bet that most places don’t have big enough wires/transformers to feed it all.

        If you add to that all the higher density dwellings, like apartment buildings, Is it realistic to think that every parking stall will get a reasonably fast charger? I think it’s going to be impossible without massive changes across the whole grid.

        Realistically, cars probably just use too much energy to make sense for a lot of the things that we use them for. To an outside observer, using a 2500kg vehicle to move a 100kg payload (person commuting to work) would seem completely insane. But because the car is the status quo, it gets a pass.

        And because that status quo is kind of incompatible with a lot of more eco friendly vehicles, there’s always a strong resistance to alternatives. It always ends up “Could you make it more-exactly like my car, but without the bad.”

        I commute on an e-bike with a 750Wh battery on a bike that probably totals around 25kg, and while I know that isn’t an option for many people, there should probably still be some middleground that could get the average commuter to work and back on a few kWh, while keeping the rain off of them.

        Keep your big SUV in the garage for the days that you want to take your whole family skiing, etc, and do the daily commute and grocery shopping using something small and efficient.

        The problem as I see it, is that to be road legal, you’re either stripping it down until you may as well just ride a bicycle, or you’re scaling it up to the point where it’s just a car (with all the same downsides).
        So because that sweet-spot middleground is not currently legal, nobody’s building them, and because nobody’s building them, there’s no reason to change the laws.

        1. >To an outside observer, using a 2500kg vehicle to move a 100kg payload (person commuting to work) would seem completely insane.

          The air resistance consumes more energy than the rolling resistance. (i.e. why regenerative braking is overhyped).

          To accelerate 2,500 kg up to 80 km/h (22 m/s) takes 600 kilowatt-seconds of energy. This is about 168 Watt-hours, or less than the energy to drive one kilometer in a typical EV (220 Wh/km). If you keep on driving for 10 km along the motorway at that speed, your loss of energy due to the mass of the vehicle is less than 8% of your total energy expenditure.

      2. >For example, if they suddenly put as CO2 tax

        The “Tax and they will come” argument falls on the fact that a CO2 tax makes the cost of developing and implementing the technology to remove CO2 more expensive, so it’s like shooting yourself in the foot to encourage you to run faster. You then have to take the money and use it to subsidize the technology, but that takes the competition out of the field because you’re paying everyone to make it affordable, which then retards the development because the businesses compete on grabbing the subsidies rather than with each other on the R&D.

        The problem with tech subsidies is that, at any given time, it’s more profitable to sell more of the same old stuff than develop something new, so the subsidies are grabbed by companies that use the money on expansion by any means rather than improvement. That’s what’s happened with e.g. China and solar panels.

    2. What actually need to happen is a change in society, in transportation and logistic mindset. It would be far easier to make mass logistic electric if trains (and boats) took over long haul, with trucks/lorries doing the last streach, if those trains where electric. Several countries have electric trains for most of the country. Sure its an issue, but mostly that it would fundamentally have to change how society and government force logistics companies to work, and it will cost more. I don’t really see it as a huge problem that a bonus would be that it would make foreign drivers less common. A problem in western Europe is unfair competition from foreign drivers, who work by other rules and don’t follow the law.

      1. A problem in western Europe and rest of the developed world is that while we are talking very beautiful things about ecosystems and environment we are still consuming much more and producing more waste then rest of the world.

      1. Watching other countries with real functioning governments just highlights how dysfunctional we have become.
        Quality health care for all.
        Fantastic public education system.
        Planning (and saving) for the future.
        What will they do next? Make it easy for every one one to vote?

        1. Protip: Norway is a constitutional monarchy, and the oil fields technically belong to the King of Norway who grants licenses to their state-owned companies to drill there.

          Mistaking that for socialism is about as wrong as thinking Otto von Bismarck’s social welfare legislation was left wing politics. If you want to have the same thing in the US, go ahead and first crown yourself a monarch.

          Actual socialism has never accomplished what in the “nordic model” is attributed to socialism, because the organizational structure and power dynamics of socialism makes it turn out like Venezuela every time. In theory it could, but it just won’t happen.

        2. Alan’s got it right.

          The current two diseases in the US has highlighted how broken every system (if there even is one) is. One disease is leaving in January. Then we will finally actually “turn the corner” on the other. YaY 2021!

          Only good thing out of 2020:
          I always knew there was a lot of nitwits. Now I’ve learned it’s half the population. The scary thing is, was I just ignorant before, or is this a trend?

    1. Most powerful country in the world just kicked out their president? Are you talking about Xi or Putin? Last I heard they were both still in power, and – yay socialism – will be for a lifetime.

  5. This seemingly recent trend of Hackaday tech articles becoming political is somehow concerning to me, just don’t be surprised if Hackaday starts getting fact-checked in the future.

    A post industrial society means that the service sector generates more wealth than the industrial sector. This is incongruent in my opinion and only exists because that inequality has been exported to other countries. Just look at Apple’s recent attempts to block legislation that would prevent slave labor being used to make goods imported by the US as an example.

    I think it is super careless to assume that this is a linear evolution of society, ie towards human rights, towards environmentalism, towards weapons control rather than proliferation. I only say that because as the recent stock market crash showed the only thing China has to do is turn off their exports and the entire world’s market will instantly fall into chaos and society will follow within a few years.

    1. ” post industrial society” what a joke, more like “post human society” yes indeed you can measure the labor required to take care of grand-dad and put that in your spreadsheet, what does “generate wealth” even mean? Pure nonsense.

      Oh yes indeed society will fall apart when we can’t get fidget spinners at the dollar store, that’s the ticket.

