Another day, another report on how the UK Government are ‘leading the charge’ on Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. It has been suggested that this new strategy from the Government will be the most significant technological advancement since the creation of the internal combustion engine, which is most certainly a bold claim.
We reported back in May that the infrastructure isn’t in place to cope with demand, and while it’s true that updates to the Road to Zero strategy have included infrastructure, they’ve mainly focused on charging points and charging technology.
However, with the Government targeting at least 50% of all new car sales to be Ultra Low Emission (ULE) by 2030, how will they manage that? Currently, the number of cars registered for road use is around 30 million.
The Road to Zero
The UK will be hosting the first ever Zero Emission Vehicle summit later this year in Birmingham. In attendance will be policy makers, industry experts, academia and financial institutions with the goal of providing a platform for the experts and senior government officials from around the world to meet, discuss and produce strategies for the future of zero-emission vehicles, placing the UK at the forefront.
Is it possible that this latest news has been influenced by the need to show the UK’s credentials in the fight against pollution against the court case that the EU brought against the UK earlier this year? The EU took the UK and five other major polluters to the European Court of Justice in May after they failed to meet both the 2005 and 2010 EU directives.
The government has already committed to investing around £1.5 billion in Ultra Low Emission vehicles by 2020, and the infrastructure to support them, but with just one charging spot for every nine vehicles currently, how far will that money go? With around 150,000 ULE vehicles using the road network currently, what happens when we get to 5 million? Not forgetting that the Government are looking toward the 15 million mark by 2030.
This latest report revealed that discussions are taking place regarding the infrastructure and how we can fully optimise the situation. Some of the proposals included:
- Have charging points included in all new house builds
- New lampposts built to incorporate charging points
- The launch of new £400m Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund
- Creation of a £40m programme to develop wireless and on-street charging tech
- A scheme for business with electric vehicle owners to claim up to £500 for the installation of a charging point
In theory, this sounds like an excellent way forward, but there are two details not yet mentioned; the proposals are ideas, not planned actions with a set start date, and a potentially more significant problem – the supply network.
Supply network problems
The increase in demand for electricity in 2030 due to electric cars could reach as high as 8GW; this is an additional figure to the current peak of 60GW. To put that in perspective, the new Hinckley Point nuclear power station will provide a further 3.2GW to the national grid. Reports say that at present, as few as six cars charging could lead to a localised power outage at peak times, and Energy UK have said that being able to cut the power off at times of peak load and demand is preferable than investing in new cables across the country. There are also suggestions of tariffs for peak charging times, which are first thing in the morning and late evening.
Energy analysts have predicted that with just 33% of new car sales being a fully electric vehicle in 2035, they would account for around 3% of the total energy demand and that there would be a need for an additional 400,000 charging points at the cost of £30bn. The government are targeting a minimum of 50% of areas having charging points, but have said they’d like to get that as high as 70%, and that’s at current levels of charge/output – what happens as the battery technology develops to greater levels of power, therefore requiring more electricity?
Even for die-hard internal combustion fans, the prospect of electric vehicles is now a genuine and viable alternative – performance levels are similar to their counterparts, the range is usable in the real world. Experts predict that when battery prices fall to £95 – £120 per kWh (currently around £145), prices should be comparable to a traditionally powered vehicle; when mass production started in about 2010, that figure was closer to £750 per kWh.
Perhaps the only thing that’s keeping everyone from rushing out and buying one is the charging situation – many of us don’t have off-street parking, and public charging stations can be an inconvenience, and while that’s the case, the Government don’t need to worry too much about the generation of power. Hence the statements made ahead of the Zero Emission Vehicle summit – giving details of potential solutions to problems that don’t yet exist rather than finding solutions to the very real problem of power generation.
BP believes electric is the way forward, and recently bought Chargemaster, the UK’s biggest charging network to help invest in the future. This echoes a move by Shell last year when they purchased Chargemaster rival NewMotion. With big oil going electric, the government introducing such schemes seems a bit late.
What do you think of the Road to Zero strategy? Should the Government place more emphasis on creating solutions for power generation? More to the point – is this latest ‘report’ hype ahead of the summit? Let us know in the comments.
By 2050 assuming all vehicles are electric we will need an extra 30GW of power generation i.e.50% increase in from today’s 60GW.
Meaning either circa 10 new Hinkley nuclear stations or sufficient gas from non hydraulic fracking for gas fired power stations.
Unless green solutions have been found with equivalent energy density as fossil fuels or nuclear?
