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Fear, Deception and Gravitas

By 2353NM

Enjoying the election coverage? Essentially it is the day to day analysis of the political leaders of this country racking up the kilometres to appear in ‘strategic’ locations, with nodding sycophants behind them answering the same or similar questions as they did yesterday to the same tired and bored journalists who then dutifully make something out of the tedium, record it and send it back to base for consumption on the 6pm news. The next day the caravan moves to another ‘strategic’ location, with some different nodding sycophants and the practice will be repeated ad nauseam until 18 May.

There are interesting moments in an election campaign where people go off script, say something blatantly stupid or demonstrate in front of a group of TV cameras that they are human and can, as a result, stuff it up. The human stuff ups and off-script ‘incidents’ are understandable, such as Shorten’s ‘correction’ to his no new superannuation taxes statement when he didn’t explicitly exclude the increased tax component of a superannuation policy that the ALP released 3 years ago. After all, actors spend weeks and months to learn their lines with expression and actions, we expect the likes of Shorten and Morrison to remember their lines (without knowing the sequence of questions) for every day of an election campaign with little notice, being away from home, keeping quiet on what policies they haven’t released and assessing if there are any holes in the other guy’s arguments that they can exploit. No wonder it sometimes doesn’t go as intended.

While Shorten demonstrated he can stuff it up, the Coalition has demonstrated time and time again it really has nothing left to contribute except their claimed ‘achievements’, fear, uncertainty and deception. When Shorten claimed as part of an emissions reduction policy that he will create a target of 50% of new vehicle sales (emphasis added) to be made up of electric vehicles within a decade, Morrison and the Coalition, despite their own government considering the same target, were all over the policy with negatives, creating fear and deception over the future of electric vehicles based on the current cost and ability to ‘refuel’ electric vehicles on the road today. True – Australia doesn’t generally have the infrastructure to ‘refuel’ electric vehicles within the same timeframes and levels of convenience as petrol or diesel-powered vehicles in 2019, however as the ‘Historic England’ website reminds us.

Today we fill up our cars with petrol from pumps at filling stations, but for the first 25 years of British motoring such things didn’t exist. Instead, you could only buy petrol in two-gallon cans from chemists, hardware shops and hotels, as well as from garages. Then petrol filling stations began to appear.

Simple economics (allegedly a Coalition strongpoint) will tell you if there is a demand for the infrastructure the market will satisfy that demand, in this case probably using a combination of grid and renewable generation sources.

Society adapts to technological change. Almost every medium or large shopping centre has a mobile phone store in 2019, 30 years ago that wasn’t the case. It’s the same with time shifting a TV show. The VCR gave way to the smaller DVD recorder, which has given way to the Personal Video Recorder that has greater usability. A large number of people now prefer to stream content as required from the Internet on their touchscreen device rather than use a recorder at all.

Electric vehicles are coming regardless of if we like it or not and there are already recharging facilities available (albeit not necessarily at highly visible petrol sales outlets). Apart from the high profile Tesla ‘superchargers’, Queensland has the ‘electric superhighway’ from Coolangatta to Cairns (and Toowoomba), Western Australia has the ‘RAC electric highway’ and the NRMA in NSW is also planning to introduce a network of electric vehicle chargers. ChargePoint and Chargefox also have apps that advise where their charging locations are (and handle the user payments).

The poor deluded souls rolled out by the Coalition parties during this election campaign claiming technology doesn’t exist to create an electrically powered ute, pull a trailer or travel a reasonable distance are simply wrong. The technology is already available. Toyota has already announced that all its vehicles (including utes) will have an electric (plug-in or hybrid) option by 2025. RIvian, an US startup backed by Amazon, are openly discussing selling a battery powered ute in Australia by 2022 and Haval intend on having a battery-powered Great Wall ute on sale in Australia before then.

The Toronto Transit Commission in Canada is currently taking delivery of 60 battery powered buses. They hope to reduce the current CA$90million annual diesel bill for their 2,000 buses to CA$0 by 2040 (although there will be a cost implication in recharging 2,000 buses). TTC believe that each bus will be capable of 250km between charges – which is considerably more than the average daily distance travelled by cars, utes and vans in Australia so the economics seem to stack up as well and will get cheaper as the technology matures.

The new tram system in Newcastle NSW runs on batteries with automatic recharging at tram stops while passengers are boarding and alighting and (where else but) Byron Bay already has a full size solar powered train that runs to a seven day a week timetable for about 3km each trip.

As the Coalition is getting electric vehicles so fundamentally wrong – you have to ask what other issues they are relying on fear and deception to address because they don’t have the answer (without splitting their political parties into pieces).

