Electric vehicles

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TominDales

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I happened to meet four of my nephews today, all of whom are fairly high achieving individuals in their 30s, and we got on to the subject of work from home.

It's easy when retired (as I am) to be clever about how they should manage themselves, but at that stage in their careers they are understandably concerned about money, promotion, future prospects etc. The working environment for a 35 year old today is very different from that which existed when I was 35 three decades ago!
This had me thinking. It is a common feature of graduate work, most jobs these days are heading down this path. I was a new grad in a blue chip company 35 years ago and found myself in a similar boat during my first 10 years. As a grad you come in with a deep but narrow set of skills and find the old timers are quick and efficient at getting stuff done and know where the cul-de-sacs are. There was pear pressure to work very long days to learn the and competences and prove yourself as someone who got stuff done- it was not family friendly or a good work/life balance. But it does ease off as you develop networks, and learn where to apply effort, and pick up the IT, enterprise, presentation, communication and all those other capabilities needed. I've read it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a profession.
I suspect this trend has got worse over the years as manufacturing jobs have gone and new grads are competing with those who have years of experience and lots of connections. As many jobs are less manual, many people choose carry on working into older age, part-time, making it doubly hard for youngsters to find opportunities. On the plus side, education is much more careers focused and grads are better aware on how to navigate there way through.
 

Woodchips2

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When I started this thread I never imagined it would still be going 16 months later but I’ve learned an awful lot from the contributions so thanks for that.

I’ve had to recently change the car and although an electric vehicle would suffice for most of my motoring there are a few long journeys where the limited range would have caused problems. I’ve ended up leasing a Honda Jazz hybrid. It has a 1.5l petrol engine and a battery charged from the engine but no need to plug it in. Around town it runs a lot of the time on electric and seems to be averaging about 60mpg. It has lots of new safety features that make motorway driving a very relaxing experience.

One step forward in the electronic experience!

Regards Keith
 

Just4Fun

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I’ve ended up leasing a Honda Jazz hybrid. It has a 1.5l petrol engine and a battery charged from the engine but no need to plug it in.
Congrats on the new car!
I am totally ignorant about that type of vehicle. Perhaps you could educate me. All the energy to run the vehicle comes from the fuel you use, so what advantages do you see? On the face of it, to me, the only real difference is that you might move some of the emissions and noise out of towns into the countryside. Against that you have to cart around the electric motor etc. Obviously 60 MPG is good, but presumably it would be even better without that weight penalty.
 

John Brown

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Congrats on the new car!
I am totally ignorant about that type of vehicle. Perhaps you could educate me. All the energy to run the vehicle comes from the fuel you use, so what advantages do you see? On the face of it, to me, the only real difference is that you might move some of the emissions and noise out of towns into the countryside. Against that you have to cart around the electric motor etc. Obviously 60 MPG is good, but presumably it would be even better without that weight penalty.
Firstly, you can recover some of the energy that would otherwise be wasted as heat from braking, and secondly, hybrids allow the ICE to run at peak efficiency.
That's all I know.
 

Just4Fun

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Firstly, you can recover some of the energy that would otherwise be wasted as heat from braking
OK. Not of maor significance I think but not something I had considered in this context.

, and secondly, hybrids allow the ICE to run at peak efficiency.
That is much more promising I think. It seems I had misunderstood the concept. I had thought that sometimes the ICE propelled the car and sometimes the electrical system propelled the car. From what you say I guess the electric motor always propels the car, and some of the time the ICE runs in order to recharge the batteries. So the ICE is basically just a generator so it can run at ideal revs regardless of vehicle speed and terrain. Have I got that right now? If so, I like the idea.

That's all I know.
Clearly a lot more than I know (y)
 

John Brown

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OK. Not of maor significance I think but not something I had considered in this context.


That is much more promising I think. It seems I had misunderstood the concept. I had thought that sometimes the ICE propelled the car and sometimes the electrical system propelled the car. From what you say I guess the electric motor always propels the car, and some of the time the ICE runs in order to recharge the batteries. So the ICE is basically just a generator so it can run at ideal revs regardless of vehicle speed and terrain. Have I got that right now? If so, I like the idea.


