Sigh

The Government will also commit to banning the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in a bid to encourage people to switch to electric and hybrid vehicles.

No, not the way to do it. That’s to have government picking technologies again.

Instead, if this is what you really want to do, then set the emissions standards. Make them really tough, perhaps so tough that an ICE can’t meet them. But leave open the possibility that someone makes an ICE that does meet them.

67 comments on “Sigh

  1. In a bid to reduce emissions the govt will ban sleeping policeman and mandate councils to synchronise their traffic light systems.

    From things you are unlikely to hear from a politician.

  2. Isn’t it likely that in 2040 there’ll be no market for petrol and diesel cars anyway?

  3. I was driving through some heavy flooding last week in a nice 4×4 ute, thinking ‘what I really need here is an electric car’….

  4. Dongguan John

    “Isn’t it likely that in 2040 there’ll be no market for petrol and diesel cars anyway?”

    I doubt it. Electric is likely to dominate city driving, but anyone outside major metropolitan areas will be far slower to change. ICE’s have major advantages still.

  5. All those diesel engines met and passed the tests.

    The manner in which they did so couldn’t possibly happen again, could it?

  6. I’d rather make all lorries and trucks electric.

    Also trains, but Chris Grayling decided to reverse that.

  7. Bloke in Germany: That’s an argument for fixing the tests, not banning classes of engine.

  8. @JuliaM

    He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers.

  9. I thought that only a moron like N Hulot in France could come up with that shit.

    T May and her government of showers really is a disaster.

  10. So we’re going to see a vast increase in electricity generation, and a vast increase in power lines. Should be plenty of opportunities for public enquiries and protests.

  11. Electric cars are going to be great… provided electricity gets cheaper.

    Oh, and everyone has a driveway to charge the damn things on.

    Oh, and we never need to drive more than 50 miles out from home.

  12. Umm, I think no sane person will try charging their car unless it’s secured in a garage. Or unless they put a cable running 20 amps within the charging cable to discourage vandals just cutting them with secateurs.

  13. JS,

    you will need a permit to travel more than 50 miles from your home (National Security or Children or something).

  14. @JuliaM – They will work on a way to extract sunshine from oranges and use that??

  15. Government sets target for 2040. That’s as far in the future as 1994 is in the past. How many government targets have been set and later dropped or missed over that period? (A quick hunt online suggests: NHS targets, migration targets, education targets, army recruitment target, and so many more.)

  16. The BBC had an interesting line (emphasis mine):

    Ministers have been wary of being seen to “punish” drivers of diesel cars, who, they argue, bought the vehicles after being encouraged to by the last Labour government because they produced lower carbon emissions.

    No, there’s no ‘argument’ or debate about this. That is exactly what happened and was the precise intention of the government of the day.

  17. Where I live is fairly high density housing without enough parking spaces. People end up parking on the pavement (it’s a quiet cul-de-sac). How is everyone going to charge their cars when there aren’t enough spaces?

    What about the standard parking on typical London terraced streets – you don’t have your own space, you park somewhere on the street where you can find a space. What happens then?

    Amazed to say it, but perhaps people in government haven’t fully thought this one through?

  18. Rob,

    > How is everyone going to charge their cars when there aren’t enough spaces?

    That’s a feature, not a bug. Push everyone out of car-ownership by making it impossible to charge anywhere.

  19. Tim,s suggestion is like the 1990s when the government said: fossil fuels bad, here are tighter co2 standards, and everybody rushed to gas, with gvt wails of: no, that’s not what we meant!

  20. Andrew M

    “That’s a feature, not a bug. Push everyone out of car-ownership by making it impossible to charge anywhere.”

    Yes, never forget the people who are the most keen on electric cars are people who hate cars, and especially the freedom they provide. There is a reason they are fans.