    2. GDP is not wealth, it’s just an account of how much money is traded.

      Example: you have a large corporation that does X which is enabled by one division of the company doing Y. The company splits in two, and the second company starts making Y for X as a service to the first company. Since the internal accounting for Y is now external, this new “service” increases the GDP but does not increase the amount of X you get as a result.

      Likewise in a post-industrial society, the amount of money being traded increases but the amount of wealth does not necessarily do the same. A pure service in a service economy does not actually generate wealth – instead wealth is consumed, because the person rendering the service makes money by helping others consume more resources in new innovative ways.

      The fourth and fifth sectors of the economy (services on services) are essentially a competition over who makes the most interesting song and dance, so the people involved wouldn’t have to go digging ditches and plowing fields like in the olden days – all that stuff has been outsourced to countries where the people don’t have a choice.

  6. If they were to throw off the communist party, and only 3% of Chinese are members, maybe one could take these things seriously. Under the current emperor everything is a power ploy, or a distraction while they take a piece of India or dam the Mekong river to control Vietnam, etc.

    1. Last time they were a “democracy”, civil war lasted 30 years, and they were invaded by several foreign powers who killed millions of Chinese. So tell me, do they need Yugoslavia or Soviet Union style breakup again? Probably not.

      Freedom in the West is largely an illusion, as Mr. Snowden or Assange can tell you. Same thing in the East.

  7. Current EV rechnology is far from being a good replacement. Forcing people to replace their cars with EVs is against any rational sense of ecology and piles of wasted li-ion batteries and solar panels would be much bigger problem than some CO2

  8. The folly behind much of this reasoning though is this: How is your electricity being produced? Is it causing ecological problems via hydroelectric dams? Is it from burning coal or natural gas? Perhaps it’s nuclear and the hazardous waste byproducts that come from that. Then there is the infrastructure. Is the grid capable of handling the swap over to all electric vehicles? Are you ready for the increased cost of solar power? Then there is the energy expended in producing the batteries and the mining operations involved in harvesting the products from the earth. I think the ultimate solution is to spread the energy needs out across the board and focus on planting more trees so that the CO that is produced can be handled by the environment. After all, who is responsible for the volcanoes around the globe that are spewing toxic gases into the atmosphere constantly 24/7? Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky – but spreading out the different forms of energy conversion in the name of transportation seems to me to be the only realistic way to keep things moving.

      1. > and maybe finding ways to use less energy, rather than just producing and storing it in different ways.

        We already did it. At a huge scale. With that LED bulbs everywhere, instead of highly ineffective incendenced ones. Today all your house lighting use less power than single bulb in drawing-room 20 years ago. And it is in every house and apartment everywhere in the world. This change nothing. I can’t remember any scientific articles like “Yay! We gain X more years till climate apocalipse, because of that LED bulbs! Good job people! Let’s do something else like that!”

        1. And it seems like the switch to LED lighting has been effective, because incandescent lamps were the least efficient use of electricity we had. But like a boat with multiple holes in its hull, you can do a great job of patching a hole, and the boat continues to sink. Lighting was the easiest thing to fix, and voila! It’s fixed. We also got rid of CRT televisions and monitors. HUGE difference; well done. But much harder is fixing heating and cooling. You can change from resistance heating to heat pumps, but that’s way more expensive than lighting, and only reduces heating energy by about half, and does nothing at all for cooling energy. So yeah, we’ve already picked the lowest-hanging fruit. But that doesn’t mean the job is done.

          1. Jevon’s paradox: now that I pay 1/5th the money on lighting, I can afford to have a home entertainment system and a 52″ TV plus other doodads which collectively consume the same electricity, and I don’t have to mind always turning everything off.

            Plus I still have a 60 Watt bulb in a floor lamp pointing down at me, because I like the warm glow it gives off. Literally. It works as an IR heater at my work desk. I put aluminium foil in the reflector to bounce the heat down better.

          2. Hey, that’s okay – I’m not going to try to guilt you for using an incandescent lamp as a spot heater – that’s the best use of an incandescent lamp since the Easy-Bake oven!

          3. Directed heating/cooling can save a lot of energy. It could be as simple as a Raspberry Pi running machine learning on an IR sensor array and operating stepper motors to direct the airflow. (The hard part is the software…)

          4. >using an incandescent lamp as a spot heater

            The irony: in the house I used to live in, we had heating cable above the ceiling panels and an IR-reflective layer of insulation above that. It heats all the surfaces by radiation, and the reflected IR off of the walls and floor makes you feel warm even though the air isn’t, so you can actually keep the room temperature couple degrees lower and save energy.

            In this house we have water circulated radiators, and everything feels cold because the walls are cold and only the air is warm, so I need my spotlight and a blanket to be comfortable.

          5. >Directed heating/cooling can save a lot of energy. … direct the airflow

            It doesn’t quite work like that. You have an insulating boundary layer of warmer air around you that’s heated by your own body and retains heat. If you disrupt that layer by blowing room temperature air at yourself, it feels cold and drafty and your surface temperature begins to drop. The hot air needs to be considerably warmer than the room to be comfortable.

            Air is a very good insulator, so most of the heat transfer between you and the environment happens through radiation, not convection. If the radiation balance is not in your favor (cold surfaces around you), you’ll feel cold even when surrounded by hot air. That’s why you need to heat the room and the objects in it, not just the air.

            Vice versa: if you can stand next to a cold metal plate in the heat of the summer, you’ll feel much cooler than if you ran your AC at full tilt. There’s actually some commercial versions of this, where you have chilled metal plates behind an IR transparent glass.

