Electric cars-Conversions

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

Post by harryp »

Backing up a little; many cold climate vehicles and most HGV's these days are fitted with Webasto diesel heaters, (including the Xantia Exclusive, although it heats the coolant only). How else would you heat an electric vehicle I wonder and maintain range :? ....

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

Post by CitroJim »

Gibbo2286 wrote:
CitroJim wrote:
white exec wrote:Sounds like something out of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" :shock:
Not so far wrong... Lithium was once used to treat mental conditions...
And still is.

http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/b ... -lithium#1
Gosh :shock: I was under the impression lithium had been phased out years and years ago for such treatments...

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

Post by elma »

Has my Xantia got a webasto then? Or is it just diesels and/or mk2s?

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

elma wrote:Has my Xantia got a webasto then? Or is it just diesels and/or mk2s?
This old thread may have the answer

https://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/ ... hp?t=28293

May only come into operation at 12 degrees C

Regards Neil

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

Post by elma »

I guess I'm sans Webasto then, not ever heard of one that runs on unleaded. My Xantia heats up fast enough that fitting one wouldn't make sense anyway. I'm that off the beaten track I'll just leave it running for 10mins if I need some preheating, no one is going to steal it here.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

The heater in the electric 106 ran on unleaded, having filled the tank up on the works ones a bunch of times (nobody else ever did it!) I can guarantee that. Worked really well too, heated up way quicker than the one on a normal 106, and invariably even on the coldest days in Aberdeen I wound up having to turn it down.

Regarding heating, it really surprised me that Nissan only switched to reverse cycle air conditioning as a source of heat on the most recent version of the Leaf. That to me struck me as a complete no brainer as it's a way to get at least 3 or 4 kW of heat out for each kW of electrical power put into the system (that number can be a lot higher for domestic installations, I'm assuming an in-vehicle system will be a lot less efficient). Where every watt counts, it seemed really odd they were using an old school resistive heater on the older cars.

Housemate here had a demo Leaf one day in the winter a few years ago now, and they found that the range was more than enough to get from work to home and back again...provided they didn't use the heater! This was in February...Turning it on resulted in the range remaining display immediately dropping to about 20 miles short of the needed range...suffice to say, it was a cold trip back to work.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Late HDi Exclusive Xantias had the Erberspacher diesel-fuelled auxiliary heater fitted. Very good they were too...

They made a lovely noise like a little jet engine when running :)

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

Post by myglaren »

Added for Peter.N
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Electric Truck.JPG

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

Post by white exec »

. . . tell us more, Peter! #-o

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

Post by Peter.N. »

I did mention it earlier in the thread - but that was a long time ago.

I bought it in the '70s I think, it came from one of my ex rental TV suppliers warehouse. It was originally a pedestrian operated platform type truck but I modified it a bit.

As you will see I added an angle iron constructed extension to the front, removed the original operating handle and fitted a steering box from a Farina A40 and a brake and accelerator pedal. I modified the electrics from 'stop and go' to variable speed. It used four 6 volt batteries, fortunately we had a local commercial vehicle breaker who was also a customer of mine and I managed to scrounge some decent 6v lorry batteries - usually in exchange for repairing his TV, I had a similar arrangement with several of the local farmers for other swaps.

I arranged for the batteries to be connected in series or parallel using a relay or two and a number of old starter solenoids, the old fashioned separate type, it had four power levels - 12v with a series resistor - full 12v - 24v with resistor then full power. After a long period of operation the solenoids got hot, the resistance increased and they dropped out so I used another relay and some resistors to provide a lower 'holding' voltage on them after they had closed.

It was very powerful, you could tow a car with it up our track which is quite steep, I carried wet concrete on it when I was laying the track (it had sides on it then) but it was mostly used by my son for driving around the forest at the top of our garden, kept him amused for hours - or until the batteries went flat, if fact he learnt to drive on it, apart from clutch control of course.

It fell out of use after a number of years so I scrapped it. I had forgotten all about it until this thread appeared.

Peter

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

Post by Peter.N. »

For anyone interested in electric vehicles my son sent me this link, its a 'Wheeler Dealers' with a twist.