  21. @Andrew M – Or, as they tend to prefer, they can now justify public ownership of all cars and houses and then allot them as needed (once you prove you need them).They can then plan your job for you to as when you say the job you want is 20 miles away with no public transport they can assign you a job only 1 mile away so you can walk… (ignoring the fact they could just keep their noeses out of it and let everyone get on with their own lives)

  22. The stupid fish-faced bitch and her gang are knee-jerking again. They should turn it into a dance video in the manner of the late Michael Jackson. Call it “Non-Thrilla” . They are already Zombies after all.

    Is their no group of cultural Marxist scum that Dress Up has not yet kow tow’ed to? Marxist feminist bullshit with the Viet Girls and Yewtree/ Pentameter , anti-white hatred with their hate speech crap and now eco-freaks by copying continental stupidity.

    The smartest tactic would be for the stupid bitch to endorse Corbyn directly. Since everything else she touches turns to shit that might actually finish him off,.

  23. “They will work on a way to extract sunshine from oranges and use that??” But not Jaffas, obs.

  24. I was talking to a friend last night about his Tesla. He has driven it from northern Denmark to Italy and back. He says his attitude to travelling has changed. Trips are planned via Supercharger stations. Instead of a long trip being a marathon with only the destination being important they become a series of sprints with half hour coffee or sightseeing breaks along the way.
    If this policy comes to pass there will just have to be charging stations at every car park, office and supermarket. People don’t fill up with petrol at home after all.
    It is of course a spectacularly dumb and technologically illiterate policy as the pollution is just generated elsewhere. Solar panels generate clean electricity but producing PV cells is an ecological hazard, wind turbines can’t be recycled and use as much energy to make as they generate in their life time, hydro means flooding somewhere, etc. Fossil fuel power stations with well scrubbed emissions are probably the cleanest of all.
    As a side note, here I am in Copenhagen on holiday, did the boat tour of the harbour the other day and the guide pointed out their new incinerator. It takes more waste than Denmark produces so they will have to import waste from the rest of Europe to burn!

  25. ‘Instead, if this is what you really want to do, then set the emissions standards. Make them really tough, perhaps so tough that an ICE can’t meet them. But leave open the possibility that someone makes an ICE that does meet them.’

    I fail to see a distinction.

  26. Lots of opportunity for crime too.

    I think we would see lots of stealing of electricity from people’s homes or spaces when charging their car.

  27. Fortunately parliament cannot bind its successors, so this is a bit of posturing, with a target suitably far off that no-one needs to worry now. I suspect if it becomes an electoral issue (around 2030 if it still stands?) then this will rapidly disappear, as I can’t see the ecological vote being worth chasing even then – they tend to vote in a particular way anyway, so unless something strange happens it will be the effect of potential swing voters that counts then.

  28. Gamecock,

    It’s called innovation – same way as my car has a very small engine to get me a break on road tax, which engine being basically a set of turbos inside more turbosactually produces decent power output – someone set a standard and someone else came along and did some work, producing something that both meets the standard (in an artificial test) and is acceptable to a consumer (in this case me) who likes to be able to accelerate on occasion.

    So a sensible government* determines what standard will achieve the clean effect required (and a realistic test), and then leaves it to innovation to produce this if possible – if it turns out no ICE can meet the standard and compete with electric, you’re correct, there is no difference, but we can’t say that without trying.

    *I am aware of the oxymoron here…

  29. @Rob,

    If the self-driving car happens, it will make car ownership obsolete for the vast majority of people, and dramatically reduce the number of cars depreciating outside houses and places of work for 23.5 hours of the day. Where I live, car sharing (haven’t owned a car myself for 4 years) is already doing this.

    Assuming the technical problems of car charging can also be overcome (2040 is an aeon away), the fleet can charge itself in the conveniently-located hollowed-out volcanos on the edge of town. Overnight, mostly.

    And children will be able to play in the street again.

  30. If anything Ecks is too polite about May, the woman is a preternaturally stupid piece of pointless politically correct plankton. That’s scary enough, but the alternative is worse.

    Others have pointed out the many flaws with this scheme. WE have to hope that this really is a piece of posturing with a target sufficiently far in the future that it will be forgotten long before it actually happens. Otherwise it’s the end of personal mobility, and hence freedom, as we know it today.

