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Electric vehicles - again

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Richard_C

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When towing the range drops like brick... You wouldn't save much, just increased hassle!

Yes I know, it wasn't a serious suggestion. Maybe modular battery packs, plug an extra one in for long trips... who knows. I expect the technology and useability to evolve pretty quickly in the next few years.
 

John on the Wirral

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Some good points, and to be clear I'm not anti EV just concerned and confused about charging on long trips. Maybe there needs to be a bit more strategic thinking about wider aspects of the way we live and our expectations.

First up - tax and insurance. Some way of replacing the tax take from petrol and diesel is inevitable, so the lower running costs argument for EVs is only temporary. I sometimes think it would be bettter to tax use (which petrol tax does already indirectly) rather than the vehicle. That way, some of us might run a small local EV and a bigger long range car until EV infrastructure gets better. Same with insurance. If I own 2 cars I pay twice but only use one at once. Tax and insure me, not the vehicle.

There is also a peculiarity with VED - one which is easy to fix. The most recent structural change in VED introduced a 5 year premium for luxury vehicles defined as over £40k list price. But EVs cost more, now, so even a modest one can come in over £40k. Manufacturers are getting better at this - lots seem to be 'just under', but put metallic paint on a Kia Niro top spec and you pay an extra £1600 VED over 5 years. With inflation more will cross teh £40k threshold which hasn't been uplifted since it was introduced. The easy answer is to say OK, to encourage 'pure' EVs which cost c. £10k more than the IC ones, we will lift that threshold to £50k for EVs only (not hybrids, not PHEVs). That would bring the basic Tesla 3 under the wire so you don't pay more VED on that than on an oil burning BMW 3 series.

Second, a few lifestyle things. No charging network is likely to be able to cope with all of us doing the same things at the same time. Think about a filling station on the M5 in Devon on the first day of the school holidays. It can't cope with cars at the pumps for 5 minutes each - just think how much space and how many 'pumps' you would need for EVs. So we need to re-think some of that. More self catering and all-in hotel breaks starting on different days of the week, regionally staggered school holidays, maybe abandon the idea of weekends altogether and have a rolling 3 days off in 10 - almost anything so we don't all do stuff at once.

The pandemic has already done some of the work for us - lots of people and employers really questioning the 5 day a week commute and making permanent changes to blended home/office working. I was an HR Director 25+ years ago and we introduced some very flexible patterns. You start from the task: continuous process factory you must have people there at set times. Research not so much, no evidence that you are more productive if you work a rigid 8.30 - 5.00 with a fixed lunch. Finance operations, busy times and less busy times each month - why not trust people to be sensible and allow flexible working. Surprisingly, people are happier and less likely to leave if they don't have to sit in the same traffic for 45 minutes at the start and end of each day. I never minded travel but the daily unchanging grind of my commute* back in the 80's really dragged me down. One of the reasons I changed job. Some changes will hurt some people, some will be welcome, but one thing is certain: we can't have viable EV based road transport and live exactly as we do now.


* tip for anyone who commutes a fair distance by road and is thinking of moving. Try to live East of where you work. That way, the commute is with the sun behind you rather than in your eyes, you squint less and look younger for longer :)
Some time ago I seem to remember that the Government gave a 1.5 million grant to a midlands university to develop numberplate recognition with a view,in my opinion,to taxing us retrospectively for use of the roads,going into cities,whether you are diesel/petrol/ev etc. A recent trial (What Car?) showed that the cost of travelling from John'o'Groats to Land's End cost the same as in an IC vehicle.
 

Skydivermel

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Here's an example. I've had an EV for 14 months. Range is stated as 278 miles. Real world I get circa 250. I charge overnight between 00:30 & 04:30 which costs 5p per kH. Recently drove from North Essex to Southampton docks which is 140 miles, starting with 88% charge, and had 40% charge left on arrival. 90% of the journey was motorway and my average speed was 68mph. I stopped at Winchester services on the way back with 31% charge, plugged into a rapid charger and had a 30min break. Charger pumped the car back up to 80% and on arrival home had 35% charge. So one charge for a round trip of 280 miles and still had enough charge for a daily runaround the next day. I always let the battery go down to around 25% before an overnight charge on my 7kW home charger, and rarely charge to 100% always around 80%. Manual suggests every 2-3 months to charge to 100% from around 20% to protect the battery. Once you get into the groove with an EV it's very easy and no different to an ICE.
 

Jameshow

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Here's an example. I've had an EV for 14 months. Range is stated as 278 miles. Real world I get circa 250. I charge overnight between 00:30 & 04:30 which costs 5p per kH. Recently drove from North Essex to Southampton docks which is 140 miles, starting with 88% charge, and had 40% charge left on arrival. 90% of the journey was motorway and my average speed was 68mph. I stopped at Winchester services on the way back with 31% charge, plugged into a rapid charger and had a 30min break. Charger pumped the car back up to 80% and on arrival home had 35% charge. So one charge for a round trip of 280 miles and still had enough charge for a daily runaround the next day. I always let the battery go down to around 25% before an overnight charge on my 7kW home charger, and rarely charge to 100% always around 80%. Manual suggests every 2-3 months to charge to 100% from around 20% to protect the battery. Once you get into the groove with an EV it's very easy and no different to an ICE.
How does an EV sound at 70mph any quieter than a quality car?
 