Michaela Cash will probably take the 2019 election ‘blatantly stupid’ award from a long line of wannabes by trying to mimic Charlton Heston’s take my gun from my ‘cold dead hand’ speech with her comment.

“We are going to stand by our tradies and we are going to save their utes,” Ms Cash told reporters.

“We understand choice and that is what Bill Shorten is taking away from our tradies.”

A link to one of Heston’s ‘cold dead hand’ speeches is here. Is Cash, apart from not having a clue, lacking a certain gravitas?

What do you think?

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. Andy56

    You just have to wonder at the intellect of Cash. Everytime she opens her mouth, something stupid comes out. If this is what merit is suppose to deliver, what hope do the men have? Women who behave like rabid men is not a good look. Trying to immitate Tony Abbott isn’t a great idea either. You know, it worked once so can work again philosophy is real smart, 52/48 . Yes when the bag is empty, you dont have too many places to hide. The liberals need a purge of IPA and Ayn Rand ideology. Come back when they have something concrete to offer. Small government is an oxymoron. Its a recipe for revolution. The economy is on a tight rope due to their policies and they want to go even further. Privatisation has been a disaster. $5 extra tax has meant $50 a week extra in tolls. How the f*ck did people not see that coming?

  2. New England Cocky

    Thank you for an excellent objective analysis of the present political situation.

    To attempt to answer your rhetorical question,”Because they chose to look elsewhere at the time the decisions were made”.

  3. Alcibiades

    The annual fuel costs of the average Australian of any 100% Electric Vehicle(EV) compared to a Petrol or Diesel vehicle (ICE), over a distance of ~15,000Km/pa (ABS) is approximately 1/10 (9.5%). The annual servicing and maintenance costs of EV compared to ICE is ~11%, worst case.

    The average daily vehicle commute of ~73% of Australians is ~15Km each way(ABS), totaling 30Km+ per day. Even the most basic & primitive EV can travel 100Km+ on a single charge (tank?).

    The equivalent infrastructure of existing Petrol/fuel stations is NOT required for EVs. This aspect of discussion of EV takeup * practicability is based on ingrained perceptions/routines and frankly myths. One must go to a petrol station to ‘fill-up’ periodically because it is unsafe, cost prohibitive, & logistically impractical to do so.

    Any EV can refuel(recharge) overnight re the daily commute at home, or at a workplace, or multi-level car park, whilst unused, anywhere there is a domestic 240V AC power outlet. Specific Charging infrastructure is only required for additional convenience, and where the driver is traveling distances of over 100-200Km commonly, which is the statistical minority. EVs necessary for long range commutes are therefore selected/configured with larger battery banks. 4WD, AWD, Utes, CrewCabs, Trucks,Long haul prime movers, etc, and at a fraction of ICE operating costs.

    Rapid & fast charging is undesirable & will be the exception, ie interstate travel, purely for instant timely convenience (10-15mins for 80% charge). Why ? Rapid/Fast charging more than 5% of the time will burn out the battery bank, the equivalent of a blown motor in an ICE, in terms of practical effect & overall monetary cost.

    We have grown up, throughout our entire lives, indoctrinated into the habitual routine of ‘refuelling’ at the petrol station as needed … this will NOT be the routine for EVs, in fact, it would be a very rare unplanned event. Your home or workplace(carpark) will be where you recharge(refuel), &/or a parking lot or library, or supermarket carpark for a convenient concurrent ‘top-up’.

    All with a fraction of the current operating costs/expenditure, increasing disposable income significantly & therefore benefiting the economy/community as a whole as a secondary derivative effect, whilst dramatically reducing pollution/Carbon emissions.

    The same will occur with initially short-haul high volume & light utility, Electric Aircraft …

    Secondhand EVs will come onto the market at a fraction of the new cost, yet still have ~70% charge capacity after 7-10 years use using current technology, which will improve even further over time. This will have a dramatic effect re the expense of operating costs re commuting for the most disadvantaged & low income workers in society. Dramatic change re disposable income & financial stress re an equivalent older secondhand ICE(maintenance costs ++)

    $12,600(AUD) will buy an in production 4 seater hatchback with common features & ‘bling’ with a 250Km range, today, out of China …

    It is only vested commercial monopoly interests in conjunction with compromised regulatory/statutory authorities, driven by ignorant and beholden politicians in key roles, that has limited us for decades, to now have commute EVs at 0.02% of the market. Much like Climate Change policies …