    1. Silent but deadly. They were causing a ton of injuries because people could ride as fast as a motorcycle, but on a bicycle with no structural integrity, and in complete silence so nobody hears them coming.

  9. There sure is a lot of polarization on this topic, even within certain “camps”. I’m not sure why everyone often thinks it will be all battery or all hydrogen, for both vehicle and grid scale. Hybrid energy utilization can give the best of multiple sources, with batteries, ultra/super capacitors, fuel cells, even modified existing engines for ammonia or hydrogen use can all play a part together in various sectors, and within them as well.
    I’m excited about FC/battery/ultra capacitor hybrid vehicles, as they can give the range, performance, and lifetime that we’ll need. Besides, having an electric drive train allows a lot of room for upgrades as better technology comes along, which there is a massive push for, with a not inconsequential amount of money behind it.

    1. Usually it’s a fixation to a snake-oil remedy because everything else looks so hopeless – without realizing that the one solution you’re clinging to is just as hopeless. (Or the opposite fallacy: none of these work, but if we put them all together…)

      The problem with any sort of fuel cell vehicle is that they’re only allowed to use extremely inconvenient fuels like ammonia or hydrogen which will never see widespread practical use. We might sooner go back to wood gas generators. Because emitting CO2 is legally prohibited by vehicle emission regulations, if the same car could use fossil fuels such as methane, then it falls under the regulations and can’t be used.

      There is a way out in using biofuels, synthetic e-fuels, and bio-methane which involves no major changes in the existing infrastructure or vehicle technology, works well with renewable power sources, and doesn’t exclude the other more exotic options either, but guess what, nobody’s putting any money in it because we have all these nirvana solutions like hydrogen fuel cells and electric cars and “supercapacitors” for whatever that’s supposed to solve.

      1. Listening to you one would think that electric cars are just a thought experiment. At least 25% of the cars in my neighborhood are electric. Our EV is by far the best car we’ve ever owned.

      2. While you have a point there are other alternatives, some of which in some areas might be better, most of them are very easy to shoot down in general.. Biofuels is an easy pass – feeding the world isn’t a solved problem and you want to turn large areas to growing shit just so you can burn it, never going to work. And doesn’t solve the NOx and other harmful crap that will come out of the ICE you feed it too. It has a place, keeping old motors going, for those few situations where its the only workable or affordable option. But its clearly not going to solve anything.

        Bio derived methane is more promising, as the best thing to do it is burn it anyway. But practical harvesting and generation at scale doesn’t look like its ever going to be able to meet demand.

        Fuel cells show a huge amount of potential, and its not the fuels that is their biggest problem, but the poisoning of the catalysts degrading their operational lifetime. Nobody thinks twice about storing and transporting the potentially explosive gas cans, highly volatile liquid fuel and rather napalm like diesel around, it happens every day all the time and nobody even notices. Hydrogen and Ammonia are no different (and also also already shipped around for various reasons without issue, not on the same scale though).

        I have to say I can’t see the point of a three way electric hybrid.. The fuel cell can do the job on its own, with a small cap bank for the regen braking and power regulation perhaps, the battery can do it all too, and in theory if supercaps ever get built into the structure so they have a hope of sufficient stored energy (being rather low density) to go the distance they can do it too, just need to be able to get far enough from one zap.. Doesn’t seem to be a need to really hybrid any of them, they are all rather similar in function, and the added weight and complexity of supporting multiple methods is surely not worth it..

        Seems to me if you are going to create a battery electric hybrid you want a ‘big’ flywheel in a vacuum environment to spin up for your rapid fuel stops when covering greater distance – its got the energy density and charge speed to be useful as a complement. While being simple and rugged enough to last a long time.

        1. The point of utilizing all three is in part the lowering of weight. Fuel cells aren’t perfect yet, but neither is any other technology we have been using. We should definitely play with flywheels more, but that’s also added weight and complexity. It would play a similar role to an ultra capacitor bank, though likely at a higher weight. Acceleration takes a lot of energy, especially from a stop, which places higher strain on batteries, raising the temperature, shortening the run time, and reducing the life of the pack, as well as usually taking longer than wanted from the relatively low output from a fuel cell alone. Batteries alone can’t always store all of the energy from regenerative breaking. Ultra capacitors allow not only for better utilization during actual driving conditions, but also save batteries from needing to be replaced as soon, as well as being able to reduce the size (and therefore weight) of the battery packs without reducing the range. They can also charge in minutes compared to hours with a proper charger. Fuel cells are best suited to low frequency power needs, like cruising at a set speed. Ultra capacitors are best for high frequency short bursts, like acceleration and regenerative braking. And batteries have the longest life and number of charges when used within a certain range of charging and discharging characteristics. They are well suited to complement each other.

          A vehicle utilizing all three could be used in different capacities depending on the need, giving the most flexibility. Say you have a start and stop commute, it could conceivably be powered entirely from the ultra capacitors, without any wear on the batteries. Perhaps you purchase this vehicle while hydrogen fueling still has relatively few locations available, you could use it as a battery vehicle with fuel cell range extension. With more stations later on you can choose which is the most affordable and usable for your situation, such as apartment residents with no option for plug in charging at home. When the battery does eventually lose it’s capacity, the vehicle is still usable with the fuel cell, and the relatively small pack size makes it cheaper to replace, and can upgrade with newer technology that came out in the meantime. You get the speed and handling of a lighter car with the same acceleration ability of a battery vehicle with a large pack, a longer battery life, and greater range, and more versatility. And not just for passenger vehicles, many of the benefits become even greater with long haul trucks and other heavy machinery.