Martin_S

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When talking about the national grid and the need for increased capacity - remember that we peak between 4 & 11pm each day and that is the capacity the grid needs to have available (call it 32-35gW). Between 2 and 6am the demand drops to less than half that - so you can charge an awful lot of cars without any increase in capacity as long as they have 'time of day' controlled charging.

And an earlier post asked about why EV's don't have gearboxes. When I drive normally, the motor pulls 15-20amps from the battery. My house has a 100amp fuse (many only have a 60amp), above that the house fuse blows. By comparison, when I floor the fast pedal in my little Chinese EV, it pulls 175 amps without problem - imagine a petrol engine able to burn 8-10x as much fuel (so instead of 1,000 revs it could jump to 10,000 revs without problem) - I know some do, but it is much cheaper to add a gearbox to achieve the same effect as you get without one on an EV.
 

Ozi

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If 30m people use electric cars at 8000miles per year AVG using 2800kwh (edf website) does that mean we will use 84,000,000,000 KW of electricity which is 84GW???

Maximum we have ever used is 64gw and now sits at 42gw?

Not to mention gshp /ashp we are meant to be changing too....
Exactly why we need small light weight vehicles for people like myself to make short solo journeys to and from work, I don't need to lug the other 4 empty seats around using more than my fair share of available power in the process
 

TRITON

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This is new technology remember so innovations are probably still to be made. Might be the idea to liken this to the earliest cars, Henry Ford and the like. They got better and better and diversified into vehicles more suited to individual needs. Early days I feel.
 

Spectric

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Your best option for running an EV is to use a trailer but with a diesel generator in it so you have many more miles available depending on the size of the genny.
Another idea would be to use large diesel trucks that could tow a long string of EV's on major routes so none of them use their own batteries which can be saved once off the major road and into more urban areas.
 

clogs

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spectric,
they said just the same about the railways,
getting trucks off the main roads/motorways to ease congestion....
never happen I'm afraid.....I know ur joking......
I'd like a cheapo 2 seat ev just for local trips shopping etc....say 50mile round trip....
but the vehicle should cost a good bit less than 10,000.....
if they were 5 grand a lot would be bought overnight....I'd certainly have one......
on one proviso, that the manufacturers garantee the electronics for 100,000miles....
If they are only just better than the carp ICE systems used now there will be an awful lot going for scrap.....and that aint green.....
which is why I still drive my 1.9TD Transporter....no electronics.....
have tried to buy newer more efficient vehicles but the electronic control systems give so much trouble and kills them in the end.....
ps I cant afford any vehicle costing 30 or 40grand wether it be an ICE or EV....
the other thing that scares me driving a 2 seat micro car EV is all the ircs in the bigger cars killing me in a crash....

Plus,
I'd def think longer/stronger to going comp off grid, luckily as I have the room so the gov can stuff their new expected taxes for charging EV's....I'd be happy with a 13amp plug to do it slowly....
that or lead line my garage so they cant see it....along with my tin foil hat for sanity....hahaha.....

It's just a shame the world is run by knee jerk's drunks at a party or dementia suffering old fools......the Chinese will inherit the world at this rate.....nuff said....
 

D_W

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How does an EV sound at 70mph any quieter than a quality car?

This seems like something that could be measured based on actual numbers vs. hypothetical. Spouse and I have a $35k primary car. BIL has a tesla 3. The 3 is definitely quieter at speed despite being a little smaller. We also have a similar sized ICE car (compact, but not subcompact size) that's closer in physical footprint to the 3 and the 3 is a lot quieter (but twice as expensive).

Brings up the question of comparison - if a model 3 in regular trim is about 40k, what do you compare it to of that size? I would speculate since it's probably going to save about 5k in fuel costs, then a 35K large compact/small mid car. What's a good choice? I don't know - there's not a whole lot left in that price range in the US in cars.
 

Geoff_S

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This is new technology remember so innovations are probably still to be made. Might be the idea to liken this to the earliest cars, Henry Ford and the like. They got better and better and diversified into vehicles more suited to individual needs. Early days I feel.
Yes, it only started around 1830 (the year, not the time)

They'll get there eventually.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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If 30m people use electric cars at 8000miles per year AVG using 2800kwh (edf website) does that mean we will use 84,000,000,000 KW of electricity which is 84GW???

Maximum we have ever used is 64gw and now sits at 42gw?

I might be wrong, but are you mixing units?

Total consumption by the EVs will be (based on your sums) 84GWh.