  31. There’s a film called Rocket to the Moon starring Terry Thomas, where he has a car that runs on gas, which he obtains by stealing it from lamp-posts.

    StreetSparrow’s point is valid up to a point: how long will it take to charge a 50kwh battery that will power a car for 200miles? It doesn’t make much sense to travel from London to Manchester if it takes two days to do it. If the technology is developed that allows one to drive up to a station and swap over batteries, then we might well be cooking with…er.. gas.

    Anyway by 2040, we’ll all have our own personal jet-packs. I suspect that most people on this thread will have their wings.

  32. For a preview of how this will pan out, look at London. The last Mayor decreed that all new black cabs in London from 1st January 2018 must be “zero-emission capable”; and if they have a backup fossil fuel engine, it must not be diesel.

    The new black cab from the London Taxi Company has a range of 70 miles on battery, backed up by a petrol engine with a range of 400 miles between fill-ups. The most likely outcome is that drivers will rarely bother to charge the battery, relying entirely on the petrol engine instead. No doubt the 2040 target will have similar loopholes.

  33. Wondering what these hybrid vehicles will run on… oh wait, it’s about virtue signalling. Sorry.

    Wife and I just went on a road trip round Victoria, Aust. First day 300kms, second day 200kms, two nights there, 250kms fourth day, 250kms fifth day. Week stopover (with about 300kms of local travel during that time) then 550kms straight home. At no time were we in range of anything other than a 10A outlet, and we only filled the tank twice. I’m not a big fan of auto, ‘do everything for you’ cars like the Mazda3, but it cost $AU25k and gets 5l/100kms – even with my lead foot! Find me the electric car that will do that.

  34. Urban charging points are easy – this sort of thing:

    https://www.zap-map.com/lamp-post-ev-charge-points-launched-by-rolec/

    Trickier out in rural areas and of course you may need an upgraded grid and local distribution for the extra load

    Problem is that the govt is settling on electric cars which is a fundamentally dead end-technology unless there are serious improvements in battery technology – not just power density but also recycling facilities

    We are in danger of creating a whole lot of additional pollution

    IMHO the power cell is the way ahead, using hydrogen fuel cracked from water in centrally controlled power stations and delivered to consumers through largely the same infrastructure as petrol/diesel

    Simples

  35. @LTW

    “Wondering what these hybrid vehicles will run on… oh wait, it’s about virtue signalling. Sorry”

    I initially read that as cars would be powered by virtue signalling.

    If that were correct, in some people’s cases, they’d have to give Pirelli some time to develop tyre technology to meet the multi-k-horsepower output such a car would deliver….

  36. “Where I live is fairly high density housing without enough parking spaces. People end up parking on the pavement (it’s a quiet cul-de-sac). How is everyone going to charge their cars when there aren’t enough spaces?

    What about the standard parking on typical London terraced streets – you don’t have your own space, you park somewhere on the street where you can find a space. What happens then?

    Amazed to say it, but perhaps people in government haven’t fully thought this one through?”

    Oh they have and their conclusion is: votes now, we won’t be around in 2040.

  37. Biggie–You express the very essence of the planned tyranny that is invested in the driverless car.

    The scum plan that you will have to pay for both the roads in general and a hefty fee for the car each time you use it and that you go only where they let you go.

    If a group of German stalwarts (should any such remain in Cuckland ) plan to visit Cologne on New Year’s Eve to ensure a warm reception for culture-enriching rapists they would of course discover that all the Networks were too busy and no cars could get there. Please try again later etc.

    A car is an important tool–taking you where you want to go when you want to go there.

    Which is why the scum of the state want it stopped.

    Fortunately the AI bullshitters are far far ahead of reality in the dissemination of their bullshit.

    It is notable that tech is such that we could soon have a revolutionary move to flying vehicles–the “air car” beloved of science fiction–but nothing is to be heard of this from all the quasi-official and supposedly unofficial sources that are banging on about the imminence and wonders of driverless shit wagons. Likely because being able to fly would make us all freer. Whereas being able to put substantial cash into a vehicle we don’t own and cant control and which will take us only where our masters allow us to go is what suits the poli-pigs much better.

