Thursday, April 23, 2009
Brown goes 'green'...again
Brown's electric dream for Britain
Interesting that this vision (check the linked stories... and comments!) is shared in one of the premier news outlets in the UK. Not.
Anyway, this at first glance looks a win win, and hence welcome.
However, the elephant in the room, or the 500kg flat battery in the middle of nowhere, is the not so small enviROI issue of what produces the 'leccy for now and into the foreseeable future.
At least there is a suggestion that the UK exports most of these vehicles to countries where the power to the wheels does not come with a carbon consequence, but I'd be keen to find out more on this as it is currently 'vague'. And many in the MSM seem unchallenging on this.
I am sure things can happen in complement, but wouldn't it make more sense for emissions to have the power supply sorted first (which can surely have the knock-on of helping micro-generation networks?) or at least well in advance?
There is also the not so small matter of what no to low carbon is actually going to be developed to generate this 'leccy; a matter I fear not best decided by desperate pols (Mr. Brown's green commitment seems the only high-speed revolving system that could possibly be harnessed reliably) looking to score a short term point with the media and hence public, egged on by EU targets, subsidy-addicted lobbyists, etc.
Sean O'Grady: Only time can dispel the charges against electric car -
Telegraph - Electric cars to be mass introduced to the UK, says Gordon Brown
Telegraph - So Budget 2009 is going to be green
Guardian - Gordon Brown announces green budget plans - I hope the headline in the panel that gets to this is deliberate... 'Brown pushes electric cars'...genius subbing!
Guardian - Together on electric cars -
FT - Brown proposes electric car subsidy - Have they got this right? Or are they mixing the £2k scrappage proposal in with electrics?
Indy - Jeremy Warner: Is scrappage subsidy really such a great idea?
Gord is in the details...
Which I await with interest.
At least the rate of spin on green issues Dear Leader and his GOAT herd manage could be harnessed to run something productively, as opposed to this country into the ground.
So let me see if I have this correct...
To help the planet, and the UK car industry, when my wife totaled our Volvo, instead of buying another, perfectly good 02 LPG version with the £1650 insurance, I should have waited for a £2k bribe I will co-fund with my taxes to go get a new Beemer 735i on the road?
This helps how on any measure?
On my website there's a feature that deletes words with possible swear words in them. Hence my view is that this is another total load of sCRAPpage.
Telegraph - Germany increases car subsidy to €5bn - 'A new car, a new car! My planet for a new car!' Or.. 'Eine neue auto...'? Interesting to see Dear Leader's G20 anti-protectionism/climate triumph in full flow. Even if it's down the drain. 'Jacquie, what did you do with the plug?'
Telegraph - Gordon Brown should realise electric cars are a battery-powered nightmare
Telegraph - The madness of subsidising inefficient electric cars
Telegraph - Budget 2009: Gordon Brown's 'electric dream for Britain' is really just a dream
Guardian - Japan goes green with £100bn economic recovery
Guardian - Gordon Brown's electric car subsidy rejected by industry - a "pointless soundbite".
Telegraph - Gordon Brown shows how green he really is - the rate of spin of Dear Leader, his fellow GOATs, and their legions of press officers and a mostly compliant MSM could well be harnessed to provide all the 'leccy required to run the other side of Scotland not currently served by the 24/7, 365/365, 100% efficiency wind turbines rotating serenely in a harsh salt water environment miles away from easy maintenance.
And I am planning to use Heathrow's 3rd runway to board Oh Lord M's next flying pig.
Brownite is similar to Kryptonite.
Seemingly green on the outside (at least as told by some and accepted by many in the MSM, but not the general public), but actually deepest in the red within, it is in fact made from the shards of a previously destroyed civilisation, and when brought near anyone of competence or anything of promise, sucks the very life out of it, leaving a powerless husk.
Times - Budget row over £2,000 payout to scrap a car
And, now, the details...
Telegraph - Electric car buyers to be given £5,000 in incentives - Ok, I see your £2k, and raise you £3k more.. Why not just give 'em away? Now, who is paying? Bus passengers?
