Electric vehicles-Conversions

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

Post by van ordinaire »

Why do so many people think electric cars are the future when they are, so obviously in the past? We had electric vehicles for in every day, commercial, use for 70 or 80 years - & now they are no more. There must be a reason for that.

As far as I can see, they are wildly impractical: a fuel that is ideal for small city cars, that no-one wants, is pointless, polution is caused by taxis, buses, lorries, diesel locomotives, ships & aircraft - so hydrogen ships, electric planes anyone?

The only real solution must be alternative fuels they can all use, including the tankers distributing it! e.g. if London buses had been converted to bio diesel at least a decade ago, as they should have been, on cost grounds alone, would we even be having this debate now?

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

I took an interest in bio-diesel/enthanol/veg oil as alternative fuels and the good old xantia XUD was an ideal vehicle for running on straight veg oil (with a bosch pump!) as some FCF Members know first hand. I remember reading about Josh Tickell and his "From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank-The complete guide to using vegetable oil as an alternative fuel."

Probably a bit cleaner than diesel, and available from renewable resources, although devoting vast areas of productive agricultural land to producing food grade oil to burn as fuel in internal combustion engines probably not the best use of resources.

There was a North-East entrepreneur who put a lot of energy and resources into his company D1 Oils to develop the use of the Jatropha plant as a source of vegetable oil for road fuel, with its ability to be cultivated on marginal land in the developing world.

But as far as a revolution in transport "fuel" to electricity is concerned, it is a revolution which could have and should have started earlier. Electric transportation produces no emissions "at the point of use". We have become used to smelling petrol/diesel/exhaust fumes as we fill up or cars, as we walk in our cities and towns, take children to school to by the roadside, cycle on our roads, idle our cars to warm them up on a winter morning etc etc.

100% electric transportation would be a 100% improvement on such pollution, with in my opinion massive consequential benefits for health and well-being. Previous posts on the thread have outlined the recent rapid development in battery technology. Battery Electric Vehicles will overcome all of the range objections and will reach that "tipping point" where they will be better than ICE powered vehicles.

The moving of pollution and emissions to the power generation plants is not a negative. It is far better to control and manage emissions, and advance technology to achieve this at these points than to attempt to manage it with devices fitted to 28.5 million licenced cars in the UK!

The distribution network for liquid or gas fuels has evolved over nearly 100 years, from cans from the chemist or hardware store and while it does the job intended, is immensely inefficient compared to the distribution of electricity to "fuel" vehicles.

I for one hope the "tipping point" occurs as soon as possible, and would welcome the "disruptive" revolution to electric transportation.

Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 21 Mar 2017, 08:55, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Zelandeth »

Here was my spot from earlier on today - basically because I'm somewhat of a Model S fanboy - and because it appealed to my sense of humour parking the most dissimilar possible cars next to each other in the car park...
IMG_20170320_150429.jpg

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Excellent! 50 points for an unusual spot! :-D

Regards Neil

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

Post by Mandrake »

van ordinaire wrote:Why do so many people think electric cars are the future when they are, so obviously in the past? We had electric vehicles for in every day, commercial, use for 70 or 80 years - & now they are no more. There must be a reason for that.
Yep, the technology wasn't there for it 70-80 years ago. ;)

Bit of a straw man argument you've made really, but there are many reasons why it couldn't happen back then:

1) The best rechargeable battery technology 80 years ago was lead acid cells. Far too heavy, not enough energy density, not reliable or long lived enough. OK for golf carts but not suitable for cars! That alone would have nixed the idea. Petrol and Diesel are just far to energy dense for lead acid to compete. Lithium Ion is far more energy dense than Lead Acid but even that is not quite dense enough for universal adoption, so it's going to take one more evolution of battery tech (probably sodium solid state) to get that last mile on the energy density front to truly displace fossil fuels.

2) To do electric cars properly you need high power 3 phase AC induction or permanent magnet synchronous motors. These type of motors have been available for over 100 years (invented by Tesla himself in fact!) for operating machinery and are a tried and proven design however from a normal AC mains supply they can only operate at a fixed speed or a few discrete fixed speeds depending on the number of windings. To use this kind of motor in a variable speed, variable torque application like a car it's necessary to use a high power variable frequency DC to 3 phase AC inverter to take the DC from the battery and convert it to AC at the correct frequency, voltage and current.

The technology to do that simply wasn't available 80 years ago - remember transistors weren't even invented until 1947 and didn't come into circulation until the 60's. This type of inverter would have been completely impossible using 1920's valve technology, and didn't really become feasible in a usable density and cost until the 1980's. EV's as we know them today only became technologically feasible around the mid to late 90's. That's when the EV revolution could have begun, if the commercial will was there at the time.

