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Everything posted by Shelley

  1. We keep plugged in all the time. They recommend it if you can. It's got some kind of computer program to keep it from overcharging. It keeps it topped up at all times and warm in cold weather. Exactly. We still have a petrol car, but use it way way less. It's well known that a large part of people's driving is short distances. Like you, I live in the south end of town. I'm almost to Stretton, so even farther out than you. Tony's family lives in the north, Callands, Cinnamon Brow, and we have friends in Birchwood as well. I do tutoring in various other parts of Warrington. Tony works at Daresbury. He usually cycles, but if the weather is really bad or he's not feeling well, he takes the electric car. This one is not good enough for it to be really convenient to give up the petrol car, but for many people the EV1 that was killed was. GM came out with a car called the EV1 a few years ago on a lease only basis, and a number of people in California got them. They were much more like real cars than the G-wiz, with a max speed of 70 mph and a range of 110. Many people found that they were able to use them for such a large amount of their driving that it wasn't worth keeping their petrol car. It was cheaper to sell it and hire one for trips too long for the EV. If somebody came out with something like the EV1 for any kind of reasonable price, I would probably sell both of our cars and get it, and use a train or hire a car when the distance was too far for it.
  2. Hi Shelly, nice to have you back. Thought you might return with this one How long does it actually take you to recharge your car and how much does a full recharge cost any idea. With the increase in electric prices I wonder how your friends feel about you plugging into their mains supply though I'm not too convinced about the use of caravan parks though especially in high season. Site owners may be helpful for the odd elec car but I would imagine if it became the norm you may have some very irate caravan owners letting your tyres down. First for all of this keep in mind, mine is very low end, 5 year old G-wiz. G-wiz is low end and mine isn't even the best G-wiz. The EVUK page will give you a much better idea of what is possible. That said, the electricity cost is the least of your worries. It takes 2 hours for a 80% charge and 6 for a full charge. It is very cheap, don't notice it in the noise, supposedly 30-50p for a charge that takes you about 30 miles. That's a full charge too. When I have asked friends to give me a charge, like when we went to a dinner party in Liverpool, it probably cost them under 20p. That said I have heard there is quite a bit of a social problem with them in India where they are quite common. They are struggling with the etiquette of asking friends for charges. The government has promised a charging network, though, as I found out from somebody's post on this forum. They will be charging a set per year charge of ?75. From what I've heard, they've already started, but it's not got out of London yet. The big expense with an electric car is not the electricity. It is the battery that needs to be replaced ever 3 years or so. I replaced ours a little while ago. They actually had a pretty good life of about 4 years. It cost I think about ?1000. Mine are ordinary lead acid. I probably could have done it cheaper if I had had the time and known what I was doing. One of the local garages thought they were probably just the large batteries that large lorries have. (LiIons are considerably more expensive, but more better, getting usually around 100 miles per charge. The new G-wiz's are upgradable to LIIons.) Even counting the replacing of batteries, they are still considerable cheaper than running a petrol car, but not quite as dramatically. There is also less else to go wrong with it, so I think lower maintenance other than replacing batteries.
  3. Typical example of ignoring the question. You still need to get fuel from somewhere to generate the electricity to charge up your car. And please don't say wind power because you still need conventional power stations for when the wind isn't blowing. You are totally right. How about a geostationary solar space station? We just have to get it up there.
  4. I haven't been gagged, just busy. You'd think so, but I do have to be careful about the cat. I worry that he will get underfoot trying to get catfood and not realize that it's more dangerous getting under the cars feet than getting under mine. Sometimes just when you think cats are incredible clever they do something to total disprove it. But electric cars aren't completely silent, a fair amount of car noise comes from the tires. They are most quiet when you are going slow, so you do have to watch out for cats. But at speeds where there is serious danger, they make enough noise to warn people and even cats provided they are used to what to listen for. You have to also think that noise is one of the forms of pollution of cars. It's not a design feature. You could equally as well criticize EVs for not warning you with their smell. As to plugging in, the plan is for a countryside network, but I haven't yet heard of anything outside of London. I only plug it at home or at friends houses. I'm really looking forward to this becoming a reality so that I can double my range and get out to Manchester, Liverpool, or Chester. I could get to Trafford Center if I could charge there, and I keep meaning to write to them and ask about it. Some of the more fanatic EV people on my mailing list have resorted to more creative measures for charging like going to caravan parks. I've heard there are pretty helpful, but not tried it myself. As to where the electricity comes from ultimately, the biggest advantage is that it can come from a variety of places. One website I came across claimed that a fair portion of the electricity for EVs can be supplied simply from that not needed for getting oil out of the ground. From big picture environment point of view, short term LPG is probably as good, but with electricity it gets better as the supply of electricity gets better, and to my mind the much neglected advantage is that no tail pipe emissions is significant, because we shouldn't be polluting in our living room. I think in the long run, in spite of the lack of noise--or maybe even partly because of it--EVs have the potential to be more pedestrian compatible so to encourage less car use. As well as no tailpipe emissions, they are much more efficient at low speeds than anything that has to burn something, making them naturals for in town driving. I know from having walked into town from Appleton a few times that the walk up London Road would be fair more pleasant if all the cars on it were electric.
