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31 responses to “2012 – the Year of the Electric Car..?”

    • Kevin Sharpe

      well done, at last we are beginning to see the fast charge network that we need to travel from A to B.

        • GreenSteve


          As welcome as innovations that’ll make electric cars a more viable option, I think in the end electric cars only pander to the mentality that we all need to have our own personal vehicles so we can get wherever we want whenever we want. I think that attitude is unsustainable, even if electric cars are cleaner. Still, that’s good news

    • rabar10

      “We’ve completed phase one already, joining up the cities of x, y and z.” Is this an editing slip? Which cities are already joined, precisely? Thanks!

        • paul

          It was – it’s been corrected to London, Exeter and Manchester 🙂


    • Kevin Sharpe

      just a reminder that Tesla and the EV driver community were first to build national charging network

        • Dale Vince

          Er, perhaps only in your dreams Kevin. Sweet dreams though they may be….:)

            • Kevin Sharpe

              Shame that your own marketing hype prevents you from giving recognition to the achievements of a small group of EV enthusiasts who built the first national charging network.

              Please do let us know when your ‘network’ allows a production EV to travel around the UK while charging at a sensible rate… in 2015 maybe?

                • Dale Vince

                  Hi Kevin, shame you continue to be so worked up about this issue. A better definition of ‘hype’ would be closer to home for you – the claim that 7 charging sockets in 7 hotels constitutes a national network of facilities. its a silly claim to make and keep making. I’m not sure what your problem is TBH.


                    • Kevin Sharpe

                      I like to give credit where it’s due and recognise the efforts of a dedicated band of people who worked with Tesla to create the HPC network. This is a network that I use on a regular basis to travel around the UK.

                      When your network contains AC and DC fast charge capabilities that allow people to make meaningful journeys then I will praise that as well… until that time, I will join other EV drivers who find your 22kW AC Charging Posts an interesting but useless curiosity,

                    • Dale Vince

                      Keven – credit where it’s due you say – having got wind of our plan to run LeJog and instal a national network – you dashed out to try and do it first (as you say elsewhere on the net).

                      Problem is in your haste you overlooked to do either job properly.

                      Says a lot about you and what drives this incredible bitchiness from you about ‘who did it first’.

                      But the truth is your handful of Hotels with sockets are little more than lifestyle destinations for weekends away, for Tesla drivers. Your insistence that it’s a national network is a joke.

                      Real production EVs are coming and a real national network is underway.


            • Peter M Evans

              Hi Dale
              Thank you for changing the minds of so many about green energy, I want to further change minds by entering an eletric car in the Le Mans 24hr race and other endurance races using a generator I have designed to prove that the electric car go the distance and at speed to compete with current Fossil/Bio fuel technology.
              Can I get your help?

    • Helen

      We’d like to make Stroud the first Electric Bike Town. That fits in rather nicely. Our Youth Group is on the case. 🙂

        • Dale Vince

          Sounds good Helen, shout if we can help.


    • Phil Chapman

      Is range anxiety really the biggest issue facing EV’s? For me it is really cost, specifically cost of batteries. You could easily avoid range anxiety by having a bigger battery, say 200 mile range, but this would make the cost of the car even more prohibitive. I don’t think that an 80-100 mile range is too bad and would be fine for many people, if the cost of such a car was comparable to an equivalent petrol/diesel, but currently it isn’t. As the cost of batteries comes down (by 75% by 2020 according to Stephen Chu), the car makers will have to make a choice whether to increase the range of their vehicles and keep the price the same, or to keep the range the same but reduce the price. My guess is that they’ll reduce the price, because as the price comes down so they’ll sell more vehicles, and the economies of scale will (hopefully) help battery and vehicle price come down further.

      I’d buy a Nissan Leaf now if it was cheaper, or at least if the price differential was just a reflection of the lower fueling costs and no more, and just live with the range issue through mitigation measures like Dale’s Electric Highway.

        • Gillian Lacey

          How about just swapping the battery for a fully charged one at fuel stations, service stations or whatever. Eliminated the need for charging time and network issues. Just return the flat battery and pick upa full one – rather like calor gas.
          job done

            • SARATHI ANUYAYI

              This is a good point , Gillian ………do you know where the battery is on your Electric Car ?

              At present , the battery is , batteries are , the main problem in this kind of transport for two main reasons , as I have so far understood it :

              1 / Very high COST ……….so aren’t placed so as to be easily nick-able . Similarly , are not easily swopped over rapidly .

              2/ Considerable BULK , for which space has to be found – and one solution has been to secrete them in thin panel – type sections unobtrusively , for example under the floor of the car. Again , rapid removal here presents a problem .

              But I must admit that if there IS a way to work on this issue , it ought to be pursued . Thanks for raising an intelligent question , Gillian .

        • Dale Vince

          Hi Phil, cost is definitely an issue. But as with all technologies the cost is disproportionately high to begin with and early adopters will bear those costs – and with time, costs come down bringing more people into play.

          To enable those early adopters (since we can’t affect the price of batteries ourselves) we’re tackling the very real issue of where and how fast to charge – to make these relatively expensive early cars – more practical.

          I hope battery costs do fall as you quote, and I’m sure you’re right, in response manufactures will maintain range and cut the cost of cars. It makes sense that they would, since 99.3% of all car journeys in Britain are less then 100 miles. Why lug around the cost and weight of a 200 mile range, for the 0.7% of the time you might need it.