3) No infrastructure. For electric cars to succeed there needs to be a ubiquitous high power charging network to support it. That doesn't just mean 240v 13 amp socket by the road side, it means rapid charging up to 50kW or more and more importantly there has to be some way to authenticate the user to the charging network for billing purposes, which requires computers and computer networking (internet etc) which simply didn't exist. Another important part of the infrastructure is using the internet by way of a smart phone app to find where the chargers are located! In the 1920's you would have needed something like a phone book in your car with a list of charger locations...

4) Fossil fuels were ridiculously cheap and plentiful at the time, and there wasn't the concern of pollution because the problem hadn't yet occurred. So there was no impetus to look for alternatives to fossil fuels.

In short, it was an idea whose time just hadn't arrived yet. History is littered with ideas and technology which came too soon and the infrastructure and supporting technology just wasn't there to support it yet. A good example is the Apple Newton from the early 90's - in many ways it predates a lot of the functionality of today's smart phones - but it arrived 10 years too early so there was no ubiquitous 3G network to support connectivity to the internet, no high density lithium Ion batteries to power it, no high quality colour displays with multitouch touch sensors to make it easy to control, etc... it invented a lot of ideas we take for granted now but it was a commercial failure and was killed after just a few years.

Fast forward 10 years and the iPhone appeared and the whole idea of a smartphone took off! The time was right and it was a confluence of external factors and steadily improving technology that made the time right and allowed it to succeed. Smart phones are now everywhere and in only 10 years since then almost everyone takes them and the things they can do for granted.
As far as I can see, they are wildly impractical: a fuel that is ideal for small city cars, that no-one wants, is pointless, polution is caused by taxis, buses, lorries, diesel locomotives, ships & aircraft - so hydrogen ships, electric planes anyone?

The only real solution must be alternative fuels they can all use, including the tankers distributing it! e.g. if London buses had been converted to bio diesel at least a decade ago, as they should have been, on cost grounds alone, would we even be having this debate now?
Biodiesel only helps with the problem of where to get the fuel from (instead of drilling for dinosaur remains) it doesn't do anything to help the pollution created by a diesel engine by the combustion process, eg CO2, NOx and particulates. It doesn't solve the demand for engine oils, grease, coolant etc - they all have to come from somewhere.

I wouldn't say electric cars are "wildly impractical" (have you driven one ?) but just that there is still a gap between what some people would like and what they can currently offer, (mainly range and charging times) but that gap is constantly closing and at the current rate of progress the gap will be completely closed within 10 years.

A great quote by Steve Jobs sums it up in my mind - when you're trying to design something you don't skate to where the hockey puck is right now, you skate to where it will be when you get to it. You need to extrapolate current progress a few years into the future and see when the lines will intersect, not worry about the fact that they don't intersect just now. The trend and pace of technological progress and consumer demand is very clear in the last few years. It's pretty close to critical mass now for it to really take off, and this time it will succeed.

mickeymoon

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

Post by mickeymoon »

NewcastleFalcon wrote:I took an interest in bio-diesel/enthanol/veg oil as alternative fuels and the good old xantia XUD was an ideal vehicle for running on straight veg oil (with a bosch pump!) as some FCF Members know first hand. I remember reading about Josh Tickell and his "From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank-The complete guide to using vegetable oil as an alternative fuel."

Probably a bit cleaner than diesel
It's actually slightly worse than diesel for pollution, believe it or not. I was researching this little fact just the other day. I'll find the relevant links when I'm on a PC, but it's dirtier than diesel!

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

mickeymoon wrote:
NewcastleFalcon wrote:

Probably a bit cleaner than diesel
It's actually slightly worse than diesel for pollution, believe it or not. I was researching this little fact just the other day. I'll find the relevant links when I'm on a PC, but it's dirtier than diesel!
Happy to stand corrected Mickey just because chip fat smells a bit nicer than diesel exhaust probably led me to that conclusion!

Regards Neil

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

Post by mickeymoon »

I ran my XMs and Xantias on it for years. I used to regularly pick my girlfriend and her mate up from girls nights out. Her mate worked for the Inland Revenue, and she'd always be a little pissed and start going on about how hungry she was and she could smell cooking. She never did cotton on.

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

The myrenaultzoe site has a lot of useful info for the prospective buyer of a Zoe, and the battery lease agreement,

This is a battery lease agreement, very possibly an older version, for information and perusing might have the answers to the questions I put up.

http://myrenaultzoe.com/Docs/BatteryHir ... eement.pdf

After a quick peruse, there are enough clauses and procedures in there too easy to fall foul of, and getting a replacement battery under the agreement or extended agreement is highly unlikely. Have to come to the conclusion that in spite of the Renault Fluence appearing to be a really nice car, and the Zoe too, that the battery lease agreement just puts me off entirely.

