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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2019
     
    What do we think about
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/22/electric-cars-to-get-green-number-plates-in-new-government-plan ?

    Should hybrids be included or are these just an unsatisfactory interim step?
    What about hydrogen powered IC or fuel cell vehicles?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2019
     
    I want one for mine
  1.  
    Oh yeah.....
    We've had green plates here since 2015 for all electric cars and hybrids that can go at least 50km on electric. And free parking for green plated cars.
    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2019
     
    What do we do when we all have one - start taking away the incentives I guess ?

    Barney
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2019 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomShould hybrids be included or are these just an unsatisfactory interim step?

    The latter - as the existing tax regime demonstrates.

    Posted By: barneyWhat do we do when we all have one - start taking away the incentives I guess ?

    Exactly! Buy an EV now whilst you can still get free parking, tax, subsidies etc. Once there are more than a few about, I'm sure they'll remove even token incentives.

    FWIW, I actually saw a Model 3 in deepest Suffolk the other day, and I know there are a few Leafs around. I saw a Model S once but that was in Cambridge, and a Model X in Orford. I went and sat in an E-Niro a couple of months ago, but they told me there was no way to turn off the keyless entry.
    • CommentAuthorGreenPaddy
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2019
     
    I confess my ignorance of the e-car facts and figures and gov't subsidies, despite looking at the possibility of buying one myself.
    It does make me think of a certain previous gov't subsidy scheme (in the first few years) whereby the relatively well off could afford to buy solar panels, and get generous gov't payback, funded by the the majority of less well off tax payers.
    Please convince me this isn't being repeated? :shamed:
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2019
     
    Posted By: GreenPaddyIt does make me think of a certain previous gov't subsidy scheme (in the first few years) whereby the relatively well off could afford to buy solar panels, and get generous gov't payback, funded by the the majority of less well off tax payers.

    Well there's a subsidy paid to buyers, that's already been reduced once. And the price of some cars has mysteriously reduced by exactly the amount of the subsidy reduction when it happened, so what you pay stays the same. So I'd say the situation is pretty much the same.

    But when are subsidies to encourage particular behaviours not like that? Why should I pay a penny towards HS2 when I'll likely never use it? Or for that matter why should I pay a penny for drug dependence clinics, or for lost tiger cubs, or pieces of tropical jungle?
  2.  
    AIUI, the biggest subsidies are the benefits-in-kind tax reduction, when a higher-rate taxpayer gets a car through their employer as part of their salary package. They'd normally pay income tax on a portion of the value of the car, however for electric and hybrid cars this portion is lower. Hence the boom in hybrid versions of expensive exec motors.

    A neighbour told me he switched to a hybrid version for his company SUV, to benefit from this tax saving. He never bothers to charge the battery, it just acts as ballast.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2019 edited
     
    Posted By: djhI actually saw a Model 3 in deepest Suffolk the other day
    Tesla Model 3 was UK's third bestselling car in August
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/05/tesla-model-3-was-uk-third-best-selling-car-in-august
    even in Suffolk!
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 25th 2019
     
    Posted By: fostertom
    Posted By: djhI actually saw a Model 3 in deepest Suffolk the other day
    Tesla Model 3 was UK's third bestselling car in August
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/05/tesla-model-3-was-uk-third-best-selling-car-in-august
    even in Suffolk!

    Yes, doesn't surprise me. I think it's the biggest seller in Norway. I just cancelled my reservation for one: it's a saloon and I want a hatchback or estate; I don't like touchscreens for controlling a car; and it's bigger than my current Octavia, which is plenty big enough for the roads and car parks I encounter. I'd be interested in what proportion are company car buyers.
    •  
      CommentAuthornigel
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2019
     
    M3 incoming here...

    Best EV out there by a mile at the moment and the only one with access to high speed charging infrastructure when on longer journeys.
    I would say its pretty much the same size as an Octavia but more spacious on the inside.

    The more they do to incentivise take up the better but I think supply will be an issue if the shift is too rapid.

    The BIK loophole with Hybrid no longer works and BIK for EV's will be zero next year so using the tax system to encourage behaviour change is working
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2019
     
    Posted By: nigelI would say its pretty much the same size as an Octavia but more spacious on the inside.

    No, specifically its two inches wider :cry:

    But the other factors are dealbreakers for me anyway.

