WITH a second electric bus catching fire in London after Christmas, (the first was in Potters Bar in 2022), isn’t it about time that the Government stopped pushing its pursuit of net zero, stopped forcing electric vehicles upon us and took a hint from the liable bus operators? Yes, very sensibly TfL has withdrawn its whole fleet.
If they’d done their due diligence it’s unlikely they would have purchased them in the first place.
Lithium batteries, especially big powerful ones, are not safe. As if another fire were needed after the Luton airport car park catastrophe to convince the authorities of the risk of EVs blowing up. Yet not even the footage shown on Sky News in November of the devastation it caused – the damage to the structure of the multi-storey as well as to the 1,500 irreclaimable cars for which insurance companies seem reluctant to dub up, has stopped the politicians in their tracks. They should take another look at one car battery fire can do.
The MSM are partly to blame. Their immediate response at the time was to say that the vehicle concerned was a diesel. Really? Well they need to watch this Geoff Buys Cars explanation and summing up. It’s tempting to see this as a smokescreen to protect the Government, the narrative has so many gaping holes in it.
Pictures exist of the Range Rover in the Luton airport fire showing the vehicle ablaze. No one could identify its registration number and the fire chief said it was a diesel. Yet that has been called into doubt – it was at the very least a hybrid. The flames were coming from under the passenger footwell, sideways at great intensity exactly where the lithium battery pack is situated; the flames behaving exactly like a lithium battery would do. You can watch auto-expert John Cadogan’s narrative here.
Why did a newly built car park collapse from a vehicle fire? Vehicles burn at around 3-400C. Concrete collapses at around 2,700-3,000C. So the fire had to be hot enough to collapse the concrete. It was. Were other EVs involved? No one is saying but it’s very likely there were others there to produce the necessary heat.
The car park was not fitted with water sprinklers. If diesel and petrol cars are so unsafe, why not? It is a stinky Government cover-up. There is much more to this story, and we are being lied to.
The media, whose first stop is to claim every car fire is diesel or petrol in origin, forget that we have used vehicles with petrol and diesel for years, with few problems and few manufacturers having problems with fires. EV is the change that proves we are being lied to about their safety. You need only look at YouTube to see, first, how fast electric buses catch fire and, second, how quickly they become a raging inferno. It can be as little as five seconds, a phenomenon that was explained in this TCW article. It is a fact, though do not try this, that you could put a cigarette out in either petrol or diesel. What explodes is the vapour when mixed with air. If passengers are on board lives will be lost, especially children or elderly people who might not be able to evacuate quickly – as demonstrated so clearly in this film of an EV bus fire in China.
I am old enough to remember trolley buses. These were 100 per cent electric and used power from overhead cables which were arguably ugly. They worked well on busy city centre routes where a maximum of 40mph was unlikely to be a problem. They could have problems with parked cars but usually did not and did not benefit, as they might today, from bus lanes. They never caught fire as they did not have batteries.
The point is that London’s EV buses have caught fire whether they are hybrid diesels or not. Why? Because they still have a battery. We are not alone. Other cities have faced the same problems with EV buses. Here in Connecticut a year ago, and here in Sydney and here in Paris. There are many more examples to be found. They are a foolish idea.
The only ICE vehicles I can recall with fire problems were the original Ford Pinto in the USA if it was hit in the rear, splitting the fuel tank, and the VW LT van highlighted by Esther Rantzen where a fuel line crossed over the engine in such a way that if it broke it would spray the engine with petrol causing a fire. It did not help that it had a push fit sleeve joining the pipe near the electrics of the engine.
I recall an article some time ago that said that the billionaires of the world were upset they could not control car makers, largely because car makers are family or dynastically owned in general. But as soon as VW formed a partnership with the Chinese government years ago these billionaires rapidly stepped up to finance Chinese car makers, which are now on a tsunami-like rise. The trouble is that EV was seen in China as the way to evolve quickly, especially with regard to ‘western markets’ to where they could be exported.
This leaves western car makers struggling to compete with cheap EVs from China. Huge numbers of Chinese EVs are being exported to bring in foreign currency, abating at the same time the excessive over-production issue China is facing and helping the struggling Chinese economy. The Economist sees this as free-market competition and encourages it.
Yet we have already seen questionable customer care practices and appalling quality control issues, such as the shocking story of the Chinese MG in Scotland which could not be stopped or turned off by its terrified owner. Eventually the police used a van to bring it to a halt by gently crashing the MG into its rear. How no one was killed is a miracle. We see Chinese vehicles on the roads everywhere. As a long-time car enthusiast I struggle to recognise the meaningless names. Just how good are these cars? The used car market will tell us soon. I hold not one jot of hope they will prove to be good. Cheap, yes. Good, no.
Meanwhile EV sales are plummetng. If you watch Geoff Buys Cars, you will know that a MacMaster Porsche Taycan costing £120,000 two years ago has depreciated to around £48,000 with £77,000 owing on finance. In other words just to hand it back will cost the owner £29,000. And if you watch Geoff Buys Cars on the Post Office van scandal last year, parts 1&2 you’ll find out the shocking amount the Government is wasting to promote EV.
The Government is using punitive tax rates to force manufacturers to sell EV to us, based on quotas of ICE vs EV. Madness. This is like King Canute failing to hold back the rising tide.
The Civil Service Motoring Association is offering Teslas at £200 a month on a special lease deal. Try getting a £60,000 car for £200 a month anywhere else.
Hertz USA is now de-fleeting its 20,000 Teslas and other electric vehicles at an astronomic cost. ‘Nobody wants to hire them.’
Sixt in Europe is doing the same, getting rid of its EV fleet.
UK used car dealers are very reluctant to take on electric cars as well, leading to auction sales being at low levels.
Add that insurance companies are ramping up the premiums for electric vehicles and this alone will likely finish EVs off. No one can repair the batteries so cars are being written off.
US owners of Teslas which have been crashed are finding their cars appearing in Ukraine,repaired and running around. They know this for a sinister reason – their details, personal email etc, stored on their phone can now be accessed by the new owner as the car remains ‘paired’ to the phone. Worse still, as they are no longer the owners of the vehicle they cannot access the vehicle to remove the data. Tesla are not being helpful so far.
As with vaccine shares, the market speaks. When will the Government stop flogging this dead horse?