The Car's NOT the star....

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The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Zosherooney » November 18th, 2018, 9:14 am

Could you see this happening by 2021? Aero, what are your thoughts on this as you seem a bit of a petrol head ?

Mr. Z. is convinced it will happen but I think it won't be 2021. I am not sure our annual trip to France for a a break and to fill up with 'local produce' Hic! :cocktail: would still be possible.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45786690
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Ratatouille » November 18th, 2018, 10:29 am

It certainlly won't happen in France Zosh. We would rather like an electric car but we wouldn't be able to go more than a few miles because there are simply no recharging points. There is, as you will have seen, still enough trouble getting the French to accept that diesel vehicles are causing pollution and fuel should not be as cheap as it is especially for agricultural purposes - very cheap die which is supposed to be for farm use only but actually fills up the whole family and others cars as welll. Then there are the HGV drivers and owners not to mention the vast numbers of white van men who get big tax rebates.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby earthmaiden » November 18th, 2018, 11:00 am

It will happen and I think that once the momentum starts going it will happen quite quickly. Not mainstream by 2021 though. To deal with climate change we need to change our whole way of life round the globe and take other measures as well, not just zoom round as we currently do ... don't get me started on aviation :cry:.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Suelle » November 18th, 2018, 11:04 am

As a non-driver I'd like to see this happen, but like most 'tomorrow's world' predictions, I don't think it will come as quickly as predicted in that article.

I'd love to be able to call up a car which would take me wherever I wanted to go, at a lower cost than a taxi, which is a bit of a luxury most of the time.

Public transport around here, in the form of trains and buses, is getting worse at a time when money should be going in to improve the services, if we really want cars off the road.

I was reading recently, with a mixture of despair and disgust, about the commercial companies who bought hybrid cars to get the government subsidy, but never plug them in to charge them - they still fill up with petrol for all journeys.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Ratatouille » November 18th, 2018, 11:06 am

If they can't cet Brexit sorted by 2021 then they are hardly likely to remover all cars or even all diesel cars by then!
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Busybee » November 18th, 2018, 3:58 pm

I like the idea of an electric car but living out in the sticks it’s not really practical............not the infrastructure in place to support it. Neither is there any public bus service.

I was thinking of changing my car earlier this year and wanted a small self charging hybrid ( my Dad has had a self charging hybrid for years - but it’s a big car). Basically, if you also wanted boot space think again. It seems if you want both boot space a hybrid and a smaller car there is nothing on the market. I decided not to change in the end. My current car is a diesel, bought when the government were encouraging us all to have diesels as they were better for the environment, it currently does 63mpg and only costs £20 a year to tax due to its low emissions. It’s amazing really that thinking can change so much in the space of nine years.

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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby aero280 » November 18th, 2018, 8:50 pm

I think it's possible. But there are people who like driving cars, so there will be resistance. In our car club there are cars that were built 70 years ago, so it might take a few more years to get rid of all cars.

Once you have electric cars on the road in quantity, there will be some dispute because there will be an attempt to get electric cars to travel at a constant speed with robot control. Many drivers of older petrol cars may want to, and be able to, go faster. So the competitive rep in his repmobile may well be petrol or diesel fuelled for a while, unless made illegal.

In addition, they haven't resolved the philosophical, ethical and moral question of robot cars having accidents. If someone steps off the kerb in front of the car you are in, does it drive on and kill that person, or swerve and kill you. :o
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby scullion » November 19th, 2018, 1:47 am

Busybee wrote:I like the idea of an electric car but living out in the sticks it’s not really practical............not the infrastructure in place to support it. Neither is there any public bus service.

we have friends with a hybrid car. they only put petrol in it once last year, to go on a long journey. they charge it up from their pv system and it does their local journeys (50 miles round trip) with no problem. it's also big enough to carry the components of a small shed inside.
(the bus services down here are also rather lean).

an all electric tesla will go about 300 miles and they're a really nice drive - but a little expensive. i'm waiting for my premium bonds to come up with the big one.

there was a very good edition of 'costing the earth' (environmental programme on radio 4) a few weeks back, about electric cars - worth having a listen on iplayer (or its new incarnation). https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000mjy
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby uschi » November 19th, 2018, 8:25 am

Sounds lovely, but where would all the energy to feed those cars be generated???