So you buy a product, apparently a "car", but to make it work you have to buy ancilliary financial services because without "taking" those services you don't get a battery to make the product work. A sort of Power Pack Insurance,

Its a no from me.

Regards Neil

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Electric cars-Renault Zoe

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

You find out more in dribs and drabs when paddling around the net. Came across this from pushevs.com

Have to add a note of caution though...what the internet comes up with is not always a correct statement of fact. I spoke with an advisor with RCI today, who confirmed to me that the bit I have put the strikethrough on is not the case-you still can't terminate the lease and "buy" the batteries.
pushevs.com article "Renault Zoe Battery upgrade conditions"

Later this year you’ll be able to upgrade your old ZOE’s battery to the new ZE 40.
For customers that are currently leasing the battery the upgrade will cost 3.500 € and a new leasing contract with higher monthly fees has to be signed, however for those who already own the battery the upgrade will cost 9.900 €.

As equally – or even more – important as the battery upgrade would be if Renault allowed its customers to simply outright purchase the batteries and end the lease if they wanted to.

Currently the only way to do it isn’t very straight forward. It consists in stop paying the monthly battery rental when the contract ends and fully pay what Renault Crédit International (RCI) considers to be the battery’s value. In both 22 and 41 kWh batteries, RCI considers the value to be 7.000 € (without VAT) when new, and they lose 10 % of their value per year.

For example if you have been renting the battery for 3 years, you would have to pay 5.103 € (7.000 € x 0,9 x 0,9 x 0,9) plus VAT to terminate the battery lease contract and keep the battery.
So for example those 2012 reg Renault Fluence's could cost £4,300 (inc VAT) for RCI to terminate the lease should RCI agree to do so, assuming 5 years previous lease repayments.

Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 21 Mar 2017, 10:53, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Electric cars-Renault Zoe

Post by Mandrake »

NewcastleFalcon wrote: So for example those 2012 reg Renault Fluence's could cost £4,300 (inc VAT) for RCI to terminate the lease should RCI agree to do so, assuming 5 years previous lease repayments.
The thing is if you read around on places like speakev.com there are no documented cases of RCI allowing someone to buy out the battery lease to take ownership of the battery. They just won't do it.

The only way a car that was original sold with battery lease can be converted to battery included with the lease paid off is if a Renault Dealer buys the car back and converts it before resale, or when the car is written off.

Having a car with a battery lease that will probably be very difficult to sell when it gets older seems like a terrible financial risk to me.

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Re: Electric cars-Renault Zoe

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Mandrake wrote:
NewcastleFalcon wrote: So for example those 2012 reg Renault Fluence's could cost £4,300 (inc VAT) for RCI to terminate the lease should RCI agree to do so, assuming 5 years previous lease repayments.
The thing is if you read around on places like speakev.com there are no documented cases of RCI allowing someone to buy out the battery lease to take ownership of the battery. They just won't do it.

The only way a car that was original sold with battery lease can be converted to battery included with the lease paid off is if a Renault Dealer buys the car back and converts it before resale, or when the car is written off.

Having a car with a battery lease that will probably be very difficult to sell when it gets older seems like a terrible financial risk to me.
Yes Simon, I corrected my above post after speaking directly to RCI.
NewcastleFalcon wrote:Have to add a note of caution though...what the internet comes up with is not always a correct statement of fact. I spoke with an advisor with RCI today, who confirmed to me that the bit I have put the strikethrough on is not the case-you still can't terminate the lease and "buy" the batteries.
Totally agree with you :-D

Regards Neil

PS TESLA have a new store in Edinburgh.......you can book a test drive in a Model S or Model X up to March 31st (and probably after this too of course).

https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/event/test- ... urgh-store

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

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Clicking on your Tesla link and the charging points tab Neil it looks as though the nearest to me is some fifty miles away on the M5.

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

Post by Mandrake »

Gibbo2286 wrote:Clicking on your Tesla link and the charging points tab Neil it looks as though the nearest to me is some fifty miles away on the M5.
Good job your Tesla has about 250 miles of range then isn't it. :lol:

Tesla super chargers are only intended for long distance trips as the range of the car is sufficient to not need them (or any away from home charging) for normal commuting. So they tend to be placed along main motorway routes. Of course you can also plug a Tesla into standard Type 2 public chargers in car parks, or use a Chademo adaptor to connect to Chademo public rapid chargers as well. You're not limited to only Tesla chargers.

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

Post by CitroJim »

Just seen that some formerly mysterious building works at my place of work has been revealed as EV Charging Point installations...

Free ones allegedly too...

If so, I guess all employees driving ICE powered vehicles will now be demanding free petrol and diesel!

But then, the installation may be for the charging of a number of EV vans that already run around the site... Judging by the state of the building works we'll soon know...