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Electric Cars.

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Frank Skilbeck25/04/2018 16:55:24
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Posted by Nigel R on 25/04/2018 15:04:35:

"Have we in the western world given a thought of the environmental disaster in lithium producing areas "

Of course we haven't. None of those mines are anywhere near here.

Not yet

Percy Verance25/04/2018 18:35:09
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Just in case anyone's interested, Subaru are the latest manufacturer to drop diesel from their ranges.....

And for those who's motoring aspirations are perhaps a little higher, Porsche are putting the finishing touches to their Mission E car. It sort of resembles a stretched 4 door 911. Nice if that sort of thing's your bag. Porsche have recently invested 500 million Euros into their electrification strategy, and plan to invest a further 6 billion Euros by 2022, spending on things such as a rapid charging infrastructure to hybrid and electric versions of existing models.

The Mission E has an electric motor on each axle, generating in the region of 600bhp, and has top speed of 155mph. 0 - 62 comes up in under 3.5 seconds. Range on a full charge is stated as being "upwards" of 300 miles. It will be priced at between £60,000 and £70,000, so pretty much on a par with their existing metal......

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 25/04/2018 18:48:43

Percy Verance25/04/2018 19:29:30
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However, it seems a solution my be close at hand........ www.msn.com/en-gb/cars/news/new-bosch-tech-drastically-cuts-diesel-nox-emissions/ar-AAwjdT1?ocid=spartandhp

It's difficult to speculate of course, but now that the 2040 petrol/diesel cut off date has been decreed - and could yet be brought forward - one wonders just how much longer they will actually be produced? Should diesel sales continue to fall at their present rate, might they still be producing them in, say, 5 years?  This of course will have an effect on the used market in time, with far fewer being available than previously.

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 25/04/2018 19:37:17

Erfolg25/04/2018 20:37:22
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Percy

Do you ignore the comments from the Chairman  of Ford & Jaguar Landrover (I think that is who they are) and the general thrust in Germany? Diesels are not being dropped at this moment. The UK Government is being castigated for its negativity, that is costing a drop in UK sales of particularly Diesels and also petrol vehicles.

The 2040 date is the sound of the can being kicked up the road. Those who suspect some councils in particular of looking for ways of funding their budgets are possibly correct. As I have said, if the air quality concerns you in the inner city. scrap the old buses, and ensure that new buses that are replacements meet the same high standards as Euro 6 Diesel cars. Perhaps it is not politically acceptable to actively promote electric buses and local delivery vehicles. Partly because of the large sums of money and infrastructure required, that will cause public service providers in transport to squeal,

Listening to and reading the views of vehicle producers many see the Diesel being around for some time, possibly as a milch cow, where hybrids are seen as being in the shorter and maybe the longer term of greater potential.

You know, in some ways I would love electricity to be the answer to all, but it comes at a price. The price is energy used for the generation process, the distribution and the increasingly almost bizarre energy storage systems (from batteries of various configurations and types, spinning tops, pumped hydro and so on). We are in many cases looking at the old woman who swallowed a fly syndrome.

If electric cars make sense, market forces, driven by practicality and cost will be the driver. As every successful change has been from the bronze age, industrial revolution, the age of steam/coal, oil has developed independent of Government. Where Governments have attempted to drive change by rigging the systems it has been a failure. From Government CAD, withdrawing tax relieve on pension funds, all result in failure, in one form or another.

Edited By Erfolg on 25/04/2018 20:38:30

Edited By Erfolg on 25/04/2018 20:39:17

Edited By Erfolg on 25/04/2018 20:41:01

Percy Verance25/04/2018 22:09:54
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Er, I think you'll find that Toyota, Porsche and Subaru have now dropped diesel engines from their passenger car ranges. Skoda have also dropped diesel from the upcoming revamped Fabia line up. The motor industry as a whole generally responds to market trends/changes fairly rapidly today, hence the healthy introduction of EV's thus far.....

