Electric vehicles-Conversions

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

Post by white exec »

Interesting that almost no UK politician is talking about all this, except to worry about what the London mayor might do. A complete lack of vision!

I hesitate to judge, but Toyota seem to be being very luddite about this. I suppose the larger you are (ICE-wise) the more you have to lose. Quite possible that Honda will act a bit more intelligently. In big business, future-gazing is not just a luxury, but essential: leave it too late, and one day you find you don't have a future. Take K*d*k, for example...

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

TESLA do have "whole world" ambitions for sustainable energy as well as just making cars. and selling a few solar/powerwall applications along the way of course!



Regards Neil

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

Post by Mandrake »

Although I haven't said much I'm following your comments and links with interest Neil. :)

I agree that the transition to electric vehicles (wither BEV or Hydrogen or both!) is THE shakeup that is going on in the auto industry right now, and it is rather interesting watching it play out.

Tesla were certainly not the first on the scene (GM EV1 anyone ???) and even my beloved C-Zero that I'm considering predates the Model S by 3 years. (Although not the roadster, which came out earlier) However there is no denying that they are forging ahead and more or less saying to the rest of the auto industry "keep up, or you'll be left behind". Some car makers are scrambling to keep up and making a decent showing of it, (Chevy Bolt springs to mind, and of course the newer Leaf/Zoe etc) some seem almost apathetic to the fact that their lunch will soon be eaten if they don't move. (PSA ? Ford ? others ?)

So long as there weren't any good examples of an EV the public could continue on with the status quo of dino fuel and be led to believe by those with vested interests (and their own prejudices) that electric vehicles are these funny little bubble cars that do hardly any miles to a charge and aren't at all practical or desirable and never will be. The Model S combined with the super charger network blew that out of the water completely and is not only a fantastic EV, it's a fantastic car, period. Sure, its a car that the majority of people can't afford, including me - but so is a high end Porche, Ferrari or BMW! However it sets a high bar for others to follow and shows just what the technology can do.

I also agree with Elon's approach to start at the high end and work their way down progressively. (Roadster -> Model S/Model X -> Model 3) Do the expensive development work on the high end expensive cars first, push the technical boundaries as far as you can, learn from that, get proven technology under your belt and feedback from real world cars (full onboard remote telemetry in every Tesla on the road to date) and then work out how to scale down the size of the car and scale up the manufacturing efficiency and volume to make a cheaper vehicle like the model 3. It's easier to make a big BEV than a small BEV due to the scaling of the battery in proportion to the rest of the car, so start big and work your way down, by the time you get to your lower cost models you have your factory in place and can do high volumes at lower prices.

Most other manufacturers have taken the opposite approach and dipped their toes in the water at the bottom end of the size/cost range - like the C-Zero, initial Zoe/Leaf etc, and I think in the long term that will hurt them because their current tech won't scale up as well as large high end car tech will scale down, so they will need to do a lot of re-engineering to get increased range and performance etc. (A good example of this is the lack of liquid battery cooling on the early Leafs)

Even if Tesla ultimately fails and goes broke (and there is a good chance of that actually happening, if they overreach too far and spend too much on investing in factories and not enough in making profit) the auto industry and the world will be better for them having existed and pushing the industry forward, just like Apple pushed the smart phone industry forward in the first few years of the iPhone.

The final nail in the coffin that signalled a change was on the way was Dieselgate - thanks VW, in a odd roundabout way you might have been the final straw to kickstart the mass migration to EV's! :rofl2:

One final comment is I remember years ago hearing about the movie "who killed the electric car", but I never got to see it. It's deliciously ironic that by the time I recently got to see some of it, that it is completely obsolete, because the electric car is not dead at all, it's back and alive and well thank you very much! :) Nobody killed it, the world just wasn't quite ready for it in the early 2000's, just like people weren't ready for smartphones then either, and look what happened there...

Interesting times.
Last edited by Mandrake on 23 Feb 2017, 11:18, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Mandrake wrote:Although I haven't said much I'm following your comments and links with interest Neil. :)
Thanks Simon, for me its a fascinating and developing story. For a bit of background to the Tesla story I have just spent 45 minutes watching this....absolutely awful title...but filled in a lot of the blanks for me with a lot of stuff i didn't know. Not bang up to date now but for me a good watch...



Elecktrek is excellent for all sorts of news on all aspects of current developments in this area not just Tesla. There is so much going on its my "daily newspaper" these days and its interesting from cover to cover!

Regards Neil

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

Post by CitroJim »

Simon, we do indeed live in interesting times... Although I'm not commenting very much I continue to read this topic with great interest and am indebted to the regular contributors...

