Electric vehicles-Conversions

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

Post by Mandrake »

Zelandeth wrote: Easy to see where the savings are in city traffic - a pretty typical bus, Volvo B10BLE I'll quote because I know my way around them pretty well - just at idle, not even putting it into drive, you'll be looking at 3-5 gallons of diesel an hour...
That is such a good point that keeps getting glossed over in the "but EV's just move the pollution to the power plant" debate - EV's don't idle!

How much of the worlds fuel supply is wasted and pollution generated by simply idling or creeping forward so slowly that it might as well be idling ? I bet it is a staggeringly high percentage with city driving. :shock: Whilst idling you are getting 0 MPG...

Busses and Taxi's will be guilty of it a lot more than private cars as busses stop a lot more often, and Taxi's spend a lot of time stopped idling. It always makes me a bit angry every time I walk to Glasgow Central station to see a line of about 30 Taxi's sitting there waiting for fares - every single one of them idling their diesel engines (even if they're standing on the pavement gabbing!) for something like 30 minutes plus each time through the queue. (I thought it was illegal to sit parked on the side of the road idling ? Do taxi's have an exemption or do they just routinely flaunt the law ?)

The savings in fuel, pollution and noise from elimination of idling alone must surely be worthwhile. Yes you have ICE cars with auto-start that shut off when you brake for a while, but it's not the same, it's not usable in slowly creeping traffic, and it must be bad for both the engine and battery to be cranking the engine repeatedly. Not really a solution.
Mandrake wrote: Next up are PHEV's or Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Examples are the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV,

[...]

It's not worth plugging in to charge on the road with a PHEV because the battery is so small and they usually don't support rapid charging. In fact its generally frowned upon by BEV owners to find a PHEV plugged into a charging point hogging it for hours when they are still able to get home on petrol while the BEV is stuck waiting to use the charger so it can get home. So generally you would/should only plug in a PHEV at home over night.
Funnily enough I just saw my first Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in Glasgow this morning, it was heading up Bothwell Street, presumably to hog one of the chargers! :lol:

Then a few blocks away I walked past a Leaf stopped at a red light so I thought I'd stop and take my earphones out to wait for it to get a green light to see how quiet it was. Complete silence as it crossed the intersection - I couldn't even hear any tyre noise from it. =D> The car behind it, not so much! :twisted:

That really got me thinking about noise pollution in cities. We talk a lot about emissions pollution from ICE vehicles and we know that EV's are quieter but we never really talk about the "noise pollution" that come from normal ICE vehicles - we just take it for granted that cars are noisy things and that as a result city streets full of cars are noisy stressful (as well as smelly) places to be.

I walk through the middle of Glasgow every day through a particularly busy section full of Taxi's busses and cars, and I actually wear in-ear earphones partly to block out all the noise - it's that bad. I like to listen to podcasts and it is completely impossible on "normal" earphones that just sit loosely in the ears, you need full in-ear-canal earphones to be able to block out enough traffic noise to hear what you're playing at a reasonable volume. Even then I have to turn it up a bit.

As I reach the quieter extremities of the city and the noise drops right down I always feel a sense of relief and calm. Overpowering noise is stressful! [-X

That got me thinking - what would it be like to walk through the centre of a city filled with electric cars ? At modest city acceleration and speed electric motors are completely silent. Below 30mph tyre roar is minimal as well, and doesn't really get loud until motorway speeds. How much more pleasant and less stressful would (will!) city life be once the noise levels drop right back down to pre-car levels ? An electric car is probably quieter than the clop clop and neighing of a horse and carriage that proceeded ICE cars!

