Obviously

Electric cars will cost as much to run as petrol vehicles once green motorists are hit by a fresh wave of Government tax rises.

Folk will pay x amount of tax in order to have personal transport. So, government will tax personal transport x amount. Because they can.

We can also estimate the value people put on personal transport. The excess by which they value it over public transport. The amount of tax they’re willing to pay to get that personal transport. Around and about £40 billion a year.

25 thoughts on “Obviously”

  1. Is that quite right? People will pay X (marginal cost) to have personal transport. If it costs Y<X then gov will tax until it costs X . As Y goes down as with EVs gov will increase tax to maintain X?

  2. The C21 provides so much humour – but it is a sick kind of humour. The Government tells us there’s not enough ‘lecy so there’ll be power cuts and yes, next week we’re all going to drive ‘lecy cars and heat our home with’lecy and cook with ‘lecy.
    I wish I had a brain like that!
    Oh wait, it’s a disease isn’t it?

  3. I’m a climate sceptic. (With a C.) Nonetheless I am taken by the number of YouTube vids from Murrican owners of Mini SEVs who are delighted with their choice. Many had the foresight to install rooftop solar, albeit with payback periods at the time of purchase of up to ten years, an investment which is now paying off handsomely.

    Casey Handmer (a Muskrat of note) points out that solar farm investments are inherently risky because the price of panels is dropping so fast that in two years you will be outbid badly at the energy auctions. We do indeed appear to have reached the famous tipping point, in latitudes of the globe that get some sun anyway. The big drawback of solar PV is its huge footprint.

  4. So, government will tax personal transport x amount. Because they can.

    It certainly looks that way but it would be quite nice to be able to vote for a party whose central tenet was not to maximise the tax take and then borrow on top of that.

    Incidentally, I read that the Swiss are planning to ban the recharging of EVs if needs be. Why isn’t there an English word for Schadenfreude?

  5. @Southerner

    Yes. As with most technology, provided the government and the guilds don’t poke their noses it it will get cheaper all the time and it will get better all the time. Current mass-market PV panels are around 20-25% efficient and 1kW rated takes 4-4.5sqm; stuff we already know how to do (but not necessarily cheaply or at scale… yet) can do 40%+ efficiency, so just industrialising what we already know could reduce the footprint by about a half for any given amount of power. Doubling that again is going to be very difficult, and doubling again after that will obviously be impossible, but prices have been dropping ~80% per kW each decade for several decades now and this trend doesn’t show any signs of abating. I expect PV to be financially viable — even in Yorkshire — at some point this decade.

  6. @Southerner…

    One would have thought that the big drawback of solar PV is that it tends to go dark at night…

  7. So, government will tax anything profitable x amount. Because they can.
    Then they waste that amount on pet projects that aren’t.

    fixed it.

  8. I’ve been pondering this electricity issue for quite a long time.

    It’s my impression that there is a very high risk that the large-scale distribution of reliable electricity is doomed, for whatever reasons – they use solar to provide the electricity; they use wind to provide the electricity; nuclear is banned; burning stuff is banned; Net Zero is maintained as a goal….

    So I can imagine a future in which you don’t get 220v at 50 Hz (or 110v at 60 Hz, or whatever) reliably distributed. You might get some every now and then; you might get quite a lot for good times and not so much the rest. Of course, this means that transformers go away, and switching converters come in, which will undoubtedly provide issues for the distribution network. But so does intermittency.

    Such a universe means different things for individuals and for industry. It means that if you own a factory which needs non-intermittent electricity of high quality, you will need to provide it yourself. This will lead to all kinds of fun politics.

    For individuals, though, especially in places like Tejas, it means you whack a few tens or hundreds of square feet of PV somewhere on you property, and you’ve probably got enough to recharge the batteries you have to have anyway to get over the intermittency of the distribution. End result is that you’ll be able to mostly have a fairly traditional heating/lighting/cooking/cooling experience.