Chris – you’ve been misinformed. Listen to The National Grid address this concern: https://youtu.be/qSUlaDbckmo?t=4m24s
I would much rather have an electric car but far too expensive for me and until prices come down a definite no no. Or unless NHS start to pay lower grades more.
Judith… you know our bosses in the NHS are trying to get us all onto public transport and bicycles…. However as Bus journeys outside London have fallen by 33.33% since 2008 they arnt having much luck. And dont start on the trains…
It’s not so much the bus journeys that have fallen as the available bus routes, so people have to use their car. Government seems to think that everybody in the country has the same transport options as those living in London – some don’t even have bloody pavements, never mind train/tube/bus!
I live in the country… no pavements… no streetlights… badly maintained roads… bus service once a week and in one direction (live between two towns, but bus service only between one of them)… quality services provided all round… our broadband has only just been upgraded (I say upgraded, now at 5-7Mbps)… did I mention the power outages that sometimes happen, not mentioning water leaks… and no I dont live in the middle of nowhere… borders of Cambridgshire, Norfolk, Lincolnshire… Goverment and Councils get paid money for old rope…
Renault Zoe lease from £189 pcm?
Perhaps, with so few charging points, there should be some sort of penalty for non electric cars that park at these points (incuding in a car park). Also some sort of penalty if you leave your car at a charge point after it has charged. After all, you wouldn’t expect to be able to leave your car on a garage forecourt after you’ve filled up because you’ve gone to do your shopping!
Simple situation for you here. Say I drive an electric car to work… park it near work 8:30 and it takes ~2h to recharge what I have used in during my morning drive. I finish work at 5:30, but my car is charged by 10:30.. what I suppose to do? Run from work at 11 to re-park the car somewhere else not to get penalised?… if so where?! It isn’t like there are much spaces available everywhere… and we going to have this problem as long as fully charging EV going to take more then 5min.
As for generally parking ICE cars in electric car spaces, there are penalties already, but it is not like people parking there because they like EV spaces more… it is because our government has failed in providing sufficient parking or for that matter alternatives for driving as a whole.
In short – what you suggesting is treating only symptoms and not the actual problem.
Have you ever been to a petrol station that has a convenience store? That’s PRECISELY what happens, fill up, leave the car at the pump and do your weekly snack shop before paying. Seen it loads of times. BTW anybody notice that it’s impossible nowadays to buy anything for the bloody car at the same shop? If you need coconut oil, no problem but oil for the car?…….forget it.
Yes, great ideas. The governmants will love all of the possible penalty options extra sources of revenues
Pauline, Theres going to be people who fit a dummy charge socket to their car so it looks like it’s being charged so they can park there
While investing in road transport is a good plan, parallel investment in public transport to offload some of the road traffic would also be welcome and help to remove some more polluting vehicles from the environment.
The cost of electric vehicles will start coming down gradually as technology makes them cheaper to manufacture and you can still get cheap used models that will work fine on the charging infrastructure despite the lower range.
Personally, I can see myself jumping to electric within the next 12 months especially if the lifting of the fuel cap causes prices to bust through the 140 mark.
Will all the proposed Charging Points and Cars have universal Plugs & Sockets, so you would be able to use any supply with just one cable?
At the moment there are four different standards for Plugs and sockets. The main DC ones are CHAdeMO, which originated in Japan, and CCS which is European. For AC, the “type 2” socket is the norm. Tesla use their own system. Most rapid chargers have CHAdeMO, CCS and type 2 connections.
While the move to electric is laudable we are just swapping one source of pollution for others. The production of the batteries uses rare and poisonous metals and they are very difficult to decommission without pollution. The creation of the volume of electricity which will be required also creates it’s own problems and additional pollution.
This is yet another area of misinformation. Yes, they do use poisonous metals, but then, the fumes an IC car are poisonsous, and tbh it fairly irrelvent anyway. Lots of toxins all around us every day that cause no problems at all. Batteries are no different. The metals used in batteries are also easily recyclable. As for producing the electricity inthe first place, with wind, solar and nuclear, plus much more efficient fossil fuel burning stations, on the whole is it MUCH more environmentally friendly to use electricity made in these ways than to burn fossil fuels.