          Of course there are cons, like greater initial purchase price, current low level of infrastructure, efficiencies in power conversion with multiple sources, increased complexity, and continuing development of the field. But like I said, I’m excited about the possibilities, even with differing technologies for energy storage and utilization they are best viewed as complementary instead of competitive.

          1. You either gain too much weight having to make everything bigger or loose to much range if you take out lots of battery space to put in a fuel cells and capacitors.

            Much as I love a good cap their energy density is appalling in comparison to a battery – you’d need to fill all the internal volume of a normal sized car to get useful range out of them I’d think – dropping one or two in to handle the regen loads is possible, even likely, but you won’t go far on the charge they can store… Fuel cell is a little more possible, but you still need to take out a large volume of batteries to fit the tanks and a little for the cell itself. The better energy density of the fuel and faster recharge time might make that sensible – in the same a plug in hybrid has a niche market for those that need a vehicle with great range very rarely and usually drive bugger all distances (if you are always driving long ranges the best efficiencies available now are pure ICE as you don’t lug around all the hybrid weight you are barely using).

            The energy density of a flywheel is the only reason I think it might be viable, even a tiny flywheel can hold a great deal of energy for a while at least. Like a capacitor self-discharge energy losses will be bad, but if you zap it up and then use it that doesn’t matter much.. Unlike a capacitor you can store huge amounts of energy in a pretty small package – though if the gyroscopic motions would bugger handling up too much or require too many flywheels cancelling each other out in that regard is hard to judge.

          2. It’s that “for a while” thing that limits the practicality of flywheel vehicles. What good is having 100 miles of range, if it loses most of it during the 9 hours between when I arrive at work and return home?

        2. >Biofuels is an easy pass

          Biofuels are already blended in all gasoline, and substitutes around 10% of the fuel used in the EU and US. If everybody could drive 90% of their miles with plug-in electric hybrids, the existing production would be enough to remove gasoline off the market. Biogas and e-fuels would drive the percentage up much higher without increasing land use.

          >doesn’t solve the NOx and other harmful crap that will come out of the ICE

          That happens because we force the engine pressures and temperatures too high by regulations that blindly favor fuel efficiency over other concerns.

          >Hydrogen and Ammonia are no different

          Yes they are. Ammonia is highly irritating and toxic, and hydrogen is explosive. Gasoline and diesel are tame compared to those two.

          1. Anything that burns is potentially explosive – it just takes the right fuel air mix in a confined space – that’s why petrol engines bloody work – controlled explosions!

            And petrol vapors are pretty bad for people too.

            If we hadn’t be treating it as normal for generations now folks like you would be jumping up and down saying we can’t possibly transport such dangerous liquids as petrol around, the whole world is going to be blowing up every few mins!

            The fact is we already transport lots of them around already without any trouble, there is no reason to make a big song and dance number over how dangerous they are, as they are perfectly safe unless you go out of your way to make them dangerous. And in a serious accident in transit the difference between them all is pretty much zip – all damn dangerous if something goes spectacularly wrong, most of the time in rather comparable ways…

            As things go diesel is the hardest fuel to argue with, being so low in volatility. But that stuff really isn’t far removed from napalm, its still not something you can treat with no respect for safety…

          2. I do agree on the biofuels though – I was pointing out they can not be a drop in replacement for fossil fuels, at least if we still want to eat. Not that they can’t be part of a solution, but they clearly can’t be scaled up enough. So other changes will be needed.

  10. Electric cars? No thanks, I outgrew toy cars 30 years ago.

    Battery powered transportation might work in a few select places around the world, but until they can go 500 miles between stops, get refueled in less than an minute, work in places like central Africa and central Antarctica, haul trainloads of rolling stock, run generators, plow fields, run on batteries that don’t use up precious resources at an alarming rate, need new $5000 fuel tanks every few years, haul semi-trailers cross-country (USA), haul them up mountains, and a whole host of other things that internal combustion engines do easily, efficiently, effectively, and cheaply, they don’t stand a chance.

    1. I don’t believe for a second that EVs are going to solve all problems – same as PV cells are not going to solve all problems. Both ICE and EV have a place, and for probably 80% of the population an EV will fit, and 20% it won’t.

      I use PV for household electricity, but have an ICE generator on standby for cloudy weeks or system failure (remote system – no grid for miles). I’ve had to use the ICE generator maybe three times the last year.

      My biggest concern is ‘bad fuel’ from it not getting used enough. I’m going to have to start a maintainence schedule just to go through an occasional tank of gas.

    2. Its a bit daft to complain at the price of new batteries, which will in most cases last at least a decade and not also compare the cost for mile traveled. Which as an EV costs a fraction that ICE does per mile covered in fuel/electric, is cheaper on clutch and gearbox replacements, probably brakes too. So the overall cost of running an EV is almost certain to be massively cheaper even with a full battery swap in its future!

      Lithium is neither that rare, or that precious, though stocks of it are a concern if lithium chemistry batteries really are going to end up everywhere. Some of the really really damn rare metals in the onboard computers are a bigger worry and both ICE and EV have those, as does just about every gadget and gizmo going…

      If your use case can’t be met by an EV, which is certainly going to be true for some people and roles don’t use one.

      P.S there already are trains that are electric, and they are really damn efficient as they skip the whole battery conversion losses for most or even all their running. Though some of them do have a fuel cell or battery on board to cover stretches without electrification, round here I don’t think any of them are more than trials at this stage, but they exist.