It's one avenue to explore, but in my view more and better public transport and car sharing schemes will help more until these problems are solved.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby aero280 » November 19th, 2018, 12:44 pm

There is the current "scandal" of companies buying hybrid cars to save money on tax, congestion charges, etc. and benefit in kind (BIK) for the driver, but never using the electric.

Hybrid company cars are being returned with the charging cables unused and still in the original packaging. It's not just that the drivers don't care, there is also the fact that some people live in flats with nowhere to charge nearby. But the main reason seems to be that there is no acceptable way of calculating and claiming the use of domestic electricity on expenses when charging a company car at home. Submitting petrol receipts is easy and provides an audit trail, VAT receipts and the like.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby earthmaiden » November 19th, 2018, 1:23 pm

I thought that hybrid cars were supposed to generate battery power?
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Ratatouille » November 19th, 2018, 1:45 pm

I was interested in that article too Aero. I think the problem is thatthe recipients of these vehicles are jsu happy to have a company car and also get expenses for milage. If yje money isn;t coming out of their own pockets then for the large part to hell with the environment.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby scullion » November 19th, 2018, 4:10 pm

earthmaiden wrote:I thought that hybrid cars were supposed to generate battery power?

hybrid just means they can use two (or more) types of fuel rather than that they use an e.r.s. mechanism (developed by williams f1 just in case you think that there's nothing useful about formula 1!).
there is some reclamation of energy while driving electric cars - mainly during braking, i think, but unfortunately they haven't developed a perpetual motion engine yet!
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Busybee » November 19th, 2018, 4:25 pm

I don’t really understand how a hybrid works, my Dad has a Lexus and runs on self generated power when it sets off only calling on petrol when it gets over a certain speed. His does not plug into an electric supply.

I think it must be magic but somehow it generates enough pixie dust or whatever whilst it’s in motion to supplement the petrol engine.

Not all hybrids are like this, some plug into an electric supply.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 19th, 2018, 4:40 pm

Busybee wrote:I don’t really understand how a hybrid works, my Dad has a Lexus and runs on self generated power when it sets off only calling on petrol when it gets over a certain speed. His does not plug into an electric supply.


As far as I recall from when I was in Fleet, when the engine fires up and starts using petrol, it recharges the batteries ... just on a larger scale. I guess there will always be a battery dedicated to starting. I was used to this when I lived on my narrowboat.

The weekend man has recently exchanged his Merc slk for a Honda CRV. Apart from the fact that he hates it and is a very squeaky car, he was shocked to find it costs over £1000 to insure - this for a 71 yr old with 100% NCB .. then he found out is was a dual fuel car; petrol and LPG :shock: :shock: :shock: Not even the dealer realised. :? :rolleyes: :td:
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby aero280 » November 19th, 2018, 5:24 pm

There are all sorts of car fuel combinations.

The original hybrid cars ran on electricity for the most part, generating the electricity from the petrol engine. The economy came from allowing the engine to run at its most economical speed most of the time. Top Gear did a test of a Toyota Prius and found that with the petrol engine turned off, the car only managed to go 15 miles on electricity alone.

Modern hybrids are mainly electric with the petrol engine providing a power boost and charging, but with the recent improvement in battery technology they are expected to run on electricity for as long as possible, and they can be plugged in to charge the batteries. But the range on petrol alone, while not huge, is perfectly acceptable for a car.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby aero280 » November 19th, 2018, 5:24 pm

There are all sorts of car fuel combinations.

