Electric cars-Conversions

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Mandrake
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

RichardW wrote:
08 Mar 2018, 11:13
Interesting stuff on the Bollinger. Wonder if they will get it type approved and into production, or maybe they will just be niche cars built as one offs and IVAd.
Indeed. A couple of questions I have are:

1) How would they get a good ncap rating in a vehicle like that ? The prototype presumably has no air bags etc, and it doesn't look very pedestrian friendly. :lol:
2) Are they licensing the right to use Hydropneumatic from Citroen, or has Citroen let their patents lapse now ?

Citroen don't have a presence in the USA so presumably any patents they had there are long expired, however Bollinger have said they will be selling into RHD markets and have already done the design work needed to crank out RHD versions of the vehicle. (Looks pretty easy actually with that basic dashboard! :lol: ) Citroen surely had patents in most RHD markets so I can only assume they have licensed the rights to use it as Rolls Royce did, especially when they specifically call it Hydropneumatic and are using it as a selling point. In any case, I'm glad that a new vehicle is using Hydropneumatic - even if it isn't from Citroen!
Seems that the pure EV companies are involved in a race to the top rather than the usual race to the bottom. It seems that if money is no object then you can make the range problems go away, and have some hysterical performance into the bargain. Hopefully there will be continuing improvements in the cost / capacity balance of batteries in mainstream cars that will bring prices into line with ICEs and range into the 200-300 miles arena that will make them acceptable for the majority of people.

Building an EV from the ground up does definitely seem to be more "accessible" for a small but talented engineering team. I think they only have about 6 people on the entire team from designers to engineers.

Realistically if you start from scratch with a small team like that you are not going to design your own petrol or diesel engine from scratch for a custom or limited run of vehicles. You're going to have to use someone else's already proven engine. And then you have to worry about meeting emissions regulations etc... A lot of hassle.

But designing your own drive inverters, motor etc for an EV is perfectly possible. An electric motor is pretty simple and scales up from small to large with almost no change in design or configuration aside from cooling, versus a combustion engine where scaling up power output inevitably makes it more complex - more cylinders, more camshafts, turbo chargers etc... With an electric motor you pretty much just make the same thing bigger!

Also the individual components to build up an EV drive train like the motor and inverter are probably available now off the shelf so it may be that the actual motor is off the shelf but they have clearly put a lot of work into their custom gearbox and suspension design to couple to that motor.

If you watch some of the other videos this is definitely a "scratch an itch" project where the guy who started it wanted a vehicle to use on his farm and wasn't happy with anything available, so he decided to design his own from scratch and make it electric! :)

I think there is definitely an opportunity here for limited production run custom design vehicles to fit certain niches, especially when the range of commercial EV's available at the moment is so limited! (Nobody even makes an Estate EV yet :roll: )

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myglaren
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by myglaren »

An electric car powered by salt water?
Yes, apparently



Crap advert that says very little of the car or technology behind it but that seems to be the rule with car adverts lately.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by myglaren »

Reading a thread in autoshite about electric vehicles, I was somewhat alarmed by this:
https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/ca ... ectric-car

Coupled with:


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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

A 19 Year Old Driver too!

Wonder how many insurance companies would take that business on these days, and at what price if they did? Looks like when they apply for their next insurance quote they may have to answer yes to the "Have you ever been refused Motor Insurance?" question.

Regards Neil

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myglaren
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by myglaren »

Things may be different in Austria - as in Sweden where the car is insured regardless of whom may be driving it.

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Mandrake
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

So ICE cars never catch on fire and burn to the ground either ? :wink:

According to the article:
Reports revealed that the 19-year-old driver escaped the car with only minor injuries and got out before the fire started.
This is typical of a Lithium Ion battery fire in an EV, the fire is very hard to put out once it gets started, hence so many fire engines in attendance, but the initial start of the fire is slow and gives plenty of time for the occupants to get out, especially in a Tesla where the battery is within a firewalled, sealed (except for pressure vents on the bottom facing the road) steel container that works like fire doors in a building to slow the spread of any fire to the rest of the car.

Lithium metal is very flammable but today's Lithium Ion batteries do not use Lithium metal in its metallic form, it is in the form of Lithium salts and the charging and discharging process moves Lithium Ion's one way and the other through the electrolyte. Lithium is also only about 2-4% of the total mass of the battery, much more of the battery is other metals like cobalt and nickel. It's not actually the Lithium that is flammable in a Lithium Ion battery, it's the gel/liquid electrolyte which is flammable, hence one of the reasons to push towards solid state electrolytes such as plastic or glass, as they basically make the battery completely inflammable.

Energy content of a lithium Ion battery, even when being burnt in a fire, is a lot lower than petrol or diesel in a fuel tank. (energy density is about 1/10th) In a fire in an ICE vehicle you also have the very real threat of a fuel line or the petrol tank being ruptured in a crash which allows volatile liquid fuel to leak out onto the ground, this will spread under the car into a pool of liquid giving off vapours (especially in the case of petrol, not so much for diesel) which only require a single spark to ignite the vapour and set the entire car alight or even cause an explosion.