Dieselgate just goes to prove the old saying that it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good.... I agree with you that it's likely to be, in retrospect, the best thing that every happened in the automotive world...

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

Post by Gibbo2286 »

white exec wrote:Interesting that almost no UK politician is talking about all this, except to worry about what the London mayor might do. A complete lack of vision!
I don't think you've been watching the politicians close enough . :) A fair bit of discussion in parliament on the subject, I like to watch BBC Parliament.
Politicians are pretty unfairly cast as useless layabouts by the public in general but for the most part they do their best.

https://www.publications.parliament.uk/ ... 3_en_1.htm

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Gibbo2286 wrote: A fair bit of discussion in parliament on the subject, I like to watch BBC Parliament.
https://www.publications.parliament.uk/ ... 3_en_1.htm
A few pages back I put up a couple of posts on a similar theme Gibbo Government set out new powers to shape electric vehicle infrastructure ending up in the Bill now being considered by Parliament.

Alongside that deep within the blurb, was this rather woolly commitment.
Its goal is a Government manifesto commitment that by 2050 nearly all cars and vans should
be zero emission vehicles, which will mean all new cars and vans should be zero emission vehicles by
2040.


My opinion, not ambitious enough, and no game-changing policies springing from more testing targets. I would like a stronger commitment. and once its made lets get on with it, dare to lead, and facilitate economic activity and develop an expertese from the process in infrastructure/ vehicle manufacturing/ and power generation which can be exported around the globe.

Regards Neil

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

Post by Gibbo2286 »

I probably should have taken a bit more time to post a link to the Commons debates on the subject Neil, as I said I watch a lot of BBC Parliament and there has been a fair bit of stuff from many MPs on the subject.
There was even some during the Brexit debate regarding encouraging to production and design of electric cars and batteries in the UK.

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

Post by white exec »

Following on from "Who Killed..." was "The Revenge of the Electric Car".
This looks at how it came back with a vengeance, and provides some fascinating insight into the role of Renault-Nissan, as well as Elon Musk. Well worth watching.
It's here, on YouTube:
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

white exec wrote:Following on from "Who Killed..." was "The Revenge of the Electric Car".
This looks at how it came back with a vengeance, and provides some fascinating insight into the role of Renault-Nissan, as well as Elon Musk. Well worth watching.
It's here, on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru89x1jmpq4
Yes its a very good watch, if you like to see the machinations behind the scenes and the competition that was going on between GM, Nissan and Tesla over that time period. I've watched the whole thing before and its well worth watching if electric cars interest you in any way.

It's also interesting to see just how fragile Tesla was in those early days as a company, suffering quite a few setbacks that could have sunk the company before the Model S was even launched, in fact the company came close to defaulting on staff wages and was only rescued by a personal loan, if I remember right! Elon also sunk all his own money into keeping Tesla afloat during that time and could have lost the lot had it gone sour. He was definitely "all in" on the electric car game. Luckily they got through that difficult patch and the gamble paid off and they were able to launch the Model S and the rest is history.

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Their are an increasing number of stories from all over the world of governments whether City, State or National are setting out their ambitions to achieve zero-emission transport systems (yes take it back to the power generation stage and the odd bit of Co2 may emerge but increasingly power generation is turning to solar in particular and other renewable resources).

California has long been a case in point and this recent announcement is further confirmation.

California Utilities Plan To Spend $1 Billion To Electrify Transportation Sector

One of the interesting bits is this in relation to the Port of Long Beach
Article at GAS2.org as above
"The largest proposal comes from Southern California Edison. It wants to invest $573 million to create the infrastructure needed to electrify the entire freight handling system at the Port of Long Beach. Containers unloaded there are towed by drayage tractors to inland distribution centers where they are loaded on trains and tractor trailers to be distributed throughout the nation. The transportation corridor between the ports and the warehouses has some of the worst air pollution in the country. The plan would electrify freight handling equipment in warehouses as well as the gantry cranes in the port that load and unload container ships.
Regards Neil

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

white exec wrote: Quite possible that Honda will act a bit more intelligently. ...
Maybe they are...

Honda wants to charge electric vehicles dynamically for ‘unlimited range’ on highways


....or maybe not

Have to say it gets a fair slating in the comments section :-D

Regards Neil

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

Post by white exec »

Could work for buses, coaches, HGV and car 'top ups' when they need it. Unlike Trolleybuses, BEVs capable of inductive charge would be free to overtake other vehicles, leave lane, and change route. No reason why motorways shouldn't be so equipped: shallow-burying a cable isn't difficult. Have you seen the speed that French contactors continuously lay cast-concrete crash-barrier!

