Opinion: We’re well on our way to an electric future

GW columnist, Andy Parsons has a change of mind as more mainstream vehicle manufacturers make a pledge to go 'all-electric'

Opinion: We’re  well on our way to an electric future

Back in 2019 I wrote a piece for Garage Wire where I cast a small shadow over the electric revolution, so one pandemic later I thought I’d assemble my thoughts once again on where the next ten years will take us.

Andy Parsons of Shortfield garage in Surrey.

In the late 1800’s those clever Germans patented the internal combustion engine that although has developed vastly, is the basic principle that has driven us for over 100 years.

But dwindling fossil fuel and climate change has forced us to look elsewhere.

Quite a while ago came the hybrid (HEV’s), originally developed at the beginning of the 19th century but not “mass” produced until Toyota’s Prius in the late nineties.

These were joined by PHEV’s (plug in hybrids) which offered longer range than HEV’s in electric mode, but neither had any real impact on the petrol and diesel vehicles we use, because the were expensive, range limited and with a very poor infrastructure in the case of PHEV’s.

Related: Privately-owned battery electric vehicles doubles in a year, data shows

And so the search for utopia of low energy low emission vehicles continued with two different camps.

FCEV (Fuel cell vehicles), basically hydrogen have been around for some time.

There is an abundance of hydrogen, making up over three quarters of the elements in our universe and the emissions are water so clean that you could drink it (please don’t try this at home).

Toyota and Hyundai have thrown their weight into FCEV’s (in conjunction with BMW and Audi respectively), but although clean in it’s use, the technology to farm it in the first place is expensive and requires fossil fuels.

Also, fear that your driving round with a hydrogen bomb, “you can’t take it through the Eurotunnel for safety reasons” and the infrastructure being poor with only 13 UK filling stations currently have stemmed it’s growth.

Related: Volvo to go ‘electric-only’ by 2030

Most recently, the last three years has seen a distinct shift towards BEV’s (battery electric vehicles) with countries governments and vehicle manufacturers (in the main forced by legislation) both getting behind this technology.

In 2018 proposals to end sales of petrol and diesel cars in the UK were announced, but then last year Grant Shapps revised that to 2035.

Reports of a 2030 ban come after sales of electric and hybrid cars overtook diesel models between April and June 2020, with 33,000 new EVs registered, versus 29,900 diesel cars.

In a depressed, apocalyptic world the electric car market is growing quickly, with more than 164,100 pure-electric cars on UK roads BEV’s sales grew by 2,206 units (54.4 per cent) to take 6.9 per cent of the market, and the number of available models almost doubled.

Related: Electric vehicles “here to stay”, garages told

The Department of Transport along with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles has just launched a consultation into EV charging points, outlining plans to make charging points easier to locate and charge easier to pay for in the UK.

This is great news, however, a recent WhatCar report has highlighted that the low cost of running an EV (under £6 to charge your I.d at home) could be significantly higher should you wish (or have to) use public fast charging points, ranging between £10 and £40 for a refill.

And don’t forget that something will need to replace the fuel tax our government currently rakes in.

On the manufacturer side, Ford have just announced they will only sell electric cars from 2030, joining a host of other manufacturers who have committed to ending their production of vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Related: Jaguar to become ‘electric only’ brand by 2025

Volvo, in 2019, made its first all-electric vehicle launch and Jaguar pledged to become an electric only brand by 2025 being just two more examples of manufacturers commitment.

VW have added the all new ID.3 and 4 (arriving later in 2021) to their ranges.

These are “complementing” -not replacing the current offerings of E-Golf and E-Up (not specific for the northern market).

They are fully committed to the green revolution, possibly because they were somewhat responsible (got caught) for the demise of the old guard when #dieselgate hit the news.

VW Motorsport pulled out of petrol racing, and confirmed that it is focusing its motorsport strategy on electric mobility further proof of their commitment.

With 2030 being just nine years away, world governments and VM’s still have a whole load of challenges ahead, but if the last three years are a yardstick, then we’re well on the way.

Home Page Forums Opinion: We’re well on our way to an electric future

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #209943 Reply

    Back in 2019 I wrote a piece for Garage Wire where I cast a small shadow over the electric revolution, so one pandemic later I thought I’d assemble my
    [See the full post at: Opinion: We’re well on our way to an electric future]

    #209949 Reply

    Phooey, batteries of any sort don’t like been stood. Ni-cads
    Seems to recover well rather than these Lithium fire ball things

    That lump that hammond guy stuffed 8000 cells even if they are
    50p each then be monster job to replace all the cells. That also burnt for 5 days
    Due to thermal runaway

    Where in parrell you get bad spotweld and tag breaks off give it large
    You wind other cells backwards and they catch fire!

    The connections have a coating damage it draws 900 amps not 90
    So that means repairs will mean replacing parts only

    The inverters are OTP so game over WHEN they fail
    The a/c is a must to cool the battery pack WTF, that means the cells are getting hammered they have to be forced cool

    SMMT and IMI. both useless self centred fuds should have stood up and
    Said no. (Worked for Grange Hill)

    Rumor states and google it that oil fields that were empty in the 80’s
    Have refilled to 80%

    As for “zero emissions” my hairy arse, brake dust heat generated by charging and running. 65kg of Lithium for one battery, how much soil and rock removed for that!