Peter
Last edited by elma on 23 Jan 2017, 16:03, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: utube link

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

Post by Mandrake »

RichardW wrote:We don't have enough generating capacity to keep the lights on at present - there is no room for loads of electric cars. They only 'move' the pollution from the car to power station in any case (unless its' running on renewables, but they're not very consistent!) - but I can see there are advantages to this from City air quality point of view.
I wanted to come WAY back to a comment Richard made in December, about an electric car only moving pollution from the car to the power station - I already responded to that at the time with the suggestion that even if the same fuels were burnt at the power station it could be done with greater efficiently and more cleanly at a centralised power plant than it could be done in millions of individual car engines, for a net win, (especially of "on the street" pollution levels - we have to breathe the air along the roads after all) however there is another point that I hadn't thought of which has been brought to mind after we recently switched electricity/gas provider.

Moving the pollution from the car to the power station makes the assumption that we as consumers are powerless to control where our electricity comes from, but that is not true! :) Every retail electricity provider in the UK has a different mixture of what sources of power they buy at the wholesale level including, coal, gas, nuclear, "renewable" (solar, wind and Hydro I assume in the UK) and "other". This is shown in the following table:

http://electricityinfo.org/uk-domestic- ... suppliers/

Check YOUR electricity provider in the list to see where they get their power! (The graph links for each provider that show how those proportions have changed over time are also quite interesting)

Previously we were with Scottish Hydro (SSE) and when we joined them two years ago when moving into our house I didn't even give a thought as to how they generated their power, but it turns out to be 25% coal, 35% gas, 7% nuclear, 29% renewable and 4% "other". So yes, if I bought an electric car and charged it primarily at home (which I would, unless I was on a long road trip) and I was still with Scottish Hydro 60% of my electricity for charging my car would have come from fossil fuels. Better than burning petrol directly in terms of efficiency and pollution, but still not good.

However this month we just switched to a fairly new provider "Bulb", ironically with the reason being nothing to do with electricity, but because their gas charges are SO much lower than Scottish Hydro, who were charging us an absolute fortune. (Scottish Hydro's fixed rate Mar 17 plan is nearly twice the p/kWh for gas as Bulb)

They're not the absolute cheapest on the market but they are not too far off for our usage, and they are the cheapest whose electricity generation is 100% renewable. (Gas is 10% renewable as well) Their electricity rate is slightly more than Scottish Hydro but only by about 1p/kWh which amounts to maybe £2 a month, but the massive gas savings more than offset that for me.

As we were switching I suddenly realised that if I had bought an electric car that I had the power to also switch electricity provider to one that uses 100% renewables - and there are many of them to choose from besides Bulb. In that case I would NOT be moving the pollution upstream to the power station at all, I would be eliminating that pollution entirely.

If everyone who bought an electric car did likewise and switched to a provider that used 100% renewable electricity generation that would make their cars even greener, and more importantly would send a clear message to the electricity market that this is what people want.

You might say "but there wouldn't be enough renewable generation to cover a country full of electric cars, or even the number we have now" - well obviously not at the moment, yes. However if providers who used gas, coal and nuclear kept loosing customers to providers that used 100% renewables, market forces would force more investment in renewable generation. The money and investment will go where the market demands it. It wouldn't happen over night but it would happen, if electric car owners got on board with the idea of caring about where their electricity comes from and voting with their wallets.

I never really gave it much thought before - I just kind of assumed that all electricity providers used a mix of sources (as most do seem to) and that was that. It never occurred to me that there would be some using 100% renewable sources at still very competitive prices, and ultimately with enough investment solar/wind etc will eventually be cheaper per kWh than traditional sources like coal and gas anway, as the trends in some countries shown in articles posted earlier already show.

One thing is for sure, if I did have an electric car I would be sticking with a provider with 100% renewable generation, especially if their price is still competitive.

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

Post by Peter.N. »

I believe the Orkney Isles are completely self sufficient in renewable electricity and even export some to the mainland so running an electric vehicle there is a no brainer - unless they want to drive very far on the mainland.

Peter

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Post by Mandrake »

Some observations on those graphs showing energy breakdown over time of different providers:

1) British Gas - as you'd expect, initially most of their electricity came from gas, with some pickup from coal and nuclear and not much renewable, but since 2010 gas use has gone way down and nuclear and coal went up. Then since 2013 coal has trended down by the same amount renewable trended up to the point where they're generating more from renewable (about 30%) than gas or coal, and only beaten slightly by nuclear.

2) Co-operative Energy - started in 2012 as 100% renewable but quickly changed to rely largely on coal, gas and some nuclear, with renewable way down at 10%. Their website still tries to talk about being green etc, so what the hell happened ?? A bit disingenuous if you ask me... [-X

3) e.on - mostly gas and coal then in 2016 renewable jumped up from 5% to 30% and coal went way down. I suspect they're a company that just buys whatever is convenient at the time as their percentages jump around all over the place rather than trending.