Honda were slow to produce their first diesel engines (their chief car engine designer allegedly needed to be instructed to work on them), but when they finally arrived they were efficient and quiet. Honda are the largest engine manufacturer in the world by numbers of units, I believe, with a reputation for excellence - rarely first, not the cheapest, but usually first-rate.

I shouldn't be surprised to hear that dockside cranes in the US were something other than electric. Good old American hickie engineering!

I don't think there will be "one solution" for electric road transport, and maybe that is a good thing, encouraging experiments and trials. The important thing is to swing over to electric propulsion, with all its benefits and efficient and cleaner remote power generation.

Worrying this morning to hear Chris Grayling (our masterful sorter of Southern Rail and HS2) tell car buyers to avoid diesel, but not going the extra step. Is an increase in the number of petrol vehicles really what he intends? Is that the best this lot can come up with - or maybe just the expected lack of vision on his part, yet again. Time to dust off some data on petrol exhaust emissions again.

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

Post by Mandrake »

The big debate between petrol and diesel emissions is "pick your poison".

Diesel is obviously lower in CO2 because CO2 is the direct and "desired" product of combustion, and since a diesel is more efficient, less CO2 is produced per mile since less fuel was consumed.

However all (?) the other pollutants are worse from a Diesel - particulate being the worst of course, but NOx also being a serious and only more recently recognised health concern. Petrol's don't produce any significant particulates (unless they're running seriously rich) and NOx is much lower unless they're running really lean due to a fault. (It's the lean burn and high compression temperatures of a diesel that produce NOx) CO and HC are also vanishingly low with a warmed up 3 way cat.

I'll probably get some stick for this, but particulates and NOx are definitely, 100%, pollutants with known harmful effects on people and other organic life. CO2 is..... a natural part of the carbon cycle. In itself CO2 is not harmful - we exhale it and plants use and need CO2 to extract carbon out of the air for photosynthesis. If CO2 levels are a bit higher than normal plants are "well fed" so to speak...if there was no CO2 plants would all die off!

So CO2 is not a poison in the same way that particulates and NOx are, (where any amount is bad) the problem comes when there is an imbalance of CO2 in the environment, leading to increased greenhouse effect. Plants are certainly not worried if CO2 levels are a bit higher than "normal" they're more than happy to gobble up that excess ! (As long as there are enough of them left to make use of it, so deforestation is a worry here...)

I'm not saying we should pump out loads of CO2 again - I'm all in favour of electric cars after all, where at least on the streets we don't have to pick either "poison"... but I do worry that across the world there has been an obsession with minimising production of CO2 without considering the knock on effects.

A mass swing to Diesels in the EU in the last 20 years is a perfect example - cheaper to run, (good for the pocket) less CO2 (good for the greenhouse effect, on paper) but it pumps out other emissions whose effect had not been studied sufficiently at the time. So we traded some greenhouse reduction and more money in our pockets for an increase in actual, harmful emissions, especially pre-DPF where soot was being pumped out by the bucket load. (And apparently still is from black cabs, busses and diesel trains! :roll: )

This wouldn't be so bad if we were 100% certain that the "greenhouse effect" in the last 100 years or so was both a) caused by man, and b) is avoidable, and isn't part of a larger natural climate cycle that will follow its path regardless of what we do. If you look back far enough we're actually several thousand years overdue for an ice age! :lol: The environment is a remarkably chaotic unstable system (which is why weather is so hard to predict - its a chaotic system) full of positive feedbacks, and for all we know a sudden (a few decades) drop in CO2 could actually trigger a plummet towards the next ice age...just saying... :lol: Good for those at the equator, not so good for those of us in Blighty.

Now the dangers of particulates and NOx are well documented Diesel is now the enemy despite its lower CO2. [-X Switching back to petrols is not the answer either - but not because the increased CO2 would tip the balance in the greenhouse stakes - most of the world already drives petrol cars not Diesel. Diesel cars are only prevalent in the EU, outside of that they're very rare. Almost non existent in the USA (one of the biggest car fuel users in the world) for example. Also very rare in places like Australia and New Zealand until very recently, but still not popular.

No, the real reason switching back to petrol is not the answer is because people who have gotten used to the running cost of diesels and have to do large mileages simply cant afford to! :? Unfortunately those same people can't afford to buy new Electric cars either, so it will not be until there are affordable long range second hand electric cars and a flourishing infrastructure (charge points, 3rd party servicing etc) around them that this problem will be solved. At the current rapid rate of progress another 5-10 years and we will be past that tipping point I think. We need cheap second hand EV's with a range of at least 150 miles and fast charging support to reach that point.

It will happen, its only a matter of when. People will buy them because it reduces their commuting costs but the knock on effect will be a reduction in pollution as well! Win win.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Simon, agree with you in every way...