    • Chris

      I am currently looking at moving to a flat near London. When you’re done with the motorways please can you start installing these super fast charging points in the parking garages below/besides newly built apartment blocks? Some people don’t have easy charging at home, let a lone when they’re out and about.

      I’m sure developers would jump at the chance to work with you on this as they are keen to be seen employing cutting edge eco-tech.

      I also think you should be charging for this service if I’m honest. I would gladly pay a couple of quid for a full charge. It currently costs me around £50 to fill up my tiny Citroen C1! If the revenue is directly reinvested in rapidly expanding the network it’s worth every penny.

        • Dale Vince

          Thanks Chris, will bear this in mind. I expect our focus to remain on the motorways for the next year or two – much to be done there.


        • Gillian Lacey

          I have been told that legislation/aspiration is that all carparks will contain charging points for 3% of all spaces. Not sure when this is from and whether it will be retrofitted.

    • clawsout

      Range anxiety is a more genuine concern in Australia where we have much greater distances between towns and cities – but even so, I’m in rural New South Wales and am not at all worried about running out of juice in the middle of nowhere.

      What does worry me, and has kept me from going electric is the ridiculous Government fees and taxes on electric vehicles. I enquired and found it would be cheaper to buy a Tesla in Hong Kong, put it in a container, and ship it to Australia myself than to buy one in Sydney from the local distributor!?

      This is absolutely crazy. The government “incentives” are one or two “green vehicle” parking spaces in major cities, and the allowance to drive in the taxi or bus lanes. Neither of which exist in the country. On the other hand they add several fees and charges that close to double the price of a Tesla (even though the Australian dollar is currently higher than the US dollar). Just ridiculous. A real incentive would be tax breaks for owning/driving electric vehicles, instead of adding significant cost penalties for those who are trying to lower their CO2 output.

      I’m not sure if the UK Government is doing better in this regard than the Australian Government is – but it’s very frustrating situation Down Under.

        • Chris

          Hi Clawsout,

          In the UK we can currently obtain a £5k government subsidy to buy an electric car. The annual road taxes in this part of the world were effectively polarised by the last government, which means the lowest emitting vehicles are free and the highest emitting ones are very expensive. The electric vehicle is of course free to tax annually (even taking into account power station emissions, they are relatively clean in terms of Co2/km), it is also exempt from London city congestion charge. That’s pretty much as far as we go! The only other incentive is the colossal price of petrol (approx £1.35/litre). I can’t believe it was at £1 only 2 years ago!!.. Surely we’ll go bankrupt on the back of increases like this?? ?!

    • Mark Tebbutt

      Dale as an occasional long distance Nissan Leaf driver (280 miles Chorley Lancs to Norwich 10hrs 50m heater off) I would love to hear more on the time frame location of the new faster / rapid chargers your planning. Are they part of the Nissan UK 60 odd rapid charger give away?

      Thanks & keep up the good work.

    • James Hind

      “But all the major motor manufacturers have now either launched a fully electric car, or will do so later this year.”

      This isn’t true. I agree that there are a couple of new electric cars this year, but currently there are only three electric cars on sale from major manufacturers:

      Nissan Leaf
      Renault Fluence ZE
      Peugeot iOn/Mitsubishi i-Miev/Citroen C-Zero

      I group the final three into one, as it’s essentially the same car.

      One of the reasons so few electric cars are sold is the lack of choice on the market.

        • Dale Vince

          Hi James, you list the names of five major motor manufacturers here – all with cars in the market already.

          I hear Ford are bringing out an electric Focus soon.

          That’s quite a few….

          Maybe instead of ‘all’ I should have said ‘most’ – it’s kinda what I meant.

          The cars are coming. That’s the point.


    • Alex Scargall

      Electric cars are something I really believe in with a passion, I crave 2050 when the European government state all vehicles produced must be electric. However I have some questions that no one can provide any decent answers to so if anyone her can give them a go them your more than welcome (by the way there are no correct answers only opinions)

      1. Electric cars work on batteries, however batteries used in electric vehicles are far from environmentally friendly so every electric car is adding to the problem. How can this be solved.

      2. The cost of the electric vehicles is astronomic compared with second hand cars. If you can buy them on import for cheaper why are people not doing this?? You can buy electric 2 seater cars in china for as little as £3000 brand new and fully road working, 4-5 seater electric card for less than £10k, so where are they in the UK.

      3. At the end of the power cable charging your environmentally (well kind of) car is a coal, nuclear or gas power station. The more cars on the road means the more large scale power stations that need to be built therefore the problem is just changed from burning oil to fossil fuels so how does this help the environment when the only people affected are the oil producers?

      4. Whatever happened to the hydrogen economy? the hydrogen powered car was the thing of the future but has now disappeared as quickly as it arrived, will the electric car hold on and become a common reality?

        • Paul Verbinnen

          I’ve come in really late to this thread & the others, (devoted a whole evening to catching up) but I know of a man who can answer your questions.

          Robert Llewellyn (actor, writer) has a number of blogs about EVs and also transmits a podcast called ‘Fully Charged.’ I really recommend it, as he explains things that even I can understand!

          Available on Youtube or iTunes.


      17 August , 2012 [ ‘ A . D. ‘ ]