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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did anyone see the program, "Cars. The End of Petrol & Diesel?"?
They said people were still reluctant to convert to electric vehicles and wondered why. They then went straight on to "range anxiety" and drove a LEAF until it was out of charge!

I'll tell you why people are reluctant, it's because of biased reporting like that. I thought I'd show you my feedback on the ITV website.

"Hello.

I was wondering why, on a program asking the question “Is This The End of Petrol & Diesel?”, you felt you had to show a vehicle running out of fuel? I don’t think I have ever seen a program on a new petrol or diesel vehicle which starts by letting it run out of fuel. Also, the presenter, Jinny Buckland said that “range anxiety” was a real thing.

Firstly, an electric vehicle has many systems which alert the driver to the level of charge and advises you to refuel long before you will run out of charge. This was mentioned as an afterthought and it might have been more informative to show how you have to be really determined (or really stupid) to run out of charge by ignoring the car. Also, you could have given some statistics to show how unlikely it is for an EV to run out of charge.

For example, the Highways Agency in 2018 reported 1,500 vehicles were recovered from the motorway network for running out of petrol or diesel. I could find no report of ANY electric vehicle having to be recovered for running out of charge.

Secondly, “range anxiety” exists only for people who do not drive electric vehicles. EV owners have range awareness, which means they know how far they can go before having to stop for fuel. I’m not sure drivers of combustion engined vehicles have that awareness (see the report from the Highways Agency 2018). You also failed to show how the car indicates on the infotainment screen where the nearest chargers are, and the numerous apps you can use to locate chargers and plan long journeys.

Thirdly, Jinny contacted 10 random garages to ask if they repaired or serviced electric vehicles. Why not use the main dealer who will have all the diagnostic equipment and trained staff? You left it to the AA mechanic to mention that electric vehicles were more reliable than their combustion engine equivalent. You could have mentioned that an internal combustion engine has hundreds of parts which have to move in precise synchrony to turn the crank shaft. An electric motor has one moving part, the drive shaft!

And finally, Jinny mentioned in passing that running cost may be lower. Perhaps mentioning that an internal combustion engine is only 30%-35% efficient, compared to 85%-90% for an electric drivetrain. You could have put £15 of fuel in a car and dramatically burned a £10 note, showing that only £5 worth of the fuel purchased actually moves the car. Charged at home, an electric vehicle is around four times cheaper to run, and using rapid chargers, around half the cost of a petrol or diesel vehicle.

The rest of the program was better than I was expecting, and highlighting the appalling Ecotricity network monopoly on the motorway network was well done, although you could have praised many of the excellent networks out there.

If you plan to report on electric vehicles in the future, could I suggest that you use a reporter who is an experienced and unbiased EV owner. (Check out Fully Charged on Youtube. I’m sure Robert Llewellyn would be only to happy to advise).

Kind regards,"

It probably won't make any difference, but it made me feel better venting my spleen. :)
 

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Yes it wasnt a great program but better than some attempts they were accurate about charging on the motorway, however she clearly should have looked at the app before driving there, still it makes new EV drivers like me aware that the chargers arnt reliable
 

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The only real mistake was letting off ecotricity so easily. Nobody with a petrol car has to check whether it will be working. They just turn up. That's what EV drivers need.
Fingers crossed that the statement from ecotricity about new chargers is true and not a pipedream
 

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Fingers crossed that the statement from ecotricity about new chargers is true and not a pipedream
They've said the same several times. They're BS merchants. The new improved chargers are always just around the corner. Their own accounts were suggesting they were expecting to be booted off MSAs and have to make good.
 

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There are some new Ecotricity chargers coming fairly soon at Rugby — but I’m not aware of existing locations where replacement units are remotely imminent. In any event, new chargers doesn’t necessarily mean reliable if they aren’t maintained, so it could well be that any new chargers they do install are okay for a while and then start becoming unreliable due to neglect. Probably unlikely to ever be as poor as the old units though.... touch wood.
 

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There are some new Ecotricity chargers coming fairly soon at Rugby — but I’m not aware of existing locations where replacement units are remotely imminent. In any event, new chargers doesn’t necessarily mean reliable if they aren’t maintained, so it could well be that any new chargers they do install are okay for a while and then start becoming unreliable due to neglect. Probably unlikely to ever be as poor as the old units though.... touch wood.
I think the only hope for EVs is that ecotricity get bought out by a serious contender.
 

