The Tesla owner was driving his Model S P85D, when the car began to beep and warn that he needed to pull over immediately because of a power problem. Immediately after the warning, all controls locked up, and the car came to a halt in the middle of a multi-lane motorway, leaving him no time to steer the car onto the hard shoulder. The car would not budge from this point; it wouldn't go into neutral, the parking brake wouldn’t release. It was no longer a vehicle; just an immobile bit of sculpture blinking its hazard lights in the middle of the road.
The driver managed to escape off the road, and some local Caltrans workers got the car coned off to help direct traffic around it, which was lucky. About 45 minutes later, a tow truck finally arrived. Teslas (and nearly all other EVs) require a flat bed-type tow truck; any old tow truck will not do. The tow driver didn’t get the car rolling; he just pulled it up, with the rear wheels still locked, onto the bed.
It should be a priority for the designers of electric cars to ensure that in the event of a breakdown, the vehicle can be pushed away easily from the danger zone.
28 Dec 21
14 Dec 21
It will put German energy security under more pressure, especially doing it in the middle of winter. This is the price of having the scienctifically illiterate in government.
The nuclear power reduction will increase CO2 emissions, but will also increase real pollution from the burning of biomass and fossil fuels. Next winter, Germany will close its last 3 nuclear power plants; another 4 GW.
Anyone who has followed the energy and climate debate over the last 10-20 years can see that Germany, Denmark and other countries following the route of green extremism are doing it against the advice of engineers, physicists and chemists.
12 Dec 21
2 Dec 21
...We have an old car and went to London for three days. Cost of return train for two of us from Devon would have been £280, plus taxi from station to hotel and back, probably £20-30. For our car journey, Congestion and ULEZ charges for 3 days £80, parking £40, petrol £50, total £170. (NR)
I don't fancy electric cars yet; models don't have the range or recharge time to meet my needs. I will change my town car for electric when it finally wears out and when I have a charging point. Building a new car is a load of carbon; more than a few miles in an old car, but there's no electric 4x4 that will do the job of my "trips" car and they are very expensive. (MG-R)
..."Guy on AA telling the story of driving his Nissan Leaf to Glasgow from Haslemere. Didn’t make me want to trade in my pushbike for an electric car; very convoluted journey". (MC)
7 Nov 21
The push for pointless decarbonization leads directly to nuclear power. The UK is about to sign deals for 16 small nuclear reactors.
5 Nov 21
Ministers will increase Britain's reliance on imports if they give way to activists and block all new fossil fuel projects, with no impact on carbon dioxide emissions. Bernard Looney said that if you take away supply but demand does not change, the only thing that happens is prices go up. We therefore need to be careful about prematurely reducing supply.
Energy prices are becoming an increasingly difficult problem for the government as a consequence of its supporting Net Zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. I suspect people think that their energy prices have already gone up enough in recent months and that the vast sums of money to be used in implementing Net Zero could be better spent elsewhere. An unusual lull in wind speeds across Europe recently made Britain even more reliant on fossil fuels, which has raised questions about the UK's energy security.
31 Oct 21
Because of its low molecular size, hydrogen is very prone to leakage. The density of hydrogen is also extremely low (sg is about 0.07 compared to water 1.00) which means (approximately) that fuel tanks would need to be 100/7 (=14) times bigger than conventional fuel. This is often not appreciated by those designing energy systems.
I worked on a greenhouse heating system once, based on hydrogen, and we had to abandon it because of the size of the required tanks - they would have had to be solid steel to withstand the immense pressure needed to liquefy the gas and would have occupied about half of the available greenhouse space.
31 Oct 21
The summit’s two main priorities are a pledge to reach “net zero” greenhouse-gas emissions by some future date, and to convince developed countries to pay poor countries to sign up for more CO2 reductions.
PM Boris Johnson will probably make a big emissions pledge. Mr. Biden will say the U.S. is also committed to net zero, but his climate agenda was gutted as it moved through Congress.All that's left are subsidies for green energy. Mr. Xi promised in 2020 to reduce emissions but only after 2030 and he is not attending the summit. China is building more coal-powered plants because growing the economy their top priority. The Kremlin meanwhile waits in the background ready to sell more oil and gas.
Leaders of other big CO2 emitters, such as India, will be in Glasgow but might as well not be. Delhi’s environment minister suggests that his government won’t sign up for net zero. With several hundred million Indians still living in poverty, India needs more energy from fossil fuels. So does Africa.
The climate summit could still do harm with a new focus on private business. There is an intention to force banks and other financial institutions to impose a green agenda when making their lending and investment decisions. The activist conference will devote a day to this subject, and the world’s central banks are already moving to make climate part of their monetary and regulatory decisions. This may affect affect pension fund investments by reducing growth and payouts.
The summit illustrates the disconnect between the unscientific rhetoric over climate and what ordinary people are willing to do. The public are rightly suspicious of additional policies designed to deprive them of more of their money. The activists would do everyone a favor if they stopped pretending they can alter the climate and thought more about adaptation and energy innovation.
27 Oct 21
The internal combustion engine has never been more efficient or clean and there is no sane reason to abandon it. Furthermore, the impractical “clean, green” EVs to come will no doubt be self driving and networked.
These two “advancements” have to be rejected. Why? Because the self-drive aspect will further dumb down and deskill the population; eventually they will no longer be able to drive. If networked it will give the government control of your mobility.