    BIK is not relevant for me.

    M3 looks like a good car in general though, so I hope you enjoy it.
  3.  
    https://comcar.co.uk/companycar/tax/select/

    Tax payable at 40% in 2019:

    Range Rover Sport diesel : £12356pa
    Range Rover Sport plugin hybrid : £6560pa
    Tesla model 3 electric : £3612pa decreasing to £0 pa in 2020

    So there's a big incentive to choose a hybrid, even if you don't plan to ever recharge it. Even more incentive to choose electric.


    Like DJH said, BIK is sadly not that relevant to me, except in the sense that as taxpayers we all fund these incentives. I'm very happy to fund other people's solar panels and electric cars for the public benefit, so long as the funding is spent effectively and not abused.

    I do think that giving someone a tax discount of tens of £k to incentivise a single electric or hybrid car (cumulative over only a few years of usage), is a questionably inefficient use of those funds, and not very progressive, but that's just imho and it's good that there's a range of opinions out there..!
    •  
      CommentAuthornigel
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2019
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenhttps://comcar.co.uk/companycar/tax/select/" rel="nofollow" >https://comcar.co.uk/companycar/tax/select/

    Tax payable at 40% in 2019:

    Range Rover Sport diesel : £12356pa
    Range Rover Sport plugin hybrid : £6560pa
    Tesla model 3 electric : £3612pa decreasing to £0 pa in 2020

    So there's a big incentive to choose a hybrid, even if you don't plan to ever recharge it. Even more incentive to choose electric.


    The hybrids used to get 5% BIK rate but they have improved the situation but as you say if its never charged then its a bit of a con.

    Changing peoples behaviour unfortunately often needs an incentive, you can tax bad behaviour or incentivise good, taxing carbon for example would be regressive too.

    Solar panels were installed by many people because its was a good financial investment, I would rather they invested in solar than oil exploration.
    The subsidy was there to bring down costs and develop the technology and now the subsidy has been removed as solar panels are economic in many situations without subsidy.

    We should be taxing consumption more than we do and where that is regressive then the social welfare system should be used to provide support for the less well off.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2019
     
    Posted By: nigeltaxing carbon for example would be regressive too

    Depends on how the tax is designed. I don't believe a revenue-neutral tax would be regressive, in fact it should be progressive.

    We should be taxing consumption more than we do and where that is regressive then the social welfare system should be used to provide support for the less well off.

    Agreed.
    • CommentAuthordickster
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2019
     
    I'd love a Tesla, but don't think I could ever spend 40K on transport. I have put down a deposit on the new Chinese MG, around 22K 160 miles, 45 kWh battery. It's a small SUV which I hope will get us up and down our track with it's higher ground clearance.
  4.  
    This is a terrible idea. Manufacturers already badge their vehicles as electric. If owners want to add bumper stickers to further advertise the fact that's up to them but the government doesn't need to get involved.

    Extra privileges for e-cars will/does create more trips and e-car still produce particulates from brakes, tyres, road surface, resuspension, still create CO2 and pollution (just remotely), still add to congestion and road danger.

    We should be pressing for fewer cars, not electric cars. Allowing e-cars into bus lanes will quickly lead to slower buses. Giving them free parking will generate more trips - my neighbour will drive his e-car into central London where he can park for free instead of taking the tube.

    Subsidise the cost to buy relative to ICE cars, give a relative tax benefit (but should be encouraging smaller, lighter not just electric SUVs) but subsiding electric bikes and cargo bikes is the big missed opportunity.

    This is just greenwash.
  5.  
    Some very interesting points being raised in this thread.

    Stepping back, seems the question is 'how should central government encourage takeup of electric cars'?

    If you hypothetically had to spend say £100m/y for the next 3 years, what would you do?
    you could:

    - give 10,000 high-earners a tax discount on company electric cars
    Or
    - give 100,000 new-car-buyers a 3.5k subsidy (but probably the dealers just keep prices higher, to scrape off a slice of this)
    Or
    -dish out 600,000 lots of £500 home chargers (but probably people who can afford £20-50k for a new car, can already afford the charger)
    Or
    - waive car tax (but ditto)
    Or
    - pay for a few 100000 on-street chargers (but seems local authorities are unable to do this fast enough to spend the budget)
    Or
    - announce 'green plates' - this is actually zero cost to central government, as the bus lanes and free carparks are to be provided by local government and private companies, who might not be so generous to EVs, (or maybe are already).