    Should not be forced on folks because someone in imi wants MORE money for training
    As for “being trained” some people are unable to do anything with electrity except plugging a plug in the wall

    #209950 Reply

    I think we’re moving too fast. many technicians still struggle to fix normal electrical problems on modern vehicles, and technical information is not widely available in the correct format for them, so when the HV systems start to age that is when you’ll all find the manufacturers have not got the infostructure to cope, and the general garage sector (lot of it anyway) might be better off looking for alternative employments now! If past experiences are anything to go by, the government will be less than useless to resolve the issues the trade will become head on with!

    #209953 Reply
    Michael Lewis

    Sounds all very lovely, but look over your head. Do you see the size of the electricity cables feeding your town or village? Even if the electricity could be produced, how many cars could that little wire fast charge at once? Work out how many kilowatts and how many amps. So far I have only seen the assumption that each household only has one car. I don’t think our greenies quite appreciate how much energy an internal combustion engine produces from a 5 minute refuel. It doesn’t matter how big a battery you put in a vehicle or how quickly it charges, you can only get out what you put in. The other day I collected my neighbour’s Tesla Model X for it’s first MOT. It had been on charge all night and had a predicted range of 180 miles with just a driver. What would the range of this, arguably one of the best and most expensive battery electric vehicles, be with three passengers, luggage and a trailer towed behind? How long would it take to charge? and where would you put the trailer whilst the car was in the charging bay?
    Instead of building a piece of Victorian engineering [HS2], the whole country needs a complete rewire, not only for broadband but for your Teslas, Jaguars, Volvos etc. More importantly how am I going to boil my kettle?

    #209954 Reply

    “David” I agree 100% with you and would have said something along them lines
    But my probation officer was banging on the door.

    “Michelle Lewis” great point about power lines with bojoclown
    Telling everyone to rip up irreplaceable farming land and build new houses on flood plains etc.

    Does that mean flood plain full of houses and electric cars go fizzle.

    This iShit one cell battery, 2 years old, only for DK, eBay, email, GW and Tweeting obscenities, about knackered!

    Be nice if entire motor way of electric cars burn down.

    What are insurance costing, more? Trip hazard and fire hazard

    #209955 Reply

    Search on youtube “Here’s Why A TESLA MODEL X Caught FIRE & Driver KILLED”
    By digital gonad or something

    Credits to Impactops for the link in first place

    #crash & burn

    #209963 Reply

    The future in my opinion is a combined solution, Plug-ins have a purpose that purpose is the local commute, the vehicle doubles as a usable power source when parked at home which then charges when most people are in bed, available now and future. Then we need hydrogen cell vehicles for the longer distances, this will rely on hydrogen becoming available and it can and should become available for more than just MVs, Hydrogen is good energy storage, we are well on the way with green energy, wind farms etc and as we know the wind rarely stops blowing and certainly not at night, this means an excess of power that can be used for hydrogen production. That same hydrogen can power the grid come next morning when everyone turns on the kettle/coffee maker (peak demand) The infrastructure for plug-ins is going to be costly and a white elephant in the long term. Imagine the scenario, come that Easter holiday rush that always happens on the M5, we’ll say 25% of the vehicles are plug-ins you would need all the service areas on the M5 to become plug-in access points, just imagine a Motorway services car-park full of plug in service points. That’s the sort of infrastructure we will need. If that scenario became a reality now imagine the inferno if one fast charge system went disastrously wrong in that car-park.
    Personally I think car manufacturers are all jumping on the cheap bandwagon because plug-in vehicles as apposed to hydrogen cell vehicles are less costly to develop and get onto the road. Well done to Toyota and Hyundai for sticking to Hydrogen cell tech, I for one think it’s at least part of the future.

    #209994 Reply

    #ffs hydrogen cells were invented by t’ Victorians

    Had at least two world wars since then

    Only question is, if the Zeplin airship had Diesel engines for
    Forward and backward thrust, why not use a 2x fuel cell in reverse and
    Forward to make it go up/down forward and backward

    #210050 Reply

    My main concern with hydrogen powered vehicles is the safety factors. My worry is the high pressure in the tank and aging. So a few years pass and the vehicle becomes involved in a serious RTA, your sat in the vehicle over the hydrogen tank and it explodes? maybe that is just me worrying about safety, but if that happended I don’t think anyone is walking away?

    On a separate note regarding electrical vehicles, there are people out there in the emergency services section that can’t fully rely on electric vehicles, like ambulances who must get up and go 24/7. Could you ever imagine it, sorry patient I know your having a stroke but the ambulance batteries are on charge and not be ready for another four hours? All I saying is I think we’re all moving too damn fast and the country is not ready for this!

    #210280 Reply

    Don’t think much to new format on here, the forum gone

    But like The sharpness



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