Feel free to talk in The Lobby

Open discussion

Do you want to discuss an issue that’s bothering you but can’t find the right place to post it? Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to chat with your community pals. Well, you’ve come to the right place…

Since Which? Conversation launched six years ago, there have been almost 4,500 conversations on all sorts of consumer issues – from money to megabytes. And in those conversations, there have been close to 180,000 comments.

Of course, the real strength of Which? Convo lies in its members who contribute so much to every discussion. And one of the better aspects has been watching how this community has slowly but surely grown into such a caring one.

Our community

But, as with any community or conversation it can – and does – wander off-topic. This is perfectly natural, but it hasn’t always been possible to do so in some of the subjects we discuss due to the precisely defined nature of them.

So, at the behest of some of our community members, we’re creating a brand-new convo: The Lobby.

This will give you the space to discuss anything that takes your fancy providing, of course, that your comments remain within our community guidelines.

The Lobby will be available in exactly the same way as all the other conversations, and some of our regular community members will help with the moderation duties.

As always, any ideas spawned here in The Lobby could also be used to generate new topics for debate and discussion, so you – our community members – will be able to really help shape the direction of Which? Convo.

Rules in The Lobby

There are no rules… only kidding 😉

To ensure that this off-topic discussion remains a healthy and friendly place for you all to share your thoughts, musings and ideas, here’s a reminder of our most relevant guidelines:

  1. 1. You may go off-topic… that is the purpose of The Lobby 🙂
  2. 2. You can’t agree with everyone all of the time, but when you do disagree, please be polite and speak to others as you’d like to be spoken to.
  3. 3. Avoid ‘trolling’, or purposely provoking others into a desired emotional response. It’s just mean 😐
  4. 4. Avoid making comments that others might find offensive, threatening, abusive or defamatory.
  5. 5. Website feedback is best shared on this dedicated Conversation, so we can keep The Lobby to be about everything else.

So without further ado… welcome to The Lobby. What are you waiting for!?

With special thanks to Which? Conversation community member, Ian, who kindly wrote the bulk of this conversation and provided the excellent name of The Lobby.

Comments
Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

I wonder if anyone has calculated the increase in power stations needed to run all private electric cars and vans that are likely to be on our roads in the run-up to 2040? And how long it will take to build and commission them. Not just power generation but a huge increase in power distribution. The Daily Mail proclaims “UK could need 20 more nuclear power stations if electric cars take over our roads and cause ‘massive strain’ on power network”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4215622/20-new-nuclear-power-stations-needed-electric-cars.html#ixzz4nwGDltq3

I prefer the halfway house of hybrid cars – certainly for the moment. Electric, non polluting, in built up areas. A small petrol or diesel engine for out of town use and to recharge the battery.

Profile photo of DerekP
Member

If you had 10 million electric vehicles, each needing 10kWhr charges 200 days each year, that would need 20,000million-kWhr each year or 20TWhr.

So that is roughly the same as the output from two of our current nuclear stations.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Daily T says “Diesel and petrol car ban: Plan for 2040 unravels as 10 new power stations needed to cope with electric revolution”

Currently we have 30 million cars and vans. With home delivery and an increasing population you would expect this to increase. Something has to give and driving less is likely to be one factor we will need to embrace.

I’m not sure how far 10 units of electricity would get most vehicles. The current average mileage is 7900 – or around 40 miles a day for 200 days. If, as one source suggests, you require 30 kWh per 100 miles = 12kWh per 40 miles, at an energy conversion of 60% to charge the battery, that would mean around 17kWh. So for 30 million vehicles, 510 000 MWh? I make that around 7 or 8 Hinkley Point Cs. Plus all the other Hinkley Point Cs needed when we abandon natural gas.

Profile photo of Ian
Member

The T’s maths are wildly out. They don’t include many other factors, not least being home generation. But then, when did the T ever come close to understanding science? The Guardian’s report, OTOH, is acerbic, regarding the fact that the plan doesn’t go far enough quickly enough.

Must dig out the report in New Scientist that revealed we’re likely to have a large power surplus by 2040, even with this electric vehicle plan.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

By my calculations, when we abandon gas for domestic use – heating and cooking – and replace it with electricity, the equivalent of another 13 Hinkley Point C power stations will be required. Plus the 7 for electric vehicles Plus the extra energy a population increase over the next 23 years will be needing.

That’s a lot of solar panels if we think that an alternative. (I reckon about 985 square miles.)

If our economy expands industry will need more, and I cannot see other energy use decreasing. Unless climate change renders home heating unnecessary perhaps. It is not just the cost of the construction, but resources available to build the generation – particularly when much of the rest of the world might be trying to do the same. and, of course, the same would apply to any other resource, solar panels, wind turbines or otherwise. Tidal power may be one of the sustainable ways forward, although at a high initial construction cost. One Severn barrage scheme was estimated to be capable of producing the equivalent of 3 Hinkley Point Cs.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

With you there malcolm realism is better than conjecture , and while we are at realism news just out on the international media is exactly as I have been saying again and again and being ignored the USA has admitted its new sanctions against Russia is to put the Donald,s America First policy of very dear LNG fuel being supplied to Europe , Germany/France protesting as its against International Law , several industrial giants , including UK named against it as well. Again as I keep saying and being ignored the US runs Europe- do as we say–or else !

Profile photo of PatrickTaylor
Member

I was reading the August Which? edition which was very good – they tend to be in this part of the year.

However it does for the more committed subscriber to ignore the references to Which? testing and then imagining a load of boffin with good knowledge being at 2 Marylebone Road and spreading their expertise to an assortment of youngsters who write the articles.

