Car News-Global and Domestic

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bobins
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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

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".....we do not actually know what demand will be like in six months or six years," Bernadette Kelly, Permanent Secretary at Department for Transport.

Although the above quote is attributed to Bernadette Kelly in relation to the HS2 rail link, it does a good job of highlighting the futility of putting in concrete plans to be implemented in a decade's time. The quote is to do with questions being raised about the necessity of the HS2 rail link in light of the pandemic and how that has changed the 'work from home' mentality. If large quantities of the office based population suddenly no longer need to travel into the cities and towns to do their work, then you cut down on the transport requirements. Less train travel, less bus travel, less car travel. Fewer people all travelling in the same direction during rush hour. The knock-on effect is fewer businesses needed to support those workers in the cities and towns - put simply, less coffee shops needed, less support for those coffee shops, fewer deliveries for those coffee shops. It doesn't stop at coffee shops - less maintenance work needed in the smaller office blocks. Fewer cleaners, less telephone sanitisers, etc, etc. With fewer people travelling into the cities and towns, will the pollution levels still be so high ? Will the roads still be so congested ? Will there still be such a pressing need to make all new cars electric or clean fuel in such a short time frame ?

As Gibbo alluded to, the most important consideration for the politicians is winning the popularity contest. The general direction of travel may well be towards BEVs, but the politicians need to manage that so they maintain the illusion of 'freedom' for the masses. You can't be seen to be curtailing that freedom by pricing vast swathes of the population out of the market. Most of the motoring public rely on buying second (or third / forth / fifth) hand vehicles to give them their freedom. In the future if that supply dries up due to fewer BEVs being sold (due to higher initial cost, or the whole business model changing), or the price of used BEVs with decent range goes ever upwards, then you're going to be left with some very unhappy voters. Don't forget - the average age of a car on the UK roads is only around 8 years old, it won't take long for the plentiful supply of ICE powered cars to start to dwindle and the public to be forced to BEVs whether they like it or not. If those BEVs are unaffordable, then you've got potentially unhappy people. Of course, this all may change with the application of progress. Will there actually be a need to own a car for the limited travel you might be doing ? No need to travel to work ? - then why do you need a car sat on your driveway ? Would a taxi / Uber / home delivery / car share / autonomous vehicle be a better option ? Who cares what motive power it's got if you're just the passenger ? I would expect most people's 'range anxiety' to evaporate if they're not the owner or driver of the vehicle.

There's more to legislation and the general direction of travel than the blunt instrument of 'ban all ICE powered cars by the year xxxx' to improve health. There's the relatively well understood concept of how the public will react and how to manipulate that reaction, then there's the less predictable concept of global phenomena. Chuck a pandemic in the mix and see how it changes things. Add the occasional nutter of a world leader and see how that alters world trade. Have a war or two (physical or virtual - take your pick) with a country bent on world domination and see if that destabilises the norm. Pollution from car exhausts may well be the important thing today, but only an optimist would tell you it'll be the important - or relavant - thing in a decade's time.
The only constant in life is change.


The quote at the top is taken from a BBC article that questions the need for the HS2 link in the light of events of the past year. It highlights how well-meaning plans and policy can turn on a sixpence. The correct answer to the question: "Is the HS2 link still needed ?" should be : 'We don't really know at the moment'.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-55862648

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white exec
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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by white exec »

The UK policy is to ban sales of NEW petrol and diesel cars from 2030, so presumably used ICE cars will continue to be available for some time after that. OK, there may be incentives to scrap, and likely an eventual cut-off point, with some exemptions. (The position for classics and historics will need to be managed with some care...!)

Just one footnote about "pricing vast swathes of the population out of the market"...
It has been done already: it's called housing.

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bobins
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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

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Used ICE's will certainly still be available after 2030, but there'll be a surprisingly quickly diminishing reserve of them. As I often state - the average age of a car on our roads is around 8 years old, so it won't take that long for ICE powered cars to become rarer.

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by mickthemaverick »

An interesting read there bobins, and I agree with almost all you've said. However there is one issue which is almost never brought into the argument over eco transport etc. When looking at the 'happy voters' aspect of the discussion I'd like to point out that I personally, and I am sure many other FCF members, do not own my cars for transport at all. I use them for transport because I have them and I can drive, but I own them for the sheer pleasure I get from driving them. That is why I have the C5 for wafting through the countryside in relaxed style enjoying the scenery and life frequently on a circular tour actually going nowhere and the MX3 for the sheer pleasure and exhileration from controlling a car through the twisties!! So basically what I am saying is that "Driving" is my hobby and hence I would be very upset if it were taken away from me. I even get irritated every time a new driver aid is added to cars, yes I do understand the need for people who do not take pride or pleasure from their driving skills and only drive to give themselves transport, so the easier and safer the operation is the better. (SWMBO is an example of that category but hopefully she won't read this :-D) . However imagine the uproar if "Gardening" became impossible because of eco reasons!!