    But it’ll cost you a lot of money.

    We have two IC motor cars, both here and in Normandy. One of them is for long distance journeys, and has to remain IC until and unless. The other is for pottering about locally. Are we buying that car now, a hybrid or a pure electric vehicle would be on the list for consideration. After all, diesel and petrol are going to become illegal or unobtainium quite soon, unless the f*ckers start changing direction PDQ

  9. BinTejas: I doubt diesel will become illegal, as big semi-rigs won’t really work with batteries for a long time, if ever. However us plebs may not be able to buy it without a certificate.

  10. Or electric cars will be very cheap to run as there will be no electricity.

    “Switzerland, Facing an Unprecedented Power Shortage, Contemplates a Partial Ban on the Use of Electric Vehicles”

    So-called green energy cannot supply and sustain an electricity grid with existing demand. As demand is going to at least double to replace motor fuels and domestic gas, a stable grid will not be possible without strict rationing. In any case the grid infrastructure is insufficient – with no plans to upgrade it – to handle increased load and distribution.

    Net Zero WILL crash and burn – just a case of how much longer it’s going to take.

    Full story from: Eugyppius

    “ The Swiss Confederation usually imports electricity from France and Germany to keep the lights on over the winter, but this year neither country has any power to spare. Many French nuclear power plants are down after years of postponed maintenance, while in Germany we suffer from a superfluity of idle wind turbines and a (self-imposed) shortage of natural gas.

    The Federal Council of Switzerland has therefore published draft legislation, which outlines four tiers of escalating measures to conserve electricity and avert potential blackouts. The first prescribes a lot of temperature restrictions for things like refrigerators and washing machines. The second includes more unusual rules, such as the demand that heating in clubs and discotheques “be set to the lowest level or switched off completely,” and that “streaming services … limit resolution of their content to standard definition.” The third foresees cutting business hours, banning the use of Blue Ray players and gaming computers, and also limiting the use of electric cars, which should be driven only when absolutely necessary. A fourth and final tier mandates closure of ski facilities, casinos, cinemas, theatre and the opera.

    A lot of these rules look unenforceable, but they said the same thing about contact restrictions during the pandemic. It turns out that the state really can prevent you from socialising with people in your own home if it wants to, especially when there’s no shortage of prying neighbours eager to snitch.

    Feasibility isn’t the point, though. It’s the optics here that are most astounding. Electric vehicles, which politicians have heavily subsidised as one of their primary policy responses to climate change, are just now crashing against that other great arm of the green agenda, namely renewable energy. It turns out that you can’t drive everyone into ever greater dependence upon the electrical grid, while also orchestrating an energy transition to wind (which hardly blows in Germany, except in the north) and solar (which generates no meaningful power in the depths of the Central European winter). Gas from Russia was the magic ingredient that kept the whole renewables charade going, and we’re out of that now. There’s no way to cover up the failure; not even the green-friendly German media has any excuse or messaging angle here.”

  11. A note to roof-top solar enthusiasts. Unless you have a very big roof and an extensive array, you cannot provide the kVA peak to power a house with usual appliances and demand, nor have sufficient battery storage without being connected to the grid.

    For safety and technical reasons, when there is a grid power cut, safety relays cut the solar supply too. So just because you have solar power won’t mean you get electricity when your neighbours have none.

  12. “Electric cars will cost as much to run as petrol vehicles once green motorists are hit by a fresh wave of Government tax rises”

    So, after the added tax electric cars *will become cheaper to run*?

    Or did they fail to account for maintenance costs – 20k a battery pack eats into your gas savings – because they’re morons?

  13. “Many had the foresight to install rooftop solar, albeit ”

    Unless they also paid to install huge honking battery packs then they’re not charging their EV with solar – because the car’s only home in the late afternoon and overnight.

    It’s a crazy situation where only the rich can afford to save money;)

  14. -streaming services … limit resolution of their content to standard definition . . .
    -banning the use of Blue Ray players . . .

