Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A challenge to Battery Powered Vehicle Proponents

Okay, it seems that my views are at odds with battery powered vehicle proponents and that some of their comments on this blog have me confused.

So, lets make things very simple:

I bought my car for £650. Show me a battery powered car of similar value.

Its an estate car, so I need a car of similar carrying capacity. Show me a battery powered car of similar carrying capacity of similar value.

I live in a rented house, so installing charging infrastructure isn't an option. So, someone show me how I'm supposed to charge the battery powered car of similar carrying capacity and similar price.

My parents live in Manchester and I'm in Portsmouth. I can get there and back (if I can manage 8-9 hours driving) in a day. Show me a similar battery powered car of similar value with similar range. Just to clarify, its 250 miles each way.

My car is 12 years old. How many battery packs would a battery powered equivalent have gone through in that time and at what cost?  Show me a battery powered car that is as cheap to maintain (I deliberately didn't say run: this is pure maintenance costs) as my fossil fueled one. I'd be surprised if maintenance cost any more than £1000 over its 12 year lifespan.

So, that's the challenge: prove to me that I can switch to battery power. When I bought my car it was 12 years old, so I'll accept a 12 year time span. However, if I have to wait 12 years, then you have to convince me that punitive taxation of my current fossil fueled car for the next 12 years is fair given I have no other alternative.

Roll up, Roll up, Ride the Scary Rollercoaster!

Are you ready for the ride of your lifetime? In my case, my second inflationary spiral. Are you ready for the bumpy ride ahead?
Well, its happening: the inflation meter has finally stopped twitching and has started an inexorable rise.

Fuel was already on a steady climb from the middle of last year but the recent duty and VAT increases on top of inflation just sent it into a hockey-stick-like climb over the past month that global warmists would be proud of.

Prices are already increasing: especially food. The cafe where my daughter works are this week reviewing their prices, the local chippy (chippys always a good indicator of inflation I find) has increased their price by just over 8 percent. My wife does the shopping for the home she works at. Buying in such large quantities its easy to feel the effect of subtle price increases and lo and behold, prices appear to have increased by roughly 8 percent too.

So, although todays reports say that the CPI has gone up to 3.7 percent and the RPI up to 4.8, in the real world, we're still seeing inflation running just shy of 10 percent.

Once the VAT and Fuel duty rises feed into the supply chain, expect things to get a lot worse.

Anecdotal advice is reaching me of a large number of companies feeling the pinch. Drops in sales that haven't been seen for a decade are happening as punters, unsure of the future and shocked by a huge increase in their fuel bills start to hold onto money rather than spend it.

This is something far worse than post-Christmas blues. This is the start of something a lot bigger.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Rural Fuel Discount - More Pie in The Sky to Stop Dissent?

The BBC has regurgitated yet another "quick, lets head off the fuel protests" government memo. Apparently the coalition is considering cutting fuel duty in rural areas. 

Bit of an own goal this one and one reason why it won't get off the ground is Labour can shoot it down with the "its pandering to Tory toffs in rural constituencies" line. So don't expect it to go far.

Basically I see it as another soundbite, put out into the media in order to sound like they're considering doing something, anything to help people adversely affected by fuel price rises, which have shot up in the past month thanks to increased fuel duty and VAT.

I'm convinced this is all a smokescreen, because all the government needs to do rather than a complicated, unworkable rural rebate is simply cut fuel duty at least back to the rate it was before Christmas and preferably even lower.

One way to get the country moving back to prosperity is to enable mobility. To restrict mobility to any section of the population denies them the chance of improving their lot, of getting on in life and making progress and thereby helping growth.

Something which the stone age battery vehicle people seem to have forgotten, along with the government. Both are wedded to the current eco-loony philosophy that seems intent on impoverishing the poor.