4) Ecotricity - I'd heard of them before in relation to their electric car charging network and saw they were 100% renewable today but didn't realise until looking at the graph it didn't start that way! About 18% renewable in 2005, with a mixture of coal, gas and nuclear making up the vast bulk. Fast forward to today and they're 100% renewable and 0% anything else. Top marks for progress!

5) EDF Energy - Up until 2009 they were a typical coal and gas supplier with some nuclear, but what the heck happened in 2010 when they went nuclear crazy, jumping from 12% nuclear to 65% ?? :shock: Perhaps they were bought out by a French company that had a few spare container loads of uranium to dispose of ? :-D Their nuclear use has remained high to this day and renewable very low. Poor showing I'm afraid - I'm not a fan of nuclear at all and they are by far and away the biggest seller of nuclear generated power in the country.

6) First:Utility - Not much to say, typical coal/gas supplier since 2009, with renewable suddenly jumping up to 29% in 2016. (Did a lot more more renewable generation go online last year ??)

7) Green Energy - Bit of a misnomer I think - getting 70% of their electricity from gas and 30% from renewable. Sure, no coal or nuclear, however I don't know that pumping gas out of a drilling at sea and burning it is still "clean" in the way that hydro, solar and wind is...and its certainly not renewable.

8) npower - coal and gas. Gas usage actually going up as coal goes down and not a lot of renewables. Maybe they're buying up all the gas British gas isn't using for electricity now ? :lol:

9) Ovo Energy - started in 2010 with gas, coal, nuclear and some renewable, coal and nuclear phased out in 2015, renewables way up to 50% but gas up as well to replace all the coal and nuclear.

10) Scottish Power - coal and gas primarily but renewable gradually climbing to 25%.

11) SSE - wow, didn't realise how many other companies they absorbed....they started off mainly gas and coal and that hasn't changed a lot, however more recently renewables has crept up to about the same as gas and coal. Not a lot to say really, except bye bye SSE for me.

I left out suppliers like bulb that only just entered the market, and also those who started from the get go as 100% renewable as I was more interested in the trends of established larger companies. And with a couple of exceptions the trend is clear - most providers now have about 30% renewable generation and rising, and most of this has happened in only the last 3-4 years. :)

Coal seems to be the main source being displaced by renewable as exemplified by British Gas.

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

Post by white exec »

Mandrake wrote:Moving the pollution from the car to the power station makes the assumption that we as consumers are powerless to control where our electricity comes from, but that is not true! :) Every retail electricity provider in the UK has a different mixture of what sources of power they buy at the wholesale level including, coal, gas, nuclear, "renewable" (solar, wind and Hydro I assume in the UK) and "other".
There is an operational snag - maybe deliberately skated over by the suppliers, and by the government - in their recommendation to consumers to make "rational decisions" about from whom they buy their electricity.

OK, so the different generating and retailing companies each have their own declared "mix" of generating sources (gas, oil, coal, wind, nuclear...) and use this as part of their advertising and their commercial ambitions.

But, in the UK we have a national grid for the generation and distribution of electrical energy. All the major generating companies feed into this, and it is constantly monitored (by what was CEGB, now National Grid) so that active generating is matched exactly to demand. We've all seen how vital this is, as the kettles go on at the end of Eastenders and at footie half-time.

So far as I know, the central control room brings on stream power stations and pumped storage on the basis of availability and cost-effectiveness, and does not delve too much into the complex area of how the energy will be retailed, nor (with the exception of avoiding known dirty sources such as old coal stations) how green or otherwise the generation actually was.

All this effectively negates any claim by retailing suppliers to be able to route to their customers "green" or any other type of electricity. The whole thing is simply an accountancy exercise: retailer 'A' will bill their customers for so many kWh of electricity, and will have to buy that from the national pool (grid). They may (or may not) route their billing towards a particular preferred generator (for cost or even environmental reasons), but the product they are supplying (retailing) will have come from the general grid pool.

It is as vacuous as British Airways saying that their jet fuel is from BP. It isn't, it can't be. There is a national grid for aviation fuel across the UK, into which all the refiners pump. It's the same for mainstream electricity.

My own feeling is that, when it comes to choosing an energy supplier on environmental grounds, I'm told I have 'choice' in a 'competitive market'. No, I don't. The government, like those in a good few other countries, has created an illusion of competition and choice in the energy market (with precious little to be gained from switching suppliers, which is why so few people do it), when the fact is it is the government which should be implementing an organised strategy towards green and sustainable power generation, and not kidding householders that the future lies in their hands.