Comparison Between Battery Powered Electric Vehicles and Internal Combustion-Engine Vehicles Cradle to Grave 5 million private vehicles currently in use has not been publicised by the Treasury, for unknown reasons¹2. l The consequences of sufficiently expanding the National Grid to supply the probable fleet of battery-powered electric vehicles will have to be subsidised by inflated household electricity bills or from general taxation. l This means the electorate will be compelled to pay subsidies for products which only the most affluent will be able to afford – all this at the same time as being denied the use of internal combustion-powered vehicles that will never require subsidies or wholesale national infrastructure replacement. l The costs of dismantling the current fuel distribution system and the loss of local employment must be taken into account as it adds materially to the on-costs of the electrification policies. l Many petrol stations will become a ‘stranded asset’ as they are unlikely to have the space to accommodate several charging vehicles for what could be several hours at a time, or overnight. l An informal estimate in the USA has calculated that to match the 2,000 cars that a typical filling station can service in 12 hours, an electric charging station requires 600 50-kW chargers at an estimated cost of US$24 million, and an uninterrupted supply of 30 megawatts of power from the grid. A comparable analysis of UK requirements would be very useful. l The challenges of handling end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles means that the technology is not sufficiently developed to allow them to be marketed on environmental grounds alone. l The Argonne National Laboratory, at the US Department of Energy Science & Engineering, reported that: “a shredded electric vehicle battery can yield recyclable metals, but it is cheaper for battery-makers and vehicle manufacturers to use new materials”. As a result, batteries frequently end up in landfill. l It has been claimed that vehicle batteries can be successfully recycled, but it’s clear this is just not true. After an absolute maximum of three cycles of those elements that can be recycled, all the materials have to be disposed of – frequently in landfill sites, and frequently in some of the poorest countries. l Making the recycling of batteries mandatory in the same way that the recycling of internal combustion engine vehicles are, would place the costs of battery-powered electric vehicles even further beyond the reach of the general public. l The potential fire risk of vehicles powered by lithium batteries has been vividly demonstrated, and it’s possible that seaborne transport has been placed at considerable risk in at least one incident. The danger of runaway battery fires in confined spaces such as the Channel Tunnel, trans Alpine tunnels, and underground car parks has yet to be thoroughly investigated. It is worth recalling that prior to recalling all Chevrolet Bolt vehicles, the manufacturer advised that they should not be parked within fifty metres of other cars – and for good reason. l Our research shows that batterypowered heavy duty vehicles are wholly impractical and are exceedingly unlikely to be a viable proposition in the foreseeable future¹3 unless they have a significantly reduced payload, which could result in double or treble the number of vehicles required to achieve the same load-carrying capacity. l The technology potential chart at the top of page 6 shows that battery-powered vehicles have a very limited range of uses – it’s estimated that heavy duty trucks are unlikely to have the necessary payload because of the size of the battery needed simply to overcome inertia. l The International Integrated Reporting Council have indicated that they estimate the payload for a 7.5 tonne vehicle could be halved for a battery-powered equivalent, which would mean twice as many vehicles would be needed to convey the same load. Experience in both the USA and Germany