Fasten your seat belts because motorists are heady for a roller coaster ride and whether you realise it or not; its already begun. Coming soon to a filling station forecourt near you - the Battle of the Batteries is about to ramp up as nations and international car makers start to consign the internal combustion engine to the history books.

Swedish carmaker Volvo announced that it will end production of internal combustion engines by 2020. France has announced it will ban all petrol and diesel engines from its roads by 2040.  Much smaller Norway hasn’t announced it yet but their aiming for 2025, the Netherlands too, and some German States are looking at 2030.


But the race to end internal combustion hides the real Grand Prix of the Electric Vehicle market and that’s the scramble to increase the all important MPC; for the uninitiated that’s Miles Per Charge the statistic soon to eclipse miles per gallon. At the moment the top end of the stats is around 200 miles per charge and that’s not a lot.

There’s another issue dogging EV’s and that’s charging time. It takes minutes to fill up your petrol tank but four to six hours to recharge an EV unless you happen to be close to a supercharger, which takes half an hour for an MPC of just 105 miles. Trouble is there’s an extreme shortage of superchargers in the US and Europe and no-one’s going to want a vehicle that is so time restrictive.

With these limitations in mind at Bohemianmojo we think hybrid vehicles will dominate until either battery technology catches up with consumer expectation; as well as the political drive to smash emissions. There’s another car that might sneak up the grid and that’s one driven by hydrogen, which emits just a trickle of water. There’s plenty of hydrogen in the atmosphere. The problem is capturing it giving rise to yet another technological challenge.

Meanwhile some of the world’s most famous marques from Ford to Jaguar and Porsche are lining up exciting new models of plug in EV’s. Mercedes, Chevrolet, VW and of course Tesla are in the running too.

Behind the scenes there’s a gigantic effort to produce the batteries needed to extend the range and longevity of charges and the economic giant China is determined to become the world leader and leave South Korea and Japan, presently the big battery providers, on the line. Tesla is up there too with plans to build the world’s biggest battery storage plant in South Australia.

At present the number of plug in EV’s on the world’s roads is a really tiny percentage; something like 570,000 in the US, most of them in California. But looking to the future and seemingly confident battery performance is going to improve exponentially the UK government is looking at the issue from a radical perspective.

They’re putting up £20m for tech firms who can develop a means of pushing spare, end of the day, spare battery capacity back into the grid. In exchange owners would get payments or free parking with one estimate they might earn £1000 to £2000 a year from car to grid transfers.

It’s a time of dramatic change but at Bohemianmojo we’d like to be reassured that all these batteries about to flood the planet, with their heavy metal components, can be efficiently and safely recycled.  We’re still worried about the endless tons of mercury that’s been used in solar panels. Dangerous stuff. We just hope these climate change technologies aren’t just more sources of pollution; wolves in green sheep’s clothing.

THE NITTY GRITTY

THE VALUE ADDED WELSH DRAGON

Two rivers drain into Swansea Bay, the Tawe and the Nedd, and for several years there have been dreams to build a tidal lagoon between them  on...

Read more

BLACKFACE: ON THE SHOULDERS OF A GIANT

It’s not often I bury my head in my hands with exasperation but earlier this year I just had too after reading an opinion piece penned by a...

Read more

THE TIDE RUSHES IN…CLOSE TO THE CASTLE OF MEY

At Bohemianmojo we make no bones at all about our intense dislike of wind turbines. From our viewpoint they’re noisy, ugly, expensive, bird-killing...

Read more

PACKAGING POLLUTION

Over the past three years Bohemianmojo has consistently argued the most prominent so-called sustainable solutions to the planet’s problems are not...

Read more

HYDROGEN: IT’S A REAL GAS

Regular readers of our columns will know we are not great fans of wind turbines or solar arrays and we argue they are anything but green or...

Read more

TIME TO REALLY HARVEST THE TIDE

Seventy one per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered by the planet’s constantly restless, tide pulled oceans and Bohemianmojo is totally committed...

Read more

Battling the Time Bandits

If you are one of those people who ends the day with a sigh, an ever burgeoning to-do list, and a bewildering feeling that time has accelerated...

Read more

MORE ABOUT GMBEES

I think most people are aware honeybees are in trouble and, in the past, we’ve written about our hive nightmare – genetically modified bees. So we...

Read more

CHIPS WITH EVERYTHING

You might have been forgiven for dismissing the latest workplace technology as a gimmick but you’d have been wrong as the practice of micro-chipping...

Read more

IS KEEPING A PET IMMORAL?

Hurray! Bohemianmojo has a puppy. Nine-week-old Brig is a working Cocker Spaniel and like most pups she’s cute and adorable but also very naughty and...

Read more

THE ANSWER AIN’T BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND

It seems we may have reached Peak Agriculture with a decline in the amount of land being farmed globally, according to an article in the UK’s New...

Read more

THE HARLECH LEATHERBACK: A POORLY TOLD PARABLE

There are some stories that quite literally make you want to skulk off, bowed your head with collective guilt, and deny you’re part of the human...

Read more