  38. IMHO the power cell is the way ahead, using hydrogen fuel

    And has been for 30 years or more. Keep waiting. It’s pretty much been relegated to dead end tech. Methane fuel cells for small scale applications (i.e. phone batteries), which looked promising in the days of NiCads, got totally swamped by lithium variants.

    Poisoning of the catalyst, gas containment issues, etc, fuel cells never really did work.Getting beaten by minor incremental improvements in battery tech has to really suck.

  39. My uncle has a country place, that no-one knows about
    He says it used to be a farm, before the Motor Law
    Sundays I elude the ‘Eyes’, and hop the Turbine Freight
    To far outside the Wire, where my white-haired uncle waits

    Jump to the ground
    As the Turbo slows to cross the borderline
    Run like the wind
    As excitement shivers up and down my spine
    Down in his barn
    My uncle preserved for me an old machine –
    For fifty-odd years
    To keep it as new has been his dearest dream

    I strip away the old debris, that hides a shining car
    A brilliant red Barchetta, from a better, vanished time
    Fire up the willing engine, responding with a roar!
    Tires spitting gravel, I commit my weekly crime…

    Wind in my hair –
    Shifting and drifting –
    Mechanical music
    Adrenalin surge –

    Well-weathered leather
    Hot metal and oil
    The scented country air
    Sunlight on chrome
    The blur of the landscape
    Every nerve aware

    Suddenly ahead of me, across the mountainside
    A gleaming alloy air-car shoots towards me, two lanes wide
    I spin around with shrieking tires, to run the deadly race
    Go screaming through the valley as another joins the chase

    Drive like the wind
    Straining the limits of machine and man
    Laughing out loud
    With fear and hope, I’ve got a desperate plan
    At the one-lane bridge
    I leave the giants stranded
    At the riverside
    Race back to the farm
    To dream with my uncle
    At the fireside…

  40. The only prediction one can confidently make for 2040 is that DNR will still be hankering for 1917.

  41. there’s a good post by Matt Ridley on this subject saying basically the same thing.

    Worth reading.

  42. Isn’t one of the big issues with hydrogen that it is practically impossible to contain? There were stories running the rounds a few years ago of tanks of LPG evaporating away within days

  43. @ NotPoldark

    I spotted that.

    They should get full marks for picking an obscure Ferrari.

    Although I note that Peart wasn’t brave enough to try to find a rhyme for Barchetta…

  44. “So a sensible government* determines what standard will achieve the clean effect required”

    Sorry, no, that’s not how it works. Government sets a standard that is ABSOLUTELY ARBITRARY. The very definition of tyranny.

  45. Legislated innovation . . . just what we need. Government fvcking with the marketplace.

    “But it’s for a good cause!”

  46. Look, I know I nick a lot of ideas from Matt Ridley, Matt Ridley knows I nick a lot of ideas from Matt Ridley. But you don’t have to tell everyone, do you?

  47. What I thought would happen is hybrids, where the motor can drive the car and charge the battery, and then regs requiring electric only in town.

    Bloke no longer in Austria
    For some reason that scene where Eric Sykes says something like “The whole basis of this machine is fraudulent!” Always stuck in my mind too. But it is of course from Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines.

  48. @starfish
    “Urban charging points are easy – this sort of thing:
    Link to lamp-post charge points. ”

    I’ve seen this & it’s got the feel of either a clever con or bollocks to me.
    Have you ever seen what’s inside a lamp-post? It’s not hard because they tend to hold the access panel on with cable ties rather than use the screws they were designed for. So you see a lot missing.
    It’s just a length of 2.5mm T&E cable.Why would there be anything else in there? It’s a light. Doesn’t need much to power a light. Nobody’s going to spend a great deal more money running heavy duty power cable where it’s not needed. And how are the cable runs done? Each lamp split from the main cable running down the street? That’s armoured three-phase, so cutting it & inserting a junction box isn’t cheap. Or one splice & the lamps running on their own cable run?
    But the important thing is none of this was done with the intention of recharging cars. 2.5 T&E will carry about 3.5kW Your car battery’s 50kW/h. And the cable also has to power the street-lamp. Doesn’t take much math, does it? And that’s one charge point every 50m or so. Unless your lamp-post is on a street corner, or outside a school or any of the other multitudinous places they don’t like you parking.