Although a Lithium Ion battery will burn there is no volatile liquid to leak out everywhere before ignition to spread the fire outside the battery compartment, and no volatile vapours given off, this together with the slower burning means it take a lot longer for the fire to spread.

So, Lithium Ion powered cars - not nearly as dangerous as they appear, and possibly safer than an ICE in a crash that causes a fire due to the slow onset of the fire and not having the same risk of sudden ignition and explosion. And if we ever do get our fabled solid state electrolyte batteries with plastic or glass electrolyte instead of flammable gel/liquid electrolyte they will be more or less completely inflammable, making it even safer again! Here's hoping...

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by CitroJim »

Good points well made about lithium Simon :)

It's the norm of the media that they will go overboard over such a happening and make it as sensational as possible.

The number of fire appliances in attendance looks a bit serious to the casual observer but anyone with an ounce of intellect and schoolboy physics knows very well the nature of a metal fire.

Dropping lumps of lithium into a bucket of water just fuels the fire of the media if you'll excuse the play on words...

Our media and their need to sensationalise and use unnecessary hyperbole all the time really niggles me...

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

I know none of you dyed in the wool dino fuelled spanner monkeys are likely to be buying EV's any time soon and least of all something new :lol: but I thought I'd put out a little public service announcement about the 40kWh 2018 Leaf 2, especially as you may have friends or family considering one.

In short - don't buy one or let someone you know buy one, it's a Lemon! :shock: Or at least the battery is.

This is the new look restyled Leaf 2, which has been out for about a month now, with a claimed WLTP range of 177 miles - realistically 150 miles in summer, and a 40kWh battery.

I've watched a lot of review videos when it first came out and the reviews were very positive, and indeed in all ways except the battery it seems like a pretty nice car, and it had been on my shortlist of possible cars to replace the Ion in 5(ish) years from now once they were kicking around second hand... but it is well and truly crossed off my list now. :(

In short, Nissan totally dropped the ball on the battery, and it is going to come back to bite them, hard. [-X

The battery on the Leaf's have always been their achilles heel compared to other EV's, because as well as falling behind other EV's for capacity and range, Nissan has never implemented any kind of thermal management system for the battery on the Leaf, and the new 40kWh model is no exception.

Most EV's have either ducted air cooled or liquid cooled batteries, because the battery needs to be kept within a comfy temperature range for optimal performance. If the battery gets too hot (over about 40C) rapid charging speeds have to be slashed to keep the battery from overheating, and if you're driving, acceleration would be reduced.

Conversely if temperatures are too low (below about 5C typically) you have to reduce rapid charging speeds because there is a risk of Lithium plating of the anode which causes permanent damage to the battery over time. So the colder the battery gets below about 5C the slower it will charge. This is all handled automatically by the onboard battery management system - as a driver of the car you will just notice your car charges slower in cold conditions, especially if the car hasn't driven much to warm up the batteries.

By the time you get to about -10C it will be charging quite slowly and most batteries cannot charge at all below about -30C.

For longevity of cells and balance of the pack as a whole it's also important to try to keep the temperature of individual cells as similar to their neighbours as possible. You don't want large temperature differentials between different cells as that will cause the cells to degrade at different rates.

The best possible arrangement is to have a liquid cooling loop that winds its way past all the individual cells, which can either cool the battery if it is too hot or heat it if it is too cold. This is what Tesla use, as well as the BMW i3, the Hyundai Ioniq, and even the Zoe. (Although I think the Zoe can only cool the battery not heat it) These systems work primarily during rapid charging to ensure maximum charging speeds but can also work during driving to keep the battery comfy if you were in really extreme environmental conditions.

Next best is forced air cooling which is used on my Ion. During rapid charging my Ion will take over the climate control system and switch a flap to feed it into the front of the battery pack where various ducts and fins spread the airflow out over the cells. At the rear of the pack is an extractor fan to suck the warm air out and exhaust it. So it both blows air in the front and sucks it out the back. Depending on the battery cell temperatures it will adjust the climate control to achieve an optimal temperature during rapid charging.

If they are hot the A/C runs full blast, if they are warm only the fan runs without the A/C, if they are too cold the fan won't even come on. (which has been the case lately!) So it can actively cool the battery but not heat it. That means that the Ion can rapid charge at maximum speed in hot weather without the battery overheating, but it will charge slower in freezing conditions as it doesn't have a battery heater like some other EV's.

During driving there is normally no airflow through the pack as the small power output of the motor doesn't dissipate much heat in the battery, but I believe that it can turn on the extractor fan in the rear of the pack while driving if it chooses to to provide some forced air cooling with ambient air.

The Nissan Leaf does...... none of the above. No active thermal management of the battery at all. Nada. Not any model of Leaf made to date.