If you feel the diesel engine is going to be around for some time, then that's your prerogative. I honestly feel it's a bit like the man who was selling a dead horse though. He insisted it ought to be reclassified as living but impaired.

And I'm afraid I have no idea what the "general thrust in Germany" is,

On the whole, I regret to say that I find your posts difficult to follow. They're all rather too long, and I tend to lose interest half way through. If you were more concise it might help.

Edited By Percy Verance on 25/04/2018 22:10:48

Erfolg25/04/2018 22:36:32
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Apparently Porsche have not stopped production of all Diesels, the new Cayenne is available as a Diesel. In the case of Toyota, apparently they sold very few Diesels in the first place. As for the others, they say they are stopping, not as yet stopped. Yet it says more about the political pressures and lack of sales, than necessarily about the damage or otherwise of Diesels in cars. If they all stop production of Diesels and Petrol vehicles, that is what happens. It will give me no more joy, than if and when electric vehicles follow the milk float into history, as is the way of all things.

Percy I am a little surprised about the tone of some of your statements.

I personally I am less interested in a particular agenda, although the consequences, implications and opportunities are of interest. Of course a major issue such as energy, requires more discussion and explanation than by simple superficial cliches.

Tom Sharp 225/04/2018 23:23:14
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Rover had a Gas Turbine car at one time , wonder what happened to that?

Don Fry26/04/2018 06:39:01
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Couldn't find a brushless motor to convert it.

ken anderson.26/04/2018 08:58:15
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it looks as though the bosch tech is going to throw a spanner in the works...might be time to get rid or cancel the electric jobs..to much hassle setting up a complete new infrastructure...up to the political lads....where they go decide/we must follow......bearing in mind our votes mean more than anything else.....

ken Anderson...ne...1...... motoring dept.

Peter Christy26/04/2018 09:14:37
994 forum posts
Posted by Tom Sharp 2 on 25/04/2018 23:23:14:

Rover had a Gas Turbine car at one time , wonder what happened to that?

The problem with gas-turbine cars was two-fold (and Chrysler had one almost ready for production).

First up was poor part throttle economy. A gas turbine is very clean running, but thirsty when operated at part throttle. The second was "turbo-lag" - the time between planting your right foot and anything actually happening!

Chrysler had mostly solved the second problem, and partly solved the first. What killed the Chrysler car was its inability to run on leaded fuel (all that was generally available at the time) closely followed by the oil crisis and subsequent escalating fuel costs.

**LINK**

Though that doesn't tell the whole story - more details here:

 
What makes a lot more sense is to use a turbine as the generator in a hybrid. This overcomes the throttle lag issue, and the turbine is much smaller and lighter than a reciprocating engine of equivalent power. It is also cleaner running in its "raw" state, and can be designed to run at its optimum fuel economy, as it will never need throttling.
 
I posted a link a while back to a British company proposing just such a power system. I can't understand why none of the "big boys" have taken it up. It certainly makes much more sense than either the current hybrids or pure electric vehicles.
 
--
Pete
 
P.S. The design of the Rover T4 (the final gas turbine car they made) was converted from front-wheel drive to rear and fitted with a piston engine. It was better known as the Rover 2000!
 

Edited By Peter Christy on 26/04/2018 09:16:12

Edited By Peter Christy on 26/04/2018 09:18:54

Edited By Peter Christy on 26/04/2018 09:19:22

Frank Skilbeck26/04/2018 09:32:29
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Like the one Jaguar showed as a concept car

The idea though would probably make more sense on HGVs and buses, ability to run on a variety of fuels and lots of torque for setting off and no need for a complicated gearbox. Plus Turbines are great when they are left running, frequent stop starts shorten the time between overhauls, so they make more sense in something that is regularly doing long distances.

But the risks of being the first to put one in production maybe too high.

Erfolg26/04/2018 12:01:15
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Frank, I do not think that the concept will go down with electric vehicle purists. Again the concept is not new the Lohner-Porsche of the 1900s has many similarities, other than style.