    To be fair, government seem to be doing all of these things. What else could they do?

    I think putting the money into more chargers would be the best way, but it's not obvious.. or maybe buying and scrapping mid-life IC cars.

    I think bike lanes and rural bus routes should definitely be funded more, but from a separate pot.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2019
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeen

    Stepping back, seems the question is 'how should central government encourage takeup of electric cars'?


    They shouldnt. They should be encouraging the take up of public transport and self powered transport.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2019 edited
     
    I'd suggest a package to dissuade people from buying cars:
    1) Don't introduce green plates, but do introduce mandatory pollution rating for all cars, as is increasingly happening in continental Europe (see https://www.green-zones.eu/) together with usage restrictions according to air quality
    2) Bring forward the ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2030
    3) Make affordable regular public transport widely available
    4) Make adequate space for public transport and cycling on urban and suburban roads at the expense of provision for private motor vehicles
  6.  
    A good list Mike1
    If it is supposed to be in any sort of order then #3 and #4 should be at #1 by a few years to change the mindset of the population - a quick evolution rather than a painful revolution.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2019
     
    The trouble with almost all of the suggestions is that they are incentives, for those with money, to save more, so they can feel good about themselves; 'oh look, I'm saving the planet'. If you can afford a £40K car, you really do not need any money from the government/tax payer. Same thing happened with the early Solar PV, those with the capital got given a huge financial boost and made a killing.

    What is needed are small, simple, cheap electric city cars that ordinary folk can afford/use. What the logic is for huge electric SUVs is beyond me. The most efficient use of energy is small and light; anything else is just foolish and those using them are just fooling themselves they are doing anything.

    A car club type scenario where as part of the deal (of having an EV) is that you have an ICE car available for use for those longer journeys or ones that need a larger vehicle.

    This from someone who drives a Discovery Series 2 300TDi and a 10 year old Skoda diesel :bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile:

    If there was a reasonable alternative, I'd use it.

    As for public transport, I just don't want to waste 15Hrs a week additional travelling time.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: Mike13) Make affordable regular public transport widely available
    4) Make adequate space for public transport and cycling on urban and suburban roads at the expense of provision for private motor vehicles

    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryIf it is supposed to be in any sort of order then #3 and #4 should be at #1 by a few years to change the mindset of the population - a quick evolution rather than a painful revolution.

    Posted By: borpinAs for public transport, I just don't want to waste 15Hrs a week additional travelling time.

    This all is the critical point, isn't it? Public transport has to be something desirable to use. Rather than giving company car tax perks for EVs etc, spend the money on improving public transport.

    I always used to prefer taking the train to work to driving, because I could use the time for something useful - like sleeping or reading - instead of increasing my blood pressure. But I drew the line at an extra hour a day each way, and drove instead simply because the buses and trains weren't quick enough/well-organized enough despite having dedicated tracks for both.
  7.  
    I don't buy that it's an either/or choice between EVs, buses and bikes. Each of them is right, in the right place at the right time!

    I've lived in several cities where I did everything by bike or foot, as everything was within 2 miles of me.

    I don't resent the public billions on new tube lines for London, as I hear there's lots of people there, who travel 10 miles or so.

    At the moment we live 3 miles from the nearest village school for my kids and another 5 miles to their after-school swimming lessons. Realistically I don't expect the public sector could ever transport us between them - the two buses each week have a half dozen passengers, and both run on Tuesday morning - so driving is just part of living here.

    So I'm all for funding bike lanes in town centres, public transport in suburbia and rural areas, and electric cars everywhere. I don't think the debate should be framed such that they must compete with each other for funding!

    However EVs are in competition with IC cars, the 'green plates' thing is about influencing that.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 30th 2019 edited
     
    WillInAberdeen said: "At the moment we live 3 miles from the nearest village school for my kids"

    How old are they? According to https://childlawadvice.org.uk/information-pages/transport/ the council is obliged to provide free transport if they're aged between 5 and 8, and up to sixteen if the distance is actually 3.01 miles. If not, they're expected to walk it. I did as a kid. A more attractive option might be a bike. So I don't see the necessity for a car.

