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On 09/07/2021 at 11:56, Shipping Forecast said:

 

Thank you.

With BEVs, as someone who has been directly affected by the consequences of air pollution, you may have noticed I talk about pollution not carbon etc (carbon reduction usually follows pollution reduction anyway), BEVs of all types are a high profile method of removing around a third of all pollution out of everyone's lives with the consequent improvement in health for all. Then there is ability to use zero emission generation including nuclear to further reduce the pollution effects.

Also, and this may surprise some, crude oil is a precious limited resource that needs to be preserved where ever possible so it's many benefits in all use cases are there for many generations to come. Oil should not be squandered by burning it needlessly in running to the shops, the kids around etc when there are alternatives.

I understand what you mean but how much oil is in gallon of petrol/ diesel.always thought these 2 fuels were one of the last bye products after many other things used out of oil.stay safe

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1 hour ago, nodwad said:

I understand what you mean but how much oil is in gallon of petrol/ diesel.always thought these 2 fuels were one of the last bye products after many other things used out of oil.stay safe

I thought the last thing out of the barrel was residual fuel oil (HFO) like what ships used to use on the high seas. The sort of stuff that needs heating up or sawing into logs.

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Just now, veryoldbear said:

I thought the last thing out of the barrel was residual fuel oil (HFO) like what ships used to use on the high seas. The sort of stuff that needs heating up or sawing into logs.

No, the last bit out of the barrel is what car salesmen put on their hair.

Ed

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5 hours ago, nodwad said:

I understand what you mean but how much oil is in gallon of petrol/ diesel.always thought these 2 fuels were one of the last bye products after many other things used out of oil.

The overwhelming reason for extracting crude oil is to fuel the transport industry with petrol, diesel and kerosene making up a very large percentage of that. Everything else is the extra (bonus?) depending on which crude is used and how it is refined.

The how much part is a bit of a piece of string question.

Hydrocarbons as a fuel source cover a wide range of energy sources. At the top end of the grade scale you have the gases (methane, ethane etc) followed by petrol, naphtha (mainly for chemical production), kerosene and diesel in the middle, then marine fuels to bitumen residue (solid hydrocarbons at standard temperatures) at the bottom. Some of the lighter products like methane are thought of as a nuisance so just burnt off and not even utilised even though they have some intrinsic value. 

Hydrocarbons make 97/98% of crude oil, so at it crudest you need 1.02/1.03 gallons of the correct crude fraction / grade to make one gallon of petrol, diesel etc. However it is not quite that simple as crude oil is not a consistent product. Each oil field location has a specific combination of the hydrocarbon grades above making the oil more or less desirable. So you get a combination of

Light, Medium  and Heavy crude - Light crude consists mainly of the lighter fractions of hydrocarbons (gases, petrol) worth more money, whereas heavy crude has more of the sticky, very viscous hydrocarbons (marine fuel oil, bitumen) requiring more processing so has a lower price. Medium is between the two!

and 

Sweet and Sour crude - Sweet crude has a low sulphur content and requires less refining and gets the highest prices. Sour crude has more sulphur and other contaminates in. The name comes form when they used to taste the oil in the initial production to determine the quality. For example, North Sea Brent is a light sweet crude oil, whereas the Canada's WCS crude is heavy sour.

Therefore the important question is what is the percentage of each hydrocarbon grade in the crude oil from each field and how much processing does it require? This then sets the basic price structure before the oil traders get involved. Obviously due to the much higher demand for petrol, kerosene and diesel the lighter crudes like Saudi and North Sea crude are the most in demand and has a higher price than the heavy sour crude found in bituminous oil sands of Canada and Venezuela.

To help meet demand for the more popular products - petrol, kerosene, diesel - and as the demand for the denser hydrocarbons products is lower, the refineries also crack, or break up the heavier oils, to produce the high demand, higher price lighter hydrocarbons. This makes these products more expensive as extra processing is needed so avoided where possible.

Bunker fuels are at the bottom of the pile just above carbon black / bitumen residue and these are the real less wanted extras. They also tend to be the sourer products with more contaminants in, hence not so good for the environment. But they are cheap compared to the higher priced lighter hydrocarbons so out of sight, out of mind. 