In what is now the distant past, I worked alongside an ex-Ford design engineer. What I found interesting, is particularly relevant today, is that the design brief was specified via an internal process, which did not involve the design team. Typically the engine unit would be specified, suspension units and so on, making use of existing manufacturing capacity. Now when I consider the implications of the existing manufacturing investments of major manufacturers, it provides a clue as to why some strategies differ markedly from others.

I would anticipate if you make very few sales of a particular engine type, particularly if the engine units etc are bought in, you will be eager from a manufacturing perspective of production simplification, stock control, general money saving to drop such vehicles from your range. In such circumstances being able to make a Press Announcement that you will be dropping that particular unit type as being virtuous would be like manner from heaven,

Then there is the issue for manufacturers when going for a change of power unit. What do you do with the old plants, if not past their sell by date? Where is the money coming for a new plant. Will there be mass redundancies for some, devastated communities?

Then there is the issue of introduction of something that has a high degree of novelty, respective to your current knowledge, of how do you manage it.

The Jaguar solution of hub driven motors, has the virtue of apparent simplicity. Yet from a performance standpoint, it has what has been considered a major flaw, in a much larger than necessary unsprung mass. Although I do now note that modern F1 cars have abandoned inboard brakes, that were once fashionable. Also again the issue of the motors being exposed to the worst of the roads elements.

The other solutions will have their own issues, be direct drives, via gear boxes, degree and manner of electronic interventions with the drive train.

For electric vehicles, the potential for major changes in how the concept is introduced is significant.

The hybrid vehicle does avoid the present issue of the National Grid, capacity, robustness of electric power generation. In twenty or thirty years time, all of todays issues could have been favourably resolved. Although the present situation of Large Nuclear seems less than certain, nor are the cost implications evidently great when seen from todays position. I have also wondered about the proposed future fuel rod disposal route, which never seems to be made public. Some are opposed to dedicated gas powered generation plants, both for base load and peak demand.

Peter Christy26/04/2018 12:34:19
994 forum posts

Erfolg makes some very salient points, not least of which is generating capacity. With Britain already running near the peak that the National Grid can supply in winter, little is left in reserve for daytime charging of large numbers of electric vehicles.

One thing on the plus side is that nuclear power stations cannot be throttled back, and produce electricity at a constant rate - even when its not needed (ie: at night!). Using night time electricity to charge vehicles might solve the commuting problem, but the distance traveler still has issues. And then there is the problem of disposing of nuclear waste, for which there is currently no solution.

Part of the problem of nuclear waste is the incredibly long time (centuries!) it has to be stored before it can be considered safe. Fusion power - the ultimate solution - has been twenty years in the future since I was a kid (anyone else remember Project Zeta?).

A better solution would be building fission reactors that use Thorium instead of Uranium. Thorium is cheaper and more readily available than Uranium. A Thorium reactor can't suffer from "meltdown" in the event of a power failure (as at Fukushima). Like a petrol engined car, if you turn the power off, it just stops!

Yes, it produces nasty waste, but the half-life is measured in decades rather than centuries. So why aren't we building them? Simple! Its very hard to use the by-products to produce nuclear weapons!

Someone mentioned Windscale a while back. Windscale never produced (nor was it intended to produce) electricity. Its sole purpose was to provide enriched Uranium and Plutonium for nuclear weapons.

If we had decided to use Thorium instead of Uranium for the new Hinckley power plant, we could have had a design which we could have sold to developing nations around the world, without fear of it being used for weapons. Instead we have chosen an expensive and unproven design, which will be a millstone around the neck of future generations. There are only two other reactors being built to the same design. Both are way behind schedule, way over budget and being re-designed on-the-fly to overcome inherent flaws. Whoever took that decision, well, boiling in oil is too good for them!

And in case anyone thinks that Thorium reactors are unproven, the Americans ran one for years - only switching it off because the by-products were useless to the military!

