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Stories by a short, fat bastard

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Lexus is300h | Fully Charged
I want this car.

Plus, interesting facts about coal, oil, and electricity.

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(Only watched the 1st half because I have to conserve my ISP quota like Lewellyn is conserving his fuel. I'll have to watch the whole thing at a later point.)

Why does he keep saying "Miles to the gallon?" How many litres to the kilometre is that?

They still use imperial measurements in UK.

go to http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/fuel/ 53mpg = 5.33 l/100km

My Lexus does 4.9 l/100km (57.65mpg)

Oh how quaint of the UK 9_9.

Thanks for the conversion. :)

57.65mpg????? I usually get around 41 (although I live in the hills, and that is definitely what kills my mileage).

That's imperial gallons. 46.12 mpUSg because you use puny gallons. :)

I do drive conservatively, but I have pushed it down to 39mpUSg by sitting on 70mph for 4 hours on the drive from Sydney to Dubbo in Sports Mode.

Oh, and one of the stats he uses: Oil refineries use electricity from coal fired power stations. It takes 4.5kwh to produce 1 gallon of petrol.

Yup! I can recall this fact from the conversation at your place.

Now if the technology were to improve to make 100% electric cars commercially viable, and for Australia to build solar updraft chimneys we could have zero polution from automotives, and the same from the railways if they followed suit.

Interesting! I hadn't realised a significant amount of electricity was used in refining oil.

Also, the video appears to be sponsored by the electricity company I use. Neat. :)

I laughed at Robert's brief "Clarkson" moment when he put the foot down.

If a few million people in the UK bought electric vehicles now, not only would the grid cope, but it would become more efficient. Power stations don't throttle back at night; they generate the same amount of power as they do during the day. The wasted power at night would go into charging ecars instead.

Hm, is that right? I thought it wasn't quite like that - gas stations do turn off when demand is low, and coal too although those take longer to start up/shut down. Also hydro can be switched off/on whenever as water levels allow. But nuclear can't sensibly be turned off, and wind energy is whenever the wind blows... So electricity definitely gets greener at night. Ecotricity have a nice gadget that shows you:


And there's a more detailed but less pretty version of the same info here:


The latter one shows history, so you can see we were generating 33 GW at 20:00 UTC compared to only 24 in the early hours of the morning. You can also see from their graphs that the 'zero-carbon' generation level stays constant throughout the day whereas the fossil-fueled generation varies widely.

So anyhow - I don't think we really have wasted power as such (actually we surely do due to immediate demand balancing and stuff, but I mean, not at a fundamental level), but even if I'm right, fundamentally yes it's certainly greener to charge cars overnight. And that's a more efficient way to use electricity than pump some water uphill so it can run down later (which we also do).

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