“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him; and you are torn by the thought of the unhappiness and night you cast, by the mere fact of living, in the hearts you encounter.”- Albert Camus
As it weighed 5.4 tonnes in its bare form, one would have thought that there would not be too many applications for it outside large boats. It seems though that a German tractor pulling team had other ideas and after some considerable modification they produced this methonol burning version complete with 126 spark plugs and 168 valves and 10000 hp :
And, after producing a monster like that, I suppose you could forgive the somewhat over the top vehicle it sits in :
You can get a grant towards the cost of each new electric (plug-in) car or van you buy, if it meets certain conditions. Grants are available for:
25% off the cost of a car, up to a maximum of £5,000
20% off the cost of a van up to a maximum of £8,000
We now have to fork out for charging them too and not just on private drives :
The government estimates that it will cost between about £1,000 and £1,500 for drivers with off-street parking to install charging points in their garages or driveways; it will fund 75% of this cost, up to a maximum contribution of £1,000.
Ministers also want to encourage train operators to install new charging points at railway stations, and have offered the same 75% incentive.
And local authorities wanting to invest in rapid charging points, which cost about £45,000 to install and make it easier for drivers of electric vehicles to undertake longer journeys, will also be able to apply to central government for the same proportion of funding.
What really grates in this case is that the people buying these cars are not exactly short of a bob or two in the first place. The Nissan Leaf for example is just short of £24000 AFTER taking the £5000 subsidy into account! Surely they can afford another £1000 on a plug point?
Surely I am not the only person fed up to the back teeth with being gouged through energy bills to pay for an ever expanding array of bribes subsidies which will soon be more of the bill than the damned gas I use to heat the house?
Time to stick a bigger wood burner in I think and starve the beast before it starves me.
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
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.
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’.”
Today started for me at 04:30 when the radio alarm came on with an NHS advert reminding me that A&E and 999 are only for emergencies. After a shower and coffee, I drove a few junctions down the motorway and was reminded on the first overhead sign not to drink and drive. This was followed by the second overhead sign warning me to slow down because of spray and then the third reminding me that tiredness kills. After parking at the railway station park and ride, the sign by the stairs asked me if I had hidden my valuables in the car, turned off the lights and locked the doors. The tanoy system then chimed into life reminding me that surfaces were slippery today due to the rain followed by a reminder to be on the lookout for suspicious items or behaviour.
Standing on the bleak and windswept platform, behind the line as advised by another tannoy announcement due to an approaching train, I stared at the advert from the NHS reminding me once again that A&E and 999 are only for emergencies. Thankfully the arriving train was one I could take to the main station so I got on and made sure I stood clear of the doors as prompted by the robotic sounding announcement. A couple of stops later and the train arrived at the main station where we were reminded by the guard (or train manager as they are apparently called these days) to check around us for all our personal effects, ensure we had all our luggage and to take care stepping from the train due to the gap.
I walked through the main station to the platform I needed and was again reminded to take care due to the surfaces being slippery and also warned that running was not allowed for my own safety. Thankfully, I avoided mishap in this dangerous place and arrived at the correct platform with a few minutes to spare which was just enough time to get another reminder about suspicious items or behaviour, a statement that smoking is not allowed anywhere on station premises and a warning that skateboards may not be used on platform areas. My second train then arrived and after standing clear of the doors was welcomed on board by a member of the ‘on train team’ asking people to keep aisles clear of luggage, elbows and knees so she could come through the carriages with her ‘mobile catering vehicle’ – I kid you not on that one!
Two stops down the line I finally reached my destination and was again reminded to take all my things with me, that surfaces will be slippery, there is a gap when you step off the train and to be alert to suspicious objects or behaviour.
All that lot within 3 hours of waking and all repeated, to the point of wanting to shout for fucks sake fuck off, on my return journey 9 hours later with the added twist of the motorway signs now alternating between asking of my car is ready for winter and warning to slow down due to high winds.
Thankfully, I only have to repeat this torture two days per month – every single day and I am sure I would not be far off a rampage by Friday.