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 »

Yes, a good summary, Simon.

Going back to the '90s, when there was much encouragement to switch to diesel, there were (then) additional environmental reasons for doing so: petrol still had a significant sulphur content, and so the tailpipe emissions of petrol cars included SO2 (sulphur dioxide, acidic) and H2S (hydrogen sulphide). The bad-egg smell of the latter, apart from being poisonous, was also pretty objectionable . . . I remember frequently being hit by it, when the car in front was almost invariably a less-than-new Ford. Faulty cats were to blame, too.

Since then, sulphur has been largely eliminated from both petrol and diesel, to tackle both the pollutants, and we now recognise the dangers of PM10 (and worse, PM2.5 and smaller) particulates.

As Simon says, a reversion to petrol is not a good answer. It just puts off the day of reckoning. 'Choose your poison' is a good way to describe it! Let's hope - and work for - the big jump to electric. The flexibility and cleanliness this will provide is enormous, and will open up a whole array of operational options for us.

Gibbo2286
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Gibbo2286 »

The comment earlier that the Tesla business was fragile is actually still the case, it's just that now instead of gambling his own money the guy is gambling shareholder's money and what was raised on the market is much less than has already been burned.
If he doesn't get the costs down a lot of people are going to lose their investment.

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

Post by white exec »

Thank goodness for this sort of 'gambling' - or investment, as it's also known. Industrial history is littered with folk who took huge risks with their own reserves and the support of others, in the pursuit of something they passionately believed in. Some did not succeed; others changed the world for the better. Quite likely that Tesla, at some point, may well get an offer for the company that he can't refuse, and it could be Well Done, Him.

One thing is for certain: if it weren't for Tesla, recent real progress with electric vehicles would not have happened when it did. They've not only made groundbreaking product, but also had an impact on thinking and the commercial politics of it all. The first Tesla (with a.c. and r.f.) did the same, but ended in obscurity; not likely to be repeated, hopefully.
Last edited by white exec on 26 Feb 2017, 07:55, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

TESLA are in a fascinating battle, in my view, their strategy has every chance of coming off. They are currently streets ahead of their traditional auto-maker rivals, and while there may be some doubts as to how quickly they will be able to ramp up production, their plans are plain for all to see and they are very much doing as opposed to talking, and are placing themselves in a position to outcompete their rivals in cost and supply of battery packs, and in production capacity. TESLA do not have a demand problem, Revenue streams are waiting for all the cars that they plan to produce.

Big oil is seeking all means to sabotage the uptake of electric vehicles like this article from Electrek suggests..
Electric vehicle incentives are under attack by joint efforts from heavily subsidized oil & biofuel industries

While electric vehicles still only account for a small fraction of new vehicle sales, the growth and major recent investments by automakers indicate that it is about to change. Some estimates suggest that electric vehicles could account for the majority of new car sales within the next decade.

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) obviously feel threatened by the change and it leads to odd statements like “we think we should be working to promote the longevity of the internal combustion engine,” which AFPM President Chet Thompson said this week when confirming their aligned effort with the RFA to fight EV incentives.
Regards Neil

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

Post by mickeymoon »

I test drove a 2012 Leaf on Friday. It was interesting. As a true petrolhead, I wasn't sure what to expect.

It was a nice vehicle. I was surprised by both how noisy it was, and how quiet it was. The wind noise on the motorway surprised me, but obviously it was more audible as there was no engine noise to be heard really. Around town it was composed, smooth, had good road manners and the immediate torque made it pretty nippy. It was comfy inside, a nice place to be, and felt like a car - a pretty decent one too. Light to drive, despite a kerb weight of over 1520kg. I came to the conclusion I'd happily have one if the range was a little more. The reviews I've read, and there've been many, don't seem to think more than 70-75 miles is feasible without some jangling nerves - while that would be ok for me to get to work and back for a couple of days, I'd be knackered if I forgot to charge it one night and needed it in the morning. Great vehicle though, just bring that battery tech on a little more and I'll be first in the queue.

I'm going to look at a Merc E320 CDI Avantgarde Estate instead

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

Post by CitroJim »

Mickey, an interesting and valuable report :D Thanks for that...

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

Post by white exec »

The 1520kg is an interesting figure, and may be partly responsible for the comfortable ride. It just happens to be the weight of an XM. Nice report for a 5-year-old Leaf.