Current generation capacity is 75.8GW (from Wikipedia) so we could deliver all the power needed for those EVs' annual use in just over an hour (if we turned everything off, which I know is a silly idea). Wikipedia says the total power generated in the UK in 2017 was 325GWh. So it would be a significant increase, but not beyond the grid's ability to supply.
 

Ozi

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I might be wrong, but are you mixing units?

Total consumption by the EVs will be (based on your sums) 84GWh.

Current generation capacity is 75.8GW (from Wikipedia) so we could deliver all the power needed for those EVs' annual use in just over an hour (if we turned everything off, which I know is a silly idea). Wikipedia says the total power generated in the UK in 2017 was 325GWh. So it would be a significant increase, but not beyond the grid's ability to supply.
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From MyGridGB - honest I don't have shares in the site.

My personal feeling is the less we use the less mess we have to clear up. 24 % of UK CO2 came from road transport (2019) and 15.4 from electricity generation. Petrol cars are around 30% efficient very approximately a gas fired power station about 60% with CHP possibly up to 90%. Most of the gas we buy from abroad, that's going well just now.

The less electricity we use the better for our economy as well as environment, so rather than lugging 4 empty seats to work with me I want a small practical single seater that I charge at home no more than 3 times a week, ideally with a smart charger that optimizes when I draw power and the life of my batteries. This is now very nearly possible, I wouldn't have said that 2 years ago. I'm privileged to have a driveway and a second car, I expect to be taxed accordingly.

Does it offend anyone else that England imports so much of it's power, we live on a windy island
 

Droogs

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I'm not offended in the least @Ozi esp as so much of it actually comes from up here:LOL:
 

Jones

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I've been thinking "what if" for a couple of years now - when I travel I actively think "what if I was doing this in an all electric car?" I would really like to embrace the future and go all electric when the current cars expire. I have confidence in the cars - not Tesla because of cost and anything that Elton Musk can send over the air software upgrades to is perhaps to be avoided - but I don't have any confidence in the charging network.

We live in a village with 1 outward bus a day (7.34 am) so we have 2 conventional IC engine cars, both a few years old but neither needing to be replaced soon. We can fill up either in any filling station in the UK or Europe. The nozzles fit. It takes 10 minutes max including paying. We can pay by any credit or debit card or cash. I don't need to have a functioning smart phone or phone signal.

Current state of EV charging is a mish-mash of different and seemingly unreliable charging points, each requiring some kind of phone app or account. Takes 40 minutes or more (much more for some). Can I charge up anywhere in UK or Europe - who knows. What does it cost? Who knows - no shiny big signs saying xx pence per KwH, from what I have seen some can be 3x the price of others.

OK then, charge overnight at home. Fine, that gives me a safe useable range of say 200 miles - 250 max unless I buy a Tesla or wait a bit. All my local trips will be fine whatever the range. Day trip for a walk along the coast, 120 miles each way, nope, marginal. Don't really want to spend 20% of my time at the destination at the one slow charging point in near the town, and it often has a queue and if the supermarket is busy the space is used by non ev cars. Visit my daughter - nope, not without finding a charging point, need a top-up charge in both directions. Visit my son, fine one way but won't do both and he lives in a city flat so no chance of charging there. Need to find one in the 'wild west' of commercial charging stations.

(Had a week in Ambleside between lockdowns last year: both EV charging points - only 2, in a major tourist town that boasts of it's net zero target - were out of order all week)

So - an EV would suit over 60% of my journeys but only 10% of my annual miles. That's an important distinction - others will find different answers. If you were running a van mostly in an inner city and doing <100 miles a day it would make a lot of sense to go electric. PHEV is a dead end unless you do very regular journeys like a daily commute within its very limited battery range: you are paying >£10k more than the conventional equivalent and off battery its consumption is worse, if you only do 10% of your miles on battery it's pointless both financially and environmentally.

I don't see any of this being thought through - and what about when we all have EVs, will the local power networks cope with every house overnight charging, will places like service stations be able to offer any kind of service on busy days like start of school holidays. Will every hotel, holiday cottage, campsite, be able to offer charging?

Government has set a target for ending the sale of IC engined cars and expects the free market to sort out charging. So far they have created a patchwork mess. We needed public investment and public sector planning to create water, sewage, phone and electricity networks (all of which were given away at way below asset value to kick start the private utilities beloved of Thatcher). Roads are for the most part state assets. To make this all work, we need state planned and maybe state owned charging networks.

I'm pretty sure we will end up with one small local EV and one IC engine car, but not until EV prices come down a bit and not until we really need to change. To go to both being EVs I will need much more reassurance that I will be able to get to my destination on long trips. I don't mind a 30 minute charging time every 3 hours - but I do mind having to search around for a charger and search around for a way to pay.

Give me a decent charging service and I will place the order for an EV tomorrow.
An ev isn't the best answer for all journeys but as you have two cars one could be an ev. I know which one you'd choose to use most.
 
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