The range of articles was good – at one stage I was writing monthly comments at the Community Forum until I found out how few subscribers could access the member Community Forum.

However what was annoying with the Car issue was that having show Dacia top for reliability over the short and long-term the only other mention was do not buy the Dacia Duster because of a low ENCAP rating.

For many people reliability is actually very important as is price. The Annual Car Review seems to have failed to spot this combination in the buyer market. The brand sells over 400,000 cars in Europe so it is not a small player, Skoda 650,000, Jaguar 68,000, BMW 850,000.

I have always appreciated practicality particularly given the concept of fun of driving on the open road in the UK becomes a pipedream.

Profile photo of VynorHill
Member

This really is a foolish pronouncement by the government. It may be good politically and very “green”, but it is based on assumptions that are unproven. Comments above highlight problems with adequate power supply. Any interruption of this would cause chaos. They make the leap of faith, that by 2040 batteries will have miraculously turned into instant charging power houses, that will get everyone where they need to be without delay. So far, over two decades, this has been a hard won slog to get where we are. If we are to accept battery power as the norm, we may well have to accept a step back in freedom of movement and the way future life is conducted. So much for progress.
By and large, we have managed to keep diesel and petrol in their tanks and supplied to the engine without undue risk to passengers. Would vast amounts of electricity have the same safe storage? Short circuits cause fires, even in todays twelve volt world. Are batteries capable of retaining power year on year? To abandon research into self generated power sources is to narrow the field. Just because a battery is known to be able to power a vehicle it doesn’t mean that this is the best way of doing this. It happens to be the easiest to manufacture, but not to regenerate in use.
No, the government makes this wonderful statement without a clue as to how it is to be done. Who dreamed up 2040? Who hopes that this deadline will suddenly make battery research easier than it has been? Who considers what the automotive industry and the general public is going to do between then and now when supplying and selling cars? Who has thought through the logistics of freight movement? It’s fine to be “green” when you know how. The government don’t, the industry doesn’t, the power generators don’t and those who command need to generate less gas and more logic.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Those who make these pronouncements will not be around in 2040 to take any responsibility for them – they are rarely even here in the same job, even if in government, after 1 or 2 years. So they can speak unsubstantiated garbage without any fear of retribution. Unless knowledgeable people do some sums.

Maybe Which? could do just that and give a practical view of the proposal?

Profile photo of Ian
Member

It did occur to me that there will almost certainly be a glut of petroleum by then, so perhaps the enterprising will set up their own electric generator charging points.

Mind you, having read Malcolm’s post I was relieved to see it was the Daily Mail reporting, so no need to worry, then.

Profile photo of DerekP
Member

“It did occur to me that there will almost certainly be a glut of petroleum by then, so perhaps the enterprising will set up their own electric generator charging points.”

All powered by nice cheap Chinese made petrol engines???

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Just as much as we need to worry about chlorinated chickens being agreed to by our representative in America at this moment “giving in ” (desperately ) to get a “Trade Agreement ” with the Donald who is definitely insisting that the UK accept them as I know for a fact ( yes I can supply the US farmers comments+ loss of US chicken export profits to the EU/Britain ) . All the rest of the bio/chemical production ;line of “food ” (devil ) manufactured by “not so mad scientists ” (profit makers ) in Monsanto labs for us to enjoy a chemical treat till generations later the non-tested on humans ill effects take place in our genome. Of coarse this is all “green propaganda –isnt it ? Anyway Monsanto is now owned by our German “friends ” who are always “dying ” to help us -Ja mein Fuhrer ?

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

What is wrong with washing chicken in chlorinated water? http://www.beuc.eu/blog/what-is-wrong-with-chlorinated-chicken/
However, since we are unlikely in the short term to eliminate campylobacter (a naturally-occurring bacterium) maybe a combination of better husbandry and a final treatment will be a better solution? Just a though for the Convo.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/the-five-worst-contaminants-in-chicken-products thats whats wrong -from the Physicians Committee for responsible Medicine (USA ) . Quote from ex worker in industry – speed of production so fast now chicken parts block up on conveyor belt and fall on floor –put back on belt- due to cutting staff and inspectors – when you cook chicken (USA chicken ) you are cooking the faces as well. 80 % 0f antibiotics in the USA are used by industrial agriculture for growth promotion and preventing diseases that would make their concentrated animal feeding operations unviable (CAFO,s ) . One US company has got the message Perdue is stopping chemical chickens/food . I have a lot more .

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

The point I was making was that in addition to husbandry methods – that I support as you know – if they fail to totally eliminate campylobacter as some wish, or at least reduce it to a minimum, should we consider other methods as well?
Personally, I am content to see levels dropping by “natural” means and ensuring any chicken I eat is well cooked. But I recognise others want more than this – particularly where the handling and cooking process is uncontrolled by the consumer, as in restaurants and take-aways.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

That sounds reasonable malcolm.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Thanks Duncan 🐓

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

I am not sure why there would be a glut of petroleum when electric cars become universal. Oil refineries that produce petroleum [and other by-products] will continue the process that has seen enormous petroleum production capacity taken out of service over recent decades in response to the larger market for diesel oil and the increasing mpg of cars. There is a strong possibility that unless the rundown of petroleum refining is managed carefully under government guidance there could actually be no home-produced petrol available from the 2030’s onwards and we would be reliant on imported supplies. Diesel requires much less refinement than petrol and there would still be a strong market for it for large vehicles, buses, trains,ships and industrial applications.

I think chicken manure makes good bio-fuel so we need to maintain our consumption of poultry and carry on eating eggs.