The original hybrid cars ran on electricity for the most part, generating the electricity from the petrol engine. The economy came from allowing the engine to run at its most economical speed most of the time. Top Gear did a test of a Toyota Prius and found that with the petrol engine turned off, the car only managed to go 15 miles on electricity alone.

Modern hybrids are mainly electric with the petrol engine providing a power boost and charging, but with the recent improvement in battery technology they are expected to run on electricity for as long as possible, and they can be plugged in to charge the batteries. But the range on petrol alone, while not huge, is perfectly acceptable for a car.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Zosherooney » November 20th, 2018, 6:34 am

Well after my beloved Ford Puma miserably failed it's MOT, we have decided not to replace it, it is not worth spending a shedload on it so will try eBay as an MOT failure. :cry: :cry:

We will try and manage with one vehicle for the winter and maybe review the situation in the Spring.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby scullion » November 20th, 2018, 8:32 am

we now manage ok with one car. it's rarely inconvenient for us.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby aero280 » November 20th, 2018, 9:01 am

We tried to live with one car, but that didn’t work. In theory we are both retired and it should be possible. But it seems that we both need a car at the same times of day.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Zosherooney » November 20th, 2018, 9:18 am

We will try and think about each others movements and see how it goes. When you think about it, my 19 year old Puma only had 59k on the clock and sat in the drive 90% of the time, it is/was an expensive luxury and with a bit of organisation we should be able to manage.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Ratatouille » November 20th, 2018, 9:33 am

It is considerably cheaper to take a taxi for occassional trips than have a car standing idle for more than 50% of the time.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby earthmaiden » November 20th, 2018, 10:07 am

Interesting reading re the hybrids. Scully's comments had me going online to read up because in the early days of hybrids I considered having one and the idea was that longer trips when fossil fuel kicked in would charge the battery for round town driving. You had to do just the right amount of each kind of driving to make it work well. At the time I was doing 35000 miles a year, mostly motorway, so it didn't seem worth it. It is good to read of the developments since then and a plug in option for the electric side. As Uschi says, no-one asks how all the extra electricity will be fuelled!

A taxi in a rural area would be very expensive and impractical for 'popping out'. People in those areas are really stuck without a car. I did without a car for 4 years, it meant a change in outlook and habits but worked well. Living in an urban area the only big issue was that this is a sprawling town designed with out of town retail parks and leisure facilities so everything needed planning. I did cycle quite a bit but the roads are that bit nastier for that now. Because my mother couldn't go out much at that time I hired a car every so often for a day.

I am looking forward to my bus pass!
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Bubbles » November 20th, 2018, 11:37 am

Sorry to hear about your Puma Zosh. I have a 19 year old Cougar - hoping for a pass in January! Our other car, (only a year younger), Mondeo Estate died when OH hit a huge pothole, a few days after Christmas; we held on to it as it runs on LPG - about 66p a litre. OH has tried to fix it, and may still bring it back to life one day? We have another 'new' Mondeo estate which is I think about 9 years old. The two Mondeos were originally his parents' from new and I have owned my Cougar for 15 years. If I did not have OH I would probably have had newer cars but he gets very attached to them. :? "
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Zosherooney » November 20th, 2018, 7:06 pm

Had to bite the bullet Bubbles, the Puma is the baby Cougar and I feel a tad sad tonight after parting with her, see chatterbox for detailed outcome. I think it was the best decision really, we are short of space at home at the moment with bricks, blocks, sand and builders stuff everywhere.

The MOT test is now a lot tougher than it was last year. I think it is geared towards getting older cars off the road. Maybe to push people towards electric, they are just very expensive ATM and don't seem to be able to travel more than 150miles before needing a re-charge.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Bubbles » November 20th, 2018, 8:16 pm

Yes I've heard MOT very stringent. Oh well will see what happens? Need a car though as no public transport in my neck of the woods and OH often away! :scared:
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby aero280 » November 20th, 2018, 10:38 pm

The MOT is a bit stricter, but there are very old cars that don't need an MOT anymore. I'm not sure that this is a good idea. It could mean that cars that have sat in barns or under a tree for years could be driven off without any safety checks.