  5. Now that I would definately have Pity about the price tag though whcih means I 'wont have' after all My impression from EVUK is that there have been fast EVs for quite some time, just not yet commercially available. There's all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff at their site. http://www.evuk.co.uk/
  6. Here's another one. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jun/22/travelandtransport.carbonemissions It looks like we might be finally getting through on this. One comment I have to make on the matter of being impractical for long trips. When the GM's EV1 (100 miles per charge, 70 mph) were out for lease only in LA I heard stories that quite often people held onto their petrol vehicle for the longer trips, but then many discovered that they were using the petrol vehicle seldom enough that with the upkeep and tax, it was cheaper to get rid of it and just hire one when they needed it. So perhaps hiring cars will become more common, with the advantage that the cars up for hire would be replaced often so more able to keep up with the newest ways of keeping emissions down. Another interesting thing there. As to existing vehicles, if cars generate 20% of emissions, and we were to cut their emissions in half, that would cut total emissions by 10%, a pretty big chunk toward realizing goals. I'm reading conflicting reports about LPG, but by some reports converting to LPG would do it, and at the same time we are not as dependent on the middle east for it. I remember somebody here has an LPG vehicle, so perhaps they can help out on that. Are there better options? I think the buses in Yosemite used gas of some variety, and it had to be fairly low pollution, because that valley is as bad as LA for holding pollution.
  7. They look good to me too. I've heard of them before on the EVUK mailing list. There's another company that does them as well, Smiths Electric Vehicles in Tyneside. Funnily enough I've been hearing from others lately (including btw Norman Baker, the Lib Dem shadow transport secretary in one of his answers to my ev lobbying letters) that delivery vans should be the place to start with evs. So I suspect there may well be some open-ness to this by politicians if enough people write to them about it. This is also right along the lines of the sort of things that David Sandalow recommends in Freedom from Oil. Jump start the ev industry by replacing government vehicles with them. I also talked to some of our councillors about this sort of thing, and they seem open-minded to it.
  8. Thanks, very exciting news. It will double my range. Looking forward to getting to Manchester and Chester by the back roads. As to the safety, the G-wiz isn't for everyone on a number of counts. I wouldn't advise a large person to buy it either. It's sized well for someone my size, 5'6". My husband who is 5'11" and thin is about the limit. I'm used to the safety advantages and disadvantages of small vehicles in general. I drove a moped for a couple of years when I was at University. You learn to drive with the assumption that you are invisible. I just recently was on the phone with Goin Green about a replacement windscreen and asked them about the safety issue, and they said it has improved in the newer ones, but also for all the scare about it, there haven't been any serious accidents with them. The crash tests aren't as important as what actually happens on the road. Back when seat belts first came out, my father had a funny attitude about them. While I don't totally agree with it, I think it had a kernal of truth. He felt they gave people a false security. His attitude was that all accidents could be avoided with good enough defensive driving, and that seat belts would make people less careful drivers, sort of like duck and cover and nuclear war. That probably isn't quite true, but believing it does have some advantages over just accepting that crashes are a way of life and turning our vehicles into armored tanks. Admittedly, though, there are times when I have felt unsafe in it. The first time I took it on the Birchwood Expressway was really scary. There are certainly times when I wish it could go faster, but you learn coping strategies. Today's drive to Birchwood in it reminded me how much fun it is to drive even after two years of the novelty wearing off in spite of the scare stories. It's not for everyone, though, and needn't be, because bigger, safer, and faster ones are coming. If you are really lucky you might even be able to pick up a Berlingo Electrique on ebay. The G-wiz isn't the future. It's merely the cardboard mock-up of the future. It's what gets these charging grids going so that people will be brave enough to buy the more expensive better ones.