A thought - what happens when we get to a point where the majority of cars (say 90%) in a city are electric but there are still a few holdouts driving ICE cars - will even a normal "quiet" ICE car make you seem like an unruly teenager with a no muffler exhaust trying to stand out amongst a sea of silent electric cars ? Will you be shamed off the road and into an EV by being the only noise producing car in a two block radius that gets the stink eye from everyone ? :rofl2:

At the moment electric cars have the problem that they're so quiet that in a busy environment pedestrians will step out in front of you without looking and get run over because they don't hear you coming in amongst all the other noisy ICE cars - however once the majority of cars are electric I don't think this will be a problem any more because a) by then everyone will have learnt to look before crossing the road so they don't get run over (the darwin effect!) and b) with a much lower overall noise level the tyre noise of an approaching EV will be audible but not obnoxious, instead of inaudible as it is now. People will learn to listen for approaching tyre rumble in an otherwise quiet environment, as well as looking!

Will those of us who last long enough to see it look back one day and say that we can't believe we used to live in such noisy cities where you could hardly hear yourself think without plugging your ears ? Will it be a tale to tell our disbelieving Grand kids ? :-D
Last edited by Mandrake on 01 Mar 2017, 11:50, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Just came across this YouTube video ..............enthusiastic guy. :)
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Reason: YouTube tags

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Thinking about stop-start systems - what does that do to emissions? We have all surely seen at the MOT station how long at fast idle it can take to get the cat up to light off temperature so that the results on the emission tester start heading the correct direction. So I wonder how long do cars with stop-start spend with an effectively stone cold cat?

I also wonder whether they use electric oil pumps so the thing doesn't keep having to start from zero oil pressure, or electric coolant pumps to save hot spots developing?

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

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Mandrake wrote:At the moment electric cars have the problem that they're so quiet that in a busy environment pedestrians will step out in front of you without looking and get run over because they don't hear you coming in amongst all the other noisy ICE cars
This is a worry for me as a cyclist as I use noise behind me to alert me to both the presence of a vehicle and what type it is likely to be... Only really a problem when going slowly through a built-up area though as out on the open road the noise produced by vehicles is largely tyre noise. Often this is a lot louder than the engine. Some are noisier than others and Nissan Leafs are no quieter than an equivalent ICE vehicle.

Maybe in built-up areas where electric cars are almost silent - up to about 20mph - maybe they should be made to make some noise to simply alert people to their presence. Something pleasant and not necessarily the sound of an ICE engine although a V8 soundtrack would be OK.

But, having said that, I welcome a reduction in noise generally as I do find noise of all kinds very stressful and troubling... I like my quiet...

As you say Simon, in time we'll all grow sued to it and in a world where the overall noise level is vastly reduced - a time I can't wait for - then the gentle hum of an electric car will be enough...

I just wish tyre manufacturers would try to cut the horrid noise modern tyres make... Maybe if cars did not have tyres are wide as tractor tyres maybe that would help.

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

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Zelandeth wrote:Thinking about stop-start systems - what does that do to emissions? We have all surely seen at the MOT station how long at fast idle it can take to get the cat up to light off temperature so that the results on the emission tester start heading the correct direction. So I wonder how long do cars with stop-start spend with an effectively stone cold cat?
That is a jolly good point which I didn't even think of when I made my argument against stop-start systems - surely the cat will cool down if you spend 60-90 seconds with the engine stopped at a busy intersection and then pump out noxious pollutants afterwards before it can heat up again ? In the case of a petrol engine you would exchange lower CO2 emissions (due to the engine being stopped for that period of time) for a burst of high CO and HC when it started again before the cat could reheat.

For that matter even without stop-start will a cat remain hot enough to work properly when you are stopped idling at an intersection for minutes at a time ? Has anyone ever tested this or do we just assume they stay hot enough ? For a pre-cat that is almost on the manifold I'd say probably yes, but on a large downstream cat like the Xantia V6 I doubt whether it would stay fully up to temperature during a long period of idling...
I also wonder whether they use electric oil pumps so the thing doesn't keep having to start from zero oil pressure, or electric coolant pumps to save hot spots developing?
Also a good point. My guess is that no, they don't use electric oil pumps or electric coolant pumps - I'm sure a stop start engine can make it to 10 years and 100k miles - it doesn't have to last beyond that right ? [-X :lol:

In short, I can't see how a stop-start system cannot be bad for the health of the engine, and whilst you cut pollution during the off period if there are frequent start and cold cat periods (creeping traffic) then emissions of pollutants other than CO2 must surely be worse than if you'd just let the cat stay up to temperature.
CitroJim wrote:
Mandrake wrote:At the moment electric cars have the problem that they're so quiet that in a busy environment pedestrians will step out in front of you without looking and get run over because they don't hear you coming in amongst all the other noisy ICE cars
This is a worry for me as a cyclist as I use noise behind me to alert me to both the presence of a vehicle and what type it is likely to be... Only really a problem when going slowly through a built-up area though as out on the open road the noise produced by vehicles is largely tyre noise. Often this is a lot louder than the engine. Some are noisier than others and Nissan Leafs are no quieter than an equivalent ICE vehicle.

Maybe in built-up areas where electric cars are almost silent - up to about 20mph - maybe they should be made to make some noise to simply alert people to their presence. Something pleasant and not necessarily the sound of an ICE engine although a V8 soundtrack would be OK.
Good point about cyclists Jim - as an ex cyclist myself I should have thought of that. On a country road you would indeed not be able to hear an EV approaching you from behind unless there was sufficient speed for the tyre noise to be audible - say 40mph and above. Perhaps cycles will start needing to have a rear view mirror ? :lol:

Some EV's already do have a noise maker when you're travelling lower than about 20mph to alert pedestrians, but they usually let you turn them off (do you want to wake your neighbour with the pedestrian warning system if you're a shift worker leaving for work ?) and many EV's do not have any noise maker at all - C-Zero and Tesla's included!
But, having said that, I welcome a reduction in noise generally as I do find noise of all kinds very stressful and troubling... I like my quiet...

As you say Simon, in time we'll all grow sued to it and in a world where the overall noise level is vastly reduced - a time I can't wait for - then the gentle hum of an electric car will be enough...

I just wish tyre manufacturers would try to cut the horrid noise modern tyres make... Maybe if cars did not have tyres are wide as tractor tyres maybe that would help.
I suspect that when EV's become dominant more attention will be focused on tyre noise. With an ICE car the engine noise generally dominates so reducing tyre noise below a certain point just adds expense for no gain, however a lot of people driving EV's already comment on just how much tyre roar there is at motorway speeds - it was always there, they just didn't notice it with the engine noise! So I suspect there will be a push towards quieter tyres when there is an actual benefit in overall noise to be had.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Speaking about stop-start issues, you ever looked at how expensive batteries off the shelf suitable for cars with such a system are? In Halfrauds (admittedly not where I'd buy one!), They are literally three or four times the cost of the other batteries on the shelf that don't say "suitable for stop start systems..." next to them.

If I were ever buying a car with such a system (not likely, given how fantastically annoying I've found the system on every car I've driven with one has been!), the worry of potentially having to fork out £300-400 for a battery would honestly put me off...Just like looking at a car that you know is going to need tyres soon. I do wonder as well what effect on the battery life actually is? Especially given that batteries just don't seem to last as long as they used to.

When I was first getting into cars in the late 90s, I had (quite) a few scrappers to mess about with, mostly mid 80s vehicles. Every one of these still had its original battery in and working just fine. The last two I've had to change were only five and seven years old respectively. Admittedly the latter may have been killed though by over discharge due to an alternator failure so I'll give that the benef of the doubt.

Far cry from the 1999 era Bosch Silver in my van, which was successfully revived after sitting stone flat for nearly 10 years - and is still going to this day..

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

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I believe they're a kind of deep-cycle battery Zel, much like 'leisure' batteries in caravans in concept and thus able to take a lot of abuse from frequent high starter current demands and the concomitant very high charging currents... Normal car batteries are not happy when constantly under such a regime...

No doubt high price is down to novelty and perhaps limited - when compared to normal ones - production rates...