Guardian - Cars: Electric dreams, clunky reality
Guardian - Labour's £5,000 sweetener to launch electric car revolution - Ultra 'green' how, when?
Guardian - The flaws in the electric car scheme -
BBC - Plan to boost electric car sales
BBC - Hoon's electric vision: How green? - Some very interesting points being made here, so I will value tracking.
As to the original piece that has inspired them, I am wondering how many other senior Government individual's names are going to be lifted off press releases with 'electric' and 'green' in them for weeks to come.
So far I have logged the visions of Call Me Lord Peter Maserati, Green Gordon and now Mr. Hoon. Any others jumping on this caravan we should know about?
For now, with some small cars (sadly not so eco beyond their mpg) going for about the price of the brib...er.. subsidy we're meant to co-fund to get urban dwellers into the dealerships in their droves, how much are these things?
I am really starting to regret the £3.5k I forked out on a perfect, low mileage '02 LPG, thinking this fuel plus keeping a second-hander going for another decade was the green thing to do.
And considering the volumes of raw materials involved in new manufacture, even if... when the generation and distribution of the 'leccy is sorted beyond the known universe within the M25, I would still like to be reassured that the stocks exist to make the necessary numbers of batteries all these folk not using public transport will require.
I am sure the BBC will be on hand to provide objective, qualified advice on this, and other key aspects of a pretty major commitment being made on behalf of future generations.
Newsnight - Interesting Mandelson connection
EU Ref - Slipping over the edge
Indy - Electric dream machines: Are they really the future of motoring?
Times - Beware green jobs, the new sub-prime
Times - Slow start for charge of the electric cars
Indy Letters - The greenest cars are the oldest cars - Who'dha thunkit?
Telegraph - Electric cars labelled 'overhype' at Shanghai Auto Show
Telegraph - Electric cars: the infrastructure must come first - Nah, I think we should blow a ton of dosh on stuff we don't have, that just sounds good and will dump on future generations to sort out the generating issues. Now, with this principle in mind, what else needs addressing today?
FT - Hopping mad about cash-for-clunkers -
WhatGreenCar - WhatGreenCar calculates impact of car scrappage scheme - Arrived at via an email:
Based on the announced car scrappage scheme of £2000 for cars more than 10 years old, WhatGreenCar estimates that the average carbon benefit would be over 50 gCO2/km per car. Assuming average mileage of 15,000 km per year, the carbon saving amounts to over 0.8 tonnes per year per car, or over 4 tonnes per car over the 5-year period during which time the scrapped car may have been used if the scheme had not existed (assuming older cars are scrapped 5 years earlier than would normally be the case).
[These calculations include an assessment of vehicle use, upstream fuel emissions AND vehicle manufacture. The modelling assumes: average tailpipe CO2 emissions in 1999 of 185 g/km; average tailpipe CO2 emissions in 2009 of 154 g/km; upstream fuel CO2 emissions 26-36 g/km depending on fuel type and car age; car manufacture CO2 emissions 21-31 g/km depending on fuel type and car age; 10 year age deterioration factor 10% for greenhouse gases; real world driving factor 15%; diesel penetration 1999 of 17%; diesel penetration 2009 of 44%; average car mileage 15,000 km].
Given that these figures suggest that the planned scheme will have a small, but measurable, environmental benefit, added to the crucial support for jobs in the auto industry (the scheme's main aim), WhatGreenCar broadly supports the car scrappage scheme. That said, it is still our position that an opportunity to further reduce emissions by setting limits on the CO2 emissions of new cars purchased through the scheme has been missed
Whoa! Science. At last a few numbers. And... it looks like they may be positive. However, I'd say this is an ongoing thread still.
Guardian - Budget 2009: Alistair Darling has just thrown away £300m
FT - Electric car subsidies do not serve green goals
Gaurdian - NEW - Hello, is that Peter Mandelson? Want to buy an old motor?