Is The Era Of The Petrol-Head Drawing To A Close?

blessmycottonsocks

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#1
... or diesel-head now that Honda will cease production of their diesel cars in Swindon from 2022.

Car sales have been dropping steadily, with factors such as increased taxation on diesel and the Brexit factor:

https://www.theguardian.com/busines...brexit-confidence-stock-markets-business-live

As a bloke who loves driving (last two cars have been Jeeps), who watches Formula 1* and who goes on supercar driving days, I cannot see myself being enticed by the joys of electric or even driverless cars.

But, as a middle aged guy, I guess my time is passing too (although my son's a total petrol-head too and loves his Harley-Davidson).

Will our children's children only get to see an internal combustion engine in a museum?

* with curious synchronicity, the very second I typed Formula 1, I heard "Formula 1" on the TV news.
 
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James_H

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#2
One would hope so, though I expect that like steam engines (still going strong in places like Romania, btw) or prop-driven fighter planes, they will find a niche, eg in places like museums and motor shows.

That said, I haven't seen a car made past about 1980 that wasn't completely charmless.
 

Krepostnoi

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#3
I cannot see myself being enticed by the joys of electric or even driverless cars.
Have you ever driven an electric car? I was in a car club that had a Chevy Volt, and the torque on that thing was awesome. I, er, imagine it would be quite easy to find oneself well over the 30mph limit very quickly... :O In relative silence, too. Much more entertaining than similar size ICE commuter vehicles, I thought.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#4
Have you ever driven an electric car? I was in a car club that had a Chevy Volt, and the torque on that thing was awesome. I, er, imagine it would be quite easy to find oneself well over the 30mph limit very quickly... :O In relative silence, too. Much more entertaining than similar size ICE commuter vehicles, I thought.
I haven't no. Did get overtaken by a Tesla recently, which felt quite weird. He zoomed past me effortlessly and almost silently.
Some of the buses here in Reading are electric hybrids and the lack of engine noise strikes me as potentially dangerous. Will the number of RTAs with pedestrians increase, when you can't hear the car or bus sneaking up on you?
 

James_H

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#5
Some of the buses here in Reading are electric hybrids and the lack of engine noise strikes me as potentially dangerous. Will the number of RTAs with pedestrians increase, when you can't hear the car or bus sneaking up on you?
this is a real issue with 'e-bikes' (electric mopeds) in mainland China. They are everywhere and you can't hear them at all. I've heard speakers with white noise being proposed as a solution, which would certainly make the urban experience eerier.
 

RaM

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#7
Likely why they want road pricing as they wont want to give up all that fuel tax
and it will be difficult to stop people changing form non controlled chargers,
not that I care what makes it go just as long as it does and I can afford it.
 

INT21

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#9
It will soon be discovered that they have made a huge error.

The infrastructure for charging these cars will not be adequate.

Right now there is no real problem as the cars are comparatively rare.

But imagine the number of cars that visit the average fuel station suddenly being electric. And needing half an hour to charge each one. And possibly a power cut at the service station. All queued up and nowhere to go.

No, it aint going to happen. At least not in the form that the 'dream' is being sold to us.

But petrol heads will be a dying breed.

I won't miss them.

INT21.
 
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CarlosTheDJ

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#10
There are 20 years to build the infrastructure and further develop more efficient batteries.

It wouldn't surprise me if charge points appear pretty much anywhere you can park - at home, car parks, on-street bays...probably all owned by the same companies that sell us fuel now.

Petrol stations will quietly fade away as less and less people use them, you won't turn up at one to charge your car....unless super-fast charging becomes a reality or some sort of removable battery appears. Then filling stations become battery exchange points.

The real concern is how we generate all this power without burning fossil fuel in the first place. Although there are an encouraging number of wind farms arriving at last.
 

James_H

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#11
Actually Hong Kong already has a lot of Tesla drivers. It's a special case because it is a place which is a) small, so easy to fit enough charge points in and b) full of rich people.
 

INT21

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#12
There are 20 years to build the infrastructure and further develop more efficient batteries.

It wouldn't surprise me if charge points appear pretty much anywhere you can park - at home, car parks, on-street bays...probably all owned by the same companies that sell us fuel now.

