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UK unveils extensive new plan to go all-electric by 2040 (electrek.co)
52 points by dmmalam 78 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 41 comments



Maybe if Chris Grayling spent less of his time turning the national rail service into a national disgrace we could focus on having fewer cars on the road generally.


Fortunately not everything is in Grayling's hands.

Greater Manchester is planning a 1000 mile total joined-up network of cycling lanes: https://www.tfgm.com/press-release/beelines


It's important to note that this grand unveiling of an (not very) ambitious multi-decade long scheme comes at a time where we've already established we're going to fail to meet targets for our previous decade long scheme to increase renewable energy use. If there were any serious will from this government it would be diverting funds to meet our 2020 target, not start talking about 2040.


Whoever sets the targets and is applauded in the media is not the same as the one that has to meet those targets. Retirement comes first, basking in glory for having helped save the world comes first, becoming an "ambassador" for a cause comes first. Actually doing it will have to be done by others, and since those others don't care so much as the papers would have you believe, most of the targets are not met. That's government and why one shouldn't put much hope in it to solve anything.


Seems like a missed opportunity. Millions of rolling batteries frequently plugged into the grid could be an energy storage pool to help balance fluctuating demand and supply. Especially from renewable sources.

For this to work, it would require government co-ordination of infrastructure, incentives and regulations around feed-in tariffs.

There is no evidence in this report that the transport ministry has connected with the Energy ministry for strategic solutions.


> For this to work, it would require government co-ordination

Renault and the French government are discussing exactly this.


Good for them. Seriously.

Nerverthelss, in the case of France, it seems mostly redundant. 80% of supply being nuclear means there's much more baseload than variable supply. Storage would be less of a concern.


They have quite a large amount of installed wind power some of which is underutilised precisely because of the large nuclear baseload. Having dispatchable battery storage would enable more of the turbines to run more of the time.

I drove from Caen to Bordeaux and then to Luxembourg at the end of May, there were wind turbines all over the place.


And we don't have any offshore wind farms yet, but they are coming...


Doesn’t it really come down to better batteries that are affordable? The rest will take care of itself.

Solid-state batteries might do the trick:

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/253065-toyota-wants-leap...


Basically, yes.

Newer tech with greater power density would surely help, but a far bigger issue is infrastructure. Not in charging stations, but in manufacturing, servicing and recycling batteries. Once the infrastructure is in place, prices will fall naturally. Batteries are highly recyclable.


Not necessarily. The latest round of 'gas guzzler' EVs lower the miles per kWh ratio quite badly. At the moment bigger batteries seem to be getting used up providing bigger cars, not more miles - with the consequent knock on to the charging infrastructure. Really the EV grant should be withdrawn for any vehicle incapable of getting at least 4 miles per kWh.


Add per person to it. We want to promote mass transport after all. A bus is more efficient than a single person car if it is used at capacity or even halfway. (add a multiplier for unused capacity)


I do fear that cars are going to have the opposite problem to phones... Where Apple sacrifices battery life for unnecessary thin-ness, I fear car companies will sacrifice it for unnecessary speed and size.

Edit: and who knows what'll happen if Apple gets into the electric car business!


From the article:

> It includes “£246 million in research for next generation battery technology” and a dozen different initiatives to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure.


From wikipedia - UK electricity generation sources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_Kingdom#F...

...In 2016, total electricity production stood at 357 TWh (down from a peak of 385 TWh in 2005), generated from the following sources:[33][34]

A typical offshore oil/gas platform Gas: 40.2% (0.05% in 1990) Nuclear: 20.1% (19% in 1990) Wind: 10.6% (0% in 1990), of which: Onshore Wind: 5.7% Offshore Wind: 4.9% Coal: 8.6 (67% in 1990) Bio-Energy: 8.4% (0% in 1990) Solar: 2.8% (0% in 1990) Hydroelectric: 1.5% (2.6% in 1990) Oil and other: 7.8% (12% in 1990)

//surprised there is little discussion in the plan for how the electricity will be generated and transported, or viable sources.


The centralized gas is still much cleaner than burning petrol or diesel or even gas in a car. Then there are mechanical efficiencies in electric engines.

Plus it may be easier to modify the grid to be clean rather than every car.

It is a good initiative. We'll see about the implementation.