While I agree with that, it does remove some of the localised pollution from towns/cities and that we are struggling with. Also, the batteries are lasting far longer than anyone thought they would. Some of the first gen electric cars are doing lots of miles and the batteries are still in good condition. Even when they do come out of the car they are being used for other things or recycled. That can only improve. An old petrol or diesel engine doesn’t suddenly need less oil, have better emissions or improve its performance over time – It just gets worse.
with regard to misinformation – no-one mentions the loss of energy in generation, transforming, transmitting, transforming again, charging. This is up to 85% loss (if you think this figure is wrong please state your own analysis). If we are using wind, sea, solar, thermal etc then it does not matter, but will this ever be the majority of our energy source?
“up to” 80% of losses occur anyway, as electricity generation is supply-driven, not demand driven. Batteries, while not more efficient than direct consumption, can help reduce wasted electricity and reduce the need for continuous higher supply.
Have a think about how much energy is involved in moving hydrocarbons around the world, let alone drilling them out of the ground and refining them into usable fuels. Compare that to the ease with which electricity travels down wires that in the main already exist.
There’s about 10 kWh of energy in 1 litre of diesel. In an average car that will get you about 10 miles. 10 kWh of electricity will take an electric car 40-45 miles.
So a diesel car has about 22% of the efficiency of the electric car, before you even start on the process of refinement.
Surely this is payback time for local authorities. They should provide a charging point in every parking bay.
They need to provide parking bays to begin with… not something they have even remotely achieved. If anything parking spaces have continuously been reduced to almost nothing.
If they do we will pay dearly for them one way or another.
Just another way of governments to rip off the hard working people it simply will not work until the vehicles charge themselves without being a hybrid and it leaves energy companies in a position to charge what they want.
It should speak volumes when BP and Shell have recently bought these companies to invest so they can continue to rape the motorist.
This is not about pollution merely a new way to trick people into thinking its a good idea anyone remember the diesel scenario???? Enough said.
And yes i have been in the motortrade over 30 years so understand this first hand.
How would they charge themselves? Have you discovered a way of breaking the laws of thermodynamics? If you know how to create energy from nothing you’re going to be the richest person alive.
I drive an electric car and it works just fine. I understand them first hand, unlike you.
The biggest barrier to adoption of electric vehicles is the lack of charging facilities.
The biggest barrier to adoption of charging facilities is the lack of electric vehicles.
It’s good to see that the government is putting into place the policies to unlock the Catch 22. This should now be the nudge in the right direction for councils, private enterprises, and whoever else might have been waiting in the wings of uncertainty to jump onto the emission free band wagon.
The funding now needs more focus on encouraging chargers in supermarkets, shopping centres and other car parks including employers. lower the subsidy for the actual car a little so it can focus on chargers more. Then focus on enforcing that these spaces are for charging only. for some reason ICE drivers still feel the need to park in electric bays even when there are plenty of free spaces elsewhere. I have recently bought an EV and cannot charge at home but can at work. even with this hindrance I wouldn’t go back to ICE. Just have a look and be honest. In the very least they make a great second car.
I agree with argument in article – it seems government focusing focusing on problems which doesn’t exist yet, instead of focusing on how to fix very real problems which does exist already. I have considered PHEV car for a while now, frankly that is the only option I get for company car as hybrids no longer meet the CO2 limits (under 75g/km). EV is not an option for me as I sometimes like longer weekend trips and charging infrastructure is simply not there yet. This is simple to explain – real problems requires expensive investment and the success can be easily measured. Government doesn’t like to commit or be held accountable hence is better to promise funds for unicorn projects which will never materialise. Because they were not serious or measurable proposals no actual money needs to be spent now or ever… and any money spent can be white washed and directed into offshore accounts. The point of all this – politics.. as public and they will tell you that UK is leading on electrification and EV infrastructure – that is the image they are trying to create after all. Back to real issues.. I have looked to all options and PHEV/EV is simply not an option for me. There are no charging options both at home or near work, I would end-up driving PHEV as simple petrol compliance vehicle never really using EV range. Owning EV is out of options altogether. So for time being EV are toys for the rich with houses and off-street parking and there are no indicators government is planning to seriously change anything.
It is an offence under S162 of the 1980 Highways Act to trail cables over a highway (including a footway). Lamp columns are most frequently sited at the back of a footway for illumination and safety reasons. The implications of charging points in lamp columns has not been thought through. Similarly the lack of adequate on-plot parking for many new and many more existing homes makes charging problematic. Providing convenient and secure charging points within new developments will have an effect on their layouts (perhaps beneficial as plot sizes may have to increase from the postage stamps that people are expected to accept at the moment).