  11. There is zero evidence of any AGW or warming. The sea ice is fine, polar bears are fine, the island nations are still with us and have not drowned. I’ve been listening to to this stupidity for 30 years now. And there is zero evidence that electric cars are really that environmental as the post about lithium batteries has shown.

    1. Oh yes the sea ice is fine.. whats left of if is still ice.. The fact lots of it ain’t there anymore – its shrinking rapidly, very rapidly and the natives of the ice flows are not at all ‘fine’ with the rapidly changing conditions for which they are not suited.

      Same thing with the Coral reefs, few degrees too warm in the water and the whole thing can end up dead as… and always ends up bleached and half dead. Something documented to be happening to massive areas, with high frequency only in very recent years.

      You don’t have to look hard to find a great deal of proof the world is rapidly changing, and nature isn’t coping with it well. While I can agree there is alot more to EV’s green credentials that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves its still a long way from ‘zero evidence’ its an easily proven fact that even the best new ICE cars and the infrastructure required to gather, refine and transport crude so they can run has many environmental impacts, that keep on rolling along every time the wheel turn. EV’s on the other hand might not be practical for every user but after construction can be run entirely on renewable generation, and it is still cleaner to run them off an EU coal/gas power station, where the exhaust is very well controlled than burning fuels onboard with lesser filtration and control.

      I personally don’t think battery EV’s have that much of a future overall, but they certainly have a niche for which they are the perfect vehicle. Both for the users wallet, and the environment (unless you intend to start walking everywhere its hard to beat ’em when they are practical)

      1. The world changes ALL THE TIME. The scaremongering over coral bleaching (as but one example) never mentions GROWTH in other areas or the REGENERATION that happens naturally.

        All ‘you’ are fed with are the downsides. What about the greening of the planet? What about a warmer and more comfortable life for those in the Northern climes – where most of the 1st world live. What about bringing 3rd world economies into a better place by giving them cheap and plentiful (fossil fueled) energy?

        You can proof for any claim – good or bad – but the use of such proof as PROPAGANDA is ALWAYS by those who seek to manipulate us ‘for our own good’.

        1. Indeed, the world does and should change – what it should not do is change too rapidly for nature to keep up. That leads to mass extinction at best (dinosaurs for example), and at worst a lifeless rock we used to live on… And the evidence is enormous that we are actively feeding a change far faster than an ecosystem can adapt, add to that the massively increased kinetic energy and wilder weather it causes – its not going to be a ‘greening’ of the planet at all, just one highly destructive mess..

          Coral on the whole is dying very rapidly, a tiny little bit of growth here and there – often where we humans have sunk stuff to help seed a new reef, just doesn’t come close to making up for the amount of it that is more than half dead and should not be. That would be like cutting off your legs and saying its Regeneration because the wounds healed and some skin regrew over the stumps – you are not going to bleed out, but your still missing a huge % of your original volume and won’t walk again…

        2. Re: Dave_G – “…but the use of such proof as PROPAGANDA is ALWAYS by those who seek to manipulate us ‘for our own good’.

          There are two reasons, I will generally believe that propaganda:

          1. Whose to benefit?
          Environmentalists have little financial gain, and they give up their own time and money for their cause. God bless those that took on everybody to get lead out of gasoline. Do you think polluted rivers got cleaned up on their own? Companies just all of a sudden thought “hey, did I cause that stench of floating fish?”
          What CEO has every gone to a board meeting to propose spending rel money to clean up their operations (and survived in their position)? No, companies are rewarded for being polluters. Cheaper manufacturing, greater sales. Golden parachutes.

          2. What’s the history?
          It’s easy for those not wanting to deal with truth, to simply dismiss several environmental challenges. We all know how hard it is to prove anything. Do cars cause forest death? I doubt anyone will be able to find enough irrefutable proof to change your mind. But the willful ignorance/complacency/stupidity of companies/governments/individuals is not always that hard to nail down:
          Ground water and soil does not pollute itself.
          Mercury and trash in marine animals is blatant. What’s that from?
          You really think all the species dying out every year
          is just a bunch of tree-huggers over-reacting?

          Generally, it’s a matter of rising up and being responsible citizens, and not being pigs.

          Re: “All ‘you’ are fed with are the downsides”
          Where is this great coral reefs regeneration? You really think the impact of global warming, is that NYC will become the new Ft. Lauderdale? Wow …

          Re: ‘…those who seek to manipulate us ‘for our own good’.
          None of them wan to manipulate you. People like you have a problem with scale. Even if the reef were regenerating in an area, overall it’s in shit-shape. You:” driving just one car, and using a little electricity, draining radiator fluid down the sink, dumping a little engine oil in the back yard, so?” The problem is scale. So, you think if billions of people, over decades are that irresponsible, there is no negative effect. Knowing you, you’ll find the ‘good’ in it all: “Woohoo, the varmints that have been drinking out of that puddle by the shed, are all dead now”. I’m guessing you had a problem with this ‘Mask Wearing Thing’, didn’t you? Manipulation: When responsible parents make their kids do stuff they don’t want to, for their own good …

          Trust me, you’ve been ‘propaganda-ed’. The stronger you think you’re right, the more likely so. One of the smartest things I ever hear was “Don’t Believe What You Know”.

  12. Climate change PROMISES nothing. It ALLEGES plenty.

    Whatever the climate may be in the future it will not change overnight. Even the ‘drastic’ changes we’ve seen over the last 50 years of supposed-irreversible CO2 production are immeasurable (certainly invisible) to the naked eye. The sea ports I’ve lived alongside for the last 60+ years are UNCHANGED from when I was a child. I very much doubt anyone has seen any significant changes in their lifetimes either. Other than a massive growth in Polar Bear populations……….