Gaseous hydrocarbons or natural gas (superb greenwashing there) tend to come from separate gas fields like those in the southern North Sea as they require little processing apart from removing contaminants and water from the gas to produce dry natural gas for use. Gas from separate gas fields is better quality than the gas from crude oil reservoirs.

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8 hours ago, nodwad said:

I understand what you mean but how much oil is in gallon of petrol/ diesel.always thought these 2 fuels were one of the last bye products after many other things used out of oil.stay safe

Fractional Distillation from school chemistry Curtesy BBC

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I found out a bit more about the Tour de France vehicles today. The six stages which aren't using the full electric Skoda are those in the high mountains (Alps and Pyrenees). Obviously it's not a question of oxygen levels as there is no fuel to burn with electric so I wonder what the reason is. Either the range which is curtailed by the repetitive climbs (but that should be partially clawed by back by the regen systems on the downhill stretches) or something to do with overheating whereby the thinner air doesn't cool the batteries as efficiently. Does anyone have any other theories?

Ed  

 

 

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Yes, and as soon as something is posted the situation changes. It's difficult to keep up. Plus, depending on a third party website for advice is advisory at best and may not accord with what is actually happening.

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8 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Yes, and as soon as something is posted the situation changes. It's difficult to keep up. Plus, depending on a third party website for advice is advisory at best and may not accord with what is actually happening.

Exactly, which is why hearing from French Residents or those who have crossed a border recently is helpful.

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Helpful, but by no means definitive in the current situation. (plus the rules 'seem' to be open to local interpretation in many cases.) It is a moving feast really and dependent on personal status and reasons for travel.

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For many the reality of ferry travel is a distant memory and dream. From being a relatively frequent traveller to not being on board for 18 months feels strange, and it is looking like it could be 2 years before gracing a linkspan again. For those who last travelled in the summer of 2019 it could easily be three years before boarding once more.

Some of the ships we love and those we love a little less have been vacationing on the canals and quaysides for a similar amount of time, becoming silent memorials to a bygone age of free travel filled with joie de vivre, bread rolls and man's best friend.

There are a lucky few who can travel or travel for work, but most of us are still in the terminal waiting to for permission board for our next travel adventure. Some have given up and gone home, some are snoozing in the quiet corner, a few reading or away with their own thoughts as life intrudes, while rest make small talk which as time goes on drifts slightly to keep the conversation flowing. 

When that clarion call from above allowing us to board, to continue our travels freely again unencumbered by an acronym salad of bank depleting tests, we will be ready for plenty of good ferry rapport reporting, retorting and reimporting items to avoid the tax.

Edited by Shipping Forecast
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As one who has moaned about BF but has continued to support / use them in 2020 and 2021 I welcome tips about Covid testing, entry requirements and customs. If you have no intention to travel I can appreciate it may get a bit boring. I find discussions about which end of the ferry goes in first tedious. As far as electric cars are concerned no real harm and most will find some interesting information. 

I make up my own mind If a topic is no interest to me I don't read it.  These items are on top of Topics about Ferries not instead of. Any way living near Leicester first hand experience of anything to do with shipping is not easy.

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  • 3 months later...

A quick update on life with an electric car.

By the end of August the effective range, which had started out at 210 kms, was up to 224 kms. This was due to the mild weather, limited use of the aircon (as it wasn’t that hot) and a lot of driving around towns and local roads. This continued through early September but by the third week had started to drop off as the temperature fell. This morning we had a low of 2 degrees and the range, when fully charged, was just under 200 kms. That’s not a problems as I can charge each night if necessary or during the day when visiting certain customers. I get the impression that the range is the polar opposite of an ICE vehicle. With petrol or diesel your range decreases in the summer due to the extra fuel required to run the air-con while in winter the latent engine heat is captured to warm the cabin and clear the windows. In an electric car the air-con in the summer uses very little energy as it’s a heat-pump but in winter needs more power to overcome the lack of a constant heat source. It does however demist the windows in seconds - almost like turning on a large hairdryer.

