Cars as Transport and the Move to Electric

I’ve been analysing output and production figures for electricity. There is a hell of a lot of assumption based with power. ‘Demand is the amount of energy that is required,’ being one. I did a few calculations at a specific point in time and checked the demand. This was 28GW. So, then I decided to total up the energy being produced by each area and through the interconnectors at that same time. This totalled 32GW. Because of lack of decent figures, with electricity I find that on average 5-10% more power is produced than reported demand, and since there is little very long-term storage on the system this must represent the average loss there. The daily, regular and consistent fluctuation up to 5GW requirement from the international interconnectors is an unknown side issue. CO2 is commonly calculated on values of production, not the end product as with fossil fuels, so because of this anomaly any electric power vehicle would in fact produce 5-10% CO2 more than calculated. At the other end I did a test of consumption against capacity and draw and found that for every 100 watts taken off the plug, about 95 watts was stored, so also add another 5% extra CO2 due to loss there. Not sure of the losses in between but we’ll assume for the moment that was it. The situation could be a lot worse, but unlikely to be better. Electricity and CO2, with its assumption of demand being what is necessary and the CO2 that is produced to provide it has a major flaw.  So, we need to increase pollution figures such as CO2 because of this by at least 10% for electricity. My very rough calculation of 14% extra at production and at least a 5% in use and conversions may mean a significant alteration in the cleanliness of electricity as far as CO2 and pollution goes.

A typical electric car will draw more than the figure it says it is taking in, but a good figure to work on would be 0.3 watts per mile. This is based on a real-world use figure, not the theoretical manufacturers published ones. The general assumption is that current electricity production produces 0.5Kg per KWh. This means an electric car that does the average of 9,000 miles a year produces about 1.35 tonnes of CO2. But, if we need to factor in 10% losses this could be 1.48 tonnes and 20% loss, 1.6 tonnes a year, but not measurable as it has no obvious tailpipe, just a production chimney.

Not a lot compared to the assumed average of 2 tonnes for fossil fuel cars, but electric cars also add in other areas, manufacture producing a lot more CO2 with electric cars than fossil fuel ones, the latest fossil fuel cars being about 1.8 tonnes of CO2.

My old dirty car 26 year old car did 53mpg. Because of ULEZ, I needed to replace it with a moderately dirty 15 year old compliant car that does 50mpg. Adding in manufacture and maintenance gave an average of about 1 tonne of CO2 per year, my replacement pushing that to 1.5 tonnes a year.

With cars about ½ of the pollution comes with their manufacture, usually the more expensive the car the more cumulative and polluting resources needed to support it. Even £1000 bicycles have a dirty industry behind them that probably produces a half to a tonne of CO2, there being no such thing as a free lunch in physics or pollution. A smaller figure with disposal. This you need to spread over the real life of something, not it’s assumed life, so disposing of it early increases this per year. If you replace it early and pass it on, well and good, but realise, you are adding new production and a new set of pollution rather than just replacing the values of an old one. It’s totals that count, not percentages and averages that can be easily manipulated to give the values or impressions you want.

If the electricity figures are correct, if I could have afforded it I could have replaced it with a clean Tesla that only averages 3 tonnes of CO2 a year and travelled around London or Bristol. Probably not producing anywhere near the pollution of people who live there though. The bigger and more expensive the car, the more pollution, 4×4’s and sports cars particularly bad and there’s a lot of ‘clean’ ones in London.

So, the clear cut and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt is not just suspect, but very suspect and fake science approved by the consensus of scientists. It doesn’t happen comes the reply, all science is a collection of evaluations using the scientific method. The theory people believe without deciding to check themselves.

‘Where are you going with that hand cart?’ ‘Utopia’ is the reply. ‘But surely the signpost previously said Hell.’ ‘It did, but the word was socially unacceptable, so a lot of clever people changed the word.’ ‘But surely it means you’re going in the same direction.’ ‘Don’t know, but it’s also now considered offensive to check, so I leave it to those that are registered to do so and have an interest in promoting the myth.’

Urban pollution has suffered from a lot of subjective and biased interpretations. The headlines ‘these number of people have directly died from pollution’ is commonplace. But how close to this is the truth? ‘Unpolluted’ rural areas have much less pollution than ‘polluted’ urban areas, 6% of the total area if you count gardens, where 83% of the UK’s population live, but the statistics are that if you live in a rural area you are on average are likely to live 2 years longer. (4/5ths of the population live, work and play in 1/16th of the area, the other 1/5th do the same in 15/16ths.) Compare this to a 10 year difference for smokers and non-smokers, the 10 year difference between the poor and the wealthy and 5 year difference between north of the UK and it’s south. ULEZ is more like firing an arrow at the target and hitting the person behind you as it has so little practical value, pushing for early vehicle replacement and the additional overall pollution in the world that ensues, a local advantage for a global loss.

The claim is that 4,000 people die in London each year because of pollution. The population of London is about 9 million, so with an average longevity of about 79 years, there would normally be about 114,000 dying there every year. In the country a similar area of 9 million people allowing for 81 years would give 111,000, so all the differences between urban and rural gives 3,000, pollution being only one of those, but all attributed and more to pollution.

Take for instance ozone, O3. At a low altitude it is damaging to human health and can trigger inflammation of the respiratory tract, eyes, nose and throat as well as asthma attacks. Usually quite high in rural areas as there is little oxides of nitrogen to reduce it, being around 70 micrograms per cubic metre it has stayed pretty constant over the last 35 years. In the urban areas it has gone from 40 micrograms per cubic metre to 65 over the same period. Still slightly less than rural areas, but a constant yearly increase of about 5% since 1995.

Now, 1 million deaths a year are attributed to ozone that is higher in rural areas, so for our population that would work out to 8,700 a year, or 1,153 extra for a rural area the size of London. That is if you treat all increases as the reason for the extra deaths like as it’s done with pollution.

The trouble is nobody checks the improvements, the current scheme running now for over 4 years ago. Has the pollution gone down or the number of deaths gone down in London? Not according to the numbers.

Similarly, medical care, being claimed as responsible for all the massive increases in longevity, but smoking, the major effect on longevity has decreased dramatically. Taking into account the loss of the smoking effect, the increase has been quite small.

In other countries smoking has not so much decreased, but nutrition to a more normal value has increased, so less people are dying of nutrition related diseases.

In 2018, before ULEZ was introduced there were 50,420 deaths in London, last year there were 52,000, but despite 15 years of cleaner cars the deaths have stayed pretty much the same each year on average, around 48-50,000. You would think there would be some observable benefit from all this lesser pollution.

The figures also show that in London at least you are probably 6 times as likely to be injured or killed riding a motorbike as using a car.

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