There are 2,000 electric cars on the road. They have a range of less than 90 miles – half that if you need to put the heater on – and they cost around £28,000, almost four times a petrol equivalent. They have been given a whacking great government subsidy of £5,000 – effectively taking from the poor to give to the rich eco-loons that can afford them. Despite this, people aren’t buying them and they don’t want them because, compared to conventional cars, they are a sick joke that aren’t even ‘green’. But the BBC greenies are determined to tell us they are the future. Here, Rory Cellan-Jones, who is married to BBC trustee Diane Coyle – one of those who sanctioned the publication of the BBC’eco bible, by Steve Jones – reports on plans to open a network of charging points that, he claims, will allow us to drive such cars to London to Edinburgh despite their limited range.

As usual, it’s a total travesty of journalism. First he allows the man who will benefit financially from the new charging points to make ludicrous claims about them without any real challenge. And second, he doesn’t ask the key, blindingly obvious question. This is a report about driving between London to Edinburgh, so how long will it take? I used to do it from Hackney to Princes Street in six hours with one fuelling stop, an average of just over 60mph.

I will do the math for him. The electric car has a maximum range of 90 miles. That means it will need four or five fuelling stops of two hours each (to achieve maximum charge). So let’s see, that’s eight or 10 hours plus six hours…I make that 14-16 hours, with at least eight of those spent in motorway service areas. And if it was cold you could add double the number of fuel stops, making 26 hours. As Christopher Booker has pointed out, it used to take a stage coach only 20 hours longer.

The alternatives? Well a train takes four hours, and a plane, door to door, just a tad less. In other words, the electic car is light years away from viability and only a masochistic loony would buy one, but Mr Cellan-Jones does not want to say so. He disguises this by being midly adversarial in his tone. But in truth this is yet another BBC green-creed homily.

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12 Responses to CAR CRASH

  1. christopher watton says:

    14-16 hours! My God! We lived in Northern Italy for three years, and the time it took us to drive from Asti to Calais (to get back to the UK) was about 12 hours, with two fuel stops in a diesel Nissan Note! Add another 3 hours to get from Folkstone to Gloucester, add an hour in the Channal Tunnel, and that’s still less time than a trip from London to Edinburgh in the electric car!


  2. john says:

    When I saw this reported yesterday by the BBC my first thoughts were the same. First, how long will the overall journey take, then, why didn’t the report ask this question. The answer is abvious, it wasn’t a news report it was just propaganda.
    Another question. If you are an eco-loon who buys one of these jokes, do you have enough brains to ask, “How long will the battery retain peak performance, how much will a replacement battery cost, and what is the environmental impact of the hundreds of millions of scrap batteries that the eco-loons would like to unleash on the planet?
    If my laptop is any guide, one might need a new battery after 4 or 5 years. I wonder what the second hand value will be of a four year old electric car with a range of one or two miles? 


  3. London Calling says:

    As if the subsidy wasn’t enough, watch for more powerful sticks and carrots to come from some Green Cameron Nudge-Unit. In one major French city I know, where parking is all but impossible, prime scarce parking spaces have just been allocated by the council for electric cars only. Needless to say they are hardly ever used because no one is mad enough to buy an electric car. The local shopkepers are howling because their normal customers can’t park nearby any more, and their businesses are all suffering. Such is the damage done on the altar of bogus planet-saving.


  4. matthew rowe says:

