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Out of curiosity, we still have original Victorian sewers and rail way works. Is there any Victorian copper wire left still operating in the ground? (I presume anything overhead would have fallen down by now?)

Not Victorian, AFAIK, but there is still a fair bit of lead covered cable in use. Not sure when they stopped using that, perhaps some time in the 1950's or 60's, but it's far from unusual to find a lead covered incoming underground cable. My guess is that there is still a lot of this stuff around. Same goes for VIR wiring in houses. They stopped using that at least 50 years ago, but you still regularly find it still in use in older houses.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20
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I remember all the lead cases wiring coming out of my parents house… pretty sure their mains feed is lead cased. Some friends bought a house untouched for decades, had cotton covered wiring around the distribution board.
 

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Some of the power distribution infrastructure is now getting pretty old, especially some of the underground cables, and particularly the older type of joints (before modern resin filled torpedo joints). When we had an issue with a high supply voltage earlier this year it turned out that our sub-station transformer was installed in the mid-1960's. The guys had an interesting time trying to free off and move the tap changer as it hadn't been moved in over 50 years.
Which is also why National Grid reckon the increase in EVs won't be a problem. There are already sizable reasons why the grid needs upgrades, and increases in capacity that large scale EV use would need can be factored into work that already needs to be done.
 

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Zoe Devotee
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Never understood the fascination in EV circles to spend a fortune on a car then buy an extension lead from Home Bargains and then complain when you nearly burn your house down.
 

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Never understood the fascination in EV circles to spend a fortune on a car then buy an extension lead from Home Bargains and then complain when you nearly burn your house down.
Yup, there's a huge gulf in quality between the fixed infrastructure in your home and things like extension leads you might plug in the wall, those multiway socket adapters should have 10A MCBs in them as the 13A fuse allows for lots of long overloads as it was never intended to provide overload protection. I have a DIY extension cable that I have used in the past but it uses 2.5mm cable with tinned terminations and quality rubberised plug and socket with quality brass terminals. The quality of some five star rated stuff on Amazon is absolutely appalling, never mind the horrors you can find on eBay.
 
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