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« Tyndall Centre gives up on science | Main | Batting back at Beenstock »
Wednesday
Feb062013

Burning for you

The Scottish Bureaucracy has decided to spend £2.6 million on installing recharging points for electric (i.e. coal-powered) cars.

Reports on the number of electric cars in Scotland vary, with one estimate putting the number at 60.

Each charge takes an hour.

I'm sure readers are capable of doing their own mathematics. Even without crunching the numbers it is fairly plain that the SNP is burning your money for PR purposes. There is no scheme too idiotic for these people.

The relevant names are Transport Minister Keith Brown and Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse.

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Reader Comments (36)

And the profligates in the SNP have already spent this much:

"Over the past two years, the Scottish Government has invested over £8 million in electric vehicles and infrastructure, enabling Scotland's public services to purchase around 270 low carbon vehicles (LCVs)."

Could someone explain why i still live in a country with such ludicrous, appalling wasteful governments?

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Talking of burning our money: The Endurance wind turbine (you know, the Canadian type which fell over in Devon) costs a staggering £75,000 per unit of capacity needed to power a single kettle. In order to pay this huge capital outlay, we (electricity consumers) have to pay a subsidy which is about 6 times the value of the electricity produced.

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

For those of us in the rest of the United Kingdom, I wonder if someone could tell us what Scottish newspapers such as the Glasgow Herald, the Scotsman etc. (I'm afraid I can't remember the titles of any other Scottish papers) make of all this? Are they attacking the Scottish government's wastefulness, do they support it, or do they largely ignore it?

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

ROY @1009

The latter.

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered Commenterpatrick healy

Same as the MSM down in England, Roy. They're all in on it for their own reasons. I'm constantly shamed by the behaviour of the Scotland I left behind.

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

"Each charge takes an hour." It will be interesting to see how rechargeable batteries perform in the Scottish weather.

In winter not only will they take longer to charge, the potential distance will be much reduced and that assumes you can start it in the first place. Cold climates and electric cars do not mix well.

That is over and above the cost of electric cars!

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

@Roy 10:09
There are "Scottish" versions of the UK Titles (Sun, Express etc.) The Daily Record which is the equivalent of the Mirror


For Scottish regional press (if you're interested) the Dundee Courier (used to be my local and the printed version was very traditional in that the small ads were on the front page):
http://www.thecourier.co.uk/?oo=0
The (Aberdeen) Press and Journal)
http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/?oo=0
and not forgetting The West Highland Free Press
http://www.whfp.com/

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The answer is very simple; check out the directors of the renewables' subsidiaries in Scotland and their family connections to MSPs.

Feb 6, 2013 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

If they installed the chargers at strip clubs, electric car sales would soar.

"Honey, just popping put to get the car charged up"

I bet the Sultan of Gore charged his car at masseuse parlor on a regular basis.

Feb 6, 2013 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob

What [do] Scottish newspapers such as the Glasgow Herald, the Scotsman etc . . . make of all this?

Though there are, as noted above, Scottish editions of The Sun (which I don't follow) and The Telegraph, there isn't really a Scottish "national" press: The Herald focusses on Glasgow, The Scotsman on Edinburgh. Aberdeen's Press and Journal is recognised as the local voice of the oil industry and typically "lends an ear" to the renewables sector. The Scottish Daily Record is even more appalling than The Sun (which takes some doing). I can't usefully comment on the likes of the Scottish Daily Mail.

The Scotsman generally supports the SNP while The Herald is more circumspect. No Scottish paper has ever attempted a serious analysis of the "renewables" strategy beyond from time to time calling it "ambitious".

The Scotsman has for years gushingly recycled endless developer press releases about how many gazillion "homes" this or that scheme can power and Scottish "Government" announcements about R&D and pilot projects for wave, tidal, you-name-it devices that will power two TVs and a chip shop on an uninhabited Hebridean island at a cost of £83.736 million. The Herald has the odd piece asking thoughtful questions, particularly, for obvious reasons, from its business writers.

As everywhere else, environmental correspondents do not correspond about environmental issues. In ten years of following the local press, I have encountered only one journalist (now a freelance) willing to acknowledge that there are significant technical issues associated with wind power and none eager to understand them. The myth that wind power can displace nuclear generation goes unchallenged.