    I had the same arguments from some cretin who worked for  Tesla  and I was amazed that they were so thick that he couldn’t grasp the poor will be thrown off the roads! probably back where our greenish  betters want us ,walking along side in the mud doffing our caps .
    £28,000 is a cheap one but for a lot in this country it will mean saving every penny for 3 years to afford  as the battery’s only last 2-3 years and cost a fortune to replace 3 years is all you will get before your broke and the cars useless so  no second hand market either which is where me and many of the population get our cars but
    we are expendable in their new future we will be reduced to staying in the same village  only going to town when the wind blows and we can get the eco bus out  or we have saved up enough dung to power our
    poo poo train and look at yonder hill and wonder at  our massers brightly light house and his chariot of prius and feel grateful we were given the chance to die so young under a enlightened leader![sorry got carried away there!!]  
    I live 60 miles from my nearest bank and on my zx10 it takes me 30 mins less if I feel naughty and cost me a tenner  and I can park and leave where and when  ever I want  I can even just ride around for fun !!one of these piles won’t get me there and back in 3 hours assuming I can get to a charge point of which there would have to be hundreds to do all the  cars in a city, just imagine being 4th or 8th in line !lol and still have to pay as the government  will need to replace fuel duty at the same rates so no saving there! but BP will still make a killing so BBC pensions are OK !


  5. ltwf1964 says:

    i saw this yeaterday morning and almost bust a gut laughing

    it’s like telling your friends that your off for a week on your holidays to the seaside in on of these joke cars,and your friends asking you “yeah,but how long are you staying once you get there?” 


  6. cjhartnett says:

    Only in the land of Mandelson would this story even exist!
    He was filmed in on once-and has plenty of money of course.
    How then does he get from Brussles to Millbank to Deripaskas ship then-electric car or milk float?
    Surely not by fast car-he is the future after all!
    Maybe the Huhne family see him right as needed!


  7. Henry says:

    When Sir Clive Sinclair’s C5 received such a poor critical reception, one of the problems was it’s size.

    He points out that to have an electric car the size of ordinary cars you currently need to use Lithium batteries that are very expensive and the building of which causes massive CO2 emissions (if I’ve remembered that right). I read in the Times (so this is unchecked) that it takes 70-80,000 miles of use before you get a carbon-emission improvement on ordinary cars

    Maybe Sir Clive wasn’t so stupid after all with the C5. He’s bringing out another electric vehicle that will be more visible but otherwise not totally dissimilar to the C5. Good luck to him. 


  8. sue says:

    I knew that Israel has a scheme connected with electric cars, so I looked it up. After a quick Google I see even the BBC has reported this. They’re not regarded as particularly ‘green’ though. The charging problem is overcome by a battery-swapping scheme, so no need for hanging about at a service station.


  9. matthew rowe says:

    “The charging problem is overcome by a battery-swapping scheme, so no need for hanging about at a service station.”
    hmm no actually this will still mean total upheaval of every petrol station in the UK [ no independents as who the hell can afford this ?] they will need 10 or so  of these machines[plus backups] as now everyday thousands will need to use them in every corner of the country  and also still keep systems for all the commercial traffic that cannot be changed to electric it will be hugely expensive totally environmentally /economically destructive and 3 mins is for just  the change not the paying for it as well and we all know how long that takes!.
    It’s not a dig at Sues post  but just at the present or for many years to come most won’t want to pay this price, we will have to be forced and as now I hate that idea with every fibre in my body !


    • Martin says:

      You’re right have any of these morons who spout on about simply changing out the battery pack actually felt the weight of these things. I recently did for the Toyota Hybrids, bloody heavy and most car makers put them under the rear seats so as not to take up useful cabin space. Putting them underneath the vehicle sounds good but not realistic.

      Also, it will be chaos at charging stations, imagine vehicles caught in a traffic jam all running out of electricity together?

      Only tossers at the BBC think this crap would really work.


  10. Martin says:

    Well I’m just replacing my vehicle and I’m going back to diesel from petrol, only just over 100g per K for CO2 (not much more than what an electric vehicle does) and around 70mpg on a long run and decent performance.

    Electric cars have no future, I wonder how many beeboids actually own one of these pieces of crap.

    Regarding the range as a former user of the Peugeot 106 electric the rapid charging shags the batteries as well and the max range goes down after 203 years. Oh and they cost something like 4K to replace.


  11. jack.savage1950 says:

    It is like watching someone promoting the pogo stick as a means of mass transport.
    I watch open mouthed.