  9. Yes, of course, that too. As I said, we need to cut way down on car use. Bring it all out.
  10. Certainly the case if you have a can't do attitude. As to costs, you may have not got that far in the video, but he claims it is no more than that of a year's petrol. And offset it with the costs of staying on petrol, wars, oil spills, and on and on. This is no pipe dream either. They have signed contracts to do it in three places so far, Israel, Denmark, and the city of San Francisco. Plug in hybrids are the compromise that David Sandalow Freedom from Oil advocates, but he sees them as just a transition stage to fully electric. It's no doubt going to be some of both, and hydrogen (another way of storing electricity) will no doubt play a role as well. The real important thing to answer this wake-up call, and realize we don't need more oil. As to safety considerations with the G-wiz, first as I said earlier, nobody is seriously proposing the G-wiz as the final answer. Criticize the real thing, not the cardboard mock-up. But as for banning it, try that crash test on a bicycle or a motorcycle. Are you going to ban them? My answer is to not crash it. And the G-wiz has a number of safety advantages to compensate, like for example fantastic visibility (essentially no blind spots) and incredible maneuverability to help avoid those crashes. I love my G-wiz. Please don't take it away. Come for a ride in it some time, and you will appreciate how much fun that little car is. My Honda Civic feels like a tank after it. I kind of wondered about that part too, but it sounds like it's only essential if you want to use car tax to fund beating up on the Palestinians. I would be curious to find out how the taxing works in Denmark or San Francisco.
  11. You clearly haven't watched the original video, because if you did you would know that it is not about G-wiz's, so I will repost it. Everyone, even Goin Green, knows that the G-wiz is just a junky foot in the door, experimental try it out on the cheap car. Shai Agassi is not talking about G-wiz's. The GM Volt is not a G-Wiz. The Tesla certainly isn't a G-wiz. You are the one with the fairies at the bottom of the garden if you think that.
  12. You didn't read the earlier post that he was responding to. Typically for a long distance trip, for the beginning and end of the trip, it's more flexible to have your own car, but for the middle bit where you're just sitting with a bunch of other cars on a motorway all going the same way, you don't have any flexibility anyway, so you might as well be in some form of public transportation. The tricky bit is finding a way to make that transition from one transport mode to the other as seamless as possible. Of course there are futuristic fancy ideas like trains that disconnect, but I'm trying to think simple do it tomorrow sort of technology. And for that, as you suggest, the beginning and end of the trip are the problematic parts, because of the inconvenience of changing modes of transport, and such things as adjusting your schedule to that of the train. But as the distance gets longer such delays become relatively less important, particularly if they are more than compensated for by a faster speed in the middle bit, because you're not stuck in traffic. Yes, I agree, the beginning and end bits are the challenge. But it's no good saying they are impossible when not even the smallest bit of effort is being made on them. Perhaps a private effort could be made. I've been told about house swapping clubs, where you go on holiday by staying in somebody house while they stay in yours. I know someone who did it with his family when he was a child. He said you correspond with them a good while first, so you come to trust them. I'm still not sure about it, but he said they never had any problems. So how about a car swapping club? You know, you get to your destination, and there are all these cars parked there taking up space and paying parking fees just when you need a car. Seems such a waste, there must be a way to devise a system to take advantage of it. And by the way, I'm well qualified to talk about long distance car travel. I've driven the 3000 miles across the US once, alone. 400 miles a day, staying in Motel 6's and eating at Dennys. Get up, have breakfast at Dennys, drive 4 hours, stop for lunch in a town you will never remember, drive another 4 hours, go for a swim in the pool, have dinner at Dennys, go to bed, repeat. Out on the I80 sometimes had the same car in front of me for a hundred miles, and once practically made friends with the kids in one of them, playing shooting games. About a year later, I took 2/3 of the same trip (Chicago to San Francisco) in a train. That's a trip I will be telling stories about forever.