    Save us from 1080p!

    Gas from Russia was the magic ingredient that kept the whole renewables charade going . . .

    Yup. Net Zero = buy hydrocarbons from somewhere else (sin) and plant offsets somewhere else again (indulgence).
    It’s just pretending.

  15. One would have thought that the big drawback of solar PV is that it tends to go dark at night…

    The other big drawback is that (when installed at temperate latitudes) they don’t generate enough electricity over their working life to repay the energy consumed in their construction – their EROI (energy return on investment) is close to, or even less than, unity*. Given that they’re (mostly) made in China using (mostly) power from coal, they do nothing to reduce global CO2 emissions (assuming that’s something we should be bothered about). Installed in the southern US or Europe, where peak output coincides with peak demand (for summer aircon), they can be effective.

    There’s lots of Teslas, Polestars etc round these here parts, but I don’t know anyone who has only EVs, they all have another ICE powered vehicle for when they need a real car.

    * and that’s assuming they’re installed with optimal orientation to the sun – most unlikely to be true for an average rooftop installation

  16. Heard of a new build in Nunavut where they put solar array on the roof, given the environment I’d be surprised if there was ever any payback on that before it all needed replacing. Sounds like posturing/virtue signalling gone mad

  17. BniC: Oh, I dunno, they might get a few milliwatts from the aurora. A friend has solar panels, recent ones so they are fairly efficient. He says he can register a watt or two from the full moon!

  18. I wonder which will end up actually being banned in 2030: the same of petrol cars or the charging of electric cars.

    Both probably

  19. Bloke in North Dorset

    Anyone who thought the government would happily forego the taxes from fuel duty and other related driving taxes deserves the shafting they’re getting and are going to get.

  20. Tractor Gent

    Yes, indeed, diesel for big trucks will be allowed, I’m sure. For a while.

    But yes, you as an individual? you’ll need a certificate. Which, of course, will be restricted in number like NY taxi medallions and New Mexico hard liquor license. In the interests of Gaia, naturally.Only those who have a civil need for individual transportation will get one, and it won’t be cheap.

    Yeah, yeah; standard doom scenario bad science fiction crap. But it seems they’re serious.

    I’m beginning to suspect that lions are – despite the theater value – perhaps not the whole solution. Wouldn’t it be dreadful if a Secret Group (perhaps (secretly) called ‘Just Stop Net Zero’ or some such) started working on the issue.

    Naturally, their first thought would likely be hungry lions delivered by FedEx, or some such. But despite the stark beauty of the idea in theory, it might be viewed as cruel to the lions, and it would likely attract investigations, TikTok movies and the like. More practically, by leaving the lions out of it, simply arranging for the ‘influencers’ and politicians in favor to die tragically of mostly untraceable poison might be much more practical. No drama, no publicity; just disappearance.

    Most tragic. We can’t have that, o no. I do so hope that no foolish people ever get inspired by such nonsense.

  21. Chris Miller

    Alas, you’re thinking outside the self-interest box.

    I’m in Tejas, so I have a goodly supply of sunshine mostly year-round, so I can look after me – well, probably I can after some horrendous expenditure.

    You folk who live where the sun don’t shine enough should think of fixing the problem differently: stop electing clowns who want to and are planning to throw you back into the Stone Age.

    No energy = no medicine, no hospitals, no supermarkets, no nothing.

  22. There are, at the moment, two types of electricity – Renewable and Reliable. There is the distinct possibility that folks are going to get a taste of what living with just renewables will be like this winter.

    Let’s see how many are sincere in their desire for net zero in a few months.

  23. Yeah, yeah; standard doom scenario bad science fiction crap. But it seems they’re serious.

    They already have this in NZ, Diesel is dirt cheap but you have to buy an expensive certificate to buy it and it is only used in road haulage. Nobody has a Diesel car.

    Also, the electric company controls your home hot water heater and can turn it off as demand requires.

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