The debate in the letters columns is pretty even-handed and statements from campaigning and objectors' groups are noted. There are regular, well-informed letters from critics of the renewables policy. Scotsman correspondent Gerald Warner is from time to time a devastating critic but sui generis.

I can't say much about the Press and Journal as it is now behind a paywall but it does report on local objectors groups as well as on the activities of the renewables sector.

In short, the Scottish regional press is about as poorly informed on the wind power debate as the UK national press is on, say, the European Union.

Feb 6, 2013 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

No problem. During the next ice age, you'll be able to use those charging stations to power your engine block heaters.

Feb 6, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBob Tisdale

If I had an EV in Scotland, I think I'd want a petrol-fired heater in it...

Feb 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

DaveB

"two TVs and a chip shop"

Two TV's or a chip shop. And you'd probably have a long wait for the chips.

Feb 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

It's been clear for many years that the instigator of most of the wasteful spending on this and the many other numerous examples of wasteful spending is Alex Salmond. There seems to be no end to this mans hubris. Not only is he economically iliterate but clearly also scientifically iliterate too (according to him the Maldives are sinking because of AGW).

I think the best we can hope for is that he's resoundingly defeated in a vote on independence and thereafter fed to the wolves by his own party.

Feb 6, 2013 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnB

It always amazes me that no-one seriously hammers home the point that electric cars are not an efficient use of energy and that — a bit like wind farms — they almost certainly increase rather decrease CO2 emissions.
When I have tried when the occasion arises to do so, I have found it takes slightly less than a minute to convince even the hardest-hearted die hard warmist that he is being conned.
Accepting the argument that if Eck the Fish ever gets to the stage where he can guarantee that all his electricity is coming from his "renewable sources", then and only then might electric cars have a future though personally I have serious reservations. In the meantime the only way electric cars can make any sense is if you are only allowed to charge them to the extent that the power could be coming from renewables, ie when the wind is blowing. Until then, as the Bishop rightly says, electric cars=coal-powered cars.

Feb 6, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

From the BBC article :

"Ian Reeves dreams of the day he will be able to drive the family car from his home in Glasgow to Aberdeen.

The trip is less than 150 miles but poses a huge challenge for the Southern General doctor.

That's because he is one of only a handful of electric vehicle (EV) owners in Scotland.

His year-old Nissan Leaf can reach speeds of up to 90 miles an hour, but a full charge will carry him less than 100 miles."

Well buy a bloody normal car then you moron...

Feb 6, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Has anyone ever happened across any reliable estimates of the amount of carbon emitted in the course of making and scrapping cars?

One of my cars is 40 years old. Although the mileage is not great - it's an automatic with an oversized, understressed V8 - I have always figured it's greener to keep the old one going than to throw it away and have another one manufactured. In fact, over 40 years it would have been more than one; at least three, I would think, given that the longevity of 1970s cars designed in the 1960s was not all that great.

I've heard it asserted that this is indeed so, but I've never seen any credible numbers - has anyone else?

Feb 6, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Ooops. Gerald Warner is, of course, a columnist for The Scotsman, not a correspondent. Apologies, esp to Our Gerald.

Feb 6, 2013 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

One of my cars is 40 years old. Although the mileage is not great - it's an automatic with an oversized, understressed V8 - I have always figured it's greener to keep the old one going than to throw it away and have another one manufactured. In fact, over 40 years it would have been more than one; at least three, I would think, given that the longevity of 1970s cars designed in the 1960s was not all that great.

I've heard it asserted that this is indeed so, but I've never seen any credible numbers - has anyone else?
Feb 6, 2013 at 12:24 PM Justice4Rinka

I have never seen the figures for the energy consumed in manufacturing and installing a wind turbine. Is this available anywhere?

______________________________________________________________

A regret of my life is that around 1989, on a business trip, I saw a 1960 Coupe de Ville in reasonable shape parked in a steet near San Jose, with "$4500 OBO" in the windscreen.

