Oz Blog News Commentary

Murdoch ‘ruperter’ Caroline Overington is an idiot

April 2, 2019 - 10:53 -- Admin

Murdoch ‘ruperters’
are looking even more ridiculous as they go to extraordinary lengths to follow
the diktats of their owner and attempt to support the unsupportable; the
Morrison government. I only see the occasional idiocy from these poor buffoons when
they venture out from behind their paywall into the real world. That is because
I refuse to pay for the rubbish they dish up. One of the funniest I have heard
in recent weeks is from the poor benighted Caroline Overington who probably
would be better advised to stick to writing her fiction in novels rather than in
what is laughably referred to as a Murdoch newspaper (surely that is an
oxymoron?). In response to the Labor Party policy of having a target of 50% of new
car sales being electric vehicles by 2030 and 50% of government fleet by 20251,
Overington actually said (and I kid you not) “The idea that we’re all going to
jump on board with this brand new invention, the electric car is false,
entirely false… You have rural areas and regional areas where you drive long
distances where electric cars are just not practical.”2

It is difficult to
know where to start with such a ridiculous statement as that made by
Overington. Perhaps it is simplest just to list the points of galloping

  1. 58.4% of
    all vehicles sold in Norway in March 2019 were plug-in all-electric vehicles (i.e.
    not hybrids), with the three-month rolling average being 48.5%3.
    Norway is not exactly a small country, being about half the area of New South
    Wales, but being 1,752 long (NNE-SSW) and sharing a 2,544 km border with Sweden,
    Finland and Russia4. So, it has some of the same problems with
    distance as we have in Australia (at least in one direction!).
  2. Over 85%
    of Australians live in urban areas and nearly 70% live in our 8 capital cities,
    so most vehicle journeys are not across the wide brown land but around towns
    and cities5. The khaki-coloured internal combustion engine smog
    which lies over cities like Sydney is a result of such city driving. A 2016 study
    found that 87% of vehicle usage days in the US could be met by electric
    vehicles6. Given the similarity in size of Australia and the US, it
    is likely that the same would apply in Australia.
  3. The first
    production electric car was built in 1884, in London by a Thomas Parker. It
    used his own purpose-built high capacity rechargeable batteries. By the
    beginning of the 20th century (we are actually in the 21st
    now, Caroline) there were 30,000 of them on the roads. It was advances in the
    development of the internal combustion engine which lessened the advantages of
    the electric vehicle. Ironically, one of these advances was the development of
    the electric starter motor which replaced hand-cranking. In the early 1990s, California
    pushed for low emission vehicles and this led to a spate of electric vehicles
    being developed by the large car manufacturers. These cars mostly operated on
    Nickel-based batteries which have a fairly low energy density, and were not
    particularly successful7. The development of the Lithium ion battery,
    used in such devices as laptop computers and mobile phones, and which have a
    high power rating and high energy density, gave another boost (excuse pun) to
    electric vehicle performance, and newer versions of Lithium based batteries are
    under development. Now the maximum range for an electric vehicle is a little over
    500 km, and the newer lithium-ion batteries can survive for thousands of
    charging cycles. In addition, various other battery technologies are being
    developed using other metals such as the much more common and cheaper Aluminium8.
  4. In
    Australia, for reasons of safety, especially with regard to driver alertness, it
    is recommended that drivers should have a 15 minute break from driving every
    two hours (i.e. about every 200 km)9. When I used to regularly drive
    450 kms to visit family, I’d stop for lunch and a coffee, or a coffee and a
    snack after about 200-250 kms. This would invariably take about a half hour. Most
    electric vehicles can receive a top-up charge from a charge-point, which in
    half an hour can give them an extra 100-300 km in 20-30 minutes, while you have
    your coffee and food in the cafe, rather than standing by your vehicle with
    your finger on the trigger inhaling petrol fumes.

In summary, Overington is an idiot.



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