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EVs again - the sensible approach

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Jacob

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UK rail is pretty much at capacity. And lots of problems trying to share lines between high speed passenger and rail freight. A mix of systems is the likely answer. The problem with electrifying the motorway will be up-front cost, so I guess it will be rolled out slower than required.
The other argument for HS2 is that it will take traffic from other lines and benefit the whole network.
Personally I think the future is going to be stranger than we think.
 

Spectric

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Personally I think the future is going to be stranger than we think.
If globally we do not get our carbon emisions to almost zero within five years then listening to the scientist it will be stranger but also much shorter!
 

TominDales

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Its the idiocy of the drivers who are only doing 0.5mph more than the lorry they are overtaking, foot flat to the floor don't lift it until you reach your destination.
I suspect it is also to do with the time pressure some of the drivers are under. Our Sainsbury delivery drivers were always hassling to save time and trying to arrive earlier than the booked slot, so we switched to Tesco where they put customer service and drivers health higher up the pecking order.
 

TominDales

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Only 9 dollars a gallon and reformed from natural gas.
that is grey hydrogen, to get blue hydrogen you have to pump the co2 back into the gas caverns at great pressure. Green hydrogen is from electrolysis.
We are likely to have a mix of fuels, EVs hydrogen, bio/sustainable. Scania believe battery EV will outperform hydrogen for trucks so the debate is not finished.
Personally I like the idea of a wired motorway as it will reduce the size of batteries on-board which will reduce the need to mine metals such as Nickle and cobalt. Just more copper and aluminium for the wires.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Wired motorways (induction??) seems sensible. If HGVs also carry onboard battery packs for the non-motorway segment of their journey, it may be that not all motorways need wiring for their entire length.

Wired sections would only need to be installed during other upgrades or repairs.

Being non-intrusive other (ICE) HGVs could continue to use the whole motorway - probably until there is sufficient cabling and appropriately equipped vehicles to justify a dedicated lane with automated driving systems.

Only question - what percentage of the road would need electrification - with onboard batteries it would not need 100% - but would it be feasible with 20%, 30% 40% etc etc.
 

TominDales

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The most intelligent solution by a considerable margin is to behave intelligently.

Whether trains taking the strain of HGVs is economically or environmentally sound is worth debating. Assuming that anyone who questions the use of trains displacing road freight is making a solely financial judgement is misplaced.

Trains and the associated infrastructure also use energy.

The intelligent solution is to change behaviours to minimise total energy consumption rather than focus on one element (HGV transport). This may include:
  • buy local and seasonal
  • design and retrofit properties to minimise energy use
  • repair, recycle and reuse - extend the life of clothes and consumer goods
  • local not regional infrastructure - hospitals, schools, shopping centres - to minimise travel
  • stop building out of town retail parks to reinvigorate local towns and communities
  • make it easier and cheaper for people to move if changing jobs (eliminate stamp duty) to reduce commuting
Personally I favour the market to encourage change rather than additional regulation. This would involve reducing PAYE in favour of taxes on embedded energy, and taxing home energy consumption to encourage investment in more efficient homes.

In principle this could be tax neutral - those who are most responsive to change would benefit most, those reluctant to change current behaviours would face an significantly increased tax bill.

The only real questions are (a) how quickly does the transition from income tax to a carbon tax happen, and (b) which government (if any) would have the courage to implement such a radical scheme (probably none based on past performance).

The elephant in the room as always is population. David Attenborough noted in a recent talk that since he started broadcasting global populations have grown by 3 times. Unless this is actively addressed there is little prospect of avoiding climate change without a very unpleasant transition.
Some of this is already happening through pressure for corporate responsibility.

The guys near us in Sunderland have looked a how many miles their lithium and other raw material travels to make a battery. Supply chains have grown to be lean and efficient, but the low cost of shipping goods around the globe meant that distance travelled did not figure before.

The Net Zero agenda is getting this number into the mix. We will see measure for on-shoring key materials. Its a start, but intimately recycling and circular economy will mean localisation of manufacturing and distribution.

A few years ago Corus imported 15m tonnes of iron or and the UK exported 8mte of scrap steel, because we didn't have electric arc furnaces in the UK, which is now the basis of liberty and other steel production. JLR have used 75% recycled aluminium in their car body panels since 2014 and aim to get this figure up to 90%.
I would not take a big insentive to roll this kind of programme out nationally to other materails.
 

Topaz

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Slightly off-topic: last weekend (30/07-1/08) there was reported to be, at times, 1000 kms of traffic jams in France. A growing proportion of those stuck will probably have been EV's.
Did they all reach their destination or charging point before the "juice" ran out ?
"Yes, it really is flat. Where's the Tesla truck ?"
It is strange, but I have yet to see any reports of lifeless cars, in France or elsewhere.
Do UKWS members have any (anecdotal) sightings of this since EV started to appear on our roads ?
 

