Good link to convert EV skeptics

General BVS related area

Should the UK have a car sales mandate to sell EVs?

Yes, all car companies must offer EVs in the UK
0
No votes
Yes, the big car companies must offer EVs in the UK
3
30%
No, but EV sales must be incentivised to reward EV producers
6
60%
No, if theres a demand then free market principles will fulfil it.
1
10%
 
Total votes: 10

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aminorjourney
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Postby aminorjourney » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:47 am

Hi Julia et all :)

I agree that the no plug, no deal campaign is a great way forward. We really should sponsor it here. Is it now set up in the UK too?

I'm still unconvinced that legislature is the best way though. I suspect the car firms would try to wriggle out of it in every single way they could. For example, what's to stop a car firm from creating a really naff EV to comply with the legislature in order to get it reversed or claim consumer disinterest?

My answer I think would be to put the cost of taxing and running a regular car right up and then offer so many incentives that EVs and PHEVs become the sensible choice. Force the car companies to make EVs by offering rewards, tax breaks an consumer demand. Dont' force them to make EVs by requiring them to.
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geekygrilli
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Postby geekygrilli » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:09 am

OK, I've changed my mind, maybe legislation isn't the best way, but it worked for a while in California. Thats why GM made the EV1, and made it a viable mode of transport, they wanted to be the best. I now get why they made it a lease scheme; if the mandate was withdrawn they could quite easily get their cars back, which they did.

Thing is, the government is in the hands of the manufactures, not the other way round.

When Carlos Ghosn (Nissan/Ren CEO) said that the new Micra wasn't going to be made in the UK. Mr Blair pooed himself - cos that meant the Sunderland plant will close down leading to huge unemployment up north, and so gave him huge amounts of cash to ensure it stayed open.

It will happen again, if manufactures are pushed to do something they will find hundreds of ways of threatening the government.

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aminorjourney
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Postby aminorjourney » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:34 am

Well, do we support the big car firms or do we go to the newer companies whose aim is pure EVs?

I.E. Do we support people like General Motors and Ford, or do we encourage more investment in companies like Tesla and Phoenix motors?
Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

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qdos
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Postby qdos » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:01 am

I think you'll find the reality is that there really isn't much in terms of Big Car Firms in the UK we've sold them all off.

What survives here is the niche market vehicles which often lead the world and this is probably what we should concentrate on.

Name some British Car companies and you'll see what I mean.

Morgan, Marcos, Bristol, Westfield, Caterham, Noble, Aerial, Ultima. Most folk haven't even heard of these companies.

See what I mean it's a real struggle to name any BRITISH car manufacturers as they get bought up by global and then moved out of the country. TVR for example and there's Lotus who still manage to hang on in there by the skin of their teeth but they have been owned by everyone out there, form Bugatti to Kia !

Now Electric cars are definitely a niche market at the moment so surely this is where Britain has a great track record of success and I think this is what should be encouraged

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British EV companies

Postby Julia Pigworthy » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:07 pm

I think we have some potential companies in Britain who could become big players in the grand scheme of things. We have a lot of expertise milk-float-wise and they have evolved by taking advantage of new technologies to make motorway capable TRUCKS (eg Smith Electric Vehicles), Tesla will have homegrown competition in the form of companies like Lightning, and with the Th!nk and Smart EVs on the way it must only be a matter of time before the big car companies realise they are missing out on a potential piece of the EV pie, a pice they could easily compete on due to their economy of scale manufacturing capabilities.
Mandates dont force car companies to make a lam EV to put people off, cos if all the big companies are under the same mandate they will each want their EV to be the one that people drive. Which is why GM/Toyota et al made such cool ones, they didnt want to let their competitors beat them to the action. If it was just GM mandated to make EVs then they would certainly have produced a lame-ass EV to put people off the idea altogether, but the thtreat of being out-competed in car sales, EV or otherwise, is a very good motivator.
I think higher taxes for polluting cars helps. A mandate that all car companies over a certain level of turnover (eg billions) are obligated to offer FOR SALE at least one type of zero emission motorway-capable vehicle (of any fuel-type so long as its zero emission) or be prevented from trading on our island would mean that, at the very least, car companies would be forced to offer their existing late-nineties/turn of the century EVs like the Toyota Rav4 EV, Ford Ranger EV and an EV1-a-like from GM. If they were forced to fulfil purchase orders at a reasonable mark-up price from production costs I dont see how this hurts them (other than to revolutionise the way we fuel our cars and to free drivers from excessive maintenance and fuel costs, with the option of our fuel being 100% generated fvrom clean renewables).
The mandate may hurt car companies, but it forces them to build environmentally responsible products, and all companies shoul dbe subject to that requirement anyway. The money made by petrol car companies should not protect them from any obligations to offer green alrternatives.
Saw the film. You know which one. Now I'm strangely at odds with my own car..

