EV buzz isn’t charging me up

Peter Roberts: I can’t remember what I was doing at the time but I remember disbelief when I heard.

COLUMN

I would like to start a conversation relating to the recent article regarding the EV (electric vehicle) charging station. I don’t want to criticise, as I have no alternative to offer at this time, but I was really shocked to read that the expected time to charge is 50 minutes! Does that really give the security that the article talked about? All I can see is queues and frustration.

There is a lot going on here that’s not being said. Firstly, as a mechanical engineering person, I don’t think EVs are the way to go. Sure on an individual basis it is a lot more efficient use of energy than oil — no waste heat or emissions — but on a large scale? There is still a lot of development to do.

I believe that a Prius, for example, has the same carbon footprint over its life as a Humvee. That includes the recycling of batteries and the whole end-of-life thing of the EV. Consider that in the light of the fuel that a Humvee uses, 4 to 6 miles per US gallon.

It would be my preference to push for on-board-generated hydrogen as a replacement, which still needs development also . . . but we will never see this in the mainstream anyway, as governments and big corporations cannot make money on it. An option would be offshore generation of hydrogen, powered by wind or sea motion, but hydrogen is really hard to transport and keep contained. Under pressure it can migrate through steel.

So, with the announcement from Europe that they are stopping production of gas-powered cars soon, where does that leave us?

If we go with electric, where is the electricity going to come from to do the charging? Currently in New Zealand we have mostly renewable electricity. To my knowledge there is only Huntly, Otahuhu and New Plymouth power stations that burn fossil fuels, the rest are hydro, geothermal and wind, but the greenies won’t accept any more hydro stations and there is huge resistance to windfarms by those who live near them.

From where I see it, there is an equal to the oil industry in the greedy group out there forcing us down the EV path by getting in now and establishing these networks, and ceasing production of gas vehicles. That is the power companies — and the worst part is their hidden agenda, nuclear power stations.

Please, let’s get this out in the open as that is the last thing we want in New Zealand. The full effects of the Fukushima disaster are being hidden from us, but it is still spewing radiation into the ocean unabated and they do not know how to stop it.

All we are doing by pursuing electric vehicles is changing from one group of controlling monopolies to another. I believe it has started already, as I have heard young people saying nuclear power is a safe choice because they are being told that at school. This is, of course, part of these corporates’ plans — and of course they are not being told the full story in the schools.

There is still no way to dispose of the waste except store it for somebody to deal with later, which is obviously not good, as well as the other dangers from earthquakes and radiation leaks etc.

If we don’t do something, the tipping point will be reached before we know it and it will be all over. There will be nowhere to hide.

I would like to start a conversation relating to the recent article regarding the EV (electric vehicle) charging station. I don’t want to criticise, as I have no alternative to offer at this time, but I was really shocked to read that the expected time to charge is 50 minutes! Does that really give the security that the article talked about? All I can see is queues and frustration.

There is a lot going on here that’s not being said. Firstly, as a mechanical engineering person, I don’t think EVs are the way to go. Sure on an individual basis it is a lot more efficient use of energy than oil — no waste heat or emissions — but on a large scale? There is still a lot of development to do.

I believe that a Prius, for example, has the same carbon footprint over its life as a Humvee. That includes the recycling of batteries and the whole end-of-life thing of the EV. Consider that in the light of the fuel that a Humvee uses, 4 to 6 miles per US gallon.

It would be my preference to push for on-board-generated hydrogen as a replacement, which still needs development also . . . but we will never see this in the mainstream anyway, as governments and big corporations cannot make money on it. An option would be offshore generation of hydrogen, powered by wind or sea motion, but hydrogen is really hard to transport and keep contained. Under pressure it can migrate through steel.

So, with the announcement from Europe that they are stopping production of gas-powered cars soon, where does that leave us?

If we go with electric, where is the electricity going to come from to do the charging? Currently in New Zealand we have mostly renewable electricity. To my knowledge there is only Huntly, Otahuhu and New Plymouth power stations that burn fossil fuels, the rest are hydro, geothermal and wind, but the greenies won’t accept any more hydro stations and there is huge resistance to windfarms by those who live near them.

From where I see it, there is an equal to the oil industry in the greedy group out there forcing us down the EV path by getting in now and establishing these networks, and ceasing production of gas vehicles. That is the power companies — and the worst part is their hidden agenda, nuclear power stations.

Please, let’s get this out in the open as that is the last thing we want in New Zealand. The full effects of the Fukushima disaster are being hidden from us, but it is still spewing radiation into the ocean unabated and they do not know how to stop it.

All we are doing by pursuing electric vehicles is changing from one group of controlling monopolies to another. I believe it has started already, as I have heard young people saying nuclear power is a safe choice because they are being told that at school. This is, of course, part of these corporates’ plans — and of course they are not being told the full story in the schools.

There is still no way to dispose of the waste except store it for somebody to deal with later, which is obviously not good, as well as the other dangers from earthquakes and radiation leaks etc.

If we don’t do something, the tipping point will be reached before we know it and it will be all over. There will be nowhere to hide.

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winston moreton - 7 days ago
PJ Roberts' wish last week to start a conversation about Electric Vehicles does not appear to have sparked any enthusiasm to engage with him. Despite the fact the proponents of EVs in this town (our popular community-owned Eastland Group) has just engaged a professional wordsmith to promote its new EV investment conveniently outside its offices in Gladstone Road. Perhaps Mr Roberts is a tad disrespectful by saying, "there is an equal to the oil industry in the greedy group out there forcing us down the EV path by getting in now..."
I do share his general concern about the monopoly that drives our community, on his money and mine, capturing the emerging alternative energy market. I do not share the implicit concern about a shortage of hydro. A quick visit to the NZ web shows that one of the first major problems our 2017 government will have to grapple with is the Southland smelter. It uses 13 percent of New Zealand's electricity generated at Manapouri. In August 2013, our government agreed to make a $30 million payment to the smelter's off-shore owner. The deal expires this coming January. So when that enormous amount of surplus electricity is freed up for New Zealand homes, will the cost of power come down? Will the $125m of our local community trust funds currently being spent on a geothermal build at Kawerau be lost like the several millions previously lost in Hawaii?

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