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Electric Cars.

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Cuban822/01/2018 08:36:02
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Some very interesting comments and opinions regarding electric vehicles per se, but we have drifted a tad away from my original point concerning the possible social impact and its repercussions of putting cheap transport out of the reach of many families, in a way that is not so much of a problem now.

It's all very virtuous to look forward to participating in the brave new world of clean, green etc personal transport, but as always, there could be unintended negative consequences, one of which I've mentioned in my OP.

Just to widen it a bit then............caravans/motor homes. Yes, people do take the micky, but that manufacturing industry is still vibrant in the UK and of course, goodness knows how much UK tourism might stand to lose should practical vehicles suitable for the continuation of those activities cease to be available over time. Even without a caravan, what impact would there be on general tourism in, for example, Cornwall?

Would you be willing to set off from the North to get to the West Country with a vehicle having a range of a couple of hundred miles at best and the prospect of worrying about being one of thousands of vehicles hunting for a charging point? Then of course, the return journey...........

Jez Saunders22/01/2018 09:23:17
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111 forum posts

The reality is that we need to do something, there are far too many of us and there are many more to come, we can beat nature for so long but you can bet it will come up behind us and kick us in the behind when we are least expecting it. And it probably will !

Don Fry22/01/2018 09:23:26
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Cuban, going back to the nice picture of the Great North Road, those cars faced a similar problem, would they do that journey without breakdown,

Sorting out electric cars is no huge problem. And a lot of vehicles don't go far from base. Sit on the slide of a road in a town, and I bet, 30 per cent never go out of charge range of their base.

Nigel R22/01/2018 09:49:01
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3060 forum posts
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Electric cars will and are happening, in fact they've already happened, to get the tenses correct.

The vast majority of people's trip patterns are completely covered by the existing plug-in hybrid approach. Even with the current electric range they cover 90% of commutes (which is really what needs to be covered). When they hit 100 mile range (on an old battery with mr. average at the wheel, not the optimistic "brand new no lights no air con perfect economy driving" quote that the manufacturer will give you), then there is no range issue for 99% of trips. And the hybrid drivetrain gets you all the range you need at the drop of a hat. Holidaying in Scotland / South of France / Kazhakstan? Charge before you go, fill up on petrol as soon as you need and let the generator recharge your battery as you drive the rest of the way. Local commutes all on overnight charges.

I'm honestly not sure what people are worried about. A charge point network is not the end user's concern right now. You can use the existing infrastructure to just fill up and go.

The main obstacle here is people's attitudes, as this thread aptly demonstrates!

Alan Jarvis22/01/2018 12:03:38
165 forum posts
27 photos

In terms of air pollution, according to a piece on Radio 4 a few weeks ago, around 50% of air pollution from vehicles comes from brakes and tyres.

​The new Nissan Leaf uses one pedal and according to test reports drivers hardly ever need to use the brakes due to regenerative engine braking. So air pollution will reduce. When we have self driving cars it may also reduce tyre wear as it may not be as aggressive as some drivers.

Andy4822/01/2018 13:03:22
1378 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Geoff Sleath on 21/01/2018 20:22:23:

Paul, when I was a teenager in the 1950s I worked near London right by the A1. It was a single carriageway except where it passed DeHavillands in Hatfleld and I happily cycled along it on my old 3 speed hub gear pedal cycle to night school because it was so quiet in the evenings. I met and old chap who could remember when it was little more than a cart track (no cars at all., just horse drawn traffic) but look at it now. Dual carriageway, multi-lane all the way from the M25 north to Scotland. Times change and the rate of change is increasing.

Never say 'Won't happen' because it will, one way or another.

Geoff

Nooo! Try driving along the A1 north of Newcastle. There's still 60+ miles of the A1 before you reach the Scottish border. A significant length is single carriageway, but then the powers that be never consider anything north of the Midlands, and dualling of this road has been repeatedly rejected. How much is being spent on Crossrail?

Andy4822/01/2018 13:08:23
1378 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by eflightray on 21/01/2018 15:29:00:

I also have a hybrid, a Hyundai Ioniq, great drive. Snag is it's too much fun to drive economically, though I'm still getting 55mpg.

An electric powered car should be designed from the ground up, not just modify an existing petrol/diesel model. The current trend in 'cross-over', SUV, boxy style models ignores the advantages of good low drag aerodynamics when it comes to economy.

Ray.

I have one of those boxy SUVs with 4wd and an automatic gear box, yet it will still do 50mpg, and that figure doesn't reduce on cold mornings when the heater is going full belt and the seat heaters are on.

The Wright Stuff22/01/2018 13:13:42
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1381 forum posts
226 photos
Posted by Cuban8 on 22/01/2018 08:36:02:

Some very interesting comments and opinions regarding electric vehicles per se, but we have drifted a tad away from my original point concerning the possible social impact and its repercussions of putting cheap transport out of the reach of many families, in a way that is not so much of a problem now.

 

Cuban, you raise an interesting question in your OP, but second-hand markets are governed by the laws of economics, and one of those is that markets tend to shift in a way that minimises the social effect of a change: in this case a switch to electric cars.