They basically stuff a whole lot of tuna can shaped cells into a sealed box under the car and that's it. Not even any ventilation as far as I know.

They got away with it with the older models with the less dense batteries, but in the 40kWh model it has come back to bite them. Nobody is sure yet whether it's just a density issue, or a change in cell chemistry, but basically if you travel a long distance in the Leaf 2 and then rapid charge, then travel a bit more and rapid charge again, you'll get under half the charging speed you should get.

Maximum theoretical charging speed for a Leaf 2 is 50kW, but a lot of new owners are seeing only 22kW or less on the second and subsequent rapid charge, along with the battery temperature reading being near the red line, making the car basically unusable for any long distance travelling beyond about 200 miles, as you'll be waiting an eternity for your second rapid charge.

Basically the battery management system is severely curtailing the charging rate to keep the battery temperature from getting any higher. One user reported that the battery was reaching 50C when this was happening which is FAR too hot, not only that but there was a 13C difference between one part of the battery at 50C and another part at 37C showing that there was no airflow or ventilation in the battery pack design allowing hot spots to form.

Even at a full 50kW you'd still be looking at a good 45 minute wait to charge back up from empty to about 90%, with this issue people are seeing charging times on the 2nd and subsequent rapid charge of 1.5 hours or more, sometimes as much as 2 hours, which is completely unacceptable for a car that should "rapid" charge in under 45 minutes. Nissan have already added some weasel words to their advertising to say "dependent on battery temperature", but other than that they are not acknowledging any problem yet despite multiple sources online confirming it.

One example is Jonathan from Ecocars who I've mentioned before - he bought one for his own personal car and then "raced" it from Hinkley to Aberdeen a couple of days ago against an older 30kWh leaf and a 28kWh Hyundai Ioniq - those two cars took 12 hours including charging stops to do the 450 miles, the Leaf 2 took 15 hours due to all the additional time spent charging so slowly, despite having the biggest battery of the three.... [-X

He has been tweeting about it:





There are also a couple of long winded threads on speakev about this issue at the moment but I'll spare you the links because there is a lot of tedious bickering and disagreement in them due to a few people who have already bought one refusing to believe the evidence of what others have discovered.

What's even more of a concern is that the battery is overheating by the second rapid charge in winter with ambient conditions of -4C to about +2C in the videos I've seen. What is it going to be like in summer ? My guess is that even the first rapid charge will be throttled in speed due to the higher ambient temperatures.

So in short if you just want to drive it around within a 70 mile radius of your home and charge at home, the Leaf 2 is probably a great car. If you want to travel any long distances that will require multiple rapid charging stops, especially with family onboard, forget it! :roll:

This is really disappointing, and although the mainstream media has not picked up on this yet, I'm sure they will soon, and I'm worried that it will give EV's in general a black eye when the "most popular" affordable EV that is available at the moment has a major design flaw and basically isn't fit for purpose as anything other than a local car, and is easily outclassed by the older shorter range model it replaces for long trips let alone other brands.

For example the 28KWh Ioniq which was racing it to Aberdeen is able to charge at 76kW on a suitable rapid, time after time without slowing down thanks to active cooling.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by MikeT »

myglaren wrote:
13 Apr 2018, 19:23
And now electric roads.


Scalextric. For real! 8-)

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

Saw that, and I think it's a really, really bad idea that should win a Darwin award.... :roll:

Here we are talking about how dangerous a 3rd rail is, and people want to put one in a road ? #-o

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by bobins »

It's one of those ideas that's great in theory but absolutely lousy to put in to practice. Apart from the risk of electrocution to people and animals, it'd last approxiamtely 5 minutes on UK roads as the road surface would break up, or the road would flood and fry the electrics, or just after it'd been laid the gas board will come along and dig up the road and put it all back badly, or enterprising individuals would find a way to attach jump leads and fake the account ident and power their houses for free....... :roll:

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Gibbo2286 »

bobins wrote:
14 Apr 2018, 09:04
It's one of those ideas that's great in theory but absolutely lousy to put in to practice. Apart from the risk of electrocution to people and animals, it'd last approxiamtely 5 minutes on UK roads as the road surface would break up, or the road would flood and fry the electrics, or just after it'd been laid the gas board will come along and dig up the road and put it all back badly, or enterprising individuals would find a way to attach jump leads and fake the account ident and power their houses for free....... :roll:


We had a guy on our estate in Brum who ran a cable across the footpath from the streetlamp to do just that, he only got caught because some old girl reported it as a trip hazard.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by white exec »

HF inductive charging from a tarmac-buried cable would be more sensible. Japan and Germany have already trialled this.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by harryp »

IIRC the head on picture shows no connection/connector underneath the vehicle? I thought it was a form of inductive charging although the gap looked a trifle large :shock: . It must surely be illegal to run an open "third rail" as suggested :? ...... maybe more of an "open third rail" for trial purposes and easy modification :?