That’s not to mention the extra demand on the grid if the use of all electric vehicles is taken up to the extent aspired to We need many small nuclear reactors sited around the country if there is to be any prospect of meeting our future energy needs.
Chris Fully agree, the footway obstruction is one I have been stressing for years.
Also, how does anyone living in a large flats complex ensure they would have charging facilities as and when needed?
Keith. you mention about Flats which is correct but also worth a mention is where I live some of the houses are around 50+mts from the nearest road and all the street lighting which is rather sparce is privately owned by our village which we pay an annual fee for its upkeep. There is no way that the cabling could support such a load and the cost to replace would be far beyond the finacial burden it would place on the residents. Would the government be prepared to pay for the upgrade required??? I doubt it.
What would stop you charging at home? Or at work? Or the supermarket? Or anywhere else in public? You don’t have a petrol station on your drive.
This always seems to talk about just cars, what about the Trucks, Buses and Trains that use fossil fuel?
Assume that they – Musk 🙂 – could develop a truck capable of hauling 40+ tones over 600 miles between charges, what sort of power requirement would this country need, I shudder to think, lets not even consider public transports power requirements.
Operation Stack could turn into a Operation Recharge near most recharging points……
We can’t rely on the Local or National Government getting things moving or getting things right
My next car will probably be electric, I am lucky that I have solar panels and a space to charge the car at home, most around me don’t and the street has no parking or street lights to put the infrastructure in place.
But, I will still need to keep the older diesel for towing heavy horse boxes out of muddy fields etc.
Musk already have an electric truck, launching in a couple of years.
Not only could ev battery charging cost more at times of peak demand, but it could also be set up so that ev batteries could be used to feed back to the grid, selling power when it is most valuable. This would make renewable power a more viable approach.
However a switch away from combustion engines won’t make that much of a difference to particulate pollution: most of that now comes from tyre dust. Car tyres are mostly not made of rubber: the fillers in the compound are far from benign.
I drive a Seat Alhambra diesel, there is nothing comparable in the electric/hybrid range of vehicles for size and range,so I for one will not be converting any time soon.
You’re right, there isn’t. And the current range of electric vehicles is pretty limited. So, not for you… yet?
And the ‘wise’ government refuses to support innovative new sources of renewable electricity, such as the Swansea lagoon. Not helping themselves, are they?
There is an easy solution to the problem.
If electric cars were fitted with a fan on the roof connected to an alternator then while driving along the wind would turn the fan and recharge the battery for free hence the battery would never run empty.
I might take a patent out on the idea.
The drag of the fan would be greater than the energy it produced; by a factor of around 90. You’ll run out faster.
Yes, but if you drove everywhere really, really fast the fan would generate more output.
If you put two fans on the roof, it would make up for the losses. Adding a dynamo to the wheels would generate power too.
How about fitting those F1 units that boost energy while braking
Together with solar panels on roof and bonnet also an alternator built onto each wheel and I doubt that would be enough to keep fully charged.
Although your idea (not new incidentally) would work, the drag of the fan would increase fuel consumption which would more than offset any battery charge benefit due to inefficiencies in the fan, dynamo (an alternator would not work without a rectifier) and battery charging. What you are proposing is in fact a perpetual energy machine. Perhaps, better not bother the patent office.
I pressuming you are being sarcastic…., but if not, you’ve invented a perpetual motion machine (which are impossible)
A solar panel would be far more useful than a fan
Or a small petrol engine to charge the batteries
James, great idea, maybe it should be a 0.9lt eco engine then no need for charging points.
I can’t believe how many people on here don’t seem to understand irony.
You can’t create energy out of nothing. That’s GCSE science.
All talk no action…. but considering we are still being hammered by austerity.. its amazing the size of the numbers being banded about.
And we still are not having discussions on such things as recycling costs for all these electric cars and also peripheral problems such as where the chemicals / metals come from for all these “throw away” batteries”. read up on the “DRC Child Cobalt Miners” and see how the charge to be sat smugly in your electric car is currently (no pun intended) killing children as young as 8 in Africa.
Well said there is no such thing as zero pollution the infrastructure of manufacturing these so called zero emission electric vehicles is laughable until you read about the children forced to extract the necessary chemicals. I could go on but I’m preaching to the flock of follow the leader
No surprise that we don’t talk about this or other appalling business practices, the world economy would come crashing down if the truth sank in to people and no politician would want that on their hands, so best to deny and sweep the issue under the carpet, allowing the rich corporations their profits and deniability.