If this occurs, expect “stationary days” where your smart car will not start because it has been commanded by officials to stay put. The possibilities are endless.
14 Oct 21
14 Oct 21
If you really intend to adopt electric vehicles, you have to face certain realities. For example, a home charging system for a Tesla needs a 75 amp service*. The average house is equipped with a 100-amp service. On our small street (approximately 25 homes), the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than three houses each with a single Tesla. For even half the homes to have electric vehicles, the system would be completely overloaded.
This is the elephant in the room with electric vehicles. The residential infrastructure cannot bear the load. So as our elected officials promote this nonsense, not only are we being urged to buy these things and replace our reliable, cheap generating systems with expensive, new windmills and solar cells, but we will also have to renovate and pay for our entire delivery system. This latter "investment" will not be revealed until we're so far down this dead end road that it will be impossible to get out of it.
(*note- Canada uses 110V mains. In England the equivalent current is 75 x 110/250 = 33 Amps)
17 Sep 21
Some of the batteries have manufacturing defects which can cause fires. The company will replace all batteries; the recall will cost about $1 billion.
GM said owners should limit charging to 90% of battery capacity. The Bolts should be parked outdoors, not in the garage, until the modules are replaced. Fire risk.
26 Aug 21
And an update .... California has been aggressively closing down fossil and nuclear plants (and is scheduled to close down the 2GW Diablo nuclear plant in 2024) in the drive for 'clean' energy, whilst forgetting that when reliable power stations cease generating, the Grid capacity falls. Power cuts are now looming, so it is now having to install five 30MW gas-fired plants in an effort to keep the lights on. The Governor declared a state of emergency recently on concerns about power shortages on summer evenings when the sun goes down and solar energy drops. Air quality rules have been temporarily loosened to accommodate the new capacity.
25 Aug 21
20 Aug 21
It's good to hear a person being truthful about the inadequacy of electric vehicles for long trips. Better than finding out after you've bought one.
The British government has set a target of 68% reduction of emissions by 2030 and 78% by 2035. Its goal is for net-zero emissions by 2050. It has announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030, to force motorists into electric vehicles. This is a foolish move; it assumes that carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for driving climate change, a hypothesis for which there is no evidence.
6 Aug 21
In winter, the Honda E would need about four recharging stops. See earlier post (21 Jan) for details on range..... -Ed
There will be increased restrictions on building on land prone to flooding. This has been prompted by the unwise granting of planning permission for 866 homes during 2019-20 despite Environment Agency warnings about flood risk.
Last year, the government said it would increase the funding for coastal and flood defences from £2.6 billion to £5.2 billion. The scheme will run until 2027. This year's amount, as stated above, is £860 million. Money will be spent on strengthening river walls and embankments, creating new wetland areas, peatlands and woods, and reducing upstream rainwater flow into rivers at risk of flooding. Towns in Greater Manchester will benefit, along with Hebden Bridge and Weardale (Durham). There will also be funding for sea defences in Lincolnshire.
30 Jul 21
This would be the end of the British car industry.
I was pleased to see in this morning's paper a statement by the owner of Vauxhall pointing this out - and saying that introduction of this unnecessary (and inferior, and more expensive) technology is likely to price the ordinary middle-class car driver off the roads. Do we want private mobility to be only for the wealthy?
It seems that this is a foolish scheme devised by an urban mindset; completely inappropriate for those living in rural locations.
13 May 21
In what ways is it more environmentally friendly to import coal for steel production than it is to use coal mined here?
If steel is not made here, it would need to be imported for such things as the constructiion of wind turbines - would that be more environmentally friendly? If coal and steel are thought, by definition, to be environmentally damaging, then if we think wind turbines are necessary, are we not exporting the problems to other lands?
Howard Curnow, Devon.
Last week he went to Kettering and back, a round journey of 58 miles. The batteries were fully charged (90%; wouldn't go any higher) when he started out. He cruised at about 60mph; it was cold so he put on enough heat to keep warm. On reaching Kettering, the battery was at 37%.
After 12 miles of the return journey it was clear he wasn't going to get home (battery now 14%) without a recharge. He refuelled with a 15m boost at the Motorway Services, for which he paid £10.
He is now selling the car and getting a vehicle with a decent range.
29 Jan 21
Lord Botham referred to a recent YouGov poll, which found that only 4% of the British public thought that the BBC had improved in terms of representing their values during 2020. 33% had said that the Corporation had become worse. "This is an organization in big trouble. Any business facing numbers like those would take drastic action".
The BBC has faced mounting criticism over its broadcasting approach, particularly its reporting of Brexit in recent weeks.
Botham went on to say that the nation was fed with Brexit threats by the broadcasters - for example, massive congestion of traffic in Kent and Calais. Those threats were about as serious as the millenium bug 20 years ago; all the freight is operating perfectly smoothly.
Botham directed his criticism at the BBC's new boss, Tim Davie. He said that there is a small army of BBC presenters who use their profiles to push their political and social views. "Mr. Davie pledged to put an end to this abuse, but it hasn't totally stopped. Country people have long been tired of this...yet the BBC just mouths empty platitudes... It appears too big to reform".
The reason I've included this: The BBC has had a similar approach to energy policy over recent years. It refuses to give a balanced picture; electric vehicles and wind turbines are good, it seems, irrespective of cost or effectiveness, and climate change mitigation, if such a thing is possible, is more important than maintaining a stable electricity supply. - ...Ed.
16 Jan 21
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