  49. I initially read that as cars would be powered by virtue signalling

    Bad news for BMW, as I haven’t seen a signal from one of their cars for years.

  50. @Fecks,

    I imagine the driverless options will be in private hands, much as the car-with-driver, car hire, car share etc. options are now. And nothing to stop you owning a car, it’s the market that will reduce that to car fanatics and a few ultra-heavy users for whom it makes financial sense to operate a private vehicle. Lots of people fly somewhere occasionally but don’t have their own 747 parked in the back yard, so why, other than lack of economic alternative, do people park a car int he front yard for the 23.5 hours out of 24 that they aren’t using it?

    Just to illustrate, my motoring costs have gone from €6000 a year (admittedly a fanatics car, maintenance-heavy, and insanely expensive to insure) to €600 a year (functional cars), by switching to car share. Plus about the same on gratuitous taxi fares. An 80% saving.

    Now the driverless car, because having dropped you at work, can take itself to do another trip (and then another, and then another), is going to work out cheap enough to undercut car ownership (at least once people realise there is more than gas money in running a car) for daily commuters, and yummy mummies doing school and supermarket runs. That’s something car share can’t quite do at the moment.

    That you think the shift from a self-drive pool scheme to a driverless pool scheme would be accompanied by a shift from private operation to Stasi-like total control of the masses just illustrates the extent of your paranoia.

  51. “I imagine the driverless options will be in private hands,”

    You are free to imagine as you like Biggie. But take a look at Mercow’s fuck-ugly face–or Granny’s Boy Macron or Drunker or Verstadt (sic-and he is)– and then think–“Yes they aren’t after control of everybody in every possible area of life”–if you can.

    And your essential weakness/tragedy is that you probably can.

    ” much as the car-with-driver, car hire, car share etc. options are now. And nothing to stop you owning a car,”

    Except being priced out by added costs and economic decline.

    ” it’s the market that will reduce that to car fanatics and a few ultra-heavy users for whom it makes financial sense to operate a private vehicle. Lots of people fly somewhere occasionally but don’t have their own 747 parked in the back yard, so why, other than lack of economic alternative, do people park a car int he front yard for the 23.5 hours out of 24 that they aren’t using it?”

    Because I might want to use it? Yeah –you can phone your auto-driving Johhny-Bag cab ( and they probably will be full of same without daily robo-cleaning)–but will they come when you call them? Esp if something is going on the poli-pigs don’t want you seeing/joining in with.

    “Just to illustrate, my motoring costs have gone from €6000 a year (admittedly a fanatics car, maintenance-heavy, and insanely expensive to insure) to €600 a year (functional cars), by switching to car share.”

    So your fellow cucks are most obliging. What happens after they catch you kerb-crawling on your euro-cuck electric bicycle or decide your lawn is 2 inches–sorry 2 cms– too long and send you to Coventry. Or you want to go and shag one or all of their wives without your “poolies” finding out? Although given the Germans the husband would probably hold your coat.

    ” Plus about the same on gratuitous taxi fares. An 80% saving. ”

    So your poolies serve as an unofficial taxi service for you. You want to go too the Off Licence for some Schnapps and one of them turns out? Vey obliging.

    “Now the driverless car, because having dropped you at work, can take itself to do another trip (and then another, and then another), is going to work out cheap enough to undercut car ownership (at least once people realise there is more than gas money in running a car) for daily commuters, and yummy mummies doing school and supermarket runs. That’s something car share can’t quite do at the moment. ”

    Oh there are limits then to the wonder of car pooling?