.
The vandals and thieves are going to love that.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#13
With somewhere approaching 40 million vehicles in the UK, most of which are private cars, and currently around only 130,000 electric vehicles, has anyone conducted a detailed feasibility study into the increase in electrical demand that phasing out the 99.7% of internal combustion engines will entail?
One of the planned new nuclear power stations seems to have gone titsup and I doubt that offshore wind farms will generate sufficient power to meet the massive increase in demand.
 

EnolaGaia

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#14
With somewhere approaching 40 million vehicles in the UK, most of which are private cars, and currently around only 130,000 electric vehicles, has anyone conducted a detailed feasibility study into the increase in electrical demand that phasing out the 99.7% of internal combustion engines will entail? ...
Such forward-looking assessments of future power grid demands have been underway for over a decade already. The results are surprisingly mixed.

There's been a proportional drop in both per capita and overall electricity demand worldwide over the last several years - something most folks don't realize.

The electric power industry was initially convinced that EV's were going to be their 'next big thing' as far as driving growth and profits.

This may not be the case. This 2018 article:

https://energypost.eu/the-impact-of-electric-vehicles-on-electricity-demand/

... summarizes a study that concluded the increases in electricity demand from proliferating EV's really wouldn't represent a massive increase in overall power demand. The reason is that mass power demands are driven by other power uses, and ongoing efficiency improvements in those other use categories may well offset the obvious boost in power demands for the EV's.

This is still a relatively minority opinion, but it's not one that's 'out there on the lunatic fringe'.

(NOTE: I focused on this report not because I'm promoting it, but rather because it's an interesting and well-reasoned counterbalance to prevailing face-value assumptions.)
 

Krepostnoi

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#16

maximus otter

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#17
We are still discovering vast oil and gas fields.

Current world oil supplies are estimated at - IIRC - 200 years and rising.

There are hundreds of millions of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles in the world.

A large and growing proportion of the world's population shares my opinion that man-made climate change is bollocks.

Electric cars are hideously expensive, and the charging infrastructure simply doesn't exist.

If we go electric, we become a wholly-owned subsidiary of China, the totalitarian state on whose territory many of the elements and minerals for "unicorn power" are found.

I don't doubt that the goobermunt will continue to make life unpleasant for car owners via taxes and restrictions. The trouble is, after past decades of the same, how will we notice any difference?

maximus "One small car in the family; not a petrolhead" otter
 

Xanatic*

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#20
My issue is that once you could take things apart and learn how they work. Good for the kids. These days you just see some wires and a microchip. It's sad cars will be going the same way.
 

INT21

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#22
The dead batteries will hopefully be recycled. This will have to happen as the materials they are (currently) made from become harder to find.

I watched an article on a Tesla that is used as a test bed for investigating this kind of thing,

It had done 350,000 miles. On the original battery. The battery has depleted by 16%.

So this car, which has a good range to start with, has only lost about 30 miles of range over the test period.

Not bad really. Agreed the Tesla is an expensive car.

But the average person will take many years to get to 350,000 miles. probably never reach it. So you could say the battery is for life.


So Maximus otter thinks that the idea of oil lasting another 200 years is a good thing. What happens after that ?

But, like myself, he'll be dead by then. So he probably thinks 'who care's'. Strange as it may seem, A lot of us do.

And he thinks man made global warming is a fraud. Maybe he's right; probably not. Again, he will be composting a field by then.

This is not an 'ad hominem' attack, before folk ride to his defense, just my opinion; and I have been known to be wrong.

You will all have noticed that many governments are forcing the demise of the internal combustion engine. I predict that this will fail as a strategy. Stopping them going into cities etc.

And the observation that electricity usage is reducing is largely irelevent as the power companies will, as always, just raise the cost to the consumer. So it becomes pointless trying to use less power as you are going to have to pay more for it anyway. Your monthly outlay will always go up.

Many will remember that, a few year back, the big energy suppliers stopped applying 'standing charges' in a bid to get customers. Then they made a big fuss about keeping the cost per KWh down while at the same time re-introducing the standing charge.

It now cost me about 60 Pence per day just to have the meters.

Something similar will be applied with regard to electric cars. No free lunch here folks.

Keep that small family car, otter, it is probably the best bet.

INT21

p.s. I also run one small family car.
 