Rant over! wink

--

Pete

Frank Skilbeck26/04/2018 13:23:17
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While everybody seems to focus on electric cars overloading the grid, there are other schemes being tested where electric cars can be seen as mobile batteries, and provide an input to the grid at peak demand times then charging up when there is excess capacity.

As regards Thorium, I'm with Peter on this one, it does look a good solution, never developed before as nuclear power adopted that developed by the military. But maybe this time fusion power is really only 10 years away, there are a lot of commercial companies now pursuing this.

Alan Jarvis26/04/2018 14:02:00
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Peter Christy.-

With the creation of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) in 1954, ownership of Windscale Works passed to the UKAEA. The first of four Magnox reactors became operational in 1956 at Calder Hall, adjacent to Windscale and across the River Calder, and the site became Windscale and Calder Works

Calder Hall, first connected to the grid on 27 August 1956 and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 October 1956,[40][41] was the world's first power station to generate electricity on an industrial scale (four 60 MWe reactors) from nuclear energy; supplied to the National Grid.

Erfolg26/04/2018 14:24:15
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Alan

As with most things, the devil is in the detail. The questions that need to be asked, is what happened to the Calder Reactor Fuel, then why. How much electricity that went into the grid went to domestic users, on a net basis compared to some other demands.

I think that THORP, is due to close imminently, which is only relevant in the context of Nuclear Fuel Management.

Which is another indirect issue relative to electric cars, when considered in the broad context.

The positive side of electric cars appears that customer satisfaction, in context of the users, appears to be quite high.

Percy Verance26/04/2018 14:51:44
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http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-5418757/Porsche-axes-diesel-cars-falling-demand.html

 

www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/toyota-auris-diesel-ditched-due-low-sales

If they stop the production of petrol and diesel cars?  Haven't you been following the news?  It's going to happen in 2040 at the latest, and may well be sooner.......

Oh, and one of the latest movers & groovers is Ford. They're killing off all passenger car sales in North America to concentrate on commercial sales, which is where they're strong in the market. And you accuse me of ignoring what's happening!

Edited By Percy Verance on 26/04/2018 14:58:55

Peter Christy26/04/2018 15:06:38
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Alan J: Perhaps I should have been clearer! The *original* reactor at Windscale barely qualified as a reactor at all, as we know them today. It was basically a wall of graphite with holes in it. Nuclear fuel (rods of uranium) was pushed into the holes, where the close proximity to other rods allowed a chain reaction to build up, moderated by the graphite to stop it from exploding!

Once the fuel rods were "processed" in the reactor, they were pushed out of the backside of the wall, onto a conveyor, and taken away to be used in warheads.

The so-called "Windscale Disaster" occurred because the graphite caught fire! Radioactive debris was sucked up the chimneys and spread far and wide.

There is no mention of it ever producing any power for the grid, although that was a cover story put out at the time, I believe.

There is quite a good description of the whole sorry saga here:

**LINK**

--

Pete

Don Fry26/04/2018 15:40:09
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Percy. A few points. Will you please stop quoting car manufacturers marketing blurb as a statement of fact, as people in the real world understand it. Would you also be a little more circumspect it your assumptions of the future. I for one would be taking little notice of a casual political decision, kicking the can down the road for 22 years.

Bottom line, electric cars will come. Last year I believe just under 50,000 electric units were sold in the U.K.

Ford shifted just under 100,000 Fiestas.

Peter Christy26/04/2018 15:47:58
994 forum posts
Posted by Erfolg on 26/04/2018 14:24:15:

The positive side of electric cars appears that customer satisfaction, in context of the users, appears to be quite high.

My son and his wife had a Renault Zoe for a while. Running costs were minimal, as were maintenance costs (no oil to change, no vibration to shake things loose, etc). It was great for commuting to work.

Unfortunately, it wasn't so good at fetching them to visit here, or for taking him to competitions (not enough range).

It has now been replaced by a Nissan Qashqai, which offers a lot more space, and much better range.

They did like the Zoe while they had it, though. Just not practical for anything other than shopping and a local commute. And that, sadly, seems to sum up the current state of development.

--

Pete

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