Clearly a lot more than I know (y)
From what I've read, the regenerative braking can add between 20 to 30 percent to the mileage.
Comparing my wife's hybrid Toyota to my diesel Merc, I could get better mileage on a long run, but she wins hands down around town.
 

selectortone

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My petrol Mazda6 has regenerative braking and it definitely improves mileage. I get 80 or 90 miles more out of a tankful compared with my previous similar engined 2-litre Mondeo.

The beauty of it is that it recoups the most energy in stop-start driving in town, which is when you get the worst fuel economy.

 

Just4Fun

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I can see that regenerative braking might improve exonomy around town. That is not really something I do very much - I am obviously lucky in that regard. For my driving conditions and my driving style I doubt that regenerative braking would make a noticable difference to my fuel economy. YMMV.
 

Dabop

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Got to admit, I wish I had the money to go electric, I was very impressed with the guy I bought the batteries for my house from, he has a homebrew Hilux thats electric- with over 100 thousand on the clock since he built it in 2008- since then he hasn't spent a cent driving- unlike my (exactly the same year even) one that uses about a hundred bucks a week driving rural country here in Oz...
He doesn't even pay for the electricity to drive it, as he is offgrid and solar recharges the car (he has batteries that recharge the ute when he isnt at home, that recharge it when he gets home- even at night)

$5200 a year, since 2008 would be $67 grand in fuel....his batteries and conversion cost well under half that...

Like all elec stuff it is the initial cost that hurts, but then you make up for it
:-(

If I had the money and sense to copy him at the time- I could afford to have two of them now....
A 'Monday, Wed and Friday ute..
And a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday one...
(even more embarrassing is that his, despite being heavier and looking identical to mine, is a 'V8 killer' at the traffic lights- mines more like a 'I MIGHT beat a pushbike-maybe...')
;-(
 

stuart little

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If everyone had to have an EV, where would they all recharge from? What about all the populated areas that only have kerbside parking, including estates (multi vehicle ownership), It would lead to a spaghetti mass of extension leads, surely. What would happen to the National Grid every night?:unsure: TBH I can't see it happening.
 

Terry - Somerset

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A fairly typical 4kw domestic array even in the UK will produce around 20kw a day - sufficient for the typical domestic electricity consumption. Daily output will vary somewhat due to daylight hours, cloud cover etc.

This would comfortably provide sufficient power to recharge an EV for most normal users - may need to be linked to a separate battery to enable night time charging.

I then have a choice - do I recharge an EV and avoid paying for highly taxed carbon fuels, or prioritise the house where my savings are low taxed grid electricity supply. Or simply double up on PVs assumining budget and space will stand it?
 

Woodchips2

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Congrats on the new car!
I am totally ignorant about that type of vehicle. Perhaps you could educate me. All the energy to run the vehicle comes from the fuel you use, so what advantages do you see? On the face of it, to me, the only real difference is that you might move some of the emissions and noise out of towns into the countryside. Against that you have to cart around the electric motor etc. Obviously 60 MPG is good, but presumably it would be even better without that weight penalty.
Thanks Just4Fun.
This is the explanation from the Honda website:

"The Jazz hybrid car features a petrol engine, an electric motor and a small battery pack. This battery pack is powered by the engine as well as kinetic energy that is recuperated when the car is in motion, particularly when slowing down and braking.
This is sometimes referred to as “self-charging”. Once the car starts to accelerate again, the electric motor is powered by electricity from the batteries, helping the car gain speed."

When I'm driving around town the car runs on the electrical battery but when I accelerate the petrol engine cuts in. On the motorway driving at 70mph it also switches to electrical power on downhill sections. It's very good in stop start traffic jams because it stays in electric mode. It also automatically brakes if you get too close to the car in front.

Regards Keith
 

stuart little

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So, when there's no government income from fuel tax, will they put it on electricity or find something else? They've already introduced or is it reinstated (from the Middle Ages) a 'Salt tax' on crisps. I know there weren't crisps in those days, before some bright spark says it!;)
 

Cooper

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If everyone had to have an EV, where would they all recharge from? What about all the populated areas that only have kerbside parking, including estates (multi vehicle ownership), It would lead to a spaghetti mass of extension leads, surely. What would happen to the National Grid every night?
So, when there's no government income from fuel tax, will they put it on electricity or find something else?

Good questions and points.

If everyone had an EV with reasonable range there would be little difference to taking ice to the petrol station. In fact as lots of people would home charge only those without would need a public charger. Businesses will proved the charge points needed when they see a profit to be made.