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aminorjourney
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Postby aminorjourney » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:17 pm

Hmm. I think we may be reaching an impasse here. How would you suggest we go about preventing the kind of backlash that occurred in the states? I do agree that we need to do something to encourage car companies to make EVs but I am wary of forcing them to make EVs in case they either fight it in courts (and let's be honest, the car companies have billions of pounds from big oil to help them) or produce a sub-standard vehicle.

Surely indirect legislature and creating the right economic incentives would be more likely swallowed by the car companies? Of course, the alternative would be to scare the competitors by having a really good electric car which was popular and snapped at the heels of the regular cars.

I believe it was the threat of a hybrid from the states in the 90s which prompted Honda and Toyota to work so hard on their hybrids. The funny thing was the American companies dropped their Hybrids before they reached production so it's now the US playing catchup!

Nikki :)
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Julia Pigworthy
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Large multi-passenger EVs

Postby Julia Pigworthy » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:20 pm

Maybe we can buy electric vans from Smith Electrics and kit them out with seats and seatbelts, or just make a sixties-style love-mobile with a settee and coffee table in the back for passengers lol!
Seriously though if they can make a large transit van-sized EV or lorry-sized EV that can carry x many tonnes of payload, why not use the same technology to increase speed, decrease the mass to be able to carry 5 person and just have a massive transit van-sized saloon EV? Isnt big cars what we really want from EVs ie no comrpomise on comfort or carrying capacity? SMiths ask their EV van buyers not to use it for private driving - maybe the government is applying unseen pressure to prevent them decimating the reveunes they get from petrol duty and road tax?

Question: why cant we make road tax chargeable by the mile without expensive and intrusivey Orwellian tracker technology by simply multiplying a base rate (eg £10) by each 1000 miles registered on the mileometer since the previous MOT year multiplied by the engine size. For example a 1.8Ltr engine doing 10,000 miles in a year would pay £180 towards upkeep of roads. Mrs Scroggins doing 5k miles in a 1.1Litre engine pays only £55. Mr Petrolhead doing 20k miles in a 4 Ltr 4x4 pays £800. Mrs HippyChick doing 10k miles in a Zero Emmision EV pays no tax, at least until large numbers of EVs start using the roads, at which point they could be rated as being equivalent to a notionally low figure, say a 0.1 Ltr engine, thus paying £1 for every 1,000 miles driven. By adding it to the MOT bill the tax disc could be phased out and replaced by an insurance disc to discourage all those uninsured drivers.

Finally end penalty points criminalising drivers who exceed the speed limit on occasion in safe conditions (even though I have never had a ticket I can imagine how easy it is to be caught out) and introduce yellow card/red card warnings by human police officers for offences like tailgating, blatant queue-jumping and general aggressiveness towards other drivers.

Got carried away hehe.
Saw the film. You know which one. Now I'm strangely at odds with my own car..

Julia Pigworthy
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Back on topic

Postby Julia Pigworthy » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:57 pm

Clearly there are good arguments in favour of and against mandated EVs. But to address the concern about motor car companies fighting production of EVs following any potential mandate.. its worth considering that the Californian mandate did indeed create a fight, with the petrol car industry fighting to prevent their available vehicles from having to include ZEVs.
Without the mandate the fight ended and so did the availability of ZEVs to the public, accompanied by the forced repossession and elimination of all their existing EVs on lease prised from the hands of willing buyers denied the option to own an EV that didnt petrol or high maintenance and could be fuelled at home from free solar/winfd power.
Car companies fear what EVs mean for their short-term profits, and those of their friends in the oil cartels who protect a tranportation system solely reliant upon the fuel they want to sell us. I hope the EV startup companies worldwide take Ford, General Motors, Toyota and co to the cleaners.