If the true short and long term costs of these batteries is exposed to the world, we wouldn’t be going down this route.
So be prepared to hear
An Company X spin doctor saying:
“Company X is deeply committed to the responsible sourcing of materials for our products and we’ve led the industry in establishing the strictest standards for our suppliers.
While in the background sweet F all is done because the bottom line is more important.
Until the public refuse to buy from or deal with the companies encouraging this exploitation,
then it will continue, but it seems all we want is a shiny new phone and ‘Green’ cars, no matter the cost to others and the planet.
Currently, it is an offence to allow a cable or pipe to cross or obstruct a highway this includes a footway. Aleady I have seen cables draped across footways from houses leading to cars.
It will need a carefully worded and limiting amendment to legislation to permit charging from houses or lamp posts.
” performance levels are similar to their counterparts, the range is usable in the real world”
As of January 2018, the RAC said that only 1 battery electric car was approved to tow. A Tesla model X, costing over £76,000, is that real world performance levels similar to diesel/petrol cars?
Range is usable? In what conditions? Bright, sunny, warm days on empty motorways with just a driver? How about in the middle of winter, at night, when headlights, wipers, heaters are all on, and with 4 or 5 adults in the car? What’s the range then?
Very sensible questions deserving sensible actions. I can only speak from my own experience.
Towing. I never have towed anything in any car. One day I might want to, but for now if you need to tow you should probably stay diesel. However on the current trajectory this should be no problem in 5 years or so max.
Range. I think about range very differently now. I wouldn’t say I get anxious, I just plan better. My car (Leaf 24kwh) is one of the lowest ranges of a reasonably new EV. For my usage it easily covers more than 95% of my journeys with no issues at all. I can get 75-90 miles on a charge depending on conditions. 20 minutes charging or so gets you back up to about 80% full.
Heater/Aircon makes it vary by about 3 miles. Deep snow has been the worst, I got down to about 50-60 miles range on one day, but then didn’t really want to be out in it anyway. Lights and wipers make very little difference. Cold weather in itself will reduce range to 75 miles from 90 in the summer. Number of passengers or wipers on doesn’t seem to make much difference.
So aside from deep snow, 70 miles is a realistic worst case scenario on one charge.
I realise that’s no use for some people but it works for me. I have easily travelled 200+ miles in a day using rapid charging, but 2-3 times a year I might get a petrol hire car if a particular journey seems too much hassle. That’s easily made affordable by my regular savings (£30 a month electric bill instead of £150 a month petrol)
Cars with about double the range already exist. Cars are coming out next year that will have a battery with 60+ kWh of electricity and a range of 250 miles on a single charge.
In 2-3 years range just isn’t even remotely an issue for a new EV.
I read all this about having E V’s but there are some things I cannot my head round 1. I have friend that as one and he says the maker says it will do just over 200 miles on a charge but he works on about 180miles .We live in north west England .What happens if we want to go to Cornwall .If we find a charging point how long does it take to charge My petrol is refilled in a few mins. @. I live in a small street in a terraced house with on street parking ,where do I charge my car. 3. The government take a vast amount of tax from fuel sales. How are they going to get that money back ? will the just put a tax on electricity where you have car or not.
How often do you drive to Cornwall? Perhaps hire an ICE car for those trips.
There are plenty of rapid chargers between you and Cornwall. Have a look at Zap Map.
If you drive about 150 miles in 2.5-3 hours and then stop for a coffee/leg stretch for about 30 minutes and carry on similarly you’ll probably make it to Cornwall in good shape.
Have manufacturers agreed what voltage electric vehicles will use? Is it likely to change?
Has the vehicle/charging point interface design been standardised?
Has it been agreed that induction charging (think electric toothbrush) is not the way forward?
I think it’s not enough and to far in the future. At present I have solar panels and a hybrid car with a charging point. I think the government should continue subsidising the installation points including new houses.
As a retired utility electrical engineer I feel the public lighting network will require considerable investment as the feeding network will not support charging points as it stands at present. I feel we are moving in the right direction but not fast enough.
The Government is obsessed with electric cars. When will Government policy change ?It usually does if not sooner but later.Any bets on how long before it does. Remember diesels
Just to add to the discussion, I was reading a WTO report yesterday and it brought up some intresting points:
Firstly, producing an electric vehicle contributes, on average, twice as much to global warming potential and uses double the amount of energy than producing a combustion engine car.
Secondly, once in use, an electric vehicle is only as green as the electricity that feeds its battery.
