Gavin Shoebridge – an electric vehicle nut, a keen environmentalist

                Electric Car Conversion Blog By Gavin Shoebridge

March 28th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Clive Matthew Wilson: A Fool or Just Plain Wrong?

He’s at it again. The New Zealand motoring author Clive Matthew Wilson is spreading mis-truths about electric vehicles, knowing just enough knowledge to get himself into trouble.

Despite having his electric cars claims being debunked by Dr Mike Duke of Waikato University last year, Mr Wilson is trying again, with the old “Electric cars just move the pollution to the power station” routine, which as we know is incorrect.

Environment Texas recently released findings that an electric car charging off a dirty coal power station, put out 27% less CO2 than it’s petrol counterpart.
If the car was charged somewhere with mostly renewable electricity (like New Zealand – with 70% renewable power generation) the electric car is over 80% cleaner than the equivilant petrol car.
If you charge your car from your own electricity generation, or live in an area of NZ that produces only renewable electricity, your electric car is 100% cleaner than an equivalent petrol car.

He carefully ommitted any financial incentives, such as cheaper running costs per kilometre, no need for servicing and oil changes, and exemption from road user charges – but alas, that’s his style.

Previously he’s used unrelated analogies to paint his pictures, and has compared electric cars to communism. He’s also mentioned that “if the country’s car fleet was replaced with electric cars, it would probably need to build coal power stations to meet the demand”. Again, not true.

This is due to a report released two years ago which debunked this myth, reporting that if every single vehicle in New Zealand switched to electric overnight (another impossibly awful analogy) the country’s existing grid would experience only a 45 to 50% increase in demand. This is an exellent testiment to the efficiency of electric vehicles, and how they’re ideal for New Zealand conditions.

His claims also fly in the face of government plans to build more renewable stations in the near future to move New Zealand closer to it’s goal of being 90% renewable by 2025. For some reason Clive doesn’t mention how much cleaner electric cars will be when it happens in just 15 short years.

Clive Matthew Wilson announced he spent 3 long years researching his results and I honestly believe him. I expect it takes a lot of time and effort trying to find people who shared his views and could create scientific loopholes and skewed data. It must have been much harder and more time consuming than using existing accurate research.

The only thing he said which was undeniable true is something we’ve all been saying for years, “there is no easy fix to the energy crisis”.

I wonder if Clive is disappointed with the results of his findings? He invested in three years of research which had already been done for him, yet admittedly the existing research didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear.

Clive, if you’re reading, I’d ask your research team for a refund there mate.

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