A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Would you let your children catch this bus?

An electric bus in Paris self immolated last Friday.

There were no injuries, apart from the bus itself, presumably because there were no passengers.

Note how little time all the passengers on a packed bus would have had to get out.

Just four weeks ago another Bolloré brand electric bus caught fire in Paris. A passer-by saw smoke and told the driver, and everyone on board got safely off before the situation got out of control. In response to this second explosion all 149 similar Bolloré brand Bluebuses have been withdrawn from circulation. The RAPT points out that “it has been operating electric buses since 2016 without any major incident”. But I think everyone can see what might have happened.

Buses are killing other busses though:

In late September 2021 a large fire event in Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen (SBB)’s depot, in Gaisberg, destroyed 25 buses. A first assessment by the police, reported on many German media, said that the fire could have been caused by an electric bus during charging procedure.

From Notalotofpeopleknowthat

h/t b.nice

10 out of 10 based on 55 ratings

It’s just a ship full of luxury cars on fire, and no one can put out the lithium batteries

Do EV’s make good reefs?

h/t to Paul Homewood who notes The BBC didn’t mention the burning lithium battery story.

The Felicity Ace cargo ship caught fire on Wednesday last week:

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that an internal email from Volkswagen USA stated that the ship was carrying 3,965 vehicles of the VW, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini brands.

It’s not clear if the fire started in an EV battery but once the flames got into them, the ship was abandoned to burn.

According to a study done in 2013 by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development, the batteries burn extremely hot and produce noxious gases.

“In the event of a lithium ion battery catching fire, it is important to note that such a fire reaches very high temperatures, produces toxic gases and is inextinguishable,” the report concluded. — The Independent

Five days later the fire has finally run out of material to consume.

Now Felicity Burnt. | Reuters

Luxury cars on fire on cargo ships is a thing now

March 12th, 2019: The Grande America caught fire with 2,000 luxury cars on board and sank.


EV needs 13 freezing hours to get 650 km with 3 charging stops and no heater

VW e-Up | Photo by M 93

A German car reporter bought a new VW e-Up car in Wolfsburg and drove the 650 km to Munich. But the weather was freezing and to get further on each charge Lisa Brack kept the heating off most of the time. She still needed three charging stops and took 13 hours to get home.

Gosselin said that a diesel car would usually finish that trip in seven hours without a fuel stop (and with a heater running).

13 hours of driving and charging

The subfreezing weather was a major drawback for the VW e-car. According to the, “the heating stayed off for almost the entire journey in freezing temperature” in order not to draw down the battery so quickly. This meant that to survive the trip, Brack had to take along a generous supply of “hats, scarves, gloves and generally warm clothing”…

According to the, she made the crucial mistake of charging up too seldom and wasted much time charging the batteries to 100% instead of 80% (the last 20% take the longest). “Charge faster, accept a little less range and charge […]

US Democrats thinking of telling car companies what they can make: communist control of production by stealth

The people don’t really want Electric Vehicles, so the US Government is thinking of forcing them on the buyers by squeezing the industry that makes them. There is talk of new rules which apply to the companies selling cars. The control of production could be hidden in something called the Corporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFE standards. By averaging the fuel consumption across a whole company, those brands will have to find a way to sell more EV’s and to limit their own sales of gas guzzlers. It’s a supply and demand thing, if a company can only make so many large internal combustion engine cars, the prices of those will be artificially high. Only the wealthy will be able to afford them. The poor will still pay more for cars than they do now, but the cheapest cars on the market will be EV’s — subsidized by inflated prices on petrol driven cars.

This is just a thought bubble for now, but obviously, the message is to buy your big cars and look after them. They’ll be hot property in the second hand market.

Say goodbye to the free market: The Soviets would be proud of […]

Toyota says “The world is not yet ready to support a fully electric auto fleet.”

So the worlds car manufacturers are lining up: The Volkswagon group and GM are going “full electric” — so they say. Ford Motor Co claims its line-up in Europe will be fully electric by 2030, while Tata Motors unit Jaguar Land Rover said its luxury Jaguar brand will be entirely electric by 2025.

But Toyota and Honda are not.

At least investors (and consumers) have a choice. Presumably , the US Democrats will want to change that.

Toyota Warns (Again) About Electrifying All Autos. Is Anyone Listening?

Bryan Preston, PJ Media

When Toyota offers an opinion on the car market, it’s probably worth listening to. This week, Toyota reiterated an opinion it has offered before. That opinion is straightforward: The world is not yet ready to support a fully electric auto fleet.