  4. andy56

    Alcibiades, you left another more positive. Electric cars will have batteries larger than 60kwhrs capacity. If its plugged into the “system” charging during the day and supplying at night, it fulfills two functions. Transport and energy storage. Thats possibly better than the snowy 2.
    Battery technology is moving ahead at a rapid rate even though we havent seen it on the roads yet. Your 70% after 10yrs, whilst probably correct now, may be obsolete in ten yrs time. It could well be 70% after 20yrs.
    Rapid fast charging isnt an issue as you suggest. Batteries in cars are under very very stringently controlled environments. Ideal conditions to last a long long time.
    The car of the next twenty years will be a different beast to what we drive now. We may even have ammonia/fuel cells for long distance travel. But we dont do ourselves any favours by letting the market do its job cause that will mean everything is haphazard and disjointed. Some federal guidance would certainly speed up the transition at minimal cost and disruption.

  5. Alcibiades

    Indeed. Have raised it before. Am too verbose as it is. 🙂
    A properly designed EV, properly regulated, will be integrated into a domestic residence when not in use. Hence, the battery bank can be used as an emergency mains 240V AC backup/uninterruptable power supply. Charged overnight at the lowest ‘off-peak’ rate when there is minimal grid demand. If a large size residential solar system is linked to a dedicated battery bank, the partial EV charge can be, at least partially, via the Solar battery bank, from the excess solar during the mid-morning to mid afternoon excess production peak. Have been doing exactly that for ~11 years meself with a seperate off grid system. Charging during daytime without sufficient PV/bank capacity, given the supply is partly intermittent and determined by season, at peak tariff rates … not recommended otherwise.

    Indeed battery performance & life is constantly improving. Yet there is a fundamental rule of any & all conventional battery types in use currently, the slower the rate of charge, the longer the usable battery lifetime. The higher the rate of charge over time, ie lower charge time, the shorter the battery longevity. This is regardless of the battery pack environmentals. Very rapid/Fast charge more than 5% of the time, you will kill the battery bank way early. Virtually instant fast charging comes with a crucial cost … battery bank life. That means early replacement within 2-3 years needlessly, at significant expense, or accept dramatically reduced range. Not recommended. Exact same principle applies to your mobile phone or other common battery powered devices. Canna change the laws of physics …

    Current Lithium based packs, the slower the rate of charge, the longer the lifetime. Further, not a good idea to maintain a 100% charge needlessly or ever operate under 30% charge (needlessly) … if done repeatedly, dramatically reduced longevity, by a factor of 4 or more. Same applies to Pb AGM, but never go below 70% charge.

    Do two or three days commute at 30Kms/day, then slow recharge over 8-9 hours. Rinse & repeat. Only use rapid charging when absolutely necessary or on long trips, or fork out the big bucks early, you will.

    The above is why the SA Tesla battery bank is a useful technology demonstrator & interim solution, but not a viable longterm solution, IMV. Battery bank lifetime & recurring expense of ongoing replacement cost.

    The best form of battery storage for grid supply at the macro level is a closed loop/contained two tier hydro reservoir system where the pumping of water from the lower to the higher reservoir is done by solar/wind powered pumps. Ideally using captured storm/waste water. Such systems distributed throughout the grid would provide virtually instantaneous on-call on-demand large scale stored capacity, at very low operating cost, negligible maintenance, nil pollution, preserve fresh-drinking water, and once built last 50 years plus.

  6. New England Cocky

    Thanks Alcibiades, now we need a single article containing all this wonderful information. I think my next vehicle will be electric powered, or at least a hybrid.

  7. Alcibiades

    A highly fuel efficient low emissions dual fuel(LPG) ICE or 100% EV, not a hybrid, one suggests. In general terms a hybrid has the disadvantages of the low end versions of both with bugger all of the advantages of either. Lacking the simplicity or truly dramatic cost (fuel) & running/maintenance cost saving benefits of 100% EV, none of the performance & power advantages of a far more capable ICE & still pollutes. More than double the complexity of either alone, less efficient & more expensive to maintain then either a fuel efficient ICE or a 100% EV. Hence why hybrids, not 100% EVs are ‘pushed’ in Oz ? … Frydenberg has one … or am I just being bitter about the perceived ‘virtue signaling’ of ‘dud’ hybrids … a dead end, faux stopgap ?

    I’d wait a few years for to be introduced in Oz lower cost EVs, should be a wide practical market range/choice NLT 2023/25, or go down the EV conversion path. Unless you routinely commute say ~80-100Km+/day, then definitely worth it re ROI even today.

    Not doing too well lately … not getting anywhere near enough sleep, poor & lapsing concentration, diminished mental acuity … maybe if circumstances improve, maybe … no promises …

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