Letter to the Editor: Despite Dave Haskell’s assertions (Misleading the readers of the Cambrian News?, Letters, Cambrian News, 5 April), I am not wearing rose-tinted spectacles, and as a result am well aware of the growing problems with our climate, and the resultant flooding, and droughts causing fire damage etc.
Also Mr Haskell, I have no desire or intent to mislead anyone. The popular media is where you will find misleading ‘information’ about EVs —and heat pumps — and it’s coming from those with most to lose, big oil and their business partners. Be in no doubt, they are lobbying with all their very considerable might.
My decision to respond here is not from a wish to inflame an argument, but to shed light on an important topic, one that currently gets woefully little well-informed coverage from most of the media.
An EV variant of a car will be more expensive than its equivalent ICE (Internal Combustion Engined) car. I never claimed otherwise.But after you buy, running costs can and often will be much less.
Fifth Gear Recharged demonstrated that an electric Corsa costing £4,500 more to buy was cheaper overall by £2,500 after four years.I
f you have solar panels, there’s a good chance you will be driving for free during the summer months! If all your charging is with rapids ‘on the road’ then that will probably work out more.
But note that the cost of electricity is artificially inflated by the cost of gas!
There’s no doubt that if and when an EV’s battery catches fire, it is difficult to extinguish. The fire services are still learning how best to deal with them. But the occurrence is, however, much less likely proportionally, than with an ICE car, as sources by Thatcham Research.
Also, the EV batteries being fitted to many new vehicles — of the LiPoFe type— do not suffer from internal shorts, causing thermal runaway,when damaged. For now, there is a lack of reliable and comparable information regarding fires caused by vehicle batteries.
Yes, my EV can’t be towed. But it’s the same as all those millions of ICE-powered automatics. And the breakdown services are also aware and act accordingly. It’s really not a problem.Mr Haskell states that “the biggest challenge facing the introduction of EVs is, of course, the generation and distribution of the necessary electrical energy.” I wonder where he found this erroneous ‘fact’.
He goes on to suggest I’m ignorant of such matters. I’m not.
But don’t trust me; listen to what Graeme Cooper, National Grid’s Head of Future Markets, has to say: “There is definitely enough energy and the grid can cope easily.”
So, Mr Haskell, it appears that you – like so many others – have been misled (otherwise known as being lied to) by those with an anti-EV agenda.
I’m sorry, not only for you, but for me, because it makes having a reasonable and productive discussion so much harder when there is so much disinformation being put out.
Regarding distribution, your area’s distribution network operator (DNO – Western Power) is not going to let their very expensive substations and other equipment undergo overloads, “causing inevitable brownouts or blackouts”!
More media-induced FUD —fear, uncertainty and doubt — I suspect.Mr Haskell is absolutely right that those houses without off-street parking, and blocks of flats without adjoining garages or parking, currently have a problem accommodating EV owners who wish to charge overnight. Adapting lamp-posts to also offer charging along with dedicated street-side chargers are two of the options which need to be put in operation as soon as possible.
Some enlightened councils agree to channel and cap the pavement so that owners can run a charging cable safely from their property to the kerb. Other ideas are being put into action as we speak. But no, there will be no ‘tangle of dangerous cables’. In any case, that would be illegal — not to mention stupid and thoughtless.
Mr Haskell finishes by referring to ill-thought out and myopic policies from the Government. Well I’m with him on that! But whatever nasty consequences they cause, they won’t be resulting in an “electrical energy disaster”.If anyone wants to hear a different view from that promoted by big business, I can recommend the following on YouTube: EVMan; Engineering Explained; or The Heat Geek.
These are not eco-evangelists, but balanced, rational people who go and find out the facts and use them to give sensible, often practical answers to these types of issues.I’m not associated with any of them, nor get any benefit from promoting them.
I previously answered many of the points in his original letter, but I note he has not come back with any attempts to claim I’m mistaken. I take it, therefore, he has no counter-argument, and concedes that my points are valid.Why are some folk so vehemently opposed to EVs?
John Baddeley, Lampeter
Editor’s note: Like it or not, EVs are the way of the future and the sale of new ICE cars is being phased out by 2030.