    It would take 300 years MINIMUM to melt enough ice to raise sea levels by just 1m – and the difference between the years 1700 and 2000 show significant differences in life, lifestyle and location of ‘people’ as a whole. 300 years from now? We’re likely to live on hollowed out asteroids as cowering on mountain tops with waves lapping our feet.

    Get some perspective . Please.

    1. Here’s some perspective: if it takes that long for the human influences on the climate have a significant effect, it will take that long again to bring it back to normal, and in the mean time it will overshoot the habitable zone by far. So if all you care about is your children and grandchildren, and let THEIR grandchildren deal with it, that is a formula for extinction. For many of us, this is not an acceptable response.

          1. Half-assing two things by splitting your limited resources into two fundamentally opposing goals only makes a full ass out of the person attempting it.

            It’s just like trying to save money out of your mortgage. It’s already debt – trying to conserve it and not investing it productively now will just delay the payback and cost you more in interest.

          2. Non-frakking-sense. Look: if I have X dollars to spend on transportation, for example, I can either reduce the amount I drive, or I can find a cheaper way to drive. And hey! look! I can do both, and doing both is more likely to give me the best overall performance. Applied to climate change, the more we do now, the longer we have before things get really bad. But at this point it is almost impossible to stop, so we WILL have to adapt. I realize that’s just what causes a lot of people to say, “if it’s inevitable, then why not live it up while we can – we’ll figure out how to adapt when we have to.”

            But here’s the thing about electric vehicles: they are actually cheaper to operate than ICE-powered vehicles. So if you live in a set of circumstances that don’t eliminate electric vehicles (such as living in an apartment with only on-street parking), you can choose to spend a little more on an electric car, and more than make up the difference over the life of the vehicle. A vehicle which, by the way, will probably last longer and cost less to maintain (even AFTER you have to change out the battery).

  13. Climate alarmism is the biggest fake crisis ever created. Yes the earth is slightly warming, yes humans could very well contribute to that warming, yes there are some downsides to the warming, but there is no reason for alarm. The amount of warming has been greatly exaggerated. The role of humans has been greatly exaggerated. The negative effects are greatly exaggerated (no acceleration in sea level rise) or in fact false (hurricanes and fires have decreased, Polar bear population is up). And positive effects of a warmer climate and higher levels of CO2 are often ignored. When the climate doesn’t scare people enough they say it causes climate migration, more epidemics, terrorism, you name it. That to me is a red flag. That and the increasing censorship of scientific views challenging the fake and fraudulent 97% consensus.

    Proposed policies are purely symbolic and often counter productive. And for some reason all solutions seem to involve reducing freedom and increasing tax. Climate activists and politicians don’t seem to believe in their own fear mongering and continue with their lavish lifestyles with private jets and beach houses. And the only viable alternative form of energy (nuclear energy), which I support, is demonized. If we started to build nuclear plants in stead of more coal plants a few decades ago, like France did, we’d have far less pollution and less CO2 output by now.

    Banning combustion engines is one of those symbolic policies. It won’t decrease CO2 output at all.

      1. Well you have nothing to say apparently.

        Everything I wrote is 100% factual. I base it on official sources. If you dig deep enough in the reports by IPCC and also look at raw (non-manipulated) climate data you see that I’m right. People panic over a sea level rise of 2mm per year (everyone will drown! Panic!).

        1. To Chris, you Egotistical, Short-Sighted Moron:
          I guess you don’t live in a country with a shoreline. Or, you just don’t give hoot about others. Why don’t you read up on how many major cities already are having trouble with flooding. What makes you a fool, is your take on the few numbers you actually share. It’s 200mm/ last 100 years. The important part, is that HALF OF THAT RISE IS SINCE 1993.

  14. Such a hypocrites…

    They made their welfare state where everyone borns millionaire from oil and will continue exporting oil as long as they have a droplet. Just how much money is enough?!

  15. I always look about global efficiency when i look at something. I take example on what i could speak, situation in france.
    Fyi, I’ve used an ev during little more than one full year when i was planning to live in a small island.

    Efficiency of ice cars : between 25 and 40%. Be sure it’s more often 30% than 40.
    Efficiency of distribution of gaz : 99% (cost the truck and gaz to let him recharge the gaz station, in remote areas like island, it’s likely more 85%)
    Efficiency of ev : 80%? 95%? I want to be sure to favorise ev in this, Please correct me on that.
    Efficiency of distribution of electricity : in france, no more of 40% on good places, in french brittany with bad net, we are more near 25 to 30%max. In island with sub water power lines, it’s just a shame.

    Where does electricity come from ?
    In france, in town, 50% nuclear power plant, 50% from small power plant ( can be diesel or gaz turbine, most of them are diesel), Exceptionally coal power plant.
    In the country side, the ratio is more 75% nuclear 25% others.
    Efficiency of diesel turbine : 25% in the better case for the turbine ( diesel to mechanical power) 85 to 95 % for the generator (mechanical power to electricity). Why we use turbine power plant instead of an ice generator is another subject.

    Why small power plant exist? Because you can set the throttle where you want, a nuclear power plant is not so flexible, it’s not binary but still be stop, half or full.

    Please, do the math. How much diesel you need to fill the battery of an ev, considering 50% of the electricity come from an diesel power plant and how distance can you do with that energy?