    Maybe the poli-pork will be happy to have cheap auto-eroticism for a while to undercut private cars. But once they have got all the cucks and mugs to be dependant on them and there are no private cars outside of a few wealthy–and private cars have been made too costly to go back to–you think the cost of such a cash cow will go down?

    “That you think the shift from a self-drive pool scheme to a driverless pool scheme would be accompanied by a shift from private operation to Stasi-like total control of the masses just illustrates the extent of your paranoia.”

    It illustrates the extent of your half-baked childish naivete much more clearly. The labels on the shitwagons maybe for “private” companies but such a vital system will be in the control of corporate socialism and thus ultimately the state.

  52. Gamecock

    Not a patch on that earlier motor bike cam up in the mountains – the drive I mean – he should have got himself on to an open road and had some fun..:)

  53. He’s a clever guy that Gove. If I’ve understood the story correctly, he has devolved the environmental issue to local and regional authorities.
    Hey, I think diesels for personal use should be banned inside zone 4. “Speak to Sadiq and the London Assembly about your idea”. But they won’t do anything as it will damage the economy of the capital and indirectly benefit the rest of the UK. “Welcome to the world of trade-offs. Now bugger off and bother your AM”

  54. “Welcome to the world of trade-offs. Now bugger off and bother your AM”

    Nah. People always blame the Government regardless. The more stupid, young and/or excitable ones, Thatcher. Local government gets away with murder.

  55. Rob,

    Sadly, you’re right. I remember listening to Cameron’s first PMQs, one of the questions was from a south London Labour MP.

    One of local councils was going to close the swimming baths for some reason or other and would he intervene. Obviously he used platitudes but I was screaming, tell her to fuck off, you’ve got the worst financial disaster since forever, Blair’s Middle East mess and home grown terrorists to deal with. If the people of wherever want a swimming pool take it up with the council, its their job.

    This cult of the PM getting involved in everyday detail is barmy and only serves to give them a bigger sense of

  56. Several manufacturers are in the process of bringing out 48v mild hybrids. They’ve been developing the technology for the last few years. Canny of the government to spot a bandwagon and jump on it.

    As with the recent announcement from Volvo, the headlines don’t quite match the substance. Much hot air about Volvo ‘going all electric’ but in reality they’ll just be offering electric, plug in hybrid or mild hybrid across the range. Slapping an integrated starter generator onto a diesel and putting a modest amount of batteries in the boot somehow makes your car no longer diesel powered.

  57. Gareth
    ” Canny of the government to spot a bandwagon and jump on it.”

    About the sum of it. All cars will simply have an electric motor somewhere of dubious value and done, all electric cars! This isn’t gaming the system, no one in the car industry would ever do that.

  58. @Fecks,

    Sure, in the same way that getting a helicopter from Canary Wharf to Heathrow is also very non-cost-competitive, but the service is available should you want it. Most people decide on a cheaper option.

  59. What are the cheaper options in–say– banks or utilities Biggie? I’m talking the UK here–I don’t know how it goes in T’chermany.

    I can choose between a number of banks and gas/leccy suppliers –all of whom are operating as corporate socialist stooges under the state’s thumb. Yes there are small differences in price/terms/offers etc. I can save a bob here and there by jumping around. But no one is offering lecc at half price compared to the others. If they could they would not be allowed to. None of them are pioneering mini-nuke reactors to offer power at 25% of the others. The state controls any wanna-be new nukes and even if it didn’t it wouldn’t allow its mates in corporate socialism to be undercut by their rivals. The “competition” is cosmetic–just for show–the businesses are a govt controlled cartel.

    And that is exactly how they will run the oh-so-important world of driverless taxis. For the state and its friends benefit. Prices will as high as they can get away with. There will be no alternative that most folk can afford. So they won’t have a helicopter choice. And the new ~”individual public transport” will be too important to be left to the nasty, greedy private sector. Without near total state regulation/supervision of course.

    In a couple of generations there will be nobody much left who remembers the freedom and economy of owning your own car.

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