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The Daily Mash guide to Electric Cars

With electric cars being mentioned more and more in the press lately, this article from The Daily Mash vaults gives more than enough good reasons why we should avoid the stupidity of the damned things in the first place :

THE Nissan factory in Sunderland is to produce a new electric car that will be unable to get as far as Doncaster.

The Leaf, backed by £21m of taxpayers’ money, has been specially designed so that if it is driven out of the factory after rush hour on a Thursday morning it will grind to a state-of-the-art halt on the A1 approximately 100 miles later.

A company spokesman said: “It should get you at least as far as Knottingley, if you keep it at 28 all the way and ignore red lights and stuff.

“The absolute furthest it would get you is probably about two miles north of Burghwallis, which – as I’m sure everyone would agree – is almost Doncaster. When you phone for a cab tell them to pick you up from the pub.”

The spokesman admitted it would be difficult to recharge the car in the middle of the South Yorkshire countryside due to Britain’s ‘scandalous shortage’ of incredibly long extension leads.

He added: “You may as well just abandon it by the side of the road. But they only cost about twenty thousand quid so you’ll probably have at least five of them.”

The company stressed the car would be more attractive to people who lived in urban areas, close to their place of work who had always wanted to have a long cable running from their third floor kitchen window down into the street like some sort of Action Man death slide.

The spokesman said: “We are building up the infrastructure so that in five years time you’ll be able to go to Tesco for your weekly shop and then nip into the recharging station for about 16 hours.”

Meanwhile, the company has developed a range of marketing slogans including ‘The Leaf – Quite Good For Sitting In’ and ‘The Leaf – Because You Hate People So Much You Can’t Even Spend 15 Minutes on a Bus’.”

And, if you think I am being overly flippant, even The Royal Academy of Engineering doesn’t think (pdf) electric vehicles will do much to reduce CO2 emissions, not to mention that billions will need to be spent on upgrading the UK electricity distribution infrastructure, all of which will come from us poor sods that pay the bills :

A car comparison website lists the CO2 emissions for all of the UK’s major new
cars. The average CO2 emissions rating is 173g/km (grams of carbon dioxide per
kilometre driven), the lowest being 89g/km and the highest 500g/km.18 The 2020
target for average emissions is 130g/km. It is expected that this figure will be
reduced progressively and some experts are talking about a long-term target of
around 80g/km for 4-seat internal combustion engine vehicles.
Results from electric vehicle trials show that EVs equivalent to a small petrol or
diesel four-seat car use around 0.2kWh/km in normal city traffic. CO2 emissions
from power stations vary from year to year and also over the daily cycle as the
carbon intensity of generation changes: in 2009 it was 544g/kWh. Thus the
emissions related to an EV are about 100g/km. Trials on a small fleet of four twoseat
Smart Move vehicles have shown average CO2 emissions of 81.4g/km using
electricity of the same carbon intensity.19

On this basis, it is difficult to see how EVs fed from the present UK electricity
generation mix are significantly better in terms of carbon emissions than petrol or
diesel vehicles.20 To have a major effect commensurate with the 2050 target, the
introduction of EVs would need to be accompanied by almost total
‘decarbonisation’ of the electricity supply. Under these conditions, they could
provide the ideal solution of personal mobility without the environmental
disadvantages.

So, unless we totally remove gas and coal from the generation mix, cover the entire country in windmills and surround it with wave generators, we may as well choose to drive a small modern diesel. Unfortunately, that won’t keep the tree huggers happy so we will all end up paying for the nonsensical green dream.

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