Toyota’s head of energy and environmental research Robert Wimmer testified before the Senate this week, and said: “If we are to make dramatic progress in electrification, it will require overcoming tremendous challenges, including refueling infrastructure, battery availability, consumer acceptance, and affordability.”

Of those, “Consumer Acceptance” is the easiest thing to change (especially with a law and the right amount of jail time).


A quarter of UK drivers won’t even buy an Electric car “in their lifetimes”

The UK parliament has decided to phase out fossil fueled cars entirely by 2040 or even 2035, but right now only 4% of the UK public are even planning to buy an EV, which makes it a very forced transition. Forty four percent say they won’t even be ready in fifteen years time, and a quarter effectively say “over my dead body”.

Half of Britons say a 2035 deadline to switch to an electric car is too soon!

Rob Hull and Grace Gausden,

But despite the growing availability and wider selection of motors to choose from, a survey commissioned by the SMMT found that almost half of drivers are not only unprepared to make a transition to zero-emission motoring now but don’t think they will be in 2035 – five years ahead of the existing deadline for the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars to be banished.

A quarter (24 per cent) of the 2,185 drivers interviewed claimed they don’t foresee themselves ever buying an electric car in their lifetimes, despite the impeding ban in 2040.

96% say they are not even thinking of buying one at the moment Hardly anyone […]

Climate change causes car fires


Don’t try this at home:

Premature energy release can ruin your whole day.

h/t Jim Simpson

9.7 out of 10 based on 51 ratings

The half-mile electric car charging queue in the US

This could’ve been us, Australia, if Bill Shorten had won two more seats.

One week ago in California:

Tesla drivers are stranded for hours in a half-a-mile-long line

Shanon Stellini was travelling through Kettleman City on November 30 when she stumbled across a backlog of around 50 of the electric cars waiting to recharge in a half-mile line outside of at a station near Interstate 5. — Luke Kenton Daily Mail.

Tyler Durden, Zerohedge

There are now around 400,000 Teslas on the roads of the U.S. and the company’s commitment to hoarding its cash by any means necessary, including not paying bills and not investing in its Supercharger network, could finally be coming back to bite its owners in pronounced fashion.

The Kettleman City Supercharging station has 40 superchargers, is halfway between LA and San Francisco and people were returning from Thanksgiving.

Looks like Tesla owners need a back-up “baseload” type car in the garage all year to be able to enjoy those special days. There go those fuel savings.

Though they could just fly. There go those fuel savings and those emissions… …

The national electric car trap: What looks cheap, sounds fashionable but will […]

The diesel generator behind the electric car charging point

It’s a diesel powered electric car point:

The fossil fueled electric car…

It’s becoming a joke all around the world — the EVs in Australia powered by dirty diesel. But what’s the difference? Most EV’s in Australia are running on fossil fuel — the generators are just hidden behind longer extension cords. (Ones that carry 240,000V). EV’s on our grid are running on 80% fossil fuels every day.

The sign on the charger above says “Nullarbor” — the vast treeless and grid-free centre of Australia — but this is actually a test site in Perth (the trees were the giveaway).

The 3,000 kilometer trip across the Nullarbor from Perth to Adelaide is such an achievement for an EV that it’s practically a news story each time one makes it. Electric Car owners carry a chip about not being able to drive across the country like any real car owner could. So Jon Edwards, a retired engineer from Perth, set up this test site in his backyard. He wanted to know if it could be a realistic stop-gap for our far remote roads.

To me, this looks like a chain of efficiency losses going from diesel to mechanical to electrical […]

Electric cars are already causing some grid failures in Australia

EV ownership in Australia is only 1 car in 4,000 of all our cars on the road. Yet already they are causing streets to go black, and possibly blowing transformers which need replacing “more often”:

Electric cars are already causing some grid failures

Robert Gottliebsen, The Australian

It’s a crisis that has been concealed from the vast majority of the population … The danger really came home to me when I met up with an affluent, long-time Melbourne acquaintance who lives in a street where there are six Tesla cars. When they all try to charge their batteries at the same time, the power goes out in the street because the grid fails. Sometimes it fails when only three or four of them try to charge at the same time.

Australians only own 5,000 EV’s at present. Imagine the fun when 500,000 new EV’s hit the streets in 2030, and again in 2031, 2032,….

He talks about intermittent power causing “choppy” electron flows which make transformers hotter:

To my horror I discovered that cities like Melbourne and Sydney are in danger of either experiencing explosions or even a complete collapse of […]