Tax has to come from somewhere, if electricity was taxed and we used it for transport and at home, there would be even more motivation for better efficiency.

It has to happen. Look at the West coast of North America and Siberia and the other day in Japan. The climate crisis is here and is real. Any inconvenience to what we are used to is better than your home being burned down or flooded and certainly better than dying of exesive heat and humidity. Not to mention the massive population movements of climate refugees.
Martin
 

John Brown

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So, when there's no government income from fuel tax, will they put it on electricity or find something else? They've already introduced or is it reinstated (from the Middle Ages) a 'Salt tax' on crisps. I know there weren't crisps in those days, before some bright spark says it!;)
The way I understand things, the push for EVs is not aimed at making motoring cheaper, but greener. The fact that they are currantly cheaper per mile may help encourage early adopters, but it is not the raisin d'etre.

see what vindictive text has done there... A dried fruit pun...
 

D_W

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re: the solar arrays mentioned above. That would seem a sensible way to charge during the day (but it's a lot cheaper for utilities to just add commercial solar arrays than it is to incentivize residential installations. The DOE puts levelized cost of commercial solar now at 3 cents a kw/hr. Which means we will be getting it in droves over the next several decades. It would probably make more sense for us to organize coops, buy real estate and set up commercial solar installations (with coop members having fixed shares) than it does to put panels on roofs, but it's more fun to look at the ones on roofs (the levelized cost even though we already own the land is more than twice as much for residential).

At any rate, california (during the last heat wave) asked people to charge cars overnight if possible, which caused an uproar. Needlessly. There's no shortage of capacity overnight at this point and anyone charging at low draw in off peak hours could could do so and add 40 miles a day without matching their day-time use. I can't find perfect data anywhere except for an EIA example that shows nuclear capacity is 9% of total generating capacity but supplies 20% of the energy generated in 2020 (because you can't shut it off like other types).

20% of our generating capacity is renewables, and they generate 25% of the electricity used (wind isn't good base power, but it's *really* cheap). That suggests the rest of the grid is operating at <50% capacity, and a ratio of the nuke plants (which run around 90-95% capacity over time accounting for shutdowns) overall utilization here is about 9/20x0.95, let's say - 43% or so.

Because of this, gas plants have dominated new base load construction here. They can operate continuously and be shut down cheaply, making them easy to get contracts for (at this point, they're a threat to cause nuclear plant permanent shutdowns because they can contract at rates lower than ongoing costs for a nuclear plant and still be profitable).

Generation in much of the US is private, while the grid is public/regulated. That makes the generation competitive, cheap and really flexible (if new gas generation is needed, it will appear quickly. Changes in the grid do not, but the grid has a lot of excess capacity overnight, too). These are things that can be pretty easily solved over time, though - if EVs strain the grid, then the regulators will approve bonds and grid improvements.
 

niemeyjt

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To replace all UK-based vehicles today with electric vehicles (not including the LGV and HGV fleets), assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation NMC 811 batteries, would take 207,900 tonnes cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate (LCE), at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium, in addition to 2,362,500 tonnes copper. This represents, just under two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production during 2018.

 

John Brown

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To replace all UK-based vehicles today with electric vehicles (not including the LGV and HGV fleets), assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation NMC 811 batteries, would take 207,900 tonnes cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate (LCE), at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium, in addition to 2,362,500 tonnes copper. This represents, just under two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production during 2018.

There will, of course, be challenges. I wasn't around at the time of the first ICE vehicles, but I can imagine there were similar concerns. Having clicked through and read the article you linked to, these scientists accept that we need to tackle the problem. I don't think they are advocating throwing in the towel and stoically awaiting doomsday. They are drawing attention to the challenges, which is a good thing, because you can bet Boris and his chums have never heard of dysprosium. To be honest, neither had I.
 

Jacob

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..... They are drawing attention to the challenges, which is a good thing, .....
They may eventually draw attention to the possibility that personal powered transport will not be sustainable.
It's well past its best anyway, if you look at the chaos and confusion in every town and village in the country and the amount of work needed to accommodate it; basically the destruction of large areas of town, cities, countryside, and the domination of streets and open spaces.
One odd thing is how modern cars have bloated in size and make life even more difficult - great fat paramilitary vehicles draw up every day, blocking the street outside our village school to drop off little kids who would have walked or cycled in the old days.
Boys toys! :rolleyes:
 
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