    Conclusion :considering the worst case for ice diesel car and the better case for ev, an ev suck much more diesel than a ice diesel car just for 50%of the energy it need to run, without speaking it need a nuclear power plant to run the other 50%.

    Only powered with diesel power plants, an ev will suck more than 2 times what an ice diesel car would use for the same distance done.
    The principal difference is the place where pollution is left. In france, the diesel power plants and nuclear power plants are located in place where the richest people don’t live.

    For the ev lover, just try to recharge with a gaz generator, look how much gaz you put on the generator. I’ve done it with a bad efficiency diesel 6kva generator to skip the transport of electricity. This was done to have efficiency of the whole system in a real world. It’s really worst than i could expected, i was not expecting so much loss. using a better generator will not change a lot. Unless with a woodgaz generator (just if you see only the energy side of an ev, regardless of anything else) , it’s just a no-go. More nuclear power plants? Ask people who live in Fukushima, japan, if they want more…. (i don’t use electricity coming from nuclear power plant, i only use gaz and diesel generator, waiting for my woodgaz power plant to run correctly to skip to that, and will never use ev anymore, woodgaz or not).

    Considering just the energy to run, Ev is not green at all. And if we look at the entire car, it’s even worst.

    Why are ev not forbidden?

    The only electrical way of transport i see enough efficient to exist is assisted bikes.

    You want to know the worst? The cherry on the cake? In France, not so long time ago, an 80k€ tesla car would give you 50k€ of exonerated taxes…. luxurious ev was sponsored by the taxes paid by, the big part, the middle class to displace pollution from inside town to where the poor and middle class live. Nice.

    1. You’re making too much sense. The answer from activists would probably be: “well we have to start somewhere and we can’t just do nothing” (completely missing the point that it is actually counter productive)
      “Zero emission” is a huge misnomer as EVs do have direct and indirect emissions. Direct emissions from the tires and during production/recycling and indirect emissions through charging.

    2. I don’t know how you feel about nuclear power, but EVs are essentially a way to run cars on nuclear, or in countries where this is plentiful, solar, hydro, or wind power. Yeah, if you’re in an area that generates its power mostly from coal or oil, EVs aren’t environmentally friendly.

      1. Even if you generate your power via fossil fuels EV’s have some advantages – no ICE car can capture and clean its output as well as the massive static power station (though not all fossil fuel stations do – China being bad for example) – so air quality should be better with EV’s, and the overall full energy and carbon efficiencies are almost always going to be in favour of the EV still, just by very little compared to green power sources. (The Fossil fuel plants are fed by much more efficient distribution networks, massive trains or pipelines straight from the refinery/port and the like and after that electric distribution is more scalable and efficent than the HGV fuel trucks to all the filling stations – even more so as those stations need the electric distribution to function anyway!)

        ON the whole I agree though EV’s really make most sense and are more effective in places that have greener electric sources.

        1. But here’s the problem: even though large constant power engines can be cleaner than small variable ones, you lose a lot of that advantage when you have to generate extra power to cover the losses of transmission lines, substations, local distribution grids, battery chargers, and the batteries themselves. If absolutely nothing else, a combustion-powered plant is going to produce more CO2 just because of these losses.

      2. My point on nuclear? The same that Fukushima’s people. No more, never more. If i live off-grid, it’s for that point. Nuclear isn’t and never would be friendly for us. Ignoring that an incident could happen in every system is technically speaking to be a really bad ingenior. And with nuclear, it can be huge ( without speaking about storage of nuclear garbage) with just no way to undo. Ctrl-z can’t work. Nature will always recover , human being no

        1. I’ve read the article. automatic gearbox on the ice car… 20% loss in line of the mechanical power.

          Same though than for ev : why automatic gearbox are not forbidden? Because lazy guy can’t shift gears? It’s really so hard?

          But thanks to point this article. when you read it properly, it assume the fact that without the loss of the grid, a telsa can compare to a bad efficiency ice car. Use a manual gearbox, and it’s done.

          charging with grid power, an ev is just a shame.

          1. I can’t respond to alan, no reply button .

            The only modern automatic gearbox to have 2 or 3% efficiency are tiptronic gearbox, and robotized manual gearbox.
            How many cars are fitted with this type of automatic gearbox? Certainly not the volvo in the article.

        2. I, too would not have great trust in an online article like this published by a green-energy-focused website, but then again, it is plausible – what they did was essentially make a series hybrid (ICE->generator->battery->motor) that didn’t have to drag its generator around with it, so it should actually perform better than a hybrid of the same weight class.

  16. So every nation should go through all those things all on their own and learn all those lessons all over again regardless the damage it does or who is hurt along the way? Anyone who didn’t do everything perfect themselves has no moral right to suggest anyone else learn from their mistakes?

    What a foolish way to think!

    1. Exactly!!! They are not just one best way! There are several ways, and depending on lot of things, essentially local characteristic, some are better than other, without speaking that doing something on different ways at the same time have the consequence of one system can handle the lack of the other.
      But some would be bad everywhere.
      Considering the whole thing (making, using, refurbishing), i can’t see how ev can be a good solution.

      1. I want to know if any car will survive an EMP or a bad solar storm, I suspect that anything less than 40 or 50 years old will die and never run again. I’ve never seen anyone document a relatively modern vehicle that was almost entirely mechanical with only nonessential electronics not being robust. Could come in handy in a situation where you need transport but also need to deny access to an area for drones and combat robots.

  17. People have been predicting “paek oil” is 10 years away now for decades. The supply of oil and gas in the ground is essentially limitless, in the sense that the reserves are quite large compared to the consumption.