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Although I loath Ecotricity it’s not always the networks fault for not getting more chargers fitted.

although it’s 100% ecotricitys fault for not updating and maintaining the ones it has

BPPulse has had 6 150kw units in place at Stafford Services on the M6 for a year but the DNO has not allowed power to them. Same in Derby where they have units sitting installed. Tesla have had battles at Ferrybrdge and the units are sitting unconnected due to a leaways dispute

most of our services are on what was cheap out of the way land with little supply. Govt need to be putting pressure on the supply network to massively increase supply to these sites now. Otherwise theyvwill continue to ignore the issue

till then it’s just a case of living with crap under served locations till Gridserve or others come online with new services to replace the existing dinosaurs. It really is not a good situation
 

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Yes it wasnt a great program but better than some attempts they were accurate about charging on the motorway, however she clearly should have looked at the app before driving there, still it makes new EV drivers like me aware that the chargers arnt reliable
Ginny has said previously she wants to keep highlighting how bad Ecotricity are, shes said so in print, on videos on YouTube and now on this show, you can only hold their feet to the fire so much on a show like Tonight, every element of the show offers some balance to each point, positive or negative. But I found the show more progressive than previous shows that Tonight have done on EVs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It may not be the presenter's fault. Typically 80-90% of recorded material finishes up on the digital equivalent of the cutting room floor. That can seriously skew how the whole thing comes across, depending on how the editing is done.
I wondered that myself, because when she said she was going to show what happened when a car runs out of charge, I thought great, they're going to show how the car tries to stop you doing something that stupid. Maybe she filmed all that and it was replaced with the comment "and the car alerts you when you're getting low".
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ginny has said previously she wants to keep highlighting how bad Ecotricity are, shes said so in print, on videos on YouTube and now on this show, you can only hold their feet to the fire so much on a show like Tonight, every element of the show offers some balance to each point, positive or negative. But I found the show more progressive than previous shows that Tonight have done on EVs.
I agree that on the whole it was a reasonable program. The only thing that let it down was that anxiety inducing running out of charge at the start. What are petrol heads going to make of that?
 

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The running out of charge bit basically said you'd have to be a throbber to do it as the car warned and warned and warned about stopping to charge.
Yes indeed - she was very fair. She made the point that she wanted to run it until it ran out to see what happened. The gist of the piece was that it really was going to happen.

She really slipped up when she pointed out that - with "only" 6% of sales being EVs last year, it will take ages to switch over. Pundits can never ever believe that these things really do become very rapid when the tipping point is reached - she was speculating that it would be around 2025, which is way too late.
 

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As I see it the, the purpose of this show was to look at how ready we are for the transition, not whether the transition is going to happen, or whether or not it should. The show, rightly, took that it will happen as a given.

From my POV, the running out of charge segment was primarily to show that even if the worst happens, it’s no big deal, and to highlight the fact that breakdown services will need to be widely equipped to deal with EVs that in most cases can’t be towed like ICE cars have been. So that’s an aspect that needs addressing by the industry (and almost certainly will be) in order to make the transition smooth.

The segment on charger numbers and geographic distribution was totally fair and accurate, IMO. The highlighting of Gridserve was great — to show and reassure viewers what is possible and what to expect more of.

Segment on car purchase costs and running costs was fair and accurate. Highlighting of V2G to enable cleaner grid use and potential for running costs savings was positive.

Segment of repair of a used EV by an independent garage was okay, as we will need more independents who are willing and able to service & repair used EVs...but it could/should have highlighted HEVRA and should have mentioned that main dealers are there at the moment.

Short segment on battery production was accurate and fair, and the segment on local lithium was positive to address some of the complaints people often mention about materials being shipped half way around the globe.

Segment on public transport / cycling being preferable to private cars where possible was accurate and fair.

Segment on the current infrastructure was all too real, and I think it’s good to keep highlighting how utterly useless the situation at most MSAs still is. They could/should have shown using the app(s) to check the charger status first — but then have said that we shouldn’t be needing to do this and should be able to just trust that every charger will work. It was positive to show how different the Instavolt experience is.

The entire segment on self-driving was completely irrelevant to the question at hand, and a waste of valuable time in the show.

Comment about fossil fuels still being available after 2030 was fair and accurate — not everyone is going to be able to afford an EV by 2030, and it’s right that people who rely on a private car and simply can’t get around only via public transport/cycling etc are reassured that they won’t be left high and dry. "Petrol and diesel aren’t going anywhere quite yet" implicitly says "but they are going away eventually".
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Yes indeed - she was very fair. She made the point that she wanted to run it until it ran out to see what happened.
I don't think she was fair at all. I would have thought that it would have been obvious that when a vehicle runs out of any type of fuel, it stops. Why not do it with a petrol or diesel car and see if they could get an airlock in the fuel line. I couldn't see the point of doing it except to deter the audience from buying an EV. A more positive spin would have been to show the range estimate the car gives you when you get in it, and the display of the nearest chargers when you start to get low.
 
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