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

Post by Mandrake »

white exec wrote:The 1520kg is an interesting figure, and may be partly responsible for the comfortable ride. It just happens to be the weight of an XM. Nice report for a 5-year-old Leaf.
As Electric cars go, that's fairly light. Keep in mind that my similar sized (?) Xantia V6 weighs 1496Kg, and that modern cars of a similar size are generally heavier. The C-Zero is the featherweight in the electric car division at a paltry 1150Kg, but most mid size EV's are well over 1500Kg due to the battery weight. A Tesla Model S depending on spec is about 2200Kg with about 550Kg of that being the battery pack! (which includes the protective compartmentalised firewalled chassis around the actual cells, which is nearly half the weight of the pack, but doubles as a structural load bearing member of the car)

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

Post by Mandrake »

CitroJim wrote:No way I'll ever go anywhere near an autonomous car... That is, in my opinion, a step too far. Much too far...

I'd honestly rather walk...
Better stay away from a certain street in Perth, Australia then. :-D



Johnny cab anyone ? :rofl2:

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

Post by CitroJim »

Thanks fro the warning Simon... I'll not be going there now :lol:

I never use a taxi anyway. I really would rather walk... Or take the bus... Anything but a taxi...

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

Post by Zelandeth »

CitroJim wrote:Thanks fro the warning Simon... I'll not be going there now :lol:

I never use a taxi anyway. I really would rather walk... Or take the bus... Anything but a taxi...
If you ever get that stuck Jim, just give me a shout! I'm cheaper than a taxi, and take payment in the form of coffee, which is far easier. Probably safer too given how they seem to drive down here!

...Even if I do occasionally wind up causing you clutter by foisting bits of vintage tech on you when you're least expecting it.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Thanks Zel :D It goes without saying that the same applies to you too - always happy to help out where I can...

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

Post by harryp »

A very, very interesting thread :wink: .
What really surprises me is that unlike engine development, car makers have not co-operated in EV battery development. Given the presumably astronomic costs of efficient battery development, fighting each other for a bigger share of the market is probably the way to doom and gloom. Almost a Detroit mantra of "stuff them, they'll have what we give them". If they are not careful, most of the current car manufacturers could lose out to a few "maverick" start-up companies like Tesla. If they keep on hedging their bets, it could happen very quickly. A large enough dent in their revenue stream could well finish them off; unexpected and unforseen of course :shock: . I will not make comments on accountants lack of "real" foresight :roll: .

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

Post by Mandrake »

harryp wrote: If they are not careful, most of the current car manufacturers could lose out to a few "maverick" start-up companies like Tesla. If they keep on hedging their bets, it could happen very quickly. A large enough dent in their revenue stream could well finish them off; unexpected and unforseen of course :shock: . I will not make comments on accountants lack of "real" foresight :roll: .
Someone earlier in the thread made the comparison of what happened to Kodak.

For those who aren't into film or photography, Kodak was one of the iconic brands of film that everyone has heard of and probably used, that has been around since 1888 and was one of the main suppliers of film and photo processing....... who completely failed to get on the digital camera/photography bandwagon and ended up filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy because of it in 2012.

It's easy to see why this could have happened - when digital cameras first started coming out at the very end of the 90's they were ridiculously expensive, and severely under-performed quality wise compared to even a basic film camera. Anyone else remember the Sony Mavica (yes I used one in my job years ago) which stored 640x480 photos (0.3 Megapixels!) on 1.4MB floppy disks, and could fit about 8 pictures to a floppy ? :-D This was in the days before SD cards, before USB thumb drives etc, so apart from the ill fated LS120 drive there wasn't really any other way to store the photos with a large capacity which might have allowed more or higher resolution photos.

Good for taking a photo of something for sale to put the picture on a website without taking a photo with a film camera, processing it, then using a flat bed or (horrors) roller scanner to scan it it. For any other use - almost worthless.

Just from 1998 to about 2004 digital cameras made leaps and bounds - I still have a sony point and shoot camera from around 2004 (that I don't use anymore as ironically my iPhone 6 has a better camera and is always with me!) which could take 5 Megapixel images, had a decent lens with zoom and could store hundreds of images on a "memory stick pro" card. (A format like SD cards but semi-obsolete now) Point and shoot digital cameras of a quality good enough to make nice prints had arrived, however the Pro's were still using Film DSLR's in 2004.