  13. A legitimate concern, but one I think we would adjust to. I haven't had major problems with it. We are aware of it. Sometimes we yell, "vroom, vroom" or turn the radio on when we think someone won't be aware we are coming. I would imagine that as more of them are around pedestrians will adapt their habits as well to them, not depending on their ears so much. They are not dead silent either. Once your ears get attuned to it that hair dryer sound should supply the same kind of warning. And the lack of noise is definitely a good problem to have. If it really was a problem, there are far more pleasant sounds that could be substituted for engine noise. Perhaps they could play symphonies. Also, I'm not sure this is universal, but my experience is that perhaps because of the quietness and maybe also because nothing is coming out of the tailpipe, I tend to connect with pedestrians a bit more like one of them in the electric car. Perhaps in the long run electric cars and pedestrians will evolve a different relationship than petrol cars and pedestrians have. You make eye contact more, perhaps even stop and chat, and thereby anticipate each other's moves better. The cat even seems to do this a bit. He tends to want to get under "foot" like cats do with people. But in this case it's a bit worrisome, because we need to watch out, because getting foot with the electric car is considerably more dangerous than getting under foot of a person.
  14. My thoughts precisely, but it's another very solvable problem. As long as you take the train, train station parking should be free, and be the easiest place to park around. Instead it is usually the worst place to park around. I remember once trying to take the train to London when I lived in Milton, near Cambridge, driving into the station, not finding anywhere to park, and finally giving up and driving all the way to Redbridge where there was more parking and taking the tube. Yes, both good reasons to need a car. I didn't say to cut them out completely. All solvable problems. I'm not talking about normal car hire. I'm thinking more along the lines of car club style car hire where it was automated. You book online or even through your mobile phone, and you have an electronic card the you wave at it to let you in and you slot it into something to count your miles. This not science fiction. It has been done on a limited level, and they have a plan to do something like it in Paris. There it seems you can pick them up and drop them off anywhere. It might not work quite as perfectly as driving your own car the whole way there, but there would be a number of advantageous to compensate for that. For example, by more of an emphasis on car renting, people would be able to get cars suited just for the purpose they needed. When you only needed a little one, you would get a little one, but on another occasion when you wanted one to transport something large you might get a van. Again some challenges here, but by no means impossible. I believe in making it easy to be green, not in making people suffer for it, and I think they are ways. As to the family trips, my impression from my own childhood memories is that kids like trains much better than cars, much more space to move around. No problem. Electric cars are far better than petrol cars in slow traffic. No idling. The most disconcerting thing when you first get used to one. You think it's broken when you stop, because they totally turn off.
  15. Well yes.... I have lots of cars. I love working on cars. I am restoring a 1960's car at this very moment. It is a bloke thing Shelley. I go to car shows and love the smell of petrol fumes coming out of some big gas guzzling 5 litre 1950's Cadillac Cars are really for blokes, and blokes should drive big cars. Not snitchy little cars like Fiestas and Puntos. Those cars should be all pink and should be for girls to go shopping in.... Okay, a car hobbyist. No major problem. the environment will probably be able to handle the pollution from a few car hobbyists who can parade their cars out on a track some place away from town and all enjoy sniffing the fumes together. If only hobbyist owned cars there probably wouldn't even be a fuel crunch.
  16. I'm not sure what you are accusing me of believing, but even you only believe your own senses, are you honestly going to tell me you like the smell of car fumes?
  17. You haven't watched the video. 6% in 10 years isn't a lot, and that's assuming no cut down in car use, when I think we can and should cut down as well. In Israel, they will use gradually go to solar. In Denmark, where they are adopting it as well, it will mostly be supplied by excess from their wind power. There are many ways. For start if we doubled the efficiency of our power plants by CHP it would be a drop in the bucket. I've also heard claims that electric vehicles could be nearly fueled simply by the electricity that would otherwise be needed to get the oil out of the ground. George Bush plans to use it for that instead. Between you and me, anything, even nuclear is better than oil. George Bush seems to not know about such ideas as this, so he is promoting offshore drilling. I sent him the link, and one to David Sandalow's Freedom from Oil. I know all about offshore drilling. I visited a friend in the dorms at UC Santa Barbara when turpentine next to the shower room became standard. As to less car use, if nothing else, motorway driving is silly. All it takes to get rid of it is good parking at the train station and convenient inexpensive car rental at the destination station.
  18. Send this link to your MP and everyone else you know. It costs one year's supply of petrol, and would increase electricity need by only 6% even if there was no decrease in car use. How about us committing to getting off oil for ground transport within 10 years?
  19. You could, but first you need to join the Lib Dems in order to support the electoral reform (proportional representation or at least STV) necessary for it to get any voice.