    And presuming they provide the free transport as required for young people, maybe they will allow older children to use it at a reasonable cost to defray their costs?

    FWIW, I've just bought an e-bike to use for my shopping trips, so I'll see how that goes. And I do agree that in general it's horses for courses. But I'd like to see a lot more long distance cycle tracks, not just urban ones. And real ones; not the fakes ones that are five yards long, or on a road that's so narrow the cars have to use the bicycle lane too.

    http://wcc.crankfoot.xyz/facility-of-the-month/site-map.htm

    https://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/5590/our-cycling-network-is-a-failure-how-did-it-get-this-way
  8.  
    Sorry if I wasn't clear - school buses run to school, but not from school to swimming lessons. (Or this week: from school to dentist, or back from dentist to cubs, or home from school when someone stays late for football training!)
    I do bike myself in the day, but it's a non starter to bike young kids home along a 60mph rural A-road in the dark. Ditto walking, no pavements.
    Have you looked at getting your shopping delivered online?

    Edit: school transport entitlement in Scotland is actually more generous than that link you had, though in small rural schools it's usually a taxi not a bus, so is basically still a car trip.

    Further edit: and my point was, there's nothing wrong with using a car instead of a bike or bus, if that's the most or the only practical option. Bike lanes and buses are great in places where there's enough users to make them viable and where they don't make the journey time impractical. You made the same points earlier. Therefore, lower emission cars need to be promoted in efficient ways, as do bikes and buses, it's not either/or.
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2019 edited
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: djh</cite>WillInAberdeen said: "At the moment we live 3 miles from the nearest village school for my kids"

    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: WillInAberdeen</cite>
    I do bike myself in the day, but it's a non starter to bike young kids home along a 60mph rural A-road in the dark. Ditto walking, no pavements.
    r.</blockquote>

    3/5 miles - these are trivial distances to cycle. Even less so with an e-bike.

    70% of trips that are driven in the UK are under 5 miles - a huge proportion of currently driven trips wouldn't need to be if the infrastructure was there.

    Billions gets spent building by-passes and widening roads when much less money would be needed to put a cycle track (that could be walked on) alongside your 60mph A road. That should be the priority.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2019
     



    Billions gets spent building by-passes and widening roads when much less money would be needed to put a cycle track (that could be walked on) alongside your 60mph A road. That should be the priority.


    If we want decent take up of cycling as a default means of transport you dont want walkers mixing it with cyclists. Increase the number of people on bikes 10 fold and mixing them with dog walkers, doodlers, mums with kids, prams, music listeners etc etc would be a recipie for disaster.

    Routine cycling needs to be a slick experience and in urban areas needs to match car journey times. Tarmac needs to reassigned from powered vehicles to non powered and 50% of highway designers need to be cyclists.
    • CommentAuthorGreenPaddy
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2019 edited
     
    I was wondering why no one had mentioned lorries. In my ignorance I assumed they must be a huge contributor to vehicle miles. Luckily Mr Google came to the rescue.

    Cars do 250 billion vehicle miles per yr in the UK, lorries do 17 billion v m, according to this simple yet informative link..

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/741953/road-traffic-estimates-in-great-britain-2017.pdf

    One thought...start the heaviest carrot and stick approach to removing car journeys, in areas that have consistently high rate 4G/5G network coverage. What's that got to do with it? Well, market forces have already confirmed the most densely populated areas, (that's where they've invested in good coverage) and so the potential largest impact on car journeys, for the lowest investment. Plus the option for virtual communication is greater, reducing the need for face to face.

    Very large carrot first, giving a great option to change to, then bring in the stick. Sadly this requires long term future planning, and unpopular gov't spending, when gov'ts base decisions on the popularity of the latest tweet.

    I'm a good boy, I work from home, so I don't feel so bad about my fuel guzzling motorhome :shamed:
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2019 edited
     
    Posted By: philedgeIf we want decent take up of cycling as a default means of transport you dont want walkers mixing it with cyclists.

    +1

    Posted By: WillInAberdeenHave you looked at getting your shopping delivered online?

    I do a lot of shopping online, but not for groceries and other food items. I prefer to make my own substitutions, and choose my own veg etc. And you can't plan in advance for things like milk. You need it exactly when you need it.
   
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