Thursday, 13 January 2011

Battery Technology Buffoons Bite Back

It seems the proponents of of battery-powered electric cars are as uspet as I am at Brian Milligan's electric road trip up the UK.

They seem not to like Mr Milligan's apparent bias in not promoting electric vehicles and have challenged him to a race.

Yes, the nice chaps at Tesla have decided that they'll show Brian that you can drive their car from London to Edinburgh in one day. Hurrah! The world is saved, battery-powered electric vehicles are back on track and the saviour of the world again... Well... Not quite. You see, Brian Milligan is driving North in an electric Mini, the sort of car normal people can afford, whereas a Tesla is the best part of 100K. So not an even race then. Do I sense bias from the EV people too?

Not only does the Tesla cost a LOT of money, listen to the video on at the link above and you hear talk of fast charging points. Well, fast they may be, but they're at or beyond the limit of household mains supplies. A single phase 240v domestic mains supply is rated at 100 Amps max: thats the maximum the feed from the grid to your house is rated at. So when someone glibly talks about a 70 Amp fast charger, hopefully you understand how unlikely a normal house would be to have one. Especially when you realise when you come home from work of an evening, plug in your Tesla for charging, turn on your TV, put the kettle on for a brew and the electric cooker on for a bit of tea you risk blowing the 100 Amp safety cut-out fuse the electricity company put in the supply to your house.

Usually that sort of current drain is reserved for 3-phase industrial/business supplies, so not only is the Tesla beyond average wallets, so the charging rate they're using to fast charge is beyond most households.

I'm still convinced battery power is a dead end. How do people in terraced housing charge their cars: run a lead across the pavement for people to trip over? Maybe you have an unsightly gantry running over the pavement (I'm sure council planners would hate that) which allows the charging lead to drop to your car: but there's no guarantee with on-street parking that you can park up outside your house every night. What do you do if you can't? You could have charging points for every car in the street, at huge expense.

Don't get me wrong, I want electric vehicles to succeed, but I also don't want to be catapulted back a century. I want a vehicle that can take me on the short range journeys to work, but at a moment's notice can take me on as long a trip as I need, without having to factor in recharging times along the way.

Nope, hydrogen is the future and no-one can persuade me otherwise.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Undoing of an Undercover Policeman causes me Unease

Its been all over the media today, the story of an undercover Policeman offering to give evidence to the defence in the case of protesters arrested for atempting to organise a protest at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station..

There are a large number of issues raised by this case and by now we're all fairly clued up as to what they are.

These are not terrorists: (my personal opinion is they're a misguided bunch of individuals following a cause that doesn't exist, i.e. global warming), but they weren't intent on harming anyone or taking lives. They weren't in the great scheme of things a great threat to anyone. So why would the Police have such a huge interest in a group like this? Is it because they are anti the staus quo? Is it because they exercise their right to protest? Just what is it in this group (and others) that the Police viewed as a significant threat?

I doubt if it'll ever happen, but I'd love to know how high this debacle goes in the Police and Home Office.
One thing I'd put money on is there being more Mark Kennedys out there.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Continuous Car Tax

Anna Raccoon has a piece about a proposed change in the law to require us to insure our motor vehicles even when they aren't on the road.

Well, I for one think its a step too far and I declare now, I will not consent nor comply.

Just like with SORN and its inplications that you break the law by not informing the DVLA.

Its against common law and natural justice that you commit a crime for doing nothing. If I am in a resting state, i.e. doing nothing it should be imposible for me to commit a crime. Its only by legislation that that status quo can change.

Any such legislation is wrong in every way possible. Assuming someone who doesn't insure their car is a criminal and then by legislation making them a criminal if they don't is just so idiotic I really can't comment without swearing.

It really does seem that the government is intent on making everyone in the country a criminal.

Just like the previous Labour government: in fact I have yet to see any distance between the underlying policies of them and the Coalition. Okay, there may be tweaking and window dressing, but has anything fundamental changed?