Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Even With a $8,200 Subsidy from the Government, Consumers in the U.K. Don't Want Electric Cars

"According to figures published by research charity the RAC Foundation last week, the second quarter of the year saw just 215 cars bought under the government's Electric Vehicle  grant scheme, which knocks £5,000 (about $8,200) off the price of a new electric car.

This contrasts with 465 taken up in the first three months of the year, and takes the total of cars bought under the scheme to 680, leaving the U.K.'s electric fleet still struggling to top 2,500 vehicles (out of a car fleet of 28 million). The low uptake means just £3.4m ($5.57m) of the £43m ($70.44m) put aside by the government until the end of March 2012 has been spent."


Note: Gasoline retails for about $9 per gallon in the U.K. 


At 7/26/2011 9:18 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Gas in UK sells for about the same price as here.

The taxes are a lot higher there: you buy gas, and a lot of other stuff at the same time, whether you want it or not.

At 7/26/2011 10:37 AM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

How much does an "electric fill-up" cost and how long to charge it take compared to gas fill-up?

At 7/26/2011 10:46 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

cost to fill up. In "theory" not much even though electricity over there is also quite a bit more expensive than here.

the problem with hybrids right now is that the battery and powertrain technology are complicated, expensive and simply drive the overall cost of the car higher so that the payback period can be long.

At 7/26/2011 10:55 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

I'm assuming they're talking about "pure" EVs (electric vehicles,) not "Hybrids."

The EV boosters play down "range anxiety," but it looks like the number of people that want to be tethered to a sixty, or seventy mile range between time-consuming, and, perhaps, unavailable, "fill-ups is pretty limited.

At 7/26/2011 12:21 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, I wonder if this is happening in the U.K. also?

Prices on Electric Rising

At 7/26/2011 1:09 PM, Blogger Innovation rules said...

Not to be a stick in the mud, but aside from all the political BS, is electric really any cleaner than oil?

At 7/26/2011 1:17 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Even so, I expect in 10 years to see a competitive PHEV on the road.

At 7/26/2011 1:40 PM, Blogger Frozen in the North said...

Everyone take a chill pill, and Mark, no offense but please read the article to the very end... what you say is true, but is not nearly as dramatic as you imply.

Moreover, if the Uk was reassured today because Q2 GDP grew by 0.2% -- they're having a hard time over there

At 7/26/2011 2:09 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"Even so, I expect in 10 years to see a competitive PHEV on the road."

I think they're already here, but I do not understand why we aren't seeing them on the road....or even hearing about them... Tesla Motors makes 2, very good-looking, full-sized cars... one that's in the same price range as a 5-series BMW and both get about 300 miles per charge. I think there's a tax credit that brings the price down considerably. They're also crazy fast.

At 7/26/2011 2:42 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: range anxiety for PHEVs.. it's REAL.. ESPECIALLY when you get in the car and it says it has X miles to go and a mile down the road it says X-3 miles to go.

re: pollution

if the electricity comes from coal (and half of it does in the US) - then it's no cleaner .. you're exporting the pollution to the power plants .... of which mercury deposition has become a major concern in some places where entire rivers have fish warnings... for consumption by women and kids.

At 7/26/2011 2:49 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


i think you are vastly overestimating the mileage on a tesla.

the roadster is lucky to get 125 at highway speeds. run it hard with lots of starts and stops, and you'll dip to more like 50.

it also handles like a truck. it amazes me that you can take what is essentially the chassis from the lotus elise and turn it into such a pig.

the problem with electric motors is that they get MUCH worse highway mileage than you'd think. they do best at 20-30 mph. drive 80, and you'll flatten a battery in 90 minutes.

At 7/26/2011 4:16 PM, Blogger Mike said...


I was just taking the numbers from Tesla (perhaps rounded up a bit due to my memory). I remember the numbers they gave were very comparable to my wife's SC430 (and certainly better than 40 per charge).
They may have conveniently left out the information you provided...and that may be the answer to my question, as to why I haven't seen them.

With Houston traffic, 20-30 mph may be just fine for the highway (joke...sort of). But it's still better than the Volt, and a much bigger car.

At 7/29/2011 4:38 PM, Blogger DrTaras said...

Mike: Don't apologize as you did in your 7/26/2011 4:16 PM comments after reading Morganovich's. Each sentence that he wrote in his previous blog was more false than the next. So sad to see haters make up such stuff, but sadder for people to beleive it! I always loved the line, "it has to be true, I read it on the internet!"

According to Tesla's speed vs. range graph (http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/), the roadster will have to travel between 13 and 23 MPH to hit 400 miles. That's 20 hours if averaged at 20 MPH. That would be a cool stunt, but of no value to the public. Probably where someone basterdized data and then got published. There have been 2 records thus far of 313 (in Australia) and then 350 miles (the latter in Texas). "Normal drivers can easily get 200 miles on the highway. Goto www.TeslaMotorsClub.com for more technical info... if you truly want real answers!

At 7/31/2011 1:27 AM, Blogger nates said...

Well, properly used an electric car should save the average person on the order of $200 a month in gasoline. With a lease price of $350, you are really getting it for the ~$150 range. I know, range anxiety, blah blah blah, 90% of families in America have 2+ cars already. And plane flights are increasingly becoming a viable option compared to driving. I can hop on a JetBlue flight from Orlando to NY for 99 bucks. Who needs a gasoline car?

That being said, I don't think government subsidies are necessary. It will happen eventually, there are too many advantages to ignore.

Lastly, a coal plant produces power far more efficiently than an Internal Combustion Engine. >50%, while an ICE will average 25%, maybe 30 in more advanced cars.

At 7/31/2011 8:44 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

plug-ins will cost about 5-10K more up front than ICE so you have to compute the pay-back period to be fair.

on Range Anxiety - these cars have a "miles-left" number on their Dash but that number has proven overly optimistic and just plain wrong sometimes in the Nissan Leaf so even though that car might "work" for a known, daily commute.. just using it for other things by hopping into it.. is somewhat risky strategy... i.e., let's go pick up Mom at the airport - 25 miles away... etc

on coal - there are number of reputable studies that say that the "gain" by switching from gasoline to coal is not a gain but a trade and the trade in terms of carbon dioxide and mercury is worse.

but if you are in an urban area with non-attainment issues, then you'd be exporting the pollution to the power plant which for some folks is a better "trade".

Finally, we don't have the grid right now to support a mostly-electric car fleet. It will take time but bottom line for me, I do believe we'll go to electric cars also.


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