Other than that, life is easy. Plugging in each day and/or night takes a minute or two, most of which involves untangling the cable. Totted up this might be slightly longer than a fill up at the pumps but doesn’t involve any diversions or queuing so saves time overall. The price of diesel has just hit an all time high here in France and petrol is very expensive too so not having to pay for that is a bonus.

Overtaking slow moving vehicles, and the wine harvest is underway here, is extremely easy and fluid. I managed to drive over 20kms on local roads the other day without once touching the brakes and just using the regenerative system (controlled by paddles) and anticipating the roundabouts etc. This will I hope mean the brake pads last longer and it also helps keep the range up.

On the negative side, I’ve nearly run over a lot of dozy people who cross the road without looking and assuming that because they can’t hear a car there isn’t one coming. One of my would-be victims is an elderly lady who is now on her third fright (she crosses over to her garden to feed her goat!) and whose facial expression is a mixture of fear, wonderment and hatred.

Ed

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  • 2 weeks later...
I initially held off booking a rental car for our holiday in the south of France in case my sister and her family were able to come over and join us. If so we would rent a 9-seater minibus. Unfortunately they were unable to make it so about 3 weeks ago I tried to rent an electric car via Sixt for the first three days. 
 
We wanted to drive to St Raphael to see my brother in law and his family and then visit some of the more difficult to reach villages and towns (Eze, Gourdon, Grasse and St Paul de Vence). 
 
Sixt cancelled my booking after 48 hours saying they were unable to source an electric car for me. I therefore booked an SUV (Ford Kuga or equivalent) through Hertz. I would have liked an automatic (being much easier to drive on mountain roads) but there didn't seem to be any available for a reasonable price.
 
When we got to Nice on Saturday morning Hertz lifted my spirits by announcing that they could give me a automatic. They then said it was an MG which, after three days at the wheel, I can only assume stands for My God! 
 
I believe it was made in China and was a plug-in hybrid model - MG HS (with those two letters standing for Holy S**t) - but I couldn't test that as there was no cable provided! I've never driven an ICE automatic before, and may be being harsh here, but it was nothing like my electric Mazda. 
 
Driving the thing you are treated to a range of strange noises. The 10-speed gearbox emits a blood-curdling whine which I can only assume is coming from an enslaved pangolin somewhere under the floor, struggling to find a suitable gear and feed it into the box. Accelerating away from a roundabout can therefore either be sedate or terrifying as you have no idea what the car will do next.
 
It beeps at everything and nothing and there seems to be no way of turning all the sensors off. 
 
It also has some sort of automatic steering system, apparently designed by a man whose previous job was working inside the tail of a new-year's dragon. 
 
The in-car-entertainment system brings to mind a late 80s Sega Megadrive but with a communist influence. Press a button on the screen and eventually the system will respond but grudgingly.  The GPS map looks like a five-year-old child drew it and the commically big arrow showing you what you are hides the actual junction you are hoping to navigate.
 
On the plus side it did have a reasonably comfortable interior and the kids liked the opening sunshine roof. Unfortunately that just allowed us to appreciate the strange noises with a echo effect bouncing off whatever building we were passing.
 
We returned the vehicle this morning and will use the trains from now on. 
 
Ed
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2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:
I believe it was made in China and was a plug-in hybrid model - MG HS (with those two letters standing for Holy S**t) - but I couldn't test that as there was no cable provided! I've never driven an ICE automatic before, and may be being harsh here, but it was
nothing like my electric Mazda. 
 
Driving the thing you are treated to a range of strange noises. The 10-speed gearbox emits a blood-curdling whine which I can only assume is coming from an enslaved pangolin somewhere under the floor, struggling to find a suitable gear and feed it into the box. Accelerating away from a roundabout can therefore either be sedate or terrifying as you have no idea what the car will do next.
 
It beeps at everything and nothing and there seems to be no way of turning all the sensors off. 
 
It also has some sort of automatic steering system, apparently designed by a man whose previous job was working inside the tail of a new-year's dragon. 
 