Thirdly, while an electric vehicle has a higher carbon footprint at the beginning of its lifecycle, it is typically cleaner once in use. It takes nine years for an electric car to be greener than a diesel car, assuming an annual average mileage of 13,500 km (as was the case in Germany in 2002, compared to 12,700 km in England in 2013). Most consumers will have bought a new car by then. The case is similar in the US, but less pronounced in nuclear-powered France.
Pollution !! The only way is to reduce the number of vehicles using the roads in many places Not to charge for use but to ban many completely
Whatever happened to the horse-cycle? This combined with new technology would challenge electric cars in the countryside.
Free public transport for everyone that has access to it would be a lot cheaper than the money the government are throwing at the electric grid,yes public transport gets busy at times- more bus ,trains,trams would be required, but people have to commute a long way now due to excessive house prices so people can not afford to live close to where they work.This would reduce pollution,Then you can keep your car just when you have to carry stuff or go some where off the public transport system .
Have we forgotten about hydrogen fuel cell technology? The only emission is water.
Who writes this rubbish ? “Perhaps the only thing that’s keeping everyone from rushing out and buying one (an EV) is the charging situation” WRONG ! Who can afford to buy one is more the truth. I considered l had a fairly good pension, but there is no way l could even consider buying an EV. And there are millions who live on the breadline in the same situation. Oh to have been a politician, to have claimed for everything and be guaranteed a fat pension to allow me to afford an EV.
According to the Office of National Statistics the UK’s total annual consumption of electrical energy is circa 336m k/Whs.
Using broad calculation averages, if all 30+m cars currently using UK roads were wholly powered by electricity they would require a further 290m k/Whs. That figure excludes all trucks, vans, busses and taxis. Add those into the equation and that figure rises by perhaps another 50%. Where is that additional generating capacity to come from? Unless we want our coastline and hill-tops to be even more encumbered with wind turbines that even now are facing local opposition due to low frequency noise, bird strikes, loss of amenity, etc. then nuclear is the only other practical option.
Suggestions in the trade press have estimated that to provide enough electrical energy to power the existing commercial vehicle parc will require an additional 9 nuclear power stations; given the amount of time it has currently taken to get the new Hinckley Point C into construction, let alone operational, gives a pointer to the likely time required to get any additional nuclear power stations on stream.
Given this scenario the fully electric vehicle timetable seems somewhat flawed and it seems the future of reciprocating engined vehicles is assured for some considerable time to come.
Decisions are being made on all our behalves as though battery powered vehicles are the only option for the future. Why is the government jumping onto providing charging points when there are alternatives and other problems to solve first, might we ask? Perhaps something to do with their helping to line the pockets of their corporate buddies?
What happened to fuel cell technology for instance? When was it decided conclusively that carrying around a big heavy battery that needs to be connected to a huge current source for hours at a time in order to replenish it is the only way forward?
The whole notion of having to charge your car up for hours by connecting it to a mains outlet is just silly, and in the not so distant future everyone will see that (yes, I know that charge times are reducing – but that’s not going to happen with a domestic supply). Except that the UK government will already have invested a load of our money in this scheme.
I think battery-electric vehicles are a technological dead-end and a distraction from practical alternatives. Their principal flaw is the time they take to recharge, wherever that may be, to be able to go the next 100-150 miles towards one’s destination. I believe the truly-zero-emission energy source is hydrogen, either burned in internal-combustion engines or fed into fuel cells to generate electricity. In both cases the emissions are H2O: steam or water. As a fluid, hydrogen can be pumped into vehicles’ tanks in a comparable time to refuelling with LPG, petrol or diesel at present. Hydrogen can be produced by the electrolysis of water using electricity that is produced by solar, wind or hydro power. The “waste” product of that process is oxygen, which can be bottled and sold to hospitals or exhausted to the atmosphere.
I am glad that your article touched on the issue of generation capacity which is something that proponents of Electric vehicles seem happy to ignore. In 2016 there were 311 Billion miles driven in total, 95% of which were by cars, taxis and vans all of which will be expected to run on electricity by 2040. According to my calculations these vehicles, which may be covering a greater distance by 2040 will require a total additional generation capacity of 14gW at current miles/kWh. We do not have this much spare capacity especially at times of low solar/wind. Also, how are we going to distribute this much power without significant upgrades to the network? Not saying it cant be done but to achieve the target we need to start upgrading now.
Don’t forget a gallon of petrol takes 6kW of electricity to refine. That needs to be set off against the new demand from EVs.