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

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Was just having another think about EVs and the like, having had a run out in a Model S again recently has pushed that back to the front of my mind - and I can still confirm that it's still at the number 1 spot on my "if I won the Lottery tomorrow..." list.

I don't have any particular worry about battery degredation having a real world impact on the long term usability of such vehicles (even though knocking 10-20% range off might well take a helpful chunk off used prices for hopeful prospective owners like me!), but I am more worried about the multitude of internet connected hardware in there. The ability to download firmware updates for various vehicle systems, to tie into online services like Spotify etc are what I mean.

It's a good idea in theory - now. I'm a bit more worried about what this might mean in 15, 20 years. I mean, have you recently tried browsing the net on a PC from 1998? Or even more tellingly, a smartphone from only FIVE years ago... It's painful. I do worry what this might mean for the usability of all the online features in the likes of Tesla's vehicles. This isn't a unique problem to EVs, but they do tend to be pushing the envelope with that regard so tend to be bristling with more tech than most "normal" cars.

How much of that will still be working when these cars are cheap enough that the likes of me can afford them - and how much that will actually impact on the usability of the car itself...Will we even get the cars to the stage that battery degredation becomes a serious problem before software issues have rendered them obsolete?

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

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So those of you who are worried about the environmental costs of mining Lithium for mass adoption of electric cars, what would you say if someone invented a battery that replaced the Lithium electrode with sodium, used a solid electrolyte instead of liquid/paste, had no dendrite growth with rapid charging/discharging (and thus no degradation of capacity with number of charge cycles) could charge and discharge at much higher C rates than Lithium Ion (thus charge faster and put out higher peak power for bursts of acceleration) and could also work down to -20 degrees without requiring any energy consuming heating of the pack ?

Sound too good to be true ? If this research makes it out of the laboratory and into the field that's what we might actually end up with:



Interesting that one of the original inventors of modern Lithium Ion chemistry is working on this project - at 94 years old! :shock: =D>

A lot of the nay saying of electric cars is based on the current limitations of Lithium Ion batteries, but seems to discount the possibility that an entirely new battery chemistry that is vastly superior to Lithium Ion will come along - I say never underestimate research and technological progress!

Lithium Ion batteries only began being researched in the 70's and didn't become commercial until the early 90's. Before that we had Lead Acid, NiCad, NiMH and so on. Each one with greater energy density than the previous technology until we arrived at Lithium Ion, which has been king of the hill for the last 20 years. But to think this is the end of the road and that there is not some new chemistry waiting around the corner that will make Lithium Ion obsolete is foolish.

The difference between now and back when Lithium Ion batteries were developed 30 years ago is that there is an insatiable demand for high output high energy density quick to charge long life batteries - first for consumer gadgets like Smart Phones and now for Electric cars. If there is such a huge market demand to cram the most capacity into the smallest size and weight in an electric car there is a lot of incentives for research into new battery chemistry, rather than just refining and packaging the exiting Lithium Ion technology, which is what all current EV makers Tesla included have been doing until this point.

Expect a breakthrough in battery technology in the next 10 years or so I reckon, and say goodbye to Lithium Ion.

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

Post by CitroJim »

That does sound far too good to be true...

It's is no corporate's interest to make anything everlasting so that's never going to fly even if the technology might exist to enable it...

Sadly :(

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

Post by white exec »

...and possibly coupled with Ultracapacitors - if indeed they're needed - for near-on complete capture of regenerative braking and pulse charge.

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

Post by demag »

I also heard that lithium producers are reaching production capacity and there are only finite known reserves available. Although prospectors think there are more reserves available.


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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

James Dyson has taken a reasonably sizeable bet/investment in solid state batteries.

Dyson Commits $1.4 Billion for Battery Development

Regards Neil

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

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NewcastleFalcon wrote:James Dyson has taken a reasonably sizeable bet/investment in solid state batteries.
I hope they'll be better than his bloody atrociously useless hand driers :twisted:

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

Post by myglaren »

Some spare Lithium in Cornwall.
Take a shovel with you :)