How electricity is trasported? Are you serious? Just because you don't hear about electric grid research and innovation doesn't mean it doesn't happen. In fact the reason you dont hear about it is mostly because of how well it just -works-

The electricity generated is mentioned in the report but is not really the concern of the Department for Transport. Nonetheless, The UK isn't exactly a huge offender when it comes to renewable energy, with some of the best tidal energy in the world, and very high amounts of wind. Even the baseline power stations are slowly becoming nuclear - it's not a process that happens overnight and it's been happening for many years now.

Comparing the statistics from 10 years ago and now shows that we are making remarkable steady progress, and in 20 more years I expect that we will be getting close to 100% renewables


>Wind: 10.6%

That is quite amazing. I don't see lots of Wind Farm around UK when I live there, ( although that was quite some time ago ) That means UK are well within reach of 100% running on renewable energy.


On 21 Apr 2017, the UK ran wholly without coal power plants for 24 hours, making up all of it's power from solar, wind, nuclear and gas!


They tend to be offshore. We're a windy island. The onshore ones are at the top of the hills, and on the estuary plains


22 years. That's not a plan or target, that's kicking it into the long grass of someone else's problem.

Someone else in power when it gets taken seriously then.


This is enough time for companies to wind down their R&D + investments in internal combustion engines gracefully.

If you want to spend money on ICE engines now you need justify how you get return in max 22 years.


20 years is still too far out. There should be absolutely no investment in combustion engines starting about 10 years ago, but the auto makers decided to invest in diesel and SUVs. I don't see why we need to pay with our health and our future for investor's short term thinking and greed.


No, it's enough time to allow it to be ignored by all significant manufacturers for at least another decade.

Somewhere between 5 and 10 years would have had its challenges but would be achievable. It would have required the government to actually govern, but would have been "discouraged" by industry.


Well I sure hope it goes better than their extensive new plan to go all-by-themselves by 2018


Please don't break the site guidelines by introducing extraneous flamebait into conversations.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Give it a rest.


Ok for real tho, what about people who prefer manual transmission?


I am having trouble parsing this question. Did I miss a joke or sarcasm?

This is like asking "what about people who prefer to crank the propeller" while staring at a jet. It does not apply.

EVs don't usually have to shift gears, not because they have automatic transmissions, but because their engines can achieve high RPM and torque is similar across the usable RPM range. The Nissan Leaf, for instance, has a single gear, then only thing you can do is engage or disengage it. Reverse is handled by rotating the engine backwards, so you do need a control for the driver, but there's no corresponding gear – the easiest way to see that in action is reversing the direction while the car is moving, like you do in an electric bumper cart. With most car transmissions, you would need to stop first, then reverse, you could even cause damage if you do it while the car is moving.

I guess if you really wanted to, you could fake gears on software. And fake some engine noise while you are at it...


While I believe the comment was a joke it is also a reference to people who make emotional decisions over objective ones. I also think that many people don't realize just how many humans prefer to make important decisions emotionally. It's not something you generally learn sitting at a desk.


Every single human in the planet makes decisions emotionally - the hacker news crowd is not excluded from this in the slightest. I would also gamble that the vast majority of our day-to-day decisions are emotional, unless you live a purely utilitarian life. And that would suck.


It's solvable though. The GTI version of the Ford eThing could come with flappy paddles, a manual 6 speed lever, and Porsche approved engine and gearchange noises. None of which do anything but effect.

Microtransactions for flat crank v8s, and v12s perhaps?


It comes down to why you like manuals. If it's for the pleasure of working through the gears, then you're out of luck. If it's for the instant throttle response, no slushyness from the torque converter, or being able to chose the gear based on what your going to do in a second, then electric cars are significantly better.


I'm one of those people, I love manual transmissions and would never buy a car with an automatic. But, an electric drive is even better, more direct, more immediate. And one pedal driving is awesome.


Given the health crisis in cities like London, I think people prefering manual transmission is not a relevant point.


I think it’s clear from the market that manual transmission lovers are basically fringe group, at least in the US. Even many of the brands that used to cater to them, like BMW, have given up due to low sales.

It seems clear that they’ll be relegated to restorations and kit cars and such.


Same thing that happened to British handgun owners, presumably, or people who really enjoy dynamite fishing.


Or people who really just prefer horses as a means of transportation. They can have their shows and their rallies, and the rest of us can get to work on the means of transportation that makes sense.


Someone will make fake "gears" for you to play with, like those modern CVTs


Electric cars give the same control that a manual transmission does.




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