INT21

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#23
My issue is that once you could take things apart and learn how they work. Good for the kids. These days you just see some wires and a microchip. It's sad cars will be going the same way.
I first noticed this back in the seventies when auto part manufacturers began rolling-over the joints on mechanical fuel pumps. It meant you could no longer open the faulty pumps and replace the valves; often the cause of the problem. You had to replace the whole pump.

INT21
 

Xanatic*

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#24
That is more about planned obsolence. I don't think car mechanics do much repair today, just replacing broken parts.
 
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#25
We are still discovering vast oil and gas fields.

Current world oil supplies are estimated at - IIRC - 200 years and rising.
So what? There are billions of tons of coal still to be dug up and supplies would last at least 200 years. Are you proposing that the CO2 emissions, fly ash, mercury and other pollution have no effect?

There are hundreds of millions of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles in the world.
So what? There were hundreds of millions of horses in the world when we turned to IC engines and thousands of road going steam locos.

TA large and growing proportion of the world's population shares my opinion that man-made climate change is bollocks.
Citation need because frankly, you're pulling that out of your rectal orifice

The number of people observing Climate Change and seeing it as human-caused is growing. One example from the USA
More Americans and most Republicans now believe in climate change

Electric cars are hideously expensive, and the charging infrastructure simply doesn't exist.
Exactly the same complaint could be made about petrol vehicles back in the 1910s through to 1930. Exactly the same complaint could be made about petrol stations back then (Petrol was often bought from you neighbourhood pharmacist.

If we go electric, we become a wholly-owned subsidiary of China, the totalitarian state on whose territory many of the elements and minerals for "unicorn power" are found.
Jingoist scare tactics, and utterly foolish. Japan and South Korea are among the biggest producers of batteries, and the material is sourced, to a large extent from Africa with a growing proportion likely to be coming from South America

I don't doubt that the goobermunt will continue to make life unpleasant for car owners via taxes and restrictions. The trouble is, after past decades of the same, how will we notice any difference?
Meaningless, nothing whatsoever to do with electric vehicles

maximus "One small car in the family; not a petrolhead" otter
Correction, "maximus otter, stick in the mud"
 

INT21

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#26
From experience I would suggest that many car mechanics do an abysmal job. And charge an exorbitant sum of money for doing it.

I have very rarely taken one of my cars to a garage for repair. One just can't trust them.
 

INT21

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#27
With somewhere approaching 40 million vehicles in the UK, most of which are private cars, and currently around only 130,000 electric vehicles, has anyone conducted a detailed feasibility study into the increase in electrical demand that phasing out the 99.7% of internal combustion engines will entail?
One of the planned new nuclear power stations seems to have gone titsup and I doubt that offshore wind farms will generate sufficient power to meet the massive increase in demand.

It is well known that the National Grid control centre (top secret location) Watches the power consumption pretty closely so that it can bring the generators on line at a moments notice when everyone gets up in the morning and switches on the kettles etc. And the same when they return in the evening.
Also when popular tv programs finish as the viewers tend to do the same.

But can you imagine the demand in the evening when everyone wants to charge his/her car at the same time.

The sub-stations and the local power infrastructure of most areas will not be designed for the extra load.

This will possibly mean huge re-cabling schemes to allow for the extra current drawn.

Apparently Americas grid is already creaking under the strain. Our won't be all that far behind.

And who is going to pay for all this ?

Sorry, no prize for that one.

INT21.
 

Peripart

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#29
... I haven't seen a car made past about 1980 that wasn't completely charmless.
I know where you're coming from, but I respectfully disagree. for instance, I've owned a couple of 80s cars - MK1 golf GTi and early shape MR2 - which were and, to me, still are pretty cool. There's plenty of yet later stuff that would classify as quirky or charming, too, but I would agree that there's also a huge lot of identikit blandness these days.

Well, it will be illegal to sell combustion engines in new cars in twenty years time so...
Is that the case, or is it just that it'll be exclusively combustion-engined cars which won't be sold after that? Thus leaving some scope for hybrids as well as other types of power.
 
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INT21

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#30
Bearing in mind that most cars belonging to petrol-heads (and more so Diesel aficionados) presently provide the government with a lot of it's tax money from fuel tax and road tax, where is the replacement for this 'nice little earner' going to come from ?

INT21.
 
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