When you look at the number of people who get pleasure from motorsport of one sort or another, classic car owners, auto collectors and petrol heads in general you are talking about a significant block of voters who also need to be kept happy. Hence working from home in general may reduce the traffic on the roads but it is also likely to instill a more urgent need to get out and go for a drive!! (/run/cycle in Jim's case :-D ) :)

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

The surprisingly easy way to deal with a large chunk of the car derived pollution in towns, cities, and congested areas would be via demand / pollution / congestion led road pricing. i.e. you're charged per mile of driving depending on the prevailing conditions. The difficult element of this is convincing the public to have 'black boxes' in their cars and to be charged per mile. The normal methods used to convince the masses is either to create a problem that this is the solution to - so the problem here might be that you've got a choice of either buying an 'expensive*' BEV, not owning a car, or being charged per mile with a 'black box', or that this is a better / cheaper solution to owning a car and it's in your interests as a good citizen to go for the 'black box' solution - see: smart meter deployment in the UK.
* - whether BEVs are expensive to buy or not is immaterial - it's the public's perception that counts.

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

bobins wrote:
31 Jan 2021, 12:32
Used ICE's will certainly still be available after 2030, but there'll be a surprisingly quickly diminishing reserve of them. As I often state - the average age of a car on our roads is around 8 years old, so it won't take that long for ICE powered cars to become rarer.
I stick with my assessment here which does cover some of your points particularly in the "who knows? quote.

You could equally describe potential changes in terms of the changing ICE landscape, less petrol stations/less exploration, drilling, transportation, refining transportation, burning and less tailpipe emissions, and the knock on consequences of that.

Lets imagine there was no ban...why shed any tears over the inevitable tipping point when electric cars are cheaper than ICE cars. This will do more to engender a "ban" than any actual legislative ban.

Now why the electric car makers have chosen to wrap them up in oodles of software and hardware, and turn them into mobile entertainment centres who knows again, ups the price considerably. Electric cars should be very straight forward, less moving parts, less routine maintenance and cheaper to build in industrial quantities than ICE.

All the consequent "unpredictable" transport changes, through external events and forces and and changes in how the population uses and needs transport would equally apply if there were no electric cars and just ICE.

Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 31 Jan 2021, 13:02, edited 1 time in total.

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mickthemaverick
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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by mickthemaverick »

bobins wrote:
31 Jan 2021, 12:51
The surprisingly easy way to deal with a large chunk of the car derived pollution in towns, cities, and congested areas would be via demand / pollution / congestion led road pricing. i.e. you're charged per mile of driving depending on the prevailing conditions. The difficult element of this is convincing the public to have 'black boxes' in their cars and to be charged per mile. The normal methods used to convince the masses is either to create a problem that this is the solution to - so the problem here might be that you've got a choice of either buying an 'expensive*' BEV, not owning a car, or being charged per mile with a 'black box', or that this is a better / cheaper solution to owning a car and it's in your interests as a good citizen to go for the 'black box' solution - see: smart meter deployment in the UK.
* - whether BEVs are expensive to buy or not is immaterial - it's the public's perception that counts.
In principle that makes sense although rather than any black box type mods to the car for road pricing I've been advocating for years that we should scrap road tax altogether and increase the tax on fuel with the obvious result that the more you use the more you pay. It doesn't matter whether you use more because of bigger engine/motor, heavier vehicle, more mileage covered or bad driving style but at least everyone would have to pay their fair share!! (Yes excluding those that use 'unofficial' fuels but that is probably far fewer than those that don't buy RFL.) :-D

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I recall that, on Top Gear (years ago) the idea of black boxes for road usage mileages was mentioned. JC then pointed out a major flaw with these black boxes, in that they could also be used to monitor your driving, and 'grass' on you every time you went over the speed limit.

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Mandatory speed limiters on UK cars from 2022

Happening even with our EU exit. Not much choice really, cars made in the UK would have to follow those rules or they would not be able to be sold in Europe, so its going to happen.

Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 31 Jan 2021, 13:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

To be clear - I'm not anti BEV. What I am 'anti' is a change being pushed through that has the potential to cause more harm than it cures or shifts the harm from one characteristic to another. I have no problem with low cost, mid-spec, decent range second hand BEVs being available for the masses i.e. available in their millions, I do have a problem with people being priced out of the market and that causing a loss of the feeling of 'freedom' along with all the anxiety and mental health issues that could cause. The blunt instrument of 'ban all new ICEs by the year xxxx' needs to be managed in concert with all the other variables that come along. Price, availability, need, health concerns, country of manufacture, and countless other issues should all be taken into consideration before legislation is passed outlawing the sales of ICE powered vehicles.
To try and explain that there's more to BEVs than localised health issues - would the public and government still be happy to 'force' BEVs onto the masses if, ultimately, most of the world's BEV battery manufacture was controlled by a country with a lousy human rights record, that had no problem causing real harm to industry with cyber-warfare, was an appalling polluter, and who didn't care what you thought ?

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
31 Jan 2021, 13:05
I recall that, on Top Gear (years ago) the idea of black boxes for road usage mileages was mentioned. JC then pointed out a major flaw with these black boxes, in that they could also be used to monitor your driving, and 'grass' on you every time you went over the speed limit.

<tongue in cheek - on> From the Govt's point of view - what's not to like ? The roads policing budget could be slashed overnight 8-[ <tongue in cheek - off>

I'd imagine the sales pitch would go along the lines of "We're not interested in prosecuting the occasional transgressor. It'll make the roads safer by banning all those nasty speeders. It'll make your journeys quicker as we could implement variable speed limits all over the place" Etc. Etc. :-D

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by Gibbo2286 »

I don't think scrapping the road tax is ever going to happen, no chancellor is going to give up the chance to have two bites of the cherry, road tax and fuel tax.

The suggestion that working from home will become the norm can't work, many jobs simply cannot be done at home and there's the added complication of many people's lack of self discipline, they keep going off the job in hand and doing something else more interesting, the company's work doesn't get done in an acceptable time.

As for the shut down of the supply of cars in the future think Cuba, they just kept fixing up the old stuff...forever. :-D

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by myglaren »

mickthemaverick wrote:
31 Jan 2021, 12:40
That is why I have the C5 for wafting through the countryside in relaxed style enjoying the scenery and life frequently on a circular tour actually going nowhere and the MX3 for the sheer pleasure and exhileration from controlling a car through the twisties!! So basically what I am saying is that "Driving" is my hobby and hence I would be very upset if it were taken away from me. I even get irritated every time a new driver aid is added to cars, yes I do understand the need for people who do not take pride or pleasure from their driving skills and only drive to give themselves transport, so the easier and safer the operation is the better. (SWMBO is an example of that category but hopefully she won't read this :-D) . However imagine the uproar if "Gardening" became impossible because of eco reasons!!
While mine is a watered-down experience, being non-French, I was out in my car yesterday, first time out of the house in a week and first time driving in two weeks.
One of the first things that I became aware of was how (relatively) enjoyable it was, even in a Honda.

Of course this was further diluted by the tyre pressure monitor sticking it's unwelcome head up after a couple of miles. Didn't know there was one.
Visual inspection showed nothing amiss so Percy Veered.
Checked later and all OK other than offside front was high - 37psi instead of 33.
I had a puncture a couple of weeks ago, no spare of course. Pump failed to inflate it. Tried the following day with the weight off (not east, trolley jack wouldn't go under the car).
Fixed the tyre (no spare of course) and had flattened the battery with the pump.

I had assumed that the repair had failed but that was fine.

A bit of a digression there to say that just the ability to drive where and when you will is priceless.

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by bobins »

Gibbo2286 wrote:
31 Jan 2021, 17:51

The suggestion that working from home will become the norm can't work, many jobs simply cannot be done at home and there's the added complication of many people's lack of self discipline, they keep going off the job in hand and doing something else more interesting, the company's work doesn't get done in an acceptable time.
My suggestion was that "large quantities of the office based population suddenly no longer need to travel into the cities and towns to do their work". My recent dealings with Direct Line insurance have all been on the phone to home workers and the process worked seemlessly.
Aviva seem to be going down that route:
"Aviva to adopt home-working as standard practice
Investment company Aviva is to close offices across the UK and allow staff to work from home, beyond the pandemic.
Aviva, which employs 16,000 people in the UK, said the plans would not lead to job cuts and people could still work from an office if they would rather.
In a statement, the company said: "The way we use our office space is changing significantly."
The time shared between office and home will depend on team circumstances and worker preferences, Aviva said."
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-55738780

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Re: Car News-Global and Domestic

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I repair EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) equipment (among other things) for a living at shops, banks and so on. Even during the heaviest lockdown I was dealing with eight of our clients in my area. While some of our staff (call management and such) can be managed from home, field maintenance, workshop and logistics cannot.