I remember early on in the nineties Boots chemist scanned my negatives for an online pay-per-view service, and when I asked them if they could let me buy a CD with the digital images for me to take home their staff said they couldnt "cos then customers could print and send as many copies as they wanted at home". Affordable digital cameras came out soon after and the rest is history.
EVs would do deprive the petrol and car-servicing industries of many of their golden geese currently parked in all our driveways.
Saw the film. You know which one. Now I'm strangely at odds with my own car..

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qdos
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Postby qdos » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:25 pm

Charging per mile will kill off the advantage EVs have. Petrol is taxed at 80% that's why it's so crippling to us Joe Public out here who don't own company cars. Now if you want to mandate something that's where I'd make changes.

Company car drivers will say they pay lots of tax but the truth of the matter is that very very few of them would do without their perk which gets fixed, fuelled and replaced at no cost to them at the drop of a hat. For those of you who are in a company with company car drivers just go on a Friday at the end of the working day go to the local petrol station and watch all the company car drivers fill them up for the weekend, then visit the petrol station again on Monday and see the same drivers filling up yet again. You'll soon see what I mean. Ditto listen to the sales guys brag about the Sat Navs or the 0 to 60 figures They really couldn't care less about the mpgs. (Trust me, the last company car I had was a BMW 525 and now look at me, since I've no longer got a company car I'm driving smaller and smaller cars!)

Basically Joe Public is desperate to find ways of saving on their fuel bill look at how popular diesel cars became till the tax went up on them. Likewise the small cars such as the Citroen C1 and Pugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo. They have done extremely well for a new car in just 18 months. Plus of course the superb example of the Gwizz in London, over 1000 of them on the roads now and that's just in the London area.

What we need to do is to inform Joe Public about what is available now. The new magazine and the Website the BVS now has is doing a great job of changing how people view us. People are now beginning to listen and take us more seriously. With all due respect and this is not intended to slight any of us in the BVS or any other group, but, before we were viewed as being a bunch of geeky cardigans driving clapped out bangers with milk float motors in them. Of course the Prius has also made a massive contribution to giving EVs respect and this is the kind of thing we need to encourage by getting out there and demanding when we go and look for a new car.

If we voice our preferences then we will get the car manufacturer's building EVs voluntarily and sooner or later there will be a stampede to build them if we keep telling the suppliers that this is what we want. There's a tail that needs to be wagged and I say it's long over due that we the consumer wag it not the marketing execs.

Fortunately there's also a number of folk here who are not afraid to get on and build the vehicles they want since the big boys can't be bothered to. It's the likes of these pioneers who will become tomorrow's Caterhams, Westfields and perhaps even Lotuses. That's exactly where these companies started and its where us Brits have a superb heritage and reputation. It wasn't driven by legislation just the desire to build something which the pioneers like Colin Chapman, Jem Marsh and Trevor Wilkinson and not least of all Messrs Rolls and Royce felt they could do better. Long may it continue.

Right, I need to put down this flag and get back to building my own EV :wink: One day soon maybe you might buy one off me :D

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Postby GreenerMachine » Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:27 pm

"Fortunately there's also a number of folk here who are not afraid to get on and build the vehicles they want since the big boys can't be bothered to. It's the likes of these pioneers who will become tomorrow's Caterhams, Westfields and perhaps even Lotuses. That's exactly where these companies started and its where us Brits have a superb heritage and reputation. It wasn't driven by legislation just the desire to build something which the pioneers like Colin Chapman, Jem Marsh and Trevor Wilkinson and not least of all Messrs Rolls and Royce felt they could do better. Long may it continue. "

So very true. Shame it looks like those bright enough to realise this are living in the US and not in Europe though.


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