OK, so that's a bit abstract, but one interpretation is this: initially, there will be a surplus of second hand conventional cars, as people switch over to electric. By the time this supply dries up (let's say 10 years after the point at which 50% of new sales are electric), then there will be a surplus of cheap, quality, electric cars for the second hand buyer, and here's why. Progress will be fast enough that the people who want to buy new cars every couple of years will do so, just because they want the latest features. Arguably, it's plausible that the mechanical depreciation will decrease less fast than the financial depreciation (due to simplicity - fewer moving parts to go wrong).

Hence it's possible you could be better off!

Edited By The Wright Stuff on 22/01/2018 13:15:23

Nigel R22/01/2018 13:18:04
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3060 forum posts
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This thread is like an episode of mythbusters smiley

Toni Reynaud22/01/2018 13:40:07
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390 forum posts
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Plug-in hybrids are NOT electric cars. Maybe they have an electric capability, but for some of them it's quite short. I talked to one chap who had a big SUV type hybrid and he was quite annoyed that it would not cover a return journey to work of 32 miles in total, and he was not permitted to rechage it at work!!

Don Fry22/01/2018 13:54:34
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3943 forum posts
42 photos

And referring to the enlightening post by the Wright Stuff above, in a changing world, if the battery remains a huge expense, you insure it against failure. A repost that it will be expensive, has the answer you can't afford not to.

Andy4822/01/2018 14:00:17
1378 forum posts
1 photos

.. or rely on the warranty. The warranty on the battery in a Mitsubishi Outlander, for instance, is 8 years.

With some makes you only rent the battery.

Trevor Crook22/01/2018 14:22:23
854 forum posts
65 photos

Andy, I assume your 50mpg SUV is a diesel? The problem with the latest diesels is that, in order to meet the current Euro 6 requirements, diesels are fitted with lots of complex anti-emissions kit. Probably most significant are the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and AdBlue system. The DPF traps the tiny particles emitted by diesels and stops them getting to our lungs. If the car is used for plenty of long trips at a decent speed, the build up of soot in the DPF will be burnt off, this is so-called passive regeneration. If the car is used for short trips, the engine will perform active regeneration, which involves injecting extra fuel to burn off the soot. If the engine is switched off during an active regeneration cycle the excess fuel can run down past the pistons and into the sump. If this happens repeatedly, the oil level can rise from the fuel contamination and damage can result.

The AdBlue system contains a tank of a urea based additive, which must be topped up ever few thousand miles. This additive reduces poisonous NOx emissions.

Since retiring I only cover about 6000 miles per year so petrol is best for me. But if I occasionally towed a caravan that could be a problem, as torquey petrol tow cars are thin on the ground and expensive.

Apologies if you already knew all of this, and for wittering off topic.

Andy4822/01/2018 14:48:09
1378 forum posts
1 photos

It is a diesel, and meets Euro 6b. I am well aware of the issues, and this car does not use Adblue; not all diesels do. You can also switch the engine off during the regen process to no ill effect. There is a problem with oil in the sump during regen, apparently this is due to the % of biofuel used in the UK which does not evaporate in the sump like ordinary diesel. A couple of years ago the service limit for this engine was increased from 9,000 miles to 12,500 miles, as again the manufacturer has sorted the regen problem out through an improved regen process.

Both my OH and I do about 8,000 miles each, we both have the same car and we do tow a caravan.

Nigel R22/01/2018 14:52:38
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3060 forum posts
475 photos

"Plug-in hybrids are NOT electric cars. Maybe they have an electric capability, but for some of them it's quite short"

They have an electric motor capable of driving the car, for a range of XYZ miles. During that time the ICE is going for a ride, the car is effectively electric, the ICE is playing a reserve role.

If the manufacturer does it right, XYZ is large, and the ICE is not needed to contribute to regular driving, with all power coming from an overnight charge.

Or it is done badly, and XYZ is small.

Or perhaps the manufacturer is playing tax dodges, to allow people to drive a great big truck for slightly less money than the diesel version.

You are free to choose whichever of these flavours you like best. I'd suggest the first one makes a lot of sense as an all round replacement for our normal petrol/diesel motors.

Percy Verance22/01/2018 14:55:46
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

Ah yes Trevor, the AdBlue *thing* About a year or so back, the organisation I work for purchased a brand new pair of Citroen MPV's, with 1.6 litre diesel engines. I was tasked with collecting them in turn from the dealer and then taking them to be lettered. I couldn't help but notice both vehicles were fitted with AdBlue systems. I'd not seen this fitted to such small vehicles previously, although I knew larger commercial stuff had it fitted. Once I'd got the pair of them back to base, I made a particular point of mentioning that the AdBlue tank will need to be regularly checked/topped up. Not too long ago I heard that someone had been stranded at the side of the road somewhere after pulling up, and when they attempted to restart the vehicle again, it wouldn't....... I realised then they hadn't listened......