Fast forward to today and almost everyone including all the Pro's are using Digital and its actually becoming difficult to even BUY film for old cameras - it is quickly going the way of blank audio cassettes and blank VHS tapes! The iPhone 6 or 7 in your pocket is a better digital camera than a dedicated consumer grade camera from the mid 2000's either digital or film, unless you need a telephoto lens. But for a normal wide angle shot it is better and has far better image processing. (Which is just as important as the lens)

In short, in the space of just over 15 years digital photography went from a joke that would "never" usurp the king, film, to almost completely taking over the industry and surpassing film in quality in every measurable way. Those like Kodak that didn't believe it was coming and stuck to their outdated products paid the price as the markets for those products went away...

There is a little bit of nostalgic revival for "film look" in the last few years with some directors like JJ Abrams choosing to shoot on film again - however doing so was difficult because getting hold of the cameras and getting someone to do a run of blank film had to be done as nobody was making it anymore! This is similar to the nostalgic revival of vinyl records despite their very real flaws.

I think the situation with electric cars is very similar. In theory the technology is superior to internal combustion, but at least initially electric cars were scoffed at and scorned. "Funny looking" (a lot of them were/are!) too short a range, too slow/lacking in power, too heavy, too expensive to buy, nowhere to charge them, too slow to charge them - why would you want to buy one ?

And yet technological progress is continually chipping away at every one of those points - funny looking ? Look at the Tesla, looks pretty nice to me!

Too short a range ? Still a problem for most EV's yes, and THE main remaining problem to solve along with battery longevity, but look at the Tesla for range that will come down in price eventually. Or Chevy Bolt with 238 miles per charge. (My Xantia V6 only does 250 miles per fill in city driving, and I can't fill it at my house!)

Lacking in power ? Not the Tesla! Myth well and truly busted! 600+ HP, 900+ lb/feet of torque and 0-60 in under 2.5 seconds. Chevy Bolt can do 0-60 in 6 seconds too - that's more than fast enough for a $35,000 family car.

Too heavy and too expensive ? Tesla maybe. Chevy Bolt no. Not too expensive and not particularly heavy either. EV's will probably always be a bit heavier for their size class due to the battery but if that weight is under the floor and serves to lower the centre of gravity, it's not necessarily a problem given how much more efficient the motor is at carrying around that increased weight. It's still a net win in energy efficiency despite an increase in weight due to the vastly more efficient (3x) motor.

Nowhere to charge them ? The number of charging points in the UK has increased by an order of magnitude in the last 5 years or so. Check some statistics:

https://www.zap-map.com/statistics/

About 1500 public charge points in 2011, nearly 12,000 in 2016, and most of the new ones are rapid chargers. Considering EV's are still a very small percentage of the total number of vehicles on the road this is a lot, and will only continue to increase.

Slow to charge ? Chademo (supported on the Leaf and even the lowly C-Zero) is 50kW and can recharge from empty to 80% in 20-30 minutes in a car with a 16-30kWh battery. Tesla supercharger can recharge the much larger (60-100kWh) battery in a tesla at up to 120kW and give an 80% charge in about 30 minutes, which will take you over 200 miles.

Bit by bit technology chips away at the limitations until at some point the EV's will simply be better than their fossil fuel comrades in every way. What your priorities are in a car will affect when not if you jump on board the bandwagon.

I don't think ICE engines will ever go completely away - even if they are regulated off the streets I think we'll still see motor racing and performance vehicles off the public roads that are ICE based, and there will be the nostalgia of running a classic car (just as we do now with classic cars) and some commercial vehicles may continue with ICE for a long time but for every day family use I think new Diesel and Petrol car sales for personal use will be dead within 20 years and electric will be accepted as normal and superior - and by then it will be superior in every way that matters, just like happened with digital photography. Lets see if my bold assertions happen on schedule! :lol:

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Mandrake wrote: Someone earlier in the thread made the comparison of what happened to Kodak......
I said a few pages ago that Elektrek had become my daily "newspaper". This thread is rapidly becoming another quality read and the standard of journalism is top notch. Another great contribution Simon :-D

Regards Neil