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2021-07-26

The GWPF (Global Warming Policy Forum) notes the government plans for raising the costs of power in order to pay for EV charging stations.

The point about the switch from coal to oil was two-fold - convenience (oil didn't have to be shovelled) and energy density (you could go further on the same weight of oil) thus minimising the cost of carrying the stuff when used to power transport.

It's true that oil required the additional step of refining to produce a relatively clean fuel, but that cost was worth it. 

Government subsidies to persuade people to make the switch were simply not required.

Electricity has been around for a very long time, however is still tricky to store. It isn't available from wells and mines, it has to be generated at point of use, or transmitted via power lines. So it made perfect sense for railways trams and trolley-buses and powering static homes off a fixed grid, and was widely adopted for these purposes, but batteries are clunky heavy and slow to charge, and the popular lithium-ion variety can still cause fire in a crash situation.

Hydrogen fuel cells may make more sense although hydrogen is also tricky to store.

Bearing in mind recent ill-considered government initiatives to (a) switch us from petrol to diesel vehicles to "reduce CO2", swiftly followed by (b) switch us back from diesel to petrol to "reduce particulate emissions", one does wonder if our all-knowing rulers are in any way competent to yet again impose a new direction of travel upon our currently much put-upon citizenry (let alone upon our national grid), when acceptable vehicle recharge times at scale are yet to be demonstrated.

The GWPF has the story.