Apologies if I haven’t posted much recently but there are so many varied angles from electric drive themselves cars to Russian gas and many comments on both. As to wind farms we cannot be ceased to be amazed that despite years of claiming the subsidies are necessary the industry is still putting applications in for wind farms. Should these now be truly cheaper than chips can we have all our subsidies back please! We still see the idiot factor in play and the fact that councils still have Climate Change committees and employees, who have to justify their existence, creates the situation in The Highland Council area where tourists areas are losing their loos, Community Councils, in the time of community empowerment, are having budgets slashed to unsustainable levels, and yet THC have just spent £2.3 million on solar panels as an investment. Some investment. Whilst everyone else suffers austerity the Climate bunnies are exempt. And yet ‘Climate change’ is a natural variation and for those of a certain age we can mostly say been there got the T-shirt. Nothing in weather is particularly new. Just read history! Here we have a good display of both Group think and Cognitive dissonance. Basically none of these climate bunnies want to admit that they might be wrong. Otherwise the dole queue beckons and all those posh expense paid conferences would be a thing of the past.
Now I shall move on to transport. The Minister in Westminster claims that diesel cars will be removed within a decade which demonstrates a total lack of engineering knowledge as diesel cars over the last twenty years have become cleaner than petrol. Technology has moved on whilst it seems the Minister’s advisors are totally out of touch with the reality. The snow came and suddenly those diesel guzzling land rovers were the knights in shining armour. The reality is that commercial transport needs diesel. There is no realistic alternative of a fuel source with such energy density. The First Minister talks of an all electric A9. Bah humbug! If all the vehicles were electric and the range is thirty to eighty miles and the A9 is 273miles how many charging points will you need considering the length of time it takes to re-charge an ev and the average number of daily users of the A9, which presently stands at 142,000. Do your maths. Certainly a skill alien to the First Minister! Never mind where you will get all that electricity from. Certainly not wind farms on a windless day! The other issue is that if all cars are electric and tax free who pays for the road repairs, especially considering that battery powered cars are much heavier and more damaging to the road. Looks like an excuse for pay by mile road pricing which will at a stroke take away the running cost advantage of electric cars which presently pay no road fuel duty and only 5% vat. The way local councils presently subsidize many ‘free’ electric refuelling points is unsustainable and clearly ludicrous when Scottish Councils are having to make deep cuts in basic infrastructure.
So, not much to say but much to think about. Many will support electric self driven cars and if I lived in a city I might well see the benefits. Driving up the A9 reading a book or watching the scenery has it’s benefits. However as many cars are old and the cost of new is beyond many the truth is that whatever you may do it doesn’t stop someone else running in to you. Only at a time when every car was self driven could some possibility of an automated system be deliverable. I don’t see it in my lifetime. Just to prove a point we have news of an Uber ‘autonomous’ car killing a pedestrian and another involve in an RTA. It does rather illustrate the point that the mixture of autonomous cars and people needs some critical thinking. After all there are hardly any self driven cars on the road and those that there are need a safety driver. Bit of a pointless gesture to have an autonomous car that needs someone in the driving seat. Can’t see that saving much money!
On cars, am I just too ancient and feeble or has the cost of cars become horrendous. I walked past our motor mile last week and even second hand cars (pre-loved in motor industry speak) were mostly £26k+. New cars are now regularly in the £60k to £85k brackets. And they don’t have car salesmen any longer. They have what? Customer interface operatives? The latest Range Rover SV Autobiography is £172,000. I think I will wait until the first years depreciation is out of the way! Electric cars are the buzz word of the industry with the new Polestar(Volvo) competing with the Tesla. Note the Tesla company is still to make a profit but shares are still hypersonic. BL eat your heart out! However without a government subsidy the prices would be even more ridiculous in comparison with their fossil fuelled brothers. Reality is that the industry is reacting to the forthcoming high level fines for exceeding 95g CO2/Km target in 2020/21. Just look at the tripe on the EU website ! The only way to reduce to those levels across the range is to establish a percentage of either hybrid or EV vehicles as part of the equation as they reduce the average statically. Take into account the manufacturing CO2 production and the CO2 output of replacement batteries and the truth is EV vehicles whole of life CO2 emissions are very similar if not more than a petrol car. The fines across the board could well finance the EU post Brexit such a scale as they are.
SO guys and gals, I am still here and still a grumpy ageing fossil. Plus ca change!