The inevitable collision between 30 years of global warming hyper activism — the howling demonization of available, proven energy resources — and reality, is upon us. There is an atmosphere of semi-panic as many of the countries most committed to “getting off” oil and gas and turning their economies over to wind and sun find winter approaching and they, environmentally virtuous as they are, are wondering if they have enough oil and gas and even coal to get through it. The 26th gathering of doomsday professionals known as COP26 is close at hand, this time in Glasgow, for another massively over-subscribed conference bent on rejecting the great gifts of nature and providence — oil and gas. COP26 will coincide with the very crisis that the previous 25 conferences, with their wild projections of the Earth collapsing if their prescriptions were not taken up, were in large part responsible for. This time there will be as many as 25,000 delegates travelling great distances by jet during a plague and — this will shock no one — as the BBC reports “COVID rules will be relaxed … (delegates) will not require to be fully vaccinated.” Of course not. Global warmers have virtue-signalling immunity.
European and U.S. cities planning to phase out combustion engines over the next 15 years first need to plug a charging gap for millions of residents who park their cars on the street. For while electric vehicle (EVs) sales are soaring in Europe and the United States, a lag in installing charging infrastructure is causing a roadblock. Based on car registrations and parking permits, charging startup char.gy estimates there are between 5 million and 10 million cars in London, of which around 76% park on the street. Government figures show the total is around 40% for Britain’s 33 million cars, while around 40% of Americans do not live in single-family homes with garages. And while the rise of car sharing services may reduce the need for on-street charging, it is unclear by how much. Char.gy Chief Executive Richard Stobart estimates Britain will need half a million on-street chargers by 2030, when around half of the country’s cars should be electric. Char.gy runs a network of around 1,000 on-street lamp post chargers in Britain that cost around 1,800 pounds to make and install. While government subsidies exist, Stobart said, local authorities often lack the resources.
The future is never certain, but some aspects of the looming fuel tax revenue crisis seem comfortably predictable. As bans on the sale of internal combustion cars and trucks begin to take hold, government fuel tax income will start a rapid decline. If, as expected, governments act to protect this important revenue source, we can expect new policies that seek to replace the gas tax — and these efforts will almost certainly include EV owners. Experience in the U.S. suggests the simplest solution is an extra registration fee on every EV. But such a system is also inherently unfair, since it requires drivers who don’t drive a lot to subsidize those who do. This, as well as various other reasons, is likely to push governments to prefer a technology-based solution based on kilometres driven. And that could open the door to a host of new driving charges that will revolutionize how — and how much — we pay to use the roads. Canadian drivers may soon find themselves wishing the future never comes.
As an electric vehicle owner, there is no doubt in my mind that pure-battery models are close to the mass adoption tipping point, except for one major barrier. The lack of charging infrastructure. It’s not just the sparsity of where to charge, it’s the plug-in type that’s problematic too. EVs work well. Compared to combustion engine vehicles, the driving performance and acceleration are superior. Pricewise, the mainstream luxury segment has reached comparable economics with the petroleum powered peer group. It’s true that compact electric cars are still expensive, however, rising gasoline prices, government subsidies and the climate imperative is narrowing the gap in this segment too. Charging times can be reasonably fast. While not all manufacturers have achieved high charging rates, under the right conditions some models can gain over 200 kilometres of range in just 15 minutes. Fast charging stations have the capability of delivering electrons to the battery at a rate of more than 200 times the average consumption of a home (200 kW). Moving this much electricity safely through a garden hose sized cable is a technical wonder. Everything works well until the new EV driver goes on their first long-distance road trip.
We planed a trip up to the cabin in the Ford Mustang Mach-E to see if the vehicle and infrastructure are up to task. […] First, I’d recommend EV owners know the range of their vehicle with 80 per cent battery remaining. Relying on fast chargers means that you will be topping up to that level, which isn’t the typically advertised full-charge mark that automakers always parrot out. Second, check the reviews of stations you plan to use on the day of your trip. This seems like a significant step backwards from gas stations. Imagine having to thumb through reviews of a Shell or Esso that say they have sporadic pumps. That wouldn’t fly with a gas vehicle and station, and shouldn’t be the norm with an EV. Finally, cell connectivity may be inconsistent around the province. If you have an EV charge card to use, this may be more convenient than initiating a charge from your phone. Overall, the trip was doable, and though there were some hiccups, we managed pretty well. While some think EVs are ready for prime-time, this trip suggests that there are still some scenarios where they don’t provide the smoothest experience.
Shortly after 8 a.m. Eastern time, a Canadian Forces Challenger 604 departed Ottawa International Airport on a northwesterly course away from our nation’s capital. Its callsign — CANFORCE 1 — indicated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among those aboard the sleek, 10-seater business jet — despite the PMO’s public itinerary listing his activities for the day as ‘private meetings’ in Ottawa. As the day progressed, so did the aircraft — eventually touching down at Tofino Long Beach Airport, a favourite vacation and surfing spot for the Trudeaus. The impromptu vacation was confirmed by the PMO. “The Prime Minister is spending time in Tofino with family for a few days,” PMO Press Secretary Alex Wellstead wrote in an email to the Sun. “Following his participation in last night’s ceremony marking the first National Day for Truth & Reconciliation, he is speaking today with residential school survivors from across the country.” […] Reaction to Trudeau’s apparent snub of National Truth and Reconciliation Day came swiftly.