My fingers are crossed. My car is 12 years old and has to have an MOT by the end of the month.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby scullion » November 21st, 2018, 12:52 am

Bubbles wrote:I have a 19 year old Cougar

i thought they were over 40... (snigger).
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Herbidacious » November 21st, 2018, 10:28 am

Our car sits in the driveway for more than 50% of the time, but life would be (and was, for a long time. First car bought when I was 35) a lot less easy if we had to rely on taxis, even in London. Also expensive. On occasions. it's ended up taking nearly an hour to get 4 miles, so bad is the traffic. A lot of minicabs run on meters now rather than offering flat fares. Our car is also necessary for trips to France - I really wish I did not have to rely on my husband driving us there, but I've looked into it, and that's how it is - and was for trips to my mother (again life a lot more difficult with no car whilst we are there.) We also like to go out on day trips into Kent. All the things we would have missed in Puglia without a car exclusive to use and the spontaneity it gives... etc. but this just rules out taxis, not public vehicles which one can hang onto for as long a trip as one wants, one assumes...otherwise it would not work?

The electric aspect could and one day will work - assuming they can't improve on the technology (whoever invents a small battery that can store much more energy than is currently possible should make a fortune and would revolutionize life) they mentioned a service to come and replace your battery-depleted car with a topped up one, so no need to charge and wait for charging to be complete.

But it feels like a bit of a chicken and an egg thing. For someone to invest to make it happen there would have to be demand, but no demand without infrastructure.

The thing is, the car surpassed the horse and carriage quickly because it was more convenient and faster. People are more likely to make changes (voluntarily) when there is something in it for them. The move to electricity seems more of an altruistic thing at the moment. But perhaps I underestimate society...

However, I think legislation will have to happen. And that doesn't strike me as the sort of thing a Conservative government would do...
Similarly, re autonomous cars. There is a bit of game theory in there? The prisoner's dilemma...As they say, the more people have them - ideally everyone would - the safer they are, but are you going to be one of the people who takes the risk having one now to attain this goal?

Now what would be really great is this:

http://www.solarroadways.com/Home/Index
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby aero280 » November 23rd, 2018, 8:26 pm

There's a lot of false accounting when people publish figures showing the cost of running a car.

If you need a car for any reason, it's reasonable to attribute all the standing costs to that need. Once you have done that, the cost per mile of running a car for other journeys is a lot less.

For instance, I needed a car for work. I had far too much stuff to take with me to make it viable to use public transport - workwear, survey gear, paperwork, safety equipment, etc. Not to mention that most of my work was on new developments which were not served by public transport. So I could attribute the cost of tax, insurance and depreciation to work. The cost of running the car for social, domestic and pleasure is therefore mostly fuel and a portion of tyre wear and servicing.

Almost all official figures for running a car are for new cars and include all costs. So figures of upwards of 60p/mile are quoted. But using my figures, a car bought for work, could be run on a weekend away for less than 20p/mile. This makes leisure use a much better bet than rail travel.
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby Zosherooney » January 10th, 2019, 8:28 am

For those of you still interested in getting from A to B..... Here is an update.....

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46794948
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Re: The Car's NOT the star....

Postby aero280 » January 11th, 2019, 9:16 am

The most important bit is that computers are not good at dealing with the unexpected. A car computer can learn, but it's likely that it it only learns from experience. And that will only be from driving around. It will have no experience of things away from the road which it can bring to bear when the unexpected happens.

How would a driverless car deal with oddities like a runaway horse cantering alongside it? Or something like a public disturbance where the only way out was to turn round and drive back down a one way street, as happened in Watford one night just after England won a football match and all the drunks in the pubs decided it would be a good idea to celebrate by running through the town turning cars onto their sides.
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