TominDales

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Wired motorways (induction??) seems sensible. If HGVs also carry onboard battery packs for the non-motorway segment of their journey, it may be that not all motorways need wiring for their entire length.

Wired sections would only need to be installed during other upgrades or repairs.

Being non-intrusive other (ICE) HGVs could continue to use the whole motorway - probably until there is sufficient cabling and appropriately equipped vehicles to justify a dedicated lane with automated driving systems.

Only question - what percentage of the road would need electrification - with onboard batteries it would not need 100% - but would it be feasible with 20%, 30% 40% etc etc.
That may be the way to roll our a national programme. As the length of motorway wire extends the size of battery in the truck can come down. There would need to be a clever meter charging system to provide the right insensitive for someone to wire up the motorway and get their investment back. Another think it could do is have variable tariffs at different times of day etc to smooth out traffic flow.
 

D_W

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The other argument for HS2 is that it will take traffic from other lines and benefit the whole network.
Personally I think the future is going to be stranger than we think.
It will be for the chicken littles who are all over the place right now.
 

Spectric

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Wired motorways (induction??) seems sensible.
Addressing the means to provide propulsion is just a part of the story, what you also need is to look at is reducing friction and minimising drag due to aerodynamics. To provide propulsion through induction is going to need a lot of energy, in a transformer it is very efficient because you have the iron core that creates a more concentrated field and good coupling factor K, with an air core the efficiency is lost so more power required. Also what about the health aspect, subjecting people to high magnetic fields is not ideal, just like living in the wrong orientation close to high voltage overhead power lines.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Did they all reach their destination or charging point before the "juice" ran out ?
Far be it for me to sing the praises of electric cars, but if they are not moving, they are not consuming power. Unlike ICE cars which tend to have the engine running even when stationary, especially when stop start or crawling along. Sitting in a hot car with no air con, on the other hand...
 

Lons

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Far be it for me to sing the praises of electric cars, but if they are not moving, they are not consuming power. Unlike ICE cars which tend to have the engine running even when stationary, especially when stop start or crawling along. Sitting in a hot car with no air con, on the other hand...
The vast majority of modern newish ICE cars have stop start systems though they can be switched off so tend not to have the engines running if used correctly, some systems are better than others of course, I've had that system on my last 3 cars and EVs still consume power when stationary, what about the aircon, radio, lights, and system modules for example.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Some years ago whilst stuck in a traffic jam the engine temperature of my 2L diesel started to fall and the heater ran cold.

External temperature was ~2C so the heater was somewhat useful!

Rev the engine for a minute and heat returned. I can only conclude that the fuel consumption in an idling diesel engine is utterly negligible.
 

Cabinetman

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The only thing I can think apart from that, is that maybe your fan was permanently on – the thermostat was faulty?
 

niemeyjt

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The other argument for HS2 is that it will take traffic from other lines and benefit the whole network.
Personally I think the future is going to be stranger than we think.
I think you will also find the HS2 Loading Gauge, as with HS1, will be to latest GC European Standards which when connected will allow freight to/from Europe by rail in largest containers and to put lorries on trains like in Switzerland.

Mind you, how journeys will be faster than they are now when a 250kph Express is stuck behind freight train running at half that speed remains to be seen.
 

Ozi

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Some years ago whilst stuck in a traffic jam the engine temperature of my 2L diesel started to fall and the heater ran cold.

External temperature was ~2C so the heater was somewhat useful!

Rev the engine for a minute and heat returned. I can only conclude that the fuel consumption in an idling diesel engine is utterly negligible.
The main issue with idling engines particularly diesels is the emissions NOX and particulate, very bad for air quality in town. Also with electric motors the efficiency is almost independent of speed.
 

Suffolk Brian

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I must hold up my hand and confess to an affection for trains, particularly of the steam kind. My father worked for British Rail for over 40 years, and he often said that he couldn’t retire quick enough. It was often quoted at the time that freight moved around the rail network at an average speed of 5 mph. Hopefully we can/could/should do better than that nowadays.
 

MikeJhn

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I suspect it is also to do with the time pressure some of the drivers are under. Our Sainsbury delivery drivers were always hassling to save time and trying to arrive earlier than the booked slot, so we switched to Tesco where they put customer service and drivers health higher up the pecking order.
Also changed to Tesco during the pandemic, more reliable and slot choice, and the quality of food is on par with Sainsbury's, also get deliveries from Waitrose, much better quality and varied choise, but expensive in comparison.
 

RobinBHM

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Also changed to Tesco during the pandemic, more reliable and slot choice, and the quality of food is on par with Sainsbury's, also get deliveries from Waitrose, much better quality and varied choise, but expensive in comparison.
and Tesco's delivery saver is great -its allows an extra week ahead and all deliveries are free.

mind you Tesco meat and veg is pretty terrible compared to Waitrose, or even Lidl/Aldi
 
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