The in-car-entertainment system brings to mind a late 80s Sega Megadrive but with a communist influence. Press a button on the screen and eventually the system will respond but grudgingly.  The GPS map looks like a five-year-old child drew it and the commically big arrow showing you what you are hides the actual junction you are hoping to navigate.
 
On the plus side it did have a reasonably comfortable interior and the kids liked the opening sunshine roof. Unfortunately that just allowed us to appreciate the strange noises with a echo effect bouncing off whatever building we were passing.
 
We returned the vehicle this morning and will use the trains from now on. 
 
Ed

Made in China designed in the UK.

If it wasn't charged you were only using the ICE and it's 6 speed DCT gearbox. Being a DCT it requires a different driving technique to a proper automatic. You probably didn't have the car long enough to get the best out of it. 

With regards to the beeps there was a software update avaliable last December to address this issue. Complain to the rental company if they've not kept it up to date.

You can turn off some or all of the autonomous driving functions in the very comprehensive menu system. There again you probably didn't have the car long enough to find out even if you we're even given the manual.

The sat nav is not the greatest but it works. The touch screen is slightly slow at times but I wouldn't have said it was a particular problem.

Your hearing must be a lot better than mine. To be fair that's not difficult. The electric motor gearbox does whine at to my ears less than 10 mph. Above that I can't hear it. One advantage of being a bit longer in the tooth than you.

Had you been fully charged and switched to EV mode you would have been able to savour the gear change at 42 mph a treat not to be missed indeed not possible to miss unfortunately.

My two previous cars a Volvo V40 and a Qashqai were both less than perfect and certainly no better than the MG. Taking into account what you get for the price I know which I prefer.

 

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7 minutes ago, Rattler43 said:

With regards to the beeps there was a software update avaliable last December to address this issue. Complain to the rental company if they've not kept it up to date.

The car had 10,000+ Kms on the clock so it may be the new version anyway. 

8 minutes ago, Rattler43 said:

You can turn off some or all of the autonomous driving functions in the very comprehensive menu system. There again you probably didn't have the car long enough to find out even if you we're even given the manual.

We tried to switch them off but the manual was in English and as I was driving my wife couldn't find the appropriate page. The software was in French so I should have switched that to English first.

One very curious fact was that the car's clock was one hour behind normal French summer time when it picked it up on Saturday and then lost another hour (so went back to French winter time) between Sunday and Monday. Explain that!

Ed

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21 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

The car had 10,000+ Kms on the clock so it may be the new version anyway. 

We tried to switch them off but the manual was in English and as I was driving my wife couldn't find the appropriate page. The software was in French so I should have switched that to English first.

One very curious fact was that the car's clock was one hour behind normal French summer time when it picked it up on Saturday and then lost another hour (so went back to French winter time) between Sunday and Monday. Explain that!

Ed

If it beeps a lot it has the old software. MG won't pay for the update under warranty so some dealers charge. This could be why it hasn't been done.

Regarding the clock you were not alone. I know of over twenty others including myself where this has happened over the weekend. It only occurs if the clock is set up to set to the GPS signal timing. If you change it to set via the DAB signal it's fine. It would be interesting to know if other vehicles using the GPS timing have also had a problem.

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3 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

I've never driven an ICE automatic before

Loved my 7 speed DSG box in the Skoda, same in Mrs J's Polo pocket rocket. I've had to have auto's for a decade now. Being an EV owner you won't be pleased to hear that the dragon green Skoda beasty has gone and has been replaced with a diesel BMW... didn't get the 3 litre red one... over £300 for road tax!

The weird thing is that although it has the same grunt as the GTi my road tax has now dropped to £30 as the emissions are far lower and far less than a Frankenstein Hybrid.

Good to know the Mazda EV works well.

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10 hours ago, Rattler43 said:

If you change it to set via the DAB signal it's fine. It would be interesting to know if other vehicles using the GPS timing have also had a problem.

France doesn't use DAB radio, or at least I've never been able to get it to pick anything up in my Ford, so I'm not sure that would make a difference. Being close to the Italian border might mean it works if they use the DAB system I suppose. 

Ed

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