    Norway heavily subsidizes electric vehicle purchase from these oil sales and will have to continue to do so. So, they are only improving their local air quality. If they were serious, they would cap all of their wells and find other ways to live. But, they are hypocrites, just like most of the politicians who make these grand and sweeping pronouncements.

    AS far as I can tell, no country on Earth has reached 50% of the current year goals they claimed to set at the Paris Climate Accord. Why? Because the goals wre unachievable without tremendous economic pain inflicted on the people who vote for them and the politicians like the goodies they get as leaders.

    All of this climate change talk is really silly and we should be focusing on adoption to change as it occurs. Making comments like ‘every microbe and all life will be wiped out’ simply causes people who think critically to dismiss your arguments.

    1. Yes, petroleum is essentially limitless, in the sense that as it is depleted, the price goes up, so demand goes down, in an exponential decay, so that you never actually run out. I mean, who’s going to be buying gasoline when it’s $500/liter?

  18. You comments about the sparseness of charging stations are ‘spot on’, despite what the Tesla fanbois will tell you. There are vast swaths of the US where there are no charging stations or the nearest station is 100+ miles away. So if one wants to travel into those areas, you are out of luck with an EV.

    Also the 50K+ Tesla Model S is hardly affordable and the electric infrastructure required to run their ‘rapid charge’ stations are not possible ‘everywhere.’ It is likely rue, that if you never leave a US Interstate, you will find chargers spaced 75% of the range apart. Just don’t venture far into the countryside. California, the home of Tesla, is better populated with chargers.

    I can drive 800 miles without stopping for fuel in my vehicle and that flexibility allows me to go to any corner of the US comfortably. Buying an $50K+ EV would be foolish, both from an economic perspective as well as a functional one.

    Let me know when there are public charging stations no less than 20 miles apart and the EV cost, without government welfare payments is less than ICE vehicles and I’ll take another look.

    1. You don’t need charging stations every 20 miles. By slowly charging your car during the night, you always have enough charge for short to medium trips. If you’re making a long trip, you can plan to stop at charging stations much further apart.

      1. Which is why they’re spaced as they are. The expectation is that for their daily driving, people who can have chargers at home will use those, while apartment dwellers whose buildings don’t have charging facilities will charge somewhere close to where the work or shop. Not as convenient, but still doable. The highway charging stations are meant solely for people passing through. And it’s really pretty surprising how quickly both highway and urban charging stations are being installed. Which means that if the system isn’t working for everybody yet, it soon will be.

        1. Over time, I expect apartment parking spaces to come with overnight chargers as well. I’ve seen a couple in the neighborhood already, and I’m sure this is just the beginning.

    1. The General public had little idea who tesla was before Musk came along. You, I, and i’m sure all the hackaday readers know Tesla quite well. But the modern school system tends to leave his name out of the history books save for a short blurb on the current wars with the “almighty” Edison.

      1. Think it through: for the people who know who Tesla was, know that Musk is not connected to him in any way, and might see the auto brand as an homage. To the people who DON’T kow who Tesla was, Musk doesn’t get any benefit from the name.

        And by the way, Nicola Tesla was at least as much a crackpot Elon Musk is. Are you SURE they aren’t related?

        1. :) i see your point and not disagree with the cracpot thing. Because i don’t really know, i just look the scientific side of things, letting polical things apart . But musk and tesla haven’t the same brain and certainly not the game changer in scientific side.
          After that, we can discuss about who think and who did the job (like woz and jobs…) but imagine a moment someone built a company named wozniak? Homage or not?

          Jim, it’s seems we are not agree or disagree. It’s refreshing to have a discussion like this, i’ve been exhausted the last years to discuss a point whith guys who don’t want to go forward but just want to be the one who have the divine solution without any proof or personal experimentation, and ending by criticism about my level of English-speaking. Thanks

  19. This is very poor reporting. Are they phasing out fossil fuels or Internel combustion engines? Article seems to indicate it could go either way, and I’m sure those at Hackaday can understand the two things are not synonymous.

  20. We’ve been discussing about ice and ev just about fuel side of view. If we look at the entire system, it’s besome worst.
    Can we make a ice car 100% refurbished? An ev with the xxxx kg pack of lithium battery (repurpose the battery is a way to not waste, it’s not refurbishing) ? A nuclear power plant? A windmill? A Solar panel? How it’s done, with which components and how many power needed?
    You should be surprised by how an actual windmill is made of, longevity and how much power it would generate during its life.

    In france, because of Europe laws, we are paying with taxes the agricultor to NOT use all the land available. Only that could produce enough biodiesel to feed all the tractors who farm our food, with a lot of excédent . But this is forbidden.

    I think the problem is essentially political, not technical.
    One example : a dam next to my house. Before nuclear, the owner established an hydrogenerator. It could power his factory, and with all excédent, it powered the town. With the lake going to federal, they destroy the hydroplant explaining the belonging of everyone could not make money. 4 years after, they took land from agricultor to establish 6 windmill who produce less power than the hydroplant. The only explanation given by politics is European laws…

    I liked to see windmill, it’s remember me the one’s i established on the beach when yong. Now, i see just a big junk to make some green washing, and for french case all sponsored by the nuclear.

  21. If all vehicle production switched to electric immediately worldwide it would still take a generation to see any effect on the environment.
    Have you ever noticed how NONE of the “goals” is ever set in the lifetime of those making the goals? By the time they are inevitably proven wrong, the prognosticator is not around to be held accountable and mocked.

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