I could have gone to the nearest bank and, with the plastic in my pocket, drawn forty $100 bills, done the deal, driven it to Oakland, had it put in a container to arrive in Southampton three weeks later. But I was late for some trivial meeting. Those lost opportunities...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/77/CoupeDeVille-1960.jpg

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:03 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

@ Martin

It would have been around then that I saw a Ferrari 328 GTB, one of the non-rusting GRP ones, for sale for £11,000. Couldn't have got the insurance at that age but what a wasted opportunity, they're about three times that now and 25 years older!

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

We've got one of those charging points in a car park here in the People's Republic of Cambridge..
Installed in 2010, apparently it was used three times in its first year (no information on usage since)...
It cost £12000 - so I make that £4000 per charge...

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

From the Annals of Iffy Science: "Advice to substitute vegetable oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids ... for animal fats rich in saturated fatty acids (SFAs) has been a cornerstone of worldwide dietary guidelines for the past half century.........

However, there is currently no clinical trial evidence indicating that replacing SFAs with n-6 LA [linoleic acid] ... lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease or death."

Wot, change the world's diet without any evidence? Thank God nothing else like that ever happens.

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

I'd like to thank everyone who responded to my question about the Scottish press, particularly SandyS and DaveB.

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Does anyone remember the Sinclair C5 electric "car"?

Sinclair C5
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_C5

If the Scottish Parliament must spend money on electric cars why doesn't it get some second-hand Sinclair C5s? Alex Salmond etc. might look a bit ridiculous driving around in them but it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Alex Salmond etc. might look a bit ridiculous driving around in them but it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

Especially if he was wearing his Burns tartan kilt.

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Does anyone remember the Sinclair C5 electric "car"?

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:21 PM Roy

Yes.

It was announced on TV with an interview with the Sinclair marketing manager somewhere in central London. The interviewer quite reasonably asked "has it ever been driven in traffic? Would you drive it in traffic?". (It was pretty obvious no-one ever had risked their lives riding it, virtually invisible, in traffic.)

The hapless marketing manager gamely got in and went pedalling off in the London traffic. I think everyone was quite surprised when he returned alive five minutes later.


It was a bit of a tragedy for Merthyr Tydfil - the otherwise to-be-closed Hoover factory (about the last factory in the town) was set up to make the motors for the C5 "electric car", projected to be sold by the thousand.

Feb 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Phil Oakey of the Human League used to get around his mansion in a C5. I don't suppose he still has either.

Feb 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Roy @ Feb 6, 2013 at 1:21 PM

"Alex Salmond etc. might look a bit ridiculous driving around in them but it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good."


Unless they're paid to have a wind-subsidy farm on their land.

Feb 6, 2013 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Shall we have a sweepstake for the first one to see a public EV charging point actually being used?

I know of two - one in Red Lion Square WC1 and one outside the Royal Institution in Albermarle Street. But I've never seen either connected to a car.

Feb 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Roy
I remember the C5 only too well, I actually sqw one being driven on the Queens Highway, the driver looked terrified.

As a supplementary do these charging points charge up electric bicycles? Their range is about 15 miles max, so if you don't want to pedal or have a hilly journey then supplementary charging might be required. At £1K minmum for one seems an awfully expensive eco option to me.

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

On the scottie news, there was a clip of a "high performance" EV going round the Knock Hill race track - at all of 30 mph.

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterHTTS

CNN money is just running an article on the (I suppose) state of the art Tesla Model S ... http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/02/06/tesla-road-trip/

Unfortunately, I cannot figure out "how far can you go ..."

Feb 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterducdorleans

ducdorleans @ Feb 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM
"Unfortunately, I cannot figure out "how far can you go ..." "

Not as far as Tesla would have you believe...........

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/02/24/tesla-libel-suit-against-top-gear-fails-again/

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

I noticed a couple of weeks ago that two of these points had appeared in the car park behind the Common Green in Strathaven (South Lanarkshire).

I am trying to find out who put them there, although I suspect it was South Lanarkshire Council. Has anybody seen them anywhere else in the Republic?

@DaveB - although the Scotsman does indeed support all this green nonsense, I think that's despite the SNP rather than because of it.

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterdak

Clown and Nuthouse would seem more appropriate

Feb 6, 2013 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterOld grumpy

A one hour charge on Friday night at Tesco, does the 100 mile range include heating, headlights, radio etc, what about speed.

Feb 6, 2013 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

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