The National Grid is warning us that if you are charging your electric car at home with a high-speed charger you won’t be able to boil an electric kettle at the same time because it could blow your fuse box.
They add that you could get around this if you use a standard charger — but then it could take 19 hours to charge your car fully.
Meanwhile, if you’re thinking of driving an all-electric car from London to Edinburgh, even if you make it to a service station with high-speed chargers, you might still have to stop three or four times for an hour-long charge on the way, plus of course almost certainly endure waiting for a charging point to be free.
It is hard to know which is the maddest of the ‘green’ schemes the Government has embarked on in its drive to eliminate fossil fuels. But its mania for electric cars is surely racing to the top of the list.
Some 12 million people own diesel cars in Britain. They were bribed with tax breaks to buy them under the Blair government which insisted they were greener because they produced less carbon dioxide than petrol vehicles.
Now, those same 12 million are reeling from being told that, far from diesels being more ‘planet friendly’, they are so polluting that they could be contributing to 12,000 or more premature deaths a year. Whacking new taxes and charges to discourage their use are certain to be introduced
Worse than this diesel fiasco, the Government said last month that after 2040 the sale of diesel and petrol cars will be banned and that the only cars we will be able to buy will be all-electric.
Despite the day-long blizzard of supportive propaganda we were treated to by the BBC when our Environment Secretary Michael Gove first sprang this on us, there are many practical reasons why all- electric cars have not so far caught on in Britain.
They still make up only 0.3 per cent of the 31.7 million cars on our roads, even though hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been used to bribe motorists to buy them, leading to discounts of up to £5,000 per vehicle.
It is not just the thought of being unable to boil a kettle while waiting all those hours for a car battery to charge that’s putting people off.
There is also a massive national shortage of charging points. If all cars were electric-only, we would need an additional 400,000 public charging points, at a cost of £30 billion, for all the drivers who would need to ‘refuel’ on journeys away from home.
And this investment would be needed at a time when the Government was losing the £27 billion a year it rakes in on tax on cars’ fossil fuels.
On top of this, there would be utter chaos as the switch-over to electric approaches, when pumps at petrol stations are being closed down due to falling demand for fossil fuels, just as their owners are having to lay out hundreds of thousands of pounds to install very expensive new electric charging points.
But even these formidable challenges are mere hiccups compared to the most crucial question of all: if every car in Britain is eventually going to be all-electric, where is all the massive amount of additional electricity needed to charge them to come from?
It has been estimated that the amount of additional power needed from the grid would be 50 per cent more than we currently use at peak times of the day. And half the electricity we already use is still generated from those same fossil fuels the Government wants to see eliminated.
The government insists that all this extra electricity will come from ‘wind and nuclear power’ because these are ‘clean, green’ and carbon-free.
But if it were all to come from wind, this might require up to 30,000 new wind turbines, each taking six months to install, on top of the 7,500 we already have.
Yet even this would not be enough. The fatal problem with turbines, as we know, is that on our many windless or near-windless days and nights, they could not charge up any electric cars.
So what about the Government’s nuclear power stations? If these were to provide all this additional electricity — which they would have to do when the wind dropped — we would have to spend a minimum of £200 billion on building nine more nuclear plants each the size of that planned for Hinkley Point in Somerset.
But on present showing, even Hinkley Point — already billions over budget and long delayed — is unlikely to be completed before 2030 if it gets built at all. And so far there are no more nuclear power stations on the way.
In the absence of coal-fired power stations which are rapidly being phased out because, despite their economic efficiency, they are not seen as green, there is only one possible source which could be relied on for the power needed to charge all these electric cars — a fleet of new gas-fired power stations.
But these are out of the question, of course, because they use precisely those ‘CO2 polluting’ fossil fuels the Government wants to ban.
To say that Mr. Gove and his colleagues are living in cloud-cuckoo land when it comes to electric cars is, frankly, a wildly generous understatement. They haven’t begun to think through the practical implications in any way whatsoever.
But it is not just the politicians. In fact, just as worrying is the most recent forecast by National Grid, the formerly state-owned company responsible for ensuring that we have electricity whenever we need it anywhere in Britain.
Its latest report talks of how by 2030 we will need 80 per cent more electrical generating ‘capacity’ than we have now, of which nearly half, it says, will come from wind farms and solar panels.
But as it well knows, thanks to the intermittency of both the wind and the sun, the actual output from both these ‘renewable’ sources is likely to be a quarter of that.
To cover itself, National Grid assumes that by 2030 we will still have enough gas-fired power stations to provide instant back-up for when wind and sun are failing.
But these would provide nothing like enough power to bridge the gap when we have no more coal-fired power stations, and more gas-fired plants have closed.
The Grid also claims, extraordinarily, that by 2030 we will also be able to import six times as much electricity as we do now, from countries such as France which is planning not only to close down many of its own nuclear power stations but also to switch to electric cars.
It was always make-believe that electric cars saved anything like the amount of CO2 claimed for them, not just because most of their electricity came from fossil fuels, but because so much more CO2 is emitted in the process of making them in the first place.
But now we are faced with the biggest fantasy of all, that we can all be forced to give up cars powered by petrol and diesel, which are the most efficient, user-friendly form of personal transport ever devised — to rely instead on electric cars for which there will often be no electricity.
This is one of the craziest single green ideas — among a vast number — that those who rule over us have had. An idea that could lead to a national catastrophe — which we can only hope will somehow be prevented from happening.
h/t Paul Homewood
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