  20. They are intended to be rented, not bought, 54 of them. If you have a strong opinion about it, one way or the other, I highly suggest showing up at the Monday meeting.
  21. Perhaps it would help if we came up with a better place for the housing.
  22. Pictures http://www.pbase.com/shelleylauren/cartwrights_field
  23. I'm going. Any idea what the justification is, and what kind of housing they are talking about?
  24. I hope this includes the Green that I helped get elected. In any case, I will be looking into it, and will be there.
  25. I think she is pretty level headed. Don't make too much of one statement quoted out of context, and keep in mind that as a woman she probably feels she has to talk tough to be taken seriously. A lot was made of her so called vote for the Iraq war, but have a look at her speech. Floor Speech of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on S.J. Res. 45, A Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq "Today we are asked whether to give the President of the United States authority to use force in Iraq should diplomatic efforts fail to dismantle Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons and his nuclear program." "Now, I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people, even his own family members, to maintain his iron grip on power. He used chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds and on Iranians, killing over 20 thousand people. Unfortunately, during the 1980's, while he engaged in such horrific activity, he enjoyed the support of the American government, because he had oil and was seen as a counterweight to the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran." "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001." "It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." "If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan? So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option." "So, Mr. President, the question is how do we do our best to both defuse the real threat that Saddam Hussein poses to his people, to the region, including Israel, to the United States, to the world, and at the same time, work to maximize our international support and strengthen the United Nations?" "While there is no perfect approach to this thorny dilemma, and while people of good faith and high intelligence can reach diametrically opposed conclusions, I believe the best course is to go to the UN for a strong resolution that scraps the 1998 restrictions on inspections and calls for complete, unlimited inspections with cooperation expected and demanded from Iraq. I know that the Administration wants more, including an explicit authorization to use force, but we may not be able to secure that now, perhaps even later. But if we get a clear requirement for unfettered inspections, I believe the authority to use force to enforce that mandate is inherent in the original 1991 UN resolution, as President Clinton recognized when he launched Operation Desert Fox in 1998. If we get the resolution that President Bush seeks, and if Saddam complies, disarmament can proceed and the threat can be eliminated. Regime change will, of course, take longer but we must still work for it, nurturing all reasonable forces of opposition. If we get the resolution and Saddam does not comply, then we can attack him with far more support and legitimacy than we would have otherwise." "I believe international support and legitimacy are crucial. After shots are fired and bombs are dropped, not all consequences are predictable. While the military outcome is not in doubt, should we put troops on the ground, there is still the matter of Saddam Hussein's biological and chemical weapons. Today he has maximum incentive not to use them or give them away. If he did either, the world would demand his immediate removal. Once the battle is joined, however, with the outcome certain, he will have maximum incentive to use weapons of mass destruction and to give what he can't use to terrorists who can torment us with them long after he is gone. We cannot be paralyzed by this possibility, but we would be foolish to ignore it. And according to recent reports, the CIA agrees with this analysis. A world united in sharing the risk at least would make this occurrence less likely and more bearable and would be far more likely to share with us the considerable burden of rebuilding a secure and peaceful post-Saddam Iraq." "President Bush's speech in Cincinnati and the changes in policy that have come forth since the Administration began broaching this issue some weeks ago have made my vote easier. Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible. "This is a very difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make -- any vote that may lead to war should be hard -- but I cast it with conviction." "And perhaps my decision is influenced by my eight years of experience on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in the White House watching my husband deal with serious challenges to our nation. I want this President, or any future President, to be in the strongest possible position to lead our country in the United Nations or in war. Secondly, I want to insure that Saddam Hussein makes no mistake about our national unity and for our support for the President's efforts to wage America's war against terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. And thirdly, I want the men and women in our Armed Forces to know that if they should be called upon to act against Iraq, our country will stand resolutely behind them." "My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption, or for uni-lateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose -- all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world." "War can yet be avoided, but our responsibility to global security and to the integrity of United Nations resolutions protecting it cannot. I urge the President to spare no effort to secure a clear, unambiguous demand by the United Nations for unlimited inspections." "And finally, on another personal note, I come to this decision from the perspective of a Senator from New York who has seen all too closely the consequences of last year's terrible attacks on our nation. In balancing the risks of action versus inaction, I think New Yorkers who have gone through the fires of hell may be more attuned to the risk of not acting. I know that I am." "So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed."
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