PatMc22/01/2018 15:45:50
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4200 forum posts
521 photos
Posted by Andy48 on 22/01/2018 13:03:22:
Posted by Geoff Sleath on 21/01/2018 20:22:23:

Paul, when I was a teenager in the 1950s I worked near London right by the A1. It was a single carriageway except where it passed DeHavillands in Hatfleld and I happily cycled along it on my old 3 speed hub gear pedal cycle to night school because it was so quiet in the evenings. I met and old chap who could remember when it was little more than a cart track (no cars at all., just horse drawn traffic) but look at it now. Dual carriageway, multi-lane all the way from the M25 north to Scotland. Times change and the rate of change is increasing.

Never say 'Won't happen' because it will, one way or another.

Geoff

Nooo! Try driving along the A1 north of Newcastle. There's still 60+ miles of the A1 before you reach the Scottish border. A significant length is single carriageway, but then the powers that be never consider anything north of the Midlands, and dualling of this road has been repeatedly rejected. How much is being spent on Crossrail?

I also noticed Geoff's comment re dual carriageway from the M25 north to Scotland. Since it doesn't mention following the route of the A1 I think it is correct. AFAIK there's dual carriageway from the M25 all the way to Glasgow via the M6 - A74(M) - M74.

MattyB22/01/2018 16:54:41
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1944 forum posts
30 photos

Way back in the distant past (well on page 1 actually but you get the picture!) the OP posted a question about depreciation of EVs...

Posted by Cuban8 on 21/01/2018 11:48:05:

Something occurred to me a while back concerning all the talk about how electric cars will replace petrol and diesel in the near future.

At present, a conventional petrol or diesel car will depreciate considerably to a point at which those that are not particularly well off financially will be able to afford to buy a cheap but decent second hand vehicle for work, family transport etc.

For instance, a standard new Ford Focus or similar is around the fifteen grand mark, but a well maintained and perfectly serviceable used example that could be ten years old will only be around three thousand pounds, possibly much less and hence within the budget of those of modest means.

My concern is that will electric vehicles depreciate in value to the same extent as current petrol/diesel, thus bringing them within the budget of those with only a couple of grand or just a few hundred quid to spend? Will the cost of a replacement battery render an old electric car just fit for the scrap heap or only good for a hopelessly short range between charges?

Will we eventually be cutting off a whole section of society from owning the examples of practical and relatively inexpensive personal transport that's available today?

...so a point on this. I was (maybe still am) very interested in an EV for our second car as a runabout, but found it's very hard to make the numbers work on a new one. Why? Look at the depreciation rates on current EVs like the Leaf; they are absolutely hideous! 2 year old cars that went for £25-30k can be had for around £6-7k plus a £50 a month battery lease. No private buyer can afford to take that kind of hit, it squishes any financial advantages associated with reduced running costs.

Why is this? Well apparently many consumers are worried about long term battery life and the possibility there will be a leap forward in battery technology in the short term that renders current models obsolete overnight. Result - people are scared to buy a secondhand one, despite the fact there are Leafs being used as Taxis with 150k on the odometer and still 75% battery capacity or better.

My conclusion? Well clearly buying any of the "normal" EVs (i.e. not Teslas!) new is not easy to justify on a financial basis unless you drive in a relatively unusual way i.e. high mileages made up of lots of short-medium range trips. However buying a secondhand 18-24 month old Leaf and running it for 3 years might be a pretty affordable form of motoring providing you don't do long trips with any frequency; certainly fine as a second car. In 3 years EVs and their financials could be a very different proposition, who knows...

Edited By MattyB on 22/01/2018 16:56:01

Geoff Sleath22/01/2018 17:05:04
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3363 forum posts
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Posted by Andy48 on 22/01/2018 13:03:22:
Posted by Geoff Sleath on 21/01/2018 20:22:23:

Paul, when I was a teenager in the 1950s I worked near London right by the A1. It was a single carriageway except where it passed DeHavillands in Hatfleld and I happily cycled along it on my old 3 speed hub gear pedal cycle to night school because it was so quiet in the evenings. I met and old chap who could remember when it was little more than a cart track (no cars at all., just horse drawn traffic) but look at it now. Dual carriageway, multi-lane all the way from the M25 north to Scotland. Times change and the rate of change is increasing.

Never say 'Won't happen' because it will, one way or another.

Geoff

Nooo! Try driving along the A1 north of Newcastle. There's still 60+ miles of the A1 before you reach the Scottish border. A significant length is single carriageway, but then the powers that be never consider anything north of the Midlands, and dualling of this road has been repeatedly rejected. How much is being spent on Crossrail?

I was bit dubious about 'all the way to Scotland' I confess because we've always turned off at Scotch Corner and either gone across to Penrith and through Gretna or over Carter Bar and via Jedburgh though we went as far as Durham on Boxing Day.

Though I agree with your implied comment on money spent in the SE and London compared to just about everywhere else.

Geoff

J D 822/01/2018 17:10:20
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1259 forum posts
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The Topgear team came up with the answer to the limited range of electric cars some years ago,just string chicken wire above all motorways and fit a contact pole on the car,smileywink

Not as daft as it sounds,work is happening on on the move charging,

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